Best dumbbells 2022 for home workouts and strength training

The best dumbbells can upgrade any gym – here are the ones worth having a look

best dumbbells: Shot of a muscular young man working out on a weight bench with dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best dumbbells are, quite simply, the best home weights for most people, as they allow for a wide variety of exercises without taking up too much space. There are many options to choose from, including cast iron dumbbells, hex dumbbells, adjustable dumbbells... and so on. The decision of which dumbbell is right for your workout needs can be daunting, hence why we created this dumbbell guide to help you make the right choice.

Dumbbells are versatile workout tools that enable you to perform almost any workout, from light arm-toning to intense muscle-building. Knowing this, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the best dumbbells are in high demand. Thankfully, in this day and age, you can buy cheap dumbbells easier compared to peak lockdown times. However, 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, 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. 

Best dumbbells to buy right now

Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Closeup of the BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell on a carpeted floorT3 Awards 2022 Winner's Badge

(Image credit: Lee Bell)
Best dumbbells overall

Specifications

Weight spread: 2-32kg (per dumbbell)

Reasons to buy

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Super easy to use
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Massive weight spread
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Works effortlessly
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Changing weight is super fast

Reasons to avoid

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Finish doesn’t quite match the price

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

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!

Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell and Stand in a living roomT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Future)
Best dumbbells for home workouts

Specifications

Weight range (per dumbbell): 5-50 lbs

Reasons to buy

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Decent weight-range
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Easy to operate
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Satisfying 'click' sound when dumbbells are placed back on the cradle

Reasons to avoid

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Weight plates feel a bit loose
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Dumbbells look pretty bland

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 review, linked below. 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.

The asking price looks steeper than if you just bought a hex dumbbell on its own, but investing in the Core dumbbells, it's waaaaaaay cheaper than getting 10 pairs of dumbbells, not to mention they are also more convenient to use than their non-adjustable counterparts.

We 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.

Read our full Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells and Stand review

Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells on white background

Best premium dumbbells

Specifications

Weight range (per dumbbell): 2 - 22.5 kg (Selecttech 552) / 4 - 41 kg (Selecttech 1090)

Reasons to buy

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Immensely practical
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Feel like regular dumbbells

Reasons to avoid

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Overly complex mechanism

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 the house.

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.

Read our full Bowflex SelectTech 1090i dumbbell review

(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 Hex Dumbbells on white backgroundT3 Award

(Image credit: Domyos)

4. Domyos Hex Dumbbell

Best cheap dumbbells

Specifications

Weight range: 2.5-22.5 kg

Reasons to buy

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High quality...
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...for a low price
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Doubles up as a parallette

Reasons to avoid

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Availability issues

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.

MuscleSquad 32 5kg Adjustable Dumbbell on a living room floorT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Future)
Best Bowflex alternative (UK only)

Specifications

Weight range (per dumbbell): 5-32.5 kg

Reasons to buy

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Great value for money
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Easy to use
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Large weight range great for progression

Reasons to avoid

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Weight plates do rattle a bit
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Not ideal for some more obscure exercises
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Can’t be bought in pairs

Taking everything into consideration, including the price, the versatility, the weight spread, the construction – all of it – we recommend the MuscleSquad 32.5kg Adjustable Dumbbell for home use, especially for those who like to go heavy in their workouts. 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 £££ 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.

Read our full MuscleSquad 32.5kg Adjustable Dumbbell review

Mirafit rubber dumbbell set on white backgroundT3 Award

(Image credit: Mirafit)

6. Mirafit Rubber Dumbbell Set

Best dumbbells for hard floors

Specifications

Weight range: 5-35 kg

Reasons to buy

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Usual Mirafit quality
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Weights are marked clearly
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32mm knurled solid steel grip

Reasons to avoid

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Assembling a decent weight-range will cost a pretty penny
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Might roll around on hard floors

The Mirafit rubber dumbbells are sexy, and they know it. The solid cast weight is connected with a 32mm knurled solid steel grip, and the rubber coating protects the 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.

PowerBlock Sport 24 on a gym floorT3 Award

(Image credit: Leon Poultney)
Best dumbbells for beginners

Specifications

Weight range (per dumbbell): 1-11 kg

Reasons to buy

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Replaces 8 dumbbells
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Fairly quiet
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Solid construction

Reasons to avoid

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Looks nothing like a dumbbell
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Adjusting stacks can be fiddly 

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. 

We liked the fact that these dumbbells take up very little room, making them really easy to store, and offer 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.

Read our full Powerblock Sport 2.4 review

Boxbell 3-in-1 Adjustable Dumbell on carpeted floorT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
Adjustable home weight to replace dumbbells, kettlebelles and parallettes

Specifications

Weight range (per dumbbell): 18 - 44 lbs (8-20 kg)

Reasons to buy

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Ultra space-saving design
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Can be used for bodyweight exercises
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Good value for money
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Sturdy metal construction

Reasons to avoid

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Operation is not as smooth as other adjustable dumbbells
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The kettlebell function takes time to get used to
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Big jumps between weight settings (4kg/8.8lbs)
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No point in not getting them in pairs

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 them 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 for 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 Boxbell 3-in-1 Adjustable Dumbell review

NordicTrack’s Select-A-Weight 55 Lb. Dumbbell Set on gym floorT3 Award

(Image credit: TJ Fink)
Best Bowflex alternative (US only)

Specifications

Weight range (per dumbbell): 10- 55 lbs (4.5 - 25 kg)

Reasons to buy

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Excellent ergonomics
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All-inclusive tool for strength training
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Comes with one-year iFit membership

Reasons to avoid

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Bulky in the hand
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Underwhelming plastic grip

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 is 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.

Read our full NordicTrack Select-A-Weight Dumbbell Set

Before you buy, make sure you check out our NordicTrack discount codes

JaxJox DumbbellConnect on a carpeted floorT3 Award

(Image credit: Lee Bell)
Best digital dumbbells

Specifications

Weight spread (per dumbbell): 8 - 50 lbs (2.25-22.5 kg)

Reasons to buy

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Sold in pairs
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Cheaper than Bowflex Selecttech and offers similar functionality

Reasons to avoid

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One might argue that digitising dumbbells is a bit pointless 

Tired of having to do more than just press 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. 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. 

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 JaxJox DumbbellConnect review

HyGYM 40KG Adjustable Dumbbells Set on carpeted floorT3 Award

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
Best dumbbells for lifting heavy at home

Specifications

Weight spread (per dumbbell): 5-40kg

Reasons to buy

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Great value for money
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You can use any standard 2-inch weight plate with the handles
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Allows you to go real heavy

Reasons to avoid

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Large jumps between weight increments
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Will work for experienced lifters the most

The HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells Set With Adjustable Weights – long name – includes 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, your progress is less steady using these dumbbells due to the jumps between weight settings, which are rather significant (can be as high as 5kg/11lbs). It's a bit much for beginner lifters. This set is better suited for more experienced bodybuilders who want to keep pushing their limits at home. 

Read our full HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells Set review

How we test the best dumbbells

The best dumbbells are not only good for advanced gun sculpting. 💪 They can also provide a full-body workout, get you fit, boost metabolism and build muscle. 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. We look at performance details as well as how convenient it is to use and store the dumbbells. 

How to buy the best dumbbells for you

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 mess but might leave skid marks on the floor.

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.

What is the best brand for dumbbells?

There are many excellent dumbbell brands, or, more like, there are plenty of top home gym equipment manufacturers. Bowflex, NordicTrack and JaxJox dominate the adjustable dumbbell scene, while Eleiko and Rogue Fitness are great examples of premium hex dumbbell manufacturers.

Which dumbbells are best for beginners?

Beginner lifters are in a tricky situation, as they need lighter weights at the beginning but will progress quickly once they start working out. Getting a pair of hex or cast iron dumbbells will only help you progress so far, so if you're thinkinh about working out for more than just a couple of months, we recommend getting a cheap adjustable dumbbell instead. Spinlock dumbbells are straightforward, can be stored easily and allow for some weight adjustment – the perfect combination for beginner lifters.

Matt Kollat
Fitness Editor

Matt is T3's Fitness Editor and covers everything from smart fitness tech to running and workout shoes, home gym equipment, exercise how-tos, nutrition, cycling, and more. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar (opens in new tab) and Fit&Well (opens in new tab), and he collaborated with other fitness content creators such as Garage Gym Reviews (opens in new tab).