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Best Adjustable Dumbbells for 2024

 Best Adjustable Dumbbells for 2024

$400 at Amazon

Activafit Best Adjustable Dumbells

Best overall adjustable dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

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$380 at Amazon

Core Adjustable Dumbbells

Best adjustable dumbbell design

Core Adjustable Dumbbells

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$349 at Flybird Fitness

Activafit Adjustable Dumbbells

Best adjustable dumbbells for experienced lifters

Flybird 55 LB Adjustable Dumbbells

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$321 at Amazon

Best Adjustable Dumbells

Best adjustable dumbbells for ease of use

Ativafit 71.5 Adjustable Dumbbell Set

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Home workouts are a great option for people who want to stay active but don’t have time to visit a standard gym. When building a home gym, you’ll want strength training equipment that offers the same functionality as traditional weights, but on a lower budget and while taking up less space. Adjustable dumbbells fit that criteria.

Traditional dumbbells come in different sizes that you’ll need to buy separately, which can add up when trying to get enough of the right weights however, adjustable dumbbells are a great alternative. They let you change the weight plates as per your requirement, making them perfect for home gyms of any size, saving you space and money. Popular brands like Bowflex and Nordictrack have deals throughout the year, so you can save even more if you shop at the right time.

I have years of experience testing home fitness equipment, and I’ve reviewed and tested various popular adjustable dumbbell brands. I’ve put together this guide with the best durable adjustable dumbbells on the market so you can pick the best one for you. Before you shop, take a look at our top picks and buying advice to understand the types of adjustable dumbbells that are out there and which are best for your home gym.

What are the best adjustable dumbbells overall?

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells stand out as the best overall choice in our roundup. The dial system lets users easily select their preferred weight, from 5 to a maximum weight of 52.5 pounds. The great quality of the construction makes these a fine choice for intense home workouts, while the compact design makes them suitable for small spaces. If the Bowflex dumbbells are not quite your style (or go out of stock — see note below), other solid choices I enjoyed were the Core Adjustable Dumbbells and Ativafit 71.5 Adjustable Dumbbell Set. You have a good selection to pick from adjustable dumbbell sets based on your needs and taste. Take a look at our top picks below.

Editor’s note, May 2: Bowflex filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 5. Its assets have been sold to Johnson Health Tech, which owns various fitness and wellness brands. New orders are temporarily paused on Bowflex products, but you can still purchase them directly through retail partners while supplies last.

Best adjustable dumbbells for 2024

These Bowflex dumbbells are a fan favorite that was hard to come by during the peak of the pandemic. After finally getting my hands on a set, I understood why. They were packed well and easy to set up compared with the others that I had to unbox. Not only were the dumbbells properly secured to the rack with straps, but I found it easy to slide them out onto the floor in my living room. Bowflex offers the option to purchase a dumbbell stand and a bench separately, but I decided against it because of the lack of space in my home. 

The Bowflex dumbbells are a standard round shape and have a sleek black and red design. They’re made up of steel, nylon, ABS plastic (commonly used in 3D printing) and thermoplastic rubber. These dumbbells replace 15 sets of weights and range from 5 to 52.5 pounds. There are dials on opposite sides of the individual dumbbell, which you have to twist one at a time to change to your desired weight. Logically, I wouldn’t expect to have to turn the dial in two different places (or directions) on a single dumbbell, but the design makes it a seamless process without any of the weight getting snagged.

I liked that these dumbbells have a rubber grip on the steel handle, which made them comfortable to hold for long periods. One complaint I’ve heard about the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells is that they’re bulky, making it hard to do certain exercises such as deadlifts and overhead presses. I did find the dumbbells to be oversized, but I noticed that was the pattern with most adjustable dumbbell designs. I didn’t love how bulky it felt to have the weights overhead or for deadlifts, but I didn’t mind them when I did chest presses, bicep curls, lunges or squats. 

A year-long JRNY membership is also included with your purchase if you’d like to take on-demand strength classes to get the most out of your dumbbells. If you’re looking for a reliable, tried-and-true set of adjustable dumbbells, then you’ll like the Bowflex’s style. 

After the Bowflex, the Core adjustable dumbbells had my second favorite packaging. It made sense to me that, upon unboxing these dumbbells, the rack was at the very top. This made it easy to not have to lift the heavy weights first before locating the rack. I also liked that the weight plates are magnetic and can be easily separated before the dumbbell is placed on the rack. These were also the only ones that came with a loose handle that latched onto the base and then the weight plates. 

Core’s dumbbells range between 5 to 50 pounds, and you can change the weight in 5-pound increments. They’re easy to use since you can change the weight with just a twist of the handle, and they have the fastest weight transition for an adjustable dumbbell with a manual design.

Although these dumbbells are round, I liked the sleek design and found them to be the least bulky of all the adjustable dumbbells I tried. I liked the contoured and soft grip handle which made the dumbbell comfortable to hold and molded perfectly into my hand. I also noticed they didn’t roll around when I placed them on the floor, which made them feel extra secure and was a bonus since I live on the top floor and didn’t want to disturb my downstairs neighbors.

One thing I didn’t like about these dumbbells was that I would have to hold the rack down when I changed it to a heavier weight. This was because the weights felt stiff and would get stuck as you pulled them out of the rack. This could’ve easily been my own user error, but Core also offers an optional stand for purchase. Based on customer reviews, the stand is sturdy and eliminates the issues I experienced compared to just having the rack alone. Another solution I figured out was to place the rack on a rubber mat — it provided a better grip and made it easier to slide out the dumbbell. 

The MX55 adjustable dumbbells didn’t take long to put together, but the hexagon shape of the plates took me a moment to figure out how to set it up in the rack. This is because they each have indented slots that they slide into to keep them aligned. Also, the MX55 racks come assembled, but users have to attach protective rubber feet (that come in the packaging) to the bottom of the cradles first.

These dumbbells replace 10 sets of dumbbells, ranging from 10 to 55 pounds. They have a small dial on top of each side of the handle as well as a button beneath them. To change the weight, you have to press the button underneath first, which prompts the dial to pop up. From there you can turn the dial, select the weight and press the dial back down to lock the weight into place.

These adjustable dumbbells are ideal for doing offset exercises since each of the weight plates weighs only 2.5 pounds. The weight legend on the rack gives a guide on the proper offset settings based on how much weight you want to lift. For example, if you are doing an offset squat that’s 17.5 pounds, all you have to do is adjust one side of the dials to 15 pounds (setting 2) and the other to 20 pounds (setting 3). Keep in mind the purpose of offset exercises is to intentionally load one side more than the other, which will make the dumbbells feel imbalanced. 

I liked that even while holding a dumbbell that was uneven in weight, it was still comfortable to grip and didn’t dig into my palm. If you’re into experimenting with offset exercises or want to focus on strengthening your muscle imbalances, the MX55 adjustable dumbbells are the right match for you. 

The Flybird 55 LB adjustable dumbbells are made up of cast-iron weight plates and a black plastic-coated handle. They adjust from 11 to 55 pounds and go up or down in 11-pound increments. I prefer my weights to have 5-pound increments and found that doubling the weight each time was a bit much. 

The dial on these dumbbells was easy to use and just required a single twist to lock in the weight. Unlike the other adjustable dumbbells I tested, you don’t have the option to choose an in-between weight. I also found 11 pounds as the lightest weight option to be on the heavy side, specifically for newer lifters. 

I’d recommend these if you’re an experienced lifter and know you can handle double the weight each time. The round design is similar to other adjustable dumbbells and passed the roll test when I placed it on the ground. In other words, it stayed put and didn’t seem at risk of rolling around. The dumbbells were the right challenge for me when I was doing heavier lifts such as squats and deadlifts. The handle design was my least favorite because I found the plastic to be tough on the hands and think it would have benefited more from a protective rubber covering. 

The Ativafit 71.5 Adjustable Dumbbells were my runner-up for a couple of other categories, but ultimately I found them to be the most foolproof to use. The dumbbells range from 5 to 71.5 pounds and replace 12 sets of dumbbells. The plastic rack has grooves that latch onto the dumbbells, keeping them secure when not in use. By looking at these you can tell these are high-quality dumbbells because of the sturdy iron plates that make up the weights. It also has a nonslip handle with a rubber grip, which helped with my grip when upping the weight. 

My favorite part about these dumbbells is how easy it is to change the weights with just a press of the red button on top of the dumbbell and a twist of the dial. This is also the heaviest adjustable dumbbell on the list, making it a good option for heavy lifters and those who have never owned an adjustable dumbbell before. 

  • Smrtft Nuobell 80: In a previous adjustable dumbbell roundup, CNET writer Lindsey Boyers named the Smrtft Nuobell 80 the adjustable dumbbell with the best design. I couldn’t get my hands on these dumbbells, but based on the review, they could’ve potentially tied with the Core Adjustable Dumbbells given their sleek look and favorable design. 
  • Powerblock Pro 32: Even though I didn’t get to try these Powerblock sets, I’m familiar with Powerblock and consider them a classic. In CNET’s previous best list, the Pro 32 was named the best adjustable dumbbell for beginners and I would’ve probably chosen it as well if I’d gotten to formally test it. These are easy to hold thanks to the rubberized ergonomic grip handle and the pin-lock system may be easier for newbies to manage compared to dials on other adjustable dumbbells. 

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We took a multifaceted approach to ensure a comprehensive assessment of performance for diverse needs and preferences. Here are the metrics we considered.

Ease of use: This is an essential factor when selecting adjustable dumbbells. We looked for intuitive adjustment mechanisms and considered how quickly users can switch between weights.

Weight adjustment increments: We checked out how much flexibility the adjustable dumbbells allow for weight increments.

Design and comfort: The design of the adjustable dumbbells played a big role in our evaluation. We considered things like ergonomics, comfort and compact storage.

Load versatility: We assessed the range of weight options and the ease of transitioning between them during a workout.

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Shape: Think about what shape feels comfortable to you. Some dumbbells can feel awkward or imbalanced if they’re too square or round. 

Materials: Consider what material you want your dumbbells to be made up of. Many are made with iron, steel, aluminum alloy or plastic.

Comfort and feel: Decide whether you want your handles to have a protective covering. Choose dumbbells that feel sturdy and fit comfortably in your hand. 

Warranty: Check the company warranty and what it covers, and be sure to double-check the return policy.

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How much do adjustable dumbbells cost?

Adjustable dumbbells can range anywhere from about $200 to $500 or more depending on the weight range and brand. You can sometimes find budget adjustable dumbbells for less if you only lift lighter weights, but most adjustable dumbbells offering solid quality and a wide weight range will be a bit pricey. 

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What do adjustable dumbbells usually weigh?

Weights on an adjustable dumbbell can range from 5 to 50 pounds (sometimes more). Some might go by kilograms and require you to do a little extra math (multiply by 2.2 to convert to pounds).

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How do you use adjustable dumbbells?

Adjustable dumbbells have a manual dial that turns and latches on to the selected weight. Some companies experimenting with more advanced technology may use digital dials or voice control, such as Nordictrack.

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What to look for when buying adjustable dumbbells?

The right set of adjustable dumbbells for you will be ones that fall in the range of weights you prefer. Be sure to check the minimum and maximum weight while shopping for a set. Also consider handling, comfort, design and cost.

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Can you drop adjustable dumbbells?

As with any dumbbells, we don’t recommend dropping adjustable dumbbells. They may pose an injury risk and it may affect their functionality. 

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