Compare the best body fat scales in 2019 | finder.com
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Compare the best body fat scales

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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

Name Avg. price
(USD)
Number of users Maximum capacity (kg) Available colors Dimmensions (H x W x D) Purchase
Soehnle Shape Sense Profi 100
Soehnle Shape Sense Profi 100
$47.99 8 180 White/Silver 32 x 336 x 320 mm Buy now
Fitbit Aria 2
Fitbit Aria 2
$128.95 8 180 Black, White 33.4 x 312 x 312 mm Buy now
Garmin Index
Garmin Index
$129.99 16 181.4 Black, White 30 x 350 x 310 mm Buy now
iHealth Core HS6
iHealth Core HS6
$129.99 10 180 White 44 x 381 x 368 mm Buy now
Data obtained February 2019. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

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

Men Women
Athlete 6%–13% 14%–20%
Healthy 14%–17% 21% –24%
Overweight 18%–24% 25%–31%
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:

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:

Compare body fat scales from leading brands

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
Tanita BC-587
  • High weight capacity of 200 kg
  • Offers 11 different reading types
  • Expensive
  • Large size takes up more space
Fitbit Aria 2
  • Links with other Fitbit products
  • Simple to use
  • Doesn’t measure muscle mass
  • Doesn’t measure water weight
Garmin Index
  • Offers memory space for up to 16 users
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Only logs one result per day
Omron BF214
  • Automatically recognizes users
  • Small and compact
  • Only allows four user profiles
  • 150 kg weight limit
iHealth Core HS6
  • Connects to an app
  • Allows up to 10 user profiles
  • Extra readings only viewable on digital app
  • White color can easily get dirty

How does your weight affect your insurance premiums?

Bottom line

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.

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