- Pull-up bars are easy to install, can support your weight without wobbling or bowing, and are a great addition to anyone’s home gym setup.
- The Garren Fitness Maximiza pull-up Bar comes in as our top pick thanks to comfortable foam grips and its ability to unobtrusively fit in any standard doorframe.
- For more recommendations on workout gear, take a look at our picks of the best home gym equipment.
Pull-ups aren’t for the faint of heart. I remember the days of easily cranking out a dozen or so pull-ups while hardly breaking a sweat. But after years of cheeseburgers and sitting at a computer, easy pull-ups are harder to come by. Fortunately, there are a number of pull-up bars on the market that fit the needs of anyone looking for a new addition to their home gym.
We highly recommend first consulting with a physician before starting any exercise program. I learned this the hard way when I tried to rattle off some pull-ups after years of sedentary living, and quickly tore a muscle in my shoulder. Don’t be like me.
For anyone looking to begin strength training, it’s smart to start with dips and push-ups on your way to performing a pull-up. You might also try mounting your pull-up bar lower or standing on a box. Pull yourself up to the bar with your feet on the ground at an increasingly difficult angle. Thankfully, the bars we picked for this guide are versatile enough to help you work up to your goals.
Types of pull-up bars
One of the most popular pull-up bar variations is the cantilever-style, molding-mounted bars. They don’t require permanent alteration to your home and are easy to install and remove. They feature several grip options, too. However, when shopping for these doorframe pull-up bars, pay attention to the dimensions of the bar and what size frames they work on to ensure you get the proper fit.
Then there’s a class of pull-up bar that requires drilling and mounting of the unit. We included ceiling-mounted and door-mounted options in our guide. They tend to be rated for heavier weights but are less portable. Wall-mounted bars are also available but we didn’t find any models worth recommending.
The final group of pull-bars is called power towers. These are freestanding units that do not require drilling and are often compatible with a wide array of exercises. However, power towers typically cost more, have a large footprint, and many models have problems with wobbling when heavier individuals are performing intense workouts.
To help you find a pull-up bar fit for both your home setup and your lifestyle, we’ve compiled the following list of the best pull-up bars currently available.
Here are the best pull-up bars you can buy:
- Best pull-up bar overall: Garren Fitness Maximiza pull-up Bar
- Best ceiling mounted pull-up bar: Ultimate Body Press Ceiling Mounted pull-up Bar
- Best freestanding pull-up bar: Stamina 1690 Power Tower
- Best doorframe pull-up bar: Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway pull-up Bar
- Best budget pull-up bar: Iron Gym pull-up Bar
Updated on 02/20/2020 by Rick Stella: Updated prices, links, and formatting.
The best overall
- Garren Fitness
The Garren Fitness Maximiza Pull Up Bar is easy on your hands, installs effortlessly, and is made of long-lasting chrome steel.
The Garren Fitness Maximiza Pull Up Bar is made of chrome steel and comes with three sets of mounting hardware, two of which support up to 300 pounds of weight. The medium-duty door mount supports 150 pounds and isn’t recommended for use above waist height.
You can also use the bar without door mounts for sit-up foot support and other light exercises. The bar is adjustable and fits doorways between 26 and 36 inches wide, and can be installed so that a door is still able to close.
The bar features non-slip, extra-long foam grips. Garren Fitness cautions against using the Maximiza for gymnastics, and they suggest applying your weight cautiously during the first few exercises to ensure the bar is safely installed (a smart practice with any pull up bar.) Garren Fitness provides a “100% Satisfaction Guarantee” so you can get a no-questions-asked full refund if you are not satisfied.
Pros: Comfortable foam grips, unobtrusive, solidly built
Cons: Installation requires drilling into door jamb, foam grips may wear from heavy-duty use
The best for ceiling mounting
- Ultimate Body Press
If you are interested in doing a variety of pull-ups and you don’t want to use your door frame, the Ultimate Body Press Ceiling Mounted Pull Up Bar is your best bet.
The Ceiling Mounted Pull Up Bar from Ultimate Body Press has three high-density foam grip positions for standard, wide-grip, and 20-inch parallel-grip pull-ups or chin-ups. This model has a powder-coat finish for added durability. The 14-inch reversible risers are designed to fit either 16- or 24-inch joists.
The mounting kit comes with instructions, a template, and mounting hardware. You will need a drill, tape or pencil, and a step ladder. Ultimate Body Press offers a fairly nebulous 100% satisfaction guarantee with this product. The fact the bars aren’t welded to the mounting brackets could affect long-term durability (though perhaps the satisfaction guarantee would cover it).
Pros: Three padded gripping positions, easy installation, sturdy construction
Cons: Some complaints of manufacturer defects
The best freestanding pull-up bar
The Stamina 1690 Power Tower allows you to perform platform push-ups, sit-ups, knee and leg raises, dips, pull-ups, and more.
The Stamina 1690 Power Tower is a free-standing full-body workout unit made of durable steel and fitted with padded foam in five sets of grip locations. The overall size of the assembled tower is 49 inches long by 42.5 inches wide by 81 inches high. The base of the tower features no-slip endcaps.
Stamina states that the capacity is 250 pounds, but as noted below, it’s closer to 200 pounds in practice. In addition to pull-ups and chin-ups, this model is designed for tricep dips, sit-ups, push-ups, and leg raises, though there is no backrest to assist with the leg raises.
Pros: Wide range of exercises, easy to assemble – no drilling or door frame needed
Cons: Issues with wobbling, expensive compared to traditional bars, takes up a lot of space
The best for doorframes
- Perfect Fitness
If you are looking for a pull-up bar that you can effortlessly attach to your doorframe and take down when you’re done, the Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull Up Bar will serve you well.
The Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull Up Bar has three padded grip positions for hammer grip, close grip, and normal grip pull-ups. The 300-pound weight capacity makes it so you can use this model with a weight vest. There is some assembly required, and all of the tools needed are included with the bar.
The Multi-Gym Pro adjusts for height and works with doorframes that are up to 6 inches deep and 33 inches wide. The bar can be placed on the floor to assist with push-ups and sit-ups. And, Perfect Fitness stands behind the quality of this model with a one-year warranty.
Pros: Three grip locations, 300-pound capacity, unlikely to damage your doorframe
Cons: Wide grip may be too wide for some, recent quality concerns, doesn’t fit all doorframes
The best budget pull-up bar on a budget
If you are interested in doing pull-ups but don’t want to spend a lot of money, the Iron Gym Pull Up Bar is an excellent solution for beginners.
The Iron Gym Pull Up Bar works much like the Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym. It hangs on a doorframe and stays in place through leverage. You can also remove the pull-up bar to perform sit-ups, push-ups, and dips.
The bar is made of a combination of plastic and steel, and it comes with everything you need to assemble the unit, including a hex open wrench. There are foam grips for standard and wide pull-ups. However, the parallel grip handles are fairly small and awkwardly positioned. Lastly, this model comes with a comprehensive workout and nutrition guide.
Pros: Inexpensive, versatile, easy to mount and remove, 300-pound capacity
Cons: Contains plastic parts