The best weight benches are not just for bodybuilders, or even just for lifting weights. A really good bench provides vital support for all kinds of strength training, which in turn helps to build coordination, posture and balance. As well as serving as a supportive platform, a good bench allows you both to hone your technique and target a wider range of muscles than you would with weights alone.
There’s a surprising amount of variety between weight benches. Flat gym benches are excellent for dumbbell and barbell work, and also provide a sturdy platform for core work such as crunches and dips. Most of our recommended benches, though, have adjustable backs and seats to support more types of training, and some can be folded and wheeled away when not in use.
If you know what type of bench you’re looking for, skip down the page for our recommendations, all currently in stock amid the January fitness rush. For more advice on choosing the best weights bench for you, read on.
Best weight bench: At a glance
- Best all-round weight bench: Mirafit M150 Adjustable Weight Bench | Buy now
- Best flat bench for heavy lifting: Gym Master GMB-1 | Buy now
- Best foldable weight bench: Winnow Adjustable Weight Bench | Buy now
- Best adjustable bench under £100: JX Fitness Adjustable Weight Bench | Buy now
- Best bench for serious weight lifters: Life Fitness Weight Bench | Buy now
- Best compact folding bench: Corength Training Bench 500 | Buy now
How to choose the best weight bench for you
How much should I spend on a weight bench?
You could spend many hundreds of pounds on a pro-level weight bench that will last a lifetime, but most of the best weight benches hover around £100-£150. That’s enough to kit yourself out at home with a bench that will help improve your workouts and save you money on gym membership, and potentially leave you able to budget for weights and extras such as a barbell rack.
We don’t recommend spending under £50 on a weight bench, unless it’s a special deal. Much cheaper than that, and you’d almost be better off using the coffee table. Cheaper benches are unlikely to be stable enough to provide the all-important support you need for safely lifting heavy weights. This is especially true for adjustable benches, whose mechanisms require a certain quality of design and build.
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Should I get a flat or adjustable weight bench?
This is the key thing to keep in mind when shopping for a gym bench. Ideally, before committing yourself to one or other type, try different types of bench at the gym, and get some advice from a trainer while developing your ideal strength workout.
Flat benches tend to be able to support more weight. Their indestructibility makes them popular among serious powerlifters, but flat benches are more versatile bits of kit than you may assume. Dumbbell pullovers, dumbbell/barbell skull crushers and split squats are all possible with a flat bench. Flat benches are often lower in height than adjustable benches, which is worth keeping in mind if you’re looking for a bench to use in cardio work such as jumps.
Adjustable benches, aka utility benches, support a wider range of exercises. By adjusting the seat and backrest, you can work with a decline, incline or flat angle to target different muscles efficiently, giving you greater gains in strength and flexibility. Adjustable benches are also more likely to fold down for storage.
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What other features should I look for when buying a weight bench?
Weight capacity: When you’re buying a bench to use for lifting heavy metal, then you need to make sure it can support you and all the weights you plan to lift – now and in your more muscular future. Flat benches can usually support more collective bulk than adjustable benches.
Built-in rack: Barbell racks don’t come cheap, so you could save money by buying a bench with a rack attached. A built-in rack may not have the build quality you’d get from a standalone rack bought separately, but it should still be sturdy and adjustable for height.
Raised front stabiliser: If you need something to keep your feet in place when you do abs work, a stabiliser attachment will really improve your workout.
Foldability: Weight benches aren’t the most slender of gym equipment, so if you don’t have a garage or spare room to keep yours in you may want the option of folding it up and wheeling it into a cupboard. A foldable weight bench may not be the most stable bench for very heavy lifting, though.
Rubber feet: These are essential for stability, so they’ll help protect you as well as your floor. Some benches have adjustable rubber feet that keep it stable even if your floor is uneven. If you have a gym mat, lie it under your bench for added sturdiness and also to protect your floor from accidental drops.
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The best weight benches you can buy
1. Mirafit M150 Adjustable Weight Bench: Best all-round weight bench
Price: £160 | Buy now from Amazon
This chunky, adjustable bench is the new, improved successor to the classic Mirafit M2 (and the predecessor to the even newer M250), with a wide base and sturdy frame design that really let you go all-out with your workouts. Despite being a solid piece of kit, it’s surprisingly easy to move around, thanks to premium extras such as castors and a grab handle.
Adjusting between flat and angled positions is quick, easy and secure using the simple lock mechanism behind the seat. As well as its six backrest angles (which include 90 degrees and a decline), you can also choose between four seat angles, giving you a great range of positions to suit you and your routine.
Putting together the flat-packed bench might be a bit tricky for some, so you may want to rope in a DIY expert friend. That aside, this is an outstanding bench for the price, with a build quality that would shame some pro-gym rivals.
Key features – Size: H44-120 x L127 x W60cm; Max load: 260kg; Item weight: Not given; Frame material: Steel; Foldable: No
2. Gym Master GMB-1 Flat Weightlifting Bench: Best flat weight bench for heavy lifting
Price: £50 | Buy now from Amazon
This is about as low as we’d recommend spending on a weight bench, but this old-school flat bench from Gym Master is a fantastic buy that combines good build quality and an elegant design.
It’s the lightest bench in our recommendations at just 10kg, and the strongest, with a maximum weight capacity of a very generous 300kg (47st). Its large non-slip feet are just as confident on carpet as on wooden floors, and the seat padding is spot on, too: comfortable without being too soft, and extremely hard-wearing.
And because it’s such a great price, you’ve got more cash left over to add a lifting bar or rack for barbells (Gym Master’s adjustable bar is £90 from Amazon).
Key features – Size: H40 x L110 x W60cm; Max load: 300kg; Item weight: 10kg; Frame material: Alloy steel; Foldable: No
3. Winnow Adjustable Weight Bench with Dip Station: Best foldable weight bench
Price: £96 | Buy now from Amazon
First, the downsides. This is not a bench for big and tall guys to bust out their chest-press personal bests. The faux leather seat is a little narrow, and maximum load is a modest 120kg. But if you’re a barbell beginner wanting to push your home gym routine beyond dumbbells, then this inexpensive utility bench could be a really smart buy.
Not only does this bench boast a barbell rack and adjustable seat and backrest, but it also doubles as a dip station thanks to the two handles on the barbell rack. You can adjust the height of the rack to suit the length of your arms, too. And if you’re short on space, no problem – the bench folds up flat (a bit like an ironing board) so you can store it in the wardrobe.
Key features – Size: H40 (seat) x L115 x W18.2cm; Max load: 120kg; Item weight: 20kg; Frame material: Alloy steel; Foldable: Yes
4. JX Fitness Adjustable Weight Bench: Best adjustable bench under £100
Price: £88 | Buy now from Amazon
The new version of JX Fitness’s weight bench is as sturdy as adjustable benches get for under £100, thanks to its triangular shape and heavy-duty rubber floor grips. The seat is on the narrow side but is extremely comfortable, with a high-density foam padded seat that’s ideal for dumbbell work, and a front stabiliser to keep your feet from lifting when you’re ab crunching. The easily adjustable backrest lets you switch between six positions, from 90 degrees to decline.
Bear in mind that this bench will need a sizeable corner of your home to live in – it doesn’t fold down and there are no wheels to help you squirrel it away.
Key features – Size: H46.5 (seat) x L117.5 x W16.4cm; Max load: 272kg; Item weight: 16kg; Frame material: Alloy steel; Foldable: No
5. Life Fitness Weight Bench: Best weight bench for serious lifters
Price: £645 | Buy now from John Lewis
This Life Fitness model is the same as you’ll find in commercial gyms, and will last a lifetime even if you lift serious weights every day. It’s designed to help you get the absolute best out of your strength training. The backrest adjusts between six different positions, and the generous, ergonomically shaped seat helps you keep your feet firmly planted for a stronger body position. It’s a big and heavy bench, but its built-in wheels and handles make it surprisingly easy to manoeuvre.
Key features – Size: H45.7 (seat) x L133.5 x W53cm; Max load: 136kg; Item weight: 35kg; Frame material: Steel; Foldable: No
Buy now from John Lewis