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The Best Smart Scales for Accurately Tracking Your Fitness Progress
Wirelessly weigh in and track your metrics with these digital training tools.
Weighing yourself daily can be a great habit to develop, especially for those looking to embark on a weight loss journey. Not only can this regular check-in be a motivating factor showcasing how influential your training and diet have been, but it can also just be a nice way to stay on top of your body’s metrics and data. Think about it: you don’t need to sign up for advanced appointments or ask for help in taking measurements.
All that’s needed is a few free minutes in the morning…and a proper at-home scale. Sure, you can probably find a worthwhile bathroom scale that gives you accurate weight recordings, but if you’re looking to monitor progress or want to unlock even more data for your journey, consider looking at a smart scale.
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What Are Smart Scales?
Like other smart home devices including lamps, locks and more, smart scales bring a sense of digital advancement to an otherwise utilitarian profile. While today’s scales can still monitor your weight, the inclusion of specific sensors allows you to also track other health-related metrics. Statistics like body fat percentage, body mass index, muscle mass, heart rate and more are all viewable in one session, giving you a more detailed view of your performance and stature.
Additionally, smart scales often pair with a corresponding app or device, keeping detailed records of your daily readings for the sake of progress monitoring. You don’t have to constantly write down or log your daily totals, anymore. The data is conveniently sent via Bluetooth or WiFi to your smartphone or other device.
How Do Smart Scales Work?
To unlock and monitor all those potential body composition statistics, many smart scales employ what’s known as bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). This process has you stand on the scale’s sensors with your bare feet — no shoes or socks — as a painless electrical current passes through your body. The relative statistics are then estimated by how this electric pulse travels through your body, and while this process is not as surefire way to measure your body composition like, say, a DEXA scan, it can be a good indicator of your measurables that goes beyond the simple weight readouts of other scales.
Editor’s Note: The electric current sent out during BIA is safe for most adults and children, but if you have a pacemaker or other implanted device, BIA could interfere with it. Don’t use a smart scale if you have one of these devices.
Why Get a Smart Scale?
Smart scales are a reasonable addition to your fitness get-up for a number of reasons. For one, their connection to your smartphone or other devices like a fitness tracker or running watch makes it easier to monitor your weight loss and progress over a given time. Other, less connected scales put the burden on you to chart and log your data, which isn’t always the most seamless (or enjoyable) experience.
Additionally, smart scales are also worthwhile, given their ability to estimate body composition. Sure, the measurements aren’t as accurate as a DEXA scan or needed by all athletes, but these estimations can be great for understanding more about your body’s performance and where your results are coming from. For example, if you’re looking to lose weight while practicing a lifting regimen, the BIA could help you better understand that while your overall weight remained unchanged, your body fat decreased while muscle mass saw a slight uptick. This more informed approach can make fitness journeys more seamless and less stressful, creating a better environment for everyone.
How to Choose a Smart Scale
Because of the heightened capabilities and more digitally-tuned features, there are a few things to keep in mind when searching for your new smart scale. Below are a few items worth considering before finalizing your cart:
Like any scale for the home, you want to make sure your device is capable of measuring without hesitation. Ensure your smart scale’s max weight is higher than your highest weight total. Not only can this eliminate the headaches of non-readouts, but this can also help preserve the materials and sensors used throughout the construction. For reference, most smart scales carry a weight capacity near 400 lbs., but some are more delicate and can only withstand 330 lbs. or lighter.
Not all BIA measurement processes generate the same metrics, so it’s important to make sure your smart scale delivers the data you desire when it comes to your fitness journey. The number of metrics available can vary, with offerings ranging from 2–16. We recommend finalizing a few major metrics, like BMI and muscle mass, and seeking out profiles offering these readouts. After all, you’re not signing up for less or more time on the scale when there are fewer or more available readings.
Additionally, some smart scales allow for a variety of measurement modes designed for specific body types and situations. For example, some scales allow for pregnancy modes that can help monitor not just your weight but your growing baby’s. Other options like athlete and kid modes take different body structures into consideration for more accurate readouts. If these interest you or can apply themselves, make sure your scale is capable of these varying modes.
Once your readings have been confirmed on a smart scale, the data is sent to an app or tracking module to log it for reference. While some scales may use the brand’s companion app for these needs, others are able to send metrics to other fitness apps for more streamlined syncing purposes. Additionally, this versatile syncing structure allows you to keep all your worthwhile data in one place without having to hop from one interface to another.
If you prefer to have your health metrics in one platform, make sure the smart scale you choose supports data syncing with that module.
Typically, most smart scales use either batteries or a rechargeable pack to keep the device powered throughout its use. Because of the limited time, your smart scale is on during the course of a day, though, the charges from either option can last quite some time before needing to be replenished. There’s no standout here, so it’s really down to personal preference. If you do opt for a battery-powered profile, though, make sure to have a few on hand or in storage — there’s nothing worse than stepping onto a scale only to find it dead with no chance of a quick solution.
Smart scales offer a personalized look at your body composition and weight, but they are by no means a personal device. Other members of the household or abode are plenty able to utilize the measuring potential of this fitness tool, provided the scale is capable of supporting multiple user profiles. Some scales have no limit on how many athletes it can support, while others may only be able to effectively measure 4–6 without worry. Make sure your scale’s platform can support your required roster if you know your device will be used by multiples under one roof.
How We Tested
Over the course of multiple weeks, we utilized a number of the below picks to test each profile’s accuracy and effectiveness in measuring our weight and other metrics. We compared readings side-by-side to determine accuracy, as well as compared it to our normal morning weigh-in habits that involve more traditional bathroom scales. Outside of the available metrics and efficiency, we also took note of how easy each smart scale was to set up, highlighting connectivity, charging and other factors. Lastly, while not a major point of emphasis, we did look at the overall aesthetics of each silhouette, because what’s the point of using a fitness tool in your regimen if it doesn’t look somewhat good, right?
Now, let’s weigh in on the best smart scales available today.