Fitness Tips

With the Right Weight Bench, You Can Seriously Level Up Your At-Home Workout—These Are the Best

Photo: Getty Images/Patrick Chu
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While it’s definitely possible to get an effective, full-body workout with some dumbbells, a mat, and your own body weight, a weight bench can seriously boost the number of exercises you can do at home. That variety won’t just benefit you physically, but it can also motivate you to keep working out regularly by keeping things interesting.

Best weight benches at-a-glance

"Weight benches are a very essential tool for workouts and fitness goals while staying at home," says Nick Natt, a personal trainer and professional bodybuilder. "There are multiple exercises and uses for the workout bench. In addition, they're easy to store and usually come with wheels. This makes moving them around easy."

Meagan Morris, a certified personal trainer and the editor of Celebribody, also highly recommends getting a weight bench for home workouts. “A sturdy, multifunctional weight bench is an essential piece of equipment for a home gym, especially if you strength train with dumbbells or barbells. While you can perform some dumbbell-based exercises … from the floor, a weight bench allows you to safely lift heavier weight with a greater range of motion,” she says.

At first glance, most weight benches seem pretty similar, and the price range isn’t very broad, either. Natt says that “brands are a lot more similar than they are different,” but adds, “Some brands can offer benefits such as warranties, extra equipment, or even attachments that others cannot. Prior to making your choice, be aware of warranties, return policies, and the fine print of what the bench can and cannot do.”

Up ahead are the best weight benches to start or expand your home gym.

Best Adjustable Weight Benches

Best splurge: Bowflex Weight Bench — $199.00

Looking for a splurge? This commercial-quality weight bench is what Bowflex calls its “top of the line” model and its “ finest bench yet.” (It also has a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty for parts and labor.) You might expect “top of the line” to translate to “really big,” but the 5.1S is designed to be stored vertically and take up 50 percent less floor space when folded. To provide versatility, the bench adjusts to six angles—30, 45, 60, and 90 degrees, as well as flat and decline.

Pros: This bench has earned a 4.4 rating at Best Buy from more than 40 reviews, and reviewers note that it’s sturdy, well-made, and easy to assemble.

Cons: Some feel that the gap between the seat and backrest could stand to be smaller.

Best heavy duty: HulkFit Adjustable and Foldable Utility Weight Bench — $275.00

Most weight benches are a standard black, so it’s nice to see a cheery yellow like this. But even if you couldn’t care less about the color, this bench has a lot to offer, including multiple positions for the backrest and seat. For the latter, the range is 90 degrees to -20 degrees.

Pros: Reviewers note that the bench is very sturdy and that you get a lot for the sub-$200 price. One happy customer wrote, “I would give this bench 10 stars if I could, they don’t allow it, so I’m giving it [five] stars.”

Cons: Some say that the assembly instructions could be better and that larger wheels would make the bench easier to move.

Best for tall people: PASYOU Adjustable Weight Bench — $115.00

This adjustable weight bench has more than 5,000 5-star reviews on Amazon. It’s designed for upper- and lower-body workouts of all sorts, and the backrest can be adjusted to seven different positions (from 127 to 190 degrees). It’s comfortable for users up to 6 feet tall. The weight bench comes partially assembled, and the retailer claims that the customer portion of assembly takes “two minutes.” (Customer reviews mostly confirm this, or close enough.)

Pros: Fair cost, easy assembly, sturdy construction.

Cons: While reviewers note that the bench is lightweight, sturdy (when using light to moderate weights), and easy to assemble, some wish that it included a 90-degree backrest position. It also stands a bit higher than a typical weight bench, so shorter people may not be able to put their feet flat on the floor when doing a bench press, for example.

Best multi-use: Escape Fitness Deck V2.0 Workout Platform — $157.00

The Fitness Deck has 16 configurations and is designed to function as a weight bench, step platform, and plyometric box (for jumps)—complete with resistance tubes and a handy storage compartment. The backrest adjusts to three different angles (30, 45, and 70 degrees), and the flat bench has incline and decline options. To make stepping easier, the bench shows designated positions for your feet and (of course) has an anti-slip surface.

Pros: Reviewers say that this weight bench is compact, sturdy, and versatile.

Cons: Customers point out that it’s not the best choice for tall people. Also, if comfortable padding is a must-have for you, you should probably go with a bench that’s not designed for stepping (or use a folded towel, as some customers recommend).

Best easy set-up: RitFit Adjustable Utility Weight Bench — $110.00

The company that makes this weight bench offers a more generous quality guarantee than most: a 3-year warranty (on the frame). The seat and backrest can be adjusted to five positions, while the seat has four positions and the bench has incline, decline, and flat options. The bench folds down to 33.5” x 17” x 19” and can be stored vertically, which is pretty convenient. Bonus: It comes with a poster that shows 35 exercises, which will very helpfully prevent you from sitting there while pondering what to do next.

Pros: The 3-year warranty, easy adjustability, and price point. Reviewers also like that this bench is easy to finish assembling (it comes partially put together) and isn’t too high.

Cons: Some customers note that the weight limit is less than specified—more like 300–400 lbs. (including weights, of course).

Best bench with accessories: OppsDecor Weight Bench — $160.00

You get a few couple of extras with this weight bench: a pair of resistance tubes that attach to the bench, and a barbell rack. The bench is foldable for easy storage, the height is adjustable, and the seat can be adjusted to five different angles.

Pros: Price point, foldability, and all the extra accessories. Plus, reviewers note that this bench is sturdy, easy to assemble, and easy to move when folded. One enthusiastic customer wrote, “I LOVE THIS THING!! I wanted something that would help me achieve my muscle tone without breaking the bank and this definitely checked all the boxes!”

Cons: Some wish the barbell rack was a bit wider.

Best sleek design: Weider Gym — $129.00

This is an affordable weight bench that includes a 30-day full-access membership to iFIT, an app that offers trainer-led workouts. (You can even use it with Roku and Apple TV.) It also comes with a low-tech version of that: a “professionally designed” exercise chart. The bench has 16 possible configurations

Pros: Customers like that this bench is sturdy and easy to assemble. One satisfied customer wrote, “The whole bench is great honestly. Very easy to put together. … Best for the money you could get IMO.”

Cons: Some say it’s too high for someone to put their feet flat on the floor if they have short legs or are a shorter person.

Best lightweight: MCNBLK Weight Bench — $150.00

This weight bench is super versatile due to its eight backrest positions, four seat positions, and three adjustments for the foot hold-down bars. It’s made from heavy-duty steel—but note that the product specs call the covering “high-quality leather” while it’s actually faux. The bench comes with two pairs of resistance tubes and is foldable.

Pros: Reviewers say this bench is solid but lightweight, easy to assemble, and easy to adjust. One customer shared, “I am very happy with myself for choosing this bench. Its solid construction, along with portability and easy storage, will probably offer me many years of exercises, and thus wherever I like in the house, without sacrificing space.”

Cons: If you’re looking for leather, this bench is constructed with a faux leather material. Some reviewers say it can become unbalanced at times.

Best color options: CAP Barbell Deluxe Utility Weight Bench — $181.00

The first thing to note about this weight bench is that, unlike the vast majority of benches, it’s available in several fun colors: bright options like green and orange, plus black and gray for the traditionalists out there. It also can adjust to more positions than some weight benches: three for the seat and seven for the backrest. The bench offers a wheel and handle for portability as well as two places to attach resistance tubes or bands.

Pros: The hundreds of positive reviews mention that this bench is sturdy, relatively lightweight, and moderately easy to put together.

Cons: Some customers wish the padding was a bit comfier.

Best Weight Benches for Home

Best sturdiness: FINER FORM Multi-Functional Weight Bench — $180.00

Morris has hands-on experience (literally) with this weight bench—she has one at home. She likes that it’s relatively inexpensive, is easy to assemble, has a high weight capacity (660 lbs), and is “truly multifunctional.” She says, “I can use a flat bench for barbell bench presses and dumbbell movements, and it also has incline and decline functions to help me target additional upper-body muscle groups…But what really sold me was the Roman chair included with the bench because it allows me to perform hyperextension exercises to target my glutes, lower back, and hamstrings”

This adjustable bench is made from high-grade steel and has a scratch-resistant finish and three inches of cushioning. One reviewer shared this praise: “Much higher quality than I honestly expected for the price.”

Pros: High quality, very adjustable, multi-functional, and heavy duty.

Cons: Some reviewers note that if you’re tall or will be sharing the bench with a tall partner, this bench may not be the best choice for you.

Best for beginners: FLYBIRD Adjustable Bench — $140.00

Natt says this weight bench is just right for beginners, and the reviews back up his recommendation in a big way: It has an incredible 11,000 5-star reviews at Amazon. The bench’s features include six backrest positions and four seat positions for versatility, and aside from attaching the foot hold, no assembly is required. It’s made from heavy-duty steel, folds for storage, and comes with a 1-year warranty.

Pros: Great for beginners, versatile, sturdy.

Cons: While product specs mention “high-quality leather,” the material is polyurethane faux leather (which is easier to clean, as a plus). There’s some disagreement among reviewers regarding the bench’s size, too; some say that tall people can easily use the bench, while others fault it for not being large enough. (The company gives a height limit of 5’9” but classifies other models as appropriate for tall users, such as this one.)

Best budget: Amazon Basics Flat Weight Workout Exercise Bench — $69.00

The Amazon Basics line offers basic (yup), affordable options for everything from clothes to coffee makers, and this weight bench is no exception. As it’s a flat bench, it doesn’t provide a ton of options for different exercises, but for people who belong to a gym and simply supplement their workouts at home, rather than doing all of their exercise there, it could work well. The bench has a heavy-duty steel frame, and while the weight limit isn’t listed online, the manual gives a limit of 385 lbs.

Pros: This weight bench has earned more than 3,000 5-star reviews, and reviewers say it’s sturdy, easy to assemble, and easy to move.

Cons: The included hardware and tools aren’t the best (some customers bought replacement bolts, for example, and used their own tools), and some reviewers say they’d prefer thicker padding. Plus, limited functionality.

 

Best wide base: Fitness Reality SuperMax Adjustable Weight Bench — $119.00

If you have a very tall partner or happen to be very tall yourself, this weight bench, unlike many others, could be just the right size for you—it’s designed for users up to 6’4”. That doesn’t mean it’s inconveniently big, though; when folded, it only measures 9” high (or 9” deep if you’re storing it vertically). The bench has incline, decline, and flat settings, and it includes a 1-year warranty.

This weight bench has almost 7,000 5-star reviews, one of which reads, “This weight bench is top of the line quality that’s very much comparable to the expensive gym centers.”

Pros: Reviewers like that the bench is sturdy, secure, and easy to put together.

Cons: Some mentioned that the bars to secure your feet during certain exercises could use some more padding.

Steelbody Deluxe Weight Bench
Best padding: Steelbody Deluxe Weight Bench — $159.00

For anyone who likes their weight bench extra cushy, this bench has a two-inch thick padding to support you while you strength train. The back rest can be adjusted to six different positions, and the seat can be adjusted to five. The bench also has non-marketing feet pads to prevent scratching up your floors.

Pros: Extra thick padding, easy to assemble.

Cons: Seat is small, reviewers note there is a gap between the seat and backrest when laid flat

Best for heavy lifting: XMark Adjustable Weight Bench — $232.00

Most weight benches specify weight limits from 500 to 800 pounds (including whatever you’re lifting, of course), but this one from Louisiana-based company XMark is designed to hold up to 1,500! It’s also one of the highest-rated weight benches on Amazon—although it’s a bit of a splurge. The heavy-duty bench offers seven positions for the backrest and three for the seat, plus sweat- and tear-resistant vinyl and 3” cushioning.

Pros: Reviewers like that this bench is sturdy and very well-made and is simple to put together. One happy customer wrote, “I shopped around and read thousands of reviews before selecting this bench and I am happy to say that I made the right purchase.”

Cons: Some say the padding is too soft and that the seat is higher than they prefer.

Best flat bench: Marcy Flat Weight Bench — $69.00

This weight bench from California-based company Marcy isn’t adjustable and has a basic flat design, but it’s very affordable and would be a great choice for someone who doesn’t need something fancy. It also has 11,000 5-star reviews from satisfied customers. Made from heavy-duty, powder-coated steel, the bench has a 2-year manufacturer warranty.

Pros: Reviewers say that this bench is sturdy, easy to assemble (with helpful instructions, which isn’t always the case), and easy to move. One reviewer noted, “My favorite thing about this bench is its maneuverability. I don’t have much floor space to work with, so I have to reposition the bench quite often depending on the exercise. It is light enough to reposition for different exercise setups with ease, but also very stable when in use.”

Cons: Some wrote that the padding isn’t high-quality and the bench isn’t long enough for taller people. It’s also pretty basic.

Best with storage: Reebok Deck — $160.00

The Reebok Deck is somewhat unusual among weight benches because it’s marketed as being safe for stepping and jumping. (The Deck evolved from the Reebok Step, which was created in the ’90s for step aerobics.) The various surface textures and “visual target zones” on the top help with your form and spatial awareness as you move up and down. The bench even has a storage compartment and places to attach resistance tubes.

The pre-assembled bench has two height adjustments as well as three positions—incline, decline, and flat—and the backrest can adjust to four angles. In total, it offers 20 setup combinations to allow for dozens of exercises.

Pros: Has stepping and jumping option, “visual target zones” to help with form, and comes pre-assembled.

Cons: It’s not exactly comfortable. If you’re looking for comfy padding, this may not be the weight bench for you, as it’s designed to be more solid. And if you’re tall, you may need something longer.

Best for travel: POWERBLOCK Travel Bench — $179.00

This no-frills, heavy-duty weight bench is highly recommended by customers, with almost 400 5-star reviews. The Travel Bench gets its name from the fact that its foldable legs can reduce it to a height of 8”—plus, it has a built-in handle. The feature is nice to have if you don’t have room in your home to leave a weight bench out when you’re not using it.

Pros: Reviewers like this bench’s stability and comfortable padding. A happy customer noted, “I have a small area designated for my workout equipment at home and this bench easily folds so I can place it behind a door when not in use. … I am extremely happy with this product and highly recommend if you have limited space and do not want to have a bench permanently set up.” Plus, people like that it’s easily foldable.

Cons: Many say it may not be the best bench for taller people.

Best versatility: Fitness Gear Pro Utility Bench — $200.00

This heavy-duty weight bench features eight positions for the backrest, along with flat, decline, and incline options and three seat positions, all of which make it more versatile than many other weight benches. That’s part of the reason it’s earned a 4.3 customer rating from 200+ reviews at Dick’s.

Pros: Reviewers like that this bench is sturdy, well-made, and easy to assemble. One satisfied customer wrote, “I was VERY impressed when I saw this in person; it exceeded my expectations! It’s every bit as good as some I saw priced at $500–600.”

Cons: Some wish that the gap between the seat and backrest was a bit narrower.

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