Are you in the market for an upright piano? Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned musician, finding the perfect upright piano can be an exciting but challenging endeavor. With their space-saving design and affordability, upright pianos have become a favorite choice for many homes. But with so many options available, how do you choose the right one?

Let me share a relatable story with you. Meet Lisa, a passionate pianist who has been playing the piano since she was a child. She recently moved into a cozy apartment and wanted to continue her musical journey by purchasing an upright piano. Lisa had always dreamt of having her own instrument, and she couldn’t wait to start playing beautiful melodies in her new home.

However, Lisa quickly realized that finding the perfect upright piano was not as simple as she thought. She was overwhelmed by the variety of models and brands available. Determined to make an informed decision, Lisa embarked on a journey of research and exploration.

She started by understanding the dimensions of upright pianos and how they can affect the sound quality. Lisa learned that the height of the piano directly impacts its volume and the clarity of the bass register. Armed with this knowledge, she began to narrow down her options based on the size and acoustics of her apartment.

Next, Lisa delved into the world of sound quality and tonal profiles. She discovered that the country of origin can influence the tonal characteristics of a piano. Certain brands like Yamaha, Kawai, and Steinway were known for their exceptional craftsmanship and tonal clarity. Lisa made a note to explore these brands further.

The piano action was another crucial aspect Lisa considered. As a beginner, she wanted an upright piano with a touch and response that felt comfortable and easy to play. Lisa decided to visit a showroom to test different pianos and experience their touch and response firsthand.

As Lisa continued her research, she realized that budget was an important consideration. Upright piano prices could vary significantly depending on the brand, quality, and features. She knew that finding the right balance between budget and desired features would be pivotal in her decision-making process.

Lastly, Lisa understood the importance of resale value. She wanted her investment to hold its value over time. Lisa noted that choosing a well-known brand and model could contribute to better resale value in the future.

Now armed with knowledge and a clearer understanding of her preferences, Lisa was ready to embark on her upright piano-buying journey. She knew that finding the right instrument would bring her joy and inspiration for years to come.

Key Takeaways:

  • Upright pianos are a popular choice for many homes due to their space-saving design and affordability.
  • Consider the dimensions of an upright piano, as they can affect sound quality and fit in your space.
  • Sound quality and tonal profiles vary based on the country of origin and brand, with Yamaha, Kawai, and Steinway being renowned for their craftsmanship.
  • Piano action, or touch and response, should be comfortable and easy to play, especially for beginners.
  • Establish a budget that balances desired features and quality.

Upright Piano Dimensions

The size of an upright piano is an important consideration when making a purchase. The height of the piano directly affects its volume and the clarity of the bass register. Upright pianos can range in height from about 42″ to 53″.

Factors such as the size and acoustic makeup of the room where the piano will be placed and the desired bass clarity should be taken into account when choosing the dimensions of an upright piano.

It is important to ensure that the piano fits comfortably in the designated space, allowing for easy access and proper positioning for optimal sound projection.

If the room has low ceilings, a shorter upright piano may be more suitable to avoid any limitations on sound quality or potential damage to the instrument due to lack of clearance.

Conversely, if the room has high ceilings, a taller upright piano can enhance the volume and resonance of the sound.

Sound Quality and Tonal Profile

After considering the size of the upright piano, it is important to focus on the sound quality and tonal profile. The country of origin can have an influence on the tonal characteristics of a piano, with certain countries known for their craftsmanship and tonal clarity. Additionally, factors such as hammer selection, soundboard material, and scale design play a role in determining sound quality. Some of the best upright piano brands known for their sound quality include Yamaha, Kawai, and Steinway.

best upright piano brands

  • Yamaha:

    Yamaha upright pianos are highly regarded for their exceptional sound quality and consistent performance. Renowned for their bright and clear tones, Yamaha pianos are crafted with precision and attention to detail, making them a top choice among professional musicians and enthusiasts alike.

  • Kawai:

    Kawai is another reputable upright piano brand known for its superior sound quality. With a rich and warm tonal profile, Kawai pianos offer a harmonious balance across all registers. Crafted with innovative technologies and high-quality materials, Kawai pianos provide excellent touch and responsiveness, making them a popular choice for pianists of all levels.

  • Steinway:

    Steinway pianos are synonymous with exceptional craftsmanship and unparalleled sound quality. Handcrafted with meticulous attention to detail, Steinway upright pianos produce a rich and resonant tone that captivates performers and audiences alike. With a legacy of 160 years, Steinway continues to be a benchmark for excellence in the piano industry.

“The right choice of upright piano brand can make a significant difference in the sound quality and tonal profile of the instrument. Yamaha, Kawai, and Steinway are among the best upright piano brands known for their exceptional craftsmanship and superior sound quality.”

Piano Action (Touch and Response)

The piano action is a crucial aspect to consider when choosing an upright piano, especially for beginners. The touch and response of the keys and hammers greatly impact the playability and overall experience of playing the instrument.

When selecting an upright piano, it is essential to find one that offers a comfortable and easy touch. Factors such as the weight and resistance of the keys play a significant role in determining the feel and responsiveness of the piano action. Beginners often benefit from pianos with lighter keys that require less finger strength, allowing for smoother and more effortless playing.

Testing different upright pianos in a showroom or music store is highly recommended for beginners. This hands-on approach allows individuals to assess the touch and response of various pianos, enabling them to find the perfect fit for their preferences and playing style.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the overall feel and smoothness of the action. An upright piano with a reputable action mechanism will provide a consistent and even response across all keys, ensuring a more enjoyable playing experience for beginners.


Once you have considered the size, sound quality, and piano action, it’s time to establish a budget for your upright piano purchase. While budget shouldn’t be the sole determinant, it can help narrow down your options and find the best piano within your price range.

Upright piano prices can vary widely depending on factors such as the brand, quality, and features. It’s important to find a balance between your budget and the desired features and quality of the instrument.

When determining your budget, consider the longevity and value of the piano as well. Investing in a high-quality upright piano can potentially save you money in the long run by reducing maintenance costs and retaining resale value.

Remember, an upright piano is an investment that can bring years of musical enjoyment, so it’s worth considering all factors, including your budget, in order to make the best decision.

Factors to consider when budgeting for an upright piano:

  • Brand reputation and quality
  • Size and model
  • Additional features and accessories

By considering these factors and setting a realistic budget, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect upright piano that fits your needs and preferences without compromising quality.

Resale Value (Used Market & Brand Considerations)

When purchasing an upright piano, considering the resale value is crucial. Compared to grand pianos, upright pianos have a higher turnover rate in the market, making resale value an important factor to keep in mind.

Choosing an upright piano from a reputable brand with a recognized model can significantly help in retaining its resale value. Established brands with a strong market presence tend to hold their value better over time. Brands like Yamaha, Kawai, and Steinway have a track record of producing quality instruments that hold their worth.

Avoiding brands that are new or relatively unknown in the market is advisable, as they may not have established a strong resale market. Additionally, it is wise to steer clear from brands known for frequent rebranding, as it can affect the perceived value of their pianos.

“The resale value of an upright piano depends on several factors, including brand reputation and model recognition.” – Piano Expert

Background to the Upright

The upright piano has a fascinating history, making it a cherished choice for many households. The evolution of upright pianos spans several centuries, with earlier models featuring vertically running strings and soundboards. Over time, modern upright pianos have transitioned to strings that run upward from the bottom of the case, revolutionizing their design and functionality.

Throughout its development, the upright piano has become a versatile instrument, offering a range of sizes and heights to accommodate different preferences and spaces. Larger upright pianos, in particular, are favored for their exceptional power and tone quality, making them an excellent choice for professional musicians and those seeking a commanding musical presence in their homes.

history of upright pianos

Through technological advancements and the artistic craftsmanship of renowned piano makers, the upright piano has maintained its popularity and remains an integral part of the music industry. With its rich history and contributions to music, the upright piano continues to captivate audiences and inspire musicians worldwide.

Top Modern Upright Piano Brands and Models

When it comes to top-quality upright pianos, there are several brands and models that stand out in the market. These instruments offer exceptional sound, craftsmanship, and playability, making them highly sought after by pianists and enthusiasts. Some of the top contenders in the industry include:

  1. Yamaha’s U series:
  2. Yamaha has long been recognized for producing high-quality pianos, and their U series is no exception. These upright pianos are known for their rich tone, responsive touch, and outstanding durability. With a range of models to choose from, including the popular U1 and U3, Yamaha upright pianos are favored by musicians of all levels.

  3. Kawai’s K series:
  4. Kawai is another renowned brand that consistently delivers exceptional upright piano models. The K series is known for its warm and expressive sound, precise touch, and innovative technologies. Kawai upright pianos, such as the K200 and K300, are highly regarded for their outstanding craftsmanship and musical performance.

  5. Essex upright pianos (part of the Steinway Family):
  6. Essex is the entry-level brand of Steinway & Sons, one of the most prestigious piano manufacturers in the world. Essex upright pianos offer remarkable value for money, combining Steinway’s signature quality with affordability. These pianos are meticulously crafted and designed to provide exceptional tone and responsive action.

  7. Boston upright pianos:
  8. Boston, also a brand under the Steinway Family, is known for its commitment to excellence and innovation. Boston upright pianos are crafted using high-quality materials and advanced techniques, resulting in instruments that offer a clear, powerful sound and superior playability. With their sleek design and exceptional performance, Boston upright pianos are highly regarded by pianists and educators.

  9. Steinway’s handcrafted K-52 upright piano:
  10. Steinway’s handcrafted K-52 upright piano is the epitome of artistry and craftsmanship. Each piano is meticulously built by skilled artisans, using the finest materials and the company’s time-honored techniques. The K-52 delivers a rich and nuanced sound with impeccable clarity and projection, making it a favorite choice for professional pianists and discerning enthusiasts.

Each of these top upright piano brands and models has its own unique features and qualities. Whether you’re a beginner, an advanced player, or a professional musician, you can find an upright piano that suits your preferences and musical needs. These instruments offer exceptional performance, reliability, and longevity, making them a worthwhile investment for any piano enthusiast.

For a visual representation, here is an image of a beautiful Yamaha U1 upright piano:


When it comes to choosing the best upright piano, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, it’s important to think about your individual preferences, such as the size and design that would fit well into your space. Additionally, take into account the sound quality and tonal profile that resonates with your musical style and preferences. The piano’s action, or touch and response, should also be comfortable and easy for you to play, especially if you’re a beginner.

Of course, budget is another essential consideration. Upright pianos come in a wide range of prices, so it’s crucial to establish a budget beforehand. While it’s important to find a balance between cost and quality, don’t forget that a higher-end instrument can offer better sound quality and longevity. When it comes to resale value, choosing a piano from a reputable brand, like Yamaha, Kawai, or Steinway, can help ensure a higher value if you ever decide to sell or upgrade in the future.

In conclusion, the best upright piano for you is the one that matches your personal preferences, budget, and musical goals. Consider factors such as size, sound quality, piano action, and resale value when making a decision. By exploring different brands and models, testing them out, and selecting the one that resonates with you the most, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect upright piano that will bring joy and inspiration to your musical journey.


What is the average size of an upright piano?

Upright pianos can range in height from about 42″ to 53″.

How does the size of an upright piano affect its sound?

The height of the piano directly affects its volume and the clarity of the bass register.

Which countries are known for their high-quality upright pianos?

Countries such as Japan (Yamaha and Kawai) and the United States (Steinway) are known for their craftsmanship and tonal clarity.

What should beginners look for in an upright piano?

Beginners should look for an upright piano with a touch and response that is comfortable and easy to play.

How much does an upright piano cost?

Upright piano prices can vary widely depending on the brand, quality, and features.

How does resale value play a role in choosing an upright piano?

Choosing a piano from a reputable brand with a recognized model can help retain its resale value.

How has the design of upright pianos evolved over time?

Early upright pianos had vertically running strings and soundboards, while modern uprights have strings that run upward from the bottom of the case.

What are some top modern upright piano brands and models?

Some top contenders include Yamaha’s U series, Kawai’s K series, Essex upright pianos, Boston upright pianos, and Steinway’s handcrafted K-52 upright piano.

How can I choose the best upright piano?

Choosing the best upright piano involves considering factors such as size, sound quality, piano action, and resale value while exploring different brands and models, and testing them out.

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