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Working out from home has become increasingly more popular as people look to get in a good sweat without having to leave the house. Finding the right equipment to maximize the space in your home gym is no easy feat—space, cost, and functionality become really important. Dumbbells are an essential component of the best home gym equipment, but not everyone has the luxury of racking up a set of dumbbells of different weights. Well, let me introduce you to adjustable dumbbells.
The Best Adjustable Dumbbells - Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Adjustable Dumbbells: SMRTFT NUOBELL
- Best Adjustable Dumbbells for Heavy Lifters: Titan Fitness Loadable Dumbbell
- Best Adjustable Dumbbells for Beginners: PowerBlock Sport Series
- Best Rated Adjustable Dumbbells: Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells
- Best Mid-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells
- Best Cheap Adjustable Dumbbells: Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell (25 lbs.)
- Best Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells: CAP Adjustable Dumbbell Set
- Best 2-in-1 Adjustable Dumbbells: Wuudi 2-in-1 Adjustable Dumbbell
Adjustable dumbbells are versatile, space-saving, and convenient. Just one set of dumbbells provide flexibility and variety into your weightlifting routine. Each dumbbell can change its weight making it heavier or lighter in any given workout using a collar, dial, or pin mechanism. So, how do you know which adjustable dumbbells are the right ones for you with the myriad of choices on the market? Take a deep breath my friend....the ACTIVE Reviews Team has done all the research for you and compiled a list of the best ones out there right now. So sit back, relax, and read on.
ACTIVE.com’s editorial team relies on the knowledge and experience of fitness and wellness experts including competitive athletes, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. This helps us ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. Collectively, the team has spent countless hours researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools in order to create the most accurate, authentic content for our readers. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, which is why we only feature products that are highly rated.
Best Overall Adjustable Dumbbells - SMRTFT NUOBELL
CHECK PRICERanging in weight from 5 to 80 pounds, the NUOBELL 80-pound adjustable dumbbells are a great option for beginners and experienced lifters alike. Constructed with both steel and plastic, they have a sleek design which allows you to quickly adjust weight in increments of 5 pounds. And when we say "quickly adjust," we mean it. An easy click-lock handle rotates until you reach your desired weight on the indicator, then you simply pull the weight off its tray and get going. The NUOBELL adjustable dumbbells are consistently praised among users for how quick and easy it is to change weights.
The NUOBELL dumbbells feature a barbell-type handle with knurled finish which makes them appealing to anyone who prefers the look and feel of traditional dumbbells. Sold as a set, they come with a portable cradle for each dumbbell. The cradle, connecting pieces, locking mechanism, and weight selection piece are all made with plastic, which has the potential for some issues. Several reviews expressed concern over the plastic cracking over time, but there are virtually no reviews reporting the plastic actually cracking. Some users reported the cradles to be finicky and, if the dumbbells are not precisely placed back on the cradle, they will get stuck.
That said, are these bad boys worth their hefty price tag? We think so. The ingenious weight shifting aspect, traditional feel, and large weight range make these a great addition to any home gym.
- Quickly adjust weight
- Great range of weight options
- Feels like a traditional dumbbell
- Knurling on the handle
- Plastic components raise concerns of durability
- Must be put on cradle meticulously to prevent sticking
Best Adjustable Dumbbells for Heavy Lifters - Titan Fitness Loadable Dumbbells
CHECK PRICEThose who lift heavy are likely not looking to spend money on the lower weights found on most adjustable dumbbells. And that is where the beauty of the Titan Fitness Loadable Dumbbells lies. With a slim collar and loadable sleeve lengths of 3.5 inches, you can fit traditional change plates on each side making it easier to start with higher weights. Since these are compatible with Olympic weight plates, they are also a great option for those who already have change plates at home.
The weight capacity is an impressive 500 pounds, making it possible to hit your next PR from the comfort of your home. The handlebars feature an easy-to-grip medium knurl, 28mm in diameter, chrome coating, and Titan branded end caps, giving them the look and feel of a barbell. Titan Fitness also sells change and bumper plates, as well as collars for those who do not already have them, making the purchase a simple process.
- Compatible with all Olympic plates
- Easy-to-grip knurling
- Looks and feels like a traditional barbell
- Load up to 500 lbs.
- 1-year warranty
- Could get expensive if you don't already have change plates
- Some users feel they are noisy when fully loaded
Best Adjustable Dumbbells for Beginners - PowerBlock Sport Series
CHECK PRICEIf you are just venturing into the world of strength training, the PowerBlock Sports Series EXP may be a great fit for you. They are perhaps the easiest to use adjustable dumbbells currently on the market, with a very straightforward design.
The greatest feature in this line of adjustable dumbbells is that they grow with you. Offering expansion kits, the PowerBlock Sport Series begins with weights ranging from 2.5 pounds per hand to 50 pounds per hand. But, as you get stronger and are looking to expand your weight options, expansion kits are available to extend the max weight to 70 and 90 pounds per hand (depending on the kit you purchase). Just one set of the PowerBlock Adjustable Dumbbells can replace 16 or up to 28 pairs of dumbbells, which is quite remarkable.
Unlike traditional dumbbells, the rubber grip covered handles on these feature an open design which allows for increased range of motion. For those who prefer the feel of a traditional dumbbell, this may be a little uncomfortable, but the vast majority of reviewers do not mind this difference.
- Very easy to use
- Fast weight change
- Many options for weight ranges
- Space saving
- The open handle design is not for everyone
- Can be noisy when using heavier weight
Best Rated Adjustable Dumbbells - Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells
CHECK PRICEIn the world of adjustable dumbbells, the Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells come out on top for being the best rated set out there. And for good reason. They are affordable, compact, durable, and ergonomically designed, so they're a great option for smaller spaces. With adjustable weights ranging from 5 to 50 pounds in increments of 5 pounds, they make a great addition to any home gym, offering you an entire 10-piece set in a single dumbbell. Take into account that these only go up to 50 pounds, so aren't the best fit for those who lift heavy.
The twist-handle design allows you to easily switch weights (great for those dropsets). Each dumbbell end features a dual-sided weight selection window so you can easily identify the weight you need even when huffing and puffing mid-workout. The soft-grip handle design is covered with a thick, textured plastic grip which prevents slipping—not something you want to worry about when lifting weights.
One feature that may bother some is that the dumbbell length increases as additional weight is added, which can feel bulky. The weight plates are coated in plastic to prevent the metal housed inside from rusting, but that means you should not drop the Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell (or any adjustable dumbbells for that matter). Paired with an aluminum cradle, these bad boys come with easy and secure storage which looks good, too.
- Highly rated and well respected
- Aluminum cradle
- Twist handle lock to quickly change weights
- Very clearly marked weight numbers
- Higher weight may feel bulky
Best Mid-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells - Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells
CHECK PRICEThe Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells are a budget-friendly, but valuable addition to your home gym. Ranging in weight from 5 to 52.5 pounds, they utilize a dial at the end of the dumbbell which allows you to quickly adjust your weight. One especially nice feature is that the weight increases in 2.5-pound increments, allowing users to make small and safe jumps in weight.
The Bowflex 552 dumbbells come with cradles which conveniently store them when not in use. When locked into their stands, the cradle and dumbbell can be easily moved around by their 5-inch handle which features a rubber grip. Your purchase of the Bowflex 552 also includes a one-year membership to JRNY which houses on-demand, trainer-led workouts. Use your iOS or Android device to access any workout, anytime.
- 2.5 pound incremental changes in weight
- One year JRNY membership included
- Widely used and highly rated
- 2-year warranty
- Reportedly poor customer service
Best Cheap Adjustable Dumbbells - Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell
CHECK PRICEWhen you are looking to expand your gym but keep the price low, the 25-pound Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell is a great option. Now, I want to clarify that when we call these "cheap," we are talking about price and not quality. Because for the price, Flybird has impressive quality. They offer an adjustable design by means of a clear and concise dial, allowing you to quickly change weights with just one hand, streamlining your workout.
There are five weight choices ranging from 5 to 25 pounds in 5-pound increments. Adjustments can only be made while they are on their compatible storage tray, so once you lift the dumbbell off the tray, there are buckle weight structures that ensure the plates are locked in place. This ensures that whether you are lifting overhead or using them to spice up your ab routine, you do not need to worry about plates falling off.
- Easy to use
- Quickly adjust weights
- Enhanced safety features
- Feel comfortable in your hand
- Max weight is only 25 lbs. per hand
Best Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells - CAP Adjustable Dumbbell Set
CHECK PRICEAnyone in the world of weightlifting knows the CAP brand and the quality it offers. So it is no surprise to find the CAP Adjustable Dumbbell Set on our list of the best. One of the greatest attributes of this set is that they can be used by any fitness level. They are offered in different weight ranges, sold in sets starting at 40 pound (20 pounds each hand) and max out at 200 pounds (100 each hand). Each cast-iron 40-pound set includes 2 handles, four 2.5-pound plates, four 5-pound plates, four collars, and a plastic storage/carrying case. True to the CAP brand name, these dumbbells are incredibly durable with a semi-gloss finish to prevent rusting. The solid steel handle boasts medium-depth diamond knurling to maximize your grip.
The rubber trimmed collars are threaded onto the handle for added security. The design is basic, practical, safe and extremely versatile. Each handle holds standard weight plates which means you can use the same plates on your dumbbell or barbell. Simply switch out a plate to reach your desired weight and get your sweat on. And because the sets are available in different weight sets, users can customize their workout routines and let the dumbbells grow with their fitness level.
- Available in a variety of weight sets
- Made with high-quality material
- Knurling for good grip
- Threaded collars
- Some users reported sharp, raised metal edge
- Paint reportedly can produce metallic splinters
- Manufacturing differences can cause slight discrepancies in weight
Best 2-in-1 Adjustable Dumbbells - Wuudi 2-in-1 Adjustable Dumbbell
CHECK PRICE A dumbbell and barbell in one purchase? Yes, please. The Wuudi 2-in-1 Adjustable Dumbbell utilizes a long connector so you can easily transform two dumbbells into one barbell. Steel constitutes the majority of this set, but for added comfort is covered with thick foam. The weight can be adjusted by simply adding or taking off weight plates, which are securely fitted to the bar with a threaded bolt. However, the weight maxes out at 33 pounds. This set does not seem to accommodate traditional plates nor does it have an extender set, so it is best suited for the beginner to average gym-goer.
The Wuudi 2-in-1 Adjustable Dumbbell is easily assembled and does not take up much space in your home gym. It is also easy to disassemble and carry so you can bring it with you when traveling. You have greater versatility in exercises since it functions as a dumbbell and barbell. And if you are a beginner looking for guidance, YouTube is your friend!
- Easy to use
- Functions as both a dumbbell and barbell
- Allows for a greater variety of exercises
- Maxes out at 33 lbs.
- Not compatible with standard weight plates
- No option for extender kit
FAQs About Adjustable Dumbbells
Are adjustable dumbbells any good?
Yes! Any home-gym owner looking to maximize space and save money should seriously consider adjustable dumbbells. Dumbbells in and of themselves are an essential component to any gym, and with adjustable dumbbells you get all the benefits of multiple dumbbells in one. They are versatile, easy to use, space saving, and are great for unilateral muscle work.
Not all adjustable dumbbells are created equal, however, so before you purchase a set you need to know how you intend to use them, what realistic maximum weight suits your needs, and your price bracket.
Why are adjustable dumbbells so expensive?
Yes, the price tag can be intimidating, but if we break it down, they actually are not that expensive at all.
An individual dumbbell will cost anywhere between $1.50 and $4.00 per pound. So, a middle-of-the-road rack of dumbbells with weights from 5 to 50 pounds will cost about $1,500 (a conservative estimate). Now think about your home gym. Space is likely a premium commodity and not many of us have spacious enough home gyms to comfortably host a full rack of dumbbells. As an alternative, adjustable dumbbells can offer the same weight options for a fraction of the cost and space.
The bottom line is that while the upfront cost of a good pair of adjustable dumbbells may carry a hefty price tag, they are way more cost and space effective than a rack of dumbbells.
How do adjustable weights work?
Adjustable dumbbells let users easily increase or decrease weight with simple mechanisms such as a dial, pin, or collar. Some of the more budget-friendly adjustable dumbbells work similarly to a barbell. They feature a handle, collar, and sleeve to load weight plates that are secured with a collar or knob. Some use Olympic-width sleeves so you can easily swap plates between a barbell and an adjustable dumbbell (also called a handlebar).
Most adjustable dumbbells come with their own tray or container. And a good number of these use a pin mechanism. Picture a cable machine where you insert a pin to select a weight. Some weights move to match your chosen weight and the others stay in place. Pin-adjustable dumbbells work in a similar fashion; when placed on their tray, you select the weight you would like and simply lift the handle. Your desired weight locks into place on the handle and you are ready to go.
The dial is probably the most advanced kind of adjustable dumbbells. Like the pin-mechanism adjustable dumbbells, these come with their own tray or holder. The dial is marked with the various weight options. You simply turn the dial to your desired weight and lift the handle. The unused weights stay in place on its holder. These are the adjustable dumbbells that tend to be the most expensive, but they allow for quicker transitions between weights.