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Like most of the world, fitness is now stuck at home. But, thanks to an array of new exercise technologies, that doesn’t mean your fitness needs to be put on hold. Enter the best fitness mirrors, some of the most advanced and effective pieces of home workout technology around.
How Does a Fitness Mirror Work?
Here’s how fitness mirrors work: you set up what looks like a regular full-length mirror in your home, leaving enough room to move freely. You then turn on the mirror to access a fitness trainer (usually live-broadcasted, sometimes recorded). While you self-monitor in the mirror, this trainer can see your movements and provide feedback, ensuring a sweaty yet safe workout.
These futuristic devices are essentially a streamlined, high-quality fitness studio in your home. And instead of choosing a specialized studio, you get dozens of on-demand exercise options ranging from strength training to yoga to cardio. Plus, expert guidance ensures serious results without the need for solo research. These fitness mirrors also boast workout-improving features such as heart rate display, music and connection to a community.
Because fitness mirrors require a considerable financial commitment (about $1500 to $2000), we used to be a bit skeptical. However, with the future of gyms uncertain and more people opting for at-home exercise, we think fitness mirrors are one of, if not the best way to reach your fitness goals, in a socially distant yet still interactive way.
What to Know Before Buying a Fitness Mirror
There are a few things to consider when shopping for the best fitness mirror for you. Here’s what to keep in mind.
Setup: Unless you have a large space dedicated to working out, the best fitness mirror should be streamlined. Most fitness mirrors can be mounted on the wall or a stand, but some are free-standing and might take up more space. We tested out some of the mirrors in our garage, though many are (relatively) compact enough to fit in a bedroom or studio as well.
Camera: Fitness mirrors use an integrated camera to allow group instructors and personal trainers to give feedback on your performance. However, some of the best fitness mirrors use advanced motion-capture technology to monitor your movement in a more private manner.
Gear: Some fitness mirrors include workout gear such as heart rate monitors and weights. If you have the space for weights, rollers and so on, it’s always better to have this added gear as you’ll be able to participate in more workouts. Some of our options below have built-in shelving and compartments for the weights, so you don’t need to create more room for storage.
Control: Fitness mirrors are either controlled with a touchscreen interface or through a companion app on your smartphone. Obviously, a touchscreen is easier and faster to operate.
Classes: Each fitness mirror requires a subscription to access the brand’s classes and personal trainers. Ideally, these classes are as wide-ranging as possible and taught by qualified fitness professionals. This will allow you to practice your preferred workout and try out new forms of exercising.
What Are the Best Fitness Mirror Brands?
If you’re ready to dial in your home gym and step-up your workout routine, read on. We’ve selected three of the best fitness mirrors and broken down how to pick the right mirror for your needs.
1. Tempo Studio
The current champion of the fitness mirror game is Tempo. Their Studio mirror is the most technologically advanced option on the market, but the mirror also comes as a package with plenty of workout gear that competitors don’t offer.
The Studio mirror really sets itself apart with one piece of tech: Tempo Vision. Instead of a camera, this motion-capturing AI system creates a 3D model of your body as you workout. The Studio can then track reps and immediately notify you or your class coach when your form is off. Privacy is also improved with Tempo Vision because it creates an unrecognizable model of your skeleton without capturing unique features or seeing inside your home. We did multiple workouts with Tempo in our garage and the AI technology was able to do everything from correcting our bad posture when doing deadlifts, to re-positioning us during burpees. Class also never starts until you’re perfectly positioned in the center of your mat.
Another benefit with the Tempo Studio is the included gear. In addition to the mirror, you get a barbell and dumbbells with a complete set of weights, a heart rate monitor, a recovery roller and a workout mat. All of this gear is stored in a sleek locker in the base of the mirror.
Advanced tech and included gear aside, the Tempo Studio is still top-of-the-line with a touchscreen and built-in stereo speakers. The classes were upbeat and the instructors super friendly and engaging. We chose to show the stats of other people in the class, to provide a measurement for us to work towards, but you can adjust your settings accordingly.
For an upbeat, fun and motivating workout you can get started with right away (I.e. no fancy bells and whistles to learn), you can’t go wrong with Tempo.
Tempo Studio, $1995, available at Tempo Fit
If you’re looking for a minimal fitness mirror that doesn’t take up space, go for The Mirror. The device is elegantly designed with a slim leaner stand for placing the mirror against a wall, but can also be mounted on a wall (professional delivery and installation will run $250).
The Mirror is equipped with a front-facing camera that can be used for one-on-one personal training (or snapping home gym selfies, of course). This camera includes a cover for privacy when not in use. You can also keep track of your heart rate thanks to Apple Watch compatibility and connection with any Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitors.
With a subscription to Mirror’s training program you’ll get access to thousands of workouts for every skill level. The program’s 20+ genres of exercise include boxing, yoga, barre, cardio, strength training and much more.
The Mirror isn’t a touchscreen, so you’ll need to control it using your smartphone. Also, if you’re into weightlifting, definitely go with the Tempo Studio as The Mirror requires separate gear.
The Mirror, $1495, available at Mirror
3. Echelon Reflect Touch
Another great fitness mirror worth considering is the Echelon Reflect. Technologically, it’s similar to The Mirror with a front-facing camera (this one is a bit higher-quality), plus built-in speakers and Bluetooth connectivity for heart rate monitors. The main difference with the Echelon is the screen itself, which is the largest on our list at 50 inches and a touchscreen (you can also get a 40-inch version here).
Another defining feature of the Echelon is its communal aspect. Echelon has created a point-based system that makes it more fun to work out and easy to compete remotely with friends. You get a certain amount of points for every minute you spend at different heart rate levels (I.e. five points per minute for weight loss level, 15 for anaerobic threshold, 20 for your max).
In terms of design, the Echelon does quite well. It can be mounted on a wall or a stand, although wall-mounting looks much better and saves space. The only downside is that Echelon doesn’t offer professional installation, so you’ll need to be instruction-savvy and a bit strong to setup the 52-pound mirror.
Still, this is one of the easiest-to-use fitness mirrors in the market, with the best workout options, plenty of helpful monitoring stats and an intuitive interface that works for all fitness (and technology) skill levels.