Best Body Composition Scales: Review & Buying Guide
Why If you saw our previous guide on smart scales, you’re probably thinking to yourself ‘isn’t this the same thing?’—it’s not. Body composition scales (or body composition analyzers, depending on who you ask) are designed specifically to give you specific body composition metrics, which typically include body fat percentage, BMI, skeletal muscle, resting metabolism, visceral fat, and others. Most often, people become more familiar with body composition after they’ve had an assessment at their local gym (typically when signing up with a personal trainer). That said, these devices can be handy for anyone who’s on a real mission to either lose weight or build muscle.
Aside from a DEXA scan (something only available at your hospital or some specialized clinics, with equipment taking up as much space as a sofa) there are only two real competitive players in the body composition analysis space that we trust—Tanita and Omron. Both brands have been in the market for quite some time, and are known for their high quality devices geared towards consumers and sports medicine practitioners alike.
Best Body Composition Scales
The way these scales calculate densities and mass is through electricity, but not to worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds. An imperceptible electric current is applied through the hand grips and pads on the scale itself, and calculations are made from the resistance readings to break down details of your body’s overall content. Your age, gender, height, and weight are all taken into account, and from this you’ll get a breakdown of body fat percentage, muscle mass, bone mass, body water percentage, and other data.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Tanita RD-545IM Ironman Body Composition Scale
At the top of the food chain, the Tanita RD-545IM is the most feature-rich offering we could find, and the only option out there with partner app compatibility. Aside from the Tanita HealthyEdge app, this scale can also share data with Google Fit and Apple Health to further assist in your overall goal tracking. While not an absolutely necessary function, it’s definitely a helpful one. Beyond that, The RD-545IM is one off our selections capable of analyzing segmental muscle mass, which can be helpful in determining an imbalance in muscle growth.
2. Omron Karada Body Composition Scale
Landing in the middle of the pack, the Omron Karada drops the added bluetooth connectivity in favor of a a better display to more clearly give users data rather than toggling through a string of menus. With 4 onboard memory presets, users can log data in the scale for up to 90 days, so you aren’t stuck writing things down each time you run your checks.
3. Omron HBF-514 Body Composition Scale
Getting down to basics, because of the nature of the category even this entry-level Omron scale has a fair bit of functionality. Its build isn’t quite as heavy duty as its competitors, yet it’s still good for users up to 330 lbs, and aside from segmental analysis it will otherwise provide basically all of the same data. This version offers a 90-day memory like the Tanita above, though you can also opt for a model with 180-day memory should you be willing to spend a bit more.
4. Tanita Interscan BC-568 Body Composition Scale
Though this model isn’t necessarily short on features, the fact that it’s still steeply priced without adding much functionality over Omron earns it a few demerit points. It’s the most affordable offering to include segmental analysis, so if that feature is a priority for you, it could still be worth considering. Further to this, it also carries Tanita’s 5-year warranty—something we always appreciate with electronic equipment.