- Pilates: Build Your Core And Gain Flexibility
- In Depth Best Home Pilates Reformer Reviews
- 1.) MERRITHEW Essential at Home SPX Reformer
- 2.) Stamina AeroPilates Pro XP 557 Home Pilates Reformer
- 3.) Pilates Power Gym ‘Pro’ 3-Elevation Mini Reformer Exercise System
- 4.) Bayou Fitness Total Trainer Pilates Pro Reformer
- ListofFit Best Pick:MERRITHEW Essential at Home SPX Reformer
- Factors Considered in Best Home Pilates Reformer Ratings
- Why Selecting a Quality Home Pilates Reformer Matters
Pilates: Build Your Core And Gain Flexibility
The Pilates Reformer has always been an apparatus that invoked curiosity. Created by its namesake John Pilates, it’s a piece of equipment designed to provide exercise resistance to enhance your flexibility and core strength. The contraption is basically a platform that moves back and forth along a carriage while the resistance is provided by the springs attached to the carriage and platform. The body weight of the exerciser also adds to the resistance during a workout session. Although the Pilates reformer might look a little gothic, people working out on it look amazingly elegant. The Pilates reformer comes in many styles, but the basic functions are always the same. Pilates are based on the 6 core principles which are as follows:
Working out with the Reformer is quite intense and requires specific breathing techniques and precise movements. The benefits of engaging in this activity are leaner muscles, enhanced core strength, stability, and an athletic toned body. Further, regular workouts will offer relief from back pain and improve your balance and coordination. There are many pros and cons with regard to price and features to consider when selecting the best Pilates Reformer for you. So we have tested and compiled the data for four of the best Reformers, so make sure you read through each review to find the perfect match.
- Dimensions: 11"X"25X"96
- Weight: 115 lbs.
- Max User Weight: 250 lbs.
- Pros: The MERRITHEW SPX Reformer features the best materials that can be found on a pilates reformer that you can buy for your home.
- Cons: At over $2000 it will make many balk at the price.
- Bottom Line: If you have the budget and are confident you will use the machine consistently, then this is the pilates reformer for you.
- Dimensions: 98"X"24X"15
- Weight: 165 lbs.
- Max User Weight: 300 lbs.
- Pros: This reformer is more reasonably price than the MERRITHEW, but still performs smoothly and consistently based on users' experiences.
- Cons: Some have complained about getting the tracks and straps even, we did not have any of these mentioned issues.
- Bottom Line: A wonderful choice for those looking for a pilates reformer with similar quality to gym systems.
- Dimensions: 56"X"23X"15"
- Weight: 60 lbs.
- Max User Weight: 300 lbs.
- Pros: A low cost reformer, the Pilates Power Gym brings takes your home pilates workouts to a new level.
- Cons: Track and cable quality significantly worse than those on the more expensive reformers.
- Bottom Line: Perfect choice for those on a tight budget or just beginning pilates.
- Dimensions: 52"X"21X"16
- Weight: 107 lbs.
- Max User Weight: 400 lbs.
- Pros: The Bayou Pilates Reformer has the highest weight capacity out of all the reformers reviewed. This is a great choice for larger individuals into pilates.
- Cons: Some users have complained about cables and tracks breaking over time.
- Bottom Line: A good middle ground choice, the Bayou Pilates Reformer offers strong stability in a reformer with above average value.
Merrithew has been an industry leader since they started building these apparatuses about 25 years ago. The Essential at Home SPX Reformer with its sleek black finish is a durable professional-quality Reformer that’s both versatile and user-friendly, regardless of your fitness level or experience. It’s super quiet, smooth, and accommodates heights of up to 6’4” and makes it easy for you to do over 250 Pilates exercises. Further, you get two DVDs with over 90 minutes of detailed instructions, so you can be sure to get a studio-quality workout at home, even if you’re just getting started.test
The Essential at Home SPX Reformer is a top of the line piece of equipment, so you really can’t be surprised about the high price tag. It’s one of the best Pilates Reformers that money can buy, so you’ll get both high quality and durability. If you’re a novice and you’re not really sure if you will stick with it, there are plenty of cheaper options to get you working out without burning a hole in your wallet.
We are totally sold on this Reformer. First of all, there’s minimal assembly required, so you can start exercising soon after the package arrives. We love it because we tested it and found that it can take a beating with a high-intensity continuous workout and still provide total comfort with its durable vinyl upholstery and dense EVA foam. Further, it’s a breeze to adjust and reposition with easy-roll wheels and its robust four-position adjustable foot bar. The C-channel aluminum rails allow the carriage to slide smoothly using a patented rolling mechanism and the enhanced springs can handle vigorous use. You can switch between a variety of positions and you can workout with 3 gear bar positions, 6 carriage stopping positions, 3 headrest positions, and 4-foot bar positions. So if you’re serious about working out, you have to check it out as this is the best Pilates Reformer that money can buy.
Stamina is a brand that has been featured before on ListofFit. You can find their other rated products here and here. The Stamina AeroPilates Pro XP 557 is longer and more adjustable than its predecessor the Pro XP 556. It’s 8” longer than traditional Reformers and comes with an adjustable footrest, headrest, straps, ropes, handgrips, and high-density foam shoulder pads. It looks a lot like the commercial Reformers on the market with its heavy steel and oak wood finish, but its one of the few that also enable you to do cardio exercises with its free-form rebounder which is 19” tall and 14” wide. We like it because there are 4 levels of resistance that are provided by 4 commercial steel springs. Further, the Reformer is elevated by about 15” to help you to do more difficult exercises with a wider range of motion.
Priced at about $950, it’s good value for money. Aluminum and oak wood finish give it a stylish look, but you might need a friend to help you assemble it as the rails come it two pieces and need to be bolted together. Unlike its predecessor, the 556, which had bands, this model is equipped with coils to provide resistance that is both consistent and long lasting.
After vigorous testing, Stamina AeroPilates Pro XP 557 Home Pilates Reformer definitely gets the thumbs up from our team. Some of our testers found it a little noisy when working out, but that was easily solved by placing the contraption on a gym mat. One of our testers also felt a bump while the wheel ran over the tracks, but this was also solved by readjusting the rails to ensure that it was perfectly aligned. Although you can only do about 100 different exercises with this machine, it’s a great buy as you’ll be working out your abs, legs, and toning your whole body. At the same time, you can bet that you’re taking your workout to the next level. The Stamina AeroPilates Pro XP 557 Home Pilates Reformer is the best alternative to upscale studio Reformers that are built to last. So even though it’s a bit pricey, you can sure that you won’t be visiting the gym very often.
The Pilates Power Gym ‘Pro’ 3-Elevation Mini Reformer Exercise System is small, but don’t be fooled by its size. It’s a serious piece of equipment that’s built with a robust carbon steel frame that can hold up to 300 lbs and comes with a Power Flex Cardio Rebounder. It’s preassembled, so you just have to hook up the foot straps and arm pulleys and you’re ready to start working out within minutes of getting it out of the box. Our testers loved the comfortable foot straps, padded handles, and variable resistance cords that can be adjusted to your level of fitness within seconds. It doesn’t glide as smoothly as the commercial reformers you’ll find at the studio, but you can’t really complain when you look at the cost.
Priced at approximately $350, the Pilates Power Gym ‘Pro’ 3-Elevation Mini Reformer Exercise System is an absolute steal. But if you’re tall, you’re probably out of luck. It’s a compact device, so it’s also a great option if you don’t have much space to work with. Further, if you’re a fan of Kristin McGee, you’ll be delighted with 4 of her most popular workout DVDs. If you need to get fired up to do some cardio, you also get Steven Marseca’s ‘Kick Butt’ DVD.
It’s a great piece of equipment if you’re not expecting to get professional standards for a low price. Sure it’s not the smoothest or the biggest, but it’s an awesome machine to help you achieve your fitness goals on a budget. You can switch between workouts within seconds and it’s a great Reformer do to both Pilates and cardiovascular exercises. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran, you can totally get a workout and get toned on this machine.
The Bayou Fitness Total Trainer Pilates Pro Reformer comes fully assembled, so you don’t have to worry about trying to align rails or bolting stuff together. It’s built with chrome plated side rails, 14″ x 46″ glide board, deluxe double stitched box cushion for comfort, and ball bearing rollers for a nice smooth workout. T here’s no rebounder or jump board, but the overall build is decent and includes attachments like the redesigned pro ab crunch strap, bicep curl press bar, pull-up and push-up bar, power weight bar to add some free weights, sit-up cuff strap, a heavy duty squat board, and independent twin handles. But it doesn’t stop there, the Pilates attachments include shoulder pads, toe bar, resistance bands, and dual leg cuffs. We loved this Reformer for its features and the fact that it can also be easily folded and stored away.
At about $500, our testers couldn’t stop raving about all the quality and variety you get for the price. As it can handle a maximum user height of 6’7” and weight of 400 lbs while offering 21 levels of resistance, it’s the perfect fitness solution for the whole family.
It’s a solid home gym that’s easy to set up and comes with an easy to read instruction book to get you started. As a result, even if you’ve never done this before, you can be sure start working out within minutes of receiving it. We put it through vigorous workouts and tested it to the limit, but there were no rattling parts. Further, it consistently delivered a smooth gliding experience. That being said, it’s not a professional Reformer, but it’s a total gym for the home where you can switch between Pilates and regular workouts without any hassle.
All four Pilates Reformers on this list are great machines to help you achieve your fitness goals. But the first Reformer on the list, the MERRITHEW Essential at Home SPX Reformer really made an impression on all of us. All the testers gave it a 4 or 5-star rating and that is really something that stands out in the fitness business. This is the same reformer you use at your pilates class at the gym. Now you can bring it to your home. Further, it’s our best pick as it’s a total fitness solution for the whole family as it can accommodate everyone regardless of whether you’re tall, short, heavy weight or featherweight. The oversized rollers make it a smooth workout and the heavy side rails make it stable. It also comes with a couple of instructional DVD’s to get you started on your pilates fitness journey.
Factors Considered in Best Home Pilates Reformer Ratings
Almost all reformers are built with steel or aluminum, but not all are made equal. We evaluated the quality of the steel, the resistance provided during workouts, and smoothness of the gliding rails. Further, not all human beings are made the same, so we wanted to make user that the apparatus was able to handle both weight and height to include the whole family in the fitness regime.
Sure we did think about the price when we considered the value of the product, but we also looked at the quality and features of each Reformer. Value for money is calculated by not only looking at the quality and ease of use of each of the components, but also the number of exercises that you can do with it when compared to a similar piece of equipment. Finally, we also looked at durability as a product priced in this range is expected to last.
We’ve all been on a piece of cheaply built gym equipment. Poorly made home pilates reformers will feel unstable, with a pulley system that is jerky and not smooth. Because of these issues, cheaper reformers often don’t get used because they are not enjoyable to do pilates on. In regards to performance, pilates exercisers want to make sure that the pilates reformer they buy has heavy-duty cables, a solid steel or wooden frame, and a top of the line rebounder trampoline. Having a quality reformer means it will last years and will perform in a manner that will make you excited to use it for your pilates workouts again and again.
Why Selecting a Quality Home Pilates Reformer Matters
Working out at home, whether with a trampoline, stationary bike stand, weighted vest, or ankle weights requires discipline and quality equipment so that your workout goes smoothly. Poor home gym equipment will make your workout less fun and less likely to happen in the first place. At one time or another, we have all purchased a low-quality product and regretted it. When that happens, you end up just hiding it away before you finally put it up for sale on eBay or Craigslist. But that’s not always easy to do with something as large as a Pilates Reformer. There is a wide range of Pilates Reformers out there from high-end to low-end and not all of them are good. A high price tag doesn’t always guarantee a quality product, so it’s always important to do your homework to avoid purchasing a mediocre product. If you want to bring that studio experience home and focus on achieving your fitness goals, you can definitely do it with a Home Pilates Reformer.