Best dumbbells: 6 best buys to help you achieve your fitness goals

This year let the best dumbbells tone, firm, and sculpt your muscles, all from the comfort of your own home

Included in this guide:

a pair of the best dumbbells next to a phone for a full home workout
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Owning a pair of the best dumbells is essential for anyone who is looking to firm, sculpt, tone, or maintain their muscles, and best of all: they'll do all of the above at once, too. They're safe and effective and pack the same punch as a gym session, only you can use yours from the comfort of your home.

Selecting the right pair of dumbbells is no easy feat. There are a few features and functions to consider. Are you looking to build muscle, lose fat, strengthen, or maybe all of the above? Plus, how much are you willing to spend for the pair, and is there a color preference you prefer, too? If so, and you're starting to scratch your head, we're here to help.

We've taken every factor, figure, feature, and most importantly: the price point into consideration— doing all the heavy lifting for you (no pun intended), and the result? We've found six of the best dumbbells to get you in tip-top shape before summertime, and be sure to check out the best home gym equipment guide, too. 


The best dumbbells to invest in this year

best dumbbells

(Image credit: Target)

1. All in Motion Dumbbells

The best dumbbells for home use

Specifications
Includes: 1 individual weight
Materials: Iron
Weight: 2lbs up to 15lbs
Type: Hexagon
Reasons to buy
+
Versatility in sizes and colors
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Affordable 
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Features a no-roll head and non-slip grip
Reasons to avoid
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Subject to availability (sells out fast!)
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Have to purchase each weight individually (not a set)

If you're looking to make this year the year you take your fitness seriously, let us highly recommend the All in Motion dumbbells. Not only are they some of the most in-demand dumbbells on the market (they're always going in and out of stock!), but they are one of the most affordable options out there, too. 

Why do we love these dumbbells?
Everyone knows that good gym equipment is hard to come by, and when we're working out at home, we want the items we used as compact as possible, and that's what you'll find here. Here, an individual free-weight is around 5.5inches long to make them easy to store.

This dumbbell is constructed from durable solid iron and features a no-roll head and a non-slip neoprene coating. It's ideal for any level of expertise, and the only thing more favorable than that is how many sensational shades are available. Depending on which size weight you opt for, you will receive a different hue for each, which is perfect when you're looking to distinguish one from another. These dumbbells will do everything from tone and strengthen arms, chest, and shoulders while also increasing muscle mass and reducing fat.

Good to know
However, as great as this is, it's also important to note that if you're looking for a set of two, you'll need to order each individually. The comfortable non-slip neoprene coating with inlaid texture offers a superior grip that even the sweatiest exercise will allow you to focus on your body and movement.

best dumbbells

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. CAP Barbell Set of 2 Hex Rubber Dumbbell with Metal Handles

The best dumbbell set

Specifications
Includes: Set of 2 or 4 weights
Materials: Solid cast iron, chrome plated handle & rubber coated weights
Weights: 3lbs to 115lbs
Type: Hexagon
Reasons to buy
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Available in a set of 2 or 4 
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Versatility in sizes (starts at 3lbs and up to 115lbs!)
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Flat hexagonal surfaces will prevent rolling
Reasons to avoid
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On the pricer side

Whether you're an advanced lifter or someone looking for endless versatility, we highly recommend the set of CAP Barbells. 

Why do we love these dumbbells?
Available in sets of two or fours, these dumbbells were designed with high quality in mind. The solid cast-iron, chrome-plated handle, and rubber-coated weights will not damage floors or detach over time; making them a worthwhile investment. Plus, the flat hexagon surface prevents rolling, and knurled handles prevent slipping. Whether you're looking to perfect your curls, lifts, or squats, this set of two dumbbells will be endlessly versatile. You can start slow and with a few reps here and there, and work your way up, and your strength improves. We love how these weights do it all and do it all safely. 

best dumbbells

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. CAP Barbell Color Coated Hex Dumbbell Weights with Contoured Chrome Handle

The best dumbbells for aesthetic purposes

Specifications
Includes: One individual weight
Materials: Iron, rubber, steel
Weight: 3lbs to 12lbs
Colors: Multiple shades available
Type: Hexagon
Reasons to buy
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Versatility in weight; available in 3lbs to 15lbs
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Multiple colors available 
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Suitable for all types of workouts
Reasons to avoid
-
You'll need to purchase them individually if you're looking for a set

If you're looking for a dumbbell that can easily match any home or aesthetic, we highly recommend turning your attention to these CAP Barbells with their contoured chrome handles. 

Why do we love these dumbbells?
Whether you're a beginner or expert weight lifter, when it comes to this hexagon-shaped dumbbell, there's nothing but options. Here, this individual dumbbell ranges from 3lbs to 15lbs, and the original hex-shaped heads prevent rolling when not in use. If you're looking for a dumbbell that offers full control: you've met your match. Here this dumbbell can target specific muscle groups or attain a full-body workout. You can use it for isolating one muscle, reach for a variety of different weights for HIIT workouts, or use it regularly in functional training, too.

Good to know
Additionally, the medium-depth knurling on the ergo handle instills a firmer grip (and added security), which allows for a more efficient and effective workout. Lastly, the PVC coating makes this dumbbell both durable and long-lasting. 

AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex Hand Dumbbell Weight

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex Hand Dumbbell Weight

The best dumbbells on Amazon

Specifications
Materials: Contoured, textured, chrome handle for a comfortable, secure grip
Weight: 10lbs to 50lbs
Includes: One single weight
Type: Hexagon
Reasons to buy
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Affordable option that won't break the bank
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Suitable for beginners that are looking to build and strengthen muscle while reducing fat
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Comfortable grip
Reasons to avoid
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If you want a pair, you'll have to buy each dumbbell Individually  

A firmer grip is a must — or at least it rates highly on most's lists when shopping for a new dumbbell, and in that case, these ones from the AmazonBasics range will be great for you. 

Why do we love these dumbbells?
This individual handheld dumbbell is a great beginner's option. It will help improve strength, tone your arms, and reduce the appearance of fat. Available in a slew of sizes — ranging from 10lbs to 50 lbs — the hex-shaped rubber-encased ends not only prevent rolling and promote stay-in-place storage, but the chrome handle will also ensure a secure and comfortable grip.

Good to know
While you'll need to invest in a second handheld dumbbell to rep all of the benefits this dumbbell has to offer, it's still pretty impressive as a standalone. Here, this dumbbell will cover all the basics regarding resistance training and is excellent for arms, chest, back, core, and even legs. 

Shanchar Adjustable Weights Dumbbells Set

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Shanchar Adjustable Weights Dumbbells Set

The best adjustable dumbbells

Specifications
Included: 6 plates, two barbells to connect
Weight: 20lbs, 30lbs and 40lbs
Materials: Rubber (to prevent slipping)
Type : Circle
Reasons to buy
+
Suitable for all users but predominantly designed for woman
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Versatility within workouts; isolate muscles or go for a full-body workout
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The rubber material is a safer alternative to metal or iron
Reasons to avoid
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On the pricer side

Did you like the other four options but weren't crazy about them? If so, not a problem — or at least, when opting for these adjustable dumbbells from Shanchar, it will not be. Here, you'll find the most all-inclusive circular option, and it's suitable for both men and women. 

Why do we love these dumbbells?
It's rare to find a multi-functional design suitable for indoor use, but that's just what you'll find with this perfect pick. The counterweight is covered with rubber to avoid damage to the floor, while the connecting rod is covered with a rubber coating to ensure a firm grip. The included adjustable bar seamlessly connects to any of the included weights, and you can start off light and work your way up to heavier lifts or mix-and-match as you go. This barbell is designed to meet the specific needs of leg muscles but allows users to have full control. Oh, and in the event, you are not working out your leg muscles? Not a problem – go ahead remove one (or more) plates to use the free weights for overhead presses or isolate any muscle group. 

Good to know
If you're partial to a circular style over a hexagon style (more on that below), you'll meet your match with this pair of dumbbells. This multi-functional design is not only one of the best circular options on the market, but it allows both men and women to have full control when in-use. Oh, and what's sweetening the pot even more? There's also a special embossing to prevent dumbbells from rolling; plus, it's high-temperature resistance and immune to aging!

best dumbbells

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. Nice C100 Adjustable Dumbbell Barbell Weight Pair

The best loadable dumbbells

Specifications
Included: barbell or two dumbbell pair
Weight: 33lb to 66lb barbell OR 16lb to 33lb handweights
Material: Neoprene
Type: Circular
Reasons to buy
+
Adjustable bars allow users to have full control
+
Versatile to be used for everything from HIIT workouts to individually planned workouts
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All-inclusive
Reasons to avoid
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Higher price points

Whether you're looking to perfect your deadlifts or work on your backside (via squats), the Nice C Adjustable Dumbbell Barbell Weight Pair is the suitable solution for you. 

Why do we love these dumbbells?
Does anyone else get nervous that when working out, their weights can get a bit too heavy and end up slipping? If so, you're not alone, and this slip-resistant neoprene is here to alleviate those fears. Here, the material is paired to perfection with an upgraded curve-shaped handlebar to allow the tightest, firmest grip possible to improve your hand-eye coordination and avoid any unwanted injuries. Plus, this all-in-one dumbbell-barbell set allows you to have a versatile workout, whether you're looking to sculpt your arms or practice your deadlifts. Here, this option will improve not only your overall health or encourage weight loss, but when used correctly, it will strengthen the upper body, core muscles, and even your lower back! 

Good to know
Here, this all-inclusive option has endless versatility within its 12 piece set. You'll receive four 2.8 lb. plates, four 3.3 lb. plates, and four 4.4 lb. plates. Each dumbbell handle weighs 0.6 lbs. The lowest weight you can adjust to for each dumbbell is 0.6 lbs. with no plates attached. The highest weight with all the plates attached is 22 lbs. Weights can be added or taken off in 2.8 lb., 3.3lb., or 4.4 lb. increments. The barbell rod weighs 0.5 lbs., so the barbell can be adjusted from 1.1 lbs. to 44 lbs. The result? Full customization whenever and wherever.


What's the difference between fixed and adjustable weights? 

Are you wondering whether or not fixed weight or adjustable weights are suitable for you? Let us help you smoothen out the selection process by explaining the differences. 

Fixed weights are nothing more than a pair of dumbbells. This 2-pack is ideal for any first-time users or weight enthusiasts looking to dial in on one region of their body: meaning biceps, triceps, or any arm region. As a result, these dumbbells are on the bulkier side and traditionally need larger storage spaces (due to their heavier weight). 

Now, if you're looking for versatility and control? Adjustable weights will better suit you. Instead of coming in one fixed weight, adjustable weights offer a dial system to control how much weight is (or isn't) used at one time. 

Versatility is an essential component here, and many users prefer how this style works in a handful of workouts (from lunges to clean-and-presses, and so on!). 

Does the type of material used matter? 

Deciding what material to invest in (or not to invest in) ultimately boils down to what you like; it's a personal preference. But to help you find what your go-to material is, dumbells (or at least, the best dumbbells) are available in several different types of materials including, rubber, neoprene, and metal. 

Traditionally speaking, rubber and neoprene tend to be softer materials, easier on your hands, and less damaging to your floors. It's easier to grip this material and, in turn, allows for a firmer hold; however, make no mistake does that translate into being "better."

Metal dumbbells are just as efficient, and some lifters love how this material is sturdier and lasts longer; it provides longevity in their investment.

What shapes do dumbbells come in? 

Future lifters have a choice between two dumbbell shapes: hex and circle. The difference between the two is (again) your personal preference and boils down to what specific style you like more and what your goals are when using them. 

If you're looking for control, then a dumbbell with a hexagonal end would be your speed. It is less likely to roll away when placed on the floor and is suitable for a slew of exercises from renegade rows to deadlifts. 

Now, if you're looking for a dumbbell that offers simplicity, a circular style might be more your speed. Here, you can engage in bicep presses or ab rolling; with ease of use. 

Brittany Romano is Future's U.S. Shopping Editor, based in New York City. From her start as a fashion market assistant at Marie Claire to building a highly profitable commerce vertical at Us Weekly and AMI brands, Brittany has produced award-winning content covering everything from celebrity beauty hacks to must-have items from online sales. She is a graduate of New England College. When she isn’t writing, you can find Brittany indulging in yet another DIY project or cheering on her beloved Boston Bruins. Find her on Instagram at @ItsBrittanyRomano.

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