Dumbbells are an essential part of any home gym. They’re relatively compact, you can use them for training muscles throughout the body, and they’re more affordable than those machines you’ll find on late-night infomercials. The only problem? You have to buy an expensive new set every time you gain strength! That is, unless you have a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells.
With adjustable dumbbells, you can adapt the weight to meet your current fitness level, often down to the precise pound! Determine your desired weight, then add/remove plates until you’ve achieved the perfect level of resistance. Easy, right?
Our favorite adjustable dumbbell comes from ATIVAFIT. Their easy-to-use dumbbell goes up to 55 pounds and features GlideTech technology to make swapping out weights as easy as moving the stopper! But… that’s not the only innovative option on our list — keep reading to learn more.
Our Top Picks: Best Adjustable Dumbbells
In a hurry? Save time and lighten your load with this quick overview of our top picks:
- Best Overall: ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbells. The ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbells combine a generous 55-pound weight limit with an intuitive GlideTech adjustment system for easy-breezy workouts.
- Best Budget: Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells. If you’re seeking a no-frills workout for under $100, Yes4All offers an excellent set of manual adjustable dumbbells.
- Best Set: CAP Barbell Adjustable Dumbbell Set. CAP Barbell is a titan of the weightlifting industry, and their high-quality iron and steel adjustable dumbbells provide the perfect workout for beginners and pros alike.
- Best for Home Gym: FLYBIRD Adjustable Dumbbells. Seeking an easy option for your home gym? With FLYBIRD, all you have to do is twist the handle to select a weight, and you’re off to the races.
- Best for Beginners: Nice C Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Pair. With a weight range of 2.3 to 11.2 pounds per dumbbell, this set is perfect for aerobic conditioning and beginner lifters.
- Best Heavyweight: Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dumbbells. These pro-grade adjustable dumbbells reach a whopping 71.5 pounds and feature soft rubber grips for ergonomic lifting.
- Best Multi-Weight: IRUI Free Weights Dumbbells Set. Opt for a standard dumbbell workout, or attach the extra-long handle, and you’ve got a barbell for entirely new exercises.
- Best PowerBlock: PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells. Embrace the power of PowerBlock with these high-tech units that adjust from 5 to 50 pounds in precise 2.5-pound increments.
- Best-Rated: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells. Thanks to Bowflex’s quality craftsmanship and intuitive adjustment system, the SelectTech 552s have been the highest-rated dumbbells on the market for over a decade.
- Best Luxury: Select-A-Weight Dumbbell Set. With 15 different weight options per dumbbell, this set replaces an entire gym’s worth of equipment at a fraction of the price.
1. ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbells
The best adjustable dumbbells overall
Manufacturer: ATIVAFIT | Weight Range: 5 – 55 Pounds | Adjustment Increments: 5.5 Pounds | Comes w/ Storage: Yes | Warranty: 90-Day | Price: 💰💰💰
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use and ergonomic adjustable dumbbell, you can’t go wrong with ATIVAFIT.
ATIVAFIT’s secret lies with its GlideTech plate system, which makes adjusting the weight from 5 pounds up to 55 pounds a cinch! You simply pull up on the stopper and trace it along the handle until you reach the perfect weight (don’t worry, everything is clearly labeled for your convenience). Let go, and it locks the iron plates into place – snug and secure.
The ATIVAFIT dumbbells boast a slim profile and measure just 8 by 17 inches. And, they come with their own weight tray that doubles as storage!
The only real downside to choosing ATIVAFIT? These dumbbells sell as singles, meaning you have to purchase multiple units if you want a pair. This can be a significant burden, as the price is already fairly high.
- Ergonomic grip with a soft, textured surface
- Fantastic space saver for smaller home gyms
- Easy-to-use plate system featuring GlideTech technology that’s as simple as drag-and-drop
- Does not come as a set
- Weight caps at 55 pounds, meaning it’s really only suitable for intermediate lifters
2. Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
The best affordable adjustable dumbbells
Manufacturer: Yes4All | Weight Range: 9 – 30 Pounds | Adjustment Increments: 5 – 8 Pounds | Comes w/ Storage: No | Warranty: 5-Year | Price: 💰
Say “no” to expensive home gym setups and “yes” to Yes4All’s adjustable dumbbells, the most affordable option on the market.
This no-frills set of dumbbells promises a challenging workout, and boy, does it deliver. It comes with two chrome handlebars and an assortment of 5- and 8-pound iron plates that you can slide on to add more resistance to your training.
Yes, you do have to slide the plates on and off the bar manually, and that can be a pain during conditioning training. But what did you expect for such a bargain price?
If you’re concerned about the quality of this set, don’t be. Yes4All offers an incredible 5-year warranty on all parts, including any additional plates you decide to purchase once you’ve outgrown this set.
- Sturdy, even with all plates attached
- Among the best cheap adjustable dumbbells
- Comfortable diamond-knurled chrome handle
- QC issues with the star connector
- Weights are incredibly thick and can be awkward to handle
3. CAP Barbell Adjustable Dumbbell Set
The best adjustable dumbbell set
Manufacturer: CAP Barbell | Weight Range: 7.5 – 40 Pounds | Adjustment Increments: 2.5 – 5 Pounds | Comes w/Storage: Yes | Warranty: 30-Day | Price: 💰💰
The CAP Barbell Adjustable Dumbbell Set is an excellent starting point for beginner weight lifters. Their entry-level set comes with two 5-pound steel dumbbell bars, four 2.5-pound iron plates, and four 5-pound iron plates. It also comes with two collars to hold all the weights in place and a storage case for easy stowing.
In terms of poundage, you can divide the weight plates evenly between the pair of dumbbells to hit a maximum of 20 pounds each, or you can attach it all to a single dumbbell for a 35-pound butt-kicking! You can also attach more weight (sold separately) to reach up to 100 pounds per dumbbell. That’s a ton of functionality from one pair of weights!
While it’s a bummer that you have to pay more for weight beyond 40 pounds, it’s understandable when you consider all the features here. Heck, CAP thought of everything with this set, including diamond knurling for superior grip and threaded weight bars for penultimate safety.
- Top-notch safety features
- Pristine iron plate casting and overall quality
- Completely adjustable, as you can add weight up to 100 pounds per dumbbell
- Some reviewers note that the set weights closer to 38 pounds
- Suffers from CAP Barbell’s notorious metal burrs, which occasionally shed during use
4. FLYBIRD Adjustable Dumbbells
The best adjustable dumbbells for home gyms
Manufacturer: FLYBIRD | Weight Range: 5 – 25 Pounds | Adjustment Increments: 5 Pounds | Comes w/ Storage: Yes | Warranty: 1 Year | Price: 💰💰
As you’ll see, there are several innovative and easy-to-use adjustable dumbbells on this list. But FLYBIRD takes the cake when it comes to overall speed and simplicity.
The process for adjusting the FLYBIRD? You simply place the dumbbell into the storage tray, twist the handle until you reach your desired weight (seen on the visual weight dial), and the locks drop into place. Voila! You’re in business!
While the 25-pound maximum weight isn’t going to get you absolutely ripped, it is perfect for overall conditioning training in your home gym. Use it for curls, rows, or squats, and move through your workout at lightning-speed, adjusting and adapting the resistance as necessary.
- Fantastic grip
- Durable aluminum alloy construction
- You can change the weight in mere seconds
- Only comes with one dumbbell
- Plastic base feels a little unsteady
5. Nice C Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Pair
The best adjustable dumbbells for beginners
Manufacturer: Nice C | Weight Range: 2.3 – 11.2 Pounds | Adjustment Increments: 2.5 Pounds | Comes w/ Storage: No | Warranty: 30-Day | Price: 💰
This colorful set of dumbbells from Nice C is an excellent option for beginners. These dumbbells are small, portable, and easily adjusted via weight bars that slip under the outer shell in seconds. Start at 2.3 pounds with no weights inserted, and go as high as 11.2 with a full loadout — customized to your fitness level.
The Nice C Adjustable Dumbbells are made from grippable TPR and durable neoprene, meaning they’re exceptionally durable and entirely rust-resistant (unlike your standard dumbbells). They come in four different color options and are consistently ranked by users as the best beginner dumbbell set for folks embarking on a new fitness journey.
- Fantastic space-saver
- Easy to use, with a no-slip grip
- Exceptionally durable and break-resistant thanks to TPR
- Does not come with a carrying case
- Unscrewing the shell to change the weight during workouts can be a nuisance
6. Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dumbbells
The best heavy adjustable dumbbells
Manufacturer: Merax | Weight Range: 11 to 71.5 Pounds | Adjustment Increments: 5.5 Pounds | Comes w/ Storage: Yes | Warranty: 2-Year | Price: 💰💰💰💰
Worried about finding a pair of dumbbells with enough weight to handle your massive pythons? Relax… Merax has you covered with their Deluxe Adjustable Dumbbells that go up to 71.5 pounds each!
Each dumbbell also boasts an intuitive dial system that works alongside the storage tray to offer finite control over each unit’s weight, down to 5.5-pound increments. How’s the dial system work? With the dumbbell in the storage tray, simply twist the knob on the end of each dumbbell until you find the right level of resistance, lock the dial into place, and you’re good to go. When finished with your set, place the weights back in the storage tray, and take a breather!
The Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dumbbells are the most expensive option on our list, and they’re not for the faint of heart. Unless you’re a serious lifter looking for top-tier home gym equipment, you’ll want to look elsewhere. But if you do fit the “pro-lifter” category, you can’t go wrong with these heavyweight weights.
- Comfortable, ergonomic rubber grips
- Easy-to-use dial system lets you change weights on the fly
- Ideal length for all types of exercises, from presses to deadlifts
- Weight labels are marked in kilograms, not pounds
- Dials are plastic and more fragile than other components
7. IRUI Free Weights Dumbbells Set
The best multi-weight dumbbells
Manufacturer: IRUI | Weight Range: 4 – 33 Pounds | Adjustment Increments: 2.2 – 5.5 Pounds | Comes w/ Storage: No | Warranty: N/A | Price: 💰💰
If you’re looking to expand your home workout routine, you need to consider the IRUI Free Weights. With these bad boys, you can adjust each dumbbell’s weight anywhere from 4 to 33 pounds — perfect for aerobic conditioning and mid-level weight lifting.
But that’s not even our favorite part about these dumbbells. The IRUI Free Weights also function as adjustable barbells! Attach the connector rod to the handles, and this set of adjustable dumbbells transforms into a fully-fledged barbell for exercises like bench press and deadlifts! This incredible functionality makes the IRUI Free Weights Set one of the most versatile pieces of equipment on the market. Throw in the set’s innovative features like ergo grips and anti-roll plates, and you’ve found yourself the perfect all-in-one home gym setup.
One thing to note is that you’ll need a specialized weight bench to make full use of the barbell functionality. But hey, that’s a small price to pay for such top-notch functionality.
- Weights stay in place while working out
- Versatile set transforms from dumbbells to barbell
- Fantastic customer service should you encounter any issues
- Weights are in kilograms
- A low-quality plastic coating covers the entire set
8. PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
The best PowerBlock dumbbells
Manufacturer: PowerBlock | Weight Range: 5 – 50 Pounds | Adjustment Increments: 2.5 Pounds | Comes w/ Storage: No | Warranty: 10-Year | Price: 💰💰💰💰
PowerBlock is the original adjustable dumbbell manufacturer, and the company creates several weights for lifters at every strength level. This particular set — the PowerBlock Elite — is among their most versatile.
The PowerBlock Elite comes as a set that features two dumbbells, adjustable from 5 to 50 pounds each. PowerBlock’s innovative selector pins allow you to quickly and easily choose precise weights in convenient 2.5-pound increments. This makes these dumbbells ideal for dedicated athletes who intend to grow stronger and lift heavier over time, as the weight limit increases right alongside you. They are also very compact and come with a 10-year warranty.
If you’ve already attained superhuman strength, the 50-pound limit likely won’t be heavy enough for you. But for intermediate users, these are among the best adjustable dumbbells on the market.
- Durable construction
- Very inexpensive compared to a full set of dumbbells
- Clever design that adjusts in precise 2.5-pound increments
- Bulky design, especially at lower weights
- Feels slightly unbalanced at lower weights
9. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells
The best-rated adjustable dumbbells
Manufacturer: Bowflex | Weight Range: 5 – 52.5 Pounds | Adjustment Increments: 2.5 – 5 Pounds | Comes w/ Storage: Yes | Warranty: 2-Year | Price: 💰💰💰
Well known for their late-night TV advertisements, Bowflex manufactures a range of exercise equipment. That said, it’s their adjustable dumbbells that have risen to the top in terms of popularity. Why? Well, these Bowflex dumbbells are sleek, with a modern design featuring black and red accents — perfect for catching your eye in between your favorite shows. But more importantly, these adjustable dumbbells are extremely high-quality and excel in both strength training and aerobic applications.
The magic behind these dumbbells lies in their fancy SelectTech adjustment technology. They take less than five seconds to figure out — a quick flick of the twist dial knobs, and you’re off to the races! They also come with a helpful weight tray, which makes swapping out weights and stowing everything away after your workout a cinch.
There’s no question that these are some of the best adjustable dumbbells on the market. But don’t just take our word for it — read the tens of thousands of customer reviews and check out the near-perfect 4.7 rating to see for yourself.
- Intuitive weight-selection dial is quick ‘n easy
- Perfect for performing over 50 different weight-training exercises
- Among the best selectable dumbbells — on the market for over a decade
- Dumbbells stick on occasion
- Longer than other adjustable dumbbells
10. Select-A-Weight Dumbbell Set
The best premium adjustable dumbbells
Manufacturer: NordicTrack | Weight Range: 10 – 55 Pounds | Adjustment Increments: 2.5 Pounds | Comes w/ Storage: Yes | Warranty: 90-Day | Price: 💰💰💰💰
Although NordicTrack has been around for nearly 50 years, they’ve really blown up in the past decade or so. That’s all thanks to rising quality control, which extends across their entire lineup of products — including the Select-A-Weight Dumbbell Set.
What’s so special about the Select-A-Weights? These bad boys provide an entire gym from the comfort of your home. You can adjust each dumbbell from 10 to 55 pounds, increasing the weight in precise 2.5-pound increments until you find the perfect level of resistance. That’s 15 different weight options for each unit (30 if you count both dumbbells)!
The Select-A-Weight Dumbbell Set also comes with storage trays, which make taking weights on and off a cinch, even amidst your workout. Speaking of workouts, NordicTrack offers their companion iFit App alongside every purchase, which makes following along with pro tutorials easy as can be. So what are you waiting for? Grab a pair of the Select-A-Weight Dumbbells, and take your strength training up a notch.
- Swift adjustments using the multi-purpose storage trays
- Fifteen different weight options (per dumbbell) from 10 to 55 pounds
- Pairs well with NordicTrack’s iFit app, which comes free with purchase ($468 value)
- On the bulkier side
- Can only be found on the official website and select retailers
What to Look for in the Best Adjustable Dumbbells
The best adjustable dumbbells offer an affordable, convenient, and gym-quality workout experience from the comfort of your own home.
Think about it. Instead of buying a dozen sets of dumbbell weights, you can simply buy an adjustable “block” of dumbbells. Changing the weight is often as straightforward as turning a knob or sliding a weight pin to select the exact poundage for your fitness level! Quickly change the weight during your workout, and perform dozens of different exercises using the same equipment!
To be sure, adjustable dumbbells are incredibly versatile. In most cases, you can use them for strength training and aerobic conditioning, though some are better suited for one or the other.
Here’s what to look for, depending on your training goals.
1. Strength Training
Strength training, aka pumping iron, involves lifting heavy weight and performing a few reps at a time.
Bodybuilders and anyone interested in putting on some muscle mass will want to buy a set of adjustable dumbbells that reaches upwards of at least 50 pounds per dumbbell. Also, consider a set like the CAP Barbell or YES4ALL, which lets you add additional weights over time. Depending on your current strength, these sets should provide enough wiggle room to level up alongside you as you work for those gains.
When it comes to purchasing adjustable dumbbells for weight training, don’t worry too much about models that offer quick adjustments or minute increments, as you’ll be taking plenty of time to rest between sets.
That said, do consider options with storage for easy stowing away after use, and try to find a set backed by an extended warranty. Heavier weights are usually more expensive, and you want to find an option that the manufacturer believes in.
2. Aerobic Conditioning
Aerobic dumbbell sets are geared more towards activities like CrossFit and P90X workouts. These workout regimens incorporate a high number of reps at lower weights. The main goal with aerobic conditioning is to increase cardiovascular health and overall endurance, AKA burn fat, sweat a lot, and “get in shape.”
With aerobic training, there is very little time between sets (about 15-30 seconds). That’s because you want to keep your heart rate up to sustain it for the duration of the workout. As such, you’ll want to look for dumbbells that are easy to adjust on the fly. Look for adjustable dumbbells with quick-turn knobs and dial systems, such as the ATIVAFIT or FLYBIRD, which adjust in seconds.
You’ll also want to look out for dumbbells that adjust down to the precise pound, as you’ll need to increase weight slowly as your body gains strength over time. Opt for dumbbells that go up to 20 to 40 pounds each, depending on your strength level and long-term goals.
Sound too heavy? You can always adjust down or choose lighter dumbbells if you’re looking to add a small bit of resistance to exercises like walks or hikes. Sound too light? If you’re jacked and need something capable of keeping up, feel free to take the weight up a notch or two.
Do note that adjustable dumbbells for aerobics are typically smaller and less expensive than their strength-training counterparts, so storage and extended warranties aren’t quite as critical.
Best Adjustable Dumbbell Lifts and Exercises
One of the best things about using dumbbells for strength training is that they are free weights. Free weights are best for maximizing muscle development because they force you to do all the work. A study in the Strength and Conditioning Journal shows that free weights are superior to workout machines. Unlike machine-assisted exercises that keep the weight on a dedicated track, you have to use stabilizing and balancing muscles to help support the weight.
Dumbbells are also more challenging than barbell lifts because you can’t share the weight across both arms. Each arm has to do all the work on its own. This is why, for example, the dumbbell press is much more challenging than the traditional bench press. A person who can max 225 pounds on traditional press will likely only be able to do about 180ish pounds with dumbbells.
That’s why adjustable dumbbells are so incredible — you can adjust them as you grow stronger! Whether you want to tone with high reps and low weight, or build mass with high weight and low reps, you can easily adjust the weight to your liking.
Adjustable Dumbbell Exercises
Here are some of our favorite exercises to perform using adjustable dumbbells:
- Dumbbell Press. Just like bench press, dumbbell press is an essential lift for building chest and arm muscles.
- Dumbbell Incline Press. This exercise is a variation of the dumbbell flat press, but instead, you’re honing upper chest muscles.
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press. This exercise is performed sitting down, ideally with some form of back support. It works the shoulder and upper chest muscles.
- Dumbbell Squats. Squats are a core lift of any workout regime. Combine dumbbell squats with lunges, and your legs will be feeling in the next day.
- Dumbbell Curl. One of the most common dumbbell lifts is the curl. This isolates the bicep and gives it a thorough beating.
- Dumbbell Tricep Kickback. Along with the dumbbell press, the tricep kickback will help develop the largest arm muscle: the triceps.
- Dumbbell Kneeling One Arm Row. This is an effective back exercise that is much better than using a machine row.
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise. The lateral raise is a shoulder exercise that hits the side deltoid muscles. You can also combine this with front raises and shoulder press for a total shoulder workout.
- Dumbbell Upright Row. Another back exercise, this one hits many of the muscles that the kneeling one arm row misses.
- Dumbbell Stationary Lunge. One of the most effective leg exercises with dumbbells is the lunge. You can either stay put or (if you have room) walk and alternate legs.
- Dumbbell Toe Raise. The toe raise is an excellent exercise for working out the calf muscles.
For detailed instructions, check out bodybuilding.com. They offer a comprehensive list of excellent dumbbell exercises and a great community of like-minded folks.
As you can see, it’s entirely possible to craft a holistic workout routine with a set of adjustable dumbbells. Grab a pair and start growing stronger today!
For this guide on adjustable dumbbells, our team spent 4 hours researching the most popular options from over 40 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about two hundred user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each dumbbell. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 10 adjustable dumbbells on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.
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