These days people care more about being healthy and strong inside and out. It means eating right and getting your daily dose of exercise. But in this ever-so-busy world, working out gets a little bit challenging. Fortunately, the wide range of home fitness equipment brings us the health benefits of gym workouts right inside the comforts of our home.Among the most common home fitness equipment are dumbbells. Whether you’re an exercise addict or just starting out, a pair of dumbbells is probably the first equipment you will have to buy. Research shows that men and women who incorporate strength training, such as dumbbell workout, into their fitness routine, are able to lose and control weight more effectively than those who don’t.
Thankfully, technology has given modern dumbbells a makeover. Now, you get to buy a single block to take place over a dozen of individual dumbbells – saving you lots of space and money. They call it ‘adjustable dumbbells’.
The compilation of the best adjustable dumbbells below will make the selection process less complicated for you. They are considered “best” in many aspects, from durability to flexibility, features, pricing, customer reviews, and overall value.
Top 8 Adjustable Dumbbells of 2018 Reviewed
- Top 8 Adjustable Dumbbells of 2018 Reviewed
- 1. Bowflex SelectTech 552
- 2. Ironmaster 45 lb. Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System
- 3. PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
- 4. Universal Selectorized 445 Dumbbells and Stand
- 5. XMark Adjustable Dumbbells
- 6. StairMaster TwistLock Adjustable Dumbbells
- 7. Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell
- 8. PowerBlock Sport 24 Pound Dumbbell Set
- How to Choose Adjustable Dumbbells
- Final Thoughts
1. Bowflex SelectTech 552Adjustable Dumbbells For All Types Of Workout
Topping the list is the Bowflex SelectTech 552, featuring 15 different sets of weights, from 5-52 lbs., in just a single pair of dumbbells.The core, handle and the brackets of this dumbbell are all made from high-strength metal for a secure fit, and the weights are coated with thick plastic to resist various gym uses.
Established in 1896, Bowflex is a fitness equipment manufacturing company that pioneered the innovation of adjustable dumbbells. As a premium brand, Bowflex has built a seriously strong reputation, which is why the SelectTech 552 is the best-selling dumbbell as to date.
The only downside of the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells is that the weight range is not expandable. That means if you need more weight, you have to buy a whole new set of dumbbells.
- Dial-in design for easy selection of weights
- Fairly wide weight range to work with
- Bonus workout DVD
- Not expandable
- Relatively expensive
2. Ironmaster 45 lb. Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell SystemAdjustable Dumbbells For Slow-Paced Workouts
The Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System is a popular choice for home gyms. Made of steel and iron with no plastic parts, you can be sure that this equipment is built to last. If you’re in search for a dumbbell that you can rely on for as long as possible, this is a great choice. The unique shape of Ironmaster adjustable dumbbells means you don’t have to worry about the plates rolling, a common dumbbell issue that is pretty much annoying. It features a compact design too, which makes it a good fit for home gyms with very limited space. The dumbbells expand or contract depending on how much weight is put on.
- High-quality construction
- Square-shape weight plates
- Lifetime warranty
- Takes a little more time to change the plates
- Not ideal for fast-paced interval training
3. PowerBlock Elite DumbbellsAdjustable Dumbbells For All Levels Of Workout
PowerBlock has over 25 years of experience in designing and manufacturing adjustable dumbbells. No doubt, the Elite Dumbbell series is a hit among fitness aficionados.
The coolest thing about PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells is that it’s expandable – something that many premium brands lack. Meaning, you need not purchase an entirely new set by the time you require a heavier weight range. This will surely save you money in the long run.
The weight plates are color-coded, and a dual-prong U-shaped selector pin slides in and out of the markers, allowing you to choose your desired weight in seconds. This dumbbell has a very interesting design. Along with the handle, it comes with 4 independent bars. The bottom bars allow for the 2.5 lb. increment jumps while the two other bars on top serve as wrists guards, letting the user’s hands rest more comfortably. The overall build of PowerBlock dumbbells are tough and can withstand any gym use.
- Weight range of 5-50 lbs.
- Expandable to 70 lbs. or 90 lbs.
- 10-year warranty
- Relatively expensive
- Non-traditional dumbbell feels
- Not designed for rough use
4. Universal Selectorized 445 Dumbbells and StandAdjustable Dumbbells For Moderate Weight Trainings
This workout gear features an ergonomically designed dumbbell and a functional stand. It automatically releases plates as you dial in your desired weight. The Universal PowerPak Adjustable Dumbbells replace 9 sets or 18 individual pieces at a weight range of 4 to 45lbs.
This adjustable dumbbell set features a cutting-edge handle made from robust thermoplastic rubber which is easy to grip and doesn’t slip. Meanwhile, the neat and modern stand keeps everything secure in one place so if you have a limited space, or lives in a small apartment, this is definitely a smart choice. And because the plates perfectly fit in the handlebar and into the specially designed rack, changing weights is as silent as it can get, with no annoying clanking sound whatsoever. The set comes with a workout guide too.
Unfortunately, this set is non-expandable and the weight range is only up to 45 lbs. If you’re into some serious bodybuilding workout program, there’s a good chance that you might quickly outgrow these dumbbells.
- Durable thermoplastic rubber handle
- Space-saving design
- Extremely easy to use
- Low weight range (not ideal for advanced training)
5. XMark Adjustable DumbbellsAdjustable Dumbbells For Circuit Training
The XMark Adjustable Dumbbells are available in singles and in pairs. It has a compact design that makes it ideal for smaller home gyms. Unlike other brands, the XMark dumbbells come in various forms. For example, you can buy a set with a combination of 25lb and 50lb dumbbells. This brand offers durable dumbbells made from metal alloys. There are plastic parts too, but their purpose is only aesthetics. Both the handle and the plates feature a coated chrome finish that prevents rust, although this could mean that the handle could be a little sleek. With proper care, they can last for many years.
However, this set is larger than regular dumbbells, especially when you are considering its weight range. Also, the 10 lb-increment can be a little tougher for beginners.
- Metal construction
- Customizable set (choose between 25 lbs. and 50 lbs., or a combination of both)
- Storage tray included
- 10lb-increment may be tougher for beginners
- Weight selector occasionally sticks
6. StairMaster TwistLock Adjustable DumbbellsAdjustable Dumbbells For Ladies
Great for people who have limited space for a home gym, the StairMaster Adjustable Dumbbell is a unique set. It features a new adjustment technology called “TwistLock” which requires you to simply rotate the handle to adjust the weights.
Another interesting thing about StairMaster dumbbell is the textured and contoured handle that fits the natural shape of your hand, allowing an easy grip when working out. It has the closest feel and shape to traditional dumbbells.
There are a few downsides to this product. First, it has a fixed weight range. That means if you need more than 50 lbs. of weights in the future, you have to buy another set. Some customer reviews also point out that the weight plates are susceptible to cracking. It could be because this dumbbell has so many plastic parts. The price is a little higher too. It provides a good workout experience overall nonetheless.
- Simple mechanism for changing weights
- Weight range of 5 lbs. up to 50 lbs. per dumbbell
- Easy to hold and use
- Plates susceptible to cracking
- Not intended for rough use
7. Bayou Fitness Adjustable DumbbellAdjustable Dumbbells For Toning
A good choice for beginners – the Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell provides 25 lbs. and 50 lbs. dumbbell sets featuring heavy-duty chrome plated steel construction. Each plate comes with a nice, shiny chrome finish and the steel handle offers a safe and secure grip. The adjusting mechanism of the Bayou fitness Dumbbell features a metallic tube that connects to an adjusting pin. To choose the weight you desire, you have to move the pin along the axle and lock it behind your selected weight plate. While it goes by the increments of 10 lbs., you can actually make it 5 lbs. by having one plate more or less on one side.
This set is slightly larger than regular dumbbells though, and may not suffice more advanced users because of the limited weight range.
- Solid locking mechanism
- Adjustable in increments of 10 lbs.
- Sleek design, non-slip handle
- Only switches to 10lb increment
- The slide occasionally sticks
- A bit pricey for features offered
8. PowerBlock Sport 24 Pound Dumbbell SetAdjustable Dumbbells For P90x
Because of its lower weight range, safety features, and durable construction, the PowerBlock Sport Dumbbell makes an attractive set for beginners.
Dumbbells should be rough on the muscles, not on your hands. This dumbbell set by PowerBlock features a rubber material. It features a selector pin that lets you change weights easily. It also comes with a stand for easy storage. And because the weight range is minimal, this set isn’t bulky at all.
The PowerBlock dumbbell features a slightly different design than the Elite series, such that they are rounded at the top and not squares. The Sport model is also non-expandable, unlike the Elite dumbbell.
- Rubberized handles
- Soft handle
- 10-year warranty
- Changing plates is tedious
- Does not have a traditional dumbbell feel
How to Choose Adjustable Dumbbells
Dumbbells are excellent home gym equipment that you will need in most types of exercise, especially when you’re into weight training. In fact, if you need to buy one or two pieces, it would always include dumbbells. But with so many options available, you want to choose the best adjustable dumbbells that will give you amazing health benefits for years.
First of all, you should know that there are many types of adjustable dumbbells. A traditional set would include two bars to hold the weight plates, a set of plates of varying weights and sizes, and four collars to fasten the weights to the bar. The more innovative type of adjustable dumbbells is a one-piece equipment with many plates attached to the bar. Both are flexible as they allow you to increase or decrease the severity of your workout by adding or removing a plate.
But to make your search easier, you need to think and plan ahead. What is your workout goal? Are you looking to build some serious muscles or just want to tone your limbs and shed some fats? If you’re into bodybuilding, you will need a set that has heavier and bigger plates. But if you’re just into toning or losing weight, you can settle for weights that are challenging yet manageable. If you’re a beginner, a set of 40lbs for each dumbbell will give you good enough workouts.
What workouts will you use the dumbbells for? Will you be doing circuit-type strength training exercises where you switch from one exercise to another with very little rest? If yes, then you should buy a set of adjustable dumbbells that you can change quickly and conveniently.
Here are the common types of adjustable dumbbells based on the ease of use and operation:
- Dial-a-weight – literally lets you dial in your desired amount of weight. Once you dialed your preferred weight, the chosen weights attach to the bars, leaving the rest on a secured holder. This type of dumbbell is perfect for fast-paced workout sessions, such as circuit or HIIT training. Dial-a-weight dumbbells are typically the priciest among all types.
- Spin-lock – if you don’t mind twisting and turning the lock to reduce or add more plates to your dumbbell, this is a good and inexpensive choice. Great to use if you’re simply into bodybuilding workouts which don’t require fast transition in between. This traditional set allows you to manually place your desired weight on the end of each pole and secure them by twisting a metal lock until it’s tight.
- Selector Pin Dumbbells – more expensive than the traditional dumbbell but cheaper than the dial-a-weight type of set, the selector pin dumbbell requires moving a pin to choose your preferred weights, leaving the rest on the holder.
Your number one priority when choosing the best adjustable dumbbells would be how safe they are. If mishandled, this equipment can cause severe injuries. Double check the presence of locking screws to make sure that it’s safe to use without the tension of plates falling out of the dumbbell. The best adjustable dumbbells have minimal moving parts. Remember that the more moving parts, the greater the chance for things to go wrong or parts to get lost – which could result in injuries. Avoid the set with bulky plates that don’t only consume so much space but could also bang to your forearms or fall onto and smash your face or your feet!
Furthermore, choose the set which has a proper securing mechanism. There are cases when the plates end up being loose on either side, which could cause ‘clanking’ and end up pinching you. The best adjustable dumbbell would have some sort of securing agent that will hold the plates in place and some bumper that will keep them intact.
Buy a set that encompasses the maximum and minimum weights you need for specific workouts. Remember that as your workout advances so does your strength and ability to resist certain weights. Choose the set that has the lightest and heaviest weights for your exercise program. You don’t want to buy weights and quickly outgrow them.
Another thing to consider is the increments of the weights. How many increments do you prefer? This will depend on the types of workout you will be doing. Some models feature a 2.5lb increment, which is ideal. A sudden increase of 10lbs would be too much for your muscles. It’s a great idea to consult a fitness instructor or coach to identify the min and max weights and increments that are most suitable for your workouts.
Choose the set which is made to last
As dumbbells are among the most used item in any home gym, the chances of getting damaged are very high. Thus, another major consideration would be the quality and durability of the entire set. Chrome plated dumbbells are recommended. See if the manufacturer provides long-term warranty. Some companies even provide lifetime warranty for their products. While quality comes with a price, it’s worth considering that dumbbells are lifetime investments for your health and body. Choosing the best-quality set will give you and your family members many, many years of good workout.
Consider your space
If you’re buying adjustable dumbbells for your commercial gym, space may not be a big issue. However, if you’re buying one for home use, it’s a good factor to consider. You want to place the dumbbell in an accessible yet secure area – away from your children’s reach. If possible, choose a set which comes in a case that allows you to quickly and ergonomically store away this important piece of fitness equipment. Some dumbbells offer to stand for storage. Those that come with a stand are more expensive but they are so convenient to use especially if you are using an area that is not set up as a home gym.
The best set would be comfortable to use
It is important to buy dumbbells that have an excellent grip and does not slip from the hands. Quality adjustable dumbbells feature thermoplastic rubber handles that are comfortable to hold and absorb sweat. This type of handle also prevents rash and inflammation. Choose the set that’s user-friendly and will make you excited each time you will work out!
Read the reviews
When reading reviews, there are certain details you want to check out – such as the quality and durability of the product, ease and comfort of use, weight increments, warranty, storage, and all the other factors that were listed above. Reading customer feedback is a great practice when purchasing products online, especially when it comes to expensive items like fitness equipment.
Adjustable dumbbells are the new face of weightlifting. They are generally compact and portable, space-savers, and comfortable to use than traditional dumbbells. With a single set, you can already work with varying weights and perform various types of workout. And because of their popularity and unmatched usefulness, more companies have created their own versions of adjustable dumbbells, offering different designs and features to suit people with varying fitness needs and goals. There are a few names that surely stand out, such as the brands listed in this review.
However, it is important to really consider many factors, such as how you intend to use it, how much space you have at home, and your budget. Above all, it’s important to choose the dumbbell which offers high safety standards, comfort, and durability.