The best weight benches for home weight training

The best weight benches aren’t just for bodybuilders, or even just weightlifters. A great bench provides vital support for all kinds of strength training, which in turn helps develop coordination, posture and balance. In addition to serving as a support platform, a good bench allows you to both perfect your technique and target a wider range of muscles than you would with weights alone.

There is a surprising amount of variety between weight benches. Flat gym benches are excellent for barbell and dumbbell work, and also provide a solid platform for basic work such as crunches and dips. Most of our recommended benches, however, have adjustable backs and seats to support more workout types, and some can be folded up and moved around when not in use.

If you know what kind of bench you’re looking for, skip the page for our recommendations, all currently in stock amid the January fitness rush. For more tips on choosing the best weight bench for you, read on.

Best weight bench: At a glance

  • The best all-around weight bench: Mirafit M150 adjustable weight bench | Buy now
  • The Best Flat Bench for Heavy Lifting: Gym Master GMB-1 | Buy now
  • Best Foldable Weight Bench: Winnow adjustable weight bench | Buy now
  • Best adjustable bench under £100: JX Fitness Adjustable Weight Bench | Buy now
  • The best bench for serious lifters: Life Fitness weight bench | Buy now
  • Best Compact Folding Bench: Corength 500 training bench | Buy now

How to choose the best weight bench for you

How much should I spend on a weight bench?

You could spend several hundred pounds on a professional level weight bench that will last a lifetime, but most of the best weight benches hover around £100-150. That’s enough to equip you with a bench at home that will help improve your workouts and save money on your gym membership, and potentially allow you to budget for weights and extras such as a barbell rack.

We wouldn’t recommend spending less than £50 on a weight bench unless it’s a special offer. Much cheaper than that, and you’d almost be better off using the coffee table. Cheaper benches are unlikely to be stable enough to provide the much-needed support you need to safely lift heavy weights. This is especially true for adjustable benches, whose mechanisms require a certain quality of design and construction.

READ NEXT: The best dumbbells to buy

Should I buy a flat or adjustable weight bench?

This is the key thing to keep in mind when buying a gym bench. Ideally, before committing to either type, try out different types of benches at the gym and get guidance from a trainer while developing your ideal strength workout.

Flat benches tend to bear more weight. Their indestructibility makes them popular among serious lifters, but flat benches are more versatile pieces of kit than you might think. Barbell pullovers, barbell/barbell skull crushers, and split squats are all possible with a flat bench. Flat benches are often lower in height than adjustable benches, which is something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a bench to use for cardio work such as jumping jacks.

Adjustable benches, aka utility benches, support a wider range of exercises. By adjusting the seat and back, you can work out at an incline, incline, or flat angle to effectively target different muscles, giving you more strength and flexibility. Adjustable benches are also more likely to fold up for storage.

READ NEXT: The best resistance bands

What other features should I look for when buying a weight bench?

weight capacity: When buying a bench to use for heavy lifting, you need to make sure that it can support you and all the weights you plan to lift – now and in your more muscular future. Flat benches can generally support more collective volume than adjustable benches.

Integrated bracket: Dumbbell racks aren’t cheap, so you can save money by buying a bench with a rack attached. An integrated rack may not have the build quality that you would get from a standalone rack purchased separately, but it should still be sturdy and height adjustable.

Raised front stabilizer: If you need something to hold your feet in place when working your abs, a stabilizer accessory will really enhance your workout.

Foldability: Weight benches aren’t the slimmest piece of gym equipment, so if you don’t have a garage or spare room to keep yours in, you might want the option to fold it up and put it down in a closet. However, a foldable weight bench may not be the most stable bench for lifting very heavy loads.

Rubber feet: These are essential for stability, so they will help protect you and your floor. Some benches have adjustable rubber feet that keep it stable even if your floor is uneven. If you have a gym mat, place it under your bench for extra sturdiness and also to protect your floor from accidental falls.

READ NEXT: The best home gym equipment

The best weight benches you can buy

1. Mirafit M150 Adjustable Weight Bench: Best All-Round Weight Bench

Price: £160 | Buy now on Amazon

This chunky, adjustable bench is the new and improved successor to the classic Mirafit M2 (and predecessor to the even newer M250), with a wide base and sturdy frame design that really lets you go all out for your workouts. Although it’s a solid piece of kit, it’s surprisingly easy to move around, thanks to high-end extras like casters and a grab handle.

Adjusting between flat and reclined positions is quick, easy and secure thanks to the simple locking mechanism behind the seat. In addition to its six back angles (which include 90 degrees and a recline), you can also choose from four seat angles, giving you a wide range of positions to suit you and your routine.

Assembling the flat-packed bench can be a little tricky for some, so you might want to hire a DIY expert friend. That aside, this is an exceptional bench for the price, with a build quality that would put some pro-gym rivals to shame.

Key Features – Size: H44-120 x W127 x W60cm; Maximum charge: 260kg; Item weight: Not given; Frame material: Steel; Foldable: No

2. Gym Master GMB-1 Flat Weight Bench: Best Flat Weight Bench for Heavy Lifting

Price: £50 | Buy now on Amazon

That’s about as low as we’d recommend spending on a weight bench, but this old-fashioned flat bench from Gym Master is a fantastic buy that combines good build quality with a sleek design.

It’s the lightest bench in our recommendations at just 10kg, and the strongest, with a very generous maximum weight capacity of 300kg (47th). Its large non-slip feet are as comfortable on carpet as on parquet, and the padding of the seat is also there: comfortable without being too soft and extremely resistant.

And because it’s such a good price, you have more money to add a barbell or dumbbell rack (Gym Master’s adjustable bar is £90 on Amazon).

Key Features – Size: H40 x W110 x W60cm; Maximum charge: 300kg; Item weight: 10kg; Frame material: Alloy steel ; Foldable: No

3. Winnow Adjustable Weight Bench with Dip Station: Best Foldable Weight Bench

Price: £96 | Buy now on Amazon

First, the cons. It’s not a bench for big and tall guys to beat their personal bests in chest press. The leatherette seat is a bit narrow and the maximum load is 120 kg. But if you’re a beginner with dumbbells and want to push your home gym routine beyond dumbbells, then this inexpensive utility bench could be a really smart buy.

Not only does this bench have a dumbbell rack and an adjustable seat and backrest, but it also doubles as a dip station thanks to the two handles on the dumbbell rack. You can also adjust the height of the rack according to the length of your arms. And if you run out of space, no problem, the bench folds flat (much like an ironing board) to store in the wardrobe.

Key Features – Size: ‎H40 (seat) x L115 x W18.2 cm; Maximum charge: 120kg; Item weight: 20kg; Frame material: Alloy steel ; Foldable: Yes

4. JX Fitness Adjustable Weight Bench: Best adjustable bench under £100

Price: £88 | Buy now on Amazon

JX Fitness’ new version of the weight bench is as sturdy as adjustable benches for under £100, thanks to its triangular shape and sturdy rubber floor grips. The seat is narrow but extremely comfortable, with a high-density foam padded seat ideal for barbell work and a front stabilizer to keep your feet from lifting when doing sit-ups. The easily adjustable backrest lets you switch between six positions, from 90 degrees to decline.

Keep in mind that this bench will need a significant corner of your home to live in – it doesn’t fold and there are no wheels to help you move it around.

Key Features – Size: ‎H46.5 (seat) x L117.5 x W16.4cm; Maximum charge: 272kg; Item weight: 16kg; Frame material: Alloy steel ; Foldable: No

5. Life Fitness Weight Bench: The best weight bench for serious lifters

Price: £645 | Buy now from John Lewis

This Life Fitness model is the same one you’ll find in commercial gyms and will last a lifetime even if you lift heavy weights every day. It’s designed to help you get the most out of your strength training. The backrest adjusts between six different positions, and the generous, ergonomic seat helps you keep your feet firmly planted for a stronger body position. It’s a big and heavy bench, but its wheels and built-in handles make it surprisingly easy to maneuver.

Key Features – Size: H45.7 (seat) x L133.5 x L53cm; Maximum charge: 136kg; Item weight: 35kg; Frame material: Steel; Foldable: No

Buy now from John Lewis

Evelyn C. Tobin