Optimizing your home gym has never been more top of mind. Creating a safe space to break a sweat in the comfort of your own home starts with choosing quality equipment to make your workouts more enjoyable and effective. Enter the experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute Wellness Lab. We've curated a list of top-tested fitness equipment and accessories that are the best of the best to help you break a sweat. Whether you're a beginner, new mom returning to fitness or seasoned athlete, our picks have something for everyone.
How We Tested
At the Good Housekeeping Institute, we have a team of experts who look at fitness products holistically from a 360-degree perspective. We want to ensure they work well, are intuitive to use and will make sense for users to incorporate into their busy lives. With backgrounds in nutrition and dietetics, certified personal training, certified pilates instruction, fiber science and mechanical engineering, you can trust that the products we recommend have been thoroughly vetted from a mechanics and functionality perspective.
Our experts take testing a step further by gathering feedback from our consumer panels to ensure that products are easy to set up and use, ergonomically designed and offer motivating and efficient workouts. For fitness streaming services alone we collected nearly 2,000 surveys and analyzed thousands of data points to find our winners. For larger pieces of equipment, we zoned in on construction quality, ergonomics, exercise variety and accuracy.
Meet Our Experts
GH Registered Dietitian & Certified Fitness Professional
Designed specifically for women by women, top female fitness professionals like Kayla Itsines and Kelsey Wells deliver motivating and effective workouts on the SWEAT app. From high-intensity circuit training to post-pregnancy classes, the app is suitable for all levels and has excellent content for beginners looking to make a fitness transformation.
Lab Results: Testers found the app and instructors very motivating, also noting the vast SWEAT community as a major perk. The variety of content was also a standout.
You don't need a Peloton bike to take advantage of their incredible workout app, packed with thousands of classes ranging from strength and yoga to outdoor runs and guided meditation. Their new Stacked feature lets you custom-build your own workout and seamlessly transition from one class to another.
Lab Results: Consumers loved the in-studio feel of the classes and the 20+ live workouts available daily in addition to on-demand content. Our experts like that the app is constantly introducing new programs, most recently pilates and resistance band workouts.
Whether you're an avid yogi or meditation beginner, this yoga-based app with over 4,000 classes has content for every level and intensity. The sessions include yoga, meditation, pilates and fitness classes. We especially love that you can download sessions to do later — even if you don't have WiFi.
Lab Results: Tester feedback was near unanimous in terms of the assortment available. One touted, "I loved the convenience and versatility." Another was thrilled that she could find a class based on her level, desired duration and type of yoga she preferred.
Best friends and trainers Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott have built a growing women's fitness and lifestyle community for over a decade. Dawn and Scott, together with a team of all-female trainers, lead both on-demand and live workout classes on their app ranging from 10-40 minutes.
Lab Results: Testers liked the variety of classes including barre, strength training, kettlebell, boxing, yoga, HIIT, cardio and more. The app also includes 200+ recipes and meal plans for nutrition guidance.
This popular running app features advanced GPS tracking features, as well as basic stats like pace, distance, elevation and heart rate. There is a huge community component with Strava and you can also connect with your contacts and Facebook friends.
Lab Results: Our fitness experts like the additional safety features available with the premium Strava subscription, which helps share your location with designated contacts while you run.
With over 1,000+ urban dance style workout classes, Steezy is a fun way to break a sweat. Top-notch instructors get you in the rhythm, and the dance class library has something for beginners to advanced-level dancers.
Lab Results: Lab and consumer feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Testers found the app easy to set up and noted that the instructors were motivating and engaging. One tester noted, “The service has a nice variety of fun workouts for different fitness levels."
Mega Cardio Machines
Peloton took into account customer feedback when designing the new Bike+ model. With upgraded features like a larger screen that rotates and optimized audio, this newer option enhances the user experience and makes the ride that much more immersive. The Bike+ is well-constructed and uses high variable magnetic resistance, which results in a quiet belt drive and very smooth ride.
Lab Results: The newest auto-follow feature on the Peloton Bike+ allows the resistance to automatically adjust to what the instructor recommends and was especially helpful during interval style classes.
Rowing offers an effective, full body workout when done properly. This sleek rower features a large screen for immersive live or recorded classes. The instructors and classes are superb, and Hydrow is building out their content that you can do off the machine as well.
Lab Results: Our experts liked that this high-quality rower offers great quality workouts too. The electromagnetic resistance can effectively provide a highly variable drag level so you can narrow in on what you want. The interface is easy to navigate; you can easily filter by the trainer, session duration and workout type.
The first thing you'll notice on this incline treadmill from NordicTrack is the massive 22" touchscreen. It makes it simple to select amongst a variety of workouts not just limited to running; classes also include HIIT, core, Pilates, and more. It auto adjusts incline and decline in trainer-followed runs, from an impressive 40% incline down to 6% decline.
Lab Results: The iFit platform (1 year included with purchase) allows for varied trainers, terrains, and on-demand studio content. Lab experts raved about the scenic runs and routes. For a more affordable, still awesome treadmill with iFit, we also recommend the NordicTrack 1750.
This complete home gym system comes at a competitive price and includes a sturdy stationary bike with a swivel touchscreen tablet, oversized exercise mat, heart rate monitor, kettlebell, dumbbells, foam roller and resistance bands. We like that it's available in natural white or deep charcoal to fit your home gym aesthetic.
Lab Results: Testers liked that the system was comprehensive and offered options for cross training. They noted that the instructors were seasoned and motivating, and that there was a large selection of classes too. Best of all, the equipment provided was durable, stylish and high-quality.
Create your own private at-home boxing studio with this system that includes a freestanding bag, boxing gloves, wraps and an oversized workout mat. Connect to their app for an instructor-guided workout that also syncs with trackers embedded in the boxing gloves that count your punches.
Lab Results: Testers found the ability to track punches very cool and gave them a goal to work towards in each session. The skilled instructors, quality workouts and music options were all rated favorably. The programming is well done and effective, including a beginner course to teach you basic boxing moves.
This vertical climbing machine has an ergonomic design and is one of the most efficient low-impact high-intensity workouts out there. The home model features a 23" screen and comes with a wide variety of on-demand, instructor-led classes. With a built-in sound system, CLMBR gives you an immersive workout experience.
Lab Results: You can pre-order CLMBR to arrive in late 2021, but our experts were able to get a first look at the machine. We like that you can adjust the level of resistance on the dial for your desired balance of cardio and strength training.
Sensational Strength Training
This AI-powered home gym works with 3D sensors to track your motion, count your reps and improve your form. Tempo features a large 42" vertical touchscreen to follow your workout, a cabinet that efficiently hides weights and clips and slots for a barbell and dumbbell bars discreetly stowed on the back of the machine.
Lab Results: The efficient design only has a small 3-foot square footprint and is stand-alone (no need to worry about mounting it to the wall). Our experts found the weight plates and barbells to be high quality and liked that the system offers a wide variety of programs led by fantastic instructors.
This strength-building system uses adjustable digitized weighted arms to provide full-body workouts (up to 200 pounds). The hundreds of instructor-led workouts have something for everyone from seasoned athletes to strength training beginners. Plus, Tonal tracks reps, sets, range of motion and more.
Lab Results: Our experts like that the massive touchscreen makes it easy to select a program. You can vary the music too, which can help enhance any workout. The resistance itself feels smooth and provides a ton of variety.
The interactive Mirror is great for those tight on space or simply looking to keep the aesthetic of their home intact while still getting an awesome, boutique-style workout. This sleek home gym addition shows both the instructor and yourself, so you can monitor your form more readily. You can opt for classes or one-on-one personal training sessions.
Lab Results: Our team found the app intuitive to use, once you accept the mirror itself isn't a touchscreen and you have to use your phone. We like that you have the option of either mounting the mirror or leaving it on the stand, which offers flexibility many smart home gym systems don't.
An all-in-one conditioning tool, kettlebells are incredible at building total body strength. This smart kettlebell easily adjusts with the touch of a button between 12 to 42lbs in 6lbs increments. Essentially providing you with six kettlebells in one, this pick is quite space-efficient.
Lab Results: You can use the kettlebell with or without the app, but our fitness experts were impressed with its special features and integration with your smartphone to track reps and workouts. It also connects with Apple Health.
Even if you are tight on space, this kit offers everything you'll need for a full-body workout. The all-in-one set can be used so long as you have access to a door, tree or wall studs. And because you are using your own weight resistance, workouts can easily be customized to your fitness level.
Lab Results: Our tests proved it was super-quick to set up and offered a full-body workout in minutes. If you're looking to build strength without heavy weights, this pick is a perfect option.
This adjustable digital dumbbell set changes weights easily with the touch of a button and ranges from 8-50 pounds. The weight adjusts in 6lbs increments so you are essentially getting 16 dumbbells in two compact units. It also features AI performance tracking and syncs to the JAXJOX app too to track your progress.
Lab Results: Our experts loved the sleek design on these dumbbells, comfortable grip and compact plates that stayed in place and made even 50 pounds feel like a solid dumbbell. The flat bottom also makes them perfect for movements like elevated pushups.
Next Level Toning Tools
P.volve, known for their low-impact workouts that help to strengthen and sculpt, offer a variety of equipment bundles that you can use with or without the app. The Ultimate Kit provides all of your sculpting and toning essentials including their signature p.ball (our favorite), gliders, weights, bands and a three month membership to the P.volve digital platform.
Lab Results: Our experts found the items included in the kit to be high-quality and durable, and each piece comes in its own string bag to keep equipment organized.
This compact pilates-inspired mini reformer incorporates resistance band training designed to help increase strength and sculpt a long lean physique. Weighing only 10 pounds, this lightweight option features a board platform, resistance tubes, bands, handles and ankle straps that allow for a total body workout.
Lab Results: This well-built board only takes up about two square feet and was easy to store between workouts. There are only about 30+ classes on the subscription platform, but new content is added each week.
Resistance bands optimize both small supportive muscles and major muscle groups, and can be used for full-body workouts. This bright and stylish set comes in three different levels of resistance and stows neatly into a small drawstring pouch, making the bands perfect for on-the-go workouts or home toning sessions.
Lab Results: Our experts found the bands quite durable and good quality, especially for their affordable price-point. They also make a sturdy resistance tube bands set that comes in a portable pouch too.
Awesome Active Apparel
This high-waisted tight is designed specifically for yoga, but is a popular choice for training as well. Our Textiles experts like that it comes in several variations including multiple colors, lengths and prints.
Lab Results: Our tester panel loved the "Full-On Luon" fabric, noting it was soft and felt like a second-skin that stayed in place throughout their workouts. The leggings were also found to be flattering and breathable.
This medium-impact style sports bra from Nike is ideal for everything from gym workouts to running. The racerback allows for good range of motion, and we like that the compressive fit holds you in.
Lab Results: Testers rated this bra most comfortable in our tests, noting that it also fit well and felt supportive. It scored well in our Textile Lab's durability tests and moisture evaluations too.
A quality pair of workout socks, like these from Feetures, are essential for wicking moisture and providing proper cushioning and comfort. This pick features an anatomical design contoured to your feet, providing targeted compression.
Lab Results: Experts found that the moisture wicking fabric blend kept feet dry and cool. The heel tab helped combat blisters, and the socks stayed put even in the toughest of workouts.
This popular running shoe from ASICS is made with the brand's signature gel technology, which helps to absorb impact, especially helpful during those long races. These sneakers have a Flytefoam midsole for a "pillow-y" feel," and they also feature a reflective material to keep you visible on your evening runs.
Lab Results: Our tester panel was impressed by the comfort, support and stability of these sneakers, giving them top marks across the board.
From dance workouts to the elliptical, this sneaker from New Balance is designed to support you through your training regimen. This stylish pick is available in a variety of colors, and we especially like that it's lightweight yet well-made. It also features a breathable knit upper that can accommodate wider feet.
Lab Results: This sneaker proved to be super comfortable in our tests. The podiatrist we worked with said these were her favorite because they offer good range of motion.
This innovative and stylish cycling shoe has clips hidden in the sole, making it easy to walk around in. Slip them on quickly with the velcroe single-strap for seamless transitions on and off the bike. They are two-cleat or SPD compatible.
Lab Results: Testers rated this shoe high across all categories ranging from function and durability to aesthetics and innovation. They have a softer top compared to other cycling shoes but testers found them sturdy.
Maximum Muscle Recovery
Vibration helps enhance circulation and can alleviate pain, making a massage gun the perfect solution for rehabbing stiff muscles. This pick comes in a protective carrying case complete with five attachments designed to target different areas of the body. Plus, it was designed to be quieter than previous generations and has a 120-minute battery life.
Lab Results: The ergonomic grip on the Theragun Elite was intuitive and allowed us to massage hard-to-reach muscles with ease. It has a powerful motor that provided deep muscle massage and relief too.
Foam rollers are exceptional and affordable tools for optimizing muscle recovery and improving range of motion. This option from Trigger Point features a foam exterior over a rigid hollow core and comes in a variety of colors. The grid texture allows you to target certain areas like knots and tight muscles.
Lab Results: Fitness experts in our Wellness Lab liked the durable construction on this foam roller that maintained its shape and integrity even after prolonged use.
This vibrating, Bluetooth-enabled foam roller is a great recovery device for both novices and active individuals. You can control the roller via the Therabody app to target specific muscles and activities or on the device manually, which we like since the app can take some getting used to.
Lab Results: Our fitness experts found the cushion soft and supportive, but still able to provide an intense recovery routine thanks to its five settings. We’d recommend starting slow and working your way up if you’re new to rolling.
The most innovative Fitbit yet, this stylish watch tracks everything from steps and calories burned to activity and heart rate. It also provides access to premium fitness classes from Fitbit and popular brands like Barre3 and Gaiam's Yoga Studio. The new Premium subscription (6 months free with the watch) includes the more robust Health Metrics dashboard to track stats like resting heart rate.
Lab Results: Our experts like that the Fitbit Sense offers an impressive battery life (nearly a week!). The watch easily integrates with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa too.
The Series 6 boasts a host of fitness and health features, including sleep tracking, an SpO2 sensor to record blood oxygen levels and a built-in ECG monitor for detecting AFib. The combo of built-in sensors including GPS, an altimeter and a heart rate monitor are able to more accurately detect and track workouts.
Lab Results: The Series 6 now has 80 different types of exercises it can log, and our Wellness Lab loves that you can get offline Apple Music to help pump up a workout. The watch also offers access to the new Fitness+ workout platform at a separate cost.
This fitness tracker, designed initially for elite athletes before going more mainstream, offers comprehensive metrics around your physical activity, sleep and recovery. The Whoop strap itself comes free with membership to the app that costs $30/month.
Lab Results: Our experts love that it offers up weekly and monthly overviews to help you track progress. Beyond just providing rich insights, it gives personalized recommendations too.
These lightweight, ergonomic true wireless headphones fit securely and offer good sound quality. They are great for an intense workout thanks to their waterproof rating (IPX7), so you can get nice and sweaty and without affecting playback.
Lab Results: Our engineering experts like that the charging case is compact and lightweight, so it’s easy to stash in your pocket on the way to a workout or on a run.
There's a reason Sonos is synonymous with awesome home audio. The Sonos app pairs with most streaming services and the ecosystem supports full surround-sound. With this entrant, Sonos now has a solid portable battery-operated speaker that is weather resistant (IP56 rating), making it great for an outdoor workout or home gym setup.
Lab Results: Our experts found it super easy to charge – you just dock it in the included charging base. Auto-tuning worked impressively, adapting to the environment to provide rich audio.
This GH Seal Star is a great bathroom addition no matter what your fitness goals are. The scale displays weight, BMI, body fat, bone mass and body water. Plus, you can save four individual profiles right on the scale. Pro tip: measure yourself at the same time of day for accurate tracking.
Lab Results: GH consumer testers found this model easy to use, even with its more advanced technology features. You just tap the top with your foot, select your profile and hop on.
This stainless steel water bottle comes in several different colors and features a double-wall vacuum insulation that keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. This BPA-free pick also has a protective and removable silicone bumper to help minimize dents and dings.
Lab Results: The straw option makes it easy to hydrate mid-workout, with no need to fumble open a bottle. Plus, there is a range of sizes and even an option for kids!
Beginners to advanced yogis alike will love this yoga mat that features alignment markers to provide guidance during your practice. Experts in the Good Housekeeping Textiles Lab rated this as best overall in their yoga mat tests, noting it to be supportive while still offering some cushion.
Lab Results: Our testers gave this mat high scores across the board, including perfect ratings for both the grip on hands and feet and the traction on the floor.
This 5mm mat from Yoga Design Lab is beautiful, well-made and great for workouts ranging from yoga to HIIT. It has a textured print designed to help with grip too for movements like downward dog to plank taps.
Lab Results: This mat proved to have good cushioning in our tests, even on hardwood floors. It stayed in place during high-intensity exercises like burpees on both hardwood and carpeted floors.