This article is our roundup of the best smart scales you can buy in 2022. Use one of these to track your weight, body composition and more.
Smart scales connect wirelessly to your smartphone, tablet or computer to fitness apps. Step on one of these, and your weight data will magically find its way to a corresponding software on your mobile device or a Web dashboard. Using the app or dashboard, you can then track your progress over time which should help you make healthy choices as far as diet and exercise.
Scales that also measure body fat and other advanced metrics do this by sending a low electrical current through one foot and reading the current with a sensor under the other foot. The current passes through fat more slowly so the scale calculates the amount of resistance to come up with a body fat percentage. This is often referred to as bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA).
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Consumer Reports tested six popular bathroom scales a while ago and came to the conclusion that while they were all excellent at measuring body weight, none were particularly accurate when it came to measuring body fat. But they were consistent which means the scales can be used to track relative gains and losses over time as they are comparing like with like.
This doesn’t really come as much of a surprise. The accuracy of body fat and other more exotic measurements such as visceral fat, body water, protein, lean body mass leaves a bit to be desired. These are estimates rather than something that is measured precisely. Hence, many of us have learned to ignore them. The readings are more a nice-to-have rather than something that should be religiously followed. At least until accuracy of such measurements on these types of devices improves. Which will come.
Generally, we can separate smart scales into two camps. The ones that come from well known brands such as Fitbit, Withings and Garmin, and the dozens and dozens of scales released by the lesser known companies. These are generally cheaper, but in many cases also less precise. This article focuses on the more established brands. In our mind, paying a bit more extra is worth it as you get a better quality product, advanced software and more accurate readings
- Withings Body+
- Fitbit Aria 2
- Garmin Index S2
- Xiaomi Smart Scale
- Polar Balance
- Yunmai Wireless
- QardioBase 2
- Fitbit Aria Air
- Withings Body Cardio
- Withings Body Scan
The best smart scales of 2022 – here’s our pick
Let’s cut to the chase right away. Scales produced by Withings are our pick of the bunch. They look great and do the job extremely well. There are several options you can choose from.
One of these is Body+. This scale measures weight and BMI, along with fat mass, muscle mass, water and bone mass. The device has multi-user support and recognition, a free Health Mate app and syncs to the Cloud. It also has both iOS and Android compatibility.
Having one of these in the bathroom means you can make weighing yourself part of your morning ritual, allowing you to track your progress every day, at roughly the same time, in the same state of undress, with no hassle. It configures relatively effortlessly to your network, and then just goes about its work reliably and quietly enough.
The Patented Position Control Technology delivers highly-precise measurements accurate to .2 pounds. The fat % monitoring and other metrics can sometimes vary but, as mentioned, this is the case with all such scales on the market.
If you love gadgets and find tracking your weight useful to help you diet or maintain a healthy weight, you won’t go wrong with the Body+. This is a quality product that comes at a reasonable price.
Long overdue for an update, the original Aria scale was released back in April 2012. At the time, it was one of only a handful of connected scales on the market.
Aria 2 was introduced a couple of years ago .It has a fresh design and a few other updates, but its core features remain largely the same. This means the scale tracks weight, BMI, body fat percentage, with now the addition of lean mass. Just like its predecessor, it can recognise up to 8 users and you can set weight goals with a daily calorie plan, log food and other workouts.
Fitbit says its much easier than before to set up the new scale and you can do it over the smartphone using the app. It also offers more accurate readings.
If you’re looking to lose weight or just keep tabs on your current weight, this scale makes a good choice. Particularly if you own a Fitbit fitness tracker or smartwatch as it makes sense to buy from the same brand. It is simple to use. Your weight is transferred to your Fitbit dashboard so that it sits there along with all your other stats.
Garmin is also on the second generation of its scale. The Index S2 is the successor to Garmin’s original S1 scale. Overall, the S2 comes with some nice new upgrades.
The S2 has a sleeker design then its predecessor and bright LCD colour display whilst retaining the same 9 month battery life. You also get enhanced accuracy of sensors and some useful features which allow you to follow your trends without reaching for the smartphone app.
Both generations dish out info on weight (lbs, kg, st), body mass index (BMI), body fat, water percentage, bone mass and skeletal muscle mass. If you don’t want to be bothered with the other metrics, the S2 allows you to choose a weight only option. It also allows for customisation of widgets.
If you are the owner of other Garmin devices you might want to opt for this one due to easy integration with the Garmin Connect app. You can also check out our separate piece with a detailed comparison between the S2 and S1 scale.
It’s worth noting – these scales are the only body composition monitors that are integrated directly into the Garmin ecosystem of products. You can connect other products such as the Withings scale by using workarounds such as third party apps. One of the often used ones is Myfitnesspal.
Perhaps not as feature rich as some of the other connected scales, the Xiaomi scale sells at about half the price of the leading brands.
The device tracks weight and BMI, and connects via Bluetooth to Xiaomi’s Mi Fit iOS and Android apps, so you can track your weight over time. It is capable of managing the weight of up to 16 people with its app, so its suitable for the whole family.
There are 161 LEDs which light up to show your weight. The overall body of the scale has a smooth design and round edges, and is protected by tempered glass panels. The display itself is embedded into the body.
This is a great product, particularly when you factor in the low price. If you own other Xiaomi products such as a smartwatch or fitness band, it makes sense to purchase from the same brand.
The Polar Balance scale features a large display, to ensure that the digits are easily readable, and a splash-proof glass design. The scale provides you with your weight and BMI, and can be used by up to 10 different people. The biggest selling point of this device though, is the software.
Once you have customised the settings in your profile, the app and web service will provide you with motivational guidance on how to reach your daily activity goal. The app works on the basis that 60% of the excess calories should be cut from your diet and 40% should be burned with activity.
Daily activities such as steps, distance and calories are recorded from one of Polar’s fitness trackers (if you own one), and the food intake you will need to record manually. A interesting aspect is the beautifully designed Weight Loss Speedometer. It comes in the form of an infographic that visually shows how close you are to reaching your weight goals.
This popular budget option comes from a Chinese manufacturer. Rather impressively, Yunmai measures 10 different body composition stats, including weight, BMI, BMR, hydration, bone mass, body age and more.
It also comes with a well designed app that offers you guidance to help you reach your goals. You can chart your weight fluctuations on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. You also get a composite ‘Health score’ each time you weigh yourself, along with a ‘Fitness Age’ score.
We have to commend Yunmai. Rather than just providing you with raw data and letting you make sense of it, the company tries to show you what exactly you need to do to improve your health. After all, a thin person is not in every case healthier than an overweight person.
All in all, in terms of value for money, this is a great choice.
The second generation QardioBase retains the signature circular “floating” look of its predecessor but enhances it with a wider base for added stability. This was one of the main gripes with the previous generation. A new rechargeable battery has also been added that runs for up to a year between charges. The screen is brighter and crisper and there is a better haptic engine installed.
Qardio says it has enhanced the sensor system and introduced new and improved algorithms. This means your weight, body mass index and body composition (% muscle, fat, water, bone) measurements will be more accurate than before. There is also a unique Pregnancy Mode which helps expecting moms safely track their progress during this happy time and beyond.
All measurements are automatically be saved in Qardio’s secure cloud. And you can optionally sync with Apple Health too.
Fitbit Aria Air
Fitbit’s most recent scale is designed to be light on your wallet. It only retails for $49.95 on the company’s website. That is less than half of what you’d pay for its more expensive siblings!
You sacrifice some of the functionality, for the lower price. There’s only Bluetooth sync (so no wi-fi connectivity) and the scale only captures info on weight and body mass index (BMI). And that’s pretty much where it ends. It’s a no-nonsense device which spits out the essentials. The more expensive Aria scales also track body fat percentage and lean mass, hence the higher price.
Design-wise, the scale does not stray too much from other offerings in the Aria range. It features a simple square-ish design that comes in a choice between White or Black. The LCD display is still there although it now lacks the metal ring around it.
Aira Air is great if you are looking for a budget smart scale that is user friendly and that integrates into the Fitbit app and platform of products. You step on it, step off – done. The scale plays nice with Fitbit’s Premium Subscription service, you can set goals, follow weight trends, connect to third party apps and access the Community section for support from other Fitbit users and bragging rights.
Withings Body Cardio
Withings is the leader when it comes to smart scales – at least in terms of quality and features available. Currently, the most high spec scale you can buy from the French outfit is the Body Cardio. In fact, this is the most advanced scale on the market today.
The device looks great, plus you get a host of data some of which is to do with your heart health. One of these metrics is called Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV).
This is info that cannot be found on any other smart scale. It measures arterial stiffness by calculating the time it takes for the pressure wave generated by the heart to travel along the arterial tree and reach your feet. The resulting value can be useful in assessing your risk of having or developing hypertension. Faster speeds indicate stiffer arteries.
The company has recently introduced a new Vascular Age metric. It builds on PWV to provide users an even easier way of understanding their heart health. It does this by taking the readings and comparing them to people your age and physical characteristics.
Beyond that you get everything you can wish from a scale and more. What sets this scale apart from the competition is the variety of health data it records. As well as standard weight, BMI and fat percentage figures, every time you step on the scale you get a host of other data including a mini heart health assessment. This is plenty for most people.
In my testing I was very impressed with the Body Cardio. From setup that went without a hitch, to ease of use, to use of data – it simply does the job. An example of how all smart home health appliances should be.
Incoming smart scales
Withings Body Scan
As good as the current crop of Withings scales are, something better is expected in the second half of 2022. At CES 2022 earlier this year the company announced the Body Scan scale. In addition to standard metrics, the device can assess nerve activity, detect Afib and monitor segmental body composition.
The big selling point of the scale will be that it has a 6-lead ECG built into the thing. The tech is used to apply a small direct current to your through your feet and hands. At the top of the scale is a retractable handle. You are meant to hold on to this when you are standing on the scale. Inside the handle are two electrodes, in addition to a couple of more electrodes in the main body of the scale.
In addition to everything you get from other Withings scales, this one will churn out a daily assessment of nerve activity from sweat glands. It is the type of info that you typically get from neurologists and endocrinologists in a medical setting. Such analysis can flag up certain conditions such as diabetes. The ECG readings are also utilised to alert to heart abnormalities such as Afib.
Another unique feature of the scale is to do with body composition. Lots of scales dish out info on body fat and more – but with questionable accuracy. This scale plans to go further by introducing segmental body composition. The idea is for you to have precise data for individual body parts – arms, legs, torso. It will be interesting to see once the scale is launched how accurate these readings are.
A few more months will need to pass before the scale is available for purchase. Withings is putting the finishing touches on the product, and it is waiting for FDA clearance. Body can will retail for $299.95 when it hits retail. We will certainly be looking to get our hands on one of these and post a detailed review.
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