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Thinking of getting some home gym equipment but don't know where to start? Consider picking up a set of dumbbells. Like kettlebells, they 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.
There's a lot of workout equipment on the market, and it can be overwhelming to see 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.
Best Dumbbell Sets - Our Top Picks
● Best Overall Dumbbell Set- Cap Barbell 150-Pound Dumbbell Set with Rack
● Best Rubber Hex Dumbbells - Rogue Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbell
● Best Budget Dumbbells - Fringe Sport Dumbbell Pairs
● Best Adjustable Dumbbells - Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells
● Best Dumbbells for Beginners - AmazonBasics Neoprene Workout Dumbbell Hand Weights
● Most Affordable Dumbbells - Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells & Stand
● Best Dumbbells for Group Exercise Classes - Bala Bars
● Best Cast-Iron Dumbbell Set - Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
● Best 2-in-1 Dumbbell Set - Nice C Adjustable Dumbbell Barbell Weight Pair
Best Overall Dumbbell Set - Cap Barbell 150-Pound Dumbbell Set with Rack
If you're looking for a dumbbell set that has various weight options, the Cap Barbell 150-Pound Dumbbell Set could be a great fit. For under $400 you'll get 10 hexagon-shaped dumbbells that come equipped with a solid steel handle you can feel confident will last. The dumbbells come in 5-, 10-, 15-, 20- and 25-pound increments, which makes this a great option for those looking to increase the weight they use as they get stronger. Since these are all moderate weights, this set would be best for someone looking to use dumbbells when doing something like HIIT or high-rep strength training.
When purchasing, you can choose between two different types of dumbbell racks—A-frame or horizontal. This is a nice option to have in case one would fit better in your space than the other.
- Key Feature: Comes with a handy storage rack
Weight Options: 5 lbs., 10 lbs., 15 lbs., 20 lbs. and 25 lbs.
- Materials: Steel, iron
Best Rubber Hex Dumbbells - Rogue Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbells
Rubber hex dumbbell sets are a great option for those worried about damaging their flooring (or their weight!) if they happen to drop a dumbbell. The Rogue Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbells are made with a rubber head and a chrome plated handle. 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're set down. Whatever your personal preference is, these dumbbells probably have a weight option to suit you since they're available in 2.5 to 125 pounds. Rogue generally doesn't offer free shipping on orders, so keep that mind when purchasing a heavier set of dumbbells.
- Feature: Knurled handle
Weight Options: 2.5 to 125 lbs.
- Materials: Rubber, chrome
Best Budget Dumbbells - Fringe Sport Dumbbell Pairs
Want to get a dumbbell weight set but worried they'll be out of your price range? The Fringe Sport Dumbbell Pairs are here to save the day as your budget option! Depending on the weight you get, these dumbbells range in price from $34 to $425. One of the best parts of ordering these is the free shipping (yes, on any weight!). As you can imagine, shipping 50 pounds of dumbbells can add up, so this is a great option for those looking to save some cash.
Another plus to ordering these dumbbells is the 365-day return policy Fringe Sport has in place. The brand is committed to customer service and will make it right if there's an issue with the set you purchase.
- Key Feature: 1- to 1.5-in. handle diameter
Weight Options: 3 to 100 lbs.
- Materials: Virgin rubber, steel chrome
Best Adjustable Dumbbells - Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells
Plenty of people want to have dumbbell sets in their home but don't have the space for a variety of different weights. The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells solve this problem because they have a dial system that allows the user to switch between weights in seconds with just one piece of equipment. One thing we really love is that these adjustable dumbbells replace 15 sets of traditional weights to help you save space.
The 552's are adjustable weights, but they still take on a fairly traditional dumbbell shape that feels good in your hands. Even better? These dumbbells come with a two-year warranty so you can feel confident in the durability of your purchase.
- Key Feature: Can be used with the free Bowflex SelectTech app for workout suggestions
Weight Options: 5 to 52.5 lbs.
- Materials: Steel and polyurethane
Best Dumbbells for Beginners - AmazonBasics Neoprene Workout Dumbbell Hand Weights
It can be difficult to get started on something new, but these colorful AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbells make it fun for beginners to get comfortable with strength training. You can purchase these dumbbell sets in a variety of light weights, ranging from 1 to 20 pounds. The weights are made with neoprene and designed to be durable for a variety of exercises.
The clearly labeled weight on the end makes it simple to quickly grab your desired dumbbell for a full body workout. Neoprene won't necessarily last as long as rubber or fully cast-iron dumbbells, but that might not be a concern if you plan to keep getting stronger and eventually get heavier weights. If you choose to get the set that comes with a rack, it comes pre-assembled. Just set it up in your space, and you're ready to begin working out.
- Key Feature: Color-coded based on weight
Weight Options: 1 to 20 lbs.
- Materials: Neoprene, iron
Most Affordable Dumbbells - Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells & Stand
Although a dumbbell set that's just under $400 might not seem like the most affordable option, the Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells & Stand gives you a full range of 5- to 50-pound weight options all in one. Consider that you'd have to purchase 10 sets of dumbbells to equal these, and it starts looking like an absolute bargain. Plus, changing the weight on this adjustable dumbbell is easy. Simply twist the handle to select what you want, and you're ready to go in a flash. No taking on and off plates; just twist and go!
The weight stand that comes with the Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells isn't the highest quality because the end caps are made of plastic. If you set the dumbbells down too hard, you may damage the stand. This isn't a dealbreaker, but it is something to be aware of.
- Key Feature: Comes with weight stand for your pair of dumbbells
Weight Options: 5 to 50 lbs.
- Materials: Aluminum, composite
Best Dumbbells for Group Exercise Classes - Bala Bars
If you're looking to add a little extra challenge to your Pilates, barre, aerobics or core training, consider checking out the Bala Bars. These lightweight dumbbells come in eight different colors to add some fun to your workout. Three pounds may not sound like much, but try doing continuous reps for 10 minutes without dropping your arms and you may change your mind.
Not only are these pretty to look at, but they're also made with high quality silicone and stainless steel for a durable finish. The Bala Bars also come with a carrying case for you to take these on the go with you, so you can work out wherever you are!
- Key Feature: Evenly distributed weight with a unique, pill-like shape
Weight Options: 3 lbs. each
- Materials: Silicone, stainless steel
Best Cast-Iron Dumbbell Set - Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
If you've previously gone to a gym, you may be familiar with seeing cast-iron dumbbells, much like the Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells. These dumbbells have cast-iron plates that you can switch on and off to change the weight you're lifting. This is very similar to how you'd load a barbell, which the Yes4All dumbbells are actually capable of turning into. A knurled connector piece is included to attach the dumbbells together, which makes for an overall more versatile piece of equipment.
- Key Feature: Comes with a connector to allow you to change your weight set into a barbell
Weight Options: 40 to 200 lbs.
- Materials: Cast iron, chrome
Best 2-in-1 Dumbbell Set - Nice C Adjustable Dumbbell Barbell Weight Pair
Whether you're looking to do exercises using a dumbbell or a barbell, the Nice C adjustable Dumbbell Barbell Weight Pair has you covered. This set comes with a foam and steel connector rod to securely attach your dumbbells together. This is a great option for someone learning to do weightlifting movements, like a deadlift or clean, without the pressure of using a standard barbell.
However, this combo doesn't allow you to use regular Olympic weight plates when it's been transformed into a barbell. You'll also want to be careful when you drop these because the adjustable plates will shift since they are not traditional bumper plates.
- Key Feature: Waterproof
Weight Options: 11 to 88 lbs.
- Materials: Neoprene, iron, steel
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 out 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 look only 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. Most of the options linked are from Amazon, which generally offers free shipping and can 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 upper and lower body exercises. 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.
If you're tight on space, you most likely can't accommodate a massive dumbbell 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's easy to grip, but everyone has their own preference with fitness equipment. Figure out what works best for you and stick with it.
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