Compact and ready to stow away, these adjustable dumbbells are ideal for even the tiniest of apartments.

By Gabrielle Hondorp
February 05, 2020
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Gym memberships can get expensive, but so can buying equipment to create your own home gym. And when it comes to working out at home, it’s often difficult to determine what gear you *actually* need for your fitness routine versus what can be left in the purgatory of ‘save for later’. But whether you’re new to at-home workouts or a seasoned veteran, there is one versatile piece of equipment that’ll benefit every kind of athlete: a set of adjustable dumbbells. 

Adjustable dumbbells are the convenient, space-saving alternative to the typical single-weight dumbbells you’d see in the gym. These multi-weight sets have also gone through significant improvements since they first became available and are better than the bulky weights of the past. Instead of precious space being taken up by five pairs of dumbbells in multiple weights (some of which you may never use), adjustable dumbbells provide anywhere from five to 50 pounds on a single dumbbell and can reach up to 100 pounds. This allows you to toggle between weights—which you’ll likely want to do for different movements or as your fitness level increases—by using just one set. They’re also compact and easy to store, making them ideal for at-home exercise when you don’t have a ton of space. (Related: Affordable Home Gym Equipment to Complete Any At-Home Workout)

Dumbbells will enhance the intensity of your workout on pretty much any part of the body, from arms and shoulders to legs and core—think weighted squats, lunges, and Russian twists. And weighted exercises like these are not just for those trying to “bulk up”. In fact, it’s been proven that strength training has a slew of benefits, like burning fat to speed up weight loss, increasing bone density, and, of course, building muscle. 

While some adjustable dumbbell sets are pricey, they’re definitely a better value than the gym membership you keep ‘forgetting’ to use (or the price you’d pay to buy separate pairs of dumbbells). Aside from the convenience factor, the best part is that they basically bring the gym to you—so you can get in a great workout without leaving the comfort of your home. (Related: This Full-Body Workout Requires Just One Heavy Dumbbell)

These are the best adjustable dumbbells you can buy on Amazon, according to thousands of customer reviews. 

Best Adjustable Dumbbells for Beginners

Amazon

The Bowflex manages to fit 15 different weight values into one set of adjustable, compact dumbbells. With options ranging from five to 52.5 pounds, this set allows you to increase weight by 2.5-pound increments for the first 25 pounds, meaning users can move up in weight more gradually (instead of being forced to jump five or 10 pounds). The weights are quick and simple to adjust, and the plates will not fall off, which is ideal—and necessary—for overhead exercises. (Related: Common Weight Lifting Questions for Beginners Who Are Ready to Train Heavy)

Rave Review: "I bought these in January and have been using them about 5 days a week, on average. We moved out of an apartment that had a gym into a house, so these have enabled me to use a little space in the garage to keep my workouts up without the gym costs and shared equipment. With the cost of some gyms near $100 [a month], these, along with a bench, pull up bar, and other basic equipment can start saving you money after less than a year."

Buy It: Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Weights, $325, amazon.com

Best Adjustable Dumbells with a Weight Rack

Amazon

This dumbbell set is a foot above the rest—literally. It comes with a wheeled weight stand that can be locked in place or be rolled away for easy storage between uses. The dumbbells themselves have 12 weights—ranging from 11 to 71.5 pounds that increase in 5.5-pound increments—and an easy-to-use dial system that allows you to toggle between weights quickly. After use, simply place each dumbbell back onto the stand and it’ll automatically latch on. While this set is a bit pricier than some other adjustable options, keep in mind that the price includes the addition of the weight stand, which is often an investment in itself. And if you don’t see the appeal of the stand, you can purchase these dumbbells without it for $100 less. 

Rave Review: "Right out of the box I am very impressed. Feels and looks quality and well made. Rubber grips are excellent and comfortable to grasp. The switching mechanism is firm, fast, smooth, and very easy to dial in the weight choice I want. My first workout with them I immediately noticed that the PowerBlocks I used for years were restricting my wrist and arm/chest movements by making me go deep into the block. These feel more natural, better full range of movement and balance with a full extension for the exercise muscle group."

Buy It: Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbells with Weight Plate, $430, amazon.com

Adjustable Dumbells with the Best Weight Range 

Amazon

If you want a wide range of weights in one dumbbell set, this all-in-one option is the way to go—it includes plates as low as 2.5 pounds and as high as 100 pounds for each side, allowing you to lift up to 200 pounds at once. However, if you’re looking for a quick-change dumbbell, this is not that; each plate must be taken on or off the 16-inch handle and the locking collar screwed on tightly to switch between weights. But if speed is not an issue, these are definitely the top pick for their depth of weight possibilities, durability, and budget-friendly cost. You can get a 200-pound set for just over $200, and unlike many other adjustable dumbbells, they can also be tossed around a bit since there’s no need to worry about delicate weight-changing knobs or dials. 

Rave Review: "Amazing amount of weights for the money, unreal!!! Super durable and simple design. I've been weight training for 10 years and needed heavier weights (80 pounds per dumbbell), which get crazy expensive for non-adjustable dumbbells. $200 with shipping is an absolute steal! I couldn't be happier. Yes there are pits in the castings; yes they have knurled handles for grip, yes there may be scratched paint from shipping, but they are weights meant to be dropped and thrown around while making your body stronger, not placed on a shelf to look at."

Buy It: Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells, $206, amazon.com

Best Adjustable Dumbells for Quick Weight Changes

Amazon

These may not look like your average dumbbell, but don’t let the shape throw you for a loop. Reviewers rave about these dumbbells, with many praising their quick and easy-to-use weight-changing system, space-saving design, and numerous weight options. Each dumbbell adjusts from 2.5 to 50 pounds in 2.5-pound increments, making them a great option for all fitness levels. They can be adjusted by moving the attached selector pin in the weight that you wish to lift, similar to how many weight machines work at the gym. Despite their rectangular shape, these aren’t bigger than your average dumbbell, so bulkiness or awkwardness should not be an issue—in fact, the square design can even make them easier to fit into certain storage spaces. (Related: How to Build the Perfect Home Gym)

Rave Review: "Amazing feat of engineering by PowerBlock! Super simple to change weight and very functional and comfortable weight set. Also, looks very nice not being an eyesore especially since this stays in the corner of my small apartment. Unlike others that leave spaces between every weight change interval, these stay compact and clean! More than enough room to fit my hand into and the padded handle and sidebars don't get in the way (also a plus for wrist comfort/support when doing front shoulder raises). Stability is a plus so far and weights stay in place."

Buy It: PowerBlock Personal Trainer Set, $289, amazon.com

Best Durable Adjustable Dumbells

Amazon

Calling all workout beasts: If you need some heavy-duty dumbbells that can withhold being dropped to the ground after a brutal max out, these are for you. More than 1,600 Amazon customers left a positive review for this durable set, with many noting that the chrome handle and cast-iron weight plates can take some serious punishment. And these aren’t just for experienced lifters; with weights beginning at three pounds and maxing out at 200, they’re a solid option for novices, too. They also come with an optional carrying case, which is an added plus for easier storage and portability. One caveat: While the bar is certainly grippy, some customers say it can leave you with war wounds (read: blisters) on your palms, so you may want to invest in some lifting gloves

Rave Review: "These dumbbells are well-made and have made a vast difference in the variety of exercises I can do at home. For a beginner, the plates included are heavy enough, although I do intend to go buy 4 ten-pound plates soon. The locking nuts spin on and off smoothly and quickly, and the rubber gasket things do a great job of keeping the nuts from coming loose. While changing plates may not be as quick with these than with fancier models, these are also massively less expensive, so I'm fine with it."

Buy It: CAP Barbell Adjustable Dumbbell Set, $45, amazon.com

Best Long-Lasting Adjustable Dumbells

Amazon

This Ironmaster dumbbell set does not come cheap, but given the heavy-duty construction that will *literally* last you a lifetime or longer, it’s certainly worth the price. And though the company has faith that the set is built to last—and customers seem to agree—it still offers a lifetime warranty at no extra charge. The durable steel weights, which increase by 2.5-pound increments up to 75 pounds, use a quick-lock system that allows you to unlock the pin, add weight, and easily lock it in again—so you’ll never have to worry about the weight changes disrupting your workout. And while you can choose to purchase the adjustable dumbbells without the stand, we recommend getting the whole package so you can keep the weights neat and organized when not in use. (Related: How to Pick the Right Size Dumbbells for Your Workouts)

Rave Review: "These dumbbells are EXCELLENT! They are very high quality, well-built, and extremely durable. The weight is easy to change, and the dumbbells feel great in hand. I can't imagine anyone being disappointed with these. They may be priced a little more than other comparable adjustable dumbbell sets, but I guarantee they are of much higher quality, and well worth the little bit of extra investment. You will never, ever have to buy another set of dumbbells!"

Buy It: Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System with Stand, $649, amazon.com

Best Adjustable Dumbells for Experienced Weight Lifters

Amazon

Heavy lifters, listen up: These dumbbells are ready to give you a serious workout. Each dumbbell begins at five pounds and increases by five-pound increments up to 100 pounds per dumbbell. Since this model uses cast-iron plates that are added onto the bar and locked into place with a cap, keep in mind that you won’t be able to toggle between weights as quickly as you would with a quick-lock dumbbell. But in place of speed, you get a lot more weight—up to 200 pounds, to be exact. What’s more, the sturdy construction can endure pretty much any amount of wear and tear, so you’ll never have to worry about being gentle with this pair. (Related: Lacey Stone Shares Her Favorite Heavy Dumbbell Workout for Weight Loss)

Rave Review: “I am really glad that these are on the market because I can't afford to buy sets of every weight from 5-100 lbs. These are exactly what they were promised to be and serve their purpose. I am able to do any exercise I could do with any other weight with them. I specifically like doing behind the head tricep extensions with them because they are easier to hold. They don't come loose like I had expected them to while using them either and I don't even use the rubber lock washers that come with it.” 

Buy It: Unipack Cast Iron 200-Pound Adjustable Dumbbells, $203, amazon.com

Best Compact Adjustable Dumbells

Amazon

These 25-pound weights are a great compact and budget-friendly option for lower-intensity strength training or for those who want to keep their workout equipment unassuming and out of the way. The easy-to-use set comes with a small storage tray for the two adjustable dumbbells, which start at 2.5 pounds and go up to 12.5 pounds each—allowing you to lift 25 pounds total. While these may not be as heavy as others, they’re still more than enough to help tone and strengthen your body and are actually preferable for certain exercises where low-to-moderate weight is recommended. Not to mention, they come in at a quarter of the price of most other dumbbell sets and are super portable.

Rave Review: “I purchased these for a client in his 70's to get started on a new routine. These are sturdy, easy to use, and easy to store. We've had no problems with the switching mechanism when changing the weight. The plates fit securely and don't feel like they will slide out while you're using them. One feature I like is that you can load only one side for an entirely different combination of exercises. Very handy and versatile for my needs and again, very easy to store between sessions.”

Buy It: ProForm SpaceSaver Dumbbells, $77, amazon.com

Best Adjustable Dumbells for Intermediate Weight Lifters 

Amazon

These quick-change dumbbells are ideal for intermediate lifters. Offering 30 different weights in one set, each dumbbell ranges from 10 to 55 pounds, allowing you to lift 110 pounds max. Along with ergonomic handles for comfort, the weights are contained in small, movable storage trays and use an innovative selector system that allows you to seamlessly move between intervals. Some reviewers noted they had a hard time understanding the switching mechanism, which resulted in loose weights, which can get dangerous—so be sure to figure out how it works before diving into a workout. 

Rave Review: “Great weights for the price! In comparison to the more expensive brands these are better because you don't have the extra bulkiness. The plate stops where you decide to choose the weight as opposed to having a more bulky bar extended. I am very happy with these weights and use them on a daily basis with ease! Highly recommend them for your home gym! Eliminates need for a rack full of dumbells.”

Buy It: NordicTrack Speed Weights, $270, amazon.com

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