10 Best Dumbbells: Your Easy Buying Guide (2018)

Whether you’re new to exercising or want to enhance your existing workout, dumbbells are a practical investment. Also known as free weights, dumbbells are simple, versatile, and generally inexpensive. They’re just as useful for beginners as they are for experienced weight lifters. If you’re working with a limited space, the best dumbbells are going to be the more compact ones. Many are adjustable so that you don’t have to purchase several different weights. If you have a larger gym, however, a robust dumbbell stand can be a worthwhile investment.

You can opt for an individual dumbbell or a basic set. Another option is adjustable dumbbells, which provide several different weights in one convenient place. If you’re considering a kit you’ll want to keep in mind factors such as the material, the mechanism that holds the weights in place, such as a clip, and the overall weight capacity. Regardless of your fitness level, you will benefit most from having both lighter and heavier sets of dumbbells to use during a workout. The heavier weights help build muscle mass while the lighter weights support tendons and joints. The right dumbbell set ensures a rewarding upper and lower body workout. If you’re familiar with particular brands, you can even shop by the best dumbbells by certain brands.

What Are the Best Dumbbells Available Right Now?

bowflex adjustable dumbbells Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Easily adjustable
  • Wide weight range
  • 15 settings
Price: $249.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
best dumbbells Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Comes in many variations
  • No-slip coating
  • Ideal for all workouts
Price: $18.98 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
dumbbells Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Exercises all major muscle groups
  • Several weights available
  • Coated exterior
Price: $28.37 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Ideal for all levels
  • Affordable
  • No-roll hexagon shape
Price: $54.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells, dumbbells Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Generous expansion capability
  • Easy to switch between weights
  • Comes in many weights
Price: $108.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
best dumbbells Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Easy to stack
  • Wide weight range
Price: $7.47 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
dumbbells Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Compact
  • Ideal for all levels
  • Space-saving design
Price: $144.05 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
dumbbell set Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Wide weight range
  • Soft coating
  • Comes with stand and mat
Price: $789.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
bowflex adjustable dumbbells Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Wide weight range
  • Compact
  • Easily adjustable
Price: $299.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
best dumbbells Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Durable double-dipped coating
  • Comes in many sizes
  • Includes a stand
Price: $42.65 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair)

    Pros:
    • Adjusts from 5 to 52.5 pounds
    • Convenient dial system
    • Space-efficient
    Cons:
    • Pricey
    • Can get jammed, especially on higher weights
    • A bit bulky

    Get serious about your workouts with these adjustable dumbbells. Each dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.2 pounds to give you a full range for your workouts. The dumbbell weight is adjustable in 2.5-pound increments for the first 25 pounds.

    A unique and handy dial system allows you to combine 15 sets of weights into a single convenient set. Another bonus is that you won’t have to clutter your workout space with a rack full of dumbbells. Setting the correct weight is easy as you just need to use the convenient selection dials to adjust the weights. A durable molding surrounding the metal plates ensures a smoother and quieter workout with your dumbbells.

     

  2. SPRI Deluxe Vinyl Dumbbells (Set of 2)

    Pros:
    • 1 to 20 pound weight range
    • Vinyl surface
    • Ideal for beginners
    Cons:
    • A bit thick for smaller hands
    • Strong initial odor
    • Vinyl surface can get slippery

    These dumbbells are geared towards beginners with a 1 to 20-pound weight range and a durable vinyl-coated surface. It’s easy to spot and select the best dumbbells for your workout as they are color-coded for efficient weight identification. You can use the dumbbells for aerobics as well as walking or step training.

    Don’t worry about scuffing the floor when you put the dumbbells down as they feature a comfortable non-slip vinyl coating. Whether you’re using them alone or as an addition to another workout, you’ll appreciate how simple it is to customize the resistance and weight when using these dumbbells.

     

  3. CAP Barbell Cast Iron Hex Dumbbell

    Pros:
    • Durable cast iron finish
    • Hexagon shape prevents rolling
    • Works all major muscle groups
    Cons:
    • Finish can chip off
    • Handles are rough
    • Strong initial odor

    You can choose anywhere from 5 to 120 pounds, giving most users a broad workout range. This single dumbbell features a durable cast iron finish, ensuring that it will hold up well over time even when used heavily. One advantage of the hexagon-shaped dumbbell is that it’s designed to prevent rolling when placed on the floor. This kind of dumbbell also promotes effortless storage. You can count on this dumbbell to exercise all the major muscle groups in the body such as the legs, arms, back, chest, and core.

     

  4. AmazonBasics Cast Iron Hex Dumbbell

    Pros:
    • Hexagon shape prevents rolling
    • Available in 10 to 60 pounds
    • Durable cast iron construction
    Cons:
    • Some wish the finish was more robust
    • Thin handle
    • A bit pricey

    You can find this cast iron dumbbell in weights ranging from 10 to 60 pounds, making it a practical investment for beginners and more advanced users. The dumbbell features a hexagon shape to keep it from rolling when you place it on the floor. You can use it to strengthen the arms, legs, chest, core and back. Its cast iron construction makes this dumbbell a solid choice if you’re concerned about durability and longevity. This dumbbell is sold individually.

     

  5. PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells

    Pros:
    • Includes stand
    • Square dumbbells won’t roll on the floor
    • Comfortable grip
    Cons:
    • Pricey
    • Can be tough to quickly switch smaller weight increments
    • Loud

    This convenient dumbbell set lets you customize each workout for the most desirable results. Instead of heading to the weight rack each time you need a different size or weight you can quickly and easily switch from one dumbbell set to the next. These are also some of the best dumbbells for home use if you have limited workout space, and need a more efficient storage solution.

    You’ll pay a bit more upfront for these dumbbells, but the higher cost is worth it. For example, this dumbbell set comes with a durable stand for convenient storage. Another highlight is that they are quite durable and have a comfortable grip. The square dumbbells don’t roll around on the floor.

     

  6. CAP Barbell Neoprene Coated Dumbbell

    Pros:
    • Affordable
    • Durable neoprene coating
    • Hexagonal shape
    Cons:
    • Neoprene coating may wear off or crack over time
    • Strong initial smell
    • A bit small for larger hands

    If you’re looking for the best dumbbells for beginners, in terms of affordability, durability and versatility, consider these CAP dumbbells. The dumbbells are outfitted with neoprene coating for enhanced durability. They also offer your hands ample protection. These dumbbells are optimal for sculpting your arms, shoulders, and back.

    If you’re tired of chasing dumbbells across the floor as they roll away when you set them down you’ll really enjoy the hexagonal shape of these dumbbells. Their handy shape also enables you to stack the dumbbells with ease. A wide range of colors and weight lets you customize each workout. These dumbbells are sold individually and span from 1 to 15 pounds.

     

  7. Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell

    Pros:
    • Available in two weights
    • Heavy duty steel construction
    • Comes with a storage tray
    Cons:
    • Weights can only be altered in 10-lb. increments to keep weight balanced
    • A few note weights may slide a bit when lifting
    • Weight adjustment mechanism isn’t very easy

    Choose between the available 25 and 50 pound dumbbells to best suit your fitness level. This adjustable dumbbell stands out for its durable steel construction, not to mention its compact size. Instead of purchasing multiple dumbbells, all you need is one adjustable weight. A storage tray is included for your convenience. The beginner-friendly 25-pound pair lets you lift between five and 25 pounds. The 50-pound pair is more suitable for experienced users, as you can lift anywhere from 10 to 50 pounds.

     

  8. Rep Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbell Set

    Pros:
    • Low-odor rubber
    • Each set comes with a three-tier stand
    • Ergonomic handles reduce fatigue
    Cons:
    • Pricey
    • Stands needs to be assembled
    • Some complain of a faint initial odor

    Take your home gym to the next level with the Rep Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbell Set. If you’re looking for the best dumbbells to get started, then continue building fitness, you’ll appreciate how the weights in this set range from five to 75-pound pairs.

    Each dumbbell is coated in rubber for a softer and more comfortable lifting experience. As an added bonus, the sets come with a three-tier rack and rubber mats to keep your floors protected. Ergonomic handles allow you to knock out one set after the next without hand fatigue or soreness. These dumbbells are made with a low-odor rubber material.

     

  9. Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell

    Pros:
    • Weight adjustment from 10 to 90 pounds
    • Generous weight range for heavier and lighter lifting
    • Includes a workout DVD
    Cons:
    • Uncomfortable handle grip
    • Plastic component that holds the weights in place may crack
    • A bit fragile for dropping on the floor

    The BowFlex SelectTech 1090 dumbbell is adjustable from 10 to 90 pounds in 5-pound increments. There are some noticeable differences among these dumbbells and the Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells. For starters, this set replaces up to 34 dumbbells while the 552 set replaces up to 30 dumbbells. The 1090 also features a wider weight range with adjustable weights up to 90 pounds. 

     
  10. j/fit Dumbbell Set

    Pros:
    • Non-slip handles provide a safe grip
    • Coating won't flake or chip off
    • Each weight is a different color
    Cons:
    • Stand isn't very durable
    • Heavier weights can be harder to grip with smaller hands
    • Stand requires assembly

    The best dumbbells often come down to personal preference and budget. These j/fit dumbbells come in a variety of sizes, making them an ideal choice for beginners as well as more advanced users. If you're just starting out, consider the 18-pound set. You can also opt for the 74-pound set if you need more of a challenge. Regardless of which weight set you select, you'll get dumbbells with a durable double-dipped coating that won't flake off over time. Each set comes with its own storage rack. Non-slip handles ensure a safe and secure grip during any exercise.

Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

Anonymous

PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells’ price is off by a lot, accidentally listed the expansion unit I’m assuming.

Rick

Some great dumbell offerings were missed such as Origin, but the anomally overlooked are #NuBells by NuFit. Each pair of weights are circular with the handle in the middle so that the weight surrounds the hand distributing in such a way it forces all of the muscle in the arm (the stabilizers as well) to work. Some say they feel heavier because they do not allow you to cheat as traditional designs do. They also better protect the the joint tendon and nerves helping to advert common training injuries as experienced with more widely used products. Users also claim they are more kinetically correct, almost as if they are an extension of your arm. They have become very popular for group fitness and even boxing and MMA professionals are beginning to use the lower weight PT bells (1-4lb) for shadow boxing. Nubells are dumbbells evolved for the 21st Century. “Want it. Train it. Do it. NUFIT”

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