Despite their name, yoga balls aren't so often the tool of choice in flow classes these days – but if you're looking to expand your home practice, these versatile, bouncy spheres can be handier than you think. Whether you want to ease yourself into beginners' backbends, support your back during seated poses, challenge that core or get started with arm balances, a yoga ball truly offers endless uses.
Choosing the right one for you can be tricky, since there are plenty of options on the market – without much to separate them visually. If aesthetics are important, there are plenty of colours to pick from, though size and material should also be taken into consideration. Think about your height – not your weight - before choosing your ball, as well as where you're going to store it, since the larger sizes will be tougher to lock away in a cupboard. Most retailers provide a height chart to help you choose which one will be right for you.
When shopping, look out for other options such as anti-burst technology and an inflation pump to help you get set up quickly. Most balls are now equipped to deflate slowly if damaged, rather than bursting, and can take a weight of up to 2200lbs.
These top-rated yoga balls are all loved for their durability and multitude of uses – plus some added accessories to really amp up your workout. As well as their yoga and pilates guises, they can also double up as office chairs or pregnancy and birth tools.
Reputable outdoor brand Gonex offers a fitness ball that features a handy guide to help you decide which size is right for you (if you are planning to sit on it), with three diameter choices depending on your height. It's particularly well-loved for its robust feel – made from extra-thick PVC with a non-stick and anti-slip surface – and promises to deflate rather than burst if damaged.
The ball also comes with a short workout guide with some basic movements to get started with, and comes in four colour options: black, silver, turquoise and purple. We reckon this is an ideal option if you're a little nervous of using a ball for the first time, since its weighty, firm feel is a hit with shoppers.
We love this one for its sheer versatility – from stretching to cardio workouts and body weight training. As well as the 65cm yoga ball, the kit includes resistance bands, a jump rope, exercise sliders and a small massage ball for achey muscles. Though it's pricier for the lot, the extra accessories are excellent value for money and add plenty of choice to a home workout. It also comes with a removable stability base, which is ideal if you're not quite ready to embrace the wobble yet.
There's no choice of colours here – a standard dark grey is your lot – though all the other features such as non-slip material, anti-burst technology and a hand pump to inflate with are included.
This is a fun option for beginners, at a reasonable price – the ample selection of colours is ideal for those turned off by the more neutral and 'gym-like' options. Whether you choose lime green, blue, fuchsia or purple, the non-slip matte finish is the same, and shoppers have given it rave reviews for its supportive feel, no matter your weight or height.
The setup process for this one is a little lengthy and potentially confusing – and you can't use it straightaway. Instructions require you to inflate it to 80% capacity before waiting a further 24 hours and inflating it to full size. It comes with a foot pump and paper tape measure, though it may be easier to use your own as it can easily tear. Trideer offers a 12-month warranty for any issues, and have won plenty of praise for its efficient customer service.
This is a good choice if you like the idea of the stability ring, without the bells and whistles of the Ailuki option. Add the base if you want to lean against the ball during seated postures, or balance on it with peace of mind.
Again, the retailer advises that you inflate this ball partially before waiting 24 hours, allowing the material to soften and expand. It comes in three sizes – 55cm, 65cm and 75cm – and four pretty colours, including a 'purple cloud' effect for a more modern look. There's the added extra of an e-book exercise guide, though most shoppers are happiest with this for its anti-wobble stability.
Another aesthetically pleasing option – Galsports' offering comes in a range of pearlised colours with a smooth, matte finish. Shades include 'living coral', 'charcoal blue' and 'dusty rose', so there's bound to be something that matches your taste. A number of pilates and yoga instructors seem to favour this one, enjoying its fashionable feel as well as its durability and sleek surface for stretching out over.
Despite its delicate look, most shoppers report stability and comfort, and again, this option promises an anti-burst system and can support up to 600lbs in weight. The prettiest of the top picks, we think this would make an ideal gift for a pregnant friend or family member, too.