While many home cooks are used to calculating quantities by volume using measuring cups and spoons, more precise results can be achieved through weight measurements. A cup of flour can vary widely in weight depending on the technique used to measure it. That’s why kitchen scales are particularly useful in baking—when a single ounce can be the difference between a flawless dish and a mediocre one.
An accurate scale is similarly useful when brewing coffee to ensure your beans or grounds are measured with exact precision. They also come in handy for dieters who want to accurately measure the portion sizes of their meals.
Read on to learn more about kitchen scales and how to pick the right one for your home.
- BEST OVERALL: Escali Primo P115C Precision Kitchen Food Scale
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Ozeri ZK14-S Pronto Digital Multifunction Food Scale
- UPGRADE PICK: OXO 11214800 Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale
- BEST SMART: Etekcity 0.1g Food Kitchen Scale
- BEST ANALOG: Taylor Precision Products Analog Kitchen Scale
- BEST WITH BOWL: Etekcity Food Scale with Bowl
- BEST WITH MEASURING CUP: Fradel Digital Kitchen Food Scale
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Kitchen Scale
When shopping for a kitchen scale, there are some key factors to consider. The following sections detail some of the most important qualities to keep in mind when shopping for the best kitchen scale for your home.
Digital vs. Analog
While most modern kitchen scales offer digital readings, analog options are also available.
- Digital scales offer precise measurements and typically weigh in both imperial and metric units. Because of their digital displays, readings are provided quickly and simply. They are powered by either alkaline or lithium batteries and tend to be small and lightweight, making them easy to store. They usually have a taring function.
- Analog scales use an inner spring that measures weight when it’s compressed. They are easy to clean and don’t require batteries. They are, however, less precise than digital scales, making them unsuitable for providing accurate measurements on lighter items. Most models tend to use either imperial or metric measurements—not both. They may or may not provide a taring function.
Most kitchen scales come equipped with similar basic functions.
- Taring: The vast majority of digital kitchen scales come with a tare button, which allows you to reset the weight to zero to subtract the weight of your mixing bowl before you start measuring ingredients. This allows you to weigh multiple items in the same piece of cookware by taring after each measurement is complete.
- Auto-off function: Most kitchen scales turn off automatically after a set amount of time in order to save battery life. The duration ranges between approximately 2 and 5 minutes. A longer auto-off duration is useful so that the scale doesn’t require resetting every time you run to the refrigerator or need to weigh a new ingredient.
Accuracy is the chief concern when it comes to kitchen scales. In order to be comprehensively useful, it’s important that a kitchen scale be able to measure both metric and imperial units. Look for a scale that measures in increments of 1 gram (which is equivalent to 0.03 ounces).
While some scales simply offer imperial measurements in ounces, others provide pounds as well as ounces for weighing heavier items, which saves you from doing the math. Some scales measure in decimals while others measure in fractions. For most home cooks, decimals are more user-friendly.
A scale that can measure quickly is also important. Most high-quality kitchen scales will register a measurement in less than 2 seconds.
The best kitchen scales have a minimum weight capacity of 1 gram. While most digital scales on the market meet this requirement, analog scales will typically have a higher minimum weight capacity.
Look for a scale that has a maximum weight capacity of at least 11 pounds (or 5 kilograms) to ensure you can weigh heftier cuts of meat and ingredients for large-batch recipes.
Platform and Container
The construction of your scale affects how user-friendly it is:
- An included measuring cup allows you to measure both weight and volume.
- An included mixing bowl provides flexibility while measuring and cooking.
- A larger platform ensures that your mixing bowls will fit without tipping over.
- A raised platform allows you to easily see the measurements on the display.
- Rubber feet are useful for ensuring your scale stays in place rather than sliding around your countertop.
Some modern scales come equipped with smart technology, allowing you to control them from a smartphone or a tablet. Some high-tech options pair with food tracking apps, which is handy for dieters who want a digital record of their meals. These apps can measure and track the macro- and micronutrients of everything you eat to help balance your nutrition.
Ease of Cleaning
Because they only have mechanical parts, analog scales tend to be easier to clean as you don’t have to worry about damaging their inner workings with water.
Digital scales should be wiped down with a wet cloth to remove food particles and ensure no bacteria is left behind. A removable platform contributes to easier cleaning of a digital scale.
Easy-to-clean scales often have laminated buttons that prevent dirt and crumbs from getting inside the cracks.
Our Top Picks
Now that you know more about kitchen scales, it’s time to start shopping. The following picks consider the features above, including ease of cleaning, capacity, accuracy, and functionality. This list offers a variety of choices for a top-notch kitchen scale to suit your needs and budget.
This scale offers extremely precise measurements, working in increments of 1 gram or 0.05 ounces. It’s also fast, providing readings in less than a second. It stays on for approximately 4 minutes before automatically shutting off, allowing you to weigh several ingredients without having to reset the machine.
The Escali Primo has a streamlined interface with just two buttons: a dual-purpose power and tare button, and a button to select the unit of measurement. It has a minimum weight capacity of 1 gram and a maximum capacity of 11 pounds (or approximately 5 kilograms). The elevated platform allows you to easily see the digital display screen.
This high-quality kitchen scale comes in 9 colors, providing a pick to complement your kitchen decor. The buttons have membrane covers, making the unit easier to clean, and four rubber feet help the device stay in place on your countertop. Its dimensions are 8.5 inches by 6 inches, it weighs 1.1 pounds, and comes equipped with two AA batteries.
This inexpensive scale measures in increments of 1 gram or 0.05 ounces, making it incredibly precise. Its auto shut-off function kicks in after approximately 2 minutes. The interface is simple, featuring just two buttons. One is an on/off switch and tare button and the other changes the unit of measurement.
The Ozeri’s slightly elevated platform makes the display screen visible even when using a large measuring bowl. It has a maximum weight capacity of 11 pounds (approximately 5 kilograms). This scale requires two AAA batteries and four batteries are included with the scale. The dimensions are 8.25 inches by 6 inches, and it weighs 12 ounces.
This scale from OXO measures in ounces, grams, pounds, and kilograms, saving you from having to do any mathematical calculations. The device features a pull-out display, which gives you a clear view of the reading even when using a large bowl. It has a minimum weight capacity of 1 gram and a maximum capacity of 11 pounds (or 5 kilograms).
The OXO scale has a stainless steel finish that is smudge-proof and fingerprint-resistant. This model has a removable platform that allows for easier cleaning. With dimensions of 9.5 inches by 7.13 inches and a weight of 1.8 pounds, it’s slightly larger and heavier than some of our other picks.
Those looking to precisely track their nutritional intake would be well served by this smart kitchen scale. It pairs with an app called VeSync, which provides breakdowns of both the macronutrients and micronutrients in the food you consume. This smart scale measures carbs, fat, protein, iron, vitamins, and more. Your health data can then be synched with the FitBit app or Apple Health.
The Etekcity smart scale measures in .1-gram increments, making it incredibly precise, with a maximum weight capacity of 11 pounds (5 kilograms). The device is capable of measuring in ounces, pounds, grams, milileters, and femtoliters. Its dimensions are 9.37 inches by 7.4 inches and it weighs 1.05 pounds.
Those who prefer an analog scale will enjoy this stainless steel model from Taylor, which features a vintage aesthetic. It uses 1-ounce (50-gram) increments and can measure in pounds, ounces, kilograms, or grams. The Taylor scale includes a weighing bowl with a 5-cup volume capacity, and the maximum weight capacity is 11 pounds. There’s an adjustment knob at the back of the unit allowing you to recalibrate it when needed.
The dial on this analog scale has a diameter of 5 inches and features large numbers, making it easy to read. It weighs 3.6 pounds with dimensions of 7.8 inches by 9 inches by 8.9 inches.
The Etekcity Food Scale includes a removable 2.1-liter stainless steel measuring bowl, so that you can use your own container if you choose. The device has a temperature sensor that will provide the temperature (in Fahrenheit) of the bowl contents. It also has a timer and built-in alarm, offering great multi-functionality.
This Etekcity model measures in grams, ounces, pounds, and kilograms in 1-gram increments, with a maximum capacity of 11 pounds (5 kilograms). It has a backlit display as well as indicators for low battery and capacity overload. The scale’s dimensions are 8.4 inches wide by 8.4 inches tall by 3.6 inches deep.
This kitchen scale from Fradal comes equipped with a 1.5-liter stainless steel measuring cup, allowing you to measure volume and weight simultaneously. The cup is removable, making for easy clean-up. Its unique design features an LCD display on the handle, and the display is backlit for easy visibility.
The Fradal scale is capable of measuring in grams, milliliters, and cups and has a maximum weight capacity of 11 pounds (or 5 kilograms). It weighs 1.85 pounds and measures 11.2 inches by 11 inches by 5.3 inches. The device requires 2 AAA batteries, which are not included.
FAQs About Your New Kitchen Scale
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about kitchen scales.
Q. Are digital kitchen scales more accurate than analog ones?
Yes. Digital scales provide a decimal value in their measurements and typically measure in 1-gram increments, while analog scales typically measure in 50-gram increments.
Q. Do digital kitchen scales lose accuracy over time?
Over time, kitchen scales lose their accuracy and require recalibration. Some models are easy to recalibrate, while others should simply be replaced when they are no longer accurate.
Q. How do I know that my kitchen scale is accurate?
Worried that your kitchen scale is no longer accurate? Perform a weight test. One of the easiest ways to do this is by placing a nickel on the scale. A nickel should weigh exactly 5 grams, so if the display shows a reading that is either higher or lower, you’ll know that your scale needs to be recalibrated.