Ask anyone about home gym equipment, and they will immediately mention old standards like the treadmill, stationary bike, or dumbbells. That was then, and this is now. Now, fitness fanatics can choose a smart fitness mirror that blends seamlessly into any décor and offers interactive training programs for all levels of athletes.
Fitness mirrors run the gamut from stand-alone mirrors that require you to bring your own weights to complete systems that ship with the weights built right into the package. Not only do they double as great mirrors for you to admire yourself through your progress, but they’re useful in ensuring that proper form is taken with all workouts because you can see yourself. We’ve tested a handful of smart mirrors in our home gym journey and have selected our top five.
Mirror by Lululemon
John Velasco / Digital Trends
The Mirror is stunning. It’s as much a showcase piece of furniture as it is a fitness tool. The slim mirror mounts flush to the wall, and its hard lines blend into any décor. Don’t let its minimal looks fool you. The Mirror packs a punch with a 40-inch 1080p display, a 178-degree viewing angle, 5-megapixel camera, dual 10-watt speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, 802.11 A/B/G/N Wi-Fi, and a quad-core processor to power everything,
The Mirror offers something for everyone, whether you are just starting or looking to maintain your hard-earned fitness. You can choose from a wide variety of workouts, from full-body strength workouts to low-key classes like yoga or pilates. The interface makes it easy to customize the workout listings so you can find exactly what you want. You can filter by muscle groups, time, and more.
Unlike the all-in-one NordicTrack Vault, you have to provide your own equipment, so be sure to budget for some dumbbells, yoga blocks, resistance bands, and more. If you don’t have a full suite of gear, you can filter the exercises to omit those workouts that require the equipment you don’t have. You also need a smartphone to launch classes, send notes or emoji during the class, and rate them when you are done. The Mirror may lack in the gear department, but it makes up for it in instruction. Classes are fun, and the upbeat trainers help keep you motivated.
If strength training is your goal, then Tonal should be at the top of your list. The Tonal smart mirror uses an internal resistance mechanism to simulate the weight of a barbell and dumbbells. Using Tonal’s various attachments and weight bench, you can strengthen your lower body, upper body, and core. You need some space to extend the arms for the different exercises, but it is a fraction of the size of a Bowflex or similar weight-based equipment.
Tonal offers multi-day workout programs for a full-body regime and short one-off exercise routines for when your time is limited. Tonal even lets you choose individual exercises like bicep curls so you can design personalized sessions. Tonal is a bit more expensive than its competition, but its design means you don’t have to spend extra on dumbbells and barbells. You also don’t have to worry about storing weights since everything is contained inside this small and attractive wall-mounted mirror.
The NordicTrack Vault is more than just a fitness mirror. The cabinet-shaped mirror also holds all the dumbbells, resistance bands, and other fitness gear you need for a workout. It sure beats storing all your stuff on the floor where you can trip on it or, even worse, stub your toe. The integrated cabinet also means you don’t have to mount the Vault on the wall — a huge plus for those who rent their living space.
The Vault has an oversized 60-inch mirror with a touchscreen display that lets you select your workouts and change the settings. The mirror sits on a 360-degree hinge that allows you to swivel the display into just the ideal position. You can tuck the Vault into the corner of the room and adjust the mirror so you can work out in the middle of a space.
The Vault is powered by iFit, which offers various classes in everything from strength training to low-impact pilates. iFit spends a lot of money on its trainers and it shows. The instruction and videos are top-notch.
John Velasco / Digital Trends
The Tempo Studio rivals Tonal with its focus on strength training and muscle building. Like the NordicTrack Vault, Tempo ships with all the necessary accessories, including various weight plates, two dumbbells, a barbell, a heart-rate monitor, a workout mat, and a recovery roller. Also, like the Vault, you can store all this gear inside the Tempo unit for convenience.
The first thing you notice is Tempo’s stunning 42-inch display with a touchscreen interface. You can’t swivel the fitness mirror, but its wide-angle view lets you stand to the side and still follow the exercises. It also has less glare than the competition, which helps you focus on the activity at hand instead of tilting your head to see the instructor.
The instructors provide precisely what you need: Great motivation and direction. Unfortunately, Tempo Studio doesn’t have nearly the same diverse workout library as Mirror, Vault, or Tonal. There are fewer live classes to sign up for and fewer on-demand classes overall.
Tempo’s standout feature is its 3D motion tracking that monitors your form. That’s one of the hardest things to learn while working out in a home gym. You can lift weights until the cows come home, but it won’t help if you are not doing the exercise correctly. Even worse, improper form can lead to injury. Tempo Studio monitors your form and offers suggestions so you can build strength efficiently and safely.
Like the iFit exercise library, but don’t want to spend the hefty sum for a NordicTrack Vault? Then check out the Pro-Form Vue. The Vue is a scaled-down version of the Vault with a smaller display, fewer weights, and a relatively affordable price tag.
The Vue is ideal for apartment dwellers because it ships with a stand and doesn’t need to be permanently mounted on a wall. It has a 22-inch touchscreen display with a 60-inch mirror that rotates, allowing you to work out anywhere in the room. The Vue ships with everything you need, including weight plates, two dumbbells, a barbell, and resistance bands. Thanks to some integrated hangers, you can store all this equipment on the back of the unit.
The Pro-Form Vue may offer less, but it is no slouch. The fitness mirror is powered by iFit, which is also found on the NordicTrack Vault. iFit has a growing library of exercises suitable for all levels. You can do a short HIIT workout, a relaxing yoga session, or a muscle-busting exercise program.