If you want the benefits of intense dumbbell workouts at home but don’t want the clutter of a full weight rack, adjustable dumbbells are perfect for you. Adjustable dumbbells give you all the weight you need and take up minimal space. Now, you don’t have to choose between having a full weight rack at home and neglecting your strength gains due to minimal space.

Adjustable weight dumbbells give you the convenience of buying one weight set that doesn’t rob you lots of space in your home. Also, you can “grow” with the set as your muscles get bigger, saving you money in the long run. If you have multiple people in your home, an adjustable dumbbell set can be used by a variety of exercisers as they were in this Australian study.

In this article, you’ll discover the many benefits of owning an adjustable dumbbell set as well as highlight Fitnessator’s top picks. Check out “The Rundown” for a quick summary explaining the main features of the top picks. This will help you make your decision about which set to buy quickly. Once you’ve made your purchase, don’t forget to try our sample adjustable dumbbell workout below!

Are there benefits for including dumbbell workouts into my routine?

Working Out Using Dumbbells Not completely sold on adjustable dumbbells for your home? Maybe you already bought a squat rack and do most of your heavy weight lifting with a barbell and weight plates. While these are also great for muscle-building, dumbbells have shown to have their own benefits.

In this 2018 study, researchers found that exercises commonly done with other equipment were enhanced when the exercise was performed with dumbbells instead. So, exercises that are typically done with barbells, cables, or on machines may actually be less effective than using dumbbells. Adjustable dumbbells allow for completely individualized strength training. You can add or remove weight for each exerciser or even for each exercise performed.

Individualized training based on your height, weight, current abilities, and goals has been shown to be more effective than traditional group training (1). Tailored endurance and strength training is used by elite athletes and those with acute and/or chronic disease (2).

Adjustable dumbbells give you exactly what you need when you need it. They are essential for the home exerciser who can’t afford or who doesn’t have room for entire weight sets that you often see in a commercial gym.

To help you choose the best dumbbell set, we’ve put together our favorites in a list of Fitnessator’s Top Picks in adjustable dumbbells. Also, we combed through current clinical and exercise research behind dumbbells to find effective workouts that you can do with adjustable dumbbells. Here is our compilation of the best adjustable dumbbell reviews and products below.

If you want to skip the detailed reviews and get straight to the main facts, head down to “The Rundown” section for a summary of the best adjustable dumbbell sets on the market today. Make sure you try our sample workout with your new adjustable dumbbell set! 

Fitnessator’s Top Pick

SelectTech 552 by Bowflex

SelectTech 552 by BowflexWhy We Love It:

The SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbell set earned the position of“Fitnessator’s Top Pick” because of its well-rounded construction, price, and customer reviews. It is durable and provides an adjustable weight range that falls between some of the other products we will discuss. As you will see, some products provide heavier weight ranges, whereas others provide lighter weight ranges than the SelectTech 552. The SelectTech 552 set is moderately priced compared to other products. With nearly 4200 customer reviews for this product, so you can gain a lot of insight from people who have used these weights. 

The Research:

Longstanding research shows that the main determinants to sticking with an exercise program to reach fitness goals are self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation (3). Adjustable dumbbells, like the Bowflex set, are great for building self-efficacy since their moderate price is affordable and their moderate weight range is suitable for most people.

Likewise, research shows that self-paced, individualized, and enjoyable exercise leads to better exercise adherence. So, if you invest in equipment that suits your needs and gives you the ability to grow, you will feel confident that your fitness goals are within reach.

  • Minimum weight per hand: 5 lbs
  • Maximum weight per hand: 52.5 lbs
  • Weight per pair is 105 lbs. Dimensions for 1 dumbbell: 15.8in x 7.9in x 9.1in
  • Amazon.com price for a pair: $299 + FREE Shipping
  • Weight stand sold separately. Price for dumbbell set + stand: $418
Things to Consider: 

Even though many consumers have positive experiences with this product, it is not priced for everyone. Remember, however, that a purchase of an adjustable weight set may actually be more cost-effective than having to buy an entire dumbbell set, dumbbell weight rack, and/or barbell equipment.

Customer Reviews:

As always, we looked around for some Bowflex adjustable dumbbell reviews. Per satisfied customers, the Bowflex 552 fits the bill for price point and longevity. Even customers who used to work out at commercial gyms appreciate the SelectTech 552’s industrial grade. According to customers who like this product, this at-home adjustable dumbbell set is comparable to what you would find at a gym.

On the other hand, customers experienced damage to the product with regular use. While the majority of the product is heavy duty, the mechanism that holds the weight is made of plastic. Unfortunately, several customers stated that this piece broke off on several models (and their replacement product). While this issue happened to multiple customers, most customer reviews are positive.

Who Should Purchase This Product:

Although you may not want to pay nearly $300 for an adjustable dumbbell set, keep in mind that the the SelectTech 552 is actually a moderately priced set. Per customer reviews, there may be some mechanical issues, however, this set is great for home exercisers with a variety of needs and strength levels.

If you’d prefer a middle-of-the-group adjustable weight set, consider this product. The Bowflex adjustable dumbbell set balances price, quality, and variability for regular use.

Fitnessator’s Runner Up

GF-SPDBLK24 Adjustable SpeedBlock Dumbbells by Powerblock

GF-SPDBLK24 Adjustable SpeedBlock Dumbbells by PowerblockWhy We Love It:

We awarded the GF-SPDBLK24 the spot of “Fitnessator’s Runner Up.” While it is the #1 new release in exercise and fitness dumbbells on Amazon.com, it did not make the top pick due to user sizing issues. Check out the customer reviews to see if your hands are too big for this set! Regardless, we liked this set because it is another moderately priced product.

  • Minimum weight per hand: 3 lbs
  • Maximum weight per hand: 24 lbs
  • Offers a 10-year limited warranty
  • Weight per pair is 48 lbs. Dimensions for 1 dumbbell: 10.5in x 5in x 5in
  • Amazon.com price for a pair: $159.99 + FREE Shipping
Things to Consider:

It’s important to remember that the max weight is 24 lbs per hand. Now, that may be just right for beginners or those with a smaller frame. If you are looking to bulk up significantly, look for sets that offer more weight.

Customer Reviews:

There are many customers who stand behind the value of this particular adjustable dumbbell set. Per positive customer reviews, the Powerblock dumbbells are easily adjustable between exercises and save lots of space when compared to entire dumbbell sets. As with any adjustable dumbbell set, you can save a lot of space by avoiding a huge weight rack and weight set.

If you want the opposing viewpoint, there are some reviews that indicate this set may be best for those of a smaller frame. Apparently, there are less than 4.5 inches of space to put your hands when using the block. One man said that his hands were too big to comfortably fit inside the dumbbell block, whereas his wife’s hands fit perfectly. Based on this review, those with big hands should reconsider purchasing this product.

Who Should Purchase This Product:

The GF-SPDBLK24 offers a moderately priced dumbbell set which is affordable for most consumers. Also, it is a lighter set than some of the other sets we reviewed. If you are just beginning home strength training and cannot tolerate a lot of weight, this set may be best.

Likewise, if your goals are for toning rather than muscle bulk, this is also a great choice. Before you purchase this product, think about your hand size as well. Big hands beware! When looking for any new exercise equipment, make sure you buy equipment that is suitable for your size and shape.

Fitnessator’s Honorable Mention

Elite Dumbbells by Powerblock

Elite Dumbbells by PowerblockWhy We Love It:

The Elite Dumbbell set earned the title of “Fitnessator Honorable Mention.” The set has nearly 900 reviews, so you can read through them for lots of additional information and user experiences regarding this product. This set holds a lot more weight than the Fitnessator’s Top Pick and Runner Up.

  • Minimum weight per hand: 5 lbs
  • Maximum weight per hand: 70 lbs
  • Amazon.com price for a pair: $418.83 + FREE Shipping
  • Expandable to 90 lbs per hand with purchase of an expansion kit. Price for kit: $108
  • Weight stand sold separately. Price for dumbbell set + stand: $530.28
Things to Consider:

As you can see, this set is more expensive than our top pick, however, it does hold more weight (but not the most weight on this list). Unfortunately, the set can get pricier with the addition of a weight expansion kit and/or a weight stand. Keep in mind these accessories are sold separately.

Customer Reviews:

Luckily, we found some customer reviews that compare this set to our Fitnessator’s Top Pick, giving you a better analysis. According to consumers, the Powerblock dumbbells are more compact in comparison to the Bowflex adjustable weights. Powerblock feels more balanced, which some people claim gives them a better workout. If you consider these particular benefits, you may find that the Fitnessator’s Honorable Mention may be better for you than even the Fitnessator’s Top Pick.

On the flip side, some customers complain of mechanical issues that occur with multiple versions of the same product. When reviewing the expansion kit in particular, customers say that the weights do not fit properly onto the expansion set. One customer believes this not only problematic but also dangerous if a weight falls off during a workout. While this review is valid, remember that the customer found issues with the expansion kit and not the original product itself.

Who Should Purchase This Product:

These Elite Dumbbells may be beneficial for someone who expects to grow and increase their strength to 70 lbs per hand when using this product. After that, the expansion kit allows for someone to add more weight once they are ready. If you find yourself projecting to increase your heavy weight maximum per hand, save money and consider the expansion kit along with this product. At only $108, purchasing the expansion kit may be cheaper than buying a whole new set when you outgrow the Elite Dumbbells.

Best Heavy Weight Adjustable Dumbbells

Adjustable Dumbbells (200 lbs) by Yes4All

Adjustable Dumbbells (200 lbs) by Yes4AllWhy We Love It:

If you need heavy weight adjustable dumbbells, this is the set for you. Yes4All makes various weight sets that range from 40 to 200 lbs (up to 100 lbs per hand). Also, they are the #3 top-selling product in dumbbells on Amazon. There are also over 1500 customer reviews, so you can find lots of information about this heavy weight set. 

  • Minimum weight per hand: 2.5 lbs
  • Maximum weight per hand: 100 lbs
  • Weight plates are compatible with a standard barbell
  • Weight per pair is 200 lbs. Length of 1 dumbbell is 16 inches
  • Amazon.com price for a 200 lbs pair: $196.99 + FREE Shipping
Things to Consider:

This product is a great option for heavy weight lifters. Plus, here’s the best part: The most weight on this list does not equate to the highest-priced product! By doing the math, you will see the Yes4All set has a lower price per pound than these other products. If you are not quite at the 200-lb range, you should still consider this product since it offers several weight sets.

Customer Reviews:

With such a heavy weight adjustable dumbbell set, we assumed the customer reviews would be good. Satisfied customers claim that this is a great option for people who need heavy weight but who cannot afford to spend lots of money per pound. Before purchasing any of these adjustable dumbbell sets, analyze the average price per pound. By doing this, you can better compare the pricing of several dumbbell sets to know you are getting a competitive price.

Likewise, customers who enjoy hardcore workouts swear by this product to get the workout they need when they need it. As you can imagine, people claimed that they made major gains upon purchasing this product.

On the other hand, there are people who had issues with the mechanics of this product. Per their reviews, they said that certain screws can become permanently stuck, making the product unusable. This issue may be due to poor construction of the threading on the handles. If you ever find an issue with your new exercise equipment, utilize the benefits of Yes4All’s 60-Day return policy or their 5-year warranty. Luckily, most home exercise equipment carries a multi-year warranty.

Who Should Purchase This Product:

As you can see, the Yes4All dumbbells may be best for the avid heavy weight lifter who needs a lot of weight for a good price. These adjustable dumbbells are no-frill items that make you put the work in the good old-fashioned way. So, consider this if you are looking for hardcore weight workouts.

Best Adjustable Dumbbells on a Budget

RSWB-40TP Dumbbell Set (40 lbs) by CAP Barbell

RSWB-40TP Dumbbell Set (40 lbs) by CAP BarbellWhy We Love It:

Think you can’t weight lift and make gains on a budget? Reconsider! If you are looking for a really cheap adjustable dumbbell set, this is your best option! Also, nearly 1800 customers left reviews about this product, giving you a great source of valuable information to check out before you make your purchase.

  • Minimum weight per hand: 2.5 lbs
  • Maximum weight per hand: 20 lbs
  • Weight per pair is 40 lbs
  • Features rubber trim on the collars for less clinking
  • Amazon.com price for a pair: $49.99 + FREE Shipping
Things to Consider:

While this is the cheapest adjustable dumbbell set on this list, don’t forget that it only provides 20 lbs per hand. This may be great for beginners, some women, and those with a small frame, but this will be too light for serious lifters. Before purchasing this product, think about your strength training goals. If you are looking to bulk, choose a product that holds more weight. Likewise, if you are looking to tone, this set may be suitable for your needs.

Customer Reviews:

This product has nearly 1800 reviews, so there’s lots of information to wade through. Per customers, some positive reviews rave about the quietness of the set. The CAP Barbell set has rubber stoppers to reduce clanking during use. As with other exercise equipment, rubber stoppers reduce clanking noise and protect the product from long term wear and tear. However, being that the stoppers are rubber, you may need to replace the rubber stoppers in the future. As you can imagine, those stoppers take a beating! All in all, happy customers say that this is a high-quality set for a good price.

Despite the 4.3 out of 5 star rating, one customer experienced chipping on the outer coating of the set. While you may not think it is a big deal, this chipping turned out to be quite dangerous. Per the customer, the metal coating started flaking off during the workout and puncturing their skin. The customer complained of painful scratches on their hands and feet. So, if you settle on this product, be aware that chipping is a possibility.

Who Should Purchase This Product:

Obviously, this adjustable dumbbell set is lighter and more affordable than Fitnessator’s Top Pick. However, for those who want to try a cheap adjustable dumbbell set to see how they like the exercises, this product might make a good choice.

For those who are on a budget, or cannot tolerate over 20 lbs per hand, this budget-friendly adjustable dumbbell set may best. Also, don’t forget that this product would be great for endurance exercises instead of strength.

The Rundown on Row Machines

Well, that was a lot of information! Now it’s time to compare the adjustable dumbbells we reviewed in this article. To help you with that, we’ve designed this chart that helps you compare the features side by side.

ProductLess than $300Max weight per hand is 50+ lbsAble to increase max weight (with accessories)Block-style handle
 Bowflex (Top Pick)XX
 GF-SPDBLK24 (Runner Up)XX
 Elite Dumbbells (Honorable Mention)XXX
Yes4All DumbbellsXX


Sample Workout: Adjustable Dumbbells

Now that you have the tools an information to choose the best adjustable dumbbells set for your needs, you need to know how to use them! With this sample workout, you’ll discover how to use dumbbells to get a full-body workout. If you want some insane muscle building, follow the workout below that offers step-by-step instructions.

IntervalSetsRepetitionsPound increase from starting weight
Weighted jump squats315Starting weight
Dumbbell row (each side)310Decrease by 10 lbs from start
Overhead triceps extension310Decrease by 10 lbs from start
Stiff leg deadlifts310Increase by 10 lbs from start
Dumbbell curls38Increase by 10-20 lbs from start
Weighted squats310Increase by 10-20 lbs from start
Weighted crunches315Decrease by 10 lbs from start
Cool downNo added weight

Before you Purchase

Adjustable dumbbell sets can be the all-in-one workout equipment to your home workout space, but make sure you pick a set that suits your needs. If you want to bulk up, you will need sets with a higher max weight. Otherwise, if you are a smaller person, beginner, or just want to tone, choose lower max weight sets.

It’s always best to talk to your doctor about your exercise plans. Weight lifting (especially heavy weights) is dangerous and contraindicated for some people. Upon approval from your doctor, however, consult the rundown above as well as our detailed product reviews to help you choose your very own adjustable dumbbell set. Then, use our workout to guide your exercise routine or work up to it as you are able.

Based on your experience, what do you think works better for bulking up: dumbbells or barbells with weight plates? Also, what works best for endurance strength training? Have you ever tried adjustable dumbbells before? If you’ve got experiences and thoughts to share, leave a comment.