As someone interested in building a home gym or picking up some basic workout equipment, you probably want to know what the best dumbbells in 2024 are. Here are my top 7 picks.
These dumbbells offer excellent versatility and flexibility. You can adjust the weight from 5 to 52.5 lbs in 5-lb increments (2.5 increments up to 25 lbs), and the process takes a few seconds. The 552s are also incredibly affordable (only $429 for a pair).
These are available from 5 to 150 lbs in 5-lb increments, which offers incredible flexibility in your training. The dumbbells come with excellent handles and solid knurling to support your grip during heavy training.
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These are not the best-looking dumbbells, and the knurling isn’t as aggressive as on some of the other options on our list. But these are a fantastic budget option for anyone who wants to build a small home gym without breaking the bank.
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7 Best Dumbbells For Home Training (For 2024)
- Best Dumbbells Overall: Rogue Urethane Dumbbells
- Best Loadable Dumbbells: Rogue DB-15 Loadable Dumbbell
- Best Adjustable Dumbbells: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells
- Best Dumbbell Set: REP Fitness Rubber Coated Dumbbell Set (5-100 lbs)
- Best Round Dumbbells: REP Fitness Urethane Coated Round Dumbbells
- Best Premium Option: American Barbell Series IV Urethane Dumbbells
- Best Dumbbells on Amazon: CAP Cast Iron Hex Dumbbells
1. Best Dumbbells Overall: Rogue Urethane Dumbbells
Weight options: 5 to 150 lbs in 5 lb increments
Handle: 31/34mm diameter, 6” length, medium-grade knurling
Head material: Solid steel with black urethane plating
Price: Starts at $45 for a pair of 5 lb dumbbells
Available in: Pairs and sets (5-50 lbs; 5-75 lbs; 55-100 lbs; 5-100 lbs; 105-150 lbs)
- Probably the best-quality dumbbells money can buy
- A wide range of 5 to 150 lbs in 5-lb increments
- Fantastic handle quality and solid knurling
- Sold in pairs and sets
- Quite expensive
If you’ve read any of my other product reviews, you probably know that I’m a fan of Rogue Fitness products, and for good reasons. For the most part, they:
- Are high quality and durable
- Are likely to last a lifetime with basic maintenance
- Look great
The only real drawback of Rogue products is the price, but that’s expected. You have to pay a bit more than you would for products of other companies, but you can genuinely feel the difference.
Rogue’s urethane dumbbell collection is a prime example of a fantastic product worth the price. First, these are available from 5 to 150 lbs in 5-lb increments, which offers incredible flexibility in your training.
Second, they come with excellent handles and solid knurling to support your grip during heavy training.
Third, you can get these in pairs (everything from 5 to 150 lbs is available) if you’re looking for a small addition to your home gym, or opt for entire sets: 5-50, 5-75, 55-100, 5-100, and 105-150 lbs.
2. Best Loadable Dumbbells: Rogue DB-15 Loadable Dumbbell
Shape: Round (the plates you use for loading)
Weight options: It depends on your weight plates (6.75" loadable length of each sleeve)
Handle: 28.5mm diameter, approximately 6.5” length, fully knurled
Price: $150 for a single
Available in: Individually
- Fully knurled handles for a strong grip
- Add as much weight as you need for heavy training
- The shaft (handle) is made of stainless steel
- The loadable length is 6.75", which allows for decent loading of iron plates
- Collars for securing the plates are not included in the price
- A pair of Rogue OSO Collars (for a single dumbbell) costs $50
- One dumbbell with a pair of collars costs $200, which isn’t cheap
- You need to have weight plates to load the dumbbell
- Changing the weights can be a bit of a hassle
Loadable dumbbells are not everyone’s favorite, and I get that. I’ve been using a pair for a few years, and it sometimes feels like I’m doing more adjusting than working out.
That said, these types of dumbbells are generally cheaper and don’t take up much space, which makes them ideal for a small home gym.
Plus, unlike those old-school loadable dumbbells, where you had to screw the collars on to keep the weight plates in position, these loadable sleeves allow you to slide the collars on, lock them in position, and start lifting.
What I like about these dumbbells is that the handles are fully knurled and support my grip quite well, even when using heavier weights for shrugs or Romanian deadlifts.
One option is to use weight plates you already have, but that might not work if you only have larger ones (say, 35+ lbs), or use bumper plates for your barbell.
In such a case, you might consider Rogue’s change plates. The 35-lb change plate set by REP Fitness is slightly cheaper, and those by Titan Fitness are almost half the price (37.5 lb set).
3. Best Adjustable Dumbbells: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells
Weight options: 5 to 52.5 lbs (2.5-lb increments to 25 lbs and 5-lb increments afterward)
Handle: 27mm diameter, approximately 5” length, covered in rubber
Head material: A combination of steel and plastic (some parts of the dumbbells are prone to cracking)
Price: $429 for a pair
Available in: Pairs
- Incredibly affordable
- 15 total weight options from 5 to 52.5 lbs
- Sold in pairs
- Weight change is easy and quick
- The plastic bits on these dumbbells are prone to cracking
- The maximum is 52.5 lbs
- The dumbbells are pretty large compared to fixed-weight ones
There are a few things I like about the Bowflex 552s and some things I think could have been done better.
First, the good. These dumbbells offer excellent versatility and flexibility. You can adjust the weight from 5 to 52.5 lbs in 5-lb increments (2.5 increments up to 25 lbs), and the process takes a few seconds.
Simply put the dumbbells in their trays, turn the handles to select the load, and lift them to start your set. The 552s are also incredibly affordable (only $429 for a pair).
That said, these dumbbells are also large and might feel uncomfortable on some exercises. For example, they can often bump in your legs when doing bicep curls, given their length.
Also, their sides aren’t flat, so it can be difficult to position the weights vertically, such as when placing them on top of your thighs before chest or shoulder presses.
I’m also not the biggest fan of the amount of plastic used, as it makes these dumbbells more fragile and prone to cracking if you drop them. However, that’s unavoidable, given their low price.
Related article: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Review: 6 Great Things
4. Best Dumbbell Set: REP Fitness Rubber Coated Dumbbell Set (5-100 lbs)
Weight options: 5 to 100 lbs in 5-lb increments
Handle: 6" length, 28mm diameter (up to 20 lbs), 34mm 25+ lbs, steel, covered in textured rubber
Head material: Steel covered in rubber
Price: $3,599.99 (for the 5-100 lbs set)
Available in: Sets (5-50 lbs; 5-75 lbs; 5-100 lbs; 55-75 lbs; 80-100 lbs)
- Incredible quality and durability
- Covered in rubber, so you don’t have to grab cold steel when it’s cold
- No need to adjust weights between exercises and sets
- Hex-shaped heads for added versatility during training
- Quite expensive
- Takes up far more space than a pair of adjustable dumbbells
- There’s a rubber smell initially, but it goes away
- The dumbbell racks are not included
Getting a whole dumbbell is a big decision because they don’t come cheap––any half-decent set will set you back a few thousand dollars.
However, if you’re determined to get a set and can afford it, I highly recommend the rubber-coated hexagonal dumbbells by REP Fitness.
First, you can pick from five set options: 5-50 lbs, 5-75 lbs, 5-100 lbs, 55-75 lbs, or 80-100 lbs. I recommend the 5-100 option, as it’s the most complete one and likely to serve you for life. Sure, some sets go up to 150 lbs, but most lifters don’t need more than 100 lbs for effective training.
The 5 to 50 and 5 to 75 lb options are also good, especially for trainees who don’t have as much space and don’t plan on routinely lifting that much weight. The 55-75 lbs and 80-100 lbs can be good additions to an existing dumbbell set or pair of adjustable dumbbells.
For instance, the Bowflex 552s go up to 52.5 lbs, so by getting a set of 55-75 lbs, you cover your needs and gain access to heavier weights.
The dumbbells themselves are excellent. They look great, and the handles have a rubber coating for a more comfortable grip.
Plus, the hex-shaped heads keep the dumbbells from rolling away and allow you to use them as stands for push-ups, Renegade rows, and other cool exercises.
That said, you don’t get dumbbell racks when you order a set, and you will need plenty of space to store the weights. Some users also report a rubbery smell at first, but that tends to fade within a few weeks.
5. Best Round Dumbbells: REP Fitness Urethane Coated Round Dumbbells
Weight options: 5 to 150 lbs in 5-lb increments
Handle: 6" length, 32mm diameter for 5-50 lbs, 34mm for 55-150 lbs, solid steel, fully knurled
Head material: Steel covered in urethane
Price: Starts from $49.99 for a 5-lb pair and $1599.99 for a 5-50 lb set
Available in: Pairs (5 to 50 lbs) and sets (5-50; 5-75; 5-100; 55-75; 80-100; 105-125; 130-150 lbs)
- All the weights you need for effective training
- No need to adjust weights during training
- The dumbbells are of excellent quality and likely to last a lifetime
- Fully knurled handles allow for a solid grip
- Weight increases in 5-lb increments
- Quite expensive for a whole set of up to 100 or 150 lbs
- A set of 10, 15, or 20 dumbbells takes up a lot of space
If you’re a fan of round dumbbells, look no further than REP’s urethane-coated ones that go from 5 to 150 lbs in 5-lb increments and give you everything you need for effective training.
First, the handle is 32mm in diameter (up to 50 lbs) and 34mm for 55 to 150 lbs. It’s made of solid steel and is fully knurled to support your grip at all times.
Second, the heads of these dumbbells are made of steel and covered in urethane, which is super tough and resilient. It keeps the weights looking new and reduces the risk of floor damage if you drop a dumbbell on the ground.
Speaking of that, these dumbbells are of excellent quality and likely to last a lifetime. So, even if they seem expensive, that’s a long-term investment. Plus, you can always re-sell them later and make most of your money back.
I also like the fact that you can buy some of these dumbbells in pairs (5 to 50 lbs) as well as sets (5-50, 5-75, 5-100, 55-75, 80-100, 105-125, and 130-150 lbs.
The only real drawback of these dumbbells is their price. Right now, a 5-lb pair costs $49.99, and the cheapest set (5-50 lbs) is $1599.99.
6. Best Premium Option: American Barbell Series IV Urethane Dumbbells
Weight options: 5 to 100 lbs in 5-lb increments
Handle: 32mm (5-35 lbs); 35mm (40-100 lbs); steel, fully knurled (the knurling is moderate)
Head material: Urethane
Price: Starts from $2,450 for a set of 5 to 50 lbs
Available in: Sets (5-50; 55-75; 80-100 lbs)
- Excellent design
- Durable and of excellent quality
- 5-lb increments in weights
- Solid, fully knurled handle
- Incredibly expensive (a 5-100 lbs set costs approximately $7,875)
- These take up a lot of space
- The handle knurling could be more aggressive
There isn’t much to write about these dumbbells I haven’t already said for the previous ones.
If money is no object, the series IV urethane dumbbells by American Barbell are a fantastic option because they are of excellent quality, incredibly durable, and up to 100 lbs in weight.
To some, the 100-lb limit might be a dealbreaker, but most people won’t need anything heavier for their training.
Unfortunately, a whole set costs $7,875, which is quite a lot just to cover your dumbbell needs.
7. Best Dumbbells on Amazon: CAP Cast Iron Hex Dumbbells
Weight options: 5 to 120 lbs (5, 8, 15, 20, and 25 lbs most often available)
Handle: Approximately 6” in length, enamel-coated steel (medium knurling)
Head material: Cast iron
Price: Starts from $13.50 for a single 5-lb dumbbell
Available in: Singles and pairs
- You can buy these on Amazon and Walmart
- The dumbbells are of excellent quality for the price
- The enamel coating keeps the dumbbells from rusting
- There are plenty of weight options
- Far cheaper than any other fixed-weight dumbbells
- Not always available on Amazon
- Not the best-looking dumbbells out there
- The knurling isn’t that aggressive
To wrap up the list, we have something budget-friendly you can order from Amazon or pick up at the local Walmart: the CAP cast iron hex dumbbells.
These are not the best-looking dumbbells, and the knurling isn’t as aggressive as on some of the other options on our list.
But, while they come up a bit short in some ways, these are a fantastic budget option for anyone who wants to build a small home gym without breaking the bank.
What I like about these dumbbells is the hexagonal shape, which keeps them from rolling back and forth. Plus, you can use them as push-up stands and for renegade rows. It’s also nice that there are tons of weight options, ranging from 5 to 120 lbs in 5-lb increments.
What to Look For When Purchasing Dumbbells
There are three types of dumbbells to pick from:
The ideal scenario is to get a set of fixed dumbbells. That way, you always have the necessary weight available, and you don’t have to change the load from exercise to exercise.
However, as you saw, whole sets cost a lot of money. Plus, they occupy more space and might not be ideal for small home gyms.
Adjustable dumbbells are a more compact and cost-effective option. The Bowflex 552s are a more affordable option, but even premium-level ones, such as the ones by Ironmaster, cost far less than a whole set.
Plus, they don’t take up much space; you can even store them in your bedroom. Also, most adjustable dumbbells allow you to change the weight in seconds.
So, even when doing circuits, supersets, or drop sets, you can seamlessly jump from one weight to the next.
Finally, there are loadable dumbbells, which are similar to adjustable ones. The primary difference is that you load them like you would a barbell instead of using a tray.
Loadable dumbbells can be the most cost-effective option if you already have weight plates. However, they can be expensive if you purchase weight plates and collars.
2. Head Shape
As with type, you have three options for the head shape:
Round ones tend to be the most common. Their primary drawback is that they tend to roll around, and you can’t use them as a base for push-ups, renegade rows, and similar movements.
I’d recommend looking into hex or square dumbbells, as they fix both issues.
Fixed and loadable dumbbells are generally tougher than adjustable ones. This is particularly true when looking at the Bowflex 552s, as one of their primary drawbacks is how fragile they are because of all the plastic bits.
Loadable dumbbells tend to hold out well because there’s not much you can damage, especially if you use small iron plates. The same is true for fixed dumbbells, which are virtually indestructible.
One exception would be cheap fixed dumbbells with hollow handles. However, even they are durable and unlikely to fall apart unless you repeatedly slam them against a concrete floor.
4. Available Space
A dumbbell set is ideal for the sake of convenience. However, it also takes up a lot of space.
Adjustable or loadable dumbbells would be best if you have a small home gym or are working out in a spare bedroom.
5. Grip Type
Barbells come standard with knurling to support your grip. However, the same isn’t necessarily true for dumbbells.
I recommend double-checking the handle type before purchasing dumbbells, especially if you plan on lifting heavy weights and need extra grip support.
For instance, the Rogue urethane and REP Fitness urethane dumbbells have fully knurled handles. However, the Bowflex 552s and REP Fitness rubber-coated dumbbells have a rubber coating on the handles.
The final consideration is straightforward: what is your budget, and what can you afford to purchase?
Let’s say you’ve set aside $3,000 to build a home gym. In that case, it would probably be best to get a pair of adjustable or loadable dumbbells.
However, if your budget is more flexible or you plan to invest in your home gym for the foreseeable future, consider getting pairs of fixed dumbbells.
You may not get a full 5 to 100 lbs set right from the start, but you can grow it gradually and fill in the gaps as you see fit.
Best Dumbbells for Home Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What type of dumbbells is best for a home gym?
Adjustable dumbbells are generally best for a home gym, as they don’t cost that much and don’t take up a lot of space. But, at the same time, you can adjust the load to fit your needs.
2. What dumbbell is best for muscle gain?
There isn’t a single weight or dumbbell type that’s best for muscle gain. The best dumbbells for you are those that challenge you in various rep ranges (6-12; 12-20; 20-30) and allow you to train through a full range of motion with an even tempo.
3. Can I train effectively with only dumbbells?
Yes, you can have productive workouts with only dumbbells, as they allow you to do countless effective exercises and variations for all the major muscle groups.
4. Are dumbbells better than kettlebells?
Dumbbells and kettlebells are not necessarily ‘better.’ It all comes down to workout preferences and goals.
Dumbbells are more useful for gym-type, muscle-building exercises, whereas trainees typically use kettlebells for more explosive movements.