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November 19, 2022 18 min read
If you are looking for dumbbells for your home gym, you’d be spoiled for choice. However, it could be a daunting task. We will attempt to make the process less challenging by telling you what to consider before you make up your mind. Although this article’s heading says the 7 best adjustable dumbbell sets, ultimately, the dumbbells you choose would be based on your personal preferences and your unique needs.
Not too long ago, home gym owners had to give up a lot of space to hold an entire traditional dumbbells weight set and a rack to hold them. Times have changed, and you can find adjustable dumbbells from the bare basics to a voice-activated set with all the bells and whistles. Most importantly, adjustable dumbbells are not only space-saving but also cost-saving.
Dumbbells have become one of the most versatile additions to home gyms. In a space-saving compact storage unit, the size of two dumbbells, you can have a pair of dumbbells that can be adjusted within seconds. From 5 or 10 pounds to any weight you want, whether you’re on a light-weight high reps day, or heavy weights for serious gains day.
They offer the best of both worlds, and with your choice of adjustable dumbbells, form and function won’t need to be sacrificed again, whether you’re a beginner, an experienced fitness freak, or a weight lifter.
To help you make an informed decision, we've put together a list of aspects to consider to ensure you select the perfect set of adjustable dumbbells for your fitness goals. You will notice dumbbell manufacturers use the following different types of adjustments, an aspect that plays a significant role in the ease of use.
Screw-on: The more basic, budget-type adjustable dumbbells usually have screw-on limiters similar to the collars on barbells that keep the plates from sliding off.
Dial: There are two dial-type adjusters you might encounter. Dumbbells of this type have a dial knob that you turn to select your weight selection. In some adjustable dumbbells, you dial the weight in by twisting a handle.
Pin: This system is similar to the methods used at the gym where a pin is used to slide into a machine to select the weight plates.
Electronic: Electronic adjustment methods vary from one model to the next. The electronic mechanisms typically use the dial or pin methods, except it happens automatically.
The first step is to determine your budget to save you spending hours looking at adjustable dumbbells that are not in your budget. Decide what types of workouts you will do — it is pointless to buy a pair of dumbbells with maximum weight capacity if you’re always going to work with lighter weights. In most cases, the higher the weight capacity the higher the price.
Look at the safety features like soft but firm grips and locking mechanisms to prevent injuries. Storage trays might be key if you have limited space and don’t want your weights rolling around. If your fitness workouts include weighted plank exercises, you might want to consider square-shaped adjustable dumbbells that won’t roll forward when they should stay firmly beneath your weight.
The features marketing companies use to sell products are not always those that matter. The following criteria require serious consideration when you go shopping for an adjustable dumbbell set.
Unlike commercial gyms that are income-producing entities, your gains from home-gym equipment like dumbbells will be fitness and strength. With that said, your challenge will be to find a set of adjustable dumbbells that will meet all your requirements at a price that falls within your budget.
The price tags of expandable adjustable-weight dumbbells with high-weight capacities are typically in the $500 to $700 range. Those with lower weight increments and weight capacity are priced much lower.
However, be careful not to blindly go for heavy weights at ridiculously low prices. Low-quality materials used to manufacture them might be the reason for the low price, in which case you’ll have to spend more money to replace them after a few months.
You can save yourself a lot of time by considering the maximum weight you would want to lift, and then looking at adjustable dumbbells in that weight range. Although fixed dumbbells in the gym range from 2.5 pounds to 300 pounds or more, few fitness enthusiasts or strength builders use more than 100 pounds in their dumbbell workouts. When they do go heavier, it is typically for only a few movements. Therefore, the maximum weight capacity for adjustable dumbbells is 100 pounds.
When looking at different adjustable dumbbell sets, don’t stop at the overall weight capacity. Instead, look at the different weight increments available in the various sets on offer. If you like to keep things simple and work out with no more than one or two weights, you don’t need to look for a set with a large range of weight increments.
If you want a wider weight range, you’ll have a choice between sets ranging between two and 20 pounds, or five and 50, 90, and 100 pounds. The typical load adjustment increment is 5 pounds or 10 pounds, but some adjustable dumbbells allow increases or decreases of 2.5 pounds.
If you intend to do any sort of isolation or bodybuilding movements that involve supersets, being able to change the dumbbells quickly is an important feature. However, not all the available adjustable dumbbells make it easy to tell what weight you are using.
Some slow you down by requiring you to do mental math. Have a good look at the product’s labeling. Are the dials simply indicating 1 to10, leaving you to do the math to know exactly how much is on the bell? Note that there are several others with clearly marked weight changes.
If you’ve previously worked out in your local commercial gym you might find the feel of the adjustable dumbbell awkward. The same applies to balancing it in your hand. It is typically only then that fitness enthusiasts realize how different adjustable dumbbell material is from the traditional dumbbells.
Fortunately, the strangeness disappears after only a few workouts. However, balancing it in your hand is important to make sure you won’t have to focus on injury risks instead of the lift.
The handle type is another aspect of some adjustable dumbbell models to test before making your choice. Different grip shafts you might come across include rubberized material, foam padding, or knurled metal. That is a metal modification process of creating small ridges along a metal grip shaft’s surface to improve the ease with which it can be gripped.
If you want to avoid calluses, you might prefer a softer, rubber grip, but if you prefer the classic barbell feel the knurled metal’s rougher texture might be for you. Whatever your preference, test the dumbbell’s grip comfort before opening your wallet.
There’s no getting away from the fact that traditional metal dumbbells are significantly more durable than modern adjustable sets. Although you might have just dropped the dumbbells in the gym, you’d be wise to handle your adjustable dumbbells with more care. Regardless of the material they are made of, if they are not made of metal and nylon, they’ll need you to carefully place them on the floor or in their stand.
However, depending on the intensity of your home workout, placing the dumbbells down carefully at the end of your rep range might be too challenging. If that is often the case, you’d be advised to test the strength of the dumbbells before you finalize the purchase.
In most home fitness setups, the space the gym equipment takes up is critical. Fortunately, even adjustable dumbbells in the maximum weight category are available in compact, space-saving units. You can literally fit an entire weight range into the space of a pair of dumbbells, no more than one square meter.
The different brands of adjustable dumbbells vary in storage modes. Some are stored on round or flat plates, while others have made-to-fit resting platforms or cases that prevent them from rolling or moving. Several types fit into the storage racks that also serve a purpose in the weight adjustment process.
Getting a warranty on the adjustable dumbbell set you settle on ultimately can be a valuable extra. In commercial gyms equipment breaks, barbells bend, handles separate from kettlebells, and bumper plates fold. Considering the fact that the equipment in commercial gyms is significantly more durable than most adjustable dumbbells, increases the stakes that the set you purchase could break.
Typically, the period of the warranty’s validity is an indication of the level of trust the manufacturers have in their product. If you happen to choose a set of adjustable dumbbells with a 30 or 60-day warranty, don’t be surprised if they break within days after the expiration of the warranty.
On the other hand, it might be a good idea to research the history and longevity of a company that offers a lifetime warranty. If it’s not going to be around for that product’s lifetime the warranty will have little value.
As mentioned, the purpose of these reviews is to help you choose the best set of adjustable dumbbells for you. We understand that the sets we selected might not meet your needs, but, at least, you will know what to look out for.
1. Best Overall – Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
2. Most Reliable – NordicTrack Select-A-Weight Dumbbell
3. Best Heavy Weight – Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell
4. Best Quality – PowerBlock Elite EXP Adjustable Dumbbells
5. Best User-Friendly – Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set
6. Best for Beginners – FLYBIRD Adjustable Dumbbells
7. Best Voice Controlled – NordicTrack iSelect Voice-Controlled Dumbbells
NOTE: The prices shown are list prices as of November 2022 — excluding any special deals,
You can buy these dumbbells as a single or a set of two. This adjustable dumbbell set replaces an entire rack of weights with a compact system that fits into the corner of almost any room. They are user-friendly with nonslip rubber handles for comfortable workouts and a locking mechanism that keeps the plates firmly planted when the dial is placed in between two weight values to limit injury risks.
Our rating as “best overall” is underscored by the fact that it has16,000 5-star reviews on Amazon. Some say the ease of use and switching between different weights make them want to do full-body workouts much more frequently and intensely than before.
One significant advantage is the self-explanatory easy-to-use selection dials on the weight adjustment system. The weight range of this Bowflex product is from 2.5 pounds to 52.5 pounds, and up to 25 pounds, adjustments can be made in 2.5-pound increments. From 20 to 50 pounds, you can make 5-pound increments. The unique locking mechanism locks in the weights you select and leaves behind those that you don't.
There is a 25-inch-high stand with a media rack that holds any tablet or smartphone that can be bought separately.
When you buy a set of Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells, you will receive a 1-year JRNY® Membership (Value $149) that allows you to follow your workout on-screen while watching your existing Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and HBO Max accounts on the media stand. The membership auto-renews when the trial ends unless you cancel it 48 hours prior to the expiry date of the trial.
On-demand, full-body strength classes for your legs, back, chest, abs, shoulders, and arms are available on the JRNY app if you have a subscription.
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells set of 2 – $549
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells stand with media rack – $129
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells and stand bundle – $608
15 weight settings in one
Includes 1-year JRNY membership (auto-renews when the trial ends unless canceled 48 hours prior to trial end date)
Download the FREE Bowflex® SelectTech® App for pre-loaded workouts and 70+ step-by-step coaching videos
Some reviewers say the plates wobble
High Price Category
Locking system: Affixes to base and can be removed via a dial or footplate.
Materials:Steel, nylon, ABS plastic, and thermoplastic rubber
Weight capacity:52.5 pounds
You can work out your arms with triceps extensions and bicep curls, and build your hamstrings, quads, and glutes with squats and lunges. You can do Good Mornings to target your back and do deadlifts in your comprehensive full-body workout–all without leaving the comfort of your home.
When you purchase a NordicTrack Adjustable dumbbell set, you bring the gym into your own home. Instead of a full-weight rack of dumbbells, maximize your storage space and replace a full-weight rack with this pair of NordicTrack adjustable dumbbells, each in a tray about the size of a shoebox. Even if you live in an apartment, it would not take up too much space.
Your NordicTrack dumbbells each have a maximum weight capacity of 55 pounds. They have a smooth weight selection system to choose the weight value you want to train with. Move up in 5-pound or 2.5-pound increments for completely customizable training from 10 to 55 pounds to find the perfect resistance for your fitness level.
They are as perfect for your warm-up exercises as for difficult compound lifts or cool-down movements. The desired weights are easily selected, and adjustable in 10-pound increments, even if you want to make adjustments as you go. When you’re done, place them in the dedicated custom-molded plastic storage tray, ready for your next workout.
When you buy the NordicTrack Select-A-Weight Dumbbell 55 lb. adjustable dumbbell set you will get access to Trainer-Led Strength Workouts. You will get a free trial of the iFit app to download without commitment. You can then benefit from thousands of trainer-led video workouts on your own tablet or smartphone, and you’ll be free to cancel the subscription at any time.
NordicTrack’s Select-A-Weight 55 Lb. Dumbbell Set of 2 – $399.99 including a one-year iFIT Family membership valued at $396.
Free iFIT trial with purchase
15 weight settings
NordicTrack only offers a 3-month warranty on this product, which may be a drawback for some, as some competitor companies offer two-year warranties on their adjustable dumbbells.
Locking system: Slide the plastic pin between plates to select your weight level and release it to lock in place.
Materials: Durable Construction – crafted from a combination of steel and hardened plastic
Weight capacity: 55 pounds
Best Heavy Weight Dumbbells
The Bowflex SelectTech 1090 is one of the heaviest adjustable dumbbells available. Its versatility is incredible, as its weight capacity is from 10 to 90 pounds. The user-friendly weight selection dial allows you to change the weight up and down in 5-pound increments. This pair of dumbbells can cover all your beginner needs and works equally well for intermediate and advanced lifters.
These dumbbells have the same durable locking tabs as the SelectTech 552, keeping you safe during your workout. The tabs can only be removed by using a dial or the footplate. The Bowflex dumbbells are spherical, offering a familiar traditional dumbbell feeling, but the size of the dumbbells can feel awkward at first.
The dumbbells come with a storage tray, to keep the dumbbell racked when you’re not using them and act as a holding tray for the unused plates while you exercise. The Bowflex dumbbells use a simple selection dial, a knob at the end of the dumbbell where you select the weight of your choice. When you lift the dumbbell off the tray, the weight you selected will be on the dumbbell, and the rest left behind on the storage tray.
The Bowflex SelectTech 1090 adjustable dumbbells are encased in rubber that will protect your floors from getting scratched or otherwise damaged. Furthermore, the material allows you to have a firm grip on the handle, so you can perform your exercises properly.
While these offer the most versatility at their 90-pound capacity, they come with a hefty price tag. With that in mind, you'll be eligible for a free yearlong trial of the JRNY app ($149 value) with your purchase, through which you can stream on-demand, full-body strength training classes.
Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell – Single Dumbbell – $349
Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbells stand with media rack – $129
Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbells and stand bundle – $1,027
Free JRNY trial with purchase
3-year parts warranty
17 weight settings
Covers a full spectrum of weights
Easy to store
Simple to adjust weights
Locking system: Affixes to base and can be removed via a dial or footplate.
Materials: The dumbbells are made of a mix of steel, nylon, ABS, and thermoplastic rubber.
Weight capacity: 90 pounds
When working with heavy weights, quality is incredibly important for both the safety and the efficacy of your workout. These PowerBlock dumbbells are of outstanding quality, thanks to their ergonomic design and easily adjustable plates. PowerBlock expandable dumbbells are designed for serious lifters who want big gains.
As you get stronger, these expandable adjustable dumbbells can get heavier — up to 90 pounds per dumbbell. Simply add more weight with expansion kits, which are sold separately. The Elite EXP dumbbells are ideal for heavy lifters looking for continual gains — those planning to lift up to 90 pounds in the future.
The PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells come in three versions, the baseline version comes in 15 different weight settings from 5 pounds to 50 pounds, with 2.5-pound weight increments. As you progress you get a stage 2 expansion add-on for each dumbbell, taking the total weight from 50 to 70 pounds. Moreover, you can even get yourself the stage 3 expansions later, taking the weight up to 90 pounds.
You might take a while to get used to the squared-shaped design of the PowerBlock Elite EXP Adjustable Dumbbells, but it is handy for floor exercises like triceps dips and plank rows. Rubber padding on the handle makes these dumbbells extremely comfortable to use (even during longer workouts), and the set is durable and built to last for years to come. The brand even offers a 5-year warranty should you need a replacement.
PowerBlock uses magnet pin technology for making weight adjustments. It is not complicated because all you must do is remove the pin, remove or add your desired weight, reinsert the pin in the proper place, and you’re good to go. Because it is magnetic, it’s unlikely that the pin will fall out while performing any exercise.
The quick adjustment can allow you to perform different workout techniques, such as drop sets.
PowerBlock Elite EXP Adjustable Dumbbells Stage 1 – $449 per set
PowerBlock Elite EXP 50-70lb. Dumbbell expansion kit Stage 2 – $169.99
Many weight options
Easy to store
Durable, made of steel
Easy to change weight
Might take some getting used to
Locking system: Lock in place using the magnetic polypropylene pin.
Materials:Steel and polypropylene
Weight capacity: 50 pounds + Add-ons
The Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells’ weight range is from 5 to 50 pounds. You can adjust the weights in 5 lb. increments with no more than a simple twist of a handle – levers to slide and no knobs to turn. If you decide to buy this dumbbell set, you’ll have the equal of a 10-piece dumbbell set in a durable compact set of dumbbells sitting in a lightweight aluminum cradle.
The quick-change weight adjustments using the twist Lock technology allow you to adjust the weight settings with one hand. All you need to do is set the dumbbell in the cradle, twist the handle to your desired weight, and you’ll be good to go.
The handles are contoured and textured with a soft-grip handle design, allowing you to grip the handles securely and comfortably.
The compact design of the Core Home Fitness adjustable dumbbells allows you to store the stand with the dumbbells out of the way until your next workout. The adjustable dumbbells are made out of aluminum and composite combination, making them lighter but no less effective.
Overall, the Core dumbbell’s structural design is very similar to the BowFlex and equally easy to use. Thanks to sleek ergonomics, intuitive adjustment mechanisms, and a knurled handle for a firm grip, you won’t be disappointed in this premium gym gear.
Core Home Fitness adjustable dumbbell set of 2 with two cradles and an exercise guide and a 2-year Parts Warranty – $369
Premium build quality
Simple handle adjustments
Knurled handle for a secure grip
The purchase includes two cradles and an exercise guide
2-Year Parts Warranty
Plates rattle a bit during use
Locking system: The Twist Lock system
Materials: Combination of aluminum and composite
Weight capacity: 5 to 50 pounds
Best for Beginners
The 15-pound FLYBIRD Adjustable Dumbbells are great for newbies among those who lift weights, and also for experienced fitness enthusiasts who want to work out with moderate weights. An ideal choice for anyone who wants to build strength, burn fat, and create a shapely body. However, FLYBIRD adjustable dumbbells are also available in heavier weights — 25 and 50 pounds.
Unlike the box-like shape of dumbbells like PowerBlock, FLYBIRD dumbbells are shaped like traditional dumbbells. Although working with a pair of dumbbells provides more versatility, you can buy only one FLYBIRD dumbbell if you choose.
Weight adjustments can be made in increments of 3 pounds. The adjustment process is simple. The dumbbells come with a tray where you place the weight, and line up the plates. Rotate the dial with one hand, setting the preferred weights in seconds. The 8-lock structure design can ensure the weight plate won't fall off during exercise.
FLYBIRD dumbbell's weight plate is constructed of solid cast iron and covered with an odorless coating for lifetime use with no smell, and no rust. The handles are comfortable with 1.36 inches diameter and the ergonomic handle is a non-slip knurled texture design that allows you to enjoy your workouts without worrying about sweaty palms.
If you are interested in the heavier FLYBIRD adjustable dumbbells it’s worth noting that on the 55-pound dumbbell, the weight changes are in 11-pound increments, which could be a big jump for a beginner. The 25-pound weight, however, comes with 5-pound jumps, which is much more beginner-friendly.
FLYBIRD adjustable dumbbell set of 2 x 15 lbs. with a storage tray and a 1-year Warranty – $149.99
FLYBIRD adjustable dumbbell singles x 25 lbs. – $109.99 each
FLYBIRD adjustable dumbbell singles x 55 lbs. – $199.99 each
15-, 25- or 55-lb options
Buy in singles or doubles
Easy to adjust
Enhanced safety features for stress-free weight lifting
Feel comfortable in your hand
Budget-friendly price tag
If you choose the 15 lb. dumbbells you might outgrow them quickly
Short 1-year warranty
Not incredibly durable
Locking system: Special 8-lock structure design makes sure the FLYBIRD adjustable dumbbell can only adjust the weights on the tray.
Materials: Handle material-black plastic-coated handle with cast iron pound plates
Weight capacity: 3 to15 lbs. (Also available 5 to 25 lbs. or 11 to 55 lbs. – sold in singles)
Best Voice Controlled
Voice-controlled dumbbells sound futuristic, but NordicTrack is marketing this set of adjustable dumbbells with all the bells and whistles. Worth noting from the start — the voice control feature is only available for those with access to Amazon Alexa. However, these super-sleek NordicTrack iSelect adjustable dumbbells can also be used without inviting Alexa into your home gym.
The dumbbells adjust from 5 to 50 lbs. in 5 lb. increments. If you use it with Alexa voice controls, the motorized weight selector responds to vocal prompts for hands-free adjustment. The other option is to make easy manual weight changes by using the adjustment knob at the center of the tray.
When the NordicTrack iSelect adjustable dumbbells are plugged in and connected to Alexa, you’ll use commands like “Alexa, increase the weight by 5 pounds”, or “Alexa set my dumbbells for deadlifts.” It allows weight adjustments without fiddling with weight plates. Although this all sounds awesome, the actual digital setup could be challenging.
To get Amazon Alexa to control your dumbbells, you’ll have to download the iSelect app, create an account, and then connect it to your Amazon account. A cumbersome process that is not particularly user-friendly, likely to take several attempts to get it all connected.
In contrast, if you choose to go the manual route, you’ll simply place the dumbbells on the base, and twist the knob to the desired weight. In the blink of an eye, the phenomenal weight-changing process of your NordicTrack iSelect Dumbbells will adjust the weights and you can lift them off the base, and you’ll be good to go.
A digital weight readout shows your current weight selection on a digital LED screen. Unfortunately, both dumbbells must be on the base to adjust the weight—you can’t change the weight of only one dumbbell, and it must be connected to electricity to work. Furthermore, a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection is required for Alexa and iFIT functionality
A 30-Day iFIT Family Membership is included if you purchase a set of the NordicTrack iSelect adjustable dumbbells. You can stream on-demand workouts on your phone, tablet, or TV, and if you are already an iFIT member, you’ll receive a credit to your account. The iFIT membership will auto-renew after 30 days unless you cancel it in advance.
The NordicTrack iSelect adjustable dumbbells are crafted from a combination of steel and hardened plastic with diamond-knurled handles that enhance grip strength and control during home workouts.
Of course, if you want all the bells and whistles you have to pay for the bells and whistles. Like all good tech, it comes with a hefty price tag. Nevertheless, this is a premium product, and if you can afford it, you won't regret the purchase, especially after loading up on high quality protein.
NordicTrack 50 Lb iSelect - $429.00 per pair of adjustable dumbbells
Alexa-compatible for hands-free adjustments
Great for strength training at every level
Comes with 30-day iFIT trial membership
Comfortable steel knurl grips
Effortless weight adjustment
1-year parts and labor warranty
Premium price point
Can’t adjust a single dumbbell’s weight
Requires power outlet to change weight plates
Requires electricity and batteries
2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection is required for Alexa and iFIT functionality
Weight plates can fall off while working out if misaligned on the tray.
iSelect app is confusing and poorly designed
Locking system: Mechanized
Materials: Crafted from a combination of steel and hardened plastic
Weight capacity: 5 to 50 pounds
Instead of a whole rack of traditional dumbbells of different weights, adjustable dumbbells are more compact sets of weights, needing no more than a square meter for storage. This makes them a great choice for the best home gyms. They're perfect for both beginners and experienced lifters alike.
Whether you use them for no more than the occasional lifting session, serious weight training, cross-training, cardio, or HIIT, adjustable dumbbells are among the most versatile pieces of home gym equipment because they accommodate dozens of different workouts. We hope our information is enough to help you make an informed decision.