Fitness

The 7 Best Home Pilates Reformers – [2020 Reviews]

With such a wide array of fitness trends and fads, there aren’t many that are left standing decade after decade. However, Pilates is a tried-and-true practice that yields real results – both mentally and physically.

Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned veteran, one of the best Pilates reformers can completely change your life and body for the better.

We’ve spent the last month or so testing and researching these machines to bring you the top on the market today. Let’s get started.

Best Pilates Reformers

 AeroPilates Reformer Plus 379Stamina AeroPilates ProMerrithew at Home SPX Reformer
editorschoice
Resistance:Bungee CordsBungee CordsSprings
Folding:YesNoNo
Dimensions:84" x 19.5"100" x 23"95" x 26"
Weight:68 Pounds155 Pounds117 Pounds

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Home Pilates Reformers

  1. AeroPilates Reformer Plus 379
  2. Stamina AeroPilates Pro Reformer
  3. Merrithew at Home SPX Reformer Bundle
  4. AeroPilates Premier Reformer
  5. Stamina AeroPilates Reformer 287
  6. Balanced Body Studio Reformer
  7. Merrithew Rehab V2 Max Plus Reformer

Pilates Reformer Reviews

If you are looking for a solid Pilates reformer at a very reasonable price, then look no further than the AeroPilates Reformer Plus 379.

Earning the prestigious title of “Amazon’s Choice”, you don’t have to take our word for it – they also ensure high quality! If your living situation is a bit cramped or you’re a smaller person, then keep on reading.

The black-and-purple color scheme is relatively basic, though jives with just about any other décor you have going on.

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Right away, you can tell that the frame is notably lighter and smaller than our last one. Add on the fact that it has built-in wheels and transportation is a breeze.

When you’re all done with your session for the day, storage is just as simple as it folds up nice and quickly.

It doesn’t matter much how portable the Pilates machine is if it doesn’t yield you results. With 4 cord resistance levels and a bunch of intensity options, you have the ability to perform over 300 exercises!

No muscle group will be neglected, and with the elevated platform, you’ll get a full range of motion to more effectively address them.

The package even comes with straps, handgrips, ropes, and an adjustable footrest so no matter your height or weight, it will work for you.

If you find most Pilates cushions to be a bit too soft, then you’ll love this one. It’s definitely more firm than most others we have used, though it also offers more support and stability.

Adding onto that, we’re sure you’ll enjoy the foam shoulder pads as much as we did – especially if you have trouble keeping your spine in proper alignment.

Finally, take advantage of the generous 4 workout DVDs, eating guide, and wall chart to keep yourself motivated and on track!

 

AeroPilates Reformer Plus 379 at a Glance:

  • Resistance Method: Bungee Cords
  • Size: N/A
  • Folding: Yes
  • Weight: 68 Pounds
  • Extras: 4 Workout DVDs, eating guide download, wall chart

While in terms of weight and size, it’s quite average, the Stamina AeroPilates Pro Reformer with Cardio Rebounder is a standout model. In fact, if you read Pilates reformer reviews, you’ll often see this one at the top.

Not only is it a gorgeous piece of equipment, it’s very reliable and made to last for many years to come.

Weighing 155 pounds, it’s a bit on the heavy side so if you’re planning on getting one that you can transport around your home with ease you may want to give the others on our guide a look.

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Elevated 15 inches off of the floor, you’ll notice that you have a full range of motion no matter your movement – making operation easier than ever. Keeping consistent with functionality, you’ll find the frame is made of a silver steel and a heavy-duty oak wood trim.

Assembly isn’t necessarily challenging, though it’s a bit time-consuming due to the size and weight of parts so if you have a buddy or family member who can help you’ll be on your way to a better body in minutes.

In contrast to the sturdy frame, you’ll receive a luxurious, thick padded headrest which you can adjust to 3 various positions and various heights to ensure the perfect fit for your body. Thanks to every part working perfectly together, operation is smooth and seamless.

Moreover, you receive a removable/adjustable foot bar and 2 DVDs with 3 different workouts to get you started out on the right foot!

 

Stamina AeroPilates Pro Reformer Cardio Rebounder at a Glance:

  • Resistance Method: Springs
  • Size: 100″ x 23″
  • Folding: No
  • Weight: 155 Pounds
  • Extras: 2 DVDs

Next on our list, we bring you the Merrithew at Home SPX Reformer Bundle. Coming in either Black or Blue, you have the option to add a little splash of color to your home gym.

No matter if you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll be able to take advantage of this fully featured package that comes with everything you’ll probably ever need to accomplish your goals!

In terms of size, this reformer lies somewhere in-between the previous two. The sophisticated, streamlined design is comprised of a tough metal and solid wood and made to be simultaneously visually pleasing yet durable.

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Operation is also very smooth and comes with high quality UVA foam padding on the carriage. The resilient material offers comfort as well as tactile feedback essential in Pilates.

No matter how intense you’re using it, you can also rest assured that the enhanced spring system will be able to withstand it while minimizing noise.

Allowing for more versatility in how you use the machine, you’ll find a comfort footbar covered in foam. This bar can be adjusted up to 5 different positions to suit you perfectly, while the carriage extender helps keep you seated if you have difficulties with your hip flexors.

Finally, the reformer box will add more height and allow for a greater range of motion while either seated or lying down.

 

Merrithew at Home SPX Reformer Bundle at a Glance:

  • Resistance Method: Springs
  • Size: 95″ x 26″
  • Folding: No
  • Weight: 117 Pounds
  • Extras: Reformer Box, Metal Roll-Up Pole, 2 DVDs

Are you on the hunt for a Pilates reformer that you can use for many years in the future? Then the AeroPilates Premier Reformer should be at the top of your list.

While it can help you to achieve a greater level of stamina, help lower body fat, and tone muscles, it’s also a standout model for the longevity it offers.

Made of heavy-duty steel, you never have to worry about it buckling from under your weight or warping with heavy use.

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With a 300-pound weight limit, it can support far more than most competitor products can, also speaking to how strong it is. Additionally, the platform and carriage are made to be much larger than most. Coming with extra padding, if you’re a larger person, you can’t get better than the 700 Premier!

Coming with an adjustable headrest and big, high-density foam shoulder pads, you’ll always be properly supported and your spine will be kept in proper alignment the entire time.

Despite supporting higher levels of weight, the top-notch rollers and gliders provide an ultra-smooth and quiet operation each time so you won’t disturb yourself nor others. Elevated off the floor by 10 inches, full range of motion is now much easier to achieve.

Ropes, straps, and hand grips are all fully adjustable so they’re sure to work wonderfully for your individual body type.

 

AeroPilates Premier Reformer at a Glance:

  • Resistance Method: Bungee Cords
  • Size: 86″ x 20″
  • Folding: No
  • Weight: 107 Pounds
  • Extras: 1 DVD, Exercise Wall Chart

Staying on an AeroPilates roll, next up we bring you the Reformer 287 from the world-famous company.

Whether you’re not sure if you’re going to like Pilates yet and don’t want to invest much in the practice, or are simply on a tighter budget, this model will suit your needs well.

While it’s not much to look at, it will deliver you some of the best quality and performance money can buy.

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Each feature is made specifically towards giving you a one-of-a-kind experience. For example, they’ve thoughtfully included a stand to make getting on and off much easier and to boost confidence.

The elevated design is similar to the previous ones in this regard, so you don’t feel limited in your movements. 3 black cords allow you to change up resistance exactly how you want it, too.

As far as comfort goes, the 287 scored just a bit higher than average for us. The padded foot bar, high-density shoulder pads, 3-position head rest, and foam hand/foot straps do allow for quite a bit of versatility, though.

The included 2 workout DVDs (Intro to Aero Pilates and Pure Pilates Level 1) will ensure you know exactly what to do if you’re just starting out. A full-color workout chart will hold you accountable and boost motivation!

Once you’re all finished, you can simply fold the frame up for easy storage!

 

AeroPilates Reformer 287 at a Glance:

  • Resistance Method: Bungee Cords
  • Size: 85″ x 18″
  • Folding: Yes
  • Weight: 56 Pounds
  • Extras: 2 DVDs, Workout Wall Chart

If you’re not too worried about a budget and want one of the best out there today, then check out the Balanced Body Studio Reformer with Classic Footbar.

Right away, you can tell that it looks like the reformers you’d see in the most upscale Pilates studios. However, it’s so much more than looks – let’s discuss a bit deeper what this excellent choice has to offer.

One of the most appealing and useful, is that it comes with enough choice and adjustability that it suits just about anyone out there.

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The visually aesthetic, hand-sanded, satin-finished wooden frame looks good no matter where you place it, which you’ll want to seriously consider as it’s one of the least portable on our guide.

It’s quite heavy and doesn’t include wheels, though it’s also going to be one of the most durable out there.

Aside from Strata Rock Maple wood, you’ll get strong anodized aluminum parts and nickel-plated springs with swivel hooks to make adjustments simple.

In fact, the reformer comes with 1 light spring, 3 medium springs, and a single heavy spring to provide up to 46 different resistance configurations.

Where the Balanced Body Studio Reformer also stands out is its carriage design. Despite being so strong, it’s very lightweight and responsive. Sitting on a single-piece rail and coming with an 8-wheel tracking system and 4 adjustable side wheels, it’s the smoothest and quietest we’ve used.

The carriage comes padded with heavy-duty vinyl which is also a bit harder than most out there. However, it’s supportive, comfy, and even comes in a large selection of 51 different colors so you can choose the one that suits your personality perfectly!

 

Balanced Body Studio Reformer at a Glance:

  • Resistance Method: Bungee Cords
  • Size: 93″ x 27″
  • Folding: No
  • Weight: 152 Pounds
  • Extras: 1 DVD

If space is of no issue, then you have to give this behemoth a go. The Merrithew Rehab V2 Max Plus Reformer is by far the largest and heaviest of any on our guide.

However the upside here is that you’ll probably never have to buy another due to how well it holds up to intense and regular use.

While it’s perfect for homes with ample space it’s also regularly found in physical therapy clinics due to how versatile and effective it is.

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Even though it’s one of the most cumbersome out there, the reformer requires minimal assembly and was one of the easiest to put together!

The 1” thick wooden standing platform and shoulder rests work with a wide array of body weights and heights, while the smooth C-channel aluminum rails create a friction-free ride.

The durable vinyl upholstery and dense EVA foam offer a great amount of comfort and proprioceptive feedback so you are accurate and precise in your movements.

The 3 gearbar positions, 6 carriage stopping positions, 3 headrest positions, and 4 footbar positions you can customize your user experience without issue.

The footbar is a great help in regulating hip and knee flexion – perfect for rehabbing athletes and aging bodies.

High-traction reformer feet will grip onto any kind of flooring, and if you ever need to move it from one room to another, the easy-roll wheels will make it possible.

 

Merrithew Rehab V2 Max Plus Reformer at a Glance:

  • Resistance Method: Springs
  • Size: 97″ x 30″
  • Folding: No
  • Weight: 322 Pounds
  • Extras: Mat Converter, Reformer Box, Foot Strap, Padded Platform Extender

Home Pilates Reformer Comparison Table

Pilates Reformers ResistanceDimensionsWeightFoldingRating
AeroPilates Reformer Plus 379Bungee CordsN/A68 lbsYes4.4 / 5.0
Stamina AeroPilates ProBungee Cords100" x 23"155 lbsNo4.1 / 5.0
Merrithew at Home SPX ReformerSprings95" x 26"117 lbsNo4.1 / 5.0
AeroPilates Premier ReformerBungee Cords86" x 20"107 lbsNo4.3 / 5.0
AeroPilates Reformer 287Bungee Cords85" x 18"56 lbsYes4.2 / 5.0
Balanced Body Studio ReformerBungee Cords93" x 27"152 lbsNo5.0 / 5.0
Merrithew Rehab V2 MaxSprings97" x 30"322 lbsNo4.8 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Home Pilates Reformer – Buying Guide

best pilates reformer machine
AeroPilates Reformer Plus 379

While Pilates reformers may at first seem pretty similar, there is actually quite a bit of variation between different manufacturers and models. Even if you select the most expensive or popular model, it’s not going to do you much good if they don’t suit your needs and body type.

We know it can be confusing, so we decided to take it upon ourselves to write up a user-friendly buying guide to take you through each step of the selection process!

Build Materials

While each one of the models we have on our guide is designed to be durable, different materials will affect how they perform, how much they weigh, and so on. The most common materials found in Pilates reformers are steel, aluminum, and wood.

Steel: Steel is the go-to for toughness and longevity, though it’s not very portable due to its typical heavy weight. In addition, steel frames do not fold very often and aren’t going to stow away easily. It does typically offer the highest weight capacity and won’t buckle or warp.

Aluminum: Aluminum is like the Goldie Locks of materials here, as it is neither too heavy nor too weak. It’s very sturdy yet nice and lightweight so you’ll be able to transport it without too much struggle. Many times, aluminum models come with wheels and can even fold up for easy storage!

Wood: Wood is oftentimes the heaviest of all materials, though they are arguably the most attractive and are very durable. Moreover, they’re not going to be frigid cold when you use them! Just remember that wood is commonly very expensive.

Size

One of the first things to look at when narrowing down your options is the size of the model. Manufacturers will often have a kind of sizing guide or reference to let you know if it will work with your height and weight.

If you are a bit larger, then opt for a model that comes with a wider and/or longer carriage to ensure you’re never restricted in your movements.

Not only that, you’ll need to also consider the available space you have in your home to use for your reformer. If you’re limited on space, then you’ll probably need a more compact design or one that’s lightweight enough to easily stow away when you’re done with it.

Comfort

While Pilates itself may cost you some sweat and a bit of discomfort, your reformer machine should never be outright uncomfortable or painful. While everyone has a slightly different definition of what comfort means to them, there are some general rules.

One, is that you want the carriage to be long and wide enough for your body (which we just covered). Next, you want it to be padded enough that there are no sore points/hot spots. Sensitive parts of your body like your spine and hip bones should be protected.

However, some people enjoy plush, thick padding while others like a bit more tactile feedback and should opt for a more dense foam. Additionally, make sure your straps, grips, and so on are all adjustable to work with your body.

Foot Bar, Gears, Springs

The foot bar is a wonderful aid, no matter what your experience level is. This bar helps you push off, propelling the carriage forward.

This bar should ideally be adjustable to different heights to accommodate your height, too. The springs and cords should offer up some adjustability, depending on what your personal goals and current fitness level is. The more options, the more room you have to improve your physical fitness.

Elevation

You may have noticed that with the majority of the models on our guide, the carriages are elevated. The amount of elevation does vary, though most will be around 10 inches off of the floor. The purpose of elevation is to ensure you have a full range of motion without any restrictions. This will allow you to perform more exercises, too.

Price

As is the case with just about everything we purchase, price does play a role in which model we select. As you could probably see from the items we reviewed above, Pilates reformer prices vary quite a bit. However, going for the most expensive product isn’t always going to mean you’re getting the best one for you.

Additionally, we highly recommend coming up with a budget for yourself even before you start shopping around. This is to avoid accidentally spending more than you’d intended to, which can sometimes end up in buyer’s remorse and we want you to fully enjoy your purchase!

Extras

Some packages come with valuable extras. Most times these are going to be workout DVDs, nutrition guides, mat converters, reformer boxes, and more.

If you’re an absolute beginner, then workout DVDs are going to be one of the most valuable tools for you as it will show you which exercises to do and how to do them. Others will help you stay focused and keep track of your progress, which is important if you really want to improve.

FAQs About Pilates Reformers

Q: What is a Pilates reformer?

A: Pilates reformers allow you to perform Pilates exercises in a single place, which is ultra-convenient if you’re going to be doing it at home. The machines vary largely when it comes with build, size, weight, and looks. However, they will all utilize resistance to boost your strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Q: What are the benefits of a Pilates reformer?

A: Well, as we just mentioned, increased strength, endurance, and flexibility is a big part. However, you’ll overall be able to improve your physical and mental health which can lead to an overall better mood, outlook on life, and longevity.

Q: What are some of the best exercises to do on my new machine?

A: Rows, Planks, and reformer footwork are all very helpful. They focus on different parts of the body, so you won’t be leaving any muscle group out or have to worry about muscular imbalances. Expect better posture, more efficiency, and overall higher levels of energy and better mood.

Tips For Using Your Home Pilates Reformer

#1: For best results, also make sure you have proper nutrition.

While exercise is obviously crucial to any successful fitness program, if you want to see real results, you also need to tune your diet in. To “tone up” means to lower your body fat percentage while also strengthening your muscles. It’s difficult to reduce body fat if you’re taking in more calories than you’re burning, or your macronutrients are not properly balanced for your goals.

#2: If you’re going to be standing on the reformer carriage, ensure you’re stable first.

For example, if you’re going to be performing an exercise like Side Splits, your feet and hands should be on the secure portion of the machine. You don’t want to be moving with the carriage until this happens.

#3: Take special precautions around loaded springs.

This is probably common sense for you, but as these springs are containing an extreme amount of pressure and strength when compressed, they can also be very dangerous. When releasing, first make sure the springs are slack with no tension before stepping off or moving positions.

#4: If at any point you experience any pain or unnatural sensations, stop right away.

While Pilates is definitely challenging and requires some amount of discomfort, you shouldn’t every feel outright pain or “weird” feelings.

Summary

Now that you’ve learned just about everything you could ever want to about the best Pilates reformers out there today, have you decided which is the perfect model for you? If you haven’t, there’s no need to be concerned.

While each of the aforementioned models are some of the best ever made, what’s most important is that you select the right reformer for your needs and body. We hope that our guide has helped you do just that. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you again shortly!

Performance
Features
Quality

The AeroPilates Plus 379 is our Editor's Choice for the best pilates reformer with its combination of performance, features and quality.

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