The 9 Best Pull-Up Bars of 2020

Complete upper body workouts in the comfort of your home

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Our Top Picks
"The 'slip-in' design of this pull-up bar allows you to get your workout in without damaging the doorway."
"In addition to pullups, it can also be taken down and used for floor exercises like sit-ups and pushups."
"Promises a damage-free installation, and the handles offer three grip options so you can switch up the intensity."
"A favorite feature is the 20-inch parallel grip spacing, as well as the three different grip positions along the handlebar."
"The frame is made from steel, making it a sturdy design that is ready to hold athletes up to 250 pounds."
"No need to worry if your doorway isn't big enough to handle a bar with this adjustable pick, which can be extended or shrunk."
"Pull-ups can be performed in either direction, while the versatile grip allows you to exercise from a wide or narrow stance."
"Ideal to place in your yard or the park, it ensures your feet won't touch the ground while you perform a pull-up outdoors."
"Beginners who are still building their strength can get their start with this adjustable pick, perfect for modified pull-ups."

One of the best bodyweight exercises you can do at home is the pull-up or chin up. While these moves stand out as a way to work your back, it’s not only your lats and traps that gain the strength- and muscle-building advantages. Research shows that pull-ups, in particular, activate the rectus abdominis, or those six-pack ab muscles we all wish for. So you need a super-strong core in order to pull off the move.

In addition to your back and abs, pull-ups and chin-ups also work the shoulders and chest, while burning out the biceps, especially when doing chin-ups. To get this full upper body exercise done at home, you’ll need the right equipment.

Here are the best pull-up bars on the market.

Best Overall: Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar

This bar requires zero screws or fasteners. Simply hook it onto the top of the door frame and you’re good to go, as it uses your leverage to hang onto the frame. Use the bar to perform wide-, narrow-, or neutral-grip (palms face each other) pull-ups and chin-ups.

Take it off the doorway and you can use it for tricep dips or hook your feet under it for sit-ups. The only requirements: A doorway that’s 24 to 35 inches wide, and the max weight for hanging is 220 pounds. 

Best Budget: Mllieroo Multifunctional Pullup Bar

For an affordable price, you get this easy-to-install pull-up bar. Like the Iron Gym tool, it simply hangs on the door frame, so you don’t have to worry about attaching it with hardware or doing any damage. You can also take it down for other exercises, like pushups and tricep dips.

Keep in mind that its maximum weight capacity is 220 pounds, and it won't fit door frames wider than 36 inches. 

Best for Portable: Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pullup Bar

If you’re looking for a pull-up bar you can take with you to stay fit on the road, this one serves as an ideal go-to. In addition to easily fitting on top of the door frame (no screws required), it features foam pads on the corners, so it won’t do any damage to doorways in hotels or other guest accommodations.

Fit it into any opening that’s up to 33 inches wide and up to 6 inches deep. The entire contraption weighs 8 pounds and can hold up to 300 pounds. Perfect Fitness also offers a one-year warranty should anything go wrong. 

Best Ceiling Mount: Ultimate Body Press Ceiling Mounted Pullup Bar

To keep your walls and doors free from workout equipment, mount your pull-up bar to the ceiling. This one bolts tightly together and then fastens to the ceiling, with the attachments placed either 16 or 24 inches apart. With it, you get four foam grip placements for your pull-ups and chin-ups, with a neutral positioning that leaves your hands 20 inches apart.

Need help installing? Ultimate Body Press offers US-based tech support if you get stuck. 

Best Tower: Stamina 1690 Power Tower

This free-standing pull-up bar can hold up to 250 pounds. Its footprint spans 49 inches long, 42.5 inches wide, and 81 inches high—an important measurement to keep in mind so you can ensure that you have enough space at the top of your pull-up or chin-up.

With a price point less than other towers, this one is a great addition to any home gym, as long as you have the space for it. In addition to your pulling exercises, the bar also has foam grips for dips, pushups, and sit-ups. 

Best for Small Spaces: Garren Fitness Maximiza Pullup Bar

Unlike other doorway pull-up bars, this one fits inside the frame in any doorway measuring between 26 and 39 inches, making it suitable for smaller spaces. The chrome steel bar comes with two sets of heavy-duty and one set of medium-duty door mounts that screw into a wooden frame—don’t use the bar without steadily attaching it to the brackets first! The heavy-duty mounts hold up to 300 pounds, while the medium mount can handle up to 200 pounds.

If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, the brand will also offer a full refund thanks to their 100-percent satisfaction guarantee. 

Best Wall Mount: Yes4All Heavy Duty Wall Mounted Pullup Bar

If you're looking for a more permanent pull-up bar option for your home gym, mounting it to the wall is the way to go. This steel Yes4All tool bolts into most surfaces, with 16 inches of space between the two bars that sit perpendicular to the wall—the perfect amount of space you want between your hands when performing pull-ups.

You get multiple grip options with this bar, too, and can choose between a wide and narrow grip. That means you can easily switch up the angle at which you work your upper body, effectively targeting different muscles. Additionally, each grip option has foam handles to support your hold. 

Best for Outdoor Workouts: KT KHANH TRINH Free Standing Pullup Bar

When the weather’s nice and you want to take your workouts outdoors, this pull-up tool easily sets up anywhere—and it stores away nicely, too. The foldable bar is about 100 inches tall, so shorter individuals will need a step to grab the top, but this also means that people of all sizes can do pull-ups without their feet touching the ground. The contraption weighs just over 60 pounds, so it does take some strength to move around.

The sturdiest piece on this list, the KT Free Standing Pullup Bar can hold up to 485 pounds. 

Best for Beginners: Perfect Fitness Basic Pullup Progression Bar

Not quite ready to do a full pull-up? This bar can help you get there. By screwing the sides into your door frame, the bar moves up and down like a lever, so you can adjust its height. For those new to pull-ups, simply move it down to the bottom (at its lowest height), walk your feet underneath it so you’re in a reverse plank, and pull yourself up from there.

The farther your feet are from the bar, the more difficult the exercise will feel. As you get stronger, move the bar to the top. 

Final Verdict

You can’t go wrong with a pull-up bar that sits on top of your doorframe, including the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar, Millieroo Multifunction Pull-Up Bar, or the Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Pull-Up Bar. Each one involves easy set-up, won’t damage the door, and you can take it down and use it for other upper body moves, too. Even better: They’re easy on the bank account. 

What to Look For in a Pull-Up Bar

Stability

Hanging from a bar means you need one that supports your body weight, so check the max weight for your bar before you buy. Also super important: Follow all instructions when assembling your pull-up bar so it stays locked in place as you move. Finally, make sure it feels sturdy before you start counting reps. Security is the number-one must-have. 

Location

Deciding where you want your pull-up bar is a big box to check. Whether you’re looking for one on top of the door frame, inside the frame, on the wall, the ceiling, or as a free-standing tool, decide where it’ll work best in your space. Then, make sure you have the room for it, based on the manufacturer’s measurements. 

Comfort

Look for bars with grips you find comfortable, like foam pads that protect your hands. If you prefer a certain hold—wide, narrow, or neutral grip—buy a bar that fits your favorite hand positioning or one that offers all three, so you have options for your pull-up.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Mallory Creveling has been covering the wellness industry, including fitness gear, for more than a decade. As a certified personal trainer, she also knows what works for those looking to improve their fitness and how to help them choose the right equipment to achieve their goals. 

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Hewit JK. A Comparison of Muscle Activation During the Pull-up and Three Alternative Pulling ExercisesJPFMTS. 2018;5(4).

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