To keep track of your weight you can obviously invest in an old analog scale, but in 2021, technology offers us much more. With connected scales and impedance meters, it is now possible to measure your fat mass, muscle mass, bone mass and other things … while allowing you to follow developments precisely. Here are our recommendations for doing so.
Whether it is to regain control after the holidays, prepare your beach body or monitor the results of your training, a connected scale is much more practical than a traditional model.
The latter take care of the most boring part of the weighing for you by taking care of the tracking for you. In addition to weight, the most basic feature of a smart scale, most models offer a more detailed analysis of your body composition, bone mass, muscle mass, or more. These measurements do not have the precision of dedicated devices, but they make it possible to detect trends.
A little advice for better monitoring: weigh yourself at a fixed time daily, in the morning on an empty stomach being the most obvious option. This helps to avoid certain variables like food and drink which can drastically change the results. Also be careful not to focus on day-to-day changes, the real evolutions are done over the longer term.
Here is a selection of a few smart scales in various price ranges that will cover most needs.
If you want to follow your sports progress, do not hesitate to take a look at our selection of connected bracelets for sports. Our pick of the best running apps may also interest you.
Withings Body Cardio: your body and your heart
Withings, then Nokia, then Withings again. The Body Cardio is a very complete scale that measures your weight of course, but also does a lot more. In fact, it measures just about your entire body: weight, bone mass, fat mass, water mass and finally muscle mass. These measurements are relatively common on most higher end scales. Where Body Cardio stands out is in its part… cardio.
The scale is also capable of measuring your heart rate as well as pulse wave velocity (PWV). Little known to the general public, the VOP makes it possible to measure arterial stiffness which is itself a factor in arterial hypertension. Prosaically, it is an additional way to detect cardiovascular abnormalities. It’s always good to take.
Obviously, the scale fits into the Withings ecosystem, so you will find the data in the Health Mate application, rather well put together and pleasantly designed. If you already have a Withings product such as a connected watch, this is a natural choice. It connects to Wi-Fi and has the good idea of recharging via USB rather than running on battery, Withings promises up to 12 months of battery life.
- Your whole body composition
- And also cardiovascular measures
- The Withings ecosystem
Withings Body +: good value for money
If you have a little budget, you can skip cardiovascular measures and focus on other points with the Withings Body Composition. On the other hand, you find the weight and the bone, fat, water and muscle masses. This is more than sufficient on a daily basis.
The composition is always measured using the bioelectrical impedance technique which requires the use of the scale barefoot (and dry) to function correctly. It also has a pregnancy mode, then a baby mode to follow the growth of the infant by simply carrying it in the arms.
Unlike her big sister, she also skips the battery, in favor of batteries this time. It will take four and Withings expects 18 months of autonomy with them. You will of course find the Health Mate application.
- Your weight and your body composition
- But also some additional features
- The pleasant Withings ecosystem
The Withings Body + is generally offered at less than 100 euros.
Eufy P1: the economical option
Eufy is a subsidiary of Anker which is best known for its external batteries. With its P1, the brand which specializes in the “quantified self” succeeds in offering a very nice scale at a low price. As with its more upscale competitors, all the usual measures are present.
On the other hand, it does not include Wi-Fi. Connectivity is via Bluetooth which in use is a little less practical since it will be necessary to remember to activate it on your phone so that it records the weight of the day. It is a little more restrictive and you will undoubtedly happen to “lose” some measurements because of it.
The app is relatively clear and pleasing to the eye, and you can also use Google Fit or the iOS Health app if you prefer. The scale itself has the merit of being a little more compact than its competitors and will fit easily into most interiors. It works with 3 AAA batteries.
- All the classic features …
- … but it connects via Bluetooth
- Less than 50 euros !
Tefal Body Partner +: for additional measurements
Rather known for its kitchen accessories, Tefal also offers several models of connected scales. The Body Partner offers on paper a selection of very classic sensors with an impedance meter capable of measuring the rate of fat mass and hydration. We regret, however, that it only works in Bluetooth, but we appreciate the very readable screen.
It sets itself apart, however, by offering a “silhouette sensor”. Behind this term is in fact a good old tape measure also connected by Bluetooth. Coupled with the application, it allows you to take measurements from six positions (chest, waist, hips, calf, thigh, biceps). Measurements which complement in an interesting way the weight and the rate of fat mass to give a much more precise picture of our evolutions. Note that if compatibility with health apps from Google and Apple is ensured, all measures are not taken into account. It will therefore be necessary to keep the Tefal app for full monitoring. Too bad, however, that it is quite expensive.
- Very readable screen
- Really useful measurements
- Bluetooth only
How to use a connected scale?
Before being connected, connected scales are… scales. When it comes to simply measuring your weight, you can use it like any scale without special precautions. However, to obtain complementary values such as fat mass, they use the technique known as “bioelectric impedance” which requires passing a slight current through the body. For this, it is mandatory to use it barefoot, otherwise the electric current will not be able to pass, so it will be impossible to obtain a measurement. It is also important to have dry feet, as moisture can interfere with the signal.
Does electrical impedance pose a risk to health, including during pregnancy?
If the idea of having a current flowing through your body at each weigh-in worries you, do not worry. Bioelectrical impedance does not present any risk. The current is very weak and no studies have shown any impact on health. However, most scales offer to turn off this feature as a precaution, especially during pregnancy.
Are smart scales accurate?
Measuring the weight of something is very easy. Even at a low cost, finding accurate scales is not too complicated. Some more upscale, like the Withings Body Cardio from our selection of connected scales, also offer special mechanisms to make it even more precise.
For the other elements, it is less the case. Bioelectrical impedance has its limits when it comes to consumer products. The level of fat mass in particular clearly lacks precision and it will be necessary to go through dedicated devices to measure it. A connected scale will however be able to draw a trend, especially if you use it on a daily basis.