Your weight only says so much. Track better stats with pinpoint accuracy using these MH-approved smart scales. Rather step on it.
Battling the scales is a tired trope. Like the smartwatches on our wrists or the sleep app on our iPhones, they are just a tool that provides unbiased information about the inner workings of the body. Stop seeing smart scales as a moral arbiter and they can be
a valuable ally.
Weight only tells you half the story anyway. The latest smart scales offer more than just pounds and pounds, including helpful data on body fat percentage, muscle mass, bone density, and even hydration status. They work via “bioelectrical impedance analysis,” which basically means they run a harmless, painless electrical current through your body. This moves through different tissue types differently, creating a clearer picture of your overall body composition.
This data can then be sent to your smartphone via Bluetooth, in some cases synced with information about your heart rate and activity level.
But how do you know which smart scales are worthwhile with a wide range? We sent several models to the MH Lab, where they were tested against a high-end body composition monitor, as well as in the real world. Here are our highlights.
Eufy C1, $49, amazon.com.au
Ease of use: 5/5
BUDGET BUY: Rather spend your hard-earned money on new activewear? These inexpensive smart scales cost just under $50, but still take 12 body measurements, from bone mass to basal metabolic rate. Up to 16 users can set up profiles if you feel like sharing with your gym team.
EXPERT VERDICT: Weight? Spot on. Body fat? Not so much. While hit and miss in terms of accuracy, this is a helpful guide if you’re trying to shed a few pounds. The app is easy to navigate, but you can also sync your data with Fitbit, Google Fit, or Apple Health.
FitTrack Dara, $199.95, getfittrack.com
Easy to use: 4.5/5
DATA GIANT: If you’re a bit of a numbers nerd, this provides an impressive 17 stats, including muscle mass and metabolic age, as well as the usual BMI and body fat. It automatically recognizes up to eight people – ideal for a household of fitness enthusiasts who want to achieve group goals.
EXPERT VERDICT: The measurements were incredibly accurate. They appeared in the app in seconds, along with details to help interpret them. The platform is a bit small; larger feet can crawl over the edges.
Garmin Index S2, $249, garmin.com
Ease of use: 5/5
RAIN OR SUNSHINE: This minimalist smart scale syncs with your Garmin tracker or smartwatch, so all your health stats are in one place. It can handle 16 profiles — and stands 12 feet tall — and will even display the weather once it’s cycled through key stats, including your body fat and water weight percentage.
EXPERT VERDICT: While the numbers were mostly accurate, the body fat measurement was less so. The scale is easy to use, but the battery failed, lasting only two weeks, as opposed to the promised nine months.
Pump it up
Withings Body Cardio, $249, withings.com
Ease of use: 4.5/5
CARDIO HERO: Developed in collaboration with cardiologists, this claims to be the first scale to provide a cardiovascular check-up in less than 30 seconds. It offers a large platform and display window that scrolls through many stats and it is rechargeable via USB cable.
EXPERT VERDICT: The body fat results were a little disappointing, but the weight measurements were good and we liked the healthy goal information in the app. The glass platform is less robust than it seems, so don’t jump on it with too much force.
Stay in sync
Tanita RD-953, $449, tanitaaustralia.com
Ease of use: 4.5/5
FAST FIRE: The space age style will appeal to some, but these shells also offer substance. They deliver 12 body stats, including muscle quality and an overall “physique,” plus the option to subtract the weight of your phone and clothes for much-appreciated laser accuracy.
EXPERT VERDICT: It took a whopping five seconds for our data to sync to the intuitive app, saving you some extra time in the morning. The Tanita offered near-perfect precision, with our body fat readings only negligible, and the roomy platform felt stable to step on.
Sorting things out
We used the following criteria to find the best technology for your health and fitness goals.
Calibrated weights were used to check accuracy. Testers used a bioimpedance machine to measure body fat, then compared the scale’s readings.
Platforms that felt sturdy and were big enough for bigger feet without wobbling scored extra points in our testing.
3/ EASE OF USE
User-friendliness was paramount. The ability to quickly connect to the compatible app and navigate through it with ease scored extra points, as did the simplicity of stats.
Luke Rig. Photography: Michael Hedge; Louisa Parry; Studio 33