We gave this page a bit of a refresh to bring it up to date for 2019. This included replacing some older pull-up bars on our chart with newer models.
New additions were the impressive Iron Age Pullup Bar and streamlined Garren Fitness Maximiza Plus. We also revamped our article content to give you all the info you need!
Plenty of people think home fitness machines are simply too expensive or too large to be feasible. Between treadmills, exercise bikes and multi gym stations, it can certainly be difficult to save up enough money and space to create a good home gym that covers all of your exercise needs.
Table of Contents
These are an outstanding tool for any exercise routine – they’re durable, simple to assemble and fit easily in a doorway without any nails or drilling required.
In today’s article we have compiled a chart of some the best pull-up bars on the market today that specifically fit doorways. After breaking down the different features of each one, we’ll also highlight some of the things you should look for in any good doorway pull-up bar and answer some of your pressing FAQs.
The Iron Age Pullup Bar is our top pick thanks to its durability and versatility. This model utilizes a simple design, with just one horizontal bar for you to exercise with. Yet, that doesn’t mean you can only use it for one exercise!
The wide and open design makes it easy to switch up your grip for new and challenging variations. A plus is that this bar has one of the highest maximum weights around at 440lbs, while it is also placed higher than many other pull-up bar designs. This makes it a great fit for taller or larger users.
Plastic sleeves protect your doorway from harm. The bar itself comes fully assembled and doesn’t require any screws, making it a cinch to place in your doorframe.
Max Weight: 300lbs
Screws or Mounts: None
Assembly Required: Yes
Features: Foam grips and ends protect your doorway, extended frame for wider range of motion, perpendicular bars for extra exercises, 10-year warranty
For users looking to buy a doorway pull-up bar that can handle a plethora of different exercises, it’s hard to beat the Ultimate Body Press XL. This bar’s extended frame makes it one of the most versatile bars on our list.
The Body Press XL extends 10” out from the doorway you mount it on – the additional space gives users some extra clearance while using the bar and facilitates a complete range of motion. It’s also elevated 1” inch above the door frame, meaning users of all heights can take advantage of this bar.
Foam pads protect your doorway and add comfort. The steel tubing holds up great whether you’re using it for pull-ups in a doorway or for pushups, dips and sit ups on the ground.
The Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Pro provides all the functionality you need from a doorway pull-up bar in a sleek, compact frame. The simple shape needs only minor assembly and mounts to your doorway without any screws or anchors for maximum convenience.
The wide door pads create a broader contact surface between the bar and the door, ensuring there’s no metal exposed to scuff or damage the wood. The addition of perpendicular grips enables you to perform hammer grip pull-ups with ease.
To extend your workout beyond simple pull-up variations, take the Multi-Gym Pro off your wall and use it for other bodyweight exercises. The bar provides additional support for pushups and dips, while the padding can anchor the bar against a doorframe for sit ups.
If you’d love to install a pull-up bar in your home but don’t have a convenient doorway to use, the Garren Fitness Maximiza Plus is the perfect bar for you. This pull-up bar is designed specifically to fit wider doorways (from 35” to 50”) that most other bars won’t accommodate.
The simple design makes this bar great for wide- or close-grip pull-ups, along with chin-ups and other hanging exercises. Foam padding covers the length of the bar for comfort while you exercise.
Unlike some of the other bars on this list, the Maximiza Plus does require screwed-in wall mounts. Three sets are included so you can position the bar around your house as required. That extra stability translates into an outstanding maximum weight capacity of 330lbs.
Max Weight: 300lbs
Screws or Mounts: None
Assembly Required: Yes
Features: Perpendicular grips for neutral pull-ups, foam padding for hands, plastic ends protect doorframes, hangs without screws or mounts
The Sagler Pull Up Bar is a great no-frills, low-budget option. Like many of the other bars on this list, it offers three grip positions for a variety of different pull-up exercises. The foam pads cover wide, close and neutral grips to help you switch up your routine to target different muscle groups.
This is another bar that fits in standard doorways without any drilling or mounting required. You can also use it as a sturdy base for pushups, sit ups and dips when placed on the floor.
The Sagler can handle up to 300lbs of user weight. It’s also equipped with plastic pads to protect your doorframe from damage, though they do extend the bar’s footprint beyond the doorframe itself.
Max Weight: 300lbs
Screws or Mounts: None
Assembly Required: Yes
Features: 12 different grip positions, foam grip padding, double bars, wide frame, steel construction, plastic doorframe protection
As the name suggests, the ProSource Multi-Grip bar is absolutely loaded with different grip variations. The 12 total grips make this an outstanding option for more advanced users who need some variety in their pull-up routine. Plus, with a 300lb max user weight, this bar can certainly take some punishment.
The unique double-bar setup gives you the freedom to experiment with different positions like both close- and wide-grip hammer pull-ups. The U-rings keep the entire mechanism sturdy and secure. If you’re worried about wall damage, some extra foam pads are included for the edges.
The major downside to this bar is the wide footprint. Because of the large frame, the edges extend beyond the frame of many standard doors.
Max Weight: 250lbs
Screws or Mounts: None
Assembly Required: Yes
Features: Five different grip positions, U-rings for wider range of grips, foam padding, plastic doorframe protection, steel construction
If you’re more comfortable with pull-ups and want a bar that offers you a wider range of grip options, the Stamina Door Gyms bar is for you. This bar features padded U-rings for five different pull-up and chin-up positions.
Like other bars on this list, the Door Gyms model fits behind the trim of your doorframe and requires no screws or drills to install. If you’d prefer to use it outside of your doorframe, it makes a great base for pushups, dips and sit ups.
The foam and plastic padding ensure that this model won’t damage your doorway while you exercise. However, the Door Gyms can only handle 250lbs – a much lower weight capacity than some other bars on this list.
Doorway pull-up bars offer plenty of advantages when compared to more traditional full-size bars and pull-up stations. Their versatility and convenience make them an exceptionally popular choice for home workout fans.
However, shopping for a doorway pull-up bar requires some prior knowledge of the market. Buying a bar before researching the different features can easily lead to a scuffed wall or broken doorframe. In some situations, you can even injure yourself trying to do a pull-up on a low-quality bar.
It’s important to take your time to make the right decision. As you shop, keep these features in mind to make sure you end up with a quality doorway pull-up bar.
The first thing you need to determine when shopping for a pull-up bar is your ideal design. Many bars simply slip into the doorframe without any physical attachments, while others utilize wall mounts and locking screws to make sure they stay secure.
Though both types have their advantages and disadvantages, slip-in bars are far more common because they require less setup and don’t leave permanent holes in your wall. Screwed-in bars are generally found in wider doorways or spaces without trim, where slip-in bars won’t stay up properly.
Bar structure is another important feature. While larger bars offer more grips – a feature we’ll discuss below – they also add more weight and increase the overall footprint.
If you’re trying to mount your bar in a tight space, it’s best to pick a simpler design. The additional grips may also get in your way. In truth, there’s nothing wrong with purchasing a basic bar to keep things streamlined.
Finally, you may also need to pay attention to a pull-up bar’s clearance. Many bars lie close to the doorframe, which can pose a problem if you’re worried about hitting your head or just need more space.
Similarly, certain bars are mounted higher than others – if you’re tall, you’ll probably need a higher bar for a more natural range of motion. Bars like the Iron Age Pullup Bar and the Ultimate Body Press XL are great extended bar options featured on our list.
As you shop for a doorway pull-up bar, you’ll need to consider the grip design you’d prefer. The most basic doorway pull-up bars offer just a single horizontal bar. This single bar is great for both wide- and close-grip pull-ups, along with chin-ups.
Some models use perpendicular bars for hammer pull-up grips, which better target your biceps. More advanced bars tend to feature more grips and extensions off the central frame.
For example, certain models in our list use U-rings, which create both wide and close grips for hammer pull-ups in addition to standard ones. If you value variety and want to target as many different muscles as possible, switching up your grips regularly is a good way to do it.
When looking at a bar’s available grip positions, evaluate the foam padding locations. Though technically you may be able to place your hands in unpadded spots of the bar, it will be less comfortable and effective than using the designated grip areas.
Wall padding is another crucial feature for any pull-up bar you plan to mount in a doorway. As you perform pull-ups, you place great stress on the doorframe.
If there’s not enough padding to protect your wall, the bar may dig into the wood or leave ugly black markings on the surface. Proper padding is therefore essential to prevent any damage.
Most bars utilize a combination of plastic and foam padding to keep your wall protected. Slip-in bars nearly always have a large plastic pad behind the trim on your door — this bears the brunt of your weight as you pull yourself up.
Padding at the edge of the bar is also crucial. Certain bars use foam here, while others use more substantial caps made of plastic or hard rubber. It’s better to look for larger pads when shopping; these create a larger contact surface between the bar and your wall, which prevents the bar from slipping during exercise.
As a rule of thumb, the more stable your pull-up bar is, the less likely it is to leave scuffs or marks behind. Bars with extra padding and more rigid constructions are safer bets in this area.
Mounting your bar on your doorway is one of the most unpopular aspects about searching for a doorway pull-up bar. Depending on the model, it can range from tricky to downright frustrating. Thankfully, certain doorway models are designed to slide into place as painlessly as possible.
As we mentioned above, slip-in designs are most common among doorway pull-up bars thanks to their easy installation and added convenience.
However, certain bars require heavy-duty mounting screws to function safely. Before you buy any doorway pull-up bar, evaluate your choices beforehand to make sure whether or not you’ll need to punch any holes in your wall.
If you don’t have any traditional doorways in your house (with raised trim and a hefty frame), you may need to drill some holes elsewhere to install a pull-up bar. It’s possible to place bars outside of doorways if you use a more secure mounting tactic.
In these scenarios, you’ll also need to purchase an extended bar (like the Garren Fitness Maximiza Plus we discussed above). Normal bars may not extend to cover the span of a full hallway or wider doorframe.
If wall mounting is something you need to consider, take a look at our page on the best wall-mounted pull-up bars for more information and recommendations.
Beyond these critical components, pull-up bars also include a host of secondary features. While these may not make or break your ultimate decision, they do bear consideration as you search.
Hand padding may be more overlooked than wall padding, but it’s just as important for protecting your hands while you exercise.
Pulling yourself up without the aid of a foam grip can damage your hands and fingers, particularly your more delicate knuckle joints. Depending on the grip you use, it’s possible to cause serious harm to your wrists as well.
Foam casing is generally enough to alleviate the pain; it also thickens up the bar and provides your hands with something more substantial to grab onto. In some cases, you’ll find plastic used as a grip material. It can work as well as foam, provided it’s not too harsh on your hands.
Maximum user weight isn’t a concern for many pull-up bars, but it’s something to take into account if you plan on adding weight to your pull-ups. More durable bars provide 300lbs or more of carrying capacity, while lighter ones may only be able to handle up to 250lbs. Sturdier bars provide more room to add extra resistance, especially for larger users.
Finally, certain bars require more setup than others. While it’s rare to find a doorway pull-up bar that’s completely set up out of the box, many slip-in bars just require you to connect a couple of pieces together with screws.
More involved setup can be a pain and may prevent you from getting as much use out of your bar. It’s something you should pay attention to, especially if you’re considering purchasing a bar with lots of add-ons and accents to the frame.
Doorway pull-up bars have acquired a less-than-stellar reputation for causing damage to doorframes. While it’s true that you can damage your doorway if you install or use your pull-up bar incorrectly, when used properly quality models won’t harm your doorway.
Most accidents with doorway pull-up bars stem from improper installation. The more a bar moves during exercise, the greater the potential for it to mark the wall – if you don’t mount the bar to your doorframe properly or use the bar without checking to make sure it’s secure, you risk damaging your doorway.
Likewise, certain cheap bars may not be strong enough or may not include enough padding to protect your doorway. Weaker bars can fail to properly distribute weight across the door and often concentrate the force at a single point, causing the doorway to tear.
Bars without enough padding never establish firm contact with the doorframe. When you use the bar to perform pull-ups, they slide around and leave scuffs and other marks behind.
Before doing any exercise with a doorway pull-up bar, check to ensure that it’s stable and that it won’t move when you place your weight on it.
Though preventing damage to your doorway is obviously important, making sure you’re performing doorway pull-ups safely is even more crucial. Once again, this depends on whether or not you use proper form when performing pull-ups using a doorway bar.
When done with the correct technique and without overexertion, doorway pull-ups are completely safe. In fact, they provide all the same benefits of pull-ups performed using a standard bar.
In considering their safety, it’s also important to mention how the added convenience of doorway pull-up bars can increase their benefits. While many users might only do a couple of pull-ups a day while at the gym, at home they have far more opportunities to reap the rewards of pull-ups.
Because it’s far easier to use doorway pull-up bars than regular ones, you could even say that doorway pull-up bars are more beneficial than their standard cousins.
If you push yourself too hard or don’t maintain proper form, however, you do risk injury by using a doorway pull-up bar.
Many injuries occur from overexertion – as you tire out, your body recruits extra muscles to help you perform the exercise (at the expense of your form). If you place too much stress on these other muscles, they may give out, sprain or tear.
As we highlighted above, overexertion is one of the main factors in pull-up bar injuries. It’s easy to push yourself too hard without thinking, especially for beginners.
Whether you’re just starting out or whether you’re a seasoned pull-up veteran, it can be difficult to learn what number of pull-ups is too many.
It’s best to err on the side of caution and build up to larger sets, particularly if you’ve never done pull-ups before.
One popular method involves placing the pull-up bar on your doorway, then doing one pull-up each time you pass underneath the bar. Strategies like these ensure you’re training your muscles without injuring yourself in any one set.
Overexertion doesn’t just apply to pushing yourself too far in one set of pull-ups – it also applies to your cumulative pull-up total throughout the day. As you do pull-ups over the course of the day, mark down your running total and make sure not to overexert yourself.
While there’s no ‘magic number’ for overexertion that applies to everyone, you should exercise common sense and resist the urge to do way more pull-ups one day than you do every other day.
Consistently building up a daily routine will prevent overexertion from random extreme days. In the long run, a practiced routine will yield more improvement in your overall fitness level as well.
If you can’t do a pull-up yet but still want to train your way up to full pull-ups, a doorway pull-up bar may be able to help. Many beginners practice their technique by jumping up (or using a chair) and lowering themselves down from the bar slowly, as if they were completing the latter half of a pull-up.
As you improve, you may be able to use resistance bands to help you complete your pull-ups. Simply hang a resistance band from the crossbars of your pull-up bar and place your feet through the band. When you pull yourself up, the band will contract and give you some extra momentum to complete the exercise.
The greater the tension of the band, the more help it will give you to complete your reps. Just be careful not to overload your pull-up bar and make sure you secure the band properly!
Though doorway pull-up bars offer some exceptionally convenient features, one part of them that isn’t particularly helpful is their height. If you’re tall or have a doorway with particularly low clearance, it’s important to consider how much space you’ll need to mount your pull-up bar.
For users under 6ft, standard doorway bars offer plenty of clearance to fully extend your arms and legs without touching the floor as you exercise. If you’re significantly taller, it may be worth looking into a bar that sits higher on the doorframe. The Iron Age Pullup Bar and Ultimate Body Press XL, both listed above, are outstanding doorway bars that offer a bit of extra height.
On the other side of things, you may also need to consider your clearance above the doorframe. If the doors in your house run close to your ceiling, mounting a pull-up bar in the space below may not be feasible. You may hit your head on the ceiling as you perform the movement! In these cases, you can try mounting a bar outside of your doorway using wall mounts and screws.
As mentioned above, the Garren Fitness Maximiza Bar attaches to your wall with screws, allowing you to pick the perfect height and leave yourself enough room for your head above the bar.
However, that bar only works in spaces that are 35” across or wider. Before you drill holes in your wall, make sure you have enough room to accommodate the longer bar.
After reviewing all of the options and comparing their different features, we picked the Iron Age Pullup Bar as our top choice. Its durable construction, simple yet functional design, and high weight capacity helped it stand out from a crowded category.
However, all of the bars on this list would make great additions to any home gym. Each one offers some unique features, meaning that you should evaluate each one carefully before making your decision.
When used properly, a doorway pull-up bar can be one of the most convenient and effective fitness tools in your arsenal. Follow our advice and look for the features we mentioned above to pick out the best doorway pull-up bar for you. Best of luck in your search!