The Best Dumbbells in 2021
I don’t know about you, but when I work out, I like to be out of sight, out of mind. Going to the gym makes me self-conscious and doesn’t give me the privacy I require to work out comfortably. Building a home gym isn’t for everyone, but if you’re like me, then it will help you get or stay in shape at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home. And what would a home gym be without the best dumbbells you can afford?
Dumbbells are extremely versatile. They’re a staple of every gym, can help you tone or build muscles, and can be incorporated in multiple workout styles. Whether you want to be jacked or you want a slick, well-toned body, these are the best weights for home use, without a doubt. We’ve prepared a list of both the best classic and adjustable dumbbells, all placed at different price points, in order for you to pick something that matches your particular needs. Dust off your weight bench, ’cause you’re about to need it.
- 3.65 and 6.75’’ loadable sleeve length
- Black zinc and stainless steel finishes (separate)
- 28mm diameter
- Semi-aggressive knurling
Rogue Fitness has managed to set the bar for the weightlifting equipment industry. Their prices aren’t “affordable” in the traditional sense, but their manufacturing process yields amazing products without breaking your bank. Their loadable dumbbells are ideal for people who don’t want to add racks in their homes. You’re getting a solid product with multiple plates that can help you progress at your own pace without the constraints of a fixed-weight dumbbell set.
The DB-10 and DB-15 have different sleeve lengths, meaning that each of them has a different weight stacking capacity. The 10 has a 3.65’’ loadable sleeve length, while the 15 model has 6.75’’ of sleeve length. The DB-10 model can fit around 60 pounds, depending on the plates you own, and the 15 model allows you to fit around 150 pounds when stacked at full capacity.
The bronze bushings and snap ring design allow you to load plates effortlessly. The knurl provides amazing grip without causing discomfort, thanks to Rogue Fitness’ amazing manufacturing process.
If you want to spend a bit more money for a better experience, Rogue is manufacturing a new type of bumper, that’s supposedly perfect for their loadable dumbbell line of products. Overall, the price is a bit steep, but the quality you’re getting, paired with the lifetime construction warranty, is pretty hard to beat.
- Amazing quality
- Loadable dumbbells
- Lifetime warranty
- Dumbbells not sold as pair
- Pretty expensive
Bowflex SelectTech 552 – Two Adjustable Dumbbells
The Best Premium Adjustable Dumbbells
- 5-52.5lbs weight/dumbbell
- Two-year warranty
- Two-dial system for quick adjustments
The Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells is a dumbbell set that uses tech and ingenuity to completely transform the user experience (for the better). These dumbbells are pretty expensive, but they have the peak ergonomic design.
With a simple dial system, you can select the weight you want to work with – nice and easy. The minimum weight of each dumbbell is 5 pounds, and the maximum is 52.5. They don’t go super high in terms of weight, but 52.5 is a pretty respectable weight to work with. The first 25 pounds are added in 2.5-pound increments, something that will help you progress seamlessly.
In terms of usability, the handle is comfortable and grippy, and the dial system is very easy to work with. Even a toddler could use these dumbbells if they were stronger. The only problems are that the bumpers are proprietary, so if you damage one, you won’t be able to replace it. The two-year warranty is nice to have, but for something that costs as much, it would’ve been cool to see more coverage.
- Amazing ergonomics
- Very easy to load-unload bumpers
- Very expensive /ul>
CAP Barbell Coated Hex Dumbbell Weights
Time-Tested and Long-Lasting
- 5-50 lbs
- Come in pairs
- Knurled handle
- Rubber coated stainless steel weights
When I was in college, I couldn’t afford any fancy adjustable dumbbells, so I had to settle for a pair of affordable, fixed-weight dumbbells. And guess what! They worked just fine. The CAP Barbell hex dumbbells sport a classical hexagonal shape, have rubber coating, a good knurl, and come in a lot of different weights.
The rubber coating helps protect your floors from scratches, something that’s pretty standard in all dumbbells. The price is still pretty high up there for the pair, but you’re getting a high-quality pair of dumbbells and the difference between these and the “premium brands” is very significant.
The weight varies between 5 and 50 pounds, so you can find something that’s perfect for your current weight lifting capacity. Overall, nothing special, but the quality is great and the price is fair for what you’re getting.
- Good quality
- Good price
- Nice variety of weights
- Come in pairs
- Kind of pricey
- Not adjustable
The Best Weights for Home Use
- Handle between 25 and 35mm
- 2.5-125lbs weights
- Rubber-coated, hexagonal weights
- Convex, chrome-plated, knurled handle
Rogue Fitness also has a lineup of classic dumbbells for people who can’t splurge on their higher-end products. The Rogue dumbbells come in weights between 2.5-125lbs. The price rises incrementally, so the lighter weights are very affordable, while the heavier weights are pretty expensive.
You can find weights for cardio, functional workouts, weightlifting, basically anything you want to take on. The length and bar diameter varies based on the model you pick, but they’re all ergonomic, rubber-coated, with a chrome-plated knurled handle.
The handle is ergonomic and designed with a convex shape to fit your closed palm. Overall, the quality is superb, and the price is pretty good as long as you’re not planning to stack an entire rack with Rogue Dumbbells.
- Good price
- Amazing quality
- Price adds up when getting multiple weights
TELK Adjustable Dumbbells
Great Alternative to More Expensive Products
- Come in 45, 65, 105, 200 lbs versions
- Chrome-plated handles
- Passive knurl for grip
If building muscle is your main goal, then the TELK adjustable dumbbells come at a pretty competitive price and in pretty heavy configurations. They’re sold as a pair, include all of the plates, and are built to last.
Because they’re pretty heavy, we would’ve liked a more grippy handle. The “textured” chrome-plated handle has a very passive knurl. The TELK adjustable dumbbells come in four variants: 45, 65, 105, and 200lbs (divided by two for each dumbbell), so you’re getting a pretty various choice of weights to work with, even with the lighter ones.
The quality is good, the design is straightforward, and the price is fair.
- Good variety
- Pretty passive knurl
Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
The Best Adjustable Dumbbells Under 100$
- Come in 40, 50, 52.5, 60, 105, 200 lbs variants
- Diamond knurl
I’m not going to spend a lot talking about the Yes4All adjustable dumbbells just because they’re pretty similar to the TELK product featured above. What I am going to say is that they come in an even greater variety of weights – 40, 50, 52.5, 60, 105, 200 lbs.
The Yes4All adjustable dumbbells also come with a connector option. The connector is a bar that’s threaded in between both dumbbells to create a barbell, but it’s not that straightforward. The bar is considerably thicker than a barbell and the weight distribution is not the same. It’s a nice feature on paper, but it’s kind of a gimmick.
Overall, the price and features are similar to the TELK adjustable dumbbells, so pick the one that’s more available in your area and you should be fine.
- Adjustable dumbbells
- Amazing weight variety
- Barbell “configuration” not ideal
- Passive knurl
BalanceFrom GoFit All-Purpose Dumbbells
The Best Budget-Friendly Weights
- 32 and 50lbs versions
- Color-coded weights
- Neoprene coating
- Cast-iron construction
The BalanceFrom GoFit dumbbells are affordable, meant to be used by people who focus more on cardio rather than weightlifting, and come in a very complete and affordable pack. The two packs that are available are a 32 and 50 lbs pack, coming with an included weight stand.
Each weight is color-coded, made using cast iron, and has a neoprene coating that makes them grippy and comfortable. The 32-pound set contains a pair of 3, 5, and 8lbs weights, while the 50 contains a pair of 5, 8, and 12 weights. Both are constructed using the same materials and are covered by a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Very affordable
- Good build quality
- Included weight stand
- Not great for building muscle
- Neoprene sticks nicely but will strip if chipped
How to Choose the Best Dumbbells
Choosing the best home dumbbell set isn’t as straightforward as one would think. The biggest determining factor, in my opinion, is price. Dumbbells tend to become pretty expensive and unless you need to know what you’re buying before dropping some serious stacks on equipment that risks going unused.
Adjustable vs Fixed
If you know your limits, then going for two pairs of fixed dumbbells might actually be cheaper and more cost-efficient than going for a pair of adjustable dumbbells. The Rogue Adjustable dumbbells, for instance, are pretty high up there in terms of price, and if you can’t justify dropping some serious money to save some storage space, then consider the former option as a way to save some money.
Adjustable dumbbells, on the other hand, do help you save a lot of space. You can stack the bumpers vertically so they won’t take up a lot of floor room, and the bars can be tucked away in a corner. This, compared to purchasing dozens of weights to stack on your rack, is a much more efficient way of managing your space and is, in fact, more cost-effective. The only downside is that you have to unscrew the star locks every time you want to add or remove weight, which is time-consuming, but I doubt that a few minutes of tinkering justify spending hundreds of dollars more for very little convenience.
The handle should provide grip that matches your weights. Honestly, this isn’t that big of a deal, since most dumbbells are designed to provide adequate adherence, but if you ever find yourself shopping for a product with a smooth handle, then you should reconsider.
In terms of ergonomics, convex-shaped handles are more comfortable to hold but do cost more. The weight-distribution is better compared to the cylindrical handles, which tend to dig into your palm when stacked with heavy plates.
Having rubber coating (at least) will help protect your floors (especially if you’re working out on hardwood floors) from getting scratched. Additionally, the coating helps keep the dumbbells from sliding too much on the rack, something that could result in accidents and injuries. Neoprene is also a good choice for smaller dumbbells, since it provides amazing grip, will prevent your hands from getting cold, and even has pretty good sound-dampening properties.
Arguably the most important aspect. Rogue Fitness, for instance, invested a lot of money in high-end manufacturing equipment, so their casting process results in less porous casts, improving the quality of the end result.
In terms of build quality, make sure that the dumbbells are protected against corrosion or oxidation. Either pick a product that’s made using stainless steel or one that has a coating. If you’re shopping for neoprene-coated weights, note that the cast iron that’s beneath will rust if the coating starts to strip.
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