Best Smart Scale:
Which Smart Scale to Buy in 2017 and Why

Smart scales at a glance

Smart scales make tracking your weight (and its changes) very simple. You don’t need to write anything down. Just step on the scale and it will not only show you your weight (and other metrics, depending on the scale) but will also send the measurements to the health app of your choice. This makes it easy to see how your weight changes over time and, if connected to a fitness tracker, makes it possible to analyze how your food choices and exercise influence your weight. Read on to learn how to choose the best smart scale and save money.

What is it?

image of withings smart scaleSmart scale is a bathroom scale that transmits the measurements wirelessly to your smartphone or computer, so you don’t have to worry about recording your weight manually. Many smart scales track not only your weight but also other metrics like body fat percentage, BMI (Body Mass Index), Muscle Mass, etc.

Who is it for?

For anyone willing to track their weight without the need to manually record the measurements, but mostly for those who are already using some kind of fitness trackers to monitor their activity

How much does it cost?

On average smart scales cost anywhere between 50 and 200 USD

What are the best smart scales out there?

That depends on several factors, including the activity trackers you’re already using (if any) and what metrics beside the weight you want to track. We have chosen the best smart scales for each scenario in our Top Picks lists

How do they compare to each other?

We have compiled a huge Ultimate Smart Scale Comparison Table just for this purpose

Friendly warning!
This is a really long article (4,400+ words on the last count!). To make it easier to navigate, you will find a handy Table of Contents below.

In a hurry? Here is our recommendation we discuss below:
(Click to see the current price on Amazon)

Best Smart Scale – Withings Body

What is it?

image of withings smart scaleSmart scale is a bathroom scale that transmits the measurements wirelessly to your smartphone or computer, so you don’t have to worry about recording your weight manually. Many smart scales track not only your weight but also other metrics like body fat percentage, BMI (Body Mass Index), Muscle Mass, etc.

Who is it for?

For anyone willing to track their weight without the need to manually record the measurements, but mostly for those who are already using some kind of fitness trackers to monitor their activity

How much does it cost?

On average smart scales cost anywhere between 50 and 200 USD

What are the best smart scales out there?

That depends on several factors, including the activity trackers you’re already using (if any) and what metrics beside the weight you want to track. We have chosen the best smart scales for each scenario in our Top Picks lists

How do they compare to each other?

We have compiled a huge Ultimate Smart Scale Comparison Table just for this purpose

Smart Scales buying guide

Home appliances are increasingly becoming “smart” nowadays. One of the latest newcomers to the party is the smart scale. The term “smart” simply means the scale can transmit the results of your weighings wirelessly to the cloud or directly to your phone. You can then analyze the results, see the (hopefully right) trends and decide whether you need to change your fitness regime somehow.

Most smart scales not only measure your weight, but also track one or more of the other important metrics, like:

  • body fat percentage (which part of your body is fat),
  • BMI (body mass index, a generally accepted metric of a person’s body fat),
  • muscle and bone mass, and other metrics

The data is then synced with the health app and can be used to see the trends and past results.

While useful on its own, a smart scale shines when used together with the activity/fitness trackers. By tracking the exercise you get, along with the calories you consume, you can see what influence it has on your weight and make necessary adjustments.

Most fitness tracker manufacturers also offer smart scales (Fitbit, Withings, Polar, Garmin, etc.) and if you already own an activity tracker from one of those companies, the choice is easy – it usually makes sense to stay within the same ecosystem.

If you don’t have a fitness tracker or want to learn more about the smart scales, read our step-by-step Guide to choosing the perfect smart scale for you.

If you just want to know which ones we recommend, jump over to our Top Picks section.

Step 1

Ecosystem: Are you already using a fitness tracker?

Already using a fitness tracker from Fitbit, Withings, Garmin, Under Armour, Xiaomi or Polar? Get a smart scale from the same manufacturer. This way you get to use the familiar interface and minimize the risk of running into any issues with syncing the two devices.

Fitbit offers Fitbit Aria, Withings has Withings Body and the newer Withings Body Cardio, which adds heart rate and pulse wave velocity tracking into the mix. Garmin has a Garmin Index, while Polar offers its Polar Balance.

Don’t have a fitness tracker or want to consider other options? Read on and we’ll help you choose.

Step 2

Metrics you want to track

Now let’s see what metrics you want your scale to track.

All scales will track your weight (obviously!), allowing you to switch between lb and kg (and, sometimes, stones and cattys). image of biceps muscleMost scales will also show your BMI – Body Mass Index. This is a measure of body fat and it’s derived from your mass and height, so you would need to tell the scale your height for it to be able to calculate the BMI. Generally, a BMI of 18.5 or less is considered underweight, anything between 18.5 and 25 is normal, while 25 and above is overweight. Keep in mind there are exceptions to these rules. A very muscular person would, for example, get a very high BMI, even though they would be perfectly fit. In that case, a body fat percentage (below) is a better indicator.

Now, to less common metrics you might find in smart scales:

  • body fat percentage (considered one of the most accurate and vital fitness metrics, body fat percentage is your body fat mass divided by your total body mass. Athletes and bodybuilders usually aim for body fat of 12% or less (20% for women), as this is when the coveted “six pack” emerges)
  • muscle mass (the weight of all the muscles in your body. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your muscle mass along with your weight to make sure you’re not losing your muscle when trying to lose weight)
  • bone mass (while it’s unlikely your bone mass will change significantly in the short term, it’s recommended to track this metric over the long term to make sure you maintain a healthy diet rich in calcium)
  • body water percentage (the total amount of fluid in your body. Drinking enough water is essential for keeping your body functioning properly. The normal ranges are 45-60% for women and 50-65% for men)

Withings Body Cardio also tracks your standing heart rate (though the jury is still out how accurate it is) and pulse wave velocity (the speed with which the heart sends blood across the arteries. Generally, the lower the speed, the better).

Keep in mind, that the smart scales track most of these metrics via bioelectrical impedance analysis, which is a fancy way of saying that the scale sends a tiny current through your body and then measures the impedance as it goes through different tissues. Since different tissues have different impedance, it makes it possible for the scale to calculate your fat-free body mass and all the other metrics from there. Unfortunately, this method is far from being perfect, but should give you accurate enough numbers to be able to track the trends, which is what you’re after.

Important: if you are pregnant or use a pacemaker, avoid using the bioelectrical impedance analysis. Most scales will allow you to turn it off easily.

Step 3

Fitness Apps you use

Since the goal of the “smart” scale is to get your measurements over to the fitness app of your choice, it’s a good idea to make sure your scale supports the app that you’re using. That’s why we generally recommend going for the same manufacturer if you’re already using an activity tracker.

Most scales work with their proprietary and, occasionally, one or more of third-party apps (MyFitnessPal being the most popular). Withings is probably leading the pack here since it claims it supports more than a 100 of different fitness apps.

Step 4

Connection Technology: WiFi or Bluetooth

image if wifi symbolWhen it comes to transferring the data to the cloud, there are a few options here. You will likely see one or more of the following:

  • WiFi (the scale connects to your home’s WiFi network and uses it to transmit the data)
  • Bluetooth (the scale connects directly to your smartphone via Bluetooth)
  • occasionally, you might also see ANT+ (a low power sensor similar to Bluetooth)

image of bluetooth symbolKeep in mind, that with most WiFI-enabled smart scales Bluetooth and ANT are usually only used once during the initial setup process. The data is then transmitted via WiFi.

Generally, WiFi option is preferable since you don’t need to worry about having your smartphone close enough to the scale for the syncing to work (as is the case with Bluetooth). However, if your home doesn’t have WiFi, there are Bluetooth options available. Just make sure your phone is not too far away and the Bluetooth is on when stepping on a scale.

Step 5

Display and other features

When choosing a scale make sure the display is big and bright. A large display makes it easy to see the numbers and allows to show more data on a single screen, while a backlit or high-contrast display makes sure you see the numbers even if the lighting is not ideal.

Other things to consider are the max weight a scale can handle (most scales are rated up to 400 lbs/180 kg, but some can only handle up to 350 lbs/150 kg), and how many readings can the scale save when it’s not connected to WiFi or Bluetooth (helpful when the connection goes down or if you travel with the scale).

Our Top Picks

A good scale will serve you for many years to come. Therefore, it makes sense to buy a product that does not only look good on your bathroom floor but is also future-proof in terms of features and works well with your current devices and apps.

If you already use a fitness tracker, it’s probably best to get a scale from the same manufacturer. This is good for two primary reasons:
1. it minimizes the risk of running into any syncing issues between the two devices
2. you get to use the familiar app interface

If you do not use a fitness tracker or do not care about staying within the same ecosystem, take a look at Withings Body. In our opinion, for the price, this is the best smart scale out there at the moment. Its more expensive counterpart Body Cardio offers Standing Heart Rate and Pulse Wave Velocity tracking, but we don’t feel this really justifies the price difference. If you manage to find Body Cardio on a sale – definitely go for it though.

The best smart scale

Withings Body

a picture of Withings Body - best smart scale of 2017

See on Amazon

Boasting a large high contrast screen, 18-month battery life and a plethora of supported fitness apps, Withings Body is our go-to smart scale.

Why did we choose Withings Body?

Withings Body packs a whole bunch of features into a very attractive box. You get accurate weight measurements if that’s all you’re after,  but you also get a whole bunch of body composition metrics, if you’d like to dig deeper. The 18-month battery life is incredible as is more than a 100 supported fitness apps, including Apple Health, Google Fit and even Fitbit. You can connect to the scale both via Bluetooth and WiFi. We liked that Body also calculates your weight every time you step on a scale, unlike some other scales that tend to show you the previously saved result.

PROS:

  • highly visible backlit screen
  • lots of metrics tracked
  • 18-month battery life
  • more than a 100 fitness apps supported
  • very accurate results

CONS:

  • we wish the display was a bit larger and brighter

OVERALL:

If you’re looking for a smart scale that will transmit the results to the fitness app of your choice, you can’t go wrong with Withings Body. Withings has been making smart scale for a few years now and it clearly shows – the scale is very sturdy, the functionality is thought through and the number of supported apps shows that they take integration very seriously.

Unless you’re already invested in the Fitbit ecosystem (in which case we suggest you get a Fitbit Aria – another great choice), Withings Body is worth giving it a shot.

OTHER GOOD OPTIONS TO CONSIDER:

Withings Body Cardio (check price on Amazon) – same as Body, but adds Standing Heart Rate and Pulse Wave Velocity into the mix

Fitbit Aria (check price on Amazon) – if you already own Fitbit products

Smart Scales Comparison Table

  • Price
  • Connectivity
    How does the scale connect to the cloud/smartphone?
  • BMI
    Body Mass Index
  • Body Fat Percentage
    Body fat mass divided by total body mass
  • Muscle mass
    The total mass of all the muscles in the body
  • Bone mass
    The total weght of all the bones in the body
  • Body Water Percentage
    The total amount of fluid in the body
  • Display
    Type of display used
  • Size
    The size of the scale
  • Available colors
    What colors is the scale available at
  • Number of users
    How many users can the scale differentiate between?
  • Additional metrics
    What other metrics does the scale track?
  • Max weight
    Maximum weight the scale can handle
  • Batteries
    Types of batteries used and battery life
  • Apps supported
    What fitness apps can the scale communicate with?
  • Withings Body Cardio
  • body-cardio1EN_150x150
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • 2.4" x 1.6",
    high contrast
  • 12.8" x 12.8" x 0.7" /
    327 x 327 x 18 mm
  • White, black
  • Up to 8
  • Standing heart rate,
    Pulse Wave Velocity
  • 396 lb /
    180 kg
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion battery (micro USB). Up to 18 months
  • MyFitnessPal, LoseIt, Fitbit, Endomondo, Runtastic, Google Fit, etc. Over 100 apps supported
  • Withings Body
  • KV-Body-lb_150x150
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • 2.4" x 1.6",
    high contrast
  • 12.8" x 12.8" x 0.9" /
    327 x 327 x 23 mm
  • White, black
  • Up to 8
  • 396 lb /
    180 kg
  • 4 AAA batteries. Up to 1 year
  • MyFitnessPal, LoseIt, Fitbit, Endomondo, Runtastic, Google Fit, etc. Over 100 apps supported
  • Fitbit Aria
  • Aria-Black-Front_150x150 (1)
  • WiFi
  • LCD, backlit
  • 12.3" x 12.3" x 1.3" /
    312 x 312 x 33 mm
  • White, black
  • Up to 8
  • Lean Body Mass
  • 350 lb /
    158 kg
  • 4 AA batteries,
    6 months
  • Fitbit, LoseIt, Endomondo and others
  • Garmin Index
  • GarminIndex_150x150 (1)
  • WiFi
  • LCD
  • 13.8" x 12.2" x 1.2" /
    350 x 310 x 30 mm
  • White, black
  • Up to 16
  • 400 lb /
    181 kg
  • 4 AA batteries,
    up to 9 months
  • Garmin Connect, MyFitnessPal
  • Polar Balance
  • Polar_balance_topleft_black_lb_150x150
  • Bluetooth
  • LCD, non-backlit
  • 12.6 x 12.6" x 2.0" /
    320 x 320 x 51 mm
  • White, black
  • Up to 10
  • 397 lb /
    180 kg
  • 3 AAA batteries,
    up to 12 months
  • Polar Flow, MyFitnessPal
  • Under Armour Scale
  • uascale_150x150 (1)
  • WiFi
  • LED
  • 14.1" x 1.4"/
    360 x 35.9 mm
  • White, black
  • Up to 8
  • 396 lb /
    180 kg
  • 4 AA batteries
  • UA Record, all the MyFitness apps