Today’s bathroom scales do much more than measure weight. Many have sensors that can estimate body metrics like your muscle mass and body fat, calculate your body mass index, measure your heart rate, and even calculate your basal metabolic rate, all in an effort to track your health, reach a goal. fitness or help you.
Smart bathroom scales use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to sync all the body composition metrics they record about you with an app on your phone. Usually that’s the app of the company that makes the scale, but in most cases, you can also sync that data with popular fitness apps like Google Fit or Apple Health, which can help you contextualize your composition measurements. body but incorporating these data to the existing information. the apps have about your training and dietary habits. Like we said, a Bluetooth smart scale does a lot more than bathroom scales of the past.
To make it easier for youLet’s go over the pros and cons of the best smart models on the market from Withings, Fitbit, Garmin and others.
James Martin / CNET
What makes the Eufy Smart Scale so great is not just the scale itself, but the accompanying app. The app, available for iOS and Android, is very easy to navigate and provides detailed data and reports on your weight, body fat, water, muscle mass, bone mass, BMI, BMR, and more. The app will also mark those measurements as low, normal, or high, so you know how your health stats compare to what’s considered the standard in health and fitness for your height and age.
the Eufy scale supports up to 16 different users in the application. Just select the correct user in the Eufy app and all your smart scale data and metrics will sync to that profile in the mobile app. It also connects with the Apple Health app and Fitbit app.
James Martin / CNET
The Withings digital bathroom scale comes packed with many features that go beyond the rest. It provides detailed historical data and metrics about your weight, BMI, body fat, muscle mass, body water, heart rate, and bone mass, so you can see how those measurements and your health and fitness change over weeks, months, quarters, and years. This Withings scale also records the weather every day you step on the scale, to help you decide what to wear if you step on the smart scale first thing in the morning.
What sets Body Cardio apart is that it has modes for pregnant women, babies, and athletes, each tailored to specific needs. If you want the smart scale to track your pregnancy, it will chart your weight changes over the course of your pregnancy and suggest that you turn off the body composition functions, which are not as accurate while charging.
Baby mode allows you to hold your baby and step on the smart scale to measure just his weight. Athlete mode is designed for professional athletes, bodybuilders and anyone who weighs more because it has a lot of muscle mass and low body fat and BMI.
Two more bonuses: this bathroom scale uses a rechargeable battery (lasts for about 18 months); Many scales run on a bunch of AA or AAA batteries, and support up to eight different users.
Already using a Garmin activity tracker? Then you may want to get a Garmin Index S2 to go along with it. This scale is an upgrade from the Index scale that I originally tested in 2019. The Index S2 includes a new on-screen weight tracking feature that tracks weight changes during the last 30 days of readings.
The Garmin Connect app (Android and iOS) offers a holistic view of your health, including data and metrics such as your 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 offers accurate graphs to track weight loss and other data for a week, a month, and a year. It uses four AA batteries and the battery life is up to nine months.
The Fitbit Aria Air is the latest smart scale from Fitbit and measures weight, BMI and body fat. This digital bathroom scale is the best for people who currently use a Fitbit device and want all of their data (activity, nutrition, weight, BMI, body fat, sleep) on a single dashboard.
The Aria Air is an update to the Aria 2 that I tested last year. This Fitbit scale has a sleeker style and a new display. Like Air 2, you can have multiple profiles for different family members, and each of your metrics and data is saved to your user profiles in the Fitbit app (Android and iOS).
The shortcomings of measuring body fat with a scale
All of these smart scales go far beyond the offerings of a typical digital scale. Each of them can measure your body composition, weight, and body mass index, or BMI, using an electrical current that travels from the scale sensor through your leg, through your pelvis, and down the other leg. It measures how much resistance the current encounters, and then uses a mathematical formula to estimate how much fat, muscle, and bone make up your total weight.
While these characteristics are helpful, they are not always reliable in detecting lean versus fat mass. Consumer Reports tested the accuracy of many scales that measure BMI and body fat percentage and found that most did not hit the mark compared to a BodyPod, one of the gold standard clinical tests for body fat measurements.
Data inaccuracies when it comes to fat percentage can be attributed to many things, including if you are sick, retain water weight, have recently exercised, are menstruating, or have consumed alcohol. One of the most influential factors is where you bear your weight: If your chest and arms are thin, but you have more fat and muscle in your pelvis and legs, you could miscalculate your total body fat percentage.
Each smart scale I stepped on gave me a different body fat percentage, but each number was within a 10% range. But for the muscle mass percentage measurements, the range was between 33% and 63%. Two of the scales I tested provide a basal metabolic rateBut there was a whopping 631 calorie difference between the two. That’s more than one McDonald’s Big Mac or three Krispy Kreme glazed donuts.
It is also worth mentioning that BMI is not considered an accurate measurement of body fat or general fitness, so even correct BMI information should be viewed with caution.
All of this is to say, don’t get caught up in those metrics. Follow the instructions that come with your smart scale to get the most accurate measurements and data possible, and if you’re concerned about your body fat percentage, body composition, health, or fitness, talk to your doctor about getting a proper scan. . All the models on this list of the best smart scales provide accurate readings when it comes to body weight, which is the most important factor when concentrating on weight loss. We will update this list periodically.
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The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.