Almost everyone has a normal/standard scale at home. As a result, it’s all too simple to rely on how much you weigh as proof that you’re on track (or not) with your fitness objectives. However, the number of pounds that display on a conventional bathroom scale can’t reveal how much of our body is fat rather than muscle. That’s where body fat scales come in handy.
“Body fat scales are tools to measure aspects of your body composition,” explains Marvin Singh, MD, precision medicine expert from the Precisione Clinic in greater San Diego. “They commonly use a method called bioelectrical impedance analysis, which basically sends a weak current through your body to determine your body composition.”
In other words, such scales work with the help of sensors underneath your feet that use bioelectrical impedance. A tiny electrical current runs up your leg and across your pelvis to assess the degree of resistance from body fat when you step on the scale.
The scale’s sensors then measure the amount of resistance that the current encounters as it travels back through your other leg.
The scale’s signal can link up to your smartphone or smartwatch, as well as any fitness applications you may have, based on the sort of body fat scale you have.
Body fat scales have exploded in popularity, which means shoppers now have tons of options to choose from. The bad news is….you have tons of options to choose from. Because they can all look very much alike, selecting the best scale can be confusing. So we’ve whittled it down to five can’t-miss picks.
“Body fat scales are tools for assessing various elements of body composition,” explains Marvin Singh, MD, precision medicine expert from the Precisione Clinic in greater San Diego. “Bioelectrical impedance analysis is a technique they frequently employ to determine your body composition. It sends a mild current through your body to estimate your body composition.
The popularity of body fat scales has increased, which means consumers now have a lot of alternatives. The bad news is that you have a plethora of alternatives to pick from. Because they may all appear to be the same, picking the ideal scale might be difficult. So we’ve chosen just five can’t-miss choices for you.
1. Best Overall: Renpho Bluetooth Body Fat Scale
Renpho’s model is FDA-certified, measures 13 different metrics, and is an all-around winner, It syncs with a variety of fitness apps to the display.
You may also create multiple profiles on this comprehensive body composition analyzer, which is ideal for couples who use it together.
It’s also been praised by reviewers for being extremely durable, even after a toddler has treated it roughly. “The one thing I didn’t know I needed” is another phrase that was used.
Weight limit: 396 lbs
Buy it: Walmart.com; Price: $24.99
2. Best on a Budget: Etekcity Body Fat Monitor Scale
Look no further than Etekcity’s brilliant, straightforward rendition if cost and simplicity of use are your primary concerns. The Body Fat Scale is a simple to use device that measures BMI, muscular mass, and body water.
The biggest drawback is that it only connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth, but if that isn’t a problem for you, this may be the best deal. It also comes in two sizes and colors.
Weight limit: 400 lbs
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $19.99
3. Best Splurge: QardioBase2
This top-tier model’s features compare to its beautiful, elegant appearance. It keeps track of your BMI, body composition in general, and, sure enough, weight. It transmits everything to your phone, which it syncs via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
It has two special modes: one for expectant mums and another for those with implanted medical devices. It also supports many users, thanks to auto recognition.
If you’re uncomfortable with the prospect of looking at real numbers (hey, we’ve all been there), you may use emojis to express the situation.
Weight limit: 396 lbs
Buy it: Store.Qardio.com; Price: $109.99
4. Best High-Tech: Withings Body+
The Body+ is a fantastic combination of price and performance, providing you all the information you need to make good body-care decisions over time. Melds activity data (Bluetooth not required) from third-party applications and professional advice with your own stats to give you a full picture of where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there.
It’s made of extremely durable, slip-resistant material. Large surface area for improved stability — ideal if you have big feet.
Weight limit: 396 lbs
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $80–$99
5. Best Low-Tech: Tanita InnerScan Body Composition Monitor
If you appreciate your fitness equipment simple, this well-rated option may not have every last button and knob, but it’s certainly worth considering if you like things straightforward.
It keeps track of 9 metrics, including visceral fat. It has a familiar bathroom scale feel thanks to its tempered glass and transparent foot electrodes.It does so in the intuitive manner: it goes from red to yellow or green, with a traffic light-style prompt.
Weight limit: 330 lbs
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $114.99
What to Look for in a Body Fat Scale
As you can see, the body fat scales available to consumers have a wide range of capabilities. Many of those are down to personal preference like what kind of power source they use, how big they are, whether the one you like has a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capability or not. Take stock of what matters to you before making a decision.
However, according to Anel Pla, a certified personal trainer at Simplexity Fitness in New York City, the following are important features:
1. Precision Sensors
The most important feature of a digital body fat scale is that it should be able to give precise readings. This will be heavily influenced by the sensors.
2. Different Measurement and Date Options
Some body fat scales can calculate various aspects of a person’s health, including as visceral fat percentage (fat that hides in the spaces between the abdominal organs, which can cause severe diseases), BMI, bone and muscle mass, water weight and metabolic age, among other things.
It’s also useful if it allows you to keep track of several objectives on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
3. Should Be Usable On Carpet (if You Don’t Have Any Hard, Flat Floors)
When placed on carpet or uneven tile, some scales don’t work well.
4. Simple Instructions
They should be simple to comprehend and include clear illustrations and guidance on how to interpret your results.
5. Ample Profiles
There should be enough profiles (saved sets of individual information) for everyone who will use the scale on a regular basis. A “guest” profile might be useful for visitors.
6. Tempered Glass
It resists dampness effectively, which is useful if the scale will be kept in a bathroom.
Tips for Using a Body Fat Scale
Because the results are influenced by external factors and variables that our bodies undergo, body fat scales offer rough approximations. However, they can still be used to track your fat loss achievements.
Here’s a checklist to ensure results are as precise and useful as possible.
- Make sure your feet are clean and bare so that you can effectively connect with the scale’s sensor pads.
- Take your weight at the same time of day on the same surface (a hard, level floor, unless your scale is specifically made for accuracy on carpeting.)
- Don’t eat or drink anything for four hours before the procedure.
- Make sure to urinate around 30 minutes before taking a reading.
- Don’t weigh yourself for at least 24 hours after heavy exercise or drinking alcohol, and don’t do so immediately after waking up. The reading will be incorrect if your body’s water content is uneven or unusual.
Rahul is a sports and performance consultant. Over the course of his 15-year career in the fitness sector, he has held positions as a strength and conditioning instructor, gym owner, and consultant.
He is deeply committed to assisting people in finding happiness and feeling good about themselves.
Rahul has a master’s degree in exercise science and is a certified NSCA CSCS and CISSN.