Pilates Equipment Buying Guide


Many people associate Pilates with mat work. However, Pilates has so much more to offer than that. In its easiest form, Joseph Pilates founded this exercise by merging woodwork apparatus with a routine of movements designed to rehabilitate injured dancers. Known as the Pilates reformer bed, it can look a little daunting to the uninitiated, but it is a firm favourite with celebrities due to its toning benefits. It offers all the benefits of mat-work but with an enhanced level of resistance due to its clever use of springs.

In this guide, we’re going to sing all the praises of the advanced Pilates equipment that’s available. It’s a whistle-stop tour of the different types and which option is right for your Pilates fitness routine. If you’re looking to purchase for personal home use, we have all the considerations you need right here.

Types of Pilates Equipment

There are various types of Pilates equipment available for an at-home setup, including mats, apparatus equipment like Reformers, accessories and more. We delve into what you should consider below.

Mat Versus Apparatus Pilates: Choosing the Right Type for You

The right type of Pilates equipment for you will depend on the goals you want to achieve and your fitness level.

When choosing between mat and reformer Pilates, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and individual needs. Both methods offer similar benefits, such as improved core strength, flexibility, and muscle toning.

Mat Pilates uses body weight for exercises, providing less support and requiring full control of the body, making it more challenging in many cases. On the other hand, reformer Pilates adds resistance to exercises through the use of springs and cables, offering more varied combinations of exercises.

For beginners, many Pilates experts recommend starting with mat classes before adding reformer work, typically after three months of once-a-week mat sessions.

Apparatus-Based Pilates Equipment

Advanced Pilates apparatus is known for its ability to support fitness and rehabilitation, offering a diverse Pilates experience by challenging the body in multiple planes of motion. Let’s look at what’s available.

Pilates Reformer Machines: A Closer Look

From your posture to your core strength, there are plenty of benefits to using Pilates reformers, including the following:

  • Improved core and muscle strength
  • Enhanced posture
  • Increased flexibility
  • Improved balance
  • Toning
  • Injury prevention
  • Mental health benefits

Types of Pilates Reformers

There are reformers that are ideal for home use due to their compact design. This includes the popular Casa Reformer by Peak Pilates.

Notable features of Reformer Pilates

Other Pilates apparatus options include the Cadillac, chair and barrels.

A Pilates Cadillac is a versatile piece of equipment that combines a bed-like frame with various bars, springs, and a trapeze, allowing for a wide range of exercises to be performed, making it suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

It can be used to make some exercises easier and others more challenging, and it is designed to accommodate beginners as well as experienced fitness enthusiasts. While the Cadillac is often found in professional Pilates studios, there are models available for home use, providing the convenience of working out whenever it suits you.

A Pilates Cadillac is suitable for home use, especially for those who want to enjoy the benefits of a comprehensive Pilates workout in the comfort of their own space.

Factors to Consider When Buying Pilates Equipment

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing Pilates equipment for home use. We’ve included some of these below.

  • Your experience level
  • Budget considerations
  • Space requirements
  • Brand and quality
  • Versatility and customisation

It’s worth noting that with some suppliers, like us, can provide a consultation with you or your fitness trainer to ensure that you’re getting the right equipment for your fitness needs and available space.

With a consultation, your specialist supplier will likely discuss these factors with you, so thinking about your criteria beforehand can save time and help ensure you get the best fit for you.

Assessing Pilates Equipment Quality

We get it. A Pilates reformer or Cadillac for home use is far more of an investment than the basic mat. That’s why it’s worth knowing the quality signals to look out for.

  1. Ergonomics and comfort: Check if the material is comfortable and if the equipment has rubberised bars for a better grip. The surface finish can enhance comfort and grip.
  2. Adjustability and durability: Look for equipment that can accommodate a wide range of body types and skill levels, with features like adjustable foot bars and sturdy construction.
  3. Material and construction: Choose equipment made of high-quality materials, such as sturdy metal and wood, with a minimum 300-pound maximum load rating.
  4. Reputation and brand: Select brands with a reputation for producing dependable and long-lasting equipment. Selecting a brand that offers a good warranty and that comes with plenty of positive customer reviews is a good starting point.

Creating a Home Pilates Space

You may have a beautifully spacious open-plan flat or suitable home gym space to place your Pilates apparatus. By booking a consultation with a specialist supplier, you can be confident that your equipment will comfortably fit in your home and secure the right storage option. Some Pilates reformers, for instance, can be easily stored vertically, making them a great space-saver when they’re not in use.

Try Before You Buy

Never used a Pilates reformer or Cadillac before? We recommend finding a local studio to give it a try. It will be a great way to learn how to use the apparatus and get the correct posture in a supportive, friendly environment.

We hope this Pilates buying guide for home use will help you choose the right equipment for you.