10 Best Body Fat Calipers Tested & Fully Reviewed

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Running is one of the best total body cardio workouts you can do to promote weight loss and improve your overall health. However, weight loss isn’t the only factor you should take into account when engaging in physical activity and trying to improve your health.

Aside from losing weight, you should also take your muscle mass into consideration. You track this by measuring your body fat percentage, which can be done several ways—the easiest, most affordable, and convenient way is with one of the 10 best body fat calipers featured here on our list.

Body fat calipers allow you to measure your subcutaneous fat by pinching the skin in different locations and plugging those number into a formula that will help you determine your total body fat percentage. With all of the options available, we know how difficult it can be to narrow down your choice. So, we have taken the time to compile a list of top 10 best body fat calipers—so you don’t have to! We hope our list helps you find your next caliper, so you can keep track of your body fat.

Last Updated: July 20, 2018
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By Giselle Killebrew:

This update brings a change to our top three slots and introduces the Baseline, Go Fit, and the Lift Heavy Fitness body fat calibers. All three of these are an excellent option that will help you accurately keep track of your body fat percentage so you can reach your fitness goals.

Baseline
  • Baseline
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Accurate
  • Price: See Here
Go Fit
  • Go Fit
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Accuracy lever
  • Price: See Here
Lift Heavy Fitness
  • Lift Heavy Fitness
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 1 year warranty
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Body Fat Calipers

 

Baseline

This caliper is a higher quality and pricier option. However, it is highly durable and comes with several additional features we know you will enjoy.
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Construction

This caliper is made of aluminum and is extremely lightweight. They also feature "floating tips" for comfortable, accurate, and precise measurements.

Features

As previously mentioned, these calipers feature folding tips that allow for more accurate and precise measurements. It also comes with a padded case as well as detailed instructions, tables, and charts.

Accuracy

The measurements this caliper provides are easy to read and highly accurate.

Affordability

This one is pricier than other options, but it is well worth the investment if you can afford it and comes with lots of additional features.

Popularity

This one is pretty popular and comes highly recommended
Pros

• Durable

• Lightweight

• Floating tips for accuracy

• Padded case

• Comes with instructions, tables, and charts

Cons

• Expensive

Go Fit

These calipers are affordable, accurate, and easy to use. They are a great option for those of you looking to easily keep track of your body fat without having to spend much.
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Construction

This caliper is lightweight, portable, and able to measure up to 60mm in thickness.

Features

This caliper can measure up to 60mm in thickness and comes with charts to refer to when making your measurements. It also has an accuracy lever to provide you with accurate and precise results. It is simple to use and requires measurements from 3 different sites and is a great option to track your weight loss and fitness goals.

Accuracy

This caliper has an accuracy lever to provide you with both precise and accurate measurements each time.

Affordability

It is highly affordable and provides accurate measurements.

Popularity

This one comes highly rated and highly recommended by many users who personally use it themselves.
Pros

• Affordable

• Accurate

• Easy to use

• Lightweight

• Portable

• 3 site measurements

Cons

• Comes with no additional features

• Not as durable as other calibers

Lift Heavy Fitness

The Lift Heavy Fitness body fat calibers are the best budget-friendly calibers out there. They come with many additional features that will help you reach your weight loss goals.
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Construction

This caliper is lightweight and really easy to use.

Features

It comes with a downloadable weekly tracking chart and a one year warranty.

Accuracy

This one is accurate and precise and comes with downloadable charts to track your progress.

Affordability

This caliper is highly affordable and comes with a one year warranty.

Popularity

This product comes highly reviewed by many customers and is highly rated all around.
Pros

• Affordable

• Lightweight

• Easy to use

• One year warranty

• Comes with downloadable charts to track progress

Cons

• Not as durable as other options

Accu-Measure

Accu-Measure
Accu-Measure is one of the most recognizable and universally praised manufacturers of fitness accessories around. They are well known for creating high-quality products, such as this portable body fat caliper. Although there aren’t any gimmicks or extra features, this measuring tool is still highly praised.
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Construction

The overall construction of this caliper is a departure from the standard gun-like design, instead opting for something closer to a protractor. However, despite being made of lighter materials and featuring an unconventional style, these are still fully capable of taking accurate measurements.

Features

This is a fairly bare-bones model, without a great deal of gimmicks or add-ons to sell it further. One aspect that can be considered a feature is the lightweight and highly portable design, which enables this measuring tool to be transported easily and without any hassle.
Accuracy

With the aid of an instructional booklet included with every order, this caliper is able to take consistently accurate body fat measurements. Additionally, a small click can be heard when pinching skinfolds, helping to remove the possibility of human error.

Affordability

It makes sense that this product costs so little since it’s essentially two long pieces of plastic connected by a hinge at one end. However, don’t let its modest price fool you. This is still a very useful and accurate tool. Considering just how competently this caliper is designed and manufactured, the low cost is a steal.

Popularity

As is standard with any inexpensive fitness product sold online, hundreds of individuals have purchased these calipers and left their reviews online. The general opinion regarding this product seems to be that it delivers consistent results, while not necessarily the most accurate.
Pros
  • Highly affordable
  • Terrific design
  • Consistent readings
Cons
  • Flimsy material

Lange

Lange
The Lange line of body fat calipers come highly recommended by fitness enthusiasts and medical professionals alike. Their praises are mostly due to the high quality found in their construction and accuracy, but this sadly doesn’t seem to translate into its popularity among the general public.
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Construction

One of the reasons why serious fitness freaks swear by the Lange brand of skinfold caliper is the sturdiness and high quality of its construction. No expense has been spared in the manufacturing of this device, which even includes a protective case. If it is taken care of properly, you can expect this measuring tool to last decades without degradation.

Features

There really isn’t anything particularly noteworthy that Lange includes with this product as an extra feature. The overall quality of the core product speaks for itself. However, there are a few extra things added to this caliper’s package that can be beneficial. This includes a protective case and a calibration block to improve its accuracy.

Accuracy

Speaking of accuracy, this is the biggest selling point for this particular brand of body fat caliper. Thanks to the included calibration block, it’s easy to ensure that the readings you are taking are precise, removing any possibility of error on behalf of the machine.

Affordability

While the construction and accuracy of this body fat caliper is impressive, it comes at a significant cost. The price for this measuring tool is ridiculously high, making it only appealing to the most dedicated fitness freaks. It’s an unfortunate middle ground this caliper falls into, since casual exercise enthusiasts can be satisfied with cheaper alternatives, and serious trainers can pay a slight margin more for even more impressive measuring instruments.

Popularity

Although the overwhelming majority of customers who have purchased this skinfold caliper have stated it was worth the purchase, the total amount of verified customers is low. This is most likely because of the plethora of cheaper alternatives, and isn’t necessarily indicative of any shortcomings from the product itself.
Pros
  • Excellent build quality
  • Bonus calibration block
  • Terrific accuracy
Cons
  • High price

Digital LCD Caliper Analyzer

Digital LCD Caliper Analyzer
Sometimes you don’t want to drop a few hundred dollars on a piece of plastic that pinches your skin. In order to accommodate the needs of this particular demographic, this digital LCD caliper analyzer was made, offering an affordable and portable measuring tool for the common man.
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Construction

Some nice aspects of this measuring tool is its digital display, which can tell you specific skinfold measurements, and its very small size, which makes it highly portable. This results in an excellent piece of equipment you can fit in your gym back if you want to check your progress after a workout session.

Features

When measuring your bodyfat, the digital display can switch the measurement between inches and millimeters. That’s about the only special feature you get with this device; there’s nothing additional that really sells it more than its portability and digital display.

Accuracy

You simply aren’t going to get the same level of accuracy with this digital caliper that you would get with a decent analog caliper. Thanks to its inferior build quality there simply isn’t a guarantee that you will get consistent readings if you use this device. However, if you’re just looking to track changes in skinfolds and aren’t concerned with the exact measurements, this product can suffice.

Affordability

Because this is one of the most inexpensive skinfold calipers available for purchase, a lot of the shortcomings this caliper has can be forgiven. It will never replace a more sturdy and accurate full-size caliper, but its low cost makes it terrific for casual gym goers wanting to track their progress.

Popularity

Although this caliper’s extremely low price and high portability factor make it appealing to many, it’s difficult to find customer reviews for this product online. It may be because it’s a generic product that is resold by multiple vendors. However, some reviews have been left on a few websites that say the item ships in working condition and can be a bit difficult to use at first.
Pros
  • Highly portable
  • Multiple measurement settings
  • Extremely affordable
Cons
  • Limited accuracy

Care Touch

Care Touch
Care Touch has released a skinfold caliper that is geared to easy use and high versatility. An interesting style and bonus measuring tape help to provide multiple approaches to measuring your body, and a helpful chart is included for the inexperienced.
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Construction

This caliper is made entirely of plastic, which means that it is less durable than other calipers containing metal components. Couple that with its unique design and you have a much more fragile caliper that will require careful handling. On the bright side, the included measuring tape is fairly durable and has a protective container.

Features

The main draw of this caliper set that sets it apart from other products is the inclusion of measuring tape. This can help to determine other measurements besides basic body fat readings, which helps to further set these calipers apart. However, there are still other brands that bring more to the table.

Accuracy

Although the lack of a spring-loaded arm or electronic reader can detract slightly from the overall accuracy of this caliber, the additional measuring tape can help offset this setback. Using it in conjunction with the caliper and bonus measuring chart, a decent level of accuracy should be possible.

Affordability

Considering how much product you get for the price, this caliper set is a terrific deal. The caliper and measuring tape are a fraction of the cost that you would have to pay for many other brands, further reinforcing its value. However, you ultimately get what you pay for, with a less accurate and more fragile product.

Popularity

Due to its low cost and bonus accessories, it’s no surprise that so many customers have taken the plunge on this caliper. However, while the majority of reviews left online are positive, there is a significant minority who have expressed disappointment with the fragility and inaccuracy of this product.
Pros
  • Low cost
  • Bonus features
  • Interesting construction
Cons
  • Fragile
  • Inaccurate

Sequoia Fitness TrimCal 4000

Sequoia Fitness TrimCal 4000
Since it is designed for the sole purpose of measuring body fat, this skinfold caliper from Sequoia is terrific at accomplishing this very purpose. The instruction manual that is included in the package will help you figure out what to do and the spring-loaded arm will ensure all readings are accurate.
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Construction

Being constructed primarily of plastic, these calipers are comfortable when measuring skinfolds but not quite as durable as more serious models that predominately use metal for their build. The addition of a spring on the arm helps to maintain accurate measurements without the need for any sort of digital apparatus.

Features

There aren’t many additional features that come with these skinfold calipers. The design is spartan in nature, being intended only for taking body fat measurements. For this reason, customers may be turned off by the lack of calibration tools or carrying cases, but the attached instruction booklet will help them understand the sole purpose for this tool.

Accuracy

If measurements are taken with the aid of the included instruction booklet, they should be consistently accurate. The spring-loaded arm used to take these measurements helps in this regard, and many customers have remarked that they are satisfied with their results when using it.

Affordability

Due to the lack of any frills or gimmicks, these calipers are highly affordable. However, shrewd shoppers can find a few different products that are even less expensive than these, with a minimal loss in accuracy or features. Regardless, the price for these calipers is justified and a very good value.

Popularity

With a low price and recognizable brand name, many people have purchased these Sequoia calipers and left reviews. Out of the aggregate reviews left online, the vast majority have been positive, with customers praising the accuracy and sturdiness of this model. One minor complaint is that this measuring tool isn’t ambidextrous, meaning left-handed individuals will have a tougher time making measurements.
Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Comfortable
  • Decent accuracy
Cons
  • Less durable material

Brown and Sharpe IP40

Brown and Sharpe IP40
These high-end calipers from Brown and Sharpe are designed to offer highly precise width measurements that are accurate within a fraction of a fraction of an inch. For these purposes, the IP40 digital calipers are an excellent choice, especially for use in measuring things beside body fat. However, the fact that these aren’t intended for skinfold measurements make them less appealing for this purpose.
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Construction

Brown and Sharpe are well known for their extremely well-made measuring tools, and this caliper doesn’t fall far from that tree. Stainless steel construction ensures that this tool is highly durable and resistant to spills. Unfortunately, these calipers weren’t designed with the intention of being used for skinfold measurements, so the points used for making these measurements are very uncomfortable.

Features

In addition to a highly precise electronic measuring system, this high-end caliper has the ability to sync wirelessly with other measuring tools. A thumb wheel allows for meticulous adjustments in a convenient and comfortable way, and the placement of analog measurements along the side of the caliper offers a greater degree of accuracy.

Accuracy

In order to provide a highly accurate measurement every time, the Brown and Sharpe IP40 has both analog and electronic measuring tools. The LCD screen on the front provides readings that are accurate to three-thousandths of a millimeter, and the ruler-like markings along the side offer a failsafe and second opinion.

Affordability

This is a high-end measuring tool with a price to match. The value gained from this investment is certainly present, considering the very high build quality and precision. However, considering that these calipers aren’t even intended for use in taking body fat measurements, this higher price tag can be unjustified for individuals looking to only use calipers in this way. Because of that, these are only really affordable to individuals who want a caliper for other purposes in addition to skinfold measurements.

Popularity

Due to its highly specific purposes and high price tag, there aren’t very many customer reviews for this Brown and Sharpe product. However, those who have left feedback are very pleased with their product, admiring its durability and precision. One customer stated that they appreciate the accuracy of this electronic caliper despite the fact that they usually prefer the analog variety, which is a real testament to its quality.
Pros
  • Very accurate
  • Excellent durability
  • High versatility
Cons
  • Not intended for skinfold measuring

Frankford Arsenal

Frankford Arsenal
Frankford have designed an excellent set of measuring calipers that are both highly affordable and packed with appealing features. It certainly shouldn’t be your first choice for making skinfold measurements, but the level of accuracy offered with this product can certainly provide that service.
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Construction

One important thing to note about this set is that it wasn’t designed for use as a bodyfat caliper. Instead, this is a standard measuring caliper for use in construction and design. Because of this, you can expect a high level of build quality but also a high level of discomfort when pinching your skin to take measurements.

Features

In order to provide highly precise measurements, the Frankford Arsenal Electronic Caliper comes with features for this purpose. The electronic screen that displays measurements can be switched between imperial and metric readings, and a protective case will prevent damage that can throw off its calibration.

Accuracy

Being designed to measure width for the purposes of engineering and design, these calipers are accurate to within one one-thousandth of an inch. This means that so long as you are able to measure the same spot every time, you will receive a consistent and highly accurate body fat measurement.

Affordability

Although there are a few cheaper calipers on the market, the amount of features and level of build quality offered by this set more than justifies the slight price boost. These calipers can also be used for taking measurements other than body fat, which adds to the overall value.

Popularity

Many customers have purchased these calipers and left reviews singing its praises. Some common compliments regarding the Frankford Arsenal is that it can deliver consistently accurate measurements and how simple it is to use. However, no one has mentioned their experience using it to measure body fat.
Pros
  • Highly accurate
  • Very affordable
  • Decent quality
Cons
  • Uncomfortable

The Criteria We Used to Determine the Best Body Fat Calipers

We considered several factors when determining the top 10 best body fat calipers on this list. Below you will find a breakdown of the criteria we used to rank the products we chose.

Construction

Construction is an important aspect to consider when choosing your caliber because it attests to the product’s overall quality and durability. To begin, you should first consider the materials the caliber is constructed from–metal and glass calibers are an excellent option, while plastic ones are far less durable and can become less precise over time. Some calibers may also have electronic components that can facilitate their use and provide you with additional features.  Lastly, you should also consider the caliber’s comfort–some may be made of high-quality material but this may make them more comfortable or difficult to use.

Features

While calipers technically only need to pinch a portion of skin on your arm along with specific markings to determine your body fat measurements, additional features can also improve the product’s overall effectiveness and accuracy. Many products come with a guide to help you determine your body fat percentage while others provide you with a carrying case, electronic measuring tools, or additional measuring materials.

Accuracy

Although these calipers don’t provide the same level of accuracy as a hydrostatic body fat tester, it’s still important the body fat caliper you choose to provide you with precise measurements that are as accurate as possible. When looking at accuracy, we also looked at whether or not the caliber is able to take consistent measurements in the same area.

Affordability

Body fat calibers are an affordable option compared to the more expensive hydrostatic body fat testing you can have done. The products on our list vary when it comes to how affordable they are and we have made sure to include an option for all budgets.

Popularity

With all of the options available, it’s important to know which ones truly work and distinguish them from those that don’t do the job. So, instead of looking at the price make sure to look for the products with the most verified review–in this case, the more popular products tend to be the better options.

Other Important Factors to Consider

While the factors above are the most important to consider before choosing a body fat caliper, there are also additional features to consider before making your decision. Below you will find some additionals factors to take into consideration before making your purchase.

Warranty

If you are choosing one of the less expensive products on our list a warranty may not be your biggest concern. However, if you are looking to spend a little more money and end up choosing a high-end product then a warranty may give you peace of mind and justify the overall cost of the product.

Units of Measurement

Regardless of whether you live in the United States or in Europe, you will want to purchase a product that uses the unit of measurement you prefer and are more comfortable with.

FAQs

Q: Can I measure my body fat with a non-skinfold measuring caliper?

It is technically possible to measure your body fat with a hardware caliper that isn’t intended to measure your body fat. However, doing so is not recommended and will be highly uncomfortable to do.

Q: Can I measure my body fat without a caliper?

This is possible, however, it will not be as accurate.

Q: Do I need a partner to measure my body with a caliper?

While you can do it yourself, it will be more difficult to do so. It is also recommended you have a friend or medical professional assist with measurement process so the right spots on your body are properly measured.

Q: What formula should I use to determine my body fat percentage?

There are several formulas you can use to determine your body fat percentage–the most common method is the Jackson & Pollock method which involves inputting measurements from 7 different parts of your body. If your caliper comes with a guide follow their suggested formula, otherwise, you can find the right formula for you by searching online or talking to a medical professional.

Q: How many places on my body should I measure with a caliper?

This will depend on the formula you are using–making this number anywhere from 4 to 12 different points on the body. The most popular method, Jackson & Pollock, measures seven points: your chest area, your abdominal area, your thigh, your tricep, your subscapular area, your suprailiac area, and your midaxillary area.

Q: What is a healthy body fat percentage to have?

What constitutes a healthy body fat percentage varies from person to person–with your age and gender playing a big role in determining whether or not a certain level is considered healthy or unhealthy. For young men, anything between 5% to 25% is considered healthy, with anything above 25% being considered obese. Young women, on the other hand, should stay between 10%-30%. As we age these numbers increase with men having a healthy range extend to 35% and women to 37%.

 

Sources

  1. Shannon Clark, The Idiot's Guide To Testing Your Body Fat!, Article, Feb 05, 2016
  2. Doug Lawrenson, How To Measure Your Body Fat % Using Calipers, Article,
  3. Michele Dolan, How to Use Body Fat Calipers, Encyclopedia article, Jul 23, 2017
  4. HealthScene Fitness, Body Fat Calipers, Article,
  5. Ryan Walters, 4 Reasons Calipers Fail to Give Accurate Body Fat Results, Article, Jul 29, 2015
  6. Exercise Equipment Review, A Guide to Choosing and Using Body Fat Calipers, Article,
  7. FitnessWave, Hydrostatic Body Fat Testing, Article,
  8. New Health Advisor, Charts of Body Fat Percentage by Gender and Age, Article, Jan 01, 2014
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