What Are The Best Pull Up Bars?

There are dozens and dozens of various pull up bars and Home Exercise Equipment Gadgets out there. Some work better than others.And some are just really terrible.

What Are You Looking For?

This website contains quite a bit of content, so it might seem a little overwhelming at first, particularly if you have no idea about where to go in terms of home exercise equipment and pull up bars.

You can either keep scrolling down on this page until you reach something that is applicable for you, or if you have a more general idea of where you need to go, you can click on one of our main categories at the top of the page.

If you have no idea where to start, just look below.

I Have No Idea Where To Start!

If you don’t know where to start, I would recommend clicking on one of the following links:

​Why Pull Up Bars Are A Cheap & Easy Method To Build Muscle
Can A Pull Up Bar Really Be “Good Enough” For My Fitness Needs?
What Type of Pull Up Bar Is Right For Me?
How Much Money Will I Generally Need To Spend On A Good Pull Up Bar?
Do Pull Up Bars Cause Any Damage To Your Home?
Can I Take A Pull Up Bar With Me When Traveling? If So, What’s The Best Bar For This?

Maybe These Articles Apply To Your Needs?

Are you looking for a pull up bar under or around a certain price range? Are you looking for a pull up bar for your kids? Maybe these articles might be a little bit more up your alley.

​Top 3 Doorway Pull Up Bars Under $20
Top 3 Doorway Pull Up Bars Under $30
Top 3 Pull Up Bars For Women
What Is The Best Pull Up Bar For Kids?
What Is The Best Telescopic Pull Up Bar?

I Have No Budget, What Is The Best Doorway Pull Up Bar To Get?

The Answer = The Iron Gym Extreme

This is the bar that I most often use in my own home. Over the past year and a half I have accumulated a ton of pull up bars, and the one that I most often use is the Iron Gym Extreme (link to review).

There are a bunch of things that I look for when I am checking out a new bar, but the first thing that I immediately notice is the quality of the bar itself, in particular the grip quality. ​A pull up bar’s grip quality should always be a top priority for you, and here is why. Ideally, you are going to be using this gadget a few times a week, for a few years.

That’s a ton of pull ups. That’s a lot of wear and tear on those grips. If the grips are a cheaper quality, they will quickly, in just a matter of months, begin to harden and tear. I found that the grips on this pull up bar to be quite a bit better than the grip found on the original Iron Gym pull up bar, and quite a bit better than almost every other bar out there. The grips, even still to this day, are working quite well for me.

Secondly, I look for a few other things. How much weight can it support? The Iron Gym Extreme can easily hold 300 lbs., and I feel very sturdy when I use it when bracing my 190 lb. frame.

Thirdly, how many exercises can I perform on it? The more grip positions, the better. I especially look for the ability to do wide-grips, as most pull up bars don’t offer this position. The Iron Gym Extreme does offer a wide grip position, which is a huge plus in my book.

Lastly, it offers built-in foam padding protection on the ends of the bar, to cushion the impact that the bar has on your door frame. It’s inevitable that a pull up bar might leave some kind of mark on your doorframe, but this bar does a really good job of protecting against that.

I Don’t Want To Spend A Ton of Money, I Just Want Good Value. What’s The Best Pull Up Bar For Me?

The Answer = The Perfect Fitness Pull Up Bar

Before I picked myself up the Iron Gym Extreme, this was the bar that I was using on a near daily basis, the Perfect Fitness Multi Gym (link to review).

If you’re looking for value, it doesn’t get much better than this bar. The highlights are pretty numerous. To begin with, this bar inflicted the least amount of scruffs and scrapes on my door frame of any pull up bar I have ever used. This is due to the unique flat moulding contact points on the bar. The 3 contact points are gentle and soft, not hard and rubbery like a lot of other bars.

It fits door frames from 27″ to 35″ wide and is also extremely adjustable. The back bar (that hands over the top of your door frame) is adjustable, which is perfect for taller individuals who want to be a little more clear off the ground. In fact, I have yet to see a simple feature like this anywhere else.

It’s highly sturdy, owing to the fact that the steel tubing on the pull up bar is a bit thicker than most competitors. Continuing on that note, the foam grips are also a highlight, as they cover nearly the entire width of the bar so that you can easily and comfortably perform pull ups or chin ups from nearly any width. The lateral bars are also comfortably gripped, allowing you to easily perform leg lifts and other ab exercises.

To top it all off, the instruction manual that comes with the unit is extremely clear and detailed. The creator and owner of the Perfect Fitness brand, Alden Mills, is a fitness buff himself and former Navy SEAL, and it clearly shows in both the design of this bar and even little things like the instruction manual. It’s clear, detailed, full of pictures and even comes with sample workouts.

If you’re looking for value, it simply doesn’t get any better than the Perfect Fitness Multi Gym.

I Want A Telescopic Pull Up Bar, What Do You Recommend?

The Answer = The Maximiza

Telescopic pull up bars have one huge advantage over the type that sits on the top of your doorframe, they produce much less door damage and allow you to still do pull ups inside door frames that don’t have “non-traditional” or unique styling. They are also usually cheaper.

The downsides? You need to screw in brackets to keep them sturdy, and you are very limited in what exercises you can perform.

With the Maximiza (link to review) however, all of that is much less problematic.

To start with, this bar can hold up to 300 lbs, which is well above average for telescopic pull up bars.

Secondly, this sucker is long. Very long. Much longer than almost every other telescopic pull up bar out there. If you’ve got a doorway that is between 26 and 36 inches, this thing will fit inside it, nice and snug. The cool thing though is that this bar comes complete with 3 sets of brackets. A lot of other telescopic bars will only come with 1 set, which means it is a real pain in the you-know-what when you want to change the bar’s height. With 3 brackets, it’s super easy to swap out.

Here is probably what I like the most about this bar however, the grips. They are long and very secure. They won’t move around while your gripping the bar. They are also very comfortable and have a nice, clean, smooth feel in your hand, not grainy but also not slippery.

It’s also very well-reviewed, with an average Amazon rating of over 4.6 stars (out of 5). I don’t have a need for telescopic bars in my house, as the top of the doorframe brace type bars work just fine, but if I did, I would feel quite satisfied with the product. It feels very sturdy under it, didn’t bend that much in the middle and allowed me to switch my hand grip width.

What’s The Most Popular Doorway Pull Up Bar?

The Answer = The Iron Gym

The Iron Gym (link to review) is insanely popular. Just how popular? It has nearly twice as many Amazon reviews as the 2nd most popular pull up bar, the Pro Source Multi-Grip. And it has a very respectable 4.2 stars (out of 5) out of all those thousands of reviews. That’s no small feat!

Why is it so popular? To begin with, the Iron Gym was where doorway pull ups began. If you’ve ever strolled through the exercise section of a Wal-Mart, chances are if there was a pull up bar there it was an Iron Gym bar. Iron Gym is the originator. They are the guys who created this entire home exercise equipment niche.

All that being said, no industry is just going to pop out of nowhere if the product that starts everything is inferior and just flat out not worth it. That’s not the case with the Iron Gym.

This bar has plenty of upside. It has 3 grip positions, fits doorways from 24″ to 32″ (and up to 36″ with an optional extension bar) and is insanely light. In fact, it’s by far the lightest pull up bar out there, coming in at a whopping 2.2 lbs. This makes this bar ideal for those who are a little bit lighter, and who just need a good, sturdy bar to hang off and perform pull ups, chins and leg raises. ​

The construction quality and bar thickness is good. It’s not as thick and sturdy as say, the Iron Gym Extreme or Perfect Fitness but it will make do for most people. ​

Overall, it’s simply a good bar to break you into the world of home doorway pull ups. And, priced at quite a bit cheaper than the average bar (under $25) it’s also quite a bargain! ​

What Should I Look For In A Good Pull Up Bar?

If you’re looking for a pull up bar, there are certain qualities that should be non-negotiable. These are things that are extremely important, not just in terms of safety, but also in terms of longevity and functionality. There are a lot of different bars out there, and it seems like a new home fitness company is springing up every day. The thing is, is that many of these bars differ greatly in quality, and many of them have slightly different functions.

That being said, there are certain things that are absolutely crucial, things such as:

#1 – Stability: It doesn’t how many bells and whistles your bar provides. If it isn’t stable, you aren’t going to use it. Period. I have bought bars in the past that I have used a grand total of once. Why? Because I felt like I was going to either fall off it, or it was going to snap. And mind you, I’m not a heavy guy at around 190 lbs. Stability is absolutely crucial. If the bar feels stable, you’ll be a lot more confident in using it, and you’ll be a lot more inspired to continually use it.
#2 Maximum Weight & Bar Thickness: This kind of goes hand in hand with the whole stability thing, but it also needs mentioning. Most bars have a maximum weight of 300 lbs or so. However, just because a company says that, doesn’t necessarily make it so. In general, the thicker the bar, the more stable and more weight it can hold. Also, certain bars are made up of more than 1 part, where they bolt on in the middle, sometimes making it feel less stable. The thicker the bar, and the more weight it can hold, the better.
#3 – Number of Grips: The more variety of grip positions you have, the more variety of pull ups and chin ups you can do, meaning your workouts won’t get stale. In general, your pull up bar should have at least 3. Minimum. It should provide a close grip, a normal grip and a lateral bar grip. Some other bars have wide grips and more than one lateral grip.
#4 Grip Quality: Like the first two points, this goes a bit hand in hand with the # of grips. If the grip quality is poor, and it feels too gritty or spongy, you won’t want to actually use the bar. You need a firm grip, but something that is comfortable, and not just made of cheap rubber of cheap foam. Something that doesn’t tear easily.
#5 – Door Frame Protection: Thankfully, more and more pull up bars have been offering this. Some, like the Perfect Fitness Multi Gym, have gotten this down to a near science. The less scraping and scuffing it leaves, and the less drilling that you’ve got to do, the better.

Do I Need To Have A Pull Up Bar?

In my opinion, purchasing a doorway pull up bar will confer on you quite a bit of advantages. But that’s besides the point, because the immediate question here is “Do I really even need one?”

​Now, to be perfectly honest, you don’t need a pull up bar. You can get in a pretty good home workout just by performing different calisthenics, things such as; push ups, squats, lunges, sit ups, etc.

Where you are missing out however is trying to build up your biceps and back. Unless you’ve got DB’s or a barbell with a set of plates lying around, you’re simply going to need something to hit your biceps and back. ​This is where the advantages of a pull up bar start to come in.

Advantages of a doorway pull up bar: ​

Doorway pull up bars are very cheap compared to buying a barbell, a set of DB’s and plates. You are looking at a difference of hundreds of $$$$ here.
Pull up bars don’t take up much space at all. Whereas you will need essentially another spare room to fit a barbell, DB’s and plates, with a pull up bar all you need is a door frame. It sets up and is taken down in literally seconds, and can easily be placed out of way.

You can perform essentially every exercise that a more expensive, free-standing pull up bar kit can for less than 10% of the price. Free standing pull up bar kits go for hundreds of dollars. A good pull up bar won’t cost you more than $30. It’s simple math.

So, while I would say that you don’t need a pull up bar, I would also say that purchasing one is by far one of the best $ and practical decisions you could make, simply because it’s going to be very difficult to hit your biceps and back properly without performing any kind of pull up or rows, and for rows or any other type of resistance training, you are going to be spending hundreds of dollars. You can easily get the same value for much, much less $$$.
comparison pull up bar