Withings Body Scan – a daily check up in your bathroom?

Before I get into the Withings Body Scan review, I’d like to preface that I have loved or appreciated everything Withings has provided for review, so much so that I purchased some of their products (the blood pressure cuff / Withings BPM Connect being one of them.) I’m coming at this writing while wearing their Scanwatch. I’m a pretty big Withings fan in general. I want you to know this before you read what is not a glowing review of my experience.

Withings Body Scan

I’ll get to the review shortly (or skip to the next section if you want,) but I want you to know Withings has been with me for the past three years now while I dealt with a major health issue. Their automatic blood pressure cuff helped convince a PCP that I needed a heart ECG, and eventually lead to him giving up on my case and getting out of the way.

I really think if it were not for me annoying him with showing that my left and right arm blood pressures were consistently off and no matter what medicine he threw at me it was not working I would still be chasing blood pressure medicine and slowly being choked to death as a tumor invaded more of my heart and lungs.

I consider Withings to be quite a part of the reason I am not facing down death by tumor. Let me tell you, I love this company and probably will write up how their BPM Connect saved my butt shortly, but at a couple of months of using the Withings Body Scan I’m not quite getting what makes this $400 scale actually worth it over the less than $100 Withings Body+ Smart Scale (which is awesome).

Withings Body Scan

tl;dr – Paul loves all other Withings products he’s run across. This, for the price, did not impress.

What is the Withings Body Scan

A Wi-Fi connected scale that works with the Withings Healthmate app and provides insight on weight, heart rate, basal metabolic rate, fat muscle and bone mass, visceral fat, Fat & muscle mass distribution in 5 body segments, vascular age, Electrodermal Activity Score, and is USB rechargeable. It has a handle which provides 6-wire ECG capabilities and can potentially detect AFIB.

Let’s set the stage here that I was in the unique position at the start of my review (about three months ago,) of having a heart issue during testing that can be easily detected by a 12-wire ECG. That issue being a tumor-invaded brachiocephalic vein that was causing quite detectable heart issues. This is not one of the things the scale claims the ECG detects, but it’s what I’m working with.

I had nothing but normal readings on my ECG by the smart scale. OK, so it’s not going to pick up a damaged major heart vein. I discovered that and that’s fine. It didn’t pick up an irregular heart beat caused by a completely closed off vein either. Whatever. It’s looking for specific arrythmia that is common which was not presenting on what a 6-wire can handle. I get it, my tumor and all the heart issues were weird. It told me I appeared ok (I was not, but not for reasons it can detect.)

As I became more and more stressed out as the surgery was coming up, I would have expected the EDA score it generates to change, but I don’t believe I’ve seen anything except 74 or 75 since getting the device. This score at the end of chemotherapy to getting better, then after major surgery and recovery. I really would have expected with how dehydrated and emaciated I was that I’d see something different at some point, but nope.

Always 74 from days when I was facing severe mortal threat and expected to be dead in the week to days I felt like dying after surgery, dehydrated and on pain medication to even exist, to now where I feel relatively normal. I was down for three weeks barely able to eat, was so dehydrated you could see my veins, still 74. I guess my feet’s sweat glands were unaffected but it does tend to indicate this is not much of a tell tale reading for how your body is doing. Or at least not mine.

I mean really, I was sweating cisplatin (chemo drug) for months.

Withings Body Scan
Google claims the average muscle mass of a man’s arms is 10.5lbs, legs 38 pounds, and torso should be about 45.

The fat and muscle mass indicate I have pretty ripped arms, at least in relation to other Withings users… while I suspect the overall fat and muscle percentages are correct this doesn’t pass the sniff test. My legs are trunks (I suspect more than 50 pounds,) I have a pretty solid six pack but it’s under a keg, and I have pretty weak arms.

Part of my lovely tumor was preventing me from gaining much muscle and being an overweight weakling (yay tumor producing cortisol nonstop!) I’d say I have slightly more muscular arms than a T-Rex but yikes… if I’m more muscular than most in my arms (which the app claims) I worry for other users. I feel the Body Scan is not accomplishing a composition scan particularly well on me after months of use, although it does appear consistent. Maybe I am jacked however?

As a scale it’s pretty great. Weight matches my other three scales (I got sent these for review and have not found anyone who wants my old ones, if you’re in Nashville hit me up.). Weight is done well and it seems to decide quite quickly what your weight actually is – if you’re fidgeting around on the scale it will wait until you stop and bam, got your weight.

What it doesn’t do quickly is everything else. It appears to be doing the heart rate, body scan, EDA in serial operation meaning you wait for each scan to progress and if it fails one and you wanted that scan there’s no option for “this didn’t work want to try again?” (yes, you can grab your phone and bypass this but not from the scale).

Since my surgery my vascular age has decreased five years (indicating I’m younger,) by destroying a vein pathway and blocking a large chunk of my blood supply, being laid up for a month of no exercise, but that is the only thing indicated from a scale that I would have thought would do more. There’s no negative change shown now that my brachiocephalic vein has been capped off (messed up by the tumor, then sizzled by doctors,) other than to say my vein age looks much younger than it used to with newly impaired pathways. That seems odd. Really, even when the tumor was in the vein I had better blood flow.

Perhaps I am judging this a bit harshly, but after losing 54 pounds (several months, not during this review,) facing my own mortality, having major surgery, being in bed for just under a month on oxycontin, and the scale doesn’t really budge it makes me feel like there’s not a lot of useful general health monitoring. No “hey buddy, you just lost 54 pounds in the past few months, you ok?” “you appear severely dehydrated, drink some water,” “you appear to be stressed out facing the potential end of your own existence, go grab a taco,” Or maybe my body just was so used to operating under terror conditions nothing really changed in my reports.

In the end no matter how bad I felt, how terrible the pain I was in, what level of hydration I was at there was little to indicate it in the results I got from the Body Scan other than that I lost some muscle mass over the past two months.

Interesting guesses at my muscle mass locations that I don’t quite buy. I’ll believe the percentages but the locations no. My fat percentage appears about right based on what I learned during my long medical ordeal. Heart rate fine when it can find it (yes, I have the pads touched correctly). The EDA does not show anything of much use to me.

That was my experience with The Withings Body Scan. Great scale, fat/muscle/bone mass seems to be accurate. Distribution of fat/muscle does not seem quite right. EDA score effectively useless for health indication for me. Doesn’t pick up other heart anomalies.

I love Withings products, and if this were at a lower price point or included the Withings+ subscription I’d be less judgmental, but it feels like a Body+ with a couple of extra features that didn’t seem to fly with my body and situation. Perhaps this is aimed at significantly less tumor-burdened athletes, but I really would have hoped that a health scan I did daily would have picked up some change during the worst couple of months of my life. As far as I can tell it didn’t.

I suspect some of this can be addressed with a software update down the line, but I’m reviewing what it has been and is for me.

The Withings Body Scan is available on I’m going to suggest one of their other fine products however.

Withings Body Scan
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The Withings Body Scan is a multi-faceted set of sensors that monitor heart, vascular age, weight, muscle and fat distribution, along with other metrics to keep you healthy

Product Brand: Withings

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 399.00

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:


  • Quickly retrieve weight
  • Muscle/Fat mass appear correct
  • Check for AFIB
  • Withings Healthmate app is well designed


  • Muscle/Fat distribution doesn't seem correct
  • No non-AFIB heart issues detected
  • EDA scores don't appear to reflect body stressors
  • Price
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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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