Knowing your weight is an important part of any fitness regimen, and if you're trying to keep your New Year's resolution, you might be weighing yourself daily. Like most analog devices, the venerable bathroom scale has received a digital makeover and can now connect to your smartphone and tell you other metrics, such as your body mass index (BMI), body composition and even your heart rate.
So which scale is the smartest? We rounded up nine of the top smart scales, ranging in price from $39 to $180. Our favorite is the $100 Withings Body+. Although it isn't the most accurate, it is better than average and offers the greatest feature set for the price. Our favorite budget model is the Withings Body ($59), which doesn't have as many features but is a solid pick for most people. Withings recently separated from Nokia, taking its original products with it and rebranding them back to Withings. Some Withings scales may still have Nokia's branding.
The Withings Body+ not only measures more types of data than other scales do but also presents the information in an intuitive, useful app. Measuring 12.8 x 12.8 inches, the Body+ is large enough to accommodate my size 12 feet. I wish its 2.75 x 1.75-inch display were larger, but the bright-white letters and numbers are easy to read.
In addition to measuring your weight and BMI, the Body+ can record your resting heart rate, which is also an important indicator of your overall health. The scale also monitors the air quality inside your home and provides the local weather report, which is useful if you're weighing yourself first thing in the morning.
Data from the Body+ is uploaded, either via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, to your Withings Health Mate account; you can view the data it gathers on the Health Mate mobile app, whose layout is very intuitive. A cloverleaf-like icon lets you view at a glance how you're doing on four metrics: weight, activity, sleep and heart rate. The app also charts your progress over time, making it easy to see how well you're doing.
Overall, the Withings Body+ is the best all-around smart scale. It looks good, gathers more information than any other scale and presents the data in an easy-to-understand app.
If you don't need a scale with quite as many features, Withings' $59 Wi-Fi scale, Withings Body, delivers the basics in a stylish package. The scale measures your weight, of course, and does so accurately. I compared it to the $200 Body Cardio and a dumb (er, not Internet-connected) $20 digital scale, and the scale was within 0.2 pounds of both.
The Body, which comes in black or white, has a 2.4 x 1.6-inch display that flashes your weight, weight trend (up or down), BMI and the weather forecast. That's useful if you're weighing in at the beginning of the day before you head outside. The screen isn't the biggest, but it's easy to read and the numbers are big and bright.
The scale syncs with the Health Mate smartphone app, which is where its Wi-Fi connection comes in handy. There you can view your data as a dashboard and see how your weight and BMI fluctuate over time. You can also set goals and pair the scale with apps such as MyFitnessPal. And like Nokia's higher-priced scales, the Body offers a pregnancy mode.
The Body doesn't measure your heart rate or your home's air quality, but those are bonus features you can do without to save some money. And unlike our last budget pick, the Wahoo Balance, this scale works with both iOS and Android devices.
Eufy’s BodySense is a solid, sleek, easy-to-use and affordable smart scale that would be my top budget pick if I didn’t love the Withings Body so much.
Eufy’s Bluetooth scale, which pairs effortlessly with the EufyLife app for iOS and Android, displays your weight almost instantly on-screen. Of course, nailing the weigh-in is the most basic job for a smart scale. The BodySense scale then syncs that number, along with a host of other metrics, to the app. Those other data points include BMI, what percentage of your body fat is made of water, and how much of your weight is muscle mass, bone mass and body fat mass.
There’s no way to know without some more in-depth testing whether the EufySense’s calculations are accurate. Some Amazon reviewers have noted that the measurements appear to be based on percentages rather than actual fluctuations. But the scale highlights trends and lets you know whether numbers are considered normal for your age, height and weight.
There are a few drawbacks, though, when you compare the Eufy BodySense to the Nokia Body. Eufy’s scale lacks a pregnancy mode, which makes it a no-go for women who are pregnant or who are planning to become pregnant down the line. The scale also doesn’t give you a weather report during your morning weigh-in the way Nokia’s does.
But it does support up to 20 different users and offers detailed analysis for a $40 scale. Eufy’s BodySense is an excellent budget pick.
Other Scales We Tested
The Fitbit Aria 2 is a refreshed version of the original Aria, though it doesn't look much different with its all-glass body and backlit LCD display. The next-generation smart scale is more accurate than the first Aria, Fitbit says, and that proved true in our testing.
The Aria 2 connects to your Wi-Fi network via the Fitbit app on your smartphone, so setup easier than the first-gen version (which required you to connect the scale to Wi-Fi using a web browser).
The Aria 2 measures the weight, body fat percentage and BMI of up to eight users, which it then automatically syncs to the Fitbit app. If you use a Fitbit activity tracker, the app's dashboard syncs information about your weigh-ins with your daily workouts and the food intake you manually input for a true overview of your body on any given day.
The scale takes several seconds to display your weight, which is annoying. It also lacks support for pregnant women. If you're deeply embedded in the Fitbit ecosystem, the Aria 2 is worth a look. Otherwise, the Nokia Body+ offers more features for less money.
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We didn’t love the first-generation QardioBase, which lost points for requiring eight AAA batteries, being a little unsteady to stand on and a lack of compatibility with other fitness apps. The second-gen model is about an inch larger in diameter than its predecessor, which makes it more stable. This version is also rechargeable and lasts up to a year on a charge instead of needing all those batteries.
The QardioBase 2 is one of the most stylish scales around, if you care about what you’re looking at when you weigh yourself. A scale takes up a not-small amount of space in your bathroom, so at least this one looks good.
Qardio is now integrated with third-party apps such as Apple Health and MyFitnessPal, a long-awaited move that we docked this scale for initially.
However, one drawback to QardioBase 2 compared to other smart scales is the time it takes to display your weight on the display, which is located in the center of the device (where you stand). In my testing, it took about 12 seconds for a number to pop up, rather than the near-instantaneous readings I get from other smart scales and my dumb digital model.
QardioBase 2 has a couple of unique features, such as a smart feedback mode that shows you smiley faces instead of numbers and a pregnancy mode you can customize according to your due date. You can choose a mode at set-up or adjust it later in the Qardio app for iOS or Android. You can use the app to set goals and see charts of your progress over time, as is standard for a smart scale.
QardioBase 2 is a solid smart scale, but we found Withings' smart scales or Fitbit's Aria 2 are better options.
Shapa is a smart scale that doesn’t tell you how much you weigh. That’s a feature, not a bug. For some people, seeing a number on a scale can trigger disordered thoughts about food and body image. Shapa is more of a behavioral modification device than a conventional scale.
Shapa doesn’t have a display, so you won’t see anything but a blue light that fills in the S logo as the device takes your measurements. You have to have your phone nearby with the Shapa app open for the scale to work, which is problematic. I didn’t realize my weigh-ins weren’t syncing with the app for a couple of days, despite stepping on the scale in the morning and evening as instructed.
So what do you see instead of your weight? The Shapa app tells you a color instead. The color corresponds to your progress: blue if you’re losing weight, green if you’re maintaining and grey is you’re gaining. Shapa requires commitment. You won’t start seeing a color until you’ve weighed in for 20 days.
The Shapa app’s notifications are positive reminders that weight isn’t everything. You can become healthier by making small changes to get active and eat better, and the app gives you specific missions to complete in order to see progress. Those missions are based on an in-depth questionnaire you fill out when you set up the scale. It covers dozens of questions about your lifestyle, so the scale feels truly tailored to your life.
But this scale isn’t for me — or for most people. If I’m spending more than $100 (plus $9.99 a month for a subscription to the Shapa program) on a smart scale, it had better sync my weight to an app and graph it for me so I can see trends over time, not colors. There are cheaper ways to get advice about leading a healthier lifestyle than a pricey device that doesn't display numbers.
How We Tested
We measured each scale's accuracy by comparing it to a dumber digital scale, the highly rated EatSmart digital bathroom scale, after comparing that scale's result to a traditional balance-beam scale in a physician's office. Accuracy is important when it comes to weigh-ins, but one doctor we spoke to said it's more important to keep an eye on overall trends rather than miniscule changes.
What to Look For
Almost all of the scales we tested measure your BMI, which is your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in meters. Like your weight, BMI shouldn't be taken as a be-all, end-all metric of your health. As several studies have shown, someone with a higher BMI could still be healthier than someone with a lower BMI, and occasionally, someone with a relatively low BMI would be considered healthier if theirs were even lower. Credit: Withings
Some of the scales we tested can also measure body fat by sending a small electrical impulse up one foot and down the other. (Scales that have this feature should not be used by people with pacemakers; all have warning labels.)
When shopping for a smart scale, you should consider other factors as well. For example, what does the scale measure, aside from weight and BMI? How big and bright is the scale's display? If you'll be using it in a dark room, you'll want one with large, bold numbers. Finally, how can you get the data off the scale?
The more expensive scales can connect to your home Wi-Fi network, so they can automatically upload your data to your fitness account. If a scale has only Bluetooth, you'll have to have your smartphone handy in order to sync its data. Also, the max weight for most of these scales is 400 pounds, so you shouldn't use it if you weigh more than that.
But how you feel is a better indicator of your health than how much you weigh. Eating well, drinking water, exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep are all important factors of a healthy lifestyle.
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