Whether you're baking your favorite cookie recipe, brewing your morning pour over coffee or finally attempting your first sourdough starter, a kitchen scale (also known as a food scale) helps you follow a recipe more accurately than just using dry or liquid measuring cups. For example, if you measure flour by volume (like 3 cups), the weight of each cup can vary by several ounces. It depends on many factors, like your measuring cup, how tightly you pack the flour and even your kitchen's humidity level. But extra ounces of flour can affect the outcome of your recipes. Weighing your ingredients lets you reproduce the recipe exactly.
In the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliance and Culinary Innovation Lab, we’ve tested more than 20 kitchen scales over the years. In 2022, we tested 9 new kitchen and food scales, and our top picks came out on top for their accuracy, easy-to-read screens, lightweight material, ability to switch between different measurements with ease and ability to tare. (Taring is the scale function that allows you to weigh an ingredient or vessel and then set the scale to zero without removing the item so you can continue to weigh additional ingredients.)
Here are the best and most accurate kitchen scales to buy in 2022, according to testing:
- Best Overall Kitchen Scale: OXO Good Grips 11-Pound Stainless Steel Food Scale with Pull-Out Display
- Best Value Kitchen Scale: Taylor Precision Products 11lb Digital Glass Top Household Kitchen Scale
- Best Digital Kitchen Scale: Zwilling Enfinigy Digital Food Scale
- Best Small Kitchen Scale: Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale
Whether you need to weigh out 10 pounds of chocolate or one ounce of active dry yeast, the OXO Good Grips 11-Pound Stainless Steel Food Scale with Pull-Out Display will get the job done with accuracy and precision. In our tests, this model received a perfect score in performance by accurately displaying the correct weight of the stainless steel weights on all three scales tested. It was also user friendly thanks to its large pull-out display, which allows you to extend the display screen for an unobstructed read when weighing big objects that might overhang the scale.
We like that this model comes with four AA batteries, which are easy to install, and that it offers measurements in ounces, pounds, grams and kilograms. It also has a 30-minute delayed automatic turn-off feature, which is beneficial when using during a long recipe. Take note that while the stainless steel platform is easy to wipe down and can be removed for cleaning, there are a few crevices around the pull-out display and underneath the stainless steel platform that require extra care when cleaning if ingredients like flour or cocoa powder get inside.
- 100% accuracy in our lab results
- Easy to read with large pull-out display
- Requires extra care when cleaning
If you're in the market for a kitchen scale that costs less than $20 and weighs everything from flour to vegetable oil with accuracy, this Taylor model is a great choice. It's lightweight with a plastic base and a glass weighing platform. The display is easy to read, but our pros would like it even more if it had a backlight. This scale performed well in all accuracy tests and tared with ease. We liked that this model allows you to switch between grams and ounces with a press of a button and that it comes with AA batteries, which were easy to install. This scale automatically shuts off after three minutes of inactivity (which may not be enough time to weight out all ingredients in longer recipes), and there are some crevices on the base of the platform that require finesse when cleaning.
- Auto shut-off after three minutes
- Requires extra care when cleaning
This Zwilling Enfinigy scale is our top pick for ease of use as it's a very sleek kitchen scale with great features and a bright digital read-out. This modern scale comes in four different colors to match your kitchen’s aesthetic and has a seamless glass surface that is very easy to wipe clean. No need to install any batteries as this scale is powered by a rechargeable battery that comes with a micro USB charging cord. This pick has a larger weight capacity — up to 22 pounds — than many kitchen scales and is simple to switch between ounces and grams via a small button on the back of the scale. Our testers found this isn't ideal for long recipes or multitasking as it automatically turns off after three minutes of inactive use. While this scale may be on the pricier side, Zwilling stands behind its scales by offering a five-year warranty.
- 22-pound weight capacity
- Have to lift scale to change measurement from ounces to grams
The Ozeri Pronto scale has a small footprint and weighs a pound – perfect for fitting in a small kitchen drawer or for travel. The polycarbonate exterior of this scale comes in a variety of colors and patterns, from black marble to lime green. In our tests, this scale had consistently accurate readings, and the digital screen was easy to read (though it would have benefitted from a backlight). Our pros could quickly turn it off, tare it and change between measurements. This model offers five units of measure: ounces, milliliters, grams, pounds and kilograms.
You can weigh as little as one gram and up to 11.24 pounds with this scale and precisely tare anything from a glass bowl to chocolate chips. This scale shuts off after only two minutes of inactivity, which is not ideal if you are performing multiple tasks in the kitchen at once. It comes with two AAA batteries that were easy to install.
- Weighs one pound
- Offers five units of measurement
- Automatic shut-off after two minutes of inactivity
In our Kitchen Appliance and Culinary Innovation Lab's side-by-side testing, we evaluate kitchen and food scales based on two main categories: accuracy and ease of use.
- Accuracy: To determine which kitchen scales are the most accurate and easy to use, we test three samples of each scale using an assortment of steel weights that weigh one ounce, eight ounces, one pound and 11 pounds (a range that includes most standard kitchen scale minimum and maximum capacities.) We also test the tare function on each scale by taring out a glass bowl and weighing an eight ounce weight inside of it.
- Ease of use: We test each scale for ease of cleaning, ease of installing batteries, efficiency of automatic shut-off, ease of taring, range of measurements, visibility of read-out and whether or not there was a backlight to help visibility.
✔️ Digital vs mechanical: The majority of modern home kitchen scales are digital, but there are some mechanical options on the market. Most digital scales require a power source like batteries or an electrical plug, while mechanical scales do not. A mechanical scale’s reading often has limited measurement units, while a digital scale can have various settings and units of measurement at the push of a button.
✔️ Style: Digital scales now come in many different colors and materials; some are very portable, while others need to stay put on your kitchen counter. Some scales come with a removable tray that you can weigh ingredients directly in, while others work best with a tared out bowl or tray on the scale platform. The digital readout of measurements also varies, from very tiny to a large LED readout with a backlight, which is great if you are cooking with kids or don’t want to pull out your reading glasses.
✔️ Weight capacity: Most kitchen scales on the market are able to read a minimum of one ounce or 28 grams for smaller ingredients like extracts or baking powder and a maximum of 11 pounds for larger ingredients like a whole squash or a turkey. If you need to weigh out very small measurements like salt or yeast, you should look for a scale that is sensitive enough to give readings as little as .001 ounces or .03 grams. If you need to weigh larger or heavier ingredients, there are models with 22-pound (like the Zwilling model in our list) or 33-pound weight capacities.
✔️ Range of measurement: A good kitchen scale should be able to switch easily from ounces and pounds to grams and kilograms because recipes may be written in metric or imperial units. Recipes from the United States will normally use imperial units (ounces and pounds), while recipes from outside of the United States will usually use the metric system (grams and kilograms). If you are measuring a lot of liquid ingredients it is also helpful to look for a scale which offers fluid ounces and milliliter measurements.
✔️ Ease of use: A seamless scale surface with few buttons and crevices is much easier to clean, especially if working with fine ingredients like flour or sticky ingredients like honey. Automatic shut-off is a great feature to have since it conserves batteries, but if the shut-off is too quick, you can lose your weight data, which can be frustrating. The tare feature is critical so you can weight out multiple ingredients into one vessel.
✔️ Batteries: The majority of digital kitchen scales come with batteries that you have to install or are already installed. We recommend making sure the battery type is easy to purchase in the future, like AA or AAA. Try to avoid a scale that requires a harder-to-find battery type or one that is more difficult to install, like flat and rounded button batteries, which often require a screwdriver. Some newer scales on the market simply need to be charged with a USB cord, which prevents any need to install batteries or purchase more batteries in the future.
In the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Culinary Innovation Lab, Eva Bleyer has tested everything from ranges to juicers to cookie sheets. She conducted the most recent side-by-side lab testing of kitchen scales. As a trained chef who has experience in developing recipes and making hand-extruded pasta, she understands how important it is to have a quality scale for accuracy and precision. She earned a B.S. in Food Studies, Nutrition and Public Health from New York University and is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute.