More of us are doing our workouts from home at the moment. With a limited budget, it’s hard to find just the right equipment for a home gym.
In this guide, we show you the best workout bench for a particular need. Whether you prefer a flat bench, sit-up bench, foldable bench or adjustable weight bench, we have something for everyone.
In a rush? Quick List
1. Best Adjustable Workout Bench: WINNOW Adjustable Weight Bench
The adjustable weight bench from WINNOW is a great, versatile workout bench for all needs. You can perform a full-body workout with its multiple positions: 6 back position adjustments and 4 seat position adjustments.
The back positions allow you to use the bench flat, decline or incline, and the seat can be adjusted to suit. It also has adjustable leg pads, meaning you can lay the back down (decline) and perform sit ups with ease.
The bench also folds flat for easy storage in a cupboard or under the bed.
- Full-Body Workout – Arms, legs, chest, shoulders and abs
- Adjustable Bench – 6 back, 4 seat positions
- Heavy-duty construction
- Foldable design – for easy storage
- Configuration upgrade – sturdy structure, non-slip rubber feet
- Dimensions: L: 121cm X W: 37cm X H: 44cm
- 1 year warranty (frame)
Pros and Cons
2. Best Flat Weight Bench: Hardcastle Flat Weight Lifting/Press Bench
If you are looking for a straightforward flat workout bench, take a look at this one from Hardcastle. A solid design steel frame, powder-coated in white. Though you are more limited on the workouts you can achieve with a flat bench, having no movable parts means it is stronger and more durable.
The manufacturer recommends a maximum user weight of 130 kg, with a maximum load of 250 kg.
Note: Tools required for assembly – not included
- Semi-pro flat weight bench
- Extra strength heavy duty equipment
- Steel frame – white powder coat finish
- Thick padded bench for comfort
- Max load: 250kg – Max user weight: 130kg
- Dimensions: L: 111cm X W: 59cm X H: 40cm
Pros and Cons
3. Best Abdominal Bench: Adjustable Sit Up AB Bench
We have chosen the Adjustable Sit Up AB Bench from ‘Sit-Up Board’ for its additional features.
It is designed mainly as a decline sit-up workout bench with its padded foot rests. You can also perform a reverse crunch to train the lower back using the higher rests. There is a moveable foam sponge to provide support to various areas of your body; head, neck, back and waist.
The bench also has bars at the mid-way section which you can use for incline press-ups. Additionally, there are two built-in resistance bands to give you more workout options.
- Multifunctional abdominal bench
- Adjusts to six different positions for over 30 different exercises
- Comes with a adjust leg hold-down brace for added decline position support
- Max load: 250 kg
- Dimensions: L: 115cm X W: 49cm X H: 68cm
Pros and Cons
4. Best Weight Training Bench: York Diamond Olympic Barbell Bench
If you have a bit more space and a bigger budget, the York Diamond Olympic Barbell Bench is a great choice for the more advanced weight trainer. It features a Muti-position back rest; ranging from flat to decline and incline, and a height-adjustable barbell rack.
The bench even folds up for space-saving!
- Decline / flat / multi-incline bench
- 2-position adjustable seat;
- Adjustment ranges from -15° decline to +85°incline
- Space-saving design, Folds neatly for storage
- Height adjustable bar racks; Compatible with 7ft bars (84”)
- Maximum Weight Load: 200kg (441lbs)
- Dimensions (in Use): Length=145cm (57”), Width=125cm (49.2”), Height=150cm (59”)
- Warranty: 1 year
Pros and Cons
5. Best Budget Weight Training Bench: York 102 Weight Bench
The York 102 Weight Bench is perfect for beginners looking to progress their weight training from a simple workout bench. It features a 6-position backrest for a range of exercises, starting from flat and then 5 incline positions.
The integrated rack is also adjustable, and suitable for chest press with a barbell.
- Robust entry-level bench
- Easily adjustable 6-position backrest
- Suitable for targeting core, torso, arms, abs, legs and shoulders
- Solid and durable construction
- Can be used with a barbell or a set of dumbbells
- Adjustable rack height to accommodate different user heights
- Max. Weight Capacity: 125kg (275.6lbs)
- Dimensions: Length=115.6cm (45.5”), Width=61.7cm (24.3”), Height=98.3cm (38.7”)
- Warranty: 1-year
Pros and Cons
Flat Bench vs Adjustable Bench
A Flat bench is generally used for training whilst laying down or seated. They are best for exercised such as a chest press, chest flies (laying down), or shoulder press (seated). Abdominal exercises can also be done on a flat bench. You can also use it for tricep extensions and back exercises, where you would often use the bench as a platform to support one hand and one knee.
While it is good for shoulder press workouts, the downside is that your back isn’t supported, so you have to rely on good posture. For this reason, it is more important to use comfortable weights.
Another use for a flat bench is in conjunction with a barbell rack, however this is not ideal as if it is not fixed to the bench there is a risk it could move.
An Adjustable or Incline bench is my personal preference. They have much more versatility and provide better support, particularly for your back.
An adjustable bench can be used as a flat bench, but also at various incline levels, enabling a better range of exercises. Many, but not all, also decline for additional resistance.
You can target more specific areas of your body with an adjustable bench, such as when performing chest and shoulder exercises. Doing shoulder presses with an incline bench in the fully upright position gives you maximum back support.
Given the choice, go for an adjustable bench with included foot supports – that way you have the additional option of doing decline abdominal crunches.
Some also fold down for better storage. But any adjustable bench has a number of movable parts, meaning more chance of wear over time and the increased requirement to maintain it.
Things to consider when buying a workout bench
Construction: Generally speaking, the more expensive a weights bench, the better the overall construction. Look at the materials it is made from, how strong and sturdy it is, and the quality of the foam padding and covering.
Assembly: Though assembly is something that should only be required once, try to work out how much assembly is needed. Take some time to read any customer reviews – is it easy to construct? Are the instructions easy to follow? Are the nuts and bolts of good quality?
Stability: The stability of the bench should be high on the list of requirements when choosing one. You will want it to stay in the position you set it and not wobble around while you are moving heavy weights. Favour one with four feet, rather than ones that have a single foot at the front.
Maximum Weight: Make sure the bench you choose will support your own body weight. But also look at the maximum weight limits, to include your weight and the weight of the dumbbells or barbells you will be using.
Dimensions: Check that the bench will fit in the space you are planning to use it in, and if it does fold away check that it will fit in your storage location. Make sure the bench height is suitable for your body, that you are able to touch the floor when seated or laying, or if it can be adjusted. Make sure it will fully support your back.
Adjustment Positions: Look at how many positions you can adjust the bench in. Does it lay flat, fully upright, decline? How many stages of incline and decline are there? Find out if the seat and back are adjustable. If you are looking at a flat bench, is it height adjustable, does it fold down for storage, and does it decline for sit-ups?
Manoeuvrability: Don’t forget to check the actual weight of the bench itself, especially if you will need to move it around your home gym or put it away after use. See if it has wheels and a handle.
Warranty: Most benches will come with a manufacturers warranty, usually a year or more. The will often only cover the frame, not the foam padding. Check the details before buying.
When you buy any weight bench, whether flat, adjustable, foldable or with additional attachments or features, there will be other items you will need, and some that are nice to have.
Dumbbells: You can use dumbbells for a whole range of exercises, in fact you can easily do a full body workout with them. There are two main options: fixed-weight dumbbells and adjustable dumbbells. You will probably need more than one weight so choose based on the space and budget you have available. Read more here.
Barbells: If you buy a bench with a weights rack for doing bench press, you will probably want a barbell. The bench will probably not come with a barbell so factor in the cost and required space. You may even have to buy the barbell and the weights separately. Barbells are also good to use on their own, for squats, deadlifts and CrossFit exercises.
Rubber Mat: It is a good idea to invest in some rubber matting to put under your workout bench for extra stability and comfort. It can also protect the floor in your home gym.
Additional Attachments: Some weight benches have the option for additional attachments, such as leg extensions, chest flies, barbell racks, resistance bands and more. Look at what options your chosen weights bench has if you decide to upgrade in the future.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How do I choose a weight bench? First, decide what you want to use the bench for, and if it will be the only bench you will buy. Will you need a flat bench, adjustable bench, both? Read at the section above and look at the manufacturer’s details around construction, assembly, stability, maximum weight, dimensions, adjustment positions, manoeuvrability and warranty.
Is it worth buying a bench press? A bench press, or a bench with an attached barbell rack is a great option for a home gym. You need to decide if you will get full use of it and that you have the required space for it, with a barbell. Most bench presses do not come with a barbell so factor in the cost for that and the weight plates too.
What is a respectable bench press? A good bench press can be considered at around 1.5 times the weight of the lifter. For example, a man weighing 70 kg (155 lbs) that can bench 105 kg (230 pounds) is a very good achievement.
Should I buy a flat bench or incline bench? A flat bench is a good piece of equipment for any home gym, but it does limit the amount of exercises you can do on it. It also offers little support for your back.
An incline or adjustable bench is probably a better choice as it provides much better support for your back over a range of exercises. It also allows you do perform more exercises that focus on targeted muscle groups.
What can I use as a workout bench at home? Firstly, I would not recommend using any equipment or furniture that it is not designed for. If you do use anything other than a purpose-built weight bench, use extreme caution.
If you don’t want to buy a workout bench due to space or money constraints, look for a cheaper or smaller alternative. A Swiss ball is a very cheap option and can be deflated or stored away after use. Resistance bands can offer a full body workout without the need for a bench. You could perform many workouts on the floor or with a Yoga mat for extra comfort.
Remember that a weight bench is designed to take your weight and that of the dumbbells and barbells you might use. These are tested and specified by the manufacturer. If you use a chair, stool or any other furniture you could put yourself at risk of injury if it breaks or moves.
Conclusion - 5 Best Workout Benches For Home Gyms
We have covered a lot of information to help you choose the right weight bench for your needs. Hopefully by now you at least have an idea of what will suit you and your home gym best.
It is always best to do your research, plan ahead, read customer reviews before making that purchase. Do not just buy the cheapest bench as you will probably be disappointed, but it doesn’t have to cost hundreds.
I would choose an adjustable weight bench over a flat bench every time for my home gym. There are just so many more benefits and options.
Plan your whole home gym around your budget and space and get the best you can with each factor in mind.
The choices we have chosen are based on what is available at the time of writing in June 2020, but we will update it regularly.