Most fitness enthusiasts agree that training at the gym is pretty great. If you have a jam-packed schedule, though, exercising at home is often more realistic.
There’s plenty you can do at home with only your bodyweight, but it’s also nice to have some weights. No room for a squat rack? Adjustable dumbbells are a cost-effective alternative.
Discussed below are some of the best budget adjustable dumbbells you can buy.
- Top 10 Affordable Adjustable Dumbbells
- 1. Bowflex SelectTech 552
- 2. Merax Delux 71.5
- 3. PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
- 4. CAP Barbell Adjustable Set
- 5. Ringstar Starring 65 105 200lbs Adjustable Dumbbells
- 6. ProForm 25-lb. Adjustable Single Dumbbell
- 7. Nordictrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbell Set
- 8. Titan Fitness Adjustable Chrome Dumbbell Set
- 9. Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set
- 10. Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System 45lb Set
- Adjustable Dumbbells Buying Guide
- Adjustable Dumbbells FAQs
- Choose the Best Adjustable Dumbbells for Your Home Gym Today
Discussed below are some of the best budget adjustable dumbbells you can buy.
Top 10 Affordable Adjustable Dumbbells
1. Bowflex SelectTech 552
When it comes to searching for the best cheap adjustable dumbbells, one of the greatest options to consider is this set from Bowflex.
These dumbbells have a maximum weight of 52.5 pounds each, so they’re heavy enough for you to make progress on your compound lifts (squats, deadlifts, chest presses, etc.). They also feature 15 different weight increments and a unique dial system that allows you to adjust the weight with only a few clicks.
The Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells have a classic, rounded shape as well. When you hold them, they feel just like the dumbbells you use at the gym, so there’s not much of an adjustment period when you start incorporating them into your workouts.
2. Merax Delux 71.5
For those who are looking for a heavier set of adjustable dumbbells, the Merax Delux dumbbells are a good option to consider. These dumbbells reach up to 71.5 pounds each. This makes them great for those who like to do heavy compound lifts and want to continually challenge themselves while exercising at home.
The Merax Delux dumbbells also feature 12 different weight levels and increase in weight by increments of five pounds. This can be a bit much for some people (adding 10 pounds — five to each side at a time can definitely feel like a lot). Luckily, though, they also feature a compact, rounded handle that makes them a bit easier to grip as you’re working up to heavier weights.
3. PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
Most adjustable dumbbells feature a rounded shape. What sets the PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells apart, though, is their unique block design. The idea behind the rectangular shape is that it helps to promote stability and makes these weights easier to use.
These dumbbells are meant to be a good option for both beginners and more experienced lifters. They feature rubberized handles, as well as a lot of versatility when it comes to weight adjustments.
The PowerBlock dumbbells don’t get as heavy as some other dumbbells on this list (their highest weight is only 50 pounds per dumbbells), but they do offer 16 different weight increments for gradual increases. You can also purchase and add additional plates to the end of them as needed if you’re looking for heavier weights.
4. CAP Barbell Adjustable Set
If you’re looking for a more traditional set of adjustable dumbbells, this set from CAP Barbell might be a good fit for you. The dumbbells feature a metal bar with knurling (a cross-hatched pattern that’s rolled onto the metal for a better grip). You can load differently weighted plates onto them, just like you would with a regular barbell.
These dumbbells are highly versatile and allow you to choose the exact weight you want to lift. Because of their simple structure, there are fewer moving parts and less of a chance that you’ll accidentally damage something. They can be more time-consuming, though, as there’s no dial system, and you have to load and unload the weights on your own.
5. Ringstar Starring 65 105 200lbs Adjustable Dumbbells
This set from Ringstar Starring is one of the best options for those who are on the hunt for the cheapest adjustable dumbbells. These feature a knurled metal bar and screw-on plates and are similar in design, structure, and feel to the CAP dumbbells mentioned above.
The Ringstar dumbbells are a bit more affordable, though, and the weights slide on and off the bar very easily. One of the only potential downsides to these is the fact that, as with the CAP dumbbells, the process of sliding weights on and off with every exercise can be time-consuming. Once you get used to this, though, it can become more efficient and less of a nuisance.
6. ProForm 25-lb. Adjustable Single Dumbbell
For experienced lifters, a heavier set of adjustable dumbbells is best. Not everyone wants a super heavy set, though, especially when they’re first getting started with lifting weights.
If you fall into this camp, you may prefer a lighter set, like these ProForm adjustable dumbbells. Each dumbbell weighs 12.5 pounds for a total weight of 25 pounds. It’s definitely a lighter set than some of the others on this list, but it’s also less intimidating.
The weights are easy to adjust, too, and you can quickly switch them in 15 seconds or less. You don’t have to worry about wasting valuable working time trying to adjust the plates to meet your needs.
7. Nordictrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbell Set
Most people think of Nordictrack as a treadmill manufacturer, but the company also makes weights. Their adjustable dumbbell set is a good mid-weight option for those who want to lift a bit heavier but don’t necessarily need or want to work with a super-bulky set.
This set of dumbbells reaches a maximum weight of 55 pounds each and can be adjusted to as low as 10 pounds per side. The weight adjusts in 2.5-pound increments.
Nordictrack’s adjustable dumbbells are specifically designed for those who enjoy high-intensity workouts and want to be able to quickly transition from one weight to the next. If you don’t want to take time out of your workouts to change the weight, this is a good set to consider. It features steel weights coated in plastic, too, for less crashing when you pick the weights up and put them back down.
8. Titan Fitness Adjustable Chrome Dumbbell Set
Another good option for those who prefer adjustable dumbbells that function more like a traditional barbell. These adjustable chrome dumbbells from Titan Fitness have a sleek, silver color and will make an aesthetically pleasing addition to any home gym. They’re not just nice to look at, though.
The Titan Fitness adjustable dumbbells range from 5 pounds all the way up to 55 pounds, making them another good, mid-weight choice for both beginners and more intermediate and experienced lifters. The heavier weights are ideal for doing compound lifts, and the lighter weights work perfectly for single-joint exercises, as well as those who want to workout with a lighter weight but don’t want to buy a separate set of light dumbbells.
9. Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set
These adjustable dumbbells from Core Fitness are another sleek, aesthetically pleasing option with their simple black and silver color scheme. The dumbbells are plastic-coated and designed to withstand heavy impact.
The Core Fitness adjustable dumbbells start out with a low weight of 5 pounds and can adjust all the way up to 50 pounds using a simple dial system. The weight increases in 5-pound increments, though, which can be a bit much for some people.
Keep in mind, too, that the handles alone for these weights weight five pounds. This may cause them to feel too heavy for some, especially beginners.
10. Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System 45lb Set
The Ironmaster Quick-Lock adjustable dumbbells have an old-school weight-room design with chrome-plated, welded steel handles. They feature a unique locking system for easy weight adjustment and can range in weight from 5 pounds up to 45 pounds, making them a versatile, mid-range set perfect for beginners as well as intermediate and more advanced lifters.
These dumbbells also adjust in 2.5-pound increments, rather than jumping up by 5 pounds like some others on this list. These gradual changes make them a good fit for those who want to have an easier time finding the ideal weight for each exercise in their program.
Adjustable Dumbbells Buying Guide
When shopping for adjustable dumbbells, there’s a lot to keep in mind. The following are some key factors to consider when you begin looking around for the right set for your home gym:
One of the greatest things about adjustable dumbbells is the fact that you can change their weight to suit your needs without having to purchase several individual sets of dumbbells. When shopping for a pair of adjustable weights for your home gym, though, remember to pay attention to the different weight levels.
Make sure you choose a set with a heavy enough weight range for your needs. If you’re used to working out with very heavy weights, you might not feel satisfied with a set that only goes up to 25 pounds, for example.
Consider the increments by which the weight increases, too. Gradual increases (around 2.5-pound increments) are generally preferable to increases of five pounds or more since they give you more control.
As you can see by the adjustable dumbbell sets described above, there’s a lot of variety when it comes to the design of your weights. This isn’t just about aesthetics (although, certainly, most people would prefer a set of weights that looks nice). The design can affect their usability, too.
Remember, if you feel like your weights are too bulky, you might have a harder time lifting them. As a result, you may not use them as often and get as much out of them as you’d like.
Some sets of adjustable dumbbells come with additional features that make them more appealing. For example, some might have rubber handles so you can grip them more easily. Others might feature a metal bar with knurling (the cross-hatched pattern that provides extra grip support).
Pay attention to the different features each set you’re considering has to offer. Keep in mind, though, that if you’re looking for the most affordable adjustable dumbbells, you might have to sacrifice certain features, as they can increase the total price.
When you purchase adjustable dumbbells, you don’t have to worry so much about where you’re going to keep them. You don’t have to buy a huge rack or a storage bin since there’s just one set. Some sets are more discreet than others, though.
If you want a pair that is easy to put away and don’t take up a lot of space, consider looking for a pair that comes with a stand. That way, they’ll have a designated spot in your home gym, and you won’t have to worry about them coming loose and rolling away (and onto your toes!).
Ease of Use
If you prefer to do workouts that require you to use a lot of different weights, make sure you buy a set of adjustable dumbbells that is easy to use. If you have to constantly pull off plates and put new ones on, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or frustrated during your workout.
To avoid running into this problem, and to ensure you can continue to lift the most appropriate weight and make gains during your workouts, consider how quickly you can change the weight you’re using.
Of course, you need to think about the price of your dumbbells, too. Adjustable dumbbells are available at a wide range of prices. You can easily find a cheap adjustable dumbbell set that fits your budget.
Keep in mind, too, that a low price doesn’t have to mean low quality. There are plenty of inexpensive adjustable dumbbells on the market today that will last a long time and offer everything you need to get in a great workout from home.
Adjustable Dumbbells FAQs
If you’ve never used adjustable dumbbells before, it’s likely that you have questions about how you’ll incorporate them into your at-home workouts. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about these useful tools:
Are Adjustable Dumbbells Worth It?
If you’re planning on working out at home on a regular basis, or if you just want to make sure you always have weights on hand in the event that you can’t get to the gym (for any reason, not just because of a global pandemic), adjustable dumbbells are definitely worth purchasing.
These weights are convenient and easy-to-store, so you don’t have to worry about them taking up too much space in your home. For folks who are serious about staying in shape and don’t want to rely only on body weight or bands, they’re an excellent investment.
Why Are Adjustable Dumbbells So Expensive?
Speaking of investment, a lot of people find themselves wondering why adjustable dumbbells are so expensive. It’s important to note that, while these weights might seem expensive at first, they’re actually a great bargain in most cases.
Often, buying one set of adjustable dumbbells is far cheaper than trying to buy several sets of dumbbells at different weights. In the case of all the dumbbells included on this list, they’re also designed to last. Once you purchase them, they’ll be yours for years to come, and you won’t have to worry about continually adding to your home gym.
When you look at it this way, even the more expensive models discussed above are, in reality, cheap adjustable dumbbell options.
Where Can You Buy Adjustable Dumbbells?
There are lots of places to buy cheap adjustable weights. Most sporting goods stores sell at least a few options, as do major retailers like Walmart and Target.
Perhaps the best place to do your shopping for adjustable dumbbells, though, is online. Shopping online makes it easier for you to compare prices, and you can have your weights delivered right to your door. That way, you don’t have to worry about lugging them out to your car and driving them home.
Why Use Adjustable Dumbbells Instead of Barbells?
If you have room in your home gym for a barbell and squat rack, that’s great. For most people, though, this isn’t realistic or affordable. Adjustable dumbbells are preferable to barbells in a lot of cases because they cost less and take up far less room.
For those who are not very experienced lifters, though, as well as those who prefer not to lift a lot of weight during their workouts, it makes more sense to use adjustable dumbbells than to invest in a barbell. Over time, you can work your way up to barbell exercises, but you can also get a lot done with dumbbells and do it more safely.
How Can I Use Adjustable Dumbbells?
You can use adjustable dumbbells for a variety of exercises. With just one set of dumbbells, you can work all of the major muscle groups in your body.
For your upper body, try dumbbell shoulder presses, bicep curls, rows, tricep extensions, and lateral raises. For the lower body, hold the dumbbells while you do squats, lunges, deadlifts, and weight hip thrusts. You can also use your dumbbells to add weight to sit-ups, Russian twists, and other core exercises.
Choose the Best Adjustable Dumbbells for Your Home Gym Today
When it comes to the best adjustable dumbbell set for you, there are many options from which you can choose.
Based on our research, we’ve decided that the Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells are the best budget adjustable dumbbells to add to your shopping cart. They’re easy to use, have a sleek design, and can be stored discreetly.
If you’re looking for a lower-cost option, the Titan Fitness Adjustable Chrome dumbbells are a good second-place alternative. They’re a little harder to adjust, but they’re less expensive and will still help you maximize your home workouts.