Withings Body Scan smart scales review

The Withings Body Scan smart scales are in a league of their own

Editors Choice
Luxury
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Despite having been announced back in January 2022, the Body Scan scales have only recently become available. With an RRP of almost £400, these are – by far – the most expensive smart scales we’ve seen. So much so, that Withings has given them a whole new description. 

Withings says its Body Scan scales are “the first connected health station”, positioning them as a fully-fledged, clinically validated health device, rather than simply an expensive set of body composition scales.

The Body Scan offers plenty for health-conscious people to track: extensive body composition analysis, heart health, nerve health, and a six-lead ECG (this can be used to detect atrial fibrillation, a common form of cardiac rhythm disturbance). In many respects, these are the best smart scales we’ve ever tested.

Whether everyone will be able to justify paying the ultra-premium price tag, is another question.  

Withings body scan smart scale overhead detailCredit: Saga Exceptional
The Withings Body Scan body composition scales are the most advanced scales we’ve tested
Editors Choice

Withings Body Scan

Luxury

The Withings Body Scan smart scales don’t just throw the kitchen sink at health monitoring – it includes all the domestic appliances, and most of the rest of the house too.  

These are, by far, the most advanced body composition scales we’ve tested. They offer more than any other smart scale currently on the market. If you want the best, these are the ones to go for. But the price is very, very high. 

Design

Features

Performance

Value


Who’s this for?

These are for people who want the absolute best of everything – such as comprehensive health data, and an easy to use companion app – and are willing to pay for it.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Segmental body composition is a new addition to Withings scales
  • Incredibly comprehensive health measurements
  • Excellent colour screen
  • Incredibly expensive compared to other body composition devices
  • Scales won’t be suitable if you have a pacemaker

Expect to pay

RRP: £399.95 We have seen these smart scales on sale for £349.95.

Withings Body Scan Review method

How we test

Like our other smart scale reviews, we reviewed the Withings Body Scan scales over an extended period, regularly weighing-in to check for consistency.

We compared them against other smart scales (the Withings Body Comp and Omron BF511) to get a sense of how accurate they are. 

We also used the Health Mate app, to see how well the data syncs, and what other features the app offers to complement the scales themselves. It also allowed us to see how user-friendly the app is. 

Withings Body Scan Setup

Easy to get started

The set up screens for the Withings Body ScanCredit: Exceptional
The scales are easy to set up

Getting started is simple. Download and install the Withings Health Mate app and create an account. Next, go to ‘Devices’ then ‘Install a device’ and follow the on-screen instructions.

After pairing the scales with the app, connect them to your wi-fi network, to send data directly to the app. We were up and running in well under five minutes. 

During the setup process, you can read a tutorial for the key features on the Body Scan, and how to use them correctly. You can choose which measurements to display and can change this in the app at any point. 

When you’re ready to use them, stand on the scales. For best results, it’s recommended to use the handle (more on this in a bit), but this is optional. The scales can support up to eight different users and automatically detect whoever stands on them, to ensure data is being sent to the correct account. 

Withings Body Scan Design

Sleek and smart

Withings body scan smart scale side detailCredit: Saga Exceptional
The Body Scan scales are very stylish

These are a typically stylish offering from Withings. The Body Scan scales have a tempered glass top, and the black finish is very sleek – although they do quickly attract dust and fingerprints.

Withings has a clear design philosophy with its scales, which it has incorporated into the Body Scan. They feel extremely solid, well-made and durable. The handle is comfortable to hold, and the braided cable also feels pretty sturdy.  

They are larger than other Withings scales at 327mm x 327mm x 18mm (12.8in x 12.8in x 0.7in), and considerably heavier (weighing around 4kg, or 8.8lb). There’s also the addition of the handle and the cable which enable these scales to measure segmental body composition and ECG (more on these later).

The handle enables an electric current to travel from hands to feet, which, in theory, provides a more accurate measurement of your body composition. 

Withings recommends that these are used on a hard surface, and therefore no carpet feet are included. When you step on them, you’ll notice that the scales will buzz periodically to let you know when the measurements have started and ended.  

Withings body scan smart scale screen detailCredit: Saga Exceptional
The colour screen is bright and vibrant

Finally, the colour digital screen on the scales is their best yet. It’s a sizable 81mm (3.2in) with a 320×240 pixel display.

It’s bright, clear, and easy to read. There’s a real sense that they’ve tried to make these scales as user-friendly as possible. 

Withings Body Scan Features

An array of health metrics

The Body Scan scales have everything you could want from a smart scale: 

  • Segmental body composition, including muscle mass, fat mass and visceral fat measurements. 
  • Heart health, which measures heart rate, pulse wave velocity and vascular age 
  • Six-lead ECG for detecting atrial fibrillation 
  • Nerve health score 
  • Body water 
  • Bone mass 
  • Body mass index (BMI) 
  • Weather forecast 
  • Air quality report 

We mention this in our body composition explained article, but in simple terms, visceral fat is the fat that wraps itself around your internal organs, and is linked to certain health risks 

Knowing your visceral fat level may alert you to potential health problems. A score between zero and five is regarded as ‘normal’ while a score from 5.1, up to 20, is regarded as ‘high’.  

As always, it’s important to mention that if you get any readings that concern you, speak to your doctor, rather than relying on the scales to guide your health choices. 

The body composition screens on the Withings HealthMate appCredit: Saga Exceptional
Body composition is clearly presented

Let’s break things down

Segmental body composition offers more detail to your measurements. The handle has some added electrodes, which help supply specific numbers for your torso, arms and legs.

On previous Withings scales, you would see an overall body fat or muscle mass percentage, which doesn’t explain how it is distributed around your body.

The handles mean that instead of the electric current only going through your lower body, it now travels from your hands to your feet, which means it is measuring the entire torso and arms as well. For more information, check out our ‘How do smart scales work?’ article. 

While the electrical current used to measure body composition is considered safe for general use, it is not recommended for people with pacemakers, ICDs (implantable cardioverter defibrillators) or other implanted electronic devices. Withings says that these people “must not use this function. 

This detail is interesting, and the app presents the data clearly. But there is a question mark over how useful this depth of insight is.

For many, an overall reading of their body composition will be enough to decide what changes they need to make to their lifestyle.

Knowing that your left arm has slightly more muscle than your right probably won’t matter a great deal to most users.  

Segmental body composition explained 

Segmental body composition analysis divides your body into five parts, measuring your body fat and muscle mass percentage for each one. You can then find areas of imbalance (for instance, you may find your right leg has significantly more muscle than your left) and then customise your exercise to try and rebalance your body.  

By using a handle, the electrical current travels from hands to feet, rather than just through the lower body (which is what happens with body composition scales that don’t use a handle).

In theory, this can lead to more accurate measurement of your body composition, as resistance is being measured throughout the body, rather than just your lower body. 

The heart of the matter

An ECG graph taken by the Withings Body ScanCredit: Exceptional
The ECG is a new feature on the Withings Body Scan

The Body Scan excels in its heart health readings. As well as offering Vascular Age and Pulse Wave Velocity readings (both of which are indicators of heart health), Body Scan also offers a six-lead electrocardiogram via the handle.  

According to Withings, this test can help detect signs of atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. This can lead to symptoms such as shortness of breath, tiredness and dizziness.

Completing the ECG takes 30 seconds and give you the results soon after. You can send this information to your doctor as well for review. If you’re particularly interested in monitoring your heart health, these are the most comprehensive scales available. 

Nerve health

The final major feature of Body Scan is nerve health, which measures how your nervous system controls sweat gland activity in your feet. A score above 50 is classed as normal, a score below 50 could indicate neuropathy. 

The NHS tells us that around one in 10 people aged 55 or over are affected by peripheral neuropathy, which can lead to tingling, pain, and even loss of feeling in affected areas.  

The HealthMate app is excellent

The HealthMate app pulls everything together and is one of the strongest parts of Withings’ offering. It’s a simple app, easy to use, and displays the data clearly. It provides more advice to support you in understanding the numbers, and ways to reach your goals. 

It’s a consistently excellent app, which allows you to sync data from any Withings devices you may own, such as a ScanWatch, or the Sleep Analyzer. The new segmental analysis for body composition is presented very clearly and can even compare you with other Withings users of similar age and height.  

You can subscribe to Health Plus for £9.95 a month, or £99.50 a year. It offers educational modules to help users achieve goals around diet, sleep and activity. The cost of this is harder to justify, especially if you’ve just spent £400 on the Body Scan scales themselves.  

If you don’t want to use Health Plus, you can still access all the other aspects of the Health Mate app including all your health data. None of that is hidden behind a paywall, and we applaud Withings for this.  

Withings Body Scan Performance

Top-notch

Despite the handles, these scales are still easy to use. Step on, pick up the handle, rest your thumbs on the electrodes, and wait. If you include the 30 seconds it takes to perform an ECG, then you can get all your readings in under 90 seconds. It’s less than a minute if you turn off the ECG function.  

Body Scan can measure your weight to within 50g (just under 2oz) making them among the most precise scales we’ve tested. And in terms of weight accuracy, they were never more than 100g (3.5oz) different from the measurements we got from the Body Comp scales.  

There was greater variance in the body composition readings, with differences of up to 6% between the Body Scan and Body Comp. However, there was much closer agreement with the Omron scales, which also have a handle.  

When we asked Withings about this, a spokesperson told us: “Because Body Scan has the handle and measure segmental body composition it will differ from the Body Comp reading…the handle of Body Scan enables a current to be sent to the whole body instead of just in the lower part of the body as Body Comp is doing.”  

In other words, the handle allows for a more precise measurement in each part of the body – so the readings should be more accurate as a result. However, without directly comparing them with a gold standard DEXA scan (or equivalent), we still hesitate to say how accurate these are.

We’d recommend using the numbers as a guide, and to see the trends, which are likely to accurately reflect any changes in your body composition. 

During testing, we did find the Body Scan scales were consistent with their readings, with weight and body composition measurements routinely in line with one another, rather than seeing large fluctuations. 

We can’t comment too much on the accuracy of the heart and nerve health metrics, but Withings says that this is a clinically validated device. Always check with your doctor if there’s anything you are concerned about, rather than relying on the scales. 

Battery life

The Withings Body Scan has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Withings claim that the average battery life is up to 12 months between charges.  

While it almost certainly makes the scales heavier, it’s nice to see devices that don’t use disposable batteries. Hopefully, this will mean that these scales can last for years with reduced environmental impact.

Withings Body Scan Value

Expensive, but unique

At £399.95, the Body Scan scales are very expensive. And it’s even harder to draw a comparison because no other smart scales offer the same level of features.  

The closest is Withings’ own Body Comp scales (£199.95), which have many of the same features, but don’t have segmental body composition or the ECG function.

In that sense, you are, essentially, paying an extra £200 for ECG and segmental body composition. For some people, having such comprehensive data may be worthwhile; but if you aren’t going to use these, there isn’t much justification for paying the extra. 

On the other hand, these are designed by Withings to be much more than smart scales, offering features that you might find in a gym or a medical setting.  

Withings Body Scan Competition

You might also like…

If you don’t need all the features of the Body Scan, or don’t want to spend quite so much, then there are plenty of alternatives to consider. Here are a few worth looking at:

Withings Body Comp

Withings body comp smart scale overheadCredit: Saga Exceptional
The Withings Body Comp smart scales are slightly cheaper

The Withings Body Comp scales are about half the price of the Body Scan and offer much the same experience: vascular age, pulse wave velocity, body composition (including visceral fat readings) and nerve health are all available.

They lack segmental body composition and ECG. Body Scan aside, Body Comp are the most advanced smart scales we’ve tested, and give you access to the excellent Health Mate app. They’re still expensive at £199.95, but provide significantly more than most other smart scales on the market. 

QardioBase X

Qardio smart scales overheadCredit: Saga Exceptional
The QardioBase smart scales

The Qardioabase X body composition scales have many of the same basic functions as the Withings scales, with an RRP of £109.45. Features include subcutaneous and visceral fat readings, skeletal muscle, and metabolic age, among others. They can also support and automatically identify up to eight users.

They aren’t quite as advanced as the Body Scan or Body Comp scales, but if you want body composition without all the other health metrics, these will do the job, without costing quite as much. 

Fitbit Aria Air

Fitbit smart scale overhead detailCredit: Saga Exceptional
The Fitbit Aria Air scales are much cheaper, but offer a lot less

Finally, if you are already a Fitbit user, or just want a smart scale that will tell you the absolute basics – weight, BMI and show trends in the app then the Aria Air by Fitbit might be for you.

It’s considerably cheaper, at £49.99. But you are getting significantly less functionality for your money. They do the basics of a smart scale, and little else. There’s no body composition analysis, or any of the more detailed metrics you may feel are important to you.  

Withings Body Scan Final verdict

The supercar of at-home body composition and health monitoring

Right now, there is nothing else quite like the Withings Body Scan on the market. They really are the most comprehensive health monitoring scales we’ve tested.

They perform brilliantly, the screen and app are extremely easy to use, and they offer an incredible amount of insight into your health. 

For many people, it’s a bit like buying a Ferrari to do the weekly grocery shop: sure, it’s great, but you can get something that does the same basic job for significantly less money. If you want the best of the best, you’ll have to pay a premium.

And if you aren’t going to use the ECG or segmental body composition features, then you don’t need these scales – but even if you end up buying something else, you can still appreciate how brilliant they are.  

If you do (metaphorically) want to drive that Ferrari to the shops, it’s hard to look past these – and we wouldn’t blame you. You’ll have to pay a premium, but if you are comfortable with the cost, you won’t feel shortchanged. Once again, Withings has raised the bar.

These are an exceptional set of smart scales, and there’s nothing else currently available to match them.  

Buy this if:

  • You want the best of everything
  • You’re going to make use of the ECG or segmental body composition readings
  • You want the added support offered by the Health Mate app

Don’t buy this if:

  • You’re on a budget. These are seriously expensive.
  • You aren’t going to use the added features these scales offer (or can’t use them because you have a pacemaker, for example)
Editors Choice

Withings Body Scan

Luxury

The Withings Body Scan smart scales don’t just throw the kitchen sink at health monitoring – it includes all the domestic appliances, and most of the rest of the house too.  

These are, by far, the most advanced body composition scales we’ve tested. They offer more than any other smart scale currently on the market. If you want the best, these are the ones to go for. But the price is very, very high. 

Design

Solid, premium build quality

Features

The most feature-filled smart scales available

Performance

Accurate and consistent, and very easy to use

Value

Ultra-premium price reflects how much they offer compared to rival products


Who’s this for?

These are for people who want the absolute best of everything – such as comprehensive health data, and an easy to use companion app – and are willing to pay for it.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Segmental body composition is a new addition to Withings scales
  • Incredibly comprehensive health measurements
  • Excellent colour screen
  • Incredibly expensive compared to other body composition devices
  • Scales won’t be suitable if you have a pacemaker

Expect to pay

RRP: £399.95 We have seen these smart scales on sale for £349.95.

Withings Body Scan Specs

Weight 3.8 kg
Dimensions 327 x 327 x 18 mm
Battery life Up to 12 months
Bluetooth Yes
Wi-Fi Yes
Weight limit 200 kg
Measurements recorded Weight, BMI, muscle mass, fat mass, visceral fat mass, body water, bone mass, nerve health, pulse wave velocity, vascular age, ECG
Number of users supported Eight
Steven Shaw

Written by Steven Shaw he/him

Updated:

Steven Shaw has been a freelance writer for a variety of outlets, most notably TechRadar. His degree in Medieval History prepared him less adequately for his career than you might expect, but the years spent working in technology focused retail were much more helpful.

Outside of work, Steven is passionate about health and fitness, and particularly enjoys high-intensity interval training, weight training, and increasingly, spending time recovering. Steven loves reading, films and a wide variety of sports. A particular highlight was watching Viv Richards and Sachin Tendulkar batting together in an exhibition match.

He wishes he could travel more. He can also tell you a lot about the Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Carolingians. Most of his non-work time is spent with his young children, who are the living embodiment of high-intensity training.