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The best home gym equipment that will get you pumped for your next workout

We took on sweat-inducing workouts from the comfort of our living room to put these essentials to the test

Lauren Cunningham
Thursday 30 May 2024 12:57 BST
We’ve never had a better fitness regime
We’ve never had a better fitness regime (The Independent)
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You can easily spend thousands on the best home gym equipment, so while upgrading to the fanciest rowing machine or exercise bike might not save you money on an annual gym membership, having some decent gear at home makes it more convenient to work out whenever you want to.

Look past the Peloton and you’ll find cheaper alternatives to the trendiest brands, but not all are made equal – you may come across slippery yoga mats and flashy running shoes that are better suited to the catwalk than the towpath.

So, if you’re set on spending money, best make sure it’s on a select few bits of gym equipment that will truly help (rather than hinder) your home gym routine. Of course, we’re here to offer a shopping steer, with our trusty reviews of the very best home gym bits to buy.

Gymshark resistance bands and a Mirafit weight bench are all on the list of home gym equipment essentials we love. Prices start from as little as £10, and a whole host of these fit kit essentials can be easily stored under your bed or sofa, so don’t start to fret if you haven’t got your own dedicated gym room (we can dream).

Keep reading to find out which workout essentials are the best to buy, no matter how much you want to spend or how much space you have to work with. Just be sure to select the bits you know will work best for you, whether that be a rowing machine or a weight set that doesn’t break the bank.

How we tested the best home gym equipment

A selection of the best home gym equipment we put to the test
A selection of the best home gym equipment we put to the test (Lauren Cunningham)

To put these pieces of equipment to the test, we really did have to break a sweat. We jumped with the skipping rope, lifted the weights, ran on the treadmill and gave it our all on the rowing machine, resulting in the best fitness routine we’ve possibly ever had, and all from the comfort of our home.

As every piece of equipment is different, no two can be directly compared, but we have reviewed each one as a piece of individual kit, noting its pros and cons, cost and the amount of space it will take up in your home. So, whether you’re a rower, runner or lifter, we’ve found something to suit everyone and every budget.

The best home gym equipment essentials for 2024 are:

  • Best at-home rowing machine – Hydrow wave rower: From £1,235,
  • Best budget home gym equipment – Everlast resistance trainer, heavy: £9.99,
  • Best large weight set – Mirafit 10kg dumbbell weight set: £29.99,
  • Best treadmill – Peloton tread: £3,095,

Hydrow wave rower

Hydrow wave rower.png
  • Best: At-home rowing machine
  • Exercise: Rowing
  • Suitable for: All fitness levels looking to boost cardio
  • How to store: Keep in a medium-sized room or garage
  • Why we love it
    • Great for full-body workouts
  • Take note
    • Expensive

Forking out for an at-home rowing machine may, at first, seem quite the commitment. Costing more than £1,000, it certainly is an investment, but we were blown away by just how much we loved this machine.

A £38 monthly membership gives you access to more than 40,000 on-demand workouts, weekly challenges and stat tracking, and a high-tech computer screen transports you to rivers all over the world, led by an instructor to help push you to keep up your practice no matter if you’re a beginner or a regular rower. As part of the membership, there are even pilates, yoga, strength and conditioning classes available, giving you a full body workout for those days when you don’t want to row.

The Hydrow wave is the newer, smaller version of the original Hydrow rowing machine, and can be easily lifted up and stored vertically against a wall, meaning you don’t need to have your own home gym room to store it, although a spare bedroom, study or large living space would be beneficial. It’s incredibly easy to use, and it looks sleek and sophisticated with a streamlined seat, pull handle and simple dial that alters the resistance. So, if you’re looking to boost your cardio with a big-ticket item, the Hydrow wave rower is well worth the investment.

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Everlast resistance trainer, heavy

  • Best: Budget home gym equipment
  • Exercise: Any floor or circuit-style workouts
  • Suitable for: All fitness levels
  • How to store: Can be kept anywhere, including in a gym bag or drawer
  • Why we love it
    • Can be used for a range of workouts

Similar in many ways to a resistance band, a resistance tube can be used in the same capacity but is, in our opinion, easier to hold on to, as it has handles. A quick Google search will show you a whole host of exercises, in case you need inspiration, but we found any form of upright rows, bicep curls or leg presses were greatly aided with this bit of kit.

The soft foam-wrapped handles made it incredibly easy to hold onto and wicked away sweat during tougher sessions, too. The elasticated cord was long enough to reach above the head and legs for a full body stretch, so it really can work with every type of movement.

We opted for the heavy weight to push ourselves just that little bit further, but medium strength is also available for those looking for a lighter load (£9.99,

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Mirafit 10kg dumbbell weight set

Mirafit 10kg Dumbbell.jpg
  • Best: Large weight set
  • Exercise: Any weight exercise
  • Suitable for: All fitness levels
  • How to store: Can be kept anywhere, from under the bed to in a cupboard
  • Why we love it
    • Sweat-proof grip
    • Handy carry case

If you want to work out with weights, look no further than the Mirafit dumbbell set. Housed inside a handy carry case are two 0.5kg weights, two 1kg weights, two 2kg weights and two 2.5kg weights, neatly stored to fit in small spaces – we slotted them under our bed and sofa with ease.

Wrapped in neoprene, they’re slightly soft to the touch and are perforated, making them easier to grip for heavy sweat sessions. Having the option of four different weights – although they aren’t the heaviest – made them invaluable for a huge range of activities, from yoga and pilates to longer, harder weight-lifting reps. If you’re looking to build muscle and tone, this is the bit of kit to go for.

  1. £29 from
Prices may vary
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Peloton tread

Peloton tread.png
  • Best: Treadmill
  • Exercise: Running and walking
  • Suitable for: All fitness levels
  • How to store: Keep in a spare room, home gym or garage
  • Why we love it
    • Easy to install
    • Includes loads of workouts through Peloton
  • Take note
    • Expensive

Peloton products need little introduction, and the tread is no exception. Named the best treadmill in our at-home treadmill guide, it wowed us with the easy-to-follow workouts the brand is famous for; the install service, and the sleek and sexy appearance. Similar to the Hydrow wave rower, this is a spenny piece of kit, so it isn’t one for those looking for a cheap and cheerful boost of motivation. However, if you are looking to seriously get into running or walking at home – not to mention myriad other gym classes, including yoga, weight training, dancing and pilates – and have the money to spend, this is a great choice.

For those tight on space, it is one of the smaller treadmill options on the market, yet it has all the functions and features you’d expect from a top piece of kit. Intuitive controls and a touch-screen make it incredibly easy to use, and it also keeps close track of your progress after understanding your body type, weight, age and height. We think you’ll fall in love with this bit of kit, just as we did.

Read our full Peloton tread review

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Mirafit folding weight bench

  • Best: Weight bench
  • Exercise: Weight training
  • Suitable for: All fitness levels
  • How to store: Keep in a small room, garage or fold up under a bed
  • Why we love it
    • Easy to store

A weight bench certainly isn’t a must-have for those looking to start their fitness journey, but if you are looking to work out with weights, it can certainly help elevate your routine and make things more comfortable.

Our favourite part about this bench, compared with any other, is that it can fold down, to be stored under a bed, for example. Although it is still relatively large, it’s nice to have this option, compared with standard benches. Unsurprisingly, this made it a little less sturdy than some of the other options we’ve tried, but it’s still stable enough to handle up to 200kg. It’s rather soft to sit on, thanks to padded cushions, which make it quite comfortable, and the backrest adjusts in height, with four positions from flat to upright. So, for those looking to enhance their weight training, we trust this will do the trick.

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Corkspace pro cork yoga mat

Corkspace pro cork yoga mat.png
  • Best: Yoga mat
  • Exercise: Yoga, pilates or any other stretching exercises
  • Suitable for: All ages and fitness levels
  • How to store: Can be kept anywhere, from under a bed to in a wardrobe or cupboard
  • Why we love it
    • Great grip
    • Comfortable
    • Natural materials
  • Take note
    • Pricey

The Corkspace yoga mat continues to impress us, day after day. While it is on the pricier side, we promise you won’t be disappointed. Made from natural grounding rubber and soft cork, it protects your body from the ground, whether you’re crouching in crow or attempting an inversion.

While we’ll confess to having incredibly sweaty hands and feet, we found this mat to have the best grip out of any other yoga mat we’ve tried, and there are no annoying bumps, thanks to the heaviness of the material.

So, whether you’re diligent about doing your daily downward dog or are new to pilates or yoga, this piece of kit will be a great aid. The brand also stocks small accessories, such as a cork massage ball (£14,, to add an extra dimension to your practice, too.

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Everlast 4kg ankle/wrist weights

Everlast 4kg ankle wrist weights.png
  • Best: Ankle weights
  • Exercise: Walking or strength training
  • Suitable for: All fitness levels
  • How to store: Can be kept anywhere, from a drawer to in the car, ready for your next walk
  • Why we love it
    • Easy to use

Sometimes, the hardest part of working out can be finding the time to do it, but the Everlast ankle and wrist weights may be the solution. Weighing 2.3kg each, the wraparound Velcro weights are designed to be used on ankles and wrists, easily adding an extra element to your daily walk, run or errands around the house. But, we will stress they are rather large and do feel heavier than expected, so wearing them on the ankles is certainly the easier option. They do take a bit of getting used to but, after a few minutes, you’re sure to feel your muscles working even harder, adding an extra element of strength training to your daily walk, even if it is just around the house.

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Gymshark glute band

  • Best: Resistance band
  • Exercise: Any floor or circuit-style workout
  • Suitable for: All fitness levels
  • How to store: Can be kept anywhere, including in a gym bag or drawer
  • Why we love it
    • Helpful for a great range of exercise
    • Super easy to store
    • Made of the stronger polyester-elastodiene fabric

Resistance bands are a fan-favourite piece of home gym equipment, taking up minimal space and aiding a whole host of different exercises. While this Gymshark one is specifically named the glute band, thanks to its wide size and medium strength, it can be used all over the body, to aid a huge range of exercises.

The polyester-elastodiene fabric is sure to last much longer than any standard plastic-resistant bands that are prone to breaking. Inside, silicone taping helps to keep the band in place while working out, and it even comes in a small carry case for easy storage. Other prints and colours are available to buy, alongside a heavy strength (£15, and light strength (£15,, although we’d recommend the medium option for those wanting moderate yet challenging exercises.

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Home gym equipment deals

Two of the budget-friendly home gym equipment essentials we reviewed are now reduced. You can pick up Everlast’s 4kg ankle/wrist weights for half price (was £23.99, now £11.99, and the brand’s resistance band is also half price (was £19.99, now £9.99,

The verdict: Home gym equipment

Ultimately, exercise should be fun, so, finding an activity you enjoy is the key to staying consistent. For that reason, there’s no “best overall” piece of home gym equipment that will suit everybody, so, opting for the bit of kit suited to your needs is the best thing to do.

For cardio lovers who are looking to make a real investment, the Hydrow wave rower and Peloton tread are sure to steal the show. For those looking to keep costs low, the Everlast resistance trainer really will work wonders.

Anyone looking to work on their weight training will be best buying the Mirafit 10kg dumbbell weight set or Everlast 4kg ankle/wrist weights. Meanwhile, the Mirafit folding weight bench will make a world of difference for those serious about lifting.

Those who enjoy circuit training and yoga, or are just starting on their fitness journey, are sure to get a great range of use out of the Corkspace pro cork yoga mat and Gymshark medium glute band. Just remember, any form of exercise should be fun and exciting, so keep trying new things until you find the right activity for you.

Want to start pounding the pavement in 2024? Here’s our beginner’s guide to running

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