From home gym to on-the-go, there is one piece of equipment that is essential to add to your collection; the dumbbells. Often underrated, the dumbbells date back to ancient Greece, where they used something called Halteres, which weighed between 4 and 20 pounds. In modern-day, the dumbbell is still going strong and is as effective as ever.
Used to target a huge array of muscle groups, you can use these dumbbell weights for compound or isolation exercises. If you're a pro in the industry, you'll see the humble dumbbell can come in a variety of shapes, designs, and materials, which all have an impact on how effective the item is. With so much to consider, it can be a challenge to figure out what qualities the best dumbbells need to have, so they work well with your body and the space you have. We have taken it upon ourselves to do the leg work and review the best dumbbells on the market so you can easily choose which set is best for you.
Whether you want a pair of heavy-duty metal dumbbells set to build muscle, an attractive set of neoprene weights to enhance your yoga, or you may be looking for a low weight set for physical therapy, we have found something for everyone that will ultimately improve your health. After you have checked out these products, have a read of our comprehensive guide that will give you advice and tips on buying the best dumbbell options out there.
10 Best Dumbbells in 2020
- Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
- PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
- AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbells
- Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
- BalanceFrom GoFit All-Purpose Dumbbells
- CAP Barbell Hex Dumbbell
- Crown Sporting Goods Soft Neoprene Coated Dumbbell
- Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbell
- Trademark Innovations Aquatic Exercise Dumbbells
- j/fit Dumbbell Set
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
- 2-year Warranty
- 2.5 increments allow for versatile workouts
- Easy to adjust
- 15 weights in one product
No matter if you're just starting out or you're already on your fitness journey, Bowflex SelectTech 552 is a great option for anyone who is serious about pushing their body to new limits, but also wants to get the most from their money. With a clever design, all you need to do is turn the dial and select which weight you want to lift, the device will grab them and you're ready to pick the dumbbell up for a powerful workout. Coming in at $279, these adjustable dumbbells may seem expensive at first glance. However, if you were to buy the 15 weight plates separately, you would be paying about $25 per weight, at the least, that works out at $375, making the Bowflex a surprisingly good deal! These highly functional weights are fully adjustable, with users describing the transition as quick and easy, meaning you can switch up your workout in no time. While this option is great for a beginner or intermediate, the heaviest weight could potentially be too light for pro-lifters, with the weight range being 5 pounds to 52.2 pounds. Nonetheless, this adjustable dumbbell is fantastic for a home gym and offers a smooth, quieter alternative to traditional metal weights.
PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
- Made in the USA
- 10-year home use warranty
- 16 dumbbells in one product
- Increase in 2.5 increments
- Adjustable dumbbell sets
The PowerBlock Elite dumbbells are another compact option for anyone who lacks space in their home gym. This dumbbell features weights ranging from 5 pounds to 50 pounds, increasing in increments of 2.5, it is ideal for anyone who wants versatility in their workouts. Similarly, as with the Bowflex, the maximum weight will likely be too light for a bodybuilder or experienced lifter. However, the PowerBlock offers additional attachments that can make this dumbbell expand to 70 or 90 pounds. With an ergonomic design, the PowerBlock elite offers unique options on the market and is known for being comfortable to use in awkward exercise positions. It's worth noting that customers from PowerBlock have reported that this version is less effective compared to older models, as the manufacture swapped a metal pin for a plastic core, affecting the integrity of the product. With this in mind, they do offer a 10-year home use warranty to ensure peace of mind, so you can get on with your full-body workouts, maximize your gains, and improve your health.
AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbells
- 1-year warranty
- Perfect for resistance training
- Easy grip
- Weight number printed on the side
- Hexagonal shape
AmazonBasics brings you these simplistic neoprene dumbbells; you can purchase weights from 1lb up to 20lbs, with each pair sold separately you can easily customize your home set. Low weights from 1lb to 8lbs are known to be a great addition to a physical therapy session or even a pilates or yoga workout. Weights like these do not only tone your muscles during resistance training, but they can also assist with burning calories and increasing energy levels, all of which benefit your health. Thanks to the rubber-like neoprene coating, these sets of dumbbells are easy to grip for a secure hold during any activity. Additionally, their hexagonal end shape allows you to place these dumbbells on the floor, preventing rolling. Choose these color-coded dumbbells for a simple, but effective solution to adding resistance to any workout.
Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
- Ideal for experienced lifters
- Huge range of weight available
- 1-year satisfaction warranty
- Chrome finish
The Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells has a lot to offer the fitness industry, with a huge variety of purchase options you can choose to just buy the chrome finish core alone or sets from 40 pounds up to 200 pounds. With strong construction and a textured handle, this traditional dumbbell set has been made for pros and bodybuilders who can lift from 40 pounds up. Although there aren't options for those of you just starting out, this is an incredible set for people who need heavyweights but also a good deal. Users are very impressed with the amount of weight you can get for your buck! The high-quality, 14-inch knurled chrome handle has been equipped with star-lock collars with loose-resistant rubber trims, providing a secure workout and easy to change weight plates that fit 1-inch standard plates. These durable sets of dumbbells are suitable for full-body workouts, focused sessions, and more, thanks to their shape and design, they are so simple to use.
BalanceFrom GoFit All-Purpose Dumbbells
- Weight stand included
- 2-year warranty
- Attractive color-coded design
- Easy-grip neoprene coating
- Hexagonal end shape
If you're looking for an attractive dumbbell set that will not only look great in your home gym but allow you to vary your workouts, choose the BalanceFrom GoFit Dumbbells. This set features a stunning colorful neoprene coating to provide a quieter, sleek workout experience and includes weights from 3lb, 5lb, and 8lb, adding variation to your gym apparatus. Ideal for beginners, people going through physical therapy, and low-intensive workouts like yoga. With the rubber-like coating on these cast iron dumbbells, they provide durable options that are great for an indoor and outdoor workout program. This set also comes with a useful stand to display the beauty of your dumbbell set and makes it easy to grab them and start working out.
CAP Barbell Hex Dumbbell
- Retro look
- Hex shape to prevent rolling
- Enamel coating
- Increase in 5lb increments
We are going back to basics with the classic iron CAP barbell, available in sizes from 3 to 120 lbs making this pair ideal for beginner to pro. Their versatile design makes them best for a huge range of workouts, from full body to isolated lifts, to target all muscle groups. Heavy-duty cast iron is used in the construction of this product to provide essential integrity and reliability to the hex design product. No more do you have to worry about your dumbbells rolling away, or buying a new set every time you make progress, these dumbbells will grow with you in your fitness journey and are the best piece of equipment you can buy to maximize your muscle gains. A semi-gloss, enamel coating gives this CAP barbell set an industrial look to suit the decor of any gym and provides added durability to the weights. That's not all, the strong handles have been designed with medium depth knurling to provide grip and security during your workout program.
Crown Sporting Goods Soft Neoprene Coated Dumbbell
- Fantastic starters weight
- Easy grip
- Compact Easy to store
If your fitness goal is to strengthen your body, improve energy levels, and add resistance to your workout regime, then the Crown Sporting Neoprene Dumbell might be the best option for you. Improve your progress by adding dumbbells into your cardio, squats, or yoga. There is so much versatility with these weights making them best for absolute newbies or seniors. Due to their compact and small size, this dumbbell set is easy to store and travel with, meaning your outdoor and indoor workouts can benefit from these stylish, bright dumbbells. With a thick neoprene coating, you will get a secure grip and won't have to use workout gloves, unlike when using metal alternatives.
Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbell
- Increase weight in 5.5 increments
- Easy to store
- Compact design
- Perfect for a home gym
- 2-year warranty
Another competitor of the Bowflex SelectTech is the Merax adjustable dumbbell. Similarly to its competitors, Merax has created a dial system to make an adjustable, compact option that keeps your home gym tidy and the cost of buying a load of weights to a minimum. With an anti-skid rubber handle, you can comfortably hold these weights for a long period of time without sustaining an injury or needing workout gloves. Each dumbbell can be adjusted between 11 pounds to 71.5 pounds, no matter what your fitness level is, this all-in-one option is suitable for anyone. A 2-year warranty provides peace of mind when you purchase these dumbbells, you can be sure that these versatile, space-saving dumbbells will last for years and will maximize your fitness gains and health. One of the only notable negatives is that some people dislike the measurements on the product being in kilograms instead of pounds.
Trademark Innovations Aquatic Exercise Dumbbells
- Easy to store
- Great addition to water aerobics
- Low water absorption
Our next recommendation stands out amongst all the others as this dumbbell has been designed for water aerobics workouts. Made from EVA foam, this unique dumbbell set features great buoyancy and a low rate of water absorption to add essential resistance to aquatic exercises. Each barbell measures 10.5 inches x 5.75 inches and weighs 0.66lbs. Although the weight may seem low when you use this product under the water, it adds fantastic resistance to maximize the benefits of water aerobics; you can work your whole upper body and back. When you have finished with the dumbbells, they can be stored in a tray to drain away any water that has gone into the foam and easily stored anywhere thanks to their slim design.
j/fit Dumbbell Set
- Perfect for home gyms
- Ideal for physical therapy
J/fit has created another dumbbell set that is ideal in any home gym as it is equipped with a stand that can neatly display these sleek, modern pair of weights. Manufactured from solid cast iron steel, these heavy-duty dumbbells have been double-dipped in neoprene coating to provide a non-slip surface that won't scratch or flake off easily. With a load of different choices, you can opt for a low weight pair or choose a set that challenges you with a bigger variance of sizes. To make this pair of dumbbells more useful, each weight has been color-coded and labeled with the weight on the side. If you're looking for the final piece of the puzzle to complete your home gym, these j/fit dumbbell sets are the ideal addition; they create a hassle-free storage solution, don't damage your floors, thanks to their soft, rubber-like coating and they provide you with essential weight to maximize your workout program.
Dumbbells Buyer's Guide
Dumbbells are a versatile piece of equipment that many people often overlook when they are in the gym. However, due to the way the dumbbell has been designed, you can easily adapt these weights to a range of activities and target all kinds of muscle groups. In comparison to weight machines that stabilize the weight, you choose to ensure you’re targeting a specific muscle. We have crafted the ideal guide to assist you when you buy your next dumbbells. We will look at how your experience level, design, material, and more, can affect which set of dumbbells is best for your lifestyle.
Someone who is new to the dumbbell and their functions may benefit from a set that offers low weights and a comfortable hold. With this in mind, we recommend exploring neoprene coated core as they feature a non-slip rubber-like surface to enhance your grip and comfort while you perform each rep. It is always best for a beginner to start off with a lower dumbbell as you want to perfect your form for each exercise first; this will ensure you get the maximum benefits out of each move and you prevent causing injury to yourself.
An experienced lifter may be looking for something a little more advanced. If you’re looking for a full set of dumbbells to reach your full potential, the Yes4All Dumbbells are perfect for pro-lifers to push their limits and reach their goals. There is a huge range of weights to choose from and they offer robust construction and reliability, so you can lift heavier and for longer.
Goals are highly important for any fitness journey. Typically, for most women, they are looking to tone up, enhance their workouts, and improve their health. This may include adding resistance to yoga and pilates classes to push your limits and get more out of each session. In this circumstance, lower dumbbells will be best and give the most benefits to the users, because you can focus on form and reps.
If you're a more experienced gym-goer or weightlifter, you may be looking to build muscle mass, lose weight, and maximize your workouts. Therefore, you will want to look for dumbbells that combine strong materials and longevity. More traditional dumbbells may be for you as these brands have kept it simple and effective, with a steel core and classic look.
Finally, if you have been going through physical therapy and it’s time to enhance your workouts, a low, comfortable weight will be best for your training. These will allow you to add resistance and train your muscles how to move again.
Whatever your purpose is for these weights you will want to consider how you are going to use them, if you need a soft, comfortable feel, and what kind of weight range is suitable for your activities.
Thoughtful design is an essential component of a good set of dumbbells. With this in mind, there are certain aspects that can affect the whole performance of your set.
Handle design – the design of the handles can be very dependant on material, but there are some construction aspects that need to be considered too. When the handle is being designed, often, ergonomics are forgotten. With only a handful of sellers on our list actually designing the handle to fit the contours of your hand to provide a fit that is easy to use for long periods of time. A handle is arguably one of the most important parts of the dumbbell, as, without its essential construction and positioning, it would make lifting weights harder and less versatile.
End design – While it is not a vital part of a fixed weight, a well-designed end can be the difference between a frustrating workout, and a stress-free session. Firstly, a superior dumbbell will be designed with hexagonal ends for a few reasons. Not only does it give the weight a more contemporary look, but it can also prevent the dumbbell from rolling away and moving, either during rest periods or during an activity such as the plank with row, in which you need to rest on the weight. The hex shape provides fantastic stability and makes the next rep easier as you won’t be running after a rollaway dumbbell. In addition, the end of the weight needs to be designed to be able to work with a variety of exercises. Finally, it can be a convenient addition to have the size of the weight labeled on the end to make it easy to start your session and switch between exercises.
Is adjustable always better? – Adjustable dumbbells can provide the user with a load of benefits, from being compact, space-saving, and saving money on individual weights. However, with an adjustable dumbbell, you cannot customize your set and tailor it to your needs and workouts. What's more, if your progress exceeds the adjustable weight, you will need to look for a new set of weights, whereas single weights collections are easier to build-up as and when you progress.
Metal – Going back not so long ago, most weights were made out of cast iron and had a classic look to them with a chrome core bar and black round weight plates on the end. This traditional look is still going strong as it can offer an extremely durable construction that combines longevity with a retro design. Thanks to the density of the metal, the manufactures are able to pack a lot of weight into a small space, making it easy to load the weight at the end of each bar. In addition to this, its durability means it can sustain some damage and chips and still work just as effectively as a pair of brand new iron weights. However, with full metal construction, you may benefit from buying additional protection, such as workout gloves, to protect your fingers and palms from calluses, as the roughness of the metal can cause injury if used repeatedly over long periods of time.
Neoprene – this popular coating is known to have a rubber-like texture, ideal for having a secure grip on the weight as it is non-slip. Additionally, these weights often come in a variety of colors, allowing the manufacturer to color-code the set of weights, making it easy to identify each size. It is noted that this coating is often only used on lighter weights, but it does provide a very comfortable surface to hold.
Most people reading this guide will probably be looking to buy a set of dumbbells to use at their home, whether they are building a home gym or not. This is because these versatile items are great for a range of exercises. However, not everyone has a load of space to store the weights. In this case, it is important to choose a set of weights that can work with the space you do have. If you are building a gym in your home, you may consider a stand or rack, this is a great way to keep the weights off the floor, while still displaying them in all their beauty.
Some of our neoprene recommendations come with stands to show off their bright colors, and the Merax Adjustable set has an additional stand available at an additional cost. If the set you want doesn't come with a stand, you may find it comes with a tray, which may not seem great for storage purposes, but it does protect your flooring from sustaining damage from the weights, especially if they have metal plates.
Finally, if you are truly limited with a small amount of space, you may be thinking that you can't buy a huge set of weights as you don't have 16 different storage compartments. This is where you may love the Bowflex SelectTech or Merax adjustable dumbbells, as they include a load of different weights in one device, and all you need to do is turn the dial.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the best dumbbells to buy?
The best dumbbells will depend on what you need for your lifestyle. Like we have outlined above, the best dumbbell for a weightlifter may be a set of 40-200lb weights that can help them reach their full potential. However, for someone going through physical therapy, the best dumbbells will be comfortable in their hand, lightweight from 1lb+ to add a little resistance to their workout.
Which dumbbell is best for beginners?
As discussed above, beginners will want to focus on form before increasing their weight. This means a low weight from 2lbs to 10lbs will be ideal for adding resistance and perfecting each move.
Are 10-pound dumbbells good?
All sizes of dumbbells have benefits in someone’s workout. Lighter weights are great for beginners, yoga routines, or physical therapy, while heavier weights allow pros to increase and maximize their gains. No matter what stage of the fitness journey you are at there is something for everyone and every weight can be useful to someone depending on their capabilities and requirements
Are Bowflex dumbbells any good?
If you have been doing your research, you may have seen that most people label the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells as the best on the market. While it is a pinnacle of design and offers a revolutionary space-saving option for those limited on space, it can be argued that for most users, the dial system is simply too complex and not needed as it only adds to the price of the product. However, with that in mind, there is definitely an audience for this product and if you have the budget for it, then it is a superlative option.