Best Pilates Reformers Reviewed & Rated for Quality
These are machines that can grow with you and your increasing fitness and strength levels. They are adjustable in intensity and most are fairly good at adjusting to size requirements so that those short and tall can use them. This is a terrific purchase for anyone who is interested in building strong, lean muscle mass and increasing flexibility and improving cardiovascular health. Last, know your budget and what type of equipment you need.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 20 hrs of research
Comes fully assembled
Folds down flat for easy storage
High-quality construction and materials
- Beverly Hills Tower
- STOTT Pilates MERRITHEW
- Balanced Body IQ
- AeroPilates by Stamina 5-Cord
- Aero Pilates Reformer 287
- Balanced Body Studio Reformer
- Balanced Body Allegro 2
- Pilates Power Gym
- Pilates Power Gym Pro 3
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Our Favorite Pilates Reformers
1. Beverly Hills Tower
Comes fully assembled
Folds down flat for easy storage
High-quality construction and materials
May not work for tall people
A couple users received products that had a ripped pad
This is a lightweight option that can fold flat for easy storage but still gives you plenty of options for great pilates and barre workouts. Users found it to be very effective, versatile, and durable. A couple of people doubted its ability to hold up over time, but this didn't seem to be a consistent issue. It also offers a lot of value for the price.Read more
Ease of Use
It comes fully assembled which is really nice and convenient, and users found it to be simple to do a whole variety of pilates and barre exercises. It also comes with two DVD's that will help you stay motivated and give you instructions on how to workout with it. It also folds flat for easy storage under the bed or anywhere else you want to store it.
The frame is made with sturdy steel and is durable. The barre is made with high-quality, well-finished wood. The pad is vinyl covered foam.
This one folds down easily to a compact package that can slide under your bed, get stashed in a closet, or just leaned up against the wall or stored in a corner somewhere.
The company claims the steel frame is very sturdy, and users backed this up, although one person was suspicious that it would last a long time with consistent use but it doesn't seem to be an issue.
People were happy with what this product offered them in terms of features for the cost and that having it at home would save them a lot of money in classes.
3 ft. long cushion to lay on
Includes 4 springs of different tensions
Wheels make this machine portable
Footbar angle is adjustable
There are no hand posts near the headrest
Shoulder pads can feel stiff
Stamina makes a machine that will offer you everything you need and can function well even for taller individuals. You are going to get terrific jumping ability in a solidly built reformer that offers you a smooth workout. This is a no stress machine that is easy to use as it is to assemble.Read more
The build of this model is noteworthy in terms of its sturdiness and smoothness in motion. The attachments via ropes and foot/hand holds have a great feel and since the length of this machine can accommodate a wide range of individual heights it is a practical option for a diverse population.
This is a sleek looking machine that has great visual appeal. You are getting high quality in the materials and construction. Even though it offers a great height from the ground, that won’t stop you from easily moving it where you need it to go because it has wheels that make that process very easy.
Cost and Value
You can own this reformer for close to 60% less than competing name brands and you won’t sacrifice sturdiness or quality in its construction. It is fairly easy to put together at home, so don’t be put off by that in the least bit. It will give you a smooth workout and it will perform for you the way you want giving you a leaner and stronger body.
3. STOTT Pilates MERRITHEW
250 lb weight capacity
Includes 4 full tension and 1 half tension springs
Includes reformer box
Metal roll up poll included
2 workout DVDs
Has a padded platform extender
Ships in a very large box
There have been some issues with delivery of this system
STOTT Pilates MERRITHEW is a perfect solution for the home gym. This bundle specifically is a great value and has pretty much everything you would want as a full package training system. It is easy to assemble, it will keep you satisfied with a serious workout and will leave you wanting for nothing.Read more
Industry leaders in “Mindful Movement"
This is a company that is in a specific niche of fitness and a perfect match for developing and supplying pilates reformers. They care about making products and developing supporting materials that will aid the world in effective exercising to improve upon life. They specifically work with conditioning and performance instruction and have an international presence in over 100 countries.
There is no questioning the quality of this machine or really anything that this company puts on the market. There is plentiful padding in the carriage and it glides so smoothly you will truly be able to enjoy your workout. The aluminum rails add to a very sturdy and balanced machine.
Cost and Value
You will be thoroughly impressed and pleased with this machine that comes to you from an accredited company that will give you everything you need to start a training program at home. This model is going to be comparable to the quality and performance that you’d expect from a studio. The shipping is spot on with all your components packaged well and the best part is that you won’t have a hard time with assembly.
4. Balanced Body IQ
Built-in non-skid platform
Handmade in the USA
Comes with workout DVD
Nice storage options
Assembly can take some time
Sometimes there are problems with the bolts that come with this system
The Balanced Body IQ is for anyone who wants a professional system for the studio or home. It will give you the same smooth, precision feel as you would get in any professional studio which is why it is a very comparable model to the professional ones.Read more
Construction and features
You are going to be able to easily store and move this model. This alone is an awesome feature for most people because these systems can be heavy and take up a lot of space so anything that helps that is key. The carriage is professional grade, and the tension options you get with this 5 spring structure will keep you engaged. The headrest and the foot bar are easily adjustable to help you find the perfect fit for your body and preferences.
Don’t be surprised if you are instantly attracted to this model because it has one of the most comfortable benches on the market. The foot bar is seriously well cushioned and the shoulder area has just the right amount of padding. The headrest also has a pleasing quality about it.
Cost and Value
This is a good looking piece of training equipment, it has a very sleek style. It is professional grade so it is going to be a handy tool for you to get maximum use out of and be assured that it will have a long lifespan. The ease of use and ability to easily move and store make it an impeccable option to check out.
5. AeroPilates by Stamina 5-Cord
63 lbs. Total machine weight
Adjustable strap height
Platform surface designed to support balance and control of movement
3-year frame warranty
90-day parts warranty
Tall cardio rebounder
May need to be oiled after hard use to avoid possible squeaking
The color of the bed can vary from the picture
This is a system that provides tons of versatility for your workouts. AeroPilates by Stamina provides a 5-cord system that allows for greater flexibility in adjusting the intensity level to where you want it to be. Stable for up to 350 lbs., you get everything you could want with this system.Read more
The design of this machine has comfort and fit for the user in mind. There is a really nice amount of padding for a soft feel. Once you are on it and comfortable, which won’t take long, you have an adjustable headrest and non-skid supports so the stability is there. The hand and foot straps weren’t left out either, they are padded as well.
You get all the bells and whistles included with this system. The 5-cord system, elastic bungee cords, padded platform, cardio rebounder, and foot bar and it doesn't stop there. You get a ton of instruction and support with a full-color workout chard to hang on your wall and 2 DVDs that will help guide you on your workouts.
Cost and Value
There is a lot that you get with this machine and at a price that cannot be beaten. The extras are practical and helpful and the machine itself comes with most of the add-ons that others don’t have included. The foldable frame is always a plus and the wheels allow you to move it around without any problems. The warranties that are included provide additional assurances.
6. Aero Pilates Reformer 287
Small size fits almost anywhere
Easy to use
Versatile and effective
Foam smells when you first remove it from packaging
This is a simple, affordable, and effective option that also comes with two DVD's that will help keep you motivated and instruct you on how to use the machine most efficiently. It has three cords for resistance and the foot bar is padded for easily and enjoyably executing your pilates workout.Read more
Ease of Use
It does require some assembly when you get it, but users reported that putting it together was simple and not difficult. The DVD's it comes with do a good job of instructing you on how to use the machine even if you've never done pilates before.
The black frame is made from pressed and rolled steel, and the pad is foam covered in nylon. The footrest and grips are padded and it has rubber pads to make it non-slip and keep it from scuffing your floor.
It's small enough to conveniently fit just about anywhere, but it is a bit heavy. It's 85.25 inches long, 17.5 inches wide, and 9 inches high, and weighs 55 pounds.
During our research we didn't find any issues with it lasting a long time.
This one gives you good bang for your buck, allowing you to do a lot of pilates moves at home without a lot of money out of pocket or having to continually pay to go to classes.
7. Balanced Body Studio Reformer
Professional quality reformer with all the bells and whistles
High-quality materials and construction
Allows you to do all possible pilates exercises
Requires a lot of assembly
This is a top of the line product that is the same as the ones you'll find in your favorite studio. It's expensive, but if you're dedicated to pilates and have space in your home, this investment will pay off in the long-run in terms of health and wellness. It will require assembly when you receive it, so if you're not handy you'll want some help available.Read more
Ease of Use
You'll need some handy skills to assemble it, and a background in pilates in order to get the most out of it. It isn't complicated to use once you know how, but this one isn't for beginners.
This is a professional option that uses high-quality construction, fabric, wood, and metal in all of its components.
Large! Again, this is the same type of reformer you'll find at your favorite studios, so you'll need a large space to use it, ideally a home gym or similar. It's 18 inches tall, 93 inches long, 27 inches wide, and weighs 188 pounds.
It's built to last a long time and once you get it assembled you shouldn't have any problems with it lasting a long time.
The big drawback here is the price. But if you've already found that you love pilates and you're spending a lot of money on classes, this is a great machine to purchase and install in your home.
8. Balanced Body Allegro 2
Soft touch rope system
Ergonomic risers will allow for better pull up ability
2 free DVDs
Extra padding for comfort
Foot bar can take some time to install
Balanced Body Allegro 2 is just an all-around great company that makes solid, dependable products. This is top of the line stuff right here. We had a hard time not including another piece from the company because here you have a beautiful piece of machinery that works like a dream and can hold up to intense use.Read more
This is not only well constructed and sturdy as heck, but it comes packed extremely well. There is some piece of mind right there, you won’t have to worry about anything being damaged during delivery because everything is cradled inside one very large box. There is a ton of protection in the packaging and all the pieces are well marked and organized for you to easily get yourself set up and ready to workout.
You are going to love the carriage platform. It is effortless to use and you can adjust the headrest where you need it to be. The handle beneath the carriage makes changing cord and strap lengths very simple. All in all the movement of this machine is smooth, quiet and satisfying.
Cost and Value
This reformer will blow you away by meeting all your expectations and then some. The quality is on point, and the construction is substantial. This is a machine that is well worth the cost because it will be a lifetime investment in your health and fitness. It is a machine that is very easy to use, to top it all off and you will have no problem adjusting the springs.
9. Pilates Power Gym
7 workout DVDs
No assembly required
3 incline levels
48 resistance settings
#1 cord very low resistance, better used for children
Push up bar not included, sold separately
If you are ready to build your home gym and need guidance on what to purchase for the most well-rounded equipment, stop a second and take a look at this package. Pilates Power Gym will take the spot of over 17 pieces of bulky strength equipment. You will get everything you need with this machine that does a seamless job of delivering a great pilates workout with the benefits of classic weight training.Read more
Perfect Home Gym
When you and your family are ready to get healthy and fit, why not spend that time doing it together as a team? That crossing over of motivation and support is key to success. There is no need to get too complicated and get in the weeds with the many equipment options and workout trends out there today. All you need is this package and your whole family can easily use it and reap the benefits. It is easily adjusted to everyone’s strength and fitness level and it can hold up to 300 lbs. so it is definitely sturdy.
There is no need to be a veteran student of pilates to use this system, that being said, those who are very fit and experienced can certainly get great use out of the system. For any fitness level, figuring out how to use the machine is very intuitive, you will be able to just get on and start exercising. You’ll pick up the motions in no time. To guide you on structured workouts this package also comes with 5 DVDs that include a cardio training component, as well as a DVD that incorporates cardio and strength training into the professionally designed plan.
Cost and Value
Tough materials make up this reformer, so it is a strong piece of equipment. There is plenty of workout instruction so you can make the most out of using it and not easily get bored with your workouts. It is compact and portable so you don’t have to worry about space issues. You can easily store and move it wherever works best for you and your family.
10. Pilates Power Gym Pro 3
No assembly required
3 workout DVDs
Great for beginners
Holds up to 300 lbs.
Steel frame, sturdy construction
Low to the ground
Not the best option for taller individuals
The Pilates Power Gym Pro 3 is a mini reformer that comes with DVD workouts designed by a celebrity fitness trainer. It is a system that is a good option for both pros and beginners.Read more
For anyone looking for a space saving quality piece of equipment, here it is. It is designed to be compact and as such an excellent option for the home. It comes assembled and is easy to move around if needed.
Great for beginners
If you are new to this type of workout, this is an option that is perfect for newbies. It is easy to use, small and you can take it right out of the shipping box and start training immediately.
Cost and Value
There is a lot of quality here for an excellent price. It is a machine that will help you stay strong and fit and with the easy to follow DVDs you will have all the guidance you need to use it effectively. It doesn’t miss, as it provides a super smooth ride.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Ease of Use
When it comes to how easy a Pilates Reformer is to use, there are two things to consider: how easy it is to assemble, and how easy it is to use.
Not everyone is Ms. or Mr. Handy. In fact, most people aren't. So if you have a tough time putting legos together, a more complicated machine with tons of small parts is probably not going to work well for you unless you are willing to pay a local handyman to do the work for you. That being said, there is also the issue of actually using your machine. Some machines are pretty intuitive and easy to figure out without much extra instruction. Others are not. You aren’t going to use a machine that you don’t understand how to and you certainly aren’t going to be happy with your purchase if you can’t get use out of it. Readable, easy to digest instructions are key for any most products, but definitely when it comes to using one of these. If you are still confused with aspects of your machine, don’t be shy. Go out and contact a local instructor and see if they’d come and help you learn how to make your adjustments and fit so that you can be comfortable understanding your machine and using it.
When looking for Pilates instructors so you can take a class or two to become familiar with the exercise and the equipment, it's important to take a couple of things into consideration. That being said, pilates is not a trademarked program, so make sure you do some research on the instructor before you go. Get student reviews, check certifications, and read their website if they have one. Once you find a qualified instructor, you can refer to them for assistance so you can get the most out of your new equipment and your exercise program.
The type of materials your reformer is made from matters, especially since this is an expensive and somewhat complicated piece of equipment. There are classic wooden models that use leather for their straps. The contemporary counterparts will mostly use synthetic straps and have much more padding for their cartridges. Some machines are significantly taller than others. Some roll very smoothly while others can be a little choppy and stiff. Your height and size matter in the machine you choose and you always want one that has a smooth gliding ability for your best use. At the end of the day, what is most comfortable for you is the most important part of your decision. Take the time, try out some options and make your opinions about what suits you best.
As discussed there are many different reformer options for you to choose from and as such, there is also variability in sizing and design. Some machines are very tall while others are more compact. Some allow for portability by way of wheels while others are foldable and easier to store. You should look at the space you have to accommodate your machine, and decide if you need it to be stored easily or if it can stay put in a designated spot. How tall you are and how heavy you also matter. Most machines can accommodate quite a bit of weight, which make them feasible options for most people, but double check the specs on the machine of your choice to be sure. The height of the machines differ widely so if you are on the taller side, this is an important aspect to look at so you can find a machine that will fit and work for you best.
Since Pilates reformers are relatively complicated and expensive pieces of equipment, you'll want to make sure the one you buy is made from quality parts, and is built with excellent construction to make sure your reformer is durable so that you can get your money's worth out of it.
Durability was one of the biggest factors we looked at, and we only included products on our list that have been reviewed as being durable to highly durable. Within our list however, there is still a range of how durable a machine is. We included this information in each review and we encourage you to look it over and keep it mind as you shop for your perfect machine.
The most important factor for almost anything you're thinking about buying is knowing how much you can spend, and making sure that when you do you get good value for your money.
The great thing about shopping for a Pilates reformer is that there is a wide range of pricing and options for you to choose from, so you shouldn't have a problem finding one that fits your budget and lifestyle. You don’t have to be put off from getting your own just because your budget is on the lower end of the spectrum because you can still find a fully functional and solid apparatus that won’t break the bank. For those of you that have a larger budget the options are almost endless.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
While some products are bigger than others, none of them are super small and compact. In order to be sure your reformer will fit where you want to put it, so before you choose which one you want, be sure to measure the space you want to put it and make sure you order one that will fit. We also recommend leaving yourself a couple of feet at least on each side of the reformer so that you're not crowded.
It is not a bad idea to check out your local studio and try some classes with different models before you shell out the cash for your own. Going to a local fitness equipment store could also be an option for trying out different models. Once you have a bit of a tangible understanding of the fit and feel of various models you can more easily understand the features and design behind the models you’ve researched.
Other Factors to Consider
This list gives you some ideas about what models are available and all the information about them, but at the end of the day, it's up to you to find the right machine for you. You may still be unsure after doing your research what is best for you, especially since comfort in use is such an important part of picking the right model.
Because of this we suggest checking out your local studio and trying some classes with different models before you shell out the cash for your own. Going to a local fitness equipment store could also be an option for trying out different models. Once you have a bit of a tangible understanding of the fit and feel of various models you can more easily understand the features and design behind the models you’ve researched. You will be much more equipped to make your best decision and then from there, it’s all about getting as many workouts as you want because you’ll have your own within an arm’s reach.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Can pilates help me be better at sports?
Pilates is a great strengthener of your core. That is your “powerhouse” because everything you do activates your core and if it is strong you will do everything better. When you have a solid and strong core, you will improve in every other aspect of physical activity including sports. It can help you run faster, improve exercising with better form and more direct impact on muscle building, you can throw faster, jump higher, literally everything physical you want to improve upon will be improved with a strong core. Because Pilates is such a great exercise option that when doing it, you can’t avoid strengthening your core, it is absolutely a great option to incorporate into your training routine. It can help you improve in the sport of your choice and the best part is that it is easy on the joints so it will provide you an exercise option that will take it easy on those knees, for example.
q: Can this type of workout lengthen your muscles?
Lengthening muscles isn’t possible. You might be thinking that is what pilates can do because of the way the body of those who are active in pilates look. It gives that look of toned long muscles because of the way this type of exercise allows your body to do work in a full range of motion. As you do these workouts more regularly you will strengthen your musculature as well as burn fat and then you will have that appearance of being toned, slimmer, and even taller.
q: Can pilates improve your flexibility?
Yes, it can. There was a study done in Brazil that showed women who were novices and had no prior experience did about 20 sessions and they improved their flexibility. About 19.1% improvement was documented. That’s pretty neat. When you are able to use a full range of motion in your body you can really tone and strengthen the entirety of your muscles and as such move your body in all planes much better, therefore making improvements in your flexibility.
q: Is there anything I should do to prepare for my first pilates session in a studio?
Not necessarily, the instructor will give you all the guidance you need. However, it couldn’t hurt to give yourself an understanding of the basics regarding how reformers actually work as well as what the parts are and what they are for. If you can do a little research and get acquainted with terms it will give you a bit of an edge towards understanding your instructor and helping you get the most out of your session.
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- Benefits of Pilates: 8 Reasons Why Every Woman Should Try Pilates, Women’s Fitness Magazine ,