What Pilates Equipment Do You Really Need?

There are many choices when it comes to Pilates equipment. Most of the recommended Pilates exercise equipment will help make your workout more fun and effective as you improve your health and sculpt your body. However, with so many choices available to improve Pilates fitness, deciding what you really need can be confusing.

If you take Pilates classes, the Pilates studios or fitness centers will provide the equipment you need (except for the clothing obviously). If you want to be able to do Pilates at home, there are some pieces of equipment you will need:


The clothing you will need for Pilates should be loose enough to move with flexibility as you exercise. Clothes that are designed for yoga will also work well for Pilates.


Pilates studios will provide workout mats during classes. You also have the option of bringing your own pilates mat from home. A good Pilates mat will be thicker than a yoga mat. A Pilates mat should be one-half inch thick. Pilates mats need to provide more padding from the floor than yoga mats provide for rolling exercises.


If you want to do Pilates from home, you will need at least one Pilates DVD. There are many excellent Pilates DVDs available. Choose one or more for your skill level, and be sure to complete the entire routine without skipping any parts to maximize the fitness results. Most people like to own more than one Pilates DVD so they can rotate them on different days for variety in their workouts.


Pilates books are also useful for beginning Pilates or for perfecting your skills. You can find Pilates books for every skill level.

Exercise Balls

Exercise balls, also known as fitness balls, are optional. They are used in all kinds of balancing and strengthening exercises in a variety of fitness programs, including Pilates. Exercise balls are a fun way to increase core strength when used properly. Many Pilates books and DVDs will show you proper use of exercise balls. 

Exercise Bands and Rings

Exercise bands and exercise rings are also popular Pilates accessories. They are affordable for home workouts and can make strengthening and toning exercises more challenging. Exercise rings, which are very versatile, are also referred to as “the magic circles.”

Pilates Machines

A variety of Pilates machines, including the Pilates Reformer, are also fun to use and highly effective. Pilates machines can be a big investment for Pilates beginners. If you are considering purchasing a Pilates machine, try them out at a fitness club or Pilates studio to determine which machines are most comfortable for you.


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