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It’s no secret that exercise is important. One study found that sedentary lifestyles and physical inactivity kill 5.3 million people globally every year. (1) As technology advances, people need to move less both at home and at work. It’s more crucial than ever to spend time being physically active every week.
But that’s so much easier said than done.
If you find traditional workouts to be just plain boring, you aren’t alone. Many people find they get bored lifting weights or running on a treadmill, even when they know about the many benefits of staying fit.
This is one of the reasons PolePedia was created. Using a dance pole is engaging, fun, and rewarding—you get so much more out of these workouts than just toned muscles. But like any exercise regimen, you’ll need quality gear that’s made to last.
That’s why we put together this ultimate dance pole review round-up. In just a few minutes, you’ll know exactly what to look for while you shop and which brands you can trust.
Assessing Your Home Pole Space, Floor, and Ceiling Type
It’ll be hard to wrap your head around any dance pole review without understanding your own space first. Choosing the right dance pole will be so much easier once you’ve assessed these details.
First, your space. The location of your dance pole should give you enough room to swing and spin on the pole without bumping any walls or furniture.
And there’s an easy way to test this before you buy anything. Grab a broom or mop and stand it up where you want to install the dance pole. Now extend one arm straight out while holding onto the broom with your other hand. Walk in a tight circle around the broom/mop to imitate the motion of swinging around a pole.
“Whether you are setting up your [dance pole] in your bedroom, guest room or garage, you want to create an environment that is welcoming and makes you feel like you are entering a workout zone.”
Your fingertips shouldn’t touch the walls or furniture at any point. If you bump into anything, this spot might be too small for a dance pole.
As for the floor, we’re often asked “Can you install a dance pole on carpet?” Yes, you can easily install a dance pole whether your carpet is long or short-fibered. You may leave a temporary indent in the carpet. But so long as the pole is correctly installed, there shouldn’t be any permanent damage.
The riskiest flooring type to have under your dance pole is tile. No matter what the tile is made of, the downward pressure of the dance pole can crack the tiles or the mortar beneath them. Carpet, laminate, and hardwoods are the ideal options.
You’ll usually see 1 of 2 types of ceiling: Popcorn texture, or textured the same as your walls. You can safely install a dance pole with either kind. Be aware the rubber grips on top of your dance pole won’t grip as well to a popcorn texture ceiling, so you’ll need to use a tighter tension setting.
Know Your Ceiling Height and Angle
The main thing to focus on in terms of your ceiling is the height and angle. If you’ve ever read a dance pole review while shopping, you already know not all poles are compatible with all ceiling heights.
Most kits are designed to fit a ceiling height between 7 feet 4 inches and 9 feet high. If your ceiling height is outside of this range, you’ll most likely need to buy a specialty dance pole kit.
If your ceilings are vaulted or angled in any way, you may need a vaulted ceiling mount to get the tension just right.
How to Choose the Best Dance Pole Kit for an Apartment
If you live in an apartment or rental property, you can’t install a permanent dance pole. Eventually you’ll be moving out, and you’d be on the hook for any holes or damage from the pole.
At the same time, your dance pole needs a lot of tension to support your weight during every move. You need to find the perfect balance of sturdiness and easy removal.
There are a few different ways to approach this. You can opt for a free-standing or standalone dance pole. Our favorite is the X-Stage series by X-Pole. Every option is designed to discreetly break down when not in use, making them perfect for apartments!
You can also take extra care during the installation and removal process of a tension dance pole to minimize damage.
Basically, you never want to sacrifice your safety in the name of convenience. Don’t use less tension to install your dance pole in the hopes of protecting your security deposit. If you fall or the pole comes loose, the damage will be far more costly than if you’d installed it correctly to begin with.
Do You Want a Spinning Dance Pole, Static, or Both?
There’s a couple more key details you need to consider before checking out our dance pole review. The biggest thing is whether you want a spinning pole, static, or a combination.
Most pole dancers learn the basics on a static pole. (3) A static pole doesn’t move or spin while you dance. This makes it much easier to get a feel for the basics and start learning muscle memory. You don’t need as much strength to work with a static pole, so it’s a fantastic choice for beginners.
The only issue is there’s no way to convert a static pole into one that spins.
Spinning dance poles are designed to spin as your body moves. When you swing around the pole, it moves with you. You’ll ultimately use less energy to perform moves than you would with a static pole, but it’s still smart to learn on a static pole.
Luckily, many spinning poles can be temporarily locked to offer a static experience. If you’re serious about pursuing pole dancing, investing in a pole that has both static and spinning modes is smart.
Decide the Best Pole Size (Diameter)
You may be surprised to learn that dance poles come in different diameters. Each size has a certain application or type of person it’s best suited for:
- 40mm is the slimmest you’ll find. These are perfect if you’re petite or have particularly small hands.
- 45mm is the standard diameter, and the ideal choice for beginners. This is a standard size offered by all brands, and it’s comfortable for most people. This size is also used globally in pole dance competitions.
- 50mm used to be the standard diameter for dance poles. These are awesome for gripping with your legs, but not so much with your hands. That said, many clubs still use 50mm as a standard size.
- Odd sizes include 48mm and 53mm, but you’ll only find these on silicone dance poles. Silicone poles are made for intense power moves, hence the bigger diameter.
Decide the Best Pole Finish Type
Anytime you read a dance pole review, look for information about its finish. The surface of your pole is going to see a lot of use, sweat, and friction, so it needs to be sturdy and long-lasting.
The most common finish you’ll see is chrome. Brass, stainless steel, powder coats, and silicone are also great options.
Chrome is the best for general use, which is why so many people choose this finish for their dance pole. Just know you might want a grip aid, since the chrome can get slippery when wet. You’ll also want to confirm the pole is electroplated with chrome. Any other application methods mean your pole’s finish will peel and become useless in a few short months.
Brass is a fabulous choice for cold environments or if your skin is dry. This finish is one of the easiest to grip—far easier than chrome or stainless steel. The trade-off is that brass starts to feel sticky at warmer temperatures, which can make sliding down your pole almost impossible. Brass also tarnishes over time, so steer clear if that would drive you crazy.
Stainless steel is the go-to if you have allergies, but this finish is harder to grip than chrome. At the same time, stainless steel is perfect for more humid environments because it’s virtually rust-proof. (4) The same can’t be said of chrome.
Powder coats create a smooth-feeling surface that’s still easy to grip. In humid settings, you might find this finish a bit too grippy. So they aren’t great for sliding, but they can be a wonderful choice for beginners. Just know that like any coating, it can be scratched and damaged. Take extra care during transportation, and don’t wear anything with metal edges while using powder-coated dance poles.
Finally, silicone dance poles are best for beginner dancers. These are designed for doing moves while fully clothed. You can’t slide much because silicone is so sticky which makes it perfect if you’re nervous about going straight to chrome—but it can be difficult to work with for people with sensitive skin.
Best Pole Brands Versus No Brand or “Knock Off” Dance Poles
In this day and age, no brand or “knock off” products are the new norm. You can go on Amazon and find a cheaper version of just about any name-brand offering.
But when it comes to dance poles, you shouldn’t.
Consider the fact that your pole needs to support your body weight while you’re in motion. A lot of these cheaper knock offs don’t use strong enough materials. In the best case scenario, the finish on a no brand pole will start to peel in a few months and you may accidentally cut yourself.
In the worst case scenario, the pole has plastic internals rather than metal. These poles can bend, warp, and eventually break—hopefully not while you’re using it.
Saving a bit of money on a cheap pole isn’t worth the potential hospital stay. Just like with any workout gear, it’s smart to invest in something that’ll last you for years to come.
So, do brands matter in 2022 when it comes to dance poles? Yes, they absolutely do. At the very least you’ll want to purchase from a well-known, reputable brand to ensure you’re getting a high-quality product.
The Best Dance Poles in 2022 (For Beginners and Professionals)
You’re now an expert on shopping for dance poles! Which means you’ll fully understand why we’re obsessed with the X-Pole brand. X-Pole has been making home dance poles since 2001—long before anybody was looking up routines on YouTube.
This company has evolved with every passing year. After their first offering took the world by storm, they introduced the X-Stage in 2007. This freestanding dance pole made pole dancing accessible to anybody, providing you with a professional dance pole whether you lived in a home or an apartment.
And they haven’t slowed down since then. Because X-Pole has been integral to the industry for over 20 years, they really understand what makes a quality dance pole.
How Much Does It Cost?
You can spend anywhere from $119.99 to $499.99 for your X-Pole tension pole, or more if you choose a stage pole. Static options are more affordable, while you’ll spend more for a spinning/static combo.
No matter which kind you get, you’ll be able to input your ceiling height, choose your diameter, and your preferred finish. Every purchase also includes a warranty to protect your sleek new investment. Most importantly, there are financing options available so you don’t have to shell out all that cash at once.
What Does It Promise?
X-Pole as a brand promises safety, advanced technology and innovations, and a high-performing product. Every product is engineered to suit any location, whether you’re training at home or performing a public showcase.
The minds at X-Pole understand that pole dancing is supposed to be fun and worry-free. That’s exactly why people choose to practice this rewarding activity. If you have to fuss with screws and PSI every time you want to dance, it defeats the purpose.
What It’s Actually Like
Every X-Pole is an absolute dream to dance with. If you choose the combination pole, you can switch from static to spinning without any tools—just a flick of your wrist.
The pole is great for all kinds of tricks. Even once you’ve evolved from a beginner to intermediate level, you won’t feel the need to upgrade. It’s also sturdy and easy to transport, so it’s perfect for competitions or performances outside your home.
These things feel so stable. You never have to worry about using too much force or the pole’s ability to support you. Inversions and acrobatic tricks are easier than with any other pole.
Best of all, every detail has been thought of. The base is micro-articulating, meaning it adjusts to uneven floor surfaces. It loads from the bottom so you don’t need a ladder to install it. And it really does break down easily— transporting this thing couldn’t be simpler.
We’ve never experienced any ceiling damage from use, unlike many other dance pole brands.
So, the downsides? There aren’t many. The biggest thing is that your X-Pole will need tightening every so often, approximately a couple times every year. But this is far less often than other brands and knock offs.
Basically, X-Pole is perfect for anyone looking to start pole dancing. It’s the highest quality, most durable, and most smartly designed option available on the market.
Don’t Forget Grip Aids, Grip Gear, and Pole Dance Crash Mats
Now you know what kind of information to look for when you read a dance pole review, plus our absolute favorite dance pole of all time.
But this is just the beginning.
You see, pole dancing is so much more than just learning movements. It’s an excellent workout that requires some dedication, focus, and attention to detail. That’s why it’s so important to get safety gear in addition to the dance pole itself.
The basics you’ll want right away are grip aids and pole dance crash mats. (which you can find more information on all of these in our blog!)
Grip aids are products that make sticking to the pole easier. These are most often a gel, liquid, spray, resin, or lotion you apply topically. And not just to your hands—thighs and knee pits benefit from these products, too.
Last but certainly not least is a pole dance crash mat. People have sustained serious injuries from what they thought was a light fall. With a crash mat beneath your feet, you can practice inversions and more without worrying for your safety.
Do you still have questions not addressed here? Just drop them in the comments and we’ll expand this guide to be even more comprehensive!
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1. CBC News, Physical Inactivity Kills 5.3 Million a Year Globally
2. The Washington Post, Don’t Want to Go Back to the Gym? Here’s How to Carve Out a Workout Space at Home
3. Ezine Articles, A Guide to Choosing Between a Spinning Dance Pole or a Static Dance Pole for Fitness Pole Dancing
4. Scientific American, Why Doesn’t Stainless Steel Rust?