There’s one thing I tell all my bodybuilding clients they have to spend enough money on for their home gym, and that is a heavy duty weight lifting bench.
I’ve seen people try to make some stools work, but you could end up taking some serious injury risks.
But even with a lot of adjustable benches on the market, the difference in quality and safety is actually quite frightening.
So, our team went and teamed up with a few sports stores to see if we could find some of the home gym weight benches we’d recommend to clients.
Here are the results.
Our Top Adjustable Weight Bench (September 2023)
1 - XMark Adjustable Bench
If you’re planning to do some pretty heavy lifting in your home gym, then you might want to consider the XMark.
Among the weight benches we've reviewed, this is the closest to a commercial grade bench for weights you might be able to find.
It seems to have the best weight capacity up to 1,500 pounds, which is mainly down to a steel frame made of heavy duty 11 gauge steel.
People also like the sturdy wheels of this weight bench, which may make it easier for you to store away when the weight bench not in use.
- Product highlights: 3 seat and 7 back positions, 1,500 lbs max weight capacity, Duraguard vinyl
- Claims to use premium 11 gauge steel frame for durability
- The back pad may be adjusted to seven different positions
- Positive feedback about the ergonomic adjustable seat
- Comes with built-in wheels to easily move it around
- Some people have said that the weight bench padding is a bit too soft
The only thing we noticed in a few reviews is that the padding of this utility bench might not be firm enough for some people.
2 - FLYBIRD Weight Bench
This weight bench has a smaller weight limit, but for the majority of people, the 620 lbs should be more than enough.
One of the positives we noted is that the back and seat pad seems to be wider than average, which may provide more stability.
And if you hate spending hours trying to figure out assembly instructions, then the Flybird could solve that as it’s ready to go. Some of the weight benches can be a pain to assemble.
- Product highlights: 3 seat and 7 back positions, 620 lbs max weight capacity, leather
- Has a fast-folding system for easier storage
- Seat and backrest may be wide enough to provide good support
- Comes fully assembled saving you that Ikea type frustration
- May not be long enough for tall people
While it does have a wide pad, some taller people have said it may support their head enough.
3 - Bowflex SelectTech Weight Bench
We’re big fans of Bowflex exercise equipment, and the heavy duty steel frame and functional design of this weight bench should work well for most people.
The front legs spread out quite a bit. This might give it a bigger footprint, but it may also provide quite a bit more stability.
It might also be suitable for anyone who has limited space at home as it’s foldable for easier storage.
You can also check our review on their other product, the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells.
- Product highlights: 6 back positions, 600 lbs capacity, faux leather
- Claims to use heavy duty steel frame for more stability
- Seat design seems to be ergonomic and comfortable
- Suitable for folding up into an upright storage position
- Some people said the faux leather seat covering may not last
One thing we did note is that some people reported that the fake leather covering might not last as long under heavy regular use in their home gym.
4 - POWERBLOCK Sport Workout Bench
Powerblock is another big name in the fitness industry, and we were delighted to see an affordable option that may be close to commercial grade.
Yes, this weight bench has a relatively lower weight limit, but you’re still going to have a wide range to work with.
We also liked that there is an optional dip attachment. By standing it upright with the attachment, you’d be able to do some upper body bodyweight dips for more training variety.
- Product highlights: 5 back positions, 550 lbs weight capacity
- Positive comments about the stability
- The padding is firm enough to support your spine
- Optional dip attachment may provide more exercise options
- Limited weight capacity may make it less suitable for heavy weights
We did see some comments where people said it might not feel as sturdy when you get close to the weight limit.
5 - RitFit Adjustable / Foldable Utility Bench
This bench made our list because we found it to be one of the smallest when you fold it down. For anyone with limited space at home, that could be a deciding point.
The other thing we noticed immediately was that the padding is firm, which might give you a bit more support and confidence once you get to higher weight ranges.
A lot of people also said that the workout poster it comes with is helpful to get some more variety into your strength training.
- Product highlights: 5 back and 4 seat positions, 510 lbs capacity, leather
- Padding is thick and firm for better back protection
- Seems to be easy to fold up after training
- Comes with a bonus workout poster 36 different exercises
- Requires some assembly out of the box
The main downside is that it will require some assembly, so make sure you have your tools ready.
6 - PASYOU Adjustable Weight Bench
This is another bench that folds up quite small, but it seems a little bit more difficult to do this than the RitFit one.
It comes with good padding that we saw positively reviewed in quite a few online comments. That’s an important factor if you plan to do chest workouts on bench press with some bigger loads.
We also liked that the backrest seems to be quite long, which might suit taller people a bit better.
- Product highlights: 7 back positions, 500 lbs capacity, PU leather
- Folds up into quite a small package
- Ergonomic foam padding should help support your back
- Backrest pad should be high enough to protect your neck and head
- Has limited decline positions
Some people like multiple different decline settings to get some more abs training done, but you’re limited to two different degrees with this one.
7 - Magic Fit Adjustable Weight Bench
Another space saver is this Magic Fit model.
We were cautious at first because it didn't seem as sturdy as others.
But unless you constantly need to go to the weight limit, this should do fine for a home gym.
We liked that it had an added safety locking system. This should prevent accidentally leaving the pin in a less secure position.
- Product highlights: 6 back and 4 seat positions, 600 lbs capacity, leather
- Adjustment uses an automatic locking system for safety
- Claims to be easy to fold down for storage
- Positive comments about the stable design
- The foot piece cannot be adjusted for different body sizes
Just keep in mind that the foot peace might not be in an ideal position for your training needs, and it can’t be adjusted.
8 - BARWING Adjustable Weight Bench
The first highlight we spotted in reviews is that the Barwing has a leg hold bar that is adjustable. Being able to do this should give you quite a bit more flexibility for all types of upper body and ab training.
We also like that you may not need to spend a lot of time to fold it up unless you have a significant amount of space or an understanding partner that could help to keep the peace at home.
- Product highlights: 8 back and 4 seat positions, 800 lbs capacity, leather
- Seems to fold down easily into a small size
- Leg hold bar may be adjusted to 2 positions
- Comes fully assembled, just needs to be unfolded
- The instructions could be made a bit clearer
There’s no assembly involved with this model, but we did find that the instructions were not entirely clear for unfolding it.
9 - FEIERDUN Weight Bench
This might be an expensive bench, but take note of the maximum limit, which is quite a bit higher than normal.
You also need to consider that it might have a lot more backrest and seat positions that you won’t find on many incline bench models.
We also saw comments in forums where people noted that the thick design of the frame should help to avoid shaking, especially with heavy weights.
- Product highlights: 10 back and 6 seat positions, 1,000 lbs capacity, leather
- High-density foam on seat and backrest may provide better protection
- Wheels on the back leg should make it easy to move
- Heavy duty steel should prevent shaking
- Doesn’t fold down small for storage
The only real downside is that this model won’t fold down, so you’ll need to make sure you have enough space to spare.
10 - CAP Barbell Deluxe Utility Weight Bench
The final utility bench we decided to put on our list is another one that looks almost like a commercial grade one.
It has plenty of adjustment degrees, but keep in mind that you might only be able to set it to a flat weight bench and not a declining one as well.
It’s also got these small types of hooks on the back legs where you could loop some exercise bands, instead of having to spend a lot of money on dumbbells and other equipment.
Product highlights: 7 back and 3 seat positions, 500 lbs capacity, vinyl
- Wide backrest pad should support and stabilize your spine
- Comes with a convenient attachment for exercise bands
- Available in multiple color options to match your home gym design
- Cannot be folded or easily moved
The downside is that it’s not foldable, and it might not be that easy to move around because it’s a bit bulky.
Getting set up for a home gym shouldn’t be something you do without careful research.
And before we came up with the list of recommendations above, we looked at some features that we needed to prioritize.
1 - Construction Materials
For this, we focused on the actual materials used to create the frame.
We’ll get to the backrest and seat pad shortly.
Our general tip is to go for the most heavy duty construction you can afford. It absolutely has to be steel, because the higher the weight limit, the more likely it is to remain stable under pressure.
Believe me when I say that you don’t want to experience an incline bench collapsing when you’re lifting heavy weights to burn fat.
The other thing to look for is a powder coated frame. Apparently, this type of paint should last a lot longer .
2 - Durability
A heavy duty, powder coated frame will go a long way to making sure that you’ll get many years out of your bench without problems.
But you also need to consider the durability of the hinges and locking system.
What do I mean?
There are two extremes that we saw in all our testing.
Firstly, we saw one or two incline bench models with some fancy locking system. While safety is important, if that locking system becomes stiff, you could end up with problems.
Secondly, avoid any kind of pin system that isn’t entirely made of steel. You just cannot take any risks when it comes to gym safety.
3 - Max Weight Capacity
One of our recommended models above should cover you all the way up to 1,500 pounds.
That does sound like a crazy amount, but keep in mind that even if you don’t get anywhere close to the limit, it should give you a bench that doesn’t tend to shake or vibrate under pressure.
Accidents due to equipment failure or malfunction are, unfortunately, a lot more common than most people think .
Don’t let your home gym equipment become the scene of a bad injury.
4 - Warranty
You want to always check the warranty description before you buy one. You’ll often see things like lifetime warranty, but they probably sneak in the word “limited” in the fine print somewhere.
You should be able to get five or more years of warranty on the structure of the main frame, but also check whether the hinges and locking system are included.
What you might not get much warranty for is the padding.
This will be prone to quite a bit of wear, so it’s important to avoid any accidental damage.
More in the padding shortly.
5 - Overall Size
Some people are fortunate with maybe a double garage or basement where an area is designated place for a home gym.
Or you might have a partner or spouse who doesn’t mind you taking up one of the spare rooms for your fitness gear.
Anyway, most people will probably have some form of space limits, and you’re always better off having a bit of free space between your equipment.
You’ll be able to get all the dimensions for the above products on the linked pages. Just take the time to do some measuring to keep the peace at home.
6 - Assembly Required
Some people love the challenge of IKEA style assembly.
Not me, though.
I prefer when everything comes ready to go, as I just don’t have the patience or DIY skills.
The other problem with some home gym equipment is that setting it up even slightly wrong could be a safety risk .
“Before using any piece of equipment on the gym floor, take a minute to examine that it’s in good working order. Check that the weight plate pin is completely inserted into the hole for the weight plate, that the seat or bench is locked into place, and that you have a full range of travel with the bar or handles.”
- Bobby R. Goldsmith, Writer at SportsRec
7 - Height Adjustment System
What I’m referring to here is not the incline setting for the seat or backrest.
You also have to look at whether the overall height might be adjusted, which could be particularly important for people who are taller or shorter than average.
There are many different types of exercise where you might end up a bit uncomfortable or at risk of injury if your knees aren’t about as high as your hips.
8 - Number Of Settings
You’ll always see product descriptions highlight the number of setting positions for the backrest and seat.
Here’s what I would recommend you look at as well, though.
Some models will only provide incline positions. That might be fine for a lot of your workouts, but having at least one decline setting would give you more flexibility.
But you also need to look at the angles covered. We saw a few models with a load of adjustments, but they covered a limited number of degrees.
9 - Foam Cushioning
You absolutely need to only pick a model with high density foam. And don’t be tempted by something that feels nice and soft.
When you add your bodyweight with a fully loaded barbell, then the pressure on the foam will increase a lot.
You cannot afford to have something that will feel like you’re laying on steel.
The other thing to pay attention to is what people are saying about the quality of the foam.
Commercial grade foam should stand up to years of max pressure without losing its density. Some cheaper products could end up feeling lumpy, which could cause some back strain and injury .
10 - Stability When Fully Loaded
All gym equipment will come with a maximum weight limit.
But the important thing to look out for is what people are saying about how stable incline benches feel when they are being tested to their limits.
I’ve seen 250-pound bodybuilders bench press over 200 pounds.
If your bench starts to shake or vibrate under heavy pressure like that, then you could be setting yourself up for serious trouble.
This might not happen for every workout, or might not happen for a few years until you build up the muscle mass, but the last thing you want is to lose confidence with a huge barbell or dumbbell hovering above your head.
11 - Easy Storage Features
So, there are two ways to solve storage constraints.
If you’re really stuck for space, then you want to look at a good quality foldable bench.
This should also make it easy to fold up and down. We saw some design features where it could take 20 minutes to set it up every time, which just isn’t practical for a home gym.
The other option is to have a design that has wheels attached to the frame.
That way, you might be able to move around easily to keep your bench out of the way when it’s not being used.
12 - Accessories
This is where we think there might be a gap in the market.
Because benches have generally got such a sturdy design, it should be possible to make them more multi-functional.
What do I mean?
For example, the Powerblock bench we listed above has an optional dip bar or power tower. You could change the bench around and quickly have another set of fitness workouts available in the form of bodyweight dips .
“Some would even argue that dips are the best chest exercise out there, even better than the bench press.”
- Steve Kamb, Writer at NerdFitness
13 - Safety Features
A heavy duty frame design will go a long way to making your workouts safer .
But we like to see companies coming up with new ideas.
This is especially important with workout machines or gear that is adjustable, unlike a simple and static flat utility bench.
Anytime you modify fitness equipment, there is a risk of something failing or coming loose.
We like to see pin systems where the pin is twisted or locked into place to reduce the chance of it coming loose.
We also saw some automatic locking features on some of the models we reviewed, which might further reduce human error.
14 - Suitable For Different Types Of Exercises
Most people just turn to workout benches for the barbell rack or some dumbbell work.
The incline and flat position options are great for this, but there are some added ways to gain some more flexibility.
By changing to a decline position, you could add some extra tension to your ab workouts. It might seem like a small thing, but it could make a huge difference.
You can also pair this with a power rack or a smith machine and do seated barbell squats, seated barbell military press, etc.
15 - Water Resistant Cover
All the sweating you do during weight lifting will result in the seat and back pad becoming wet on a constant basis.
The last thing you want to have happen is for the materials to just absorb all that sweat.
It’s vital that you make sure that the seat and back pad are water resistant from a hygiene perspective.
16 - Price
You’ll find that all equipment for weight lifting has wide price ranges.
But you have to be very careful not to just pick the cheapest one you see.
There’s a big difference between a great price and something that is cheap because of lower quality materials or fewer features.
At the same time, you could end up overpaying, especially for some of the top brands.
So, just be careful to weigh up the price with features and safety.
Should You Buy a Flat or Adjustable Bench?
You should buy an adjustable bench as it could provide you with a lot more flexibility when it comes to your weight lifting routines.
Adjustable benches tend to be a bit more expensive, but the different decline positions might also help you if you have some back trouble. This is a major limitation of a flat bench.
The best adjustable weight benches can be used in inclines or as a flat bench, so it's a much more flexible and functional piece for your home gym.
If you have budget restrictions, a flat bench is a cheaper alternative.
Are Adjustable Weight Benches Safe?
Yes, adjustable weight benches are safe. You should always check the design of the adjustment system and whether there are safety latches.
Some products simply have a pin that could slip out by accident, which you have to avoid at all costs.
Do Adjustable Weight Benches Have Weight Limits?
Yes, adjustable weight benches have weight limits. You should aim for a model with at least a 500-pound weight capacity.
The closer you get to that limit, the more there are chances of it shaking a little, which could become a significant safety issue.
Are Adjustable Weight Benches Easier to Store?
Yes, some adjustable weight benches are easier to store. Foldable options might be best suited for anyone that has limited space at home.
But keep in mind that folding features could mean that you have to sacrifice on the weight limit a bit.
Should Beginners Use an Adjustable Weight Bench?
Yes, beginners should use an adjustable weight bench.
One of the best things about them is that they should allow you to get into a body position that feels comfortable and secure.
The different adjustments should also help you to better target certain muscle groups.
A flat bench is a great option too since it also allows different types of lifts.
You can look into a multipurpose flat bench, there are foldable options as well for a cheaper price.
Do Flat Benches Last Longer Than Adjustable Ones?
Yes, some flat benches last longer than adjustable ones. The adjustment system and hinges are moving parts, which could wear down over time.
However, it’s unlikely to become an issue in a home use setup where the bench isn’t in constant use.
Our #1 Adjustable Weight Bench
We all came to the conclusion that the XMark is the best weight bench in an unusual vote result here at the office among the adjustable benches we tried out.
Normally, there are quite heated debates.
It’s just hard to beat the max weight limit and sturdy steel frame design. We’ve all used one, and the gym I work at has also invested in a few of them as the owners believe it’s a quality weight bench suitable for commercial use.
What's the best adjustable weight bench for you? Or do you prefer a flat bench instead?
Would love to hear your thoughts!
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