- 1 What weight capacity should I look for?
- 2 Best weight bench by price
- 3 Top 10 best weight benches
- 4 What’s the best weight bench for your budget?
- 5 Best weight bench under $200 – Powerblock Sport Bench
- 6 Best weight bench under $300 – Ironmaster Super Bench
- 7 Best weight bench under $500 – Body Solid GFID71
- 8 Best weight bench over $500 – Body Solid SDIB370
- 9 How many incline settings do I need?
- 10 Do I need a decline bench?
- 11 Is it suitable for my height?
- 12 Where will it be positioned?
- 13 What’s my budget?
- 14 Best adjustable dumbbells
- 15 Different types of weight benches
Whether your goal is to increase muscle size, strength, or endurance, a high quality weight bench is one of the most important pieces of equipment for any home gym.
The best part is that there are hundreds of designs now available, suitable for anyone starting their first fitness program, through to seasoned strength athletes training for professional competitions.
This much variety means the barrier for entry is low, with benches available from as little as $40 for an ab bench (Confidence Fitness Pro) or $60 for a Flat/Incline/Decline bench (CAP Barbell FID).
But with so many types of weight bench now available, how do you decide which is the best option to support your fitness and strength goals?
In this guide we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to find the perfect weight bench for your home, complete with in-depth reviews of benches that can support over 1000 lbs.
What weight capacity should I look for?
This is obviously one of the most important things to consider before buying any new weight bench, but you’ll also need to balance this with how much you plan to be lifting in the future.
Budget will also be a factor, as in the long term if you’re training for strength, it’s more cost efficient to buy a bench with a high weight capacity right from the start.
In most cases, the exercise you’ll be lifting the most weight in is the bench press, specifically the flat or decline variation.
For the most affordable benches, the weight capacity could be as low as 200 lbs, whereas many of the high quality models from XMark Fitness are capable of supporting closer to 1000 lbs, yet still priced under $300.
Something worth bearing in mind is that unless it specifically states otherwise, the weight capacity is the combination of user weight and weights used. So if you buy a bench with a 500 lb capacity and weigh 200 lbs, the most you could bench press within the limit would be 300 lbs.
Weight capacity varies less by type and more by manufacturer. For example, the Best Fitness Folding Bench from Body Solid features a folding design for around $150, yet still supports up to 500lbs. In contrast, the Reebok Deluxe Utility bench also supports up to 500 lbs, yet costs nearly twice the price and features a fixed frame design.
Best weight bench by price
PRICE RANGE: $50-$200:
- Marcy SB670 Adjustable Utility Bench – 200+ Reviews
- Universal 5 Position Weight Bench – 450+ Reviews
- Bowflex SelectTech 3.1 Adjustable Bench – 500+ Reviews
- Body Solid Powerline PFID125X Folding Weight Bench – 225+ Reviews
- PowerBlock Sport Bench – 60+ Reviews
- Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 Adjustable Bench – 540+ Reviews
- CAP Barbell Deluxe Utility Bench – 150+ Reviews
PRICE RANGE: $200-$300:
- XMark XM-7630 Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Bench – 100+ Reviews
- Body Solid GFID225 Folding Adjustable Weight Bench – 80+ Reviews
- Ironmaster Super Bench – 140+ Reviews
PRICE RANGE: $300-$500:
- Body Solid GFID71 Heavy Duty Bench – 25+ Reviews
PRICE RANGE: $500+:
- Body Solid SDIB370 Squat Rack/Bench Combo
Top 10 best weight benches
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What’s the best weight bench for your budget?
With dozens of brands producing hundreds of variations of weight bench, it can be difficult to decide on the best option for your own home gym.
Even if you have a budget in mind, it can be easy to make a selection only to discover there was a better option that you didn’t find during your initial research.
That’s why we put together a quick guide to some of the best weight benches in each price category. This is a selection of what we believe to be the best bench in each price range, but will also highlight several different options for different situations. e.g. The Powerblock Sport is the best overall under $200, but the Body Solid PFID125X would be the best folding design in this price range.
Best weight bench under $200 – Powerblock Sport Bench
Usually priced at around $199, the Powerblock Sport just makes it into our $200 category, and is one of the current bestselling adjustable weight benches on Amazon.
There were a few other designs that came close, including the XMark XM-4440 and the Body Solid PFID125X, but we decided to choose the Powerblock for several important reasons.
Firstly, it’s capable of supporting the most weight. The 550 lb capacity is 100 lb more than the XMark, and 50 lb more than the PFID125X.
Also, the back support has a tapered design that ensures greater support for your lower back, while still offering the freedom of motion you need around the shoulders.
Attachment options was another big benefit, where the Powerblock can be fitted with a SportBench dip attachment, whereas the XMark and Body Solid designs had no upgrade options at all.
The only slight negative we found in these comparisons was the range of back support positions, where the PowerBlock gives you 5 settings to choose from, and the other two benches give you 7.
On balance this wasn’t a big deal for us because you still have the flat, incline, and upright. The higher weight capacity, transport wheels, improved lower back support, and wider range of exercise options were the deciding factors.
If the lack of decline setting was an issue, or you were looking for a bench that folded to be more compact, our close second choice would be the Body Solid PFID125X. Its 500 lb capacity is quite close to the PowerBlock, and the leg brace means decline exercises are now an option.Read the full reviewCheck price on Amazon
Best weight bench under $300 – Ironmaster Super Bench
One of the reasons we made the first two price categories so close together is because most benches are priced between $200 and $300.
This is where we start seeing more designs from big names such as Bowflex, Valor Fitness, XMark, Nautilus, and Body Solid, as well as the Ironmaster Super Bench.
Although the Bowflex 5.1 is one of the all-time bestselling adjustable weight benches, the 300 lb capacity just isn’t high enough for us to recommend this as the best option.
Likewise, the Valor Fitness DD-4 FID bench has some excellent attachment options, high quality padding, and full range of positions, but its 650 lb capacity is still lower than many designs in this price range.
However, if this weight capacity supports years of future weight training for you then their high quality build design and variety of positions could make them the perfect choice.
This brings us to three options; the Body Solid FID46, the Ironmaster Super Bench, and the XMark XM-7472 FID bench.
Each design offers a weight capacity of 1000 lbs+, with the XM-7472 rated at 1500 lbs, making them some of the strongest benches available for home gyms.
It was a tough decision to choose between the three, and although it doesn’t offer any attachments for lower body exercises, the Ironmaster was our top choice for several reasons.
Firstly, unless you’re willing to pay $400 for their XM-9011 Power Series FID Bench, XMark benches are always going to have a gap between the seat and the back support. For some people this won’t be an issue, and it’s only really noticeable in the flat position, but it has been a common reason for lower ratings in customer reviews.
In fact, putting this issue aside, the XM-7472 would actually be our top choice in terms of full body workouts, as you can buy a removable leg developer attachment. This is a big advantage over the Body Solid design, where the leg developer is fixed and could get in the way during upper body workouts.
The Ironmaster Super Bench also has the widest range of positions (11), and some of the most innovative attachments for upper body exercises. This includes attachments for chin ups, sit ups, and dips.Read the full reviewCheck price on Amazon
Best weight bench under $500 – Body Solid GFID71
Body Solid put in another strong showing in the $300 to $500 price range, with numerous high quality FID benches rated with a weight capacity of 1000 lbs.
Although their ProClub Line adjustable bench is also priced at just under $500, we’ve chosen the GFID71 due to its superior attachment options. These include the GPCA1 Preacher Curl station, GLDA3 Leg Developer, and GLRA81 Lat Row.
Although these optional extras push the total price above the $500 limit for this category, the bench itself is usually priced closer to $420. The fact that it can be extended to support a wide range of upper and lower body exercises is simply an added attraction.
There’s no strength lost in the frame either, and the GFID71 is still capable of supporting up to 1000 lbs, with a secure 6-position ladder system for incline adjustment.
Being a FID bench means you have access to decline, flat, incline, and upright positions, and the DuraFirm padding provides complete protection and support throughout the exercise.Read the full reviewCheck price on Amazon
Best weight bench over $500 – Body Solid SDIB370
The vast majority of weight benches will be priced under $500, with most higher priced designs being commercial benches designed for large-scale installations, such as those in the Precor strength collection.
You also start seeing a lot more leverage weight benches from both Powertec and Body Solid, which provide a fixed plane of motion and a very safe way of lifting heavier weights at home without a spotter.
Although there are a few exceptions, FID benches generally stop at around $500, and are replaced with these commercial, plate loaded, or fixed Olympic bench / rack combinations.
For this reason, our top choice of weight bench over $500 is the Body Solid SDIB370, which is actually a combination of bench and squat rack.
The bench in this package is the SFID325 ProClub Line, which narrowly missed out on top spot in our earlier price category, with a tapered back support that provides excellent protection for your lower back.
As we’ve come to expect from Body Solid, the weight capacity is amongst the best in its class, and is capable of supporting up to 1000 lbs.
The squat rack is also capable of holding the same amount of weight, with a 14-position gun rack style design that’s perfect for a wide range of exercises, from decline bench press to front squats.
Extended 17″ safety rails are provided to prevent the possibility of becoming pinned under the bar, and the raised base frame provides added stability when you’ve got heavier weights on the rack.Read the full reviewCheck price on Amazon
How many incline settings do I need?
One of the reasons a weight bench is so popular for home and commercial gyms is its versatility.
Depending on the position and style, a good bench is capable of supporting dozens of different exercises for every major muscle group, from leg extensions to decline sit ups.
Your standard decline angle won’t usually be much steeper than -10 degrees, and you’ll often only be given one decline setting. From there you’ll move onto a flat position, then a series of incline angles until you reach upright.
This is of course only true of FID benches, which is the style we would typically recommend for 95% of home gyms.
If you do decide to buy a FID bench, as long as there are 2 or 3 incline settings between the horizontal and upright back support positions then this is all you need.
In most cases you will also have the option to adjust the seat, so that it provides better support throughout the incline and decline settings.
Aside from FID weight benches, you have the fixed position designs, where you’ll only have one setting anyway, and ab boards, which usually have closer to 12 decline settings.
Ab boards are very different to your standard weight bench, but still worth a mention. The reason they have such a wide range of decline settings is because they act as intensity levels, similar to the weight plates on a barbell.
By raising the height of the leg brace you’re essentially making sit ups and crunches much more difficult, even when you only use your bodyweight.
We haven’t included them in our top ten list below, but if you’re interested, we can recommend the XMark XM-4416 or the XMark XM-7608 as two examples of high quality ab boards.
Do I need a decline bench?
Every variation of the bench press will recruit your pectoral muscles to some degree, but the decline does a much better job of focussing the weight over your lower chest.
This allows you to focus more on the lower chest, resulting in better overall chest development, which can be useful for both competing and maintaining a well-balanced physique.
Also, as with squats, the flat bench press isn’t the best option for everyone. For some people a combination of incline and decline pressing will work better than flat and incline, due to the reduced load being placed on your shoulders.
Even with the strictest form, it’s easy for your shoulders to tire before you chest muscles, and if this is the case, the decline is an excellent variation for bringing up your chest strength with less strain on the shoulders. This is something that can also help reduce injuries, as your rotator cuff is less exposed during the range of motion.
Although you can buy weight benches that are setup purely for decline bench press, these are usually found in commercial gyms, attached to a rack and with a platform for a spotter to stand.
For home gyms, a FID bench is much more practical and affordable.
FID stands for Flat, Incline, and Decline, and is a style of bench that XMark Fitness and Body Solid are perhaps best known for.
There’s rarely much of a price difference between a bench that offers flat and incline, and a bench that offers flat, incline, and decline positions. That’s why we would always recommend a FID bench, even if decline bench press isn’t currently an exercise in your routine.
Is it suitable for my height?
Certain models fitness equipment are better suited to specific user height ranges, which is the case with inversion tables, treadmills (due to the belt length), and elliptical trainers (due to the stride length).
With weight benches this isn’t so much of an issue, as you’re really just looking at supporting your upper body. There’s also no negative impact if you don’t use the full length of the bench, whereas fixed path ellipticals may cause you to run with an unnatural stride.
In all of the weight benches we’ve reviewed and customer feedback we’ve read, we’ve never come across a review that had a lower rating because the back support was too short.
In most cases the full length of a weight bench will be less than 60″, with the majority of Body Solid FID designs measuring between 57″ and 58″. This is something worth bearing in mind when you’re considering where it’s going to be located in your home gym.
Where will it be positioned?
One of the details we include in all of our weight bench reviews is the dimensions, which makes it easier to allocate a space in your home.
Finding the perfect location is usually something you will have to do manually, but there are several companies who have created room planning tools for helping you decide the best place to put your new equipment.
Some of the best examples of these tools are from companies such as Precor, Life Fitness, and Body Solid, who offer a simple room planning tool with a catalog that includes all of their most popular weight benches.
You also have the freedom to use a premade room template, then customize the dimensions, furniture, door openings, and even window positions to accurately depict your own home gym. From there you can simply drag a weight bench onto the drawing, and decide on the best position.
This can also help with the decision making process by highlighting the benches which are impractical for smaller spaces.
If you’re not looking to buy a Body Solid weight bench, you’ll probably have to use the simple measuring tape approach, which can be just as effective, if a little more time consuming.
Does it need to be moved around?
Weight benches are typically very mobile pieces of equipment, in the sense that they’re not usually very heavy, and aren’t particularly bulky.
This means that you might want to move the bench between locations, to perform different exercises, place it inside a power cage / smith machine, or even just for storage when not in use.
That’s why some designs feature built-in transport wheels, and a select few even include a useful carry handle. If you’re looking to use your new bench for dumbbell workouts as well as inside a squat rack or cage, you’ll definitely appreciate not having to lift up to 70 lbs of bench every time you want to switch exercises.
What’s my budget?
Compared to high end ellipticals and treadmills that can cost in excess of $10,000, a weight bench is considered much more affordable, with few designs costing more than $500.
That being said, the average is much closer to $200 for your entry level FID benches and mid-sized rack and bench combinations.
But to give yourself access to some of the higher quality FID benches with the high weight capacities that support years of strength gains and offer longer warranties, we would recommend having closer to $300 allocated to your new weight bench before you start your research.
By increasing your budget, you’ll be able to choose from dozens of the most highly rated benches available, including the Ironmaster Super Bench, the folding adjustable Body Solid GFID225, and the bestselling Bowflex 5.1.
These are actually 3 excellent benches to start looking at, with the Ironmaster capable of supporting up to 1,000 lbs and upgradeable with numerous attachments, the GFID225 being a compact folding option, and the Bowflex bench being one of the current bestsellers on Amazon.
If these are a little out of your price range, unless you’re really in need of something short term, we would recommend waiting until you have the funds to buy a higher quality bench.
In the long run they’re generally going to be much higher quality, with lower maintenance, a wider range of attachment options, and offer a higher weight capacity.
If you’re really on a tight budget, we would recommend taking a look at the Marcy SB670 Adjustable Utility Bench, and the Universal 5 Position Weight Bench from Nautilus. Both of these designs usually retail for around $100, offer a variety of incline positions, and are backed by hundreds of highly rated customer reviews on Amazon.
Best adjustable dumbbells
If you’re setting up a home gym but aren’t sure if you have the space or budget for hundreds of pounds of weight plates and different sized dumbbells, one option is to buy a set of adjustable dumbbells.
Two of the best known brands to look out for are PowerBlock and Bowflex, whose SelectTech collection recently got upgraded with the new SelectTech 560 set. But there are also many other designs worth considering, including sets from Universal, Gold’s Gym, and ProForm.
To help you decide which set is better for your own training program, we’ve put together a guide similar to this one for the best adjustable dumbbells.
Different types of weight benches
If you’re still not sure which type of weight bench is right for you, it’s worth taking a look at some common design features, including the pros and cons for each type of design.
Although there are hundreds of different weight benches available, almost all can be assigned to one of the following five categories:
- Flat bench
Next to ab boards, this is always going to be your most affordable option, but you’re severely limited in the range of exercises it supports due to the lack of incline settings.
A flat weight bench is really only suitable for your standard flat bench press with dumbbells, but you can also perform a range of lying extensions for your triceps, elevated single-leg squats, bench dips, and a few other exercises for various muscle groups.
One or two designs also include a dumbbell rack underneath as a built-in storage option, and there are several flat benches that can be folded to slide under a bed or inside a closet to help save space.
However, because of the minimal price difference between a flat bench and an entry level adjustable FID bench, these aren’t exactly a popular choice, and we struggled to find any with more than 100 reviews.
Pure Fitness have a handful of designs that have a mediocre average rating, but your best option would be either the XM-7602 or preferably the XM-4414, which has a built-in dumbbell rack.
If you want a bench that supports you through the widest range of exercises, an adjustable/FID bench is going to be your best option.
This is a type of weight bench that XMark have helped make incredibly popular, with dozens of affordably priced variations supporting a range of attachments and weight capacities.
But adjustable basically means any freestanding bench that allows angles other than flat, and which isn’t fixed to an Olympic bench press rack.
This means that as well as the designs from Xmark Fitness, you also have to consider the Ironmaster Super Bench, the Bowflex 3.1 and 5.1, the popular utility bench from CAP Barbell, and the high quality collection from one of the biggest names in strength training equipment – Body Solid.
But how do you decide which is the best adjustable weight bench? They feature heavily in our top 10, and these are the models we would recommend starting your research with. Between them they’ve gained thousands of highly rated reviews and are backed by companies with an excellent customer service record.
Olympic weight benches come in two main variations – adjustable and fixed, with adjustable being the most popular.
One of the reasons adjustable Olympic benches are more popular is because they’re generally more affordable, particularly if you compare them to some of the top-of-the-line Precor designs.
But those are really meant more for commercial gyms, and you can still find a range of fixed Olympic benches at a similar price to the adjustable versions.
This includes the SDB351G and SFB349G in the ProClub Line from Body Solid, BF-7 from Valor Fitness, and the XM-4424 from XMark.
As the name suggests, Olympic weight benches are only suitable for Olympic barbells, which is usually just over 7ft long and weighs 44 lbs.
If you’re looking for a bench and rack you can use with standard 5ft or 6ft barbells, you’ll need to look for what’s classed as a ‘mid-width’ bench, such as the Phoenix 99225 or the Marcy Classic MD 859P.
If space is limited, a folding weight bench can be a great way to make the most of what you have, with the option to fold the bench almost completely flat for storage when your workout is complete.
They’ve actually proven incredibly popular, with highly rated designs available from Marcy, PowerBlock, Body Solid, and XMark Fitness.
In our opinion the best option is always to remove any obstacles between you and your workout, which is why we prefer FID benches over folding. But if the only option is a folding design, then the GFID225 from Body Solid and the PowerBlock Travel Bench both use quick and easy locking pin systems, each with a 500 lb+ weight capacity.
If you want to train your abs, obliques, and other core muscles with varying levels of resistance, one way is to use an adjustable sit up bench.
They’re usually available with a single section back support and no seat, and attached to an angled bar at the front where you can control the workout intensity through a series of height settings.
Unlike the weight benches listed above, ab benches are designed more for bodyweight exercises without resistance from barbells or dumbbells.
This can be an effective and relatively inexpensive addition to any home gym that already has a multi gym for upper and lower body muscle groups, and for anyone that wants to supplement their existing workout routine with some more core training.
- Leverage benches
If you’ve already trained with resistance equipment at a commercial gym, you may already have seen or used a leverage bench.
They’re an incredibly safe way of performing the bench press without a training partner, and allow you to load the weight pegs with full sized Olympic weight plates the same way you would a barbell.
In terms of price, leverage benches aren’t your most cost efficient option, but if you have the space, there are some excellent designs out there that let you perform a wide variety of exercises with heavier weights than you’ll find on a multi gym.
Up until now we’ve mentioned XMark Fitness a lot, but they’re not a company that has expanded into leverage benches at the moment.
Currently your best options are going to be Body Solid and Powertec, with a couple of high quality designs available from Valor Fitness.
If you’re looking for a corner leverage bench system that supports complete upper body workouts, two of your best options will be the GLGS100P4 from Body Solid, and the Workbench Lever Gym from Powertec Fitness.