• Top 10 Best Dumbbells in 2021 (Personal Trainer-Reviewed) 1
  • Top 10 Best Dumbbells in 2021 (Personal Trainer-Reviewed) 2
  • Top 10 Best Dumbbells in 2021 (Personal Trainer-Reviewed) 3
  • Top 10 Best Dumbbells in 2021 (Personal Trainer-Reviewed) 4
  • Top 10 Best Dumbbells in 2021 (Personal Trainer-Reviewed) 5

Top 10 Best Dumbbells in 2021 (Personal Trainer-Reviewed)

When we talk about "dumbbells", we usually think of them as equipment to build muscles. However, there are other benefits that we can get from dumbbell exercises such as increasing metabolism, boosting energy levels, reducing stress, and increasing stability. Dumbbells are varied in terms of size, material, and mechanisms, so there's a style of dumbbells to suit any workout. 


We researched the different types of dumbbells out there and put together a list of the top 10. For a pair of solid weights that are suited to a range of workouts, we recommend CAP Barbell's Neoprene Coated Dumbbells. They come in various weights so you can choose the right one for your needs! Keep reading to see the rest of our picks. And if you're not sure what type of dumbbells is best for you, our buying guide is full of helpful tips and information.

Experts featured in this article

Esther Leonardo
Natalie Mitchell
  • Last updated: 08-11-2021
  • 3,140 views
Table of Contents

In Collaboration With Certified Personal Trainer Esther Leonardo

In Collaboration With Certified Personal Trainer Esther Leonardo

Esther Leonardo is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Director of Aquatics. She has worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor since 2009, and in personal and group fitness training since 2012.


Over the years, she has taught and worked in a variety of formats on both land and water. She believes that knowledge in fitness is key to growing stronger, working toward your goals, and preventing injury along the way.

Adjustable Dumbbells vs. Fixed-Weight Dumbbells

There are two main types of dumbbells: adjustable dumbbells and fixed-weight dumbbells. Both have advantages and disadvantages; however, your decision should be based on your exercise habits as well as other criteria like home space and budget.

Adjustable Dumbbells for a Range of Weights in One

Adjustable Dumbbells for a Range of Weights in One

These are a single pair of dumbbells, but they can be adjusted to a variety of weights. In general, the weight ranges from five to 50 pounds, but some are available up to 100 pounds.


Adjustable dumbbells usually cost more than fixed-weight dumbbells, though. Second, if one dumbbell becomes broken, it might be difficult to replace. You might end up buying a new set of dumbbells.


On the other hand, adjustable dumbbells suit people who want to work on different muscle groups, which is helpful for strength training. They suit people who have limited space since they take up very little room!

Fixed-Weight Dumbbells Suit All Types of Workouts

Fixed-Weight Dumbbells Suit All Types of Workouts

These are the most common type of dumbbells used for fitness. The weight usually ranges from one to 50 pounds, but some are available up to 200 pounds.


The drawback of fixed-weight dumbbells is that they tend to take up more space. If you are a heavy lifter, you may need a variety of weights. This means you might end up with quite the collection of dumbells and may need to buy a storage rack.


However, fixed-weight dumbbells suit different types of exercise such as aerobic exercises, balance exercises, flexibility exercises, and strength training. You can buy them in sets or individually, so there's more opportunity to decide what specific weights you want in your arsenal.

Top 10 Best Dumbbells

We've done our research and checked reviews to find the best dumbbells for home workouts. Each product suits different types of exercises and offers different benefits. Check out our top ten to find your perfect dumbells! 


*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Esther Leonardo.

1

CAP BarbellNeoprene Coated Dumbbell Weight

9 pounds each

$54.99

Dumbbell typeFixed-weight dumbbell pair
Available weights2-12 lbs.
Dimensions9.25 x 3.31 x 5.13 in.
Outstanding pointsCast iron, neoprene coating, hexagonal shaped head
Best forStrength exercise, beginner to moderate weightlifters
2

PowerBlockSport Adjustable Dumbbell

$262.94

Dumbbell typeAdjustable dumbbell pair
Available weightsAdjustable from 3-24 lbs.
Dimensions10.5 x 5.2 x 5 in.
Outstanding pointsPin mechanism, padded handle
Best forLimited home space
3

CAP BarbellCoated Hex Dumbbells

30 pounds each

$80.99

Dumbbell typeFixed-weight dumbbell pair
Available weights8-60 lbs.
Dimensions12.83 x 5.83 in.
Outstanding pointsHexagonal shaped head, contoured chrome handle, anti-slip grip
Best forAll types of exercise
4

SPRIVinyl Coated Dumbbells

2 pounds each

$17.90

Dumbbell typeFixed-weight dumbbell pair
Available weights1-20 lbs.
Dimensions6 x 4 x 3 in.
Outstanding pointsVinyl coating, non-slip grip, durable design
Best forAerobic exercise, balancing, flexibility exercise
5

BowflexSelectTech 552 Dumbbells

$349.00

Dumbbell typeAdjustable dumbbell pair
Available weightsAdjustable from 5-52.5 lbs.
Dimensions15.75 x 8 x 9 in.
Outstanding pointsTextured grip, durable molding, dial mechanism, free workout app
Best forStrength exercise, limited home space
6

CAP Barbell150-Pound Dumbbell Set with Rack

$379.99

Dumbbell typeFixed-weight dumbbell set
Available weightsSet includes 5-25 lbs.
Dimensions22.8 x 28.75 x 16 in. rack
Outstanding points5 pairs, hexagonal shaped head, solid steel and contoured chrome handle, anti-slip grip
Best forStrength exercise, beginner to moderate weightlifters
7

JFITNeoprene Coated Dumbbell Set With Rack

$47.45

Dumbbell typeFixed-weight dumbbell set
Available weightsSet includes 2-6 lbs.
DimensionsNot provided
Outstanding pointsSet of 3 pairs, double dipped neoprene coated, ergonomic handle, hex shaped head
Best forAerobic exercise, flexibility and balancing exercise
8

Nice CAdjustable Dumbbell Weight Pair

$33.99

Dumbbell typeAdjustable dumbbell pair
Available weightsAdjustable from 2.3-4.5 lbs.
Dimensions10 x 3 in.
Outstanding points5 weight options, non-slip grip
Best forAerobic exercise, balancing, flexibility exercise
9

CAP BarbellAdjustable Dumbbell Set

$182.00

Dumbbell typeAdjustable dumbbell set
Available weightsAdjustable from 2.5-20 lbs.
Dimensions20 x 9 x 8 in.
Outstanding pointsCast iron plate, manual weight adjustment, storage case
Best forStrength exercise, beginner weightlifters
10

Trademark InnovationsAquatic Exercise Dumbells

0.66 pounds each

$17.49

Dumbbell typeFixed-weight dumbbell pair
Available weights0.66 lbs.
Dimensions11 x 6 in.
Outstanding pointsEVA foam
Best forWater aerobics

Compare the Best Dumbbells

Image
1
CAP Barbell Neoprene Coated Dumbbell Weight 1

CAP Barbell

2
PowerBlock Sport Adjustable Dumbbell 1

PowerBlock

3
CAP Barbell Coated Hex Dumbbells 1

CAP Barbell

4
SPRI Vinyl Coated Dumbbells 1

SPRI

5
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells 1

Bowflex

6
CAP Barbell 150-Pound Dumbbell Set with Rack 1

CAP Barbell

7
JFIT Neoprene Coated Dumbbell Set With Rack 1

JFIT

8
Nice C Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Pair 1

Nice C

9
CAP Barbell Adjustable Dumbbell Set 1

CAP Barbell

10
Trademark Innovations Aquatic Exercise Dumbells 1

Trademark Innovations

Name

Neoprene Coated Dumbbell Weight

Sport Adjustable Dumbbell

Coated Hex Dumbbells

Vinyl Coated Dumbbells

SelectTech 552 Dumbbells

150-Pound Dumbbell Set with Rack

Neoprene Coated Dumbbell Set With Rack

Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Pair

Adjustable Dumbbell Set

Aquatic Exercise Dumbells

Features

Colorful Neoprene Dumbbells in a Range of Weights

Versatile Dumbbells With the Option to Expand

Basic Hex Dumbbells With Contoured Chrome Handles

Vinyl-Coated Dumbbells for Light Exercise

Adjustable Weights for Strength Training

Equip Your Home Gym With a Dumbbell Rack

Add Resistance to Cardio and Flexibility Workouts

Lightweight Dumbbells With Removable Weight Bars

Old School Manual Adjustable Dumbbells

EVA Foam Dumbbells for Water Aerobic Exercise

Price$54.99$262.94$80.99$17.90$349.00$379.99$47.45$33.99$182.00$17.49
Dumbbell typeFixed-weight dumbbell pairAdjustable dumbbell pairFixed-weight dumbbell pairFixed-weight dumbbell pairAdjustable dumbbell pairFixed-weight dumbbell setFixed-weight dumbbell setAdjustable dumbbell pairAdjustable dumbbell setFixed-weight dumbbell pair
Available weights2-12 lbs.Adjustable from 3-24 lbs. 8-60 lbs.1-20 lbs.Adjustable from 5-52.5 lbs.Set includes 5-25 lbs.Set includes 2-6 lbs.Adjustable from 2.3-4.5 lbs.Adjustable from 2.5-20 lbs.0.66 lbs.
Dimensions9.25 x 3.31 x 5.13 in.10.5 x 5.2 x 5 in.12.83 x 5.83 in.6 x 4 x 3 in.15.75 x 8 x 9 in.22.8 x 28.75 x 16 in. rack Not provided10 x 3 in.20 x 9 x 8 in. 11 x 6 in.
Outstanding pointsCast iron, neoprene coating, hexagonal shaped headPin mechanism, padded handleHexagonal shaped head, contoured chrome handle, anti-slip gripVinyl coating, non-slip grip, durable designTextured grip, durable molding, dial mechanism, free workout app5 pairs, hexagonal shaped head, solid steel and contoured chrome handle, anti-slip gripSet of 3 pairs, double dipped neoprene coated, ergonomic handle, hex shaped head5 weight options, non-slip gripCast iron plate, manual weight adjustment, storage caseEVA foam
Best forStrength exercise, beginner to moderate weightliftersLimited home spaceAll types of exerciseAerobic exercise, balancing, flexibility exerciseStrength exercise, limited home spaceStrength exercise, beginner to moderate weightlifters Aerobic exercise, flexibility and balancing exerciseAerobic exercise, balancing, flexibility exerciseStrength exercise, beginner weightliftersWater aerobics
Link

How to Choose Dumbbells - Buying Guide

There are many things to consider when it comes to picking the best dumbells for your workouts. We've gathered helpful information and questions to think about to help you decide. 

Examine Which Type of Exercise You Often Do

Each type of exercise provides different health benefits and variations depending on skill level. The first things to consider are your exercise goals. This will help you select the right type of exercise and equipment!

Lightweight Dumbbells for Aerobic Exercise

Lightweight Dumbbells for Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise focuses on increasing your heart rate. It's also known as cardio, and includes exercises such as running, swimming, and cycling. 


The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic exercise for adults. Since aerobic exercise requires a lot of movement and goes at a faster pace, you only really need one pair of fixed-weight dumbbells


Choose a light weight that you can move around easily; between one and three pounds is enough for most people. Heavier dumbells may be difficult to hold and can increase your risk of injury.

Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

Having a set of lightweight dumbbells to add to a typical cardio routine can help burn a few extra calories and add some resistance. It can also help with toning. Many people will take weights with them as they walk or hop onto an indoor bike. 


Light weights can also be added to other aerobic exercises - a perfect example of this is when you see programs like Zumba Toning.

Fixed Weights for Balancing and Flexibility Exercise

Fixed Weights for Balancing and Flexibility Exercise

Pilates and yoga are examples of this type of exercise. In general, they use only your own body weight and don't require dumbbells. However, some people like to add lightweight dumbbells to create extra stability and achieve a higher level of physical benefits and conditioning. 


These types of exercises are best with fixed-weight dumbbells. Because you'll be using a light amount of weight, you probably won't need to switch weights very often, if at all. And if you do need to switch, it's much easier to grab a second pair of dumbbells than to stop in the middle of your flow to make adjustments.

Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

When you're going through a rigorous routine or moving from one exercise to another, adding on weight or adjusting your dumbbell is the last thing you want to think about. It can be easier to have a set weight that you can rely on and simply switch out for another weight to ensure that you can flow through your workout without worry.

Adjustable or Heavy-Duty Dumbbells for Strength Training

Adjustable or Heavy-Duty Dumbbells for Strength Training

Unlike other types of exercise, the main purpose of strength training is to build stronger muscles. In addition to this, it has a myriad of other health benefits, including improving posture, boosting metabolism, increasing bone density, and improving brain health.


In order to build lean muscle, you need to increase the weight, frequency, or number of repetitions in your workout routine over time, a principle called progressive overload. In addition, different muscle groups will probably require different weights depending on your strength. 


Adjustable dumbbells are well-suited to moderate weightlifting, as well as people who have limited space. However, the limited weight of adjustable dumbbells might not suit powerlifters. For people who lift heavy or have plenty of space, having a range of fixed-weight dumbbells can work just as well!

Decide the Material of Your Dumbbells

While dumbbells are generally all made from metal, some are coated in other materials to improve grip and comfort. Some materials are better suited to light weights while others work well for heavy lifters.

Metal Dumbbells for Heavier Weights

Metal Dumbbells for Heavier Weights
Cast iron dumbbells are a classic and durable style. They typically come in weights up to 120 pounds. They require little to no maintenance and are virtually indestructible. If you go with cast iron, you might want to get some gloves to protect your hands from calluses, since the handles don't have any cushioning.

You can also find iron dumbbells with rubber-coated ends. These are essentially the same as cast iron dumbbells, but with a little extra cushioning for when you set them down. The downside of these is that rubber sometimes has an unpleasant scent.


Chrome dumbbells are another metal option that people consider to be more aesthetically pleasing than cast iron. They generally go up to 50 pounds in weight. They can rust if exposed to moisture, but they tend to have a more comfortable handle than cast iron dumbbells.
Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

Metal dumbbells are better for those looking to do heavier sets. You don't have to worry about dropping them, and they're much more durable


Vinyl and neoprene can rip and start to chip off compared to metal weights with rubber-coated ends that aren't so easily damaged. The chipping of material doesn't affect the quality of the weight itself much, but it's less aesthetically pleasing, and it can become a problem if the material on the handle starts to go.

Fully Coated Dumbbells for Lighter Weights

Fully Coated Dumbbells for Lighter Weights

Neoprene and vinyl dumbbells are made from a cast iron core with a colorful coating. They generally weigh between one and 15 pounds. The coating muffles noise and improves comfort, making these a good choice for cardio and longer workouts. 


However, coated dumbbells aren't as durable as metal dumbbells, since the coating can tear or discolor. And while neoprene has a textured surface that improves grip, vinyl tends to get slippery in sweaty hands.

Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

Vinyl and neoprene-coated dumbbells are colorful and fun to look at, and also are more comfortable to hold compared to a metal dumbbell with a textured grip. 


However, the coating is prone to ripping and they can be harder to hold when you have a slippery grip. These also come in much lighter weights and usually don't go much higher than 20 pounds.

Find Ones That are Easy to Adjust

Find Ones That are Easy to Adjust

If it takes too long or is too complicated to adjust the weight, you may not use adjustable weights often. It's a good idea to pick a product that can switch from one set of weights to another smoothly and quickly


The older style of adjustable weights requires you to secure plates of various weights at the ends of the dumbbell with a screw. While it can take time to adjust these, some people prefer them for their more classic dumbbell feel.


On the other hand, more modern adjustable dumbells use a pin, dial, or lever to switch between different weight increments. These are typically easy and quick to adjust; all you need to do is select the weight you want and pull it off the dumbbell block. 

Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

If you do choose adjustable dumbbells, you'll want to take into consideration how heavy they can be, how easy it is to change the weight, or whether you want to use the added weight for more options. 


Adjustable weights with plates that have an end that screws on allow you to use the plates for other exercises, but these tend to take longer to adjust. Newer adjustable weights are quicker and easier to use and can save on space.

Look for Quality Grips for Extra Safety

Look for Quality Grips for Extra Safety

There are two important aspects to consider when it comes to grips: knurling and ergonomics. Knurling is a pattern of lines, often crisscrossed, on the surface of the metal to add traction. 


A good quality knurling can reduce the risk of injury from the dumbbells slipping out of your hands. It can also help improve your performance! If you feel comfortable and confident while holding your weights, you can focus on your exercise without worry. 


Check the ergonimics of your dumbbells too. Look for tapered handles that allow all your fingers to wrap around the. evenly. Non-tapered handles can put pressure on your middle two fingers, which can cause fatigue and injury. 

Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

The heavier the weight, the more you will want to focus on grip. It's difficult to think about your workout if you're worried about a weight slipping from your hands. 


You tend to grip more when you have a slippery surface, which will overwork the muscles in your fingers, hands, and forearms. The more texture or knurling on it, the easier it is to grip. A tapered weight can also make it easier to grip and easier to increase the weight factor in your workouts.

Consider Where You'll Store Them

Consider Where You'll Store Them

Depending on your workout style and the type of dumbbells you choose, you may need a lot of space or just a small corner to store your dumbbells. Adjustable dumbbells take up less space than fixed dumbbells. Usually, the dumbbells and weight plates all fit together on a compact base.


Fixed weights can be more difficult to store. As they increase in weight, they also increase in size, so if you're buying multiple pairs you should consider where you'll keep them. Some fixed weight sets come with a storage rack but you can also purchase racks separately. 


Alternately, if you plan to keep them on the floor, make sure they have hexagonal or square ends so they don't roll around!

Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

When it comes to any new piece of equipment, space always becomes a factor. Adjustable dumbbells can be easier to store when plates aren't involved. However, if you have the space and want more versatility or even very heavy weights, it can be easier to get fixed-weight dumbbells. 


To help store different sizes, you can look into weight trees and racks, or even find a set that comes with a storage system. Make sure they're able to be stored somewhere that can handle a heavy load, and somewhere they won't roll around or get in the way.

More Expert Tips for Choosing Dumbbells

More Expert Tips for Choosing Dumbbells

When thinking of dumbbells, we most often think of the ones we use in the weight room. But in the event that you are searching for ones to use in water, remember that resistance works opposite what it does on land. 


You will constantly resist the buoyancy of your dumbbells. To care for these, be sure to rinse with potable water after use since the chlorinated water breaks down and dries out the dumbbells over time.

A Quick Full Body Dumbbell Workout for Beginners

If you're new to working out with dumbbells, try following a workout video to get familiar with common exercises and proper form. This beginner-friendly workout from Self is led by certified trainer Jason Pak and takes only 15 minutes!

Looking for More Workout Gear?

Looking for More Workout Gear?

There are a ton of other ways to improve your home workouts. Dumbbells are a great start, and adding other types of equipment can help keep your workouts feeling fresh!

Summary

There are many benefits of adding dumbbells to your home workouts! They can help strengthen muscles and adjust the intensity of your workouts. Once you know what type of exercise you want to do, choosing the best one for you will be a breeze. 


Consider the material, convenience, and grip handle of your dumbbells. You want to choose weights that are safe to use too. If you keep these points in mind, you'll definitely find the one that suits your workouts. You'll be pumping iron in no time with one of our top 10 dumbbells!

Author: Apinya Masuda


Try This Expert-Recommended Kettlebell

Dumbbells are an excellent choice for beginners, but some people prefer the flexibility of a kettlebell. Kettlebells can be held easily in one or two hands and can be used for a wider variety of exercises. This one comes recommended by online fitness instructor Natalie Mitchell!

Expert's
pick

Amazon BasicsCast Iron Kettlebell Weigth

25 lbs.

$39.99

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