The Best Compact Home Gym – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

by Sofia Alves

Whether you’re a full-time couch potato trying to turn things around, or you’re thinking about having your own space for exercising, a compact home gym may be just the thing you’ve been looking for.

But before making the switch there are several things to take into account like the budget limits, available space and a type of training you’re looking for. Here we offer an ultimate guide to choosing the best compact home gym that will perfectly suit your needs and wishes.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I may get a small commission if you purchase a product after clicking on a link. This does not cost you anything. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The best compact home gym recommendations
More affordable compact home gym equipment
The best compact home gym – Final thoughts
How to buy the best compact home gym – Top tips


Quick overview



Who is it for?

Type of workout

Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

  • A multi-purpose workout station
  • It folds easily
  • Family-friendly machine
  • Offers more than 25 different exercises

Learn more here >

Average people looking to improve their fitness

For those looking to get started with weight training

Suitable for light exercising, cardio and complete body toning

Ironmaster Compact Home Gym

  • A 4-piece package consisting of: Quick-Lock Dumbbell Set, the Super Bench, Crunch Attachment and Dip Handles
  • The Super Bench offers a vast number of angle settings
  • The best quality adjustable dumbbells
  • Useful attachments make the workout more varied
  • Solid, durable quality of construction made to last a lifetime of hard use

Learn more here >

Advanced fitness users

Serious weight lifters

Strength training (arms, chest and back).
Ab workouts (leg or knee raises, crunch)
Leg workouts (when you buy a separate leg attachment)

York Perform Multi Gym

  • A versatile machine offering an impressive weight stack of 100 kg
  • Separate press and pec arms, seated bench press, lat pulldown,
    seated row

  • Raises to the challenge with more advanced training

Learn more here >

Beginners and advanced users looking to target different muscle groups

Weight training
Full-body workout

York Fitness 401 Home Gym

  • A favourite in American and Canadian home gyms for decades
  • 24 exercises to choose from and 8 levels of resistance
  • Features a large 54 KG weight stack
  • A lat pull down, vertical press with dual hand position, a pec-dec and a foam padded leg extension

Learn more here >

Beginner and intermediate trainers

Upper body workouts
Leg extension

Mirafit M1 Multi Gym Lat Pull Down Machine

  • Targets multiple muscle groups
  • Exercises you can do: seated rows, arm curls, pushdowns weighted ab crunches, lat pulldowns
  • It can load up to 100 kg discs
  • Includes useful additional features that other pulley machines usually don’t

Learn more here >

Those looking to improve their general fitness – a great choice for medium-intensity trainers, also suitable for more advanced users

Upper body workouts
Ab training

Total Gym XLS Functional Training System

  • Over 80 possible exercises
  • Compact, foldable and easily movable
  • Sturdy design, can handle users up to 400 lbs
  • It can be upgraded with additional parts

Learn more here >

For beginners of any age

Anybody looking to improve their fitness

Full body workout

Tunturi Pure Compact Smith Machine Weight Bench with Folding Design

  • A multi-functional machine with adjustable bench and leg extension
  • Foldable and easily movable

Learn more here >

Weightlifters and body builders

Weight training
Leg workout

More affordable compact home gym equipment


Essential for building muscles

Intermediate to advanced users

Weight training
Core strengthening


  • Ankle weights
  • Resistance bands
  • Medicine ball
  • Kettlebell
Beginners to intermediate users

Strength training


Affordable piece of equipment that gets your heart racing and builds strength

For women and men who would like to get fit and tone their muscles

Strength training


A really compact piece of equipment that works on all your muscles.

People of all ages and different levels of fitness

Strength training
Full-body workout


Affordable and foldable, does not take up much space

Beginners, elderly and rehab patients

Leg muscle strengthening

Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

This Bowlflex’s staple of a home multi gym is praised for its resistance rod technology that replaces the traditional stack of weight plates. Each rod is extremely durable and of different thickness, which mimics different amounts of weight. Since there are no heavyweight plates to deal with, the risk of injury and muscle strain is reduced.

This one-piece compact unit is suitable for light exercising, cardio warm-up or a slow cooldown since it has a built-in cardio rowing station and a leg extension.

With the upper, mid-level and low pulleys, it gives a full-body workout, perfect for activating any muscle group. It’s fit for complete body toning or focusing on one muscle area. It serves more than 25 different exercises, giving you the opportunity to work on basically every body part.

The Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym is fairly easy to assemble, not more than 2-3 hours time and it doesn’t take up much space. The instructions are illustrated and clear enough to follow. For a multi-purpose workout station, it’s really affordable and due to the range of high-quality exercises you can perform on it, it’s really family-friendly.


  • It folds easily and once folded up the unit is pretty compact
  • Provides a range of different types of exercise
  • Easy to set up
  • Changing resistance and positions is extremely easy
  • Operation of the cable and pulleys is smooth
  • Resistance should be plenty for average people looking for improved fitness


  • The resistance rod technology may take some time to get used to
  • Limited warranty for different parts
  • May not be challenging enough for more advanced trainers

All in all, the Bowflex PR1000 caters to a more casual style of workout and may not be ideal for more devoted exercisers. The design of this home fitness equipment allows for numerous workout positions with significant amounts of resistance. It’s ideal for small home spaces due to the folding option and is easy to move around and assemble.

Available from: Amazon UK / Amazon US / eBay

Ironmaster Compact Home Gym

This is a 4-piece package that covers all important workout stations. The unit consists of two of Ironmaster’s flagship products – the Quick-Lock Dumbbell Set and the Super Bench – plus the famous Crunch Attachment and Dip Handles.

The set is more affordable, compared to buying separately all the parts and similar gym units that offer even fewer options.

This space-saving, all-in-one gym, that utilizes all the parts is great for those who like to focus on strength training and building muscle, especially in the chest, arm and back muscle groups.

To build a strong core, you will use the Super Bench (see this video on YouTube) combined with a super adjustable Crunch Attachment which will allow you to target your abs from all kind of angles.

The quick-lock dumbbell set is extremely convenient and practical, enabling you to adjust the weight easily just by partially turning the locking screws. This is much faster than spin locks. The set fits into a compact stand that takes up as much space as a night stand and what’s more, there are no plastic or fragile parts so you can drop dumbbells easily without having to worry that something may break.

The bench can be used for the decline, incline, upright and flat exercises. The dip handles and crunch attachment make this super gym into a versatile machine, offering a variety of body-forming exercises great for muscle toning.


  • Powerful 1000 lb (450 kg) capacity in the flat position of the bench
  • A vast number of angle settings
  • Excellent stability in all positions
  • Useful and space-efficient attachments, fantastic for home use and saving space
  • The vertical storage unit has been designed with the smallest of home gyms in mind
  • Appealing-looking and practical dumbbell set, easy to use, with additional weight add-ons available that go up to 165lbs
  • Solid, durable quality of construction made to last a lifetime of hard use
  • Discounted package – a more affordable price than if you buy the products individually


  • Comes in a lot of packaging and can be time-consuming to set up
  • 600 lb capacity on an incline might be too low for strong/heavy lifters
  • The bench may be too narrow for more advanced lifters
  • More on the high-end side, compared to other dumbbell sets

Overall, the Ironmaster’s 4-piece set is one of the top choices for those who have limited space options and enjoy a neat-looking compact gym.

This exercise equipment is definitely a bodybuilding set that gives an array of exercising options for chest, arms and back, rather than legs (although, the leg attachment can be bought separately to exercise your legs as well). If bought as a package, it pays off as a multi-functional compact machine.

Available from: Ironmaster UK / Amazon US

York Perform Multi Gym

This massive machine is definitely for the heaviest of workouts, with its impressive weight stack of 100 kg. It also offers a versatile workout, with leg press, chest press, peck deck, arm curl and leg extension options built-in.

What really stands out is the vibrant design that can look amazing in any space and it allows it to stand in the corner of the room which is very practical in comparison to similar-sized gyms.

The York Perform Multi Gym has a separate press and pec arms, which enables you to perform any strength exercise without leaving your seat, as there is no need for any mechanism changes. This makes it convenient for smaller spaces, but still providing a solid, versatile workout.


  • A good deal, worth the money, compares well to similar compact gyms
  • Solid, high-quality compact gym
  • Versatile in exercising options, great for full body forming
  • Raises to the challenge with more advanced training
  • Easy to assemble
  • Space-saving (small footprint)


  • Some reviews have mentioned the inconveniences in assembling the machine
  • Some people advise using vaseline or similar for a smoother lifting

The York Perform Home Multi-Gym is an excellent choice to go for if you’re looking for a good mid-range strength training station. It’s definitely high quality, safe, and innovative piece of equipment for your weight training gym. An all-round, full-body workout in only one compact machine is what you need for pushing yourself to the limits, without compromising safety and quality.

Available from: Sweatband / Amazon UK

York Fitness 401 Home Gym

York Fitness 401 Home Gym has been a favourite in American and Canadian home gyms for decades. This classic design has stood the test of time and features a large 54 KG weight stack. Once set up, there are no additional adjustments and changes on the cables to make, offering a practical and powerful workout of up to 24 exercise routines to choose from.

There are also 8 levels of resistance which can be selected to give a challenging upper and lower body strength workout. The multi-gym features is a lat pull down, vertical press with dual hand position, a pec-dec and a foam padded leg extension.

This compact gym is a good choice for those who want to work on weight loss and staying fit, but also for building muscle if that’s what is targeted at. It has shown to be worth the money spent and provide the customers with high-quality workout sessions.


  • Excellent quality and solid workout for the price
  • Space-saving
  • Straightforward to use
  • Easy to assemble


  • Not so versatile compared to other similar products
  • Suitable only for beginner to intermediate trainers
  • Limiting in terms of exercising all muscle groups

All in all, this gym machine is the right option to start equipping your first home gym with. It is a good choice for different sizes and fitness levels, you can work on your form, strength and stamina. This residential multi gym has exactly what you need, without taking up a lot of space, so it makes a great basement unit or can be added to existing home gyms as an economical alternative to a bulkier multi gym unit.

Available from: eBay

Mirafit M1 Multi Gym Lat Pull Down Machine

Although it is essentially a lat pulldown, this multi gym’s design allows users to target multiple muscle groups, allowing you to perform seated rows, arm curls, pushdowns and weighted ab crunches, as well as lat pulldowns.

Whether incorporating it into beginner’s or advanced workout routines, it will rise to the challenge and show you its adaptability and versatility. It can load up to 100 kg discs, so the more ambitious lifters can benefit from this impressive machine as well.


  • Includes useful additional features that other pulley machines usually don’t
  • Very comfortable to use, design made to help users exercise safely and easily
  • Good value, sturdy and versatile
  • Not too big
  • Easy to put together
  • Smooth operation and easy to use


  • Doesn’t include built-in weights
  • May not be tall enough for some people (if you are quite tall)
  • Some customers had problems with delivered parts and basic instructions

For the purposes of a home gym, Mirafit M1 Multi Gym Lat Pull Down Machine is reviewed as a multi-purpose, good quality, practical machine that is suitable for those who are looking for improving their general fitness and having a nice medium workout session. It arrives quickly and is relatively easy to assemble – a great choice for medium-intensity trainers.

Available from:  eBay / Amazon UK

Total Gym XLS Functional Training System

The Total Gym XLS Home Gym is an extremely popular full-body workout system that recreates and strengthens the way your body executes daily physical activities and stores those functions in your memory.

This all-in-one home gym and bodyweight training system recreates a gym workout experience with over 80 possible exercises. This machine pumps more than one muscle group at once, providing a full-body, intense training session in a shorter period of time. The design is comfortable, sturdy, and can handle users up to 400 lbs, therefore being a good machine to take up exercising for the first time, whether you’re 8 or 80.


  • Compact, foldable and movable
  • Takes up very little space
  • Versatile
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Safe and easy to use for all ages


  • Some customers complained about the length being too much for shorter users
  • Although foldable, it gets bulky and hard to store (better leaving it assembled)
  • A bit pricy compared to similar products

The Total Gym XLS Home Gym is best of its kind available on the market concerning quality, but maybe more on the high-end price range. Similar pilates benches with additional features may be more affordable for the same training level provided by this compact gym. Nevertheless, it’s a must-have item for a home gym for those who can afford it, since it can be upgraded with additional parts and adapted for a variety of exercises.

Available from: Amazon US / Amazon UK / eBay US

Tunturi Pure Compact Smith Machine Weight Bench with Folding Design

This nifty weight bench is ideal for home spaces thanks to its quick-release fold-up mechanism that turns it into a movable, flat construction you can put basically anywhere. Being a weight bench, it’s best recommended for weightlifters wanting to work on their muscle strength and shape, but the adjustable bench and the leg extension turn it into a multi-functional machine, with additional possibilities for working on your entire body.


  • Foldable and easily movable
  • Comes with useful features
  • Well equipped and worth the price
  • Smooth mechanism with linear bearings


  • Although foldable, larger than expected and very tall
  • Reported to make distracting noise when used
  • Narrow and for some body types uncomfortable bench

This compact gym machine is an option worthy of consideration for those who are looking for adding on muscles and body forming, therefore is mostly men’s choice. It’s very practical and convenient for home use and good for incorporating it into other exercise equipment and machines. It also very affordable and gives exactly what is expected of it.

Available from: Amazon UK / eBay UK

More affordable compact home gym equipment

If buying a one-piece home gym machine sounds too intimidating and expensive, there are other options to consider that can be as effective as a compact gym, but easier on the wallet.

Starting out with a simple bar and plates, an exercising mat and bands can be just enough to gain some confidence and get used to the idea of home exercising. There’s a myriad of options with exercise equipment and these are some of the basic pieces to consider including into your home gym:


Instead of buying a weight bench, getting yourself a set of hand weights, a bar and plates can do the job. This equipment is great for working on your muscle, core strength and bodybuilding.  It’s an important piece of equipment you’ll need for your home gym if you want to build muscles or lose weight. It will be the foundation of pretty much all of your workouts.

You will be able to find all sorts of sets and plates for sale on the internet – including second-hand bargains. Opt for bars that offer sturdiness and those you won’t outgrow quickly. They can be about 7ft wide, so make sure to have a room big enough to accommodate one. Although, there is also a collapsible barbell available that you may want to consider.


Strength equipment comes in a lot of forms and pieces and the good thing is you can create your own combo of great portable home pieces for a reasonable price.

For the side leg rise and hip extension, ankle weights are a great option – they are small, cheap and effective.

An exercise mat is very versatile and essential for any kind of fitness goals, really. Furthermore, it can be a nifty replacement for flooring at your home gym.

Resistance bands or tubing can be used for a full-body strength workout. Attractive features include low cost, lightweight, portability, and ease of storage. As with weights, you can measure how challenging the resistance is by how many repetitions of an exercise you can do.

If your aim is to increase your strength, also consider working with free weights such as dumbbells, medicine ball and kettlebell. These are all quite affordable and don’t take up too much space.


A good quality punch bag is a great option for high-intensity interval training. But be sure to put the bag up with enough room in every direction so that you can really work it. It’s an affordable, space-saving option for training the entire body and break a sweat, but also a perfect stress-busting, motivating workout.


TRX Bodyweight Resistance System is a really compact piece of equipment that works on all your body muscles. It’s really versatile and you can do all kind of workouts with it. But the most important thing is that it doesn’t take much space and you can take it with you ANYWHERE.

TRX is super strong, durable and suitable for people of all ages and different levels of fitness. Find out more details here >


If you would just like to do some cardio at home and are not bothered about weight lifting equipment, then a folding exercise bike is a perfect option for you. This type of bike is perfect for beginners and it’s really affordable. You can use it while watching TV and once you are done, just fold it away. If you need some brand recommendations, check out ATIVAFIT Foldable Exercise Bike and Ultrasport F-Bike Advanced Bicycle Trainer which are two of the more popular folding exercise bikes.

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