A dumbbell set can be a nice piece of exercise equipment for building upper body strength, taking up very little space in your home and giving you a consistent way to build muscles or tone yourself up without having to set up a whole exercise machine every time you want to use them. However, adjustable dumbbells, in particular, are much more flexible, giving you a range of different weight combinations that you can use to change exactly how heavy your weights will be in each session. Not only that, but it makes storage much easier compared to a set of multiple dumbbells.
If you're looking for the best adjustable dumbbells on the market right now, ten of the best options are shown in detail on our list below.
10 Best Adjustable Dumbbells
- Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Weights
- PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
- CAP Barbell Adjustable Dumbbell
- TELK Adjustable Dumbbells
- Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell
- Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell
- NordicTrack Speed Weights
- Weider Core Adjustable Select-A-Weight Set
- Merax Deluxe 71.5lbs Adjustable Dial Dumbbell
- ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbell
Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Weights
- Very compact design.
- Great for a range of exercises.
- Easy-to-switch weight settings.
- Designed for a quiet workout.
- Simple adjustment dial system.
This adjustable dumbbell set by Bowflex is designed for efficiency and easy storage, combining up to 15 sets of dumbbells into a single set that can be adjusted on the fly from anywhere between 5 pounds and over 50 pounds in weight. Unlike other designs, you don't have to carefully unscrew them - you simply adjust the dial to change the weight level you want to use and it'll leave the rest in the holding tray. Despite being made of tough material and using a durable type of molding, the weights are also very quiet, making much less noise if they bump into something as well as preventing anything from rattling around inside the main handle.
PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
- Easily-stored blocky shape.
- Easy-to-use set of adjustable dumbbells.
- Allows easy weight customization.
- Combines 22 existing weight levels.
- Great weight range.
These blocky-looking dumbbells combine twenty-two different dumbbell sets into a single package, acting as a weight block that you can add and remove weights to for your own custom weight level. This gives it a range of between 5 pounds and 70 pounds, more than enough for most people to feel comfortable using them: you can even expand it to a higher limit of 90 pounds with the correct attachments. Each power block is exactly what it sounds like: a block of weight that's more compact, stable and customizable than regular dumbbells, with the added benefit of being incredibly easy to use. Each weight level is color-coded to help you identify which one is being used at any time.
CAP Barbell Adjustable Dumbbell
- Classic dumbbell style.
- Ergonomic handle grip sections.
- Tough cast iron plates.
- Resists rust.
- Great for all kinds of fitness routines.
This simple dumbbell set comes with multiple different weight plates that you can mix and match for your preferred weight level, all contained in a tough storage case made from durable plastic. The ergonomic handles make your fitness routines more comfortable and reduce the chance of slips if your hands start sweating, while the special gloss-style finish on the plates means that they won't easily chip or break if they're dropped. Even better, they're rust-free, so you don't need to worry about your fitness equipment beginning to break down if it gets exposed to water.
TELK Adjustable Dumbbells
- Star-lock collar ends.
- All in one design for easy storage.
- Resists rust and corrosion.
- High level of weight adjustment.
- Much safer than other dumbbell types.
This general fitness adjustable dumbbell set gives you all the plates you need to choose weight levels of up to 100 pounds, giving you separate weights to use for both arms at once if necessary. Each of the weight plates is made with cast iron and has a baked enamel finish that provides massively increased durability, corrosion resistance and rustproofing, and the chrome handles offer an increased level of grip to make sure you don't drop them during a tough fitness workout. The star-locking end points also mean that the weights won't get looser over time, avoiding major accidents or tightening mistakes.
Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell
- Easy to switch plates.
- Can weigh up to 25 pounds per dumbbell.
- Works best as compact workout equipment.
- Comes with storage trays.
- Made from durable materials.
This adjustable dumbbells set offers a heavy-duty pair of dumbbells with up to 25 pounds of weight each, giving you multiple optional plates to let you reach a minimum weight of 5 pounds if needed. The compact design is not only easier to store but comes with a special pair of storage trays, giving you somewhere to rest the adjustable weights without them rolling around or being exposed to scratches and other forms of surface damage. The versatility in the design, as well as the straightforward adjustable dumbbell system, makes them suitable for all kinds of exercises and workouts both even if you don't have much room or floor space.
Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell
- Comes with a holding cradle.
- Very compact size and shape.
- Comfortable contoured grips.
- Allows quick adjustment of different weights.
- Best for home gym use.
These simple and reliable adjustable dumbbells can achieve a range of weights between 5 pounds and 50 pounds, letting you alter it in increments to get the perfect weight level for you. The design is still similar to classic dumbbell sets, giving you the same overall experience and an excellent level of grip strength while also meaning that you'll stay safe and comfortable for longer. The cradle-style storage trays are also used to help make adjustments easier, giving you a way to adjust the panels being used with some simple twists. Once locked in place, you can be sure that not even one of the weights will slip out.
NordicTrack Speed Weights
- Has a simple selection system.
- Durable choice of materials.
- Built for easy storage.
- Has 30 different built-in weights options.
- Great for varied fitness routines.
These adjustable dumbbells act as a combined version of 30 other dumbbells at once, giving you a huge list of different incremental weights to use: from a minimum of 10 pounds to a maximum of 55 pounds. The durable and tough external materials keep the dumbbells protected from damage, and unlike many dumbbells sets, there's a very smooth selection system to help you choose the kinds of workouts you want to do. The set also comes with special storage trays - one for each of the dumbbells - that stops them from rolling around or wearing down on rough flooring.
Weider Core Adjustable Select-A-Weight Set
- Adjustable in 5-pound increments.
- Comes with a raised stand for home gym use.
- Easy to use selection system.
- Built-in locking system.
- Perfect for quick fitness sessions.
The stand that comes with this set of adjustable dumbbells gives you an easy place to rest them above ground level, making sure that you can easily pick them up without having to bend down and grab onto the dumbbells or weight plates yourself. The adjustable weights are handles in 5-pound increments, giving you plenty of precision when it comes to getting the exact weight you want, and actually choosing which weight plates you want to use is incredibly simple. Thanks to the reliable locking system, you won't need to worry about one of the plates falling out during your fitness routines, either.
Merax Deluxe 71.5lbs Adjustable Dial Dumbbell
- Combines 12 standalone dumbbells together.
- Dial-based adjustable dumbbell system.
- Comes with storage trays.
- Reliable locks.
- Best used for home gym areas.
This high-quality adjustable dumbbell set contains a special dial system that makes switching between different weights and exercises extremely easy, letting you choose the best setting for your current fitness activity. Each of the dumbbells has enough weight plates to stand in for 12 separate dumbbells, saving space and money while also making sure that you always have free weights on hand. The unique stands included with the dumbbells can also be used to keep them safe and secure, stopping them from rolling over and working well with racks or other storage options. Thanks to the easy-to-turn dial, actually altering the weight is incredibly fast, too.
ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbell
- Made with a durable exterior.
- Very compact, all in one design.
- Can work for a lot of exercise types.
- Easily adjustable free weights.
- Very safe and secure grip.
This adjustable dumbbell comes with its own tray stand that can help it stay safe from unexpected damage when not in use, as well as a set of adjustable dials that alter the amount of weight in the dumbbells themselves. Thanks to the all in one design, it's much more compact than other dumbbells, taking up less space and leaving more room for fitness gear that isn't lifting weights. The fairly generic and versatile design means that you can use it for almost any kind of exercise, and the non-slip grip improves your overall safety while you're working out. Durable materials used for the exterior layer improve rust and corrosion resistance, too.
Adjustable Dumbbells Buyer's Guide
Dumbbells, like all fitness equipment, can come in dozens of different varieties that each have their own benefits and drawbacks. Because of this, trying to find the best adjustable dumbbells for your particular situation, preferences or exercise types isn't always easy, and you might even find yourself struggling to figure out how to start looking. Understanding what's important (both to you personally and to people who like exercise in general) can be the best way to figure out your first steps, and it always helps to focus on your own needs rather than the needs of other people.
But where should you start, and what might be important when you're buying new adjustable dumbbells? Hopefully, this buyer's guide can give you a good idea of where to focus first.
Dumbbells, adjustable or not, are designed to offer a certain amount of weight. It might be as low as 5 pounds or as high as over 100 pounds: either way, you're going to have limitations on the amount of weight you can and can't put on them. This is often the most important part of finding the best adjustable dumbbells for yourself, since not all dumbbells are designed for the same amounts of weight, and others may have different limits to how heavy or light they can actually be.
First of all, look at the minimum weight. Many adjustable dumbbells can only get so light while still having a single weight on. This might only be 5 pounds, but it could also be 10 pounds or maybe even 15 depending on how big the increments are. This might not sound like a lot if you're already frequently using fitness gear, but if you're new to using a dumbbell and don't have much muscle mass or strength built up, it can make a significant difference. Some might even have built-in panels that can't be removed, meaning that you're always stuck at a minimum weight and have to have at least one set of weight plates on at all times.
Then, look at the maximum. This won't be as useful to most people, but fitness lovers can actually find themselves getting slowed down by dumbbells that don't have a high enough limit. For example, a weight that only goes up to 70 pounds can be a lot, but if you're wanting 90 pounds, you can't attach more weights directly and you'd have to find some other workaround. Whether or not this is important depends on what you expect to actually be doing with your dumbbells.
Of course, it's always good to look at the increments, too. If you can only adjust the weights of your dumbbells by 7 pounds at a time, you'll have less precision than with a set of adjustable dumbbells that works in increments of 5 pounds. The more pounds per weight you're dealing with, the less granular you can be with how much the dumbbells weigh. Again, not everybody will see this as a problem, so it's up to you whether or not you care about it much.
A durable dumbbell will be able to stand up to a lot of damage before breaking. This is most notable with drops and bumps (or other types of damage that can directly cause physical cracks and breaks), which can be important if you have a home gym full of heavy equipment. However, it's not just durability from physical impacts that you need to be worried about.
One of the biggest threats to any kind of fitness equipment is corrosion and rust, two issues that can be hard to solve and might result in your equipment falling apart when you're in the middle of a workout. Not only is this dangerous, since you might also end up stabbing yourself with sharp pieces of metal or having it crack it hand and land on your feet, but it also means that you'll have to buy a new set of adjustable dumbbells every single time.
A good dumbbell design will be made using corrosion-resistant and rust-proof materials that can handle a lot of damage, increasing its overall lifespan and making sure that it won't snap easily. The more durable they are, the less likely they are to suddenly break one day. No dumbbell can be completely damage-proof, but that doesn't mean that you should ignore durability entirely.
Of course, a large part of this is also your environment. If you live in a humid area, you might want to get a dehumidifier or try to care for your dumbbells with rust-proof coatings and polishes. It's a bit more work than you might be expecting, but it can be incredibly important if you want to keep yourself as safe as possible while still being able to stick to your fitness routines.
Many people overlook just how important storage can be with fitness: adjustable gear is often the best way to ensure that you can keep everything stored in a safe and efficient way without needing to dedicate an entire room towards holding your equipment. Adjustable dumbbell sets are a very useful option for this exact reason, since they're basically acting as an entire series of different dumbbells depending on the amount of weight you're currently putting on them: instead of needing ten dumbbells to cover ten different weights, you might be able to get by with only one or two, especially if you're only a casual fitness fan.
On their own, with no extra features, adjustable dumbbell sets give you the unique opportunity to literally replace a cupboard's worth of items with just one (or two, if it's a pair). Even better, since you only have one set of the internal ‘poles' that hold the weight plates, it'll actually be lighter overall than buying the same dumbbells individually.
However, many adjustable dumbbell packs also come with their own stands, supports or racks that can help you keep them off the floor. This can have a range of benefits, with one of the most obvious being how they can make them more accessible. Let's say you're lifting weights and want to add another of the weight panels onto the dumbbell: without a raised stand, you would have to bend down or sit on the floor, which can also mean that you have to lift the entire thing back up from ground level. With a raised stand, it might be at waist height, making it easier to adjust and raise back into position.
Even a flat tray that barely raises it at all can be helpful, since it'll stop the dumbbell from rolling around and protect it from surface-related damage, letting you keep your set of weights in one place and out of harm's way. Some designs even use the tray as the place to attach and remove different plates, letting you twist a dial to choose how many of the weight increments are taken with you when you raise the dumbbell and leaving the rest of them behind in the tray.
It would be wrong to overlook the price, since many users will still gravitate to the options they consider “affordable” if they can. It's very easy to get caught up in a co concept like “pounds per dollar” or trying to judge how many weight plates you're getting for your money, but this doesn't really fit with the core fitness goals you'll be working towards. A set of new adjustable dumbbells isn't usually a temporary thing, especially if you're committed to your exercise: a set that costs more than you'd be willing to pay for a set of weights can still be worth the money in the end, since you'll probably use that set for at least two or three years.
At the end of the day, only you know how much you should consider for your “budget”, especially if you're buying more than one set. A cheap weights set can still be perfectly serviceable as long as you're not trying to be a professional bodybuilder or fitness guru, and if you don't feel comfortable buying an expensive set for yourself, don't feel pressured to: you can always upgrade if the time ever comes.
What is a Dumbbell?
It's very easy to get sidetracked and start looking at other machines or fitness gear that isn't technically a dumbbell by most people's standards, especially since there are sets of weights that use different designs (such as a set of arm weights that attach to your wrists). However, by definition, dumbbells are just pieces of equipment used in weight training with one hand (two hands would be barbells, which are larger and heavier), so sometimes going for the unconventional designs can still result in some great features.
After all, the core fitness goal of using adjustable dumbbells is to build muscle, and any set of weights can help you do that if you try hard enough. Don't feel like you have to go for a generic dumbbell design if there's something else you would prefer to use, especially if you're already confident enough in your fitness techniques to know what works for you.
What are the Best Adjustable Weights?
There isn't one general answer for a question like this, since each person has their own preferences. For example, let's say you find some dumbbells like the BowFlex SelectTech 552: they have their own unique features compared to a style like the PowerBlock Elite, but that doesn't mean that either the BowFlex SelectTech 552 or PowerBlock Elite is better than one another. The same goes for designs like the Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell: while Core Fitness adjustable dumbbells might not have all the features of a BowFlex SelectTech design, they're still going to appeal to different people.
In short, pick the designs that work for you if you can find them. Buying a popular brand may earn you some respect with other people (or, alternatively, may earn you some rewards from a brand's own loyalty system), but at the end of the day, you're looking for a set of new adjustable dumbbells that suit you and your needs before anything else. The best weight set is whatever works best for you as an individual.
Circular plates get rid of any sharp corners that might poke you, which can make them good for first-time users. However, some people also prefer square shapes since they can easily rest on non-flat surfaces. Neither is necessarily better than the other, but they can also affect the way the weight feels when you're lifting it.
Did You Know?
Most weight plates have indents or physical markings that will let you see how heavy they're supposed to be. However, some modern dumbbells get rid of this entirely, either using size, color-coding or other design choices to help you distinguish them. Different people have different preferences, and many people don't even see or feel a difference.