Best smart scales 2021: That connect to your phone

Smart Scales

Best smart scales 2021: That connect to you phone

Bathroom scales are an essential accessory for anyone who wants to shed a few pounds, keep an eye on their weight or make sure they’re building muscle and strength in a healthy, well-paced manner.

While a simple mechanical scale is fine if you want to step on, watch the numbers go up, and then go about your day, the best smart scales can offer a deeper, more insightful look into your weight and health.

Smart scales can be linked with an app on your phone, so that you can keep tabs on your weight and other key metrics over time. Making them a useful tool for helping you to achieve your fitness goals. 

For our pick of the best smart scales you can buy right now, along with a buyer’s guide that unpicks some of the differentiating features, read on.

Best smart scales: At a glance

What makes smart scales different from normal digital scales?

The main benefit to using a smart scale is that it’ll log data to an accompanying app on your smartphone via a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection. In most cases, you’ll be able to download this app for free from the iOS App Store or Google Play.

Some of these apps such as Withings Health and FitBit Tracker can also share this data with fitness tracking services such as Apple Health, Samsung Fitness, Google Fit and MyFitnessPal. If you’re already using one of these services to log all your fitness data, then it’d be wise to look for a set of smart scales that’s compatible with your app of choice.

 

Can I use my fitness tracker with smart scales?

While fitness trackers cannot usually communicate with smart scales directly, they can sometimes be linked to the same app so all your data is in one place. Indeed, fitness trackers from FitBit and Withings use the same apps as those brands’ respective smart scales. As such, if you already have a fitness tracker, it’s worth checking that it uses the same app as the smart scales you’re looking to buy.

 

Can more than one user be registered on a smart scale?

Most smart scales allow for multiple users to register themselves, which is a useful feature for couples and families. Most scales on this list can register up to eight users but there are some available that can register more. For most families, eight users would normally be sufficient, but if you’re expecting more people to weigh in (such as at a private gym for example) then make sure to pick scales that meet those needs.

 

How should I use smart scales?

Just like any other bathroom scales, it’s best to place smart scales on a flat, even surface and avoid placing them on carpeted or uneven tiled flooring where possible. To get the most useful insights into your weight change, it’s a good idea to weigh yourself around the same time of day each day.

Avoid weigh-ins shortly after workouts or meals and make sure you aren’t dehydrated. You should avoid weighing yourself first thing in the morning for this reason too, as you will be slightly dehydrated after a full night’s sleep.

 

What measurements can smart scales track?

As well as measuring body weight, smart scales can also help keep track of other important health information such as BMI, bone density, body fat percentage and body water percentage. On their own, these numbers might not mean much to you initially, but looking at these metrics over a period of time can be more insightful.

For example, a steady decrease in bone density can be a signifier of vitamin deficiency, while body water percentage can help you keep a track of your hydration levels which is important especially if you exercise regularly. In order for the scales to track some of these measurements accurately you will also need to enter information into your health app such as your age and height.

 

How do smart scales measure body fat?

As well as logging your weight, the best smart scales can give you a much better idea of how much of that weight is muscle or fat. This data is measured using sensors located on top of the scales that make contact with the bottom of each foot to perform bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA).

A signal is transmitted from one foot, via the pelvis, to your other foot. The sensors measure the amount of time it takes for this signal to complete this journey, and the longer it takes, the higher the resistance, indicating a higher level of body fat.

There are some limitations to the accuracy of this type of body-fat measurement. BIA is unable to tell users where fat is stored in the body and results may vary depending on the height, age and even gender of the user. Accuracy of different scales can also vary, so it’s sensible not rely solely on body-fat percentage as the key measure of your health.

BIA readings are not recommended for use if you are pregnant or fitted with an electronic pacemaker.

 

Best smart scales to buy in 2021 : Our Recommendations

1. Withings Body+: Best smart scale overall

Withings was an early entrant into the smart scale market over a decade ago and since then it has become something of a household name in fitness tracking technology. The Withings Body+ is no exception to that and while it might be outclassed in a small handful of features such as the lack of a heart rate monitor, it simply can’t be bested at this price.

The Body+ connects via Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth. This means that you will be able to link the scales to your phone if it’s nearby or, if you set up a Wi-Fi connection, the scales will share the data directly with the Health Mate app.

The scale has an athlete mode that’s recommended for those who regularly exercise more than eight hours a week and even a pregnancy mode that disables the bioelectrical impedance scanner. The high-contrast display shows a clear chart mapping recent weigh-ins and the companion app makes for an enjoyable user experience. Indeed, thanks to its elegant and simple design, the Body+ is one of the most user friendly smart scales, making it our top pick for most people.

Key specs – Dimensions: 32.7 x 32.7 x 2.3cm; Wi-Fi/Bluetooth: Both; Batteries: 4 x AAA (included); Maximum user weight: 180kg; Number of users: 8; Warranty: 2 Years

£89.99
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Withings Body+ - Wi-Fi Body Composition Smart Scale, Body Fat Monitor, BMI, Muscle Mass, Water Measurement, Digital Weight Bathroom Scale, Sync App Via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi

2. FitBit Aria Air: Best smart scale for FitBit owners

Its simple user interface and elegant design make the Air a great partner to a FitBit fitness tracker. It’s a slimmer package than its predecessor, the Aria 2, and priced more competitively too, but this downsizing has come at a cost of features.

To elaborate, the Air lacks syncing over Wi-Fi and also offers no way to measure body fat percentage or muscle mass. Where the Fitbit Aria Air still excels, however, is its seamless integration into the Fitbit mobile app. As you would expect, FitBit has designed the Aria Air with its wide range of fitness trackers in mind. Data from the scales can be synced to your FitBit watch or fitness tracker via the mobile app, which also lets you see trends, reach goals and log important information like sleeping patterns and meals.

Key specs – Dimensions: 30 x 30 x 2.3cm; Wi-Fi/Bluetooth: Bluetooth; Batteries: 3 x AAA batteries (included); Maximum user weight: 180kg; Number of users: Multiple; Warranty: 1 Year

£49.99
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Fitbit Aria Air Smart Scale

3. Qardiobase 2: Best premium smart scales

Numbers can be a cold representation of fitness tracking and the Qardiobase 2 has a unique feature to address that. Opting into its Smart Feedback Mode changes the readouts from pounds, stones and kilograms to smiley faces to indicate whether you are on the right track.

It’s a clever way to help people track their long term goals without making them feel conscious of daily number fluctuations. There’s also a pregnancy mode to help expectant mothers track their progress weekly and add progress pictures to their readouts via the app.

The Qardiobase 2 is larger than the other scales on this roundup, but it also hosts an impressive amount of other functionality including haptic feedback, a large, easy-to-read display and the ability to work with Apple Health, Google Fit and Samsung S Health via the Qardio app.

Key specs – Dimensions: 34 x 34 x 2.3 cm; Wi-Fi/Bluetooth: Both; Batteries: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (micro-USB); Maximum user weight: 180kg; Number of users: 8; Warranty: 1 Year

£129.99
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QardioBase2 WiFi Smart Scale and Body Analyzer: monitor weight, BMI and body composition, easily store, track and share data. Free app for iOS, Android, Kindle. Works with Apple Health.

4. Withings Body Cardio: Best smart scales for monitoring heart health

The Body Cardio is the most advanced scale offered in Withings’ product line. The three-digit price tag might seem steep for a pair of scales initially, but it boasts an impressive addition of features when compared to its cheaper siblings.

Along with tracking important metrics such as BMI and body fat, it can track heart rate and pulse wave velocity, which can be used to measure blood pressure. While the Body Cardio shouldn’t be used for any kind of medical diagnosis, the readings can ensure that you’re keeping a close eye on your cardiovascular health and alert you to any changes.

The Body Cardio also has an impressively slim form factor considering its functionality and, unlike most scales that rely on AAA batteries, it has a rechargeable battery that can last for up to 12 months on a single charge.

Key specs – Dimensions: 32.7 x 32.7 x 1.8cm; Wi-Fi/Bluetooth: Both; Batteries: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (mini-USB); Maximum user weight: 180kg; Number of users: 8; Warranty: 2 Years

£129.99
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Withings Body Cardio - Premium Wi-Fi Body Composition Smart Scale, Tracks Heart Rate, BMI, Fat, Muscle Mass, Water Percent, Digital Bathroom Scale, App Sync Via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi

5. Renpho Bluetooth Body Fat Scale: Best smart scale on a budget

The Body Cardio is the most advanced scale offered in Withings’ product line. The three-digit price tag might seem steep for a pair of scales initially, but it boasts an impressive addition of features when compared to its cheaper siblings.

Along with tracking important metrics such as BMI and body fat, it can track heart rate and pulse wave velocity, which can be used to measure blood pressure. While the Body Cardio shouldn’t be used for any kind of medical diagnosis, the readings can ensure that you’re keeping a close eye on your cardiovascular health and alert you to any changes.

The Body Cardio also has an impressively slim form factor considering its functionality and, unlike most scales that rely on AAA batteries, it has a rechargeable battery that can last for up to 12 months on a single charge.

Key specs – Dimensions: 32.7 x 32.7 x 1.8cm; Wi-Fi/Bluetooth: Both; Batteries: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (mini-USB); Maximum user weight: 180kg; Number of users: 8; Warranty: 2 Years

£29.99
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RENPHO Body Fat Scale Bluetooth, Digital Body Weight Bathroom Scales Weighing Scale with Smart BMI Scale, Body Composition Monitors with Smartphone App, Black