Personal scales have come a long way – now a fleet of intelligent scales offers morebeyond a number to . For example, the best smart scales can help you track your body weight over time, measure how much fat and muscle you have, and much more. Whether you have a specific fitness, weight loss goal, or just interested in your health stats, a smart scale can be a helpful purchase.
To make it easierLet's go through the pros and cons of the best smart models on the market from Withings, Fitbit, Garmin, and others.
What is a smart scale?
Put simply, a smart scale is a scale that uses Bluetooth or a Wi-Fi connection to share any measurement data recorded about you with a health app on your phone such as the Fitbit app, Apple Health, Google Fit, or other fitness apps Go to sync with your fitness tracker of your choice. Many of these bathroom scales have sensors that allow you to measure body fat percentage (including BMI and visceral fat), muscle mass, bone mass, heart rate, and other fitness measurements and data in addition to weighing.
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The mistakes in measuring body fat with a scale
These intelligent scales go far beyond what a typical digital scale can offer. All of the scales on this list can measure your body composition, weight, and BMI with an electrical current flowing from the scale's sensor through your leg, across your pelvis, and across the other leg. It measures how much resistance the current is encountering and then uses a mathematical formula to estimate how much fat, muscle, and bones make up your total weight.
While these functions are useful, they are not always reliable for measuring lean mass versus fat. Consumer reports tested the accuracy of many scales that measure BMI and body fat percentage and found that most underperformed when compared to a BodyPod – one of the gold standard clinical tests for body fat measurements.
Fat percentage data inaccuracies can be attributed to many things, such as: For example, if you are sick, hold water, have recently exercised, are menstruating, or have consumed alcohol. One of the most influential factors is where you carry your weight – if your chest and arms are slim, but you have more fat and muscle in your pelvis and legs, your total body fat percentage may be miscalculated.
Every smart scale I stepped on gave me a different percentage of body fat, but every number was within a 10% range. However, for percentage measurements of muscle mass, the range was between 33% and 63%. Two of the scales I tested provide a basal metabolic rate, but there was an incredible 631 calories difference between the two. That's more than a McDonald & # 39; s Big Mac or three glazed Krispy Kreme donuts.
It's also worth noting that BMI is not considered an accurate measure of body fat or general fitness. Hence, even correct BMI information should be ingested with a grain of salt.
All of this means you won't get caught up in these metrics. For the most accurate measurements and data possible, follow the instructions that came with your smart scale. If you are concerned about your body fat percentage, body composition, health, or fitness, talk to your doctor about a proper scan. These scales all give accurate readings when it comes to weight – which is the most important factor in your focus on weight loss. We will update this list regularly.
James Martin / CNET
Of all the smart scale models I've tested, this Bluetooth smart scale is my favorite. This is mainly because the Eufy app (iOS and Android) that you use with the digital scale is very easy to navigate. The app tracks and gives you detailed data and reports on weight, body fat, water, muscle and bone mass, BMI, BMR and more. – detailed health and fitness information. The app also marks these measurements as low, normal, or high so you know how your health stats compare to what is considered the standard of health and fitness for your size and age.
Comparing my stats to other scales, the Eufy Smart scale seemed to be the most consistent with their data, even though my BMR is suspiciously high. One of the best things about the Eufy Scale is that it supports up to 16 different users in the app. Just select the right user in the Eufy app and all your data and metrics on the smart scale will be synced with that profile in the mobile app. It also connects to the Apple Health app and the Fitbit app.
James Martin / CNET
The Withings digital bathroom scale has many features that go beyond the rest. It includes detailed historical data and metrics on weight, BMI, body fat, muscle mass, body water, heart rate and bone mass, so you can see how these measurements, as well as your health and fitness, change over weeks, months, quarters and years. This Withings scale also records the weather every day you jump on the scale to help you decide what to wear when you step on the smart scale first thing in the morning.
The special thing about Body Cardio is that there are modes for pregnant women, babies and athletes, each tailored to the specific needs. If you want the smart scale to track your pregnancy, it will record your weight changes as your pregnancy progresses and suggest turning off body composition features that are not as accurate while you wear them.
In baby mode, you can hold your child and step on the smart scales to only measure their weight. Athlete mode is for professional athletes, bodybuilders, and anyone who weighs heavier because they have a lot of muscle mass and low body fat and BMI.
Two other bonuses: This bathroom scale uses a rechargeable battery (with a battery life of approximately 18 months) – many scales run on AA or AAA batteries – and supports up to eight different users.
Read our Withings Body Cardio Scale review.
James Martin / CNET
Already using a Garmin fitness tracker? Then you might want to get a Garmin Index Smart Scale with it. The Garmin Connect app (Android and iOS) provides a holistic view of your health, including data and metrics such as activity level, weight, BMI, body fat percentage, and other measurements and data.
The smart scale measures weight, BMI, body fat, body water, muscle mass and bone mass, and provides accurate charts to track weight loss and other data over a week, month and year. It uses four AA batteries and has a battery life of up to nine months.
James Martin / CNET
The Fitbit Aria 2 Wi-Fi Scale measures weight, BMI, and body fat, but gave me less data than the rest of the Smart Scale competition. These digital bathroom scales are best for people who currently have a Fitbit wearable and want to keep all of their data – activity, diet, weight, BMI, body fat, sleep – in one dashboard. The Aria 2 also gets points for being really cute. As you interact with the smart scale, you will see an animated face smiling at you and going to sleep when the device goes into standby mode. Long-time Fitbit users probably won't be surprised by this feature – it's standard on all devices that connect to a Fitbit dashboard.
This device also includes a Lean mode for professional athletes or bodybuilders whose physique is different from the average person. Also, up to eight people can use the Aria 2, and each of their metrics and data is stored in the Fitbit app (Android and iOS) in their user profiles.
James Martin / CNET
While the JaxJox personal scale is best used with the JaxJox smart kettle bell, activity tracker, and / or heart rate monitor, it does a good job on its own. Even if you don't own another JaxJox product, this body fat scale is worth your attention as its BMR and BMI measurements and data have been the most accurate from any of the scales I have tested and in relation to your digital bathroom scale, accurate readings are king .
It also measures visceral fat, and research is now showing that visceral fat is the fat most associated with insulin resistance, high levels of bad cholesterol, and low levels of good cholesterol. This smart scale is also cheaper than most of the scales on this list. With the app (Android and iOS) you can sync your activity data from the Apple Health app with your mobile device (iPhone only).
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions about a disease or health goals.