A favorite among New Year’s resolutions is to improve your health and, likely, lose some weight. There are a host of great gadgets and apps geared to help you do this, from Fitbit to Sworkit, Silicon Valley has invested in your health in a big way the last five years. If you’re already on board with fitness wearables and workout apps, there is one other health product you can upgrade with a jolt of technology: the scale.
Unlike traditional scales, which only keep you informed on your weight, smart scales offer a variety of different readings like body mass index, body fat percentage, muscle mass, bone mass and more. Instead of forcing you to fixate on pounds, which is not always the healthy thing to do if you’re exercising and building muscle, smart scales help you get a more rounded view of your health and body, so you can see if you are improving in the new year, even if the pounds aren’t flying off.
Like all consumer electronics, the world of smart scales is vast and can get confusing quickly. We’ve broken it down to five you should take a look at if you’re ready for the next step in health-focused gadgetry:
A logical first step for most people looking to venture into the world of smart scales would be Fitbit’s offering in the category, the Aria. Fitbit is already the most popular fitness focused technology brand in the market, despite its recent troubles, and its WiFi connected scale offers the usual benefits and features one would expect plus ease of use for those already in the company’s vast ecosystem. The aria tracks weight, body mass index, lean mass and body fat percentage, and will automatically sync with the Fitbit app so you can keep all your health related information in one spot instead of hopping from app to app.
If you’re not loyal to Fitbit, though, you may want to consider alternative scales. The Aria has been around for years now without receiving any significant upgrades, meaning it has fallen behind other scales on this list in terms of advanced tracking metrics.
Like all smart scales worth their price, Withings’ Body Cardio measures weight, BMI and body composition, but where it sets itself apart is two readings centered on the heart. One is fairly simple, standing heart rate, but the other is what’s called Pulse Wave Velocity or PWV. PWV measures heartbeat generated vibrations, which can help assess your arterial health and blood pressure.
The scale syncs with the company’s Health Mate app nearly instantly, so you can keep track of all your information. The Body Cardio also comes with an innovative design that includes a solid aluminum base, allowing it to work on any surface, even carpet. The scale is a commitment with a retail price of $179.95, but it’s one of the most feature rich options currently available, and you can occasionally find it on Amazon for cheaper than list price.
Garmin has quietly produced some of the best fitness wearables on the market, and its smart scale is no different. The Index comes with WiFi, Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity, allowing it to pair seamlessly with the company’s line of fitness watches and bands, plus your smartphone. The scale measures weight, BMI, body fat, skeletal muscle mass, bone mass and more, and it will recognize up to 16 users, meaning it can be a useful tool for the entire household. If you’re already hooked on Garmin’s fantastic fitness watches, a favorite among runners, the Index Smart Scale is the best choice for you.
The QardioBase Smart Scale, like the Withings Body Cardio, comes packed with features. Like the Body Cardio, the QardioBase measures the usual weight, BMI, body composition (including body fat percentage, muscle, water and bone mass), but it sets itself apart with a dedicated pregnancy mode. That way, women who are pregnant can still use the scale, with the QardioBase adjusting to expect weight gain and help guide pregnant users to ensure the best health for both them and their child.
The QardioBase also offers an attractive round design, Bluetooth and WiFi syncing with the company’s companion app, support for multiple users and Smart Feedback, which ditches the numbers for smiley faces that help you keep on track with your goals without fretting over every little detail. You can currently get it for 15 percent off its usual list price of $149.99, or even cheaper on Amazon.
If the idea of a smart scale sounds good to you but you can’t get past dropping more than $100 on one, consider the Yunmai Color. It offers the same tracking features as higher priced scales; weight, fat, BMI, muscle, bone mass and more, but does so at a friendlier price (currently $66.95, on sale from $99.95). The scale has four high precision pressure sensors to help it offer the most accurate readings possible, a 4-inch LCD display so you can easily see all your measurements, Bluetooth connectivity so it can sync with the companion app (which in turn can sync with Apple Health, Google Fit and Fitbit) and support for up to 16 users.
As the name suggests, it comes in five colors: blue, green, pink, white and yellow. It’s not the sleekest scale on the market, Yunmai offers a premium model that is more in line with offerings from Fitbit and Withings, but it’s certainly pretty enough to sit on your bathroom floor. If you’re looking for an economical way to try out life with a smart scale, give the Yunmai Color a close look.