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Dumbbells can be useful for home workouts. They are relatively small, inexpensive, and suitable for a wide variety of exercises that people can perform in their own homes.
- Best adjustable set: Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbells | Skip to review
- Best for up to 500 pounds: Rogue Dumbbells | Skip to review
- Best light set: Amazon Basics Neoprene Dumbbell Hand Weights | Skip to review
- Best durable dumbbells: REP Fitness Urethane Dumbbell Sets | Skip to review
- Best rotating dumbbells: Eleiko Evo Dumbbell Rotating Handle | Skip to review
- Best cast iron dumbbells: Yes4All Adjustable Cast Iron Dumbbells | Skip to review
- Best hex dumbbells: CAP Barbell Cast Iron Hex Dumbbell | Skip to review
- Best for versatile workouts: YBell Neo Series | Skip to review
- Best non-roll dumbbells: Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbells | Skip to review
- Bet quick-lock design: Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System | Skip to review
- Best expansion kits: PowerBlock Sport EXP | Skip to review
Dumbbells come in many types, shapes, weights, and materials to help meet individual needs. They may help people save money from gym fees and help them achieve fitness goals, such as building muscle or losing weight.
- boosting resting metabolic rate, or burning calories
- protecting against injury
- strengthening the bones, muscles, and connective tissue
The National Institutes of Health notes that strength training can provide numerous health benefits. In addition to strengthening the muscles, strength training can help prevent chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Medical News Today chooses fitness equipment that meets the following criteria:
- Price: MNT chooses products available for a wide range of budgets.
- Size and capacity: MNT selects products to suit people of different heights, weights, and strength.
- Connectivity: Where fitness equipment has fitness memberships or subscriptions, MNT ensures variation in classes and services that benefit a person’s health.
- Materials: MNT chooses products with safe and durable materials that are easy to clean and maintain.
- Ease of use: MNT selects simple-to-use products that have clear instructions. If setup is complicated, MNT chooses brands that offer a setup or installation service.
Many dumbbells are available for purchase. Below, we list some options suitable for people to use at home.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Best adjustable set: Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbells
- Price: $799
- Weight range: 10–90 pounds (lb)
- Material: steel, nylon, ABS, and thermoplastic rubber
- Fitness app: JRNY app
This adjustable set of dumbbells is 10–90 lb in 5-lb increments and has premium grips. The manufacturer suggests these adjustable weights can replace up to 17 sets of dumbbells.
For this adjustable system, the company states the user should turn the dial to change the weight. As a modern adjustable dumbbell set, this could be a suitable option for people with little storage space.
Bowflex states that these dumbbells are compatible with the JRNY app, which offers motion tracking to help people improve their exercise form.
The dumbbells come with free access to the Bowflex SelectTech mobile device app, which includes full-body workout programs and exercises. The app is compatible with Android and iOS.
Best for up to 500 pounds: Rogue Dumbbells
- Price: $20–455
- Weight range: 2.5–125 lb
- Material: chrome-plated and heavy-duty rubber
- Fitness app: none
This fixed dumbbell offering from Rogue Fitness may suit people wanting certain weights or a smaller selection of dumbbells.
People can choose and purchase individual dumbbells or pairs of dumbbells in weights ranging from 2.5–125 lb. Product dimensions vary depending on the weight.
The manufacturer suggests the dumbbells deliver on quality, performance, and longevity. The company also points out that the design of its dumbbells minimizes noise, limits wear and tear, and features a firm and comfortable grip.
Best light set: Amazon Basics Neoprene Dumbbell Hand Weights
- Price: around $39
- Weight range: 3–16 lb
- Material: cast iron with neoprene coating
- Fitness app: none
This color-coordinated dumbbell set may be a suitable option for people wanting a lighter set of weights.
This set of neoprene-coated, cast-iron dumbbells is available in 3-, 5-, and 8-lb pairs. There are also different sets available if people wish to have a lighter or heavier set. The package dimensions for this set are 11.46 x 11.18 x 6.26 inches.
The set also includes a small tree rack, which a person may find useful for storage.
Best durable dumbbells: REP Fitness Urethane Dumbbell Sets
- Price: $1,599.99
- Weight range: 5–150 lb
- Material: steel with urethane coating
- Fitness app: none
These round dumbbells are available in varying weights. Therefore, they may be suited to people looking for a specific weight range.
REP Fitness offers these dumbbells in the following sets of 5-lb increments:
- 5–50 lb
- 5–75 lb
- 5–100 lb
- 55–75 lb
- 80–100 lb
- 105–125 lb
- 130–150 lb
These dumbbells are solid steel with a CPU urethane coating. The company claims these dumbbells are highly durable and the coating is tough, abrasion-resistant, and does not wear with use.
The company does not list any dimensions for this product. Rep Fitness also states it does not include the dumbbell rack in any purchases. People need to purchase storage separately.
Best rotating dumbbells: Eleiko Evo Dumbbell Rotating Handle
- Price: $198–15,406
- Weight range: 5–150 lb
- Material: stainless steel and polyurethane
- Fitness app: none
These dumbbells feature a rotating handle that may help relieve joint strain. However, only dumbbells of 12.5 lb and heavier feature this handle.
The company offers these dumbbells either individually from 15 lb in weight or in sets. The sets include:
- one set of 5–50 lb dumbbells
- one set of 55–100 lb dumbbells
- one set of 105–150 lb dumbbells
The dumbbells are stainless steel and have a polyurethane coating. The company does not list any dimensions.
Best cast iron dumbbells: Yes4All Adjustable Cast Iron Dumbbells
- Price: around $54–355
- Weight range: 40–200 lb
- Material: cast iron
- Fitness app: none
These cast iron dumbbells are adjustable and available in sets of two. A person can add or remove plates from either end of the bar. It also features a star-lock collar for ease of use and safety.
People can choose from the following weight options:
- 40 lb
- 50 lb
- 52.5 lb
- 60 lb
- 105–200 lb
The dumbbell handle is knurled chrome and the weights are cast iron plates. The company does not provide the dimensions of this product.
Best hex dumbbells: CAP Barbell Cast Iron Hex Dumbbell
- Price: around $16–176
- Weight range: 5–115 lb
- Material: solid steel with enamel coating
- Fitness app: none
People can purchase these hex dumbbells in pairs or singles. The manufacturer states that the hex shape may help prevent rolling and injury.
These dumbbells are available in pairs with weights of 5–20 lb. Alternatively, people can purchase a single dumbbell weighing 5–115 lb.
The heads are solid steel with a durable enamel coating.
Best for versatile workouts: YBell Neo Series
- Price: $59.99–79.99
- Weight range: 10–27 lb
- Material: neoprene coating
- Fitness app: YBell Workouts App
These triangular dumbbells are suitable for use as standard dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, and pushup stands because they feature various handles. These dumbbells do not offer as many weight ranges as other products and may be more suitable for people looking to lift lighter weights.
People can choose from the following weights:
- 10 lb
- 14 lb
- 18.5 lb
- 22.5 lb
- 27 lb
This product has a neoprene coating. The company does not state the handles’ material or the product’s dimensions.
People can also download the YBell Workout App to view workouts using the company’s dumbbells.
Best single dumbbells: Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbells
- Price: around $9–98
- Weight range: 10–50 lb
- Material: cast iron with rubber heads
- Fitness app: none
These single dumbbells are available in weights of 10–50 lb. The hexagon-shaped rubber ends help prevent the dumbbells from rolling along the floor.
The cast iron core is durable, and the handle is textured to provide more security and comfort when performing exercises. The company states that the handles will not bend or break after repeated use.
These dumbbells do not come in pairs or with storage. The dimensions vary depending on the weight.
Best quick-lock design: Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System
- Price: $519
- Weight range: 5–45 lb
- Material: chrome-plated steel
- Fitness app: none
These dumbbells feature a quick-lock system. This means people can change the number of plates on the dumbbell with a simple turn of the locking screw, making adjusting weights easier and quicker.
The quick-lock system means the plates fasten tightly, eliminating rattling noises.
While this set of dumbbells only goes up to 45 lb in 2.5-lb increments, people can purchase upgrade kits to 75 lb or 120 lb.
The dumbbells are chrome-plated steel with knurled grips for extra security while using the equipment.
Best expandable: PowerBlock Sport EXP
- Price: $409
- Weight range: 5–50 lb
- Material: steel and rubber
- Fitness app compatibility: none
This pair of adjustable dumbbells offer weights of 5–50 lb. These may be particularly beneficial for people who are strength training, as people can purchase expansion kits to increase the weight of each dumbbell up to 90 lb.
People can adjust the weight in 2.5- or 5-lb increments.
The company states that these dumbbells are space- and wallet-saving, as purchasing the dumbbells and both expansion kits replace 2,565 lb of free weights.
The dumbbells have a steel and rubber construction. The open handle and rubber contouring grip help provide a more secure surface.
The following table compares the dumbbells in this article on price, weight range, and more.
|Dumbbell||Price||Weight range||Material||Fitness app|
|Bowflex||$799||10–90 lb||steel, nylon, ABS, and thermoplastic rubber||JRNY app|
|Rogue||$20–455||2.5–125 lb||chrome-plated and heavy-duty rubber||none|
|Amazon Neoprene||around $39||3–16 lb||cast iron with neoprene coating||none|
|REP Fitness||$1,599.99||5–150 lb||steel with urethane coating||none|
|Eleiko||$198–15,406||5–150 lb||stainless steel and polyurethane||none|
|Yes4All||around $54–355||40–200 lb||cast iron||none|
|CAP||around $16–176||5–115 lb||solid steel with enamel coating||none|
|YBell||$59.99–79.99||10–27 lb||neoprene coating||YBell Workouts App|
|Amazon Rubber||around $9–98||10–50 lb||cast iron with rubber heads||none|
|Ironmaster||$519||5–45 lb||chrome-plated steel||none|
|PowerBlock Sport||$409||5–50 lb||steel and rubber||none|
Dumbbells come in many sizes, shapes, weights, and materials. A person can buy individual dumbbells, a set, or adjustable-weight dumbbells.
It may be worth considering the following factors when choosing dumbbells:
- storage space requirements
- individual fitness goals and levels
A person’s needs and preferences can help determine which type of dumbbell is most suitable for them.
There are five main types of dumbbells: adjustable, fixed, round, hex, and studio.
Adjustable dumbbells allow a person to change the amount of weight they are lifting. There are two primary types of adjustable dumbbells: bar and plates, and modern adjustable ones.
Bar and plates are separate bars and weight plates that allow a person to add or reduce weight by changing the weight plates.
The modern adjustable type allows a person to adjust the weight by clicking and locking more or less weight onto the bar, without having to add or remove weight plates manually.
These types may be suitable for people who are short on storage space but want to use a variety of weights during their training.
Fixed dumbbells provide a consistent weight. A person can buy them individually, in pairs, or as part of a larger set. Fixed weights come in an array of materials and shapes.
Sets of fixed weights typically require a lot of room to store, unlike adjustable varieties. Consequently, people who do not have much space may want to consider a different option.
Round dumbbells are often rubberized, which can help prevent damage to the floor. There are also more handle options, such as straight or contoured.
However, round dumbbells can roll, which may be a safety hazard. A person can store them on a rack, though this may take up space. Round dumbbells can be costly compared with other types of dumbbells.
Hex dumbbells have hexagonal-shaped heads so they will not roll. Therefore, they may be more suitable for certain floor exercises.
Generally, they also cost less than other types of dumbbells.
However, it may be more difficult to find rubberized hex dumbbells and different handle types. They usually come with contoured handles.
Studio weights are often lighter weights with a coating, such as textured neoprene or rubber. This coating protects the weights and helps add slip resistance.
Although a person can use these weights for strength training, the lighter weight range and superior grip make them well-suited for cardio exercises.
Also, they are often more affordable, and they may be useful for people new to using dumbbells.
People can use dumbbells for a range of exercises, including resistance and cardio routines.
Dumbbells are some of the most versatile exercise tools because people can use them to work their core, upper body, and lower body.
Initially, a person should use lighter weights and learn the proper form for the exercise they choose to do. They should maintain strong form and use the correct technique to prevent injury.
Once comfortable, a person can increase the weight to make the exercise more challenging. However, they should stop if they feel that the weight is out of control or too heavy.
Muscle endurance refers to the number of reps a person can perform without having to stop. These exercises can help improve a person’s athletic performance and posture.
To increase muscle endurance, a person can perform around 12–20 reps while using lighter weights. Over time, the muscles will become used to the length of the reps and will not tire as quickly.
Building muscle mass
Building muscle mass, or
To build muscle mass, a person can perform around 8–12 reps with a more challenging amount of weight. However, it is important not to tax the muscles too much.
Building muscle mass can help build strength over a longer period of time while reducing the risk of muscle fatigue and soreness.
Building strength typically involves around 3–8 reps with a more taxing amount of weight. When building strength, a person may need more rest days, as they will experience more muscle fatigue and soreness.
Some alternatives to dumbbells that people can also use at home include:
- Medicine balls: These are weighted balls that people can use for strength training.
- Kettlebells: These are ball weights with a handle that people can use for resistance exercises similar to those with dumbbells.
- Resistance bands: These strong elastic bands are often cheaper and take up less room than dumbbells.
- Exercise machines: Although exercise machines are larger and usually more expensive than dumbbells, people can use them to do exercises targeting different body parts.
- Pullup bars: This piece of equipment allows a person to do pullups on a door frame or other sturdy structure.
- Body weight: A person can perform several exercises, such as pushups and chair dips, using just their body weight.
- Common household objects: People can use
common household objects, such as bottled water, soup cans, or bags of rice, in place of dumbbells.
Below are answers to some common questions.
Which dumbbell type is best for beginners?
A beginner should consider starting with a lighter weight and gradually increasing to heavier ones to reduce the risk of injury.
They may, therefore, wish to purchase adjustable weights so they can increase the weight over time.
Is there a best dumbbell material?
This depends on a person’s preferences. However, rubber or neoprene dumbbells may be less prone to damaging floors and also allow for a good grip when in use.
How much should dumbbells cost?
The cost of a set of dumbbells can vary depending on several factors, such as the shape, weight range, and materials.
A person should carefully consider their budget and workout space before purchasing dumbbells.
Dumbbells may provide an easy and versatile at-home resistance training option. A person should pick a set of weights that best fits their goals, space, and budget.
A person should always maintain proper form when exercising. Also, they may consider purchasing a few different weights for when they need to increase or decrease the dumbbell weight to help meet their fitness goals.