Looking to upgrade your cooking game? A food scale could be the key. This item can be a game changer if you’re trying to bake with hyper-precise measurements, have a greater understanding of the amount of food you’re eating, or just want to emit the aura of someone who knows what they’re doing in the kitchen. (Or all of the above.)
After testing five top-rated kitchen scales, the OXO Good Grips 11-Pound Food Scale impressed us with its high level of accuracy, pull-out display, and sleek, smart-looking stainless steel design. Still, like other food scales we tested, it has some flaws that buyers should be aware of before plunking down their credit card.
Here’s the TL;DR on how the best food scales stack up:
- OXO Good Grips 11-Pound Food Scale (Top Pick)
- Escali Primo Digital Kitchen Scale (Best Budget Option)
- My Weigh Bakers Math Kitchen Scale
- Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale
- Etekcity Food Kitchen Scale
Are Food Scales Worth It?
A food scale is a kitchen gadget that can tell you how much a food weighs almost instantly. Just how important that information is depends on your interests and goals.
Avid bakers count food scales as an essential kitchen tool. It’s far more precise than measuring cups and spoons. This can help you get more consistent (and tasty!) outcomes when baking, especially if you want to adjust recipe proportions. It’s also helpful when cooking with irregular-sized ingredients, like chopped nuts or chocolate chips, that don’t fit as easily into a measuring cup. Plus, a food scale can allow you to measure all ingredients in just a single bowl, making clean-up a breeze. In other words: If that chocolate cake recipe never quite turns out right, and you hate cleaning your measuring cups, a kitchen scale may be just what you need.
Can You Use A Food Scale For Weight Loss?
Food scales can be used as a short-term tool for people who are trying to lose weight, gain weight, or build muscle, usually by using them to SCL Health “What Are Macros And Why Should I Be Counting Them?” View Source (a diet that involves tracking protein, fat, and carbohydrates) or achieve a Mayo Clinic “Counting Calories: Gat Back to Weight Loss Basics” View Source or surplus. However, not everyone will get the same results by using a food scale to count macros or calories. Obesity “Metabolic adaptation delays time to reach weight loss goals” View Source , Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases “The Role of Exercise and Physical Activity in Weight Loss and Maintenance” View Source , Journal of Behavioral Medicine “Weight loss history as a predictor of weight loss: results from Phase I of the weight loss maintenance trial” View Source , Biological Psychology “Daily Stressors, Past Depression, and Metabolic Responses to High-Fat Meals: A Novel Path to Obesity” View Source , Annals of Internal Medicine “Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity” View Source , and Annals of Internal Medicine “Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity” View Source also have an effect.
What a food scale can provide is another way to visualize food and give you a better sense of what you need to eat to feel nourished. Most portioning methods rely on labels (which can often be Obesity “Food Label Accuracy of Common Snack Foods” View Source ) or visual cues to gauge calorie counts. An apple the size of a tennis ball, for example, is roughly Mayo Clinic “Portion control for weight loss” View Source . But, at best, that’s an estimate, and the number could be wrong if the apple is larger or smaller than the referenced object. On the other hand, a food scale can tell you precisely how much that apple weighs. You can then plug that info into the US Department of Agriculture “FoodData Central” View Source to get a significantly more accurate calorie count. In the case of a U.S. Department of Agriculture “Apples, raw, with skin” View Source , you’re looking at about 52 calories.
Almost no one needs to know the exact calorie count of a single apple. But this precision may benefit people who are on special eating plans. Weighing the food before you eat it gives you a specific measurement you can use to know how many grams of carbs, proteins, and fats are on your plate.That can make a difference in the overall effectiveness of your diet.
That said, knowing a food’s calorie count and nutrient density does not automatically make it healthier or more virtuous to consume. And measuring out every single thing you eat on a gram-by-gram basis can become an obsession and a form of extreme self-control. Severely restricting foods can also lead to Nutrients “Micronutrient Status in 153 Patients with Anorexia Nervosa” View Source , and relying on external cues, like the number on a scale (the one in the kitchen or the bathroom), may prevent you from noticing your body’s signals for hunger and fullness.
If you struggle—or have a history of struggling—with disordered eating, avoid buying a food scale. Likewise, if you buy a kitchen scale, and notice that it’s impacting your enjoyment of food or you’re spending a lot of time thinking about how it’ll affect your calorie counts for the day, stop using it. In either case, it’s best to get in touch with a qualified mental health professional and/or dietitian.
Food Scales We Love
OXO Good Grips 11-Pound Stainless Steel Food Scale
- Stainless steel platform
- Weighs in ounces, pounds, grams, and kilograms
- 11-pound capacity
- Sleek design looks sharp in kitchens
- Simple and easy to use
- Pull-out display can be read even when using a big bowl
- Scale showed scratches after just a few uses
- Powered only by AAA batteries with no AC adapter option
- More expensive than other scales
For a kitchen scale, OXO’s Good Grips Food Scale looks pretty stylish. It also, you know, consistently provides accurate, easy-to-read measurements. You can choose which factor made us deem it our favorite. With just two buttons, it’s extremely easy to use—even without reading the instruction manual. Although it’s more expensive than other options, this slim scale has a distinguishing feature: a unique pull-out display.
Most other scales display a weight in one fixed position, usually just beside the weighing platform. But this scale’s lighted display is attached to a retractable and flexible 3-inch cable that can be pulled out at a variety of angles. That allows you to move the display to a place where you can see it, even if you’re using a large bowl or oddly shaped container on top of the weighing platform. In our humble opinion, that makes it worth the splurge. Other users seem to agree—it has a 4.8-star rating out of 4,000 reviews on Amazon.
When I pulled this scale out of the box, it felt slightly heavier and sturdier than some of the less expensive options. I immediately loved its stainless steel design, which made the device look upscale enough that I felt good about leaving it on the kitchen counter when I wasn’t using it. Setting it up was easy and intuitive. The box includes 4 AAA batteries, which you slip into the bottom of the scale by pressing the tab on the battery compartment and removing the cover—no screwdriver required. Flip the scale back over, press the power button, and after a brief 3-second countdown, the scale is ready to use.
The OXO Good Grips Food Scale measured calibration weights accurately down to the gram in every test. This held true when I jiggled weights around, placed them on the corners and other odd places of the platform, and put them in a bowl on the weighing platform and used the tare function. No matter how hard I tried to confuse this food scale, it always displayed accurate weights. The two-button interface made it easy to toggle between different measurement units.
While it’s disappointing this battery-powered scale doesn’t have an AC adapter option, the product helps preserve battery life by going into stand-by mode after 5 minutes and turning off after 15 minutes. If you buy this food scale, consider ordering a pack of rechargeable AAA batteries to have on hand in case the batteries that come with the product drain in the middle of a cooking project.
If you want a food scale with a display you’ll always be able to read under a variety of circumstances, this is the one to get. Something like a big bowl or measuring cup can hide the displays on other food scales. But this one always showed clear readings, largely because you can adjust the location of the display. It’s the only food scale we tested with a pull-out display—a feature that, after testing, feels worth having.
Cleaning this food scale was relatively easy, but there’s room for improvement. A damp sponge wiped away sticky batter from the platform, but an extremely messy cooking project could leave food caked into the shallow gap that’s between the display and the stainless steel base. While the Amazon listing for the product claims the platform is removable for cleaning, I couldn’t figure out how to pop it off the scale without potentially damaging it. The gentle cleaning process also left the scale with subtle yet permanent scratches—a disappointing outcome for an otherwise aesthetically pleasing scale. Based on this, it’ll probably start showing a lot of wear and tear after just a couple dozen uses.
Despite its drawbacks, OXO’s food scale is still impressive. It strikes the perfect balance between functionality and simplicity, giving the user just the right amount of features. It also felt more high-end and consistently readable than other options.
Best Budget Pick
Escali Primo Digital Kitchen Scale
- Plastic platform
- Weighs in ounces, pounds, and grams
- 11-pound capacity
- Sealed design protects buttons and display from spills
- Comes in nine different colors
- Accurate and easy to use
- Somewhat tricky to clean
- Hard to read when using a big bowl
- Powered only by AA batteries with no AC adapter option
If you want a food scale that costs less than $25, you can’t go wrong with the Escali Primo Digital Kitchen Scale. It’s simple to set up and start using right away. It’s also easy to clean without damaging the display. And while it’s not quite as upscale as OXO’s version, this one does come in nine different colors, including various shades of silver and black, orange, navy blue, and bubblegum pink. If your main goal in your food scale search is finding one that matches your kitchen, the Escali is the best option.
This food scale has an 11-pound capacity, but is also so lightweight, it almost felt like a toy when it came out of the box. However, the four rubber feet on its base allowed the scale to grip the counter and stay put throughout tests. It comes with the two AA batteries you need to install in the cartridge on the base of the food scale, which doesn’t require any tools to open. After pressing the power button, the scale took a couple of seconds to be ready to use.
Calibration weight tests showed that this scale was accurate almost all the time—the key word being almost. It was always accurate with weights of 1 gram and above atop the platform and in a bowl using the tare function. However, the food scale struggled with our lightest calibration weights, even with a combination of weights that exceeded 1 gram in total. This could prove troublesome when you’re trying to weigh very small quantities of light ingredients, such as yeast or baking soda. But if you’re just using the scale to weigh heavier foods for nutritional purposes, this flaw shouldn’t make a huge difference.
The display on this food scale also isn’t as great as our top pick. It’s relatively small and doesn’t light up. But as long as you don’t have a huge bowl atop the scale, you can still read the numbers. It’s also very easy to add a tare and toggle between measurement units using the two-button interface—no need to read the instruction manual.
Wiping food away was a breeze, but it could have been easier with a removable weighing platform. The display and buttons are sealed with plastic, though, which makes it feel more likely that it can stand up to repeated cleanings and splashes.
It’s not surprising that this scale has an average of 4.5 stars out of more than 11,000 ratings from Amazon customers. With its sealed display, intuitive functionality, accurate reading, and variety of color options, it offers great bang for your buck.
Other Food Scales Worth Considering
My Weigh Bakers Math Kitchen Scale
- Stainless steel platform
- Weighs in ounces, pounds, grams, kilograms, and baker’s percentages
- 17-pound, 6-ounce capacity
- Easy to clean
- Powered by AA batteries or AC adapter
- Can weigh in baker’s percentages
- More complicated than other scales
- Must read instruction manual to make the most of the functions
- Features may be too bloated for most people
The My Weigh Bakers Math Kitchen Scale is an objectively excellent food scale. It fell short of our top picks because it’s bloated with features that, if not quite unnecessary, definitely feel complicated. You’d need to read the instruction manual to make full use of its functionality. It’s unnecessarily complex for a person who primarily wants to use a food scale as a tool for measuring individual portions of food rather than intricate recipes.
But if you’re passionate about baking? You’ll love the fact that this five-button food scale is the only one on this list that can weigh in baker’s percentages, which can help to scale recipes up or down. That function makes it easy to scale recipes up or down. And, with 4.7 stars out of more than 3,000 Amazon reviews, you’ll be in good company with this scale.
This product required some setup before you could use it. The measuring platform and protective faceplate were easy to install and remove, though, which made cleaning a trouble-free experience. Power comes from an AC adapter or AA batteries. (The Amazon listing claims that it includes batteries, but this wasn’t true for the product we tested.) The height of this scale made it easy to read the display no matter what size bowl we put on the weighing platform. The scale was usually accurate, though it struggled to weigh 1 gram properly, occasionally displaying it as 0 or 2 grams.
The My Weigh Bakers Math Kitchen Scale also has the highest price tag of all the food scales we tested. For this reason, we only recommend this one for serious bakers who will make use of its advanced features.
Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale
- Plastic platform
- Weighs in grams, ounces, pounds, and milliliters
- 11-pound capacity
- Clean, simple design
- 13 color options
- Less expensive than other scales
- Display can be hard to read with bowl on scale
- Harder to clean than other food scales
- Weight is sometimes off by 1 gram when using a bowl
This food scale is clunkier than our top picks. But considering its price, this may be an acceptable trade-off for someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot. The Ozeri Pronto food scale features a clean, simple design with just two buttons that allow you to toggle between multiple measurement units. It was easy to set up and use almost instantly after installing the batteries, which were included in the package. It comes in 13 different colors, which is more options than any other food scale we tested. Ozeri’s scale also has a 4.7-star rating out of a whopping 76,000-plus Amazon reviews.
In terms of accuracy, this scale was occasionally off by a gram when using a combination of very light calibration weights. Its large display was generally easy to read, but could get shadowed with a large bowl atop the weighing platform. The six rubber feet on the scale’s base kept it in place throughout testing.
Cleaning the Ozerididn’t go as smoothly as other scales. After wiping it down with a damp sponge, the food scale still showed fingerprints and smudges on its surface. The weighing platform can’t be removed, which hindered cleaning.
Due to its inaccuracies, cleaning challenges, and less sophisticated design, this food scale isn’t among our top choices. That said, if you’re looking to have a fling with a food scale—not necessarily a long-term relationship—this is one worth exploring.
Food Scales You Can Skip
Etekcity Food Kitchen Scale
- Weighs in ounces, pounds, fluid ounces, grams, and milliliters
- Stainless steel platform
- 11-pound capacity
- Large, bright display
- Less expensive than other scales
- Sleek and lightweight
- Cleaning can damage the display
- Display can be shadowed when using bowl on platform
- Product arrived with some scratches on platform
- Not always accurate
This food scale had a whomp-whomp moment right out of the box: It already had scratches on it! Otherwise, its stainless steel material is nice, the display is bright, and its slim design would make it easy to pop into a bag if you want to weigh your food on the go. But don’t expect to get entirely accurate measurements all the time. This scale had trouble distinguishing between 2 grams and 3 grams. It also struggled to measure a 1-gram calibration weight when it was placed in a bowl atop the platform using the tare function. That said, other people seem to like it—it has a 4.6-star rating out of more than 95,000 reviews on Amazon.
Even overlooking these relatively minor flaws, it’s impossible to ignore how challenging it was to clean. There’s no separation between the weighing platform and buttons, so you have to be careful to avoid getting it too wet. The grooves of the buttons can easily get caked with food. Worse yet, cleaning it with a damp sponge left additional scratches on the surface and unsightly bubbles in the display that took days to disappear.
If you decide to buy this food scale, it’s a good idea to cover it with plastic wrap to keep it clean while you’re using it. Better yet, skip this scale entirely and spend your $10 on the similarly priced—but far more durable and accurate—Ozeri Pronto food scale instead.
Why You Can Trust Us
Meet Your Guinea Pig
I’m Joni Sweet. I’ve been covering health and wellness as a writer and editor for major publications for more than 10 years. My work is in SELF, Health, Prevention, Forbes, Healthline, mindbodygreen, Greatist, and dozens of other publications. I love debunking health myths and teaching people about research-backed ways to feel their best and live well. I also spent years working in a bakery, which has made me appreciate the importance of accurate scales and measurements.
Our Testing Process
The testing process started with researching the best food scales in mainstream media publications and on Amazon. I looked at ones listed as the best by both professional reviewers and everyday customers to narrow down our top eight options. To be considered for this test, each scale was required to have a tare function (which allows you to weigh ingredients in a container without including the weight of that container), be widely available in the U.S., and advertised as for the kitchen, rather than as a pocket scale. That left me with the five you see in our final review.
I spent about four hours putting the food scales through a series of tests. Then, I placed a series of calibration weights, which are designed to check if scales are accurate, on each scale in different combinations and locations on the platform and in bowls to see if the product gave consistently correct readings. I tested the tare function using bowls and calibration weights, and I also timed the automatic turn-off and stand-by function to see if they aligned with the brands’ promises. To see how easy it was to use each scale, I tried to weigh things without reading the instruction manual first. I also placed a big bowl on top of each scale to see whether it would hide the display.
It was important to make sure each scale could hold up to a gentle yet thorough cleaning, as they’re designed to be used when cooking. I whipped up a mixture of overripe bananas, eggs, flour, and sugar—similar to a banana bread batter—and smeared it all over each scale. After letting the mess sit for 10 minutes, I used a damp, soapy sponge and paper towels to clean each scale. I noted how easy each scale felt to clean, looked out for areas where food could get stuck in the device, and checked each scale for damage when I was done.
For more information on the food scales testing process, read the test notes here.
Food Scales Buying Guide
If you’re buying a food scale, expect to spend between $10 and $65. Pricier food scales tend to be more durable, attractive, functional, and accurate than cheaper options.
Food scales in general come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. If you’re looking for a device that will match your kitchen design, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find an option that works for you. Unless you’re really into baking, simple scales that have just two buttons to toggle between units and set a tare should be able to handle everything you need. Tare is a feature every kitchen scale must have, as it allows you to weigh items in a bowl or other container. This is a widely available function that appeared in every food scale we tested. If you find one that doesn’t have that feature, keep looking for other options.
Food scales should be able to handle some mess and stand up to cleaning. Be wary of ones with lots of grooves and crevices, as these can easily gather debris over time. Food scales with removable platforms tend to be the easiest to clean.
The food scales we tested displayed a high degree of accuracy, especially at weights heavier than 1 gram. Still, it may be worth buying a set of calibration weights (I used these ones) to check that your scale is accurate from time to time.
Who should use a food scale?
Food scales are useful if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen—doubly so if most of that time in the kitchen is spent baking. Measuring ingredients can make a big difference in whether your soufflé puffs up or your cookies come out perfectly.
And if you’re following a specific diet for weight loss, weight gain, or muscle gain, a food scale can provide you with information on your food’s nutrients. The calorie count and nutritional composition of a food is highly dependent upon its weight. However, using a food scale with a specific weight-based goal in mind should be a temporary practice, not a lifestyle. If you’re consumed by thoughts of your kitchen scale and calories, give it a break. You may also consider consulting a mental health professional or registered dietitian.
How do you choose a food scale?
Food scales come in a wide variety of prices. Consider how much you’re willing to spend and the features you need. You can get by with a less expensive food scale if you’re willing to cover it with plastic to keep it clean, deal with a less readable display, don’t need lots of bells and whistles, and are comfortable with measurements that may be slightly off. Baking enthusiasts may find it worthwhile to splurge on a larger, sturdier scale that can weigh in baker’s percentages. Regardless, make sure the scale can tare a container, which is essential. (You don’t want your tupperware messing with your food portions.)
Unless you know you’ll use the data, avoid “smart” scales that send info to your phone. They tend to be more expensive due to a feature that a typical user probably doesn’t need.
Should you weigh your food?
Weighing food can be a data-backed way to practice portion control. You may know that an ounce of almonds is about 165 calories, but the only way you can know that you’re consuming an ounce—not more or less—is by weighing your portion first. That information can help you follow certain diets or know whether you’re getting the right amount of calories and nutrients.
If you struggle with disordered eating, it may be better for you to avoid weighing your food. Consult with a healthcare professional if you aren’t sure.
Our research and review process is intended for informational purposes only—never as a substitute for medical treatment, diagnosis, or advice. Recommendations or information found on this site do not infer a doctor-patient relationship. Always consult a healthcare provider if you have questions about how a product, service, or intervention may impact your individual physical or mental health.
Our evaluations of products, services, and interventions have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. Information and research about health changes frequently. Therefore, some details or advice on this site may not be up-to-date with current recommendations.
The Nessie is an independent publication and is not in any way affiliated with the production or creation of products, providers, services, or interventions featured in reviews or articles on the site.
- Macro diet: What Are Macros And Why Should I Be Counting Them? (SCL Health)
- Counting calories: Counting Calories: Get Back to Weight Loss Basics (Mayo Clinic)
- Metabolic history impacts weight loss: Metabolic adaptation delays time to reach weight loss goals (Obesity, January 2022)
- Past dieting may impact weight: Weight loss history as a predictor of weight loss: results from Phase I of the weight loss maintenance trial (Journal of Behavioral Medicine, August 2012)
- Stress may impact weight: Daily Stressors, Past Depression, and Metabolic Responses to High-Fat Meals: A Novel Path to Obesity (Biological Psychiatry, April 2015)
- Sleep may impact weight: Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity (Annals of Internal Medicine, April 2011)
- Socioeconomic status may impact weight: Multiple socioeconomic determinants of weight gain: the Helsinki Health Study (BMC Public Health March 2013)
- Snack food labels are often inaccurate: Food Label Accuracy of Common Snack Foods (Obesity January 2013)
- FoodData Central. (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2022)
- Healthy Lifestyle: Portion Control. (Mayo Clinic, November 2020)
- Food restriction may lead to malnutrition: Micronutrient Status in 153 Patients with Anorexia Nervosa. (Nutrients, March 2017)
- How to Avoid Portion Size Pitfalls to Help Manage Your Weight. (CDC, 2021)
- Serving and Portion Sizes: How Much Should I Eat? (National Institute on Aging, 2019)
- The Nutrition Source: Almonds. (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)