What is the Best Adjustable Weight Bench?
If I had to choose just one piece of essential home gym equipment, it'd be an adjustable weight bench. Hear me out. It really is the foundation of an awesome fitness program, because despite its popular use for bench press, it can be used for a full-body workout.
Think about it - what other piece of equipment can you do chest flys, dips, and one-leg squats, all in one circuit? I rest my case!
A top-notch adjustable weight bench is important, but the options can be totally overwhelming when you start shopping for the right fit. So how do you narrow down your options and choose the best one for you?
Keep reading to find out the most important factors to consider when you are shopping for an adjustable weight bench.
How to Choose the Best Adjustable Weight Bench
There are many factors to consider when looking for the best adjustable bench for your needs. This list, written in questions-you-may-ponder format, breaks down what’s important and what to look for, so you can feel confident about the weight bench that you choose.
- What kind of adjustability does it have?
This is really important based on what kind of lifting you want to do. If you are focused on targeting your chest from several different angles, for example, you will want a bench that has several positions with varying angles of incline.
If you are just looking for slight variances, then you will be happy with a bench that adjusts in just a few positions. Think about how you’re lifting right now and what you’re trying to accomplish in order to determine how much adjustability you need.
One note you may find helpful when you’re considering adjustability: many adjustable benches have an annoying design flaw; there is a large gap between the seat bottom and the seat back when the bench is in the flat position. Of course, this mechanism allows the two pieces to come together when moved to the incline position, but it can be very uncomfortable when you want to use the bench in its flat position.
Rest assured that there are adjustable weight benches that have taken note of how uncomfortable this seat gap is for lifters so you'll be able to find ones without that flaw.
- How much weight does it hold?
This is another one of those questions that makes you inadvertently check your goals, as the weight capacity is important to consider when you think about how much weight you lift and how much you want to work toward lifting.
Sure, you might only be bench pressing 70% of your body weight now but you know you'll work your way up to 130% of your body weight someday soon.
So make sure you invest in a sturdy bench that can grow with you if you are going to be throwing up some serious weight; it is important for your safety!
- Is it foldable? Does it matter?
Foldable benches are easy to move out of the way and store when not in use, but this typically only applies to the less heavy-duty options. If you are getting a bench that will be set up to stay, you likely don’t need to worry about this.
However, if you do need an option that can be moved and stored with ease, then you may have to choose an option with a lower weight capacity.
- Is it FID friendly?
Not all adjustable benches are FID (Flat/Incline/Decline) benches. While many do offer adjustability options that cover the "flat" and the "incline", the most oft forgotten option is "decline."
This is a feature that many serious lifters consider imperative, so keep this in mind as you shop around.
P.S. When you see a negative in the degrees on adjustability options, like this: -10 degrees- that denotes the decline position. And, 0 degrees is interchangeable with saying that the bench goes flat. That may seem obvious, but hey, I don’t like geometry either and just wanted to point it out!
- Will I fit on the bench?
Here’s looking at you, tall people. Ergonomics and dimensions need to be considered, especially if you’re over 6’ tall. Check the length of the bench to ensure you will comfortably fit on it without limiting your range of motion.
Also, you may need to consider the width of the backrest. While most designers are forward thinking when creating the backrest to be inclusive to all body types, some economy options may save on costs by reducing the overall size of the bench.
- What's my budget?
This is not the most fun component to consider, but hey, it’s how the world works. You may have some serious cash set aside for your home gym investment, and if so, you have more freedom to get exactly what you want.
Or, you may be on the search for an economic investment that doesn’t sacrifice quality and if so, you're in luck. There are plenty of starter options between $100 to $200 that will suit your immediate needs without breaking the bank. Likewise, there are some lifelong benches that exceed $300 in exchange for permanent residence in your home gym.
Of course, the lower you go in your price range, the more compromises you may have to make. For example, the backrest on some adjustable benches move. Obviously.
But we're not just talking about it moving when it adjusts - often, it can move in ways you wish it didn't. Adjustable benches on the higher end of the price spectrum are designed to be firmer, more stable and overall better at avoiding this wobble but the backrests on lower end, more economical models can wobble a bit from side to side due to the way it's designed to be adjusted.
If the wobble greatly bothers you but you're unwilling to go over a certain price range, a flat bench may be a better option since they are completely solid, thanks to the absence of moving parts.
Whatever your budget, we know you want to get the best piece of equipment possible for your specific needs. To get you started, we've compiled a list of the best adjustable weight benches - you'll find all their deets below!
Top 5 Best Adjustable Bench Reviews
Peruse through the reviews below of the best adjustable weight benches. It's a quick read and should give you a barometer for which adjustable bench is waiting to be your workout partner!
Universal 5 Position Adjustable Bench
Value, meet quality. With a 430-pound weight capacity at a ridiculous affordable price tag, this bench is a steal, given these awesome baseline stats:
- Total weight capacity: 430 pounds including 250-pound user weight
- Adjustability: 5 different positions (-10, 0, 15, 30, and 45 degrees)
- Dimensions: 17 x 25 x 51
- Foldable: No
As for how it holds up during a workout, this bench provides a nice wide backrest with a contoured shape and is padded with dense yet plush foam for the right amount of comfort. The included stabilizers on the bottom of the bench make it easy and comfortable to use on any kind of flooring, without worrying about floor damage or wobbly workouts.
One downside of this model is that it does not fold, so make sure you have plenty of space and won’t need to put the bench away for storage purposes. What it does do, though, is provide seriously solid support for you throughout your entire workout routine.
Overall, this is a sturdy, great value adjustable bench for the price but keep in mind that if you’re over 6’ tall, it may be a bit short in length for you, based on your comfort level.
It is easy to assemble but also has a delivery plus assembly option for a higher price, if building isn’t your thing. Also, you get a two-year frame warranty with purchase, so durability is guaranteed and supported, making your small investment even more sound and attractive.
Heads up, heavy lifters seeking value: this value-for-money adjustable bench lets serious lifters get a sturdy piece of equipment without breaking the bank. Check these stats:
- Total weight capacity: 550 pounds
- Adjustability: 5 different positions (flat, military, 30, 45, 60 degrees)
- Dimensions: 16 x 21 x 50
- Foldable: No
The only bummer is that this bench does not give you the option to decline, despite being able to move in five different positions otherwise (flat, military, 30, 45, 60 degrees). That may be a make or break for you, but it does not negate the overall awesome value of this bench - especially when you consider the design.
Remember the big gap problem we talked about earlier in the article? Powerblock has solved this problem by designing the bench so that the seat pivots down instead of up in order to create the incline position, so when the bench is in its flat position, there is no gap for you to have to try to navigate.
That's an awesome perk to keep in mind as we share the biggest downside of this adjustable bench: the backrest and the optional dip attachment can wobble a bit. Again, much of this wobble is due to the way adjustable benches are constructed and yes, the shakiness can be a little bit uncomfortable, but you only have to worry about it if you are lifting really heavy weights.
Overall, the construction is sturdy and despite a bit of wobble, the bench itself is strong and durable. As for storage, this bench does not fold, but it does include wheels on the back that will allow you to easily roll it out of the way. Assembly is straight-forward and easy enough for you to do it yourself, or you can purchase assembly as an add-on from Amazon.
Another great midline option, the Bowflex adjustable bench has a reasonable, mid-range price tag and boasts the following baseline stats:
- Total weight capacity: 480 pounds
- Adjustability: 6 different positions (decline, flat, 30, 45, 60, 90 degrees)
- Dimensions: 20 x 26 x 56
- Foldable: Yes
A huge selling point on this bench is the range in the degrees of incline, specifically that magical 60 degree mark that seems to be juuust right for those on the mend from injuries and still working to improve range of motion.
It has an overall super solid feel with minimal wobbling during use, and the same can be said for the detachable leg support that can be used for crunches and sit-ups.
This bench does fold for easy storage, but alas, the folding leaves the user with the gap problem. Many users complain that the gap hits them in an uncomfortable place in their back, but you can get creative and fill the gap with a cushion or similar object that allows you to lift more comfortably.
On the bright side, this bench is more generously proportioned and a much better fit for those gifted in the height department. Also, assembly is as straight-forward as its competitors, and the warranty on this bench is awesome: 30 years for the frame, and one year for the upholstery.
For a little more money, you get a big bump in quality and weight capacity, as this Xmark is slightly on the pricier side but can withstand 1500 pounds. It is extremely sturdy thanks to its steel frame and powder-coated finish, and it has range (literally): it can adjust to decline and 6 other positions.
This bench also has much more ergonomic flexibility. In addition to the seven adjustable settings mentioned above, it can also be adjusted for three different height positions, making it more inclusive to people on the taller (or shorter) side.
To add to its versatility, you can purchase a preacher curl bar as an add-on attachment in order to work your biceps.
Good news for the assembly, too: the packaging and instructions make your life really easy. The bench comes double boxed, with parts separated and clearly marked to match installation booklet, making for a very easy assembly that should only take 30 or so minutes. The only nitpicky thing we could find is that the upholstery on this is a little bit too firm, but not necessarily uncomfortable - just something that may take a little bit of time to adjust to.
Firm, it may be, but overall this is a solid weight bench that will provide stable support and has the sort of weight capacity and adjustability options to earn it a place in your home gym for life.
- Total weight capacity: Up to 1,500 pounds
- Adjustability: 7 different positions (-20, flat, 20, 35, 50, 65, 85 degrees)
- Dimensions: 20.3 x 25.8 x 62.2
- Foldable: No
The priciest of those we are reviewing, the Ironmaster will cost you a pretty penny, which is not surprising given its amazing versatility:
- Total weight capacity: Up to 1,000 pounds
- Adjustability: 11 different positions (Incline, Decline, Flat, and Upright at 0, 5,10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 75, 80 and 85 degree angles)
- Dimensions: 18.8 x 21 x 44
- Foldable: No
To add to the options factor, you can get many different attachments to enhance your workouts and complement this bench, such as: Chin Up Bar, Crunch/Decline Attachment, Bar Dip/Leg Raises, and Preacher Curl Pad.
If you invest in the attachments, you definitely will have a full home gym, but take note that changing the attachments can be time consuming.
Another perk that speaks to its versatility is the bench’s sleek, patented design, which allows it to easily slide into a squat rack or under a smith machine. Another design note: it has a really unique swivel mechanism and adjustment ring with a foot lever adjust that operates from both sides.
On the flip side, there is at least one design critique that is worth noting: it’s not a great option for limited space. For example, if you are using the bench in a small area, you will need to move the entire unit around in order to switch from flat or incline to decline. This means you have to remove the seat, add the sit-up attachment, and reverse your direction.
Read: this is labor and time intensive in addition to not being space friendly, so take that into consideration. However, a 10-year warranty as well as a money-back guarantee makes it worth taking the plunge, especially if you’re looking for a lifelong investment!
We hope this helps you sort through all of the options and find exactly what will make your muscles pop and your heart sing! Let us know what bench works best for you and why; we love to hear your feedback!
With the exception of the first photo the universal 5 bench it’s interesting to note how cleverly the manufacturers have blocked the photos of the gaps in the seats.
Please show me one weight bench that doesn’t have that Gap is very very very minimal less than half an inch without having to resort to buying a bench such as the UCS model that runs a thousand to $1,800