Best Pull Up Bars for Home Use: The Ultimate Guide
Question: what is hands-down the most effective way to build upper body strength? Answer: pull ups! While that may not be an answer that everyone loves to hear (because let’s face it - they’re hard!), pull ups are awesome because they engage so many large muscle groups which leads to faster strength building and more efficient calorie burning.
But doing pull ups at the gym can be a hassle for a few reasons. For starters, you may not always have time to make it to the gym. And then, of course, you may have to wait or work in with other people doing pulls. Even worse, the gym bar may not be the best one to fit your needs.
So, for something like pull ups that has huge benefits and you can do every day, it’s most easy, convenient, and effective to have a pull up bar at home.
With a pull up bar at home, you truly get to practice building gradual strength, which is the most effective way to increase your strength and transform your body. The convenience and ease of access make it practical, and you don’t have to worry about being embarrassed if you’re having an off-day!
Luckily, there are lots of different types of pull up bars available for home use; they can be as straight-forward or as involved as you prefer!
What's the Best Pull Up Bar for Home Use?
Let’s check out your options to find the perfect at home pull-up bar for your unique needs. The types are...
1. Doorway Pull Up Bars
Door frame pull up bars are all the rage; they are easy to use, require little to no assembly, and take up virtually no space. We do have a full door pull up bar review guide, but here is the “cliffs notes” version.
Doorway pull-up bars come in three different varieties: doorway mountable, extendable doorframe, and installable.
MOUNTABLE DOOR PULL UP BAR
A doorway mountable pull up bar is the quickest and easiest kind. You simply mount it to the top of the door frame and it uses leverage to stay in place.
Most versions of this kind have various grip adjustments and can be used on the floor for push ups, dips, sit ups, and more.
The versatility is a huge perk for those who really enjoy calisthenics! The downside to this type is that you have to be really clear about the measurements of your door frame or your trim; although these kind are usually made to fit standard door frames, it’s easy to mistakenly buy a pull up bar that doesn’t fit!
You also have to be mindful of weight capacities and ensure you find a sturdy bar. Check out the best mountable doorway pull up bars!
EXTENDABLE DOOR PULL UP BAR
An extendable doorframe bar is simple; it’s a straight pull up bar with no bells and whistles that can extend to fit a variety of sizes of door frames.
It’s the least bulky type of door pull up bar, and it’s an excellent option for those who do not have a proper door frame to fit one that mounts.
While these bars offer a more sturdy experience when screwed in, they don’t always have to be, which makes them really, really easy to use. The height of the bar in the doorframe can also be adjusted to do sit ups or dips. See the best extendable doorway pull up bars!
INSTALLABLE DOOR PULL UP BAR
The installable door frame pull up bar offers the most secure experience, thanks to being securely fastened in to the door frame.
The obvious downside is that you can’t move it around, and you have to be willing to sacrifice a door frame!
But, it’s a great option for beginners because it allows various adjustments- like the ability to do inverted rows or Australian pull ups. The fact that it can adjust to various fitness levels makes it a family-friendly option as well as adds to a single user’s variety in exercising.
2. Wall Mounted Pull Up Bars
The wall-mounted pull up bars are the next step up in user security and stability; you’ll feel steady and not worry about any accidents while you do your pull ups. This is great for heavier users and those who want to do pull ups with added weight.
Because you do have to actually screw this into the wall, it’s important that you have the proper space and ability to do so. Obviously if you live in a dorm room, apartment, or other rented space, the landlord may not be too keen on you drilling into the wall!
But if you have your own space and want a simple pull up bar to work on your pull ups, this is a great option. You can also enhance workouts by buying accessories, like knee straps or suspension systems, to do ab work and other exercises.
ULTIMATE WALL MOUNT PULL UP BAR
This is an awesome standard option for a wall-mounted pull-up bar.
It allows for 14-21 inches of wall clearance while providing a 42” wide pull up bar, so you can adjust your grip as needed (narrow, neutral, wide).
It also has really nice high-density foam to make for a more comfortable experience.
The one big drawback is that the assembly instructions are terrible, so if you know a handyman or carpenters - reach out to them! Their knowledge and expertise can save you from a painful installation.
TITAN HEAVY DUTY WALL MOUNT PULL UP BAR
“Built like a tank” pretty much sums it up, as this crossbar can hold up to 500 pounds of user weight!
That makes it not only a super solid pull up bar, but also a great anchor to add rings or other accessories.
There are a few things to consider, though. First, the bar comes three feet off of the wall, so it does take up some considerable space. Second, there are no foam grips- which may or may not be preferred for you.
You’re more likely to get callouses/tears without some hand protection, but that seems to be a rite of passage for some pull up enthusiasts! Some users have also had a hard time installing the bar but have been able to mitigate it by deviating from the instructions. This is also a great bar for those who engage in Crossfit-like training!
CFF WALL & CEILING MOUNT PULL UP BAR
The major stand out for this product is that it is 46 inches wide and comes out 30 inches from the wall, so you’re not limited in terms of wide-grip pull ups (great for taller users) or if you want to kip, swing, or do ring dips, for example.
The assembly is straight forward and easy, and you can also mount this from the ceiling if desired. The only potential downfall is that it only holds up to 300 pounds of user weight; even so, users report that this is an extremely sturdy and well-made product.
3. Ceiling Mounted Pull Up Bars
Ceiling mounted pull-up bars are very, very similar to wall-mounted bars; they both offer the sturdiest, most secure experience.
However, the big key difference is that ceiling-mounted bars do not provide any limit or restriction for body movement, unlike having a wall to maneuver around!
This is the best option if you do kipping or swinging movements, or want to add suspension trainers or rings that would require you needing more space. Of course, you also have to be willing and able to modify your ceiling in a dedicated space in your home!
ULTIMATE CEILING MOUNT PULL UP BAR
This is a very well-reviewed bar; you can use it with 16" and 24" ceiling joists, which is a nice option, and it is ergonomically designed for the best grips.
It also includes high-density foam handle padding to make the workout more comfortable. It is standard, sturdy, and does exactly what it’s meant to do.
The biggest complaint about this bar is in the quality control of the parts and in the installation; it requires some handyman know how to have a smooth installation experience. Otherwise, it’s a great bar that does what you need it to do with no wall to interfere.
GRONK CEILING MOUNT PULL UP BAR
The most uniquely designed option, the Gronk offers a “monkey bar style” design; it has grips like playground monkey bars so you can switch up your pull up grip in so many varieties of ways!
It also holds up to 800 pounds, so you don’t have to worry about pulling the ceiling down.
The only slight criticality on this bar is that you really need to know what you’re doing during installation; once it’s up and installed, you’ll have an awesome pull-up bar for life.
Also, be aware that there is no foam padding, so you’ll need gloves if you want a barrier between the bar and your hands! This is the best option for hard-core athletes and fitness pros doing tough workouts.
STUD BAR CEILING MOUNT PULL UP BAR
Easy to use, easy to install, and an overall solid product, this StudBar gives you a no-frills experience that is durable and reliable.
It holds up to 600 pounds of user weight, and it was well designed to fit right into standard ceiling joists.
Some users do report that the bar is extra smooth which makes the grip more difficult, but you can fix that by simply using sand paper to strip down some of the smoothness and give it some texture. Some users have also reported that the lag bolts included are a bit weak, but they are cheap and easy to find at any hardware store.
4. Free Standing Pull Up Bars
If none of the previous options have appealed to you, then you may be in the market for a free standing pull up bar; that means no mounting or installing, and it also means you get multi-functionality out of one piece of equipment.
The key point to consider is ensuring that the free standing bar is sturdy and secure enough to hold your weight when you pull, and that information should be readily available when reviewing a product. Here are a few great options to consider for free standing pull-up bars!
FREE STANDING PULL UP BARS
Lightweight, portable, quick and easy assembly - this free standing pull up bar is basically exactly what it sounds like.
It’s only intended for pull-ups, so you won’t get a ton of versatility out of it.
But, the attractiveness of this piece of equipment is for those who don’t want a bulky tower or piece of equipment that takes up a lot of space.
It can hold up to 350 pounds of user weight, but the design leaves some users feeling unsteady because of the wobbly sensation if they move too fast. Also, tall users have to accommodate by bending their knees and state that the design would be better if the system was a bit taller. But for a portable, lightweight, get-it-done piece of equipment, this is a great option!
POWER TOWER PULL UP BAR
While still being lightweight and small enough to easily move around, the power tower offers more functionality and versatility.
Users are able to move beyond pull ups and easily do sit ups, push ups, dips, and more, thanks to the intuitive design. It does have a lower weight capacity at 250 pounds, so be mindful of that if you’re a heavier user.
Also, again the tall/broad folks need to know that the pull up can feel slightly cramped, thanks to the way the bars angle in; that’s not a huge deterrent for buying though, as many report being able to easily maneuver around that.
The power tower is an excellent solution for multiple calisthenics workouts and can help users gradually build strength at home.
The power rack is basically like having an all-in-one gym; it is similar to a squat cage, so it can easily hold barbells and allows for all the barbell movements that you can think of.
But the bar across the top of it is what’s intended for pull ups. Note that there are no grips or foam padding, so it’s up to you to change your grips.
The power rack, because it’s designed for serious weight training, holds up to 1000 pounds, so you won’t outgrow this piece of equipment.
Because of the excellent versatility it offers, you’d think the power rack would be a much higher price, but it remains at an economic price point, making it a great value. For those serious about full-body weight training, this is the perfect piece of equipment.
Thanks for reading our guide for the best pull up bars for home! We hope you find the perfect bar to complement your home gym and help you build strength- and an awesome upper body!