Pull-up bars are great if you don’t have much room to workout in your house. These bars allow you to strengthen your upper body with minimum space. It’s an inexpensive and highly effective way to get more exercise at your home if you’re too busy to go to the gym. It also saves you from having to buy expensive weight sets if you don’t want to.
With these home pull-up bars, you can work on your back, shoulders and biceps for a stronger upper body. The bars are designed to fit in your doorway, but even so there are various settings you have to pay attention to. These include things such as:
- Will the bar fit in your doorway? Is it wide enough?
- Can the bar hold your weight? Is it strong enough?
If the bar is too short or can’t hold your weight, your risk buying a product that doesn’t work for you. Worse, you risk injuring yourself while working out! Therefore, to help you find which bar is a good one for you, here are 5 pull-up bars:
Best Doorway Pull-Up Bars (2017 Update)
|Name||Max Weight||Door Width||Price|
|Iron Gym Workout Bar||300 lbs||24"-32"|
|ProSource Pull-Up Bar||300 lbs||24"-36"|
|Sunny Health and Fitness||220 lbs||Up to 32" wide|
|Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym||300 lbs||27"-35" (adjustable)|
|Stamina Doorway Trainer||250 lbs||"Standard doors"|
1 – Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar
The Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar is the most popular choice on our list. It can hold up to 300 lbs, which is enough for most people’s requirements. It offers three grip positions: narrow, wide, and neutral so you can vary your workouts for maximum results. It’s easy to put up on your door and take down once you’ve finished exercising.
The device doesn’t use any screws since it uses leverage to hold against your doorway. The use of leverage means there is little or no damage to your doorway, but it may leave black markings. It’s suitable for doorways that are 24” to 32” wide with a door frame that is 3.5” wide. You can cushion the pressure of the bar by taping extra foam on the door frame.
The problem with this pull up bar is that the you may get an error in delivery. Some customers complain that they are missing the proper bolts to assemble the bar. It’s also difficult to accurately measure whether the bar will fit with your doorway or not. But a safe measurement is you ought to have 37” of clear wall space (door width, frame, and clear space on each side).
Some concerned customers complain that the bar sags or bends when you use it for exercise. Before you exercise, make sure the bar holds well against the doorway and test it before using it. The bar isn’t as sturdy as the ones you find at your local gym, but the price is affordable. The versatility and the friendly price of this bar, even with its limitations, makes it a popular choice.
- Holds up to 300 lbs
- Has three grip positions: narrow, wide, and neutral
- Doesn’t use any screws
- Suitable for 24” to 32” wide doorways
- Missing parts during delivery
- May sag or bend during exercise
- Not as sturdy as a pull-up bar at the gym
2 – ProSource Multi-Grip Pull-Up Bar
The ProSource Multi-Grip Pull-Up Bar is a good choice but not as popular as the Iron Gym. It is made from steel and can hold up to 300 lbs, similar to the Iron Gym. It has twelve grips and handles you can use in various positions to exercise various muscle groups. The bar is designed to fit 24” to 36” doors and can even be installed permanently if you want it. It’s 41 inches long so it gives you a wide grip but make sure you have enough clearance on the sides of your doorway.
Assembly can be troublesome if you’re not used to assembling parts. Some customers complain that the quality control is horrible: they receive missing bolts. But if you have experience in assembly, then the bar is a sturdy product that works very well. Just make sure to not tighten any screws until all of them are in place.
Some customers don’t like that the bar leaves dents on doorways. You can prevent this by wrapping padding such as a layer of light cloth on the parts of the bar that makes contact with your door. For some customers, having to ‘modify’ the bar is a turn off, but for other customers, it’s no problem.
Make sure you assemble and install the bar correctly. Some customers report that the bar slipped off the door while they were exercising, causing injury to them. Other customers report that the bar bends after a few months of use, especially along the inner handles. If you weigh over 200 lbs and find that the bar bends and makes creaking noises, install it again to ensure it holds strongly against the wall.
- Holds up to 300 lbs
- Has twelve grips and handles (positions)
- Designed to fit 24” to 36” doors
- Can be installed permanently
- Missing parts and poor quality control
- May leave dents on doorways
- Bar may bend after months of use
3 – Sunny Health and Fitness Door Way Chin Up Bar
The third item on our list, the Sunny Health and Fitness Door Way Chin Up Bar, is one of the cheapest options you can get. It has a very simple design compared to other bars on our list, and it does the job well. It’s less powerful than the Iron Gym or ProSource – the Sunny bar can only hold up to 220 lbs. But that should still be enough for most people exercising at home.
The bar can fit doorways up to 32”. It has a simple design that allows you to tighten it by twisting it. It’s possible for you to use this bar just by tightening it, but it’s safer to screw it onto your doorway. Even without the screws, the bar feels sturdy and is strong enough for some weights and exercises. But to be safe, many users recommend to screw it onto your door frame.
The first weakness of this bar is that it requires you to screw the bar onto a door frame. If not properly installed and used, the bar can slip and fall of the door frame, causing injury. The mechanism of the bar makes it rotate slightly when you use it, so you have to tighten it again each time before use. If you tighten it too much, then you risk cracking the frame of your door.
The second weakness of this bar is that you can’t do wide grip pull ups. The bar is only as wide as the door frame, so if you want to do wide pull ups, you might want the Iron Gym or ProSource bar. Still, the very friendly price and the simplicity of the bar make the Sunny pull-up bar a favorite choice among customers.
- One of the cheapest options
- Holds up to 220 lbs
- Fit doorways up to 32” wide
- Simple design, twist to tighten
- Must be screwed onto door for safe use
- Must be tightened again after use
- Can’t be used for wide grip pull ups
4 – Perfect Fitness Perfect Multi Gym
A fourth good option for a pull-up bar is the Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym. Similar to the top options on our list, this bar can hold up to 300 lbs of weight. It’s designed to fit door frames that are 27” to 35” wide. There are a few versions of this bar that you can get: the Original and Pro version has a wide grip position, while the Elite version has a curved wide grip for comfort and maximum exercise.
What customers love about this bar is that you can adjust it to fit your door. Unlike other bars that can’t be adjusted (such as the Iron Gym), the Perfect Fitness bar can be adjusted to fit with different molding widths and depths. The Elite and Pro versions can fit door frames that are 33” wide and 6” deep. The Sport and Original version can fit door frames 27” to 35” in width. The bar has flat pads that prevents your doorway from being damaged.
The downside to this bar is that many customers report poor quality control during delivery and assembly. Parts were missing that made it difficult for the customer to properly assemble the bar. Several customers had to replace the original nuts and bolts with stronger ones bought at a hardware store. You may need to replace the bolts to make the bar strong.
Other customers worry about the strength of the bar. Some users report there is a bend in the metal crossbeam after using it for only a short time. It’s recommended that you maintain proper form when using this bar for exercise and avoid doing kipping pull ups. Even with the drawbacks, many people love the adjustment feature of the bar.
- Holds up to 300 lbs of weight
- Designed for doors 27” to 35” wide
- Different version offer wider grip positions
- Can be adjusted to fit your door
- Flat pads prevent damage to your door molding
- Poor quality control during delivery and assembly
- May need to replace bolts with stronger ones
- Metal may bend after some use
5 – Stamina Doorway Trainer Plus
The fifth option on our list is the Stamina Doorway Trainer Plus. It has five grip positions, a decent number compared to others on our list that have more positions and also less positions. The bar can hold up to 250 lbs, not as much as other bars but can still meet your needs.
The bar holds onto your door frame using leverage. Leverage mechanisms like these help you avoid damaging your door frame but they may still cause some damage. Though this bar is advertised as ‘works with all standard doors’, many customers find that the bar doesn’t fit with their door. The foam padding can wear out fast too in a few months, which made some customers unsatisfied. Still, if you have a door that fits with this bar, it’s a good bar to consider at an affordable price.
- Holds up to 250 lbs
- Has five grip positions
- Doesn’t require screws
- May still cause damage to doorway
- Door dimensions not clear
- Foam padding wears out fast
Pull-up Bar Buyer’s Guide
With multiple choices available offering different benefits, you need to have a set of criteria to find which one fits you best. Here are the top criteria to consider when choosing a pull-up bar:
1. Does it Fit Your Doorway?
All of the pull-up bars in the list above are designed to be used in a doorway. What matter most when finding a pull-up bar is whether it fits in your doorway or not. A great bar that is affordable with many features is useless if it doesn’t fit any door in your home. (Don’t be surprised, this problem happens more often than you may think).
Even though the dimension are usually mentioned on the product, there may still be some differences when you place the bar on your doorway. The width and depth of the molding and the clearance space above and on the sides of your door may need to be taken into account. A good solution is to find a friend or someone you know who has the bar you want and borrow it. Test it in your home to see if the bar fits in the doorway you plan to use it on. But not everyone has a friend like this, right?
The good news is that many customers find that the bars fit in their doorway. If you aren’t sure, you can measure the width of your doorway, the width of your molding, the depth of your molding, and the space above and on the sides of your doors to know how much space you have. Then choose the model that fits the closest with the dimensions of your door.
2. Will it Damage your Door?
Other than making sure it fits in your doorway, you need to consider whether you can tolerate ‘damage’ or not. Some pull-up bars on the list above don’t use screws – they use leverage. Though there are no screws involved, the leverage mechanism can still damage your doorway due to the pressure applied. The damage here is usually in the form of marks or dents – and in rare occasions, cracks in the frame.
If you choose a bar that has a screw mechanism, obviously you have to drill the screw, right? This mechanism may not fit for those of you who live in rented apartments or homes where any small damage is considered a liability. Do you want to get charged because you caused a few small holes inside the door frame?
The good news is that there are ‘workarounds’ to this problem. Some customers have a good fit and they don’t experience any dents or marks on their door. But other customers have to ‘modify’ the bar, giving it extra padding from cardboard or wrapped t-shirts to prevent damage. It’s an extra step you need to take, but it can save you from having to repair your door frame and spending extra cash.
3. Does it Fit Your Budget?
Unlike other equipment reviewed on this site, pull-up bars don’t vary much in terms of price. The pricing of the bars are close to each other, but some bars are cheaper than others. As a guideline, the pull-up bar that has more features (such as more grip positions or longer length) will have a higher price than a simpler bar with less features. Here, you must decide whether you want to spend the extra cash to get more positions for exercises, or whether a simple bar will suffice for you.
Whichever bar you get, the price is almost always a good deal. You can get a great workout by investing in a relatively affordable piece of equipment (provided there are no missing parts).
Pay Attention to Instructions to Avoid Injury
Though these bars work great on their own, you can get a more complete exercise with 2 other pieces of equipment. They are abdominal trainers and push up bars. These three pieces combined make for a total body workout for your arms, back, chest and abs.
Choose one of these pull up bars for your home use. They are quite affordable and can give you a good workout for the price, and take up very little space. Even so, be careful when you assemble these bars and pay attention to the what the instructions say so you avoid injuring yourself.