It seems like the fitness world is always being upended by hot new gear. Whether it’s tech to help monitor your heart rate or shoes that make you run faster, there’s always something to be excited about. But at the end of the day, every fitness enthusiast knows that the basics come first. An essential piece of fitness gear that remains as great as it ever was is the dumbbell.
Just because dumbbells have antecedents in Ancient Greece, that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been improvements in the last thousand or so years. One major innovation is the adjustable dumbbell. These allow you to use the same bar while swapping out the weights. The major appeal is that these types of dumbbells are space-saving, making them perfect for people whose bedroom is also their home gym. Some adjustable dumbbells have nuts that have to be unscrewed and retightened, but many of our favorites take only seconds to swap out. The ever-popular Bowflex SelectTech is a great example.
If you work out at home, look for dumbbells that are coated with a protective material like rubber. These are less likely to damage the floor if accidentally dropped or rolled. Plus, many dumbbells have hexagonal heads that prevent them from rolling when set down.
The usefulness of dumbbells is not just owed to their compact space-saving design, although that’s a big benefit, too. While many people associate dumbbells with bicep curls, there are are a ton of different exercises that you can do with a dumbbell. You can do bench presses, rows, lunges, deadlifts, and a whole host of other exercises. With dumbbells alone, you can workout almost your entire body. But the only way to do that is with the right dumbbells. We’ve done the heavy lifting and found the best options on Amazon.
1. CAP Barbell 150-Pound Dumbbell Set with Rack
Want to turn your home gym into a real gym? This set from CAP Barbell provides the complete experience. The metal rack provides space for five pairs of dumbells, which include 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25-pound weights. Despite this expansive set, it has a surprisingly small footprint — the A-frame rack doesn’t take up too much floor space. The hexagonal dumbbells won’t roll away when you set them down.
Pros: Includes space-saving storage rack. Hexagonal-shaped head prevents rolling.
Cons: Stand could be sturdier.
2. Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
If you’re looking for traditional adjustable dumbbells, this reasonably priced set from Yes4All is a great pick. The Amazon listing makes it easy to choose how much weight you want, and this particular option consists of two 30-pound dumbbells. You can add or remove eight and four-pound plates for a customized workout.
Pros: Reasonably priced, available in many different weights. Made from durable cast iron.
Cons: Coating can flake off. Round weights make them more likely to roll around unexpectedly.
3. TELK Adjustable Dumbbells
If you’re looking for the space-saving features of adjustable dumbbells, this set from TELK is a good one to get. It’s available in different weight settings, which you can choose right from this listing. The option shown is the 105 lb. pair. The chrome handles have knurled grips for a secure hold when lifting heavier weights. The cast-iron construction is durable and won’t chip.
Pros: Adjustable weights, so they’re space-saving. Sturdy cast iron construction. Available in a variety of weight capacities
Cons: Some options may be more economical.
4. CAP Barbell Coated Hex Dumbbell Weights
CAP Barbell is one of the top brands for dumbbells, and this listing lets you choose from many different weights within a 5-50 pound range. The weights have a hexagonal shape, which prevents them from rolling away when set down. Plus, the handles have knurled grips for a more secure hold. The price shown below is for the pair of 12-pound weights.
Pros: Hexagonal head shape prevents rolling. Ergonomic handle shape with knurled grips for a more secure hold. Reasonable price.
Cons: The handles have a thicker middle, designed to make them more ergonomic, but that may be uncomfortable for those with smaller hands.
5. Nice C Adjustable Dumbbell
These dumbbells are one of the most versatile and unique options out there. The most obvious detail is the unique yellow color, making it more eye-catching than the basic metal dumbbells. What’s truly unique is the included barbell which can be used to combine the two dumbells into one weight. You can also use the dumbbells separately, and they’re individually adjustable as well.
Pros: Unique design that combines a barbell and dumbbells. Dumbbells are adjustable. Eye-catching yellow color.
Cons: Not very heavy weight options, so not ideal for more serious lifters.
6. ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbell
For an automatic dumbbell set that’s an alternative to Bowflex, consider this set from ATIVAFIT. The dumbbells have a rotating dial on the outside with clearly labeled numbers, making it easy to adjust to the weight that works best for you. The weight for this option is 71.5 pounds.
Pros: Adjusts automatically, saving time. Weight up to 71.5 pounds for one dumbbell.
Cons: Price is for a single dumbbell, not a set.
7. Sporzon! Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbell
Fitness is personal, which is why this option from Sporzon is such a great pick. It’s available in weights between 10 and 50 pounds, and you can buy them individually or as a pair to suit your needs. The heads of these dumbbells are encased in rubber, preventing damage to your floors, and the hexagonal shape prevents them from rolling away.
Pros: Rubber-encased hexagonal heads prevent damage to your floors. Available individually or in pairs.
Cons: Can have a chemical smell out of the box.