The Bellabeat Leaf is a health tracker marketed at women; in addition to the exercise and sleep data tracked by most fitness bands, the Leaf also monitors your menstrual cycle and meditation sessions.
It’s available as the original Leaf Urban design or the newer Leaf Nature, both with a silver or rose gold clip, and a pale wood or grey body for the Nature, or black or grey wood for the Leaf Urban. It’s not waterproof so can’t be worn when swimming or showering, but it is sweat and splash-proof. And it doesn’t need charging – the included battery should last for around six months, and a screwdriver is included for you to replace it (with a standard coin cell battery).
It’s quite bulky, but definitely eye-catching; the Leaf’s design makes it an attractive alternative to the functional look of most fitness trackers. The strap is fiddly to put on as it wraps around twice, but when you’ve worked out a technique to fasten it the strap looks good. It can also be worn as a necklace – a matching chain is included – or clipped onto your clothes (if you’re exercising, for example). You can also buy co-ordinating accessories – leather straps in a choice of different colours, and matching metal bracelets stamped with motivational phrases.
There’s no screen on the Leaf, so you monitor your activity by syncing it with the app (available for Apple and Android). It works wirelessly, so you tap the Sync button in the app, and then gently tap twice on your Leaf to activate it.
The app is easy to use, with different colour-coded sections for Activity, Sleep, Meditation and Stress Resistance that will rate your overall wellbeing. There’s also a preview of each day’s activity at the top, so you can see at a glance how you’ve done over the past week or two.
The Activity section tracks the steps you’ve taken, how long you’ve been active, and the calories you’ve burned (based on the weight and height you enter). It syncs with other fitness trackers you have on your phone, such as Google Fit, and you can manually add other exercises from the choice of 75, including cycling, HIIT, yoga, gardening and shopping.
The Sleep section automatically monitors the time you were asleep overnight. Lighter purple bars on the graph show lighter sleep, and darker purple is deep sleep. You can edit the sleep and waking times if they’re not quite right, and manually add any naps you’ve been asleep too. The Leaf can also wake you up in the morning with a gentle vibrating alarm.
The Meditation section recommends you spend 10 minutes a day on sessions, and there’s a wide choice built into the app from therapists Christine Hassler and Brett Larkin. Christine’s sessions are Internal Compass, Present moment and Compassion, while Brett’s choice of 15 include De-Stress for Busy Women, Deep Sleep, and Non-Judgement. There’s also breathing exercises rated as Introduction, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced, and you can also log meditation manually.
The final section is Stress Tracking, so you can see how your lifestyle affects your sensitivity to stress. It’s displayed as a triangle relating to the three points of Sleep, Activity and Meditation, and your stress level is colour-coded – green means everything’s fine, orange warns that you’re under some stress, and red shows your stress levels are high.
You can also choose to track your monthly cycles and fertile days in the Reproductive Health section, and add a pregnancy if that’s relevant.
I loved the little motivating phrases it gives you, and wearing the Leaf gets a bit addictive, tapping the sync button and tracking whether you’re near to your daily activity target.
The Bellabeat Leaf is available direct from the Bellabeat web shop (or you can view a list of local retailers) with a 12-month warranty and 30-day money-back promise.