The Best Body Composition Scales with Smart Body Monitors

Virtually all health conscious individuals have at the very least a standard scale at home. Therefore, it is all too easy to check whether you are on track with your fitness goal or not by weighing yourself routinely. But, if your device happens to be an old-school bathroom scale, the number of pounds flashing can’t tell you how much of our body is fat as opposed to lean mass. This is where body composition scales come into play.

Not all bathroom scales can measure aspects of your body composition, but the body composition scale, tells Marvin Singh – a precision medicine expert from the Precisione Clinic. The science behind these scales is known as bioelectrical impedance analysis – a mechanism that sends a weak current through your body to determine your body composition.  

Rise of popularity has resulted in a surge of demand, which means shoppers now have tons of options to choose from. The bad news is…. now you have approximately one-billion options to choose from—most seemingly very questionable, and also oddly expensive. Selecting the best scale can be confusing, since they can all look very much alike. So we’ve whittled it down to the 10 best body composition scales.

Editor’s Pick: Top 5 Best Body Composition Scale 

What To Look For In A Body Composition Scale

Body composition scales include a variety of features, as you can see. These features are largely a matter of personal preference, says Dr. Singh. From their power source to their size, whether they support wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capability) or not: before making a choice consider what features really matter to you.

There are plenty of features today’s smart scale comes with, however, according to Anel Pla, certified personal trainer at Simplexity Fitness in New York, considering the following aspects are the bare minimum.

  • Type

Scales, handheld devices, and skinfold calipers are the three main types of body fat monitors available on the market today. Each style has a distinct method of work and provides varying levels of accuracy. As an outcome, the snapshot of your current body fat percentage it offers may also vary. Therefore, consider which works best for your lifestyle, preferences, and goals before making a purchase. For home use a scale is the best option, handheld devices are ideal for your gym bag, and calipers don’t require an app or batteries to operate. 

  • Measuring Method

Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is commonly used in handheld monitors and scales to measure body composition, which sends weak electric currents through the body. Although they come with limitations, Lauren Hubert, MS, RD, says these devices make measuring body composition at home easier.

She adds that BIA is not only affected by hydration, it also tends to underestimate body fatness in obese individuals and overestimate it in lean and athletic individuals. In light of this, Hubert recommends using these devices as a tool to track changes over time.

In skinfold calipers, measurements must be done manually instead of automatically. Unless you’ve been trained as a medical professional in their use, you might end up with inaccurate measurements, Hubert further added.

  • Data Storage

Generally, digital body composition measuring devices can store a certain amount of data and organize it for each user, but their capacities vary greatly from device to device. Data storage of this sort allows users to analyze potential trends in body fat percentage changes, and assists in achieving further new wellness and lifestyle goals. Nevertheless, make sure that your device offers memory storage for at least two users to keep all data organized and separate, if you plan on sharing the device with another person.

  • Wireless Connectivity

According to Hubert, if a scale or body composition machine has smart features like Bluetooth connectivity, it would be a wonderful tool to track your results. Most modern body fat monitors on the market today enable you to connect them to your phone either via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which allows you to stay on top of your health goals wherever you go.

Analyze the specific technical features of a body fat monitor you’re considering before you purchase it if data really matters to you. Tracking readings throughout the months is an awesome way to keep track of the progress you’re making, Hubert notes. However, the smart features of the app are designed to monitor changes over a long period of time, so she cautions against recording your body composition every day.

Top 10 Best Body Composition Scales Review

01. EatSmart – Smart Scale with Auto Recognition Technology

EatSmart Digital Body Fat Scale with Auto Recognition Technology, Black

Buy on Amazon

Key Features:

  • Up to eight users
  • Smart features
  • User auto recognition

Having a scale that measures body weight in 0.2-pound and 0.1-kilogram increments is a real blessing. In addition, if it is equipped with bioelectric impedance technology to estimate your body fat percentage, muscle mass, bone mass, and total body water, things are even easier for you now. With EatSmart you have all of these in a single device.

Supports up to eight user profiles, but not storing any scale data for those users is a real setback. It automatically recognizes you when you step on in the future, if you set up your profile with the scale—providing your height, age, gender, activity level, and an initial weigh-in.

The best practice is to stand on the scale with dry, bare feet whenever you want to take a new reading. Manufacturers have suggested avoiding using bioelectrical impedance body fat monitors if you wear a pacemaker, since these devices require a small (but otherwise harmless) electric current to take measurements.

Reasons To Buy

  • High accuracy
  • Large capacity of 400 pounds
  • Displays both English and metric units

Reasons To Avoid

  • Doesn’t store data for additional users
  • Unable to measure BMI

Outcome Of Our Experiment

This scale deploys a small electric current to measure body fat, water, muscle, and bone mass and is able to weigh in units of 0.2 pounds or 0.1 kilograms. Being able to store eight different user profiles is a huge plus, however, inability to save data for them is a major drawback. The scale performed well and effectively recognized each user automatically, but I found myself missing having it display a body mass index.

02. Body Fat Caliper by Accu-Measure

Accu-Measure Fitness 3000 Body Fat Caliper

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Key Features:

  • Endorsed by World Natural Bodybuilding Federation
  • “Ball in socket” feature
  • Easy to measure

Go ahead and snag this very affordable wellness tool, if you have a friend, family member, or trainer who can assist you in measuring your body fat percentage using skinfold calipers. Skin calipers offer a simple way to measure subcutaneous fat on both men and women and fitness professionals across the globe seem to have a huge obsession with this type of tool.

It’s somewhat a fat-specific measuring tape. Apart from being very portable, these calipers are lightweight and very simple to use.

If still anything raises doubt — World Natural Bodybuilding Federation endorsed these as the premiere fat caliper measuring tool on the market. What’s more one can expect from a low budget body composition scale.

Reasons To Buy

  • Affordably priced
  • Light-in-weight
  • Simple in use

Reasons To Avoid

  • You need additional help for proper use
  • Not that comfortable

03. Withings Body+ Wi-Fi Body Composition Scale with Fitness Apps Sync

Withings Body+ Wi-Fi Smart Scale for Body Weight with Automatic Smartphone App Sync, Full Body Composition Analyzer Incl. Body Fat, BMI, Water Percentage, Muscle & Bone Mass, Pregnancy Tracker

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Key Features:

  • Auto data synchronization
  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • 18 months of average battery-life

If you happen to be tech-savvy and have an interest in body scales, you already know about Body+ one thing for sure. Those who are looking for a sense of extra accountability and a goal-setting assistant this body fat monitoring scale is an excellent option.

The scale analyzes your body composition by using bioelectric impedance, stores information for up to eight people, and automatically recognizes them when any of them step on it. In addition, the app syncs with Health Mate, which keeps track of all these wellness data points over time so that nothing needs to be manually tracked.

The app is simple and easy to use, and there’s a plethora of special features for people who want to dig into their health in more depth.

Reasons To Buy

  • Precise measurement
  • Auto user recognition
  • User-friendly scale

Reasons To Avoid

  • Fairly expensive
  • App badly needs update

04. Yunmai Premium Body Composition Monitor

YUNMAI Premium Smart Scale - Body Fat Scale with Fitness APP & Body Composition Monitor with Extra Large Display - Works with iPhone.

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Key Features:

  • Unlimited data points in app
  • Up to 16 users
  • Bluetooth enabled

Just because you’re curious about your body fat percentage doesn’t necessarily mean that you should focus on this single parameter only. To help you keep close tabs on your physical fitness the YUNMAI Premium Smart Scale offers 10 essential health measurements, which covers body fat percentage, body mass index, water percentage, metabolic rate, and more.

Apart from syncing with proprietary apps, it shares data with major fitness apps such as Apple Health, Fitbit, and Google Fit. In addition to offering all of these metrics, it also points you where you fall in low, normal, and high ranges. If you wish to use it only to weigh yourself, you can even do it without the apps.

With this app, you can keep track of the data of up to 16 users of the same scale, and you can view them over time as graphs and lists.

Reasons To Buy

  • A list of 10 health metrics
  • A graphical representation of data
  • Simple and easy to use

Reasons To Avoid

  • Occasional syncing error between app and scale
  • Without the app, it only can measure weight

05. FITINDEX Smart Wireless Body Composition Monitor

FITINDEX Bluetooth Body Fat Scale, Smart Wireless BMI Bathroom Weight Scale Body Composition Monitor Health Analyzer with Smartphone App for Body Weight, Fat, Water, BMI, BMR, Muscle Mass - White

Buy on Amazon

Key Features:

  • Unlimited users
  • Bluetooth powered
  • A proprietary app

The dedicated app of FITINDEX arguably the main selling point of this scale. You can store an unlimited number of users and data points in the app for any given scale, and you can even export the data in a CSV format for long-term archiving. Besides, you can still see your weight without your phone.

Together with syncing with a proprietary app, it also syncs with other fitness apps like Apple Health, Google Fit, and Samsung Health to provide all of these metrics. Other than that, you will get a proper idea of how your information compares to the average benchmarks of health.

Now it’s time for you to take your fitness data to the next level with the FITINDEX Bluetooth Body Fat Scale. It offers a total of 13 body composition measurements including the likes of skeletal muscle mass, fat-free body weight, and subcutaneous fat.

Reasons To Buy

  • A total of 13 body composition measurements
  • Shows a comparison with health benchmarks
  • Data can be exported

Reasons To Avoid

  • Without the app, you can only measure weight
  • It is not durable

06. Tanita BF-679 – FDA Cleared Multi-Frequency Body Scale

TANITA's BF-679W FDA Cleared Multi-Frequency Weight / Body Fat / Body Water Scale

Buy on Amazon

Key Features:

  • Up to two users
  • Unlimited data points
  • FDA cleared 

With the Tanita scale, you can check in quickly on your fitness progress by viewing the primary readings directly on the scale’s display, so you can get on with your day immediately. Using bioelectric impedance, in addition to your total body weight, the scale accurately calculates your body fat percentage and body water levels. The scale also features weight-only functionality for those who want it.

In addition, it has a guest mode, so anyone can check out the scale without affecting the personal information already stored in the memory.

Reasons To Buy

  • Simple design
  • High Accuracy
  • Compares with health benchmarks

Reasons To Avoid

  • An unattractive design
  • Temperamental with foot position

07. Zinnor Portable Multi-Function Health Monitor

zinnor Digital Body Fat Analyzer for Personal Health Portable Multi-Function Health Monitor Handheld Lose Weight Control Device

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Key Features:

  • Handheld scale
  • Up to nine users
  • Unlimited data points

Are you in need of a handheld body fat monitor that is also budget-friendly? Zinnor offers a great selection. Despite its low price point, in addition to reporting your BMI, it also does a good job of calculating body fat percentage, and basal metabolic rate. In a similar way to the Omron device, it gauges these health factors based on the bioelectric impedance in the hand grips after taking factors such as height, age, weight, and gender into account.

With only five buttons, it’s design is somewhat basic and is fun to operate. It can also display new readings in a matter of seconds and store up to nine user profiles. For the price, it’s worth a try, even though it’s a relatively new product with few reviews.

Reasons To Buy

  • Uncomplicated design
  • Easy to operate
  • Budget-friendly option

Reasons To Avoid

  • Not as accurate as advertised

08. Lightstuff – Easy And Reliable Tool for Monitoring Body Fat

Lightstuff Precision Skinfold Caliper - Easy, Reliable Tool for Monitoring Body Fat - Quick Start Guide for Beginners, Detailed Booklet for Advanced Users - Measures up to 80mm in Skin Fold Thickness

Buy on Amazon

Key Features:

  • Caliper type
  • Reliable option
  • Quick-start-guide for easy operation

As with the Accu-Measure calipers, this manual tool helps you get a clear picture of your body fat levels in order to set and reach appropriate fitness and wellness goals. This particular tool comes with a quick-start guide to help set up, since many people are not familiar or comfortable with the skinfold assessment method: even the most novice of beginners can look for success now.

Furthermore, you can trust that the spring-loaded mechanism is calibrated correctly to report accurate readings time after time, regardless of the pressure being applied. In addition, trying this caliper tool is risk-free because it has a 100% money-back guarantee.

Reasons To Buy

  • Quick-start guide included in the package
  • A properly calibrated device
  • 100% money-back guarantee

Reasons To Avoid

  • Requires additional help for proper use
  • A bit uncomfortable

09. Qiorange – LCD Body Fat Caliper

Qiorange Digital Display LCD Body Fat Caliper Skin Fold Analyzer

Buy on Amazon

Key Features:

  • Good repeatability
  • Superior accuracy
  • Large LCD display

How about combining a skinfold assessment method with a digital display that’s easy to read? Check this Qiorange caliper out. Especially folks who aren’t really tech-savvy tend to prefer manual options such as this Qiorange Body Fat Caliper.

They are primarily designed to provide a reading of the percentages of body fat by measuring subcutaneous fat specifically around the stomach. Nonetheless, one can also physically measure the other metrics of the body typically included in comprehensive skinfold assessments.

Some users recommend that, for maximum accuracy, you measure the same area three times with the same technique and take the average. This technique makes skinfold measurements accessible to those without someone to assist them to handle traditional calipers. A large LED display also makes them easy to read.

Reasons To Buy

  • A good way to measure belly fat
  • Easy to read LCD display

Reasons To Avoid

  • Calipers are slightly uncomfortable to use

10. Qardio Base2 Wi-Fi Smart Body Composition Monitor

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.

Buy on Amazon

Key Features:

  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatibility
  • User auto recognition
  • Sync data with major fitness apps

The sleek and stylish Base2 Wi-Fi Smart Scale from Qardio offers all the details you need in an elegant design on your bathroom floor. It alerts you with gentle vibrations when your measurements are complete and accurately calculates a range of metrics where weight, BMI, and full body composition, including body fat percentage, muscle mass, water, and bone mass are notable mentions.

You will never have to replace batteries with this disk-shaped scale since it is rechargeable with a USB cable. In addition, it supports Bluetooth or Wi-Fi data sync with the Qardio app, and that app easily links to Apple Health, Samsung Health, My Fitness Pal, and Google Fit. It automatically recognizes up to eight users; quite a number for its kind. Other than that, it features four specialty modes—normal, weight only for individuals with pacemakers, smart feedback, and pregnancy mode.

Reasons To Buy

  • Sleek design
  • Accurate measurements
  • Rechargeable battery

Reasons To Avoid

  • Fairly expensive
  • Internal software requires bug fixing

To make things further easier we summarized all the key attributes of our top picks in a table here:

SL Product Key Features
 

01

 

EatSmart

·         Up to eight users

·         Smart features

·         User auto recognition

 

02

 

Accu-Measure Body Fat Caliper

·         “Ball in socket” feature

·         Easy to measure

·         Affordably priced

 

03

 

Withings Body+

·         Auto data synchronization

·         Wi-Fi enabled

·         18 months of average battery-life

 

04

 

Yunmai Body Composition Monitor

·         Unlimited data points in app

·         Up to 16 users

·         Bluetooth enabled

 

05

 

FITINDEX Body Composition Monitor

·         Unlimited users

·         Bluetooth powered

·         A proprietary app

 

06

 

Tanita BF-679

·         Up to two users

·         Unlimited data points

·         FDA cleared

 

07

 

Zinnor Multi-Function Health Monitor

·         Handheld scale

·         Up to nine users

·         Unlimited data points

 

08

 

Lightstuff Body Fat Monitor

·         Caliper type measuring tool

·         Reliable option

·         Quick-start-guide for easy operation

 

09

 

Qiorange – LCD Body Fat Caliper

·         Good repeatability

·         Superior accuracy

·         Large LCD display

 

10

 

Qardio Base2

·         Accurate measurements

·         Rechargeable battery

·         Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatibility

How Do Body Composition Scales Work?

If you really want to get the best out of the body composition scale, you need to have a proper understanding of how these scales work.

Body composition scales can determine an individual’s tissue and substance percentages with bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA).

An electrical impulse is sent through the body by BIA. As the impulse travels through the body, different tissues and substances challenge it with varying degrees of resistance or impedance.

Using a mathematical formula, the scales incorporate information about a person’s height, age, and gender with electrical resistance data. The information is typically collected from users via a smartphone.

Using the mathematical formula the following percentages are then estimated:

  • Total fat
  • Muscle
  • Water
  • Bone density

Muscle and water are less resistant than fat. As such, a higher resistance value refers to a higher level of body fat.

Selecting The Right Scale For Your Goals

Experts are still struggling to suggest a tried-and-true way to determine whether a scale is 100-percent accurate or not.

You’re unlikely to find a scale on the market that can give a truly precise reading. Instead, the best practice would be to pick the most accurate scale for your purposes, says Leann Poston, a physician.

Decide whether you prefer analog or digital readings first. Next, think about why exactly you need one. You can get by with a basic scale if your only objective is to track your weight. But if you are more motivated by all the data that scales with bioelectrical impedance can offer and want to track your body fat percentage, then go that route.

Which leads us to the conclusion that, finding the most accurate body composition scale depends on one’s personal goals and priorities.

How Accurate Are They?

Body fat scales aren’t known as being very accurate, however, they provide a rough estimate of a person’s BFP instead.

An analysis of a 2016 study found that BIA measurements of body composition are reliable when performed with standard mathematical formulas. However, the formulas used to estimate body fat percentage by the researchers were not accurate. As a result, the estimates were largely inaccurate.

 Consumer Reports also conducted a test of six different body fat scales in 2016.

The researchers first used Bod Pod – a lab-based machine to take accurate body fat measurements. The results of this study were then compared to the data obtained from BIA body fat scales used in the home.

As the study suggests the home-use body fat scales either overestimated or underestimated Body fat percentages. In the most accurate reading, the error stands at about 21%, while for the least accurate, the error was about 34%.

A Few Things Regarding Scale Accuracy

When measuring your health, weight certainly isn’t the only number one should consider, as it only just gives you a good starting point to track your health.

Likewise, other devices such as TVs, cell phones and even laundry machines, body composition scales also evolved to a notable extent over the years.

Even though they aren’t that precise, at-home scales these days can also measure body fat percentage, muscle mass or water weight using bioelectrical impedance analysis.

“Focus on the trends and not the absolute number if you are determined to use these types of body-weight scales, since impedance scales may have a tendency to underestimate body fat percent and overestimate fat-free body mass or calculated muscle mass,” says Dr. Harry – an expert in body scales.

It’s best not to weigh yourself every day, he further added. Weight fluctuates over the course of the day or week due to simple things like water retention or a late meal. As a result, your body fat may appear to have increased or decreased when there aren’t any changes at all.

Stop checking body fat everyday.

Don’t analyze your body fat every day. There may be times when you feel discouraged over a number instead of being motivated by it.

Instead, choosing a specific day and time each week is considered as the best practice to weigh your body. Probably this is best done in the morning, after you have emptied your bladder and before breakfast. Rather than focusing exclusively on the numbers, stay consistent and focused on the general direction they are moving.

Tips And Tricks To Get The Best Out Of A Body Composition Scale

Body composition scales are known for yielding a rough estimate. The result largely depends on various external factors and variables our bodies usually go through. But, when it comes to tracking your progress, they still are the best alternatives.

Here are a few things experts suggest to ensure precise and useful results.

Ensure good contact with the scale’s sensor pad: clean and bare feet are a pre-condition to do so.

Find a hard and level surface to place the scale on, unless your scale is made for carpet use. Try to weigh yourself at the same time of day for a better result.

Avoid eating or drinking at least for two hours before you weigh. Urinating before the measurement would make the result more accurate.

Wait at least 24 hours if you have a heavy exercise session or a night of alcohol. This is due to your body’s water content being uneven or atypical, which will cause the reading to be unreliable. Weighing immediately after waking up may also result in an inaccurate outcome.

Their Advantages And Disadvantages

Convenience is the primary advantage of using body fat scales at home. It is safe and easy to use. If the scales are consistent in their measurements, despite being inaccurate, they may be able to assist you in tracking the progress of the exercise program over time.

However, using body fat scales to measure BFP is not a reliable method. In doctors’ opinions, with these scales, BFP is usually overestimated or underestimated by a great deal.

Besides, home body fat scales are usually unable to point out where a person’s body fat is stored. In assessing a person’s susceptibility to disease, the location of body fat plays a key role. A 2016 study, for example, established an association between higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and increased abdominal fat.

Body Composition vs. BMI

The body mass index (BMI) is a way to determine whether a person’s weight could affect their health based on their height and weight.

CDC Trusted Source states that BMI can be used to determine whether someone is overweight or underweight. Although, this calculation does not account for body fat.

Besides, a person’s muscle mass is not factored into BMI calculations. A person can gain muscle and lose fat by exercising. Exercise may also increase a person’s body weight since muscle is denser than fat.

Diet and exercise choices can be influenced by both BFP and BMI values. A person should see their doctor if either value is higher than the average. Elevated values could indicate a higher risk of heart disease. Health risks also exist when BMI or BFP are below the recommended range.

Some Alternative methods To Check Body Composition

In order to estimate one’s body composition, one can use several different methods. There are some tests that can be performed at home or in a doctor’s office, but others must be conducted in a laboratory setting. In general, more expensive methods usually yield more accurate results.

At-home Methods

The following are the methods people usually use at home:

  • Calipers

Using calipers, one can measure how thick skin folds are on different parts of the body. Caliper measurements are accurate to the extent that the user uses them correctly.

  • Handheld BIA devices

To estimate BFP, handheld BIA devices use electrical signals. But, they are not as accurate as step-on body fat scales.

Laboratory Options

The following body fat measurement tools will provide much more accurate results, but warrant special machinery:

  • Bod Pod

A machine designed to calculate a person’s body density. It actually combines two measures, mass or “weight” and volume.

A person sits inside the Bod Pod, which has highly sensitive scales installed inside. Besides, the Bod Pod employs special sensors that detect how much air the body displaces in response to changes in air pressure. Using this value, the system calculates the volume of the individual.

The Bod Pod calculates the person’s density based on their weight and volume measurements. A technician can then estimate a person’s BFP by using a mathematical formula.

Operators of Bod Pods must be specially trained; they are typically only used in research laboratories.

  • Hydrostatic underwater weighing

A hydrostatic underwater weighing (HUW) device calculates a person’s weight by measuring their body volume and density.

HUA basically compares a person’s weight on dry land and underwater. The device also measures the amount of water displaced by a person’s body when he or she sits inside a tank of water.

On the basis of the principle that fat is less dense than muscle, it is possible to determine a person’s body composition, including their BFP.

Similar to Bod Pod, HUW is typically only available in academic settings and in research laboratories.

Final Verdict

With the Withings Body + Body Composition Wi-Fi Scale, you’re sure to find a reliable and smart solution to your scaling needs. You can review your progress with a simple swipe of your smartphone screen, and it provides accurate data so that you stay on top of your goals.

Keeping it simple with Accu-Measure Body Fat Calipers is a good option if calipers are more your style. In general, they are incredibly affordable, and if used correctly, they can be quite accurate. (When using the caliper method, we recommend having a second person assist you.)

Lastly, the Zinnor Portable Multi-Function Health Monitor is your best bet if you want to carry one to the gym. It assists you in tracking your progress and helps you stay motivated to keep working hard.

 

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