Consumer Reports: Top bathroom scales

Posted at 11:46 AM, Jan 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-06 11:46:38-05

When it comes to your weight, more isn't always better. It turns out, the same might be true for your scale.

Consumer Reports tested six scales, which not only measure weight, but also things like body mass index and fat.

"These scales work by passing a very small electrical current through your body. Electrical current passes differently through fat and muscle and based on the amount of current, they can determine your body composition," said Bernie Deitrick with Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports tested accuracy by sending volunteers to a university lab, where they measured body fat using a highly sophisticated device called a Bod Pod.

Testers used this scientific benchmark for each volunteer to assess a scale's accuracy at reporting body fat.

None of the scales came close to the numbers from the Bod Pod for all the volunteers.

"They weren't very accurate at measuring body fat, but they were consistent. So if you want to track your body fat composition over time, they are useful," Deitrick said.

That said, the 80-dollar Tanita scale provides the best combination of accuracy for weight and consistence for body fat.

The 130-dollar Fitbit Aria Smart Scale can send results right to your smartphone, via Wi-Fi.

"It's useful to know how much body fat you have, but a better indication of your overall health is body mass index, which you can calculate knowing your height and your weight," Deitrick said.

Which means all you really need is a basic scale like this Consumer Reports top-rated Taylor 7506, which is only 25 dollars.

Another good reminder that sometimes less is more.