The 6 Best Pilates Reformers of 2021

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."
"Weighing only 10 pounds, this reformer is easily portable but still has the features you need for a total-body workout."
"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."
"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."

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

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. 

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.”—Emi Gutgold, Certified Pilates Instructor at New York Pilates

Best Budget: BOARD30 Mini Pilates Reformer

BOARD30 MINI Pilates Reformer

This 2x2x2 mini pilates reformer can be taken anywhere and only takes up 2 feet of space. It features a molded mat platform, four resistance tubes, two handles, two ankle straps, and two flat resistance bands, allowing you to get the total-body workout that you crave wherever you go at an affordable price. The reformer only weighs 10 pounds, making it easily portable for most people.

With your purchase, you'll also get two weeks of free access to BOARD30's fitness video library membership that includes exercise videos for pilates, yoga, full-body strength, at-home cardio, and more.

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 advanced: STOTT PILATES Rehab V2 Max Plus Reformer

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. 

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