When imagining different ways of staying active and in shape, people often conjure images of barbells, weight plates, and treadmills. But exercise balls are also an affordable and versatile piece of equipment that can cater to a wide set of fitness goals and needs. By just sitting on the ball, you’re automatically engaging your core, back, and legs. Add weights, plyometrics, planks, flyes, hip thrusts, or presses to the mix and you’re working those muscles on top of your core stabilizing muscles.
Since exercise balls are fantastic tools for stimulating smaller muscle groups and improving balance and core strength, they are very popular during physical therapy and pregnancy. Some people even use them as chairs for a more active way to sit through a 9-to-5 gig. While many may look similar, there are subtle differences between the leading brands. No matter your desired weight capacity, fitness goals, usage, or height, we think these are the best exercise balls on the market.
Best Exercise Balls
- Best Exercise Ball Overall: BOSU Ballast Ball
- Best Exercise Ball for Beginners: Live Infinitely Exercise Ball
- Best Challenging Exercise Ball: BOSU Pro Balance Trainer
- Best Exercise Ball On a Budget : PROMIC Exercise Ball
- Best Exercise Ball Package: Yoga Ball, 65cm Exercise Ball Fitness Balls
- Best Big Exercise Ball: Trideer Extra Thick Yoga & Exercise Ball
- Best Small Exercise Ball: Mini Exercise Barre Ball
- Best Exercise Ball Chair: Gaiam Classic Balance Ball Chair
Best Exercise Ball Overall
Unlike other exercise balls, this pick contains a multi-dimensional load (ballast) that keeps the ball stable, and adds weight to make your workout more difficult if you are lifting the ball.
BOSU Ballast Ball
The BOSU Ballast Ball is unique in that it has 2.5 pounds of ballast, which you can utilize on one of its six “sides” — in other words, the 2.5 pounds will always sit at the bottom of the ball, so when you’re using it on the ground, it helps stabilize you throughout your movements, and when you’re lifting it above your head, it adds a little weight to challenge your muscles. It’s made of a high-quality, burst-resistant material that can support up to 300 pounds. It inflates between 55 cm and 65 cm, and is ideal for athletes who are looking to progress their stability work with a weighted BOSU ball.
This exercise ball has 2.5 pounds of ballast inside, which you can utilize for stabilization when you're working with the ball on the ground, or for added weight if you are pressing it overhead.
Who Should Buy The BOSU Ballast Ball
- Athletes who want to add a little extra weight when they press their exercise ball overhead.
- Anyone looking for more stability when using their exercise ball on the ground.
Who Shouldn’t Buy The BOSU Ballast Ball
- Taller users who need a larger ball.
- Athletes who want to press heavy weights on the ball — the weight capacity is fairly low in comparison to some others on the market.
- Anyone who’s looking for a less expensive option.
This exercise ball contains ballast to either increase the difficulty of your strength work or help with stability during core work on the ground. However, be careful if you’re doing a weighted chest press on the ball — it can’t support more than 300 pounds total.
Best Exercise Ball for Beginners
If you’re a novice when it comes to using an exercise ball, you may need some guidance on how to use one properly. Luckily, this pick comes with digital exercise guides and online training workouts to start you out strong.
Live Infinitely Exercise Ball
The Live Infinitely Exercise Ball can accommodate up to 2,200 pounds, which may sound absurd for a weight capacity, but for beginners, it’s reassuring to know it’s almost impossible to burst this thing solely using weight. In addition, it comes with digital exercise guides and online training workouts, so you won’t have to sit, bounce, and wonder where to begin. This is a great option for users of all sizes because you can choose in 10 cm increments from 55 to 95 cm. Though this ball does come with a pump, it’s said to be fairly slippery due to its slick plastic surface, so you may need to enlist a separate pump to get the job done more efficiently.
Live Infinitely’s Exercise Balls range from 55cm to 95cm and include a hand-pump, two air plugs, a valve remover, and access to a workout guide. Each ball is made from a professional grade PVC material with non-slip ridges.
Who Should Buy The Live Infinitely Exercise Ball
- Heavy users or lifters who need an exercise ball with a high weight capacity.
- Beginners who are looking for guided workouts to help them kick off their exercise ball training.
- Anyone who wants a basic, no frills exercise ball that will last them at least a couple years.
- Folks who are looking for a cost-effective option.
Who Shouldn’t Buy The Live Infinitely Exercise Ball
- Customers who want an easy-to-use pump to come with their purchase.
The Life infinitely Exercise Ball is a heavy-duty, beginner-friendly option — it comes with exercise guides and has a virtually un-burstable weight capacity to ensure anyone new to the game is completely comfortable using the ball.
Best Challenging Exercise Ball
Though not a full ball, this half-round pick can provide even more of a challenge. Cut in half with a hard, flat base, you can add this ball to pretty much any plyometric or strength movement for an added core challenge.
BOSU Pro Balance Trainer
The BOSU Pro Balance Trainer is a 65 cm half-round ball with a non-slip, dually over-molded base. Add it to a burpee for additional balance work in the push-up, or use it with plank jacks to work your core even harder. It weighs 19 pounds on its own, so adding it to any movement can help build muscle. The ball itself can support up to 350 pounds — which, though higher than average, is not all-inclusive for heavy lifters. You’ll just have to make sure you’re limiting the poundage on the presses and flyes if you’re using the BOSU ball for weighted work. When it comes to size, since this option is half the size of a regular exercise ball, it’s a great addition to small home gym spaces.
The BOSU Pro Balance Trainer is a 65 cm half-round ball with a non-slip, dually over-molded base. It weighs 19 pounds on its own, so adding it to any movement can help you get stronger.
Who Should Buy The BOSU Pro Balance Trainer
- Anyone who wants to add extra weight to their strength and cardio work to build more muscle and challenge your core.
- Folks who want a full exercise ball — this one is cut in half with a hard, flat base.
- Athletes who have a small home gym space and need something that’s more compact than a full exercise ball.
Who Shouldn’t Buy The BOSU Pro Balance Trainer
- Customers who want a less expensive exercise ball — this one has a hefty price tag.
- Heavy lifters who want to pack on the pounds in exercise ball chest presses.
The BOSU Pro Balance Trainer is a unique option whose appearance alone stands apart from other exercise balls. Since this pick weighs more than most and is a welcome addition to a wide range of movements, it’s an easy boost to any workout if you are looking for a challenge.
Best Exercise Ball On a Budget
Some exercise balls can cost close to $200, but many aren’t looking to drop big bucks on this particular piece of their home gym. For a more cost-effective option, this pick starts at just over $10.
PROMIC Exercise Ball
The PROMIC Exercise Ball has many of the same features of its more expensive counterparts — it comes in 10 cm increments between 45 cm and 85 cm, supports upwards of 1,000 pounds, and is built of high-quality rubber that, if cared for properly, can last up to five years. Great for balance, core building, and spinal positioning, this exercise ball is simple, versatile, and has a quality build even at its low price point. It comes in eight different colors, and weighs only 2.2 pounds. While its light weight is ideal for maneuvering around your home gym, it’s not the best for adding weight to a workout — it’s better used for core stability and plyometrics.
The PROMIC Exercise Ball is made of anti-burst and slip resistant material that has a light ribbing on its surface. There are eight different color options and sizes ranging from 45cm to 75 cm. Each ball is able to support up to 1,100lbs.
Who Should Buy The PROMIC Exercise Ball
- Anyone who wants to stay tight to their budget and is looking for a cost-effective option.
- Folks who want a wide range of colors to choose from.
- Athletes who need a high weight capacity, so they can work with heavy dumbbells.
Who Shouldn’t Buy The PROMIC Exercise Ball
- Those who want a heavier ball to incorporate it into their workouts for added strength work.
Though the PROMIC Exercise Ball sells at a much lower price point than many exercise balls, that doesn’t mean it skimps on quality. This ball has a high weight capacity, wide variety of colorways, and different sizes to suit each individual user.
Best Exercise Ball Package
If you’re looking for a package deal, this pick is your ticket. This exercise ball comes with resistance and cardio equipment you can use with (and separately from) the ball itself.
Yoga Ball, 65cm Exercise Ball Fitness Balls
This exercise ball is made of non-toxic PVC material, 100 percent free of BPA, and comes with a removable stability base, five resistance bands, a workout guide, a jump rope, and a massage ball. It’s a great package for anyone looking to get a full-body sweat via a variety of exercise methods. This pick’s anti-burst, anti-slip design can support up to 2,200 pounds, which is great for athletes who want to experiment with heavier dumbbells on their exercise ball. A downside of the ball itself is that it only comes in the 65 cm size — this size is great for users who are between 5’9” and 6’2”, but may be too large or too small for anyone outside of that range.
This exercise ball package comes with a removable stability base, five resistance bands, a workout guide, a jump rope, and a massage ball. It's a great deal if you want a full-body sweat via different exercise methods.
Who Should Buy The Yoga Ball, 65cm Exercise Ball Fitness Balls
- Athletes who want to use additional equipment with their exercise ball for a full-body sweat.
- Lifters who want to use heavier weights for presses and flyes on the exercise ball.
- Anyone between 5’9” and 6’2” who’s the perfect size for a 65 cm ball.
Who Shouldn’t Buy The Yoga Ball, 65cm Exercise Ball Fitness Balls
- Customers who are just looking for an exercise ball, not additional equipment.
- Athletes who fall outside of the 5’9” to 6’2” range who will be too short or too tall for this ball.
An exercise ball is often used with various other resistance or cardio equipment for a complete, full-body workout — this package comes in handy for anyone who mixes their exercise ball work with jump rope cardio and resistance band strength training.
Best Big Exercise Ball
Taller users may need to size up when buying an exercise ball. This pick comes in sizes small to XXL, so no matter if you’re short or tall, there’s an exercise ball for you from Trideer.
Trideer Extra Thick Yoga & Exercise Ball
With sizes as small as 38 inches and as big as 85 inches, the Trideer Extra Thick Yoga & Exercise Ball will accommodate almost all heights (85-inch exercise balls will work for users 6’5” and above according to Trideer’s size chart). What most often comes with being taller is also a bit more weight. Luckily, this ball is 2,000 micrometers in thickness and can support up to 2,200 pounds, making it virtually impossible to burst. It comes in six different colors for variety, but some users have complained about the quality of the plastic foot pump — if that’s something you’re after, you may have to buy a higher-quality foot pump separately.
With sizes as small as 38 inches and as big as 85 inches, the Trideer Extra Thick Yoga & Exercise Ball will accommodate almost all heights. Plus, it has an extra thick outer layer that can support up to 2,200 pounds.
Who Should Buy The Trideer Extra Thick Yoga & Exercise Ball
- Taller athletes who need a larger exercise ball to hit the ideal 90 degrees with their legs while sitting.
- Heavy lifters who will value an ultra-high weight capacity of 2,200 pounds.
- Anyone who wants an extra thick exercise ball that’s highly durable.
Who Shouldn’t Buy The Trideer Extra Thick Yoga & Exercise Ball
- Users looking for a reliable foot pump to come with their purchase.
The Trideer Extra Thick Yoga & Exercise Ball is a solid option for taller users who need an 85 cm ball to accommodate their height. As a bonus, this ball also supports 2,200 pounds with its ultra-thick outer layer, making it one of the more durable options on the market.
Best Small Exercise Ball
For pilates, barre, and yoga aficionados, this pick will pique your interest. Mini exercise balls are great for keeping your muscles engaged during movements like hamstring kickback pulses and leg lifts.
Mini Exercise Barre Ball
These small exercise balls come in pairs and measure just 10 inches. They’re great for pilates and yoga moves where it’s important to engage your smaller muscles that don’t get as much general use. Most of the time, you do this by placing the ball in between your feet or legs, or holding it between your calf and hamstring during kickbacks for extra stimulation. They can also be used similarly to a larger exercise ball for core work or elevated presses, but these moves won’t be as difficult as they would be on a ball that lifts you higher off the ground.
Though these pairs are made of a burst-resistant, durable PVC, there’s no listed weight capacity, which may be a concern for some users who wish to know this information for safety purposes. It’s also worth noting that the product has a smell when you first take it out of the bag — if you allow it to air out for a full 24 hours, however, the smell goes away.
These exercise balls come in pairs and measure just 10 inches. They’re great for pilates, barre, and yoga, and help engage smaller muscles that don’t get as much use.
Who Should Buy The Mini Exercise Barre Ball
- Athletes who like performing pilates, barre, and yoga exercises that stimulate smaller muscle groups.
- Beginners who want to test out exercises on a smaller exercise ball before moving to a more-advanced, large exercise ball.
Who Shouldn’t Buy The Mini Exercise Barre Ball
- Users who need to know the weight capacity of their exercise balls for safety purposes.
- Anyone who doesn’t want a product with a strong, temporary smell when it comes out of the packaging.
Though different from the other exercise balls on this list, mini exercise balls can target smaller muscle groups that are more difficult to hit on larger exercise balls. If you’re big on pilates or barre, these mini exercise balls will be a perfect addition to your fitness equipment stash.
Best Exercise Ball Chair
One of the many popular ways to use an exercise ball is as a chair, which is great for muscle engagement as you work or watch TV. This pick takes that one step further by adding back support, so you can still bounce to engage your core and legs without potentially injuring your back.
Gaiam Classic Balance Ball Chair
This pick is not something that you would consider adding to a home gym set up, but it is a great overall wellness buy. To engage your muscles and stay active throughout your work day or during the time you spend watching your favorite shows after work, pop a seat on this chair instead of your basic desk chair or Cloud couch.
While it may not be quite as comfortable, this 52 cm exercise ball was constructed to look like a chair, with added back support and wheels for easy transport. By just sitting, you’re engaging more muscles than you would in a typical desk chair — add a bounce in there and you’ll boost energy, and be able to work your core and legs even more. This chair is only built to accommodate 300 pounds and users from 5’ to 5’11”. If you’re taller, you will have to buy leg extenders that are sold separately.
This pick allows you to engage your muscles and stay active throughout your work day or during the time you spend watching your favorite shows after work. It's an exercise ball built into a chair to provide extra back support for those who want to use their exercise ball as a seat.
Who Should Buy The Gaiam Classic Balance Ball Chair
- 9 to 5-ers who want to add a little movement and muscle engagement to their workday.
- Folks who like sitting on their exercise ball but need more lower back support.
- Customers who aren’t looking to use their exercise ball for workouts — just as a way to actively sit.
Who Shouldn’t Buy The Gaiam Classic Balance Ball Chair
- Anyone looking for a cost-effective exercise ball option.
- Athletes who want to use an exercise ball for workouts, not just sitting.
- Users who don’t sit enough throughout the day to make this purchase worthwhile.
While the Gaiam Classic Balance Ball Chair is not the most versatile exercise ball on this list, it is a great option for a particular niche — anyone working a 9 to 5 job who wants to stay more active and engaged throughout their workday can opt for this pick instead of a desk chair.
Before Buying an Exercise Ball Consider
Since there are so many ways you can utilize an exercise ball, it’s important to consider how you plan to use it before you whip out your credit card. In addition, sizing is quite possibly the most important factor you’ll look into before clicking purchase. For a more in-depth look at what we think are the most important considerations, read on.
If buying an exercise ball for yourself, it is best to find your correct individual size. If the exercise ball is too big or too small, it might interfere with the usefulness and safety of certain exercises.
As for general sizing (some companies’ information may vary), anyone under 5’ should grab a 45 cm ball, 5’1” to 5’8” should get a 55 cm ball, 5’9” to 6’2” will work best with a 65 cm ball, 6’3” to 6’7” need a 75 cm ball, and anyone 6’8” and above will want a 85 cm ball. These balls come in varying sizes to ensure that no matter your height, your legs are at 90 degrees when sitting on the ball — from there, you can get the most efficient use out of your exercise ball.
It is also worth noting that size chart recommendations from the manufacturers themselves may recommend smaller or bigger exercise balls than other companies — depending on the product’s build, you may fall into a different size range, so pay attention to the sizing charts before purchasing. These pieces of equipment should also be filled up all the way to the suggested circumference — otherwise, the exercises may not be as impactful, even if you have picked out the right size.
Use and Weight Capacity
Before deciding on the type of ball you want, you’ll need to decide how you’ll be using it most. If you’re only going to use it for plyometrics, bodyweight training or as a chair, you can get away with a ball with a lower weight capacity. If you’re going to be adding dumbbells for presses or flyes while on the exercise ball, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a ball with a higher weight capacity. There are plenty of picks on this list that can support up to 2,200 pounds, which is ideal for heavy lifters.
Individual vs. Group Setting
Exercise balls are a great way to recover from injury, stay fit without needing a gym membership, or keep the core engaged while sitting at a desk. These functions can all work in a group setting, as well as an individual setting. Buying for an individual is pretty straightforward — just pick out your desired size, weight capacity, and color.
One thing to note if you are using them in a group setting though is that oftentimes, the size is not written on the outside of the ball. If you want your patients or athletes to grab the right size, it’s best to buy different sizes in different colors, so they are all color coded.
There are so many uses for an exercise ball that aren’t necessarily top of mind. Several of the leading brands include handy exercise routine guides that can help a novice figure out how to maximize the use of an exercise ball. These guides can be brief, one-sheet leaflets or PDFS, or they can be immersive online training programs with videos on different exercises. If you’re new or just want to learn more, you’ll want to hunt down an exercise ball that comes with some training tips. Those wanting to find out more than is provided by the manufacturer can hit the web — you can source this information easily from platforms like YouTube, as well.
How We Decide the Best
While many exercise balls may look and feel similar, there are still a few factors that help differentiate them. From size to accessories, here are the things we weighed that helped us select our favorites.
Exercise balls typically vary between 45 centimeters and 85 centimeters, though not all manufacturers make the smallest and biggest sizes. This can make a difference, however, as those standing 4’8” or shorter and 6’8” and taller will need much smaller or bigger exercise balls than those of average heights. Most companies sell their exercise balls in 10 cm increments, so you can snag the one that best caters to your height. We’ve included options with wide ranges of sizing on this list, so no height is left behind.
While many exercise balls are sold on their own, some also come with foot pumps or even resistance and cardio training equipment to use with or alongside your exercise ball. Some people may just be looking for an exercise ball, but if you happen to be looking for other equipment as well, exercise ball packages could be a good option for you. We’ve included both solo exercise balls and packages on this list, so each type of buyer has options.
For anyone who has ever sat on an exercise ball before, you’ve probably contemplated how much bouncing or weight it would take to burst it. Luckily, most of the picks on this list are virtually impossible to break using just weight. But there are some that have lower weight capacities. We know no exercise routine is the same, so no matter how much weight you will be handling on your exercise ball, there’s an option for you on this list.
Exercise balls are affordable and multifaceted pieces of workout equipment. They can be used to work on a number of muscle groups, and are especially useful for balance training and core strengthening. Many may even use them as chairs for a more active everyday seat. Given the wide range of applications, it is understandable that people with different needs need different options.
This list includes exercise ball packages that come with additional training equipment, exercise balls that have been built into chair form, and exercise balls that could support the full weight of an American Bison without breaking. No matter your intended use, sought after weight capacity, or level of expertise, we’ve included a pick for you on this list — now, the ball’s in your court.
What can I use an exercise ball for?
Exercise balls have a variety of uses but are great for strengthening core muscles and challenging your balance. You can use an exercise ball in an array of strength training exercises to add an extra core or balance challenge to them, or you can even just use the exercise ball as a chair for an active seat.
How much weight can an exercise ball support?
That definitely varies by exercise ball. There are some that can only support up to 250 pounds, while others can support 2,200 pounds. You’ll just want to make sure you’re reading the product description to find the exact number for each.
What kind of exercise ball is best to be used as a chair?
While you can technically use any exercise ball as a chair, there are specific exercise balls that are chairs. These options will have a back and wheels just like a chair would, but instead of a seat, they will have an exercise ball. These are the best options in this category for safety, stability, and lower back support.