dumbbells on ROGUE rack in a gym
(Photo/Billy Brown)

The Best Dumbbells of 2022

Effective, simple to use, and shockingly versatile, dumbbells are the universal symbol for fitness all around the world.

Dumbbells can be used for everything from competitive powerlifting training to cardio dance classes. They can apply to a nearly unlimited amount of movements and work almost any muscle in your body.

But selecting a dumbbell isn’t as simple as picking one up and lifting it. Dumbbells can range in weight from one pound to 150 pounds and beyond.

Dumbbells also come in different shapes and sizes. In addition to the traditional round heads, they can come in hexagonal or square shapes, like you’ll find in NordicTrack’s line.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the myriad options out there, we’ve got you covered. We tested dumbbells on the market to find the best ones for a variety of users. Here’s what we found.

Scroll through to see all our recommended picks, or jump to the category you’re looking for:

And don’t forget to check out our buyer’s guide and FAQ section for more important info on dumbbells.

The Best Dumbbells of 2022

Best Overall: Rogue Hex Dumbbells

Rogue Hex Dumbbells
(Photo/Billy Brown)

It’s hard to improve on the durable simplicity Rogue’s Hex Dumbbells ($20-455) offer. Sold in pairs, these weights offer chrome-plated handles with a slight taper to provide comfort no matter how you grip them.

The heavy-duty rubber coating on the heads limits wear and tear on both the dumbbells and the floors you work out on, and they minimize noise. 

The Hex Dumbbells range in weight from 2.5 pounds to 30 pounds in 2.5-pound increments and from 30 pounds to 125 pounds in 5-pound increments. I’ve personally used these dumbbells for over a decade in various CrossFit gyms and have purchased them for the gym I owned. 

They’re extremely durable — I’ve dropped them from overhead on a daily basis for years without any visible damage. The subtle knurl on the grip makes them secure even in sweaty hands without digging into your palms or fingers. 

The only issues that have popped up come in the rubber encasements on the heads. If left out in the sun over the summer, the rubber can stiffen up and eventually crack and peel off over time.

On rare occasions (I’ve seen this happen on two dumbbells in 10 years), the dumbbell heads can loosen up and wiggle a bit on the handle. 

Other than that, the Hex Dumbbells have been durable and comfortable, and fit well within a reasonable price range (as far as dumbbells go). Rogue Fitness is considered the premium in professional and home gym setups, and the Hex Dumbbells are a great example of why.

Specs:
  • Weight: 2.5-125 lbs.
  • Adjustable: No
  • Head shape: Hexagonal
Pros:
  • Durable
  • Mild knurling
  • Rubber coating for shock absorption
Cons:
  • On the pricier side
  • Sun exposure over time breaks down rubber coating

Check Price at Rogue Fitness

Best Premium: NordicTrack iSelect Voice-Controlled Dumbbells 

NordicTrack iSelect Voice-controlled Dumbbells 

Adjustable dumbbells have been on the market for a while, but the process of changing the weight can be cumbersome and unwieldy. Until now, that is. New for 2022, NordicTrack’s iSelect Voice-Controlled Dumbbells ($429) take weightlifting into the 21st century.

The dumbbells go from 5 to 50 pounds at the turn of a switch. If you have an Amazon Alexa device, you can forgo the switch altogether by saying, “Alexa, adjust my dumbbell to 25 pounds.” You heard right: Alexa is your new lifting partner. 

The switch takes about a second and is totally automatic. You don’t have to fiddle with pins or any other security devices to get your lifts ready. You can also preprogram weights for specific movements.

For example, if you’re doing a biceps and back workout, you can preset your curl weight to 25 pounds and your single-arm row weight to 45 pounds. During your workout, you can tell Alexa to change your dumbbells to curl weight or row weight, and the dumbbells will change to your preset numbers automatically. 

The Voice-Controlled dumbbells come in a tray with a tablet holder, so you can post a tablet or a smartphone to follow along with live or prerecorded dumbbell workouts with NordicTrack’s iFit workout programming. 

As of right now, the dumbbells aren’t compatible with iOS or Google products, so if you don’t have an Alexa device, the voice activation won’t work for you.

But the adjustment knob on the included tray will automatically shift the weights for you as well. For more information, check out our review of the iSelect Adjustable Dumbbells.

Specs:
  • Weight: 5-50 lbs. in 5lb. increments
  • Adjustable: Yes
  • Head shape: Square
Pros:
  • Takes up minimal space
  • Simple weight adjustment
  • Includes live and on-demand workouts via iFit app
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Requires Amazon Alexa device for voice activation

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at NordicTrack

Best Budget: Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbell Hand Weight

Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbell Hand Weight

Looking to stock your home gym but don’t have a Planet Fitness budget? It’s no surprise Amazon has you covered with its Basics line. The Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbell Hand Weights ($16-71) are, at a glance, similar to the Rogue Hex Dumbbells but at a much lower price. 

The hexagonal heads are encased in rubber to minimize damage to the dumbbells and your floor if you drop the weight. And the knurled chrome-plated handle is grippy without sacrificing comfort. 

Like any bargain, there are sacrifices. First and foremost, they’re sold as singles, so don’t purchase one and expect a pair to come in. It sounds like a no-brainer, but user reviews on the purchase page suggest otherwise.

Also, we’ve seen reports the actual weight of the dumbbells can vary. You may purchase two 50-pound dumbbells and have a 49-pound and 48-pound dumbbell show up. 

But if you’re not a stickler for precise weights and are looking to save a few bucks, you could do a lot worse than these bad boys. 

Specs:
  • Weight: 10-50 lbs. in 5lb. increments
  • Adjustable: No
  • Head shape: Hexagonal
Pros:
  • Excellent price
  • Aggressive yet comfortable knurl
Cons:
  • Actual weight can vary
  • Sold individually

Check Price at Amazon

Best Budget Adjustable Dumbbells: Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbell

Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbell

While it would be great to have a huge space for your workout equipment, most of us can’t fit an entire rack of dumbbells in our spare bedroom or garage. This is where adjustable dumbbells are extremely useful.

Ativafit’s Adjustable Dumbbells ($207) can go from 11 to 71.5 pounds per dumbbell with the turn of a dial. To adjust the weight, users simply have to press the red button on one end of each dumbbell and twist the dial to the desired weight. 

As far as manually adjusting dumbbells go, it’s hard to get simpler than this. Each dumbbell has the button and dial, so you can swap out the weights in a few moments. The iron plates are durable and tough, and the rubber-coated handle enables a slip-free grip. 

One of the best aspects of the Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbell is the variety of weights the company offers. Dumbbells can go up to 27.5, 44, 55, or 71.5 pounds, so you can buy the weight set that best fits your needs and ability.

This is perfect for lifters who don’t want to pay more for additional weight they won’t be able to lift. You can also buy the dumbbells in sets of two or as a single dumbbell. 

One caveat with these dumbbells is the lighter weights are at the farthest end of the dumbbell head. This means if you’re at the lightest setting, the weight will be farther away from the grip. This creates a longer pivot arm and can cause some instability during dynamic movements. 

  • Weight: 11-27.5, 44, 55, or 71.5 lbs.
  • Adjustable: Yes
  • Head shape: Round
Pros:
  • Takes up minimal space
  • Simple weight adjustment
Cons:
  • Awkward weight placement at lighter settings

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Best Olympic Dumbbells: Annzoe Olympic Dumbbell Handles

Annzoe Olympic Dumbbell Handles

If you’ve got a traditional Olympic lifting setup, you may not even need a full set of dumbbells. For people with Olympic weights, a set of Olympic dumbbell handles is a great option. And Annzoe’s Olympic Dumbbell Handle ($90) is one of the best of the bunch. 

These heavy-duty chromed stainless steel handles are fitted with Olympic heads that fit weight plates with the traditional 2-inch holes. This allows you to load up to 300 pounds per pair, which is ideal if you want to perform heavy deadlifts, lunges, or shoulder shrugs. 

The collars are ribbed to minimize slippage, and each handle comes with two screw-down clamps to secure the plates. There have been user reports of the clamps creating small divots in the collar ridges, but there should be little effect on performance. 

Keep in mind, these are only dumbbell handles. If you don’t already have weight plates, you’re going to be stuck with two 8-pound weights. But if you’re already kitted out, these will add a lot of versatility to your home gym at minimal monetary and spatial cost. 

Specs:
  • Weight: 8 lbs.
  • Adjustable: Yes
  • Head shape: N/A
Pros:
  • Cost-effective
  • Holds a shocking amount of weight
  • Take up minimal space
Cons:
  • Awkward weight placement at lighter settings
  • Weight plates not included

Check Price at Amazon

Best Dumbbell Set: NordicTrack Premium Dumbbell Set & Dumbbell Rack

NordicTrack Premium Dumbbell Set & Dumbbell Rack
(Photo/Billy Brown)

A full rack of dumbbells can be a great option for lifters who have plenty of workout space. And NordicTrack’s Premium Dumbbell Set & Dumbbell Rack ($1,999) is a great option.

Ranging in weight from 5 to 50 pounds in 5-pound increments, this setup is incredibly versatile and provides as much (or as little) weight as you’d need for just about every movement you can imagine. 

The NordicTrack dumbbells in this set stand out as one of the only ones we’ve seen with square heads. While this prevents rolling, it also makes it easy to stack them if you want to eschew the rack to save space. It also allows for easier gripping if you plan to use the dumbbells in more unconventional movements like kettlebell swings, where you have to hold the dumbbell by the head. 

One thing to note with square heads is if you end up dropping them, the pronounced corners make for an unpredictable bounce. So, you may need to have some fast feet to keep your ankles from getting bashed. Or you can just place them carefully on the ground when you’re done.

Specs: 
  • Weight: 5- 50 lbs. in 5lb. increments
  • Adjustable: No
  • Head shape: Square
Pros:
  • Durable rubber heads
  • Square heads are extremely stable
Cons:
  • Full setup takes up a lot of space
  • Square heads make bounces unpredictable if you drop them

Check Price at NordicTrack

Best Rotating Dumbbells: Eleiko Evo Rotating Dumbbells

Eleiko Evo Rotating Dumbbells

Eleiko is one of the most well-respected names in Olympic weightlifting. So it makes sense they’ve created a dumbbell that will appeal to Olympic lifting purists. The Evo Rotating Dumbbells ($237) stand out from the others on this list in that the heads of the dumbbell rotate independently of the handle. 

For the uninitiated, proper barbells have spinning collars. This allows the weights to spin without rotating the rest of the barbell in overhead lifts. This is necessary to prevent the bar from spinning in your hands during explosive movements that require rotation like clean and jerks and snatches. 

The Evo Rotating Dumbbells serve the same function. While they’re just as effective during stationary movements like strict presses and curls, the rotating heads reduce twist and instability during workouts that require movements like dumbbell snatches. This reduces fatigue and will save your grip during long, intense workouts. 

One downside is for movements such as a burpee or pushup on the dumbbells, there’s a chance the dumbbells will roll away from you while you put your weight on them. The hex-shaped heads will minimize this, but the possibility is still there. But if you’re a lifting purist and want the best overhead experience possible, the Evo Rotating Dumbbells are the way to go. 

Specs
  • Weight: 12.5-150 lbs. in 2.5-5lb. increments
  • Adjustable: No
  • Head shape: Hexagonal
Pros:
  • Spinning heads are ideal for explosive overhead movement
  • Aggressive yet comfortable knurl
Cons:
  • Rolling heads are unstable when putting weight on the dumbbells during floor exercises

Check Price at Eleiko

Best for Beginners: SPRI Deluxe Vinyl Dumbbells

SPRI Deluxe Vinyl Dumbbells

If you’re new to working with weights, you’re going to want to keep things light and comfortable. SPRI’s Deluxe Vinyl Dumbbells ($8-90) are perfect for nervous newcomers with beginner-friendly weight options, smooth vinyl covering, and fun, bright colors. 

With weights starting at one pound and capping out at 20 pounds, these are ideal for calisthenics, rehabilitation, and introductory weightlifting classes. And instead of the knurled handles (which some people find abrasive against the skin), the vinyl coating on the dumbbells provides a smooth, soft touch. 

That vinyl can get slick, however, so if your hands get sweaty, be sure to minimize any flailing or explosive movements to prevent accidentally hucking one of your dumbbells through a window. And if you plan on eventually using heavier weights, you may find the 20-pound top weight insufficient before long. 

Specs:
  • Weight: 1-20 lbs. in varying increments
  • Adjustable: No
  • Head shape: Hexagonal
Pros:
  • Several optional colorways
  • Comfortable vinyl coating
  • Beginner-friendly weight
Cons:
  • Sweat can make vinyl coating slippery
  • Users can outgrow the top weight quickly

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Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Dumbbells for Your Gym

Dumbbells come in so many shapes and sizes that it’s hard to decide where to begin shopping for one. While the basic tenets of the dumbbell have changed little since its inception, recent innovations have made specific makes and models stand out from the crowd.

From space-saving, adjustable-weight dumbbells to protective vinyl coating, there’s undoubtedly a dumbbell perfect for any lifter’s needs. And that’s before you even start considering what weight you’ll need.

Don’t worry — we did the legwork. If you’re looking for a dumbbell (or a set of dumbbells) for your home workouts, here are a few things you should consider.

Space

The first thing to consider is how much space you actually have for your dumbbells. If you’ve got plenty of room in your lifting room or garage, you have plenty of options.

If you’re planning on using dumbbells as your primary lifting tool, take a look at some of the dumbbell sets in this list. They offer a wide range of weights, and racks can keep them organized.

If space is a concern, a full rack of dumbbells won’t be feasible. Consider one of the adjustable dumbbell sets above. If those are out of your price range, think about what weights you plan on using the most and buy two to three pairs.

woman lifting with NordicTrack iSelect Voice-controlled Dumbbells 

Weight

Considering what weights to buy really depends on your needs and abilities. Most people tend to work with two to three weights across the board.

If you do CrossFit or HIIT-style workouts, you can often get by with 35-pound and 50-pound dumbbells, generally the standard for female and male lifters. For other applications, however, only having a few weights can limit your ability to improve if you outgrow your weights.

If you can afford the cost and have the space, a full set of dumbbells would be the most versatile option. Adjustable dumbbells are a more cost- and space-effective option as well.

Not sure what weights to buy? Not a problem. Head to your local gym and run through a few workouts over the course of a week or so. Take note of the weights you use most and base your decision on that.

Durability

For general bodybuilding and controlled movements, durability shouldn’t be an issue. Careful and deliberate movements should keep your dumbbells in good shape for years.

High-intensity interval training and CrossFit workouts entail dynamic movement, often to exhaustion. This means the repeated setting of a dumbbell on the floor, often from an overhead position.

I can say from personal experience that the end of many high-intensity workouts results in an exhausted user dropping the weights from overhead, and then staggering a few steps away and collapsing in a sweaty heap. This is much harder on dumbbells.

If you’re planning on putting your dumbbells through the wringer, look for a set with stainless steel handles, as vinyl and rubber coating can tear off after heavy use.

Also, while all-metal dumbbell heads look tough as hell, opt for a pair with a durable rubber coating. The rubber will absorb repeated impact, helping to preserve the dumbbell over time.

Shape

While the traditional shape of a dumbbell’s head is round, that shape has fallen out of favor in recent years, particularly for lack of stability.

If stability is your primary concern or you want a more versatile dumbbell, square heads (like NordicTrack’s dumbbells) all but eliminate rolling. The flat sides also allow users to hold the edges and swing the dumbbells like a kettlebell without losing their grip.

Hexagonal dumbbell heads are an excellent compromise between the two, which is why they’re often found in conventional gyms. The flat sides provide more stability than round heads, but the six short sides allow for rolling when necessary.

This makes it possible to keep the dumbbells steady when performing a devil’s press. It also allows lifters to roll them from one side of the bench to the other to switch arms between dumbbell rows.

rogue dumbbells on gym floor

Why You Should Trust Us

Editor Billy Brown has spent the majority of his life lifting weights. He’s competed in CrossFit and powerlifting competitions, claiming three California state records and qualifying for nationals in the 198-pound weight class in 2019.

He knows the value of a good, sturdy dumbbell in both accessory and compound movements. He’s a Level 2 certified CrossFit trainer and holds a powerlifting coaching certification from the U.S. Powerlifting Association.

His experience with dumbbells started out with a rusty set of backyard weights. And over the decades, he’s worked with dumbbells of varying weights, makes, and sizes.

Billy combined decades of experience not only using but also recommending dumbbells. He’s provided deep dives into user reviews and weeks of testing to narrow down the best dumbbells for a variety of needs and uses.

How We Tested

Testing involved everything from full CrossFit workouts with 50-70 pound Rogue dumbbells that included dropping them from overhead (a practice frowned upon in gyms but necessary for testing).

It also included single-muscle accessory work with 20-35-pound NordicTrack dumbbells, and complex movements with varying momentum, like single-arm dumbbell snatches with Eleiko’s rotating-head dumbbells. 

The result was not only a good amount of blood, sweat, and chalk shed but also a definitive guide to the best dumbbells for a wide range of uses, users, and price ranges. 

FAQ

What Weight Dumbbells Should I Buy?

How heavy a person’s dumbbells should be can vary wildly based on the user’s specific strength and goals. If you want one pair, it may help to know that CrossFit’s most commonly prescribed dumbbell weights for women are 35 pounds and 50 pounds for men.

That said, it may be useful to head to a conventional gym and go through a few workout sessions to figure out what weight will serve you best in your home.

How Much Should I Spend on Dumbbells?

For the average lifter, you can get by with a less expensive set from Amazon. If you’re a stickler for quality and precise weights, you may want to pony up for a pricier set from a premium brand. For a solid single pair of dumbbells, expect to spend somewhere between $50 and $100.

Which Brand of Dumbbell Is Best?

Because they’re composed of two weighted heads connected by a handle, dumbbells are fairly simple. But that doesn’t mean all dumbbells are the same.

Precise weight measurements, durability, and ergonomic handles are what mark a good dumbbell. If you’re shopping for dumbbells, consider one made by well-known and reputable brands like Rogue Fitness, NordicTrack, and Eleiko.

Which Dumbbells Are Best for Home Gyms?

When it comes to building out a home gym, keeping yourself and your house safe is paramount. For this reason, we recommend avoiding dumbbells without a protective coating like rubber or vinyl. We like Rogue Fitness and Eleiko dumbbells for their durable rubber-coated heads, but plenty of brands offer this feature.

Also, adjustable dumbbells are a great way to save space. Most offer weight adjustments from 5 pounds to 50+ pounds without taking up the space of an entire rack.

What Dumbbells Are Best for Beginners?

You may want to be ambitious and go heavy, but if you’re brand new to working out with weights, going lighter is better. It’s important to get used to working with dumbbells at a lighter weight to learn how to control the weight and move within a proper range of motion.

Consider a dumbbell with rubber- or vinyl-coated heads, as you’re more likely to drop the dumbbells while you get used to moving with them.


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Billy Brown
By

Billy Brown has a problem sitting still. His constant search for the next challenge has him doing everything from running ultramarathons and climbing 14er’s to gaining 40 pounds to compete in powerlifting, breaking several state records and growing a killer beard in the process. With over a decade of writing under his belt, his work, covering action sports, gear, and beer, can be found in a variety of publications. He lives with his wife and their two cats in Sacramento, California.