With a good pair of dumbbells, you can perform dozens of exercises in your home gym, from bench presses to bicep curls.
This article will provide you with some of the most important factors to consider when deciding on the best dumbbells for your home gym. After you know what goes into making the best dumbbells, we’ll also show you five of our favorite home gym dumbbells.
Let’s get to work!
A Quick Look
|Best Overall – Titan Fitness Straight Stainless Steel Hex Dumbbells
|Best Premium – SMRTFT NÜOBELL 80lb Classic Dumbbells
|Best Budget – Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbell
|Best Adjustable – PowerBlock Elite EXP Set
|Best Loadable – Rogue Loadable Dumbbells
What To Look For in Dumbells
The overall quality of dumbbells can vary significantly from one set to another. These are the most important factors to consider if you want to find the best dumbbells for your home gym while getting the best bang for your buck.
There are many kinds of dumbbells that use different weight styles, shapes, and materials. For this article, we’ll cover the three most common types of dumbbells you’ll find in home gyms.
A fixed dumbbell has a set weight you cannot adjust to be lighter or heavier. These dumbbells are incredibly common. You’ll often see them in commercial gyms.
Fixed dumbbells come in a wide range of sizes, from 5lb to 125lb or more. You can also find fixed dumbbells with different head shapes, such as round, hexagonal, and 12-sided.
The benefits of fixed-head dumbbells are that they are affordable and durable. You can also use the flat sides of hexagonal dumbbells to perform exercises such as renegade rows and dumbbell push-ups.
The negatives of fixed dumbbells are that you must buy a complete set to get a full range of weights. If you want a lot of different weights, you can easily spend over $1,000. Plus, a complete set of fixed dumbbells requires more room for storage which can be difficult in a home gym where space is at a premium.
Adjustable dumbbells give you multiple weight options on a single dumbbell. With the simple twist of a knob or pin mechanism, you can adjust this type of dumbbell through a range (usually something like 5lb to 50lb).
If you are building the ultimate home gym, a pair of adjustable dumbbells can be a terrific way to save on space. A pair of adjustable dumbbells is also almost always cheaper than buying the same range of weights in fixed dumbbells unless you can find a crazy sale somewhere.
On the downside, adjustable dumbbells have a set range and rarely get heavier than 50lb. Some manufacturers sell expansion kits for 50-70lb and 70-90lb, but these kits add to the expense and the bulk of this type of dumbbell.
Loadable dumbbells are technically also adjustable, but they differ in style to the point where the fitness industry uses a separate term. A loadable dumbbell is an empty handle that you load with individual weight plates.
The handles on loadable dumbbells measure either 1″ or 2″ in diameter, and you need to make sure you use weight plates that are compatible with the handles.
Some loadable dumbbells are smooth and use snap or spring locks to secure the weight plates to the handle. Other loadable dumbbells have threaded ends with star-shaped collars that you can screw on.
The benefits of loadable dumbbells are that you can slowly build a collection of plates and handles, so you don’t have to shell out a ton of cash upfront. This type of dumbbell is also more space-efficient than fixed dumbbells.
Unfortunately, loadable dumbbells, especially the threaded version, take more time to adjust than other dumbbell types. With separate weight plates, you must watch for the weight starting to slip and shift while lifting.
A significant factor that impacts the quality of a dumbbell is the material it’s made out of. The most high-quality materials will quickly add up in cost, but the best dumbbells will withstand a lifetime of hard workouts.
Iron is a good choice that blends price and performance. You can find durable iron dumbbells that will last for years with little maintenance.
However, iron dumbbells are not a good option if your home gym is outdoors or humid. The iron tends to oxidize and rust over time. Many athletes and gyms prefer to use stainless or powder-coated steel dumbbells to avoid the rust issues of iron.
Stainless steel dumbbells might cost a little more than the iron variety, but you can’t beat them when it comes to longevity.
You can find stainless steel fixed dumbbells, handles and stainless steel weight plates, and plenty of other options. This type of dumbbell has a shiny appearance, won’t rust, and requires minimal maintenance.
One of the newest and highest-quality options for dumbbells is powder-coated steel. The powder coating keeps dumbbells in pristine condition with very little maintenance. You can expect a solid set of powder-coated steel dumbbells to easily last 20 years or more.
The powder coating also helps make this type of dumbbell resistant to scratching, chipping, and other damage. The only downside to these dumbbells is the higher price tag.
Whether it’s a set of dumbbells or a premium power rack, the best equipment costs money. Thankfully, there are many different brands and styles of dumbbells, so finding a sale for a given type or weight is usually possible with a little bit of searching.
The style of dumbbells and materials will affect the price as well. If you are interested in fixed dumbbells, it’s usually more cost-effective to buy dumbbell sets instead of single dumbbells, assuming you have the budget for a higher upfront cost.
Generally speaking, dumbbells cost about $1.50-$2.00 per pound of weight. Sometimes you can find prices as low as $1.00 per pound but make sure the dumbbells on sale are worthwhile.
The Best Dumbbells for Your Home Gym
Here are five of the best dumbbells for a home gym. We have reviewed the unique features of each dumbbell. We also include several pros and cons for each so you can make an intelligent choice for your home gym.
Titan Fitness Straight Stainless Steel Hex Dumbbells – Best Overall
The Titan Fitness Straight Stainless Steel Hex Dumbbells are some of the nicest dumbbells we’ve ever used for our workouts.
These are fixed-weight dumbbells. The weight options start at 5 lb and increase in 5 lb increments up to 120 lbs. The REP Fitness Hex Dumbbells offer a weight tolerance of 3%, so you know they’re accurate.
The hex heads on these dumbbells are rubber coated with a premium, low-odor rubber material that doesn’t give off the unpleasant chemical smell that some other rubber workout equipment can emit. The rubber coating helps protect the dumbbells from wear and tear. It also reduces noise if and when you drop the dumbbells.
The handles on these dumbbells are straight stainless steel with a knurled grip that runs the entire handle length. The stainless steel handles hold up[ extremely well to corrosion and oxidation. The handles measure 5″ in length. The 5 and 10-lb dumbbells have a 28mm diameter, while the rest of the weights use a 32mm diameter.
Titan Fitness offers a 3 Tier Dumbbell Weight Rack that holds up to 800 lbs and fits various dumbbell sizes.
- The wide range of weight increments makes these dumbbells suitable for athletes who want to buy a large set.
- Extremely durable and resistant to corrosion and rusting.
- The straight handle doesn’t feel as nice to grip as the ergonomic ones.
SMRTFT NÜOBELL 80lb Classic Dumbbells – Best Premium
If you don’t mind shelling out a little extra money, these SMRTFT NÜOBELL adjustable dumbbells are the best premium dumbbells to check out.
SMRTFT sells these adjustable dumbbells in a set of two. You can adjust each dumbbell from 5lb to 80lb in 5lb increments. This wider-than-normal range is an excellent feature that helps justify the premium price since most adjustable dumbbells max at around 50lb.
SMRTFT built these NÜOBELL Classic Dumbbells with precision machined steel plates. Each plate weighs 2.5lb and uses a pancake-style shape that allows them to stack together for a more compact, secure design.
The handles on these adjustable dumbbells feature a secure knurling that gives you a firm grip but isn’t too harsh on the skin of your hands.
Adjusting the weight on these dumbbells couldn’t be easier. The handle has a twisting design, so all you have to do is twist to the number you need and pick the dumbbell up.
This pair of dumbbells also comes with a couple of portable cradles for storing the equipment. When not in use, the SMRTFT NÜOBELL adjustable dumbbells require very little space since they measure only 17″ x 7.5″ x 7.5″.
- The 5-80lb range is more extensive than most adjustable dumbbells
- The twisting handle design makes changing the weights smooth and straightforward.
- These dumbbells are an expensive one-time purchase.
Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbell – Best Budget
If you want a solid dumbbell that will offer reliable performance without costing an arm and a leg, try out the Amazon Basics rubber-encased hex dumbbell.
Amazon sells these fixed-head dumbbells individually. Multiple weight options are available for these hex head dumbbells in 5lb increments from 15lb up to 50lb.
For these budget-friendly dumbbells, Amazon opted to use a cast iron core that will provide users with a durable, long-lasting piece of workout gear. The hexagonal heads of these dumbbells are encased in rubber. The rubber provides extra grip for exercises such as devil presses and adds additional protection against chipping and scratches.
The handles of these Amazon Basics dumbbells have a textured knurling in the center and two side rings, which provides a comfortable grip in your hand. The shape of the handle is ergonomic, with a wide rounded belly and narrower points where the handle meets the hex head weights. Holding these dumbbells feels natural and secure, even when building up a good sweat.
Speaking of the handle, the diameter of the grips on these dumbbells measures 1.4″. The lengths and widths of each dumbbell grow slightly as the weights increase. The measurements vary from approximately 11″ -14″ long and 4″ -7″ wide.
If you’re building a home gym on a budget or are still deciding whether to commit to a more expensive set of dumbbells for your workouts, consider picking up these affordable fixed-weight dumbbells.
- The rubber material helps to prevent these dumbbells from slipping for safer storage.
- The affordable prices of these dumbbells make it easy to start building a complete set.
- There are limited weight options that top out at 50lb.
PowerBlock Elite EXP Set – Best Adjustable
The Elite EXP adjustable dumbbells from PowerBlock are some of the most advanced and effective dumbbells on the market.
PowerBlock sells the Elite EXP dumbbells in three “stages.” The Stage 1 set is the base pair of dumbbells that offer a range of 5lb to 50 lb, which you can adjust in either 2.5lb or 5lb increments. For extra weight, you can purchase the Stage 2 set, which adds weight from 50lb to 70 lb, and the Stage 3 set, which adds on weight from 70lb to 90lb.
PowerBlock built these dumbbells using welded steel construction and then applied a powder coating for added durability. or
The handles on the Elite EXP dumbbells are straight and cylindrical with a soft, comfortably padded grip.
Adjusting the weights on these dumbbells is straightforward. Color-coded bands on the outside of the dumbbell make it easy to discern the differences between weights. A selector pin made of magnetic polypropylene composite material lets you quickly change weights. A dial lock allows you to quickly incorporate the “adder weights” if you want to use them.
The shape of these dumbbells is rectangular, which can take some getting used to for athletes new to adjustable dumbbells. However, the performance of these dumbbells is fantastic, and the square shape makes them easy to store.
The space-saving design of these adjustable dumbbells is fantastic. Each one measures roughly 12″ L x 6″ W x 6″ H, so you only need minimal storage space.
- With the Stage 2 and 3 sets, these dumbbells offer a range of 5lb to 90lb.
- The selector pin is rated for up to 500 lbs. max load for extra security.
- The rectangular shape sometimes requires different movement patterns compared to other, more traditionally-shaped dumbbells.
Rogue Loadable Dumbbells – Best Loadable
If you are looking for a loadable dumbbell that will work with the weight plates you already own, you won’t find anything better than the Rogue loadable dumbbells.
These loadable dumbbells are the handles only, so you will have to own already or separately purchase weight plates. The diameter of the sleeves on these dumbbells is 28.5mm, which means they are compatible with 2″ plates.
There are two versions of this dumbbell as well. The DB-10 is a 10lb dumbbell with either a stainless steel or black zinc finish. The DB-10 measures 14.25″ in length and has loadable sleeve sections that are 3.625″ long.
The other version is the DB-15 which is a 15lb dumbbell that only comes in a bright zinc finish. The DB-15 is 20.5″ long and has loadable sections that measure 6.75″ long.
Regardless of which version you choose, Rogue’s loadable dumbbells feature the company’s legendary high-quality American manufacturing. Both versions start with a zinc sleeve machined from a single piece of material and then fitted with bronze bushings. The dumbbells also feature the same snap rings found on Rogue’s Ohio Bar barbell.
The straight handles on these dumbbells feature an aggressive but not painful knurling that provides a good grip for even the sweatiest hands.
These loadable dumbbells are a fantastic option if you already own plates or don’t have the space for a full set of fixed-weight dumbbells. If you like these dumbbells but need weight plates, check out Rogue’s specially-designed dumbbell bumpers.
- These loadable dumbbells offer more versatility than other types of dumbbells.
- The zinc finishes look nice and add to the durability of these dumbbells.
- You need to purchase all the weight for these dumbbells separately, which might be too much of a hassle for some people.
Whether you’re a bodybuilder, powerlifter, crossfitter, or brand new to working out, a set of dumbbells from this list will be a fantastic addition to your home gym.
With the dumbbell reviews and handy buyer’s guide in this article, you know everything you need to know about this versatile and effective workout equipment. So grab a pair of dumbbells, open up your favorite fitness app, and get ready to sweat.