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Adjustable dumbbells make it easy to perform a variety of strength exercises at home.
Picking up weights regularly is one of the best things you can do for your body, and comes with numerous potential health benefits including increased fat burning, better posture, stronger bones and better range of motion. The more often you strength train, the stronger you’ll get. The stronger you get, the more weight you need to continue improving.
Numerous sets of dumbbells can do the trick, but can also take up a lot of space. Thankfully there are adjustable dumbbells, every weight lifter’s favorite solution for working out at home.
The best adjustable dumbbells are made with a wide weight range and small weight increments, making it easy to switch between light, medium and heavy weights before or during a workout. You can save space without sacrificing the equipment you need to continue improving, and easily store them next to your weight bench, fitness mirror or home power rack.
Which are the best adjustable dumbbells for you and your workout routine? That’s where we come in. SPY’s editors have tested and reviewed a variety of fitness product categories from fitness mirrors to massage guns and analyzed everything from price to user experience, setup and noise level. Various members of the SPY team have tested adjustable dumbbells, including Senior E-Commerce Editor Taylor Galla, who tested six different pairs of adjustable dumbbells over three weeks in search of the best pair. Some of the top options below, such as the Bowflex and Nuobell weights, were tested over a much longer period.
The Best Adjustable Dumbbells At a Glance
1. Best Overall: Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells — $219.00 on Amazon
2. Runner Up: Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set — $299.99 on Amazon
3. Quality Pick: Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells — $499.99 on Ativafit
3. Best for Heavy Weightlifters: Bowflex 1090 SelectTech Dumbbells — $799.00 on Bowflex
4. Best Splurge: Nüobell Adjustable Dumbbells — $595.00 on Rogue Fitness
5. Most Comfortable: Flybird 55 lb Adjustable Dumbbells — $379.00 on Flybird Fitness
6. Best for Beginners: Lifepro Adjustable Dumbbells — $152.99 on Amazon
7. Best Smart Option: NordicTrack iSelect Voice-Controlled Dumbbells — $429.00 on Amazon
8. Most Durable: POWERBLOCK Elite EXP Adjustable Dumbbells — $354.98 on Amazon
9. Best Manual Dumbbells: Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells — $61.20 on Amazon
10. Quality Pick: ProForm Select-a-Weight Dumbbells — $269.00 on Amazon
What Are Adjustable Dumbbells?
An adjustable dumbbell is a set of dumbbells with multiple weight choices built into it and a design that makes it easy to switch between them. You can cycle between different weight increments all within one device rather than needing multiple pairs of dumbbells to cover your light, medium and heavy weight preferences. Many newer adjustable dumbbell sets are automatic, meaning you twist the handle or adjust a pin and the weight is added or subtracted from your dumbbell. Some are manual, meaning you add and subtract plates yourself. And some are voice-activated and have numerous high-tech features. Keep reading to learn more.
As is the case with most fitness equipment, there are many choices available out there, but we’ve narrowed down the best adjustable dumbbells of 2022.
1. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
Best For: Standard home gym enthusiasts, dedicated weight lifters who need a moderate amount of weight
Why We Chose It: Bowflex’s seamless, high-quality design, solid weight range and easy adjustments make for a clear winner in this product category
Home fitness juggernaut Bowflex leads the pack with the SelectTech 552, the best adjustable dumbbell of 2022. The weights adjust from 5 to 52.5 pounds, with 2.5-pound increments for the first 25 pounds, then 5-pound increments the rest of the way. The dial for adjusting weights works well and made selecting new weights mid-workout easy during our testing. The grip for the weights is somewhat comfortable and comes with knurling on it that makes them easy to grip. This is a definite plus when you’re trying to go up in weight class and complete longer sets. All of the weight selections are clearly marked, and the weights themselves feel high-quality, sturdy and durable.
The pair of adjustable dumbbells replaces 15 different pairs and comes in a storage tray that protects your floor and makes it easier to organize them between uses.
- Smooth automatic weight adjusting system
- Sturdy plastic design
- Included stand
- Large weight range
- Small weight increments
- Can’t drop them due to plastic construction
- Long end to end, which can limit your range of motion
- Have to adjust both ends of the bell separately, takes longer than with other models
Total Weight: 52.5 pounds
Weight Increments: 2.5 pounds up to 25 pounds; 5 pounds after that
Dimensions: 16.0″ L x 8.2″ W x 9″ H (each)
2. Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set
Best For: Compact apartment spaces, lifters who hate knurling
Why We Chose It: Very comfortable grip handles, smooth and easy automatic weight adjustment
After weeks of testing and numerous workouts, this adjustable dumbbell set from Core Home Fitness came in as the runner-up best adjustable dumbbell because of the high-quality design, sturdy included stand and easy setup, among other reasons. This set comes with a weight range of 5 to 50 pounds and you can adjust in 5-pound increments, so you’ve got 10 total weight options to choose from.
One major pro of this design from Core Home Fitness is you adjust the weight via a simple crank of the handle, rather than needing to twist on either end or insert or remove a clip. The dumbbell length increases the more weight you add, but the overall length is much shorter than the Bowflex SelectTech 552 model. It comes with aluminum weight cradles for easy storage and the grip on these was one of the most comfortable out of all the adjustable dumbbell sets we tested.
- Easy weight adjustment
- Weights slide in and out of sturdy stand easily
- Durable design
- Very comfortable weight grip
- Larger weight increments and fewer weight options
- Stand is lighter and less sturdy than other options
Total Weight: 50 pounds
Weight Increments: 5 pounds
Dimensions: 22″ L x 33.5″ W x 31.9″ H
3. Ativafit 71.5lbs Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set
Best For: A moderate amount of weight at a competitive price
Why We Chose It: These weights from Ativafit are easy to use, come with a lot of bulk and small weight increments
Read More: SPY Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells Review
Ativafit makes a solid middle-of-the-road dumbbell set a SPY editor was able to test for a month recently. They were very impressed with the durable construction, texture grippy handles and weight-changing dial system. The dumbbell set comes with stands for each weight, for easy storage between uses. The plates are made of iron, which makes them durable but also sensitive top drops so like most adjustable dumbbells, don’t plan on dropping these from raised distances to avoid damage.
Ativafit’s dumbbells start at 11 pounds, and increase in 5.5 pound weight increments, giving you a total of 12 different pairs of weights. The SPY editor who tested these found the design user-friendly, you press the red button to release the weight-changing dial system and most of the time the dials worked as intended. One dial became stiff after a few weeks of use, but was still usable. This was the only issue we encountered during testing. These dumbbells also come with a safe lock groove for safety and security with weight changes, as well as wear-resistant plates for longevity.
These weights don’t have as low of a minimum weight as other brands, so if you’re interested in 5 or 10-pound weights, you might want to choose another brand or order those separately. However, after a month of using these consistently in their workout, SPY’s testing editor noticed changes in the definition of their arms and chest and plans to continue using them.
- High weight capacity
- Grippy, textured rubber handles
- Weight-changing dial system
- Higher minimum weight than other brands
- Button-release for dial system may make it slower to change weights mid-set
- Take up a lot of floor space with the stands, typical with adjustable dumbbells
Total Weight: 71.5 pounds
Weight Increments: 5.5 pounds
Dimensions: 16.34 x 7.5 x 8.67 inches
4. Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbells
BEST FOR HEAVY WEIGHTLIFTERS
Best For: Lifters who need or want heavier weight
Why We Chose It: These weights have almost twice the capacity as other options on this list without adding a ton of extra bulk
Bowflex also makes another, significantly heavier adjustable dumbbell set that goes up to 90 pounds, and adjusts at 5-pound increments, giving you 17 different weight options. The weights adjust using the same mechanism as the SelectTech 552 dumbbells, with dials on either end, and work just as smoothly despite the heavier weight. They’re made with a more comfortable, stainless steel grip that has strips of knurling rather than it covering the whole thing, and they come with a sturdy stand for keeping them organized when not in use.
They are taller than the SelectTech 552 dumbbells, but not in an unnecessarily bulky way. The weights easily slide in and out of the stand once you’ve made your selection, and the larger weight plates work just as smoothly as the smaller ones.
The one large con with this pair, similar to the SelectTech 552 dumbbells, is the length. Because the weight plates are thicker, the total dumbbell length is very long no matter how light you go. This is fine for deadlifts and squats but can make movements like a bicep curl and Arnold’s Press more difficult.
- High weight capacity
- Streamlined design
- Easy weight adjustments
- Weights are very long, which can make moves like bicep curls more difficult
Total Weight: 92.3 pounds
Weight Increments: 5 pounds
Dimensions: 17.5″ L x 9.5″ W x 10″ H (each)
5. SMRTFT Nüobell 50lb Adjustable Dumbbells
Best For: Those with a large budget. Heavy lifters. Anyone in a small apartment
Why We Chose It: SMRTFT’s Nüobells have an impeccable design and a high weight capacity, weight adjustments are easy to make and the weights easily slide in and out of the stand
If aesthetics are a priority, check out the Swedish-designed Nüobell dumbbell from SMRTFT. SPY Senior E-Commerce Editor Taylor Galla has been using these adjustable dumbbells for years. They’re an excellent choice if you have a small apartment since they take up minimal space and have one of the most compact designs of the brands we tried.
You have the option to choose between a 50- and 80-pound weight capacity, so a variety of fitness levels will find what they need. The weight adjusts in 5-pound increments with just a twist of the handle, which makes for easy automatic adjustments. The dumbbells also have a pleasing, monochromatic design, so if aesthetics are important to you and you’ve got a little extra to spend, they’re a great option.
- Pleasing monochromatic design
- Compact design that takes up minimal floor space
- Easy, automatic weight adjustments
- High weight capacity, multiple capacity choices
- The handles are completely covered in knurling, which is rougher on your hands
- The weights don’t enter and exit the stand as smoothly as with other brands
Total Weight: 50 or 80 pounds
Weight Increments: 5 pounds
Dimensions: 65 centimeters x 61 centimeters
6. Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell Set
Best For: Those with sensitive hands who want a smooth, grippy texture on the handle
Why We Chose It: Flybird makes a solid dumbbell that’s easy to adjust and comes with a smooth handle that won’t tear up your hands
Flybird’s adjustable dumbbells are well-designed and come with a solid construction that feels durable and high quality. They’re sold as single dumbbells and pairs, and have automatic weight adjustment via a twist of the handle. There wasn’t anything super notable about these dumbbells other than the fact that they go up to 55 pounds, start at 11 pounds, and go up in increments of 11 for some reason. Thus they have fewer weight options than other pairs, but if you’re not interested in a variety of weight settings this set will do just fine. This one might be better purchased as a single dumbbell for heavy unilateral work or moves like side lunges and goblet squats.
- Smooth handles
- Easy twist automatic weight adjustment
- Medium-heavy weight capacity
- Fewer weight options
- Larger weight increments, awkward weight numbers
Total Weight: 55 pounds
Weight Increments: 11 pounds
Dimensions: 14.6″ L x 7.9″ W x 6.7″ H (each)
7. Lifepro Adjustable Dumbbells
BEST FOR BEGINNERS
Best For: If you’re not chasing serious muscle gains, then these beginner dumbbells are a great starter set.
Why We Chose It: Lifepro makes small, compact and lightweight adjustable dumbbells that are perfect for beginners who don’t need super heavy weights
Lifepro’s adjustable dumbbell set was the smallest and lightest of all the ones we tried, but that isn’t a bad thing. The lighter maximum weight means every other component on the adjustable dumbbells is lighter as well, which makes them easier to manipulate, adjust and carry from place to place. The weight adjustment mechanism is a dial you slide back and forth, and you have to slide it on either end, which is more tedious than the handle twist but not prohibitively difficult either. They’d be perfect for older users or beginners new to weights who want something light and less bulky.
- Light max weight
- Simple design
- Easy weight adjustments
- Easy to carry and transport
- Less expensive price tag
- Less durable construction
Total Weight: 15 pounds
Weight Increments: 2.5 pounds
Dimensions: 6.8″ L x 8.4″ H x 2.7″ W
8. NordicTrack iSelect Voice-Controlled Dumbbells
BEST SMART OPTION
Best For: Smart features, sleek design, consumers who enjoy having the latest technology
Why We Chose It: Impressive technology that makes switching weights easier either via voice or the knob in the center, which seems faster than any option on this list
NordicTrack’s latest edition of its iSelect dumbbells comes with a unique, handy feature: the ability to change the weight using just your voice. Our editors haven’t had a chance to try these out firsthand, but we have watched a demo of their functionality and they seem impressive. The automatic weight selection between 5 and 50 pounds is done through Alexa, rendering 20 different dumbbell options accessible using just your voice.
The NodicTrack adjustable dumbbells have a sleek design with an LED screen that displays your current weight, and you can adjust your weight via a knob in the center of the dumbbells as well. You can save 15 different presets for rapid switching mid-workout, and they come with a sturdy A-tray and tablet holder to make lifting classes easier.
- Voice-activated weight adjustments and knob adjustments are both designed to work fast
- Heavy weight capacity of 50 pounds with 5-pound increments
- Gives you 20 sets of dumbbells in one
- Sleek design
- Comes with a tray and tablet holder
- Requires an Alexa to use voice activation
Total Weight: 50 pounds
Weight Increments: 5 pound
Dimensions: 185 millimeters x 185 millimeters
9. PowerBlock USA Elite Series Adjustable Dumbbell
Best For: Hardcore weight lifters who want to drop their weights and not worry about damage, those who prioritize durability
Why We Chose It: PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells have a classic, old-school design that works and gives you durability that more modern adjustable dumbbells can’t.
PowerBlock’s dumbbells feature powder-coated steel weights with a range of 5 to 50 pounds and a color-coded chart, making it easy to adjust the weight setting with the magnetic selector pin, similar to the mechanism you find in most gym weight machines. The real advantage here is PowerBlock’s Expansion kits, which offer additional plates for added weight. Its Stage 2 Kit allows lifters to haul between 50 and 70 pounds, while the Stage 3 Kit expands up to 90 pounds. If you plan to make some serious gains during your home gym journey, the PowerBlock dumbbells are a great choice.
- Heavy weight capacity
- Extremely durable
- Drop friendly
- Classic design many old-school weightlifters are used to
- The box design is more restrictive in terms of your movement while holding them
Total Weight: 50 pounds, with options for 70 and 90 pounds
Weight Increments: 2.5 pounds
Dimensions: 12″ L x 6″ W x 6″ H
10. Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
BEST MANUAL ADJUSTMENT
Best For: Working with plates, those who prefer manual adjustments and are more comfortable switching the weight themselves
Why We Chose It: Manual adjustment is another style of adjustable dumbbells, and if one brand was going to represent it on this list we wanted it to be Yes4All
The price tag for weights can add up. If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, consider these dumbbells from Yes4All: two adjustable dumbbells maxing out at 50 pounds that cost just over $60. The adjustable dumbbell set comes with four 3-pound plates, four 7.5-pound plates and four collars to keep the weights intact. Yes4All also offers plenty of expansion options like barbells, additional plates and kettlebell handles, making it easy to grow your home gym collection in no time.
- High-quality plates make manual weight adjustment easy
- Cast iron plates fit a 1-inch standard bar
- Includes four collars with loose-resistant rubber trims for a tight fit
- Plates and dumbbell handles can store more efficiently than automatic adjustable dumbbells
- Requires manual adjustment, which can take longer
- Not as good for mid-workout weight switching
Total Weight: 50 pounds
Weight Increments: 3 or 7 pounds
Dimensions: 15″ L x 12.5″ W x 4″ H
11. ProForm 50-lb. Select-a-Weight Dumbbell Pair
Best For: A middle-tier price without sacrificing quality
Why We Chose It: This pair of adjustable dumbbells is much less expensive than the premiere options on this list, but still comes with a 50-pound weight capacity and other convenient features
This adjustable dumbbell set from ProForm is designed to replace 10 sets of dumbbells in one go, with 5-pound increments and a compact set that won’t take up too much room. The weight selection system is designed to work fast, with a pin you slide back and forth that makes mid-workout weight adjustments easy. The ProForm adjustable dumbbells also come in fitted storage trays to keep them organized and protected between uses, and they’re made of steel and hardened plastic for a durable exterior.
- One of the best affordable adjustable dumbbell sets you can get that still includes desired features
- 50-pound weight capacity
- Compact design that’s easy to store
- Larger weight increments than other brands
- Fewer total weight choices for dumbbells
Total Weight: 50 pounds
Weight Increments: 5 pounds
Dimensions: 20″ L x 17″ W x 12″ H
What To Consider Before Buying Adjustable Dumbbells in 2022
There are two types of adjustable dumbbell systems to consider:
- Automatic dumbbells: These sophisticated weight systems let you change the weight via a rotating dial or a similar mechanism. These systems include Bowflex’s popular SelectTech line of products, which offers a space-saving and cost-effective home weightlifting solution. Automatic dumbbell systems usually cost about $350, with heavier and more sophisticated options costing $500 or more.
- Manual barbells: The type of adjustable dumbbells most common in gyms, manual barbells require the user to add or remove weights by hand. The weights — usually cast iron or steel — are kept in place by a barbell collar. These systems tend to take up more space, but they’re usually cheaper, with prices starting at $90.
When shopping for dumbbells, you’ll almost certainly need a pair for a proper workout. Many retailers sell dumbbells individually, so it’s best to double-check each product description to see if they’re sold as a set or not. You may have to purchase two.
The best adjustable dumbbells for your home gym will depend on your preferences. Are you a heavy lifter? Do you want something aesthetically pleasing? Are you looking for value? In general, the differences between products are subtle, but the main thing to look for is how you want to adjust the weights — automatic or manual — and, if automatic, what type of adjustment mechanism is most appealing: a simple dial, rotating handle or electronic button.
Lastly, most adjustable dumbbells max out around 50 pounds, so we’ve sourced products in that range. Some brands offer lighter or heavier options, so check their other products if you need a different weight.
How We Test Adjustable Dumbbells
SPY’s Senior E-Commerce Editor Taylor Galla has a pretty elaborate home gym setup, complete with a Peloton, Hydrow rower, power rack and now many sets of adjustable dumbbells. She already regularly strength trains about four to five days a week, so while testing the various pairs of adjustable dumbbells she rotated each one in for her usual workouts, taking note of a few key criteria along the way.
While testing these adjustable dumbbell sets, we judged them based on the following criteria:
- Weight Range: How large is the weight range for the pair? Can you lift heavy, or are the dumbbells better suited for beginners?
- Weight Increments: How big or small are the weight increments you can increase or decrease the weight by? This spec helps you calculate how many pairs of dumbbells the pair in question is replacing, and how many options you have at a given price point
- Adjustment: Do you adjust the dumbbells manually or do they automatically adjust based on your selection?
- Design: We noted how high-quality the construction of the adjustable dumbbells felt, as well as other components of user experience like how comfortable the grip is
- Ease of Use/Weight Changes: How easy is it to change the weight? If you do it via a twist of the handle, does the mechanism work well? Can you do it in the middle of a workout with minimal interruption?
- Special Features: We also noted any special features the adjustable dumbbells might have — such as an extra heavyweight capacity or Bluetooth compatibility
The SPY team tested six different pairs of adjustable dumbbells over three weeks for this review. Some of the adjustable weights featured here were tested for a year or more, as our editors purchased them independently. We will continue to update this post as we test additional weight sets and as new products are released.
Why Trust SPY When Shopping for Adjustable Dumbbells
We have a history of reviewing high-end, high-quality fitness gear and giving you our honest opinions. We’ve tested many of the best massage guns on the market, recently reviewed fitness mirrors and tried some of the best at-home spin bikes and rowers as well.
Fitness equipment is one of our areas of expertise, and adjustable dumbbells are a fitness tool our editors have been using for years to say in shape while working out at home.
Our editors know what to look for when it comes to equipment that’s going to enhance your workout experience and improve your life, rather than get in the way and gather dust. Adjustable dumbbells are meant to be a convenient, space-saving solution for folks who love to strength train, and after trying numerous models from many of the top brands we know which features are worthwhile, which are unnecessary and which promise more than they can deliver.
We tested adjustable dumbbells from Bowflex, Flybird, Lifepro, Core Home Fitness and others. We tested multiple sizes of Bowflex adjustable dumbbells, the top-rated brand in this category, to see if the larger size added value. We also tested multiple of the best budget adjustable dumbbells, to see if a high price point is worth investing in or if you can save and still reap the benefits of this product category.
About the Author: Taylor Galla
Taylor Galla is the Senior E-Commerce Editor at SPY.com, where she reviews health and fitness products, and writes about everything else from home hacks to grooming tools, culture news and outdoor gear. Since joining SPY, she has reviewed numerous pieces of high-end workout equipment from the Peloton to the MIRROR, as well as all of the adjustable dumbbells included in this guide.
Taylor is a certified yoga teacher and fitness enthusiast who works out six days a week. Her partner also works in professional sports and is an avid weightlifter. She’s well-versed in the fitness world, and knows what to look for in the most effective and worthwhile at-home fitness equipment. Taylor graduated in 2018 from Scripps College in Claremont, CA with a B.A in sociology and media studies.
Frequently Asked Questions About Adjustable Dumbbells
Adjustable dumbbells come in a variety of weights, some go up to 90 pounds, while others tap out at 15 pounds. You have an average of 5-10 different weight options in each pair, so you can go up as heavy or stay as light as you'd like. They allow for flexibility, which is one of the top reasons to get them.
You use adjustable dumbbells in the same way you use regular dumbbells once you remove them from their stand. While on the stand, the exact design varies, however for most of them you twist or rotate a dial or the handle to change the weight. Switching between weights is typically very easy with adjustable dumbbells.
Adjustable dumbbells are not inexpensive, because you're purchasing multiple pairs of dumbbells in one machine. They vary in price wildly depending on how much weight you're buying and how many different weight options they come with. High-end options can cost as much as $500-$700, while more affordable options can cost as little as $80-$100.
Updates: This review was last updated on July 6, 2022, at which time we added the Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells to the third slot after a SPY editor concluded a month of testing. Before that, on June 8, 2022, we added additional product photos and new frequently asked questions. Previously, on May 18, we added new dumbbell reviews and information about our testing process for the weights included in this piece. We removed some products after narrowing down our top choices and added in Bowflex’s 1090 adjustable dumbbells as well as ProForm’s Select-a-Weight dumbbells. Based on our latest testing, we kept the Bowflex 553 SelectTech dumbbells as our “Best Overall” option. We also moved the Core Home Fitness adjustable dumbbells to the “Runner Up” spot because of how impressed we were by their durable, smooth design and user-friendly functionality during testing.
At this time, we also moved the Nüobells much higher because their high-quality, durable design has withstood years of testing. We kept the PowerBlock dumbbells and the Yes4All manual dumbbells in the same place, as they’re both solid picks.