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Working out at home may have always been your jam. Or maybe it’s new territory for you.
No matter what camp you fall in, making home workouts effective can pose some challenges — one of which can be lack of equipment.
But with some level of investment, you can create a home “gym” that truly works for you.
Key to this will be purchasing a few integral pieces — like a set of dumbbells that will help you reach your goals — to take your home workouts from drab to fab.
Go search “dumbbells” on Google or Amazon, though, and it becomes clear that there are lots of options. And if you don’t know where to start or what to look for, it can get overwhelming quickly.
Let us take the guesswork out of the purchasing process for you.
She took the following into consideration when selecting her picks:
- anecdotal advice from real personal trainers
- user reviews
- shape, grip, and overall quality
- brand reputation
If you see something that catches your eye, click on the product name to shop for it online.
- $ = $25–$100
- $$ = $101–$300
- $$$ = over $300
Heads up: We didn’t take shipping costs into account, so keep this in mind when reviewing your options.
The above scale is accurate at time of publication, but the price of individual products may fluctuate over time.
When choosing a set of dumbbells for your home gym, think about these things.
How much are you willing to spend? While a single set of lighter dumbbells — think 5 to 20 pounds — will run you under $50, the heavier the weight, the more you’ll need to shell out.
A quality set of adjustable dumbbells, which provide the user with a range of weights, will run at least $300.
Will you be using the dumbbells for endurance-oriented workouts or aerobics? 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 sizes.
How much room do you have to work with? Adjustable dumbbells replace several sets of dumbbells, so if space is a commodity, they might be a better option for you.
Your preferred shape and grip
Dumbbells are available in several shapes — including hex and round — as well as grips, like textured and rubber or neoprene-coated.
Hex 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, rubber-coated dumbbells are easier on the hands than those with a textured grip. But if you’re using a heavier dumbbell, you won’t have a choice — textured it is.
In the $25–$100 range
A good option for beginners, these coated dumbbells are easy on the hands and the eyes, given their fun colors.
Many people may find them easier to grip than a more traditional set of dumbbells, and the wallet-friendly price makes them an accessible option.
This set comes with three pairs — 3, 5, and 8 pounds — and a bonus rack.
A budget-friendly basic, this rubber dumbbell is sold individually, so you’ll probably need to purchase two.
But with more than 4,000 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, it’s clear that these get the job done.
Some reviewers report that the dumbbells have an overwhelming plastic-y smell upon unpacking, but the consensus is that it does dissipate after a few days.
These rubber-coated, hex-design dumbbells have a textured and ergonomic grip that allows for ease of use in a variety of exercises.
They aren’t adjustable, so you’ll have to purchase multiple sets if you’d like to experiment with different weights — but their overall affordability makes that an accessible option.
In the $101–$300 range
Reviewers laud the proportion size of these adjustable dumbbells from Core Fitness as one of their shining features: As you add more weight, these dumbbells won’t get exponentially longer.
This means they retain a nice compact quality similar to a regular pair of dumbbells.
Adjustable from 5 to 50 pounds at 5-pound increments, the dumbbells are easy to transition in weight too.
This set of petite, adjustable 25-pound dumbbells is ideal for beginners who would benefit from the resistance options.
Their manageable size means they won’t take up lots of space, and they’re easy to maneuver.
Adjust the weight in 2.5-pound increments from 5 to 25 pounds, and store them in the trays that come with.
Another plus? You can easily challenge upper and lower body with this set.
Sold in pairs up to 25 pounds and single weights in 30 to 50 pounds, these Spri rubber dumbbells are durable and provide a more traditional-feeling option.
The hex shape and contoured, textured handles allow for ease of use, even for beginners.
However, your overall workout will be limited if you only purchase a set or two, so keep that in mind.
A basic model with no frills, this adjustable dumbbell set from Yaheetech comes with two 33-pound dumbbells.
Different-sized weight plates allow you to adjust to the desired resistance, while two spinlock collars and a nonslip grip add the final touches.
This set is labeled in kilograms, so you’ll need to be comfortable converting the numbers.
Free up your workout space with this pair of adjustable dumbbells, which takes the place of 30 individual dumbbells.
They adjust from 5 to 52.5 pounds — in 2.5-pound increments up to the first 25 pounds, then in 5-pound increments after that — via an easy-to-use dial that makes adding or removing weight a breeze.
Shoppers overwhelmingly give this set a nearly 5-star rating, citing ease of use as one of its most appealing factors.
This adjustable dumbbell set from Ironmaster looks and feels more like a traditional set of dumbbells than many other adjustable options, which is an appealing factor to some.
Adjustable from 5 to 45 pounds in 2.5-pound increments, the weights are solidly made. No plastic here — another plus.
This is a great set for someone who’s experienced with resistance training.
Adjust from 5 to 70 pounds with the expandable PowerBlock Sport Series dumbbells.
This set relies on an autolock pin to adjust the weight, and an open-design handle allows for a nice range of motion.
Relative to the weight it offers, these dumbbells provide quite a bit of bang for their buck — and have an overall 5-star review.
This set is also available in a 50- or 90-pound option.
Although you may experience sticker shock, this pair of adjustable dumbbells from Merax combines 12 sets of weights into one.
These dumbbells adjust from 11 to 71.5 pounds in 5-pound increments with one easy switch of the dial.
Reviewers applaud the handles’ rubber grips above all.
The weight is labeled in kilograms, so you’ll need to be comfortable with the metric system.
Although the set comes with the weight trays, the stand is sold separately.
A more “old school” bodybuilding-like adjustable dumbbell option, this set is available to purchase from 40 to 200 pounds.
A threaded end with a collar holds the plates in place, while the textured grip allows you to securely lift the heavy weights.
They’re a great option for advanced lifters. Beginners may find a different set easier to maneuver.
Purchasing a set of dumbbells for your home workouts can help you reach your goals without a gym.
Choosing the best set for you will take a bit of research, but no matter what your budget or fitness level is, there’s an option for you.
Nicole Davis is a writer based in Madison, Wisconsin, a personal trainer, and a group fitness instructor whose goal is to help women live stronger, healthier, happier lives. When she’s not working out with her husband or chasing around her young daughter, she’s watching crime TV shows or making sourdough bread from scratch. Find her on Instagram for fitness tidbits, #momlife and more.