There is a lot to think about when shopping for an at home pole for pole dancing for fitness. One of the most important things to consider is the diameter of the pole itself.
Right now there are three main diameters of poles available: 50mm, 45mm, and 40mm. Each has definite advantages and disadvantages, which one you should purchase can be determined by weighing some important factors.
In pole competitions and workshops the poles are either 50mm or 45mm. These are also the most common diameters in pole studios. 40mm poles are marginally popular and primarily in Australia. Recently, a few pole manufacturers have begun to carry 40mm poles and I had the opportunity to try one at a pole convention. I found it to be too thin for my preference.
I am a petite person and as such I do not have large hands. This means I find 50mm poles to be hard to get a good hand grip on, particularly when doing spins such as the reverse grab. However, using them has greatly increased my grip strength and I have been able to accomplish all of the tricks I have wanted to, sometimes it takes a bit more effort. 50 mm poles are fabulous for tricks that are inversions or use elbow or knee grips. The extra pole provides extra surface area for increased grip. This means that some really pretty poses such as the Cupid or the Jasmine can be held longer.
As I mentioned the 45mm poles are great for people with smaller hands and using this size pole has made me feel very confident in a number of tricks that I felt shaky with before. However, the skinnier pole can make holding poses feel pretty pinchy and not as secure. Honestly, despite that, I still prefer them and the only trick that I find noticeably less secure on a 45mm pole is an inverted climb.
40mm poles are not competition standard and are not used that frequently. Like anything else it is personal preference though. There are some dancers who love that diameter. If you are planning on taking workshops or entering competitions, I would not have this be your only pole as transitioning to a larger pole is harder than going to a thinner one.
My best advice would be attend a pole convention and try all the diameters and see what feels most comfortable to you. If there is not a pole convention near you try to visit different studios to get an idea which diameter pole works best for you.
Again, consider your needs and your pole goals. If you are planning on attending workshops or conventions, 50mm and 45mm poles are standard and 40mm are not. A local pole instructor recommends getting a 50mm pole because then working on thinner poles will, almost always seem easier; additionally, your grip strength will be improved making you more secure in your tricks.
Typically, there is not a significant cost difference between the diameters so that should not be a deciding factor- which can be a relief.
Poles for home use are not cheap so spending time considering you needs is a wise decision. The good news is even if you change your mind you can re-sell your pole pretty easily.