When you are looking to get yourself a set of dumbbells there are so many factors to consider. Different dumbbells have different methods of adjustment and come in all kinds of weight sizes resulting in a very broad range of prices.
It can be difficult to decide which kind of dumbbell set is the best option for you especially if you don’t regularly work out and are unsure as to what kind of a weight range you are capable of lifting.
It is also especially difficult because someone who is new to working out is going to gain muscle at a much faster rate and what could be a good weight range for you to work out with now, could very well change within a few months of hard work.
In order to make choosing your weights easier we have come up with a buying guide to explain the factors that you should look into before making a final purchasing decision.
We have also come up with a list of or top ten picks for the best adjustable dumbbells on the market in order to make finding a set of dumbbells that much easier.
Adjustable Dumbbell Overview / Guide
This is one of the aspects of an adjustable dumbbell set that is likely going to have one of the biggest influences on your final purchasing decision.
Generally speaking in order to get a set of dumbbells that has the highest amount of weight, you are going to have to pay more money for it no matter the adjustment method that is incorporated into the design.
You will notice that brand name does make a difference on the price tag as well, but it doesn’t have nearly the same impact as the amount of weight that the dumbbells are capable of adjusting to.
The more weight that a dumbbell has in its design, the higher the price tag you should expect to pay.
It is important to take into account how often you work out, how often you plan on working out and how much disposable income you have so that you can come up with a good budget range for yourself.
Setting a budget is always a good idea as the price of some of these dumbbells can be quite high and they can have some really nice, eye appealing designs that may sway your decisions. It is best to go in with a plan and follow it.
This is something that you should always take into account when buying products. Over time if a dumbbell is built poorly you may notice cracks in the weight or large chips in the design.
Getting yourself something with a warranty is a great way to cover your back for when something like this occurs.
It is important to look at the fine details of a warranty so that you know exactly what kind of a coverage the company is offering, mostly so that you know they are an honest company that isn’t trying to rip you off.
Different dumbbells are going to have different methods of adjustment and some methods of adjustment are going to take much longer than others. It is important to find something that works for your workout routine.
Another thing that you should take a good look at is how much you can adjust the weight at different increments.
You will notice that some of the most expensive weights have the lowest increments of weight change available while some of the cheaper weights have much larger increments.
Having larger weight increments isn’t a problem but it does restrict your workout routine as going up by ten pounds when you are already struggling is a lot; compared to if you had a more expensive weight set where you might only have to go up as little as 2.5-5 pounds.
Most good quality dumbbells will be made out of cast iron and will have various amounts of plates on either side of the dumbbell that you can adjust in order to suit your personal needs.
Often times the weights will be coated in a paint (normally black or silver) which helps to make the iron plates rust-resistant, scratch-resistant, and therefore a more durable design overall.
Not all dumbbells will be made out of a cast-iron design; you will find dumbbells made out of things like plastic as well as chrome and chrome-plated designs.
If you are going to buy a plastic dumbbell it is important to realize that this won’t be as durable as a cast iron dumbbell and you should be more careful when setting your weights down and picking them up.
Depending on the brand that you purchase you will notice a varying price tag and you will also likely notice that some of the larger brands on the market have some pretty unique eye-appealing designs.
It is never a bad idea to buy a big name brand largely because they have likely put a lot of money into the innovation of the product and it is likely a massively modified version of an original design.
Although you are likely going to get a proven product from one of the big brands it is important to still consider the smaller brands. A smaller brand may have just as much innovation and years of experience in the business and you just haven’t heard of them yet.
It is a good idea to research any company that you are thinking of purchasing from in order to make sure that they offer quality products and that they really are an honest, trustworthy company.
The size of adjustable dumbbells can have a massive impact on your purchasing decision.
If you want to be able to do all different kinds of exercises by using these dumbbells, the broader the range of weight that they offer, the better off you will be.
It is important to make sure that the minimum weight of the dumbbell is something that works for a warm-up weight for the exercises that you do on a regular basis.
Keep in mind if you like to add additional exercises to your routine every once and a while you may want to make some kind of a list to figure out what weights you will need for those exercises.
One thing you are also going to run into in your search are different quantities of dumbbells. Depending on the exercises that you normally do you may want to get a package that comes with two dumbbells rather than one.
Remember that you could always just buy one dumbbell, but buying two will even out the weight and is likely going to feel comfortable to use than just one dumbbell.
Rack/ Holding Device
Many dumbbells on the market will come with some kind of device that can be used to store your dumbbell when it is not in use.
If you don’t currently have a weight rack this is something that will likely have a huge influence on your purchasing decision as it is important to put your weights up when you are done with them because they can be a major tripping hazard and could cause a major injury if they aren’t properly mounted into a holder somewhere.
Although you likely aren’t going to be getting a massive rack with your purchase thanks to the adjustable aspect of the dumbbells you are looking at; you should make sure that the rack that comes with the design is going to be appropriate for your living space or you may have to purchase a separate rack to store your weights.
Some of the more advanced dumbbells actually incorporate the stand that they come with as a way to change the weight of the dumbbell.
These innovative designs allow you to change the weight quite efficiently but it makes It much more important to keep track of your rack/ weight holding device otherwise you are likely going to have a tough time when you are trying to change the weight of your dumbbell.
Best Adjustable Dumbbell Reviews
1. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
If you have a higher budget for a set of adjustable dumbbells and you want a design that isn’t very bulky then this may be a good option for you. This dumbbell has as small as 5 lb increments which is something to be expected at this higher price.
Great for serious lifters who want to get an intense home workout without investing in a full home gym and olympic barbells. Each dumbbell is capable of adjusting from 5 lbs to as high as 52.5 lbs.
These weights are very quick to remove thanks to a very cool dial design that fits uniquely into a molded storage rack included with your purchase.
One other awesome feature of these dumbbells is that you get a very nice two-year warranty on the plates and parts that come with your purchase which can really help give you some peace of mind with your purchasing decision.
- Adjusts from 5-52.5 lbs
- Two-year warranty on the weight plates and parts that come with your purchase
- Unique dial design results in very fast weight adjustment and a non-bulky design
- 5 lb increments are available all the way to 25 lbs meaning you can do a really broad range of lightweight exercises easily
- Comes with a small rack custom molded to hold the weights
- High price tag may be out of reach for some people
- Dial design can be confusing until you get used to it
2. PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
If you have a high budget range and you are rather rough on your dumbbells then this may be a good option for you.
These are some of the most durable dumbbells available on the market and you have three different dumbbell sets to choose from as well as two expansion kits that you can purchase should you start finding that your weight sets aren’t heavy enough.
- Three weight set sizes are available including a 50-pound set, a 70-pound set and a 90-pound set
- Expansion packs are available, there is one 50-70 pound expansion kit as well as one 70-90 pound expansion kit
- Can shrink down to as little as a five-pound dumbbell in each hand
- Really long ten-year warranty
- Fairly easy to adjust in order to change to the proper weight
- Somewhat of a bulky design may be a bit big for some exercises
- A high price tag may be out of reach for some people
3. TELK Adjustable Dumbbells, 45, 65, 105 to 200 lbs
If you are looking to get a nice set of dumbbells with a broad range of weights for a relatively low price tag then this may be the set for you.
Telk may not be a household name, but I’ll put my name on the line to tell you they are made to a higher standard of quality for sure! Not only does the price reflect that truth (well over $500 as of the writing of this review) but the specs are impressive!
There are 2 sets you can buy and each has a maximum weight capacity different than the other. Rated at a total maximum weight for 2 dumbbells, you can get sets rated at 45 lbs and 65 lbs.
Then, you can add whatever plates you like for increased resistance. At the same listing on Amazon, you can buy a set of 25 lb weights (total of 2 for 50 lbs) to add, and that would give you just about any weight you could ever want – even if you are an advanced lifter.
We strongly suggest the 65 lb pair unless you are relatively weak due to injury, physiology or age. The actual weight ranges are: 5 lbs to 32.5 lbs in 2.5-lbs increments.
The deal includes TWO 15.75”x1.15” handles, EIGHT 5-lb plates, FOUR 2.5-lb plates, FOUR 1.25-lbs Plates, FOUR Collars, and ONE 10” Chrome-Finished Section of Barbell Rod.
The plates are 100% cast iron with a baked, hammered enamel finish which is rust-free and corrosion-proof for a lifetime. There is no black spray paint which is common on weights of lesser quality. The star lock collars add an air of quality which we appreciate.
- Available in 2 different weight capacities with the ability to easily add additional weights (sold separately)
- 15.75-inch chrome handle incorporates anti-slip technology to prevent injury
- Star lock is easy to use and keeps your weight secured
- Real hammered and enameled cast iron (no cheap black paint)
- Several small weights allow you to adjust your lifts by very small increments as small as 5 lbs
- Plates are kind of bulky and can be difficult to use for some exercises
- No rack or mechanism to store your weights
4. CAP Barbell 40-pound Adjustable Dumbbell Set with Case
If you are looking to get yourself a cheap set of dumbbells then this may be a good option for you. This set comes with two dumbbells that are each capable of going up to 20 pounds in weight.
The package you get comes with four 2.5 dumbbells as well as four 5 pound plates and four collars to hold everything in place. There are some pretty nice grips located on the dumbbells in order to keep you comfortable for the duration of the workout.
The plates are made out of durable cast iron material which is quite good for this price range and they are even painted black in order to have more long-term durability.
- Four 2,5 pound plates, four 5 pound plates as well as four collars are included in the package
- Plastic storage case comes with your purchase so that you can store everything in one place
- Cast iron plates are painted black for more durability
- Comfortable grips allow you to work out for a longer period of time
- Storage case is plastic and more prone to breaking
- Only capable of going up to 20 lbs in each dumbbell meaning it may not be enough weight for some peoples’ liking
5. Wotefusi Dumbbells Set
If you are willing to spend some more money in exchange for more weight because you work out a lot and use a lot of weight when you exercise then this could be an ideal set of dumbbells for you.
This set is capable of going to as high as 55 lbs per dumbbell with an option of joining each dumbbell with another to create a barbell.
You will receive 4 plates with 11 lbs, 4 plates with 5.5 lbs and 6 Plates with 2.76 lbs, 6 plates with 1.1 lbs,4x Spin Lock, 2x dumbbell handles (each with 11.81 inches), 1x assembling barbell handle.
With those weight options you’ll have no problem slowly increasing your increments as your muscles build.
A threaded design allows for a secure fit when it is combined with the end cap design; the combination of these two things can really help to give you some peace of mind knowing that it is very unlikely that they will come undone and cause an injury to occur.
The plates that come with this set are made out of cast iron material with a chromed finish. They are in the category of the highest-quality dumbbells you can buy and, unfortunately, the price reflects that.
However, you can bank on these lasting a lifetime for sure!
- Each dumbbell is capable of weighing up to 55 pounds in order to provide most people with enough weight to workout with (even an advanced lifter typically doesn’t need more than 40 lbs for most dumbbell exercises.
- Made from a durable chromed cast iron material
- Black and red knurled handles are comfortable to use and look professional
- Comes with a storage/carry case
- May be a little steep of a price tag for someone who doesn’t need so much weight
6. LLC-POWER Dumbbell Barbell Combination Package
This set of dumbbells offers a lot for the price tag. With this set you get a nice pair of dumbbells that are capable of holding up to 22 lbs each.
The weights are unique (on our list anyway) because the exterior is not only protected by a polymer (plastic) structure, but they look flashier than any weights we’ve ever seen! Like most quality dumbbells, screw-on star connectors are included.
Like others on our list, the LLC-Power dumbbells include a connector bar that joins the dumbbells together to be used as a barbell.
They are temperature-resistant (though we’re not sure why) and have an “anti-rolling” design which is welcome given that they are perfectly round.
The handles have a knurled pattern of polymer diamond-shaped, raised textures that allow for good grip and aggressive looks.
Our only criticism is that this set won’t work well for advanced lifters looking to add significant muscle mass.
The weight limitation makes sure this set is used for those wanting only to tone muscles and shape their body, and we can see the perfect user being a teen-to-twenty-something athletic girl who is not looking for bulk but rather, toned muscles and increased strength for a specific sport.
The set comes in Kg, so here’s what you get: 4 weights at 2kg, 4 weights at 1.5kg, and 4 weights at 1.25kg.
- Very catchy aesthetics/looks
- Threaded ends and handle provide a secure fit so that you don’t have to worry about the weights falling off and injuring you
- Won’t damage floors easily
- Pretty good price tag for this weight range
- No storage device is included with your purchase
- May not offer enough weight for many athletes
7. Yaheetech 66 LB Weight Dumbbell Set
If you are willing to purchase dumbbells in the mid to high price range then these ones may be of interest to you because of their very unique design.
Yaheetech is, of course, not exactly a household name, but we don’t care as much about that as we care about the guts of the product.
It receives a pretty darned good review on Amazon and it offers some features you might like, starting with a lower price than other comparable options.
Each dumbbell can be filled (with the included weights) up to 33 lbs which is enough for most exercises for about 90% of the world’s population.
Each of these dumbbells comes with a PE (polyethylene rubber) exterior so it won’t damage your floors as easily. The interior is weighted with cement and the connecting bar is iron, which is covered in a PVC grip.
Heavy-duty spinlock collars keep things secure, and overall, they have a good grip for both your hand and the floor.
- Won’t damage floors easily
- Less expensive than some other options with similar weights
- Easy and fast to adjust and comfortable to use
- Take up more physical space than iron weights
- Some concerns over lack of precision engineering with some collars not screwing properly or taking way too long to screw and unscrew
8. CAP Barbell Adjustable Dumbbell Set, 40 to 200 Pounds
If you are looking to buy yourself a really cheap, lightweight set of dumbbells but still want something that offers quality so that you don’t have to worry about injuring yourself, then these dumbbells may be the ones for you.
The 40 pound package comes with a total of four 5-pound plates as well as four 2.5-pound plates so that you have the maximum amount of adjustment options available.
The handle weighs 5 pounds so that brings the total of the 2 handles with all the weights to 40 lbs.
One nice thing about these weights is that if you currently don’t have a place to work out you can upgrade your purchase and get yourself a nice bench to work out on.
These dumbbells come in a threaded design so that they keep the weight nice and secure throughout the duration of your workout.
The weights are made out of a solid cast metal design and painted black in order to offer increased durability. 4 spin on ends are included in your purchase so that they stay on the ends of your weights securely.
- These weights come in a solid cast iron design and they are painted black in order to increase durability
- Available with and without a bench
- Threaded dumbbell allows you to keep your weights nicely secure thanks to spin lock ends
- Comfortable to use and easy to adjust the weight
- Very low price tag for the weights
- Lots of increment options available due to the low weight
- The 20 lb dumbbells may not be enough weight for some people depending on the exercise that you are doing
- Bench add on does increase the price tag by quite a lot
9. Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell
If you have an extremely high budget and want to get yourself a nice dumbbell then this may be a good option for you. This is made by a well-known brand which partially influences the high price tag for the dumbbell.
The nicest aspect of this unit is that all you have to do is twist the dial on the end of the dumbbell in order to change the weight. The dumbbell can adjust from as little as 10 pounds to as high as 90 pounds.
This dumbbell comes in a nice molded holder that holds your handle and your weights to sit all in one location to help prevent tripping hazards. With your purchase you even get a nice DVD that contains more than thirty different exercises.
The metal plates are painted black in order to make for a more durable design; they are also coated in a thick plastic lining on the exterior of the plates in order to make this dumbbell even more durable and to help make it easier for the dial twist, weight changing feature to work.
- Includes a “Secrets of the 4-step Rep” DVD with your purchase
- Molded stand allows you to easily change your weights, helps to prevent a tripping hazard and allows for a smooth and quiet lift off when working out
- Weight can be adjusted anywhere from 0-90 pounds as needed
- Dial spin function allows you to change the weight of the dumbbell with ease
- Very expensive price tag for one dumbbell
- The dumbbell may seem a little bit bulky compared to some of the other options on the market
10. Giantex Weight Dumbbell Set 66 LB Adjustable
While this set does not excite us as much as the Bowflex at #1 on our list, it may suit your purposes well enough. While offering everything that a typical set of dumbbells would offer, the Giantex set gives you the option of weights up to 33 lbs per arm.
The plates are steel with polymer (plastic) coatings.
The set comes with the following weight plates: 4 x 1.5 Kg and 8 x 2.5 Kg
Overall, not a bad set though it can look a little less “professional” than the Bowflex or Powerblock
- Weights are made of steel for increased durability but covered with a polymer coat
- Easy to adjust by removing the four end caps included
- Low price tag appeals to a broad audience
- Kind of a bulky design once you get all of the weights attached
- For the price, I’d go for a better brand like Bowflex or Powerblock
Conclusion & Recommendations
This conclusion is a bit different than most! Normally we show you a related video of some kind that will help in your purchasing decision or perhaps something more instructional.
This time, it’s a mention of a set of dumbbells that didn’t rock my world (I’ll tell you why in a second), but that some people absolutely LOVE! It’s the Bowflex SelectTech 560.
This is a super TECH version of the SelectTech 552 set which we really like. The reason I’m not over the top on the 560 set is that I’m not so sure we need the BlueTooth addition to track our reps and sets and weight.
You can do that yourself, but if you’d like to get a dumbbell that costs 60% (even on Super Sale!) more than the 552 set and has more potential to break, then fill yer boots, my friends!
I hope after reading through this article, that you have a better idea as to the aspects of an adjustable dumbbell that you should look for to design an effective home workout regime.
If you’re a bit of a newcomer to strength training or would like to add to your store of knowledge on the topic, NON-ATHLETE FITNESS has a great overview article on the details of how to become stronger with strength training!
We also hope that the top ten dumbbells helped to inform you as to the broad range of prices out there!
Our purpose was also to show you what kinds of features you can get on a set of high-end dumbbells as well as what kinds of things you can expect to have on a cheaper set.
Best of luck with your hunt to find yourself a nice set of adjustable dumbbells. Enjoy your workouts!