Best home gym equipment: 9 top tries to turn to transform homes into a gym

We've rounded up the best home gym equipment to sculpt, lean and tone muscles from your living room.

best home gym equipment
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Are you looking for the best home gym equipment? Whether your gym is currently open with social distancing or it's closed until further notice, summer is right around the corner, and we're all looking for ways to get in shape ahead of time. 

Which, of course, makes it an excellent time to invest in some home gym equipment. You can work up a sweat no matter your state rules and can never use lack of motivation from missing a workout; all you have to do is walk into your living room (or wherever else you've set up shop). Just grab a pair of the best dumbbells or step onto the best elliptical machine — and off you go! 

Whether you call home a lovely space-savvy city apartment or a spacious space in the suburbs with a dedicated home gym (lucky!), this foolproof fitness plan easily adapts to wherever your lifestyle is, alongside whatever size room you're working with as well. 

Don't believe us? We've rounded up nine perfect picks to help you get your fitness dreams rolling — continue reading to see the best home gym equipment that's worth the investment. 

The best home gym equipment

best home gym equipment

(Image credit: Yogi Bare)

Best yoga mat: Yogi Bare PAWS Yoga Exercise Mat

Eco-friendly, non-slip and great for beginners

Materials: Natural PU rubber
Mat thickness: 4mm
Dimensions: 180cm x 66cm
Reasons to buy
+Biodegradable and recyclable+Great grip+Range of colors and sizes+Body alignment guides for beginners
Reasons to avoid

No at-home workout is complete without an exercise mat, specifically the best yoga mat. The Yogi Bare PAWS Yoga Exercise Mat ticks all our boxes. This mat comes in a range of colors and sizes, while it's made from 100 percent natural PU rubber which is both biodegradable and recyclable.

Color-wise, only natural plant-based dyes were used in the making process – no toxic inks. It's easy to clean using lemon juice and water, it measures 4mm thick, and it boasts body alignment guides to show you where your hands and feet need to go. Great for beginners or long-term yogis alike, this mat is extra firm and boasts incredible grip, no matter how much you sweat.

Want more yoga mat recommendations? Be sure to check out our best yoga mat buying guide.

best home gym equipment

Best treadmill: Life Fitness T3 Go Console

A premium running machine for those building a luxe home gym

Size: L202cm x W88cm x H147cm
Incline range: 0-15%
Pre-set programmes: 14
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use +Stable and sturdy 
Reasons to avoid
-Not great for small spaces-Expensive

This best running machine is a thoroughly professional-looking piece of equipment to have in your home gym and has the functionality to back it up. Enthusiastic runners concerned about missing out on gym-quality running machines needn’t worry, because this is just like something you’d find down your local health club, with a comfortably wide running belt and an easy-to-navigate console. 

While it’s admittedly on the pricier side, this is a clear case of getting what you pay for, and according to users, that’s reliability, usability, and a surprisingly quiet ride for such a bulky machine. 

best home gym equipment

(Image credit: TheFitLife)

Best resistance bands: TheFitLife Exercise Resistance Bands

Double-layered bands offer an intense workout

Resistance range: 10-150 lbs
How many bands? : 5
Other items?: 1 door anchor, 2 ankle straps, 2 handles, 1 bag, 1 exercise guide
Reasons to buy
+Five two-layered bands+Can be combined to reach a maximum of 150 lbs+Exercise Guide provides resistance band workouts
Reasons to avoid
-Some reports of bands snapping

You don’t need a gym or strength-building equipment to build muscles – resistance bands will do the trick. TheFitLife Exercise Resistance Bands are a great addition to your home gym as they offer workout versatility without taking up a lot of space.

These resistance bands are made with two layers of natural latex resulting in tubes that are more durable than most. The bands are identified by weight – 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 lbs – and you can use them alone or combine them together for the resistance of 150 lbs. Attachable handles, ankle straps, and a door anchor are included in the kit and with TheFitLife’s Exercise Guide, you’ll learn the best ways to use these tools to maximize your performance.

best home gym equipment

Best exercise bike: Ultrasport F-Bike Trainer

Save space in your home with this pop-up bike

Resistance Type: Friction
Levels: 8
Max User Weight: 100kg
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
-Not as high-tech as some  

Looking for the best exercise bike to work those legs and tone your abdomen? If you’ve only got a small amount of space to work with, let this slimline exercise bike be your choice.

This is one of the best foldable exercise bikes on the market as it allows you to work out anywhere in the comfort of your own home. It features an LCD display and has 8 different programs for you to try. It boasts no other frills but it does the job nicely and it saves money on costly gym memberships.

best home gym equipment

(Image credit: Sole Fitness)

Best elliptical: Sole E95

Best all-around elliptical machine: The Sole E95 combines entertainment, adjustability, and solid build quality

Stride length: 20"
Resistance levels: 20
Workout programs: 10
Adjustable incline: Yes, motor-adjust (20 settings)
Weight limit: 400 lbs.
Dimensions: 82"Lx31"Wx71"H
Reasons to buy
+Robust resistance levels, programming+Uniquely adjustable foot pedals +Solid construction and a great warranty+Wireless heart rate monitoring/control+Bluetooth capable+Motor-adjust incline
Reasons to avoid
-Takes up a lot of space-No virtual reality/video display

It's almost impossible to find fault with the Sole E95 elliptical machine, which provides the best combination of robust features, solid construction, and enough workout options to keep you hopping. It also offers uniquely adjustable foot pedals for a comfortable ride — and it's priced as a good value. It's definitely the best elliptical machine money can buy.

The Sole E95 offers as many (or more) resistance levels (20), workout programs (10) and incline settings (20) as any exerciser will need, along with a 20" stride length that hits the sweet spot for most people. This machine is solid, and Sole's one-of-a-kind "worm drive," a system that lets you (literally) dial the foot pedals into exactly the right angle to avoid numb toes and knee pain. 

Other notable features include wireless heart rate monitoring (a chest strap heart rate monitor is included), and two heart-rate control workouts that automatically adjust the elliptical's resistance to keep you within a target heart rate range. The Sole E95 elliptical trainer is also Bluetooth capable, interacts with many popular fitness apps, and has thoughtful control buttons on the moving handlebars so you don't have to interrupt your workout to adjust resistance or incline. 

best home gym equipment

(Image credit: DEGOL)

Best jump rope: DEGOL Skipping Rope

For raising your heart rate at home

Size: Handle length: 6"; Rope length: adjustable to 9ft
Weight: 0.15kg
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Easy to store+Adjustable to your height
Reasons to avoid

The DEGOL Skipping Rope has over 20,000 positive Amazon reviews, so it gets a big thumbs up from us. Made from PVC embedded wire rope and coated with PVC, it's durable and comfortable to hold, yet lightweight. Not just that but this jump rope is adjustable in length – it can extend to be nine foot long – so that both children and adults can use it. 

best home gym equipment

(Image credit: Amazon)

Best dumbbells: Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells

Build strong muscles with five different dumbbells in one set

Weight sets: 12.5, 27.5, 55, or 71.5 lbs
Weight increments: 2.5 or 5 lbs
Size: 13.9" x 12" x 5.1", 13.39" x 7.87" x 5.91, 16.73" x 7.68" x 8.07", 16.34" x 7.5" 8.67"
Reasons to buy
+Five different weights in one set of dumbbells+Comfortable handle grip+Comes with racks that make it easy to adjust the weight
Reasons to avoid
-Takes a bit of time and effort to change between weights 

The best dumbbells can help you bulk up and slim down. We’re partial to the Adjustable Dumbbell Set by AtivaFit, available in 12.5, 27.5, 55, or 71.5 lbs. This ingenious design provides users with two dumbbells that have a soft-grip handle. But here’s the kicker: these dumbbells are adjustable, so it's like having five sets of dumbbells in one. For example, with the 12.5 dumbells, you can adjust it to be 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, or 12.5 lbs at any given time. 

The dumbbells sit in special racks and when you want to adjust the weight up or down, you just pull up on the adjuster and slide it to the weight you’d like. When you pick up the dumbbell, it’ll leave behind some weight discs or none at all -- depending on the weight you choose. 

After you’re done with a set, place the dumbbell back in the rack, adjust the lever, and use a different weight! These dumbbells are a perfect addition to your home gym because they allow you to utilize different weights for HIIT workouts or heavy strength training without taking up a lot of space in your apartment or home.

best home gym equipment

(Image credit: Yes4All)

Best kettlebell: Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebells

From your glutes to your abs and lats, this kettlebell will work it all out

Weights: 5-50 lbs
Materials: Cast iron with vinyl coating
Other features: Flat bottom
Reasons to buy
+Cast iron is durable and long-lasting+The vinyl coating will protect floors+Can buy in a set or as single kettlebells
Reasons to avoid
-A full set might require a rack

If you’re looking for a fitness tool that hits your glutes, legs, abs, shoulders, pecs, and lats, then a kettlebell will do the trick. More specifically, you'll want the Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebell.

Yes4All’s Kettlebells are made of cast iron and covered in a vinyl coat to not only prevent corrosion of the cast iron but to provide a soft cushion to your floors (though you'll definitely need a mat to ultimately protect your floors!). The handles are wide and slightly textured to prevent slippage and the bottom is flat so they won’t fall over when set on the ground. The flat bottom also allows for more intense workouts like handstands and pistol squats.

Choose between a set of four kettlebells or pick and choose single kettlebells that range between 5 lbs and 50 lbs. 

best home gym equipment

(Image credit: Stealth)

Best ab machine: Stealth Core Trainer

Watch your abs become more defined as you play in plank

Size: 25.91 x 25.67 x 7.01 inches
Weight: 15.21 lbs
App? : Free with two free games; premium subscription available
Reasons to buy
+360-degree maneuverability board allows you to move in different directions+Comfortable foam arm pad +Two free games in the Stealth app
Reasons to avoid
-Quite expensive-Premium subscription required to access more games

Working out doesn’t have to be boring – at least not with the Stealth Core Trainer. This tool is designed to work your core and body as you plank and play video games.

Here’s how it works: Download the Stealth Fitness app (which is free) and place it in the designated area on the multi-directional foam board. Then put your forearms on the pad and move into a plank position. The app provides two free games (a premium subscription offers more!) that direct you to move your core in various ways to complete the game. 

The board has 360-degree maneuverability so it will move with you while you maintain the plank. It’s by no means an easier way to work out, but the interactive element could make core exercises more fun when you’re tired of crunches, sit-ups, and push-ups. Stealth claims that three minutes a day on this core machine will result in losing body fat and gaining muscle.

Things to consider before investing in the best home gym equipment:

Excited about working out? That’s great – but don’t rush to your computer with a credit card in hand just yet. Here are some things to think about when building your home gym. 

Fitness goals
Which gym equipment you choose will be based primarily on the type of fitness goals you have. If you want to increase your stamina, cardio machines are the way to go, just as weights and resistance bands are the best option for those who want to slim up or bulk up. Decide what type of fitness goals you have and build your home gym around that.

Durable products
Choose durable products when building your home gym. Exercise routines can put some wear on gym equipment but if you read reviews and search for high-quality, long-lasting products, it’ll be worth your time and money.

Take your gym on the road
If you like to work out when you travel or want to take your fitness routines outside on a nice day, you’ll want to purchase gym equipment that’s not heavy to lift or can be easily transported in your car.

How big is your space?
Sure, some home gym equipment can take up a lot of space, but there are plenty of items that are apartments – and small home-friendly, like resistance bands and adjustable dumbbells. 

If you do live in an apartment, you may want to keep in mind the noise level of certain gym equipment. Dropping weights on floors that aren't padded or running on your at-home treadmill at 6 a.m. could upset your downstairs neighbors.

Protect your home and floor
If you have to use your gym equipment indoors, make sure that you protect your home and floor from the hazards of workout equipment. Purchase padding to place under your cardio machines and always use weights on a workout mat. If those weights fall, you don’t want them to crack your tile or put a dent in your hardwood floor.