The unfortunate reality of our world today is most measurement devices like bathroom scales, thermometers, and blood pressure monitors have long ago gone to China for manufacturing. As with every other industry, the lure of cheap components and cheap manufacturing was too great for American, European, and Japaneses brands to ignore. And as with every other industry, the result is seeing hundreds of cheap, copycat products that don’t work on Amazon, and the decline in public opinion of once-respected brands.
Unfortunately, this is an industry where manufacturing is all but lost to China. I went through hundreds of listings on Amazon and literally couldn’t find one that wasn’t made in China. Amazon doesn’t help by allowing product manufacturers to lie on their product listings: this Garmin Index S2 Smart Scale is listed as being made in Taiwan, but that was true of the first generation of this product, not the latest. Similarly, Consumer Reports has nice things to say about this Escali scale that Amazon lists as made in the USA, but it’s made in China.
My fellow “not in China” bloggers are also having a hard time. One highly ranked blog says that Seca manufactures its scales out of the Czech Republic, but that information looks to be about 10 years old; every scale I see is made in China. Similarly, I contacted Soehnle and the representative said that all of their scales are now made in China, despite a brochure circulating around the Web of a single model being made in Germany (which is no longer made).
Some sites point to companies like Health-o-Meter, Detecto, Taylor, and Beurer but while a handful of professional models (think over $1,000) might still be made in the USA, it seems that all of them have sent their manufacturing to China. In an especially disturbing development, companies like Detecto appear to be doubling down on China manufacturing, sending even their high end equipment to China. Evidently the lure of cheap labor and cheap materials is too great for them, and it will spell the end of their brand in the long run.
It’s come down to less than a handful of consumer and/or lower end professional models not made in China. Here are the few I found.
Best Bathroom Scales Not Made in China
Most Tanita scales are made in China, but this particular model, the Tanita HD-351, is made in Japan. At least that’s what the Amazon product description says.
Some customers are skeptical, especially since so many of Tanita’s other products are made in China. I choose to believe it as I see corroboration on other sites like Reddit and multiple review sites. It is concerning that Tanita’s own site doesn’t divulge country of origin, which means that they’re “reserving the right” to switch manufacturing on a dime if they want to.
This scale gets good reviews for its accuracy. It supports up to 400 pounds within 0.2 pound accuracy, and it comes with a three-year warranty.
This model, the HD-662, from Tanita is also widely reported to be made in Japan, and a reviewer from as recently as 2022 showed a label confirming this. Again, the fact that the manufacturer and the seller aren’t shouting this from the rooftops is concerning, but since Amazon offers free returns, I’d suggest to just buy it and send it back if you get a dud from China.
Befour is a high-end scale manufacturer in the USA, and on their Web site they proudly state that all their scales are made here. This brand is used throughout the country by sports teams.
The “cheapest” option is the Befour FS-0900 Health and Fitness Stand-on Scale. Like all of their scales it’s made in their Saukville, Wisconsin factory.
If you’re a serious athlete, you’ll want go to with these, which are among the most accurate scales in the world.
Detecto is still the largest maker of medical scales in the US. Chances are you’ve been weighed on one. At a recent doctor’s visit I was happy to see my doctor still using a Detecto Weigh Beam Scale, and even more thrilled to see “Made in the USA” clearly on the front.
Detecto still makes weigh beam scales in its Webb City, MO factory, but you need took carefully. If you see a model number without an “S” after it, for example, 337, 339, 437, or 439, it’s made in China. If you see an “S” after the number, such as 337S, 339S, 2371S, 4375S, 2391S, or 439S, it’s made in the USA.
You can see the difference that cheap China manufacturing makes. The same model sells for over $700 if made in the USA, but under $250 if made in China. Based on reviews of the China-made models, the old saying “you get what you pay for” clearly applies. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re buying for a doctor’s office or a sport facility, you’re going to want to pay more for higher quality.
You can generally find these in medical supply stores, or you could look on eBay, where medical resellers often go to make a little extra money. Just be sure to confirm with the seller that they’re sending you an authentic made in USA model and not selling you a China one.
From what I can tell, their Apex line of professional scales is still made in the USA, including this APEX-AT Athletic Scale. At over $600 this isn’t for most people, but if you’re a serious athlete or health professional and want something that’s precise and will last, go with this one, before Detecto moves this to China too.
I also confirmed with Detecto that their model 439S physician’s scale is still made in the USA out of their Webb City, MO factory. This is still made in the USA.
While most Health O Meter scales have gone the way of China, this particular model appears to be made in Hungary, based on a few online sources. Be sure to “trust but verify” on this one: contact the seller and make sure they confirm from the box where it’s made. If you do manage to get a made in Hungary one, congratulations!
Sadly, this is another category, like air fryers and alarm clocks, that seem lost to China, the result of American executives abandoning local manufacturing and consumers valuing cheapness over quality. The result will be that American consumers will get products that don’t work, and will have the privilege of paying for new ones every few years as they fill up their landfill with broken junk.
Do you know of any other bathroom scales not made in China? I would appreciate any tips.