Many fitness experts claim that plenty of weightlifting enthusiasts prefer to use the best adjustable dumbbells instead of fixed dumbbells for their home workouts. With the number of benefits adjustable DBs offer, it comes as no surprise that the market is now flooded with a variety of adjustable models designed to whip you into shape while allowing you to enjoy the convenience of a home workout.
One of the biggest advantages of this style of dumbbells over fixed DBs is their versatility. Many sets of adjustable dumbbells can be expanded, which means you can purchase an extra set of weight plates should you outgrow the amount of weight that comes in the initial package.
Another reason people prefer this style is the quick weight changing systems. There are a few styles to choose from, but basically, you can instantly add or remove weight plates from each DB, which essentially makes your workout much faster and more efficiently. We’ll cover the different weight changing systems available later on in the buyer’s guide.
If you have only a small room for your workout gear or you have to work out in your living room, then space is a big issue for you. Fixed dumbbells take up a lot of space, can be a pain to organize, and end up costing quite a bit, especially if you’re a heavy lifter. With adjustable DBs, the weight plates nest inside the dumbbell, so you have an extensive, compact weight lifting system that’s small enough to store in your small hall closet.
As we mentioned, there are many models flooding the markets these days, and the competition in the fitness industry is pretty fierce, making it difficult to find a set of DBs that can last for several years to come or affordable sets that will allow you to expand later down the line.
We’ve compiled a list of the top five sets of adjustable dumbbells on the market. Each set offers its own standout feature, whether they’re the most affordable, the most versatile, or perfect for the beginner, we’ve chosen sets that are bound to meet every consumer’s needs.
We have also included an extensive buying guide that will explain the many features available, including the weight changing systems, expansion packs, and compatible accessories.
We hope this guide will help you to narrow down your choices to find the right type of DBs and the best adjustable dumbbells to meet your budget and your fitness goals.
Adjustable Dumbbells Comparison Chart
|Product||Max Weight||Weight Increments||Warranty||Price||Link|
|Bowflex SelectTech||52.2 lbs||2.5lbs||2 years||$$$|
|PowerBlock Elite||50-90 lbs||2.5lbs||10 years||$$$$$|
|Yes4All ||40-200 lbs||2.5lbs||0||$$|
|Bowflex SelectTech 60||60 lbs||2.5lbs||2 years||$$$$|
|Weider Speed Weight||12.5 lbs||2.5lbs||0||$|
1. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells: A popular set that allows you to get in a total body workout without having to go to the gym, the easy to use dial system allows you to increase or decrease the weight quickly and in smaller weight increments. This set is perfect for lifters of all fitness levels.
2. PowerBlock Elite: These dumbbells by PowerBlock are expandable and can be purchased in a few different max weight options including: fifty, seventy, and ninety pounds. Since they’re expandable, they’re also a good buy for people of all fitness levels or if you’re looking for a set of adjustable dumbbells that can be used by more than one person in the home.
3. Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells: These lower priced adjustable dumbbells aren’t flashy and the weight changing system isn’t as fast as higher priced models, but these weights are very versatile, expandable, and perfect for the lifter on a budget.
4. Bowflex SelectTech 560 Adjustable Dumbbells: Step into the future with dumbbells that are powered with Bluetooth technology. Take advantage of the free video coaching and track your workout progress using these top of the line adjustable dumbbells. A little on the pricey side, these dumbbells are for individuals who are serious about getting fit and keeping a close eye on their progress.
5. Weider Speed Weight Adjustable Dumbbells: Comfortable to use and built tough, these lower priced adjustable dumbbells are designed for the beginner. The max weight is definitely too low for a serious lifter but it’s perfect for people who are interested in cut workouts or beginners who need to start off at a lower lift weight.
The Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells feature two DBs that range in weight from five pounds to fifty-two and a half pounds. Users, especially beginners, will love the two and a half pound weight increments for the first twenty-five pounds. Essentially, this set can replace thirty different fixed dumbbells, allowing you to save a ton of space in your home workout space.
The lower weight increments will allow lifters to start out slow and gradually adjust their workouts until they’ve achieved the desired lift weight.
Aside from the dumbbells, you’ll also get the free workout DVD that can get you started on earning some serious gains.
Highly versatile and easy to store, this set is perfect for lifters of all skill levels and fitness goals. The price is a little steep, but if you’re familiar with Boxflex equipment and products then you know that these DBs are worth every penny.
As we have mentioned, these dumbbells can save you some serious space. With other models of adjustable dumbbells you won’t get the type of tough workout that provides results, but with these Bowflex adjustable dumbbells, you’ll enjoy a total full body strength training workout.
These DBs are also compatible with several Bowflex brand accessories including an ergonomic stand designed to making lifting easier and safer on your back. The adjustable decline and incline bench combined with these adjustable dumbbells will turn your workout space into a pro home gym.
These DBs use the popular dial weight changing system, which allows you to adjust the weight plates faster. The DBs also come with a two year warranty, which is a huge selling point for consumers. The weights offer a sturdy feel and feature a rubber coated grip for ultimate comfort as you lift.
The workout DVD features challenging weight lifting routines including the Secrets of the Four Step Rep, which provides users with a great strength training and ultimate fat burning session.
Some buyers reported that they had to send the dumbbells in to have the dials replaced after a couple of years of use. Other buyers reported that the dial systems can crack if the dumbbells are dropped.
The Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells offer lifters a total body workout without the extra equipment needed. It’s really the ultimate set of adjustable dumbbells for any home gym. This set received plenty of positive consumer feedback, mainly because they’re so versatile and durable. They’re a little on the pricey side compared to other models of adjustable DBs, but they do offer an easier to use weight changing system, durability, a more comfortable grip and a higher max weight with lower weight increments, which makes them perfect for both beginners and seasoned lifters.
The Powerblock Elite dumbbell set is one of their best adjustable dumbbell options, for many reasons. To start, you can choose from adjustable dumbbells with a max weight of fifty pounds, seventy pounds, and ninety pounds. What’s even better, if you choose a lower adjustable weight set, you have the option to purchase an expansion pack later down the line, which makes these dumbbells an excellent choice if you plan on bulking in the future. One of the biggest problems people run into with adjustable dumbbells is the inability to purchase additional weight plates for the DBs once they’ve outgrown the max weight. But PowerBlock takes care of this by offering a number of expansion packs and accessories, all of which are designed to ensure that you meet your fitness goals.
Each set of adjustable dumbbells, regardless of the max weight model you choose comes with a ten year product warranty.
If faster weight adjustment is a major priority, then this set is your best option. It will take only a few seconds to increase or decrease the weight plates. This is an essential feature if you do plenty of drop sets or super sets which require you to quickly add or reduce the weight you’re lifting at the end of a circuit. These dumbbells use a pin selector system, which is pretty easy to use as long as you pay attention during a weight plate change and focus on inserting the pin straight through the weight plate.
Did we mention these dumbbells will save you a ton of space? These DBs utilize a self-containing storage mechanism where the DB weight plates and handle conveniently and compactly nest within each other, working to reduce the amount of space that’s required to store the weights. So you won’t need to set aside additional room to store the extra weight plates.
While dropping your dumbbells definitely isn’t advised, there are times when it’s simply unavoidable. Fortunately, these DBs have a reputation for durability and they’re covered by the ten year warranty.
We’ve discussed the expansion pack options available for these DBs, but we have yet to touch on the accessories you can purchase that can take your workouts even further. PowerBlock produces a number of accessories that are compatible with this model including a kettlebell handle, which allows you to transform the DB into a kettlebell by simply swapping out the handle.
There have been some complaints that the weight plates make an annoying clanking sound as you lift. Other users reported that the plates can stick together at times. The clanking noise can occur if the user fails to push the pin selector all the way through the plates. As for the weight plates sticking together, this is usually an issue that occurs when the plates are new. You can wipe the plates down using WD40, which should solve the problem.
As you can tell, we were pretty excited about this set of adjustable dumbbells. They’re very durable, versatile, and the expansion options and accessories allow you to make use of this set for many years to come. We highly recommend these DBs for lifters of all fitness levels.
The Yes4All adjustable dumbbells come in a wide range of max weight sizes including forty pounds, fifty pounds, fifty-two pounds, sixty pounds, a hundred and five pounds, and two hundred pounds. Priced affordably, these low-cost adjustable weights feature weight increments of two and a half pounds to five pounds, which allows you to gradually increase the max weight you’re lifting with.
These heavy-duty dumbbells feature chrome finished handles, four chrome spin-on lock collars, and cast iron weight plates.
They also offer a simple, classic look that’s all about durability and quality. They’re easy to use, simple to change out and can handle being dropped without cracking. What more can you ask for?
Chrome finished, these DBs offer a textured ergonomic grip for more comfortable lifting. Lifting with these weights feels very secure, with no sliding during movement. The spin-on locking collars are knobby and large and chrome plated. They easily spin on and off, but changing out the weight plates isn’t a fast process. With their knurled handles, these weights have an old school feel. You can tell that the weight plates and bars are built solid, so if dropped they won’t crack.
The bar and collars used are a standard 1.25 inches, which means that they’re highly compatible with all types of weight plates so you can easily expand and add more weight later down the line.
If you’re on a tight budget, these dumbbells are a great choice. While they don’t offer the fastest weight changing systems that higher priced models do, they do offer tough, well-built weight plates and reasonably comfortable handgrips, allowing lifters of all fitness levels to reach their goals.
As we briefly mentioned, changing the weight plates with these DBs is not a fast process, which can be frustrating if you’re in the middle of a drop set or super set. Every time you change the weight you’ll need to unlock four collars, add or take away weight and relock the collars. This system simply isn’t as fast as adjustable dumbbells that feature pin selector or dial systems. But for the price, it may be worth the extra time.
Another issue is the somewhat sharp ends of the dumbbells, which can potentially lead to bruising if you’re not careful with how you lift.
If you’re short on space in the home and looking for an affordable set of adjustable dumbbells that are expandable, then you really can’t beat this set from Yes4All. While they’re not the flashiest DBs around, they do allow you to get in a tough workout and they’re available in a few max size options which make them a good choice for beginners or seasoned lifters. Overall, their versatility and solid design definitely make them worth a second look.
The SelectTech 560 by Bowflex features integrated Bluetooth technology that records weight, reps, and sets. Each adjustable dumbbell can be adjusted from five to sixty pounds. Users will also love the free Bowflex app that features a six-week challenge, fitness log, and over seventy dumbbell exercises.
This set utilizes a weight dial system for faster weight changes. To choose the desired weight simply turn the dial and plates will be added or removed.
This model also comes with a two-year product warranty.
The weights include a base plate, which is what you’ll use to change out the weight plates. Unlike adjustable DBs produced by Bowflex in the past, these DBs feature a more squared off design, that gives them a bulkier look. The weights slide into the base plate easily, so adding or decreasing the weight is a fast process. The hand grips feel natural and comfortable during lifting, thanks to the thicker handles.
The ability to choose smaller weight increments is a huge selling point for this set, compared to competing models that only allow a five-pound weight increment change. The smaller weight increment option makes these dumbbells suitable for beginners and seasoned lifters.
These dumbbells are easy to use and feature a total of sixteen weight settings. The three-dimensional trainer mobile app provides video coaching for more effective workouts.
These techy adjustable dumbbells can wirelessly track weight used, count sets, count reps, and they work with the video coaching app which can help to ensure you’re using the correct form.
These dumbbells can support more than thirty exercises for the core and upper body. The six weeks of daily workouts and the free app with video guidance are only compatible with iOS devices.
The Bluetooth feature allows you to closely monitor your progress and works to export data to a wireless app for easier tracking. Other compatible equipment includes the advanced rack with a media shelf and the Bowflex bench, both of which are sold separately.
We would like Bowflex to offer a longer warranty. While two years is decent, there are lower priced models that currently offer warranties that are three times longer.
The Bowflex SelectTech 560 adjustable dumbbells can be a total asset for the beginner who’s new to lifting. However, they’re heavy enough to challenge even seasoned lifters. These DBs take up very little space and can eliminate the need to hit the gym, allowing you to get in a tough workout in the comfort of your own home. The comprehensive video coaching will ensure that you’re getting the most out of each workout, while the tracking features and the online workout log will allow you to keep a close eye on your progress and determine if you need to take your workouts up a notch.
The Weider Speed Weight adjustable dumbbells set features two twelve pound bells, with weight increments of two and a half pounds. Weider is one of the best-known names in the fitness industry, so it comes as no surprise that they’re considered the pioneers of adjustable dumbbell systems. Weider has a long history of offering lower priced weight sets that are designed with durability and quality in mind. While this lighter adjustable dumbbell set may not be heavy enough to challenge the big boys, it has a lot to offer the beginner or fitness enthusiasts who are after a more cut appearance. Overall, these dumbbells are very versatile and can be the perfect buy for the newbie looking for a new workout challenge.
The Speed Weight DBs get their name because users can quickly adjust the weight setting using the interior dial system. The weight change mechanism allows you to pick up and release the weight plates desired for specific exercises by simply rotating the handle.
You won’t have to worry about the plastic pin selectors getting damaged because the design is very secure and compact.
As you rotate the DB handle, you’ll clearly see each weight setting.
While most storage trays for adjustable dumbbells are only designed to hold the plates that aren’t being used, the manufacturer has included an additional safety feature. You’ll find a couple of pins in each tray, which must be engaged before the dumbbells can rotate and be removed from the tray. This works to prevent any of the plates from sticking or coming loose when you lift the weight out.
You’ll love lifting with the soft rubber ergonomic handles that feel tough and secure and promote user comfort.
As another added safety feature, when the weight plates are chosen, you’ll hear an audible click that lets you know that the weight plates have correctly locked into place. This helps to prevent injury and also acts as a useful indicator that you’ve moved to a different weight setting.
The lower max weight makes these dumbbells more suitable for beginners or people who are searching for a lighter weight dumbbell set that can help them to get toned. The twelve and a half pound weight of each bell will not be challenging for lifters who are used to lifting heavy. There were also some complaints regarding expansion packs, which are not currently offered by the manufacturer. If you have serious lifting goals and plan on bulking then the odds are that you’ll quickly outgrow these dumbbells.
This is a set that’s on the lighter side, which can be limiting for some lifters. But this limitation is exactly what makes them perfect for the beginner. People new to weight lifting will appreciate the low max weight and low weight increment changes, both of which will allow the user to slowly progress to heavier weight without fear of injury. Considering the dumbbells are also priced very affordably, this is the perfect option for the beginner.
Adjustable Dumbbells Buyer’s Guide
There have been several studies that have proven the many benefits that come with adding strength training to your daily workouts. Weight lifting can benefit your heart, improves balance, increases bone strength, and can greatly aid in weight loss.
Adjustable dumbbells will allow users to enjoy a variety of weight plates that attach to metal bars in order to achieve the desired lift weight. This is an economical and effective solution that can change the way you work out, not to mention significantly improve your gain results.
If you primarily work out at home, then the odds are that you’re struggling to find the space to store them. You also probably don’t want to spend a ton of money purchasing several sets of individual dumbbells that you’ll need in order to complete each routine.
This guide will show you exactly how a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells can make all the difference in your home workout routines and what features to look for that will ensure you’re buying the right set that can help you reach your fitness goals.
Storage and Price
If you’re like most people, you have a small room in your home that functions as the dedicated workout area. Or, you may even be hiding your dumbbells behind the couch. If you’re looking for a better solution that can save you money and help with storage and organization, we’ve got you covered.
You may have two or three sets of dumbbells lying around the home, but they’re not even close to the type of weight you need to use to do your chest or arm exercises. Once you figure out exactly how many sets of dumbbells you need to buy, you’ll quickly realize that you don’t have the space to store them. It’s also going to end up costing you a fortune.
The beauty of the adjustable dumbbell is that they take up hardly any room at all, so you’ll have your space issue solved. These bells can easily be placed in a closet once you’re finished working out, or they can fit nicely in a small area of your workout room.
The other best part about adjustable DBs is that they’ll save you some serious cash because you won’t have to purchase several regular dumbbells that can cost anywhere from one to five dollars a pound.
Another reason we love adjustable DBs is that you can literally do hundreds of exercises with them. So, with a reasonably priced workout bench and a set of these dumbbells, you can knock out a ton of different exercises, and enjoy effective workouts in the comfort of your own home.
Adjustable Dumbbell Styles
Adjustable dumbbell manufacturers currently offer a few different ways to choose the amount of weight you want to switch to for each exercise.
The dial system is a pretty common style. The bell sits in a case or all together, the user then turns the dial to the desired weight and that’s it.
A selector pin system is another option. Again, the bell will sit in a case or all together. The user moves the selector pin to the desired amount of weight, lifts up the bell and they’re good to go. The DB only comes with the set weight you choose and the remaining weight will be left behind.
The spin lock clamp or collar clamp is a style that features traditional weight plates that go on the bar of the DB, while a collar is used to secure the weights to the bar.
When you’re trying to choose which style to go with, there’s really no wrong or right choice. It will all depend on what you think will work best for you. If you need to switch out weight quickly, then you might want to choose a more innovative type of weight adjusting system where you have to put the DB in its stand and quickly dial in the desired weight.
How to Choose the Right Set of Adjustable Dumbbells
When shopping online for a set of adjustable weights, the first thing we suggest is determining the max amount of weight you need to work out with. So, ask yourself how much weight you’ll use to do shoulder presses, squats, and lunges. Most of all, you should consider how much weight you’ll want to use to bench press since that’s where you’ll end up lifting the most weight.
Consider how much weight you normally lift based on exercise type. Have you been making progress recently? What is the main purpose of your workouts-toning or building muscle?
If you’re a beginner, then a two hundred pound set probably isn’t right for you. Similarly, if you’re a seasoned lifter, then a fifty-pound set wouldn’t be very challenging.
Next, consider where you’ll store your weights. Do you have enough space?
What type of weight increments do you want or need to use in your strength training workouts? Basically, you’ll be looking at one to five-pound increments. For some, this will matter, but most pros will recommend the largest weight increment jump. Weight increment changes are very important for shoulder exercises where a jump from ten to fifteen pounds can be way too much. So, in this case, you’d want something like one pound to two-pound increments.
Next, determine your budget. Come up with a price range that you can afford and try to stay within your budget.
You should also consider the type of weight selection style you would prefer. Often, this boils down to personal preference, unless you need a lot of weight. Do you want a pin selector to move the weight you want or do you want something faster, like a dial system to change the weight? Would you prefer more traditional dumbbells that use weight plates with a collar?
It’s generally understood that dumbbells made from plastic are not the best quality. The plastic parts also won’t last very long and you definitely don’t want your weights to break while you’re performing skull crushers. So, really, it’s more about safety than anything else. Do yourself a favor and opt for an all-metal, or at least partially metal adjustable dumbbell set.
The fit and grip of your new DBs will also be important. Everyone’s hands are different, so you want to make sure your new set of weights fit well in your hands and feel secure. Again, this is more about safety than style. If possible, try out a few options before you finally settle on the set that’s right for you.
Of course, if you’re ordering your dumbbells online, it’s still possible to do so, just check out a local fitness center, or sporting goods store, test out some weights and order them online for a better deal.
Most models of adjustable DBs feature a stand or tray so you can store the weights and adjust them if they utilize a pin selector system or a dial system.
These stands are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, but most fitness experts recommend choosing a stand that has a less plastic feel. The stand should be sturdy, without clanking or rocking.
The stand height is another consideration. It will be a lot easier to dial in weight on your dumbbell if they’re not sitting too low to the floor.
Are the Dumbbells Upgradable?
Chances are that over the course of several months, depending on how frequently you work out, you’ll grow so big that the current set of dumbbells you purchased a year ago simply won’t be heavy enough for you anymore. Purchasing a new set of weights can be a major hassle, especially if you’ve gotten used to the set you own or you just don’t have it in your budget to buy a whole new set. In order to avoid this problem try choosing a brand or model that’s upgradable. This way, you can use the same weight bar and just add new plates.
Quality versus Cost
Often, we find ourselves choosing between a moderately priced lesser known brand and a well-known brand that’s higher in price but offers better features. But is there a compromise between the two?
In the fitness industry, the competition is pretty fierce. You should definitely take the time to pick out a few models and do a little digging before you settle. Make sure you compare the models you’re interested in. Many times the price difference comes from heavier sets of weight plates. It’s pointless to compare a fifty-pound dumbbell set against a two hundred pound set. Obviously, these dumbbells will fall into different categories.
Do the Dumbbells come with a Warranty?
Dumbbells aren’t the type of product that can easily break. They’re made of solid materials and don’t have very many moving parts. This can be especially true for bells with the traditional weight adjusting systems. However, you still want that peace of mind knowing that if your product is defective you can quickly trade them in for a replacement. Most sets of adjustable dumbbells will come with a one or two year warranty. However, there are some manufacturers that offer extended warranties, some up to ten years.
Benefits of Using Adjustable Dumbbells
We realize that there are many people who simply love their weight machines for weight training. While there are some machines that can be very beneficial if you’re serious about building muscle and getting fit, there are a number of benefits to using adjustable dumbbells that you’re totally missing out on.
Some of the main advantages to using DBs over machines include:
• When you lift with DBs, the body works to incorporate all the major muscle groups in the body in order to keep the weights stabile as you lower and raise them. This isn’t the case with weight machines, which isolate a single muscle group. With bells, you can get a better work out done in less time.
• With DBs, you can work one arm at a time. When doing this, it will make it difficult for your strong arm to compensate for your weak arm. This, in turn, helps to improve stabilization between muscles.
• Weight machines can put your body in compromising angles and weird positions which can make you more susceptible to injuries.
• DBs also allow for a greater range of motion compared to weight machines. And as you probably know, the range of motion is the key to building strength.
Traditional Dumbbells versus Adjustable Dumbbells
With traditional dumbbells, you’ll get a set weight. You can most commonly see this DB style in fitness centers and commercial gyms. You can’t change the weight of a regular dumbbell, but you can with adjustable models.
Fixed dumbbells are available in pro or hex styles. On the hex, the weight heads have six sides. On the pro style DBs, the heads are circular. Hex bells usually start at a pound and can go up to a hundred pounds. Pro bells also start as low as a pound but they can go up to a hundred and fifty pounds. Regular dumbbells have rubber coating or painted enamel on the weight heads. The coating protects flooring from marring and scratches.
With adjustable bells, you’ll also find a couple of different styles. Plate loaded models are much smaller, with a twelve-inch to fifteen-inch bar with end sleeves that hold traditional weight plates. The weight of the sleeves and durability of the bar tend to limit the amount of weight you can load.
Adjustable models feature a set of weights in one DB block. The handle rests inside a number of weight plates. Slide a weight pin or turn a knob on the block in order to choose the desired weight. Only the chosen weight pulls out of the block with the DB handle. The adjustable bells tend to vary in weight, depending on the model and brand. Some will feature a weight of forty-five pounds, while others will offer a hundred pounds per bell.
If you often do a wide variety of exercises, then you’ll need a variety of DBs. Six to eight sets of fixed bells will take up a lot of space, but one set of adjustable bells can provide twelve to sixteen sets of weights. This benefit is the main reason many are turning to adjustable dumbbells. You’ll get the type of weight versatility you need, at a price you can afford. An adjustable set of DBs will allow you to purchase just one set of dumbbells, with a max weight limit based on your current fitness level and fitness goals. You’ll also be able to easily load up the bell with a higher weight once you begin to progress. Essentially, these budget friendly weights can make your workouts more challenging, while allowing you to progress slowly over time.