A regular Pilates practice has amazing benefits, but going to multiple classes on a weekly basis can empty your pockets pretty quickly. A home workout is a viable option, but once you’ve hopped onto a reformer, there’s no going back to a mat workout. Thankfully, there are several brands out there that sell studio-quality Pilates reformers for enthusiasts like yourself.
Reformers are the best way for Pilates practitioners to improve their core strength, flexibility, posture, and overall well-being. Though they are a considerable investment, the eliminated need to pay for a studio membership means you’ll get your money’s worth in no time. However, in order to achieve an amazing workout and an equally impressive ROI, you’ll need to make sure you’re buying the right reformer. Not sure where to look? Check out these highly-rated brands and all they have to offer.
Body Arts and Science International (BASI Pilates) is a company founded by Pilates expert Rael Isacowitz, which heavily involved Pilates instructors in the development of its equipment and teachings. By merging modern science with the original teachings of Pilates, BASI has constructed award-winning, precision equipment. Whether you’re a pro in search of the best or considering becoming a home-based Pilates connoisseur, this brand has all the equipment and tutorial videos you need.
Their standard Pilates reformer offers the largest carriage cushion and the longest track on the market, though a shorter model is available for those with less space to work with. Users can adjust the reformer to accommodate any body type. When you’re ready to intensify your workout, you can upgrade your reformer with a tower, full Cadillac trapeze, or BASI’s very own F2 system.
Peak Pilates is a brand geared as much towards instructors as casual at-home practitioners. Peak offers guides for learning advanced techniques, workshops for experienced instructors, and an education program that offers Pilates instructing certifications. Peak expects its customers to use their reformers every day in a class setting, so their reformers are built to last.
Peak Pilates takes pride in meticulously crafting their reformers with strong, sustainable materials. However, all that vegan leather, sustainable bamboo, and solid wood do bring the price point up. If you’re not an instructor and are only looking for a great at-home workout, Peak does offer more compact, metal options for less than half the price of their studio-grade wood reformers. Their aluminum frame MVE Reformer is super compact and comes with an optional tower for a well-rounded workout.
Created by Moira and Lindsay G. Merrithew, the STOTT method is wildly popular among Pilates practitioners today. While Merrithew does offer studio-quality equipment and instructor certifications for their method, they have plenty to provide at-home practitioners.
Merridew offers casual practitioners a high-quality SPX Max Reformer Bundle with vertical stand.. At first glance, this reformer may seem bare-bones, despite the included reformer box and platform extender — but realistically, most homeowners don’t have space to use a tower or Cadillac. What makes this reformer special is its ability to stand vertically while not in use. Besides, with the STOTT Pilates method, you’ll have everything you need for a challenging workout. Merrithew provides easy access to the STOTT method by means of instructional charts and DVDs which feature over 250 exercises.
Elina Pilates prides itself on selling quality Pilates equipment with the best value on the market. To be fair, other previously mentioned brands do have equally competitive prices on reformers — the basic STOTT At Home reformer, for example, is a few hundred dollars cheaper than Elina Pilates’ standard reformer. But where Elina Pilates really shines is the Cadillac-reformer department.
Cadillac-reformer combos can get pretty pricey, but Elina Pilates offers a range of quality Cadillac-reformers with prices you won’t find from any other brand. The Elina Pilates Elite Cadillac-Reformer has all the bells and whistles you could think. With the included jumpboard and sitting box, it comes in at less than the cost of many simpler Pilates systems on the market.
There’s no way to make a list of best Pilates reformer brands without mentioning Balanced Body. Many consider Balanced Body to be one of the great authorities on exceptional equipment and effective training programs. Balanced Body’s focus lies mainly on instructors and commercial studios — and their equipment is priced as such. Additionally, if you’re not an expert in the practice, some of the accessory options can be a little confusing to figure out on your own.
Now, you know about all of today’s best Pilates brands. Now it’s time to get shopping! Working within your budget is important, but it’s also crucial to do your homework and make sure that the reformer you buy is the right one for you.
Consider the space in your home — which reformer will fit your workout area the best? Which accessories will you need? If you plan on purchasing a simple reformer, will you plan on later adding on a tower? If so, does the reformer you’re planning on getting provide that option? Remember to keep all of these things in mind on your hunt. If you do, you’ll be sure to find the right reformer for your home studio.
Giulia Ramsey is an avid Pilates practitioner who has studied in Germany and the U.S. Her fitness mantra is the Joseph Pilates quote, “Pilates is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.” Giulia is CMO of CASA Pilates Equipment the largest North American retailer of high-quality Pilates equipment and reformers.