Withings claims to have invented the hybrid smart scale and, as such, has created a line of products over a decade that promise quality and accuracy. The Body+ was released for sale in 2017 and has become a top-selling scale for the brand, quickly becoming one of the best smart scales on the market.
Max Users: 8
Stats: Weight, body fat %, BMI, body water %, muscle mass, bone mass
Max Weight: 396 pounds
MyFitnessPal Compatible: Yes
Batteries: 4 AAA
The Body+ is Withings’ mid-range option, with the Body being a more basic choice and the Body Cardio offering additional health metrics. The scale uses the standard bio-electric impulse technology to measure body composition and claims to be the most accurate in its field. But is it worth investing in? Read on to read our full Withings Body+ review.
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Withings Body+ review: price and availability
The Withings Body+ retails for $99.95, making the Withings Body+ one of the more expensive smart scales on the market. It can be purchased on the Withings' website and Amazon, often at a discounted price. It can also be found at various other retailers, including Best Buy, and on the Apple store.
Just bear in mind that later on in 2022, Withings is set to release the Body Scan smart scales, which aims to conduct segmented body composition and offer ECG measurements.
Withings Body+ review: design and display
Made from sturdy tempered glass, the Withings Body+ is larger than some other smart scales, measuring 12.8 x 12.8 x 0.9 inches. It also has a 2.4 x1.6 inch display screen that is bright and easy-to-read as it flashes your weight, body fat, and muscle mass percentages when you stand on the scales.
The Withings Body+ scale measures in 0.1lb increments, unlike some cheaper models that round up to the nearest 0.2lb increment. This results in a more accurate measurement and body composition analysis, however as with all smart scales, it’s important to know that bioelectrical impedance is not a very precise measure of body composition — the number represents an estimate of your total body fat percentage. Rather than drawing immediate conclusions from the number on the scale, you should use your results as a way to monitor progress and changes to your overall body fat over time.
Another stand-out feature on the Withings Body+ is that if multiple people are using the scale, the display intuitively knows which user is activating the scale based on body weight. This is handy if your whole family is on a health kick. To be sure the scale has got things right, you’ll be able to manually see — when the scale recognizes the user, three letters will appear on the screen, based on the user’s name.
When Wi-Fi is enabled, the icon will flash on the display, and if it is not able to connect, an X symbol will notify you. Bluetooth backup syncing will still occur as long as your device (tablet or phone) is nearby, which is handy if your Wi-Fi doesn’t always stretch to your bathroom.
Withings Body+ review: set up
Setting up the Withings Body+ is very straightforward. Before getting the scale out of the box, it’s worth downloading the Withings Health Mate app, which shows all of your data and trends, and acts as a platform for choosing your desired screen customization and inputting metrics for the initial startup.
To set up the scale, open the Health Mate app, tap Scales, then tap Install. The app will detect the scale (be sure it is powered with batteries first). Once the scale is connected, tap ‘Next’, then ‘+’, then ‘Body+’. You’ll then need to press the pairing button located on the back of the scale and hold it for three seconds. Choose ‘Body+’ and then tap ‘Pair’. At this point, you can select your Wi-Fi from the list of those available and enter your Wi-Fi password to connect. Alternatively, select the no Wi-Fi option to pair with Bluetooth instead.
Customization is possible for screen display, which requires a few more steps. Options for customization of the screen include the standard weight, body fat, and muscle mass, or you can opt for BMI, bone mass, weather, water mass, and weight trends. The weight trend display screen feature is unique for Withings scales and reveals how your weight has changed over a set timeframe of the previous eight measurements.
During set up, you’ll be able to choose which units you want to use (pounds, stones, or kilograms, for instance) and whether you’d like to view your body composition measurements in terms of percentages or absolute measurements.
Setting up the scale requires entering your personal information such as age, gender, height, and preferred mode. The athlete mode is useful for those with a high muscle mass, while the standard mode is suitable for most people. There are also two unique modes for pregnancy and baby (which is designed for helping new parents keep track of their newborn’s weight).
Four AAA batteries are required to power the scale, and the batteries should last for around 18 months, according to the manufacturer.
To clean the scale, Withings recommends you use a dampened lint-free cloth to avoid getting it wet. The manufacturers also recommend you keep the scale away from the bath or shower, so you’ll need to find space in the bathroom cupboard to stow this.
Withings Body+ review: app features
Withings’ Health Mate app is where the Body+ scale’s functionality shines. The app is carefully and thoughtfully designed, providing in-depth health information tailored to your goals and life stage.
For instance, the pregnancy mode tracks the stage of pregnancy, providing health information that’s been reviewed by obstetricians. There are several other programs as well, including ones for the goal of weight loss or general health.
One unique feature of the Body+ is the baby mode, which allows you to create a profile for your baby, including their height and age, so that you can weigh your baby in your arms and get an accurate measurement. Simply select the baby’s profile, weigh yourself, and then step onto the scale holding your baby. The scale will do the math for you and track your baby’s weight separately.
The app’s athlete mode feature is useful for anyone with an active lifestyle and a more muscular physique. Since the bio-electric impulse used by the scale to determine body composition also relies on an algorithm to provide results, the report can be inaccurate when used as a blanket assessment for every body type. For this reason, the athlete mode uses a different algorithm with the aim of being more accurate for those who are heavier due to muscle mass instead of fat mass.
It’s recommended that you choose athlete mode if you workout for eight or more hours per week and have a resting heart rate below 60, or if you know your current body composition is a high muscle percentage. That said, we found during testing that using athlete mode revealed a lower body fat percentage than is likely, despite qualifying for its use. Conversely, the regular mode reported higher than realistic body fat percentage and lower muscle mass.
This was evident because a very low body fat reading was given, yet, professional caliper measurements, which are considered an accurate body fat measuring tool, resulted in a discrepancy of about 7% higher body fat. The opposite was true for the normal setting.
As well, the body fat percentage changed frequently from day to day in fluctuations that are very unlikely to occur over 24 hours. For some fit users, especially females, the body composition measurements may not be representative of actual physicality.
One way to increase accuracy is to seek out a DEXA scan and use those results to determine how closely the scale reports your body composition. This can also help inform you whether or not to choose the athlete mode or regular mode, whichever is closer to your DEXA scan results.
Withings Body+ review: Compatibility
Compatibility is almost endless with the Withings Body+ scale and app. There are over 100 compatible apps to choose from which will link and sync your data, including Apple Health, Google Fit, MyFitnessPal, Weight Watchers, Garmin, Noom, Map My Run, Fitbit, Lose It, and more.
Withings Body+ review: verdict
The best features of the Body+ are the personalized and informative health programs included with the app, especially the unique pregnancy and baby profiles. All other features can be found with several other scales on the market.
The Withings Body+ scale is high-quality and durable. Whether or not it is more accurate than others, as claimed, is hard to tell, mainly because when comparing user data between other brands, the body composition measurements are vastly different. Unless you seek a more accurate method of testing body composition, such as a DEXA scan, there is no way to tell whether the body composition measurements are realistic.
However, unlike some brands, the Withings Body+ measures body weight in 0.1lb increments, rather than others which round up to the nearest even number. In this sense, your scale weight displayed may be more accurate.