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The Best Dumbbells of 2024

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Dumbbells can be used for everything from competitive powerlifting training to cardio dance classes. They can apply to a nearly unlimited amount of movements and work almost any muscle in your body. But selecting a dumbbell isn’t as simple as picking one up and lifting it. Dumbbells can range in weight from one pound to 150 pounds and beyond.

Dumbbells also come in different shapes and sizes. In addition to the traditional round heads, they can be hexagonal or square, as in Rogue’s dumbbell line. In addition, there are various coatings, handle shapes, and weights to consider.

Don’t worry if you’re overwhelmed by the myriad options — we’ve got you covered. Our staff and testers are experienced athletes with decades of experience, so we called in and tested loads of dumbbells to find the best ones for various users. We took dumbbells of various shapes and sizes through strength, conditioning, and bodybuilding workouts, evaluating them on comfort, ease of use, and utility across broad fitness modalities.

As a result, we’ve narrowed down our top dumbbells for all kinds of athletes. Check out our comprehensive Buyer’s Guide and Frequently Asked Questions sections for helpful tips, and have a look at our Comparison Chart to steer your decision-making. We’re still testing, so feel free to check back in to see what new dumbbells make it onto this list.

Editor’s Note: For our May 8, 2024, update, we updated specifications, removed several dumbbells that are no longer available, and added more test notes and new imagery.

The Best Dumbbells of 2024

Best Overall Kettlebell

  • Weight
    2.5-125 lbs
  • Adjustable
    No
  • Handle Diameter
    25 mm to 35 mm
  • Head shape
    Hexagonal

  • Durable

  • Mild knurling

  • Rubber coating for shock absorption


  • On the pricier side

  • Sun exposure over time breaks down rubber coating

Best Bargain Dumbbells

  • Weight
    10-45 lbs in 5 lb increments
  • Adjustable
    No
  • Handle Diameter
    25 mm to 35 mm
  • Head shape
    Hexagonal

  • Excellent price

  • Aggressive yet comfortable knurl


  • Actual weight can vary

  • Sold individually

Best Adjustable Dumbbell

  • Weight
    11-66 lbs
  • Adjustable
    Yes
  • Handle Diameter
    35 mm
  • Head shape
    Round

  • Takes up minimal space

  • Simple weight adjustment


  • Awkward weight placement at lighter settings

Best Olympic Dumbbells

  • Weight
    8 lbs
  • Adjustable
    Yes
  • Handle Diameter
    50 mm
  • Head shape
    N/A

  • Cost-effective

  • Holds a shocking amount of weight

  • Take up minimal space


  • Thick handle makes gripping difficult

  • Weight plates not included

Best Premium Dumbbells

  • Weight
    12.5-150 lbs in 2.5-5 lb increments
  • Adjustable
    No
  • Handle Diameter
    38 mm
  • Head shape
    Hexagonal

  • Spinning heads are ideal for explosive overhead movement

  • Aggressive yet comfortable knurl

  • Extremely durable


  • Rolling heads are unstable when putting weight on the dumbbells during floor exercises

  • Very pricey

  • Sold individually

  • Thicker handle adds difficulty to lifts

Best for Beginners

  • Weight
    1-18 lbs in varying increments
  • Adjustable
    No
  • Handle Diameter
    Not listed
  • Head shape
    Hexagonal

  • Several optional colorways

  • Comfortable vinyl coating

  • Beginner-friendly weight


  • Sweat can make vinyl coating slippery

  • Users can outgrow the top weight quickly

Dumbbell Comparison Chart

Why You Should Trust Us

Affiliate Managing Editor Billy Brown has spent the majority of his life lifting weights. He’s competed in CrossFit and powerlifting competitions, claiming three California state records and qualifying for nationals in the 198-pound weight class in 2019.

He knows the value of a good, sturdy dumbbell in accessory and compound movements. He’s a Level 2 certified CrossFit trainer and holds a powerlifting coaching certification from the U.S. Powerlifting Association.

His experience with dumbbells started out with a rusty set of backyard weights. And over the decades, he’s worked with dumbbells of varying weights, makes, and sizes.

Billy combined decades of experience not only using but also recommending dumbbells. He’s provided deep dives into user reviews and weeks of testing to narrow down the best dumbbells for a variety of needs and uses.

How We Tested

Testing involved everything from full CrossFit workouts with 50-70-pound Rogue dumbbells that included dropping them from overhead (a practice frowned upon in gyms but necessary for testing).

It also included single-muscle accessory work with 20-35-pound Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbells, and complex movements with varying momentum, like single-arm dumbbell snatches with Eleiko’s rotating-head dumbbells

The result was not only a good amount of blood, sweat, and chalk shed but also a definitive guide to the best dumbbells for a wide range of uses, users, and price ranges.

Buyers Guide: How to Choose the Best Dumbbells for Your Gym

Dumbbells come in so many shapes and sizes that it’s hard to decide where to begin shopping for one. While the dumbbell’s basic tenets have changed little since its inception, recent innovations have made specific makes and models stand out from the crowd.

From space-saving, adjustable-weight dumbbells to protective vinyl coating, there’s undoubtedly a dumbbell perfect for any lifter’s needs. And that’s before you even start considering what weight you’ll need.

Don’t worry — we did the legwork. If you’re looking for a dumbbell (or a set of dumbbells) for your home workouts, here are a few things you should consider.

Space

The first thing to consider is how much space you have for your dumbbells. If you’ve got plenty of room in your lifting room or garage, you have plenty of options.

If you’re planning on using dumbbells as your primary lifting tool, take a look at some of the dumbbell sets in this list. They offer a wide range of weights, and racks can keep them organized.

If space is a concern, a full rack of dumbbells won’t be feasible. Consider one of the adjustable dumbbell sets above. If those are out of your price range, think about what weights you plan on using the most and buy two to three pairs.

Weight

Considering what weights to buy really depends on your needs and abilities. Most people tend to work with two to three weights across the board.

If you do CrossFit or HIIT-style workouts, you can often get by with 35-pound and 50-pound dumbbells, generally the standard for female and male lifters. For other applications, however, only having a few weights can limit your ability to improve if you outgrow your weights.

If you can afford the cost and have the space, a full set of dumbbells would be the most versatile option. Adjustable dumbbells are a more cost- and space-effective option as well.

Not sure what weights to buy? Not a problem. Head to your local gym and run through a few workouts over the course of a week or so. Take note of the weights you use most and base your decision on that.

Durability

For general bodybuilding and controlled movements, durability shouldn’t be an issue. Careful and deliberate movements should keep your dumbbells in good shape for years.

High-intensity interval training and CrossFit workouts entail dynamic movement, often to exhaustion. This means the repeated setting of a dumbbell on the floor, often from an overhead position.

I can say from personal experience that the end of many high-intensity workouts results in an exhausted user dropping the weights from overhead, and then staggering a few steps away and collapsing in a sweaty heap. This is much harder on dumbbells.

If you’re planning on putting your dumbbells through the wringer, look for a set with stainless steel handles, as vinyl and rubber coating can tear off after heavy use.

Also, while all-metal dumbbell heads look tough as hell, opt for a pair with a durable rubber coating. The rubber will absorb repeated impact, helping to preserve the dumbbell over time.

Shape

While the traditional shape of a dumbbell’s head is round, that shape has fallen out of favor in recent years, particularly for lack of stability.

If stability is your primary concern or you want a more versatile dumbbell, square heads all but eliminate rolling. The flat sides also allow users to hold the edges and swing the dumbbells like a kettlebell without losing their grip.

Hexagonal dumbbell heads are an excellent compromise between the two, which is why they’re often found in conventional gyms. The flat sides provide more stability than round heads, but the six short sides allow for rolling when necessary.

This allows the dumbbells to be steady when performing a devil’s press and lets lifters roll them from one side of the bench to the other to switch arms between dumbbell rows.

FAQ

How heavy a person’s dumbbells should be can vary wildly based on the user’s specific strength and goals. If you want one pair, it may help to know that CrossFit’s most commonly prescribed dumbbell weights for women are 35 pounds and 50 pounds for men.

That said, it may be useful to head to a conventional gym and go through a few workout sessions to figure out what weight will serve you best in your home.

For the average lifter, you can get by with a less expensive set from Amazon. If you’re a stickler for quality and precise weights, you may want to pony up for a pricier set from a premium brand. For a solid single pair of dumbbells, expect to spend somewhere between $50 and $100.

Because they’re composed of two weighted heads connected by a handle, dumbbells are fairly simple. But that doesn’t mean all dumbbells are the same.Precise weight measurements, durability, and ergonomic handles are what mark a good dumbbell. If you’re shopping for dumbbells, consider one made by well-known and reputable brands like Rogue Fitness and Eleiko.

When it comes to building out a home gym, keeping yourself and your house safe is paramount. For this reason, we recommend avoiding dumbbells without a protective coating like rubber or vinyl. We like Rogue Fitness dumbbells for their durable rubber-coated heads, but plenty of brands offer this feature.

Adjustable dumbbells are also a great way to save space. Most offer weight adjustments from 5 to 50+ pounds without taking up the space of an entire rack.

You may want to be ambitious and go heavy, but going lighter is better if you’re new to working out with weights. It’s important to get used to working with dumbbells at a lighter weight to learn how to control the weight and move within a proper range of motion.

Consider a dumbbell with rubber- or vinyl-coated heads, as you’re more likely to drop the dumbbells while you get used to moving with them.

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