The Best At-Home Pilates Reformers For Powering Up Your Practice

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Chances are, if you've made it here, you've fallen deeply in love with reformer Pilates and are ready to commit and purchase a reformer machine for your home. You may have experimented with make-shift reformers using foam rollers, desk chairs, and even your gym's rowing machines. Perhaps you recently moved away from your beloved Solidcore and no-frills mat Pilates just isn't cutting it.

Not to worry: we've tapped the best in the business for tips on how to pick the perfect piece of equipment for recreating that Pilates studio magic. First things first, it's important to make sure you know what you're looking for so you can invest in a quality product.

What Is a Pilates Reformer, Exactly?

A reformer is an exercise apparatus designed to provide added resistance and support during Pilates exercises, explains New York Pilates founder Heather Andersen. It usually has a flatbed that moves along the carriage, as well as a foot bar at the bottom of the bed. It has adjustable springs to add resistance as you move the bed up and down the carriage, and there are straps that can be used with your hands and feet.

What to Know Before Buying a Pilates Reformer

There are quite literally a lot of moving parts, so Andersen emphasizes it's important that you've taken several Pilates classes in-studio or have access to a Pilates instructor to ensure you're employing proper form as you go through the moves at home. "You can't fully learn Pilates online because you need someone to look at your form and help correct you," Andersen explains. "Like any other sport, you need a coach."

If you're well into your Pilates journey and are considering investing, the experts emphasize that a reformer is worth the price tag, since its versatility is unmatched by any piece of gym equipment. Pilates offers tons of benefits, and hopping on a reformer only compounds what the practice can do for you. Using a Pilates reformer is the perfect base for low-impact strength training and conditioning, as well as improving coordination, mobility, and flexibility. Sylivia Roberts, Centr Pilates instructor and former professional ballet dancer, loves the reformer for its full-body support and resistance, noting that it's also great for working through injuries.

However, before you invest in any piece of gym equipment, experts say it's important to know your space, budget, and use case. When shopping for a reformer, Andersen notes that it's best to opt for springs with coils over bungees to ensure you get more control in your movements. "You definitely want springs for a more consistent resistance and the ability to modify the difficulty as you advance," she says. Roberts seconds this, adding: "Make sure you are purchasing a quality machine (they all look a lot alike online!) with a sturdy base, proper dimensions, and reliable springs."

"It's important to look for a reputable supplier to make the most of your investment," agrees Robin Long, lead Pilates instructor and founder of Lindywell. If you're limited by budget, she suggests looking at CraigsList, Facebook Market Place, or any studios going out of business to snag a deal.

Ahead, we share the best equipment that's been vetted by experts and power users to make your Pilates reformer purchase one you won't regret.

Best All-Around Pilates Reformer

Best All-Around Pilates Reformer

Balanced Body Allegro 2 Pilates Reformer ($3,895)

All our experts suggest going with a well-known brand to make sure the quality is there. A name we heard about over and over again? Balanced Body, which is beloved by teachers and practitioners. "I can personally attest to the quality, comfort, and safety," Long says. While it may be pricey, Roberts agrees the investment is worth it: "These industry-standard fixtures are used in a lot of studios, so you know they will last a very long time."

Why we love it: Both trainers and power-uses agree: this reformer is worth the investment. Its sleek and thoughtful design ensures a quiet ride on the carriage so you won't disrupt neighbors or housemates. As mentioned before, given its high quality, the product isn't likely to depreciate over time. Long has had her high-quality reformer for over 15 years and says the resale value is still very high. Amazon shoppers agree and say they aren't disappointed with their purchase either. Since it's a standard reformer, you can find tons of free Pilates reformer workouts on YouTube by simply searching "Balanced Body Reformer Workouts."

What's worth noting: This machine is the real deal — and as such, it's heavy. You will likely need two people to move the package to where it needs to go. Many Amazon customers also recommend buying the wheel kit so it's easy to wheel around after you assemble it.

Best Resistance Band Kit For Reformer-Inspired Workouts

Best Resistance Band Kit For Reformer-Inspired Workouts

LIT Axis ($159)

OK, it's not a reformer — but if you're lacking the space, cash, or commitment to go for the real deal, this device can go far in simulating a reformer-style workout. Marketed as the "world's smallest smart gym" this resistance-band system from LIT can be anchored just about anywhere (couch legs, in a door frame, or around a tree) so you can do over 350 exercises, including many that are reminiscent of reformer Pilates. Not to mention, you can use it for traditional strength training, too. Each kit also comes with ankle straps, handles, sensors, and a carrying case.

This no-charge smart device also has sensors that can count your reps, correct your form, and track muscle imbalances, all of which show up in the accompanying app. If you're working through an injury or just want to geek out over your performance data, it's a great way to track progress.

Why we love it: While this won't offer a true Pilates reformer experience, you'll get resistance benefits similar to the coils in a reformer class, but for a fraction of the price. As backers of the company, JAY-Z and Rachel Zoe are fans, and we are too; we think it's so great, it even won a 2023 POPSUGAR Fitness Award.

What's worth noting: To make the most of the Axis, you'll need access to LIT's streaming platform, which includes Pilates classes among many other modalities. Sign up for a LIT On-Demand membership for $10 per month or $80 per year.

Best At-Home Megaformer

Best At-Home Megaformer

Lagree Micro ($990 and up)

Want the fun of sliding on a carriage but don't have the space or funds for a full-fledged Pilates Reformer? Lagree Micro could be a good option for you. Lagree technically isn't Pilates, but it bears some similarities. The Lagree method and signature machine, the Megaformer, were created by Sebastien Lagree. It's a high-intensity, low-impact exercise method that challenges muscles with minimal risk of injury to the joints and connective tissues, according to the brand's website. And, as you can see, their Micro machine looks a bit like a Pilates reformer. The workouts also emphasize a slow tempo and focus on time under tension, similar to Pilates.

Why we love it: Despite the device being so tiny it can fit under a bed, the machine packs a big burn, as one of our UK writers notes in her review of the Lagree Micro. We also love the breadth of classes that the Lagreeing At Home app provides: meditation, cardio dance, wellness talks, and more. Lastly, if you live in LA, you can try it before you invest; Lagree offers rentals of the reformer for a week ($79) or month ($179), which includes access to the app.

What's worth noting: The base unit comes with minimal tools; however, you can upgrade your machine by adding on front handles ($190) and/or a rear platform ($290). Since Lagree Method isn't Pilates, you won't be able to use Pilates workouts on this machine. Rather, we recommend downloading the Lagreeing at Home App for $50 per month or $515 per year, which has 1200 on-demand classes, daily live classes, and a private community support group.

Best Pilates Reformer With Rebounder

Best Pilates Reformer With Rebounder

AeroPilates Reformer 266 ($529)

This AeroPilates Reformer gives you a full reformer-class experience in your home for just over $500. The rebounder platform makes this reformer great for scoring low-impact cardio in addition to all the strength benefits of a typical reformer machine. It also has foam shoulder pads, an adjustable headrest, cushioned foot bar, and furry hand/foot straps. The resistance comes from three elastic bungees, not springs — which is not ideal, according to Andersen and Robert, but part of what makes this pick more affordable.

The reformer comes with two workout DVDs (as well as streaming options, in case you don't have a DVD player anymore), but there's no app or comprehensive streaming platform that specifically uses this AeroPilates reformer. That said, reviewers say they've found a lot of workouts on YouTube that work with this machine.

Why we love it: This reformer is pretty affordable, as far as complete reformers go, and the rebounder platform really expands the exercise options. Reviewers note that this doesn't feel like a studio reformer, but that it's a solid investment for the price.

What's worth noting: Some reviewers note that the platform is quite narrow, which means it takes up less space but there's also less room for you to lay down. The entire reformer can fold up when you're not using it, though reviewers note it's not that easy to do, and better for longer-term storage.

Best Pilates Bar Tool For Reformer-Inspired Workouts

Best Pilates Bar Tool For Reformer-Inspired Workouts

FloBody ($179)

Don't have space for anything bigger than a yoga mat? FloBody has got you covered. This affordable alternative will only set you back $179. It includes an extra-long yoga mat attached to a body bar, two handle weights, a handle connector piece, various resistance bands, foot straps, woven mat holders, and a small band bag. You simply unroll the yoga mat, disconnect the body bar, weave the resistance band through the bar, and zip it back up to the yoga mat to attach. From there, you can add more resistance bands or foot straps depending on what your workout calls for. Is it effective? "Ginny and Georgia" star Brianne Howey, who's a documented fan of the device, seems to think so.

Why we love it: Dedicated shoppers say can't beat the price at $179. The app subscription is also affordable, at $15 per month or $126 per year. On the app, you can stream on-demand workouts and get access to the private community, which fans find to be incredibly supportive. The app offers access to programs that range from three days to 12 weeks. Even with the app subscription, you can take advantage of the brand's robust YouTube channel, which offers with free workout videos and other tips.

What's worth noting: If you love working with heavy resistance or the sliding carriage, this might not be the best fit. The pack comes with 5 lb, 10 lb, and 15 lb resistance bands, as opposed to the carriage reformers that typically offer more. Some users have noted that the transitions in the workouts are a little clunky and that the mat can rolls up during certain exercises, though the brand has a tips and tricks section on their website that can help address these issues.

Best Pilates Reformer With a Screen

Best Pilates Reformer With a Screen

Frame Pilates Reformer ($3,999)

Pilates reformers can seem overbearing and clunky, but Frame is subtle and minimalistic. The built-in touchscreen device allows you to stream reformer and non-reformer workouts within reach of the device. Plus, it can swivel just in case you want to get off the reformer and onto a traditional mat for HIIT, yoga, and more from their streaming service ($40 per month).

The reimagined reformer replaces "outdated coils" with push-button technology to digitally adjust the resistance without bulky, er, resistance. Pilates fans love this for its sleek design (available in colors "sunrise" or "midnight") and ease of use. The whisper-quiet carriage is also convenient if you're sharing the space with others who may be working or sleeping during workout time. The collapsible touchscreen and handy handlebar make packing it up and out of site easy, and you can add on a Pilates box for $299.

Why we love it: Its futuristic look is both pleasing to the eye and crafted for storability. The built-in screen really makes it feel like the "Peloton of Pilates" so if you're looking for a simple, all-in-one Pilates machine and have the funds to spare, add to cart.

What's worth noting: If you are a Pilates purist, you may find the push-button technology as an ick. However, shoppers and trainers love the fact that the patented dual spring system allows the carriage to add resistance at either end to add even more exercises into the mix.

Best Hybrid Pilates Reformer and Cardio Machine

Best Hybrid Pilates Reformer and Cardio Machine

LIT Strength Machine ($1,600, originally $2,000)

Now, if you're looking for the biggest bang for your buck, it's all about the LIT Strength Machine. The creative design fuses a rowing machine with a resistance cable system to offer tons of workouts in one — one of those being Pilates. Included with the machine are a set of resistance bands, a pair of handles, a phone or tablet attachment to cue up on-demand or live classes, and a 3-month membership to their app. In the app, you can stream 10-40 minute Pilates workouts that use the machine, as well as thousands of other classes, including rowing and strength. Check out our review of the LIT Strength Machine to learn more.

Why we love it: Rowing, strength training, barre, physical therapy, and Pilates are all possible on this multipurpose machine — there's a reason they market it as "the most versatile machine on the planet." And for our space-savers, you'll love that it can fold up quickly and roll away discretely should you need to turn your gym back into a guest room.

What's worth noting: It's important to note that while being the most versatile, there is no true flatbed or carriage so you can't do any ol' Pilates reformers classes you find on YouTube, and are better using the on-demand classes they offer that are made for the machine.

Best Smart Pilates Reformer

Best Smart Pilates Reformer

Flexia Smart Reformer ($2,995)

If you plan on spending a lot of time in the machine (as opposed to having an expensive drying rack), we love the cushy Flexia Smart Reformer. The bigger base makes this the most inclusive bed we've seen, and the padded foot strap and adjustable headrest seal it as the most comfortable reformer. You can also add on the "all-in bundle" which includes a sitting box, removable standing platform, and jump board for $3,795.

Flexia is called a "smart" reformer for a reason: it uses sensors to provide real-time feedback on your technique and a recap after your workout to see how your performance compared to previous classes. This is all shown on the Flexia app, which tracks the three metrics — speed, control, and consistency — which, together, create your Movement Quality Score. Even better? These metrics are displayed right on-screen with the class you're streaming.

Why we love it: The carriage can comfortably accommodate someone who's 6 feet tall, and the optional sitting box fits perfectly both vertically and horizontally so you never have to worry, "is this on right?" If you have 8+-foot ceilings, you'll also love the fact that the Flexia reformer can be stored in an upright position easily.

What's worth noting: Despite being a smart device, there is no screen attached to the device. This was a design choice from the company to ensure the practitioner could use their preferred streaming option and not have trouble hearing cues if it was attached to the device. The streaming content can be accessed through a laptop, phone, tablet, or cast onto a TV. The standard reformer includes one month of free all-access membership to the online studio once you've activated your reformer. After the complementary month, memberships cost $39 per month.

Best Pilates Reformer For Advanced Practitioners

Best Pilates Reformer For Advanced Practitioners

Next Gen Pilates Reformer by Reform RX ($7,995)

If you're fully committed to the Pilates lifestyle and looking for more of a challenge, we recommend the Reform RX. This smart device comes with all the fixings, including multiple foot holds and hand grips so you can get into more positions and really work your core, posture, and much more. This premium experience offers built-in speakers that allow for studio-quality sound so that if you're not facing the monitor you'll be sure to catch every cue. And if you prefer to have multiple visual cues, you can even stream the workout to other TVs so when you're facing away from the attached screen you still get a visual.

The Reform RX machine tracks your movement down to the millisecond, and gives you tons of workout data that you can view on the brand's app — both in real time, and after the fact. With the all-access membership ($40 per month) you can stream live and on-demand classes right on the screen.

Why we love it: You can have up to eight profiles on this device, making it great for families and Pilates-obsessed friends sharing a space. The connected device also tracks calories burned, heart rate, and total power output, and comes with a five-year warranty on the frame and foot bar.

What's worth noting: This reformer is on preorder until August 2023, and it's also the most expensive on this list. (Hot tip: if you can't afford the pricy price tag you can also set up a payment plan of $330/month.) Powerusers also recommend purchasing the First Edition Package ($8,585), which comes with the box, jumpboard, and reformer mat, if you plan to take the brand's cardio classes.

Best Platform For a Reformer-Inspired Workout

Best Platform For a Reformer-Inspired Workout

Board30 Mini ($189)

If a yoga mat is still too much space for you to bear, try Board30 Mini. This simple 2x2 wooden board has a loop on each corner where you can clip on different resistance bands. Using the weight of your body to hold it down, you can work against the resistance to do tons of Pilates-inspired moves.

It's important to note that with this type of equipment, you're missing out on one of the best parts of reformer Pilates: the eccentric movement you get from sliding the carriage back and forth, says Andersen. But if you're looking for a simple way to amp up your mat pilates workouts and add some resistance? Tools like this are great alternatives.

Why we love it: At $189, this piece of workout equipment is both a price and a space saver. Once your workout is complete, you can simply store it under your couch or bed, which one former POPSUGAR editor noted doing in her review of the Board30 Mini.

What's worth noting: This device doen't offer as much resistance as a full-on reformer, and it doesn't have a carriage, either. Additionally, since the product is so unique, you can't use Pilates workouts from other streaming platforms. If you prefer guided workouts, you can stream them via the brand's app for $20 per month or $200 per year.