Dumbbells can be the most versatile pieces of training equipment for the home—whether you’re looking to build serious muscle mass, tone up, or just improve overall health. So, why not incorporate them into your home gym for a quick access to a full workout?
This article brings you the best adjustable dumbbells available—plus explains their benefits and what to look for when purchasing.
The Five Best Adjustable Dumbbells
Let me take you through our top picks of adjustable dumbbells.
1. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
My choice of the best adjustable dumbbells on the market today—I believe this set has it all.
These dumbbells have a weight range from 5 to 52.5 pounds—which makes them ideal for the casual-exercise enthusiast through to the serious lifter. What’s more, with weight increments of 2.5 pounds (up to 25 pounds) they can be adjusted to suit your ability.
Additionally, the weights are selected through an easy-to-read dial mechanism. I’d suggest that this would make them useful for either those who struggle with hand mobility or simply want the ease of quickly attaching weights. The faster you can change, the more time you have to lift.
With a grip that’s designed to fit neatly into the hand and with an attractively textured finish, I feel this will remain secure even during strenuous sessions.
- Weight range of 5 to 52.5 pounds in 2.5-pound increments.
- 2-year warranty.
- Weights and dumbbell sit neatly in their own tray—no rolling around the floor.
- Easy-to-use dial selection.
- Smartphone app to record training and suggest exercise routines.
- The design may be too “modern” for traditionalists.
2. Omnie Adjustable Dumbbells
If you’re someone who loves tradition and harks back to the Golden Age of Bodybuilding, these could be thebest adjustable dumbbellsfor you.
These weights scream retro—from their steel hand bar through to the embossed cast-iron plates—the way weight training used to be.
These plates allow you to lift between 5 and 52.5 pounds (in 2.5-pound increments). The hand grip will be familiar to experienced lifters—with its proven diamond-knurled design.
Changing the weights is by means of screw collars. This could appeal to those who worry about plate-slippage when lifting, as it’s the safest way of securing loads.
- Ideal for the traditionalist.
- 5 to 52.5-pound weight range in 2.5-pound increments.
- Also available in 65-pound and 100-pound sets.
- Iron plates protected by enamel.
- Bars are rust and oil proof.
- Impressive 5-year warranty.
- Some users may find attaching weights time-consuming.
3. PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
For me, these are thebest adjustable dumbbells for people who love innovation.
Unlike most dumbbells, these are shaped as a rectangular block—with the handgrip being located inside the dumbbell itself. The main block sits for storage purposes inside all the other weights—and this is how the load is then selected.
A retaining bar is simply removed and then reinserted either higher or lower on the block depending on the weight requirement. When lifted upward, unneeded weights are left behind. The range is from 5 to 50 pounds (in 2.5-pound increments).
A rubberized grip helps to increase stability in the hand, with additional padding to protect the wrist when lifting.
- Novel design.
- 5 to 50-pound range.
- Easy to select and deselect weights.
- Made in the USA.
- Comes with a 10-year warranty.
- Can be expanded with the purchase of additional weights.
- Location of the handle inside the block may be uncomfortable or impractical for people used to traditional dumbbells.
4. Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set
If you’re an exercise enthusiast who likes the convenience that modern innovation provides but still enjoy the idea of tradition—these could be the best adjustable dumbbells for you.
Selecting weights is simple—achieved by turning the dumbbell grip while it’s sat in the retaining stand—it can easily be done with one hand. However, this novel approach is hidden by the dumbbells’ classic appearance.
The weight range is from 5 to 50 pounds—although selected in large, 5-pound increments, which may not suit all requirements.
The soft-grip handle, which is both textured and contoured will appeal, I believe, to people who easily suffer from hand fatigue when training.
- Modern convenience but with a classic appearance.
- 5 to 50-pound range.
- 2-year warranty on parts.
- Slimline cradle.
- 5-pound increments may be too much for some people.
- May sometimes prove difficult relocating the weights back in the cradle.
5. Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
In my opinion, these are the best adjustable dumbbells for people who don’t want bells or whistles—just a standard set of training equipment.
Traditional in design and with a 5 to 52.5-pound range (in 2.5-pound increments) they are suitable for most people’s requirements.
However, if you’re planning on using additional weights that you already own, to ramp up resistance, you may struggle. This bar is 1.15 inches in diameter and so will not accept standard 1-inch plates.
The weights are added and removed through a screw collar—which has sufficient cut-outs to make locking and unlocking simple. A knurled chrome handle should provide adequate stability in the hand.
- A solid choice for someone who wants a no-frills product.
- 5-pound to 50-pound range (in 2.5-pound increments).
- Incompatible with 1-inch plates.
- Replacing weights may be time-consuming.
A Buying guide to Adjustable dumbbells
The best adjustable dumbbells have numerous advantages, both practical and physiological.
Using weights, in general, gives the benefits of:
- Improving strength: Resistance training is one of the most effective ways of building overall muscular power.
- Assisting with fat loss: Studies have indicated that regularly lifting weights leads to the shedding of pounds.
- Enhancing bone strength: Using dumbbells can increase bone density and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.
- Building larger muscle or increasing tone: Exercising with dumbbells damages the muscle tissues—the body repairs them and they return larger and more defined.
- Improving health: Studies have shown that resistance training with weights can reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and decrease inflammation.
- Enhancing mood: Using dumbbells can alleviate the symptoms of depression, outlined in research from 2011.
- Elevating mobility: Whether restricted by age or disease, experts have shown that resistance training improves mobility.
More specifically, the best adjustable dumbbell shave the benefits of:
- Including all the weights you require in one purchase.
- The ability to alter weight resistance depending on ability, age, and targets.
- Allowing each limb to work equally—using a barbell can encourage you to compensate with the “stronger” side.
- Being ideal for serious muscle gain or just toned definition.
- Making lifting safe and easy to use on your own—using a barbell can leave you trapped beneath it—unless you have a spotter.
- Often having novel release mechanisms makes it simple and easy to select weights.
- Taking up less space than single-weight dumbbells.
What to Look for in the Best Adjustable Dumbbells
Depending on your requirements, there are a few important aspects you should check out when selecting the best adjustable dumbbells for your needs.
Many of the best adjustable dumbbells include a weight range from around 5 to 50 pounds (per hand)—some even more. Choose a dumbbell that’s suitable for your targets.
For example, for pure tone, lighter loads are ideal, but for larger muscle gain you need those with a greater weight. Additionally, think about your current ability and what you will require in the future as your strength increases.
The smaller the weight increments, the more adaptable the dumbbells are. This means smaller increases can be made as your training improves.
Weight Selection and Attachment
Some of the best adjustable dumbbells use the traditional method of securing weights—a spring-release clip pulled on or off to add and remove weights.
However, there are now numerous other types which may suit some people better, where hand dexterity or just convenience is an affecting factor. These can include pins, bar-end screws, dial mechanisms, or pull-out bars.
You require the most comfortable and secure grip possible. If the grip texture (known as knurling) is poor or of a shape which is difficult to hold—this can lead to hand fatigue. If that’s the case, it can result in your hand muscles becoming tired before your biceps, triceps, etc.
Thus, cutting your training short and receiving inefficient results.
The best adjustable dumbbells have a hand grip that is ergonomically designed and has sufficient texture to prevent slippage—important when you begin to perspire.
It’s my belief that the Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells are currently the best adjustable dumbbells on the market.
With a 5 to 52.5 pound range, they’re suitable for light lifting or hardcore muscle-pushing. Plus, with a 2.5 increment facility, they can adapt to every stage of your workout progress.
A simple weight-select dial makes loading easy—ideal for time-restricted persons, serious lifters wanting to hit the next set as soon as possible, or those with hand mobility problems. A nice compact design, functional grip, and accompanying app mean that these dumbbells are perfect for all.
To be fair—the PowerBlock Elite may appeal to those who love innovation—and the Omnie will be attractive to traditionalists.
But for all-around performance, adaptability, and strength—my choice is the Bowflex.