What smart bathroom scale to buy? Shopping guide and featured models
Bathroom scales are the nth gadget that has become intelligent, although this meaning should refer to something more than sending the weight to the mobile. With these devices we can know parameters such as BMI, body fat, history, add profiles … that help us to know in detail how our body is to help us stay fit or lose weight.
This purchase guide analyzes what features can be found in the smart scales that are in the market and the most prominent models.
How an intelligent scale works
The intelligent scales are simply bio impedance scales to which some connectivity has been incorporated, accompanied by an application that allows to see graphically the parameters and the evolution from a device.
As for connectivity, it is usual to have Wi-Fi and / or Bluetooth to communicate with tablets and smartphones and even with ANT +, to synchronize with other sports instruments (sensors, pedometers, watches with GPS).
Smart scale = bioimpedance scale + Connectivity
Bioimpedance scales use the electrical properties of the human body, the composition of their tissues and the amount of water present to obtain our fat mass.
While the water present in muscles, bones and blood vessels is a good conductor of electricity, fat is not. With this clear, the scale sends an electrical signal to our body through an input electrode and picks it up with another output, measuring the time required to pass through it.
We must bear in mind that muscles have a water content that is practically constant and equal to approximately 73%, so the time taken will determine the content of a person’s fat mass.
In a person with a lot of fat, this tour will be done more slowly and in a leaner one it will be faster.
Actually, what the scale calculates is our weight and lean mass, whose difference will be the amount of fat mass of a person.
However, not all bodies are the same, so the results should take into account age, sex or physical condition.
The bioimpedance is an approximate and acceptable method of measurement at home and amateur sports, however we must follow some indications when weighing to improve accuracy as not having eaten in the previous hours and have not done intensity sports on the day previous.
If we seek maximum precision as is the case of professional athletes, what is used is the measurement of skin folds using the caliper, a method that should always be done by a professional.
Characteristics of smart scales
Knowing how an intelligent scale works, we already know that the only thing it measures is our weight and the amount of water through electrical bioimpedance, which allows us to estimate lean mass and fat mass.
The minimum essential that a scale must provide us both on its screen and in the application is the weight and the amount of body fat, which is displayed either as a percentage or in kilograms.
In fact, body fat is more important than weight to know how healthy we are, being a more reliable metric than BMI (body mass index, we will see below) to know if there is overweight, underweight, obesity or if we are in normopeso, since it differentiates the fat of the body against bone matter, muscle mass or viscera.
From here, each scale can provide other parameters calculated based on these two measurements and other personal information that we enter (such as age, sex or height) and contextualize them to give us an idea of how healthy our body is. That’s why profiles are so important.
Profiles are a key tool in our experience with an intelligent scale. We are not referring only to save different users, but to the scale allows us to differentiate if we are men or women, athletes or sedentary … And is that every age and lifestyle has some needs, so it is essential that a scale Smart has a guide that relates the parameters obtained based on gender, age and activity levels that are healthier and less for each percentile.
The result? Measurements that do not correspond to the reality of the person. Women’s bodies generally have more fat than men’s and athletes can weigh more for the amount of muscle, but their fat percentage is lower. Similarly, over the years the percentage of fat tends to increase in adults.
Therefore, to correctly evaluate the amount of fat in a body we have to consider its age, sex and level of activity. That’s why an active young woman can have the same weight and fat as a sedentary 60-year-old man, but it does not mean the same thing.
Other metrics provided
With the profiles of each user and the measurements made, the intelligent scales can provide metrics obtained from calculations, tables and approximations, such as:
- The kilograms or percentage of muscle mass, from the electric bioimpedance.
- The percentage of body water, also from bioimpedance and taking into account that statistically it is 45-50% in women and 55-60% in men.
- The body mass index, a parameter that relates weight and height used to identify overweight and obesity in adults approximately. It is calculated as the quotient between the weight in kilograms and the height in meters squared.
- An approximation of your visceral fat. Visceral fat is one that is in the area of the abdomen and surrounds the internal organs that are there. The measurement of visceral fat accumulation is used to assess the risk of metabolic diseases. Taking into account that is measured with the perimeter of our waist, related waist and hip perimeters or waist / height index, it is an approximation.
- The basal metabolism is the energy that your body consumes during a normal day to satisfy its vital functions, which is why exercise is excluded. That is, they are the calories needed to perform the vital functions of your body. It usually covers 70% of the total calories consumed throughout the day.
- The metabolic age is the quantification in years of the level of wear of our body at the physiological level. Metabolic age differs from real age, so that a person who has led a healthy lifestyle may have a lower metabolic age than someone who was born in the same year. To obtain it, bioimpedance data (fat mass, lean mass, visceral fat, bone density, biological age and calculation of basal metabolism) are used and the more complete it is, the more accurate the calculation will be.
- The muscular quality, evaluating the density of muscle fibers. Thus, a high quality muscle has low fatty connective tissue and a low quality muscle has high connective tissue, more fatty, and with lower density of muscle fibers.
Xiaomi Mi Scale 2
One of the most affordable and complete smart scales in the domestic range is the Xiaomi Mi Scale 2, a device that also complements the health ecosystem of the Chinese brand with the wearables Mi Band and Amazfit.
However, if you do not have the activity wristband or the Xiaomi smartwatch, nothing happens, since it will be enough to install the Mi Fit app on iOS or Android to synchronize it with other activity meters.
The good thing about Mi Fit is that it allows you to create a profile with your age, sex and weight and exercise objective, however you do not have an athlete mode that evaluates how your body is in that case.
The Mi Scale 2 offers 10 parameters : weight, muscle mass, bone mass, basal metabolism, BMI, amount of water, visceral fat, percentage of fat, figure and body score, a metric that places you according to your BMI in a graph of other users that you should not give much importance.
This scale has 4 electrodes and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, is made of ABS with an ultra-thin design with rounded edges to avoid hurting our fingers, with hidden LED screen. On eBay for 36.95 dollars.
Huawei Smart Scale
The Huawei Smart Scale provides 9 metrics: weight, percentage of body fat, body shape, BMI, muscle mass, body water, bone mass, basal metabolism, visceral fat, theoretically with great precision having collaborated in its design with the Institute Chinese Sports Science. However, we have already seen that if we are athletes, the measurements taken will not be very well contextualized, so they can lead us to error.
Its design is minimalist and very thin, with a tempered glass panel on the top where there are 4 sensors for the feet. Recognize up to 10 users.
By synchronizing with your phone via Bluetooth, you can see your data at all times and history, and set up a personal trainer with suggestions and graphics. In PcComponentes for 39 dollars.
Fitbit Aria 2
The popular brand of wearables has in its catalog of products with an intelligent scale, the Fitbit Aria 2, an attractive gadget of modern design with polished glass surface available in black and white, starting at 79 dollars on Amazon.
The Fitbit Aria 2 measures weight, body fat percentage, BMI and lean mass, data that you cannot see on your small screen but through the application, where they are shown in diagrams and easy to read graphs that complement the data collected by your activity quantifiers, if you have them. It recognizes up to 8 users and maintains the privacy of the data of each of them. The Fitbit Aria 2 stands out for the design of its app and how easy it is to use it, although there are more complete scales in terms of metrics.
Nokia Withings Body +
An intelligent scale that enjoys great popularity is the Withings Body +, a device that provides weight, mass and percentage of fat, mass and percentage of muscle, amount of water, bone mass, BMI, pulsations, time and air quality.
Why the pulsations? The lower our pulsations, the better our cardiovascular state will be, so the scale proceeds in a similar way to wrist heartbeats, so that we see our heart rate at rest.
In the case of air, it measures the temperature and amount of carbon dioxide, indicating if it is necessary to purify the room.
Through Bluetooth, the scale transfers all the information to the Withings Health Mate app in order to track the evolution. It also integrates a series of tips to meet the goal of improving our physical condition.
The Withings Smart Body + is able to recognize up to 8 different users and manage them privately. Its application is intuitive and complete, also takes into account the activity recorded by activity wristbands. In Amazon from 99.95 dollars.
Soehnle 63340 WEB Connect Analysis
Soehnle is one of those signature lifelong domestic scales that has modernized their gadgets by providing more body metrics and increasing connectivity as in the case of the Soehnle 63340 WEB Connect Analysis , which transfers data to the web via Wi-Fi, some data that we can control after registering. It also has a somewhat outdated app.
This scale measures weight, body fat, water content and muscle mass of up to 8 users that automatically distinguishes, allowing to establish objectives and see the evolution.
Its design is simple, it is finished in glass and its LCD screen is large and very comfortable to read. In Amazon for 113.47 dollars.
Unlike other smart scales that require the mobile to show all their metrics, with this from Garmin can be viewed intuitively from the device itself. However, by installing Garmin Connect on your mobile you can also see it and complete it with other measurements taken by other gadgets of the brand, such as their GPS clocks.
The Garmin Index measures weight, body mass index (BMI), body fat, water percentage, bone mass and muscle mass of up to 16 users, which it automatically detects.
It is a voluminous scale available in various colors and with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and ANT + connectivity, for other sensors and instruments of the North American firm, so that you can consult your statistics and compare them with those of the rest of the community. On Amazon from € 124.90.
According to the experience of Lady Fitness, Tanita is a benchmark in terms of metrics and precision in its scales that reach the medical level. One of the most complete of its catalog is this Tanita RD-953, which also integrates with an application for mobile.
This smart scale is a good tool for those who seek to lose weight and control in detail how is your body. It is thorough in terms of quantity and quality, providing weight, BMI, body fat, visceral fat, muscle mass, muscle quality, muscle score, physical complexion, bone mass, basal metabolism, metabolic age and the amount of body water.
Its design is very futuristic, with a screen in the center of the device and a touch menu in the base to control it. Its application is also very complete, although its design leaves a lot to be desired. On Amazon from 183.99 dollars.
Under Armor Healthbox
More than a scale, the Under Armor Healthbox is a way to increase our health through technology. This pack includes scale, heart rate band and activity monitor for 444.95 dollars
The scale offers weight measurements, percentage of body fat and progress over time after configuring your personal profile where in addition to sex and age, you can enter your lifestyle and your goals. They fit up to 8 users that are recognized automatically. Its design is rounded, somewhat bulky and with a LED screen very easy to read. According to the analysis, it is advisable to keep it updated so that it offers the highest possible accuracy.
It is not that the scale is too complete in terms of metrics, but the good thing is that thanks to the rest of the gadgets a very complete monitoring of our life is created: activity, sleep, pulsations, etc.