2024 Buying Guide: Pilates Reformer for Your Need

March 01, 2024

2022 Buying Guide: Pilates Reformer for Your Need

In pilates studios, gyms and facilities of franchising, golf clubs, hotels, and home gym, found that the elite and leisure athletes, office workers, prenatal and postnatal women, celebrities, and rehabilitation customers use, pilates reformer is one of the most common on the market and the most effective fitness equipment.

The Pilates Reformer is a highly sought-after device because it uses spring resistance to promote safe, versatile, and low-impact full-body workouts. It's for people of all ages and fitness abilities who want to increase their strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, posture, muscle tone, range of motion, and functional movement -- and that's just the start!

While most Pilates machines have the same basic functions, there are still many upgrades to consider. In the end, no two reformers are alike.

In our 2024 Pilates Reformer Buying Guide, we'll give you everything you need to know to find, select and buy the best pilates reformer based on your needs, fitness goals or studio space.

We share the information you need to know about buying pilates reformer:

1. What is Pilates?

2. What is a Pilates Reformer?

3. Benefits of Pilates Reformer: Why are they so effective?

4. Four questions to ask yourself before buying a pilates reformer?

5. Pilates Reformer features

6. Pilates Reformer Buying Tips:

7. Top Pilates Reformer Manufacturers

1. What is Pilates?

Pilates takes its name from Joseph Pilates. A German-born immigrant to Britain and the United States, he devised pilates as a new method of exercise and body conditioning in the early decades of the last century. His method involves using what he calls devices. Perhaps the most famous device is the Pilates Reformer.

While many pilates exercises are done on MATS and may require the addition of a Pilates ball, resistance band and/or "magic ring" (a circular device you squeeze) and work well, Pilates reformers have added hundreds of new exercises to the menu -- which will be fun. In Chopra's own words, "Of course you can exercise without a machine. But it's less efficient and takes longer. Three or four hours a week is enough for them."

Pilates Reformer is a low-impact exercise regimen that targets the core or "power" muscles of the abdomen, hips and lower back. These exercises are designed to improve flexibility, coordination, strength, and balance.

While athletes use Pilates for cross-training, improving performance and recovering from injuries, there are many benefits to daily life as one result of pilates is better posture and body alignment. Pilates reformers are also used in physical therapy and rehabilitation to overcome injuries or physical limitations. Many people do Pilates to relieve back and joint pain.

2. What is a Pilates Reformer?

Anyone who has walked into a Pilates studio has probably seen these machines that look a bit like medieval torture devices. But because of their versatility and ease of use, these devices have become a popular and versatile fitness devices.

With a reformer, you are fighting your weight. There are many unique exercises you can do on the reformer - standing, sitting, lying down, even standing on your head if you dare and know what you're doing. It's a one-stop-shop for full-body workouts, and workouts can become more difficult as you progress, so you'll never get ahead of the reformers.

Another benefit is that you may see results faster than using a mat course alone. With instruction and some exercise modifications, you can also use these machines if you have a physical disability.

3. Benefits of Pilates Reformer: Why are they so effective?

Pilates reformers offer users a number of benefits, including an effective low-impact full-body workout using spring resistance. Depending on the user's needs, fitness level, abilities, and goals, any innovator workout can be performed, reverted, or modified.

Reformer's spring system offers hundreds of workout options for a wide range of users, including rehabilitation patients, athletes, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and people with limited mobility. Spring resistance can be modified according to the user's individual requirements to add challenges or provide support.

On the machine, users can exercise in comfortable positions, including supine, prone, side, standing, kneeling, and sitting.

If a vertical frame (sometimes called a tower) is added to a traditional reformer, the resistance angle can be adjusted to target individual muscles and muscle groups. These options add functional programming options for rehabilitation patients, everyday users, and athletes.

Compared to traditional weight training, which requires a greater power output to begin gravity-defying movements (think bicep curls), resistance starts at a lower level when using springs and gradually increases throughout the range of motion. This means that maximum resistance is achieved at the end of the range of motion, resulting in tension throughout the range of the joint. As you reduce the support and stability provided by the springs, some exercises on the pilates reformer actually become more challenging.

4. Four questions to ask yourself before buying a pilates reformer?

A. How will you use the body shaping machine?

Would you use Reformer for group lessons, private one-on-one, family use, healthcare, or rehabilitation? Knowing your customer base (or your own needs) will help you choose the best Pilates reformer, whether it's a professional machine with more accessories and programming options for different customers, or a leaner and more competitively priced machine for individual homes.

B. Who will use the pilates reformer?

Professional athlete, senior citizen, convalescent, or yourself? Depending on the answer, this may change the body shaper you buy. For example, the elderly and convalescent may need an elevated body shaper frame so they don't have to bend over to get on the equipment. If athletes are taller or larger than the average person, they may need a longer carriage bed. Home users may want something versatile but compact for their home gym space.

C. What kind of space do you have?

Pilates reformer can be used in many different environments and have special functions to adapt to different sizes of space. For example, if you have a multipurpose gym or fitness facility, you may want to consider a reformer with a stand or a body shaper that can be stacked and easily moved, and this feature is not important to studio owners or fitness professionals who designate space for the body shaper

D. What's your budget?

The price of pilates reformer can range from a few hundred dollars to more than $10,000. It all depends on their functionality, features, warranties, add-ons, and accessories. When purchasing a body-shaping machine, look for rugged components, high-quality craftsmanship and manufacturing, and a comprehensive warranty that will give you peace of mind. You want to make sure that the multifunctional pilates device you're investing in will last a lifetime.

5. Pilates Reformer features

Reformer frame: The reformer frame is like a bed with a bracket that rolls back and forth on wheels inside the frame, much like a rowing machine. The practitioner uses an adjustable foot bar at one end to push or pull the bracket. Frames can be beautiful golden wood or more industrial-looking durable steel and aluminum. Most importantly, look for strong, stable frames. You don't want a fragile model that tilts, squeaks, or wobbles. When shopping, consider the amount of space you have. These reformers take up quite a bit of space, although some can be lifted or folded up for storage when not in use.

Reformer straps: A pilates reformer has straps with bracelets and anklets that are pulled by the leg or arm to move the bracket. These should be adjustable so they can be customized to your body shape, fitness level, and any physical limitations.

Reformer springs: In the more expensive modern reformer, the springs can be adjusted to many different levels, making the car more difficult to push or pull when you gain power. Adjustable springs are also important for performing each movement with proper resistance. Look for quality springs. Lower-end models may use bungee cords instead of springs, which may not withstand wear and tear.

Other elements: High-quality modern retrofits also include adjustable headrest and shoulder straps. An adjustable footrest is a must.

Upgrade: For more kinds of exercises, you can look for reformers with towers. Some manufacturers offer towers as accessories that can be purchased separately and installed later. The tower usually includes its own set of fittings.

Reformer accessories: Some top reformers come in ready-to-use packaging with a Pilate box and springboard. The latter is the newest member of the reformers, and fun for aerobics. Other Pilates equipment includes Pilates chairs, ladder buckets, wall-mounted units, arcs, and spinal orthotics.

Warranty: Ensure that your investment is covered by a comprehensive manufacturer warranty.

6. Pilates Reformer Buying Tips:

Consider your size and physical abilities. Pilates reformers come in a variety of options, heights, and sizes, so check to see if they fit your body shape and workout goals.

You'll find reputable online sellers' prices almost always match the suggested retail price (manufacturer's recommended retail price). We recommend choosing the seller with the best customer service.

Before investing in the reformer, take some Pilates group classes at a qualified Pilates studio. The exercises are very specific and it is necessary to have a trained Pilates instructor guide you.

Take some private classes to learn these principles and help you hone your personal fitness goals.

Consider continuing classes at home with a private Pilates instructor.

7. Top Pilates Reformer manufacturers

Mass manufacturing and customization of commercial Pilates reformer is a relatively new field. After Joseph Pilates developed his method during World War I, he worked on his reformers and other devices from the 1920s to the 1960s.


As the first manufacturer of Pilates devices, it is recognized as a source of classic innovators in the industry. A collaboration with renowned Pilates student Romana Kryzanowska in the late 1960s led to the retention of dimensions and proportions that were critical to the proper functioning of the Pilates apparatus. Gratz remained true to Joseph Pilates' original vision, making innovators through unerring craftsmanship and rigorous specifications. Because of this promise, the Gratz reformers may lack some modern features.


Balanced Body has dramatically updated Joseph Pilates' equipment since the 1980s by combining state-of-the-art engineering, materials and techniques with a modern understanding of the biomechanics of the human body. Founder and CEO Ken Endelman has made hundreds of improvements to pilates' original equipment, many of which have become industry standards. Pilates studios and franchises often use balancers.


BASI Systems® manufactures pilates devices with biomechanical and aesthetic integrity using the highest quality environmentally friendly materials. Each piece is carefully hand-crafted using state-of-the-art engineering methods. Carefully crafted Pilates equipment uses beech wood for sturdiness, aero-grade aluminum for durability and smooth transitions, antibacterial vinyl to resist wear and tear, and orthopaedic cushions to provide exceptional comfort. Only exclusive BASI Systems® equipment with ergonomic features and an expandable design system that seamlessly meets your needs can extend service life.


As a reputed brand in China, Wavar has already served in the global market of fitness equipment and yoga products for more than ten years. 300 plus diligent staff, professional customer service, R&D department to achieve the benchmark in the field and the proud engineering team for production and quality control. That’s our most trustworthy promise to provide our excellent service and products to customers.


The Spanish manufacturer is gaining momentum in the North American market. Well-made reformer maple and aluminum frame reformer can both take their place in balanced body comparisons. Our favorite was the open-top Cadillac reformer, complete with trapeze, which cost more than any of its competitors.




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