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What to look for in buying a bench

Looking to buy some home equipment and escape the gym. Searching the forum turned up lots of good ideas but not much specific on benches. I’m sure buying a cheap one is not a great idea, but what does everyone consider important in buying a bench? Thanks.

Height adjustment, maybe. But you should really consider the height. Make sure when you are seated, your thighs are parallel to the ground - this is important to me, since I am NOT a tall gal (5’4").

I do a lot of lifting at home rather than the gym and for me safety racks were a big concern. The bench I have can have the pins placed at many different heights and below these I can attach safety bars so if I get stuck with the bar in the bottom position, I can rest the bar on the racks and sneak out from under it. This does not affect my benching because I still can touch the bar to my chest. Then by rolling forward a little it rests on the safety bars. Without having a spotter, this works great.

I would look for a sturdy bench that doesn’t wobble. Check the welds and the bolts to see if it looks like it would break as you are hoisting some heavy dumbells. Take a look at the bench made by the Power Block people. I saw one last week; it looked sturdy, would lie flat, and has closed cell foam pads, not stitched upholstery. Cost more than $200, though…

Stay away from generalized sporting goods stores, you will get flimsy junk. Parabody, Tough Stuff, Hoist, Northern Lights, Nautilus are all good. The Power Block bench is also good, but not quite as adjustable as the others. Expect to drop around $300