Best weights bench 2018: bench press yourself to barrel-chested fitness

The best workout bench for home, from simple benches to multi-purpose home gym platforms

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There are lots of great reasons to join a local gym but for every promise of cutting edge cardio machines, there's always the weird grunting guy who has to go and ruin it all.

Plus, for every guarantee of a chiselled chest and bulging biceps, there's the inevitable post-work rush-hour queue for the machine that you want use. Oh, and the changing room that smells like Camembert.

So we wouldn't blame you if you wanted to partake in a spot of physical exercise on your terms but that does mean a few essential items will need to be snapped up before you can get pumping iron.

What is the best weight bench for home?

Even a simple, bargain basement flat bench is a welcome addition to any burgeoning home gym but for those looking for true 'gainz', it's worth investing in something more substantial.

For that reason, we really like the Heavy Duty 260kg FID Weight Bench from Mirafit. It is built like a tank and can be adjusted to four key positions for both incline and decline exercises.

A hefty 260kg max load (including the user) means someone of average build can progress to ludicrously heavy weights without overwhelming the structural integrity of the bench. 

In fact, it's more likely your ceiling will give way before this tough cookie crumbles.

Granted, there's no built-in rack for storing weights, nor is it foldable for easier stowage, but the extra thick cushioning and superior build quality make this a solid offering for under £100.

How to buy the best weight bench for home

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 the number of additional features and overall build quality.

Bargains can be found for around the £30 mark but these will be very simple affairs that usually consist of a flat padded cushion perched atop a pair of flimsy legs.

Stability isn't going to be great here and a lack of adjustability limits the spread of exercises that can be performed, while those looking to lift really heavy 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 firstly bear in mind their needs, goals and experience level (are you an entry-level weight lifter or expert gunsmith?), as well as 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 in order to secure something that is fit for purpose and will last.

The best weights benches for home, in order

Mira Fit workout bench

1. Mirafit Heavy Duty 260kg FID Weight Bench

Best weights workout bench for home, and great value

Specifications
Max load: 260kg (incl. user)
Dimensions: 125x55x43 (Flat) to 117cm (Highest Position) cm
Foldable: No
Adjustable: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Gym-grade equipment for less than a membership+Adjustable
Reasons to avoid
-Cushion on the thin side

This chunky bench from Mirafit caught my eye because it offers gym-worthy build quality for under £100, 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, which is 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 from which 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.

Marcy Pro Fold Flat Weight Bench

2. Marcy Pro Fold Flat Weight Bench

Best weight bench under £150

Specifications
Max load: 135kg
Dimensions: 115x41x126cm
Foldable: Yes
Adjustable: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Excellent stability +Well padded
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly pricier

Thinking of converting that small corner of 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 and 'abdominal design', which is said to offer improved back support and grip, while extra large, foam-wrapped ankle and leg supports make those disgusting ab crunch exercises slightly more bearable.

Adidas weights bench

3. Adidas Utility Bench

Best bench for toning (and matching your trainers)

Specifications
Max load: 125kg
Dimensions: 123x49x113cm
Foldable: No
Adjustable: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Comfortable foam pads+Leg bar for ab crunches
Reasons to avoid
-Low maximum weight

For those looking to stay trim, shape up and work on muscle definition, as opposed to 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 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.

Opti Butterfly Workout Bench

4. Opti Butterfly Workout Bench

Best budget weights table

Specifications
Max load: 190kg
Dimensions: 107x42x107cm
Foldable: Yes
Adjustable: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Eminently affordable+Good quality for the price
Reasons to avoid
-Obviously, not one for humping massive weights

No, this isn't some kind of Victorian sex contraption; it's 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.

Gallant Flat Weight Lifting Bench

5. Gallant Flat Weight Lifting Bench

Best weights bench for benchpress addicts

Specifications
Max load: 250kg
Dimensions: 98x50x50cm
Foldable: No
Adjustable: No
Reasons to buy
+As simple as it gets+Well built
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't fold up

It's almost impossible to look at the Gallant weight bench and not be bored to hot, steaming salty tears. It's just a foam pad with two little legs.

Even the care-free splash of orange at the head of the foam pad isn't enough evoke the slightest whiff of excitement but it is difficult to knock this cheap-and-cheerful number for its ability to support a person while he or she lifts weights.

High-density foam padding provides a bit of comfort for the posterior, while a relatively strong steel frame can actually withstand a decent amount of weight.

Alas, it isn't adjustable thus limiting its uses to just a few exercises, and the padding is only 27.5cm wide, making it quite unstable for anyone with broad shoulders.

But hey, it costs less than a blow out in Pizza Hut, and quite a bit better for you.

Kettler Alpha Pro

6. Kettler Alpha Pro

Best workout bench if you're getting really serious

Specifications
Max load: 300kg
Dimensions: 125x68x130cm
Foldable: No
Adjustable: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Gym-quality equipment
Reasons to avoid
-A step up in terms of price, too

Kettler is a brand that can be found in numerous commercial gyms and that's because it stands for top quality.

Those wanting to replicate the gym feeling at home need look no further, as this unit can handle up to 300kg thanks to its high quality, steel construction, while the adjustable twist grips offer a great spread of seat and backrest positions.

The unit itself has been optimised to play nicely with a number of Kettler add-ons, such as optional leg curl extensions and the Vector barbell rack that can be set up to the rear for gym-quality bench training.