As a Pilates teacher (Tiffany here) I get asked all the time about what reformers are best to buy for home use or new studios. There are so many Reformers out there with so many benefits it can be hard to choose. Here are a few things to consider….
1. Body Size
Taller bodies….I am 5 feet 10 inches and I fit best on the Studio Reformer by Balanced Body. The carriage and frame size is a bit bigger then most. Plus the spring bar has multiple gear settings. Meaning it can adjust to accommodate the smallest of bodies to the tallest of bodies. Many other Reformers do not!!! I feel like a giant gorilla on Gratz and Peak Reformers. The Balanced Body Studio Reformer also come in a “Stretch” length with 6 extra inches on the frame. This is really nice tall bodies! I have had 3 of my Balanced Body Studio Reformers for about 10 years and they age nicely and the maintenance is fairly simple. For the money these are hands down the best choice if you are looking to buy a Reformer that will last forever and needs minimal maintenance.
If you are a smaller to average size individual the Allegro 2 by Balanced Body is pretty slick. I feel like a giant on this Reformer because the carriage is about 3 inches shorter then the Studio Reformer ?. However it is pretty cool. It feels a bit heavy to me but the moving foot bar is really fun and opens the door to more movement options. In my experience people either love or hate this Reformer. At first I was not a fan of the Allegro 2 but I think it was because I was comparing it to the Studio Reformer. The two Reformers are so different it’s really hard to compare. For me, I prefer the Studio over the Allegro but I know lots of people who feel differently.
Do you have enough space for your reformer? If your space is limited and you want to be able to stack your equipment or push it under a bed look into a Stott Reformer. Korin has Stott Reformers in her studio and I really like them. Many studios in cities like London are limited size wise so it’s nice to have the option to stack your Reformers without losing quality.
Balanced Body just came out with a less expensive Reformer model called the Rialto. It looks like the Studio Reformer but about 1/2 the price. They definitely cut a few corners and used materials that are less expensive to save on costs but people are liking this cheaper option. Definitely worth looking into. I probably would not buy this Reformer for a busy studio but I would definitely buy it for my home. If you like the Studio Reformer but not it’s $4,000 price tag, then checkout the Rialto.
If you have any questions about the 3 Reformers I have mentioned feel free to email us at [email protected]. We are both always happy to answer any questions you might have.