Do you need the best weight bench if you're working out at home? You most certainly need one if you want big pecs! Of course, you can do more than just bench press on a weight bench.
There are cheap weight benches while others are pretty expensive, but one thing is for sure: if you want to be on the safe side, we recommend getting yours as soon as you can, given recent availability issues. Who knows when supply chain issues will hit the home gym equipment market again!
In itself, a weight bench is not quite enough to get fit at home: you might need some weights too. You can find the best buying advice on T3's best dumbbell, best barbell, best weight plate and best kettlebell guides.
Before you go crazy and buy the most expensive (or the cheapest) weight bench, please read all about the 7 things to consider before buying a new weight bench for your home gym.
Best weights benches to buy in 2021
This chunky bench from Mirafit caught my eye because it offers gym-worthy build quality for under £200, considerably undercutting products from established players like Life Fitness and Technogym. Despite the reasonable asking price, it still packs a solid frame, constructed from 7cm x 5cm steel tubing, 2mm thick throughout. It also boasts premium extras such as the small wheels at the back and grab handle at the front for easy manoeuvrability.
Better still, the user benefits from six backrest angles and four individual seat angles that allow a great selection of positions to perform gun-busting routines. However, there's no rack at this price point, so unless you add one, the bench is more suitable for use with a dumbbell set unless you have a particularly nice friend who is happy to grab the barbell from you after blasting your one-rep max.
For those looking to stay trim, shape up, and work on muscle definition instead of bulking up, the Adidas Utility Bench is a perfect companion.
It can't quite cope with a huge amount of weight, but the extra comfortable high-density foam padding and the multitude of adjustable seating positions make it great for ab crunching and low weight decline dumbbell exercises.
A powder-coated steel frame and heavy-duty rubber floor grips will ensure it stays in place, although a lack of wheels and folding mechanism means it will probably stay where you put it.
Featuring high-density foam padding, the Bowflex 5.1S Stowable Bench is the perfect compliment for the Bowflex Selecttech modular dumbbells, which you will most likely use for your free weight exercises. The selection knob lets you adjust between six positions for versatility, including 17° decline, flat, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90° incline.
Built to last long with heavy-duty commercial construction, the Bowflex 5.1S Stowable Bench has a very high 272 kg (600 lbs) load capacity. Even though this is a combined weight, it takes user weight into account – it's still not likely that you will need more capacity anytime soon.
The one-button 'click, lift and go' process makes it very easy to stow the bench and save space when not in use. The additional transport castors mean the bench is easy to move around to different positions.
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 home gym equipment and offers them for a very competitive price.
Sure, you won't be using the Mirafit M1 bench for your bench press PB attempts. Also, if you have a larger (body) frame, we'd recommend steering clear away from the bench as we don't think it would be capable of supporting large body weight as well as a fully loaded barbell.
We 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.
For those who want to improve their bench press at home, the Fitness Gear Pro Olympic Weight Bench is the ideal choice. This weight bench is as sturdy as it gets: the metal frame is constructed from extra heavy-duty steel and can hold 600 lbs worth of weight (including the user's weight).
As for comfort, the 2.5" thick foam covering the bench is plenty deep and will make working out on this bench all the more relaxing (?). Not like you will relax all that much as there are many ways to work out using the Fitness Gear Pro Olympic Weight Bench.
Although the 24 different barbell positions might sound excessive at first, having a second look at the frame makes it obvious that not all positions can be utilised properly, especially the lowest and highest ones. The weights rack without the bench is not sturdy enough to hold a barbell securely, so you can't use the frame as a squat rack which would justify the existence of the higher positions.
Nevertheless, the Fitness Gear Pro Olympic Weight Bench will provide ample flexibility for home workouts with a barbell or dumbbell.
Some people like to go all-out when specifying a home gym, and there's a large part of us that doesn't blame them. It can be frustrating when you pinch the pennies and end up with a flimsy bench that can't keep up with the rate of progress being made on the weights front.
There's no such risk of that happening here because this Life Fitness model is quite literally the same thing you'll find in commercial gyms and, as such, can cope with a hefty load before it gives in.
Six-way adjustability, ultra-cushioned pads and the sturdiest steel frames make it the go-to model if you want serious reliability for a serious home set-up. For everyone else, it's probably slightly overkill.
Admittedly, not everyone needs the biggest weight bench for home workouts. For some, having a simple, flat weight bench at home is enough so they can do all the basic exercises, such as the bench press or triceps dips, without breaking the bank.
This doesn't mean the Weider Traditional Flat Bench is a flimsy piece of gym equipment. For example, it has a 460-pound total weight capacity which is more than enough for most exercises you can perform. Also, the sewn vinyl seat is sturdy and easy to clean, making it easy to maintain a sanitary workout space.
Not to mention, this weight bench cost only $49 – a real bargain.
You can always count on Decathlon when it comes to great value for money fitness equipment. And we don't mean 'cheap' or 'rubbish quality'; Domyos fitness equipment is usually of decent quality and provides enough flexibility for most types of home workouts.
Case in point, the Domyos 900 Weights Bench has seven different positions so that you can attack the pecs and the shoulders with various exercises, and there is even a footrest so you can do crunches. That said, since the legs are not too tall, tall people might find it uncomfortable to do sit-ups on it. For everything else, it's perfect.
Thinking of converting that small corner of the garage into a personal gym zone? If yes, you're clearly pretty serious about this whole weight lifting biz, and this chunky unit from Marcy is just for you. With a hefty maximum load, its chunky steel frame and dense padding make it great for those looking to push themselves on to bigger and heavier reps.
Better still, it folds completely flat with the release of two clever pins at the front and rear of the unit, which drop the legs for super easy and convenient storage at home.
The back pad features an 'abdominal design', which is said to offer improved back support and grip, while the extra-large, foam-wrapped ankle and leg support make those disgusting ab crunch exercises slightly more bearable.
No, this isn't some Victorian sex contraption; the Opti Butterfly Workout Bench is an extremely versatile weights bench that's designed to give you a full-body workout without having to invest in a more expensive and space-invading multi-gym.
The padded bench itself is only adjustable from flat to a pre-determined incline setting, which could be a bit of a pain, but there are plenty of additional niceties to keep workouts fresh.
A leg curl bar will happily take weight discs from any adjustable dumbbell set, as will the rudimentary butterfly bench press arms.
There's also a simple rack at the head of the bench that will house small barbells for a full-on, chest-targeting bench press workout.
Granted, it's not designed to cope with masses of weight, but if you've only got room for one thing in your house, this – with a barbell and some dumbbells – will deliver a pretty serious all-over workout for not much dosh.
How to buy the best weight bench for home
Even the cheapest entry on this best weight bench guide is a better option than having to work out using two chairs pushed together. It's amazing what can be achieved with a good set of weights and even a cheap bench. We've included everything here, from superb value offerings for those on a tight budget to blow-out models with all the bells and whistles.
Home weight benches come in all shapes and sizes, with pricing typically reflecting additional features and overall build quality.
Bargains can be found for around the $50 / £50 mark, but these will be straightforward affairs that usually consist of a flat padded cushion perched atop a pair of support legs.
Stability isn't going to be great here, and a lack of adjustability limits the spread of exercises that can be performed. At the same time, those looking to lift hefty metal could find cheaper variants a bit flimsy.
Spend a bit more, and manufacturers will throw in added niceties, such as areas to stow weights when not in use, a rack that makes bench-pressing with a bar much easier and a good range of adjustability that opens up endless exercise possibilities.
So buyers should first bear in mind their needs, goals, and experience level (are you an entry-level weight lifter or expert gunsmith?) and the amount of space available at home (a foldable option is great for smaller rooms) and budgets.
Iron-pumping newbies can probably afford to look at the lower end of the budget scale, as build quality, adjustability, and additional flourishes are probably not too high on the agenda.
Those with more weight lifting experience or who have previously frequented a gym will want to part with slightly more cash to secure something fit for purpose and will last.
While we have you here, we can wholeheartedly recommend investing in adjustable dumbbells and kettlebells if you are thinking about buying some new weights. These home weights were designed with small living spaces in mind and can provide a sense of progression without taking up a lot of space in your living room. For more information, check out these reviews: Men's Health Cast Iron Adjustable dumbbell review, Bowflex SelectTech 840 kettlebell review and Bowflex Selecttech 1090i dumbbell review. High-quality home weights for quality lifters.
Are weight benches worth it?
If you want to build muscle at home, you'll need to add a weight bench to your home gym setup. Weight benches can be used for much more than bench press, although that in itself should be a good enough reason to get one as it's one of the 'big 5' exercises that can give you a full-body workout and work almost every muscle in your body.
Whether it's a flat or adjustable weight bench or a weight bench with or without a weight rack, the best weight benches will enable you to work out your upper body in a way that's not possible without a weight bench. Do yourself a favour and start building monster pecs and arms today by getting a weight bench.