WHETHER YOU prefer doing pullups or chinups, you’ll need a solid bar that can bear your weight. And while any gym worth the price of admission probably has tons of spots for you to work on, investing in a pullup bar for your home gym space or even as one of a few strategic pieces of gear for your home is a great way to get stronger. Most fit right on or in a doorway, so you can get a quick pump anytime.
Moves like heavy bench presses or deadlifts require some recovery time between sessions. But when it comes to pullups, it’s a whole different story. “Pullups strengthen back and core muscles that can use reinforcement daily,” explains Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S, MH Fitness Director. It pays to have access to a bar daily, which is exactly why having one of the best pullup bars for home workouts is an absolute game-changer.
Read more: How Men’s Health Thoroughly Tests and Reviews Fitness Products
From doorway-mounted bars that fit snugly into your living space to freestanding power towers that provide versatility and stability, we’ve spent years testing dozens of the best pullup bars for home workouts (or anywhere, really). Men’s Health fitness editors, in collaboration with fitness experts Kurt Giovanni Ellis, Owner/Performance Coach of Beyond Numbers Performance, and D.J. Gibson, a fitness trainer in Harlem, New York, have compared testing notes on dozens of the best pullup bars to identify which ones are worthy of a recommendation. Throughout our meticulous testing process, we’ve carefully considered all the essentials: weight capacity build quality, mounting type, grip options, and, of course, price. Our collective efforts have resulted in logging hundreds of reps on these bars, providing invaluable insights into performance, durability, and ensuring that your investment is built to last.
So, if you’re ready to take your home gym equipment arsenal to the next level, it’s time to get yourself a pullup bar. Let’s dive in to the 8 best pullup bars for home workouts in 2023.
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Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull Up Bar
Even the best pullup bars don’t have to be complicated to be efficient. We found this bar simple and effective, making it a great choice for those looking for multiple grip positions when pounding out pullups. From wide to neutral to palms-facing for chinups, we love that this versatile design can do it all. We found the grippy foam handles to be actually non-slip safety and pretty comfortable, too. It mounts easily and securely to almost any door frame, but you can also take it down, flip it over, and put it on the floor to use the different grips for sit-ups, push-ups, and dips too.
This is easily among the best-reviewed pullup bars on Amazon with more than 6,900 mostly positive ratings. We credit that to its compact, yet durable design, versatility to use beyond “just” pullups, and the great price. It’s a steal at around $35 (with free delivery and free returns through Amazon, if it doesn’t work out for you).
What do buyers say? Out of more than 7,100 Amazon reviews, 87% recommend the Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull Up Bar with at least a 4-star rating.
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ONETWOFIT Multifunctional Wall Mounted Pullup Bar
If you don’t love the idea of hanging from your doorway, a wall-mounted bar is a great solution. This bar from ONETWOFIT is sturdy and durable bar, is designed to hold up to 440 pounds, and can be adjusted to five different heights. We found the multiple grip options and padding placements provide a great base for a ton of upper-body workouts beyond just chin-ups and pullups.
At under $100, it’s still pricier than some of our top budget pullup bar picks. However, it’s still an incredible value for a multipurpose piece that makes a great upper-body-centric complement to any at-home gym (or as a standalone).
What do buyers say? “Buy it. It’s a good price with [awesome] versatility. It has a solid build. I have used mine daily since hanging it and have no regrets,” said one Amazon reviewer.
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RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Power Tower
If a basic pullup bar just won’t cut it—maybe you need more flexibility for your daily workouts or don’t trust a hanging bar—a power tower is the answer. The Relife Rebuild Your Life’s Power Tower is a solid mid-range choice. We found the design to be simple and sturdy, providing a safe, comfortable base to work a ton of exercises. It’s great for push-ups, but also for dips, leg presses, and so much more. Plus, the floor-standing design means zero installation is required. Just stand it up and get sweating.
One downside: the steel construction only supports up to 330 pounds, which might be a little light for some users.
But at around $250, this is a great option for budget-conscious home gym builders looking for a versatile machine that does more than just a pullup bar, but is more affordable than a full-blown power rack. It’s versatile, sets up easy, moves out of the way when you don’t need it, and is plenty durable for all but the most hardcore upper-body workouts. Plus, buying through Amazon means free delivery.
What do buyers say? Out of more than 5,900 Amazon reviews, 90% recommend the Relife Rebuild Your Life Power Tower with at least a 4-star rating.
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ProsourceFit Multi-Grip Chin-Up/Pull-Up Bar
ProsourceFit takes things back to basics with this deceptively simple pullup bar. We love that the design is ultra-portable, allowing you to set up and tear down in your home (or a friend’s, or the office, or just about anywhere) in minutes. With a dozen grips in a smart configuration, this bar also provides the perfect base for a wide variety of upper-body exercises. In addition to pullups, this model works equally well for push-ups, sit-ups, dips, leg raises, and more.
It’s the second cheapest pullup bar in this roundup, and, as a result, is one of the least heavy-duty with a weight capacity of 300-pounds. If you’re weighing in under ~150-pounds, easy installation, multi-grip versatility, and an great price makes this a reasonable choice.
Plus, like many others on this list, buying through Amazon earns you free delivery and free returns, so you can try it in-home to see if it works for you.
What do buyers say? Out of more than 23,000 Amazon reviews, 87% recommend the ProsourceFit Multi-Grip Chin-Up/Pull-Up Bar with at least a 4-star rating.
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Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar
If a dead-simple pullup bar is all you need, it doesn’t get much more barebones than Iron Gym’s simply named Pull-Up Bar. The straightforward, screw-free design relies on leverage so there’s almost zero installation time required. You can go from unboxing to ripping pullups in minutes. That simplicity also makes this one relatively portable too. Still, the sturdy construction supports up to 300 pounds, making it easy for guys of all sizes to do pullups, chin-ups, dips, and other arm and shoulder exercises using narrow, wide, or neutral hand positions.
At less than $30, it’s hard to find much to dislike about this one. More than 20,000 Amazon buyers agree, so this is one of the best pullup bars we’ve seen on the site this year. The combination of a straightforward setup, solid versatility, and an incredible price make this a winner. Plus, you can score free delivery and free returns through Amazon (so it’s basically like a free in-home trial).
What do buyers say? Out of more than 20,000 Amazon reviews, 88% recommend the Iron Gym Pull-Up Bar with at least a 4-star rating.
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REP Fitness Wall or Ceiling Mount Pull-Up Bar
It’s built with 11-gauge steel, capable of supporting up to a whopping 500-pounds when properly mounted. The bar is a solid 1.25″ thick, the ideal size for a sturdy grip, and features a nonslip powder coating to keep your hands locked in place.
“This is an ultra-sturdy, versatile bar that feels commercial-grade and gym-quality, meaning I can do anything from muscle-ups to scapular pullups with confidence,” explains Samuel.
It also allows you to attach pullup bands, rings, or exercise straps wherever you want, giving you a ton of exercise variations. We found installation to be a breeze, too. With a total width of 50″, including 46″ of usable bar space, we love that this bar offers enough room for even kipping pullups.
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Ultimate Body Press Ergonomic Pull Up Bar
The straightforward design of Ultimate Body Press’ Ergonomic Joist Mount Pull Up Bar is thanks to its joist-mounted design. That means it mounts to exposed beams or joists in your home (perfect for a basement, attic, or garage), making it extremely stable. Unfortunately, that also limits your installation options, so this model won’t work for everyone. Installation requires a bit more work than a simple “plug-and-play” door mount model, but that also makes this one much safer and more comfortable to use. We also love that 95% of Amazon buyers recommend this model with a 4-star or higher rating.
On the downside, it’s not as versatile as other pullup bars on this, largely due to its extremely simple design. Some reviewers note that the smooth (grip-free) bar is harder to keep a hold of than models with dedicated foam grips. Unlike portable, door-mounted models, this pullup bar obviously isn’t portable. So, if that matters to you, you may want to consider an alternative.
What do buyers say? Out of more than 20,000 Amazon reviews, 88% recommend the Iron Gym Pull-Up Bar with at least a 4-star rating.
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Duonamic Eleviia Portable Pullup Bar
Technically, this isn’t a pull up bar, but more like two individual pull up clamps with handles. But, it’s a unique device that’s designed for the same purpose as a pullup bar. Plus it’s compact, lightweight (just 3.5 lbs for the set), and portable enough to toss in a suitcase or gym bag and take with you just about anywhere. The temporary “installation” (if you can call it that) requires nothing more than clamping each side to a door frame, and the whole process takes less than ten seconds. Reverse the process to remove and reclamp them at a friend’s house, at your vacation Airbnb, or anywhere else you want to get in an upper-body workout. Each clamp set supports a decent 250-pound weight capacity—enough for most users. Duonamic also claims the non-marking design will not damage or scuff up your doorway.
They’re unlike most pullup bars on the market which could be good for some or a dealbreaker for others. With more than 300 positive Amazon ratings, they’re overwhelmingly well-reviewed. There’s not much to dislike about this pull up bar alternative, other than the price. It’s a little expensive at more than $125. But, if you’re looking to take your pullup and chin-up game to go, it’s a great option.
What do buyers say? “I am super pleased with how easy these are to ‘install’. The design is brilliant. They are so portable. Everyone at work is using them and loves them,” said one Amazon reviewer.
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How to Do Pullups Better
“It’s a staple in upper body workouts; we use it a ton in weight lifting,” says Sean Waxman, C.S.C.S., owner of Waxman’s Gym. “Depending on how you grip—wide most of the time—you’ll see a thickening and a widening of the back. Your grip will improve, and your whole upper body will get stronger.”
Proper pullup technique is relatively simple, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll have an easy go of it every time you step up to the bar. The move can get difficult quickly for even the strongest among us as you gas your muscles.
It’s important to stay on-form as you do pullups so you’re getting the best possible workout while avoiding injury. Waxman has a few tips for those just starting out to remember. “You want to be hanging from a bar, whether it’s a chinup or a pullup. You want to start with your arms extended, and you want to pull yourself up until the bar hits your chest or at least chin level. At the top of the movement, you want to pull your shoulder blades down and together.”
You might not be able to do all that right away. For some people, eking out even one rep is an accomplishment worth striving for, so you can’t just jump up to the bar and pull. You might have to break the move down to its component parts. To really master the form, work your way up from dead hangs to full-on reps using this guide.
As you improve on your pullups, you may want to find ways to make them more difficult. “If you can blow out 20 pullups, you’re not really improving strength anymore,” says Waxman.
First, he recommends adding some weight. “If you want to improve hypertrophy, you want to add enough weight to you’re doing eight to 12 reps. Then looking for improvement and more strength, you add more weight so you can do three to five reps.”
To add weight, you’ll need a weighed vest or a belt that can have weight attached to it. Them try some new variations, like those seen in the video below.
Now that you’ve got the knowledge to start doing pullups, you need the right tools. As Waxman says, “All you need is a place to hang.”
How to Find the Best Pullup Bar for Your Home Workouts
Pullup and chinup bars are among the simplest tools to add to any home gym. So, finding the right one isn’t as complicated as shopping for, say, a power rack or the best rowing machine. Still, you want to be sure that the bar you find is right for you. Here are a few things to consider when shopping for the best pullup bar for your home workouts:
Deciding what mounting type you need is the most important decision. There are four main types of pullup bar: Door mount, wall mount, joist mount, and freestanding. If your home setup is flexible enough, you may have the option of choosing between all four. Most buyers will at least be able to shop door and wall mount models as these only require either an open doorway or sufficient wallspace to hang.
Joist-mount (sometimes called ceiling-mount) pullup bars, as the name implies, need an exposed joist or beam in your house to secure to. That makes these an ideal choice for basements, attics, and some garages, depending on the architecture of your home.
Finally, freestanding power towers (with built-in pullup bars) require enough floor space to set up. While these are typically smaller than most full-sized home gym machines, they still take up substantial floor space. You’ll also want to be sure to allow for a few feet around the unit in all directions for proper workout safety.
Most modern bars, especially the best pullup bars, provide a variety of grip options. Different grips target different muscles. So, the better the variety of grip options, the more versatile your bar will be.
Construction and weight capacity go hand-in-hand. For novice or beginner workouts, almost any well-reviewed steel pullup bar will do. But, if you’re planning to get fancy with weighted pullups, kipping pullups, or some other crazy HIIT exercises you saw on Youtube, make sure your pullup bar’s construction is up to the task. Ideally, you’ll want to look for a bar with steel tubing and beefy mounting brackets.
It’s critical to double-check your pullup bar’s weight capacity, and to aim for one that can support double your bodyweight. “You might think a bar that supports your bodyweight is enough,” says Samuel, “Ideally, you want a pullup bar far stronger than that to account for any downward jerks on the bar.”
If you like to (or plan to) add weights into your sets, be sure to buy a pullup bar that can support you and those additional pounds. All of the bars we recommend have a maximum weight capacity of at least 250 pounds (most are 300).
Even the best pullup bars can be had for under $100, and you can score a decent budget model for around $50. If you’re shopping for your own pullup bar, chances are that budget won’t be much of an issue.
Benefits of Pullup Bars
As often as people hit chest and arms, they should dedicate even more time to training their backs. After all, our backs play a critical role in supporting shoulder health and maintaining a well-rounded physique.
“It’s critical to train your pulling muscles, both to offset the positions life puts us in and also for both shoulder health and aesthetic balance,” explains Samuel. “And that means eventually mastering the pullup. This is an advanced move, so make sure you own your horizontal pulling motions, like rows, first. But once you have that, owning the pullup will finish out your back. Everyone should work up to this move.”
Having a pullup bar in the comfort of your own home allows you to reinforce your back and core muscles daily, without the hassle of going to the gym or relying on other equipment. Get in the habit of banging out a few reps whenever you pass the bar, and you’ll be on your way to building strength and improving posture in no time.
How to Install a Pullup Bar
Installing an at-home pull-up bar is easier than you think. We’ll give you an idea of what to expect based on the mounting type, but, keep in mind that every bar is different, so it’s important to read the instructions provided by manufacturers prior to installation.
For a doorway pullup bar, you’ll need to identify a sturdy doorframe to get started. Place the bar on top of the frame and adjust it to your desired height. Make sure it’s secure and won’t budge when you’re pumping out those reps. Most doorway pull-up bars come with adjustable mechanisms and don’t require any drilling or hardware. Just twist, extend, and lock it in place. Boom! You’re ready to go.
If you’re going for a wall-mounted pullup bar, start by finding a stud on your wall. Trust us, you don’t want to hang on something that can’t handle your beast mode strength. Once you locate the stud, mark the spot and drill pilot holes. Attach the mounting brackets securely to the wall and slide the bar onto the brackets. Give it a firm tug to make sure it’s solid. You wouldn’t want any surprises mid-rep, right?
Now, if you’re feeling fancy and want to go for a ceiling-mounted pullup bar, the process is similar. Find those studs on your ceiling, mark the spots, and drill pilot holes. Screw the mounting brackets into the ceiling and slide the bar onto them. Make sure it’s level and ready to handle your pull-up prowess.
Remember, safety first. Double-check the manufacturer’s installation instructions and the stability of your DIY job before attempting any pullups. You don’t want any unexpected falls ruining your gains.
Why You Can Trust Us
At Men’s Health, we take great pride in providing our readers with reliable and trustworthy product recommendations. We believe that our readers deserve the best, which is why we always make sure to conduct thorough research and testing before making any recommendations. Our writers and editors thoughtfully select experts for collaboration on product recommendations, and are also experts in their own right, using their informed opinions to select products and ensuring that our content is of the highest quality.
Our product recommendations are purely editorial, and while we may receive free products to test and review, we only recommend the products we are most impressed by. We never let retailers or public relations contacts dictate our content or product coverage. Which is why you can trust us to provide you with reliable and unbiased product recommendations.
How We Selected the Best Pullup Bars
For the past two years, we consulted with Men’s Health‘s Fitness editors and writers on the best pullup bars for home workouts. Experts including our own fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., tested pullup and chinup bars from top home gym brands to evaluate their durability, functionality, effectiveness, ease of installation, and price. The final list above represents our carefully considered picks for the best of the best pullup bars for your home workouts.
Fitness and Commerce Editor
Talene Appleton is the Fitness and Commerce Editor at Men’s Health, where she covers fitness, nutrition, health, and wellness. She was previously the Associate Editor of General Surgery News, and a nutrition writer for The Food Institute. Talene is a retired professional dancer, and loves to spend her free time cooking elaborate meals for her friends and family.
Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is the fitness director of Men’s Health and a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience. He’s logged training time with NFL athletes and track athletes and his current training regimen includes weight training, HIIT conditioning, and yoga. Before joining Men’s Health in 2017, he served as a sports columnist and tech columnist for the New York Daily News.
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He’s kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South Africa, and survived a near-miss great white shark attack in Mexico. His travel advice has appeared on the websites for Forbes, Travel + Leisure, CNET, and National Geographic. He loves the great outdoors and good bourbon, and (usually) calls Tulsa, Oklahoma home. Mike also enjoys speaking in the third person.
Kettlebell & Mobility Specialist
A fitness trainer and Kettlebell & Mobility Specialist in Harlem, New York.