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Reviewed: the latest smart bathroom scales for 2018

Our first impressions on seven models from popular brands Garmin, Nokia, Salter and Tanita - plus a bargain £20 scale from Lidl

Woman standing on smart bathroom scales

We’ve weighed up the pros and cons of the newest and most popular smart bathroom scales on the market, so you can be confident the only pounds you’re losing are off your weight.

Ranging in price from £20 to £150, there’s plenty of scope for nailing a bargain or being left well out of pocket when buying a set of smart bathroom scales, so it’s important to make a good choice and hit the shops with some foreknowledge.

Read on to find out more about smart scales, or head straight to our bathroom scales reviews to see what our researchers made of some of the bestselling models on the market.

What are smart scales?

The days of sneakily rounding down your weight as a needle wobbles somewhere between two numbers are gone. Many of the newest bathroom scales on the market are smart appliances that use wi-fi or Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone or tablet. They enable you to view, store and track a variety of body composition metrics through an app. Some of the key measurements they allow you to track include body-fat percentage, muscle mass and body-water percentage.

In order to calculate these measurements, these types of scales use a method called Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA), which involves sending a small electric current around your body. As the current passes through muscle tissue and body fat at different rates, it allows the scales to calculate what percentage of each your body is composed of.

For lots more details on how they work, read our full guide to smart scales.

Are smart scales expensive?

Smart scales tend to be more expensive than scales without the same capabilities, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely blow your budget to find a set that are easy to use and will provide consistently accurate measurements.

At just £20, the cheapest smart scales we’ve tried are the Lidl Sanitas SBF 70. They provide measurements for all the same metrics that scales five times the price do, including bone mass and basal metabolic rate. But are they accurate, and is the app simple to use? Read our first look review of the Lidl Sanitas SBF 70 smart bathroom scales to see what we made of them.

Also at the cheaper end of the market is the Eufy BodySense. They’re compatible with the Google Fit, Apple Health and Fitbit apps, and with capacity for 20 user profiles they could be a good choice to have in a football or rugby changing room. But as anyone who’s ever regretted questioning the BMI of a prop forward will tell you, accurate measurements are essential.

We sent these scales home with one of our experienced researchers who tried them out multiple times on a variety of surfaces to get an idea of how accurate they are. Find out what they made of them by reading our first look review of the Eufy BodySense smart scales.

Tanita RD-953 smart scales
The Tanita RD-953 smart scales are the most expensive we’ve looked at.

At the top end of the market is the Tanita RD-953, which will set you back at least £150. These scales have one of the most extensive range of metrics you’ll find, including the rarely seen muscle quality, visceral fat and metabolic age. They are also accurate to 50g, compared with the industry standard 100g, and can read a maximum weight of 200kg, which is more than the most common maximum of 180kg.

Tanita will also be launching its innovative Body Composition Element app later this year, which will use three-dimensional graphics to show users their various measurements. Tanita claims it will make it easier for users to monitor and better manage their well-being. So there is arguably an upside to paying a bit more than usual for a set of smart bathroom scales.

But surprisingly the RD-953 scales only have capacity for four user profiles and – unlike the Nokia and Garmin scales we looked at – they can’t connect using wi-fi, relying solely on Bluetooth instead. Although that’s probably not a deal breaker for most people, accurate measurements and an intuitive app will be. Read our first look review of the Tanita RD-953 to find out what we made of them.

Bathroom scales first look reviews

Below are all the bathroom scales we’ve just looked at. Follow the links to read our reviews:

Prices correct as of 30 January 2018.

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