Dumbbells may be the more popular piece of home gym equipment, but kettlebells have them beat on in terms of versatility. Whether you're looking to increase strength, improve your conditioning or get in some quick cardio work, you can do it all with a simple kettlebell. That is if you can find the right one for your training needs.
Since not all kettlebells are created equal, the ACTIVE Reviews Team decided to research some of the best kettlebells to let you know which ones you should take for a swing.
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Best Kettlebells - Our Top Picks
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- Best Overall Kettlebell: Bowflex Selecttech 840 Kettlebell
- Best Kettlebells for Beginners: Onnit Kettlebells
- Best Adjustable Kettlebell: Powerblock Adjustable Kettlebell
- Best Rubber Coated Kettlebell: Rogue Fitness Rubber Coated Kettlebell
- Most Affordable Kettlebell: Sunny Health & Fitness Kettlebell
- Best Competition Kettlebell: Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Competition Style Kettlebell
- Best Portable Kettlebell: Kettle Gryp
- Best Budget Adjustable Kettlebell: Fitness Gear Adjustable Kettlebell
Best Overall Kettlebell - Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell
- Key feature: Adjustable
- Material: Plastic
- Weight range: 8-40 lbs
Space-efficient and incredibly versatile, the Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell offers a number of features that help it earn a spot at the top of this list. For starters, it's adjustable and offers 6 different weights ranging from 8-40 pounds. Meaning you get 6 kettlebells in 1 piece of equipment, helping you conserve space in your home gym while also offering a multitude of weights to challenge yourself. Turn the dial underneath the handle to your desired weight and start working.
The weight adjustability also allows you to perform more total-body movements—up your weight on compound lifts like sumo deadlifts or squats to kick your workout up a notch. Or, dial your weight down for isolated movements like bicep curls. The Bowflex SelectTech also has an ergonomic handle for easier and more comfortable gripping. Considering the value that the adjustability features offer you, at just $149 this product is a steal.
- 6 kettlebells in 1
- Access to 24 trainer-led exercises
- Plastic casing
- 2-year warranty
Best Kettlebells for Beginners - Onnit Kettlebells
- Key feature: Chip-resistant powder coating
- Material: Powder-coated cast-iron
- Weight range: 13-70 lbs
If you've gone your entire life only working out with dumbbells and barbells, the Onnit Kettlebells offer some of the best kettlebell exercises for beginners looking to diversify their weight training regimen. The chip-resistant powder coating is a little more forgiving for those whose hands may slip when trying out kettlebell exercises for the first time, but the grip on these is so good we doubt that would happen anyway.
The Onnit Kettlebells don't offer much in the way of heavy weights, but it's good to get an idea of how to properly use them before trying to lift the big boys. Plus, the online Onnit Academy offers tips and tricks for different kettlebell training techniques to help you perfect moves from the goblet squat to the Turkish get-up.
- Gravity cast and powder-coat finish
- Affordable pricing
- Available in unique designs
- Only 8 weight options
Best Adjustable Kettlebell - Powerblock Adjustable Kettlebell
- Key feature: Steel selection pen with magnetic lock
- Material: Alloy steel
- Weight range: Normal: 18-35 lbs, Heavy: 35-62 lbs
Adjustable weights have become increasingly popular, especially among those with close quarters in their home workout space. Enter the Powerblock Adjustable Kettlebell, capable of replacing four kettlebells with just one product. This piece of equipment can easily change your home fitness game by giving you a full-body workout without the need to walk back and forth to the weight rack.
The Powerblock Adjustable Kettlebell also comes in two different weight ranges, making it great for beginners and experienced lifters. The first ranges from 18-35 pounds, which is ideal if you need to get in some cardiovascular training or practice CrossFit moves. If you're looking to build strength, you may prefer the heavier option which ranges from 35-62 pounds. And, at $169, it's certainly cheaper than buying all those weights one at a time. Whichever kettlebell you choose, you can navigate the steel selection pin to the weight of your choice, and seal it in with the magnetic lock for secure, safe lifting.
- 5-year warranty
- Two different weight range options
Best Rubber Coated – Rogue Fitness Rubber Coated Kettlebell
- Key feature: Single cast process and smooth rubber coating
- Material: Rubber-coated cast-iron
- Weight range: 26-70 lbs
Your safety always comes first, but you also want to care for your home gym. While we are confident you'll never lose hold of your kettlebell handles, the Rogue Rubber Coated Kettlebell is a great product to give you peace of mind that your floors and walls will be cared for at all times.
It's a single cast process, meaning it's just one solid piece rather than a welded-on handle. This bell wins our pick for the best rubber-coated kettlebell because of its powder coat finish, so you can work on your grip strength without fear of hand sweat causing gym equipment to fly around.
- Easy on flooring
- Easy-grip handle
- Pricier than iron-cast kettlebells
- Narrow handle diameter
Most Affordable Kettlebell - Sunny Health & Fitness Kettlebell
- Key feature: Textured, wide handles for easier grip
- Material: Vinyl-coated cast-iron
- Weight range: 5-25 lbs
Kettlebells will increase in price the heavier you go, and some top-tier brands can start charging around $100 once you reach the 50-pound mark. The Sunny Health & Fitness Kettlebell is the perfect marriage of affordability and functionality, with its heaviest option (25 pounds) only costing $69.99.
Just because this is the most affordable kettlebell doesn't mean the Sunny Health & Fitness Kettlebell isn't a high-quality free weight. You can do kettlebell deadlifts, snatches, and more dynamic exercises and still get great results. Made from durable cast iron, you can count on these kettlebells to hold up during the most strenuous of workouts. They also come with a color-coated vinyl finish and flat bottom, making them easier to hold in a push-up position. You can rep out exercises like renegade rows and mounted pistol squats without having to worry about the kettlebell losing its footing.
- Cast-iron material promotes durability
- Flat bottom for easier storage
- Only available to 25 lbs
- 1-year warranty
Best Competition Kettlebell - Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Competition Style Kettlebell
- Key feature: Competition style, adjustable
- Material: Steel shell casing, cast-iron plates
- Weight range: 26.5-70.5 lbs
Fitness equipment used in home gyms, or even in commercial ones for that matter, sometimes differs greatly from those used in CrossFit, powerlifting or other sporting competitions. So, if you're training for an event that features kettlebells, our choice is the Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Competition Style Kettlebell. For those not in the know, a competition kettlebell must meet very specific requirements, including the handle width, which should always measure 35 mm in diameter.
Not only does the Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Competition Style Kettlebell meet competition standards, but as its name suggests, it can be adjusted from 12 kilograms (26.5 pounds) to 32 kilograms (70.5). Simply add or remove the included cast-iron plates inside the steel shell so you can find your ideal kettlebell weight.
- Goes up to 70 lbs
- 19 different weights available in a single kettlebell
Best Portable Kettlebell - Kettle Gryp
- Key feature: Affordable, portable
- Material: Plastic
- Weight range: Recommended for dumbbells up to 55 lbs
If you're someone who wants to take their kettlebell workout on the go, opt for the Kettle Gryp. While this isn't a kettlebell per se, this product allows you to do a kettlebell workout from any hotel gym by inserting a dumbbell into a plastic grip so it can be swung around like a kettlebell.
The Kettle Gryp allows users to be more creative with limited equipment, which is great since you can shake up your workout with an easy and affordable piece of equipment. That said, it's not recommended for weights over 55 pounds, but that's still good enough to get some fat-burning kettlebell moves in when there aren't actually any kettlebells around.
- Adaptable design
- Textured handle for easy grip
- Lightweight (when not holding a dumbbell)
- Too wide for kettlebell swings
Best Budget Adjustable Kettlebell - Fitness Gear Adjustable Kettlebell
- Key feature: Adjustable, several weight increments
- Material: Cast-iron with powder coat finish
- Weight range: 20-50 lbs
Kettlebells in general are one of the best budget home gym products because you can use them for a variety of workouts, without having to spend half of what other equipment like treadmills or squat racks can cost. At first glance, the Fitness Gear Adjustable Kettlebell may not seem that much more budget-friendly compared to its competitors, but it has 11 possible build ranges, which is more weight increments compared to other similar models. That means you'll be able to find a weight that works better for you depending on the type of workout you're doing. Kettlebells can sometimes jump too much in weight increments, but this adjustable set takes care of that problem.
The Fitness Gear Adjustable Kettlebell also uses a cast-iron design with a powder coat finish, promoting durability and long-term use. It uses a traditional U-bar handle for comfortable gripping and comes with 4 removable spacer disks, a 15-pound top, and 5-pound bottom. The one kicker? The weighted plates are sold separately, meaning you'll have to purchase one to three 10-pound plates depending on how much versatility you want to get from them.
- Doesn't come with weighted plates
What to Look for in a Kettlebell
Since kettlebells aren't as readily available in most gyms as dumbbells and weight plates, it's OK if you're not familiar with them. After all, that's why you have us! Be aware there are a few things you should look out for when deciding which kettlebell to get and that you can get a different training experience depending on the one you choose. Here's what to look for in a kettlebell for your home gym.
Competition vs. Commercial Kettlebells
As we mentioned previously, there are standard kettlebells and there are competition kettlebells. There's no difference in shape, so the main difference is in the size. With standard kettlebells, or the ones most often used in home gyms or found in a commercial gym setting, the size will increase with the weight. So, a 9-pound kettlebell will be smaller than its 70-pound cousin.
A competition kettlebell, however, will remain the same size regardless of its weight. So regardless of how heavy a competition kettlebell might be, it will always have a 5.5-inch base diameter, 11.1-inch height, and a handle that's 35 mm wide. That handle is a little bigger than regular kettlebells, which are typically 33 mm wide. This makes competition-style the better pick for people with bigger hands.
Since you'll be grabbing a kettlebell by the handle, it's important to get a grip on what material works better for you so you don't fling it all over the place. Most kettlebells are made with iron or steel and sometimes come with a coated finish. For those that don't, you should try to see which material works better for you. Keep in mind you'll be holding onto these while sweating from your hands, which may cause some slippage. That can easily be solved with a little bit of chalk, though.
Certain coats, such as vinyl-coated or rubber-coated kettlebells, can also drive up the price because it takes more material to make the product. The positives are they sometimes provide a better grip and protection, but coating could also cover any manufacturing defects. Material such as enamel coating can also make a kettlebell more prone to slips.
Unless you go for an adjustable kettlebell, you'll either want to get a kettlebell weight set with a range that can work with a range of exercises or pick just one that feels good for multi-function purposes. Just as you wouldn't use a 70-pound dumbbell to do a lateral raise, lighter kettlebells are better suited for some exercises than heavier ones.
This means you'll have to honestly assess your fitness level before deciding. If you can barely get a 50-pound kettlebell off the ground, you're going to have a hard time doing snatches or lunges with it, but if you've been weightlifting and strength training for 20-plus years, a 13-pound weight is hardly going to help you build more muscle. An adjustable kettlebell is sometimes the better option because you can work your way up to the heavier weights over time without spending more money. The individual ones are nice if you're doing HIIT workouts since you don't have to take time to adjust the weights in between sets.
FAQs About Kettlebells
How are kettlebells effective?
You might wonder how such a small piece of equipment could give you a powerful workout, but kettlebell exercises can boost your performance. Kettlebells can offer a full-body workout and are used for both cardio and strength training. If you're looking for the most effective cardio workout possible, you can challenge yourself by doing high-intensity intervals with kettlebells or performing low-weight, high-rep exercises. You can also perform kettlebell circuit training if you're really trying to get your heart rate up.
For strength-building, you can perform many of the same exercises you'd do with a dumbbell like goblet squats or Romanian deadlifts, plus throw in some powerful movements like kettlebell swings.
The design of the kettlebell makes for easy gripping and safer lifting (compared to some barbell and dumbbell exercises), making it an incredibly adaptable piece of equipment that you can customize to your workout regimen. If you're wanting to take your at-home workouts to the next level, kettlebells are a home gym essential.
Can I work my full body with a kettlebell?
In short, yes. Kettlebells are great for your upper and lower body. If you want to focus more on strength training, you can perform grind lifts with kettlebells, which include movements like squats, overhead press, and deadlifts.
Kettlebells are also designed for more explosive movements, known as ballistic lifts. Types of ballistic lifts you can do with a kettlebell include snatches and cleans, as well as kettlebell swings. These movements work your entire body by targeting multiple muscle groups at once like the quads, traps, shoulders, and hamstrings.
What makes a quality kettlebell?
The main clues to look for when searching for a well-made kettlebell include the materials it's made from, as well as what kind of coating it has. Enamel or plastic coating can make for more of a slippery grip when lifting. Kettlebells made from iron or steel are typically easier to grip, and a bit more durable.
Also, check to see whether the kettlebell's handles are welded on. When a kettlebell's handles are welded on, it can break easier if dropped. But if the kettlebell is made from a single piece of metal, it's usually much stronger. Look for "Single Cast" or "Single Piece Casting" under the description of the kettlebells you're browsing to ensure you're getting a quality, long-lasting piece of equipment.
How should I care for my kettlebell?
A kettlebell that comes with some sort of coating will usually provide a bit of protection against rust, but it can also be harder to grip (unless you use chalk). Without a layer of protection, there's a greater chance that your kettlebell will rust. But you can use anti-rust treatment to prevent that from happening or try a sander (specifically sanding sponges or sanding paper) to scrape off any existing rust.
What is the best kettlebell to use?
The best kettlebell to use will depend on your personal training needs and preferences. If you don't want to repeat your kettlebell purchase in a few years, it's best to go with a durable, quality product. Buying cheaper equipment might save you some cash short-term but might not be the best decision long-term when you end up having to repurchase the same hardware.
What kettlebell weight is best?
Again, this will depend largely on your training goals and fitness level. Also, keep in mind that most weights for kettlebells are listed in kilograms. Men usually start with 12–20-kilogram kettlebells, while more active men might pick a weight that ranges from 16-24 kilograms or heavier. Women may start with 8-12 kilograms, while more active women might start at 12-24 kilograms or heavier.