My girlfriend was looking at getting some body fat scales, but I told her these are inaccurate.

What is the best way to measure body fat at home?

By best I'm looking for a trade off between accuracy and simplicity. I understand that the most accurate would likely be something like a full body scan but obviously that isn't practical to do at home.


3 Answers 3


Try US Navy method its really accurate

For Men (Measurements in Inches):
%Fat = (86.010*LOG(abdomen - neck) - 70.041*LOG(height) ) + 36.76

For Women (Measurements in Inches):
%Fat = 163.205*LOG(abdomen + hip - neck) - 97.684*LOG(height) - 78.38


The answer will depend on your body fat percentage and purpose. As BIA scales don't cope well with athletes / bodybuilders (body fat < 10%), and generally don't take account of race. Fat calipers aren't very accurate on the obese, similarly the military regression equations are based on data from military bodies and are designed to assess whether an individual has exceeded the maximum permitted body fat (+/- 3%), so again not really suited for bodybuilders / athletes.

As the Navy formula (see @CanESER post) simply requires a tape measure I'd suggest you start there, and then spend literally a few pennies on a set of cheap plastic skinfold calipers, and have a play on one of the free apps / web sites that will compute and track your body fat from the values.

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I think a well used caliper is what you're looking for, it might not tell you the exact fat% number, but the skin folds WILL decrease as you lose fat, meaning you can measure changes quite accurately.

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