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Want to get stronger but don’t know where to start? Consider picking up a set of dumbbells. Like kettlebells, dumbbells are extremely versatile and can be used for a variety of exercises. If you’re looking to tone up your lower body, grab a pair of free weights and start squatting. Need to lose that last bit of arm jiggle? Dumbbells are great for bicep curls and overhead presses.
Best Dumbbell Sets - Our Top Picks
- Best Rubber Hex Dumbbells: REP Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbells
- Best Hex Dumbbells: Rogue Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbells
- Best Quality Dumbbells: REP Fitness Ergo Hex Dumbbells
- Best All-in-One Dumbbell Set: NordicTrack 55 lb. Select-a-Weight
- Best Loadable Dumbbells: Titan Fitness Loadable Dumbbell Pair
- Best Adjustable Dumbbells: Nordictrack iSelect Voice-Controlled Dumbbells
- Best Cast-Iron Dumbbell Set: REP Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells
- Best Dumbbells for Beginners: NordicTrack 25 lb. Select-a-Weight
- Best Affordable Adjustable Dumbbells: ProForm Rapid Strike 50 lb.
- Best Budget Dumbbells: NordicTrack Hex Dumbbells
There’s a lot of workout equipment on the market and it can be overwhelming seeing all the choices. The ACTIVE Reviews Team is here to help you narrow down the options and make an informed decision on the best dumbbell set for you.
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Best Rubber Hex Dumbbells - REP Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbells
Hex dumbbells are named for the hexagon shape of the heads and are often encased in rubber. The shape is beneficial because of the added stability it offers when doing floor-centric exercises like dumbbell push-ups and devil presses, and the rubber makes them quieter and gentle (for dumbbells, anyway) on your floors. If you think hex dumbbells will be beneficial for your exercise regimen, check out the durable REP Fitness Rubber Coated Hex Dumbbells.
Using high-quality, low-odor rubber and chrome plating, REP Fitness provides quality to a product built to last. The lifetime warranty for home use and free shipping serves to sweeten the pot for these rubber hex dumbbells.
- Key feature: Knurled handles for no-slip grip
- Weight options: 2.5-125 lbs.
- Materials: Low-odor rubber, chrome
Best Hex Dumbbells - Rogue Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbells
Dumbbells are quintessential pieces of at-home workout equipment. However, if dropped, cast iron dumbbells can do a number on your floors (or your equipment!). Enter rubber hex dumbbells. Encasing the heads in rubber makes dumbbells softer and safer. The Rogue Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbells are a great option for those worried about the damage of their iron-headed cousins. Furthermore, the handle is knurled, which provides a traditional dumbbell feeling and allows for a solid grip even when your hand is sweaty.
The hexagon shape on these prevents the dumbbells from rolling when they are set down. Whatever your fitness needs are, these dumbbells probably have a weight option to suit you since they are available in 2.5 to 125 pounds. Rogue generally doesn’t offer free shipping on their orders, so this is something to keep in mind when purchasing a heavier set of dumbbells from them.
- Key feature: Knurled handle
- Weight options: 2.5-125 lbs.
- Materials: Rubber, chrome
Best Quality Dumbbells - REP Fitness Ergo Hex Dumbbells
There's nothing quite like the feel of a traditional hex dumbbell. So, If you're looking for something a little more on par with the dumbbell sets you'd find at your local gym, REP Fitness has plenty of options. You can choose from 2.5 to 100-pound rubber-coated dumbbells with straight, chrome, fully-knurled grips. Simply select your weight range or choose from one of REP's five complete sets. These dumbbells are on the more expensive side but come with a lifetime warranty for home use, meaning you can feel confident in the durability of your purchase.
- Key feature: Purchasable set options
- Weight options: 2.5-100 lbs.
- Materials: Low-odor, premium rubber
Best All-in-One Dumbbell Set - NordicTrack 55 lb. Select-a-Weight Dumbbells
When you think about the NordicTrack brand, you probably picture cardio machines but not strength equipment like dumbbells. NordicTrack's adjustable dumbbell set can transition from 10 to 55 pounds using a smooth micro-adjustable dial on the side. Not only do you reap the benefits of having 15 dumbbells in one convenient package, along with storage trays to keep your equipment safe and stored when not in use.
Another excellent aspect of the NordicTrack Select-a-Weight dumbbells is the option to join iFIT and take your home workouts to the next level. A 30-day iFIT membership trial is included with your dumbbell purchase which grants you access to elite personal trainers and several on-demand video workouts streamed directly from your tv, tablet, or other smart devices.
- Key feature: 15-in-1 weights
- Weight options: 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 32.5, 35, 40, 42.5, 45, 50, 52.5, and 55 lbs.
- Materials: Hardened, plastic-coated weight plates
Best Loadable Dumbbells - Titan Fitness Loadable Dumbbell Pair
There is something special about the feel and durability of a standard dumbbell for some people. Unfortunately, standard dumbbells take up space in spades, and the price of multiple sets quickly adds up. The Titan Fitness Loadable Dumbbell Pair is here to remedy that problem. Although they each weigh just over 12 pounds, you can load them with up to 500 pounds. This showcases how well-constructed these handles are. These dumbbells fit any Olympic-sized plate, meaning any plate with a two-inch diameter center. You can easily share plates between these handles and your bar if you have an Olympic barbell.
Although the $100 price tag may seem a little steep for handles (no plates are included), these still come in more affordable than similar items from competitors. Plus, because these handles are made from steel and have a chrome finish, you can expect them to last for years to come. The handle’s knurling provides a great grip, but we recommend collars to secure the weights when enthusiastically pumping iron. There is a one-year warranty, and Titan’s free shipping is always a delicious cherry on top.
- Key feature: 500 lb. weight capacity
- Weight options: 12.1-500 lbs.
- Materials: Steel, chrome finish
Best Adjustable Dumbbells - NordicTrack iSelect Voice-Controlled Dumbbells
Have you ever fantasized about being able to adjust your weight with just a few words? The NordicTrack iSelect Voice-Controlled Dumbbells can connect to Alexa and adjust the weight when voice-activated. Otherwise, you can easily adjust the weights using the digital selection knob; located in the included tray. This tray houses your weights and has an integrated tablet holder for workouts in smaller spaces. The rectangular shape of the weight may take some getting used to, but the wide range of weight options (from 5-50 pounds) that you can quickly switch between and the knurled handles make it all worth it.
A 30-day iFIT membership is included with this weight set as well, so you'll have access to their library of workouts. Another excellent feature of the NordicTrack iSelect is the ability to save 15 preset techniques to switch between your preferred weight for different exercises. These weights are pretty costly, but they feel like the adjustable dumbbells of the future.
- Key feature: Save presets for 15 workout techniques
- Weight options: 5-50 lbs.
- Materials: Plastic
Best Cast-Iron Dumbbell Set - REP Adjustable Dumbbell Set
We're constantly repping REP Fitness because they make solid strength equipment that would be a welcome addition to any home gym setup. These dumbbells have cast-iron plates that you can switch on and off to change the weight. A knurled connector piece is included to attach the dumbbells, which makes for an overall more versatile piece of equipment.
You can choose from two sets that add up to 20 and 52.5 pounds or a 40-pound add-on. If, for example, you go for the 52.5-pound set, you will get two handles, four collars, sixteen 5-pound plates, four 2.5-pound plates, and four 1.25-pound plates. These loadable, cast-iron dumbbells are compact and convenient to store. They will also save money and space by replacing several standard dumbbells.
- Key feature: Space-saving plate system
- Weight options: 20 lbs. 52.5 lbs., 40 lb. add-on
- Materials: Cast iron
Best Dumbbells for Beginners - NordicTrack 25 lb. Select-a-Weight
It can be intimidating to try something new, especially strength training. So, having a weight set that can advance with you makes it fun for beginners to get more comfortable with strength training. That's why we recommend the NordicTrack 25 lb. Select-a-Weight Dumbbells. This set is just as dynamic as the 55 lb. version, with a smaller weight range of 5 to 25 pounds for dumbbell newbies. With these NordicTrack adjustable dumbbells, You can also utilize the 30-day iFIT trial membership and put together targeted workouts with elite trainers to help you accomplish your fitness goals.
- Key feature: 5-in-1 weights
- Weight options: 5-25 lbs.
- Materials: Hardened, plastic-coated weight plates
Best Affordable Adjustable Dumbbells - ProForm Rapid Strike 50 lb. Adjustable Dumbbell Set
Our pick for the best affordable adjustable dumbbells is theProForm Rapid Strike Adjustable Dumbbell Set. No one wants to worry about losing momentum during a workout by taking a lot of time changing the weight on adjustable dumbbells. With the lightning-fast ProForm Rapid Strike Adjustable Dumbbell Set, you can rest assured that you will never run the risk of cooling down because you're fiddling with hard-to-use pins and locking systems that are often associated with adjustable dumbbells. The Rapid Strike dumbbell is not only fast but is also made from durable steel that looks sleek and strong.
We like that these dumbbells have ergonomic textured hand grips and the ability to easily go from 10 to 50 pounds using the Rapid Weight Selector. This also makes them easy to use if you are performing a partner workout and are not using the same amount of weight. Portable cradles come included for both dumbbells. It is worth noting that this pair of dumbbells also have the ability to integrate with the iFIT app. Due to the quality construction, these are still relatively expensive dumbbells. However, compared to other models, they are on the more affordable side. If you are interested in seeing more affordable adjustable options, take a look at our picks for the best budget adjustable dumbbells.
- Key feature: Rapid Weight Selector makes it fast and convenient to adjust
- Weight options: 10-50 lbs.
- Materials: Steel construction
Best Budget Dumbbells - NordicTrack Hex Dumbbells
If you are in the market for dumbbells that won’t break the bank, purchasing them individually from a fitness retailer like NordicTrack could be a great option. The available weights for these dumbbells come in five-pound increments from 5-40 pounds, making this a great set for those looking to increase their weight as they gain strength and endurance, especially during HIIT or high-rep strength training.
- Key feature: Compact size for convenience
- Weight options: 5-40 lbs.
- Materials: Rubber, chrome
What Should I Consider When Looking for a Dumbbell Set?
Depending on your previous experience with dumbbells, you may already have a favorite type you enjoy working with. Some people like the traditional feeling of cast iron while others prefer the durability of a rubber dumbbell set. Consider that steel and iron offer more durability, but rubber will protect your gym flooring.
Determining what your budget is ahead of time will help narrow your search down and allow you to only look at options that actually make sense for you. Heavy-duty dumbbell sets aren't the cheapest, but if you go for the right pair, they’ll likely last for years to come. Also, look for free shipping to help cut down on your overall cost. You can also opt for adjustable dumbbells, which often save a little money.
For those just beginning their strength training journey, starting off with a light option and working your way up is a good idea so you don't hurt yourself. If you’re used to using dumbbells in a gym setting, you may have a better idea of the weight you like to use for your upper and lower body. You should also consider your overall fitness goals when deciding what weights to choose. You want to pick slightly heavier weights than what feels comfortable and easy to you.
If you're tight on space, you most likely can’t accommodate a massive dumbbell weight rack. Consider checking out an adjustable set of dumbbells that can mimic what multiple sets can do in one compact package. However, some people want to build out an entire home gym and might prefer having a ton of different dumbbells to choose from. The bottom line? Choose the right dumbbell set or sets for your particular space.
Some dumbbell sets have a knurled dumbbell handle similar to a barbell, while others may use rubber or even silicone. Lots of people prefer a knurled handle because it is easy to grip, but everyone has their own preference for fitness equipment. Figure out what works best for you and stick with it.
What is the most useful dumbbell weight?
When investing in dumbbells, identify a light, moderate, and heavyweight. Consider which weight you’d typically need for high-rep sets, and which you’d need for low-rep sets. If you’re on a budget, start with these two pairs. Or, add a moderate weight.
Which dumbbell set is best for beginners?
We recommend a dumbbell set that is comfortable to use, affordable, and lighter in weight. You may even have the option to choose a set with a rack included.
How much do dumbbells typically cost?
Dumbbells usually cost $1.50-2.00 per pound. For example, if a set of 12-pound dumbbells at $2.00 per pound would cost you $48, or $24 per dumbbell. Price varies depending on material, durability, and weight.