It’s pretty normal these days to upgrade your old school mechanical weight scale to something modern – a digital bathroom scale. But before you start researching scales and getting lost in all the fancy new models on the market, you should ask yourself two essential questions first.
- Am I interested in just measuring my weight (and maybe BMI) or do I also want to keep track of other metrics like body fat percentage, bone mass, lean mass and water content?
- Do I mind manually tracking things in a notebook or a fitness app or do I want my scale to automatically sync data with my health and fitness apps?
This will really help you save time and guide your thinking as you research and compare the best digital bathroom scales. There are so many options for digital scales and most articles on the internet will just lump everything together. This can be confusing, and when I was first researching scales to buy for myself, I was going around in circles. This matrix below helps to illustrate what I am trying to say, and where you should start.
|What do you want to measure?|
|I just want to measure weight (and maybe BMI)||I want to measure body fat percentage, body mass and/or other metrics|
|How do you want to use your fitness app(s)?||I don’t use fitness apps and if I do, I am happy to manually update them with data.||1. You need a simple ‘non-smart’ scale that just measures weight (generally $20-$30)||2. You need a ‘non-smart’ scale that measures body composition (also known as body fat analysers or body composition scales).|
|I want my digital scale to sync with my fitness apps and automatically update them.||3. You need a smart scale that measures weight (and BMI) but nothing else.||4. You need a smart scale that measures body composition (also known as body fat analysers or body composition scales).
Basically, the main decision you need to make is whether you want a smart scale or a ‘simple’ digital bathroom scale.
If you fall into categories 3 or 4, then that means you definitely want a smart scale. Whether you are looking to just weigh yourself or measure additional things like body fat percentage, you are into your fitness app(s) and you want the scale to update those apps without any fuss.
And if you do not need a smart scale, then you can just as well get a non-smart digital bathroom scale. Now, they aren’t actually referred to as ‘non-smart’ but I am just making that distinction to clarify the difference. A non-smart scale records the same things that a smart scale can, but it just doesn’t send your data to an app.
Differences between smart and ‘non-smart’ digital bathroom scales
The main advantages of non-smart scales are simple:
- They are cheaper than smart scales
- They are much easier to set up – just stick in the batteries, turn it on and you are ready to go
And the main reason you would want to buy a smart is scale is the following:
- You can sync up the scale with your fitness app(s), allowing you to track and monitor your fitness goals over time. These days it’s popular to collect as much as data as you can to help monitor your progress and maybe even show your friends.
Now, let’s have a look at some of the best scales on the market for both smart and ‘non-smart’ digital scales.
Best Smart Scales
Factors to consider
- What health app are you using or planning to use – in many ways this might be the single most important thing to consider. If you are using MyFitnessPal, or Apple Health, or S Health or whatever app you prefer, you need to ensure that the scale you choose and its ‘native’ app will sync with your health app. If it doesn’t or if you have to go through hoops to set it up, it’s just not worth it.
- What do you want to measure – these days digital smart scales can measure all kinds of things other than weight. This includes body fat percentage, bone mass, lean mass and water content. It sounds great but it means you are paying more and there are issues with the accuracy of these other metrics
- Wifi or Bluetooth – you will need to decide between a smart wifi scale that uses your wifi to send data to your app or a smart bluetooth scale that sends data directly to your phone. Generally they both do the job fine just in different ways. But if you don’t have good wifi in your bathroom you may need to get a bluetooth smart scale.
The following are other features you might want to think about as well:
- Number of users – All smart scales can track up to 8 users at the same time – I’m not sure when you will need more than that!
- Batteries/power – Most take 4 AAA batteries.
- Style/look – This is more about your taste and what fits in your bathroom, although most have a ‘modern’ or ‘sleek’ look.
- Display – Certain displays can add an element of personalisation that some people find important – do you want the scale to display your name along with your weight? Do you like emoticons with smiley or frowny faces?
- Maximum weight – All scales have a maximum weight they can take, typically around 350-400 pounds. If you are very overweight this may play into your decision.
Withings is a well-known brand and one of world leaders in connected health devices and apps. Actually they were the ones to launch the worlds first smart wifi scale. Previously part of the Nokia Health brand, these scales were acquired by Withings in 2018. The Withings Body is their next-generation smart scale that uses new technology for more accurate weight readings. The native app for the scale, Health Mate is comprehensive. I do like the trend screen which shows the previous 8 weigh-ins, so you can immediately see what your progress is like. Withings is also know for its focus on interoperability with other products. This is why Withings products and particularly their smart scale and Health Mate app have been integrated with over 100 health apps and products. Overall, this smart scale has interesting features and advanced metrics. It comes in white or black.
- Advanced metrics
- New technology for more accurate readings
- Trend screen showing previous weigh-ins and your progress
- Compatible with large number of health and fitness apps
- Both wifi and bluetooth connectivity
Compatible apps: Withings Body is compatible with over 100 health apps, including MyFitnessPal, Lose It!, and Weight Watchers, Runkeeper, Runtastic and MapMyRun.
Native app: Health Mate
Fitbit Aria 2
Fitbit is well-known for its fitness trackers but it also has a whole range of connected health devices, including the popular Fitbit Aria 2 smart scale. It measures weight, BMI, lean mass and body fat percentage. While Fitbit doesn’t integrate with as many third party apps as Withings Body, it still does have a good number of partner apps. And besides, its native Fitbit app is a comprehensive tool, displaying weight stats and progress trends in easy to read charts and graphs. Design-wise I like the minimalist polished glass surface and circular display of Fitbit Aria. Overall, Fitbit Aria is slightly more expensive than other smart scales but it is easy to install and integrates well with Fitbit’s ecosystem and associated data tracking tools.
- Part of the Fitbit ecosystem with powerful cloud-based data tracking tools
- Compatible with large number of health and fitness apps
- Modern, sleek design
- Only offers wifi connectivity
- More expensive than other smart scales
Compatible apps: Fitibit Aria is compatible with a number of 3rd-party apps, including MyFitnessPal, Lose It!, and Weight Watchers, Runkeeper, Runtastic and MapMyRun.
Native app: Fitbit
The iHealth Lite is made by iHealth Labs whose line of products include blood pressure monitors, blood glucose monitors, body analysis scales, pulse oximeters and activity trackers. They cover a whole range of health products not just fitness. This smart scale has a sleek mimimalist style that fits in any bathroom. It doesn’t integrate with as many partner apps like some of the other smart scales, but it does with the more important ones like MapMyFitness, Apple Health and S Health (now Samsung Health). The iHealth Lite doesn’t measure lots metrics and instead sticks to the basics – weight and BMI. Overall, if you don’t need a fancy smart scale with advanced metrics, the iHealth Lite is an affordable option.
The iHealth Core is a beefed up version of the iHealth Lite. It provides additional metrics like body fat percentage and is also offers wifi connectivity.
- Affordable price tag
- Minimalist modern design
- Compatible with the more popular health and fitness apps
- Only offers bluetooth connectivity
- Only measures weight and BMI
Compatible apps: iHealth Lite is compatible with Apple Health and Samsung Health.
Native app: iHealth MyVitals
6 Best ‘Non-smart’ Digital Bathroom Scales
Features to compare
These are the kinds of features you should consider when comparing digital bathroom scales:
What do you want to measure – Are you just interested in measuring your weight/BMI, or do you also want to measure body fat percentage and other advanced metrics. If it’s the latter you are spending a bit more money.
Style/look – Obviously you want a scale that suits your taste and fits your bathroom.
Maximum weight – All scales have a maximum weight they can take, typically around 350-400 pounds. If you are very overweight this may play into your decision.
EatSmart Precision Digital Scale
This scale has an extra large backlit display so that you can easily see your results. It has a sturdy tempered ‘non-slip’ glass top. It was recently upgraded to allow a maximum weight of 400 lbs. They also throw in body tape measure so you can also measure your biceps, thighs etc. to give you a more holistic view of your health and weight. They also have a new ‘step on’ technology so that you don’t have to tap on the scale before weighing yourself. This scale uses 4 high-gauge EatSmart Precision sensors which they claim means an accurate measurement to the nearest .2 lbs.
- Extra large backlit display
- 400 lbs max weight allowed
- Non-slip surface
- ‘Step on’ technology for quickly weighing yourself
Innotech High Accuracy Digital Bathroom Scale
This sleek and modern digital bathroom scale uses Germany technology for accurate readings up to 0.2 lbs. Its 3.6 inch negative LCD display is backlit allowing for easy viewing from any angle in any lighting. It has automated calibration meaning you can weight yourself right away without having to tap on the scale. This is a solid choice for a scale using Germany technology and comes with a 1 year warranty
- Large backlit display
- 400 lbs max weight allowed
- Comes with 1 year warranty
Internet’s Best Bamboo Digital Body Weight Bathroom Scale
This scale has a different look than your typical digital scale. The natural bamboo on the scale surface gives your feet a soft and smooth surface to stand on instead of the cold and hard surface of glass or metal scales. But you will need to ensure it is dry to avoid slipping. Otherwise the scale is similar to other models – it has a large backlit display, 4 sensors to ensure accurate readings, and a weight capacity of 400 lbs
- Unique look and feel with bamboo surface
- Large backlit display
- 4 sensor to ensure accurate readings
- 400 lbs max capacity
Balance Silicone Digital Bathroom Scale
This scale is manufactured by St Louis-based Greater Goods, who work with charities and responsible makers to produce great products for good. This scale is about more than just functionality – it’s about style. As the marketing says “It’s the scale so fun you can’t stay mad at it, no matter what number it says.” The scale consists of a durable glass base in a removable silicone cover. It comes with a versatile slate gray top, and you can buy any of the other covers coming in 6 different colors. The vanishing LED display is invisible when off, and shines through the silicone cover when you step on it. It has 4 sensors for accurate readings and has a weight capacity of 400 lbs. It also comes with a digital getting started guide and video to make setup easy.
- Looks great with the ability to change colors if you want
- The manufacturer has a sustainable ethos and some of the profits are for a good cause
- 4 sensors for accurate readings
- Max weight 400 lbs (397 to be exact)
Omron Body Composition Monitor and Scale HBF-510W
This is actually more than a scale and is referred to as a full body composition monitor. It uses its proprietary Body Sensing technology, with hand-to-foot technology which is more accurate than ‘foot-to-foot’ monitors. The technology uses bioelectrical impedance which is commonly used for these types of monitors, but still has its issues when it comes to consistency. The scale measures 5 indicators: body fat percentage, visceral fat, BMI, skeletal muscle, and body weight. It has a four person memory profile for the whole family and the retractable cord makes it suitable for adults up to 6.5 feet tall and up to 330 pounds.
- Measures 5 different indicators including BMI and body fat percentage
- Has a large backlit display
- Has a 4 person profile so can be used by the whole family
Taylor Precision Products Digital Body Fat Analyzer Scale
Using bioelectrical impedance, this scale measures fat, body water and muscle mass composition accurate to 0.1%. It provides readings up to 400-pounds. A 3-inch by 1.5-inch dual line LCD readout provides an easy-to-read display of body weight and fat percentages at a glance. It is also able to store up to four measurements in memory to help track individual weight loss efforts. The scale operates in normal or athlete mode.
- Measures body fat percentage and other metrics
- Max capacity of 400 lbs
- Stores up to 4 measurements so you can track your progress
As you can see there are lots of options. It can get confusing. To make things easier on your decision, first ask yourself those 2 questions:
- Do you want to use fitness apps to track your weigh ins and progress automatically – In which case you need a smart scale. Or are you happy to write things down or just make a mental note now and again – in which case you do not need a smart scale
- Do you just want to measure your weight? Or do you want to measure body fat percentage and other advanced metrics.
Once you’ve answered these two questions, it will really narrow down your options and make your decision easier. Good luck!