I ended up biting the bullet and asking my landlord if I could have a fixed one. It cost me a total of £12, I bought a piece of stair rail the thickness of the class bars and the brackets were more than barre! The mirror cost me £50- I bought it second hand and sanded & spray painted it myself. But I wobbled and nearly bought the portable one and was anticipating paying £150. If space is an issue, I have a friend bought a slim mirror about 18" wide and a 2' off cut of barre from the dance studio she goes to. It fits between two windows in her room.
The metal handle ones are fine according to my dd. Try and find one that is adjustable in height and has sturdy feet - you don't want one that wobbles about and some of the cheaper fold-like-an-ironing-board ones do tend to do that a bit.
I'd go for one that has an adjustable upright support at each end rather than a folding one. If you look at the 'used' ones currently on ebay, they are the type I mean, and a lot of dance schools use them. You can dismantle them too, and we hide ours up against the wall behind the curtain in the dining room when not in use.
Okay, this is helping. I am definitely not going to go for a folding one.
We have loads of space (basically a room for it) so it would stay up the whole time.
It's not our house though and even if the landlady gave permission, it would be better to have one not fixed to the wall that we could take with us. We may move abroad again too rather than just move house, so something very sturdy that would go well packed in a container is preferable.
I have two children of massively different heights (big age gap) so adjustable is good too, even though the older one is at school mostly.
I have another question about tap dancing mats, but I'll save it 😂
We have a portable folding barre, bought years ago so can’t link. We also have one of those wooden stretch barres (if you’re looking for a budget option they’re only approx £50) we sometimes use as a ballet barre, it’s super strong for any weight bearing exercises, too.
we just use a piece of hardboard from B&Q for tap, not found anywhere to store a barre yet. the board isn't the best sound quality wise but a lot lot cheaper than proper tap boards, easy and light for the kids to get it out themselves from behind the sofa and put it away again.