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Compare the best body fat scales
Monitor your health and reach your goals with the right scale.
Knowing how much fat your body is made up of as opposed to muscle, bone or water can help you more accurately work towards your health goals.
Body fat scales offer a range of different functions, so consider exactly what you want out of your purchase so you can avoid paying for features you won’t use.
Top body fat scales
|Number of users||Maximum capacity (kg)||Available colors||Dimmensions (H x W x D)||Purchase|
|Soehnle Shape Sense Profi 100||$47.99||8||180||White/Silver||32 x 336 x 320 mm||Buy now|
|Fitbit Aria 2||$128.95||8||180||Black, White||33.4 x 312 x 312 mm||Buy now|
|Garmin Index||$129.99||16||181.4||Black, White||30 x 350 x 310 mm||Buy now|
|iHealth Core HS6||$129.99||10||180||White||44 x 381 x 368 mm||Buy now|
What is a body fat scale?
A body fat scale shows you the percentage of fat that your body contains. For example, if you weigh 220 pounds and have 22 pounds of fat, then your body fat percentage is 10%.
The scales work by sending a small electrical current through your body and measuring the resistance it receives. Muscle tissue contains a lot of water and offers low resistance, while fat tissue contains little water and offers high resistance. This resistance is measured against other inputted information, such as height, gender and age, to produce a body fat percentage reading.
It’s important to remember that while body fat scales are useful tools that can provide users with a good idea of their body composition, they’re not always 100% accurate. Body fat readings should be used as a baseline indicator of progress, and you should see a health professional to help you interpret any unusual readings or fluctuations.
Healthy body fat percentages differ for men and women. The table below provides a breakdown of suggested body fat percentage ranges:
Suggested body fat percentages for men and women
|At risk||25% +||32% +|
Source: American Council on Exercise
Why should I consider a body fat scale?
There are several ways body fat scales can be useful, including:
- Knowing your body. Body fat scales can give you a detailed breakdown of your body composition in a way that traditional weight scales can’t.
- Establishing health levels. You can compare the body fat scale readings against recommended health norms to establish where your health levels stand.
- Setting fitness goals. Once you know your body fat percentage, you can start to set curated goals to improve or maintain your health levels.
- Tracking fitness progress. Having your own body fat scale allows you to check on your health and fitness progress whenever you want.
Who shouldn’t consider a body fat scale?
Body fat scales aren’t for everyone. For some people, body fat scales won’t be very accurate at all. Others shouldn’t be exposed to the small electrical current the scale uses. These people include:
- Children, athletes and bodybuilders. Body fat percentage readings may be unreliable and fluctuate wildly for these groups of people.
- People with pacemakers. The electrical current that these scales send out could impact a pacemaker, and it’s best to avoid this risk.
- People with metal plates or bolts. Metal inside the body could influence the percentage reading.
- Pregnant people. Body composition changes dramatically during pregnancy, and readings will vary. And although the electrical current from the scales is very small, many manufacturers still recommend not using these scales during pregnancy.
What options are available?
All body fat scales take a body fat percentage reading, but they often offer other features, too. One of the ways to distinguish between body fat scales is to check what other readings the machine is able to give you. These might include:
- Weight. Doctors recommend keeping track of your weight as it can be an indicator of positive or negative lifestyle changes, as well as illness.
- Body Mass Index (BMI). Your height and weight determine your BMI. Your BMI is used by many health organizations to assess your health and wellbeing.
- Water weight. How much water your body is carrying. Excess water weight can often be linked to bloating and swelling-related ailments.
- Bone mass. The weight of your bones. This reading can indicate whether you have any issues related to bone density.
- Muscle mass. The weight of the muscles in your body. Increasing muscle mass can help increase the speed at which fat is burned.
- Metabolic age. Your basal metabolic rate shows how much energy your body burns while resting. This rate is compared to age group averages to tell you how “old” your body is behaving.
How to compare body fat scales
Basic scales start at around $25, while scales with more advanced features for medical offices can cost $1,000 or more. Consider what you need from your scale so you don’t spend money on extra features that you’ll never use.
When purchasing a body fat scale, consider the following features:
- Display. Are the numbers easy to read? If you have any difficulties with your vision, look for a scale with a large display and high brightness.
- Memory storage. Many scales are Bluetooth or Wi-Fi compatible and store your information on a compatible mobile app. Other scales have built-in storage and keep readings for a certain amount of time.
- Location. Most scales are thrown off if used on carpet. Hard surfaces are preferable as they provide a more accurate body fat percentage reading due to more evenly distributed weight. Consider where you’ll be using your new scale.
- Moisture. Some scales are impacted by large amounts of moisture in the air. If you have a small bathroom with little or no ventilation, your body fat scale might be better off in the kitchen or living space.
- Extra readings. If you’re interested in your water weight or your BMI, then be sure to look for a scale that offers additional readings.
- Warranties. Check the warranty length. Some manufacturers offer a year, while some offer up to five. Scales live on the floor and you never know what might drip, drop or fall onto them.
Which body fat scale is best for me?
The best body fat scale for you will depend on how you’ll use it and what you’re willing to pay.
How many people will be using the same machine? What extra information do you want from your scale? Do you want data sent straight to your mobile?
To give you an idea of what’s out there, we’ve compiled a pros and cons list for some of the top body fat scale brands available:
|The good||The bad|
|Fitbit Aria 2|
|iHealth Core HS6|
A body fat scale can be a helpful health and wellness tool, provided you understand that it’s not meant to be a substitute for check-ins with your doctor. These scales come in a wide price range, so choose the model that best fits your budget and needs.
How did we choose these products?
We performed our own online research and compared the price, features, accuracy, usability and Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity to create our list of the best body fat scales.
Frequently asked questions
What’s the difference between a body fat scale and a traditional weight scale?
Normal scales simply measure a body’s weight, while body fat scales indicate what percentage of your overall mass is fat. Body fat scales give a more accurate indication of your body’s health and composition than traditional weight scales, as they can distinguish between fat and muscle.
Do body fat scales actually work?
Yes, body fat scales can give you a accurate ballpark numbers about your weight, body fat, muscle mass and other readings, depending on the model. However, at-home body fat scales are not as accurate as medical devices and shouldn’t be used in place of professional medical advice.
What are the different types of fat?
Some body fat scales tell you the amount of subcutaneous and visceral fat you have. Subcutaneous fat is the layer of fat just beneath your skin and can be pinched. Visceral fat exists deeper in your abdomen and surrounds your organs.
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