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Select bathroom scales beat others in tests

January 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Consumer Specialist Ric Romero and Consumer Reports tested bathroom scales to see how they measure up. When we teamed up with Consumer Reports for this test, we included a solar-powered scale and one that remembers your last five weigh-ins, which might be the last thing you want the scale to do.

Regular exercise is an essential component of keeping weight in check, and weighing yourself routinely helps keep you in check as well.

"I actually follow an eating regiment and an exercise plan. So based on what that number is on the scale, I can determine what I'm going to be doing later on that week as far as exercising and eating," explained Allen Aranzamendez, a personal trainer.

Consumer Reports tested 11 bathroom scales ranging in price from $18 to $65. Included were digital scales, ones with dials and even a solar-powered scale. Some even have memory features.

"The $30 Weight Watchers scale remembers your last five weigh-ins, and this $35 one from Healthometer can remember the last reading for two people," described Nicole Sarrubo of Consumer Reports.

It will even calculate the difference. To test the scales, nearly a dozen panelists first weighed in on a calibrated standard lab scale. Then, they stepped on each of the scales in a random order. It turns out, the dial scales didn't measure up.

"We found that the dial scales weren't nearly as accurate as the digital ones. In some of our tests, they were as much as seven to 11 pounds off the mark," said Sarrubo.

All the digital scales performed well, with seven rating excellent. After weighing the options, Consumer Reports top-rated the $35 Taylor glass electronic scale, model number 7506.

Consumer Reports says whichever scale you choose, to ensure accuracy, be sure to use it on a hard, level surface. And for consistency, it's also important to weigh yourself at the same time, first thing in the morning. That's because your weight can fluctuate throughout the day, depending on what you've had to eat.