Old scales

The Best Luggage Scales of 2023

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Luggage scales are an essential accessory for any traveler, whether you’re a frequent flyer or just taking a one-time trip. These handy devices allow you to weigh your suitcase or other luggage before you head to the airport, so you can avoid costly overweight baggage fees. In this article, we will explore the types of luggage scales available, their features, and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

What Is a Luggage Scale?

Let’s start with the basics. Luggage scales are small, portable devices that allow you to conveniently weigh your luggage. They typically have a handle or strap that you can attach to your luggage, and a display that shows the weight. Some models are even equipped with a built-in tape measure, allowing you to check the size of your bag as well.

Why Are Luggage Scales Important?

So, why are luggage scales important? Well, as many of us have learned the hard way, airline baggage fees can be a real pain. If your luggage is over the weight limit, you may have to pay extra fees at the airport. This can be especially frustrating if you’re on a tight budget, or if you’re trying to pack everything you need for an extended trip.

With a luggage scale, you can weigh your bag before you leave home, ensuring that you’re within the weight limit and avoiding any unwanted fees. Plus, it’s always better to know before you go, rather than finding out at the airport, and having to rush to repack your bags.

Types of Luggage Scales

Now, let’s talk about the different types of luggage scales available. There are essentially two different options to choose from, and each has its own set of pros and cons.

Analog Luggage Scales

First, there are the traditional, analog luggage scales. These are the most basic type of scale, and typically feature a spring-loaded mechanism and a dial that shows the weight. While they’re not as accurate as digital scales, they’re often more affordable and can be a great option if you’re on a budget.

Pros of Analog Luggage Scales

Simple to Use

Analog scales don’t require any complicated instructions. Just hang your bag on the hook and read the weight on the dial.


Analog scales are often less expensive than digital scales, making them a great choice for budget-conscious travelers.

Don’t Require a Power Source

Unlike digital luggage scales, analog scales don’t need batteries.

Retro-Chic Style

Let’s be real, there’s something kind of cool about using an old-fashioned scale. Plus, it’s a nice change of pace from always relying on technology.

Cons of Analog Luggage Scales

Not as Accurate

Analog scales can be affected by slight movements or changes in temperature, which can affect the reading. Plus, the dial may not be as precise as a digital display.

Not as Convenient

Analog scales don’t usually have a “hold” feature, which means you’ll need to keep an eye on the dial while you’re hanging your bag.

Not as Versatile

Analog scales are typically designed for weighing luggage, so they may not be as useful for other purposes.

Difficult to Read

The display dial on many analog luggage scales can be quite small. It can be very easy to misread the exact weight.

Digital Luggage Scales

Next, there are digital luggage scales. These are the most popular type of scale, and they’re known for their accuracy and ease of use. They usually feature a digital display that shows the weight, and some models even have a built-in tape measure. They’re also often more durable than analog scales and are easy to use.

Pros of Digital Luggage Scales


They’re small, portable, and easy to use. Simply attach the scale to your suitcase handle and lift. The scale will give you an accurate reading of the weight of your luggage, so you know exactly how much you need to remove before heading to the airport.


Unlike traditional spring-loaded scales, they use digital sensors to give you a precise reading of your luggage’s weight. This is especially useful if you’re trying to pack as close to the weight limit as possible, as even a few extra ounces can mean having to pay extra baggage fees (Is this where I should make a snarky remark about Frontier Airlines?).

Easy to Read

They display the weight of your luggage in a straightforward and easy-to-read format. They often have a backlit screen function available to read your luggage scale in dim light or under strong sunlight.


Another great thing about digital luggage scales is that they can be used for more than just weighing your bags. You can use them to weigh anything else you need to know the weight of, like a box of books, a package or a bag of groceries.

Cons of Digital Luggage Scales

More Expensive

While you can certainly find some models that are priced affordably, many of the best-quality scales can cost quite a bit of money. Additionally, if you’re not careful, you can easily damage the scale by overloading it.

Require Batteries

While most scales come with batteries included, you’ll still need to replace them eventually. And if you’re traveling and forget to bring spare batteries, you may not be able to use your scale at all. I’ve been caught out in this situation on more than one occasion. Most digital luggage scales use small, round batteries (CR2032 batteries) which are less commonly available and more expensive. Additionally, they don’t last as long as standard batteries. Also, the digital scale’s battery compartment can sometimes require a screwdriver to open it.

Sometimes Not Easy to Use

Unlike analog luggage scales, digital scales require you to power them on, then choose the required weight unit (imperial or metric). The way to switch between pounds and kilograms is not always obvious. I have a few luggage scales, and each of them require a different method to change units. It often requires some trial and error to figure out how to make the change.

How to Buy the Best Luggage Scale for You

When buying a luggage scale, it is important to consider your specific needs. If you travel frequently and want the most accurate readings, a digital scale is probably the best option. If you’re on a budget and don’t need the most precise measurements, an analog scale may be a good choice.

Some other features to look for when buying a luggage scale include:

How Much Weight Can the Luggage Scale Hold?

Consider the maximum weight capacity of the scale you are considering. Most luggage scales can weigh bags up to a certain weight, usually between 110-110 pounds. If you are planning to travel with a heavy bag, or sports equipment such as a bicycle, make sure that the scale you choose has a high enough capacity to accommodate it.

How Easy Is the Luggage Scale to Use?

Luggage scales should be easy to use, with a clear and easy-to-read display and simple buttons. Many scales also come with a built-in tape measure, so you can check the dimensions of your luggage as well.

How Durable Is the Luggage Scale?

A good luggage scale should be durable and able to withstand the rigors of travel. Look for a scale with a sturdy and well-built design, and one that is made of quality materials that can withstand frequent use and handling.

How Bulky Is the Luggage Scale?

Consider the size and weight of the scale when choosing one. A lightweight, compact scale is more convenient to pack and take with you on your travels.

What Is the Luggage Scale’s Battery life?

Some luggage scales are battery operated, so you want to make sure that the battery life is long enough to last for several trips.

Does It Have Any Extra Features?

Some luggage scales come with extra features such as a built-in measuring strap, temperature display, and auto-off function, which can be useful.

How Much Does It Cost?

Luggage scales come in a wide range of prices, so consider your budget when shopping for one. Keep in mind that a more expensive scale may offer more features and higher accuracy, but you can also find a decent quality scale with good accuracy at a lower price point.

Our Recommendations

Best Budget Analog Scale: Miami CarryOn Mechanical Luggage Scale

What we liked:

  • No batteries required!
  • Available in five stylish colors.
  • Includes a carry handle which can be folded away.
  • It also includes a handy tape measure.
  • Has a capacity of 75 lbs (34 kg), which is greater than most luggage scales.

What we didn’t like:

  • There’s no getting past that it’s a mechanical scale. I did miss having a backlit, easy-to-read, digital display screen.
  • The display dial is also quite small.

Best Budget Digital Scale: BAGAIL Digital Luggage Scale

What we liked:

  • Easy-to-read display with a backlit screen.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Available in five colors.
  • Easy to switch between weight units with a dedicated Units button.

What we didn’t like:

  • A screwdriver is required to access the battery compartment.

Best Premium Digital Scale: KINGON Digital Luggage Scale

What we liked:

  • Large and vibrant backlit screen.
  • Comfortable rubber-coated handle.
  • Can weigh items up to 110 lbs (50 kg). Perfect if traveling with special equipment such as a bike.
  • Has a handy bult-in tape measure
  • Uses inexpensive AAA batteries.
  • Comes with a mini screwdriver to open the battery compartment.
  • Low-battery indicator.

What we didn’t like:

  • Although, the scale did come with a tool to unlock the battery compartment, it was a little fiddly to open, as the tool and screw are very small.
  • More expensive than most luggage scales.

Final Thoughts

Luggage scales are a must-have for any frequent traveler. They help you avoid paying extra fees for overweight luggage and make packing a much easier and stress-free process. With the numerous options available in the market, it is important to consider factors such as accuracy, portability, and ease of use when choosing a luggage scale. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or just starting out, investing in a quality luggage scale will save you time, money, and hassle in the long run.

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