Ask almost any personal trainer (including me) what’s the best way to get a good home workout, and you’ll likely get the same answer: a weight bench and some free weights.
In this post we review the best compact and folding weight benches you can get for your home gym.
Unlike most home gym machines, a weight bench takes very little space, and most benches we’ll review here are foldable. If you live in an apartment or other small space, you can hide them out of sight when you’re not exercising.
A bench can help you keep good posture while working out at home. The new home weight benches we see in 2021 are more versatile and have multiple back angles. Some also let you adjust the seat, leg holder, and other aspects.
- Best Compact Weight Benches
- Features To Look For
- Weight Bench Exercises
BEST COMPACT WEIGHT BENCHES FOR HOME
Not all weight benches are created equal, that’s why we carefully picked and reviewed the top weight benches you can get in 2020.
- Sturdy & Stable
- Comfortable Extra Wide Seat
- Folds & Stores Upright
- Quick Angle Change
- Takes 70% Less Space When Folded
- Leather Upholstery
- Adjustable Back Cushion
- Easy to Collapse & Convenient Carrying Handle
- Best Selling Bench
- 800 lb Max Weight Capacity
- 12 Back Positions
- Very Versatile
- Use as a Stepping Platform
- Base can Connect with Resistance Bands
- Thick Cushions
- 21 Adjustment Angles
- Folds to Half its Size
- Stores Vertical or Horizontal
- Cheap but Sturdy
- Great for Small Spaces
Bowflex SelectTech 5.1s Weight Bench
Bowflex’s SelectTech 5.1s is one of the heaviest workout benches on our list. Most of its 70 pounds of heft comes from the commercial-grade steel in its bones. This also makes it one of the sturdiest foldable benches.
This bench folds up when you’re not using it. It’s designed to be stored upright. If your only available storage space is under your bed, this may not be the bench for you. This workout bench stores best in a closet or behind a door.
The Bowflex 5.1s workout bench comes with a comfortable and versatile leg holder. The leg piece folds upward for storage, and you can remove it completely if you want the extra front space to curl dumbbells.
The 5.1s bench has a maximum weight capacity of 650 pounds.
BOWFLEX 5.1s vs. 5.1 Bench
The weight capacity is one of the main differences between the SelectTech 5.1s and 5.1. The 5.1 model can only take 480 pounds, that’s 170 lb less than the 5.1s. The other main difference is that the 5.1 doesn’t fold up, so if folding is critical for you, get the Bowflex 5.1s.
Unfolded, the 5.1s measures 28.1 by 49.5 inches on the floor. In its flat position, the bench is 24 inches off the ground.
The backrest is 12 inches wide at its widest position. The seat measures about 15 inches across, which makes it the widest seat on our list.
The backrest has six adjustable angles, which is about average for a weight bench. The exact angles are -20°, flat, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90°.
You can also adjust the seat from completely flat to a slight upward angle. This gives you a bit more stability for the steepest upright back positions.
If your floor isn’t uniform, you’ll be happy to know the 5.1s’ feet are adjustable. Each foot has its own gear that you can twist in or out to get a more level bench surface.
There isn’t much not to like about this weight bench, but if we nitpick, there’s a slight gap between the backrest and the seat. At a 90° incline, the back meets the seat, but there are a couple inches of space in the flat and decline positions.
The seat is also quite high off the ground, even in its flat position. If you have short legs, your feet may not reach the ground, though I guess you can arrange some kind of a step to lay your feet on.
WHY WE LIKE IT
We love the sturdiness of this bench’s frame. The Bowflex 5.1s isn’t the cheapest weight bench, but it has all the quality you want, plus it feels like it could last forever.
It’s also quite comfortable with plenty of padding where it matters. If you have an ample derriere, you’ll love the extra-wide seat.
We also like that you can fold it up and wheel it away with just one press of a button. The transport wheels make it easy to move around despite the bench’s weight.
Flybird Adjustable Bench
Weighing only 19 pounds, this adjustable weight bench from Flybird is the lightest bench on our list. Because it’s so light, it gets its stability from a distinctive triangle frame made from heavy-duty steel pipe. Despite its lightweight, it has an impressive maximum capacity of 500 pounds.
The cushions are covered in leather upholstery with high-quality stitching. The leg holder is padded with plenty of foam and can be removed if necessary.
This bench is designed to store horizontally. With just the pull of a pin, it folds up to lose about 70% of its volume. You’ll also find a nice nylon strap at the top of the folded bench that makes it easy to carry around in your home.
If you don’t have much floor space, the Flybird has one of the smallest open footprints we’ve seen. Unfolded, it measures 47 by 12.6 inches on the floor. The seat is about 16 inches off the ground.
Its folded size is 31.5 by 12.6 by 11.8 inches.
This bench comes with 7 back positions and 4 seat positions for a total of 28 different angles.
The back adjusts via a series of hooks, and we found it faster to change an angle than the usual pull-pin system.
This bench doesn’t come with transport wheels, but since it weighs less than 20 lbs it should be light enough for most people to move around with just the handle.
If you’re above six feet tall, the Flybird may feel a bit short.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Light and easy to use, we liked the quick changing of angle. The seat is low enough that even if you have short legs, you should be able to reach the ground with no problem.
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or advanced, the 500 lbs weight capacity probably shouldn’t bother you.
We love the tiny floor footprint, both folded and unfolded. No other bench on our list takes so little space when folded.
Gymenist Exercise Bench
This foldable bench from Gymenist will arrive at your doorstep completely assembled. I personally don’t mind a bit of assembly, but I still think getting it fully assembled and ready to use its a big plus for many.
The Gymenist is another extremely compact weight bench. It folds up to 50% of its original volume. When not in use, it’s about the size of an acoustic guitar with a sturdy carrying strap. You can store it vertically or horizontally.
One of the coolest features on this workout bench is the extra back cushion. It attaches to the backrest via an elastic band. You can move it up and down or remove it altogether. The front of the cushion has a nice arc for additional back support. If you suffer from back pain, you can place this cushion right where you need it and take a bit of pressure off your injured vertebrae.
The open floor footprint is 54 by 17 inches, and the seat is 16 inches off the ground. Folded up, it measures 34 by 17 and is 10 inches thick.
The backrest is 12 inches wide, and the seat is an ample 14 inches across.
The whole bench weighs 27 pounds and can take up to 500 pounds of weight.
This bench has the usual six back angles plus an extra decline option. It also comes with a removable leg holder and rotating end caps on the feet that you can use to adjust the balance.
When you do exercises with a lot of weight, this isn’t the most stable bench. The bench doesn’t feel like premium quality, the upholstery looks a bit cheap.
WHY WE LIKE IT
You’re getting a pre-assembled weight bench, ready to use out of the box.
This bench is also easy to collapse with just the pull of a pin. We love the efficient folding and the handle.
The adjustable back cushion is another nice touch. Besides its support for back pain, the cushion can also give you some extra control over your exact back angle. If you love shoulder presses, it can provide additional bracing in the bench’s upright position.
Fitness Reality 1000 Super Max
This is the best-selling bench on our list, and for a good reason. It has an enormous weight capacity of 800 lbs., the highest maximum weight capacity of any weight bench around the $100 range. Only one other bench on our list (the Body Soild weight bench) has a higher weight capacity, and it’s almost triple the price.
The Fitness Reality 1000 is the most adjustable folding bench on our list. The back, the front legs, and the leg holder all have multiple positions. It’s rare to find an entry-level weight bench like this one where you can adjust all three.
The frame is made from steel tubes, which makes it both strong and light. The end caps on each leg come with rotating wheels for easy transportation.
This bench measures 59 inches long by 23.5 inches wide. With the front legs in the default position, the seat is 17.5 inches off the ground. It folds to 51 by 23.5 by 9 inches, a little more than half its unfolded size.
The maximum weight capacity is 800 pounds, which is amazing for a bench that weighs only 38 pounds.
There are six backrest angles, from a -20° decline to about 80° in its upright position. Add in the two front leg angles and you get 12 different back positions total. The leg holder has four locations.
For our personal tastes, the leg holder is way too thinly padded. You may need to use a throw pillow to prevent bruising during your sit-up routine.
At 17.5 inches off the ground, the seat is also a bit too tall. If you’re under about five foot 10, you may want to test lying on something with a similar height to double check if this bench will work for you.
WHY WE LIKE IT
If you want to build muscle mass on a budget, you can’t beat the weight capacity for this price. Our perfectionist tendencies also fell in love with all the different back and leg angles.
The fact that this bench sells so well also holds some weight. So many exercise enthusiasts can’t be wrong, right?
Escape Fitness Deck Station
The Escape Fitness Multi-Purpose Fitness Station Deck is unlike any other weight bench we’ve reviewed. It’s extremely adjustable with 16 different configurations that go beyond just lifting weights. You can also use it as a plyometric box, a stepping platform, or a base to connect resistance bands.
Although it looks like a plastic toy, don’t let its look confuse you, it has bones made of steel. It’s strong enough to hold your weight and a bit more, but its weight capacity is low compared to the other models here. This bench is designed to withstand jump squats and step-ups rather than mass-building chest presses using all heaviest weights you can buy. Still, its 275 lb of weight capacity is more than enough for most folks.
The top of the Escape Deck has a section that lifts up to act as an adjustable backrest with three incline angles. Underneath this section is a cute little storage compartment where you can keep your exercise accessories, instead of strewing them around your apartment.
This bench is dotted with channels to hook your resistance bands. If you get a bit creative, you can do hundreds of different exercises to tone any muscle in your body from many positions. If your imagination lags a bit when you exercise, you can check out the workout ideas on their Escape YouTube account and app.
Fully extended, this bench is 14 inches tall, 12 inches wide and 48 inches long. It folds down to only about eight inches tall.
The whole thing weighs 29 pounds and can take up to 275 pounds of weight.
The Escape Deck’s 16 configurations take a bit of time to figure out. They include three back angles, at 30, 45 and 70 degrees, and two step-up heights.
The eight-inch low step-up setting is designed for people with joint issues. The 14-inch high setting should be enough to get almost anyone’s heart pounding. You can also adjust each leg of the deck separately to give you a number of additional angles.
The biggest drawback of this weight bench is that it’s not padded. This one is plastic all the way around. That inherently because the Escape is more like a fitness station (as they call it), rather than just a weight bench.
If you’re over about six feet one, you may have some neck overhang in the incline positions.
There is also no leg holder, which makes sit-ups a bit more of a challenge.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Most of all, we love this deck’s versatility. If you’re in the toning phase of your bodybuilding process, there’s almost no muscle you can’t reach with this machine and a good set of resistance bands.
The Escape fitness station is very functional and durable.
We also like the extra safety of the included foot position guide on the anti-slip top mat.
A good alternative to look at is the Power Systems Fitness Deck, which you may find for a slightly lower price. It has more or less the same dimensions and adjustability with a slightly higher maximum weight. The Escape Deck is much more popular, though.
Xmark Workout Bench
If you’re building mass and don’t mind spending a bit of money, this is the bench for you. With a 1500-pound weight capacity, it nearly doubles the other high-capacity benches on our list, though we doubt you’ll ever reach even close to that capacity.
Its heavy duty secret is its U-shaped base made from 11-gauge steel. This is also what makes it the heaviest bench on our list, at 85 pounds. Luckily, it comes with sturdy transportation wheels.
The seat is 20 inches off the ground, and the bench measures 62 by 26 inches on the floor. This bench isn’t foldable.
Another highly-adjustable bench, the XMark has three seat angles and seven back angles for a total of 21 angles. The amply-padded leg holder also has four positions.
The seat’s 20-inch tall flat position means you’ll probably find it uncomfortable if you’re under six feet.
If you have limited space, you may prefer a folding bench.
The gap between the seat and back is a giant three inches, which may be a deal-breaker for picky bodybuilders.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The Xmark weight bench stands out for its huge weight capacity and stability. Its extra-thick back and seat cushions covered in sturdy, sweat-resistant vinyl, also makes it very comfortable.
Body Solid GFID225 Bench
This is a long bench designed for tall people. The bench is 61 inches long and the seat is 19 inches off the ground. You can use the bench comfortably even if you are way taller than six feet.
In use, this bench measures 19 inches tall, 60 inches long and 18 inches wide. Folded up, it’s only 57 by 18 by 10 inches and can fit easily under a bed or behind a door.
It weighs 53 pounds, and its maximum weight capacity is 600 pounds.
Only the back is adjustable with seven angles ranging from -20° to 75°.
Many reviewers mentioned that the bench is too narrow. At only 10 inches wide, the backrest is narrower than usual.
The leg holder is just a plastic stick with no padding.
WHY WE LIKE IT
With so many smaller folding benches for smaller people, we love that someone finally made a compact bench designed for taller people. We especially like the ample neck support provided by the extra length.
Marcy Flat Bench
It won’t fit under your bed, but it’s aesthetic enough to use as an extra seat when you’re not working out. It has a high-density foam is quite comfortable to exercise or sit on.
On the floor, the Marcy measures 43 by 14 inches. The surface is 17 inches off the ground, and the back cushion is just as wide as the feet at a nice 14 inches.
It weighs 20 pounds and has a solid maximum weight capacity of 600 pounds.
None. It’s a flat weight bench.
If you need adjustability and folding, you’ll have to look elsewhere. The space-saving design also means that people over about six-feet tall may find this bench uncomfortable.
WHY WE LIKE IT
If you are on a low budget and you’re looking for a simple and cheap bench with no frills, this is the one for you.
Powerblock Travel Weight Bench
The Powerblock travel bench is minimalist but strong. The seat and back are one piece measuring only 39 inches long.
This bench is ideal if you’re willing to make a lot of sacrifices for the smallest imaginable size. It’s the shortest bench on our list, and it folds up even smaller to only 40% of that.
Unfolded, it’s 15 inches tall, 10 inches wide and 39 inches long. Both legs fold in to collapse the bench to only eight inches tall.
At 550 pounds, it has a pretty good weight capacity for its size. It weighs only 29 pounds.
The Powerblock is a flat bench, with a twist. You can create an incline or decline positions by folding up just one leg and sitting on the very edge of the bench. It’s not the most comfortable position, but it’s good to have it as an option rather than just a regular flat bench.
While using it in an incline or decline position the bench feels less stable than in flat position. There is also no leg holder.
WHY WE LIKE IT
This tiny bench is great to bring with you if you want to stay in shape on a road trip.
Features to Look for When Buying a Folding Weight Bench
Before you decide which weight bench to buy, it pays to do a little homework. The two most important questions to think about are:
1. What am I going to use this bench for?
2. Where am I going to put it?
Let’s start with the first question. It’s important to buy a bench with features that complement your exercise goals.
If you want perfectly well-rounded pecs, you’ll need a bench with lots of incline angles so you can hit your chest from many different positions. If you want to be able to do sit-ups, you should get a bench with a decline position and a leg holder. If you want to be able to use dumbbells, you should make sure the leg holder is removable.
Think about whether you’ll be working more on muscle mass or definition. If you just want to keep everything toned, a bench with a lot of configurations but a low maximum weight capacity should suit you just fine. If you want to bulk up, look for stability and a bench with a high weight capacity.
The second question helps us narrow down the options even more. Besides matching your available floor space to the bench’s floor footprint, you should also make sure you have enough side room for chest flies.
If you have a barbell, there’s nothing worse than disturbing your rep flow by banging into a desk or bed. Measure it out horizontally to the bench’s floor footprint to check that everything fits.
Most of the benches on our list are foldable. We’ve included the folded dimensions and alignment so you can see if the bench you want fits under your bed or in your closet. For the ones that don’t fold, make sure you have space to leave them in the open, maybe doubling as an extra seat or coffee table.
Weight Bench Exercises at Home
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, and I’ll repeat it, if you want to do some serious strength training at home, get a weight bench.
There are many exercises you can do with a workout bench, it’s impossible to cover them all here.
For a more comprehensive list check our top weight bench exercises guide for workout you can do at home.
But here are some of the basic ones, split by muscle groups.
• Flat, incline and decline presses (barbell and dumbbell)
• Flat, incline and decline dumbbell flies
ABS & CORE (if your bench has a leg roller attachment):
• Decline sit-ups
• Tricep kickbacks
• Flat, incline and decline tricep extensions
• Dips (on the side of the bench)
• Concentration curls
• Seated curls at various inclines
• Shoulder presses with various inclines
• Reverse dumbbell flies
• One arm dumbbell rows
LEGS (with leg weight attachment):
• Leg curls
• Leg extensions
The weight bench is one of the best purchases you can make if you are working out at home.
Whether you are beginning to design your own home gym or simply looking for a way to exercise at home, it’s an essential piece of home workout equipment.
Add a set of dumbbells, and you can do so many more strength training exercises and hit every muscle group.
You can use it to build muscle mass, work on definition or train for core stability with sit-ups.