The 6 Best Pilates Bars

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by Rachel Bar-Gadda

You may already be rocking the mat pilates, but if you’re feeling the urge to up the resistance without investing the money and space for a pilates machine, a pilates bar can help. Offered in a range of price points, the best pilates bars have an adequate number of accessories to create adjustable resistance levels, all while still being easy to store.

A pilates bar is all about getting a more intense workout without adding a huge piece of machinery, which is why portability and ease of storage are key. All bars can be broken down into either two or three pieces to be stored without taking up too much space. Some even include a carry bag to keep things neat and organized if you’re planning on taking your pilates bar with you on the road.

When considering different pilates bars, think about the number of accessories you might need, which can add to the versatility and difficulty of a workout while accommodating people of different heights. Many bars include extras such as resistance bands of differing tensions, figure 8 bands (which improve muscle strength), and nylon straps of adjustable length that connect resistance bands to the bar.

Whether you require something simple and streamlined or prefer to have lots of additional equipment to change things up, here are the best pilate bars in a range of prices.

1. The Fan Favorite

With high ratings and over 2,600 reviews on Amazon, this pilates bar is clearly a favorite for people looking to up the ante of their pilates workouts. Constructed of a solid iron pipe with a non-slip EVA foam cover, this kit comes with only the basics, including two adjustable resistance bands. However, the bar breaks down into three sections for easy storage or transport, and instructions are included on how to increase resistance by wrapping the bands around the bar according to how much tension you desire. It comes with a carrying pouch and a workout eBook and video to help guide you. Choose between purple or gray.

A Helpful Review: “I spent a lot of time trying to decide which Pilates bar to purchase and I’m so happy that I went with this one. It is great for working out and extremely durable. It’s easy to roll the straps up to adjust the resistance. The bar was simple to screw together and it is sturdy and feels high quality.”

2. The One With The Most Bells & Whistles

If maximum workout versatility is your goal, this pilates bar will certainly fit the bill. It is designed with a metal tube covered with EVA foam and includes three adjustable resistance cords of different tensions that you can stack to create 10, 15, and 20-pound resistance. The set also comes with five colorful loop resistance bands that vary in levels of tension, from 5 to 40 pounds. In addition, the tube resistance bands are connected to the bar via a strap with a buckle for adjustable height and length and it comes with a workout eBook. This pilates bar breaks down into two pieces for easy storage and portability.

A Helpful Review: “I love this product! It comes with A LOT which is a huge bonus. I like that the bands can be interchanged easily to change the resistance. I also like that the handles can detach from each band for easy and creative swaps. It stores really easily [...] The mini bands come with 5 size options, too. I’m very impressed with this purchase and definitely recommend!”

3. The One With Heavy Resistance Up To 280 Lbs

This highly versatile pilates bar kit gives you a ton of resistance for a more challenging home workout. With four sets of resistance bands (eight bands in total) ranging from 20 to 50 lbs, they can be combined for maximum resistance of 280 lbs. For extra adjustability, nylon straps attach via carabiner to the end of the bands to accommodate different heights or lengths and a door anchor allows you to use your bar in a variety of creative ways. The foam-wrapped steel pipe breaks down into three sections for convenient storage and the kit also includes a carrying bag for easy travel and an instruction book with workout tips.

A Helpful Review: “This kit is just what I needed to be more consistent with my workout routine. It's difficult for me to go to the gym with my busy schedule. If I need more of a challenge, I just need to increase the resistance. The workout possibilities are endless with this kit.”

4. The Pilates Bar Set With A Free Workout App

If eBooks and instruction manuals aren’t enough to get you truly excited to work out at home, this pilates bar kit comes with a free Champya app that provides video tutorials with strengthening and stretching exercises that will make you feel like you have your own personal trainer. The bar itself is made from stainless steel with a thick foam exterior and nylon handles and can be adjusted. It comes with two resistance bands (and the bar can handle up to 40 pounds of resistance), a door anchor, two extra handles, and a carrying bag. The bar breaks down into three pieces for much easier storage and portability and it comes in black or pink.

A Helpful Review: “This exercise kit contains all the equipment necessary for a full-body workout. It's very high quality and durable and it provides an exercise guide. It folds up easily into a carrying bag to make it portable for easy transportation.”

5. The Most Affordable Pilates Bar

If you’re new to pilates or just don’t want to spend a great deal on equipment, it doesn’t get more affordable than this pilates bar. The $15 bar is made of steel and covered in soft foam and its resistance bands are adjustable, which is a rarity at this price, though keep in mind that some reviewers said it is not as adjustable as other options. The bar breaks into two pieces for portability and storage and comes with its own storage bag. Choose among three colors: black, pink, and turquoise.

A Helpful Review: “I LOVE this Pilates bar. It’s sturdy and easy to use. You can do moves with constant tension working two or three different muscle groups at once. It’s much better for my wrists than free weights. Being able to adjust the tension is awesome ..just takes a little bit of pushing and pulling.”

6. A Pilates Bar That Comes With A Strengthening Figure 8 Band

Another budget-friendly pick, this pilates bar is a simple, efficient pick that comes with a figure 8 exercise band for additional muscle-strengthening exercises. The sturdy steel bar encased in foam is another great option for those just starting out. Many report that the resistance of the cords is adequate, but keep in mind they are not adjustable. Coming in cheerful pink, the bar requires minimal storage space by separating into two sections. It doesn’t come with other perks, though, such as a storage bag or eBook.

A Helpful Review: “Perfect level of resistance for beginners to moderate. Love the color!”

Nice To Have: A Popular Pilates Ring

Develop stronger muscles in your legs, arms, and abs with the help of this hugely popular pilates ring. The 14-inch loop can assist in so many Pilates-based workouts, comes with an exercise guide, and boasts more than 6,000 reviews. The lightweight, portable ring has padded inner and outer grips for comfort, and it comes with a carrying pouch. Choose from six colors.

A Helpful Review: “Love it! I use this when I can’t take my Pilates class. Just like the one in my Pilates class.”

Also Nice: Some Non-Slip Socks Perfect For At-Home Workouts

Before you get on your pilates mat and grab your pilates bar, slip on these comfy yoga socks that can protect you and keep you from sliding during your pilates, barre, or yoga workouts. The ballet-inspired socks feature silicone grips along the sole for traction and elastic criss-cross straps along the front. They have more than 21,000 reviews and come in a few different colors and packs of one, two, three, or four.

A Helpful Review: “I have used them for Pilates & for a Tumbling Class (handstands, cartwheels, somersaults, backbends). They are comfortable &, provide extra stability when performing more risky maneuvers. My toes don't feel confined.”