Here is a guide to finding the best dumbbells for home. Read this review to know which top rated set is good and affordable, even for beginners.
Dumbbells are a great way of working out, especially for beginners. If you are just starting to exercise or if you are returning to weight lifting, dumbbells are your best friends. These free weights can be light enough so that beginners don’t feel too strained when doing lifts. This also helps people returning to the gym so their muscles have time to readjust after a long period of no activity.
If you are short on time or money, dumbbells can give you the benefits of a full workout in a short period of time at an affordable cost. You don’t even have to go to the gym. You can do an all dumbbell routine at home using simple sets, such as the one shown in this video below:
To help you choose a set that is right for you, here is a guide to 5 of the top rated dumbbells:
Best Dumbbells for Home (2017 Update)
|Bowflex SelectTech 552||Up to 52.5 lbs||Adjustable|
|SPRI Deluxe Vinyl||Up to 20 lbs||Single|
|CAP Barbell Solid Hex||Up to 120 lbs||Single|
|CAP Barbel RSWB-40TP||Up to 40 lbs||Set|
|Tone Fitness Hourglass||Up to 5 lbs||Set|
#1 Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair)
The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells is probably the most sophisticated dumbbell set. You can adjust a weight as light as 5 pounds or as heavy as 52.5 pounds. It combines 15 sets of weights using a dial system. You can rapidly switch from one exercise to the next without having to screw or unscrew weights giving you versatility in exercise. Since it is adjustable, it eliminates the need for multiple dumbbells so you can use the space in your room for other equipment or extra free space.
The common complaint with the SelectTech 552 is that the plastic that holds the weight can break easily if you don’t treat it with care. Many customers report that their dumbbell broke after a few years of use – sometimes after a few months of use. The dialing mechanism to choose the weight can get stuck making the dumbbell become useless because you can’t change weight.
Other than that, this dumbbell is also quite expensive. The good news is that you get what you pay for. It is a high quality product that will serve you well as you advance through your fitness routines, as long as you remember to treat it with care. If you are doing P90X or any other home workout that requires you to switch weights quickly, then this set is perfect for you. If you don’t want to have to think about being careful with the equipment, then buying a regular set of separate weight dumbbells may be the best choice for you.
- Switch between 5 – 52.5 lbs
- Compact design saves space in your room
- Saves money compared to buying weights separately
- Material can be fragile and may break
- Requires careful handling to ensure long shelf-life
- Expensive compared to other options on our list
#2 SPRI Deluxe Vinyl Dumbbells (Set of 2)
The vinyl coating on the SPRI Deluxe Vinyl Dumbbell makes it comfortable to grip. They are ideal to hold while walking to boost calorie-burning. They make a perfect companion for aerobics and step exercises, especially when combined with a medicine ball and yoga mat (as many buyers have done). Due to the size and design, these dumbbells are especially great for women that want definition but no bulk.
You can order these dumbbells from 1 lb to 20 lbs. They are sold in various colors to give you a visual cue on the different weights (though some customers prefer neutral colored weights). However, some customers report an issue with the accuracy of each weight. For example, if you buy a 7 lb weight, you may get one set that is 6.8 lbs and 7.9 lbs. This problem of accuracy disappoints some buyers.
The coating protects the weight from getting rust on the shelf. However, it also can make it get slippery when you grab them with sweaty hands. Some users complain that this dumbbell has an odor to it that is difficult to go away. Other users say their dumbbell broke within a few months of use. One woman with arthritis says the grip isn’t comfortable for her hands, while another woman also with arthritis says it feels good in her hands.
- Available from 1 – 20 lbs
- Different colors signal different weights
- May have an odor that stinks
- May easily break after some use
#3 CAP Barbell Solid Hex Dumbbell, Single
The CAP Barbell Solid Hex Dumbbell is as simple as it gets. You get one hex shaped dumbbell. They’re available from 10 lbs up to 120 lbs. The hex shape is preferred by some people because it can give better balance when you are lifting them and prevents the dumbbell from rolling around on the floor. This dumbbell is also made sturdy so they won’t crack easy but the paint might come off as you wear them.
The price of the CAP Hex Dumbbell is relatively cheap compared to other brands. It’s one of the cheapest options you can get from a dollar per pound of weight perspective. However, there is one danger that you may come across when you order this product: some customers report the weight falls apart and off the handle.
Some buyers report getting weights that wiggle, especially the heavy weights. If the weights wiggle, you don’t want to use them as they may fall off when you are doing an exercise and injure yourself. Some other buyers say their weight is fine and lasts for a long time. It seems that if you get a good product, then it will last a long time, but a bad product is immediately identifiable and avoided.
- Among the cheapest dollar per pound of weight
- Simple design for balance and safety
- Some weights fall off the handle
- Avoid using if you receive an unstable weight
#4 CAP Barbel RSWB-40TP 40 lb. Dumbbell Set
The CAP Barbell RSWB-40TP Dumbbell Set is an adjustable dumbbell that is good for beginners. With this set alone, you can lift as little as 5 lbs (2.5 lbs on each side on a single bell) up to 40 lbs when you put all the weights on. It means you can do a variety of exercise, from light to heavy ones, in an easy-to-use and store set. The dumbbell set comes in a sturdy plastic carry case, so you can take it with you while you are on the go.
Even though the weights are adjustable, you might grow out of them after time. When this happens you can easily add additional CAP weight plates that are compatible with these dumbbell’s hands. Since this set is quite affordable, you can keep a couple sets around. You get more versatility in weight, which allows you to do quicker workouts without having to screw and unscrew the weights each time.
Like the SPRI Vinyl Dumbbells, buyers of this dumbbell complain about the smell. Some customers get their shipment with missing parts. Other buyers get collars that are tough to turn so it makes it difficult for them to change weights. Another common complaint is that the total weight isn’t actually 40 lbs, but around 35 lbs plus a 5 lb bar. Even so, you still get a good price for the amount of weight.
- From 5 lbs to 35 lbs
- Affordable option
- Portable for on-the-go workout
- Some users complain about smell
- Collars can be tough to turn
#5 – Tone Fitness Hourglass Shaped Dumbbells
You can use the Tone Fitness Hourglass Shaped Dumbbells for both indoor and outdoor workouts. The set is also small enough so you can bring it with you when you are traveling, so you can steal a few routines in the hotel room before meetings. It has a special neoprene coating, which makes these bells easy to grip and fit perfectly in your hand.
This set comes complete with a convenient rack that can hold 3 sets of bells (2 lbs, 3 lbs and 5 lbs). This dumbbell also gets complaints about the smell. The stand comes off as a little flimsy – some customers even don’t use it at all. It takes a little bit of work to get the screws in since the holes for them are too small. Many users complain about the quality of the stand, but some users say it is sturdy enough to hold the weights for them to put in the corner of a room or on a shelf. Though the stand may be low quality, the weights are good.
- Comes in 2, 3, and 5 lbs
- Small compact design for portability
- Users complain about the smell
- Most users avoid using the stand completely
Dumbbell Buying Guide
We have reviewed our favorite five brands of dumbbells for your workout. However, you may be thinking about another brand you want to buy. If you want to take a look at other brands we haven’t reviewed here, then follow this buying guide to help find the best one for the money:
1. The Shape of the Dumbbell
The first criteria to ask yourself is what shape do you want? There are basically two types of dumbbell shapes: circular (round) or hex. The shape of the dumbbell affects how you store them on your weight rack. A hex shape prevents the dumbbell from rolling on the floor in the event that you drop it after lifting a heavy set.
However, there are no adjustable hex dumbbells that we know. Most weights where you can adjust the weight are available in circular shapes. If you prioritize safety, then choosing a hex shaped dumbbell can be a good choice; and if you prioritize flexibility, then circular shaped weights are your thing.
2. Individual Weights or Weight Sets
You may want to buy just one pair of dumbbells for beginners if you’re just starting out. Other reasons you want to buy a single pair is if you are completing your collection or looking for a specific weight. But a good amount of dumbbell brands sell their weights in sets.
Buying a dumbbell set can give you a lot of weight options. Even if you’re a beginner, a weight set can be good for you if you have the money and plan on working out consistently. Once you’ve made some progress, you can move on to the heavy weights you already have and not have to buy another pair.
Adjustable dumbbells can be considered a dumbbell set. The difference is that an adjustable dumbbell is just one dumbbell with several weights on it that you can adjust. Since the mechanism is rather complicated, adjustable dumbbells cost more than single dumbbells, obviously. If you want to save money, then buying a single pair could be the right choice. But then again, buying a set could also save you money in the long run.
3. The Material of the Dumbbell
Some manufactures sell vinyl coated dumbbells, while others sell iron dumbbells. There isn’t much difference between the two of them other than some utility values. Vinyl coating protects the weight from collecting rust and also protects the floor if there is impact. It also gives a different feel of grip that you may or may not like.
Iron dumbbells may or may not have coating. You may prefer the feel of an iron dumbbell when you are working out intensely to get you in the mood. However, from the brands we have reviewed, you know that vinyl coated dumbbells are sold in pairs and sets and aren’t adjustable. If you are looking for adjustable weights, then the choice may be limited to iron dumbbells.
Other than the three criteria above, the one that has the biggest effect on which dumbbell you choose is your budget. If you’re on a strict budget, then maybe all you can afford is a pair, and that’s good. If you have a big budget, then maybe you can invest in a pair of adjustable dumbbells even if you’re new.
Which Dumbbell Set is the Right One for You?
If you want to save money and space, you should get an adjustable dumbbell set. These are also known as selectorized dumbbells. What this means is you can adjust their weight to how light or heavy as you want. This saves you the hassle of buying multiple dumbbells, or individual lifting bars and a weight plate set, because you buy just one dumbbell with adjustable heaviness.
We hope this review can help you find the right dumbbell that suits your needs. If you are just starting out, remember it is more important to just get started and not worry too much about whether you get a great weight or not. A simple dumbbell set will be enough for most types of exercise, and you can move on to more sophisticated ones when you are ready.