Best Cheap Bathroom Scales
Published on By Maralyn Edid
Elite Home ESC-9008X Review
From $22 Best
The news is accurate with this digital scale, say reviews, even when compared to professional-grade models. It features step on/step off technology and a memory that reports gains and losses.
One of the neat things about this scale, according to Elite Home ESC-9008X reviews, is that it remembers what you weighed last time you stepped on and tells you how much you've gained or lost at the next weigh-in. This memory function is a real motivator, say users posting reviews on the Target website, who also prize its accuracy. Moreover, consumers appreciate that the display reverts to zero when you step off (no telltale reports for the next user!), and say readouts match the news delivered in the doctor's office.
We didn't find any specs for the LCD digital display, nor did we find any gripes about difficulty reading the numbers from a standing position. This scale can give weights up to 400 pounds in increments of 0.2 pounds. It runs on a lithium battery, which comes with the purchase; a low-battery indicator tells you when it needs replacing. The easy-to-clean, tempered glass platform measures 14 x 13 x 3 inches; the aesthetic is definitely modern.
The Elite Home ESC-9008X (starting at $22, Amazon) is a digital scale that sits comfortably in the cheap price range. Although there aren't many reviews for this model, it's clearly one that wins over users for its value and performance.
Where to buy
EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale Review
From $29 Best
This sleek glass scale wins rave reviews from users, who laud its accuracy and near instant readout. The large 3.5"-LCD display with a blue backlight is easy to see day or night.
Strong EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale reviews make this one of our top picks. It earns a near-perfect rating on Amazon, where literally hundreds of reviews comment approvingly on its sleek look, accuracy, and ease of use. Consumers who mind their weight like the large backlit display, which makes for easy reading, the step-on technology that powers up the scale right away, and the consistent weight reports. Users posting bathroom scale reviews on Walmart offer up similar comments, including one that notes stepping on the scale several times in a row doesn't affect the results and another stating that the accurate readouts make it possible to monitor her weight-loss progress. We did come across some reviews, however, that tell the opposite story; that is, inaccurate and inconsistent weights and scales that quit working shortly after purchase.
The EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale (starting at $29, Amazon) is made of tempered glass, an increasingly popular material for bathroom scales, and boasts a 3.5-inch LCD display and a 12- x 13-inch platform. It runs on four AAA batteries, which are included in the package, and it can weigh up to 400 pounds, with the results detailed in 0.2-pound increments; it can also give your weight in kilograms or stones (the British unit of weight). A feature touted on this scale is the step on/step off, which powers up and powers down the unit and replaces the tap-on approach of earlier models.
The overwhelming show of support for the inexpensive digital scale convinces us it's a value buy. We didn't find any complaints about this unit gobbling power, so you won't need to replace the batteries often. Be careful with the glass, though, because it can shatter if rammed against a porcelain bathroom fixture (i.e., tub or toilet). Such accidents seem few in number, though, and the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale is an otherwise durable model that can help keep you on your weight track.
Taylor Precision 7329 Lithium Electronic Scale Review
From $13 Good
A very cheap digital scale with a large readout that's prized for its value but not always for its accuracy.
Taylor is an established scale maker, and Taylor Precision 7329B Lithium Electronic Scale reviews indicate that this super-cheap offering hits the sweet spot with users for being simple, easy to read, and lightweight. Reviews posted on Walmart tell of reading the display without the need for glasses and of seeing a weight that comes within ounces of the doctor's scale. In addition, users like the low price, feature set, and sleek look. And yet, some bathroom scale reviews grouse about inaccurate weight reports -- by as much as 20 pounds, claims one -- and others note inconsistent readings from one Taylor Precision 7329B Electronic Scale to the next. Limited durability seems to afflict some units.
The Taylor Precision 7329B Electronic Scale (starting at $13, Amazon) features a 1" LCD readout, and a 14.5"-square silver platform with a textured black mat sitting 2.5" high. It can handle weights up to 330 pounds (or 150 kilograms) measured in 0.2-pound (0.1-kilogram) increments. It powers up when you step on, and returns to zero and powers off when you step down. It comes with a lithium battery and the display includes a low-battery indicator.
This is a basic scale with few bells and whistles, but that seems to be just what users value. And as one consumer notes in a Taylor Precision 7329B Electronic Scale revew on Meijer, you can actually use this scale without poring over the owner's manual. How many digital products can you say that about these days?
Taylor LED Superbrite Scale Review
From $18 Think Twice
Low cost and easy-to-read display are the positives, but users' gripes about inaccurate weight reports and problems with durability are more compelling.
The name of this scale may glow, but Taylor LED Superbrite Scale reviews suggests it's a dull disappointment. The vast majority of reviews on the Target site complain about inaccurate and/or inconsistent readouts. One Taylor review reports weight readings that varied up to 3 pounds over a 15-minute period; another says the readings bounced from 185 to 165 and then to 200; and another says it showed different weights when placed on different parts of the floor. One consumer, however, shrugs off the different weights reported in the doctor's office, the Weight Watchers meeting, and on this home scale and comments in a review on Amazon that so long as the relative change is the same, she can live with it. Another source of frustration for consumers is scales that don't work right out of the box or quit after a few months, even with a new battery. Although consumers affirm that the display is indeed super bright and easy to read, problems with overall functionality trump this model's positive attributes.
The Taylor LED Superbrite (starting at $18, Amazon) does boast some good features, such as the 1.3-inch display with red numbers, automatic on/off, a five-year limited warranty, and a low price. Its weight capacity is 350 pounds, but unlike most other cheap digital scales, this one measure in 0.5-pound increments. It comes with a 9-volt battery, and the display includes a low-battery indicator.
Consumers' negative experience with this bathroom scale convinces us it doesn't make the grade. There are other budget models out there that will serve you better.
Doctors have claimed time and again that regularly weighing yourself can keep the pounds from creeping up on you. That means you'll want a cheap bathroom scale that gives you the cold, hard, unvarnished facts and does so consistently. Upmarket models are priced in the $50-plus range and can easily hit the triple digits; a professional digital scale like you'd find at the doctor's office -- the 599KL Waist-High Digital Scale, with a 600-pound capacity, for example -- costs more than $400. You can buy a cheap mechanical scale for as little as $9 and a cheap digital scale for less than $30.
Cheap Scales Buying Guide
Conair, EatSmart, Health o Meter, Taylor, Tanita, Seca Scales, Soehlne, and Newline are some of the popular producers of bathroom scales. Some weight-loss companies, such as Weight Watchers, also make a buck or two off bathroom scales that bear their own moniker. There are two types of scales on the market today: digital and analog. Many of the newfangled, high-tech versions are more than weight machines. Some can assess your body fat percentage and give you the news through voice activation, and many display your weight in pounds or kilograms. There's no arguing with these digital bathroom scales -- they give a precise number, usually down to tenths of a pound. But if fudging a bit is more your style, you might prefer the standard mechanical bathroom scale with a pointer that rests on a tiny marker (and sometimes wavers back and forth between two) and can be adjusted to give you a closer approximation of the results you want.
For most consumers, though, the most important factor in choosing a bathroom scale is accuracy, followed by consistency and durability. Experts from Mayo Clinic say digital bathroom scales have a better track record for giving the proper weight and for longevity compared to the mechanical scales designed for home use. Moreover, digital scales measure in smaller increments than mechanical scales and the readout, displayed in digits, is much easier to see.
For all these reasons and because the difference in price between cheap mechanical and digital scales is relatively small, we include only the latter on our list of picks, although we do mention a couple of cheap mechanical scales in the discussion that follows. Our research indicates that the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale (starting at $29) and the Elite Home ESC-9008X (starting at $22) are the best cheap scales, and the Taylor Precision 7329B Lithium Electronic Scale (starting at $13) qualifies as the runner up. We found that the Taylor LED Superbrite Scale (starting at $18) doesn't cut it; users gripe about inaccurate readings and other performance issues.
Features Comparison Buying Guide continues below table
Weight Scales, Digital Bathroom Scales
Digital Bathroom Scales.Digital weight scales are far more likely to give you the right weight and withstand normal wear and tear than their mechanical counterparts. With the aid of electronics, digital bathroom scales measure weight in small increments, usually 0.2 pounds, rather than the one-pound units found on most cheap mechanical scales. The best cheap digital weight scales also incorporate a step on/step off technology: step on and the cheap digital weight scale powers up, displays the magic number, and then powers down when you step off. The display is usually easy to read from a standing position (all of our top picks feature at least a 1" display) so you don't need to squint to see tiny digits and thin lines, as you do with a cheap mechanical scale. The best cheap bathroom scales we found are all digital. We like the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale w/ Extra Large Backlit 3.5" Display and "Step-On" Technology (starting at $29) and the Taylor Precision 7329B Lithium Electronic Scale (starting at $13), both of which max out at 330 pounds, noted in 0.2-pound increments; the former gives the results in a 3.5-inch display and the latter in a 1-inch display. The Elite Home ESC-9008X (starting at $22) is another good investment. This one handles weights up to 400 pounds; we couldn't find specs for the weight increments or display size. The Weight Watchers WW11D (starting at $22) and the Taylor LED Superbrite Scale (starting at $18), by contrast, display weight in half-pound increments, measure weights up to 330 pounds, and feature 1.3" displays.
Nearly all cheap digital bathroom scales draw their juice from batteries. The weight scales we researched use either AAA, 9-volt, or lithium batteries. Alternatively, you can step up the eco-friendly ladder to a model like the solar-powered Tanita Solar Digital Scale HS-302 (starting at $69), which takes you off the battery grid entirely but doesn't completely win over users who note the challenges of getting the right amount of light (from a bulb or the sun) to fire up the scale.
Mechanical Scales.Cheap mechanical scales are simple devices that track weight by using small springs. The readout is usually denoted in five- or ten-pound increments with small lines setting off the pounds in between. If you don't like what you're seeing, you can alter the weight report up or down by moving the dial on the scale forward or backward. Mechanical scales aren't particularly accurate or sturdy because they don't give finely calibrated results and all the tiny springs and inner components can be easily jarred out of whack. But they are cheap. Our reservations about mechanical scales, particularly the cheap variety, reflect these shortcomings. The two we researched -- the Sunbeam SAB602-05 and the Taylor 2004-4014 (both starting at $9) -- disappoint consumers. The Sunbeam SAB602-05 boasts a decent-size display, but actually determining your weight is a chore with this cheap mechanical scale. Weights are marked off in units of 20, which means you have to count the little lines to determine the bottom line, as one user points out on Amazon. The Taylor 2004-4014, say other reviews on Amazon, is just plan inaccurate and doesn't even start at zero. For a few more dollars, you can get a cheap digital scale that outperforms the mechanical models.
Bathroom Scale Design.Increasingly, digital scales present with sleek, slender designs that make them an attractive bathroom fixture. The platform on weight scales may be formed from stainless steel, chrome, glass, or plastic. The EatSmart ESBS-01 and Elite Home ESC-9008X incorporate tempered glass, and the Taylor 7329 showcases a textured black mat against a silver-like platform. Cheap bathroom scales typically weigh less than 6 pounds with a footprint measuring about 12 inches square.
Bathroom Scale Frills.Just as other gadgets have advanced with the times, so, too, have bathroom scales. All the cheap bathrooms scales on our list feature automatic on/off, so there's no waiting for the device to power up and no wasting battery life. The Elite Home ESC-9008X features a low-battery indicator, as do the Taylor Precision 7329B and Taylor LED Superbrite models. The EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale reports weight in pounds, kilos, and stones (a unit of weight used by the British that's equivalent to 14 pounds). The Elite Home ESC-9008X remembers your previous weight and clearly indicates how much has been gained or lost. The Weight Watchers WW11D boasts a built-in handle so you can carry the 3-pound scale with you, wherever. Some digital weight scales up the electronic ante. Want to transmit to, and store your data on, a smartphone or home computer? Try the Wi-Fi enabled Withings Body Scale (starting at $159) or the Elite Home ESC-910 (starting at $27). How about using the scale to measure other physical facts? Models like the Tanita BF-683W (starting at $80) send electrical pulses through your body to gauge your body fat. Others, like the Ozeri Touch Digital Bath Scale (starting at $43) calculate hydration levels and muscle and bone mass in addition to weight and body fat. (This particular model tracks results for up to eight users.) Note, though, that many experts, including doctors and Consumer Reports, and users alike question the veracity of these measurements -- and thus the value inherent in these "extras."
Best Scale, Bathroom Scale Reviews
We've all been there: You know you've gained or lost weight by the way your clothes fit, but what the scale tells you just doesn't make sense. The obvious solution to this quandary is a scale that's accurate. And that, reviewers say, is the most important performance criterion in seeking out the best scale available on a budget. Bathroom scale reviews also indicate that users care about the visual display on the scale as well as its durability. Even if a cheap scale delivers as promised, if it isn't durable, you may find your well-intentioned efforts evaporating as quickly as those unmonitored pounds add up. For our list of best scales, we chose models that earn positive ratings from users, although bathroom scale reviews reveal that some individual units are less reliable than the overall assessment.
Bathroom Scale Accuracy.There's no point to a scale that reports false information, be it over- or understating your weight, even if the truth sometimes hurts. Indeed, we read numerous bathroom scale reviews that jokingly berate our choices for best cheap bathroom scales for accurately displaying the poundage, right down to two tenths of a pound. The EatSmart Precision Digital Scale is one model that garners hundreds of stellar reviews on Amazon, where users commend its accuracy and consistency. They note that getting on and off the scale several times in a row keeps giving the same weight -- even if you shift your standing position; a few report that the displayed weight of a household pet matched results from the vet's office. Still, some reviews of the EatSmart model grouse about erroneous and wildly varying weight measurements from minute to minute or day to day; one user tells of testing the EatSmart scale by picking up paperback after paperback while standing on it, then discarding the books one by one, with either no change or nonsensical changes to the displayed weight.
Another praiseworthy model, according to bathroom scale reviews, is the Elite Home ESC-9008X. Users posting on the Target site note that displayed weights agree with the scale in the doctor's office and the weight-loss tracking feature is strong motivation to stay on the straight and narrow.
Experience with the Taylor 7329 Electronic Lithium Scale is mixed, although mostly positive. The bulk of bathroom scale reviews posted at Walmart say the Taylor 7329 gives accurate data on a consistent basis. One user, however, asserts that the surface on which the scale sits affects the results and another claims that different units of the same model give slightly different weights for the same person.
The Taylor LED Superbrite disappoints in the accuracy arena. Its lack of consistent and accurate results is the number one gripe in bathroom scale reviews on the Target site. Several users say you need to get on and off the scale twice to get a true reading, and others report results that vary up to 20 pounds when weights are taken in close succession.
Bathroom Scales Ease of Use.For the most part, the bathroom scales on our list are user friendly. All power up or down with a simple step-on/step-off and incorporate easy-to-read LCD displays. We found many comments in reviews for the EatSmart , Elite, and Taylor models attesting to the nearly instant and sharp readouts. One user reports being able to see the numbers on the Taylor 7329 without eyeglasses, one praises the red digits on the Taylor LED Superbrite, another says her son simply taps the Elite scale's memory feature to keep tabs on his growth, and still another notes the backlit display on the EatSmart scale is clearly visible in the dark. The Tanita HS302 White Solar Powered scale is finicky, though, according to reviews. Quite a few postings on Amazon report having to place the scale directly under a bright light to get it sufficiently juiced up.
Bathroom Scales Durability.Even the cheap bathroom scales that stand up to daily use sometimes prove to be lemons. We found at least a few reviews for several of the models we researched that report premature failure (i.e., out of the box, within a few weeks or months). Users commenting on Amazon about the Taylor 7329 seem to have encountered more problems than those posting reviews on Walmart. Negative reports about the Taylor LED Superbrite weigh heavily, with numerous users reporting the scale ceased to function properly shortly after purchase, even with a new battery.
Additional Products We Considered
Weight Watchers WW11D Review
Many dieters consider Weight Watchers their friend, so no surprise that some consumers take to the scale with the company's logo. Indeed, several Weight Watchers WW11D Portable Precision Electronic Scale reviews indicate the diet-company connection, plus the price, were the primary reasons for choosing this model. In reviews on Sears users comment on the credibility behind the company's name. One consumer expresses appreciation that it accommodates weights above 300 pounds and several Weight Watchers Scale reviews on Amazon point out that the light weight and carry handle make it travel-friendly (surely as intended). Some reviews praise its accuracy and consistency, but others report getting different readings -- even weights that just don't seem logical -- at every weigh in. Users say the scale is sensitive to your posture and different floor contours. Some reviews also complain about problems with durability.
The Weight Watchers WW11D Portable Precision Electronic Scale (starting at $22, Amazon) measures by half-pound increments, unlike other inexpensive digital scales that report 0.2-pound variations, and handles weights up to 330 pounds. The 1.3" digital LCD display makes for easy reading, and the 12" x 12" platform is roomy enough; at least one Weight Watchers WW11D Portable Precision Electronic Scale review on Target, however, notes that the white, grooved surface is hard to clean. The scale is powered by a lithium battery, which is included in the packaging.
The Weight Watchers WW11D is certainly cheap enough, but reviews indicate it falters in its performance. Despite its brand name, there are other cheap digital bathroom scales that should provide you with better service.
Sunbeam SAB602-05 and Taylor 2004-4014 Review
As indicated in our bathroom scale buying guide, low-cost mechanical scales pale in comparison to their digital counterparts. It should be no surprise, then, that reviews of the Sunbeam SAB602-05 and Taylor 2004-4014 analog scales are uneven, at best.
In Sunbeam SAB602-05 reviews on the Walmart website, users pan this scale for weights that could be off by 3, 8, 10, or 20 pounds, and different readings when stepping on the scale several times in a row. The biggest gripe about this scale, according to reviews, is the need to constantly reset the dial to zero. But then, as one user notes, you have to lift the scale off the floor because the adjustment mechanism is under the scale. Some consumers also say the little lines denoting the pounds are hard to read (especially if you're counting from a standing position), although others report the large dial is easy to read. A good-size minority of consumers do like this no-frills, low-priced mechanical scale and say it works just fine.
Taylor 2004-4014 reviews are far fewer in number but more critical. On Amazon, consumers similarly ding this analog scale for inaccurate weights and the frequent need to recalibrate to zero. One user, though, says it's sufficient for monitoring weight trends.
Weight capacity for the Sunbeam SAB602-05 (starting at $9, Amazon) is 330 pounds, marked off in 1-pound increments. The round dial is 4.75 inches in diameter, and the platform's footprint is 12.8 x 12.4 x 2.2 inches. The Taylor 2004-4014 is smaller, measuring 10.6 x 10.2 x 2 inches, and its weight capacity maxes out at 300 pounds. The platform on the Taylor scale is white vinyl atop steel; the Sunbeam SAB602-05 platform is black.
Mechanical scales aren't as accurate or consistent as digital scales, and reviews of both these products prove the point. They are simple, one-trick-pony scales, and at less than $10 each, they're super cheap. While you may save some money initially, you could end up shelling out for another scale sooner rather than later. Analog scales aren't very good when even slightly damaged and their dial mechanisms can be finicky. Our buying guide leans towards the digital variety, but if you don't want to mess with batteries and you don't mind resetting to zero each time you step on the scale or having to count off lines to determine your weight, then analog is the way to go.