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What are Some Different Kinds of Bathroom Scales?

By R. Kayne
Updated May 16, 2024
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If it’s been a few years since you’ve shopped for a bathroom scale you’ll likely be in for a surprise. We used to be limited to just two kinds of bathroom scales: mechanical or digital. Today’s modern bathroom scales will not only weigh you but also perform other functions, and some even use wireless technology.

Bathroom scales come in many models that range from the inexpensive and simple, to the more feature-rich. Since digital scales are not only reasonably priced but generally considered more accurate than traditional analog scales, they’ve all but replaced mechanical bathroom scales.

Traditional bathroom scales have an analog dial that can be difficult for some people to read. Numerals only appear at full increments, with lines marking off weight increases between. This design lacks the ability to gauge finer weight increments. Digital bathroom scales display the weight on a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen as a number with decimal points, foregoing the need to read a dial and reporting a more accurate weight measurement.

In the United States, extremely inexpensive digital scales might only report weight in half-pound increments, which will suit many people’s needs. Scales that can report weight in smaller increments will be more expensive and more accurate. Some bathroom scales measure weight down to 50 gram increments, causing even a drink of water or cup of coffee to register. Athletes or others who must have refined, accurate measurements can opt to pay a little more to get digital bathroom scales like these.

If you prefer not to strain to see the LCD screen at your feet, consider wireless bathroom scales. These digital bathroom scales have a removable, separate LCD screen that resembles a travel clock. Place the LCD screen anywhere convenient, and when you step on the scale, it will transmit the information wirelessly to the LCD screen via radio waves. You’ll never have to strain to see your readout again.

Perhaps the most exciting improvement in bathroom scales is that they can now provide additional information about the body, such as estimating the percentage of body fat, water weight, and muscle weight. Some models base calculations on information the user provides as to height, age and gender, while other bathroom scales use low-level electronic pulses. Many bathroom scales also display the number of daily calories required to maintain the current weight, or to obtain an ideal weight. As such, bathroom scales have become a tool for achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Considering the features, even high-end bathroom scales are reasonably priced. Depending on your needs, you can expect to pay anywhere from 25-130 US dollars (USD) for most models. When choosing a scale be sure it measures in increments that are accurate enough for your purposes. If you are an athlete in exceptional shape, look for a model with the “athlete mode.” This should provide more accurate calculations for your body type.

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Discussion Comments
By ama3 — On Sep 19, 2012

My UK scale finally broke(?) after 20 years. Now in the US, how/where can I find a stone/lb/kg mechanical scale? None of the UK suppliers ship to the US!

By laluna — On Jul 14, 2008

I use digital scale that displays weight in increments of .2 pounds. I find it a beneficial tool to control weight. When those numbers start creeping up I know I have to make a change in my diet and or up the exercise. Without the scale it would be much more difficult to notice changes and make necessary corrections.

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