Disclaimer – The content in this article reflects my personal research and opinions. It does not replace the need for professional health or nutritional advice.
When it comes to weighing yourself, these days there are so many different options. Buying a bathroom scale can be confusing and making a decision can seem daunting. But asking yourself if smart scales are worth buying in the first place is an important question to ask yourself. It is easy to get caught up in all the marketing hype and in all the new technology, and it’s good to step back and really consider if you actually need one.
I know there are smart scales that measure things other than just weight but for the purpose of the question we are trying to answer, we’ll keep it simple and just talk about weight scales.
What makes something worth buying
Firstly, there are 4 main factors when deciding if something is worth purchasing or not. Any product decision you make usually takes the following into consideration.
- How much joy or satisfaction will this bring you? i.e. what are the benefits
- What’s your financial situation – obviously it needs to be affordable for you
- How often will you use it?
- What are the alternatives and what do they cost?
So, do you really need a smart scale?
Basically this comes down to the first and third questions on that list – what are the benefits and how often are you going to use it. Whether a smart scale is really for you basically is about these two questions:
- Do you like (or need) to track and record your weight and health progress over a period of time?
- If you do, do you mind manually tracking things in a notebook or adding data manually to a fitness app?
You may not want or need to know what you weighed last week or last month or to see how your weight has changed over the past 6 months. If you are not that focused on data in this way, a smart scale is definitely not for you. Just make a mental note when you weigh yourself and keep trying to get closer to your goal(s).
And even if you do enjoy tracking your progress over a period of time, you don’t necessarily need a smart scale to do it. You could manually input the data into your fitness app. If you’re only stepping on your scale, say on a weekly basis, inputting your weight manually into an app takes no time at all.
Or why not use a fitness notebook or journal? A lot of people use these. These also allow you to reflect on how your progress is going, and record qualitative information, and not just pure hard data.
Now, if you really love data and graphs and charts and seeing progress over time AND you think it might be a hassle (or you don’t have much time) to manually input data into your fitness app, then a smart scale might be for you. Lots of people like to geek out on this kind of data and if that’s you, go for it. But keep in mind there are still lots of fancy digital bathroom scales that are not smart scales. The one main benefit that a smart scale does for you is it automatically sends your measurement to your fitness app.
Make your decision – smart scale or not
So basically, whether you think a smart scale is worth buying comes down to this.
- If you are not that fussed about recording and tracking your weight over a period of time, you don’t need a smart scale. You can get a mechanical scale or a simple digital scale.
- If you do like the idea of tracking your weight over a period of time, but are fine with inputting data manually into your app, or using a notebook or journal, then you don’t need a smart scale.
- If you love tracking and recording data AND you find it a hassle to manually input data into your app, then get a smart scale.
If you decide to get a smart scale
If you decide to go for a smart scale, now you need to think about what kind. There are many options. First of all, if you already have an app you want to use, you need to think about which smart scale is compatible with that app. For instance if you use MyFitnessPal, Samsung Health or Apple Health, you will only have certain options.
You will also need to think about whether you just want to measure your weight or if you are also interested in things like body fat percentage. Measuring body fat percentage and other things like muscle mass and water mass requires a scale that uses bioelectrical impedance analysis. These scales are often called body fat analyzers or body composition monitors/scales.
Find out more about bathroom scales
If you are interested in checking out some smart scales, you can read our best digital bathroom scales post for some product descriptions and reviews. And if you aren’t sold on smart scales yet, you can always try out an old-school mechanical scale!