The 8 Best Pilates Reformers of 2020

Set up your own studio at home with this effective machine

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Our Top Picks
"With five springs, a four-positioned foot bar, and adjustable ropes, it meets all the requirements of a good reformer."
"At a price that is lower than other models, the reformer has all the same basic mechanisms as studio machines."
"It comes with handy accessories, including a reformer box, metal roll-up pole, padded platform, and DVDs with over 250 pilates exercises."
"A foldable reformer that still has all the aspects you need to get an amazing Pilates workout, it's perfect for small spaces."
"Thanks to the adjustable foot bar that slides to nine locked positions, the reformer fits exercisers of all sizes, even children."
"The two-frame combination provides even the most advanced Pilates enthusiast with enough movement options for a challenging workout."
"With the longest carriage in the industry, Balanced Body’s Studio Reformer has everything beginners need for easy, safe exercise."
"Wheels for easy portability and storage make this no-assembly mini reformer hassle-free, but still effective."

It doesn’t matter how active you are in the wellness world—there's no doubt you know someone who absolutely loves Pilates. They wake up early, put on their favorite pair of leggings, and head to the studio to perform more hamstring work than many people do in a calendar year.

The benefits of Pilates impact both the physical and mental health of anyone who participates, focusing on improved movement, strength, and control. A key element of this workout is the Pilates reformer, a machine that holds hundreds of opportunities to exercise your body and grow your personal fitness.

Best Overall: Balanced Body IQ Reformer

When push comes to shove and we’re choosing the best overall Pilates reformer, it has to be Balanced Body’s IQ Reformer. With five springs, a four-positioned foot bar, comfortable headrest, and adjustable ropes, it meets all the requirements of a good reformer. The built-in, non-skid standing platform makes it easy to perform standing Pilates exercises without slipping or sliding.

Thanks to its sleek design, the reformer easily shortens and can be stored under a bed or in a closet. Its "wheelbarrow" and "library" wheels make it easy to move and store without making a racket. The reformer comes in 35 colors and is an excellent choice for everyone, no matter your skill level. 

Best Budget: Stamina AeroPilates Reformer 651 System

Not everyone is looking to pay thousands of dollars for their newest workout obsession, which is where AeroPilates comes in. At a price that is lower than other models, this Stamina AeroPilates Reformer 651 System comes with heavy-duty bungee cords to adjust resistance, an adjustable headrest, a padded foot bar, and padded hand and foot straps.

The reformer stands off the ground and supports up to 300 lbs. It’s perfect for the person who wants to grow in their Pilates experience with all the same basic mechanisms as studio machines. 

Best for Home Studios: Merrithew At Home SPX Reformer Bundle

If you’ve been doing Pilates long enough to know that you’re going to do it for the rest of your life, or you're stuck at home and can't get to your favorite class, a complete home studio may be the right option for you. 

The At Home SPX Reformer Package comes with a studio-grade reformer—complete with three headrest positions, four foot bar positions, a wooden standing platform, shoulder rests, and double-loop hand and foot straps.

The package also includes handy accessories, including a reformer box, metal roll-up pole, and padded platform extender that give you even more options to get the most from your workout. It also comes with instructional DVDs featuring over 250 pilates exercises.

Best for Small Spaces: AeroPilates Premier Reformer

Pilates reformers, though crucial pieces of equipment for those who wish to take their Pilates game up a notch, can be pretty bulky. Especially if you’re shopping for a reformer you’d like to use at home, finding one that doesn’t have to constantly take up your entire basement is helpful (and necessary).

The AeroPilates Premier Studio Reformer takes the guesswork out of your Pilates storage, with a foldable reformer that still has all the aspects you need to get an amazing Pilates workout—four resistance springs, a 24-inch padded foot bar, head and foot straps, and a headrest. 

It comes with a cardio rebounder that allows you to get your heart rate up without putting stress on your joints. When assembled and fully open, the rebounder measures 86.25x20x14 inches.

Best for Studio: balanced body Allegro 2 Reformer

For studio owners or Pilates enthusiasts looking for a studio-grade reformer to use at home, the Allegro 2 Reformer from Balanced Body is your best bet.

With top-of-the-line mechanisms including a fully padded foot bar for extra comfort, five springs with up to 46 resistances, shoulder pads that can be adjusted and removed, a standing platform, and double-looped hand and foot bars, the reformer is perfect for every Pilates student.

Thanks to the adjustable foot bar that slides to nine locked positions, the reformer fits exercisers of all sizes, even children. Headrest comfort can be customized and adjusted to three positions, making it easy to use by the whole family.

Expert Advice

“Since a reformer is a huge investment (worth it, IMO!), do not skimp on the goods. I recommend Balanced Body. While an exact replica of what you would use in a studio will run you about $6,000 when it’s all said and done, they also offer a more economical reformer, designed to appeal for home users for around $2,000. Buying directly from Balanced Body will save you headaches down the road in case something breaks and you need assistance.”—Emi Gutgold, Certified Pilates Instructor at New York Pilates

Best advanced: STOTT PILATES Rehab V2 Max Plus Reformer

Advanced Pilates students, while able to achieve an excellent workout with a simple reformer, can really push themselves with a reformer that has some added features.

For the advanced crowd, the V2 Max Plus Reformer from Stott is ideal. On the traditional, horizontal frame it has five springs, removable shoulder rests, soft hand and foot loops, a padded foot bar, and a standing platform.

Unlike most commercial reformers, the V2 Max Plus Reformer also comes with a vertical frame, adding two roll-down springs, two push through springs, two leg springs, two traveling pulleys, extension straps, and a safety chain. The two-frame combination provides even the most advanced Pilates enthusiast with enough movement options for a challenging workout.

Best Beginner: balanced body Studio Reformer

If you’re looking to set yourself up for success in your Pilates journey, Balanced Body’s Studio Reformer has everything beginners need for easy, safe exercise.

Its foot bar adjusts to three different heights, depending on how tall you are, and the carriage is the longest in the industry, at 41 inches. This allows you to be comfortable as you learn how your body adapts to Pilates’ movements. 

Balanced Body’s Studio Reformer also comes with a sitting box to place on top of the carriage, increasing your range of motion if you decide to use it. Additionally, it has a non-slip standing platform and five springs that give you the option of 46 different resistances. 

Best Portable: Pilates Power Gym Pro' 3-Elevation Reformer Exercise System

Anyone who has seen a pilates reformer can attest to how large they are. Thankfully, Pilates Power Gym had portability in mind when they designed their Pro model. The model has three different incline levels, padded handles, four resistance bands, 48 resistance settings, and yes—wheels for easy portability. 

The height maximum for this machine is 6 feet 4 inches, and the weight max is 300 pounds. The wheels make it easy to store and move out of the way, and it comes assembled, so it's hassle-free.

What to look for in a Pilates reformer

Reformer Frame

This is the bulk of the machine—the frame has wheels on the inside that hold a carriage to carry individuals back and forth as they move. One end of the frame will have a foot bar, which is adjustable based on the participant’s height. The opposite end will often contain adjustable springs for different levels of resistance. 

Reformer Springs

In more advanced reformers, there are springs that allow you to choose how much resistance you want to add to your carriage this will make it easier or harder to perform exercises that require the carriage to move. 

Reformer straps

On the side of the reformer frame that is opposite of the foot bar, there are straps (with loops for either the hands or feet) that can be used to pull the carriage. 

Other features

Many high-end reformers have a headrest and shoulder braces for added comfort. Extra accessories include a Pilates box and a tower, both of which are often sold separately—towers can also be entirely different pieces of equipment. 

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a previous fitness coach, long-time wellness enthusiast, and current health editor, Lily Moe understands the importance of equipment that is made to help you reach your fitness goals.

Not only is she experienced in the industry on a professional level, but it is her personal hobby to continue exploring new fitness classes in her free time—she can often be found on a Pilates reformer in a New York studio. Most importantly, Lily always looks for research and first-hand reviews when it comes to deciding on a product. 

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  1. Bergamin M, Gobbo S, Bullo V, et al. Effects of a Pilates exercise program on muscle strength, postural control and body composition: results from a pilot study in a group of post-menopausal womenAge (Dordr). 2015;37(6):118. doi:10.1007/s11357-015-9852-3