I purchased the Salter body fat analyser scales shortly after just having a baby, I hadn't stepped on a pair of scales for quite some time. I wanted to start losing weight responsibly and steer away from fad diets and this required me being aware and monitoring my weight carefully. What appealed to me about the scales was its ability to cleverly read your BMI which seemed particularly useful. I wouldn't usually bothered with such 'gimmicks', but at the time the scales were on offer for £12.95 (RRP £34.99, although I've never seen them that price) which was around the same price as basic pair of scales.
When the scales arrived, I read the instructions and programmed mine and my partners height and age in. You can register up to 4 people on the scales and entering such data allows the scales to calculate your BMI, body fat and water percentage. It seemed so clever and so easy to do!
Actually using the scales has proved to be a slightly different matter. If you just want a pair of scales that you can nip on and it tell you results quickly, these are not for you. I find the process quite frustrating. You are meant to tap the scales to get them to turn on, then somehow select your 'profile' as the numbers progress from 1 to 4. I can't ever seem to get it right and somehow manage to get the weight screen up out of pure luck (and most of the time end up using someone's profile).
However, the calculations provided by the scales seem to be very accurate and don't fluctuate like a lot of scales I've used in the past. The scales also look nice in the bathroom and come with pads that enable you to accurately use them on a carpeted floor.
Overall, I'd recommend these scales to someone who keeps track of their weight seriously. If you simply want to know how much you weigh (not BMI, etc), I wouldn't recommend. It is a lovely gadget, but a bit too complicated for me. Someday I may get the hang of it.
After my original move down south I quickly began to put on weight due to having stopped running and started eating more of the junk food readily available at my new work place, for a while I ignored it until my favourite dress wouldn't zip up. For the next couple of years I would walk in to town weekly to weigh myself on the large scales in a branch of Boots, eventually I got bored of this and gave up. The result has been than I let the weight creep back on but having moved back up north I'm living too far from town to walk in so decided the time had come to invest in some bathroom scales for the house in an attempt to keep myself on track.
I had some Love2Shop vouchers which were close to expiring so while in town running some other errands I popped in to Argos to see if they had any digital scales which would suit me.
These ones stood out on the page as they were a reasonable price, a brand name I am familiar with (having used Salter commercial weighing devices at previous jobs) and in a nod to my female genetics the fact they are my favourite colour!
Out of the box the scales are surprisingly slim, roughly the depth of a 50p coin. Being mainly of glass construction they are clear with the teal sections where the ciao photo shows them as silver with the exception of the silver coloured metal area you need to place your feet on to,
Initially setting up the scale is quick and easy, remove the tab from the battery compartment ad tap the top to activate - though they say 'tap' I find that you do have to be rather firm with it.
At this point you can either set up the user data or just get a weight reading. I set it up with my own data so you can input sex (male/female), height, and age. The height can be input as either cm or ft and inches, but this depends on the setting you have for weight. Setting the data is simple, press the middle button until the number blinks, use the buttons on either side to increase or decrease the blinking value and press the centre button to confirm and select the next user defined value - so user number, sex, height and age are alterable in that order.
Altering the output unit is easy, there is a switch on the base which allows you to select lbs, stone, or kg. If you do alter this the scale automatically converts the data already input, so for me I initially input my height in cm but on changing the weight display option it converted it to feet and inches.
Stepping on to it the weight is displayed quickly, if you have set up the user data after displaying the weight reading for a couple of seconds the scale will show you the body fat %, this is displayed on screen as a 'o' figure in one of four locations to indicate low, normal (there are two possible locations for normal) or high - this is when it doesn't then cycle through and show the value numerically.
According to the instructions at this point it should cycle through your weight, body fat and BMI readings but more often than not it doesnt do this but turns itself off, on the whole the only times that these do display all the possible information seems to be when I have just got out of the shower and my feet are damp - if my feet are completely dry the scale will only show me my weight and won't even attempt to analyse my body fat.
Obviously this isn't a big problem for me as my main priority is knowing my weight, as if you really need to know the BMI there are plenty of places to access the charts online to calculate this for yourself.
The display screen is a good size, and the values shown are in large clear digits, which suits me, though my very short sighted father has said that he struggles to see the numbers - though he tends to also suffer from selective hearing loss when his Dr tells him he's over weight so it could be a part of the same condition.
I find that the scales are easily cleaned, being glass they simply wipe down, and there are no cleaning fluids which the instructions suggest should not be used (which is nice, should I ever actually bother to clean them with something other than a damp cloth).
I use mine on a hard tiled floor but for those who have carpetted bathrooms or wish to use these in any other room they do come with 'carpet feet' these are necessary, as an experiment I placed mine on a rug and discovered that I had lost almost 1/3 of my weight in seconds!
Overall I would say these seem to be accurate scales, for the basic how heavy am I question, but the additional features are somewhat hit and miss, I would be disappointed if I had bought these specifically for those features. If you are part of a family its easy enough to set up the four user modes but since I'm the only one who ever really uses it this isn't something which worries me overly.
Salter give their products decent guarantees, in this case 15 years, and they not to be used by anyone weighing more than 23 stone. The battery seems to be easy to change and is the relatively common CR 2032 button cell, but as yet I haven't had to change it so am unsure as to how long to expect it to last.
I paid £24.99 for the scales at Argos but paid using vouchers I had earned from doing surveys, they can be bought for around £20 on amazon and a variety of other retailers carry them for similar prices. I would suggest that they're not the best value given the hit and miss nature of the BMI, and body fat analysis features but given they do seem to be reliable for weight readings I am comfortable to recommend them to anyone who like me fancies having pretty coloured bathroom scales.