We took the following into consideration when selecting these dumbbells:
Anecdotal advice from real personal trainers. These dumbbells were selected by a certified personal trainer and exercise physiologist who have experience using different kinds of dumbbells.
Shape, grip, and ease of use. Some shapes and grip types are more comfortable for beginners, while others are better for more advanced trainees. We’ve suggested which dumbbells might work best for different training levels, but these are only general guidelines.
Quality and brand reputation. We looked for dumbbells made of sturdy materials and sold by well-established companies.
Customer reviews. These dumbbells have mostly positive customer feedback.
Price. We included a range of options to suit a variety of budgets. It’s typical for dumbbells to cost roughly $1.50–$3.00 per pound ($3.33–$6.66 per kg) of weight. We used this range to help gauge the cost-effectiveness of each option.
Vetting. The dumbbells on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.
Here are the 13 best dumbbells you can use at home in 2023.
A note on price
General price ranges with dollar signs ($ to $$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.
Remember, prices of dumbbells vary based on total weight, so buying a single, 5-pound (2.3-kg) dumbbell will inevitably be less expensive than buying a set of heavier single or adjustable dumbbells.
Generally, list prices range from $8–$1,499, though this may vary depending on available discounts and where you shop.
$ = under $100
$$ = $101–$400
$$$ = over $401
Heads up: These price ranges don’t include shipping costs, so keep this in mind when reviewing your options.
Here are a few things to think about when choosing a set of dumbbells for your home gym.
How much are you willing to spend? While a single set of lighter dumbbells — think 5 to 20 pounds (2.3 to 9.1 kg) — will generally cost less than $50, the heavier the weight, the more you’ll need to shell out. Also, when ordering dumbbells, remember that you have to pay to ship the weights. Given that shipping is usually based on the weight of the package, know that the more weight you ship, the more costly your total investment is likely to be.
The typical range of price per pound is $1.50–$3.00 ($3.33–$6.66 per kg), so you may want to use this benchmark to budget and assess the cost-effectiveness of any given product.
A quality set of adjustable dumbbells, which provide a good range of weights, typically runs at least $300, although some might cost much more, depending on the range of weight increments they offer.
Will you be using the dumbbells for muscular endurance-oriented workouts or to add intensity to your cardiovascular training? Or is your goal to build strength and size?
If it’s the latter, you’ll probably need to consider an adjustable set or several single sets in different weight increments.
How much room do you have to work with? Adjustable dumbbells replace several sets of dumbbells, so if space is a concern, they might be a better option for you.
Preferred shape and grip
Dumbbells are available in several shapes — including hex, round, square/block, and triangular — as well as different grips, like textured and rubber or neoprene-coated.
Hex, square, and triangular dumbbells don’t roll around when you place them on the floor, so they may be safer than their round counterparts.
In terms of grip, neoprene-coated dumbbells are easier on the hands than those with a textured grip. Rubber-coated dumbbell heads are easier on floors and surfaces. If you’re using a heavier dumbbell, the handles will usually be textured to improve your grip.
Dumbbells can be used on their own for added resistance during workouts, or they can be used with other types of strength training equipment.
For lower body exercises, you’ll generally want to use a heavier dumbbell to help challenge the larger muscles in your legs like your quads and hamstrings.
For upper body exercises, you may find yourself using lighter dumbbells because most of those muscles are smaller. That said, the exact level of resistance depends on your personal strength and goals.
The set and rep scheme you might use when performing dumbbell exercises depends on the exercises you’re doing and your strength goals (1, 2, 3).
If you want to build muscular endurance, you’ll perform more reps and sets while using a lower level of resistance. For instance, you might do 2–3 sets of 12–20 reps per set.
Over time, your muscles will get used to working for longer periods and won’t tire as quickly.
Building muscle mass
To focus on gaining muscle mass, otherwise known as hypertrophy training, you would perform a mid-range of sets and reps, likely 2–5 sets of 8–12 repetitions using a challenging but not overly taxing resistance level.
This type of training challenges your muscles enough to help them grow without wearing them out so much that you’re too sore or fatigued to train them for several days.
For strength building, you would perform more sets of fewer reps at a very challenging resistance level. So, you’d probably do 3–5 sets of 3–8 reps per set.
This type of training can be pretty taxing, so you may find that your muscles need more time to recover even if you didn’t complete a high number of reps.
Dumbbells provide added resistance to movements, which can help you build muscular endurance, mass, and strength. They’re a great way to make bodyweight exercises like squats and pushups more challenging, plus they make it easier to work on specific muscles individually.
One other benefit of using dumbbells is that they allow you to work each side of your body independently. This helps improve functional strength and correct muscular imbalances, which naturally develop from being right- or left-hand dominant, playing sports, and more.
Which dumbbells are best for home use?
Selecting the best set of dumbbells for your home workouts will depend on your preferences, workout needs, and budget.
While some people need a wider range of dumbbell weights for a more varied free weight routine, you can also get a great workout in with a few sets of lighter, less expensive dumbbells.
Also, consider whether you prefer dumbbells that are adjustable or regular, hex-shaped or round, and so on. This will help you determine what size and style work best for you.
Are dumbbells enough to build muscle?
Dumbbells are absolutely enough to build muscle. As long as you’re using a weight that’s challenging enough for you, progressing your workouts regularly, and training consistently, you may not need any other equipment at all.
The key to building muscle is progressive overload, which means you’re regularly giving your muscles a new stimulus (by increasing weight, trying a new exercise, or changing the set and rep scheme performed).
Are metal or rubber dumbbells best?
Metal and rubber dumbbells essentially function the same. The best one for you comes down to personal preference and budget. Rubber-coated dumbbells tend to cost a little more than those without the protective coating, so that’s a factor to keep in mind.
That said, the rubber coating can help protect floors and furniture from scratches and dings that are more common with metal (typically iron) dumbbells, and they can even help prevent the dumbbell itself from being damaged.
That said, rubber-coated dumbbells often emit a rubbery smell that can be off-putting. This can be exacerbated if the dumbbells are stored in a sunny area and the coating begins to break down.