DEXA Scan UK. How and where to get a DEXA scan in the UK

Where to get a DEXA scan in the UK and how much it costs.

dexa scan uk

Getting a DEXA scan in the UK used to be difficult but thankfully more companies are popping up around the country offering them. 

A DEXA scan is said to be the gold standard for measuring body composition. It’s the most accurate way of measuring your muscle mass, fat percentage and bone density.

If you’re interested in maintaining good health and can afford it you should get a DEXA scan to track the progress of your health and fitness regime (or lack thereof).

There’s one problem, however.

While popular in the US there aren’t as many DEXA scan services over here in the UK.

This article came about on my own quest to have a DEXA scan in the UK and covers where to get one and how much it costs.

First, a little background.

What is a DEXA scan?

A DEXA (Dual-energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) scan is a specific type of X-ray machine that provides an accurate measure of your bone density, body fat (including internal visceral fat) and muscle mass.

According to some (good marketing probably), it is the ‘gold standard’ of body composition measurement. However, some say it’s the gold standard of bone density measurement but when it comes to fat percentage and muscle mass it is more an excellent estimate.

Either way, the DEXA scan can provide you data about your body you can’t get elsewhere including skinfold callipers and bioimpedance devices.

The DEXA scan was originally developed to diagnose people with osteoporosis but is increasingly being used in the realms of health, fitness and well-being.

Performance athletes, bodybuilders and fitness buffs are using the DEXA scan to self-track their long-term health and body composition.

Where can I get a DEXA scan in the UK?

Assuming you want to use one purely to measure your body composition and not for a bone-related condition (which the NHS outlines here) then getting a DEXA scan in the UK may prove difficult.

Why? Because there aren’t that many private UK DEXA scan services available. This may have something to do with the cost of a machine, the cost of a DEXA scan itself(covered below) or just a lack of awareness.

DEXA Scan London

The most well-known DEXA scan provider in the UK is Bodyscan which has two locations in central London. Bodyscan was the first company in the UK to provide the DEXA scan to consumers and is increasingly being featured in the UK health and fitness media as awareness grows.

This is where I had my DEXA scan done and I recommend them if you’re based in London (other people recommend them too). They provide a variety of different tiered services depending on your needs.

Use the promo code BIONICLY at the Bodyscan check out to get 10% off a single scan.

The video below is an introduction to Bodyscan’s offering.

Another DEXA scan provider based in London is Body Formula, which has locations based all over London but I’m assuming they only have one DEXA scan. There’s not a great deal of information about the levels of service they offer.

Something to bear in mind is that there are other companies that offer DEXA scans in London but are specific to medical conditions like osteoporosis. 

DEXA scan Birmingham

The University of Birmingham’s Human Performance Laboratory has a DEXA scan as part of its facilities and resources. It’s unclear however whether this is open to the public touse (for a fee of course).

Universities that have human performance labs often provide services to the public. By doing this, students can get first-hand experience working with people and the university can recuperate some of its costs.

DEXA scan Bristol

Body Composition based in Bristol offer DEXA scans to both athletes and the general public.

They offer a range of packages with the first initial scan at £99. They don’t state if they provide consultancy and advice with your scan so you would need to ask first ifyou want one.

DEXA scan Scotland

The Edinburgh Clinic provides a DEXA scan service to consumers as I discovered on this Scottish Krav Maga blog.

While the clinic’s website doesn’t specifically state that it provides DEXA scans for body composition, the blog post says they will analyse your bone, fat and muscle for a price.

Can I get a DEXA scan on the NHS?

Short answer, unless you have something wrong for you it’s unlikely you will be able to get a DEXA scan on the NHS for body composition analysis.

The NHS doesn’t treat the healthy or the ‘worried well’ so, while it’s the biggest owner of DEXA scans in the UK, you won’t be using one to track your health and fitness goals.

How much does a DEXA scan in the UK cost?

A UK DEXA scan price is hard to determine given the few providers in the country.

If we take Bodyscan for example, they have a number of different pricing models depending on a few factors:

  • Packages: How many sessions you buy
  • Consultancy: If you want a consultant to talk you through your results

Using Bodyscan and its tiered system, a DEXA scan UK cost can range anywhere from £100 to £139 depending how many sessions you buy and whether you want to speak to a consultant after the scan.

I paid £99 with Bodyscan around a year ago but that was because the company was training staff on how to use the machine and talk through results. Essentially I paid a guinea pig rate but I still received a good service.

Bodyscan offer discounts when you sign up for the service.

According to the blog post linked to above, the Edinburgh Clinic charge £190 per scan usually although there is mention of a 20% discount. Bear in mind, the blog is from 2014 so the service and price may be different now.

To get a DEXA scan in the UK it’s likely you’ll pay anywhere from £100 to £190 depending on how many you buy, your location and whether you want to speak to a consultant about your results.

In other words, to have a DEXA scan in the UK is not cheap but as more companies offer it as a service to consumers across the country the price will come down.


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  1. Hi I need to have a drxa scan every 2 years. I’m due one in the next 2 months but NHS north Wales waiting list is almost 9 months. Is there a private hospital in chester where I could have it done? Linda h

  2. As far as I am aware your options in the area mentioned are Agnes Hunt Oswestry, Stoke on Trent or Wolverhampton.
    I am a qualified DXA operative living in Shropshire but working in Lincolnshire due to the fact there is so little provision in the West. Despite a plethora of published Guidance including NICE there is no significant drive to highlight the lack of provision. Cost of scanner now around 65 to 110k. Tarif for a DXA NHS is now £39. Steve: You only need to identify a clinical risk to get a NHS DXA.

  3. Good reading, just thought I’d be helpful, as I read the university of Birmingham’s prospectus, please find pasted text below.
    “Housing the Dual-energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) scanner, this laboratory allows us to analyse body composition and bone density in different groups and in response to exercise and/or dietary interventions. This facility is used for research studies only that have undergone appropriate ethical approvals and is not available as a service for the general public.”
    All the best, Adrian.

  4. Just a quick couple of questions please, I live in Leicestershire, where is the nearest place where I can have a Dexa Scan & is there any age limit (or other complications)?

    Many Thanks

  5. I need to have a dexa scan I live in the Cotswold can u recommend where to go privately

  6. Was diagnosed in 2004 with -4.2 Osteoporosis. Was told I was a “walking fracture waiting to happen”. Started exercising (running) and next scan 18 months later had reversed to -2.4. Haven’t had a scan since. Would like to know what I am now. Looking for service provider in the Wirral/Liverpool area.

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