When it comes to finding the best dumbbells around, there's actually a lot more to it than just picking the first set you can find.
To help you in your search, we've done some of the legwork for you and selected what we think are some of the best dumbbells available out there right now, plus how to pick the best set for you.
Let's dive in.
Best Dumbbells 2021
- Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells
- YAHEETECH Dumbbells
- Yes4All Dumbbells
- CAP Barbell 150-Pound Dumbbell Set
- Portzon Neoprene Dumbbell
Best Dumbbells Under 300 - Bowflex SelectTech
Brand: Bowflex | Type: Adjustable | Max Weight: 24kg
Bowflex is a bit of a household name in the world of fitness, especially home fitness, and was arguably one of the first brands around where you could find the now popular adjustable dumbbell.
They work simply enough - pick the weight by turning the dial, lift up the dumbbell from its base and you'll have the correct weight, a common trait of the best adjustable dumbbells you can buy.
Since they're not made from cheaper material, they're naturally smaller in size, so navigating them while exercising should be straightforward.
We'd say if you're trying to save space, and don't want countless weight plates around, then the Bowflex SelectTech are a good way to go.
Best Dumbbells Under 100 - YAHEETECH Dumbbells
Brand: Yaheetech | Type: Bar & Plates | Max Weight: 66 lbs
Now you don't always need to splash out to get what you need, as these Yaheetech dumbbells prove and then some.
Typically, with more affordable dumbbells, it's the material that allows for the lower price. In this case, these are cement-filled plates coated in highly durable plastic.
Sometimes these plates can be massive, and slightly unusual to train with, but in the Yaheetech dumbbells' case, they're actually reasonably sized.
For the price and the amount of weight you're getting here, you'll be able to work out for less and progress well into the more advanced weight benchmarks in those favourite exercises...
We're looking at you dumbbell press!
Best Dumbbells Under 100 Cast Iron - Yes4All Dumbbells
Brand: Yes4All | Type: Bar & Plates | Max Weight: Up to 200 lbs
Now, these are impressive and for the price, we thought they really stood out from the crowd.
True to their name, these Yes4All dumbbells are an accessible option for those looking to work out with cast iron.
Cast iron is unique in its durability, and there's also a historic element to it, in the way that you're using an 'old school' way of training, which lends itself nicely to home/ garage gym setups.
You can find that you'll get that 'jangle' if the weights aren't screwed on tight enough, which can be a little distracting when using them, but again it's very characteristic of cast iron sets and part of the charm.
These Yes4All Dumbbells are 60 lbs, but you can buy way more if needed so you don't have to worry about hitting plateaus. They even sell dumbbell connectors if you fancy introducing some barbell work too.
Best Dumbbells Hexagon - CAP Barbell 150 Pounds Set
Brand: CAP Barbell | Type: Fixed Weight | Max Weight: 150 lbs
Hexagon shaped dumbbells like these from CAP Barbell are great for specific exercises...namely anything 'dynamic'.
When you ground these dumbbells they're not going anywhere, which allows you to perform complex (and challenging) exercises with confidence, and often times without releasing the dumbbells from your hands.
This Cap Barbell Dumbbell set is at a premium price point, but these weights unlock a whole new level of exercise when used correctly, in addition to all those familiar favourites.
A solid choice for those looking to step out of their comfort zone.
Best Dumbbells For Beginners - Portzon Neoprene Dumbbell
Brand: Portzon l | Type: Fixed Weight | Max Weight: 8 lbs pair
Now let's be honest, any dumbbell can be great for beginners if used safely and with the correct technique, but there are a few features of these Portzon Neoreme Dumbbells that we think make them especially accessible.
You can go very light, for one, which is great if you want to add load to more dynamic exercises, such as step-ups, shadow boxing, and more.
In fact, it's part of the reason you'll find this type of dumbbell in many of the more popular exercise classes too.
The coating for these dumbbells is non-slip, which is very useful when you're working up a sweat, but want your grip to remain strong on weight.
And if we're really being honest...the fun colour selection, in comparison to some hardcore cast iron sets, makes these Portzon Neoprene dumbbells probably the least intimidating workout gear we've seen.
And that's a real win in our books.
How To Pick The Right Dumbbells
When it comes to picking the right dumbbell, there are a few things you'll want to consider.
How Much Should You Pay For Dumbbells?
Firstly price will be dictated either by both functionality and material. If you want to keep costs down, head towards the cement-filled more plastic-looking dumbbells.
They're not 'bad' by any means, but they can be a bit big relative to the weight, making dynamic exercises slightly awkward at times.
Going premium will get you adjustability, smooth, clean-cut, dense weight and sometimes a very luxurious finish. Great if you've got the budget, but not 100% vital in our eyes.
Spending around 100 - 200 is a sweet spot for quality and a decent amount of weight.
How Much Weight Should You Get For Dumbbells?
Some things you may want to consider are to consider progression and select based on your strongest exercise.
A set with up to 20kg weight is a great progression for bicep curls for example, but with the right training program will be quickly made redundant with bigger more powerful movements, like a squat.
We'd say going for dumbbells which add up to 200 lbs gives you some breathing room for a long time to come. Anything more than that, we'd say it could be worth heading to the gym instead.
What is the best dumbbell weight for beginners?
For someone completely new to fitness, it's worth starting light and giving your body time to adapt slowly.
Focussing on form and technique should be the main aim here, not lifting as much as humanly possible.
Buying a set that goes up to 10kg per dumbbell is a great place to start.
Should You Buy One or Two Dumbbells?
It may sound a little obvious, but it's actually a valid point, especially if you're working out on a budget.
Practically every exercise you can think of can be achieved with one dumbbell instead of two, but you may run into some ceilings when it comes to progression as in many cases you'll be loading one side of the body.
We'd say go for two as standard, but it's not the end of the world if you just have one.