Pilates chairs tend to be much lighter and more compact than reformers, yet work just as well for sculpting and toning your body. Whether you’re just starting out or are looking for a new challenge, check out our best Pilates chairs for your home or studio.
Be sure to check out our best Pilates spine correctors for more home fitness options.
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1. Merrithew Split-Pedal Stability Chair with HandlesPros:
- Integrated wheels for easier portability
- Can be used as a single or split pedal
- Double-steel frame for stability
- Relatively heavy
- Assembly required
- Can't add pulleys
The Merrithew Split Pedal Stability Chair with Handles is a highly versatile piece of Pilates equipment that can be used to target and train most muscle groups. You can work your upper and lower body in a seated or upright position, which makes this chair an appealing choice for injury rehabilitation. Plus, this stability chair works well for athletes who want to work on sports-specific exercises.
Make the most of each workout using the chair’s highly adjustable springs. You’ll find two heavy chair springs along with two light chair springs and three spring attachments that easily hook on. Feel free to make your workouts easier or more challenging by adjusting the springs accordingly. A Pilates chair isn’t as robust as a Pilates Cadillac reformer, but you can still target just about every major muscle group using a much more compact piece of equipment.
This Merrithew stability chair also features adjustable handles. Once they’re in place, the handles lock for added stability so that you can work on lunges, dips, and other exercises. Not only can you move the handles according to your height requirements, they’re also fully removable.
Whether you’re short on space or you’re trying to save space, this stability chair features a compact yet sturdy base that holds up nicely as you work on your favorite movements. The smaller base won’t limit your workouts, though, thanks to the tough double-steel frame. Additionally, you can adjust the pedals to move together or independently.
This stability chair for Pilates stands just over 24 inches high or 55.5 inches high with its handles. Satisfied users find this height to be just right for easy on and off. It’s also optimal for those with hip or knee injuries, or mobility issues.
Your comfort is a priority on this Merrithew stability chair. This is evident in the chair’s thickly padded pedals, which provide ample cushioning and are ideal for sensitive feet. Additionally, the thick padding helps identify and correct any ankle weaknesses.
Not sure where to begin your workouts? Consult the included stability chair DVD for guidance.
Although this chair weighs a rather hefty 82 pounds, it comes with wheels to easily roll it out of the way as needed.
2. BASI Systems Wunda ChairPrice: $1,645.00Pros:
- Prepared ports to accommodate an F2 System upgrade
- Handles have four locking positions
- Adjustable spring and handle height settings
- Handles are a bit small
- Relatively bulky for storage
- A bit heavy for transporting
The original chair was an innovative and highly effective invention, and BASI Systems builds on it by adding a few more features and enhancements to make it even better. Joseph Pilates envisioned a versatile piece of workout equipment that could be used as additional seating in small living spaces once the workout was finished.
Since then, a few manufacturers, including BASI Systems, have worked on improving the chair to make it an acceptable piece of Pilates equipment for the masses. The end result is a functional and practical piece of equipment that’s easy to use and store at home.
Whether you’re a beginner who’s intimidated by even the best Pilates reformer or you’re looking for an apartment-friendly solution for your workouts, the BASI Systems Wunda Chair is worth a close look. Even the smallest details have been carefully thought out, including premium non-slip handles and a wide, stable base with a cutout. Not only does the cutout make the chair easier on the eyes, it also provides a comfortable resting place for your head as you’re practicing your Jackknife.
Then there’s the wide and heavily padded seat. The seat is actually the same size as the classic Wunda Chair — simply because those dimensions have proven to be effective and accommodating for a variety of users. High-density closed-cell foam offers maximum support for various exercises.
Special attention has also been paid to the footbar, which remains fixed in place at the same height regardless of resistance. This seemingly small detail is crucial when it comes to maintaining the integrity of each exercise. Additionally, you can insert or remove the metal bar to use the pedals as one or split.
An included spring system caters to all skill levels and is easily adjustable. You’ll find two heavy black springs and two light yellow springs to customize each workout.
This Wunda Chair is also compatible with the BASI Systems F2 System. If you’re not familiar, the F2 system is a highly versatile and precise package that includes an array of springs and attachment settings to further your routine. The F2 System is readily interchangeable with other pieces, as you can use the same handle in every socket.
3. Cross Pilates Endurance ChairPrice: $2,090.00Pros:
- Useful for Classic and Cross Pilates
- Secures springs in place to avoid wobbling
- Can use pedals individually or separately
- Somewhat bulky for cramped home gyms
- Warranty only covers structural parts
- Relatively heavy for moving around
Practice Classic and Cross Pilates on the innovative Endurance Chair. This sturdy Pilates chair is made with stainless steel and carbon steel to withstand your favorite moves.
If your traditional Pilates workout is starting to feel rather stale, mix it up with Cross Pilates. This innovative form of Pilates was created by physiotherapist Simone Fonseca. A Cross Pilates workout incorporates functional training methods into a classic Pilates repertoire, with moves ranging from squats and pulls to more advanced sequences for experienced athletes.
You’re also free to customize each workout depending on your specific needs. This innovative multipurpose chair even invites you to take your routine a step further than usual, much like adding a jump board, rebounder or other Pilates reformer accessories can enrich home workouts.
Dependability is key for a successful Pilates workout, and the Endurance Chair has polymer adjustment knobs, stainless steel handles and a stable footrest. Strong hooks hold springs and elastic bands securely in place, so you won’t notice any wobbling as you go.
This Pilates chair is also fully adjustable for a more personalized workout. For example, you can use the two pedals individually or together in tandem to target your arms and legs.
Whether it’s primarily for home or studio use, this Cross Pilates chair is adjustable and comfortable and can accommodate a variety of different moves and positions. For example, the handles are fully adjustable and lock firmly into place. You’ll also find 64 various intensity levels for the springs along with special padding made with two different types of materials.
This Pilates chair weighs just under 60 pounds and comes with a two-year limited warranty for the structure.
4. Life’s A Beach Pilates PRO ChairPros:
- Ideal for whole-body workouts
- Easily adjust resistance levels using the spring system
- Comes with several workout DVDs
- Only has two resistance levels
- Tension springs can be tricky to adjust
- Rubber handles are prone to tearing
Work out your upper and low body separately or together using this Pilates chair, which features an innovative split-pedal system to maximize your workouts. You can also easily adjust resistance levels using the spring system, which makes this Pilates chair equally suitable for beginners and advanced users.
You can use the chair for more than just Pilates, though, as it’s ideal for ab workouts, resistance bands, yoga and more. Several instructional DVDs are included. You’ll also find an instructional poster to use as a quick reference guide.
The seat is made with smooth vinyl material for your comfort. This Pilates chair comes in several colors and supports up to 300 pounds.
5. Elina Pilates Elite Wood Stability ChairPrice: $1,490.00Pros:
- Locking slider underneath the pedals
- Integrated transport wheels
- Handles are height adjustable
- A bit cumbersome to transport
- Only has two spring strengths
- Handles aren't non-slip
This Elina Pilates Wunda chair features a split-pedal design that lets you use the pedals individually or together during workouts. A locking slider beneath the pedals makes it easy to switch between modes.
The handles are also fully adjustable, and you can choose between four spring positions and two spring strengths to find a suitable resistance level. There are two medium and two heavy springs to cater to your specific workouts.
You can easily remove the handles just by twisting and pulling them. The handles are also height adjustable between 44, 47 and 50 inches. The handles are covered with strong and comfortable foam material.
Not only is the seat board covered with non-slip leather, it’s also specifically designed to withstand Pilates workouts. This chair ships fully assembled.
6. Peak Pilates Split Pedal High/Low Combination ChairPrice: $2,490.00Pros:
- Can use single or split pedals
- Removable high back, handles and seat pad
- Spring post-changing system with two standard chair springs
- Chair is quite heavy
- Not the most compact design
- In-home delivery and assembly costs extra
Whether you’re looking for a compact Pilates chair for home use or a versatile high/low combination chair for your studio, the Peak Pilates High/Low Combination Chair is worth checking out. Seemingly small details, including a removable high back and adjustable and removable handlebars, make this Pilates chair accessible for all levels.
Beginners will feel especially stable thanks to the chair’s sturdy handles. As an intermediate or advanced Pilates student, you can use the handles to help balance as you perfect trickier moves and combinations. Don’t forget that you can completely remove the handles to create more space as needed.
One of the biggest perks of this chair is the fact that it can be easily adjusted between a single and split pedal chair. Leaving the wooden dowel in place enables you to practice your movements on a single pedal. You can also remove the dowel to convert the chair to a split pedal design to practice rotational movements and expand your skillset.
The pad can be raised to accommodate different leg lengths and address any weaknesses. It’s also handy for addressing flexibility issues. You can easily remove the pad if you don’t need it.
Whether you’re perfecting your repertoire at home or teaching a studio class, you can quickly remove the high back, handles and pad to create a standard Pilates chair. This configuration is also convenient if you’re short on space.
Other perks include a spring post-changing system for resistance exercises and an integrated foot alignment plate. This Pilates chair features abrasion-resistant vinyl upholstery that also cleans up easily.
7. Stott Pilates Split-Pedal Stability ChairPros:
- Springs can be easily swapped out
- Great for upper and lower body workouts
- Pedals have soft foam cushioning
- Some competitors have a longer warranty
- Handles are a bit small
- Requires assembly
The possibilities seem virtually endless with this Pilates chair, as you can use it when lying down, sitting or standing. Not only are the handles fully adjustable, you can also easily add and remove them as needed for moves such as dips and lunges.
This split-pedal stability chair provides rewarding upper and lower body workouts and is compact enough to be used in small spaces. In fact, you can use and store the chair in your home, gym or studio without worrying about taking up too much room.
An included DVD provides several essential and intermediate-level exercises. When the workout is over, built-in wheels make it easy to move and store the chair.
8. Peak Pilates Split Pedal Low Chair with HandlesPrice: $1,595.00Pros:
- Adjustable and removable handles
- Compact size is ideal for apartments and small spaces
- Equally suitable for home and studio use
- Doesn't come with a video guide
- Only available in one color
- Doesn't include a resistance kit
The space-saving Split Pedal Low Chair from Peak Pilates is a convenient solution for those who don’t have much space. Don’t let its smaller size fool you, though, as you can accomplish a wide range of exercises in a single session on this chair.
The biggest advantage of a split pedal chair is its versatility. When you’re working with two pedals, you can simply practice a wider range of movements, including rotational exercises.
While the chair’s split pedal design increases its functionality, you can also adjust the handles or completely remove them to create space for certain exercises. The handles can be adjusted according to your height for a more comfortable workout.
With its modern baltic birch construction and durable black upholstery, this Peak Pilates split pedal chair is a stylish and practical choice for home and studio use.
9. BASI Systems Armchair Barrel SetPrice: $3,990.00Pros:
- Long track for expanded movements
- Handles can be used as levers for weight-bearing exercises
- Flat-top saddle accessory
- A bit bulky
- Not the easiest to store
- Quite heavy for moving around
This armchair barrel set makes a comprehensive addition to your home Pilates gym. Highlights include an orthopedic padded cushion with a curved design for maximum comfort and a long track for expanded movements.
A non-slip vinyl surface lets you confidently work through movements without slipping. A flat-top saddle accessory makes it easy to switch between flat-top and curved options.
If this setup isn’t enough, you can attach springs at various resistance levels and angles for an even more comprehensive workout. You can also use the levers as handles to position your shoulders and wrists for weight-bearing exercises.
The platform is made with a sturdy beech wood frame for durability. Along with the armchair barrel, the set also includes a ladder, standing platform, saddle and armchair box.
10. .fonv Pilates Professional ChairPrice: $2,495.00Pros:
- Stainless steel axial rod for smooth foot movements
- High-strength stainless steel components
- Footrest doesn't require additional maintenance
- Lacks cut-out handles
- Doesn't have a back
- Basic styling
The .fonv Pilates Professional Chair is a basic but well-built Pilates chair that’s designed for heavy, repeated use. While some premium Pilates chairs come with all the latest bells and whistles, this .fonv chair is an appealing no-frills alternative.
Confidently work through your favorite sequences and moves, including simple hamstring stretches and seated double leg pumps, on this sturdy Pilates chair. Highlights include a durable stainless steel axial rod that doesn’t require additional maintenance and stable, secure springs.
This professional Pilates chair is just as safe as it is durable. For example, it has a spring holder to keep springs from shaking during use. You can also remove the handlebars from the frame, much like a Pilates spine corrector barrel. The chair is also easier to store once its handles are removed.
Whether you use the chair once a week or every day, its durable construction makes this Pilates chair a practical investment for home and commercial use.
Which Is the Best Pilates Chair for Home Use?
Pilates chairs only require a fraction of the space that traditional reformers and larger pieces of equipment command, which makes them especially popular for home use.
You can also get in a great workout, even if you're already in great shape. The best Pilates chair for home use has the necessary amount of resistance and features for your workouts.
The average Pilates chair stands roughly two feet tall and is well suited for smaller home gyms and living spaces. Don't be fooled by its smaller size, as you can still enjoy a rewarding full-body workout on a Pilates chair.
In many cases, you can choose to sit, lie down or stand on the chair to work out various parts of your body. Most chairs are designed to work out your upper and lower body as well as your core.
Does the Pilates Chair Really Work?
Despite its compact size, the Pilates chair is actually quite challenging. This is especially true if you're trying to strengthen your arms and legs.
It's also accessible for all levels, especially beginners. If you're feeling intimidated by the reformer, you may be more comfortable starting out on the chair.
As an advanced user, you can practice acrobatic moves on your Pilates chair. This versatile piece of Pilates equipment is just as effective for general stretching and strengthening, and for perfecting base movements.
What Is a Wunda Chair?
According to Pilates Nosara, the original Wunda Chair was designed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1930s. Not only was the chair a very basic seat with a pedal and attached springs for resistance, it was designed to double as a living room chair as needed.
While Pilates initially created the chair as an alternative for those who were away from his studio during the summer months, it's becoming increasingly recognized as an essential piece of Pilates equipment.
Not only is the chair much more compact than other Pilates equipment, it's also quite versatile and can be done seated, standing or lying down.
What Is the Best Pilates Equipment?
If you're looking to add to your home gym or studio, a Pilates chair is just one option. A home Pilates reformer requires more space but can make an equally rewarding addition to your studio or home gym.
According to Jenny Tate Pilates, reformers allow you to exercise in a more horizontal position, while chairs are designed more for exercises in a vertical position. However, both types of equipment are equally suited for that challenging full-body workout you're looking for in a session.
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