The 5 Best Weight Benches for Home Gym in 2020
One of the best weight benches can increase how much you can do at home.
Weight benches help you build muscles, burn calories, and be healthier. This fitness equipment is one of the smartest investments you can make for your home gym.
When researching weight benches, there are a lot of things to consider. The one you pick depends on your workout goals, gym space, and budget.
See our top picks for the best workout benches and what you should know before buying one.
#1 Bowflex 5.1 Adjustable Weight Bench
Looking for a versatile weight bench that can lay flat, incline, or decline? You’ll love the Bowflex 5.1. It can hold up to 600 lbs and measures 56” x 26” by 20”. Features include:
- 7 bench adjustments (incline and decline)
- Adjustable seat
- Removable leg hold-down brace
#2 XMark 11-Gauge FID Flat Incline Decline Bench XM-7472
This adjustable bench is perfect for all fitness types. Based upon an 11-gauge steel mainframe, this FIT bench is incredibly sturdy and has a weight limit of 1,500 lbs! Features include:
- 7 workout levels
- Adjustable seat with three settings
- Weight limit up to 1,500 lbs
#3 Marcy Competitor Adjustable Olympic Weight Bench
The Marcy Competitor Adjustable Olympic Weight Bench has everything you need to get a strength workout. It even comes with a leg developer. Features include:
- 2″ thick high-density foam padding for firm comfort
- 5 bench adjustments (flat and decline)
- Weight limit up to 600 lbs
#5 Reality X-Class Multi-Workout Bench
If toning your abs is your primary fitness goal, check out the Reality X-Class Multi-Workout Bench. It has everything you need to work your abdominal muscles. Features include:
- 4 bench adjustments (flat and decline)
- 14 thigh support adjustments
- Push-up bar and dip bar
Editors' Choice: XMark 11-Gauge FID Flat Incline Decline Bench XM-7472
If you’re looking for a high-quality weight bench for home use, the XMark option is our top choice.
This adjustable bench is perfect for men, women, newbies, and fitness pros. The 11-gauge steel mainframe is incredibly sturdy and has a weight limit of 1,500 lbs.
XMark XM-7472 Pros
- Adjustable bench: The seat has three settings so that you can be comfortable. It also has seven inclines and declines to help you adjust the workout level.
- Comfortable pad: This bench features a 3″ duracraft pad that is sweat and tear resistant.
- Optional attachments: If you want to add on to your bench, you can buy leg extensions and preacher curl attachments.
- Sturdy build: This steel bench holds up to 1,500 pounds.
- Wheel attachments: Most weight benches are hard to move, but this one isn’t. The wheels make it easy to transport wherever you need it to go.
XMark XM-7472 Cons
- Soft cushion: Customers have said that the cushion is too soft and thus less supportive.
Best Flat Bench: Marcy Flat Utility Bench
If you’re looking for a basic, affordable weight bench and don’t care about incline or decline positions, a flat bench may be the best weight bench for you.
This bench features heavy-duty tubing for stability and high-density foam for comfort.
It measures 43L x 14W x 17H and has a weight capacity of 300 lbs.
Marcy Flat Utility Bench Pros
- Affordable choice: Weight benches can be expensive, and not everyone needs a fancy option. This bench is excellent for people who value affordability most.
- Movable design: This bench weighs 22 lbs. While it’s not foldable, it’s easy to lift and store in a closet or elsewhere if need be.
Marcy Flat Utility Bench Cons
- Difficult assembly: Customers say that the bench is difficult to put together.
- Low-weight limit: The bench can only hold 300 lbs, including body weight and free weights.
- Not adjustable: This is a flat bench. It is not able to incline or decline for a better workout.
Best Adjustable Bench: Bowflex 5.1 Adjustable Weight Bench
If you’re looking for a versatile weight bench that can lay flat, incline, or decline, we highly recommend the Bowflex 5.1.
This weight bench has six adjustments and can hold up to 600 lbs. It measures 56” x 26” by 20” and even has a leg attachment so you can better work your abdominal muscles.
Bowflex 5.1 Adjustable Weight Bench Pros
- Add-on options: You can use the removable leg hold-down brace.
- Adjustable seat: You can pick from the two positions to make yourself comfortable.
- Exercise options: You can choose from six bench adjustments (incline and decline).
- Long warranty: This bench has a 30-year warranty on the frame.
Bowflex 5.1 Adjustable Weight Bench Cons
- Higher price: This bench is more expensive than some of the other weight benches on our list.
Best Abs Bench: Reality X-Class Multi-Workout Bench
If your main fitness goal is building and toning your abs, an abs bench may be the best option for you.
Our top choice for abs benches is the Reality X-Class Multi-Workout Bench. It has four positions: one flat and three declines.
It also has 14 thigh support adjustments, push up and dip bars, and can even be used as a weight bench.
Its weight capacity is 650 lbs — perfect for heavy weight lifting.
Reality X-Class Multi-Workout Bench Pros
- Add-on options: This bench comes with a push-up bar and dip bar.
- Lifetime warranty: The limited lifetime warranty protects your purchase.
- Versatile exercise: This bench has four adjustments (one flat and three declines) and 14 thigh support adjustments.
Reality X-Class Multi-Workout Bench Cons
- No incline: While this weight bench has three decline options, it does not have an incline option.
Best Olympic Bench: Marcy Competitor Adjustable Olympic Weight Bench
If you’re an advanced weight lifter and are looking to invest in a weight bench for lightweights, heavyweights, core workouts, and arm workouts, consider an Olympic weight bench.
This Marcy bench has five adjustable positions, holds up to 600 lbs, and has a two-year warranty. It even comes with a leg developer.
Marcy Competitor Adjustable Bench Pros
- Add-on options: It comes with a leg developer so that you can do additional workouts.
- Comfortable padding: This bench has a two-inch thick high-density foam padding for firm comfort.
- Versatile bench: Choose from five bench adjustments (flat and decline).
- Warranty protection: This bench has a two-year warranty.
- Weight limit: This bench holds up to 600 lbs.
Marcy Competitor Adjustable Bench Cons
- High bar: This bench comes with a 72″ bar, nothing lower.
Types of Weight Benches
If you’re new to working out, new to weight benches, or have never paid attention to them, you may be surprised to learn that there’s more than one type.
Get familiar with the types so that you buy a bench that will meet your workout needs and the space you have to put it in.
A flat bench is the most basic type of workout bench. It’s also one of the best options.
Some of the best upper body exercises require a flat, stable position —which a flat bench provides. With a flat bench, you can do chest presses, bicep curls, shoulder presses, and similar exercises. A flat bench is also one of the best options for weight lifting.
You can also use a flat bench for cardio training exercises like high jumps and step-ups.
- Cardio training options
- High weight capacity
- Stable construction
- Weightlifting option
- The base is not adjustable
An adjustable bench is the most popular option.
It can lay perfectly flat, so it has all of the benefits of a flat bench but can also incline or decline.
The ability to incline and decline lets you perform additional exercises that are impossible to do with a flat bench. Examples of these include inline presses (which focus on the upper chest) or decline presses (which focus on the lower pectoral muscles).
Adjustable benches typically have five or six incline or decline options and are easy to adjust. Some use a pin, while others use a ladder. A ladder is safer because it is more stable.
- All of the benefits of a flat bench
- Adjustment is easy
- Incline and decline settings
- Small enough to not take too much space in your in-home gym
- Flat position may have a gap due to the pin or ladder
- Incline and decline positions sometimes shake
- Weight limit is lower
If you’re looking for a well-rounded weight bench for exercises like chest presses and bench presses, consider an Olympic bench.
They have the same benefits of a flat bench and the ability to incline and decline like an adjustable bench.
Olympic options also have an adjustable barbell rack that enables you to do barbell presses safely with or without a spotter. We recommend a spotter if you lift heavy weights.
The adjustable barbell rack makes weight lifting safer and provides more stability than the adjustable bench. The benches have a high weight capacity, and some even come with a separate squat rack.
- Adjustable barbell rack increases safety
- All the benefits of flat and adjustable benches
- More stability than an adjustable option
- More variety in possible exercises
- Needs more space
- More expensive
If you have a small in-home gym, you may want to consider a folding bench.
Folding benches (sometimes called collapsible benches) can fold in half. You can store them when you aren’t using them.
Similar to adjustable benches, folding benches can lay flat or adjust to an incline or decline position. They are the least stable of any weight bench, however, so they are best used for lighter weights or ab routines.
We only recommend folding benches for people who do not have extra space for a weight bench long-term.
- Adjusts easily
- All of the benefits of an adjustable bench
- Incline and decline settings enable you to do exercises a flat bench does not
- Stores easily
- Least stable bench type
- Weight limit is lower
An ab bench is for sit-ups and abdominal exercises.
Ab benches are similar to adjustable benches, but the ab type has pads at the end to hold your feet while you do various workouts.
Most are adjustable. The steeper the decline, the more difficult the ab workout. Ab benches work your full abdominal muscles: the rectus abdominis, the obliques, the side abs, and the primary ab muscle.
Ab benches typically have four or five different settings. The best ones have around twelve.
Some abdominal benches can double as flat benches so you can do arm exercises too.
These benches are excellent to pair with an ab machine or a rowing machine to vary your workouts.
- Adjustable inclines and declines
- Best for abdominal muscles (but some can help with upper body and weight lifting exercises)
- Less stable for upper body exercises
Preacher Curl Bench
Looking for a weight bench for building your upper arms? Check out the preacher curl bench.
Preacher curl benches are designed to develop your biceps. They feature an elbow budding where you can position your forearms, a bar rest for weights, and a seat to sit upon while you workout.
With a preacher curl bench, you can use dumbbells, barbells, or even lightweights to tone and sculpt your biceps.
- Best for building, toning and sculpting your biceps and other arm muscles
- Comfortable padding to assist your workout
- Less versatile
Weight Benches Buyer’s Guide
When trying to find a weight bench for home gyms, there are a few things to consider.
Our buying guide will help you know what weight bench features to consider.
What are your workout goals?
If you’re new to working out or have simple fitness routines you enjoy doing, you may be okay with a flat bench. However, if you want to do more intense abdominal work, consider an adjustable workout bench. It can help you work every muscle in your body.
Adjustable weight benches have a variety of positions. Some only have a few adjustments while others offer a dozen. Some are capable of incline and decline, while others are incline-only or decline-only.
Assembly and Storage
How big is your in-home gym?
That’s an important thing to consider before you buy a weight bench. If you have a large gym, you likely don’t need a collapsable weight bench, especially if you plan on working out daily.
However, some people work out in living rooms or other multi-use rooms. They can’t leave a weight bench out. If that’s your situation, you’ll likely need one that is collapsible, easy to store, and has transporting wheels.
Keep in mind that collapsable weight benches are typically less stable and therefore less safe than non-collapsable weight benches.
Comfort and Cushioning
You should be as comfortable as possible when working out (aside from the muscle strain).
When laying on your back atop a weight bench, you’ll want a small amount of cushioning to add to your comfort without detracting from the support. Standard weight benches come with cushioning, but you’ll need to find a cushion that’s soft while still supportive.
When looking at weight benches, press your thumb into the middle of the pad. Can you touch the wooden base beneath the cushion? If so, that cushion is too soft. It won’t give you the proper support you need and can be unsafe.
If you’re lifting heavy weights, make sure you’re on a well-constructed bench that can hold both you and what you lift.
Most standard weight benches (flat, adjustable, and abdominal) have thin tubing made of aluminum or a composite alloy. Olympic benches intended for heavy weight lifting are typically sturdier and have high-grade composite steel frames.
No matter what type of metal a bench is, it will also have soft padded support for your back or arms.
Height and Width
Weight benches are not a one-size-fits-all type of gym equipment. Look at the measurements before purchasing, particularly if you’re tall.
First, look at the length of the weight bench. Most will have a main surface of approximately 4 feet long. This length is suitable for most people. If you’re above 6 foot 6, you may need to find a larger one.
Look at the height of the weight bench:
- If you’re short, you’ll likely feel comfortable on a weight bench that’s around 15 – 17 inches off the ground.
- If you’re tall, you’ll want to find a weight bench that’s closer to 17-20 inches off the ground.
When doing shoulder presses, bench presses, or other forms of presses, you’ll need your feet firmly planted on the ground. If you find yourself on your tiptoes, find another bench. That bench is too short and thus won’t provide the stability that you need.
You’ll also want to look at the width of the weight bench:
- Most weight benches measure 12″ wide
- Adjustable benches may have narrower heads and be closer to 10″
- Olympic weight benches are 48″ wide.
Safety is essential with any workout class or workout equipment. A weight bench is no exception.
Find a bench with high-quality materials. You’ll also want one that can support your weight and what you’ll lift. It will also need to be sturdy.
Do you feel safe lifting weights or doing bench presses, or are you a bit shaky? If in doubt, move on to a different workout bench.
Never purchase a weight bench (or any workout equipment) you don’t feel safe using.
It’s easy to hurt yourself while working out, especially when using weights unsupervised. When looking at weight benches, test their balance.
Ask yourself questions like:
- Does the bench wobble when you move?
- Do you feel safe doing a bench press?
If for any reason you’re not comfortable with a specific weight bench, move on.
Check the weight limit category before you buy a bench.
It may seem counter-intuitive that a bench built for lifting weights has a weight limit. But it does.
If you will lift lightweights or use it for core exercises, you won’t need to think about the weight limit as much as long as it supports your body weight.
However, if you plan on doing some heavy-duty bench presses or other exercises with heavier weights, evaluate how much the bench can handle.
Weight benches typically start with a lower weight limit of 300 pounds but can go well above 1,000 pounds.
Different benches have different max weight limits depending on the brand. Olympic benches and preacher curl benches can typically hold the most weight.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are buying a weight bench, you might have more questions. Here are some of the most common questions people ask.
What Is an FID Bench?
An FID bench is the same thing as an adjustable bench. FID stands for Flat Incline Decline.
How Much Should I Bench for My Weight?
If you’re new to weightlifting, you’ll want to start conservatively. The amount of weight you should start with depends on your weight as well as your fitness level.
Muscle For Life broke down fitness level into five categories and then assigned a suggested for each group based on body weight and gender. The five types are as follows:
The ideal weight for adult men to bench is:
The ideal weight for adult women to bench is:
One of the best weight benches can help you build muscle and burn calories. Use this buying guide and our top picks to help you get the exercise equipment you want.Read More