• Expert Customer Service by Pilates Professionals
  • Affordable Pilates Equipment Financing
  • White Glove Service for In-Home Delivery & Assembly

2021 Pilates Reformer Buying Guide

Pilates Reformer Buying Guide

1. Key Considerations:

What is Pilates?

What is a Pilates Reformer?

2. Pilates Reformer Features

3. Reformer Manufacturers

4. Pilates Reformer Prices

5. Reformer Buying Tip

6. Top 10 Pilates Reformers


    Pilates is one of today’s most popular exercise regimens, with ten million Americans regularly attending studios and classes to improve their core strength, balance, and flexibility.

    While many Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat, the use of the rather intimidatingly named reformer adds a plethora of movements to improve and enhance your workout. The reformer is also used extensively for physical therapy and rehabilitation.

    All Pilates reformers share a basic design, but there are a few important variations. Since it is an expensive addition to your home gym, it’s important to identify your specific needs and know what to look for.

    Our 2021 PILATES REFORMER BUYING GUIDE is full of tips and information to help you find the right Pilates reformer for your exercise room. If you’re ready to buy, check out our top product recommendations, too.


    German-born Joseph Pilates invented the reformer to help rehabilitate patients with injured limbs


    Pilates takes its name from Joseph Pilates. A German-born emigré to Britain and then America, he devised the Pilates method as a new approach to exercise and body-conditioning in the early decades of the last century. His method included the use of equipment referred to by him as: apparatus. Perhaps the best-known piece of equipment, is the Pilates reformer.

    While many Pilates exercises are performed on a mat, perhaps with the addition of a Pilates ball, resistance bands, and/or “magic ring” (a circular device you squeeze), and give great results, the Pilates reformer adds hundreds of new exercises to the menu – and it can be a lot of fun. In Joe Pilates’ own words, “Of course you can exercise without machines. But it’s not as efficient and would take longer. With them, three or four hours work a week is enough.”

    Pilates reformer exercises are a regimen of low-impact exercises that target the core, or “powerhouse,” muscles of the abdomen, hips, and lower back. These exercises are designed to improve flexibility, coordination, strength, and balance.

    While elite athletes use Pilates for cross-training, performance improvement, and injury recovery, there are many benefits for daily life, since one result of Pilates is better posture and body alignment. Reformers are also used in physical therapy and rehabilitation to overcome injuries or physical limitations. Many people find relief from back and joint pain by doing Pilates.


    Anyone who has walked into a Pilates studio has probably seen some of these daunting-looking machines that look a bit like a medieval torture mechanism. But thanks to their multifunctional nature and ease of use, these devices have become a popular and versatile piece of exercise equipment.

    When using a reformer, you are working against your own body weight. There are many unique exercises you can do on a reformer – standing, sitting, lying down, and even upside down if you’re daring and know what you’re doing. It’s a one-stop shop for a total body workout, and the exercises can also be made more difficult as you improve, so you will never outgrow a reformer.

    Another bonus is that you’re likely to see results sooner than with mat sessions alone. And with guidance and some exercise modifications, you can also use the machines if you have a physical disability.


    REFORMER FRAME: The reformer frame is like a bed, with a carriage that rolls back and forth on wheels within the frame, much like a rowing machine. The carriage is pushed or pulled by the practitioner, using an adjustable foot bar at one end. Frames can be beautiful blonde wood or more industrial looking, durable steel and aluminum. Above all, look for a sturdy and stable frame. You don’t want a flimsy model that tips, creaks, or wobbles. When shopping, also consider the amount of space you have. These machines take up quite a bit of room, though there are some that can be raised or folded to get stored away when not in use.

    REFORMER STRAPS: Reformers have straps with hand- and foot loops that are pulled with the legs or arms to move the carriage. These should be adjustable, so they can be customized to work with your size, level of fitness, and any physical limitations.

    REFORMER SPRINGS: At higher priced modern reformers, the springs can be adjusted to many different levels, make the carriage more difficult to push or pull as you gain strength. Adjustable springs are also important to do each exercise with the appropriate resistance. Look for good-quality springs. Lower-end models might use bungee-type cords rather than springs, which may not stand up to wear and tear.

    OTHER ELEMENTS: High quality modern reformers also include an adjustable headrest and shoulder braces. An adjustable foot bar is a must.

    UPGRADES: For an even higher variety of exercises, you can look for a reformer with tower. Some manufacturers offer the tower as an accessory that can be bought separately and attached later. The tower often included its own set of accessories.

    REFORMER ACCESSORIES: Some top-quality reformers come as a ready-to-use package with the Pilates box and jump board. The latter is a more recent addition to the reformer that is a lot of fun for cardio exercises. Other Pilates equipment includes Pilates chairs, ladder barrels, wall units, arcs and spine correctors.

    WARRANTY: Make sure your investment is covered by a comprehensive manufacturer warranty.

    INSTRUCTIONS: Some reformers come with instructional DVDs, which is helpful. However, it is highly recommended that you first take lessons on a reformer at a Pilates studio or with a certified Pilates instructor before using it alone at home.



    Commercial Pilates reformer mass manufacturing and customizations is a relatively new field. After Joseph Pilates developed his method during World War I, he worked on his reformer and other equipment from the 1920’s to 1960’s.


    As the first manufacturer of the Pilates apparatus regarded as the industry's established source for classical reformers. The collaboration with famous Pilates’ pupil Romana Kryzanowska in the late 1960's resulted in the preservation of the dimensions and proportions critical to the correct functions of the Pilates apparatus. Gratz has maintained a fidelity to Joseph Pilates original vision by fabricating reformers with unerring craftsmanship and exacting specifications. Due to this commitment, some modern features might be missing from Gratz reformers.


    Balanced Body started in the 1980’s to substantially update Joseph Pilates’ equipment by combining state-of-the-art engineering, materials and technology with a modern understanding of human biomechanics. Founder and CEO Ken Endelman designed hundreds of improvements to Pilates’ original equipment, many of which have since become industry standards. Balanced Body equipment is often used by Pilates studios and franchises.


    BASI Systems® uses the highest quality, environmentally friendly materials to build Pilates equipment with biomechanical and aesthetic integrity. Each piece is handcrafted with care and state-of-the art engineering methodologies. The Finely Crafted Pilates Equipment uses beech wood for sturdiness, aerospace-grade aluminum for durability and smooth transitions, antibacterial vinyl to resist wear-and-tear, and orthopedic cushioning for extraordinary comfort. Only the exclusive BASI Systems® equipment offers longevity with ergonomic functionality and an expandable design system that can seamlessly fit your needs. 


    As a contemporary approach to the original Pilates method based on modern principles of exercise science and rehabilitation, Stott Pilates was developed by Moira and Lindsay Merrithew, starting in 1988. STOTT is highly dedicated to Pilates education and offers a rigorous trainer certification. Designed and produced in Canada, STOTT Pilates reformers ensure high quality and many customization options from a reputable manufacturer, suitable for those seeking long-term serious use at home.


    Established U.S. brand with a narrow product line that includes a competitively priced lightweight aluminum reformer for home-use.


    This Spanish manufacturer is rapidly gaining momentum on the North American market. Both the well-made reformer rock-maple wood and aluminum frame reformers can hold their own against Balanced Body comparisons. Our favorite is the convertible Cadillac reformer with full trapeze that beats the price of any competitor.




    What costs a quality PIlates reformer? Pilates reformers are not cheap – generally in the same ballpark as treadmills, from $300 to

    $8,000 – so make sure you’re committed before buying one and you don’t end up with a very expensive clothes hanger.


    You can find some very basic reformers for around $300 to 2,000. Some of these are folding models that can be folded or rolled under the bed for storage, but these will be much less stable and therefore less enjoyable to use. They commonly have much less adjustment options for your size, height, and level of ability. Most can’t adjust spring resistance or have bungee cords instead of durable springs.


    These reformers cost from about $2,000 to $5,000 and have the quality and features you need in a durable and reliable reformer that you enjoy using at your home studio. Some of them even mirror studio-quality reformers.


    For a studio-quality machine or one used for physical therapy, you can expect to pay in the region of $5,000 to $8,000 (the most expensive include a tower). Home users often justify the expense of buying a reformer by noting that Pilates reformer classes are pricier than most exercise classes, as much as $100 an hour. If you use the reformer regularly, the cost may be well worth it.



    • Consider your size and physical abilities. Reformers come in a variety of options, heights, and sizes, so check that it will fit your body type and exercise goals.

    • You will find that prices from reputable online sellers are almost always matching the MSRP (manufacturer recommended retail price). We recommend choosing the seller with the best customer service.

    • Take some Pilates group classes at a qualified Pilates studio before you invest in a reformer. The exercises are very specific, and it’s necessary to have a trained Pilates instructor guide you.

    • Take a few private sessions to learn the principles as well as help you hone in on your personal fitness goals.

    • Consider ongoing sessions at home with a personal Pilates instructor.



    According to a 2016 study, after just eight weeks of Pilates, users have improved balance, flexibility, abdominal endurance, and strength.

    There are lots of reformer makes and models to choose from, and we found others in addition to our TOP 10 PILATES REFORMERS.

    The Balanced Body Studio Reformers are great machines from a respected brand, and they’re certainly some of the best looking. You will find these reformers at many franchised Club Pilates studios.

    Generally, reformers come in two options today: with either hardwood frames or sturdy steel and aluminum frames.


    Our TOP 10 PILATES REFORMERS all feature aesthetically pleasing designs that include rock maple wood or aluminum frames, stainless-steel interior frames and rollers, frame, and nautical cleats, which make them suitable for the trendiest studio.

    All of them have the features you would be looking for in a high-quality reformer for your home studio. And they can even complement your interior decorating style and colors.

    If you are searching for the perfect Pilates reformer for your home studio, look no further than our TOP 10 PILATES REFORMERS FOR HOME AND STUDIO USE.



    Elina Pilates Elite Convertible Wood Reformer with Tower 

    MSRP $4,690

    For the very best all-around reformer, look no further than the stunningly beautiful Elite model from Elina Pilates. A tower, also referred to as a half-trapeze, adds a whole new dimension to your reformer practice. This reformer converts from a more than generously sized 30-inch-wide reformer to a comfortable half trapeze with the help of the included drop-in mat. Included are also a jump board and box for a complete package with endless exercise options. 



    MSRP $2,295

    Want the perfect home-gym reformer with full features? Look no further than the Peak Pilates Casa reformer. While lightweight and affordable, with 16 inches off the ground, it is a studio height reformer. A jump board is not included, but can get added for more cardio fun.


    Private Pilates Premium Wood Reformer Bundle

    MSRP $3,290 

    This is the reformer for you if you are new to Pilates and want a great machine that’s also going to complement your décor. Its aesthetically pleasing design includes a hardwood frame with chrome  and stainless-steel hardware, making it a real showpiece in your home. Even better, it comes standard as a bundle with the cardio jump board and sitting box.


    Elina Pilates Aluminum Reformer

    MSRP from $2,990 entry level pilates reformer

    A well-made reformer with a host of accessories. Comes 90% assembled. Easy to set up. Low profile and easy to move out of the way. Comes with the jump board and sitting box. Even better, this model comes in four different height from almost floor level up to physical therapy height for people with mobility issues. 


    IM=X Xercizer

    MSRP $4,390

    Built to withstand extra-heavy use(rs), the IM=X® Xercizer, is an updated version of the original Pilates Reformer in an extra-durable design.  IM=X® has been manufacturing the Xercizer in the USA for over 20 years, using industrial-strength materials that deliver results. 

    This is the most essential, top of the line, commercial-grade reformer for studio or home use. It provides for a total body workout that includes core stabilization, muscle toning and strengthening, range of motion stretching and cardiovascular benefits.  


    STOTT Pilates by Merrithew V2 Max Reformer

    MSRP from $6,690

    The V2 Max Plus Reformer from Merrithew is a favorite among health and fitness professionals. This reformer is designed for athletes, rehab patients, the active aging, and the dedicated fitness enthusiasts. Merrithew offers a several of upgrade options, including a bundle options, that make this apparatus even more customizable for your individual needs.

    The standard-height reformer brings the carriage a comfortable 16 inches off the floor. We like that it is very versatile and allows for easier transition between exercises for efficient group and one-on-one training sessions

    This large and heavy reformer is ideal for Pilates studios, clubs, fitness facilities and homes with a dedicated Pilates space.



    MSRP $4,595

    “The Gratz” is as classical as it can get. This is the reformer for the purist who wants to original Pilates experience on a reformer that looks exactly or a least very close to the ones Joe Pilates designed.
    Keep in mind that a classical reformer has four identical springs instead of five with varying strength. The utilitarian design of this reformer Also the available length of 80”, 86” & 89” might be too short for the tallest practitioners.


    BASI SYSTEMS Convertible Cadillac-Reformer Combo

    MSRP: $7,790


    A Pilates Cadillac by itself is a showstopper. And with the convertible Cadillac Reformer from BASI Systems, you get two Pilates apparatus in one – a full-scale reformer that converts into a full trapeze table or “Cadillac.” Use it as a Reformer with the innovative BASI Enhanced Pulley System (EPS) for fine-tuning control of the pulley angle and the expanded gear system for precision in spring resistance settings.

    With the largest carriage cushion and the longest track in the industry, the BASI Systems' Combo apparatus offers unprecedented comfort and range of motion. Extension legs offer the height option to best suit your space and training style.



    MSRP $7,299

    For those who seek an exercise “apparatus” that doesn’t compromise on quality and durability, the Merrithew Rehab V2 Max Plus reformer delivers everything you need.

    It’s easy to see why this is an ultimate wish list item for many people. Adds a tower system to the reformer setup. Positioned higher off the ground for easier access by those with mobility challenges. This reformer is designed for many years of  continuous use in a studio or practice environment.



    STOTT Pilates reformers are customizable with an impressive kaleidoscope of upholstery colors. In addition to 10 “standard colors,” you can also select from at least 75 custom color to match, say your car or your wall color. Standard colors are:

    Dark Cherry
    Imperial Blue
    Royal Blue
    Yew Green
    Concord Purple
    Gunmetal Gray
    Chestnut Brown

    Need higher precision? Double your number of gear bar positions with the High-Precision Gear Bar upgrade.

    Very tall people will appreciate the Reformer Extension Upgrade that’s available for the V2 Max™. This upgrade option extends the carriage and overall length of your V2 Max™ Reformer by 6 in (15 cm) to accommodate taller people or those with longer torsos.




    MSRP $13,690

    If you are ready to take your Pilates practice to the next level and only the best is good enough, then this One-On-One Pilates Studio Bundle from Merrithew  makes outfitting your home-studio a no brainer. You will get the V2 Max Plus Reformer with Half-Trapeze Tower, Reformer Box, Mat Converter, Platform Extender, Split-Pedal Stability Chair, Ladder Barrel, Cadillac Trapeze Table, Arc Barrel, Maple Pole, and 3 DVDs with Pilates exercises.

    Did you enjoy learning about the best Pilates reformers on the market? Visit our showroom to see and try each model! For more Pilates equipment info, like our Facebook or Instagram page and sign up for our email newsletter on our website. Or simply call or email us with your questions. 

    CASA Pilates Reformers
    CASA Pilates Equipment Showroom
    480 Hibiscus St
    West Palm Beach, Florida
    We are looking forward to hearing from you!


    ★ Reviews

    Customer Reviews

    206 reviews
    Beautiful piece of equipment

    The elite reformer with tower bundle is a well built and a beautiful addition to our gym. It is easy to use; however, an instruction manual on putting it together would have been a nice addition.

    Peak Pilates Deluxe Wall System
    June F. (Culpeper, US)
    My tower system

    I love my system. It only arrived with one safety cable. I would like to purchase more connectors for the cables and a set of handles for using arm springs.
    Can you guide me to right site to order these items?
    Thank you.

    Smooth and Sleek

    The reformer is beautiful and easy to use. Putting together was a little time consuming and challenging. I love the quality of the reformer and the accessories included. Delivery could have been better. They left it outside the door in a wooden crate. It took me help to carry in the pieces.

    Peak Pilates® casa™ Reformer
    Marcia (Simi Valley, US)
    Very satisfied!

    So wonderful to have this reformer at my home where I can use it at my own convenience. It works great and is very sturdy.

    Great machine

    Super solid build. Great versatility in having Cadillac and reformer with tower, and of course, the foldability which is very nice for apartment living. Also, not too low off ground— better than other foldable reformers I have tried before. Very happy with this excellent piece of equipment,