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10 Best Pilates Machines To Buy Right Now, Per Experts

So you can bring your studio practice home.

best pilates reformer machine
Christine Giordano

Dedicated Pilates fiends know that this form of exercise brings all kinds of body benefits. Pilates helps you increase your mobility, overall strength, core, and balance, says Sam Belle, Studio SWEAT onDemand Pilates trainer. Specifically, “pilates moves the spine in all four planes of motion, and focuses on rebalancing the inevitable imbalances we all have due to our daily activities and postures,” she explains.

That said—have you tried a Pilates reformer yet? Sure, you can achieve all the feel-good benefits of pilates—improved core strength and flexibility, reduced back pain, improved posture, and the like—without equipment or in-person classes. However, there are some perks to doing reformer-based workouts, explicitly.

Peep some of the best pilates machines, below:

Like what, you ask? “The machine works your entire body,” explains Carrie Minter, certified Pilates instructor and founder of Carrie’s Pilates Plus in Los Angeles. “The springs and cables on it change the tension, so you get much more of a workout than you would on just a mat,” she says.

Working out with a reformer is one of the best ways to create what trainers call a progressive overload: To get stronger, you need to challenge your body by increasing (and sometimes decreasing) tension on your muscles, forcing them to adapt, Belle says. “Heavier tension makes some exercises on the machine more challenging, while a lighter spring can make other exercises significantly more difficult by providing less support,” Belle explains.

However, she notes that heavier is not always harder. “With this machine, we can work the bigger superficial muscles by increasing the tension, and strengthen smaller stabilizers with less support,” says Belle. Got that down? Here are some of the best Pilates machines you can shop right now, according to training experts.

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Best Rated Pilates Reformer On Amazon
Balanced Body
Studio Reformer
Best Foldable Pilates Reformer
Reformer Plus 379
Best Value Pilates Reformer
Premier Studio 700 Reformer
Best Pilates Machine With Accessories
Home SPX Reformer Bundle
Best Pilates Reformer With Easiest Setup
Balanced Body
Allegro Reformer
Best Pilates Machine For Advanced Practitioners
SPX Max Plus Reformer
Best Pilates Machine For Beginners
AeroPilates Pro XP 557 Home Pilates Reformer
Now 29% off
Best Pilates Machine For Small Spaces
Align Pilates®
F2 Folding Home Reformer Bundle
Most Portable Pilates Machine
Life’s a Beach
Pilates PRO Chair Max
Best Cadillac Pilates Machine
Elina Pilates
Elite Cadillac Reformer
How To Shop For A Pilates Reformer

Here are four things to consider when shopping for a Pilates machine:

  • Cheaper may not be better. Of course, one of the biggest things you’re likely to focus on is budget. “You get what you pay for. A reformer is a big investment, and you'll want to make sure you're getting the highest quality product,” says Belle. “I would definitely recommend going for a well-known manufacturer. And make sure to keep up on the maintenance to get the most out of your machine.” (She is a fan of Balanced Body reformers.)
  • Know your space. It’s no secret that reformers can be space suckers, so figure out how much room you have to dedicate to your reformer. “If you have the space for a reformer that will live in your home permanently, go with something heavy and sturdy,” says Belle. “If you plan to take the machine out of its storage space to use when you want, there are portable and foldable options that are great for saving space.”
  • Choose the right height. Consider how low to the ground you want your machine. “Working with injuries, limitations, and aging can be an issue when getting onto the reformer. Some models are very low to the ground, which can make it difficult for some people to get on,” says Belle. She notes that many reformers have options to add legs to raise your reformer a little higher. “This also provides an added challenge for some movements since the further you are from the moving carriage, the more unstable you are,” says Belle.
  • Consider accessories. “Props are most often not included with the machine, so if you like using the box or jumpboard, make sure to include those items with your purchase,” says Belle. “Platform extenders are great for anyone with larger feet, as well as to provide more support and stability for standing work. And a Pilates ring and 8- to 10-inch inflatable ball are great props to add to your reformer repertoire.”
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