How do I choose a scale for my body? Considerations & selection tips

Heather Campbell
 min read

How do I choose a scale for my body? There are a lot of them on the market, but which one is the right one?

How do I choose a scale for my body? Considerations & selection tipsYou would like to buy a scale to track your weight, but you get confused by all the choices and options. This is quite understandable and a common problem.

As a general rule, anyone seeking better fitness levels or weight loss starts off with buying reliable weighing scales. Your choice between a digital, analog, or smart scale will depend on budget and ultimate goals, whether just weight loss in general or increased muscle mass and less fat.

For example, will you use a digital, analog, or smart scale? How do I choose a scale for my body? Read on and find out!

How do I choose a scale for my body? Introduction

A scale is a helpful tool for keeping track of your weight. For example, you will know if you are not gaining or losing weight too quickly.

However, weighing and choosing the right scale is tricky. There are so many different scales on the market, with varying functionalities and corresponding prices.

Types of scales

How do to choose a scale for your body depends on your ultimate goal. There are 3 types to choose from, which are the old-fashioned analog scale, the digital scale, and the smart scale.

Analog scale

This is the old-fashioned mechanical scale, as you may remember it from the old days.

You can only weigh your weight with it, and often these scales also have a slightly larger deviation than digital scales.

However, because of their characteristic design, they are back in fashion among fans of vintage design and people who are not fans of all kinds of digital gadgets. These analog scales are also called retro scales.

Digital scale

A digital scale offers you insight into much more than just your weight. For example, such a digital device also often calculates your fat percentage, muscle mass, etc.

All that information can then be read from a convenient digital display.

Does your digital personal scale have a memory function? Then several people in your family can easily keep track of their personal information, one person at a time.

Smart scale

It is a smart scale if as a digital scale, it can connect to other devices.

This often communicates via an app with your smartphone, tablet, or computer which makes it even easier to view and keep track of all your weight and body information.

A smart scale makes the best use of the latest technologies and software.

For example, you can set a target weight on your scale and use a companion smartphone app to track your meals and calories and reach your target weight more easily.

Buying scales: here’s what to look out for

A scale is a typical device with which you actually have a dual relationship.

It can be daunting when you see that you weigh a little too much, but it’s also great when you see that your efforts to lose weight are finally paying off!

It’s a device that anyone who puts health and weight as a priority really can’t live without.

If you are going to buy a personal scale, there is still a surprising amount to look out for. After all, you can do a lot more with it these days than just weigh it.

Therefore, it is good to know what the possibilities are to choose the best scale for your situation.

Features of personal scales

There are all kinds of scales on the market with different characteristics and how to choose a scale for your body will depend on what they offer.


The most obvious measurement of a scale is weight. Every personal scale measures this.

Weight means your body weight. Focusing on the “weight” metric is especially interesting when working on gaining or losing weight.

The weight indication refers to how accurately the personal scale displays the weight. Most digital scales round off your weight to about 3.5 ounces, but some models can weigh even more accurately.

So your choice in this depends on how precisely you want to be able to measure and track your weight.

Related post: Why is my weight fluctuating so drastically?

Maximum weighing capacity

The maximum weighing capacity of a standard scale is often up to 330 pounds.

But there are also special heavy-duty scales that can handle a higher weight. These are perfect options for heavier people looking to lose weight.

If you want a scale that can weigh a little more, look closely at the maximum weighing capacity of the device.

Invest in a scale that is a notch above your current body weight in terms of maximum weighing capacity. Like that you’ve given yourself some leeway before you start losing weight successfully.

Body analysis

Personal scales measure more and more about our bodies in addition to weight. Some scales perform a complete body analysis.

So when looking for a digital scale, it is helpful to consider which metrics are relevant to you. Below we explain the different metrics and why they are important.

Measuring fat percentage

Some scales allow you to measure your fat percentage. Such a scale contains sensors on which you stand with your bare feet.

The scale sends electrical impulses through the body and measures what percentage of fat you have based on the resistance.

Such a scale often only measures the lower part of the body and is therefore not very reliable. And also, the scales that allow you to measure the fat percentage of your upper body are often not 100% reliable.

A better option for measuring your fat percentage is through a classic skinfold measurement.

In any case, it is interesting to know and track your fat percentage. Having good health is not just a matter of having the right body weight.

With a too high fat percentage, you run the risk of hypertension and dangerous cardiovascular diseases in both the medium and long term.

Even more important than the fat content itself is that it carries high cholesterol. And this high level of cholesterol increases the risk of deadly diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, etc.

An extremely low-fat diet is not healthy either.

Our bodies protect our organs with fatty tissue, among other things, and those organs are obviously crucial for metabolism, the digestive system, and burning calories.

Related postLow body fat risks: Dangers of having a low body fat percentage

In other words, a particular fat reserve is essential. If this fat reserve is not there, the metabolism can become disturbed, resulting in, for example, an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Normal fat content in humans depends on age and gender. In women, it is typically 10 percent higher than in men.

Lastly, the body loses more muscle mass and fat increases with age.

Measuring muscle mass

A scale that can measure your muscle mass is attractive if you exercise a lot and if you want to lose weight.

Indeed, increasing and increasing muscle mass means that your body burns a higher number of calories.

This metric indicates the muscle that makes up your body, expressed in percentage or pounds.

Keeping track of muscle mass is interesting when you are doing a lot of fitness or strength training, but also when you just want to get a little fitter.

In fact, when your fat percentage decreases and your muscle mass increases, it has a positive effect on your body.

When your fat percentage goes down, you become leaner, and when your muscles get bigger, they also get heavier, and so do you.

So if your fat percentage decreases and your muscle mass increases, you may remain the same in terms of weight but look fitter and more muscular.

Measuring bone mass

The metric “bone mass” indicates how heavy your bones are. This always varies from person to person.

However, it is interesting to measure your bone mass when seriously engaged in sports and nutrition. You can then see if your bone mass remains stable.

Also, this bone mass measurement is crucial if you suffer from osteoporosis.

Measuring moisture content

The metric “moisture content” is of interest to everyone as this value indicates the percentage of moisture in your body.

This is of interest to anyone who wants to know if they are getting enough fluids each day.

In addition, fluid content is also an important value when you exercise a lot, have a lot of muscle, and when you diet.

Measuring Body Mass Index (BMI)

In addition to weight, some personal scales also measure your BMI. BMI stands for Body Mass Index.

This number indicates whether your weight is healthy for your height.

So the Body Mass Index determines whether you are overweight, underweight, or at a normal weight for your height.

Focusing on the BMI metric is interesting when consciously working on losing or gaining weight.

What a healthy BMI is for you may depend on several parameters, including your ancestry and genes. Consult with your dietitian or family doctor about this.

Measuring calorie needs

The metric “calorie requirement” can be broken down into 2 types.

The first is BMR, which stands for Basal Metabolic Rate. This value indicates how much energy, expressed in calories, your body needs per day when it is entirely at rest.

The second value is AMR (Active Metabolic Rate). This value indicates how much energy, expressed in calories, your body needs per day when active. Think of this as a day when you are actively engaged and going to exercise.

Material of the scale

For the accuracy of the measurement results, it does not matter. Still, everyone has their own preference regarding what a scale is made of.

There is a lot of choice nowadays. For example, you can choose standard glass, tempered glass, plastic, or metal.

Memory function

You can also buy a scale with a memory function. Do you share the personal scale in your home with others?

Then such a scale with a memory function is very convenient.

You can easily keep track of your own weight and its progression and store it separately. The rest of the family can then do the same without any mix ups.

In short, a scale with a built-in memory function is handy if you want to know the progression of your weight. Are you getting lighter over time, or are you gaining weight again?

What is the best scale?

If you’re going to buy a scale, you obviously want to make sure you choose one of the best. As you’ve read so far, that has mostly to do with your goals.

List these clearly for yourself, and that will lead you to which scale you should buy.

Basic functionalities

If you don’t want to stand on the scale every day but just want to check in once in a while to see if you’re still at your weight, then a simple personal scale will satisfy your needs.

For example, you can choose a digital scale without additional functions or an analog scale.

You could even consider a retro mechanical scale if you like a vintage design.

Additional functionalities

If you want a little more insight into your health, then the additional features of a digital scale are interesting.

You can opt for a scale that displays your fat percentage, muscle mass, fluid mass, BMI, and other values.

In doing so, a memory function allows you to better track your development over time. A memory function also allows you to do this for several people in your family.

Complete integration with smartphone

Do you love the latest digital developments and useful applications? Then a smart scale is the only right choice.

For example, do you like to use apps like Apple Health or Google Fit? Then, in combination with a smart scale, you’ll get a lot more fun and insights out of this.

Your personal scale then relays all the information to the applications you use to get a nice overall picture of your health.

Of course, the price also plays a role in determining the most appropriate scale.

The simple analog scale usually comes out as the most economical but it does have a slightly larger deviation.

The scales in the higher price segment (digital and smart scales) generally score better in terms of accuracy and offer more options.

What should I pay attention to when weighing?

To get the most accurate picture of your weight, it is important to weigh yourself, preferably in the morning at the same time and under the same conditions.

Ideally, go to the bathroom before weighing yourself, and weigh yourself on an empty stomach.

Tip: It is also essential that the scale is on a stable, hard, and level surface.

How do I choose a scale for my body? Conclusion

New trends and developments and the rising popularity of digital and smart scales clearly indicate what consumers want: accurate information that can be easily viewed and accessed.

Therefore, personal scales are increasingly responding to this by, for example, communicating with other tracking devices such as pedometers and heart rate monitors.

Moreover, there is much more to measure in addition to weight, fat, and muscle mass.

Therefore, it is likely that more and more scales in the future will tell us how our blood pressure or blood sugar levels are doing.

Also, scales are likely to get better and better in taking into account particular circumstances, such as pregnancy or a pacemaker.

You now have all the information you need to arrive at the right choice for a suitable personal scale, so best of luck on your fitness journey!

About Heather Campbell

As a nutritionist, my field of specialization is science-based nutritional advice but more importantly, it is my goal to share capturing and inspiring stories, examples and solutions which can help plus-size individuals overcome their specific difficulties. Read More