Table of Post Contents
Workout benches are staples of every home gym. It’s a simple yet very versatile piece of equipment that you can use for a variety of routines. Since there are tons of options in the market, picking the best workout bench for home use can get confusing.
For this post, we delved deep on workout bench specifications and 40+ hours of scouting over 50 benches in the market.
Types of workout benches
There are four types of workout benches that you can choose based on the type of workout, adjustability, features, and more. These are adjustable, flat, Olympic, and specialty benches.
Adjustable workout benches have a simple frame design with an adjustment mechanism. This is common among home gyms. You can adjust the incline and decline of the back support so you can perform a variety of bench exercises.
Take note that adjustable benches aren’t made for compound heavy lifting. Still, it allows versatility when it comes to chest exercises and other drills.
Adjustable benches are also called utility benches due to its ability to adapt to different workout settings.
Flat weight benches
Flat benches are the simplest type since it has a single back support with no incline adjustments. This is commonly used for flat bench presses that don’t need any elevation. Since it has a fixed position with no moving parts, it provides excellent support.
Just take note that flat benches have a pre-determined height. You have to choose carefully to get the height that suits your workout.
Olympic benches, on the other hand, are often seen in gyms and commercial establishments. Those who are into serious weightlifting also purchase this for their home gyms.
Aside from the flat bench, it also comes with a racking system for stacking barbells. Olympic benches can also come with angled seats, but it’s usually fixed and pre-determined.
This type of workout benches is best for specific exercises. You’ll commonly see this type of workout bench on fitness facilities that have an intensive free weights area.
One example of a specialist workout bench is the preacher curl. It’s used to isolate the biceps while performing curls. This prevents the lifting of the hips, shoulders, and back during the routine.
Workout Bench Buying Guide
The best starting point when purchasing a workout bench is to decide what you’re looking for. Here, we listed some of the things you should check first before putting your money on the equipment:
We’ve been there and it sucks to receive a bench that’s smaller or larger than what you need. So first, measure the height and width that you need. A very tall bench will make it difficult to get to your feet, especially if you purchased a utility type. Too low and it will prevent you from exerting maximum force during your presses.
Generally, look for a bench height that will let you form a 90-degree angle on your knees and body with your feet touching the floor.
Next, we have to check the width of the bench. The right width should be one that allows you to extend the lats on the side of the bench fully. Your elbows should travel below your body line.
As for the length, it’s pretty standard for most benches. Once you ace the height and width, you’re already golden.
The upholstery is a big part of the bench. Sure, soft benches are comfy, but not when you’re lifting 115 pounds of weights. You’d want solid padding that will provide just the right cushioning for your back.
To test, press your thumb on the padding. If you can touch or feel the wood base beneath, it means that the pad is too soft. It might hurt your back if you’re into advanced bench presses.
Our rule of thumb is heavy gauge steel with durable padding. If you’re going to use the bench for heavy presses, look for thick, 11-gauge steel frame for guaranteed support. For the cover, it’s usually made of vinyl or false leather.
After getting the right size and material, you should check the weight rating of the bench. Weight rating is the maximum load that the equipment can handle.
When checking for the weight rating, don’t just factor in the weights you’re going to lift. Always include your body weight in the equation.
If you weigh around 200 pounds and you can lift the same weight, you need a bench press rated for at least 400 pounds. To be safe, we recommend that you look for a piece that can hold 100 pounds more than the total weight you’re going to exert on it.
Adjustable benches are flexible options, but you should still check the minimum and maximum adjustments it can manage. If you prefer this type of bench, look for incline, decline, and flat adjustments.
Here’s the purpose of each adjustments:
Upright angle – to target your shoulders with an overhead press
Decline angle – to target your lower chest using a bench press
Incline angle – to target your upper chest using a bench press
Flat angle – Perfect for general use, bench presses, and middle chest routines
If you’re doing bench presses or lifting weights, you can make use of a decent rack. This is an optional choice, but you can always opt for an Olympic bench should you need one that’s attached to the bench itself.
We recommend height-adjustable racks so you can align your presses safely. Anyway, fixed types will do too for beginners.
OUR TOP PICK: Bowflex Weight Benches
If you’re looking for the best adjustable bench, you should put Bowflex Weight Bench at the top of your list. It’s adjustable to four positions: flat, decline, 45 degrees, and 90 degrees. This is made with heavy-gauge, commercial-quality steel that can carry up to 480 pounds of user weight.
Bowflex also has a removable leg hold-down brace for added support while on the decline position. Overall, this has assembled dimensions of 56” (L) x 26” (W) x 20” (H).
When not in use, this can be folded for easy storage. Also, the assembly is pretty straightforward and if you’re not much of a handyman, you can avail the expert assembly for an added fee.
We also like its adjustable feet. If you don’t have a flat floor, it will allow you to compensate with a little adjustment. It also has casters so you can wheel it away for storage or transport.
Our only gripe is that the plastic feet may scratch wood floors. Anyway, you can always put a carpet or some stick-on felt to fix the issue.
- Made with heavy-gauge, commercial-quality steel
- Adjustable to 4 positions
- Comes with foot holders
- Can carry up to 480 pounds of weight
- The gap could have been smaller (not a deal-breaker, though)
Marcy Flat Weight Bench
If you need a utility bench, the Marcy Flat Weight Bench is the best buy. It’s made with a heavy-duty steel tube (1.25” x 2.25”) frame that can hold up to 600 pounds of user weight. This is paired with high-density foam and boxed upholstery for maximum comfort.
We also like the powder-coated finish of the frame. It’s just a small detail, but it will help extend the lifespan of the bench. It also comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty, which is more than we can ask for such an affordable workout bench.
Overall, this bench is 43” (L) x 14” (W) x 17” (H) and weighs 20 pounds. Here, you can perform a wide range of routines like bench presses, dumbbell row, and more. It’s a nice simple bench perfect for home use.
Our test proved this to be very solid, although the assembly can be a bit tough with the messy instruction manual. In the end, it’s worth it and you only need to put 8 bolts in place.
If you love dumbbell routines, this is the perfect bench for you.
- Heavy-duty steel tube frame
- 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Affordable utility bench
- High-density foam that doesn’t compress easily
- The instruction manual is a pain to use
Fitness Reality Super Max Weight Bench
Another adjustable workout bench that we like is the one from Fitness Reality. It’s made with a powder-coated tubular steel frame with a triangular support structure. Overall, this can accommodate user height of up to 6’4 and weight of up to 800 pounds.
It has an upgraded seat and back support which is larger and firmer than before. Aside from that, you can adjust this bench in 12 different positions. You can adjust the back support from -20 degrees to +80 degrees.
This bench also comes with a detachable leg hold-down bar which you can also adjust in three different positions. It also has an extended leg stabilizer to prevent rocking movements while working out.
Overall, this Fitness Reality bench has assembled dimensions of 59” (L) x 23.5” (W) x 48.5” (H). It also has a 1-year limited warranty. This is also lighter at 35 pounds as compared to other adjustable workout benches.
We also like that this bench is foldable for storage. If you live in a small apartment, this is the ideal choice. It also has transportation wheels for easy storage.
- Can support up to 800 pounds
- Adjustable to 12 different positions
- Foldable build
- Suits users with a height of up to 6’4
- The seat arrived with some sort of a residue (wiping it clean is the simple fix)
Body-Solid Powerline Folding Multi-Bench
For those who need a narrower bench to suit their lats, the Body-Solid Powerline Folding Bench might be the ideal choice. It’s made with heavy-duty steel and DuraFirm upholstery that can carry up to 1,000 pounds of user weight.
What we like the most here is the ladder-style back adjustment. It lets you adjust the position of the back support quickly and safely. Overall, you can adjust this in 7 different positions.
Its assembled dimensions are 57” (L) x 16” (W) x 18” (H) and weighs 45 pounds. What we really dig here is the 10-year warranty for the frame which is more than what you’ll get from other bench brands.
This Body-Solid comes with a T-bar leg hold-down attachment for added support. You can always remove this if it impedes your workout.
If you have a Smith Machine, press racks, or power racks, this bench is made to fit all of it. It even has built-in wheels for easy transportation and storage.
This bench is solid and very stable. We also like the firmness of the padding – not too stiff, not too soft.
- Ladder-style back adjustment
- DuraFirm upholstery
- Supports up to 1,000 lbs. of user weight
- Fits press and power racks
- The headboard is a bit too narrow
Apex Utility Bench Crunch Up Board
Looking for a slant bench? The Apex Utility Bench is made from heavy-duty steel and high-density polyethylene foam that can endure your workout routines. This slant board makes a perfect equipment for training the upper body through sit-ups, leg raises, decline bench presses, and more.
It also comes with adjustable roller pads to hold your legs while you’re on the decline position. This will keep your body steady on the extra-long board. Overall, this has 4 roller pads that can adjust to suit your workout preference.
Take note that this slant utility bench can only support up to 250 pounds of user weight. When assembled, it measures 42” (L) x 13.5” (W) x 22.5” (H). This is backed by a 2-year warranty to make the most out of your purchase.
The slant angle isn’t adjustable, but this bench does the job. We also like the stability despite its lightweight build. Just make sure that you tighten the screws well to fix the wobbly tendency of this bench.
If you’re looking for an entry-level piece of slant bench, Apex is a good choice.
- Made with heavy-duty steel
- Padded with high-density polyethylene foam
- Comes with 4 roller pads
- Only supports up to 250 pounds of user weight
FLYBIRD Weight Bench
If you really want a high-quality bench, don’t miss the FLYBIRD 2019 version. It’s made with a unique frame equipped with a triangular structure of heavy-duty steel. It’s paired with a 2” padding for utmost comfort.
For the 2019 upgrade, this bench has thicker steel to ensure that it’s safe to use for intense workouts. Overall, this can support up to 550 pounds of user weight.
The FLYBIRD 2019 can be adjusted in 7 different back positions and 3 seat positions. The best thing about this bench is it will arrive fully assembled. If you want to skip the hassle of figuring out an instruction manual, FLYBIRD might be the bench you’re looking for.
This can support 550 pounds of user weight on its foldable construction. When in use, this bench measures 49.2” (L) x 15.7” (W) x 44.5” (H). It also comes with an automatic lock to secure your adjustments. You will also enjoy the large, adjustable rollers.
The FLYBIRD bench is covered with a 1-year warranty and a 30-day money-back warranty on the pads.
- Supports up to 550 pounds of user weight
- Highly adjustable seat and back support
- Foldable construction
- Comes fully assembled
- Could be a little wider
Fitness Reality X-Class Extension Bench
Last but not the least is the Fitness Reality X-Class Extension Bench. This is made from 2” x 2” steel with thick foam cushions for your comfort.
The X-Class bench fits users with a height range of 5’ to 6’4. It can also support 650 pounds of user weight on its 4 level adjustments.
It also comes with 4” thick roller pads and slip-resistant handlebars so you can diversify your routines. With the transportation wheels, this is easy to store anywhere.
When assembled, this bench measures 64” (L) x 28.8” (W) x 32.5” (H). It weighs 55 pounds, which adds stability while working out.
Overall, the frame comes with a 10-year warranty and the other parts are covered for 3 years.
- Supports up to 650 pounds of user weight
- Comes with roller pads and handlebars
- 10-year warranty for the frame
- It’s a big piece of equipment. Make sure you have enough room to house it
Frequently Asked Questions
How many times a week should I bench press?
Should you buy a utility bench?
How much does a workout bench cost?
The best workout bench for home use can help you diversify your workout. It’s a simple yet very versatile piece of equipment that every home gym should have.