Should I buy a Pilates Reformer for Home Use?

One of my clients asked if they should buy a Pilates Reformer for home use, and I realised how many considerations there are in doing so.

Firstly, Pilates Reformers are expensive, ranging from £500 to £5,000 if you buy new. Thankfully there are many used Reformers available for a great price, but we need to be careful to choose a good one.

Whatever Pilates Reformer you choose to buy for your home, make sure you research, read reviews, and if buying second hand only do so from a reputable seller.

Let’s take a look at the following:

Why would you want a Pilates Reformer at home?

If you’re very self-motivated and disciplined you will benefit greatly from having a Pilates Reformer at home. I’ll cover those benefits below, but ask yourself if you really can be that motivated. If not, you may be better suited to attending group Pilates classes (like mine) as it is easier to stay motivated within a class environment.

“I’m motivated!” I hear you shout!

In that case, this is why you’ll benefit from a Pilates Reformer at home:

  1. Regular use of a Reformer will help you improve core strength, posture, muscle tone, flexibility, and balance, all through low-impact exercises.
  2. A Reformer at home will allow you to create personal and flexible workout routines which truly work for you and benefit both your physical and mental wellbeing.
  3. After the initial outlay, having a Pilates Reformer at home may save you money on gym memberships and fitness classes. You will also save money not having to travel to and fro those places – a great time saver too!

I’m sure after reading the above you’re already convinced you should buy one, but there are still a few considerations…

Considerations for buying a Pilates Reformer

There are four main considerations if you’re thinking of buying a Pilates Reformer for home use. These are:

  • Budget – Given the price of Pilates Reformers this will likely be your biggest consideration. Even a used Reformer will be expensive if it’s a good make in good condition. The best way of looking at it is as an investment into your health, but set a realistic budget – How much are you willing to spend?
  • Space – This will be your other main consideration, especially here in England where houses aren’t as big as elsewhere. Ideally you will want the Reformer left in place for easy use, but if space is an issue then a foldable Reformer may be a suitable solution.
  • Fitness goals – Ask yourself how self-motivated you have been in the past, and how committed you will be to using your Pilates Reformer. This will help you decide which Reformer is right for you, and if you’re serious about it then it’s worth investing in a decent model.
  • Quality and durability – “You get what you pay for” is mostly the case with Pilates Reformers. There’s a clear difference in quality, durability, and also effectiveness between the cheap and expensive options. What I recommend is you research thoroughly when you have a few makes in mind, and make sure you read genuine buyer reviews.

Should you buy a new or used Pilates Reformer?

If you can find a Reformer locally in good condition for a good price then go for it. Just make sure it has been well looked after. It is possible to find Reformers second hand which were bought with good intentions but quickly became dust collectors.

Buying new will cost you more, but there will be far less risk than buying second hand. There should be no risk of wear, tear, or hidden defects, and you will likely have a warranty which gives you peace of mind.

Here are a few tips for buying a used Pilates Reformer:

  • Do your research – There are a lot of different brands and models, so make sure you understand what to look for and whether it meets your needs.
  • Inspect thoroughly – Before you go to view a Reformer write down a checklist of what to inspect. This can be the frame, springs, straps, and pulleys. Also write down questions to ask the seller, such as how much they have used it, why they’re selling, whether there’s a warranty, and so forth.
  • Test it out – If a seller doesn’t want you to test the Reformer, then consider that a red flag. They want to sell it, so why would they not let you use it? You can ask before you view whether you can test it, and be wary if they say it’s dismantled or not available to test.
  • Check the reputation of the seller – If you find a used Reformer on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or similar platform, make sure you check the reputation of the seller. Do they seem genuine?

Where can you buy a Pilates Reformer in the UK, New or Used?

When buying new, your options are a bricks and mortar fitness equipment store, online retailer, or direct from the manufacturer.

Mostly it will be a matter of preference, but online retailers tend to offer the best prices once you know what Reformer you would like to buy.

Buying direct from a manufacturer is often overlooked but still a good option. Not only will you get customer support directly from the company who makes the Reformer, but they may offer a wider selection than you would find in a store.

Buying a used Pilates Reformer can be as simple as Facebook Marketplace or eBay – I tend to prefer Facebook Marketplace where you’ll find many second hand Reformers in your local area.

There are a few Facebook Groups in the UK on Pilates, and you may have some luck finding a second hand Reformer there, as well as finding like-minded individuals.

It is also worth keeping an eye out for local Pilates Studios selling older machines to make room for new equipment. You may have luck making a few calls to see if any studios are looking to sell equipment in the near future.

If you are looking to buy or already have a Pilates Reformer at home, it will be great to know how you’ve found it. How have you found the quality, and most importantly – how have you benefited from it?

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