The best weight benches: what to look for and avoid when weight training at home, with recommendations from expert personal trainers
They're a staple of every commercial gym, so we spoke to two fitness experts to find out what the best weight benches are to buy for working out at home.
An essential component of every commercial gym, a good quality weight bench - along with a set of dumbbells, kettlebells, and an exercise mat - should be among your first purchases when buying equipment for weightlifting at home.
Whether you’re benching a barbell during a chest press workout or lifting dumbbells for a shoulder press set, a good quality weight bench provides a stable and reliable platform from which you can safely lift weights.
But before you head out and buy a weight bench, there are a few considerations you should make first to ensure the bench you choose is an appropriate size and style for your home and is of good enough quality for the weights you plan to lift.
To help you make the right purchase, The Recommended spoke to two fitness experts to find out what you should look for and avoid when shopping for a weight bench. You can read their expert advice in full at the bottom of this page. In line with their recommendations, we list our top picks for the best weight benches to buy for your home gym.
The best weight benches at a glance:
- Best for bodyweight exercises: Reebok Deck
- Best fold-away weight bench: FLYBIRD Weight Bench
- Best for barbell bench press: Gorilla Sports Weight Bench
- Best multi-position bench: WINNOW Adjustable Weight Bench
- Best budget heavy bench: YOLEO Adjustable Commercial Grade Weight Bench
- Best additional features: YOLEO Commercial Weight Bench
- Best premium weight bench: Technogym Adjustable Bench
- Best commercial-grade bench: Bulldog Gear Adjustable Bench 2.0
- Best all-rounder: Bowflex 5.1s Bench
The best weight benches
Best all-rounder: Bowflex 5.1s Bench
Leg hold-down brace included
This weight bench from Bowflex has six backrest positions – decline, flat, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90° – has a weight limit of up to 270kg, and can be folded for easy storage.
The Bowflex 5.1s weight bench also has a removable leg hold-down brace, which provides added support when performing decline exercises. It is also made from heavy-duty steel, designed to promote longevity and sturdiness.
Best for bodyweight exercises: Reebok Deck
For lightweight use
Not your traditional style of weight bench, the Reebok Deck is great for anyone looking for a bench to use for light weight lifting, and that doubles as a multi-exercise accessory.
The Reebok Deck can be used as a step-up bench at 20cm tall for bodyweight exercises or as a regular bench for weight work at 30cm tall. It has three backrest positions for incline exercises and collapses on one side for decline exercises. It is compatible with resistance tubes and cables, which you can store in a handy storage compartment in the centre of the bench.
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Best fold-away weight bench: FLYBIRD Weight Bench
For saving on space
This bench is great for anyone who is limited on space. It comes recommended by our expert Dan who says it feels sufficiently sturdy and packs away so flat that he can store it under a sofa.
This weight bench from FLYBIRD can support just over 360kg of weight, which is plenty for anyone who lifts moderate-sized weights. It has seven backrest positions and three seat positions, which is useful for incline and decline sets. The padding is made from water-resistant leather, and the whole bench weighs around 12.8kg.
Best for barbell bench press: Gorilla Sports Weight Bench
Folds away for easy storage
With an adjustable dip station and barbell rack, this foldable weight bench from Gorilla Sports is great for flat and incline bench press exercises using a barbell.
This weight bench from Gorilla Sports does not have a separate seat and backrest but can still be adjusted to five different angles for incline bench press exercises. It folds flat for easy storage and weighs 20kg.
Best multi-position bench: WINNOW Adjustable Weight Bench
Ideal for incline and decline sets
This foldable weight bench from WINNOW is a great all-rounder for home gyms. It has six back positions and four seat positions, which is great for incline and decline exercises.
This bench can be folded twice, which is ideal for propping up against a wall or storing under a bed or sofa. It has leather padding designed to provide comfort during workouts, has anti-slip grips on the legs, and features a four-position adjustable leg hold bar designed to provide additional support.
Best budget heavy bench: YOLEO Adjustable Commercial Grade Weight Bench
This steel bench is designed to provide a stable base for lifting heavy weights at home. It features a 1.5mm thickened wall tube, which YOLEO guarantees can withstand 500lbs of weight.
The bench has six adjustable backrest positions and three seat positions for incline and decline exercises. The backrest and seat cushions are made of wear-resistant PU leather and filled with 2.8” soft foam padding for comfort. Despite being a heavy-duty bench, it is also foldable for easy storage.
Best additional features: YOLEO Commercial Weight Bench
Compatible with cables
This weight bench is a real all-rounder. It has seven backrest positions for incline and decline exercises and is compatible with cables, which is great for those short of space.
Our expert Dan says to avoid marketing gimmicks when shopping for weight benches, but we feel that regardless of this bench’s added features, it still ticks our expert’s boxes. It folds for easy storage, has a nice range of backrest positions, and with a capacity of 150kg, it can withstand more than enough weight for the average person’s weightlifting demands.
Best premium weight bench: Technogym Adjustable Bench
Sturdy build quality
Specifically designed for barbell and dumbbell workouts, the Technogym Adjustable Bench comes recommended by our expert Fabrice who rates its seven backrest positions and three seat positions.
This weight bench is on the pricier side - but for a good reason. It ticks all of our expert Fabrice’s boxes as a sturdy, high-quality weight bench that’s built to last. It can be adjusted to three different angles (0°,15° and 30°) for incline and decline sets, which is ideal for targeting different chest and shoulder muscles while performing chest and overhead presses. It is also ergonomically designed to promote comfort during workouts. An integrated handle and wheels also make for easy storage and manoeuvrability.
Best commercial bench: Bulldog Gear Adjustable Bench 2.0
For lifting heavy weights
This ‘commercial’-style weight bench from Bulldog Gear is recommended by our expert Dan for those looking for a sturdy and comfortable base for lifting heavy weights at home.
This bench can be used as a flat bench or incline bench, which is great for shoulder and chest press exercises. It features a ‘linear bearing and pull-pin adjustment mechanism’, which means you can close the gap between the seat pad and back pad, regardless of the position of the bench. The pack pad can be adjusted to seven different angles, and the seat pad can be adjusted to five. With a load capacity of 450kg, this is an ideal piece of kit for seriously heavy lifting.
Our weight lifting experts
Dan Roberts is an award-winning strength & conditioning Coach based in London. He is the owner of the Dan Roberts Group, a well-being organisation that offers retreats, courses, qualifications, private coaching and free online resources designed to help people live more healthy and athletic lives. Dan is the founder of the NUK SOO and Methodology X workout brands and a mentor to a wide array of personal trainers and gym owners.
Fabrice Le Physique is a French-African fitness expert, personal trainer and model known for training celebrities, politicians, sportspeople, and even royalty. Fabrice once worked as the fitness coach for the Cameroon national football team and has trained some of the biggest household names, including Friends actor Matt Le Blanc.
Why should you consider buying a weight bench for your home gym?
“Weight benches are used with both dumbbells and barbells,” says Dan, “so if you’re serious about strength training, then a good bench is a solid investment. They allow you to do a wider variety of weight training exercises - such as pullovers, one-handed rows, posterior delt flies and box squats - and make some of the more famous moves, such as presses and pec flies are done more effectively due to the elevation.
Fabrice adds that using a weight bench will help you to maintain correct technique and form when performing free weight exercises and also allows you to increase upper body thrust when performing back, arm and shoulder sets.
What should you look for and avoid when buying a weight bench?
If you’re planning on doing heavy presses or using heavy dumbbells (more than 25kg), Dan recommends opting for a commercial-style bench. “These are the ones you see at a gym: they are quite big, heavy, feel solid and will last for 10-plus years of regular use,” he says.
If you don’t have enough space for a large weight bench, Dan suggests choosing a fold-away bench instead. “These are not as durable and can feel a bit flimsy, but are two to three times cheaper than commercial benches.”
Once you have decided on a style, there are a few considerations you should make and gimmicks you should be aware of before buying. “Sometimes beaches have bands attached or are curved,” says Dan. “In my opinion, these are not useful and are more marketing gimmicks than functional additions.”
Fabrice adds that you really just need a bench that’s sturdy and can ideally be adjusted to different angles for incline and decline exercises. He says that you should avoid cheap weight benches as they may not last long when subjected to heavy weights over long periods.
Dan summarises that the best weight benches are simple and well made. “More iron, less plastic,” he says. “Sturdiness and comfort and the most important things to look for in any bench.”
If you would like to read more expert-recommended fitness round-ups, check out our Fitness page for a full list of recommendations, including the best resistance bands, the best kettlebells, and the best dumbbells, recommended by personal trainers.
Luke Chamberlain is a Staff Writer for The Recommended, and interviews some of the world’s most knowledgeable product experts to help readers make smarter decision about the products they buy online.