Kitchen scales are popular for a lot of reasons. Mostly, they help us with consistent results by the simple scientific act of perfectly measuring the specified ingredients of a well-crafted recipe.
If you’re looking for your first kitchen scale, consider what you want from the purchase: How much counter space or storage space is available in your kitchen? Are you most interested in baking or cooking?
There’s also the question of preference between a low-tech traditional analog scale, a battery-operated scale, or an electric scale that doesn’t require batteries. In general, kitchen scales are a very flexible tool, but be sure to check the details, particularly whether the weight capacity of the scale is high enough for your needs in the kitchen. There’s a lot of difference between various scales in this regard. If you’re spending more time in the kitchen, we’re pretty certain that you’ll become a big fan of having a kitchen scale and of using it.
Of course, what good is a scale if it doesn't accurately measure? I put these kitchen scales through their paces with tests in my own kitchen. First up, I've weighed a 1/4 cup of granulated sugar to see if the scale measures it exact in both ounces and grams. Next, I tested for when I'm in a rush and accidentally hit tare too many times to see if the scale shuts off. The third test was seeing how long it really does take to automatically shut off, should I forget. Once I was done with testing, I repeatedly used each scale during my own cooking projects to see if any other flaws emerged.
Based on our testing, Sur La Table’s Digital Glass Scale is our top pick, while the Escali Primo Precision Kitchen Food Scale for Baking and Cooking came in a close second.
This list of the best kitchen scales has been chosen to reflect the different varieties available, to make your choice not only easier but hopefully more well-informed.
Best Overall: Sur La Table 15-Lb. Digital Glass Scale
What We Love: Accurate measurements, easy to store, easy to clean
What We Don't Love: Very sensitive to movement when weighing
This kitchen scale, made exclusively for Sur la Table by Escali, has a sleek design and hits all the marks in terms of workability. Its sensitivity did astonish me though. It shouldn’t be moved even by the slightest bit while in use since that will change the level of the surface and affect how the scale is reading your ingredients.
Measuring 9 x 6.5 x 0.75 inches, it’s lightweight, easy to store, and can handle up to a total of 15 pounds in 1-gram or 0.1-ounce increments. It accurately passed our 1/4 cup of sugar test, so you'll be on the right road to a successful cake. It has a tare feature as well as a “hold feature” that continues to display the weight on the easy-to-read screen even after the item has been removed. It turned off automatically after 5 minutes, each and every time I tested it.
Even with its extremely touch-sensitive controls, it’s quick and easy to operate, and clean-up of its glass surface is a breeze. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
Price at time of publish: $35
Dimensions (LxWxH): 9 x 6.5 x 0.75 inches | Maximum Weight: 15 pounds
Best Overall, Runner-Up: Escali Primo Digital Food Scale
What We Love: Large LED display, spill guard, various color options
What We Don't Love: Only handles up to 11 pounds
It’s no secret the Simply Recipes team loves this kitchen scale from Escali. It’s an absolutely affordable scale to keep you in the habit of measuring out all your ingredients from spices to coffee beans.
The scale reads weight in 0.05-ounce (1-gram) increments with results in pounds, ounces, and grams, and can handle up to 11 pounds. Sized at 8 x 6 x 1.25 inches, its rounded, compact design maximizes the weighing platform and, coming in at only 1 pound makes this light enough to easily store away.
Andrew Arndt, executive chef at Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa in Newport Beach, California, also recommends the Escali kitchen scale and uses them in his hotel restaurant kitchen. "This unit is great for at-home cooking with a clean, clear display. It can hold up to 11 pounds, so that’s perfect for a home chef," says Arndt. "I also like that the case and button are sealed–keeping this clean and in working shape is critical. Getting the correct weight in baking is critical, as well as when working with thickeners. It also comes in cool colors to match your kitchen. We currently use these in my hotel kitchen for the restaurant."
The large LED display, which automatically shuts off after 4 minutes, has a spill guard that makes messes easy to clean up. There are nine colors to choose from and it runs on 2 AA batteries.
"I first purchased this scale when I dove into the world of sourdough, but now I use it for everything. It's super easy to toggle between units of measurement and to zero out your container weight, which is especially useful when I'm adding new ingredients to one large container on top of one another without measuring them first. Plus, this scale is chic and looks great on my countertop." — Elspeth Velten, General Manager
Price at time of publish: $25
Dimensions (LxWxH): 8 x 6 x 1.25 inches | Maximum Weight: 11 pounds
Best Budget: OXO Good Grips Healthy Portions Analog Scale
What We Love: Comes with a bowl/lid, analog, easy to store
What We Don't Love: Inaccurate gram measurements
It may be low-tech, but this kitchen scale delivers. Made by OXO, it features the ease of use it designs into all its products, and this is absolutely adorable. This comes with a little plastic bowl to pour your ingredients into which is incredibly helpful for quick, easy measuring, and it doubles as a lid when not in use.
No need to worry about batteries or electricity, this scale, which measures up to 16 ounces or 500 grams, easily fits into a tote bag or kitchen drawer. After I tested it thoroughly, I can say it's perfect for the everyday weighing of ingredients that don’t require the absolute precision of a digital scale. To set the tare, just turn the base until the red arrow is at 0.
The one caveat with this affordable pick is that it didn't perform as well as the digital scales with my weight test. While it gave the correct ounces weight for sugar, the grams reading was a little off (+/- 5 grams). While this may not mess up your Black Forest cake, it would pose an issue with ingredients that are always used in small quantities like yeast or salt.
Price at time of publish: $15
Dimensions (LxWxH): 5.5 x 2 x 6.5 inches | Maximum Weight: 1 pound/500 grams
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Best Digital: Zwilling Enfinigy Digital Kitchen Scale
What We Love: Accurate measurements, sleek design, can weigh up to 21 pounds
What We Don't Love: Need to make sure it's charged
This digital kitchen scale by Zwilling brings all the best features. It’s sensitive yet sturdy, it can measure up to a whopping 21 pounds, it has an easy-to-use tare function, which doesn't turn off when you accidentally hit tare twice. During my test, this was accurate to within 1 gram, making it ideal for bakes like angel food cake, where the precise measurement is important. It shows both metric and standard measurements, and turns itself off after 3 minutes, so you don't waste the battery charge.
Sized at 9.4 x 11.5 x 1.8 inches, the LCD screen and glass surface are easy to keep clean, and it looks great on a kitchen countertop, which is where mine lives. This kitchen scale comes with a downloadable app that integrates a series of delicious recipes with step-by-step instructions. The built-in battery is rechargeable via included USB cable and the scale comes with a five-year warranty.
Price at time of publish: $50
Dimensions (LxWxH): 11.5 x 9.4 x 1.8 inches | Maximum Weight: 22 pounds
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Best for Baking: Cuisinart PrecisionChef Digital Kitchen Food Scale
What We Love: Removable bowl with volume measurements, can weigh up to 11 pounds
What We Don't Love: Needs batteries
I like the look, the sturdiness, and the sleek stainless steel and tempered glass design of this Cuisinart scale. It includes a large 6-cup capacity bowl that's marked for volume measurements, and can also be used to cover the scale when not in use. It is significantly larger than the flat digital kitchen scales so will need storage space, but it's good-looking enough to leave out on a countertop! It works on two "AAA" batteries, which are provided but you'll have to look at the packaging carefully to find them.
The scale switches easily between ounces and grams, shows the weight on an LCD screen, can weigh items up to a total of 11 pounds, and the stainless-steel body is easy to clean. Sized at 7.8 x 7.8 x 5.2 inches and weighing only 3 pounds overall, it’s a pleasure to use this battery-operated scale, whether for baking or other kitchen tasks. To save on battery life, it did have a quick 1-minute auto-shutoff in tests, but that's a small price to pay for such a nice scale.
Price at time of publish: $40
Dimensions (LxWxH): 7.8 x 7.8 x 5.2 inches | Maximum Weight: 11 pounds
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Best Compact: Kalorik XL Digital Kitchen Scale
What We Love: Super compact and lightweight for storing, glass surface is easy to clean
What We Don't Love: Might be too small of a platform for large items
This digital battery-operated kitchen scale from Kalorik can measure anything from .1 ounces to 22 pounds. I loved how compact the design was—this scale can be tucked away somewhere in even the smallest kitchen. There's no setup, it's easy to use and to read with its clear display and large numbers.
It has a high-precision sensor system, a 2.3 x 1-inch LCD screen, and an automatic tare button. The weight can be displayed in US measurements or in metric. The top surface is easy-to-clean tempered glass and as it weighs only 0.9 pounds with overall dimensions of 7.9 x 7.4 inches! During testing, the auto-shutoff would occur a little after 1 minute, so you do need to be quick with your measuring. It also resets when you hit tare twice.
Price at time of publish: $25
Dimensions (LxWxH): 7.9 x 7.3 x 0.75 inches | Maximum Weight: 22 pounds
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Best Vintage-Look: Typhoon Homewares Farmhouse Kitchen Scale
What We Love: Sturdy base, durable steel design, includes a 1.2-quart bowl
What We Don't Love: Needs dedicated counter space
Going low-tech can be very satisfying, as this kitchen scale demonstrates. Made by Typhoon Homewares, it’s sturdy and beautiful, and gives a vintage look to any kitchen. This is a fun scale to have around for weighing all kinds of foods.
The basic old-fashioned mechanical scale has a stainless steel bowl on top. This does require a quick assembly, which involves removing two screws then placing the bowl on top and replacing the screws along with the nuts which secure them firmly. This isn't hard to do, but it's easier if you have a Phillips screwdriver and fingers that can get into small places because it's a little fussy and if the nut is dropped during the process it could fall into the body of the scale. Is it worth it? Yes, I'd say so, if you like this old-fashioned kitchen scale design!
Measuring 10 x 6 x 10 inches, the large round outward-facing dial shows measurements in kilograms, grams, pounds, and ounces, and the scale can measure up to 8 pounds total. The stainless-steel 1.2-quart bowl is a useful addition, and it all wipes clean when done!
Price at time of publish: $40
Dimensions (LxWxH): 10 x 6 x 10 inches | Maximum Weight: 8 pounds
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If you’re looking for something small and budget-friendly, the OXO Good Grips Healthy Portions Scale (view at Williams Sonoma) is a great choice and will work well as a backup if you move on to a larger kitchen scale, such as the Sur La Table Digital Glass Scale (view at Sur La Table). The Escali Kitchen Food Scale (view at Amazon) is also an excellent option.
What to Look for When Buying a Kitchen Scale
Design is an important factor when purchasing any tool for your kitchen. Ask yourself: Is the size suitable for my kitchen? How will it look on my counter? What is the scale made of? Is the weight easy to read?
Many kitchen scales have a sleek design. They are usually compact, lightweight, and easy to store. Common materials include stainless steel and tempered glass, though some are also made with plastic.
An important design aspect to consider is how the weight is displayed. Look for a display screen that is easy to read. A larger LED screen that displays big numbers is most convenient.
Your kitchen scale may look like your bathroom scale, a sleek rectangular scale with an easy-to-read display. Others may have a removable bowl that goes on top of the scale to weigh food without it coming into contact with the actual scale. The former is likely easier to store, but the latter may be easier to use.
The overall function of a kitchen scale is pretty simple, but some features can elevate the experience. For example, having a tare feature allows you to place a container on the scale and set the weight to zero so you can accurately measure the contents added to the container. A hold feature is also useful for displaying the weight on the screen even after the item of food has been removed from the scale.
A kitchen scale comes in handy when you need precise measurements for baking, but you may not reach for it every day. If that’s the case, choosing a kitchen scale that’s space-saving and easy to store is key. Scales with a lower maximum weight tend to be more compact, though they are limited in how much you can weigh at a time. If storage is an issue, opt for a kitchen scale that doesn’t include a removable bowl as that’s one more item to store. The kitchen scales that resemble your bathroom scale are a much lighter and smaller option.
How can you calibrate a kitchen scale?
When you get a new kitchen scale, you have to calibrate it for accuracy. To do so, follow the instructions that came with your model. You may need to use a coin or household item, place it on the surface, and choose a weight.
Why should you weigh your ingredients?
Many recipes call for measurements in terms of cups and tablespoons, which measure volume. Measurements like ounces and pounds refer to weight, which is much more accurate. For certain recipes, especially in baking, weighing your ingredients ensures precision.
Should you ever clean your kitchen scale?
You should clean your kitchen scale regularly. If food comes directly into contact with your kitchen scale or removable bowl, you should wash it after each use. Simply wipe down the surface of the kitchen scale with a damp cloth—you can even add a small amount of soap.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Karen Resta is a NYC-based writer specializing in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, and restaurants. A former executive chef who began her professional journey as a pastry chef, she travels around the globe as a photographer and writer, always finding the best authentic food and pastries along the way. She spends a lot of her free time in her kitchen and is passionate about finding quality within your given budget. Having the right tools and knowing how to use them makes all the difference in baking and cooking, and she made this list with that in mind.
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