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If an exercise ball were a kid in gym class, it would probably get picked last for teams. But trainers and physical therapists know the truth: This piece of equipment does so much more than take up coveted closet space.
Exercise balls add an extra challenge to your workout by targeting your core, balance, and stability. Research suggests that using an exercise ball can also improve posture, boost energy, and reduce lower back pain.
Truth be told, no home gym is complete without one. That’s why we investigated the best exercise balls on the market to help you find your perfect match. Let’s begin.
- Durability and strength. You want an exercise ball that’s super strong so you never need to worry about it popping underneath you. You also want one that lasts, not one that needs to be blown up every time you use it.
- Size options. When it comes to exercise balls, one size certainly does not fit all. We looked for balls that came in different sizes so they were more accessible for everyone.
- Texture. The right exercise ball should be grippy enough to make you feel stable and secure but slick enough to let you move around a bit.
- User reviews. We looked for overwhelmingly positive reviews from people who actually use these all the time.
Theraband’s premium exercise balls are a favorite among athletes and professionals for their durability and versatility. They’re made with high quality, thick material that’s the right balance of grippy and slippery.
Slow-deflate technology keeps them sturdy, safe, comfortable, and supportive.
The Pro Series SCP comes in five sizes, so there’s an option for everyone. Each ball also comes with an inflator adapter for easy inflating.
Best overall runner-up
Price: $–$$, depending on size
Do you appreciate options? Same. This ball comes in five sizes and multiple colors. It also comes with a pump to make setup super easy.
The URBNFit is made of a professional quality PVC material that keeps it from being too slippery, and the tough surface will make you feel nice and stable.
One reviewer writes, “This is as simple as it gets. A great product for a great price… The ball is very solid and very comfortable.” With more than 16,000 ratings and a nearly 5-star review on Amazon, this exercise ball ranks high on any list.
Best for working at a desk
While you can use almost any kind of exercise ball as a desk chair, we recommend the Vivora Luno for its sleek style. This one was made to be a desk chair alternative, so instead of looking like a rubber ball, it looks chic and streamlined. (You can choose from felt, chenille, and vegan leather styles.)
The Luno’s comfy sphere shape encourages users to sit upright. And it comes in two height options and has a sturdy handle for easy movement.
The cherry on top? The cover comes off and is machine-washable for easy cleaning.
Best for heavier folks
Price: $–$$, depending on size
If using an exercise ball makes you feel like you’re crunching on eggshells, look no further. This professional-grade ball can hold up to 2,200 pounds, so you can lift, bounce, and wobble without fear.
The PVC material is nonslip, with a ribbed texture that feels both comfortable and stable. One user writes, “I’m 6′4 and weigh almost 400 lbs, but I feel completely comfortable on this exercise ball. It has helped me out tremendously with my back problems and gets daily use now.”
The ball is available in four sizes, has a handful of color choices, and comes with a pump.
Best for beginners
If you’re new to the stability game, this ball is for you.
Made from heavyweight vinyl, the RGGD&RGGL model is thicker than most balls out there, which makes it feel more rigid and supportive. The ball’s stability ring also means that while this ball may not challenge your balance quite as much as other options, it’s ideal for building up those stability muscles.
We gave this one bonus points for safety, since it has a burst-resistant feature to avoid pesky puncture accidents. Lastly, it comes with two resistance bands to give you more versatility and flexibility while working out.
Best exercise ball for pregnancy
Price: $–$$, depending on size and color
Support and safety are the name of the game for pregnant people using exercise balls. The Trideer is one of the highest-density options out there and can easily hold up to 2,200 pounds.
It’s made of high quality, nontoxic PVC that’s free of BPA and heavy metals and has a nice antislip texture to keep you secure.
Most importantly, it gets the job done. One reviewer writes, “The ball itself works well and is very comfortable to sit on. I’m currently 9 months pregnant and it really takes away my pelvic pain!”
Best for Pilates or yoga
When doing exercises like Pilates or yoga, you might find that a smaller ball is a little easier to work with. Enter the ProBody Pilates Mini.
Made of a super-soft PVC material, it’s free from six harmful phthalates and is antiburst, which means it can withstand high pressure for maximum safety and comfort. It also doesn’t give off an odor, which we can’t say for most exercise balls.
Even the professionals are fans. One reviewer who says they’re a Pilates instructor and has tried many types of balls writes, “These balls have just the right texture, thickness, and ‘classy’ appearance.”