The hefty Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbells are a good value for a significant bump in total load: about 20 pounds more weight per dumbbell than either of our picks offer, for a similar price. The single adjustment dial releases with a press of a trigger button for speedy weight selection that’s faster than on the Bowflex set but slower than on the Core Home Fitness pair. But this set comes with a couple of quirks. First, the weight plates are in kilograms, not pounds, which requires some mental gymnastics (2.2 pounds per kilo) if you’re used to US/imperial measurements. Also, turning the dial counterclockwise selects kilogram loads of 5, 10, 15, and so on, while clockwise gets you 7½, 12½, 17½, and so on, yet the dials can spin all the way around in either direction, so you need to pay extra attention while adjusting the loads. Like our runner-up pick, the Merax dumbbells remain a static length (in this case, 16¼ inches—a half inch longer than our runner-up). Still, if you want more weight and don’t mind the learning curve, we found that these dumbbells felt nearly as sturdy in the hand as our picks.

The Yes4All Adjustable Cast Iron Dumbbells are traditional adjustable dumbbells that use a bar, weight plates, and threaded collars to hold everything together. They take forever to adjust, as you must remove the collars, load or remove plates, and rescrew the collars, all while doing weight-plate math. (Each dumbbell of the 105-pound set we tested had a 4-pound bar, eight 5-pound plates, two 2½-pound plates, and two 1¼-pound plates.) All told, the fastest we managed a weight change for one dumbbell was about 25 seconds, which means you’re looking at about a minute of rest between exercises, plus resisting the very strong temptation to just do your next move using the same amount of weight, which could mean either not enough challenge or a serious struggle. Another weird quirk is that these bars and the corresponding holes on the weight plates measure 1.15 inches in diameter, making them incompatible with a more standard 1-inch bar and plates, so you can’t increase the load by using plates from another set. Still, with this model being just more than a third of the cost of our top picks, if more traditional strength training (which requires longer rest periods) is appealing to you and the total weight load is adequate for your needs, this set may be worth a look as a budget option.

We hit a snag while testing the NordicTrack Speed Weights (aka Select-A-Weight). One of the dumbbells in the set we received had broken at one end, a potentially dangerous situation in which heavy plates could flop around during use. A company representative was quick to issue a replacement and requested a return of the broken one, which was a result of a manufacturing problem she assured us had been remedied. The replacement set indeed seemed sturdier, but the adjustment mechanism—a sliding pin—wasn’t as smooth as the dial and twist types we tried, or as user-friendly, with the weight increments printed somewhat distant from where the pin sat. These dumbbells were also very plasticky and felt bulky in the hand, especially at their 17-inch fully loaded length. (As with our top pick, the weights get shorter as you reduce the weight and longer as you add it.)

A pick in the previous iteration of this guide, the StairMaster TwistLock Adjustable Dumbbells set is identical to our current top pick from Core Home Fitness (an affiliate of StairMaster’s parent company, Core Health and Fitness). A representative for the company confirmed that it ceased selling these dumbbells under the StairMaster name. If you find this set on a clearance sale, though, it’s worth considering—it’s identical to our top pick save for the logo, and panel testers for a previous version of this guide enjoyed using this pair.

Writer Mark Bixby, who did the first version of this guide in 2016, praised the Ironmaster 45-Pound Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells for their all-metal construction, limited lifetime warranty, and ability to expand up to 120 pounds per dumbbell. “If you primarily want dumbbells for bodybuilding and/or stand-alone exercises, these are the better buy because they’re more durable and can be bought in heavier configurations,” he wrote. He conceded, though, that they’re much slower to adjust “and will take you about 15 to 20 seconds to fiddle with the screw-in pin lock.” And although the heavier load offering is notable, this set plus an expansion pack represents a significant investment. We weren’t able to try the Ironmaster set in 2018, as it was on backorder for the duration of our testing period.

PowerBlock weights, which have been around since 1993 and are easily the most established line in this category, have a unique square design that allows for a massive range of 5 to 130 pounds per dumbbell. Mark Bixby and panelists previously tested the PowerBlock U-90 (Stage 1 set). Although he praised the expandability, compactness (only 12½ inches long fully loaded to 50 pounds), and lifetime warranty, he ultimately dismissed them because “the weights’ boxiness was just a bit too weird for most of our testers’ tastes.” He continued, “ fact that it feels like you’re reaching into a cage to lift the weights made their use a bit clunky.”

Bixby and panelists also tested the Bayou Fitness 50-Pound Adjustable Dumbbells, which give you a metal sliding pin, similar to the NordicTrack set’s plastic-and-metal setup, to make weight adjustments in 10-pound increments. He “struggled with the process, especially when fatigued,” he wrote. “Not only does the pin require some tugging, but once you’ve got it lifted and ready to slide, it’s really hard to control the slide to get the pin in the weight option you want.”

The MTN Gearsmith Adjustable Dumbbells, with their traditional collar-and-weight-plate design, are highly similar to the Yes4All weights we tested but cost more. We chose not to retest them.

The Bowflex SelectTech 560 Dumbbells, like our runner-up pick, use a dial adjustment mechanism, though these have a built-in accelerometer that tracks reps and total weight lifted and beams the data via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. The Amazon reviews are middling, with many suggesting that you should buy the SelectTech 552 set (our runner-up pick) instead. As the SelectTech 560 set costs over $100 more at this writing, we decided not to test this model.

We also didn’t test the Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbells, which operate similarly to the Merax weights but range from 10 to 90 pounds each, in 5-pound increments. At a whopping 17½ inches long—nearly 2 inches longer than the Bowflex 552 dumbbells—they’d likely affect almost anyone’s range of motion. If you want more weight per dumbbell, the Merax weights are probably more manageable and more affordable.

Bixby previously dismissed the Gold’s Gym Switch Plate 100 set, the XMark 50-pound Adjustable Dumbbells, and the Stamina Versa-Bell II 50-Pound Adjustable Dumbbells because of poor owner reviews and difficult-to-reach customer service. We again chose not to test these models, for the same reasons.

Keeping an adequate home gym can be a challenge—and for many, buying a set of adjustable dumbbells can be the best solution. Most of us aren’t lucky enough to trick out a whole massive garage space like a celebrity, after all.

The compact, versatile weights allow you to quickly change the load you’re lifting with, giving you a range of options that typically take up the space of an entire rack in your local gym. When you’re done working out, adjustable dumbbells can fit into a corner or placed back on a small platform, too, so you don’t have to dedicate an entire room to your fitness goals—or, it leaves you more room for the other equipment you want to add to the space.

Thankfully, the variable nature of the adjustable dumbbells extends to the many choices available for you to buy. We hand-picked a range of options in different weight classes, so you can decide which set fits your fitness level best.

Contents

Up to 25 LBs

SoftBell 3-in-1 Neoprene Dumbbell Hyperwear amazon.com $50.66

There won’t be any clanks or crashes with these soft dumbbells. Instead of iron, the weights are made out of cushy neoprene fabric, so you wont have to worry about dropping them on your hardwood floor.

Weider Adjustable Speedweight Weider amazon.com $68.22

Weidner’s basic set allows you to switch weights via handy twist knob. Color-coded settings on the included tray run from 5 pounds to 25 pounds in 2.5 pound increments, so your light-weight workouts have some range.

Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells Bayou Fitness amazon.com $153.00

Add more weight with Bayou’s chrome plated steel adjustable set. Each dumbbell weighs 5 pounds on its own, and can then be augmented by 2.5 pounds plates up to 25 pounds using a pull-pin system.

Up to 45 LBs

AmazonBasics Adjustable Barbell Set AmazonBasics amazon.com $48.88

This set from Amazon lets you stick with the basics with a load of up to 38 pounds. If you grew up with a fitness nut for a dad, these are probably the weights you had lying around your house. Some things just always work.

Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell Quick Lock ironmaster.com

Ironmaster’s dumbbells evoke an old school weight room aesthetic, with welded steel and chrome plated handles. The weights use a quick-lock system and range from 5 to 45 pounds, with 2.5 pound increments.

CAP Barbell Adjustable Dumbbell Set CAP Barbell amazon.com $49.99

If you don’t need any of the fancy pin-lock and twist adjustable options, this basic set of plates and handles will suit you just fine. The 40 pound set allows you to add an subtract the cast iron plates as you need.

Up to 50 LBs

Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set Core Fitness amazon.com $277.00

You won’t have to worry about the worst calluses from your home workouts thanks to the Core Fitness dumbbell’s soft grip handles. Changing weights is simple, too, with a twist-to-lock system the company claims is simple enough to work with just one hand.

Up to 70 LBs

NordicTrack Speed Weights NordicTrack amazon.com $246.01

You get 30 different weights in this adjustable set from NordicTrack, which range from 10 pounds to 55 pounds. Handy storage trays keep them out of the way when you’re not working.

Power Block Elite Dumbbells Power Block amazon.com

These don’t look like your dad’s dumbbells—and the Power Block weights don’t perform like rusty old iron adjustable sets, either. The pull-pin system makes it easy to switch from 5 pound to 70 pound weights, while the square shape makes them even easier for storage.

Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbell Merax amazon.com $329.99

These adjustable rigs from Merax start heavy, with a base weight at 11 pounds, and range in 5.5 pounds all the way up to 71 pounds at their highest setting. Like a few of the other options on this list, you’ll use a handy dial system to unlock heavier (or lighter) workouts.

Up to 90 LBs

Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbells bowflex bowflex.com

Bust out the big weights Bowflex’s top-tier adjustable option. The dumbbells range from 10 to 90 pounds, using a selection dial system, so you can easily switch between heavy and light sets on the fly.

Up to 100 LBs

Omnie Adjustable Dumbbells Omnie amazon.com $249.99

While the more modern twist and lock-style weights might save more space, you’ll be able to pack on more poundage with the old school handles and removable plates. This cast iron and chrome option from Omni can handle up to 100 pounds per dumbbell, so you’ll be able to get your heaviest work on.

Brett Williams Brett Williams, an associate fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running.

This is important because if you’re pushing close to your max at a particular weight, and you only need an increase of 1.5 pounds for your next session, it’s not going to be helpful if the next weight increment is 10 pounds or larger.

Reviewing the weight increments is an important factor you do not want to forget to take into consideration.

Stand or No Stand?

Do you want your dumbbells to be always out and on show and in a position to pick them up with ease or are you fine with storing them in your wardrobe?

Some adjustable dumbbells will usually have a stand that you can buy with the dumbbells as a bundle, or buy separately.

Stands make it very easy and convenient to store your adjustable dumbbells, and this feature can be a real bonus if you can afford it. They tend to be more expensive, but the convenience is great especially if you are using an area that is not set up as a home gym.

The Best Adjustable Dumbbells

Now that we’ve covered the basic benefits of adjustable dumbbells and which features you should be looking for in a good set, we’ll review the top adjustable dumbbells currently available on the market.

We’ve based these selections on their ease of use, durability, and, of course, price.

1. Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells

Ironmaster 75 lb Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System with Stand

Pros:

  • Comes with free stand
  • Having these dumbbells is as good as having a complete rack of dumbbells
  • Moving the set is very easy and efficient since the plates stack together well
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • If you are not careful to tighten the pins, the plates can become loose
  • Does not work well with quick-change exercises such as supersets or drop set.
  • Paint chips off with the lightest use

The Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells offer durable construction with weights that range from 5 to 75 pounds in increments of 2.5-pounds, and they do come with a stand.

This set has the quick-lock adjustment system, and unlike other dumbbells that take several minutes for weight adjustments, the Ironmaster can be adjusted in under 15 seconds.

They are also very flexible with the amount of weight that you can use during your training, and you can purchase either the 45 or 75-pound set. Plus, there is an add-on kit that can be purchased that will increase your weight options to 120 pounds.

This set is a good investment for a home gym that will help you maintain your fitness routine in your own home.

Changing plates is easy and fast with the quick lock technology, and the ability to purchase additional weights allows the set to grow with you as you train.

See Prices >

2. PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells

PowerBlock Elite Set Dumbell, 50-Pound (pair), Black – EL-50Plates1-4

  • Item may ship in more than one box and may arrive…
  • Has a weight range of 5-50 lbs per hand and…
  • Is expandable later to 70 and again to 90 pounds…

Pros:

  • Unique four-bar design
  • Available in three weight ranges
  • Expansion kits available
  • Easy to assemble
  • Padded grips and wrist guards
  • 10-year warranty (Lifetime for the U series)

Cons:

  • Goes up in 5 pound (2.5 kg) increments which is too much for some people
  • Adjusting weights by 2.5-pound or 5-pound increments takes extra time
  • Selector mechanism can be fiddly and cumbersome

Buying the PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells is like getting sixteen different sets of dumbbells instead of one for your training.

It has a 50-130 maximum weight range so that you have everything you need to hit your training goals.

What makes PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells different from other adjustable dumbbell sets on our list is their unique four-bar design, which provides a more balanced weight distribution than conventional dumbbells.

The lower two bars are used for stacking additional weights, while the top bars function as wrist guards.

This innovative design helps prevent the wrists from bending unnaturally while you use the weights.

The PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells are available in three weight ranges: 5 to 50 pounds (Elite 50), 5 to 70 pounds (Elite 70), and 5 to 90 pounds (Elite 90).

Adjusting the weight settings on the PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells is a cinch – simply use the magnetic selector pin to your desired weight and start lifting.

What’s great about the PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells is their versatility; the weights can be increased by increments as low as 2.5 pounds, and expansion kits are available that can turn an Elite 50 set into an Elite 70 or Elite 90 set.

One minor complaint is that the selector pin can only be used to increase weight by 10-pound increments.

To increase the weight by lower increments, such as 2.5 or 5 pounds, you need to add extra weights. While this is not a problem for those taking breaks between sets, it can be a bit of a hassle for those performing super-set type workouts.

Another minor niggle is that the selector pin tends to stick, but this is usually only a problem the first few times you use the dumbbells.

See Prices >

3. Universal PowerPak Adjustable Dumbbells

Universal 445 Selectorized Dumbbells

  • Efficient transmission and stable signal.Copper…
  • You just need to plug and enjoy much clear and…
  • High-quality material to ensure charging speed.

Pros:

  • Great for low to moderate weight lifting
  • Great price, and quick weight adjustment
  • You can change the weight on either side of the dumbbell

Cons:

  • Maximum weight is only 45 pounds
  • Limited lifting options with only nine settings
  • Weights can shift back and forth as you use them

The Universal PowerPak Adjustable Dumbbells with Stand is a dial-a-weight system that can adjust from 4 to 45 pounds in increments of five pounds with just the touch of a dial.

They feature handles with no-slip grips for additional safety, and a comprehensive workout guide to help you maximize your workout, plus a space-saving storage shelf.

The maximum weight of the Universal PowerPak is 45 pounds, and it comes with nine weight settings. They have an easy twist and go adjustment, and it is one of the more affordable set of dumbbells on the market. They also come with a one year warranty.

See Prices >

4. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair)

Pros:

  • Durable moulding around plates for quieter operation
  • Space-saving design
  • Ideal for fast-paced workouts
  • Comes with workout DVD

Cons:

  • Adjustment dials may need replacing due to wear and tear
  • Less durable than metal dumbbells
  • Dumbbells are quite long

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells are one of the best-selling sets of dumbbells on the market.

The SelectTech 552 Dumbbells by Bowflex feature dials that allow you to adjust the weight of the dumbbells from 5 to 52 pounds.

Adjusting the weight takes just a few seconds – simply turn the dials to choose your desired weight setting and start lifting.

The weight plates are coated with a durable moulding, which prevents the dumbbells from scuffing floors and make the dumbbells quieter (although, slightly less durable) than metal models.

The BowFlex SelectTech are very versatile with a great price tag. They come with fifteen different settings for each of the dumbbells, and they give you a wide range of weight options to choose from.

You also don’t have to purchase the set as BowFlex will give you the option of just buying a single dumbbell if necessary

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells are an ideal choice for apartment dwellers, as they replace 30 different dumbbell weights with two space-saving pieces that can be easily stowed in a corner when not in use.

For those who have a little more room to work with, the dumbbell set can be paired with an adjustable incline/decline workout bench, an ergonomically designed weight stand, or a number of other convenient Bowflex accessories.

Some users have complained that the dials need to be replaced after 1 or 2 years of regular use, but this minor defect is covered by a generous 2-year warranty.

See Prices >

5. XMark Adjustable Dumbbells

XMark Pair of 25 lb. Adjustable Dumbbells XM-3305

  • Two 25 lb. adjustable dumbbells with storage trays
  • Heavy-duty chrome plated steel construction
  • Eliminates the need for multiple dumbbells

Pros:

  • Great price, very durable
  • Can buy a single dumbbell if you prefer
  • Do not get damaged when dropped

Cons:

  • Weight increments are too large
  • Only good for lifting 50 pounds or less
  • Hard to secure plates before you workout

The XMark Adjustable Dumbbells are a great option if you are looking to buy a single 50-pound weight dumbbell, a pair of 25-pound maximum weight dumbbells, or a pair of 50-pound dumbbells.

The versatility of the product allows each of the options to adjust their weight with just a simple twist of a knob.

They are made of heavy-duty chrome-plated steel construction, and they will not get damaged when they are dropped.

The XMark Adjustable Dumbbells have a minimum weight of 5 pounds on the 25-pound max weight dumbbell, and a 10-pound minimum weight on the 50-pound max weight dumbbells.

The ability to purchase just a single dumbbell is a great money saver while still maintaining a high-quality training program.

See Prices >

6. Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells

Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells – 200 lb Dumbbell Weights (Pair)

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Available in various sizes and weights
  • Etched handles for a more secure grip
  • Easy to Assemble
  • Five-year labour warranty

Cons:

  • Coating chips easily
  • Not ideal for supersets

Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells are an excellent choice for anyone seeking an inexpensive adjustable dumbbell set that doesn’t skimp on essential features.

They are sold in six different sets, ranging from 8 to 105 pounds. All sets feature heavy-duty cast iron weight plates that are coated with a rust- and corrosion-resistant black paint.

Star-lock collars ensure safe weight plate changes, while 16-inch etched handles that provide a secure grip and help prevent hand fatigue.

What we love most about these dumbbells is their ease of assembly and use. All you need to do is unpack the dumbbells, place your desired weight plates on the handles, and secure the plates using the included star-lock collars.

Some customers have complained that the black coating tends to chip easily, although this minor default is covered by a generous five-year labour warranty.

Another drawback is that the plates take some time to switch, making this dumbbell set less ideal for those performing super-set type workouts.

Overall, though, this is a great budget-friendly set for users of all fitness levels.

See Prices >

7. Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell

Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells 5-25 lb (Pair)

  • Two 25 lb. adjustable dumbbells with storage trays
  • Heavy-duty chrome plated steel construction
  • Eliminates the need for multiple dumbbells

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Constructed from heavy-duty chrome-plated steel
  • Includes storage cradles
  • Two different sets available
  • Dual-sided locking mechanisms

Cons:

  • Some may find adjusting weights time-consuming
  • Prone to rust

Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells are available in two sets: one with a maximum weight of 25 pounds, and one with a maximum weight of 50 pounds.

Both sets come with handy storage cradles that make it easy to store the weights in a corner of your home or apartment when not in use.

The Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells have a minimum weight of 10 pounds, making this set ideal for those who are just beginning to lift and aren’t yet ready to invest in a heavy set of dumbbells.

These dumbbells are constructed from high-quality chrome-plated steel, which gives the set a sleek, elegant look.

Another nice touch is the dual-sided locking mechanisms, which keep the weight plates securely in place.

Some customers have reported that the chrome-plated steel tends to rust, which can make adding and removing plates to the dumbbell handles difficult.

Another minor complaint from some customers is that the weight plates take too long to switch, making this set less useful for fast-paced workouts.

Aside from these minor drawbacks, most customers find that the Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells offer incredible durability and value for their price.

See Prices >

8. Omnie Adjustable Dumbbells

Pros:

  • Easy to adjust
  • Corrosion-resistant handles and plates
  • Available in three weight ranges
  • Spin-lock collars

Cons:

  • Switching out weight plates takes too long

Omnie Adjustable Dumbbells feature weight plates made from high-quality cast iron and coated with a baked enamel that resists corrosion, peeling, and chipping.

Like the Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells, Omnie Adjustable Dumbbells use a traditional adjustment system consisting of bars, with threaded ends and spin-lock collars that keep the weight plates securely in place.

Omnie Adjustable Dumbbells are available in three different weight ranges: 5 to 65 pounds, 5 to 105 pounds, and 5 to 200 pounds.

Depending on the set you choose, the weight of each dumbbell can be adjusted by increments of 2.5 pounds or 5 pounds.

The wide weight range and ability to increase resistance by small increments make the Omnie Adjustable Dumbbells ideal for users of all fitness levels.

These dumbbells are also a great choice for anyone who is short on space, as each adjustable dumbbell effectively replaces 18 fixed-weight dumbbells.

That said, these may not be the best adjustable dumbbells for performing super-set type workouts, as adjusting the weights takes too long compared to the Power Block Elite and other dumbbells that use a selector pin or dial.

See Prices >

9. Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbell

Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbell with Weight Plate for Home Gym 2 PCS (2 x 71.5…

  • Each dumbbell adjust from 11 lbs to 71.5 lbs in…
  • With the unique dial system, you can rapidly…
  • Combines 12 sets of weights into one offering…

Pros:

  • Locking dial for added security
  • Includes dumbbell cradles for convenient storage
  • Both dumbbells can be adjusted at the same time
  • Rubber coated handles for a more secure grip
  • Fast weight adjustment

Cons:

  • Weight can only be adjusted by 5.5-pound increments
  • Weights are measured in kilograms

With a maximum weight of 71.5 pounds per dumbbell, a locking dial system for added security, and lightning-fast weight adjustment, it’s easy to see why the Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbells are among the most popular adjustable dumbbells on the market today.

Each dumbbell has a minimum weight of 11 pounds, making this set an excellent choice for those who are just starting to lift.

One of the most convenient features of the Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbells is the ability to adjust the weight of both dumbbells simultaneously.

Increasing or decreasing the weight takes less than five seconds, making this set ideal for fast-paced workouts. One thing to keep in mind when purchasing the Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbells is that the weights are measured in kilograms.

While this generally isn’t a problem for most people, it can make workouts frustrating if you’re working with other weights that are measured in pounds.

Overall, though, these dumbbells deliver excellent value and performance for their price.

See Prices >

10. Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set

Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set by Affordable Dumbbells – Adjustable Weights – Space…

  • Pair of adjustable dumbbells with quick and easy…
  • Quick change weight adjustments with TwistLock…
  • Contoured, textured and soft grip handle design…

Pros:

  • Inexpensive compared to other models
  • Coated with plastic shielding for quieter operation
  • Includes storage cradle

Cons:

  • Maximum weight not heavy enough for advanced lifters
  • Grips are too slippery

With a weight adjustment range of 5 to 50 pounds, the Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells are perfect for beginner to intermediate lifters.

Like the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells, the Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells feature a dial adjustment setting that allows you to quickly select your desired weight before lifting the dumbbells out of the included storage cradles.

The weight plates are covered with a plastic shielding that helps reduce noise while the dumbbells are in use.

The Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells have smooth, ergonomic grips that feel great in the hand and prevent hand fatigue.

Some customers have said that the grips tend to become slippery from perspiration, but this issue can be easily fixed by wearing weight lifting gloves.

Another minor complaint is the lack of bells and whistles. If, however, you’re looking for a safe and straightforward pair of adjustable dumbbells that you can start using without much fuss, the Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells may be the right choice for you.

See Prices >

Our Pick: PowerBlock Series

PowerBlock Elite Set Dumbell, 50-Pound (pair), Black – EL-50Plates1-4

  • Item may ship in more than one box and may arrive…
  • Has a weight range of 5-50 lbs per hand and…
  • Is expandable later to 70 and again to 90 pounds…

In terms of overall value for money, the PowerBlock series are the best set of dumbbells overall. They may seem expensive but if you consider that the PowerBlocks are likely to last you a lifetime, it’s hard to argue with that.

They are sturdy, easy to use and lack any complicated mechanisms that are likely to fail or wear away over time.

Factor in their generous warranties and lifetime warranties for their urethane series you should be able to purchase them with confidence.

They are suitable for all fitness levels, from beginner to advanced and very easy to get the hang of, however learning to change the weights at speed may take some getting used to.

The option of being able to add weight by increments is also great, as it allows users to easily track their progress as their fitness level increases.

If you think the PowerBlocks are for you and want more information, be sure to read our full PowerBlock Dumbbell review.

Choose Your Dumbbells Wisely!

Investing in a good set of adjustable dumbbells is a smart way to save time, money, and space while ensuring an effective weight lifting workout.

Whether you’re a beginning or advanced lifter, you’re sure to find a set of adjustable dumbbells to suit your budget and needs among the models we’ve reviewed in this buyer’s guide.

Happy lifting!

Best dumbbell sets for weight training at home

The start of the New Year sees budding gym bunnies everywhere commit to new fitness goals but after only a few weeks, our resolutions find a way of slipping under us – whether that’s due to the expense of a gym membership or the inability to find the time to squeeze in a session.

But this does not need to be the case. You don’t actually need to fork out a heap of cash for a pricey gym membership to keep in shape. By investing in one simple piece of kit, you can improve your strength, stamina, muscle mass and overall health from the comfort of your own home.

No need for state-of-the-art machines, dumbbells are the at-home workout essential that will help you stick to a workout plan.

One of the most versatile bits of tech on the market, personal trainers everywhere will tell you that dumbbells are the key to strengthening and toning – plusyou can use them in areas with limited space.

The must-have piece of equipment can be used for both upper and lower body with a range of exercises like goblet squats, bent over rows, deadlifts, step ups, bicep curls, lunges, and overhead presses to help you achieve your fitness goals.

What’s more, they are compact in size or can be deconstructed so you can tuck them in the corner or in a cupboard when you are done.

Dumbbell sets by retailer:

  • Argos dumbbell sets
  • Top rated Amazon dumbbell sets
  • Sports Direct Dumbbell sets

Create a slick gym set up at your home with a set of dumbbells.

Everlast Adjustable Dumbbell – Sports Direct

Whether you are a beginner or seasoned weight lifter, this set from Everlast is ideal for all levels. As your training progresses, this handy bit of equipment can be adjusted from 2.5 to 32.5kg with just a twist of the dial. The space-saving dumbbell can be used to work all aspects of the body, helping you to achieve your fitness goals.

£149.99 | Sports Direct | Buy it now

Proiron 20kg adjustable dumbbell set – Amazon

If you’re working up to bigger weights in the gym, these adjustable dumbbells are ideal for prepping your body for more extreme weight training. The cast iron set includes four 0.5kg plates, four 1.25kg plates, four 2.5kg plates and an extended bar, meaning you can convert a simple set of dumbbells into one barbell (a long metal bar to which discs of varying weights are attached at each end).

Sturdy and easy to use, these weights have a knurled handle grip and in our tests we felt completely safe while lifting them above our heads – though it’s good to have a rubber yoga mat handy if you’re using these at home, otherwise they do have a tendency to roll around.

£49.99 | Amazon | Buy it now

Men’s Health 25kg adjustable dumbbell – Argos

A staple of the Argos bestseller list, these heavy-duty adjustable dumbbells take out the stress of having to unscrew metal spin collars mid-workout. Simply spin the dial on the side of the dumbbell and it’ll add on your preferred weight. They work in a really similar way to the Bowflex pack (which FYI, did feel more luxe), but are a slightly more affordable option with lighter weights and less options – a 25kg weight set includes 8 x 2.5kg weight plates and 2 x 1.25kg weight plates, which can be adjusted to preference. An ideal piece of kit for whittling away your dadbod.

£119.99 | Argos | Buy it now

Bowflex 4-41Kg SelectTech dumbbell – Fitness Superstore

If you’ve got some cash to play with and are looking to invest in a more advanced free weights workstation that won’t dominate your living room, you can’t get much better than this juggernaut set from Bowflex. It’s essentially a single dumbbell with an adjustable weight range that will take you from 4kg to 41kg in a couple of simple (and highly satisfying) clicks. Note that the price here is just for one dumbbell, which can look daunting on paper, but it’s worth remembering that you’re actually getting 17 weights in one practical package. We’re also a big fan of the soft moulding around the metal plates, which means they don’t damage hardwood floors when you put them down between exercises.

£335 | Fitness Superstore | Buy it now

Opti 15kg cast iron dumbbell set – Argos

If you’re looking for a pair of retro cast-iron weights, these guys are just the ticket. Round in style, Opti’s black metal weights look and perform well but can wreak havoc on wood flooring and make a lot of noise (not ideal if you’ve got neighbours downstairs). This 12 disc set with 7 weight levels from 5 to 15kg, is a cheap and effective way to fire up your biceps and triceps without breaking the bank. Trust us, you’ll be looking like Arnie in no time.

£24.99 | Argos | Buy it now

Opti Cast Iron Dumbbell Set – Argos

Crafted from cast iron, this dumbbell set is designed to last, while the inclusion of the comfortable rubber handles ensures that you are not doing more harm than good – saving your hands from painful blistering. The equipment can be deconstructed into many pieces, helpful for storage and allowing you to increase the weight as you get stronger and stronger. They are made up of 18 parts and can hold up to 20kg on each of the two dumbells. The bars weigh 1.35kg each.

£28.99 | Argos | Buy it now

Beginner and Lightweight Dumbbell Sets

While these may resemble something out of the Call On Me music video, these colourful weights put the fun into your functional training. Ideal for aerobics, pilates, and walking with weighs they are covered in a comfortable EVA foam and have an adjustable hand strap to personalise them to the correct fit.

£10.99 | Sports Direct | Buy it now

Body Sculpture BW108T Smart Dumbbell Tower – Amazon

Create your own mini gym in the comfort of your home with the addition of this dumbbell tower that holds three sets of varying weights. With options for each type of workout, the versatile workout essential comes in fun colours that you can use to step your fitness routine up a few notches. The dumbbells are ergonomically designed, comfortable and sturdy.

£29.99 | Amazon | Buy it now

Xn8 Neoprene Dumbbells – Amazon

If you are looking for a set of dumbbells that will not rub or put pressure on your hands, this is the set for you. These weights have a thick neoprene coating that will not only stay firmly gripped in your hand but will do so comfortably. Set over solid cast iron to ensure their durability, the collection comes in a range of colours and weights ranging from 1 to 5kg. The dumbbells are offered as pairs.

From £11.99 | Amazon | Buy it now

Everlast Chrome Dumbbell – Sports Direct

For a classic, no-fuss set of dumbbells, this set from Everlast is a good quality buy. A favourite in gyms across the world, this chrome set has a minimalistic design with a textured handle that makes for a strong, no-slip grip. Sold as a single dumbbell.

£17 | Sports Direct | Buy it now

Reebok dumbbell set – Amazon

This sleek blue and grey set from Reebok, including two weights each at 1, 2 and 3kg, is the perfect option for anyone looking to add additional weight to a pilates routine. The square shape means they can be used for curls as well as plank to upright rows and won’t annoyingly roll away when placed on the floor. They come with a simple and compact storage case that means you can easily stow them away under a bed or in a drawer, but the unusually trend-ticking colour scheme means they won’t look garish if you forget to tidy them away.

£61.03 | Amazon | Buy it now

Everlast 12kg set – Sports Direct

If you’re a total beginner that’s looking for to incorporate some light resistance training into your morning routine, Everlast’s colourful rack of light dumbbells is a great place to get started. There are three weight options included, coming in at 1, 2 and 3kg per weight, and each pair is handily colour-coded for quick identification. Unlike a lot of the other hand weights on the market, this nifty set neatly slot onto a rack that isn’t too heavy to lift and can be easily stored away in a cupboard after use. An excellent and affordable option for anyone who’s on a tight budget.

£11 | Sports Direct | Buy it now

BodyPower Rubber Hex dumbbells rack – Amazon

Easily our favourite for dumbbell push ups, the hexagonal design on this set of ten weights means you’ll feel safe and stable while performing rows in a pushup position (even when your arms are wobbling under the pressure).

The handles are contoured for an easy grip, while the encasing is made from a durable, rubber material that feels robust to the touch and stops the weights from sliding under your bodyweight. Weights come in pairs of 3, 4, 6, 9 and 10kg and are stored in a pretty trendy industrial steel rack – great for anyone who has the space to have their dumbbells on display.

£225.99 | Amazon | Buy it now

Opti Neoprene 4kg – Argos

This cheap and cheery pair green dumbbells have a total weight of 8kg, and are the perfect medium weight to tone and sculpt your arms, shoulders and back when you perform upper body exercises – we found that they were particularly good for bicep pulses and lateral pulls. Made from a thick neoprene grip that won’t chafe or blister your palms mid-workout, these are comfortable to hold and are easy to throw in a bag for working out on-the-go. The foam-like coating is a godsend for renters in the city, as these are noiseless on solid floors, and they’re compact enough to easily store away in a drawer.

£14.99 | Argos | Buy it now

Verdict:

The Everlast Adjustable Dumbbell earns our Best Pick due to its versatility. The must-have piece of equipment offers one of the largest weight ranges on the market in one space-saving design.

If you’re looking for a beginners set, the Body Sculpture BW108T Smart Dumbbell Tower from Amazon (£29.99) is a good bargain buy.

ESBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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Dumbbell Sets

The Flexibility of Dumbbell sets

Dumbbells sets are the most popular gym equipment known to the world. Hit any gym and you will find the weights rack is packed with buff, built dudes. Unfortunately, not all of us like gyms. If you don’t like going to the gym, fret not! Simply get your own dumbbell sets. Choosing your dumbbell sets allows you to customize your workout at the same time giving you a sense of owning your physical fitness. So what types of dumbbell sets should you get? Let’s look at how you can choose a dumbbell set based on what type of physique you want.

What’s your workout?

Before choosing a dumbbell set it’s important to know what type of workout you want to do. breaking it down, what type of workout you do depends on what type of body you want. We need to state beforehand that workouts will defer for both men and women. Generally, men’s workouts involve a heavier weight category. While women may use the same types of dumbbells as men, those who want a slim look will usually go for sets that are lighter.

Types of dumbbell sets

Now that you know your type of workout, you need to know what your options are. Dumbbell sets generally are made to cater to your workout. So it would be good to ask your personal trainer or gym buddy what is best for you. If you don’t have that option, here are some options you might want to look into:

  • Vinyl dumbbell sets
  • Interchangeable dumbbell sets
  • Steel dumbbell sets
  • Free-form weights sets

Dumbbell sets for cardio

Did you know that you can pair dumbbells with your cardio? Explode into your cardio sessions by adding a set of dumbbells. The easiest way to do this is to use “sissy weights”. Sissy weights are usually vinyl dumbbells, but it could also be any type of dumbbells that are light. We’re talking light as in 1 – 4kg in weight. You may laugh at the comical nature of these weights, but the truth is, they add resistance to your cardio, giving you a great option for a fulfilling workout.

Customizable dumbbell sets

Why have one when you can have five? That’s the concept behind interchangeable dumbbell sets. Adjustable dumbbell sets usually come with customizable weights. What this means is simply that you can add or remove weight on your dumbbells based on what type of workout you want.

If you want to pack on muscle and look big, you will want to use more weight with slower reps. If it’s the slim, toned look you are going for, remove the heavier weights and go for fast-paced reps, rotating your bicep curls, hand extensions and so on. Interchangeable dumbbell sets are versatile and can be brought with you along on your road trips too.

Some warnings

While we are in our element going at it hard, we might tend to get carried away with our weightlifting. It’s important to remember to take care of our weights. Remember not to drop your weights on the floor after a vicious pump. Dropping your weights will, in the long run, damage your dumbbells and of course, your flooring. Also remember to clean your dumbbells from time to time as sweat, dust, and grime could accumulate on them.

If you are looking for a different way of working out or you are looking for new dumbbells, you might want to consider getting ones that are adjustable. They are very similar to non-adjustable ones with a few exceptions. You can find the differences as well as some tips to buying the best adjustable dumbbells below this list of the top 10 that you can buy today, and at the end, all of them are compared to find out which is possibly the best of the best.

List of the Top 10 Best Best Adjustable Dumbbells in 2020

#10 Ironmaster 75 lb Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System with Stand

Get it now on Amazon.com

Despite how they look, these dumbbells are actually very good in terms of metal quality, durability, and lifespan. The plates are possibly the most square and they have unique, large, and round ends on each of the dumbbells. They are pretty popular due to how long they last and how sturdy they are, despite being one of the most expensive sets out there. Due to the max weight, it is safe to say that these are probably best to be used by experienced users.

Specs:

  • Max weight: 75 pounds each (150 total)
  • Increments: 2.5 pounds
  • Plate Shape: Square – indented
  • Grip: Metal-chrome plated
  • Warranty: Lifetime – limited
  • Storage: Yes

Pros

  • High-quality material
  • Long-lasting
  • Easy to adjust the weight

Cons

  • More expensive than most
  • Threads are fragile and fail to catch

#9 Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbell

Get it now on Amazon.com

These dumbbells are also pretty expensive, but like the last pair, they are one of the most durable. They are also one of the more comfortable dumbbells due to their soft and supportive rubber grips. They also come with a stand/holder for storage and dials for making the adjustments. Another way they are like the last ones: they are probably more suited towards experienced and maybe intermediate users.

Specs:

  • Max weight: 71.5 pounds each (143 total)
  • Increments: 5.5 pounds
  • Plate Shape: Round – indents
  • Grip: Rubber
  • Warranty: 2 Years
  • Storage: Yes

Pros

  • High-quality plates
  • Comfortable grips
  • Popular brand

Cons

  • More expensive than most
  • Plates don’t attach well

#8 Power Block GF-SPDBLK24 Adjustable SpeedBlock Dumbbells (Pack of 2), Black, 24lb.

Get it now on Amazon.com

The design of this looks a little bizarre due to the bread-looking plates and bell. There isn’t as much room to grip it when compared to others, but if you have smaller than average hands, you should be fine. They could also be good for kids to use since they are low-weight; make sure to educate them on how to use weights. Keep in mind, this isn’t a set despite the name. It is only one dumbbell.

Specs:

  • Max weight: 24 pounds total
  • Increments: 3 pounds
  • Plate Shape: Square- flat
  • Grip: Rubber
  • Warranty: 10 Years – Limited
  • Storage: N/A

Pros

  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Popular
  • Durable and long-lasting

Cons

  • Less than average gripping space
  • Is a single pack (1 dumbbell)

#7 TELK Adjustable Dumbbells, 65, 105 to 200 lbs

Get it now on Amazon.com

With the classic look and design, these dumbbells can be great for people who like the older designs rather than the newer ones, like the last dumbbell. The plates are made of thick cast-iron that has an enamel finish to prevent rust, making them one of the more longer-lasting sets out there. Unlike many of the other adjustable sets, this set comes with several low weights: 8 5-pound plates, 4 2.5-pound plates, and 4 1.25-pound plates. The ends that hold the plates feel a little cheap, but they do their job for the most part by keeping them in place.

Specs: Pros

  • Good for beginner to intermediate levels
  • Flexible and durable
  • Available in higher weights

Cons

  • Grips don’t grip as well as others
  • Some parts are cheaper-quality

#6 Weider Speed Weight Adjustable Dumbbell – 5-25 lbs.

Get it now on Amazon.com

Possibly the simplest and smallest design out there now, this weight is definitely not for someone with big hands. Between the max weight of 25 pounds and the smaller than average gripping room, it seems to be most appropriate for children or teens who are learning how to work out with weights. This one also only comes in a single pack, but it does come with a simple holding tray.

Specs:

  • Max weight: 25 pounds total
  • Increments: 5 pounds
  • Plate Shape: Circle – flat
  • Grip: Metal
  • Warranty: N/A
  • Storage: Yes

Pros

  • Each to adjust the weight
  • Small and easy to store
  • Strong grip

Cons

  • Lower-quality metals
  • Is a single pack (1 dumbbell)

#5 XMark Adjustable Dumbbell (Available singles or Pair)

Get it now on Amazon.com

Similar design to the last dumbbell, this set is one is also light-weight yet affordable. It does have a slightly larger gripping area, making it easier to use than the other smaller models. It is also available in a set that has a maximum weight of 50 pounds, too. So if you like the look and specs but you want more of a workout, then you may want to take a look at the heavier set.

Specs:

  • Max weight: 25 pounds each (50 total)
  • Increments: 5 pounds
  • Plate Shape: Circle – flat
  • Grip: Metal
  • Warranty: N/A
  • Storage: Yes

Pros

  • Strong grip
  • Affordable
  • Available in higher weights

Cons

  • Can be awkward to store in their trays
  • Can be difficult adjusting the weight

#4 Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells 40, 50, 52.5, 60, 105 to 200 lbs

Get it now on Amazon.com

Very similar to the other classic set on here, these dumbbells have nearly the exact same design, appearance, and material; cast iron with a black finish to prevent rusting. While this particular set has a max weight of 20 pounds per hand, they are also available in 50, 60, 105, and 200-pound sets as well as a 52.5-pound single dumbbell. One of the main differences between this classic design and the last one is the fact that this set comes with a 5-year-long warranty and is more affordable. The other classic design was more expensive and did not have a warranty.

Specs:

  • Max weight: 20 pounds each (40 total)
  • Increments: 3 pounds
  • Plate Shape: Circle – indented
  • Grip: Metal
  • Warranty: 5 Years
  • Storage: None

Pros

  • One of the most popular sets
  • One of the most affordable
  • Long-lasting and heavy duty

Cons

  • Might not be able to be used with other plates
  • Tends to loosen while doing sets

#3 Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set by Affordable Dumbbells – Adjustable Weights

Get it now on Amazon.com

One of the more reliable and improved designs, this set is hard to compete with. The plates have a semi-classic design, being round and indented, the handgrip is made of a comfortable rubber/foam material that prevents slipping, and it is easy to adjust the weight. They also come with holders that are shaped for you to easily grab them and have a twisting lock that keeps the weights in place safely and reliably.

Specs:

  • Max weight: 50 pounds each (100 total)
  • Increments: 5 pounds
  • Plate Shape: Round – indented
  • Grip: Rubber/Foam
  • Warranty: 2 Years for Parts
  • Storage: Yes

Pros

  • High-quality material that is long-lasting
  • Great for beginners to experienced level
  • Easy to adjust the weight

Cons

  • More expensive than others

#2 Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell (Single)

Get it now on Amazon.com

Definitely looking more high-grade and professional than many other sets, this dumbbell comes with many of the bells and whistles. It has the weight meter for easy adjustments, a custom-fit holder for storage, and a durable safety lock for keeping the weights on the bar. Unfortunately, it is one of the most expensive, especially if you want to get 2, one for each hand at the same time, but it is also one of the longest-lasting and suitable for experienced dumbbell users who are looking for the best of the best.

Specs:

  • Max weight: 90 pounds
  • Increments: 5 pounds
  • Plate Shape: Circle – indents
  • Grip: Metal
  • Warranty: N/A
  • Storage: Yes

Pros

  • One of the most popular models
  • Have safety lock tabs to prevent slipping
  • Is durable and long-lasting

Cons

  • One of the more expensive sets
  • Only comes in a single pack

#1 Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair)

Get it now on Amazon.com

Another by Bowflex, this set has nearly the same design as the previous dumbbell excluding the lower-quality plastic locks to keep the weights attached to the bar. However, it made the top of this list because of the same reliability and dependability, but it is a pair and not a single pack, making it more affordable. Each dumbbell comes with its own form-fitting holder that has a unique and flattering shape which help make the weights look all the more professional and something that can be shown off to friends or fellow workout buddies. There is also another bundle with this same set that also comes with a bench, too.

Video Review

Specs:

  • Max weight: 52.5 pounds each (105 total)
  • Increments: 2.5 pounds
  • Plate Shape: Circle – indents
  • Grip: Rubber
  • Warranty: 2 Years on plates and parts
  • Storage: Yes

Pros

  • Easy to adjust
  • Ideal for beginners to experienced
  • One of the most popular sets

Cons

  • One of the more expensive sets
  • The plastic parts are lower-quality

Buying Guide to Choosing the Best Adjustable Dumbbells on the Market

Things to look for

The handles

Most dumbbells have handles that are metal with a no-slip grip pattern etched into the metal. While this is one of the more popular designs, there are some dumbbells that have or come with rubber or foam handles. These are designed for a more comfortable grip for longer workouts. Most if not all of them are also specially designed to prevent them from slipping out of the user’s hand when or if their hands get sweaty. Metal handles are usually slip-resistant, but for those of you out there who sweat like you’re taking a shower, a rubber or foam grip handle may be the best for you. However, if you do end up getting a metal handled set and decide that you actually want one with grips, they are easy to find both online and in stores and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Durability

The typical material that dumbbell sets are made of is usually steel, cast-iron, and even weighted plastic. Adjustable sets are usually made of metal with chrome plates, handles, and other pieces. If you’re looking for a cheaper set, plastic is usually more affordable, but metal-based sets are far more durable and can last for years longer. Unfortunately, metal sets tend to rust easily, especially in humid climates. So, if you live in an area where it is naturally humid and you don’t have a dehumidifier in your work out area, getting a set that has a protective coating to prevent rust and corrosion may be the best option. Most sets will usually say if it has this coating or not, but you can always check any reviews if it doesn’t say.

Lifespan

You can usually tell how long a dumbbell set will last by the warranty. Nearly all of them come with a warranty, but the ones that have a lifetime warranty can be ideal for those who are committed to that particular set. If you like to switch sets every few years or even months, the lifespan may not matter to you, but keep in mind that some sets do not come with warranties. This means that you won’t be able to get a replacement set or get your money back if the set is a faulty one that breaks within a few weeks of using it. It is usually very common for a set to have a 10 or more year warranty, though.

Storing them

If you do not already have a weight rack in your home gym, then you might want to consider either getting a set that comes with a holder or getting a separate weight rack. They can help protect your weights and your floor and prevent you from losing track of the weights. If you are only planning to get one or two sets, then it can be better to just get a weight set that comes with a holder or rack, but if you are the work-out junkie, then getting a larger rack that holds multiple weights and/or dumbbells would be better, if you don’t have one already. Racks and holders can easily be found online, but just make sure they would be able to hold the size of the weights you have or are buying. Another thing to check is how much weight the rack can sustain. Most are designed to hold over a hundred pounds, but some of the cheaper-quality ones may not be sturdy enough to hold your weight set.

Increments of weight

If you are new to working out, then you may want to look into getting a set that has lower increments of weight. This means to go for a weight set that has weights between 5 pounds and 50 pounds or so. As you get more experienced and conditioned, you can add more weight to up your improvement and muscle. Most weight sets increase in increments of 5 pounds, but others can increase in increments of between 2 to 3 pounds as well. These can be beneficial for people who have very little muscle or are recovering from an injury since they allow the user to work their way up even more steadily, lowering the risk of injury. For those who are used to working out and have more experience/muscle, a set that raises in increments of 5 to 10 pounds would probably be best.

The plate design

Most plates are a standard circular shape, but there are a few sets out there that have weighted plates that are shaped like squares. You don’t have to worry about sharp corners, though, because nearly all plates that are square-shaped have rounded off corners that make it look half like a circle and half a square. Another key difference between the plates is if it is flat or has indented markings. The classic and traditional design is a round plate with indented markings that list the weight of the plate. However, some newer plates are completely flat with no markings on them. The weight is calculated either through the handle of the dumbbell or based on the size of the plate.

Adjustable vs. Non-adjustable

Other than the fact that you can or cannot remove the weights, there is little to no difference between an adjustable and non-adjustable dumbbell. The two major differences are in cost and space. You can expect to pay much more for a non-adjustable dumbbell set than you can for an adjustable one. If you are getting just one weight like a 10 or 20-pound single set, then a non-adjustable could be ideal. However, if you plan to use different weights at different times, then adjustable might be better for you. Also, non-adjustable sets require much more storage space than adjustable sets do.

Benefits of Using an Adjustable Dumbbell

They can be safer than a barbell

It is always recommended to have a spotter when using a barbell, but if you are working out at home, then you probably don’t always have a spotter around to watch or help you if something happens. Working out with dumbbells can be much safer, especially when doing exercises where you might lose control suddenly since they can be tossed away much easier than a barbell can. Now mind you, it is never a wise idea to just throw the weights anywhere, and this is just a tip/fact that the dumbbells CAN be thrown easily when losing control. Avoid throwing your weights around as this can lead to injury or damage of the weights or property.

They can be more affordable than a barbell set

Whether you are buying a set or the barbell and weights separately, you can expect to pay a much higher price than that of a dumbbell set, adjustable and possibly non-adjustable. Barbells also require additional equipment that will increase the budget like holders, seats, etc.

They ensure a more even workout

Many people tend to shift the weight they are lifting when they are working out with a barbell. With dumbbells, the weight is completely even for both hands so there is little to no chance of overworking or under-working one arm. They also provide a more exerting workout since they allow more range of motion and, through this, work more muscles than a barbell can. Make sure you are putting the correct weights on both dumbbells before you make the adjustment and before you begin your workout.

They have more range of motion

As just mentioned, dumbbells have a much wider range of motion than other weights do. Many people use them in combination with activities like stretching, squats, crunches, lunges, and more. This can work out parts of your body that would normally not be used while doing these activities, conditioning your muscles more and achieving a higher workout performance.

How to use an Adjustable Dumbbell Properly

If there is some assembly required when you first get/buy a new set, then follow the directions exactly to put them together. Then, make sure you adjust them to fit your fitness requirements. It is usually best to start out low with a new set, especially if you are new to working out since you will have to get used to holding and using them before using heavier weights. Each brand has its own design on how to adjust them, which you can usually find in the instructions. Make sure the weights are properly secured before beginning your workout and don’t forget to stretch before you start lifting any weights. Stretching for a few minutes before lifting weights can warm up the body, prevent strains, sprains, and other work-out related injuries. After using them, it is a good idea to wipe them down with sanitation wipes and make sure they are dry before putting them back into their holder or rack. Try to avoid leaving them on the floor or someplace where they can fall, be knocked over, and be tripped on as these can lead to scratches, damage to the floor or dumbbells, and broken bones.

Conclusion

When looking at the design, durability, lifespan, weight capacity, affordability, and popularity, it is not difficult to see that the Bowflex SelectTech 552 wins this round. While it is more expensive than some of the other pairs of dumbbells out there, the quality and lifespan make the cost worth it. On top of that, it uses heavier weights than many of the cheaper models.

If you did not like any of the sets or singles that were on this list, as a beginner or intermediate weight lifter, you know how to pick out a set or single pack that can be great for you personally. Look at the specs, think about your ability and/or skill level, prioritize quality vs cost, and look around. There are many different brands, designs, and models out there to choose from.

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