Best Exercise Balls

Updated February 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

23 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
173 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

Shopping guide for best exercise balls

Last Updated February 2019

If you're looking for a versatile, inexpensive addition to your home gym, an exercise ball might be just what you need. Exercise balls allow you to intensify your workout while mixing dynamic stretches into your routine.

They’re versatile enough to accommodate all types of athletes, from the beginner who wants to improve stability to the seasoned athlete who’s preparing for a competition. When shopping for an exercise ball, there are some key factors to consider: size, weight limit, and price are some of the most important.

Continue reading to learn more about exercise balls and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Replace your exercise bench with an exercise ball, and your upper body workouts will suddenly work your entire body. Exercise balls an also incorporate balance, flexibility, and stability into exercises that are usually static.

Considerations

Size

The size of the exercise ball is by far your most important consideration. Your height and, to a certain extent, your weight will determine the size of ball you need. Exercise balls are measured in centimeters, with each size increasing by 10 cm.

  • A 45-cm exercise ball is best for someone 5'0" and under.

  • A 55-cm ball is best for someone between  5'1" and 5'7".

  • A 65-cm ball is best for someone between 5'8" and 6'1".

  • A 75-cm ball is best for someone between 6'2" and 6’6”.

  • A 85-cm ball is suitable for someone 6’6” and up.

You can check the ball size by sitting on the center of the ball with your feet hip-width apart. If you have the correct size, both your knees and hips should be at a 90-degree angle.

Those who are obese may need to buy a ball that's one size larger than recommended. Extra weight compacts the ball and changes positioning of the body on the ball.

As you shop, you may also notice some mini exercise balls for sale. These small nine-inch to ten-inch exercise balls aren't meant for sitting. They are frequently used for physical therapy, yoga, and pilates. They can help work your core, stretch your spine, and increase the difficulty of simple stretches and exercises. And, they obviously don’t take up as much space as a full-size exercise ball.

Weight limit

All exercise balls come with a maximum weight limit to prevent punctures or bursting while in use. A standard exercise ball typically has a 250- to 300-pound weight limit. However, some balls are designed with anti-burst technology and may have a body weight limit of up to 600 pounds.

You may find exercise balls that have both a static weight limit and a body weight limit. Static weight is how much weight the ball can sustain with no movement. Body weight, on the other hand, refers to how much weight the exercise ball can support while the user is moving. For example, a static weight of over 2,000 pounds with a body weight of 500 pounds could be found on a high-end exercise ball in a professional gym. In general, larger exercise balls are made of thicker material and therefore can support more weight.

All the bells and whistles

With a stability ring and resistance bands included in the package, the UR Superior ball can deliver a full-body workout as soon as you open the box. The resistance bands attach directly to the stability ring, making them easy for beginners to use. You can also use them without the stability ring to add an extra layer of difficulty.

Features

Anti-burst technology

As mentioned above, some exercise balls have anti-burst technology. These balls usually consist of a thicker PVC or another type of plastic that resists damage. Exercise balls with anti-burst technology usually have higher weight limits and better durability. Staples, pins, or rocks brought in on a pair of shoes are less likely to burst an exercise ball with this technology.

Anti-slip and non-stick texture

Exercise balls have to meet some difficult needs. For example, you don't want the ball to slip while you’re using it, yet you don't want a sticky surface that will pick up dirt and debris from the floor. Some models come with both an anti-slip and nonstick properties that help to keep the ball in place while in use.

Extra gear

Some exercise balls come with a kit that may include a stand for the ball, resistance bands, stability rings, and/or an exercise guide. Stability rings are meant for use while you exercise, while stands are designed to hold the ball in place when not in use.

Ball pump

Exercise balls come with either a foot or hand air pump for inflation. Dual-action pumps are the most efficient, as they push air into the ball as the handle is pushed in and pulled out. However, you probably don't need to worry too much about the pump unless you'll be frequently deflating and inflating the ball.

Balance chair

Some exercise balls include a balance chair stand with wheels. The chair stand may or may not have a back to be used as a chair in an office or study space. The ball can be removed from the stand and used for exercise, too.

EXPERT TIP

Air pressure can affect your user experience. Beginners will find it easier to use a ball that’s softer and slightly less inflated because it makes the ball easier to control. Experts may find a firmer ball more challenging and responsive.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Keep the area in which you use your exercise ball clean of debris and anything that could cause marks or stains. For sanitary reasons, regularly wash the ball with warm soapy water to remove sweat, oil, and dirt.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Bring the ball to room temperature before inflating. After inflation, let it sit for 24 hours, and check the air level again before the first use. Environmental conditions, including ambient temperature and humidity, may require you to adjust the air pressure.


Staff  | BestReviews

Exercise ball prices

Exercise balls are an inexpensive addition to your home gym. For less than $10, you can find a small exercise ball of 45 to 55 cm with a foot pump. At this price, there will likely be no stand or extra gear included.

Larger exercise balls with anti-burst technology start to show up in the $10 to $35 range. These balls may come with a stand but don’t usually include any extra equipment.

Models that include stability rings and resistance bands start around $35 and go up to $50.

Exercise balls with chair stands start at $50 and go up to $100 or more.

Durable design and easy inflation

“Basic but durable” are the words that best describe this exercise ball. It comes in several colors and five sizes so you can get the right fit. The pump is particularly easy to use, which helps you start exercising faster.

Tips

  • Once you’ve learned how to use the exercise ball, try not to rely on the extra support of the wall or gym equipment. For the best and most effective workout, you’ll want to move the ball away from any support device or structure.

  • Keep your shirt on. Skin leaves sweat and oil on the surface of the exercise ball. The surface may then become slick, harbor bacteria, or cause dirt and debris to stick.

  • Anytime you use an exercise ball, there's a risk of falling off and hitting other items or equipment in the room. For safety reasons, clear your workout space before using the ball.

Other products we considered

Exercise balls continue to grow in popularity, leading to a market full of options. While we picked our top five, there were other contenders worth mentioning. The Trideer Exercise Ball features extra-thick walls and a 2,200-pound static weight limit. It comes in five sizes and 18 colors, so no matter your height or weight, there's a Trideer for you.

Mini exercise balls are a great option for pilates and yoga practitioners. If that sounds like you, we suggest the Mini Exercise Ball by ProBody Pilates. It comes with a guide and is made of anti-burst material, making it ideal for intensifying your yoga workout.

Exercise balls can be used as office chairs; some come with a stand for this purpose. If you choose to do this, start gradually by using the ball 30 to 60 minutes per day. Slowly build up your strength before using the ball all day.

FAQ

Q. Do exercise balls contain latex?

A. The materials used to make exercise balls vary by manufacturer. Most exercise balls do not contain latex because of the prevalence of latex allergies, but if you have an allergy, you should check the packaging carefully. Most models are made of PVC or some other kind of plastic. Luckily, it's fairly easy to find an exercise ball that's free of both latex and BPA.

Q. Can exercise balls be damaged by direct sunlight?

A. Exercise balls are made of plastic, which can be damaged by excessive heat and sunlight. However, with anti-burst technology, it would have to be uncomfortably warm and in direct sunlight for a long time to cause permanent damage. To maintain the integrity of the ball, we suggest keeping it in a temperature-controlled area and out of direct sunlight.

Q. Can an exercise ball lose its shape?

A. If an exercise ball is not properly maintained and inflated, it can become misshapen. Anti-burst technology helps prevent changes in shape, but exposure to excessive heat, sunlight, and use while underinflated can contribute to permanent damage.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Peter
    Peter
    Writer
  • Stacey
    Stacey
    Writer

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