Best home gym equipment: 7 brilliant buys for home workouts

Armed with some of the best home gym equipment, you can cancel your gym membership and keep fit from home, with total ease

Exercise equipment
(Image credit: Future)

With the best home gym equipment, you can slot in workouts at any time of the day and forget about painful commutes to your nearest gym, or having to wait in line to finish your set on a certain machine. Instead, with this range of equipment covering everything from the best exercise bikes to fancy yoga mats, you can progress on your fitness journey without distractions, and all from the comfort (and privacy!) of your own home. 

Fitness equipment at home is as versatile, if not more, than many pieces you can find in the gym too. From adjustable dumbbells that can assist you as you climb from lower to higher weights, to foldable treadmills that can allow you to run, walk or jog as you watch TV or even work from home, this equipment is a sure-fire way to get you feeling healthier. Whatever you're looking for, these amazing picks allow you to work out more efficiently at home. And sourcing the best equipment is step one when it comes to searching for home gym ideas.

Once you've selected your favorite new piece of home gym equipment, you'll feel renewed with the opportunity to work up a sweat on your lunch hour, or on the weekends. 


The best exercise equipment for home use

1. This multi-purpose trainer has our seal of approval

Bowflex Max M8 TrainerLivingetc badge – the edited choice

(Image credit: Bowflex)

Reasons to buy

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Offers a full-body workout
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Solid piece of kit
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Easy to use
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7 pre-set programs
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Comfortable to use
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20 resistance levels
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On wheels
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4 user programs

Reasons to avoid

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Very tall
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The smartphone holder isn't the best
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Expensive price
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The fan can be loud at a high resistance
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No warm up or cool down programs

We've tried, tested, and loved the Bowflex Max M8 Trainer. This solid 3-in-1 machine can work every single muscle in your body — at the same time. It's brilliant for anyone who only has a small amount of time to work out in their day and rest assured it will get you sweating fast. With 4 user programs, it can be even used by the whole family. It also offers 20 resistance levels and 7 pre-set programs to speed up your workout. This machine is a combination of an elliptical machine, a treadmill, and a stepper. It even has a warm-up and cool-down mode, to get you ready for a sweaty session. We feel it's important to note that this machine is best for anyone who is looking to push themselves since it really does offer a tough workout. Use the machine's sizeable dual-mode LCD/LED display to track calories burned, RPM, distance, and more stats. Though it is impressively compact considering its features, this machine is tall. So with this in mind, if you are over 6ft, you might need to check the height of your home gym ceiling. It's on wheels for easy moving, but we definitely wouldn't suggest carting it from room to room before and after each use. The machine has a handy holder for your phone, keys, or a water bottle to sit. It also has a magnetic smartphone or tablet holder, just be aware that using this covers the display so you won't be able to see your workout progress. What about noise? From a machine this size, and this powerful, you'd expect it to be turbulent. Nope! It's super quiet and sturdy unless the resistance is really high, and then the fan will chirp up. If you can only squeeze one piece of home gym equipment in your gym, then let this be it. 

2. Our favorite tried and tested exercise bike

The best spin bike you can buy: Echelon Connect SportLivingetc badge – tried, loved

(Image credit: Echelon)

Reasons to buy

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Lots of programs
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Comfortable to use since it's adjustable
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Great for family use
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Floor-leveling feet for sturdiness
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Quiet when in use

Reasons to avoid

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Can't read pulse
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Heavy
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No console as you connect it with a phone or tablet
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Subscription needed to take full advantage
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The water bottle holder is small

The magnetic Echelon Connect Sport Bike gets a 5-star rating from us since it boasts a whopping 32 levels of resistance and a 15lb flywheel for a tailored workout, whether you are a beginner or you consider yourself a pro spinner. It can personalize your workout since it's completely adjustable — seat and handlebars — plus its resistance knob sits just between your knees for easy adjusting. The bike syncs to your phone via Bluetooth so that you can check your stats from cadence to calories burned and more, whilst cycling. So long as you have an Echelon subscription, you can take advantage of pre-recorded and live workout classes. When in operation, it's super quiet and not to mention good-looking in your home gym. Just be sure to note: it's a large piece of kit, and whilst it is on wheels you won't want to move it from one room to another after each use. It has a max user weight of 300lb, and it's safe for us to say that this is the best exercise bike around. 

3. The best kettlebell to buy thanks to its adjustable features

Exercise equipment: Image of Bowflex weight

(Image credit: Bowflex)

Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell

Reasons to buy

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Gives you 6 different weights in one
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Won't clutter your home
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Can help you on your fitness journey

Reasons to avoid

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Quite expensive 

If there's one piece of fitness equipment you need to accompany you through every stage of your fitness journey, it's this adjustable weight from Bowflex. It's a real investment into your growing strength, as every time you master an exercise, like a squat, you're safe in the knowledge that you can amp it up next time you workout without having to buy new equipment. 

There are six weights in one with this kettlebell: 8, 12, 20, 25, 35, and 40 lbs, all controlled by a dial. That means that you don't have to give up your bedroom or lounge to an extensive set of weights. Instead, everything is neat within this one magical kettlebell, which is so versatile when it comes to working out, and can help with arm, arb and leg workouts. Pick one of these weights up and there's no doubt that you'll be progressing and upping the weights on this every few weeks!

2. Our top yoga mat for home

Exercise equipment: Image of yoga mat

(Image credit: Sweatty Betty)

Sweaty Betty Super Grip Yoga Mat

The exercise equipment you need if you practice yoga or meditation

Reasons to buy

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Cult favorite for yoga practice 
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Perfect for home or the studio
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Unbeatable material
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Lightweight

Reasons to avoid

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Not suitable for anyone with a latex allergy 

If you practice yoga regularly, then you won't need us to tell you just how important it is to have a yoga mat that you can rely on to not let you lose your grip. This premium yoga mat from Sweaty Betty will allow you to master more complex moves as you progress through your yoga practice, as it has an unrivalled grip thanks to its soft latex exterior. Available in a number of colors and free from harmful substances, this is a mat built to last, and will remain with you, whether you're at home or in the studio for a long time to come. 

4. This is the top elliptical machine to work your entire body

Exercise equipment: Image of elliptical

(Image credit: Nautilus)

Nautilus Elliptical Series

Reasons to buy

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A wide incline range 
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Bluetooth connectivity with apps
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29 different programs 

Reasons to avoid

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Will take up quite a lot of space in your home

This elliptical machine earns its spot as our favorite thanks to the fact it's a combination of another fitness machine too, the stair stepper. Combined together, this machine can unlock so many different ways to work up a sweat, and that's without even getting started on the 29 preset programs available. It has a wide range of incline levels, so you can really ramp things up once you feel ready for it too. There's an interactive element with Bluetooth connectivity too, that allows you to map your workouts and imagine yourself in different routes using an app. 

5. This is our favorite treadmill for home use — under a desk 

Exercise equipment: Image of lifefitness underdesk treadmill

(Image credit: LifeFitness)

LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 Under Desk Treadmill

Reasons to buy

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Records calories and distance 
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Small and compact
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Perfect for everyday use 

Reasons to avoid

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Not suitable for running 

Working from home has become reality for so many of us over the past few years, but sometimes it can be difficult to squeeze in a workout before or after you sit down at your desk. With this under desk treadmill, you'll be relishing time at your desk as an opportunity to get your heartrate high, and your steps walked for the day skyrocketing. This is a great pick as it really has everything you need, including a display that tracks your calories and your distance walked and a capped speed to prevent any accidents. 

6. These are the best resistance bands that require minimal space

Execise equipment: Resistance bands

(Image credit: Amazon)

Renoj Resistance Bands

Reasons to buy

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Three bands for differing resistance
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They don't roll or slip
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Applicable to a range of workouts

Reasons to avoid

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None we can think of!

Resistance bands are an excellent way to make your workouts more difficult when you need to, especially when it comes to leg day. These bands are great because they don't slip or move as you use them, and they come with three different resistances so you can really test yourself. You can use these at home easily, or pop them in your bag and take them to your gym class. They're versatile, and perfect for adding to your next squat session for a challenge.

7. A pair of brilliant dumbbells for a home workout

best dumbbells

(Image credit: Amazon)

CAP Barbell Set of 2 Hex Rubber Dumbbell with Metal Handles

Reasons to buy

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Available in a set of two or set of four
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Versatility in sizes (starts at 3lbs and up to 115lbs!)
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Flat hexagonal surfaces will prevent rolling

Reasons to avoid

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Nothing!

Whether you're an advanced lifter or someone looking for endless versatility, we highly recommend these CAP Barbells for you. They're the best dumbbells available on the market right now, especially since they are available in sets of twos or four.  They also come in a range of weights, from 3lbs to 115lbs. Offering a high-quality design, the solid cast-iron, chrome-plated handle, and rubber-coated weights will not damage floors or detach over time, making them a worthwhile investment. The flat hexagon surface prevents rolling and knurled handles to prevent slipping.  Whether you're looking to perfect your curls, lifts, or squats, this set of two dumbbells will be endlessly versatile. You can start slow and with a few reps here and there, and work your way up, and your strength improves. We love how these weights do it all and do it all safely!  


How we chose this home gym equipment

Though we haven't had time to test out every single piece of equipment on this list (the ones we have are indicated with a badge), there are a number of important criteria that we tick off before we include them in this round up. That includes each of these products having a high user rating, so that you're getting the best from the people who already have one within their home, as well as looking into the dimensions and materials of each of these picks.

What to consider when buying home gym equipment

When it comes to choosing the right gym equipment to suit you, the first thing to consider is the type of exercise you really enjoy. Buying something that sits within your home, rather than a gym membership, will also affect your space, so you want to make sure you're getting value from your purchase. For example, if you love yoga, invest in a good quality mat to improve your practice, or if you love the feeling that comes from lifting weights, invest in a kettlebell with multiple weight settings. Beyond choosing an activity you enjoy, here are some other factors you should take some time to think over.

Progression
Depending on which exercise you choose, you'll want to be able to progress with it over time, like picking up heavier weights once you get stronger. Look for machines with multiple settings or equipment with varying levels of difficulty to overcome this problem, so you're not outgrowing your new purchase. 

Quality
You want something that will be a permanent fixture within your home to live up to the quality of your favorite piece of furniture or small appliance, so look for equipment with an assured level of quality before you buy. That includes equipment that isn't noisy so that it's a nuisance when you use it, as well as things that won't scuff or damage your floors or walls during use.  

Browse more exercise equipment...

If you want a specific piece of equipment to help you with your fitness quest, then you might still need to shop around to find the perfect fit. Check out our favored retailers when it comes to picking out fitness equipment:

Don't forget: you can also use some of this home gym equipment along with a fitness app, to help perfect your workout — and to keep it interesting.