The best dumbbells are, quite simply, the best home weights for most people, and there are many options to choose from: best cast iron dumbbells, best hex dumbbells, best adjustable dumbbells... and so on. The decision of which dumbbell is best for you can be daunting, hence why we created this guide to help you make the right investment.
Dumbbells are versatile workout tools that enable you to perform a variety of workouts – from lightly toning your arms to intense muscle-building sessions – yet take up very little space, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the best dumbbells are in high demand. Thankfully, in this day and age, you can acquire dumbbells much easier compared to peak lockdown times, but if you find a cheap dumbbell deal, we recommend not hesitating for too long with that purchase.
Bowflex may generally produce the best adjustable dumbbells, and if you're after one of those bad boys, we recommend having a look at the best Bowflex deals. Don't rule out Powerblock, NordicTrack and JaxJox if you want that style of weight, however, as all those dumbbell brands make worthy challengers. Anyone building their own home gym should also check out our best kettlebells, best weights bench, best barbell and best weight plates guides.
How we test the best dumbbells
Therefore, the dumbbells in this guide are thoroughly examined by our experts using a variety of workouts. We only recommend weights that are safe to use at home and can effectively help you achieve your home fitness goals.
In fact, dumbbells are tested in a home environment to ensure they perform well in the surroundings they are supposed to be used in. We look at performance details as well as how convenient it is to use and store the dumbbells.
Best dumbbells to buy right now
The BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell (opens in new tab) (retailer link) boasts one of the most impressive weight-changing mechanisms we’ve ever used on an adjustable dumbbell, purely because it’s just so darn easy to use.
All you have to do is twist the handle forwards or backwards to cycle through the increments and select your weight. It’s very satisfying to use and great for timed workouts where you need to change weights quickly.
Featuring steel weight plates and a chrome-plated knurled handle, this adjustable dumbbell is very well made but, at the same time - dispute its hefty price tag - doesn’t quite have the polished finish as other dumbbells we’ve used, such as the JaxJox DumbbellConnect.
Read our full BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell review today.
We'll let you know that the BLK BOX is such a fine piece of dumbbell that it won the Best Home Weight Category at the T3 Awards 2022!
The Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell and Stand (opens in new tab) (retailer link) set is an amazing piece of home gym equipment, at least according to our Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells and Stand review. It's easy to use, has a great weight range and looks pretty much like a traditional dumbbell but takes up way less space than the 10 dumbbells it replaces.
Actually, two of these dumbbells replace 20 dumbbells which might explain why I was so happy to use them: my home is overrun by home gym equipment as it is. Any home weights that can save me some space without compromising the quality of my workouts are welcome.
As always, the asking price looks steeper than if you just bought a hex dumbbell on its own, but it's waaaaaaay cheaper than getting 10 pairs of dumbbells, not to mention the Core Fitness Dumbbells are also more convenient to use than their traditional counterparts.
I would recommend the Core Fitness Dumbbell and Stand to people who take muscle building at home seriously and would like to have home gym equipment that enables them to progress steadily in the coming months/years. If you need a pair of dumbbells for your HIIT workouts, these weights might be a bit of an overkill.
This is a must-have home weight for anyone creating a comprehensive home gym but lacks the required space for a big rack of dumbbells, as we noted in our Bowflex SelectTech 1090i dumbbell review.
Halting a workout to unscrew unwieldy metal spin collars and replacing weight plates can break the flow, while those who are really looking to bulk up will need plenty of weight options to choose from, which means a surplus of storage space.
These beasts from Bowflex pack 2-24 or 4-41kg in each dumbbell, depending on the model you go for, with weight selection as easy as spinning a dial. When paired with a simple weights bench, they offer an effective alternative to a gym floor yet don't require an entire rack to house.
Compared to Powerblock, the rival modular weight system (see below), the Bowflex weights look and feel far more like classic dumbbells. However, a lack of colour coding does mean you have to pay a little more attention when piling on the kilograms, and it's best to avoid launching them across the room.
That said, the spinning dial is easy to navigate, and the included plastic stand makes it simpler to guide the weights back into place when you're finished, although, with certain configurations, you do have to be quite careful.
Overall, a great solution for those who like to push on with intensive 'drop set' workouts or those who are tight on space. In fact, our only real reservation is the price, which will make you sweat before you even try to lift them.
(Have you ever wondered how Bowflex's top dumbbell fares against other premium dumbbells? Here's a comparison for you: Bowflex Selecttech vs Men's Health Dumbbell. The more you know!)
Domyos is Decathlon's own brand – you can buy its products at Decathlon in the UK and Walmart in the US – but unlike other own-brand products, Domyos dumbbells are high quality and priced affordably. Plus, given the unique triangular shape, they are great for push-ups, renegade rows and other bodyweight exercises such as L-sits.
The only issue with Domyos Hex dumbbells is that everybody knows they are good, so they are in short supply since the early days of 2020 when the original lockdown was imposed on people. You can sign up for stock alerts, but if you get an email, we recommend moving fast, and maybe you will be able to beat the bots at the checkout.
Taking everything into consideration, including the price, the versatility, the weight spread, the construction – all of it – I would recommend the MuscleSquad 32.5kg Adjustable Dumbbell for home use, especially for those who like to go heavy in their workouts – or so we concluded in our MuscleSquad 32.5kg Adjustable Dumbbell review.
One minor issue is that you will probably need two of them to perform exercises effectively, and admittedly, it’ll cost you. That said, it’s still cheaper than getting two big Bowflex dumbbells, but not cheap in the sense that you will have to pay £400 for a pair of dumbbells.
If you’re happy to pay the price, though, you can rest assured that these dumbbells will allow you to pack on muscle at home without taking over your living room floor. Ready to take on Chris Hemsworth in an arm-circumference competition?
The Mirafit rubber dumbbells are sexy and they know it. The solid cast weight are connected with 32mm knurled solid steel grip and the rubber coating protects flooring and reduces noise. The weights are clearly marked on the ends for easier identification.
There really isn't much to say about these dumbbells: you get what you pay for, in a good way. The only possible downside is that they might roll around a bit on hard floors but that's it, really. Get these if they are in stock, they will serve you well.
Although not as enjoyable to use or as versatile as traditional dumbbells, there’s no escaping just how useful a set of adjustable dumbbells is for most folk looking to get fitter, build muscle or burn fat from home. With its unique stacking system, the units feel well balanced even when fully loaded. The recessed grips allow plenty of range of motion for various exercises.
In our Powerblock Sport 2.4 review, we liked the fact that these dumbbells take up very little room, making them really easy to store, and offers a very affordable way of achieving a decent weight spread without needing an entire rack or tower full of individual dumbbells. They are around half the price of purchasing a set of 1-10kg pairs with a stand or rack and require a fraction of the space.
Adjusting or swapping the weight stack can be fiddly but gets quicker and more fuss-free as you get more attuned to their mechanism. I’d not recommend dropping them, mind.
Those looking to hit PBs and really bulk up might want to look towards other PowerBlock products, like the Pro Series or USA Elite Series, as these feature a knurled steel handle and various expansion kits that take them up to 40 kg. Be warned that the price starts heading upwards rapidly once you get more serious about your Powerblock options.
Read our full Boxbell 3-in-1 Adjustable Dumbell review
The Boxbell 3-in-1 Adjustable Dumbbell is a decent home weight and one that has many functions. It can replace several home weights and is super portable; it's also compact, making it easier to store and use for workouts. The weight spread is pretty good, and 20 kg as a max weight is more than enough for home gyms.
The 3-in-1 function has its caveats. The Boxbell 3-in-1 works great as an adjustable dumbbell, but it's not quite ergonomic enough to replace kettlebells. It can be used for kettlebell moves the same way you can use a decent-sized dumbbell for snatches. The same goes for using the weights as parallettes: you can use hex dumbbells or cheap wooden parallettes instead.
That said, the Boxbell 3-in-1 is a unique home weight and one that I would recommend to people who are really pressed on space, such as people living in shared accommodations. The footprint of the weights is tiny, and once you get used to the ins and outs of the Boxbell 3-in-1, you can use them for a variety of home workouts.
Read our full NordicTrack Select-A-Weight Dumbbell Set
Not everyone has the space at home (or the spare cash) for a full dumbbell set, and you may have already noticed that your local gym probably uses a dedicated rack to hold theirs. That’s because all that weight adds up quickly.
NordicTrack’s Select-A-Weight Dumbbell Set (opens in new tab) clocks in at 110 pounds in total and are undeniably bulky. However, if you were to purchase pairs of dedicated dumbbells for each weight increment that these dumbbells offer, that would easily add up to 700+ pounds and 30 individual dumbbells. Suddenly, the NordicTrack Select-A-Weight Dumbbell Set doesn't seem so bulky.
Pound for pound, the NordicTrack Select-A-Weight 55 Lb. Dumbbell Set is a sound investment for anyone looking to augment their home gym setup. Thanks to that one year of iFit classes, they’re also a great choice for anyone who could use some pointers on how to incorporate dumbbell exercises into their fitness journey. By the time your membership expires, you’ll practically be a pro yourself.
Before you buy, make sure you check out our NordicTrack discount codes.
Read our full JaxJox DumbbellConnect review
Tired of having to do more than just pressing a button to choose the right weights for your workout? Have a look at the JaxJox DumbbellConnect, the 'first-ever smart dumbbell set'. You can increase or drop weight in 6-pound increments from 8 to 50 pounds at the push of a button. Neat, huh?
The DumbbellConnect can be linked to the full Jaxjox InteractiveStudio, an all-in-one smart home gym featuring "AI-performance tracking" and live training sessions. Better still, for the price, you get not one but two dumbbells, so you can start sculpting both arms straight away, simultaneously.
For those who appreciate a bit of gamification in their workout, the Jaxjox DumbbellConnect uses a machine-learning algorithm to calculate a 'FitnessIQ score', and the system can also keep track of your overall progress.
One might argue that plain cast iron dumbbells are plenty good enough to build muscle, but you shouldn't listen to haters: a 21-century workout requires modern tools, and the Jaxjox DumbellConnect is as modern as it gets.
Read our full HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells Set review
Most dumbbells, at least the adjustable variety, go as heavy as 20 kilos (approx. 50 lbs) which is plenty heavy enough for most beginners but not for anyone looking for serious gains. You need to go heavier than that for large compound exercises, and this peculiar set from HyGym will let you do just that.
The HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells Set With Adjustable Weights – long name – include two dumbbell-sized barbells, a set of 12 two-inch weight plates and four collars to secure the weights on the dumbbells.
The main stars of the show here are the weight plates. These are tri-grip plates that can be used for a variety of exercises such as Russian twists, shoulder raises and more. Better still, they fit on any standard Olympic barbells, so you can use them for your barbell workouts, too.
Sadly, unlike most adjustable home weights, you can't progress as steadily using the HyGYM 40KG set. Some of the jumps between weight settings are rather significant (can be as high as 5kg/11lbs), which will make it harder to recommend to set for beginner lifters.
This set is better suited for more experienced bodybuilders who want to keep pumping heavy at home. There is a smaller, 20kg set available (opens in new tab), but in all fairness, there are better adjustable dumbbells in that weight range for the same price on the market.
Where to buy dumbbells right now?
Your best bet is to check big retailers and sign up for stock alerts so you will be alerted when dumbbells are back in stock. Be patient, even if you find a pair of decent dumbbells, delivery can take up to a few weeks.
Should you fail to find reasonably priced new home weights, you can always have a look around on eBay US (opens in new tab), eBay UK (opens in new tab) and eBay AU (opens in new tab) to see if there are any used weights knocking about. Alternatively, there is always Facebook Marketplace and/or Craigslist/Gumtree.
- Shop dumbbells at Mirafit (opens in new tab)
- Shop dumbbells at Sweatband (opens in new tab)
- Shop dumbbells at Amazon UK (opens in new tab)
- Shop dumbbells at Best Buy (opens in new tab)
- Shop dumbbells at Dick's Sporting Goods (opens in new tab)
- Shop dumbbells at Walmart (opens in new tab)
- Shop dumbbells at Amazon US (opens in new tab)
How to buy the best dumbbells
Invest in a top array of weights and you'll be surprised at what you can achieve with some help from a few online workout plans and a dollop of dedication.
As with many things in life, the humble dumbbell comes in a confusing array of shapes, sizes, weights and mechanisms, so choosing the right one for you is important.
Typically, a dumbbell will either be rounded or hexagonal, the latter being the smart choice as it doesn't roll away when you put it down. It's also perfect if you fancy using a dumbbell for press-up variations.
Secondly, the weight is particularly important, especially if you opt for a fixed dumbbell system, which can't be adjusted or added to.
This singular weight will make progression tricky, as it could be too heavy for certain exercises, or too light to effectively build muscle or add enough resistance to raise the heart rate.
Finally, the choice of material should also be a consideration. Matte black metal weight discs might look masculine and cool but they can also wreak havoc with wooden floors and make a racket.
Rubber coated weights tend to make less noise and, generally, less mess. Although as with a tyre on a road, if you drag a weight across a hard floor, you can end up with skid marks. Nobody wants skid marks.
We've got options that are good for everyone from beginners to slightly more challenging sets for when the guns begin to show.
Can you build muscle with dumbbells only?
You can do so much more than just curls with the best dumbbells. Most people will probably associate dumbbells with bicep curls, but these weights can train so much more than just the front of your upper arm. Biceps are overrated, hear us out!
Triceps are the new biceps and you can use dumbbells to strengthen these muscles doing overhead extensions, triceps kickbacks or lying triceps extensions. Tone your shoulders doing shoulder presses, lateral raises or upright rows. You can even train your legs with dumbbells: squats can be performed with dumbbells as well as lunges and deadlifts.
Get a weight bench for your home gym and you can further extend your repertoire: bigger your chest muscles (or 'pecs') with the dumbbell bench press, dumbbell flyes or straight-arm dumbbell pullovers. Not to mention the back exercises like one arm rows or reverse flyers. The possibilities are truly endless.
Modular dumbbells are perfect for home gyms due to their compact size and versatility. If you choose to buy one, the Bowflex Selecttech range is one of the best options out there: simply dial in the required weight and the dumbbell cleverly grasps the correct plate/s.
Have you ever wondered which one is best for home workouts: dumbbell vs kettlebell? Or maybe dumbbell vs barbell? We compared them already. If you want to stand firmly on the ground when working out, you need a pair of the best workout shoes too.