A scale used to be a relatively simple device for measuring your weight. But thanks to the proliferation of Wi-Fi, scales are beginning to become a lot more “smart”. And these WiFi smart scales are starting to see a rise in popularity.
Many of them now have added features in the form of wireless functionality and memory to store simple metrics such as BMI or your lean body mass. Some even have their own smartphone apps, or sync with many of the popular fitness tracking apps on the market.
And while the idea of a smart scale is still fairly new, already there are quite a few different devices that are being released that have many new interesting and exciting features. I decided to compare the top models, and give you a short buying guide on what to look for in your search for a shiny new smart scale. Take a look at our guide below to find out more about body metrics and my opinion on how to choose the best smart scale.
Smart Scale Guide
BMI or body mass index is your weight divided by your height. Essentially this is quick and easy way to determine if you are overweight or underweight. Since you enter your height and age into the smart scale when you first set it up, it can calculate this automatically whenever you step on the scale to measure your weight.
Body fat percentage
Your body fat percentage is measured by your total fat mass divided by your total body mass. Smart scales can measure this metric, and they do so by use of a bioimpedance sensor. Bioimpedance sensors work by by sending a tiny undetectable amount of electrical currents through your body. The scale will be able to read the resistance of this electricity and calculate your body fat percentage based on the age and height information that you enter when you first set up the scale.
Since fat tends to reside close to the surface of the skin, this can be a somewhat accurate way to measure your body fat percentage without going to a doctor or using a skin fold caliper.
Lean body mass
Your lean body mass or LBM for short is comprised of everything in your body except fat. Smart skills can calculate this in a similar manner as your body fat.
Most smart scales connect wirelessly via Bluetooth. However there are a few that only support 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. Bluetooth is better for pairing with devices like mobile phones and tablets. And Wi-Fi is better suited to things like wireless routers. Some scales support both protocols.
Most devices support Android and iOS, although there are a few oddballs here and there. Some even support Windows phones which is more of a convenience factor than anything else. This is more of a personal preference as the is the vast majority mobiles use Android or iOS.
Most smart scales have on board memory. This allows it to store the data of a certain amount of people in your household. Typically, this is around eight. But there are some scales they can store an unlimited number of profiles.
Scales like the Fitbit Aria can pair with the Fitbit app to sync data between your fitness tracker and your smart scale. Other smart skills will support third party applications to make syncing up your data much easier. This is mostly device dependent.
Smart Scale Reviews: Top Picks
Below are our top 5 favorite smart scales.
Fitbits Aria is a pretty decent smart scale on its own. But where the Aria smart scale really shines is Fitbits app support and the ability to use it alongside your Fitbit activity tracker. The scale has its own tab in the app with many dedicated and detailed charts and graphs to track your overall progress. You can also sync the scale with your fit bit tracker and utilize the calorie coaching portion of the app to help you achieve your goals.
The only downside to the Aria is that it does not offer Bluetooth connectivity. The setup can be a bit cumbersome and may require you to reconfigure your router, which was the case for me. I feel fitbit could make the process a little more user friendly simply by including a Bluetooth option. Maybe for their next product this will be the case.
The Withings smart scale is one fully loaded device. In addition to being able to track your BMI, lean body mass, and body fat percentage, the device also has an embedded heart rate monitor. This scale makes it very easy to keep track of your resting heart rate and see if your fitness routine is paying off.
The WS50 supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. It also has the unique distinction of being compatible with Windows devices which is a nice extra.
The Withings also has decent third party applications support. I was able to use it with Myfitnesspal to track my caloric intake.
The scale also have a lot of extras thrown in: you’ll get daily weather report and an air quality tester. Supposedly the scale is able to detect high levels of CO2 and will warn you when it’s time to clear the air.
Garmin is a big name in the fitness tracking industry, and their smart scale certainly doesn’t disappoint. Along with numerous connectivity options (including ANT+) the scale can measure your water percentage and bone mass density. I’m not sure how accurate such a measurement would be, however it is nice to see that Garmin has gone the extra mile here.
Where the Scale really shines its ability to sync up with the Garmin Connect app, since one of the major problems with the app was the fact that you had to enter your weight manually. The scale will automatically update the app (anytime your weight fluctuates) the moment you step on it.
The Balance is a fairly basic smart scale. Its main strengths are its large on board memory, which allows you to store the data for 16 users. The scale also has pretty decent third party application support. I was able to sync the scale with apps like Mapmyfitness, Apple Health, Lose it!, and Myfitnesspal.
The only downside to the Balance is that it only supports iOS devices.
With its minimalistic design the Cordio base is a great fit for the aesthetically conscious consumer.
Feature wise, the scale will keep track of your BMI, body fat, muscle mass, and water composition. The scale also has a smart feedback system – which operates by flashing a smiley on the face of the unit provided you’re on track with your goals. If you are slipping up or downright failing you will get a nervous face or frown. A nice touch, and it makes keeping track of your weight goals a breeze. Additionally, skill features a pregnancy mode for expectant mothers.
It seems like Wi-Fi is everywhere these days. Between televisions, refrigerators, microwaves, and now even scales our world is becoming more connected than ever. This can make keeping track of the latest technology a little bit of a chore. Hopefully with this guide you have found the best smart scale that will suit your needs.