Are you looking for the best set of dumbbells for home use? Want to find equipment to help you get fitter, faster? Read on to learn more about which dumbbells you need in your home gym.
Building a home gym has long been the vision of many but deciding on what equipment you need to buy is often the difficult part, especially when it comes to smaller, yet vital pieces of equipment such as dumbbells, which in most cases can be one of the single most important pieces of kit you could get for your home gym.
There are so many options out there and a range of different types, fixed weights, adjustable or all-in-one, not to mention cast iron, rubber covered, and hard case plastic.
There are countless designs and when you also start to consider the clever marketing behind the products the decision can become even more difficult when you’re faced with questions like should women lift heavy and is it smarter to buy a lighter weight now then get more when you get stronger?
Well don’t worry, because in this article we are going to take a closer look at some of the best dumbbells on the market and possible options for you to see if we can figure out once and for all the best dumbbells home use.
1. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
The BowFlex SelectTech 552 dumbbells are a set of adjustable dumbbells that can change weight rapidly. The user simply turns the dial and using 2.5lb increments the SelectTech 552 dumbbells can be moved from 5-52.5 lbs, all without having to add or remove anything from the bar eliminating the need for further pieces of equipment.
The Bowflex 552 dumbbell set gives the user a total of 15 sets of weights and a quick and easy way to work out, without requiring equipment or vast amounts of space and storage.
The Bowflex Selecttech 552’s would be a great option for anyone wanting to build a home gym but who doesn’t have ample space or storage, they’re also a great option for anyone that doesn’t want to fill their room with more kit than necessary. The 552’s are compact, well designed, and easy to use, making them a great choice for working out at home.
Our Assessment: The Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbell set is a great option for home gyms as you can combine many sets of dumbbells into one handy to use piece of kit, however, we also feel that the shape and position of the SelectTech 552’s is a little uncomfortable and it can make some movements feel more difficult than they should. This won’t apply to every movement but some will certainly be challenging to complete when holding a pair of 552’s.
2. PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
The PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells are another set of all-in-one adjustable dumbbells that allow the user to lift a range of weights without needing extra equipment or excess space. The PowerBlock Elite dumbbells can extend as high as 70lbs but unlike the Bowflex PowerTech 552’s, the PowerBlock Elite dumbbells drop the weights that aren’t in use. The motion of changing weight can be a little slower than other all-in-one dumbbells, and the shape can make some movements feel unorthodox, but overall the Powerblock Elite is a good set of dumbbells for working out at home.
Similar to other models, the weights increase in 2.5 increments and when using the 70lb set users will actually replace 22 pairs of dumbbells, or 750 lbs of free weight.
The PowerBlock Elite all-in-one dumbbells would make a great option for anyone looking to build a home gym or workout from home, or anyone that didn’t want to buy multiple pieces of kit or who struggles with extra storage space to keep the equipment when not in use.
Our Assessment: Another all-in-one dumbbell, the PowerBlock Elites allow a very high amount of weight to be lifted, a huge bonus for any serious lifters out there, however, bulkier than most and a little tricky to adjust the weight, we felt the PowerBlock Elites would benefit from a different design. It can be time-consuming to change the weights, perhaps quicker than traditional spinlock dumbbells, but not as fast as other all-in-one brands. Similar to other all-in-ones we also felt the design could make some moves uncomfortable, however, that being said the PowerBlock Elites are still a very good quality dumbbell set.
3. AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex Hand Dumbbell Weight
The AmazonBasics Rubber encased dumbbell set is a traditional dumbbell set (in the popular Hex style), similar to what is typically found in a gym.
Available in various weights, up to 25 lbs, these AmazonBasics are great for resistance training and can be used for a range of different exercises.
With a solid cast-iron core, encased in contoured, textured rubber, these dumbbells are reliable, and built to last. They won’t bend or break and they can withstand repeated use.
They are easy to use and comfortable to hold, and a great option for completing home workouts.
Our Assessment: For anyone looking for a more traditional gym dumbbell set, the AmazonBasics are a great place to start, however, if there were any drawbacks, especially when comparing to all-in-one dumbbells or adjustable dumbbells, it would be the limited weight capacity. These dumbbells only go up to 25lbs, which is great for new lifters and beginners with resistance training, but not sufficient for more serious lifters. It is also worth noting that as a fixed weight dumbbell you may have to buy more sets, at different weights as you get stronger.
4. CAP Barbell Cast Iron Hex Dumbbell
The CAP Barbell Cast Iron Hex Dumbbells are a versatile set of hex dumbbells that are available in weights ranging from 5-40pounds. Made from ASTM A48 class 20 Grey Iron these dumbbells are finished with a durable industrial enamel coating and they are built to last.
Strong and sturdy and able to withstand repeated use the CAP dumbbell set comes in the Hex design, to stop them rolling away, and the medium depth knurling on the handle provides a comfortable grip.
These dumbbells would make a great addition to any home gym and the design is compact enough to not take up too much space.
Unlike bigger options these dumbbells are suitable for all forms of exercise allowing the user to feel comfortable and in control when working out.
Our Assessment: These cast iron dumbbells are a great option for any home gym and with 6 weight options up to 40lbs they offer a good range of weight to be used. As is the case with single weight dumbbells you need to buy multiple sets to get the full range required for a home gym but as these CAP dumbbells are smaller in size, it may not require as much space as other fixed weight dumbbells.
5. AmazonBasics Adjustable Barbell Lifting Dumbells
Another AmazonBasics product, these adjustable dumbbells work by adding weight plates to the 3lb bar, adjusting the weight as you see fit. The dumbbells can reach 38lbs total (in each hand) and the set comes with four 2.5lb weight plates, four 5lb plates, and four spinlock collars.
The collars are threaded to secure the plates and the textured grips allow for a more secure and comfortable grip. The metal plates are durable, with a semi-gloss finish, allowing for maintenance-free use over a prolonged time and a plastic carry case for easier storage.
A more traditional shape and style of dumbbell, these AmazonBasics can be used to carry out all forms of resistance training with comfort and ease.
Our Assessment: Allowing more flexibility than fixed weight alternatives, these adjustable dumbbells can be built up to whatever weight a user desires. Although not as easily adjusted as all-in-one options, the AmazonBasics lifting dumbbells are still straightforward and easy to use, it may just take more time to change between the weights if following a circuit format to training but overall, these are a very solid option when looking for the best dumbbells to use at home.
6. Golds Gym Dumbells Weights Set for Women
The Golds Gym Dumbbells weights set for women is a cast-iron weight set that is enclosed in a neoprene coating. The sets include 3lb, 5lb, and 8lb weights and also come with a dumbbell rack for storing the weights, helping to keep them neatly out of the way, when not in use.
Built with a slim-line design to make them easier and more comfortable to hold, the Golds Gym Dumbbells are useful when new to exercise and looking for an easier transition into resistance training.
They can also be especially useful when completing home workout sessions such as online fitness classes, where the user is required to complete higher reps with a lighter weight.
The design of the Golds Gym dumbbells makes them some of the best dumbbells to use for exercise classes as they are easy to hold, comfortable to grip and color-coded, to make switching between the weights quick and easy. The dumbbell rack is also handy to have for storing the weights after class and keeping the home gym environment clutter-free.
Our Assessment: The Golds Gym Dumbbells weights set for women are a good starting point and could be some of the best dumbbells for home workout classes, however, we do feel that with more and more women lifting weights, an 8lb limit is pretty easy to surpass, even in a class setting. We’d love to see a higher weight set targeted at female lifters whether for classes or simple home workouts, the added weight would be a bonus.
7. AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbell Hand Weights
A #1 best seller these AmazonBasics Neoprene dumbbells come in pairs and consist of an easy-grip neoprene coating for a more comfortable and secure hold. They are designed with a Hexagonal end to prevent the weights from rolling away and the rubber-like coating allows for them to be used outdoors or indoors without the worry of them damaging the floor or getting chipped.
They are easy to grip, comfortable to use and the design is fun and appealing.
Color-coded for easy identification these dumbbells are available in different weights from 1lb up to 20lbs making them fantastic for exercise classes or a more structured home workout routine, and with the weight amount printed on each end, they are also a good option when completing a faster circuit type workout and the user needs to change weights.
These dumbbells can be easy to store, but there are also common weight racks available that can be purchased separately.
Our Assessment: These dumbbells are straight forward and easy to use, they’re also comfortable to hold with a secure grip. They are perfectly designed for at-home exercise classes or when completing any dumbbell workout and the 20lb max weight, although not huge, is suitable for most people that are new to exercise and often more than enough for any exercise class as they typically focus on higher reps with a lighter weight.
8. AmazonBasics Cast Iron Kettlebell Weight
Although not strictly a dumbbell these AmazonBasics Cast Iron Kettlebells are another great option for working out at home and building a home gym. Kettlebells can be used for a wide range of exercises and one or two kettlebells are usually more than sufficient, making it easier to save space and keep equipment levels low. Made of solid high-quality cast iron, these dumbbells are built to last and can withstand repeated use.
The painted surface gives the kettlebell increased durability and added corrosion protection and the textured handle ensures a comfortable, secure grip, when in use, perfect for more dynamic moves such as kettlebell swings, whether being held with one hand or two. 35lbs is a challenging weight for a kettlebell and a great way to train for full-body strength and conditioning at home.
Our Assessment: Kettlebells are some of the most versatile pieces of kit anyone could buy and one quality kettlebell can make up for multiple pieces of kit. The AmazonBasics 35lb kettlebell is very well designed and a suitable weight for a challenging kettlebell workout. The bottom is flat, creating a stable base, and the handle is comfortable for a secure grip, all of this means that the AmazonBasics Kettlebell is a great addition to any home workout space and a valuable addition to any exercise collection.
Dumbbell Buying Guide
When building your gym the worst thing you can do is collect random pieces of equipment without putting any thought into what you’re buying and how you plan to proceed.
Buying dumbbells is no different, especially when looking for the best dumbbells on the market. Although a small piece of equipment dumbbells could actually be one of the most important pieces of kit for your home workouts. You can complete every single exercise with a good dumbbell set and if you don’t have the space to get bigger pieces of equipment, such as a power cage or squat rack, dumbbells could be your best friend.
When making a purchase it’s always worth considering the options first and buying the right type of kit for you and your needs but what do you seriously need to consider when looking for the best dumbbells? And does it really matter when buying something that literally fits into the palm of your hands?
Let’s take a look.
Comfort and Usability: There’s nothing worse than trying to complete an exercise but struggling to hold the equipment or get it in place, that’s why the shape and grip are so important when looking for the best dumbbells and it’s something that should always be part of the decision making progress. If you are going to be using the weights for a wide range of exercises then you will want to pick a dumbbell that is comfortable to hold and easy to use.
Intended Use: When looking for the best dumbbells one of the most important things to consider is what you’re going to be using the equipment for, as the answer ‘exercise’, simply isn’t enough. If you want something that can be used for a quick circuit workout then you may lean more towards an all-in-one dumbbell set or a Neoprene covered set such as any of those by the AmazonBasics brand but if you want something to form part of a regular home workout routine, you may want something bigger and more comfortable, such as an adjustable set or a dumbbell with a bigger weight limit.
Available Space: All home gyms aren’t built equally and for some people, the space they have available may dictate what kit they can buy. Whether or not you have ample space you will still require equipment that can be stored away effectively although if space is limited, you may also want to reduce the actual amount of kit you have, making all-in-one dumbbells or any that come with a readymade stand a good option. Of course kettlebells are also a great option here too but you should certainly pay attention to how much space the equipment will take up.
Your Goals: When looking for the best dumbbells you must consider your own personal goals. If you are trying to add muscle then your requirements will be different from someone that is looking to just keep fit and you must always keep an eye on the future. A common mistake people make is to buy a set of weights for their current ability then buy more when they get stronger, however, a better option may be to go for an adjustable set of dumbbells that you can continue to add to over time.
Our Verdict: Taking everything into consideration we are left with the decision of picking the best dumbbells for home use. It was a hard decision as all of the dumbbells on this list have something to offer and depending on your goals, some may be better for you than others, however, when looking at the criteria above, one dumbbell stood out above the rest.
Winner - AmazonBasics Adjustable Dumbells
Runner Up - Bowflex SelectTech 552
This piece of kit is flexible enough to be used for quick, light workouts such as when taking part in an exercise class but also offers a heavier option when training to build muscle. It’s durable enough to withstand prolonged everyday use and the simple design eliminates any worries of the quality deteriorating over time.
The comfortable and secure grip plus the adjustable nature of these dumbbells was a big bonus for us too. Anyone using these could make them lighter or heavier and over time and instead of having to purchase new pieces of equipment or an entirely different set as you get stronger, you can simply buy additional weight plates to add to the end.
However, if there was one drawback over this dumbbell it would be that storage may be difficult without a dumbbell rack, but as the AmazonBasics adjustable dumbbells come with a case, they could easily slot away for safekeeping when not in use.
Pound-for-pound, we felt that the AmazonBasics were the best dumbbells for home use; just edging out the Bowflex SelectTech 552’s, which came a close second.