The gym is often the go-to place for anyone who wants to get in shape. It’s a fitness gateway for beginners and a second home for athletes and weightlifters. But membership fees can be costly, an expense that not everyone can necessarily swing. Other people are self-conscious about working out in front of others or have busy schedules that make regular gym visits more trouble than they’re worth. If you fall into one of these categories but you’re still looking to get into better shape, investing in equipment for a home gym may be worth your while.
If you’re looking to bring the gym to your home, dumbbells are a perfect place to start. They’re versatile, able to use for almost every muscle, and are great space-savers. Whether you’re a beginner looking to shed your first couple pounds or a seasoned gym-goer looking to keep your gains, dumbbells are great strength-builders to have at the convenience of your home. Here are some of our favorite dumbbell sets for you!
What to Look for in Dumbbells
Here’s what you should consider when buying dumbbells:
- Material: Material is an important factor to consider. If you’re setting your dumbbells on your hardwood floor or other surfaces, they may leave scratches behind. You also want dumbbells that are comfortable to grip and don’t cause dead skin or calluses. If possible, opt for a smoother, more comfortable material like neoprene. This will help protect both your home and your hands. Dumbbells with an anti-slip material along the grips are also an important consideration, as they provide safety as well as comfort.
- Weight: The weight of the dumbbell should boil down to the type of exercise you’re doing and your fitness goals. Be sure to start light and work your way up if you’re a beginner. As you get stronger, be sure to keep challenging yourself. Buying a set of dumbbells with different weights is an effective and cost efficient way to accommodate your needs as you work out more and need heavier weights. If you don’t have the space to store a full set of dumbbells, look for a weight-adjustable pair instead. These allow you to add or decrease the weight of the same two dumbbells instead of switching between different weighted pairs so they’re much more compact.
- Design: Dumbbells aren’t just available in cast-iron sets anymore. The ends can be hexagon-shaped or rounded, and vary considerably in size. Many models, especially those covered with softer and smoother materials, are color-coded for your convenience. The grip length and shape can vary quite a bit depending on the brand and style. And there are plenty of stands, racks, and trays that allow you to more compactly and conveniently store and/or display your dumbbells so they don’t have be left scattered all over the floor.
Best For Beginners: CAP Barbell Neoprene Coated Dumbbell Weight
They’re made with a neoprene material, which provides both comfort and safety during use. Using dumbbells with metal or rough-textured handles can be an uncomfortable experience and may even cause calluses or blisters to sprout on your palms. This risk is even greater for beginners who aren’t yet accustomed to lifting weights on a regular basis. These dumbbells not only help avoid these problems, but they also help prevent damage to your floor when you’re setting them down.
These come with several weight options to choose from, all on the lower end weight-wise. All these dumbbells are on the lower end weight-wise, which makes them an ideal choice for anyone just starting out on their workout journey. They’re color-coded for organization if you plan on buying more than one pair, and are relatively small and aren’t awkward to hold.
Neoprene Dumbbell Hand Weights, Anti-Slip, Anti-roll, Set of 2
You can get an enjoyable and comfortable workout in with these neoprene dumbbells.
Best Adjustable Set: Nice C Adjustable Dumbbell Barbell Weight Pair
If you’re looking for high-quality, adjustable dumbbells, this pair from CAP Barbell will help keep your workouts versatile and effective.
This dumbbell’s weight can quickly be adjusted thanks to the 12 included weight plates that can be placed on or taken off the handles at will. Without any plates attached, each handle weighs 0.5 pounds. With the full set of plates attached, each dumbbell has a maximum weight of 33 pounds. The plates can be added or taken off in 4.4, 5.5, or 6 pound increments to adjust the dumbells to your desired weight, from anywhere between 1.1 lbs. and 66 lbs (combined weight, not individual). Two small, metal, screw on devices keep the weights firmly in place once they’ve been attached so you need not worry about them sliding off as you lift. And if you want a different range of weights, there are four other sets from which to choose.
As an added bonus, this dumbbell set offers further adjustability. Along with the two handles and weight plates, this set includes a connection bar that attaches onto both dumbbells to transform them into a barbell. The barbell form also has adjustable weight plates that allow you to customize its weight setting to best suit your fitness level and needs. This two-in-one set, with its anti-slip, curved, waterproof neoprene handles, thus allows you to practice a greater range of exercises at home than most dumbbells, without the need to purchase or find space for a separate barbell.
Nice C Adjustable Dumbbell Barbell Weight Pair, Free Weights 2-in-1 Set, Non-Slip Neoprene Hand, All-Purpose, Home, Gym, Office(Barbell 66lb or Dumbbell 33lb Set)
This dumbbell's weight and size can be easily adjusted for an efficient workout.
Best Set with a Rack: BalanceFrom Neoprene Dumbbell Set with Stand
If you prefer fixed dumbbell pairs, then this dumbbell rack by BalanceFrom is a great way for you to organize your equipment and save space.
This rack is small and compact, designed in a vertical “A” frame to save additional space. It securely holds the six included dumbbells, pairs of 12, eight, five pounds, a total of 50 pounds in weights. If you’re a beginner or want to start with lighter weights, there are also 20 and 32-pound sets available for purchase. While some assembly for the weight rack is required, all the necessary tools for assembly are included with your purchase.
The dumbells themselves have a full neoprene coatings, both for durability and to protect your floors from scratches and hands from blistering and callusing. The interior of the dumbbells are made from cast iron, strong and durable enough to use for indoor and outdoor workouts alike. The ends of the dumbbells are hexagonal in shape, in order to prevent rolling should you ever drop one by mistake or ever need to set them on the floor. And the handles are ergonomically contoured for an effortless, more comfortable grip as you exercise.
BalanceFrom Colored Neoprene Coated Dumbbell Set with Stand, multi
A high-quality and comfortable dumbbell set with a compact, space-saving rack included.
Best Anti-Slip: Portzon Anti-Slip Neoprene Dumbbell Hand Weights
These dumbbells from Portzon are a viable option for any level of fitness, with extra coating to help ensure they won’t accidentally slip out of your hands during a workout.
Like most neoprene-covered dumbbells, this pair provides comfort and safety as you exercise, and are gentle on your floors and home surfaces to boot. Neoprene by itself provides a superior surface for you to clasp, and this premium-grade material has a special coating that further increases its frosted texture and gripability so these dumbbells will remain firmly in your grip throughout the workout. It’s also resistant to wear and tear over time, so you don’t have to worry about the grip becoming less effective even if you work out every day. The interior cast iron body is strong and sturdy and won’t splinter or break even if dropped.
These dumbbells are available in eight different weight options to choose from, starting at a one pound each and going all the way up to 10 pounds each. And they’re available in 10 possible colors. Since they’re sold in individual pairs rather than in a set, you can buy these dumbbells at different weights all in the same color, or buy each weight in a different color for your color-coding convenience.
Portzon Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbell Hand Weights, Anti-Slip, Anti-roll
You can get an enjoyable and comfortable workout with these dumbbells without worrying about them sliding from your hands.