A home gym is a massive advantage – but it’s not complete without the best weight bench.
A bench is an important piece of gym equipment that opens up a wide variety of exercises – not just bench press, but also rows, varieties of shoulder press, and some interesting core exercises.
Today we’re going to look at what makes the best weight bench for a home gym, including what factors to look out for, reviews of some of the best weight benches on the market, and a round up of your most-asked questions!
Let’s start with the basics: what matters?!
Weight benches are all over the market – but they’re not all equal. We see a ton of variety in the quality and features out there. There are 2 particular types of familiar gym equipment we’re going to review today:
- Flat weight bench
- Adjustable weight bench
Flat benches are cheaper because they have less moving parts. However, that also means less variety in terms of exercise variety – like different types of chest press.
The adjustable bench is the opposite: more variety, more expense. You’re going to pay a mark-up for the extra moving parts and they’re going to provide one more area where durability and quality are tested. Moving parts need to be high-quality and well-designed!
We’ve been buying and reviewing fitness equipment for years and today we’re going to review 6 of our favourite weight benches. We’re looking for quality-at-value, so not just extremes of both, to make sure that there’s something for everyone on this list.
By the end of this article, you’ll know what to look for, where to find it, and which weight benches you should consider for your home gym.
What to look for in a weight bench
If you’re going to get strong, your weight bench needs to be strong.
The worst possible scenario is the whole thing falling out underneath you when you unrack a heavy bench press. A good weight capacity means this isn’t going to happen.
The idea is simple: it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Weight bench capacity also scales with how long you plan on owning it for – as you’ll need more capacity over time. Remember that this also includes bodyweight, so an average sized man should be looking for a minimum of 400lbs total capacity.
Benches rated at 500lbs+ will be better, and every lb extra means better long-term value. As a safety concern, you don’t want to scrimp on weight capacity!
The density of foam is one of the most important quality and durability factors for a weight bench. A denser foam is longer-wearing and reduces the overall deformation of the bench.
Not only does it provide longevity, but also function. Higher foam density means less of the force from your pressing movement (for example) is lost by being dispersed into the bench. This means better pressing, or whatever you’re doing, with less loss of force into the foam.
A harder, denser bench lasts longer and will give you the best base for lifting heavy weights.
Instability in a home gym is a huge deal. It means more risk to health, equipment, and your home.
You don’t want to worry about balancing your bench on uneven feet while lifting big weights. Stability is how safe and confident you feel on the bench and it will affect how you perform when using it.
There are a few factors to look for that determine how stable your weight bench is going to be:
- “Footprint” – the floor space taken up by the contacting points (i.e. the base of support)
- Weight – while it may make moving it harder, a heavier bench has more ground-friction and thus stability!
- Foot design – more contact space and rubberised feet produce better grip on the floor – and thus stability
- Design and angles – the design of the ‘legs’ of a bench can be a huge factor in overall stability
These are the main points we’re going to look at with benches today. The idea is that doing well across all of them is ideal, but performing well across these major factors is essential.
Seat and back adjustability
If you’re buying an adjustable bench, then you want the best adjustments.
These are versatile benches but they do have their own considerations. Not only are the moving parts the most likely to break and wear, but different products have different qualities and systems for adjusting the seat position.
Some adjustable weight benches allow for changes to both the seat and the back, which is obviously ideal. Others only change the back support pad, which can still be plenty for most purposes.
However, you also need to consider how they do this. More stable, reliable adjustment systems make a better bench – and prevent you having to replace these smaller parts in the short- and mid-term.
This shouldn’t be a major consideration – but sometimes the assembly of a product is a real roadblock to using it.
Products that are needlessly difficult to assemble or complicated in their instructions are less user-friendly than others. Equally, a product having simple assembly can be a real life-saver if you’re busy or just not confident with this assembly process.
You’re buying a bench, not a building project. Simple assembly is good and over-complicated assembly can be off-putting. Products at either extreme can change the way you view them and what you want to buy, but most products in the middle range are
I know this one isn’t easy, but if you can get reviews on the finish or upper of the bench, you should.
The material that wraps the bench and contacts your back is crucial. It determines how likely the bench is to age rapidly (e.g. through rips and tears) as well as how grippy it feels during heavier lifting.
You’re going to be moving around a lot and a grippier bench means a better experience. It’s not about the stability of the bench, it’s about your stability while using it, which can really make or break a weight bench for your home gym.
Best Weight Bench Reviews
Rogue Monster Utility Bench: Best Flat Weight Bench
Rogue are a reliably-great brand. Their popularity in recent years isn’t just because they’re tied to CrossFit – they’re an American-made brand that marries good value with great quality.
The monster utility bench is amazingly stable and does everything tat we want from a flat weight bench. It comes with a good footprint – but it’s not too heavy or unwieldy. It’s got a great upper which means durability and a comfortable bench press experience.
Why it’s a winner
Overall, the rogue is our winner because it hits all the right notes. It’s strong in every category and the overall design is exactly what we want from a bench with no frills, no issues, and a great reputation.
Not only that, but Rogue’s commitment to customer experience and quality assurance mean you’re going to be able to rely on both the product and the brand.
- Great construction
- Very stable with high weight capacity
- Strong design philosophy
- Great brand and customer care
- Not the cheapest on this list!
DTX Fitness Flat Weight Bench: Great Value Flat Bench
DTX fitness’ flat weight bench strikes a great balance between quality and economy. It’s a solid weight bench in the mid-range and that makes it perfect for a home gym.
DTX produce solid equipment – they’ve been around a while but have recently come into their own as one of the best suppliers of home gym equipment. This utility bench is no exception with a strong 250kg/550lbs weight rating – plenty for home gym use.
The pad itself is thick and the finish is good – though it does lack the pricier construction of the Rogue bench and it’s premium finish.
The upper is good, the construction is solid, and the bench is stable overall. It’s available under 3 digits, which makes it a great way of saving cash on a weight bench with a good reputation. The foot design is also well-balanced and reliable, key for lifting those bigger weights.
Why it’s a winner
We like this weight bench because it does everything we want, with no frills, at a good price. It takes our criteria and does it all well without compromising on cost, which makes it perfect for home workouts.
It is made of good quality steel tubing with a maximum weight capacity of 550lbs, while being smaller and more mobile. This perfect for smaller gym setups and it is the most versatile flat bench on the market in this price category!
- Amazing balance of value and quality
- Strong basics like steel tube frame durability and seat pad finish
- Portable and easy to use
- Lighter build and lower weight capacity than Rogue
- More expensive than Marcy
Marcy flat utility bench: Inexpensive Flat Bench
The Marcy flat utility bench is an inexpensive and effective take on the standard flat bench. It has a much smaller, lighter construction than the other flat benches we’ve mentioned so far but still maintains a 600lbs weight rating.
The stability and upper are lower quality than our more-expensive Rogue model, but this is an economy pick. This is a really solid piece of gym equipment considering you can grab it for $$.
It’s completely suitable for any recreational lifter who isn’t planning on benching 400lbs in the next few years.
Why it’s a winner
The price is a great place to start – putting Marcy’s offering on the lower side of the market. Despite that, you’re getting a simple and solid flat bench.
For a budget flat bench, this is a strong product with a high weight rating. It’s our pick for the lean, no frills flat bench for home workouts on a budget!
- Great value
- Really solid for a bench of this size and cost
- Good weight-rating
- Material quality – such as the finish on the upper – does show its price
- Lighter steel tubing feels less sturdy
Fit4You Heavy Duty Adjustable Bench: Best Overall
This is a big, sturdy adjustable bench at a great price. It takes all the stability and durability of the classic competition bench and adds the ability to adjust both seat pads.
This is about as good as adjustable benches get, with a weight-rating of 550lbs and high-quality steel tubing. If you’re benching at home, this is a great bench that still maintains a reasonable price-point for heavy-duty gym equipment.
The adjustable supporting arm for both seat pads is well-made and the moving parts are manufactured to high standards. This product is stable from the base to the upper, meaning a great experience – and the moving parts are sturdy.
Why it’s a winner
This is our favorite adjustable bench for the amount of quality it offers at a good price. It’s also great for the focus on build-quality and stability where it matters – reliable adjusting arms and moving parts, as well as a sturdy base.
This product has all the versatility you need from an adjustable bench, all the stability and quality to compete with the flat benches on our list, and all at a competitive price.
- Excellent build-quality and durability
- Stable with a great base and competitive weight capacity
- Durable, grippy upper for better benching
- Moving parts are well-built
- A little more expensive than our economy options!
BodyChamp PRO3900: Best Adjustable Bench for Beginners
The BodyChamp PRO3900 is an adjustable bench with its own rack. This is a great choice for starting a home gym and getting set up without needing to buy another piece of equipment – if you don’t have a squat rack or stands around, this might be the best weight bench for you.
The construction itself is above the most entry-level bench out there, but the price is still great. While only weight-rated for 600lbs, this is the perfect “one-stop” beginner’s bench product. It’s got all the versatility at none of the cost.
The read seat pad adjuster is a little shallow and not as chunky as we’d like, but both seat pads are adjustable and the “footprint” shape of the bench is great.
Why it’s a winner
This bench wins the title of “best beginner’s adjustable bench” because it allows you to get started right away. It cuts out some of the possible expenses that come with other products, offers great value for money, and has all the features you need from a value adjustable weight bench.
It’s not the sturdiest or the heaviest, but this bench gives you a great experience, at home, at a great price. A perfect choice for beginner’s home gym equipment.
- Part of a 2-piece set – you don’t need to buy another rack
- Amazing value
- Versatile with 2 adjustable seat pads
- Great for beginners to get started right away
- Weight rating is relatively low
- Back pad adjuster is a little flimsy
Gold’s Gym XR 5.9: Inexpensive Adjustable Bench
Adjustable weight benches don’t always need to be expensive. This product is our lower-cost offering since it covers all the basic functions of an adjustable bench without the higher price tag seen so far on this list.
There are no seat pad adjustments but the back pad is adjustable and the mechanism is solid for the price. This gives you plenty of access to incline bench and it performs all the functions of a flat utility bench when in the flat position.
The default position is a slight decline, which may not always be useful, but allows you to decline bench, too. This is a popular variation and the seat pad angle makes it possible at very low cost (despite decline benches usually being more expensive!).
It’s definitely more of a beginner bench and doesn’t go toe-to-toe with the big boys, but it’s an economy call for any gym that is lacking space and funds!
Why it’s a winner
It offers adjustable bench functionality – including things like decline sit ups and decline bench press – on a budget. You can incline and decline this bench, it has easy storage, and the
- Great value option
- Has options for decline bench pressing (e.g.)
- Light, portable, and versatile
- Pegs for core exercise as-standard
- Not the biggest, heaviest, or sturdiest
- Lower weight-rating, making it a beginner’s adjustable bench
Should I buy a flat weight bench or an adjustable weight bench?
If you can afford one at the same quality, go adjustable. It offers more training options and – at the top end – the same quality and durability.
Well, if you’re looking for just a flat bench on a budget then go with that. However, if you’re looking for a long-term investment for your home gym, or you don’t know if you’re going to be doing a lot of incline pressing (a great shoulder exercise), adjustable should be the choice.
The more training options you have, the better your home gym functions. An adjustable bench can do everything a flat bench can, but not the other way around. It’s a good investment if you have the cash – just make sure you’re buying for quality, since there are more possible issues.
What is a weight bench for?
The most obvious answer is bench pressing.
However, it’s not the only answer. You can use a weight bench for a wide variety of exercises:
- Seated overhead press
- Seated good mornings
- Bulgarian split squats
- Dumbbell pullovers
- Box squats
- and many more
You can get a lot of value out of a simple weight bench, and it’s not just a one-trick pony!
Does my home workout need a weight bench?
You don’t need one, but it’s a versatile and popular piece of equipment.
Weight benches are popular because they’re part of the main pieces of equipment that make up a full-body workout routine. If you have a squat rack or stands, a weight bench, a barbell and some plates then you’ve basically got access to the biggest, most popular exercises around.
Dumbbells also rely on weight benches in the same way, so whatever equipment you’re working with, a bench adds a lot of value to your setup. It’s not necessary, but it does transform your workout and open up tons of options for relatively little cost.
Weight benches have a lot riding on them – you, your weight, and the expense they add to your home gym.
Getting the best weight bench isn’t just about having a good time benching huge weights. It’s also about making a smart long-term investment in your home gym equipment and saving yourself stress, instability, and expense in future.
Fortunately, we’ve given you some simple guidelines for buying a weight bench for your home gym – and a few excellent exemplars. If you follow these basic lessons and make sure to read the reviews, you’re ready to get out there and find a workout bench that suits your space, needs, and gym equipment budget!
Whether it’s a basic flat bench or a fancy adjustable weight bench, getting the right product brings your whole home gym together.