These days you can hardly walk down the street of any town or city center without running into several gyms and fitness studios.
While this is good news if you like options, it also poses a challenge. How do you know which one to choose?
It’s especially tough when comparing studios with similar workouts, like Barre3 and Pure Barre.
What’s the difference between two of the biggest barre studios in the world: Barre3 vs Pure Barre? And which one is right for you?
You’ll get a great workout at either Barre3 or Pure Barre, but the main difference comes down to pricing and atmosphere. If you’re taking classes frequently, Barre3 will often be more affordable. Pure Barre is probably a better fit for people of more advanced fitness levels, but Barre3 better caters to beginners and casual barre folks with more amenities, like childcare.
Let’s take a closer look at the workouts, costs, pros, cons, and more!
Barre3 vs Pure Barre Cost
There’s a hefty difference between the price of a monthly membership at Barre3 and Pure Barre, but it’s a little nuanced.
In some ways, Barre3 looks more cost-effective. In other ways, Pure Barre seems like the way to go. Let’s go into detail on that.
All Barre3 studios are run independently, and many studios offer your first class for free. Great news for people shopping around!
Once you start paying, pricing varies on location, but here are prices you’ll find at many locations:
- $23 per class
- $300 for 20 classes
- $150 per month for unlimited classes
Depending on how many classes you can attend per month, the 20-pack provides the best value for money.
If you can only attend four classes per month, you’d pay $300 for 8 as opposed to $300 for 20.
If you can attend a class 3–5 times per week, then the unlimited plan offers the most value.
Like Barre3, Pure Barre’s pricing varies depending on location. You can take one free class to start, too.
During my research, I’ve seen monthly fees cited as low as $127 and as high as $200.
However, I’ve compiled some pricing information from trusted sources that say these are the most common prices you’ll encounter:
- $22 per class
- $100 for 5 classes
- $190 for 10 classes
- $340 for 20 classes
- $199.99 per month for unlimited classes
- $100 per month for unlimited classes for new members
As you can see, Pure Barre is a lot pricier than Barre3 when buying 20 classes or a monthly membership as a returning member.
New members should jump on that $100 special offer for sure!
However, if you only want to take a class here and there and don’t mind paying per class, you’ll find Pure Barre is just slightly more cost-effective than Barre3.
Facilities and Amenities
Both studios are polished and professional, and they have excellent amenities, too. The main difference between these facilities is the vibe of the studio overall.
Barre3 has simple workout rooms. They have the barre, mirrors, and often lots of wonderful windows to create a welcoming and bright environment. It almost feels a little like a classroom.
You’ll often find shelves full of gear like weighted balls and dumbbells, and it’s reminiscent of shelves full of books in a school. This makes the studio feel familiar and pretty supportive.
The rooms are often decorated with light walls and wooden floors, creating a welcoming feeling.
Outside of the workout room, you’ll find:
- Bathrooms and showers
- Changing rooms
- Lockers in a lounge area with seating
And best of all, there’s a childcare area. If you don’t have a membership, you’ll pay an additional fee for childcare.
Prices vary, but in most locations, you’ll pay $5 per child per hour or $45 per child for 10 hours. There’s also a $75 per child monthly option for unlimited childcare.
Pure Barre’s workout rooms feel much more intense and closer to a typical gym.
The workout rooms have the barre running around the classroom. There are huge mirrors on at least one wall.
The rooms often have few or no windows, so you’re boxed in and focused on the workout environment. You’ll also find the design more minimalistic, as there are rarely shelves of gear.
White walls and a black/grey carpeted or foam floor help set the minimalist tone for the rooms.
Pure Barre also has fewer amenities than Barre3.
There are no locker rooms, and the bathrooms will often only have deodorant and dry shampoo.
This varies on location, of course, but amenities don’t seem to be the focal point of any Pure Barre locations.
As Barre3 and Pure Barre are both barre-centric workouts, you’re unlikely to see too much of a difference between the two, but there are some.
Let’s see the slightly different ways the studios go about achieving their different results.
Barre3’s workouts have elements of yoga, pilates, and ballet.
There’s a big focus on mindfulness and paying attention to your body.
That said, these exercises aren’t easy!
You’ll find yourself pretty strained after a Barre3 class. The weights may be light and the poses may seem simple, but you’re putting your body through the works.
Each class typically has a different full-body workout, so you never know what you’re going to get.
Classes have you working in different sequences to work out your various muscle groups, and there are classes available where you focus on just one muscle group of your choice.
There’s a major focus on building strength, too. You’ll often find yourself working with light dumbbells and weighted balls, and bodyweight exercises like squats are common.
Despite this, you won’t end up sweat-soaked with a heart that feels ready to pop. The movements aren’t complex, and none of the exercises will have you jumping around.
You will find your heart rate elevated as you’re going at a vigorous pace, but you won’t be panting and wheezing by the time you’re done.
Pure Barre’s Workouts
Much like their studios, Pure Barre’s workouts are a little more intense.
Here, you’re more likely to end up panting with your heart pumping and your clothes sticking to you with sweat.
However, it’s still a very low-impact workout that’ll ensure your joints feel minimal pressure.
The reason you’ll end up out of breath is Pure Barre is cardio-centric. It’s fast-paced, and you wear hand and ankle weights for every class.
Pure Empower classes at Pure Barre are particularly focused on cardio, but Pure Barre Classic classes stick with strength and ab workouts.
Purre Reform is another type of class available, and this one has you working mainly on resistance, balance, strength, and coordination.
All classes at Purre Barre keep up the fast-paced element.
There’s a downside to the fast-paced environment, though. There’s no time for the moves to be explained in great detail.
You can combat this by attending a Pure Barre Foundations class first to learn the basics. Plus, the instructors are helpful and happy to explain things more in every Pure Barre class if needed.
You’ll repeat these foundation exercises over and over, challenging your muscles and building resistance in every class. Despite this, you’ll never get bored, as the instructors like to shake things up in the classes to keep it feeling fresh.
(Learn more about the results you can get from Pure Barre and barre workouts in general.)
Community and Vibe
Both Barre3 and PureBarre have a strong, supportive community.
This is common in class-based studios like barre workouts offer, and you’ll find the people there have similar goals to you.
They want to work out, but they also want to have a good time.
Barre3 has a particularly strong community, online and off. There are lots of Barre3 enthusiasts on social media.
Some Barre3 attendees run fun virtual social media events, and some Barre3 studios do the same thing. One studio in Madison, WI has been known to run virtual pop-up happy hour events.
So while there’s a major focus on the workouts themselves, bonding and getting along with your peers is also an option if you’re interested.
Meanwhile, people at Pure Barre have been known to be more serious. They’re very much workout-focused, and there’s not much room for chatting and having fun during classes.
Given the lack of locker rooms, there’s also not much time to chat before and after classes either—yet the community aspect is still strong.
Newcomers are made feel very welcome at Pure Barre, and all the instructors are friendly and informative.
Some Pure Barre attendees have mentioned being introduced to the instructors before class, and some were invited to stay next to the instructor so they could follow along more easily during their first class.
The rest of the Purer Bare community is equally empowering.
You’ll find you have a lot of allies rooting for you at the classes, so if you’re looking for a fun group of people who’ll challenge you, then Pure Barre will be great for you.
There’s also a nice online Pure Barre community on Reddit that consider themselves supportive. Members frequently give out advice, provide feedback, talk about their goals, and vent their frustrations together.
Barre3 and Pure Barre are fitness studios with similar workouts and goals, and honestly, you could go to either of them and be happy.
However, there are some notable differences (other than the price) that may sway your decision.
Barre3 is more of an open, calming environment with a friendly community and nice amenities to enjoy. You can sit in the lounge and chat before classes, drop your kids off at the childcare facilities, and take advantage of the showers and toiletries.
On the other hand, Pure Barre has a community that’s focused on empowering you and helping you reach your goals. The darker, minimalist facilities make it feel like an intense workout space, and there are fewer amenities to use before and after class.
It’d be worth checking out a free class at each so you can find which suits you better. The choice will likely come down to which feels just right.
For more studio comparisons, check out:
Hope this helps!