Bathroom scales are supposed to give accurate readings, but have you ever used two different scales and found that they gave you completely different readings for your weight? If so, then you’re not a lot.
Inaccurate readings are a fairly common issue regarding the average digital scale, and digital bathroom scales are notorious for being inaccurate. Below, we are going to find out why your scales are providing you with different readings and how you can combat this problem. So without further ado, let’s jump into this weighty topic – pun intended!
Why Does This Happen?
No matter what kind of scales you use, different scales are likely to report different readings on your weight. This is because each different scale can have different calibrations, and some may be synchronized to your body type.
The best scales are the ones that will provide you with weight readings that are very close to your weight. With that being said, even the most well-calibrated scales can provide you with slightly different readings.
So, rather than using several scales to try and get the most accurate reading possible, stick to just one that you know is calibrated well to your body. Use this to monitor your weight on a weekly or monthly basis and use this one scale as your true number.
Your Body Weight Fluctuates
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that your body weight can differ from day to day and can even change throughout the day, and an accurate scale is going to reflect this fluctuation. For instance, if you weigh yourself as soon as you wake up each morning, your exact weight may be lower than what you might weigh after eating breakfast or dinner.
This doesn’t mean that you are getting inaccurate readings from your digital bathroom scales – it’s just a reflection of the normal weight fluctuations we as humans experience throughout the day. This is why it is important to control this as much as possible by weighing yourself on a digital scale at set times in the day.
There are a few other factors that can influence the accuracy of your digital scale:
- Age – Older scales tend to be less accurate, and this is especially true for an analog scale.
- Calibration – If you’re not careful with your scale, it can lose its calibration. This is particularly common if your scale is placed on an uneven surface when you step on it, so you’ll want to make sure that your scale is always on a flat surface.
- Manufacturer – Some of the cheaper scales on the market are often made with lower-quality components, which can give out inaccurate or inconsistent readings.
Understanding Digital Scales
Here are a few points to help you get a better understanding of your digital bathroom and kitchen scales:
Level surfaces provide accurate readings
The best thing to do when trying to ensure accurate weight measurements is to set your scales up on level, flat surfaces. Your scale may be off balance if you are weighing yourself on an uneven surface.
This means that your body weight might not be centered on the scale, which can cause fluctuations in your weight readings. For the most accurate and consistent readings possible, make sure that your scale is on as flat of a surface as possible!
Opt for hard surfaces
It would be best to place your digital scale on a hard surface, like wood or tiles. This will ensure that your weight and body mass are centered directly on the scale itself, providing you with the most consistent readings possible.
If you place your smart scale on a softer surface, such as on a carpet or towel, your body weight is going to be distributed over the individual fibers in the material rather than the scale itself. This can cause your reading to be inconsistent, especially as the surface shifts.
Make sure you’re dry!
Interestingly, wet skin can interfere with the accuracy of your smart scale readings.
One of the great things about your smart scale is that it includes bio-impedance analysis, which means that the scale sends a weak electric current through your body when you step onto it. Don’t worry; it’s not like static electricity – it won’t shock you.
Essentially, your scale is able to use your body’s tissue resistance to calculate the ratio of the different tissue types present in your body. This includes bone density, fat content, water weight, and muscle mass.
Wet skin is a good conductor of electricity, which could alter the accuracy of your scale’s readings. However, it should not have too much of an influence, though it does help to make sure that you’re dry when you step onto your scale.
Could Your Scale Be Wrong?
Most people have a general understanding of their body weight. But, if you find that you’re getting a significantly different reading when you step on the scale, it is possible that your scale is simply wrong.
Most modern scales are made with high-quality components, but that doesn’t stop defects from making onto the shelves. If it’s not a defect, then it could just be that your scale is due for a calibration. Ensure that your weight units are correct – for instance, a scale that provides readings in kilograms might represent 150lbs. as 68kg. That’s a big discrepancy!
Surface Really Does Matter
Many people have reported that their scale says they weigh less when they weigh themselves on a carpet than when they weigh themselves on a hardwood floor.
Carpets are made from millions of individual fibers, and when you step on them, they will bend and yield. This distributes your weight over them, making them lovely and soft to walk on but extremely uneven.
Harder surfaces, like tiles and hardwood, are much firmer and will not yield to your weight. When you step on them, your weight is centered on them directly, which is why you are more likely to receive accurate weight readings on hard floors.
Think of it like carrying a messenger bag or backpack – if you are holding the bag in one hand, all of the weight of that bag is focused on just one of your arms. But, if you instead put the bag over your shoulders, its weight will be distributed over your body and feel a little lighter.
Putting your scale on a soft carpet will have a similar effect by spreading your weight over the materials in the individual fibers. In reality, your weight has not changed at all but has rather been spread over more surface area. This can reduce its effect on your scale, which in turn will cause your readings to be inaccurate and inconsistent.
Getting an Accurate Reading
For the best results, ensure that you have placed your scale on a hard, flat surface. Kitchens and bathrooms work best for this, as their floors are generally made from even tiles.
You’ll want to avoid placing your scale in any room with a plusher, softer surface. If your bedroom or living room is carpeted, then consider leaving your scale out of those rooms to achieve readings that better represent your true weight.