Dumbbells are pretty much the gold standard when it comes to working out. They are one of the oldest forms of exercise equipment and probably why they’re one of the first things to come to mind when we think of working out. Dumbbells are also one of the most versatile pieces of equipment that an exerciser has. Being able to use one or both dumbbells in every range of motion makes the number of exercises nearly limitless. From three pound neoprene options to 90 pound hexes, there’s a dumbbell to fit any home, gym, or individual. To better understand which dumbbells will best fit your style, please see our buyer’s guide provided below.
When it comes to exercise equipment, nothing is more iconic than the dumbbell. The dumbbells versatility means they can be used in almost any kind of exercise routine. While the overall shape of the dumbbell doesn’t change too much, there is definitely a difference in quality from one manufacturer to another. The dumbbells on this list were chosen because of their sourcing from reputable manufacturers, widely trusted by gyms and bodybuilders everywhere, and overall quality manufacturing ensuring long lasting ownership.
The next time you go the gym check the name on the dumbbells, it is most likely York. This is because your makes a high quality product at a decent price. These are the dumbbells that everyone else strives to create. Read Full Review
Cap has established itself well as an industry leader when it comes to free weights. They are popular in both gym and home settings. When it comes to Cap’s most popular product this rubber coated hex dumbbell would have to be it. Read Full Review
If you’re looking for pro style dumbbells, York has you covered. These dumbbells were designed with precision you want from a pro style dumbbell. These weights shine with the York quality gyms and trainers everywhere love. Read Full Review
People don’t usually buy dumbbells because they look good, but these are an exception. Not only do these dumbbells look really nice, the handsome chrome plating also serves as a protective layer. These signature dumbbells turn heads thanks to Cap quality. Read Full Review
Best Dumbbell Sets:
While small dumbbell sets are a staple in gyms and especially fitness classes they’ve gotten a bad reputation for being over-utilized and perhaps a little useless. Nevertheless, they play a very important role in many fitness and rehabilitation programs and don’t deserve this bad rap.
Whether lighter weights are all that you can currently lift or you’re simply looking for a less intense workout, these dumbbell sets are sure to help you reach your personal fitness goals. These sets were picked based on their value for their price, their durability against wear and tear, the overall quality of their manufacture, their convenience of use while working out, and the solid reputation of the companies producing them.
The Cando Vinyl Set is definitely worth the investment. It offers everything you’d normally expect out of a dumbbell set and then some. Vinyl coating keeps you and the weights protected while color coding keeps your workout moving efficiently. Despite the amount of weights they don’t take up much more room than a traditional weight set. Read Full Review
Tone has been around for a while and their products are wildly popular for toning and Yoga. This set is packed with advantages from its neoprene coated weights to the convenient storage rack. The unique hourglass shaped weights makes the one of the best looking weight sets you can find. Read Full Review
The Sunny Health and Fitness Neoprene Dumbbell offers a great set of neoprene weights at an affordable price. These damage resistant, weatherproof weights are portable and easily stored thanks to a briefcase-style storage case. Read Full Review
While j/Fit products aren’t as prolific as other manufacturers, they’re a reliable company. These weights speak to that reliability with their durability and thoughtful construction. This dumbbell set offers extra value in the higher total weight of the set overall as opposed to many other manufacturers providing less weight at the same price. Read Full Review
The colorful Fitness Republic Dumbbell Set adds a little spice to your workout. Fitness Republic is one of the few companies going all the way to 12 pounds with their neoprene coated dumbbells. This dumbbell set integrates easily into any workout schedule. Read Full Review
Dumbbell Buyer's Guide
Though dumbbells are fairly simple, there are a surprising amount of physical features to be aware of.
Dumbbells usually either come with hexagon shaped heads or round heads. Round heads are sometimes favored in gyms because they’re considered Olympic dumbbells, but in most cases you’ll find hex dumbbells. Hex dumbbells are much nicer because they won’t roll away from you when they’re set down in between sets.
There are many materials used to make dumbbells but the weights themselves are usually made of iron; however, they can be also be made from steel in some instances. The only problem with iron dumbbells is they can rust over time due to sweat or humid gym atmospheres.
Many popular brands of hex dumbbells come with a rubber coating around the ends of the dumbbells. Rubber ends promote personal safety as well as the safety of your surroundings.
Neoprene and vinyl are often used on smaller dumbbell sets ranging between 1-10 pounds. They offer a softer feel with a decent grip but the material often smells bad and will eventually rip and peel off your weights at some point.
Most dumbbells use a single pour mold which eliminates any seams or burrs, but it is prudent to check your dumbbells just to make sure. Any seams or burrs can catch on your skin resulting in calluses and/or cuts on your hands.
Are Dumbbells Right for You?
It is hard to argue that dumbbells are not right for you given their versatility, but there are a few things to consider.
If you’re thinking about going the traditional dumbbell route you are going to need some space. Even if you skip a few weights you are looking at a couple feet of space taken up. If you occupy a small living space a dumbbell is likely to take up valuable space.
If you’re exercising for rehabilitation purposes or experience other special needs which may cause loss control of your weights, free weights may not be for you. Certain physical conditions could cause weights to drop or slip from your grasp, resulting in serious injury and/or damage to personal property.
In most cases dumbbells are a slam dunk for personal workout routines because of their versatility. A few exceptions may be if you’re doing a mostly cardio-based workout; in that case you may want to invest in a weighted vest or ankle/wrist weights instead of dumbbells. If you’re into more functional training, a kettlebell may be better suited to your needs.