Digital scale without memory
September 4, 2018 5:25 AM   Subscribe

I need a digital scale that actually weighs me each time I step on it.

In reality, weight fluctuates quite a bit. But my digital scale insists that I always weigh exactly the same amount, no matter what, until I remove and replace a battery. Then I will get a new reading. This scale supposedly does not use memory or a running average of your weight, but my experience suggests otherwise. It is a Eufy digital scale.

In an ideal world, I would own a smart digital scale that was accurate and that also estimated body fat percentage. I am looking for recommendations for a scale that you own and have used regularly and know it does not produce the same exact weight all the time. I'm really looking for a recommendation for a scale that you have used and trust.

It is okay if the scale is not a smart scale and/or if it doesn't estimate body fat percentage. I am willing to pay up to $50 for a dumb scale that is accurate, and up to $100 for a smart scale that is accurate.
posted by sockermom to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Have you contacted Eufy Support about your existing scale, to see if it's a known problem?
posted by zamboni at 5:36 AM on September 4, 2018

My experience with home digital scales is that they average the weight over a few seconds to compensate for any fidgeting that you do while standing on it, then report back a weight that has too much precision for the measurement method. If you step back on it at about the same weight, it pulls the last average out of memory so you don’t think you have an imprecise scale if it fluctuates by half a pound each time.

I don’t know of any specific scales that don’t do this, but you can trick it by stepping on it while holding something heavy to clear the cache, then weigh yourself again.
posted by hwyengr at 5:53 AM on September 4, 2018 [7 favorites]

This is something that was in the Wirecutter test of scales and I can confirm that their top pick, which we own, shows small fluctuations (the last two weigh ins I did vary by 0.2 lb).
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 5:59 AM on September 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

My scale will show the same weight as yesterday unless there is a significant change. The easiest work around is to step on the scale holding anything that weighs more than a few pounds, get the weight, step off and then back on (without the extra item) for my true weight. (Or what hwyengar says)
posted by metahawk at 6:04 AM on September 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have the Withings (now Nokia) Scale and it will give different readings when you get on and off - or say weigh yourself then go to the bathroom and then weigh yourself again. I claims to be accurate to 0.1lbs but I find it to be 0.2lbs.

The body fat feature is not that accurate IMO, very affected by hydration/weather eg. body fat % changed 10% in the last couple of weeks coinciding with a significant drop in temperature. I expect that is the case with all home scales though
posted by missmagenta at 6:08 AM on September 4, 2018

I use this scale. And it definitely shows a different weight everytime I get on it, doesn't do any sort of averaging over time (besides the ~2 seconds where I guess it averages to adjust for any movement while you're standing on it).
posted by Grither at 6:14 AM on September 4, 2018

I can only assume you're talking about measurements hours/days apart. If so, this scale is doing exactly what a scale is not supposed to do, so you have a malfunctioning scale. Replace it with any other one.
posted by Pig Tail Orchestra at 6:17 AM on September 4, 2018

I do what metahawk does, because the last three(!) digital scales I've had access to all had this behavior. We've got a couple big bottles of things in the bathroom that weigh about three pounds together, and that's enough to get past this behavior. I also weigh myself three times (so, a total of six times counting all the in between steps with the heavy bottles) and average the three numbers because our scale sometimes has a spread of about 1.6 pounds.

I guess what I'm saying is I should also be in the market for the best recommendation in these answers.
posted by fedward at 6:28 AM on September 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

I just bought a basic Taylor digital at Target last week. Works great, no memory at all, $15.
posted by rhizome at 7:05 AM on September 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have the "Thinner" scale from Conair. I can weigh myself, go to the gym, take a shower, empty my bladder and have "lost" three pounds then "gain" it all back by the next morning. It definitely is a reminder that I don't have a weight so much as a weight range.

Doesn't do body fat estimation.

This is the specific model.
posted by mark k at 7:09 AM on September 4, 2018

I have something called a Healthometer. It is digital, does not give body fat, but also does not do this averaging thing. I get a new reading every time I step on it.
posted by greermahoney at 7:18 AM on September 4, 2018

I have a Salter smart-ish digital scale (several years old now) that does body fat % etc, and it has consistently displayed the same weight as the previous day unless/until my weight deviates by several pounds. I weigh myself first holding a big heavy dictionary and then weigh myself again sans book to get a (more) accurate reading. This does seem to be a common limitation among digital scales.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 7:19 AM on September 4, 2018

I bought this $25 RENPHO bluetooth scale from Amazon earlier this year and it has been very good. The companion app is solid and keeps a good log of your readings.
posted by AgentRocket at 7:34 AM on September 4, 2018

Quick question: are you letting it recalibrate every time you use it? Step on with one foot, step off, let it set to zero and then step on again? I always do this with scales.
posted by acidnova at 7:45 AM on September 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

My Fitbit Aria scale doesn't do that. It's a few years old, so I can't say if the current model works as well as it does.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:09 PM on September 4, 2018

posted by Melismata at 8:07 PM on September 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yes, this is annoying. Mine will display the last recorded weight unless there's been a .5 lb gain/loss. I pick up the cat to fool it. It's good to get her weight anyway.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:41 AM on September 7, 2018

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