Barres are widely used in ballet exercises, particularly to maintain balance when stretching or practicing different positions.
These days, barres are also gaining recognition for a new fitness trend called the barre workout. It combines elements of ballet, pilates, and yoga to strengthen and lengthen muscles without the bulk. Kelly Ripa, Natalie Portman, and Madonna are avid barre enthusiasts.
A portable ballet barre is perfect for personal or commercial needs. Whether you are a dancer, a barre fitness fan, or an instructor, it is practical to have a sturdy, but lightweight and movable barre.
It may seem like a simple piece of equipment, but you need to know the specific features and characteristics that make a good portable ballet barre. You don’t have to guess because we’ll help you do just that.
To further assist you, we have listed the top 5 portable ballet barres that are sure to meet whatever requirements you might have.
The horizontal bar is the main component of your ballet barre. Wood and aluminum are the usual choices, but some also use raw steel or PVC.
In addition to having that traditional look, wood has a certain warmth that some people crave. It is also the only material that has what dancers call “give”. However, wood barres are prone to bending and splinting. They also require regular cleaning and preserving, which can be a pain.
A lot of barres are made from high-grade aluminum. They usually have a smooth powder coated finish. Some manufacturers even add very useful features like scratch resistance or anti-microbial properties. If you prefer a barre that does not require maintenance, aluminum is the way to go.
Raw steel and PVC are your worst bets. Raw steel will rust while PVC or plastic has the lowest quality and is the least stable.
Whatever the bar material may be, look for a 1.5″ rail diameter because it is the most favorable size for users of all ages.
It is also important that your ballet barres have adjustable height so that it can match your routine’s requirement. The standard barre height for ballet is between 40 to 42 inches. For barre fitness, it should be between 36 to 38 inches high from the floor to the top of the barre.
A 4′ or 5′ barre is ideal for personal use while 6′ to 8′ feet is perfect for multiple users.
Because portable ballet barres are freestanding, it is important to have rubber or anti-marring feet to boost stability. This will also prevent damage to the floor, especially because the barre is designed to be moved from one location to another.
Top 5 Portable Ballet Barres
Because of its surging popularity, there are many brands and models for you to choose from. Unfortunately, their claims can be quite confusing.
As promised, we took care of putting all of them to the test and came up with the 5 best portable ballet barres for your home or studio.
From the esteemed makers of high-quality barres and related products, we present Vita Vibe BD48, the number 1 ballet barre on the market today.
Don’t be deceived by its beautiful satin silver powder-coat finish. This 4 feet double barre also provides stable support for your stretches and exercises.
It is also packed with very valuable features.
Are you looking for flexibility? Go ahead and tick that requirement. It has a modular design that allows you to convert it to a single or a longer barre. You can also adjust the height of both barres depending on your dance or fitness routine requirements.
It doesn’t take much to enjoy the Vita Vibe BD48. For its quality and features, its affordability is almost unbelievable. Assembly and storage can be done in a snap. You also get utmost value for the money because aluminum barres are expected to last for many years.
The Vita Vibe BD48 definitely deserves the top spot on this list, and you should see for yourself why. Click here to check out a more detailed review.
Another wood barre conquered the third spot in our list.
The Vita Vibe Traditional Wood Barre is composed of two parallel 5 foot bars. This double barre structure makes it more stable and offers more options for exercising positions.
Its bars have a diameter of 1.5 inches which is perfect for both young and adult grips.
It has a modular design that opens a lot of possibilities for modifying its height or length to suit your needs.
Storage is as quick and easy as its assembly. Simply pivot the feet so the whole thing can lie flat or lean against a wall when not in use. If you want to store it for a longer period or use it in a farther location, you can use the nice black storage bag that comes with the barre.
With occasional wood maintenance, the Vita Vibe Traditional Wood Barre can be your dance or fitness partner for a long time. Click here to learn more about this awesome ballet barre.
Do you want a ballet barre for personal use? Is aluminum your material of choice? If yes, then the Vita Vibe B48 Ballet Barre is the one for you.
While you have the option to extend it as needed, the 4 foot length of this single freestanding barre is just right for a single user.
It has a wide range of adjustable height settings. You can position it between 6″ and 46″ from the ground to the top of the barre.
If you worry that it is high maintenance, you can relax. It has an anti-microbial powder coat finish that provides a beautiful and long-lasting protective cover and also hampers the growth of germs. A simple wipe is enough!
It may be colder than its wood counterpart, but its firmness and strength are more than enough to consider it a high-quality portable ballet barre. Check out our more detailed comparison here.
It has a nice length for personal use, although you can also use it for light studio use.
It has preset height settings that go up in 4 inch increments. The 31 to 49 inch range perfectly fits the recommended height for both ballet and barre workouts.
A freestanding ballet barre will naturallyget scratched from repeated moving and disassembly. Fortunately, the Softtouch has a bronze powder coating that is specifically made to resist these expected scratches.
While freestanding ballet barres are not meant to hold your full body weight, it is reasonably sturdy that you can even do resistance band training on it. This stability is further boosted by its non-skid rubber feet.
For its flexibility and strength at an affordable price, the Softtouch Ballet Barre 5.5 Ft. is an excellent choice. Click here for a more thorough review.
A portable ballet barre is also referred to as a freestanding barre. Instead of being permanently installed on the floor or a wall, it is mounted onto a movable supporting structure.
It is easy to assemble and disassemble without the need for tools.
Freestanding ballet barres can be single or double. A single barre consists of only one rail. If two parallel rails are assembled in one frame, it is called a double barre.
Double barres are sturdier and can accommodate different heights and flexibility levels of users. It is better if both bars are height adjustable.
The Top Brands
When it comes to ballet barres’ quality of materials and excellent construction, two brands come up as the popular choice of dancers, fitness enthusiasts, and instructors. You will never go wrong with Vita Vibe and Softtouch.
Vita Vibe prides itself in being the top manufacturer and provider of ballet barres that are proudly USA-made.
Their freestanding ballet barres are categorized into four types, the most popular of which is the Prodigy Series.
The Prodigy Series barres come in either wood or aluminum and are adjustable so you can set your preferred height.
You do not have to worry about maintaining their aluminum barres because they have an anti-microbial powder-coat finish.
They have a modular design that makes them ready for expansion as needed. Easy assembly and storage are also common to Vita Vibe barres.
Best of all, you do not need to shell out a lot of money to enjoy these beautiful and sturdy ballet barres. They even provide a 10-year warranty!
Another institution in the barre-making industry is Softtouch.
Their barres are known for their bronze scratch-resistant powder-coating. Yes, it means that the barre you invested in for your upstart studio can stay pretty for years despite constantly being moved around, or even after your students try to test the sound of their tap shoes on the foot barre.
The height can also be adjusted from 31″ to 49″ from the ground.
Softtouch barres are lightweight but sturdy and boast a 300 lb. weight capacity.
Other Things to Consider
Portable ballet barres generally have a basic, uncomplicated construction. However, this plainness can make it even more difficult to choose from the many options.
If you are still uncertain as to what is best for you, we have listed these frequently asked questions to make it easier for you.
How easy are portable ballet barres assembled?
Most portable ballet barres are collapsible. They are made to be conveniently disassembled and assembled with minimal or no tools required.
Are they sturdy even if they are not permanently mounted on the floor or a wall?
As long as you use them as intended, that is to help you keep your balance during ballet or dance exercises, freestanding ballet barres are adequately sturdy.
Should I buy a single or a double barre?
A single barre is enough for personal use. However, a double barre gives you the luxury of having them set at different heights so you don’t need to adjust when you switch to a different routine. If needed, a double barre can also accommodate multiple users.
What is the ideal length of a portable ballet barre?
A 4 to 5 foot barre should be good for personal use while 6 to 8 feet is required for more than one user.
Do you recommend wood or aluminum barres?
Both wood and aluminum are excellent ballet barre materials. If you prefer a more contemporary look and minimal maintenance, buy a powder coated aluminum barre. It you want the traditional feel of wood and understand what it takes to keep it in its optimum condition, there are a lot of good wooden barres to choose from.
Ballet Barre Warm-Up
Portable ballet barres can be used for exercises that are suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
Whether you are a dancer with a love for flexibility and grace, a fitness advocate who wants to try this emerging dance-based workout, or an instructor looking for an affordable but efficient equipment, these portable ballet barres are sure to satisfy your need.
Of the wide selection available in the market, the Vita Vibe and Softtouch offer the best options. We have tested them ourselves but a lot of users also attest to their barres’ easy assembly and storage, adjustable height settings, stability, and overall quality. We also love how reasonably priced they are!
Whether you are purchasing your first barre or adding to your studio equipment, the Vita Vibe BD48 is definitely a worthy investment.