Best dumbbells: 9 best weights for home use

Buy a pair of the best dumbbells and work up a sweat from home. From 1kg to 40kg sets...

best dumbbells: woman tying shoe lace with dumbbells next to her feet
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Buying a pair of the best dumbbells? Whether you have a dedicated home gym space (we're slightly jealous) or, perhaps you are working out in your bedroom to avoid going back to the gym? Either way, a pair of dumbbells – especially the best dumbbells – can help you build up some muscle from home. 

When choosing the best dumbbells, we've based our picks on everything from price to performance, and type. Some dumbbells are adjustable – from 1kg to 10kg – while others are a fixed weight. Choose a weight depending on your current fitness level. The dumbbells in our guide start at 1kg, going up to 40kg. We've also considered each one's construction and what they are made of whether that be steel, rubber or plastic. The preference is yours. See our top nine dumbbells below and get buying.

See our best home gym equipment buying guide for more product recommendations if you are decking out your new home gym.

The best dumbbells 2020

Best dumbbells: BodyPower Ergo Chrome Dumbbells

1. BodyPower Ergo Chrome Dumbbells

Best dumbbells: enhance home workouts with these sleek dumbbells

Weight: 12.5kg
Material: Chrome
Type: Fixed
Reasons to buy
+Sleek and polished +Ergonomic design 
Reasons to avoid
-May scratch and mark

If you’re looking to purchase just one or two pairs of dumbbells, sometimes it’s not worth splashing out on more expensive makes and models. Chrome is often a cheaper option when it comes to purchasing dumbbells, but that doesn’t you benefit any less from quality.

Ergonomically designed, these dumbbells will ensure you benefit from a great workout, thanks to the contoured handle to prevent slip and a shiny, sleek appearance to add a touch of class to your home gym.

Best dumbbells: Bowflex 2-24 KG SelectTech Dumbbells (Pair)

(Image credit: Bowflex)

2. Bowflex 2-24 KG SelectTech Dumbbells (Pair)

Best adjustable dumbbells: benefit from the equivalent of 15 sets of dumbbells, in just one pair

Weight: 2-24kg
Material: Metal
Type: Adjustable
Reasons to buy
+Automatically switch up resistance with turn of the dial +Space efficient +Weight range of 2-24kg 
Reasons to avoid
-Warm-up required-Expensive

Adjustable dumbbells allow you to workout with a variety of weight levels but take up half the space that a regular set of dumbbells for the same weight range would require.

Compacted into two small cases, the won’t take much space up in your gym but should certainly make a stand results-wise. All you need to do is twist the dial to the desired amount of kgs and it’ll release the right number of weights for your workout. 

With a range of 2-24kg, you can choose between light or heavyweight exercises so you can get the most out of your fitness regime. Bowflex promises that these dumbbells are hard-wearing, with a durable moulding also providing a smooth lift-off for a seamless workout.  In our opinion, these are the very best dumbbells you can buy if you're a pro lifter.

Best workout dumbbells: DTX Fitness Soft Touch Turquoise Dumbbells

(Image credit: DTX Fitness)

3. DTX Fitness Soft Touch Turquoise Dumbbells

Best workout dumbbells: for boxercise, HIIT and more

Weight: 1kg - 10kg
Material: Neoprane/ iron
Type: Fixed
Reasons to buy
+Soft touch+Comfortable to hold+Come in lots of weights+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Not great for heavy lifters

The DTX Fitness Soft Touch Turquoise Dumbbells are super comfortable and they come in your choice of weight from 1kg to 10kg – a perfect amount for use while doing a workout class or video. These dumbbells come in a pair and are made from cast iron, with a neoprene soft touch cover. This means that should you put them down on your floor, they will nor mark or scratch it. They are also easy to grip, small so easy to store and they fit very nicely in your hand. 

Best dumbbells: Opti Dumbbell Tree Set

4. Opti Dumbbell Tree Set

Best dumbbells set: coming in at under £20, this set is great if you are on a budget

Best for: Budget
Weight: 1.1-4.5kg
Material: Vinyl
Type: Adjustable
Reasons to buy
+Easy to store+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Not metal

A great set of dumbbells for those who don't fancy splurging serious cash, this dumbbell set ranges from 1.1kg to 4.5kg, making them ideal for beginners or those more experienced alike.

They come on a dumbbell tree for easy storage; whether you want to display them, pop them under your bed or hide in your wardrobe. A great way to train your whole body by building strength and conditioning at your own pace, the vinyl design makes them soft and easy to hold, in turn equaling a comfy workout.

Best dumbbells: Bodymax Deluxe 40kg Hammertone Dumbbell Kit

5. Bodymax Deluxe 40kg Hammertone Dumbbell Kit

Best dumbbells for home: tight on space? Choose your weight and only buy and store one set

Best for: Comfortable grip
Weight: 25-40kg
Material: Metal and rubber
Type: Adjustable
Reasons to buy
+Comfortable grip +Smart black iron finish 
Reasons to avoid
-Weight advertised is the total weight of the pair 

Wow. This item has flown off the shelves so it's now out of stock. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock but in the event it does become available again, it will show in our handy pricing widget above.

Metal dumbbells handles can take it out on your hands, so these dumbbells feature a rubber handle which makes them more comfortable to use over extensive workout periods.

With maximum weights ranging from 25kg to 40kg, there’s a variety of sets to choose from, depending on your lifting ability. You can also adjust the weight of each dumbbell simply by unscrewing the bolt for a more varied workout.

Bodymax promises that these dumbbells are extremely durable, although there are reports that the handle can start to show wear over time. While they don’t come in a case, they can be easily stowed away when not in use.

Best dumbbells for beginners: Viavito Dumbell Set

6. Viavito Dumbell Set

Best dumbbells for beginners: these colourful dumbbells are affordable and ideal for beginners

Best for: Beginners
Weight: 1-3kg
Material: Metal and neoprene
Type: Fixed
Reasons to buy
+ Great for adding resistance to workouts + Stylish colours 
Reasons to avoid
- More for beginners 

Wow. This item has flown off the shelves so it's now out of stock. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock but in the event it does become available again, it will show in our handy pricing widget above.

Whether you’re doing sit-ups, crunches, lunges or the likes, using weights while carrying out your usual exercise routine will help to up the resistance and tone up quicker.

With a neoprene exterior, these dumbbells offer an advantage if you get warm while working out to your favourite exercise DVD –  they offer more grip than just plain metal. The set also comes with a tree for tidy storage and can be easily wiped clean ready for next use.

Best hexagon dumbbells: Body Power 12.5Kg Rubber Hex Dumbbells

7. Body Power 12.5Kg Rubber Hex Dumbbells

Best hexagon dumbbells: a hexagonal design that features great grip and rubber casing

Best for: Rubber weights
Weight: 12.5kg
Material: Metal and rubber
Type: Fixed
Reasons to buy
+Rubber encasing  +Contoured handles 
Reasons to avoid
-Only one weight 

Dropping metal weights on the floor can be noisy – a potential problem for home gyms – however, the substantial rubber casing on these dumbbells makes for a much quieter landing.

While they don’t come with a rubber handle, these dumbbells feature contoured chrome handles for a superior grip. With their hexagonal design, they’re unique from the regular circular dumbbells, making them a more interesting feature for your home gym.

With a fixed weight, you may have to purchase a couple to vary your workout routine.

Best quality dumbbells: Escape Fitness Steel Dumbbells

(Image credit: Escape Fitness)

8. Escape Fitness Steel Dumbbells

Best quality dumbbells: with heavy duty elastic inserts

Weight: 1-20kg
Material: Steel
Type: Fixed
Reasons to buy
+High-quality steel construction+Look great+Screw down heads+1kg increments+Odour-free+Easy to clean
Reasons to avoid

The Escape Fitness Steel Dumbbells are the best of the best option if you are buying dumbbells based on their quality. And looks, of course – they'd look great in a home gym. They are made from high-quality mild steel and feature heavy-duty elastic inserts. Not only they but they have screw-down heads, each one has its weight number on its side so you can't get confused and they increase in 1kg increments. You can buy these dumbbells in pairs from 1kg to 20kg. Odour-free and easy to clean, give them a polish every now and then to make them look brand new.

Best quality dumbbells: Trenas Chrome Dumbbells (single or pair)

(Image credit: Trenas)

9. Trenas Chrome Dumbbells (single or pair)

Best quality dumbbells: sleek looking, comfortable and professional

Weight: 1-25kg
Material: Chrome
Type: Fixed
Reasons to buy
+Good looking+Super durable+For indoor and outdoor use+Singles or pairs+Large handle width+Easy to clean+Maximum grip
Reasons to avoid
-Quite pricey-No rack included-For display

The Trenas Chrome Dumbbells come in singles or pairs, and weights range from one to 25kg. These professional dumbbells look the part and play the part. They are made from chrome and feature milled steel handles to provide maximum grip. That and their handles span 13cm wide – no matter how large your hands, you'll be comfortable while working up a sweat. Perfect for demanding athletes, these dumbbells can be used indoors or out, while they are easy to wipe clean, too. That and they are obviously aesthetically pleasing when on show.

How to buy the best dumbbells

When it comes to buying the best dumbbells, there are a few factors we'd recommend considering during the shopping process. Here's everything you need to know

Rubber or metal?
Dumbbells come in all shapes and sizes, with fixed rubber dumbbells holding fort as the most popular choice. These often come in a variety of shapes, are resistant to chips and scratches, and are much kinder on floors if you have a habit of dropping them. 

Alternatively, you can purchase chrome or metal dumbbells, which are often much more cost-effective, but compromise on the usability experience. 

Adjustable or fixed?
Those looking for a really compact piece of equipment that they can just stow away tidily may want to consider adjustable dumbbells, although these can sometimes be awkward to hold. 

Cost vs result
If you’re unsure on the type of dumbbells you’re after, think about how serious you are about gaining muscle mass. Those looking to work out for a couple of hours every day may want to look at a hard-wearing rubber set, while those looking to do some gentle toning a couple of times a week may not want to spend as much. 

Weight range
The weight range is worth considering, too. Most gym-quality sets will feature a range between 2.5kg and 30kg, while those looking to enter the world of bodybuilding may need to look for a 50kg to 100kg set. 

Use our guide to home workouts to find good beginner's exercises with dumbbells.

Kitting out the rest of your home gym? Check out more of our buying guides...