A flat bench is maybe the simplest home gym equipment, but if you want to do weight training at home, it is a must-have. With the help of it, you can perform the most effective strength training exercises such as bench press and ones that require a stable and comfy place to sit on such as biceps curl. It takes up a little space as well.
If you are someone who has never bought a flat weight bench before, you may find overwhelming buying one from the hundreds of products available today.
How do you know which is the best for you? What should you check out? Is the equipment worth its price? These are typical questions of a newbie.
But, I'm here to help you with this buying guide in which you will find the answers to your questions and reviews of the best flat benches to find the most suitable piece for you.
Comparison of Top Rated Flat Benches
1. Marcy Flat Utility Weight Bench - The most popular
I put this item on the top of my list because SB 315 is the most popular among those who needed a beginner/mid-level bench for home. Even if its price is low, it provides a pretty good user experience.
The max capacity is 600 lb which is enough for most home trainees to perform middle-level dumbbell, barbell and bodyweight exercises.
The backrest length is 43 inches enough for an average user. The height is 17" which is the perfect height for stabilizing your body. Although the width is 14" which is maybe a bit broad, I think.
A few problems come from the assembly, because of missing bolts, washers or badly-drilled holes leading to an unstable frame. But, in most of the cases, everything is OK with it.
2. Rep Flat Bench (FB-3000) - Heavy-duty item for powerlifting (Editor's choice)
REP is the best alternative to Rogue Flat Utility Bench at a lower price.
This boy is the one that I mostly recommend. It has a high max capacity which is 1000 lb making it a right choice for professional weightlifting. That max load is perfect to barbell chest press with huge weights with the help of a power rack.
The dimensions are 47x12x17.5 inches. So, the pad has the optimal length, width, and height. FB-3000 is an excellent choice for even taller users.
The backrest is covered with 2.5 inches non-slip and durable upholstery that provides a convenient training experience for the back even under heavy weights.
Thanks to the 11 gauge steel frame with a thick plywood base layer, it is a durable piece that can be used in commercial gyms.
FB-3000 is also rock-solid thanks to the professional frame, stabilizers, used materials and the thick rubber caps.
Of course, the price is high, but you will get home gym equipment that lasts forever. The manufacturer is so sure in the product that gives 10-years warranty on it.
3. Titan Fitness Flat Weight Bench - Portable & Heavy Duty
Titan Fitness is a real competitor of the previous one. Very robust, perfectly-sized and even easy to relocate. It meets the requirements for a competition bench.
The backrest size is perfect! The length is 48" making it a good choice for tall guys. The height is 17" which is the standard for an Olympic weight bench. And the width is 12" which is not too wide nor narrow.
The max capacity is 1000 lb which is far enough for even pros to bench press with the help of a power cage.
As you see from the picture above the stabilizers and the whole frame is thick providing excellent stability and durability. But, I think, the stabilizers would be a bit longer.
Finally, it comes with handles and wheels, so you can quickly relocate where you want.
Which is the best buy for you?
If you are an average level trainee who needs something for light or moderate weight training with dumbbells, Marcy is a good option for you.
In case you are serious about strength training and want to bench press with big weights, get Titan Fitness or Rep.
Why did I not list more items?
Well, I only want to show you the best ones which come with almost no problems and work as they are described. I know, there are so many other products out there, but the benches on this list have already proved they work as they should. Plus, the prices differ just a little bit.
I also did not list any adjustable weight benches since I wanted to help you buy the best equipment for you. That is another topic which requires more factors to check out and more care.
Flat Workout Bench Buying Guide
What do you need to check out?
1. Maximum weight capacity
It is maybe the most important factor since that is the sign of durability and if the equipment will support your needs in the long run. The higher the max capacity, the better. It is as simple as that. Although, more heavy-duty items cost more.
The capacity is usually from 300 lb up to 1500 lb. You need to keep in mind your weight, and the amount of weight you would like to use.
If you are a big guy who wants to use it for flat bench press with big loads, evidently you should get one which will stand that training. Don't go under 1000 lb.
If you are someone who wants to use light dumbbells, it is OK to get one with 300 lb.
But I prefer a minimum of 500 lb since it is going to be safe to use and last forever for an average user. Plus, the difference in price is minimal.
2. Stability - Wobbling is a big no-no
A wobbling and moving bench is not just annoying to use, but also dangerous. Just imagine how serious injury you can get if you fall off. Plus, if it is rocking, you cannot focus on your flat bench workout routine.
The stability depends on the design and length of the stabilizers, and of course the used materials.
Typically, the more extended the stabilizers are, the better since they avoid swaying to the sides. Also, it is essential to have rubber caps at the ends for even better stability and floor protection.
Finally, in my experience, the heavier the bench, the better. That is a sign that reasonable amount of steel is put into the equipment, so it will not bend and break.
3. Dimensions to know if it suits your height
Firstly, check out the length and bench width to know if you have enough space to use and store it. Do not forget that you need a few feet around it as well while working out.
Another thing to look at is the backrest length. Typically, it is between 40-50 inches. If you are taller than average (over 6 feet), get a longer bench (above 45") to have enough space to lie comfortably and safely.
About the height. The standard height of an Olympic weightlifting bench is 17-18 inches which provides comfortable usage for most lifters. But, some equipment is higher than that even up to 21 inches. That is a problem for shorter people since they cannot plant their feet while doing flat bench exercises like chest press with bar.
Finally, the width of the pad. The standard size is about 12 inches which is suitable for most trainees. Only buy broader than that in case you are a huge guy.
4. The upholstery of the pad
If the cushioning is too thin, it might be uncomfortable to lie on it, mainly, if you lift heavy weights. If it is too thick, it may lead to imbalance since you sink into it.
However, the thickness depends on your taste. I think the best depth is 2.5 inch which is not too thick nor too thin. High-density foam padding is typically used.
Flat vs. adjustable weight bench
Naturally, an adjustable workout bench provides more possibilities to exercise since you can perform incline and decline moves. But, you can also use it as a flat bench.
However, in most of the cases, the flat level is not so comfortable to use since there is a gap between the backrest and the seat. Plus, non-commercial adjustable equipment has lower weight capacity, more willing to wobble and costs more.
I think, for a good weight lifting home gym both a flat and adjustable bench is needed (or a quality adjustable one.)
Can I use it for cardio exercises like jumps or step ups?
That largely depends on the stability and your weight. If the equipment is rock solid, it might be used for that type of training.
Can I get attachments?
Simple benches come as they are, and you cannot add any accessories to them. However, some models let you add leg curl/extension attachment or preacher curl.
To sum up
I hope you find this buying guide useful, and you will be able to pick the best flat bench for home gym. This simple home workout equipment is more than it seems. It is a fundamental tool for weight training.
Do you need more help? Feel free to ask below within the comment section.
Last update on 2018-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API