Whether you’re an experienced chef or just finding your feet in the kitchen, investing in a reliable set of weighing scales takes away the guesswork when whipping up anything from cakes and baked goods to soups, pasta and curries – or to ensure you’re hitting those macros, if calorie counting is your thing.
While traditional weighing scales may look the part in your kitchen, today’s digital scales are far more accurate than their classic analogue counterparts, so we’d highly recommend choosing an up-to-date model.
Digital scales are more sensitive and can be relied upon down to the gram, so your recipes stand the best chance of succeeding. They also tend to be much smaller, with no need for large bowls and weights, making them easier to store.
We tested a range of digital scales, from own brands to specialist kitchen tech manufacturers, across a range of price points, styles and with various different features. In testing we were looking for accuracy – of course – across different units (some scales aren’t so good at measuring liquids, for example), ease of use and how convenient they were to store and care for.
We found that today’s scales are reliable and smart even if your budget is tiny, and there are plenty of options out there for anyone looking to measure heavier items, calculate calories or even time how long your Victoria sponge has been in the oven. Ready, set, bake…
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The best kitchen scales for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Salter eco bamboo rechargeable digital kitchen scale: £39.99, Salterhousewares.co.uk
- Best for bakers – Wilko stainless steel electronic kitchen scales: £15, Wilko.com
- Best folding scale – Joseph Joseph triscale digital kitchen scales: £34.99, Lakeland.co.uk
- Best without a battery – Brabantia kitchen scales tasty+ jade green: £31.95, Brabantia.com
- Best for batch cooking – ProCook premium glass digital scales: £19, Procook.co.uk
- Best for tiny budgets – Eono by Amazon digital kitchen scale: £10.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for measuring macros – Stellar kitchen diet scale: £50, Horwood.co.uk
Salter eco bamboo rechargeable digital kitchen scale
Salter are possibly the first people you think of when it comes to purchasing scales, and these eco bamboo rechargeable ones are certainly a good option. An understated, slim design ready for you to add your own container to, it is crafted in Britain primarily from eco-friendly bamboo, using only 2.5 per cent plastic and earning support from the Sea Life Trust Partnership. In addition, the power is USB lifetime rechargeable, and a two-and-a-half-hour charge will provide around six months’ worth of usage.
Aside from their eco credentials, these Salter scales have all the necessary functions: switch between metric, imperial, liquid and dry ingredients and use the zero function to add further ingredients as you go. We reckon these scales are pretty sensitive and could sense from around 2g, increasing by the gram incrementally up to 5kg; we also noted the fluid measurements were accurate when pouring into a container, which isn’t always the case with scales. The selection buttons are located on the side and are also really sensitive to the touch, unlike some other units, leaving the backlit display clear and easy to read on the top. These also come with a 15-year guarantee.
Wilko stainless steel electronic kitchen scales
Best: For bakers
A more traditional-looking scale, as it features a removable bowl on top of the weighing unit, this model from Wilko may be a budget option but it still ticks most boxes. The stainless steel design looks modern and the large, bright digital LCD display on the base unit is very easy to read; we also like that the buttons beep with each selection. Choose from pounds and ounces or grams (no fluid measurements with these) up to 5kg when measuring ingredients into the bowl, which can be set back to zero after each ingredient addition.
We found these scales to be accurate from 2g, and they also have an inbuilt temperature gauge and simple-to-use alarm function, to further aid baking. The bowl, which measures 21.8cm x 22.3cm x 11.1cm, is dishwasher-proof for ease and convenience, while the base can be wiped clean. These scales take two AAA batteries.
Joseph Joseph triscale digital kitchen scales
Best: Folding scale
These scales have a genius design, with three folding arms that close to shut off the scale and are so compact they can be stored in the cutlery or utensil drawer. We’ve also heard of chefs popping some of these in their pocket in busy kitchens as they’re just so portable. To use, the scales fold-out, allowing a plate or bowl to be placed on top and ingredients to be weighed within. Choose from metric and imperial units, and liquid or dry goods measurements, which can be switched at the touch of a button. It also comes with a useful tare function that takes the scale back to zero and allows you to add different ingredients into the same container.
These scales take a small lithium battery; we’ve had ours for years and have only had to replace it once, with the scales being used several times a week. The only negative is that it’s not brilliant at measuring tiny amounts: while they do measure in gram increments we’ve found that they struggle to register things like yeast or small amounts of grated cheese when there isn’t already a significant weight on the scale.
Brabantia kitchen scales tasty+ jade green
Best: Without a battery
Part of the colourful “tasty+” collection from kitchen and storage experts Brabantia, these jade green scales look nice enough to keep out on the worktop, though their almost-flat design and fairly compact size allows them to be easily put away in a cupboard. We say almost-flat, as these scales feature a clever raised dial that doubles as a display and selection button, and incorporates battery-free technology so your scales will always be ready for use. The action of you turning the dial 90 degrees generates enough power for the scales to measure water, milk and dry goods in your preferred units, from 5g to 5kg, when ingredients are placed into a container on top of the scale. Also included is the useful tare function that allows you to continue adding ingredients to the same container.
These scales have a large surface area allowing you to place larger mixing bowls (good for bakers) or dinner plates straight onto the scale without any balance issues. A really good buy.
ProCook premium glass digital scales
Best: For batch cooking
ProCook has all sorts of clever cookware that goes the extra mile, and these slimline tempered glass scales are no different. Small yet sturdy, the model has non-slip rubber feet and a useful hanging hook for even easier storage. Place your container on top and choose from imperial and metric measurements, plus reset to zero following the addition of each ingredient.
Unlike most digital scales, these have a capacity of 15kg and are accurate to the gram. Featuring a useful built-in clock and timer with a buzzer, they are extra helpful in the kitchen, can be stored easily and wipe clean. The display is easy to operate and read, though not as clear as other backlit bright displays.
Eono by Amazon digital kitchen scale
Best: For tiny budgets
For just more than a tenner, these stainless steel scales are impressive. They are the smallest flat scale we tried at just 18.7cm x 14.4cm x 2.5cm, making them super portable, and they have a large, bright, backlit digital display that is easy to read and to use. Place any container on top of the scale on a hard, flat surface and the precision sensor will give metric or imperial measures of liquid and solid weights accurately from around 2g, we found, up to 5kg. They also managed to keep up with the gradual adding of liquid and light ingredients like flour, which not all scales are brilliant at. The tare function allows you to add ingredients as you go, and the scales are easy to care for, requiring just a quick wipe with a damp cloth if any splashes or spills occur.
These scales take two AAA batteries, and while we can’t comment on battery life, they do come with a reassuring 15-year guarantee.
Stellar kitchen diet scale
Best: For measuring macros
A small and sleek flat scale from kitchenware experts Stellar, this will do all the things a standard scale will do, plus more thanks to its Bluetooth link to the modern chef smartphone app. Once partnered, the model will track your nutritional information and portion sizes to help you reach your daily goals for calories, fats, cholesterol, carbs, fibre, protein and sodium at the touch of a button.
Convenient to store and simple to clean, this scale takes two AAA batteries and features a clear, bright LED screen that allows you to choose between weight, milk and liquid volume, and to reset the tare for easy add-on weighing straight into your own container. We found it was accurate from around 5g and, after that, sensitive by the gram. The scale also has an auto shut-off function, so your batteries should last too.
The verdict: Kitchen scales
We’ve picked the attractive Salter bamboo scale as our best buy, as it does everything you’d expect from a scale, plus it is rechargeable. We liked their sensitivity in both the precision scale measurements and in the buttons.
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