Withings, Fitbit, Garmin, Eufy and JaxJox: The best smart scales, tested – CNET

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James Martin/CNET

Today’s body scales can do so much more than just show you your weight. They can provide a more complete picture of your body, measuring how much fat and muscle you have, and track your weight over time.

Smart scales can do all of that and more, but with so many models available, it’s hard to pick which one is right for you. Here I’ll break down the best options on the market.

What is a smart scale?

Put simply, a smart scale is one that uses Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to sync all of the metrics it records about you to an app on your phone. Many of these scales have sensors to measure body fat percentage, muscle mass, bone mass, heart rate and more, in addition to weighing you.

The flaws in measuring body fat with a scale 

All of the scales on this list can measure your body composition using an electrical current that travels from the scale’s sensor through your leg, across your pelvis and down the other leg. It measures how much resistance that current encounters and then uses a mathematical formula to estimate how much fat, muscle and bone makes up your entire weight.

While these features are useful, they aren’t always reliable. Consumer Reports tested the accuracy of many scales that measure body fat percentage and found that most didn’t hit the mark compared to a BodyPod — one of the gold-standard clinical tests for measuring body fat.

Those inaccuracies can be chalked up to many things, including if you’re sick, retaining water, have recently exercised, are menstruating or have consumed alcohol. One of the most influential factors is where you carry your weight — if your chest and arms are slim, but you have more fat and muscle in your pelvis and legs, it might incorrectly calculate your overall body fat percentage.

Each scale I stepped on gave me a different body fat percentage, but each number was within a 10% range. But for muscle mass percentage, the range was between 33% and 63%. Two of the scales I tested provide a basal metabolic rate (BMR), but there was a whopping 631-calorie difference between the two. That’s more than one McDonald’s Big Mac or three glazed Krispy Kreme donuts.

All of this is to say, don’t get caught up in those numbers. Follow the directions that come with your scale to get the most accurate measurements possible and if you are concerned about your body fat percentage or body composition, talk to your doctor about getting a proper scan. 

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The best smart scales

James Martin/CNET

Of all the scales I tested, this is my favorite. That’s mostly because the Eufy app that you use with the scale is is very easy to navigate and it gives you detailed reports of your weight, BMI, body fat, water, muscle mass, bone mass, BMR and more. It will also flag those categories as low, normal or high, so you know how your stats compare to what’s considered the healthy standard for your height and age. 

Comparing my stats to other scales, Eufy’s seemed the most consistent, though my BMR is suspiciously high. One of the best things about the Eufy scale is that it supports up to 16 different users. Simply select the correct user in the Eufy app and all of your stats from the scale will sync to that profile. It also connects with Apple Health and Fitbit.

James Martin/CNET

Withings’ scale comes packed with lots of features that go above and beyond the rest. It provides detailed historical information on your weight, body fat, muscle mass, body water, heart rate and bone mass, so you can see how those numbers change over weeks, months, quarters and years. It also records the weather every day that you hop on the scale, to help you decide what to wear if you step on the scale first thing in the morning. 

What sets the Body Cardio apart is that it has pregnancy, baby and athlete modes, each tailored to specific needs. If you activate pregnancy tracking, it will plot your weight changes over the course of your pregnancy and suggest to turn off the body composition features, which aren’t as accurate while you’re carrying. 

Baby mode allows you to hold your infant and step on the scale to only measure their weight. Athlete mode accounts for professional athletes, bodybuilders and anyone who weighs more because they have a lot of muscle mass and low body fat.

Two more bonuses: it uses a rechargeable battery — many scales run on a bunch of AA batteries — and it supports up to 8 different users.

Runners-up

James Martin/CNET

The Fitbit Aria 2 scale measures weight, body mass index and body fat, but it gave me less data than the rest of the scales. It’s best for people who currently use a Fitbit wearable and want all of their information — activity, nutrition, weight, sleep — in one dashboard. The Aria 2 also gets points for being really cute. As you interact with the scale, you see an animated face that smiles at you and goes to sleep as the scale goes into standby mode.

This scale also includes a lean mode, for professional athletes or bodybuilders whose physiques are different from the average person. Plus, up to eight people can use the Aria 2 and each of their stats are saved to their user profiles in the Fitbit app.

James Martin/CNET

Do you already use a Garmin fitness tracker? Then you might want to get a Garmin Index smart scale to go with it. Garmin’s Connect app offers a holistic view of your health, including your activity level, weight, body fat percentage and more.

The scale measures weight, BMI, body fat, body water, muscle mass and bone mass, and it offers charts that track changes over a week, a month and a year.

James Martin/CNET

While the JaxJox scale is best used in tandem with JaxJox’s smart kettle bell, activity tracker and/or heart rate monitor, it does a good job on its own. Even if you don’t own any other JaxJox product, this scale is still worth your attention because its BMR measurement was the most correct out of any of the scales I tested. 

It also measures visceral fat, which research now shows is associated with insulin resistance, high levels of bad cholesterol, and low levels of good cholesterol. It’s also cheaper than most of the scales on this list.

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