6 Best Pilates Reformer Machines: Reviewed & Compared

It's safe to say that most people or at least familiar with Pilates. Even if you've never personally done Pilates or taken a Pilates class, this fitness type is well-known around the world, and it's popularity continues to grow. 

This particular system of exercises is something that can easily be done from a home gym. For that reason, I’ve decided to create a comprehensive review of the best 6 Pilates reformer machines, which is the main equipment needed to successfully perform Pilates workouts at home. 

Best Pilates Reformer Machines

What Is Pilates Training?

Pilates is a system of exercises that uses specially designed equipment and movements. It was introduced to the world in the early 20th century by a man named Joseph Pilates. The primary focus of Pilates it on improving muscle strength, flexibility, postural alignment, and mental awareness. 

All the Pilates exercises are considered low impact, so they're an excellent way to build muscle and endurance without putting strain on the body. The movements are quite repetitive and involve unique breathing techniques, making Pilates unlike any other workout regimen. 


Why Do I Need A Pilates Reformer Machine?

As mentioned above, most of the Pilates exercises can be done using a special piece of equipment called a Pilates reformer machine, or simply, a Pilates reformer.

Although many Pilates movements can be done without a large machine, investing in a reformer machine is the ultimate way to see results. These machines focus on core strength and proper muscle engagement, which leads to improved athletic performance, relief from back pain, injury recovery, weight loss, better balance, higher bone density, and enhanced posture.

Another reason to invest in a Pilates reformer machine is the range of different movements and muscle engagements it allows you to do. Thanks to the addition of bars, bands, and weights, you're able to customize your workout to see the exact results you're hoping to get from Pilates. 


6 Best Pilates Reformer Machines Reviewed

These machines differ in design and in materials used, so naturally they range from several hundred bucks to four or five thousand dollars.  To save you time and effort on your hunt for the perfect reformer, I’ve tried my best to include the top products in regards both to quality and budget.

Without further ado, let’s jump directly into the list of the best Pilates reformer machines.

1. Balanced Body Studio Reformer with Classic Footbar

balanced body Studio Reformer, Pilates...
  • PILATES EXERCISE EQUIPMENT: This reformer...
  • INCLUDED ACCESSORIES: This Pilates machine...
  • CUSTOMIZE YOUR WORKOUT: Get a full-body...
  • FEATURES: Built of solid Rock Maple, our...

Our list starts with a Pilates reformer manufactured by Balanced Body.

The quality of this reformer is taken to an entirely new level, but that means it’s also reflected in the price, so you have to be willing to spend some cash with this one. The frame is made of Strata rock maple and uses the industry longest carriage – 41 inches (104 cm).

Within the carriage there is a classic foot bar with 2 supports and 3 adjustable heights, an upholstered sitting box, cotton foot straps, and neoprene handles. One thing that I love about this reformer is that it caters to all Pilates levels. In other words, it grows with your Pilates program so that you can start with the basics and add accessories as needed.

Another great features is the stackable design, making this machine easy to store. The precision carriage tracking system creates a very quiet and smooth ride. It's clear that the manufacturer spared no expense, but once again, this is reflected in the high cost. 

Our rating: 4-8 Star Rating 4.8 / 5

Pros

  • Sturdy, handmade wood frame is durable and aesthetically pleasing
  • Industry longest carriage measuring 41"
  • Makes practically zero noise
  • Easy assembly
  • Built to last for years

Cons

  • Price – considering the quality, this is expected

2. AeroPilates Reformer Plus 379

AeroPilates Reformer Plus 379
  • Four cord resistance with multiple...
  • Firmer, padded platform cushion; firmer,...
  • Patented, larger cardio Rebounder with...
  • Foldable frame with wheels for storage and...

The Reformer Plus 379 is made by AeroPilates (the Stamina brand). This is a great budget-friendly option, so if you're looking for something affordable, this is definitely one to consider. 

This particular machine comes with foldable steel frame with transportation wheels for easy storage and transport. The larger rebounder is patented and comes with a rounded top for additional workout options. The machine also includes a padded foot bar and 4-cord resistance with different intensities – one red, one yellow and two black cords.

I personally love the platform cushion, which is firm but also padded with high-density shoulder pads. AeroPilates also provides 2 workout DVDs to get you started, so if you're new to this, no worries. 

Although it's basic and simple, the Reformer Plus 379 is an excellent choice for beginners or Pilates fans who are on a budget. Just keep in mind that the lower price tag is a reflection of the performance and design. The ride isn't nearly as smooth as commercial models, but it still gets the job done. 

Our rating: 4.7 Star Rating 4.7 / 5

Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • Assembly is a breeze
  • Foldable (easy storage)
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not as smooth as commercial reformers
  • Doesn’t have a stand – it’s on the ground

3. Balanced Body Allegro 2 Reformer System with Tower

balanced body Allegro 2 Tower of Power...
  • PILATES EXERCISE EQUIPMENT: The Allegro 2...
  • INCLUDED ACCESSORIES: This Pilates machine...
  • CUSTOMIZE YOUR WORKOUT: Get a full-body...
  • FEATURES: The frame is designed with...

The Balanced Body company does its job well when it comes to designing reformer machines, and this is the 2nd reformer from this brand to make it to the list. The Allegro 2 is a professional-grade Pilates studio with a tower design that's ideal for advanced Pilates training. 

The steel frame is powder-coated with anodized aluminum and rests on 4 legs, and its design allows for more exercises with increased comfort. The machine comes with a SoftTouch rope system, EasySet footbar, adjustable headrest, seamless carriage, and removable shoulder pads.

The push-through bar is extra wide to cater to non-flexible or larger people. Similar to the first Balanced Body model reviewed, this one allows you to start with the basics and move on to more advanced movements as your Pilates training progresses. 

One thing I especially love is that the manufacturer provides a 10-year warranty – a glimpse of how much they stand behind their equipment. The machine itself is large and heavy, and another common complaint is that assembly can be challenging. 

Our rating: 4.7 Star Rating 4.7 / 5

Pros

  • Sturdy powder-coated steel frame
  • Rope can be instantly adjusted with quick-release leaver
  • Very smooth carriage movement
  • Built to last
  • Long warranty coverage

Cons

  • Very heavy machine (hardly portable)
  • Assembly manual could be better (I’d suggest checking online assembly videos)

4. AeroPilates 700 Premier Reformer

On Sale Today
AeroPilates Premier Reformer | 4-Cord...
  • NO-COMPROMISE PERFORMANCE: The AeroPilates...
  • THE AEROPILATES WAY: This all-in-one Reformer...
  • ADDITIONAL WORKOUT FEATURES: Execution of...
  • DESIGNED FOR COMFORT: Outfitted with a wide...

The 4th Pilates reformer on the list is designed by AeroPilates, which is one of the leading manufacturers of Pilates machines to date. The frame of the machine is made of steel and comes with black upholstery and a gold-colored frame that pops in home-gym settings. 

The cardio rebounder is low impact and gentle on your joints. The foot bar is wider than most of the competition, adding variety to the exercises you can do with this machine. Thanks to the included stands, the reformer is 10-inch above the ground, making it easier to get on and off while also increasing the exercise variety.

The head-and-neck rest is separated and adjustable with 3 positions. I love that the hand and foot straps are furry to make for a more comfortable workout. Lastly, the included pulley risers are adjustable in height, which helps to prevent rubbing and friction against the body.

Like most reformers, there is some assembly required, but luckily it's not too complicated. I personally feel that the carriage area could use more padding, but this doesn't seem to be a common complaint among reviewers. 

Our rating: 4.6 Star Rating 4.6 / 5

Pros

  • 10" above floor height is very convenient
  • Very easy assembly
  • Sturdy construction
  • Good quality hand and foot straps

Cons

  • Changing from rebounder can be complicated
  • Carriage could use additional padding

5. Pilates Power Gym ‘Pro’ 3-Elevation Mini Reformer

Pilates Power Gym 'Pro' 3-Elevation Mini...
  • Combining the best of Pilates and Strength...
  • NO ASSEMBLY REQUIRED. 3 incline levels and 4...
  • 3 DVDs to get your started - (Pilates for...
  • Steel frame holds up to 300 pounds;...

The 5th machine on our list of best Pilates reformers is manufactured by Pilates Power Gym. Considering the name of the company, it's easy to guess what kind if equipment they are manufacturing. This brand is all about power, so you can count on the Pro 3-Elevation Mini Reformer to help you with strength building. 

This Pilates reformer is a bit shorter than standard reformers, but the good news is that it comes pre-assembled. The carbon steel frame can hold up to 300 lbs of weight and it offers 3 incline levels. The 4 included power cords can be adjusted with the 48 resistance settings, which is ideal if you're starting as a beginner but plan to work your way to more challenging workouts. 

Out of all the machines on this list, the padded handles and comfortable straps are some of the best I've come across. The interesting thing is that this ‘mini’ version actually supports people up to 6’4”, so don't let the name fool you. 

Our rating: 4.5 Star Rating 4.5 / 5

Pros

  • 3-incline machine positions
  • 48-adjustable resistance cord settings
  • Heavy and sturdy carbon steel construction
  • Doesn’t take as much space as standard reformers
  • Supports many heights and weights

Cons

  • Several users reported a loud popping noise when sliding the machine after several months of use
  • Considering the narrow carriage, there isn’t much space to rest your arms

6. Supreme Toning Tower by Beverly Hills Fitness

Supreme Toning Tower | All in 1 Pilates and...
  • THE ULTIMATE TOTAL BODY TRANSFORMER. The...
  • COMPLETELY ASSEMBLED and folds for easy...
  • TONE your arms, legs, and core with one...
  • DVDs and online instruction so you'll never...

A bit different in design, but nonetheless a great choice is the Supreme Toning Tower by Beverly Hills Fitness. This particular piece of equipment is unlike any of the machines covered so far, but doesn't mean it's not worth considering. 

This lightweight fully-assembled tower made of steel is great for a combination of Barre, Pilates, and overall body training. Having this in your home gym allows you to do a range of different exercises, and best of all, you don't have to break the bank to make that happen. 

The machine is foldable (about 4.1 inches high once folded) for easy storage and comes with professional wood barre for isometric workouts. This is a great piece of equipment for everyone who doesn’t want to (or can’t) go to a gym, Barre class, or Pilates session.

Although this machine does come with instructional DVDs and access to online guidance, many reviewers say that they're not very helpful. The good news, though, is that it's easy to find a variety of online videos for at-home use of this machine, so this is an easy flaw to overlook. 

Our rating: 4.5 Star Rating 4.5 / 5

Pros

  • It can be stored under most beds
  • Great for Pilates and Barre alike
  • Lightweight, yet sturdy
  • Wood barre is comfortable on the hands

Cons

  • DVDs are basically worthless
  • Considering the machine's weight, one might wonder if this machine is built to last

Pilates 30-Minute Workout Plan

There are many different Pilates workout routines you can do at home, especially when you have a reformer machine. Rather than explain each workout plan step-by-step, I thought I'd provide you with a 30-minute workout video instead: 

In my opinion, this is one of the most comprehensive videos on Pilates training currently available. If you have a different vision for your reformer machine, there are plenty more videos available on YouTube, fitness sites, and workout apps. 


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is it worth buying a Pilates reformer?

Because these machines can cost quite a bit, many Pilates fans wonder if investing in a reformer machine is worth it. It really depends. If you plan on regularly using your machine rather than spending time in pricey exercise classes, then yes, the cost of a machine is 100% worth it. 

However, if the machine sits in the corner of your home gym gathering dust, then chances are, it wasn't money well spent. 

How much does a Pilates reformer machine cost on average?

Speaking of cost, a Pilates reformer machine can cost anywhere from several hundred to upwards of $5000. The average cost of these machines is around $1000, but if you go for all the bells and whistles and prefer a machine that's decked out with fancy features, expect to pay more than that. 

Is reformer Pilates better than mat Pilates?

Mat Pilates is the practice of performing Pilates movements and breath work while simply using a mat. This is a wonderful way to get a workout without the use of equipment or even props, but it won't deliver the same results as using a reformer machine. 

That's because a reformer can provide a much more challenging workout in regards to strength and endurance, mostly because there is more resistance involved.  


Conclusion

There you have it - the complete list of the 6 best Pilates reformer machines on the market. As you can see, there is plenty to choose from and each machine is a bit different from the next, so I’m sure you'll be able to find your winner here 

My top pick is the Balanced Body Studio model, but the one you ultimately decide on depends on your budget and Pilates needs. 

Paul J