Whether you’re baking cakes or cooking a five-course dinner, the best kitchen scales take the strain out of measuring and weighing
Kitchen scales are one of the most essential bits of cooking kit, especially for those who regularly cook from scratch. They might do a relatively simple job, but that doesn’t mean choosing the best kitchen scales for your specific needs is an easy decision.
For instance, think about whether you’ll want them to be visible or stored away. If it’s the former, do you have enough room on your work surface? If it’s the latter, do you have enough storage space? How precise do you need your measurements to be? And if you’re a messy cook, should you go for scales that are easy to clean?
Here, we’ve chosen our pick of the best. You’ll find kitchen scales for every budget and need, as well as a useful buying guide that lists the different kinds of scales available and the kinds of people – and kitchens – they suit.
Best kitchen scales: At a glance
|Best digital kitchen scales
|Terraillon Macaron (~£22)
|Check price at Amazon
|Best balance scales
|Natural Elements Traditional Balance Kitchen Scales (~£80)
|Check price at Amazon
|Best jug scales
|Morphy Richards 3-in-1 Jug Scales (~£18)
|Check price at Amazon
|Best dual platform scales
|Heston Blumenthal Scales (~£60)
|Check price at John Lewis
|Best scale for liquids
|Salter Aquaweigh (~£25)
|Check price at John Lewis
How to choose the best kitchen scales for you
What types of kitchen scales should I buy?
Kitchen scales fall into four basic types:
With mechanical scales, adding ingredients and therefore weight to the bowl activates a spring that moves the dial on the display to reflect the correct weight.
These scales can usually take a lot of weight and you don’t need batteries, but the spring inevitably gets wear and tear over the years, which results in ever-decreasing accuracy. Even when new they’re not great for measuring really small amounts.
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These are by far the most popular scales, mainly due to their compact shape and extreme accuracy in measuring, even with minuscule amounts. You can see the weight displayed on the LCD display screen in either grams or ounces and a digital scale can handle fractions of a gram.
There’s often an ‘add and weigh’ (also called ‘tare’) function which resets your scales to zero when you need to add more ingredients – and with many of them, you can use your own bowl or jug.
Many offer added extras, such as doubling up as a chopping board or allowing you to weigh both wet and dry ingredients. The only downsides? You’ll need batteries and the weight capacity is often more limited than with other scales types.
The old-fashioned type that works a bit like a see-saw, in that you pop the weights on one side and the ingredients in the bowl on the other and wait for them to balance.
They will last you forever with no need for batteries, but they are time-consuming and less accurate than more modern scales when it comes to minute amounts.
Jug scales are great for weighing wet ingredients as well as dry. These use the jug as your bowl, with the weight shown on a digital LCD display, usually found at the top of the handle.
Most have an ‘add and weigh’ function so you can weigh solid and liquid ingredients in the same jug to save on washing up. These require batteries, and do check the quality of the jug before you buy.
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The best kitchen scales you can buy in 2024
1. Terraillon Macaron: Best digital kitchen scales
Price when reviewed: £22 | Check price at AmazonTerraillon is a household name in France, where it’s easily the best-known kitchen scale manufacturer. Founded in 1908, most French people would tell you their grandmother owned one.
Yet granny-esque these modern glossy-looking scales are not, and we think the brand’s latest digital offering stands out for affordability, accuracy and ease of use too.
Available in six gorgeous colours, they are lightweight, with a large surface area and easy-to-read display, as well as a non-slip base. The rest button (tare function) works well and the handle at the back makes the scales transportable and easy to store.
Key specs – Type of scales: Digital; Dimensions: 20.2 x 22.1 x 2cm; Maximum capacity: 5kg; Warranty: 15 years
2. Joseph Joseph Tri Scale: Best scales for easy storage
Price when reviewed: £40 | Check price at AmazonThe Tri Scale won’t appeal to those who like displaying their kitchen scales as a sign that, yes, they really do cook, but it will appeal to those who genuinely want to measure out ingredients with an accurate and reliable bit of kit that will handily store away into a kitchen drawer afterwards.
Folding away into a minuscule version of its unfolded self, this set has a remarkably small footprint, yet it’s not a compromise. It’s just as durable as many bigger machines, is easy to use and has an excellent, easy to read and responsive touchscreen.
It’s available in green or white, and you can reset the weight before adding new ingredients to make sure you still get the correct level.
Key specs – Type of scales: Digital; Dimensions: 21.3 x 21.3 x 12.2cm; Maximum capacity: 3.5kg; Warranty: 2 years
3. Salter Cook Pro with Bluetooth: Best kitchen scales for metric and imperial measurements
Price when reviewed: £30 | Check price at John Lewis If you’re looking for a scale that’s both sleek and intuitive, Salter’s Cook Pro is a kitchen essential. It’s compact enough to slide away in the drawer unnoticed or if you prefer to keep it out, it takes up very little space on your counter. The smooth glass top makes cleaning easy and with the option to measure in g, fl oz, lbs and ml on the digital display, it’s easy to use too.
During testing, these scales sometimes took a little time to settle on a final weight but overall they were impressively accurate, even if ingredients were knocked or disturbed. What’s most interesting about the Cook Pro scale though, is its Bluetooth function. Connecting it is simple and quick and allows you to get real-time weighing info on your phone via the app, (which also has some other great features to explore). This is incredibly useful if you need to weigh directly onto serving plates or large bowls that would normally obstruct your view of the weight display at the front. If you’re ready to upgrade your old scale for something well-designed and multi-functional, the Cook Pro is the way to go.
Key specs – Type of scales: Digital; Dimensions: 20.8 x 2.8 x 30cm, Maximum capacity: 10kg; Warranty: 15 years
4. Heston Blumenthal Scales: Best dual platform scales
Price when reviewed: £60 | Check price at John Lewis Even if you’re not interested in celebrity chef endorsements, these scales are still worth your attention, as they’re accurate and easy to use. Their biggest selling point is versatility, which comes in the form of two individual panels offering dual measuring capabilities. The first ‘high capacity’ platform has a total tolerance of 10KG, measured in 1G increments. The smaller ‘precision’ scale measures in just 0.1g increments, with a total weight capacity of 200g. Having two scales allows for precise weighing across a variety of ingredients and is particularly useful when making things such as cakes or onion bhajis, where accuracy is everything.
What’s more, with a manufacturers’ guarantee of 15 years, you can be certain these scales are built to last.
Key specs – Type of scales: Digital; Dimensions: 31 x 21 x 5 cm; Maximum capacity: 10kg; Warranty: 15 years
5. Salter Aquaweigh: Best scales for liquids
Price when reviewed: £25 | Check price at John LewisSometimes the bowl you’re mixing in can interfere with the scales measurements, even when the tare has been set to zero from the offset. That’s why these bowl scales are incredibly useful. The dual rotating twin dials are simple to read and understand, ensuring that you’re adding both wet and dry ingredients accurately every time. The large bowl included can easily be removed and features a narrow spout, making pouring easy with minimised risks of spillages. The add and weigh function also allows you to measure several ingredients at the same time in the same bowl, without losing track of what you’re doing. Plus when you’re done baking, storage isn’t an issue either, as it folds away completely when not in use.
Key specs – Type of scales: mechanical; Dimensions: 25.7 x 10 x 25.5 cm; Maximum capacity: 4kg
6. Natural Elements Traditional Cast Iron Balance Kitchen Weighing Scale: Best balance scales
Price when reviewed: £80 | Check price at AmazonThese cast-iron scales with acacia wood base look an absolute picture in a rustic farmhouse style kitchen, or any other kitchen with traditional country décor.
Conjuring up images of granny making apple pie in the Aga, they are sure to tempt you into creating your own culinary delights, particularly as they have useful modern twists such as a dishwasher-safe bowl which is a handy large size in case you need to cook for the whole family.
Best of all, they should last you a lifetime. It’s a shame the weights cost extra to buy, especially as they are a whopping forty quid, but at least you can get them in metric or imperial. Be warned: these scales are seriously heavy.
Key specs – Type of scales: Balance; Dimensions: 34cm x 24cm; Maximum capacity: 2kg; Warranty: 3 years
7. Hanson Traditional Mechanical Kitchen Scales: Best mechanical scales
Price when reviewed: £22 | Check price at AmazonWe searched high and low for a set of reliable and accurate mechanical scales that look good and are built to last and the Hanson scales won our top spot.
The Hanson H500 scales, which you may also see labelled as Terraillion, as the latter bought out the former some time ago, have a great retro feel. Their stylish exterior means you can display them on your work surface with pride, although they’re not so big that you can’t store them away. We like that the dial is bigger than on some of the other scales tested, showing both imperial and metric measurements. And, unlike some mechanical scales, the needle isn’t over-sensitive, hurtling forward the moment you add the tiniest amount.
You can reset the dial to zero if you need to add more ingredients and there’s a decent maximum weight of 5kg. We also like the fact that the bowl is shallow, making it easier for pouring ingredients in, and that you can pop it in the dishwasher afterwards too.
Key specs – Type of scales: Mechanical; Dimensions: 25.2 x 20.8 x 22cm; Maximum capacity: 5kg; Warranty: 10 years
8. Morphy Richards 3-in-1 Digital Kitchen Jug Scales: Best jug scales
Price when reviewed: £25 | Check price at AmazonMorphy Richards’ 3-in-1 jug scales have all the benefits of other digital scales – they’re accurate and have an LCD display and tare function – but they allow you to weigh, measure and mix all your ingredients in one handy jug.
If you’re short on kitchen space, you won’t need any other jug. It’s precise enough for the most perfectionist of bakers and the bowl comes out of the base for easy washing up. That said, it can be tricky to remove and click back in – not great for those who have problems with strength in their hands or wrists.
The only other downside is that the screen has a low viewing angle, which means you sometimes have to lean down to see what it says or make any adjustments.
Key specs – Type of scales: Digital; Dimensions: 21.3 x 29 x 12cm; Maximum capacity: 5kg; Warranty: 2 years
9. Salter Max Chopping Board Digital Kitchen Scales: Best scales for busy cooks
Price when reviewed: £30 | Check price at AmazonAnother set of weighing scales that doubles up as a handy kitchen accessory, this one lets you chop and measure on the same surface. This is brilliant for recipes that require a specific amount of chopped ingredients and saves you the bother of having to pull out a chopping board first.
As with other digital scales, you can use it with mixing bowls of any size, or even your food processor bowl, thanks to the large surface area and maximum weight; at 15kg, the Salter Max Chopping Board goes much further than most domestic kitchen scales, yet it isn’t huge to store.
Other benefits include the tare function to measure multiple ingredients in the same bowl, a function for measuring liquids in ml or fl oz too, plus the large illuminated display.
It’s not waterproof, however, which means you can only wipe it clean afterwards. This isn’t ideal if you’ve been weighing and chopping something like raw meat, although the glass surface is at least hygienic.
Key specs – Type of scales: Digital; Dimensions: 37 x 28 x 4cm; Maximum capacity: 15kg; Warranty: 15 years