Get some more freedom during your home workouts with the best adjustable dumbbells

·9 min read

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Adjustable dumbbell sets have been around for a long time
Adjustable dumbbell sets have been around for a long time

Adjustable dumbbell sets have been around for a long time. They first gained popularity in the 80s when weightlifting was gaining popularity. With almost everyone leading such busy lives these days, the concept of at-home training started making more sense for the average person. But recently, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have reinforced the trend of using adjustable dumbbells at home — especially since most gyms were closed during the lockdowns. Even though things are starting to get back to normal, you still might want to continue working out in the comfort of your own home.

If you want some new home exercise equipment, a pair of adjustable dumbbells is one of the greatest investments you can make. These products can offer a lot of versatility to your exercises and they offer a ton of adjustability. And they’re also super practical since they have varied resistance levels, they’re easy to use and they offer convenient storage. But jumping into the market without knowing what to look for isn’t a great idea. You’ve got to find the right weights that are space-efficient, have a premium build quality and incorporate a user-friendly design. So if you’re looking to upgrade your home exercise space, and maybe tackle some personal fitness goals, here are some of the highest-quality adjustable dumbbells for 2022.

Top Picks

Best overall: Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells

Functional, full-body strength for your legs, back, chest, abs, shoulders and arms
Functional, full-body strength for your legs, back, chest, abs, shoulders, and arms

The Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells can switch between different weight ranges within a few seconds, and they have one of the most advanced adjustment systems integrated into their design — the dial-a-weight system. Just turn the handle with your wrist and select the desired weight, then it works almost like magic! And you can choose between a single dumbbell or a pair of two, depending on your individual fitness needs (and budget). This particular product also comes with a one-year membership to JRNY, which is an incredibly valuable resource for fitness fanatics. It offers full-body, online strength classes as well as a specialized radio station for members. These special perks, and the overall design, helped make this the best overall option on this list.

Key Features:

  • Per-dumbbell weight range of five to 52.5 pounds

  • Features the dial-a-weight design

  • Covered by a two-year warranty

Classic design: Yes4all Adjustable Dumbbells

Constructed of high-quality, textured chrome handle for secure, firm, and non-slip grip
Constructed of high-quality, textured chrome handle for secure, firm, and non-slip grip

This pick from Yes4all uses a traditional star-lock system. Sure, it’s not as convenient or quick with adjustments as some newer models, but there’s just something special about manually adjusting your weights, and it also helps make sure you take a rest between sets. This is a great option for the old-schoolers out there or simply for people on a tighter budget. On the plus side, this single-dumbbell comes with 100% cast-iron weights which are pretty amazing in terms of durability. Aside from that, you also get a premium-quality chrome handlebar with non-slip texture on the grip — what else could a more traditional weightlifter need?

Key Features:

  • 2.5 to 52.5 pounds weight range

  • Star-lock collars for manual weight adjustments

  • One-year warranty and a 30-day, money-back guarantee

Best weight range: Nordictrack Adjustable Dumbbells

Store your adjustable dumbbells in custom-molded storage trays when not in use
Store your adjustable dumbbells in custom-molded storage trays when not in use

Next up, we have the Nordictrack Adjustable Dumbbells, and they have the highest maximum weight range of all options on this list, making them a perfect fit for people at higher fitness levels as well as more experienced gym-goers. But even if you’re a beginner, this option is still a great choice, especially if you don’t want to spend money upgrading them any time soon. The alloy-steel build, paired with a combination of hardened plastic and an aggressively textured-grip handle, makes this product one of the most practical adjustable dumbbell designs out there! And it comes in a pair of two, making this pick pretty high value considering its advanced weight-dial system and premium design.

Key Features:

  • Adjustable weights between 10 to 55 pounds

  • Includes a convenient, select-a-weight feature

  • Backed by a 90-day manufacturer’s warranty

Elite design: Powerblock Adjustable Dumbbells

The adjustable, convenient, and compact dumbbells provide innovative strength training for an easy-to-use solution
The adjustable, convenient, and compact dumbbells provide innovative strength training for an easy-to-use solution

This pick from Powerblock stands out because of its unique mechanism for adjusting weights, as well as its impressively long warranty. It can also replace a whopping 16 pairs of dumbbells with one large set of adjustable weights, making this option super space-efficient for home gyms without a lot of room to spare. These weights are also made out of alloy steel and they come in pairs. And these bad boys won’t become useless when you start getting stronger — there’s an option for expanding them to 70 and 90 pounds if you need to down the road.

Key Features:

  • Per hand weight range of five to 50 pounds

  • Auto-lock handle weight adjustability

  • Comes with a five-year limited warranty

Fastest adjustments: FLYBIRD Adjustable Dumbbells

FLYBIRD strength equipment is designed with the advice of a professional coach, committed to meeting your needs for diversified weight training
FLYBIRD strength equipment is designed with the advice of a professional coach, committed to meeting your needs for diversified weight training

If you’re a beginner and aren’t used to lifting super-heavy weights yet, the Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell can be the perfect fit for you. It offers about half as much weight as most of the other options on this list, but it’s also the quickest at switching between several weight classes — so this is a super beginner-friendly product. Just turn the handle and you can switch resistance levels pretty seamlessly, even during an intense drop-set, helping you really feel the burn. This pick is advertised as being capable of switching between weights within a second, and that claim seems to hold up since most of the reviews seem favorable. Not to mention, this product looks pretty great with its shiny, textured chrome handle and sharp design!

Key Features:

  • Switches between five and 25 pounds in one second

  • Advanced dial-a-weight feature

  • One-year warranty on the weight plates and parts

How to find your next adjustable dumbbell: A buyer’s guide

Adjustable dumbbells are a pretty significant investment, and they can stick with you for years, so be sure to put some thought behind a purchase. With our recommendations out of the way, let’s take a closer look at some of the things you need to keep in mind to help bring the right pair of dumbbells into your home gym.

Weight range

The most important element of adjustable dumbbells is the weight range they support. Ideally, they should at least go up to 50 pounds. While a 20-pound set can be sufficient for most beginners, it’s always a good idea to future-proof — this can help keep you covered for months (or even years) as you grow stronger and more skilled.

Functionality

Make sure you take a deep look at how the pair of adjustable dumbbells you’re planning on buying work. They all tend to have a unique way of mounting and dismounting weights, so you should try to make sure you can manage them without getting frustrated. You should also try to figure out if you want to use a simple dial system, or if you prefer manually getting your plates in and out of your dumbbells.

Generally, there’s a tradeoff between easy adjustments and a feeling of safety and security, so you should make your decision based on what matters most to you during your workouts.

Here are some popular types of dumbbells that offer different levels and methods of adjustment:

  • Twist lock: Adjustable dumbbells with a twist-lock system offer the quickest adjustments out of all the other versions. And all it takes is a flick of the wrist to change your weight settings.

  • Dial-a–weight: You can also find dial-a-weight adjustable dumbbells that are a lot like twist locks, but they also come with additional individual weight adjustment options for each end of a dumbbell. This simple feature might end up meaning a lot to you if you’re into offset lifting.

  • Quick lock: The quick lock is possibly the most popular way of adjusting newer types of dumbbells, and it’s also the slowest. These versions require you to pick weights up and add them to the handle manually, which is about as traditional as it gets!

  • Selector-pin dumbbells: You can also get selector-pin dumbbells that combine the best qualities of dial-a-weight and twist-locks versions while also adding some extra durability. These models work by adding and removing a magnetic pin, letting you select the desired weights from the stack — then you just move the handle away from the stack and the unused weights get left behind.

Handle length

You might not pay a ton of attention to the length of the handle on your adjustable dumbbell, but it’s actually a pretty important detail to consider.

Handles that are too long can bump into your hip during curls, and they can also hit your head at the high point of a movement. You can get used to them over time, but the awkwardness in the range of motion never completely fades away — especially if you’re already accustomed to the standard form.

Size

Size can vary a lot with weights, but the more compact and dense your dumbbells are, the better! Compact designs help provide a more natural feel that’s reminiscent of old-school dumbbells, which feel great to use.

People also asked

Q. What size should my adjustable dumbbells be?

A. If you’re a beginner, you can get away with a lighter pair of adjustable dumbbells within a range of three to 25 pounds. As your skill and strength level increase though, you can jump up to 30 to 40-pound dumbbells to get into deadlifts and squats. These should be heavy enough for almost everyone too, even if you’re already in great shape.

Q. Are adjustable dumbbells worth it for my workouts?

A. Yes, adjustable dumbbells are one of the highest value-for-money purchases you can make, especially if you’re someone who’s serious about strength training. They’re also much cheaper than fixed dumbbells, and they allow you to store them pretty conveniently by dismantling them and taking all weight plates out.

Q. Does the grip on my adjustable dumbbell handles matter?

A. Yes! In fact, it’s one of the key considerations for people who have palms that tend to get sweaty. So, if that sounds like you, make sure to get a pair with some rubber handle covers that offer a strong grip — as opposed to smooth rods.