Best dumbbells 2021: 6 best buys to jumpstart your New Year's resolutions

We've rounded up six of the best dumbbells to turn any room into an at-home gym

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Allow yourself to start this year on the right note: it's time to invest in yourself, and how can you do that? Well, in years past, that might have meant signing up for a new gym, taking a spin class, or hiring personal trainer. But this year, it means finding ways to get fit at home, at least for now. One of the best places to start? Picking up a set of the best dumbbells.

An at-home gym is a safe and effective solution for anyone looking to workout but still a bit apprehensive about heading back to their regular gym (we completely understand), which is why we think it's a great idea. 

Plus, the best part, after you section off a small space where you can work out, there are only a couple of pieces of home gym equipment you need.

Now, before getting started, there are a few features and functions you need to consider, from how heavy you want each dumbbell to be, whether you're looking  for two to hold in each hand or just one single version – and then there is the color selection. Oh, and once you get through determining all of that, you need to figure out your purpose and why you're picking up one of the best dumbbells in the first place. Are you looking to build muscle, lose fat, strengthen, or maybe all of the above? 

So, if you're starting to scratch your head, that's not an issue — it's where we come in. 

Investing in not only the best dumbbells but the right one for you is something you should not take lightly, and that is why our team of experts has done all the heavy lifting (no pun intended) for you.

We've trialed and tested dozens (and we mean dozens) of different dumbbells in hopes of finding the creme de la creme to help you start the New Year right. We've taken every factor, figure, feature, and most importantly: the price point into consideration. 

Before COVID-19, fitness enthusiasts could snag a long-lasting pair of dumbbells for no more than $25(ish); but now, with home gyms on the rise, and dumbbells in such demand, prices have skyrocketed. As a result, we've now only considered that, but we've been mindful in our search to find the most affordable pairs on the market. And the result? 

Simple — we've indicated the six best dumbbells to invest in ASAP. Check them out, then scroll to the end for more buying advice if you still aren't sure what type to choose.

best dumbbells

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1. All in Motion Dumbbells

The best dumbbells: the most user-friendly option

Specifications
Includes: 1 individual weight
Materials: Iron
Weight: 2lbs up to 15lbs
Type: Hexagon
Reasons to buy
+Versatility in sizes and colors+Affordable +Features a no-roll head and non-slip grip
Reasons to avoid
-Subject to availability (sells out fast!)-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 this All in Motion dumbbell. Not only is it one of the most in-demand dumbbells on the market (it's always going in-and-out of stock!), but it also one the most affordable option too. 

Why we love it

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, this individual free-weight is no more than 5.5inches long (and could be a tad larger depending on which weight you select) and can easily fit into any corner or section of your home. 

This dumbbell is constructed from durable solid iron and features a no-roll head, 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. 

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. It's believed that this is a result of COVID-19 (and how in-demand they are!) but trust us: these hexagon-shaped heads are worth the additional expense. 

Versatility

These dumbbells will do everything from tone and strengthen arms, chest, and shoulders while also increasing muscle mass and reducing fat. 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 dumbbells: the best overall option

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
+Available in a set of 2 or 4 +Versatility in sizes (starts at 3lbs and up to 115lbs!)+Flat hexagonal surfaces will prevent rolling
Reasons to avoid
-On the pricer side

Whether you're an advanced lifter or someone looking for endless versatility, we highly recommend the CAP Barbell Set of 2 Hex Rubber Dumbbell with Metal Handles for you. It's the best overall option available in the market.

Why we love it

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 to prevent slipping. 

Versatility

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: the best for a full-body workout

Specifications
Includes: One individual weight
Materials: Heads are made from ASTM A48 Class 20 grey iron coated in p0 shore hardness rubber joined together by a solid 1018 cold rolled steel chromed handle.
Weight: 3lbs to 12lbs
Colors: Multiple shades available
Type: Hexagon
Reasons to buy
+Versatility in weight; available in 3lbs to 15lbs+Multiple colors available +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 the CAP Barbell Color Coated Hex Dumbbell Weights with Contoured Chrome Handle. 

Why we love it

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. 

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. 

Versatility

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.

best dumbbells

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex Hand Dumbbell Weight

The best dumbbells: the best for beginners

Specifications
Materials: Contoured, textured, chrome handle for a comfortable, secure grip
Weight: 10lbs to 50lbs
Includes: One single weight
Type: Hexagon
Reasons to buy
+Affordable option that won't break the bank+Suitable for beginners that are looking to build and strengthen muscle while reducing fat+Comfortable grip
Reasons to avoid
-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, the AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex Hand Dumbbell Weight will be great for you. 

Why we love it

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 — ranged 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.

Versatility

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. 

best dumbbells

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. shanchar Adjustable Weights Dumbbells Set

The best dumbbells: the most all-inclusive circular option

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+Versatility within workouts; isolate muscles or go for a full-body workout+The rubber material is a safer alternative to metal or iron
Reasons to avoid
-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 the shanchar Adjustable Weight Dumbbell set, it will not be. Here, you'll find the most all-inclusive circular option, and it's suitable for both men and women. 

Why we love it

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. 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! 

Versatility

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. 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, too! 

best dumbbells

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. Nice C100 Adjustable Dumbbell Barbell Weight Pair

The best dumbbells: the best non-slip circular version

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+All-inclusive
Reasons to avoid
-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 we love it

Does anyone else get nervous that when working out, that 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. 

Versatility

The 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! But how? 

Simple: the adjustable dumbbell set comes with a connecting bar that can be easily attached to both dumbbells to transform into a barbell. 

Here, this all-inclusive option has endless versatility within it's 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 right 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 loved how this style works in a variety of workouts (from lunges to clean-and-presses, and so on!). 

Does the type of material used matter? 

When it comes to the type of material your dumbbell is crafted from, it boils down to what you like. Dumbbells are available in several different types of materials including, rubber, neoprene, and metal, but it's all about what you like and what you don't like. 

Traditionally speaking, rubber and neoprene tend to be a softer material, easier on your hands, and less damaging to 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 type of 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.