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Article updated on March 18, 2024 at 12:00 PM PDT

Best Home Exercise Equipment for 2024

Don't stress at the gym, run your workout from home with these essential pieces of exercise equipment, from weights to mats, along with recommendations on where to buy.

Our Experts

Written by 
Giselle Castro-Sloboda
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
Giselle Castro-Sloboda Fitness and Nutrition Writer
I'm a Fitness & Nutrition writer for CNET who enjoys reviewing the latest fitness gadgets, testing out activewear and sneakers, as well as debunking wellness myths. On my spare time I enjoy cooking new recipes, going for a scenic run, hitting the weight room, or binge-watching many TV shows at once. I am a former personal trainer and still enjoy learning and brushing up on my training knowledge from time to time. I've had my wellness and lifestyle content published in various online publications such as: Women's Health, Shape, Healthline, Popsugar and more.
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What to consider

Your exercise routine

The first thing to consider is what type of exercise you want to be doing at home -- is it for strength training, cardio or stress relief? Your answer (or answers) will dictate which pieces you should invest in.

Space

How much space you have to store things will matter when you're considering what home exercise equipment to buy. A yoga mat is going to take up less space than an elliptical in your living room, for example.

What are you actually going to use?

You don't want to invest time and living space in something you'll only pick up once or twice a year. Choose equipment you can see yourself using regularly.

Our Picks

$32 at Amazon
gaiam yoga mat
Best basic piece of home exercise equipment
Yoga mat
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$50 at Walmart
CAP dumbbells
Dumbbells
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$15 at Roguefitness
Rogue resistance bands
Resistance bands
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$100 at Amazon
trx suspension trainer system
Suspension training system
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$150 at Amazon
Flybird adjustable bench
Adjustable weight bench
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$30 at Roguefitness
kettlebell kings kettlebell
Kettlebells
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$8 at Amazon
DEGOL skipping rope
Jump rope
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$42 at Walmart
Spri medicine exercise ball
Medicine Ball
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Getting your home workout zone set up not only saves you money in the long term, but it can be a lot less stressful since you're not worried about the other people in the gym. Figuring out the best way to use your space and the best type of equipment for your workout style will make it as efficient as possible. There are many options and when you buy expensive equipment, it's important to know what to look for so you buy things that are worth the price tag.

A well-rounded exercise regimen should include both strength training and cardio, so the equipment you have at home should help to achieve both. Home exercise equipment doesn't have to take up a ton of space either. We've provided a guide for must-have exercise equipment along with some space-saving options as well.

What is the best home exercise equipment?

The "best" piece of home exercise equipment will vary since it depends on your preferences, what goals you're working towards and how much space you have for a home gym. Some pieces of exercise equipment are big like treadmills so they require ample room, while others like dumbbells are small enough to store off to the side either on the floor or in a weight rack.

Best home exercise equipment

$32 at Amazon

Best basic piece of home exercise equipment

Yoga mat

A yoga mat is a key piece of equipment to have around. You can use it for low-impact floor exercises, such as Pilates and yoga, or for bootcamps and other higher-impact exercises. Shop with the high-quality brand Manduka or an inexpensive one such as which offers non-slip options for all types of workouts. To prolong the life of your yoga mat, make sure to clean it regularly by following CNET's yoga mat cleaning guide.

$50 at Walmart

Dumbbells

Dumbbells, or free weights, are good to have on hand if you want to start strength training or already have a weight training program in place. Dumbbells come in a variety of weights, so it's important to have several sets that consist of light, medium and heavy weights. To keep dumbbells stored away neatly, I also recommend getting an A-frame dumbbell rack, which can easily fit most spaces. I like rubber hex-style dumbbells, like those from Rogue or CAP: The hexagon shape prevents the dumbbell from rolling away, and the rubber coating creates minimal noise if you drop it. 

Since strength varies by person, your own strength will determine which free weights you need. Keep in mind that as you get stronger, you'll want to increase the weights you use. In some cases, an adjustable dumbbell is a better option because it saves space and offers a variety of weights -- usually up to 50 pounds each. A CNET favorite is the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells, but there are plenty to choose from based on your preference.

$15 at Roguefitness

Resistance bands

Resistance bands come in a variety of weights, colors and lengths. They're a good stepping stone toward strength training if you're a beginner because they can help make certain exercises harder. Mini bands are mostly used for exercises that work the glutes, like squats, hip bridges, hip thrusts, hip abductions, clam shells and more. I've also used mini resistance bands to make pushups and core exercises harder. Longer resistance bands can be helpful during squats, deadlifts or assisted pull-ups. They can even mimic cable machine exercises like lat pull-downs, cable rows, tricep extensions or chest presses.

Some tried and true resistance band brands include Rogue and Perform Better. If you're looking to go high-tech, the LIT Axis is a set of smart resistance bands you can use for strength training and Pilates at home or while traveling. You can also keep track of your workout and stats via the LIT app. No matter which option you go with, you can get a solid workout with resistance bands. 

$100 at Amazon

Suspension training system

Suspension trainers are a good way to make bodyweight exercises like squats, split squats or pushups easier or harder depending on your goal. They're usually designed to be anchored behind a door, installed to a ceiling anchor, wrapped around a pull-up bar or even installed outdoors. Suspension trainers resemble some resistance bands because they have handles on the ends, but the difference is they're made up of nylon straps and can be adjusted. They're perfect for full-body workouts and take up minimal room, which makes them ideal for a home gym. 

The TRX is my favorite suspension trainer. It's pricey, but it's made to last. There are more affordable options, including the , and there are others found on Amazon that have similar qualities as the more expensive models. 

$150 at Amazon

Adjustable weight bench

An adjustable weight bench is helpful when you're doing upper-body strength exercises that require your body to be flat or on an incline. There are plenty of benches to choose from that incline, decline and can be stored away when not in use. A favorite of mine is the Flybird workout bench, which has an 800-pound weight capacity, adjusts to eight positions, and can then be folded up and stored off to the side. 

Some people may prefer a multifunctional bench like the Yes4All Multifunctional Aerobic Deck, which doubles as a weight bench and an aerobic step and serves as two pieces of equipment. Ultimately the style you choose will depend on the types of exercises you plan on using it for and the room you have to spare.

$30 at Roguefitness

Kettlebells

Kettlebells are some of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can own because you can use them both for strength training and conditioning. If you're new to kettlebells, we recommend receiving guidance from a trainer or coach familiar with the tool to teach you the basics. Kettlebells are made up of cast iron and have a handle and round base. They can range anywhere from 5 to 100 pounds and are usually weighed in kilograms. So if you're looking for a kettlebell that's approximately 25 pounds, you'd buy a 12-kilogram bell.  

There are plenty of brands that manufacture kettlebells, but you want to make sure you're buying a top-quality style so it lasts a long time. Single cast iron with a powder finish, created by well-known manufacturers like Rogue or Kettlebell Kings, is recommended since it's less likely to feel slippery when in use. An 8- to 10-kilogram (approximately 17 to 22 pounds) and a 10- to 14-kilogram set of kettlebells (about 22 to 30 pounds) is ideal if you're a beginner who wants both light and heavyweight options. 

$8 at Amazon

Jump rope

Jumping rope might sound like child's play, but it's one of the easiest ways to get your heart rate up. Jump ropes are inexpensive and can provide a full-body workout in a short period. There are different types of jump ropes to choose from: basic, weighted, smart, cordless, beaded and speed. They all serve a different purpose depending on how you plan on using the jump rope. For example, if you want to keep track of the number of skips, you're going to benefit from a . If you're trying to master double-unders, you're most likely going to prefer a speed rope

Regardless of your jump rope of choice, you will reap health benefits from the activity. Learn more about how to create a jump rope circuit or find the best jump rope with CNET's tips.

$42 at Walmart

Medicine Ball

Medicine balls are another great tool you can use for both strength training and conditioning at home. Usually solid and round, medicine balls are designed with a leather or faux leather exterior. They come in a variety of weights and sizes ranging from 4 to 30 pounds. You can expect to pay more the bigger and heavier the ball is. You've probably seen the smaller ones being used for ab exercises, pushups and partner exercises, while the larger ones are typically used for wall balls, ball slams, squats and overhead throws. 

Many different manufacturers make medicine balls, but it's most important to make sure you choose a ball that's durable and won't get ruined after repeated use. Some trusty brands for larger medicine balls include Rogue, Dynamax and Titan Fitness, while SPRI and CAP are popular for smaller medicine balls.

See at

Cardio machine

In an ideal world, you would be able to fit different types of cardio equipment in your home, but that's not feasible for everyone. If you have the space for just one large piece of cardio equipment, it's best to choose the one you know you're most apt to use. If you're a runner or enjoy walking you may prefer a treadmill, whereas if you want a steady rate of cardio, you might opt for an elliptical. If you're looking for quick bursts of cardio, then you might like a rowing machine. An exercise bike is another option, and if you're a fan of the classes and the design of the bike, you can splurge on a Peloton. 

There are plenty to choose from. Before you buy, set yourself a budget and make sure you know how much space you have available and the features you want your equipment to have. If you need ideas on where to start, check out our top picks on rowing machines, exercise bikes, ellipticals and treadmills

Factors to consider when building your home gym

When building your home gym, the question of which pieces suit you best will likely be based on two factors: how much space you have and which equipment you'll actually use.

Will you actually use it?

If you're just beginning a new exercise routine, you may want to start with a lower-cost option that's versatile for a variety of exercises. Something like a yoga mat, which can assist in stretching or core exercises, may be a good first building block.

Next, you'll want to consider the exercises you like to do and pick equipment that fits the type of activity you do regularly. If you like cardio or are invested in making it a new part of your routine, for example, a cardio machine may be a good choice.

How much space do you have?

Another question to ask yourself is how much space you want to devote to your home gym. Pieces like a jump rope or dumbbells may be easily stashed away, but something the size of a weight bench will take up more room. Here are more tips for building a home gym on a budget.

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How we chose

Although not everyone is going to have the same amount of space or want the same types of equipment, I selected options that can fit in just about any space, are versatile and can be used by people of all different fitness levels. Some of these tools are items I used with clients when I was a trainer and some I still use in my own workouts. I also chose options that you can make more challenging whether it's increasing the weight or learning new techniques with them.

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My home gym station complete with dumbbell racks and equipment storage.

Giselle Castro-Sloboda/CNET

It's practical for most homes: Many of these tools can be neatly stored in a corner of your living room (like my setup), or in a designated room like a home office, basement or garage. If you opt for weights, I suggest purchasing a dumbbell rack to store them on so you don't risk tripping over them on the floor. I also like having a storage rack to keep loose equipment like resistance bands, foam rollers and jump ropes stored away. Having your workout equipment in one designated area also increases the chances of you using them together.

The items can be used together: Most of these items are complementary to each other when you put together a workout program. For example, when I was newly postpartum I was able to use a weight bench, resistance bands and a yoga mat for bodyweight exercises while getting back into a workout routine and have since then been able to implement dumbbells and kettlebells.

Cost: Building a home gym will vary in price depending on the brand and equipment you choose to purchase. I chose items that I knew have budget-friendly and more expensive options. Kettlebells, for example, will usually cost cheaper if you buy an Amazon brand versus a competitive style kettlebell from brands like Kettlebell Kings or Rogue. That also depends on your personal preference and what you're willing to spend on the equipment.

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How to use home exercise equipment

Some of the items listed are user-friendly for both experienced and new exercisers. I recommend connecting with a personal trainer or someone who knows their way around the gym to show you how to use some of the equipment you're unfamiliar with.

Suspension trainer: The suspension trainer is a great tool to use as a beginner or if you're experienced, you can use it to make other bodyweight exercises harder or easier. It has adjustable straps and would require hanging an anchor over a doorframe or having a sturdy and tall horizontal bar (like a pull-up bar) to clip it to. The straps can be adjusted to suit the type of exercise you're doing. Luke Zocchi, a Centr personal trainer says the great thing about suspension trainers is that they engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously while also improving core stability. He explains, "the suspension trainer is great for all skill levels you can use it to increase difficulty of exercise or it can be used to decrease the difficulty of an exercise." Therefore, for beginners, this is a good tool to use if you need extra support doing squats, lunges and inverted rows. For experienced users, you can challenge your upper body with push-ups, tricep presses, bicep curls, inversions and even add in a kettlebell or dumbbell.

TRX suspension trainer

This is the suspension trainer I have at home that I normally hang behind a door to use.

Giselle Castro-Sloboda/CNET

Yoga mat: A yoga mat takes up minimal space and can be used for bodyweight or weight bearing exercises as well as stretching, Pilates and yoga. You can also transport it easily if you want to take it with you when you travel. Zocchi recommends looking at the thickness, material, texture, and size of a yoga mat. "Thickness will determine how comfortable and supportive a mat will be on your body, while material and texture will help ensure you have a mat that prevents slipping on all surfaces, especially after a sweaty workout," he explains. Additionally, he points out that standard mats are typically 68-72 inches long, so depending on how tall you are, you can choose a yoga mat that is most comfortable for your height.

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A yoga mat can be used for various activities and it doesn't take up a lot of space.

Giselle Castro-Sloboda/CNET

Jump rope: The same applies to a jump rope which is compact enough to throw in your gym bag to take to the park or use indoors. It's an easy way to do cardio and create circuits with your own body weight or with strength training exercises. Zocchi recommends when buying for a jump rope to look at these factors: the handles, length and weight. "The handles should have a comfortable grip to prevent hand fatigue, while the length of the rope should be able to accommodate your height," he explains. Also keep in mind that the heavier a jump rope is, the more resistance it will provide for a challenging workout.

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A jump rope is portable and easy to use both indoors and outdoors.

Giselle Castro-Sloboda/CNET

Kettlebells: If you're new to kettlebells, this piece of equipment is a good alternative to dumbbells and can also be used to do squats, deadlifts, overhead presses and core exercises. The kettlebell is designed like a cast iron cannonball with a handle in the middle, so when you hold it, the weight is evenly distributed in your hand, whereas with dumbbells the weight is on each end. Zocchi says, "it’s important to purchase a kettlebell that has a good grip as a smooth and slippery handle can make it difficult to maintain a secure grip." They're a good strength training tool, but if you want to take things up a notch, you can use them for cardio and learn from a certified kettlebell trainer how to do kettlebell swings, cleans, snatches and so much more to get a full body workout in.

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Kettlebells can be used for strength and cardio training.

Giselle Castro-Sloboda/CNET

Dumbbells: If you're set on dumbbells it's a good idea to have multiple pairs. Zocchi says, "the weight sizes you should own depend on your fitness level, but we generally recommend that you have light, medium and heavy weights so you can challenge yourself at all levels." You can even opt for an adjustable dumbbell if you prefer since these tend to offer a various range of weights (usually 5-50 pounds) while also saving space. Having these options allow you to easily regress and progress exercises as needed.

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A dumbbell rack keeps your weights store away neatly and easy accessible.

Giselle Castro-Sloboda/CNET

Resistance bands: I took into account that perhaps not everyone has the space to have dumbbells or kettlebells and the alternative can be resistance bands. Resistance bands come in a variety of weights and lengths. Zocchi says when shopping for a resistance band, it’s important to look out for 3 things - resistance level, material, and length/width. "Lighter resistance bands are great for beginners or exercises focusing on mobility and rehabilitation, while heavier bands provide more resistance for strength training," he explains. Resistance bands are commonly made from rubber, latex, or fabric. Zocchi says, "Rubber resistance bands tend to break easily during workouts, so the best option for minimal wear and tear is a fabric option." I personally keep both long and mini resistance bands because it's an easy way to make most exercises harder or for a warm up.

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Resistance bands come in long and short styles and have different weights.

Giselle Castro-Sloboda/CNET

Adjustable weight bench: If you have the room, an adjustable weight bench is complementary to dumbbells, and you can use it to do exercises like lying chest presses, bent over dumbbell rows, tricep dips, and other upper body exercises on an incline or flat. Most adjustable ones allow you to fold them flat or into a more compact size for easy storage. When shopping for an adjustable weight bench, Zocchi says it’s important to keep stability, adjustability, and padding and comfort in mind.

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Getty Images/ AlexMax

Medicine ball: A medicine ball is a leather bound weighted ball that comes in a variety of weights so choosing the right one will depend on what you're using it for. Usually medicine balls are used to build power, so you want something that's manageable for you to maneuver with speed but still challenging enough. These types of explosive movements include exercises like wall balls, ball slams, and med ball chops.

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You can practice some serious power moves with a medicine ball.

Giselle Castro-Sloboda/CNET

Cardio equipment: Finally, some people just want a piece of equipment that they can hop on and move. That's where owning a piece of cardio equipment can be helpful. Choose one based on your space capacity and which you're most likely to use. If you get bored going at one pace on an indoor bike, treadmill, rower or elliptical, you can always come up with circuits to do in less than 30 minutes. These might include sprinting on the machine followed by a rest period and a few bodyweight or weight-bearing exercises, repeated multiple times.

peloton tread against gray backdrop

The Peloton Tread is the ideal treadmill to splurge on if you love doing interval training. 

Gianmarco Chumbe/ CNET

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Best home exercise equipment FAQs

Do I need all of these pieces for my home gym?

Not at all. What's best for you will depend on your personal activity type, how long you've been exercising or your experience level, how much space you have for a home gym and other factors.

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Is it safe to exercise at home?

In terms of storing and using your home gym equipment, there are a few basic safety tips to follow:

  • Make sure you're well-versed on how to use your exercise equipment before you pick it up
  • Always use a spotter or make sure another person is around if attempting heavy weights, especially if they're extended above your body on a bench
  • Take into account any small children or pets that may have access to your equipment. (Children may be injured if they have access to a treadmill, for example.)

After taking into account other people or animals in your space, and following the safety instructions of whatever equipment you're using, you should take into account any health condition you have and make adjustments to your activity accordingly. People with a heart condition, for example, should talk with their doctor about any new exercise routine they plan to start.

Generally speaking, exercising at home is safe for most people. It can be a more convenient way to stay fit and improve your mental and physical health.

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What else do I need to consider when building a home gym?

Here are some general tips for building your home gym:

  • Avoid buying things you're not sure you'll use (for example, if you hate lifting weights, maybe start your new routine at a public gym before investing in your own set for home)
  • Shop around for good deals on equipment (Black Friday, for example, is a great day to buy exercise equipment)
  • Don't be afraid to rearrange your room to fit your new home gym
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