05.What to look for
What to look for
Display This should be big and clear so it’s easy to read when standing on the scales. The Oregon Scientific has a wireless display unit that can be mounted on the wall for easier viewing.
Displayed data should be easy to understand and stay on screen long enough to read easily. Several of the scales on test flash the information past quickly, so it’s hard to follow. Ideally, you should be able to redisplay the data without needing to weigh yourself again.
Controls These should be clearly labelled and easy to use. Programming the scales should be straightforward.
User profiles There should be enough profiles for all household members who will regularly use the scales. A “guest” profile can be handy for visitors who want to use the scales but don’t need their profile stored permanently.
Instructions These should be easy to understand, with useful diagrams and advice on how to interpret your results.
Weight only If you want the scales to behave like simple weight scales and only display your weight, a “weight only” default setting is handy. All the scales have this except the Tanita, for which you need to select this option each time.
Usable on carpet Useful if you don’t have hard floors. Scales don’t generally measure weight effectively when placed on carpet; the Omron, Oregon Scientific, Soehnle and Tanita claim to be usable on these floors, but in this test only the Oregon Scientific and Tanita were accurate.
Other features Many of the models on test display other information such as BMI and body composition information such as muscle mass, bone mass and water, which could be useful if you’re trying to build up muscle, for example. Some also display goals that are based on your personal information (age, height and sex) and measured weight and body fat (such as a suggested goal weight or daily kilocalorie intake).