There are very few pieces of home gym equipment as useful as adjustable dumbbells. This training tool comes with a relatively low price tag and opens up 100s – if not 1000s – of exercises.
Today we’re looking at the best adjustable dumbbells on the market, for different budgets and needs and a guide to shop smarter.
- Best Adjustable Dumbbells
- Best Overall Adjustable Dumbbell: Nuobell Dumbells
- Best Adjustable Dumbbell for Lifting Heavy: PowerBlock Elite EXP Series
- Best Adjustable Dumbbell for CrossFit: Bowflex SelectTech 552
- Best Budget Adjustable Dumbbell: Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell
- Best Adjustable Dumbbell Set for Beginners: PowerBlock Sport 24
- Best Loadable Dumbbells: Rogue Loadable Dumbbells
- How We Chose the Best Adjustable Dumbbells
- Why You Should Trust Us
- Benefits of Adjustable Dumbbells
- Adjustable Dumbbells Buying Guide
- Adjustable Dumbbell FAQs
- Conclusion: The Best Adjustable Dumbbells on the Market?
Best Adjustable Dumbbells
- Best Overall: Nuobell Dumbbells
- Best for Lifting Heavy: PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
- Best for CrossFit: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells
- Best Budget: Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell
- Best for Beginners: PowerBlock Sport 24 Dumbbells
- Best Loadable Dumbbells: Rogue Loadable Dumbbells
Best Overall Adjustable Dumbbell: Nuobell Dumbells
The Nuobell adjustable dumbbell is an excellent combination of weight, quality, and cost. If you don't know which adjustable dumbbell to buy, it's this one.
- Sold in Pairs
- Weight Capacity: 50LB or 80LB
- Weight Increments: 5LB
The Nuobell adjustable dumbbell is an excellent compromise on weight, quality, and cost.
It offers a strong score across all 3 and establishes itself as our best overall adjustable dumbbell.
It’s a selectorized design which makes it useful for anyone and everyone. You don’t need any specific equipment to use; just select the weight for you and get to work.
The selector system comes in both 50lbs and 80lbs maximum weight, which is a good range for most users.
Increments are 5lbs, which provides plenty of space to individualize your workouts and progress patiently.
The quality itself is good, and the product is guaranteed through Rogue, who are well regarded for their customer service.
Manufactured by SMRTFT (like smartfit without the vowels), it’s a great overall design with the classic Swedish efficiency and design quality that makes other brands like Eleiko stand out.
The knurling is good, the handles are sturdy and well designed, and the durability is top-notch.
The outer is not rubberized, limiting some exercises, but the overall design quality is great. You also get a 2-year complete warranty on the Nuobell, a testament to the quality and faith SMRTFT invest in their product.
The price is relatively good but does out-price some market alternatives. That’s the price for premium equipment, it seems.
The 50lbs version is just under $595, while the 80lbs version is just under $750.
These are good prices and still represent a huge saving over plate weight or a rack of dumbbells.
The Nuobell is our pick for the best adjustable dumbbell because of how well it does everything – and how balanced the approach is.
The product is clearly well designed and manufactured. At the same time, the value for money holds up, and the warranty reflects both the quality and customer satisfaction commitments of both SMRTFT and Rogue alike.
If you don’t know which adjustable dumbbell to buy, it’s this one. It’s the best product for most people most of the time.
Still not convinced? Then read our full review of the Nuobell Adjustable Dumbbell.
Best Adjustable Dumbbell for Lifting Heavy: PowerBlock Elite EXP Series
If you’re looking for the best adjustable dumbbells for the best price and the most weight, it’s the PowerBlock Elite EXP. They are of good quality, great for heavier lifting, and excellent value for money.
- Sold in Pairs
- Weight Capacity: 50LB, 70LB, or 90LB
- Weight Increments: 2.5LB
PowerBlock Elite EXP Series adjustable dumbbells are hefty. With a standard range of up to 90lbs, they pip the Nuobell for absolute weight range.
You can also get 50lbs and 70lbs versions for cheaper than Nuobell, which is a great weight-per-lb function.
Of course, this does lack the round shape and the intricate design quality and premium-ness of the Nuobell.
A great dumbbell in their own right, the PowerBlock Elite design is on square faces, a rubberized handle, and a simpler selector system. These are lower quality than Nuobell but also save you $$$ in the comparison.
This value for money is a huge deal, with the PowerBlock Elite EXP only costing $3 per lb across both handles. This is a huge saving and still offers the rubberized grip, selector, and excellent balance across the handle.
The PowerBlock Elite EXP even offers a 2.5lbs adjuster setting, offering twice the accuracy of even the Nuobell. This is great for progressing through the various settings at your own pace to get stronger for longer.
If you’re looking for the best adjustable dumbbells for the best price and the most weight, it’s the PowerBlock Elite EXP.
They’re great value for money when it comes to weight, and the main features are well-executed – if not quite to the premium quality of the Nuobell.
PowerBlock dumbbells are of good quality, great for heavier lifting, and excellent value for money.
Best Adjustable Dumbbell for CrossFit: Bowflex SelectTech 552
The Bowflex SelectTech 552 is a great, durable, adjustable dumbbell that fits the needs of most people, most of the time, with great consistency.
- Sold as Single or Pair
- Weight Capacity: 52.5LB
- Weight Increments: 2.5LB
The Bowflex SelectTech 552 is an effective plate and dial system similar to the Nuobell.
While it offers the same basic format, it does so at a much lower price. Combining this with the effective outer finish, this is a great dumbbell for CrossFit, where you’re likely to scuff the outer.
That’s less of a problem for the Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbell, where the price is around 50-70% of the Nuobell.
You don’t have to be as scared of scuffing these dumbbells, and they offer a great 5-52.5lbs weight range. This is, again, perfect for any CrossFit needs. These are the perfect weight range for most overhead and rowing exercises unless you’re training superheavy dumbbell deadlifts.
The only problem we’ve seen with the Bowflex SelectTech 552 is the long-term durability, which is where a product like Nuobell starts to win out again.
The warranty is around 2 years, but the selector system can stick during extended use and requires regular maintenance for the best results and longest life.
Overall, this is a great product that does many of the same things Nuobell offers without the price tag.
That does mean a lower overall build quality, but it also means being able to use them for a wider range of exercises without worrying about breaking a super-premium set of dumbbells.
The Bowflex SelectTech 552 is a great adjustable dumbbell that fits the needs of most people, most of the time, with great consistency. Show them some love and they’ll help you build muscle for a long time!
Best Budget Adjustable Dumbbell: Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell
The Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell offers a great, easy-to-use, effective option at a fraction of the price of the competitors on the market.
- Type: Loadable
- Sold as Singles
- Weight Capacity: 25LB or 55LB
- Weight Increments: 5LB
Flybird provides one of the best products on the market by simplifying the adjustable dumbbell back down.
Not only are they cheap and effective, but their design even makes them perfect in some ways you might not have considered.
The Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell are spiral-cut standard (or 1″) plate-loaded handles. These are typically not as good as adjustable dumbbells, but they do come at a much lower price and don’t need a complicated mechanism to adjust weight.
You put the weight on or take it off and screw the end-cap on. It’s safe and simple.
The plates are made of a high-density outer with a general foamy, compressible construction. This does make them lower durability in case of drops and other issues, but it also makes them better at absorbing shock.
This means they’re going to wear and tear more quickly than metal, but you can drop them on a matted floor without them cracking immediately.
This makes the Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell a very practical set of dumbbells to go with others on this list – like the Nuobell and PowerBlock – that don’t handle well in contact with surfaces.
If you want a pair of adjustable dumbbells for exercises like power snatches, floor to overhead, or just transitioning between hands.
The Flybird are also just great lighter dumbbells for a budget. They’re incredibly inexpensive and can get anyone started on their way with weight training.
Unfortunately, they lack some of the premium features of others on this list – and have a much narrower weight range. Still, they make a great starter kit for anyone trying to gain weight training experience.
The Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell offers a great, inexpensive kit that I wish I had before I started lifting.
It’s a simple and effective set with a smaller weight capacity but at a fraction of the price of a selectorized dumbbell or even its plate-weighted competitors on the market.
Best Adjustable Dumbbell Set for Beginners: PowerBlock Sport 24
A clear choice as our best product for beginners, the PowerBlock Sport 24 offers small increments which are great for new lifters.
- Sold as Pairs
- Weight Capacity: 24LB
- Weight Increments: 3LB
We’re back to PowerBlock for their entry-level product: the PowerBlock Sport 24.
These are a much smaller set of dumbbells that range up to 24lbs in 3lb increments and offer a streamlined version of the PowerBlock Elite experience for beginners.
The weight rating isn’t huge, but it’s plenty for beginners to start with exercises like presses, rows, and curls.
The smaller increments make it perfect for beginners, however, reducing the amount of stress required to make a jump. Other products like the Nuobell require 5lbs increments, limiting how long a beginner can progress. No such issue with the PowerBlock Sport 24 and its 8 settings.
These are great starter dumbbells for your home gym. The price is excellent, while the fundamentals of the product, like the quality of grip and the durability of the selector system, are just like their heavyweight Elite EXP cousin.
PowerBlock has good fundamentals across the whole range.
The plastic selector can be a problem, as it’s one of the more critical aspects of the product. Fortunately, there’s a 10-year limited warranty with this product.
This isn’t likely to break easily, but the material does feel cheaper than in more expensive products.
Equally, you have to have the right surface to change weight, which is a small inconvenience but quite annoying.
The PowerBlock Sport 24 Adjustable Dumbbells is a clear choice as our best product for beginners.
It offers the versatility of the selector dumbbell at a price that competes with most dumbbell handles on the market – and is only more expensive than the Flybird on this list.
The small increments are great for beginner lifters looking to make smaller jumps and start building muscle and fitness. These dumbbells are a great place to start for anyone.
Best Loadable Dumbbells: Rogue Loadable Dumbbells
These are Olympic dumbbells that can be loaded with your own weights. An excellent way to save money on a rack of dumbbells, by using the weight plates you already have.
- Sold as singles
Different from the other options on our list, the Rogue Loadable Dumbbells are Olympic dumbbells. They are a pair of handles that can be loaded with your own weights.
This is a great way to save money on a rack of dumbbells, with weight plates you already have.
The Rogue Loadable Dumbbells are a great investment for adding a range of extra options to your training but do rely on the equipment you already have. If your garage gym is built around weightlifting and good plates, these could be the perfect adjustable dumbbells for you.
The DB-10 is incredibly cheap, while the DB-15 are slightly pricier but still great value.
The DB-10 and DB-15 are some of the best training options we’ve seen if you have the right kit for them. If not, investing in some more metal plates can still save you tons of money over a set of rubberized, integral dumbbells.
Check out our full review of the Rogue Loadable Dumbbells.
How We Chose the Best Adjustable Dumbbells
There are a lot of adjustable dumbbells on the market nowadays. Trust us – we know, we looked at them all to pick our best list.
Narrowing it down to only 6 was no easy feat. To help us rank the options, we used the criteria in the Buying Guide section below – including:
- Weight Capacity
- Weight Increments
- Ease & Speed of weight change
- Handle Design
Why You Should Trust Us
There are a lot of adjustable dumbbell options on the market and almost as many recommendations.
At Home Gym Boss we pride ourselves on being impartial and only recommend products we would use ourselves.
Sometimes it is not possible to try all the different products, so we do our research by talking to athletes, strength coaches & personal trainers, through reading user reviews, checking product manuals, assessing overall brand quality and reputation, and checking the current prices.
Benefits of Adjustable Dumbbells
Adjustable dumbbells open up the world of free weight training in a way that almost nothing else can.
Adjustable dumbbells are part of the best setup you could hope for in a home gym, offering the versatility of a rack full of dumbbells. But, of course, they also cut the cost and space demands, making them perfect for any fitness enthusiast looking to save thousands of dollars!
After a barbell and plates, they’re the best weight investment for your home gym, offering a wide range of exercises at a reasonable price point.
The adjustable dumbbell saves you the expense of a whole rack of dumbbells while still allowing you the versatility to change weight during a workout.
This is much better than the cost of an entire rack of dumbbells or buying a few dumbbells and limiting your training process.
Adjustable dumbbells also save you a ton of space, as well as a ton of money. They are not only $$$ to $$$$ cheaper than racks but take up no more space than the largest selectorized dumbbell.
This makes them perfect for home gyms and easy to stuff into attics, basements, and garages without needing space for a dumbbell rack.
Adjustable dumbbells are also great for using multiple weights in training without mess or safety risks, unlike preset or ‘integral’ dumbbells. It’s as simple as adding weight in the selector or removing it and doesn’t leave plates all over the floor.
Overall, the idea of an adjustable dumbbell is to fit multiple dumbbells into one.
This saves you the immense inconvenience and cost of buying multiples. You’ll also find that adjustable dumbbells are inexpensive one by one, often competing with premium dumbbells for a single set.
Adjustable Dumbbells Buying Guide
In order to make sure you are buying, high-quality, value-for-money adjustable dumbbells, learn more about the key features to look for below.
You don’t want to buy a set of dumbbells that you need to replace within the year.
Better durability makes a better buy when all other things are equal because it determines how much value you get from a product. You’re multiplying the training options and quality by the number of years you’re using it for!
When it’s a home gym purchase, that can easily be decades with a good product.
Free weights like these are designed to last, and better durability means a better investment. Try dividing the cost by how long you’d reasonably expect a product to last, and value for money for quality starts to make more sense.
This is why Nuobell is our winner with construction and material qualities that put it firmly in the first place.
Heavier weight capacity typically means better products. It expands the amount of weight you can use and the number of exercises that a set of dumbbells is useful for.
For example, 25lbs dumbbells (like the PowerBlock Sport) aren’t very useful for heavy squatting or deadlifting. In comparison, 95lbs dumbbells (the Elite EXP Series) have much more range for these ‘big’ exercises.
The increments also count. More increments between weights reduce the amount of weight each ‘jump’ represents. This makes a real difference to whether or not you’re going to hit a PR today or not. This adds up to long-term progress over the weeks and months.
More weight – and better increments along the way – make a better dumbbell. The PowerBlock Elite EXP is fantastic for both of these.
Speed & Ease of Weight Change
These are unusual for most people, but they make a dumbbell easier to use.
In addition, adjustable dumbbells can be changed during a workout if you’re smart about which weights you want and how you’re using them.
This is a minor factor compared to weight capacity and durability, but it does help.
A good warranty means you don’t have to worry about incurring extra costs if your product breaks. Of course, even under warranty, you don’t want to deal with the hassle, but it’s better to be covered for as long as possible.
However, the warranty also speaks to the durability and faith of the manufacturer in their product. This typically accompanies better designs that have been tested extensively and have good longevity.
Dial vs. Pin vs. Plate Type
Dial mechanisms tend to be the best, shortly followed by pins, and the plate-adjustable dumbbell is its own beast altogether.
The pin system used in PowerBlock is good. Still, it does put a lot of importance on a single part with a lower durability design than dials.
Good dials are great, while bad dials are terrible and a risk to your dumbbells. Pins are more straightforward and have a very strong “middle-ground” but must be made durable and reliable.
Plates are great – and classic – but limited, and the Flybird example is a lightweight, cheap version of plate-loaded dumbbell handles.
Handle Design and Materials
Handles are the bit you hold, and thus quality here determines what it feels like to use a dumbbell. Rubberized handles are standard for middle and lower-cost dumbbells, providing natural grip but increasing hand sweat and wear over time.
A knurled finish – typically in stainless steel or zinc-coated metals – is a superior choice most of the time. This does cause some churning of hand skin, but that’s both a part of weight training and a good adaptation to develop.
The trade-off is a more reliable, effective grip in all conditions and less loss of grip as you get sweaty. It’s not perfect, but it’s a sign of quality that sets products like Nuobell apart.
Better knurling is great, but you want to get a middle “aggression” knurl that isn’t unnecessarily sharp for home gym use.
You never want to pay more than you have to. Cash is a limited resource, and being frivolous on products that don’t offer features and quality is a fast way to waste money and get sub-par equipment.
Buy a product that suits your budget. Value for money is a real consideration, and – after a certain point – extra money doesn’t buy extra quality or features. It just ends up being spent on decorative or unnecessary additions.
Any cost should be justified by what an adjustable dumbbell brings to training. Nuobell is the most expensive on our list because the feature-set is complete, and the details are finely crafted, lasting for years.
Cost is an important factor. It should be justified, as low as you can reasonably get, and always appropriate to your needs and resources.
Don’t get into debt for the Nuobell because it’s the best adjustable dumbbell on the market.
Adjustable Dumbbell FAQs
Why are adjustable dumbbells so expensive?
They’re really not.
When we think adjustable dumbbells are expensive, it’s because they’re doing a lot of work in a home gym.
They’re actually a great saving over multiple sets of dumbbells or – even worse – a whole rack. These can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Even the best set of adjustable dumbbells on our list – the Nuobell adjustable dumbbells – are roughly half the price of their dumbbell rack alternatives. Options like the PowerBlock Elite EXP get closer to ¼ the price of a rack spanning the same 5lbs to 90lbs range.
Adjustable dumbbells are more expensive per set because you only need one set. Don’t compare adjustable dumbbells to normal dumbbells – compare them to a range of free weights that includes every weight in their range.
It’ll become clear just what a cash- and space-saving device they are!
Can you get a good workout with Adjustable Dumbbells?
Yes. Yes, you can.
Just like dumbells in general, adjustable dumbells are excellent for home workouts.
Check out our guide to the best dumbbell workout you can do at home to learn more.
What are the best adjustable dumbbells?
The Nuobell adjustable dumbbell is our top pick for most people but does incur a higher cost.
It’s in this product that you see everything that matters: weight range, quality, durability, an excellent brand reputation, and a product that is both easy to use and effective for the long run.
Conclusion: The Best Adjustable Dumbbells on the Market?
The adjustable dumbbell market is hiding some absolute gems. Today, we’ve discussed some of the best out there and 6 of the best for different needs.
This should leave you with at least a few great ideas to suit your training needs.
What matters most is how closely a dumbbell fits into your budget, training style, and long-term needs. That’s why we’re looking at such a wide range of different products, suiting different budgets and goals alike.
The Nuobell is our top pick for most people but does incur a higher cost. It’s in this product that you see everything that matters: weight range, quality, durability, an excellent brand reputation, and a product that is both easy to use and effective for the long run.
Follow these principles and compromise them to suit your situation. You’ll find the best adjustable dumbbells for you.