Pilates Equipment 101: What to buy, what’s best for home use, and more!

pilates equipment

One of the first questions we get from Pilatesology members who are new to the method or coming back after some time away is what Pilates equipment do I buy!? There is an extensive range of Pilates equipment on the market and it can be tedious to make sure you’re selecting the right pieces. That’s where we come in!

Our overall recommendation

Go with traditional style Pilates equipment because it’s built on Joe Pilates’ specifications. Traditional equipment gives the best results despite all the bells & whistles that have been added to other equipment over time.

Tip: We love Gratz Equipment! If you’re looking for studio apparatus at a reasonable price, see this blog post on our 5 tips for buying used Gratz apparatus!

Best equipment for home use

If you’ve taken our mat classes on Pilatesology, you know you can get an amazing workout with little to no accessories or props.

But if you want to keep your workouts challenging and dynamic, proper equipment can help you reach the next level and open up your workout options! See our recommendations below:

Wunda Chair

The Wunda Chair is the perfect piece of Pilates equipment for practitioners with a small amount of space who want equipment in their home. Joseph Pilates originally designed the Wunda Chair for its portability and small footprint! This apparatus offers a challenging, varied workout in a small amount of space and has limited spring settings so you can get an efficient, full-body workout without a lot of stopping for equipment changes.

Check out our favorite Gratz Wunda Chair!

Tip: Pilatesology has tons of Wunda Chair workouts here!


The Pilates Reformer is hands down the most notable pieces of Pilates equipment out there with Reformer classes taking over the studio workout scene. The Reformer is another original piece of equipment by Joseph Pilates and improves overall strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance – just to name a few!

The reformer can train many parts and dynamics of the body with one piece of equipment, making it incredibly versatile! There are folding & home models that are perfect for an in-home studio, see some of our favorites here: Stamina, Gratz, & TecnoPilates.

Tip: Check out all of our Reformer workouts on Pilatesology here!

Mat & Props

A thick, cushioning Pilates mat and a few props can go a long way with expanding your Pilates practice. Pilatesology has loads of videos to spice up your sessions with props you can find at home or purchase! See some of our recommendations below for reasonably priced props:

✔️ Magic Circle provides resistance when squeezed and is a great add-on to matwork! See our Magic Circle classes here.

✔️ Adjustable Ankle/Wrist Weights & Light Hand Weights are great to add onto any Pilates workout for extra resistance (also just great to have in the house!). See our weighted classes here.

✔️ Foam Rolls & Bolsters support you in your workouts and create space in difficult poses and postures!

Check out our recommended brands and links to purchase these props here!

Tip: Looking to incorporate props you can find at home? Check out this mat workout with household props here! And read this blog post!

Pilatesology has an Online Store with all of our favorite Pilates equipment brands & links to purchase if you ever want to level up your at-home workouts with equipment! Use the link below to check it out!


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From the Community

  1. Alisa Wyatt

    Alisa Wyatt

    Member since 2011

    This note was sent to us as an email and with permission I’m adding it here because it’s great information for anyone thinking of investing in equipment for home use!:

    Hi Alisa; it’s Michael Brown.

    May I quibble about a few things in your home apparatus post? I have thought long and hard about how I built my home studio in Florida and the items I have in San Francisco. I would do things differently were I to start over — and was doing it without the overhang of the pandemic.

    My first home purchase would be a proper Pilates mat. I spent more than a year as the pandemic unfolded abusing my spine on a foam mat set on a stone floor. In fact, it was not until my teacher called one day and said “I cannot watch you do that another day. Here’s the price; come pick up a mat — preferably today.” I did and realized what a disservice I had done to myself and my body.

    As the pandemic unfolded, I could not have gotten a proper mat from any of the manufacturers; it is different today. Contrology by BB has its folding mat, and it is fabulous. I now have one in my tiny San Francisco apartment and could not be happier with it. It folds to 40” by 24” by 3” and slides easily under a bed or sofa or stands on end behind a closet or other door. Best of all, current lead time is six days (and for my last two Contrology orders, they beat the quoted lead time).

    In short — if you are going to do matwork at home, get a mat!

    I completely agree on magic circle and wrist/ankle and hand weights. To those, I would add an appropriately weighted short pole and a gondola pole.

    Next, I would stay on the mat before heading to stand alone apparatus. And while I love the spine corrector, I believe a small barrel or arc barrel is more appropriate for most homes, particularly when it comes to storing it away.

    After a barrel, I would add the other small apparatus — foot corrector, toe corrector, hand tensometer, sand bag (make your own; it’s easy!) and push up devices (the one I have yet to purchase).

    Only after all this would I consider stand alone apparatus. For me. next choices (home space always being a consideration) would be between a Wunda and a Ped-o-Pul. The Ped-o-Pul would probably win out for its portability. That said, there are two tape squares on the carpet of the San Francisco apartment reminding my wife of the two locations a Wunda could go.

    Of course, every serious practitioner wants a reformer. But, a reformer one would be happy with requires a significant dedicated space — not to mention representing an investment exceeding the total of everything above.

    My $.02.



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