The best dumbbells for home gyms

Rubber to chrome, racks to adjustables, we round up the best dumbbells so you can get the most out of your home gym

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Whether you’re looking for a piece of equipment to take up the last corner in the attic or a space-conscious apparatus for the small back bedroom, a set of dumbbells is the perfect solution, as they’re compact and can be conveniently stored away once finished. Alongside dumbbells, you can also choose to invest in an exercise mat or a weights bench, depending on how much space you have available.

We’ve scoured the online market for the best dumbbells for home gyms, to give you all the information that you require to make a solid purchase. 

What to consider when buying dumbbells

Dumbbells also come in all shapes and sizes, with fixed rubber dumbbells holding up 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 also purchase chrome or metal dumbbells, which are often much more cost effective, but compromise on the usability experience. Those looking for a really compact piece of equipment that they can just stow away tidily when not in use may want to consider adjustable dumbbells, although these can sometimes be awkward to hold. 

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 everyday 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. 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. 

1. Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells

Benefit from the equivalent of 17 sets of dumbbells with one pair

Specifications
Best for: Pro lifters
Weight: 4-41kg
Material: Metal
Type: Adjustable
Reasons to buy
+ Automatically switch up resistance with turn of the dial + Tidy away into a compact case 
Reasons to avoid
- Price may only attract pro lifters 

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. They compact into a stand, and 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 4-41kg, you can choose between light or heavy weight exercises so you can get the most out of your fitness regime. Bowflex promise that these dumbbells are hard-wearing, with a durable moulding also providing a smooth lift-off for a seamless workout.  

2. Bodymax Deluxe 40kg Hammertone Dumbbell Kit

A pair of dumbbells for one weight workouts

Specifications
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 

Metal dumbbells handles can take it out on your hands, so these dumbbells feature a rubber handle which make 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 promise that these dumbbells are extremely durable, although there’s 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.  

3. PowerBlock Sport Adjustable Dumbbells

A compact set of adjustable dumbbells for a varied workout

Specifications
Best for: A varied workout
Weight: 1.5-11kg
Material: Metal and rubber
Type: Adjustable
Reasons to buy
+ The weight of 8 dumbbells in one compact block + Easily select the right weight using the coloured buttons 
Reasons to avoid
- Handle cavity can be slightly awkward on bigger hands 

These adjustable dumbbells, as with our first pick, give you a variety of weights in one block, rather than you going out and purchasing 8 separate dumbbells, which would inevitably take up more room. With a maximum weight of 11kg per dumbbell, these are made for lighter regimes and can be used in conjunction with a zumba routine for an even better workout. For easy selection, simply press the coloured button to release your required weight and place back together once your workout is complete for easy stowing away.  

4. Body Power 12.5Kg Rubber Hex Dumbbells

A pair of 12.5kg dumbbells for resistance workouts

Specifications
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, Body Power 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.  

5. Jordan Classic Rubber Solid End Dumbbells

For weight sets up to 75kg

Specifications
Best for: Bodybuilding
Weight: 2.5kg-75kg
Material: Metal and rubber
Type: Fixed
Reasons to buy
+ Light weight to heavy weight dumbbells available + Rubber muffles noise when dropped 
Reasons to avoid
- Rack comes separately  

If you’re looking for high quality fixed weights, these dumbbells from Jordan have been well thought out to provide even the heaviest of weight lifters with a superior experience. With finer details including a J-lock system to prevent the dumbbell head from loosening, a contoured chrome handle for additional grip and rubber ends to protect flooring and reduce noise, these weights are an ideal addition to a home gym, with particular emphasis on the weight range available to purchase, allowing you to transition from casual lifter to bodybuilder.  

6. BodyPower Ergo Chrome Dumbbells

These classic chrome dumbbells are built with ergonomics at the forefront

Specifications
Best for: A chrome option
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 BodyPower 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.  

7. Viavito Dumbell Set

The perfect accompaniment to your workout DVD

Specifications
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 

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 weights are an advantage if you get warm while working out to your favourite exercise DVD, as they offer more grip than just plain metal. The set come with a tree for tidy storage and can be easily wipe clean for use next time. 

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