Which? tries out smart Withings Body Cardio scaleBathroom scales that even forecast the weather
17 August 2016
We got our hands on the pricey Withings Body Cardio scales. £140 is a lot to pay for a set of bathroom scales, but did they impress?
There are no two ways about it – these are not your ordinary, everyday bathroom scales. As well as telling you how much you weigh, they also measure your body fat, muscle mass, body water and heart rate.
You can store up to eight different users’ information, and the scales claim to automatically recognise each of these people when they step on. This means that you won’t have to thumb in your personal details – such as your age and sex – each time you want the scales to read your body fat.
They’re also the only scales currently on the market that calculate your ‘pulse wave velocity’. That’s the speed of the wave generated by your heartbeat along your arteries – and you’ll also be told whether your reading is optimal, normal or not optimal. The instruction manual says that a high speed pulse wave velocity indicates high blood pressure and stiff arteries, whereas low speed indicates the opposite.
And in case you often find yourself worrying about the weather when you weigh yourself, you’ll be over the moon about the fact that these scales give you a weather forecast.
You won’t be able to use the Withings Body Cardio if you either don’t have a smartphone or tablet, or don’t want to connect them.*
Head to our Withings Body Cardio first look review to find out what our expert made of these scales, and how useful she found the app.
‘Smart’ bathroom scales – worth the bother?
One of the key selling points of the Withings Body Cardio bathroom scales is that you connect them to the Health Mate app on your smartphone and/or tablet.
But the fact you have to connect these for the scales to work might be off-putting.
Once connected, all measurements that are taken when you step on the scales are automatically transferred to the app, to help you monitor your progress over time. ‘Smart’ bathroom scales tend to be pricier.
The scales themselves don’t show your ‘pulse wave velocity’ – you’ll have to pop on the app to see this reading.
You can also see your readings via a laptop or PC on the Withings website (you also have to create a Withings account to use these scales).
The app works on both iOS and Android devices. If your smartphone or tablet runs iOS software, it must be version 8 or higher. If Android, 4.0 or higher.
We know about smart bathroom scales after testing them – check out our page on smart bathroom scales explained to find out whether it’s tech you want to invest in.
Which? Best Buy bathroom scales
We’ve found Best Buy bathroom scales that you can trust to be completely up-front with you about your weight.
We also test how accurately each set of bathroom scales measures your body fat percentage – the best give a figure that’s not far off the truth, while the worst are far from the mark.
You may be surprised to learn that it’s certainly not always the expensive scales that are the best. In fact, we’ve found some costing less than £50 outperform others with a three-figure price tag.
It’s worth doing your research before investing in a set of bathroom scales, to make sure you don’t end up with a dud.
Head to Best Buy bathroom scales to make a quick and easy, yet good, decision.
*It’s also worth remembering that you shouldn't use body fat analysers if you have a pacemaker or other internal medical device or if you’re pregnant – they send a small electrical current around your body to gather measurements.