A weight bench — also known as a gym bench — is a versatile piece of exercise equipment that offers comfortable and stable support for a wide range of exercises. While usually associated with weight training, these benches can also be used for decline pushups, bench dips, crunches, squats and more.
Because it can help you target all major muscle groups and body parts — arms, legs, chest, back, abdominals — a weight bench can often be the heart of any home gym.
Gym benches can cost anywhere from under $50 to upwards of $700. But, in most cases, it’s possible to buy a very good, sturdy and well-built home gym bench for under $300.
Weight bench buying guide
There are two main types of weight benches: fixed flat benches and adjustable benches.
The main difference between a flat bench and an adjustable bench is, of course, the adjustability. While flat benches can only be used in one position, adjustable benches offer multiple backrest and seat height positions, which ultimately means you can perform a wider range of exercises and target more muscle groups, like your upper and lower abs.
However, this doesn’t mean that flat benches are less effective; on the contrary, they’re often a good option for dumbbell-based training, and for beginners in general.
Here are some other factors to consider when shopping for a weight bench:
• Adjustability. If you opt for an adjustable bench, check how many backrest and seat positions it has. Most adjustable benches offer between four and ten backrest positions and at least two seat positions.
The more incline and decline positions the bench has, the more versatile it’ll be.
• Weight Capacity. Average benches will hold up to 600 pounds, whereas premium benches can support up to 1,500 pounds.
To ensure the best experience, you should consider not only your own weight, but what you’re going to be lifting. In some cases, manufacturers break down the user’s weight limit and that of the barbells or weight sets.
• Size, footprint and storage. Weight benches come in different sizes, and some can take up a lot of room.
Some adjustable benches, like the Bowflex 5.1S and the FLYBIRD, are designed to maximize space and can either be folded up or are stowable. Others are simply very compact and likely to fit in smaller rooms, even if they don’t fold.
• Durability. Even though most weight benches are made of sturdy materials like steel or iron, some components like hinges or moving parts may be built of less durable materials like plastic.
Do note that adjustable weight benches tend to have more mechanical moving parts than flat benches, meaning they may need some maintenance and proper handling.
Even though many benches come with most parts already pre-assembled, they may still require some level of installation. In which case, you should always be careful and make sure every part is tightly in its proper place, since a loose part could be dangerous and even life threatening.
Best weight benches
1. Best overall: Bowflex 5.1S Stowable Bench
Made by one of the most renowned fitness brands, the Bowflex 5.1S is a great option for users looking for a top-quality weight bench, close to what you might find at a gym.
For about $300, the Bowflex 5.1S has a heavy-duty steel construction that holds up to 600 pounds. It offers six angled positions — decline (-20°), flat, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90° — that you can easily adjust by just pulling a pin knob on the bench rail.
Another important feature is that the Bowflex can be stowed in a standing position against a wall or inside a closet, which is great if you have limited space. It also has wheels so it’s easy to move around your home.
The black leather seat with red upholstery in the middle not only looks nice, but provides plenty of cushioning for your back during tough workouts. One downside is that there’s a small gap between the seat and the backrest, which some users may find bothersome.
2. Editor’s pick: FLYBIRD Adjustable Workout Bench FB149
If you’re looking for a bench that you can easily put away after you finish training, we recommend the FLYBIRD FB149.
The FLYBIRD FB149 is an adjustable bench like the Bowflex 51S, but with one major difference: it folds up. This means that it can be easily stored in a closet, a corner or under the bed. Additionally, the bench requires little or no effort to set up, since it arrives almost fully assembled.
The FB149 is made of high-quality commercial grade steel. It can withstand up to 700 pounds and features seven backrest positions, three seat positions and two foot pad positions. The leather seat is stuffed with 2” of soft foam padding to ensure a more comfortable workout.
The FLYBIRD FB149’s main drawback, however, is that the height of the bench isn’t adjustable. Even though it’s designed for people up to 6’2” tall, some users under 6’ complain their feet don’t reach the ground while working out. That being said, shorter users (5.9’ and under) can opt for the FLYBIRD FB139, which is about 2” inches lower than the FB149 and features six backrest positions and four seat positions.
3. Best for low prices: Marcy SB-315 Utility Flat Bench
The Marcy SB-315 is a reasonably priced (around $60) flat bench for beginners or anyone who wants to enhance their workout sessions without spending a lot of money.
The bench is well constructed and easy to assemble. It features a heavy-duty steel tube frame that supports up to 600 pounds and a high-density foam pad that’s both comfortable and wear-resistant. The Marcy SB-135 compact dimensions (41”L x 14”W x 16.5”H) make it perfect for small rooms and apartments.
A similar option is the Weider Traditional Flat Bench, which holds up to 460 pounds (140 pounds less than the Marcy) and costs about $10 less. If you prefer a flat bench with a rack for storing dumbbells, check out our pick for the best bench with storage, the Sunny Health & Fitness Bench.
4. Best adjustable weight bench: Deracy Deluxe Adjustable Weight Bench
The Deracy Deluxe is an adjustable bench that offers multiple seat positions for lifting weights and doing a variety of full body exercises.
This adjustable bench has a triangle steel base that supports up to 1,100 pounds, and it features 10 backrest and four front seat positions. This is more positions and a higher weight capacity than other adjustable weight bench contenders in our list, and gives you the ability to do all kinds of upper and lower body workouts. Even though it isn’t foldable, it has back wheels so you can move it to any room you want.
Overall, the Deracy Deluxe is simple to install. Most parts are already pre-assembled, plus it comes with the necessary tools for installation. Nonetheless, according to some customers, attaching the seat to the frame is a bit tricky.
5. Best Olympic weight bench: Body Champ BCB5860 Olympic Weight Bench
If you’re a weight-lifting enthusiast who wants a complete setup, the Body Champ Olympic Weight Bench BCB5860 might be for you.
Compared to basic weight benches, Olympic weight benches are generally wider and include lots of racks and other equipment to hold barbells. The Body Champ BCB5860 has seven backrest positions, an adjustable rack for barbells during bench presses or squats, and a leg developer and preacher curl spots to tone your arms and legs. It also includes an ab crunch attachment with foam handles, perfect for doing weighted crunches.
With dimensions of 76” x 56” x 55”, the BCB5860 is bulky and takes up a lot of space, which can be a drawback. But the larger size is an issue with all Olympic benches.
The Body Champ BCB5860 costs about $240, which is a reasonable price for a bench of this kind. If you want something cheaper and don’t mind fewer backrest positions, take a look at the Body Champ BCB580, which costs about $100 less and includes an adjustable rack, a leg developer and a butterfly attachment to do chest fly.
6. Best flat bench with storage rack: Sunny Health & Fitness Power Zone Strength Flat Bench SF-BH6996
If you want a flat bench that includes a place to store your dumbbells, the Power Zone Strength SF-BH6996 is our favorite option.
With a completely steel frame, the SF-BH6996 has an impressive weight capacity of 1,000 pounds and a built-in dumbbell rack that holds up to 300 pounds. It also comes with transportation wheels, which make it easier to reposition it wherever you want.
What’s best is that if eventually you want to pump up your home training by adding an Olympic rack, you can do so by buying one of the compatible Sunny Health & Fitness products, such as the Squat Stand Rack SF-XF9931 and the Power Cage SF-XF9925.
Another good option if you’re interested in a weight bench with dumbbell storage is the RitFit Utility Flat Weight Bench. It has a lower weight and storage capacity (880 and 220 pounds, respectively) and doesn’t feature transportation wheels, but it costs about $30 less.
7. Best multi-purpose bench: Escape Fitness Multi-Purpose Station Deck 2.0
We like the Escape Fitness Deck because it’s versatile, compact, easy to use and offers much more workout options than a typical weight bench.
For starters, the Escape Fitness has 16 possible configurations, three backrest positions and holds up to 375 pounds. It can be used as a stepping platform, an incline/decline ramp or even as a high flat bench to perform a variety of workouts, such as low lunges, crunches and jumping squats. You can also use it to tone your muscles and strength by adding resistance bands for crunches and chest presses.
When completely flattened, the bench is only 8” high, which makes it easy to store under the bed or in a closet. It also has an integrated storage place under the backrest for small dumbbells or other training tools.
For some tall users, however, the Deck 2.0 may be too close to the floor, since it’s only about 14” high when fully extended. If that’s the case, the FLYBIRD FB149 (reviewed above) may be a better option.
8. Best for core training: Goplus SuperFit Adjustable Sit Up Bench
Take a look at the Goplus SuperFit Adjustable Sit Up Bench if you’re most interested in a bench to work out your core — especially the abs.
This curved bench features four adjustable height positions perfect for abdominal, chest, arm and leg training, such as sit-ups, push-ups, flying leg raises and hyperextensions. It has four layers of coating, including one made from memory foam for added comfort, and six foam padded bars to keep your legs in the right position.
The Goplus SuperFit is sturdy and wide enough for most users. Constructed with an iron tube frame and equipped with a 12” backrest, it supports up to 441 pounds. It’s also available in red, though that cost an additional $10 when we last looked.