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Home workout equipment is having a moment. I didn’t get very far into the pandemic before buying a Peloton, and it was worth every penny, even now that gyms have reopened. The ability to get a great workout done and dusted at home is a huge luxury, and the convenience doesn’t have to come with a luxury price tag.
If you’re looking for a sleek piece of workout equipment that can fit practically anywhere, fitness mirrors make the most sense. This type of workout gear is – you guessed it — a mirror, but with a built-in screen so that you can watch the trainer as they guide you through the workout and see yourself at the same time.
Designed for tight spaces, fitness mirrors are convenient if you like to exercise at home but don’t feel like creating your regime. And even if you have a huge house, you may not want a dedicated workout space with unsightly equipment. In that case, fitness mirrors blend right in, becoming standard mirrors when they’re not playing a workout class for you. You just need enough space to (a) install the mirror and (b) work out in front of the mirror.
Personally, while I love my Peloton bike, the second-best part of the service is the TV-accessible app. Aside from floor space to perform strength or stretching moves, I don’t need anything else, and that’s invaluable. A fitness mirror serves the same purpose – showcasing workouts without taking up much space.
In this article, we’re going to look at Mirror, the original fitness mirror, and iFit, a full-featured fitness service. Both services appeal to users regardless of their level of fitness. You can start as a beginner or take more advanced classes.
Mirror vs iFit Overviews
Mirror launched in 2018 and was the first fitness mirror on the market – which is how they scored such a meta name. In 2020, Lululemon acquired the company, and you’ll now see some Lulu-branded items in the shop. We’re not complaining.
iFit launched in 2000. Unlike Mirror, iFit isn’t any one piece of equipment. Instead, it’s a fitness and health app that can integrate with certain types of equipment, including fitness mirrors. iFit uses Connected Fitness technology — one system that you can access on iFit-enabled equipment, your mobile device, or your TV. The iFit app has many workout classes and programs, whether or not you have equipment. Similar to Mirror, the classes here are trainer-guided.
For the sake of equipment, I’m partial to Mirror. As the OG fitness mirror, it brings the quality you expect, along with a couple of extra features a lot of users will love, like the ability for live, one-on-one training.
The mirror itself is also the slimmest and least intrusive of all the ones we’ll talk about. However, if you want a more well-rounded workout experience with all sorts of classes available, iFit may be more your speed. You can also try the iFit app before investing in a fitness mirror to see how you like the classes and trainers.
The Main Differences Between Mirror vs iFit
The main differences between Mirror vs iFit are:
- Mirror has one dedicated piece of equipment, whereas iFit has a standalone app and app-enabled equipment.
- Mirror has a two-way camera, whereas iFit’s fitness mirrors do not have cameras or personal training capabilities.
- Mirror has standalone classes, whereas iFit has progressive fitness programs to work toward a goal.
- Mirror has slots for six user profiles, whereas iFit has an allowance for one to four, depending on your plan.
We’re going to look at the Mirror, and iFit’s two enabled fitness mirrors. Keep this in mind with any fitness mirror, though: While the frame may be tough, the glass is…glass.
So if you have your mirror in the same room where the dog plays fetch, or your kids run around, it’s at risk of getting damaged or broken.
The mirror is both the fitness mirror and the app – you wouldn’t have a reason to use one without the other. The Mirror is a fitness-enabled wall mirror, and it’s possibly the slimmest, least-intrusive piece of gym equipment you could ask for.
Mirror has something that iFit’s enabled fitness mirrors do not: A two-way camera. This makes it possible to interact with the trainer or other members during classes, and it’s also the reason why you can sign up for personal training with Mirror. The camera cover lets you disable the camera when you don’t feel like being seen. However, this is only an important feature if you use it – Peloton has a similar feature. While it’s touted as a selling point, I’ve never used it and don’t know anybody who has.
Here are the Mirror’s specs:
- Durable carbon steel frame with a mineral bronze powder coat.
- 43-inch Full HD 1080p display with a 178-degree viewing angle.
- 56 inches (height) by 22.4 inches (width) by 1.4 inches (depth).
- Weighs 70 pounds.
- Four 15W high-fidelity speakers with six drivers, two subwoofers, and an omnidirectional microphone.
- Two-way camera to interact with a trainer or other users.
The Mirror can pair with your Bluetooth speakers or headphones, and you can also link Apple or Spotify playlists to listen to during classes. This is a big deal because music can make or break a workout. Relying on the app- or class-provided music can leave you wanting more audio inspiration. I perform noticeably differently during workouts based on what I’m listening to. (The Mirror also has built-in music stations if you’re not picky about what’s in your ears.)
Whatever you choose, there are independent volume controls for the music and the trainer, so you can figure out exactly how much of each you want. Also, if you have an Apple Watch or another type of fitness tracker, you can sync it with Mirror and see in real-time if you’re hitting your target heart rate.
The Mirror costs $1,495, including the Mirror, the stand, the lens cap, and a one-year limited warranty. Financing through Affirm is available with APR as low as zero percent. Choose 12, 24, or 48 monthly payments starting at $21. Membership is an additional $39 per month. You’ll be billed monthly, but you have to make a one-year commitment to the service when you get started.
Remember, you aren’t going to get anything out of the subscription without the Mirror, and vice versa. Overall, this is a lot to pay for the ability to see your reflection when working out. There may be other setups that are more cost-effective if that’s a concern. Again, though, we can’t help but love the option for personal training, which is relatively low-cost and super helpful fitness-wise if you think you’ll use it.
Related reads: How does Mirror compare to others?
There’s no such thing as actual iFit equipment. Instead, iFit works with Freemotion, Matrix, NordicTrack, and ProForm to offer iFit-enabled equipment. You can purchase bikes, ellipticals, fitness mirrors, rowers, strength machines, and treadmills that are iFit-enabled. If you have an iFit-powered machine with adjustable controls, like a bike or treadmill, the trainer will make the incline, speed, or resistance adjustments for you to stay focused on your workout. This is a pretty great feature – making adjustments mid-workout can become annoying and distracting, so having it done for you lets you focus on how you’re moving your body, not the equipment.
Note that you’ll also have to pay to access the iFit app in addition to the equipment. The individual plan is $15 per month or $144 per year; the family plan is $39 per month or $396 per year, and you can add up to four users. This pricing isn’t bad, especially if you only need the individual plan.
You also don’t have to have iFit-powered equipment to use the app with your equipment. For example, if you have a regular treadmill, you can take the treadmill classes and make the adjustments on your own, assuming there’s a way to prop up a tablet or phone to watch the class. And there are plenty of non-equipment classes to take, too, so you don’t need equipment to use iFit. This is where I think iFit shines — it’s a more well-rounded fitness service than Mirror, and you can use it in all different ways to suit your budget, space limitations, and travel schedule.
Now, let’s talk about the two iFit-enabled fitness mirrors to see how they compare to Mirror.
Vue from ProForm
Vue is ProForm’s iFit-powered fitness mirror. The base package includes the mirror as well as a 10-pound bar, two 5-pound barbells, and four 2.5-pound weight plates. The Vue has slimline accessory storage on the rear side to hold the included equipment. It also has heart-rate tracking, and it can be paired with Bluetooth headphones.
Here are the Vue’s specs:
- 24-inch-by-60-inch reflective surface (this is how ProForm describes the frame).
- 72.65 inches (height) by 24.25 inches (width) by 14 inches (depth).
- 22-inch HD touchscreen.
- Weighs 140 pounds.
- Two 3-inch speakers in the front.
Vue costs $999 or $26 per month for 39 months at 0% APR, which comes out to $1,014. This pricing is pretty low compared to other at-home fitness equipment, especially considering you get the weights along with the mirror.
Vault from NordicTrack
Vault is NordickTrack’s iFit-powered fitness mirror. Unlike the Mirror, the Vault is a freestanding storage system and a fitness mirror. It’s like a closet or a locker with space for storing accessories like dumbbells and kettlebells. Pair a heart-rate monitor or headphones via Bluetooth.
Here are the Vault’s specs:
- Carbon steel frame.
- The mirror is 61.5 inches tall and has 360-degree rotation.
- The unit is 72.65 inches (height) by 24.25 inches (width) by 14 inches (depth).
- 32-inch Smart HD Touchscreen.
- Weighs almost 260 pounds.
- Two 3-inch Digitally-Amplified speakers.
Vault costs $1,499 or $39 per month for 39 months and 0% APR, which comes out to slightly more at $1,521 total.
Mirror vs iFit Features
In this section, we’re going to cover and compare the main features of Mirror and iFit.
Mirror offers several workout types that you can do right in front of the equipment:
- Prenatal and post-natal
- Strength training
- Tai chi
There are both live and on-demand Mirror classes. Depending on the types of workouts you want to do, you can purchase traditional gym equipment to use, like dumbbells or a kettlebell. More class options will be open to you, too, if you have the equipment needed.
However, remember that all of these classes are performed in front of the mirror. You don’t have options for taking your workout to another type of equipment or outside. My favorite part of a broader workout subscription service is that I can use it anywhere, whether that’s on equipment, in my living room, while traveling or when I need fresh air.
iFit also has live and on-demand classes, including Studio Classes and Global Workouts. Class types include:
- Mountain biking
- Walking tours
Studio Classes are held in a boutique fitness studio, while Global Workouts are set in locations worldwide, like on the beach or a nature trail. Those Global Workouts are especially appealing, with options like cycling in Costa Rica and “Everest: A Trek To Base Camp.” And with monthly fitness challenges, you can earn badges and connect with other community members who are part of the challenge.
There are other types of iFit classes as well. Mental health classes help you do things like practice mindfulness, improve your resilience and get better sleep. There are also cooking classes that show you how to make delicious and nutritious global meals.
When it comes to equipment, you can exercise (a) with no equipment at all, (b) with some equipment, like barbells and kettlebells, or (c) with iFit-enabled equipment, like a rowing machine or treadmill. This is in contrast to Mirror, which requires the fitness mirror to make the app worth it.
One of the biggest differences between Mirror and iFit is that iFit offers programs and progressive workout series, while Mirror doesn’t. For example, with iFit, you can prep for a 5K or an ultramarathon. Mirror doesn’t offer anything like this, though it stands to reason that your fitness will improve as you take more classes.
Mirror’s app is where all of your controls live, and you’ll select and start workouts from the app. Options can be filtered by category, difficulty level, duration, equipment, instructor, and muscle group. The app lets you create up to six user profiles, so everyone in the house (or your pals who come over a lot) can have their profile, scheduled workouts, stats, etc.
I feel like this is a huge drawback of Mirror. Having to use your phone to control the equipment creates another step and doesn’t let you take a break from your phone to work out. It would make so much more sense to have the mirror be part-touchscreen like other fitness mirrors are.
iFit’s mobile app can be used whether or not you have iFit-enabled workout equipment. There’s also a TV app that can be used with Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, or Google TV. This lets you use your TV instead of your phone (or equipment) to access the classes.
The Pros and Cons of Mirror and iFit
- Looks great anywhere and is relatively easy to move on your own (if you opt for the stand mount).
- Slim profile makes it perfect for tight spaces.
- Create up to six profiles.
- Personal training for you and anyone in your household who wants to join.
- The mirror does not have a touchscreen; all controls are via the app.
- Having a camera on the device may make some people worried about privacy.
- The app isn’t worthwhile without the equipment, and vice versa.
- Use the iFit subscription even if you don’t have any equipment.
- Take classes anywhere, whether you’re at home or on the go.
- Work toward a goal with progressive programs.
- Music options are limited.
- Can only have one to four profiles depending on your plan.
- Some people have had difficulty with the app, particularly when it comes to updates.
- There are a lot of complaints about iFit’s customer service.
Which Fitness Mirror Should You Choose
Both Mirror and iFit are good options if you like to exercise on your own instead of with an actual group of people (non-digitally) and if you prefer trainer-led classes where you’re told what to do and motivated along the way. Here’s what may push you one way or the other:
Why Should You Choose Mirror?
If you know that you want a fitness mirror – and only a fitness mirror, without worrying about other options, like treadmill exercises or rowing classes – opt for the Mirror. It has a more streamlined appearance than iFit’s fitness mirrors, and you can’t beat the personal training option. Plus, you can add users without paying more.
Why Should You Choose iFit?
iFit may be a great fit for you if you already have compatible equipment or you want the option to exercise without iFit-enabled equipment, whether that means with what you already own or with nothing but yourself. It’s also a good option if you like to exercise on your own instead of with an actual group of people (non-digitally) and if you like trainer-led classes where you’re told what to do and motivated along the way.
What are some Mirror and iFit alternatives?
Tempo Studio is one of my favorite Mirror alternatives. The camera has AI functionality that creates a 3D model of your body to track reps and let you know when you need to improve your form. This is the big thing that other fitness mirrors are missing since simply seeing your reflection when working out isn’t necessarily enough to perfect your form.
If you’re into iFit for the app and not the iFit-enabled equipment, consider the Peloton app. For $12.99 per month, you’ll have access to all sorts of classes, many of which don’t require any equipment at all. You can access the app on your TV or smartphone, and the workouts can be done practically anywhere. From shadow boxing, yoga, Pilates, and strength training to audio-based outdoor walks and runs, sleep programs, and meditation, there’s a class that will fit your fitness and wellness needs.
Also, consider the Echelon Reflect Touch as a Mirror or iFit alternative. It’s most similar to Mirror, but the screen is larger and has touchscreen functionality. Also, the mirror has a points system that gamifies working out, and you can compete with pals, too.
Question: Does Mirror use iFit?
Answer: Mirror does not use iFit. Instead, it uses its fitness app that pairs with the Mirror. Fitness mirrors that use iFit are the ProForm Vue and the NordicTrack Vault.
Question: Can you use Mirror without a subscription?
Answer: Without a subscription to the Mirror fitness app, the Mirror is simply a mirror! It’s made of high-quality materials and looks modern, so it will function as a nice-looking mirror, but beyond that, you won’t get any integrated fitness use out of it.
Question: Do fitness mirrors come with weights?
Answer: Some fitness mirrors, like the Vue, come with a small selection of weights included in the standard package. Other fitness mirrors, including those from Mirror and NordicTrack, may have options to add weights separately or bundle weights with the fitness mirror in an upgraded package.
The Verdict: Is Mirror Better than iFit?
When it comes to fitness mirrors, we suggest Mirror over iFit’s options. It’s slimmer and lighter than the Vault and Vue, and the two-way camera means better integration in classes and the option to set up personal training.
However, if you want a lot of workout options with and without equipment, including ones that you can do from anywhere, consider iFit. Even without any iFit-enabled equipment, you can get a lot out of the app, so long as you have access to equipment or even just floor space for a bodyweight workout.