Top 10 Body Composition Monitors
I have a weight problem. In the past 12 years, I have probably lost at least 30 pounds 4 times. The problem is I have gained the weight back each time. How do I know? I’ve used a series of body weight scales to measure my heft. I would tell myself that I shouldn’t put much stock in weight. After all, I am a big muscular man! I’m sure my body fat rivals that of marathon runners!
Well, I needed empirical proof that I was an Adonis, so about a decade ago, I started trying out body composition monitors, also called body fat scales. Needless to say, no matter how you measure me, the Surgeon General would call me a fatty. Want to get depressed about your body? Here’s what to look for in shaming scales.
Where Do I Put My Hands?
The body composition monitors we will look at work by electrocuting you just a little bit. The weak electric current travels up through your feet to the rest of your body. Fat has little water in it and does not conduct the current well, while muscles and other tissues have a lot of water and conduct well. You have more fat if the current can’t easily have its way with your body.
Your body-fat percentage is calculated by using the resistance to the current along with your sex, height, fitness level, age, and other personal data that you manually enter. According to the experts, even the best body composition monitors tend to slightly underestimate your body fat.
Depending on your gender and age, the range for a healthy body fat composition can vary. For example, if you are a young dude between the ages of 20 and 39, your recommended body fat is between 8 and 20 percent. On the other hand, if you’re an elderly lady, YOUR RECOMMENDED BODY FAT IS BETWEEN 24 AND 36 PERCENT. Hopefully, she heard me.
Features to Look for
Here are some features that the best body composition monitors have:
- Weight – 95 percent of the time I only use my body composition monitor to see how much I weigh. I mainly check out my body fat for comic relief at parties. I might host really lame parties.
- Various Profiles – If you have a house full of people who are concerned about their body composition, then you want enough profiles for each person as well as party attendees. This is awesome for tracking your progress.
- Display – The vast majority of the best body composition monitors have some sort of LCD display. You want one that has clear and big numerals, especially if you are an elderly lady with horrible vision. Some units even have wireless displays. Go with this if you are as blind as a doorknob.
- Functions on Carpeting – When placed on carpet, most scales don’t know what to do. If you don’t have hard floors and thus have a disgusting bathroom floor, you will want a body fat scale that works on carpeting.
- Easy to Use – Nothing is worse than having to spend hours reading a boring user manual before you can find out if you’re obese or not. The interface should be intuitive with a manual that gets you started in a matter of minutes.
- Other Features – Look for extra measurements that the body weight scales give you. You might find body mass index (BMI, an oft discredited measurement used by the gubmint to make us sheeple hate ourselves), muscle mass, and other personal information.
Now that you know what to look for, check out my reviews of the top 10 best body composition monitors:
- Measures hydration, body fat, weight (within .2 pounds), bone mass, muscle mass, and BMI
- Low profile, sleek tempered-glass design
- Five-year warranty
Not only is the Balance High Accuracy Digital Body Fat Scale awesome, it is our bargain basement pick. You won’t find anything nearly as good as it for its price. The biggest user complaint is that only the weight function works, but it’s clear that these buyers have not read the user manual, which makes it clear that the other measurements take a little bit longer to calculate and that they need to learn to be patient. Maybe hang out at the DMV more?
- Has a special app that syncs with your Fitbit, Google Fit, and Apple Health
- Up to sixteen user profiles
- Ten precision body measurements, including hydration, body fat, bone mass, muscle, and BMI
If you’ve always wanted your body fat scale to interact with your smartphone, you need the Yunmai Premium Smart Scale. Their app connects your real-time metrics to social sharing, fitness tracking, and data charts. Experts and users alike have verified the accuracy of the Yunmai scale’s measurements. One of the cool features is that the scale gives your fitness age, so you can prematurely feel like an elderly lady or become a spring chicken again.
- Three-year warranty
- Handles big boys weighing up to 330 pounds
- Uses patented FDA-cleared bioelectric impedance
If your biggest concern is getting accurate readouts, then the Tanita BC554 is the device for you. The Tanita scales weight loss centers and nutritionists use can cost thousands of dollars. Yet, testing shows that this Tanita scale is just as accurate. Unfortunately, users report a number of downfalls: there is no Bluetooth connectivity for tracking measurements over time, customer service is not the best, and it makes a horrible Frisbee.
- Stores four profiles with six months of memory
- Measures body age, resting metabolism, BMI, weight, visceral fat, skeletal muscle, and body fat percentage
- Retractable cord brings the display up to your face
According to the body composition monitor reviews, this is Omron’s best model. They recommend using it every morning right after you wake up. If you are a giant (6’6” or taller, 330 pounds or heavier), you are not legally allowed to use this device. Users mention that you must read the user’s manual to know what you’re doing (since I basically have the same unit (see below), I can confirm this), but the measurements for weight and body fat are accurate when compared to costlier methods of measuring these metrics, such as paying a carnie to guess your measurements at the local fair.
- Body water, weight, muscle mass recall, and body fat recall
- Fancy design that will impress your most vainglorious friends
- Like a rapey frat boy, it will give you a physique rating on a scale of one to nine
The BC533 is the most affordable Tanita scale. It does not have many of the whistles and bells of other Tanita scales: it only has four profiles and only stores a couple of your past measurements. But, it can give you quick weight measurements as well as accurate body fat percentages. For best results, you should measure yourself under the same conditions at a consistent time.
- 90-day memory for up to 4 profiles
- Gives clear instructions on where you are supposed to put your hands
- Your wife will make fun of your body age
This Omron Body Composition Monitor is the unit I use on a daily basis. I’ve had it for six years and have never had an issue, except I get incredibly offended when it says I have the body age of a 70-year-old. This body weight scale is different from #4 above in that it only has a 90-day memory versus 180 days. That isn’t a big deal for me. I mainly like that it uses little battery power and measures weight to within .2 pounds.
- Assesses pulse wave velocity, which measures arterial stiffness
- Syncs with Health Mate app
- Measures bone mass, body fat, weight, water, muscle, and BMI
If you are Mr. Moneybags and have a ton of cash to blow on a fancy scale, the Withings Body Cardio body composition monitor is the way to go. The biggest complaint from users is that it doesn’t do a very good job of measuring your heart rate.
- Comes with smart Yolanda app which has social capabilities as well as a variety of charts and reports
- Twelve precision body measurements
- Lifetime replacement guarantee
You get a surprising amount of features for the price of the marsboy Wireless Bluetooth Body Fat Scale. The downside is that you must have a smartphone if you want to do anything other than just weigh yourself. Of course, any Luddite without a smartphone probably doesn’t want a brilliant scale like this.
- Uploads your measurements to the Apple Health app
- Measures muscle mass, hydration level, and body fat
- Less than an inch thick
If you are blind, the Beets BLU Digital Bathroom Scale should be your top choice. It has a long list of accessibility features that allow you to hear your measurements. If you are a sighted individual, you should be aware the measurements are not the most accurate.
- High weight limit of 397 pounds
- Has up to eight user profiles
- Uses bio impedance analysis to measure bone density, body fat, water weight, and muscle mass
The My Life My Shop Digital Scale is a good basic scale that is perfect for people who weigh between 330 and 397 pounds since most other body weight scales seem to have a deep-seated hatred for heavier customers. Fat money is just as good as skinny money!
Do you have body composition monitor reviews or stories you’d like to share? Go ahead and comment below! I won’t stop you!