Mirafit M1 Folding Weight Bench with Dip Station review (TL;DR remix): if you need a compact weight bench for light home workouts, look no further than the this one. Just make sure you order one as fast as possible when it comes back to stock.
Mirafit manufactures and sells some of the best weight benches on the market; as a matter of fact, the #1 entry on our weight bench guide is a Mirafit model, the very capable Mirafit M2 Adjustable Weight Bench. However, in this review, we'll be looking at the smaller sibling of the M2 bench, the Mirafit M1 Folding Weight Bench with Dip Station. That's because, like most home gym equipment, supply of weights benches is short – sometimes you just have to take what you can find.
The M1 is an all-in-one model that caters for beginner lifters on the budget who won't be bench pressing 220 lbs (100 kg) straight away.
It's probably for the best as the Mirafit M1 bench doesn't feel like a weight bench that can support a lot of weight. Unfortunately, there is no information available about the weight capacity of the bench and I only used weights up to 40 kg when using the bench so I can only say it will work up to 125 kg, user weight included. Nevertheless, this weight bench has its benefits, as detailed in this Mirafit M1 Folding Weight Bench with Dip Station review.
Mirafit M1 Folding Weight Bench with Dip Station: price and availability
The Mirafit M1 Folding Weight Bench with Dip Station is available to buy at Mirafit for a recommended retail price of £99.95, which is pretty cheap for a weight bench with an integrated rack and dip station. Sadly, the bench is not always available to buy due to the sky-high demand for reasonably-priced home gym equipment. We recommend signing up for stock notifications on the Mirafit website so you'll know instantly when the bench is back in stock.
Mirafit M1 Folding Weight Bench with Dip Station review: assembly
The Mirafit M1 Folding Weight Bench with Dip Station comes flat packed in a rather compact box. After unwrapping each part of the bench, which only took around 10-15 minutes, including laying all the parts so I can take the above picture, all you have to do is to follow the IKEA-style instruction manual to put the bench together.
The only part I struggled with was putting the plastic covers on the end of the legs: the covers were a bit deformed, making it hard to slide them on the ends of the roughly-cut metal bars. I wasn't planning on skinning my hands so I had to wriggle the covers around slowly until they covered the metal bars properly.
If you ever assembled a piece of IKEA furniture you'll be alright putting the M1 weight bench together.
Mirafit M1 Folding Weight Bench with Dip Station review: ergonomics
The Mirafit M1 is an entry level weight bench so don't expect it to perform like commercial gym equipment. For one, the foldable leg is a bit wobbly: when you set the bench down, I recommend sitting down on it without any weight so it settles down properly. This is because the pin allows the leg to move slightly, which wouldn't be an issue if the bench wasn't used for weight lifting.
The M1 is also very narrow, to a level that you need to grab the barbell outside the racks, as opposed to what you might be used to when doing bench presses in the gym. It's also worth noting that although the description of the bench on the Mirafit website doesn't mention this, the M1 bench is not really suitable for standard Olympic barbells. The video about bench says 'suitable for any 4-foot bar', as per below:
This further reinforces the beginner-oriented approach Mirafit took with the M1 bench. Not an issue, but be mindful about it before you commit to buy.
On the upside, it's easy to fold and store the bench away, especially because it's super light (it weighs approx. 35 lbs/16 kg). the Mirafit M1 bench can be hidden away behind the door or next to a wall, perfect for smaller living spaces or garage gyms that are also used as actual garages for cars/bikes.
Mirafit M1 Folding Weight Bench with Dip Station review: dip station
The M1 bench doubles up as a dip station which is an amazing thing for this price: you can bomb the pecs and the triceps using one home gym equipment. Needless to say, this feature is not without caveats.
This is a light and compact bench, as I already mentioned. This is great when you need to move it out of the way after workouts: not so much when you apply your bodyweight onto one end of the bench. I usually placed a couple of dumbbells or kettlebells on the other end of the bench, for safety. You really wouldn't want to topple over when doing dips. Or ever.
Also, the handles are not padded which can get pretty uncomfortable by the end of set of 12 bodyweight dips. I used a couple of microfiber clothes wrapped and taped them around the handles to improve comfort but this is definitely not something I'd recommend as a fix. Maybe bicycle handlebar tape or foam handle covers would work better.
Mirafit M1 Folding Weight Bench with Dip Station review: verdict
Despite its shortcomings, it's hard not to recommend the Mirafit M1 Folding Weight Bench with Dip Station. It has a slew of features for people who would buy such a home gym equipment and offers it all for a very competitive price. Sure, you won't be using the Mirafit M1 bench for your bench press PB attempts and if you have a larger (body) frame, I'd probably recommend steering clear away from the bench as I don't think it would be capable of supporting large body weight as well as a fully loaded barbell.
I would recommend the Mirafit M1 Folding Weight Bench with Dip Station for smaller home gyms and beginners who are not ready to make a huge fitness investment, yet would like to include a bit more variety in their home workouts. Not to mention, 4-foot bars are way cheaper and more readily available than standard Olympic barbells.