The Best Pull-up Bars for the Home Gym

Keep your upper body chiseled with this simple piece of workout equipment.

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Best Pull-Up Bar

Photo: amazon.com

The pull-up is the embodiment of superior upper body strength and conditioning. Pull-ups work the shoulders, the arms, and the back, and they increase stamina, strength and flexibility. Best of all, you can do them almost anywhere, no gym necessary. All you need is a pull-up bar and a doorway.

A pull-up bar is a must-have for a home gym. Today’s best pull-up bars are engineered to have variable handholds, adjustable placements and versatility that make them a vital element of a workout routine at home.

Read on for our reviews to find the best pull-up bar for you.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull Up Bar
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Sunny Health & Fitness Door Way Chin Up and Pull Up
  3. BEST CEILING-MOUNTED: Ultimate Body Press Ceiling Mounted Pull Up Bar
  4. BEST FREESTANDING: CAP Barbell Power Rack Exercise Stand
  5. BEST TOWER-STYLE: RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Power Tower Station
  6. BEST PORTABLE: DEDAKJ Pull Up Bar, Locking Door
  7. BEST COMBINATION: ONETWOFIT Multifunctional Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar
Best Pull-Up Bar

Photo: amazon.com

Types of Pull-up Bars

There are four main types of pull-up bars: doorway, portable, mounted, and tower. The best pull-up bar for you will depend on your fitness goals, workout space, skill level, and budget.

Doorway

Doorway pull-up bars are designed to be mounted inside a standard doorway. They’re the most popular option for home gyms because they are easy to install, easy to move, and relatively inexpensive. The two most important considerations when choosing a doorway pull-up bar are your doorframe’s construction and design, and the bar’s weight limit. Look for a model with PVC foam on the mounts to protect the doorjamb’s surfaces from damage.

Portable 

Portable, or non-fixed, pull-up bars are a good option if you work out on the road and need a portable, private workout, or if you work out at home and just don’t want a pull-up bar in the doorframe all the time.

Even though they are quicker to install, they can lack stability without the permanence of brackets. Plus, if a pull-up bar is a headache to set up, you may be less likely to use it. Also note that repeated set-up and removal of a pull-up bar can damage doorway surfaces.

Mounted

Mounted pull-up bars use bolts and brackets to attach the system to either a door frame, wall, or ceiling. They are usually the most stable type of pull-up bar. Ceiling-mounted pull-up bars offer the most workout flexibility, because there’s no door frame or wall to limit your movement. Wall-mounted pull-up bars don’t provide the same exercise versatility as ceiling mounts, but they do offer similar stability.

Tower-Style

Tower-style and free-standing pull-up bars are a good choice for a dedicated home gym space or a garage. Tower-style bars are tall, heavy (but portable) devices with a large footprint. They offer the most stability. Towers are a little more expensive than traditional pull-up bars, but they include a variety of workout options in addition to pull-ups. Some towers can support up to 1,000 pounds of total weight (including weighted accessories).

Combination 



Combination pull-up bars are made to allow you a variety of exercise options––pull-ups, dips, crunches to name a few. A combination system could be a good choice when starting out. For a little more cash, you can buy a pull-up unit that facilitates a complete upper body workout and is suitable for use with equipment accessories like tension bands and suspension systems.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Pull-up Bar 

When shopping for the best pull-up bar, consider the size of your workout space, your fitness goals, the bar’s versatility, its installation procedure, and how much you want to spend.

Workout Goals

Pull-ups are good for increasing shoulder strength. But, a pull-up bar can work your entire body. You can use a pull-up bar to do exercises like leg lifts, hanging crunches and knee raises. Add resistance bands, weights, or other accessories and you can increase your overall body strength, increase your grip strength, or target specific muscle groups, and build endurance.

Grip Positions and Padding

A basic pull-up bar has overhand, underhand, and neutral grip positions (also known as hand positions.) Each grip works a different combination of muscles. If you plan on doing a variety of exercises, look for a pull-up bar that offers several hand positions. As well, pull-up bars have different types and density of padding on their grips.

Doorway Construction

If you prefer a doorway pull-up bar, make sure it’s compatible with your door frame’s dimensions. Most manufacturers have designed their pull-up bars to fit standard door frames measuring 24 inches, 33 inches, or 36 inches in width, including the doorjamb.

If your door jamb has ornate molding, the bar may not rest flush and can wiggle, damaging the door frame. Walls that are wider than 4.75 inches to 6 inches may not be ideal for doorway pull-up bars due to inappropriate fit and lack of stability.

Mounting Process

There are two types of mounting for pull-up bars: fixed and non-fixed.

Non-fixed pull-up bars are secured with tension or leverage mounts. Non-fixed mounting is good if you plan to move your bar between different doorways, or store it when it’s not in use. It also lets you secure your bar at a lower height to perform floor-assisted pull-ups and then raise it as you progress.

Fixed bars are permanently mounted to a wall or ceiling. They’re the most stable pull-up bars. You’ll need to make sure to mount the bar to a stud, and you’ll need a drill to install it. Be sure to test the bar’s stability after you install it and before beginning your workout.

Portability

Portable pull-up bars are the most popular for home use. They’re small, lightweight, inexpensive, and you can stash them in a closet or under a bed when not in use. They require little to no installation, so there’s no hardware to anchor to your home’s walls, ceilings, or door jambs.

Versatility 

There are pull-up bars and then there are pull-up systems, and there is a big difference between them. Basic pull-up bars come with either single or multi-grip options. Some only hold your body weight; others also support weighted accessories.

Pull-up systems and towers let you do a variety of exercises and achieve full-body conditioning. They can accommodate a wide range of accessories like resistance bands, suspension systems, and free weights.

Additional Features

The pull-up bar’s weight limit is an important consideration. Some of them can hold up to 1,000 pounds for those users who want to work out while wearing a weight vest or belt to increase body strength.

Our Top Picks

We reviewed some popular pull-up bars, measured them against our shopping considerations, and picked some favorites.

Best Overall

Best Pull-Up Bar Perfect
Photo: amazon.com

The Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull Up Bar is versatile, letting you do a couple of different exercises, and won’t destroy your door frame. It has three grip positions and 300-pound weight capacity, so you can use it with a weight vest. When you’ve exhausted your pull-up game, you can remove and flip the bar so you can do floor exercises like sit-ups, push-ups, and dips. The bar can fit door frames up to 33 inches wide and 6 inches deep. Its compact and lightweight design makes it easy to hide in a closet or under a bed when not in use.

Best Bang For The Buck

Best Pull-Up Bar Sunny
Photo: amazon.com

The Sunny Health & Fitness Door Way Pull Up Bar doesn’t have bells and whistles, but its simplicity and low price are what makes it so desirable. Designed for door frames 24.5 inches to 36 inches wide, the mounted bar comes with two sets of brackets making it secure and stable. You can do traditional pull-ups and chin ups with its one-grip position, but it only supports up to 200 pounds. It allows a door to shut completely and it has padded grips.

Best Ceiling-Mounted

Best Pull-Up Bar Ultimate
Photo: amazon.com

The Ultimate Body Press Pull-Up Bar has three high-density foam grip positions that let you do standard, wide-grip, and 20-inch parallel grip pull-ups or chin-ups. Its reversible, 14-inch risers fit  16-inch and 24-inch joists. The ergonomic bar is powder-coated steel and designed to reduce wrist strain. Its 14-inch clearance will keep you from bumping your head on the ceiling. The frame supports up to 200 pounds. It comes with a template and all hardware for easy installation.

Best Freestanding

Best Pull-Up Bar CAP
Photo: amazon.com

The CAP Barbell Power Rack lets you do much more than just pull-ups. With a maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds, it can support you as well as weighted accessories for strength training. The stand is also compatible with tension bands, suspension training systems, and even weight bars. The double-gusseted uprights provide stability and security, and there’s even two J-cup catches to hold weights. It’s made of 11-gauge and 12-gauge steel and comes in seven colors. The rack’s footprint is 46 inches by 50 inches by 85 inches, so you’ll need extra space to set it up and still have room to maneuver during your workout.

Best Tower-Style

Best Pull-Up Bar RELIFE
Photo: amazon.com

Pull-ups are just one type of upper-body strength training you can do with RELIFE’s Power Tower. The tower offers multiple grips for pull-ups and a dip station that supports shoulder, chest, and abdominal exercises. The tower even has padded handles at its base for push-ups. The backrest is padded and adjustable, and the Power Tower can be adjusted to nine height levels ranging from 58.5 to 89 inches so even the kids can use it. The tower supports up to 330 pounds and its stability and safety features include steel construction and suction cups to prevent slippage.

Best Portable

Best Pull-Up Bar DEDAKJ
Photo: amazon.com

DEDAKJ’s pull-up bar is both stable and portable, a rare combo. It also has a locking system with honeycomb-padding that secures the bar firmly between walls and door frames without damaging the room surface. The extra-long foam grips are detachable and movable so you can customize them. You can secure the bar at various heights to allow you to do pull-ups, dips, sit-ups, press-ups, and stretching exercises. The adjustable bar can accommodate door and hall widths of 28.4 inches to 37.8 inches, and it supports up to 660 pounds.

Best Combination

Best Pull-Up Bar ONETWOFIT
Photo: amazon.com

The ONETWOFIT’s heavy-duty, wall-mounted multi-gym can hold up to 440 pounds, so you can get an intense workout and strengthen your upper body by adding weighted accessories to your pull-ups. It comes with high-density padding on its back and armrests to support exercises for abdominals and triceps. The pull-up bar has multiple hand grips. You can also use the bar to anchor resistance bands for a full-body workout. It’s made to be mounted on a concrete or a brick wall. To mount it on drywall, you’ll need to build a wood base and supply the necessary hardware, so it’s not the easiest system to install.

Tips for Using a Pull-up Bar

Pull-ups aren’t only about strength. They also require coordination to counterbalance gravity. Executing a pull-up or chin-up with proper form is important in preventing injury. For beginners who need to develop the strength to do a pull-up, start with negative pull-ups.

FAQs About Pull-up Bars

Still not sure how to choose the best pull-up bar for you? Wondering where a pull-up bar fits into your fitness goals? Read on for some answers to common questions regarding pull-up bars and to help you make a decision.

Q. Why should I do pull-ups? 

Pull-ups are great for strengthening your upper body muscles, specifically your back muscles. When consistently incorporated into your workout program, pull-ups can increase your overall fitness level, physical health, and mental health.

Q. Will a pull-up bar mess up my doorway?

Yes and no. If you choose a quality bar and follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions, your doorway will be fine. If the pull-up bar is installed incorrectly, the door frame doesn’t match the manufacturer’s specifications, or are too heavy for the bar’s weight limit, you may not only damage the door frame but also injure yourself.

Q. Are doorway pull-up bars safe?

Doorway pull-up bars are safe –– if you install and use the bar according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Maintaining proper form and technique while you’re exercising plays a role in your safety, as well.

Q. How high should I mount my pull-up bar?

The height at which you mount your bar depends on personal preference and the space available. Make sure it’s low enough to reach it while standing on the floor, and high enough so you can hang with arms extended overhead while your feet won’t bump on the floor.