If you are sticking with your New Year’s resolution to get in better shape, or if you have fallen off the wagon a bit and need some incentive, you are probably considering purchasing a bathroom scale.
A good, simple bathroom scale will be able to tell you how much you currently weigh, information with which you can deduce how much weight you have put on or taken off since your last weigh in. Other scales are able to tell you a considerable amount more. If you are on the market for a bathroom scale, what factors should you consider? Here are a few quick tips for choosing the right bathroom scale for you.
Analog vs. digital
Perhaps the biggest dividing point for different types of bathroom scale types is the choice between mechanical scales and digital scales. Analog scales are simple, cheap and readily available just about anywhere that sells scales. Digital scales are as easy to find as analog scales and, in some cases, just as affordable. As they are battery-operated, you will need to replace batteries from time to time, but most digital scales tend to have impressive battery lives. What’s more, digital scales are typically more accurate and available with more features including memory settings and BMI calculators.
Know what you want
When you begin shopping, you will notice that more expensive scales offer a multitude of useful features. Some scales are able to determine bone and water weight, BMI and body-fat percentage. Some scales feature Bluetooth capabilities that allow for wireless syncing to accompanying smartphone apps, while others are tailor-made specifically for peripherals like the FitBit. If you intend to buy a pricier scale for some of the added accoutrements, make certain that these are features that you need and will use enough to justify the expense. If you merely want to know how much you weigh, keep it simple.
Know what you do not need
If you are leaning down or looking to add more muscle mass, you may be tempted to spring for a digital scale that promises to measure your body fat and muscle mass. These scales use technology known as bioelectrical impedance, which uses an electrical current in conjunction with your height, weight, age and gender to determine a body-fat number.
The issue is that this standard is inconsistent and inaccurate, to the degree that Consumer Reports no longer tests body-fat scales because there is no real way to quantify them in terms of accuracy. If you want to know your body-fat percentage, buy a cheap body fat caliper for a more accurate assessment, or consider scheduling an appointment in a BOD POD at your nearest COSMED assessment site.
Trust consumers and experts
The best tool in your arsenal for determining which scale is right for you is reading what other scale-shoppers have to say. Amazon.com is a great resource for comparing scales of different capabilities based on their respective star ratings, even if you do not ultimately make your purchase with them. Generally speaking, you should look for scales with the most reviews so as to have a larger sample to consider, as well as those models with the most four- and five-star reviews. With those highly-acclaimed models, also take the time to read the one-star reviews to see if there are any common complaints, or if the manufacturer made good on their warranty.
Additionally, ConsumerReports.org and GoodHousekeeping.com both feature great buyer’s guides and recommendations to utilize when narrowing down your choice. The best resource may be TheSweetHome.com’s “Best Bathroom Scales” blog, which is as comprehensive and well-sourced a resource as you will be able to find on the Internet. To read it for yourself, visit http://thesweethome.com/reviews/the-best-bathroom-scales/.
Shopping for the right scale can be a relatively pain-free process if you know what you need and what to look for. Take the time and do your research, and you will likely wind up with a bathroom scale that will last you for years to come.
This article is presented by Perkins Motors in Colorado Springs, Colorado.