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The Best Adjustable Dumbbells For Every Goal

The best adjustable dumbbells for your home gym are compact and durable, with a wide range of weights.

Equipment
10 min readOctober 21st, 2023

OVERVIEW

If you want to expand your home fitness offerings, you cannot go wrong with an adjustable dumbbell set.

One of the most popular pieces of home gym equipment for good reason, adjustable dumbbells dramatically cut down on space and cost, so they're a fantastic investment for most people.

We compared the best adjustable dumbbells on the market and selected our top picks overall and for beginners, advanced lifters, space, and budget.

Best Adjustable Dumbbells for Every Goal

Traditional dumbbell sets can cost thousands and typically take up most of a wall, so adjustable dumbbells are a great addition to any home gym because they save loads of money and square footage. Adjustable dumbbells offer the benefits of having five or more dumbbell weight options in a single set.

We looked at the market's most highly rated adjustable dumbbells (and up-and-coming stars) to determine our top choices.

How to Choose Adjustable Dumbbells

When choosing adjustable dumbbells, you must consider practical things like price, space requirements, and warranty. But also think about your fitness level and how you intend to use them.

Adjustable Dumbbell Features to Consider

Remember that these adjustable dumbbell features are simply a starting point for you to consider. The best adjustable dumbbell is the one that suits your unique needs and preferences.

Price

Your budget is the most obvious element to consider before purchasing.

Adjustable dumbbells are sold at various prices and a good pair will run you $400 - $600 on average.

Grip

You need to know what kind of grip you like on your strength equipment. Traditional barbells are equipped with tiny cuts into the bar called knurling, which increase your grip. While gym veterans love a grippy bar, it will contribute to developing calluses on your hands, so bear that in mind.

Some of the adjustable dumbbells on the market come with a rubber or plastic grip on the handle. While this may feel more comfortable, it can present safety issues as your hands get sweaty.

Loading Mechanism

Adjustable dumbbells each have different mechanisms for changing the weight. The newest, high-tech versions have dials, pins, or levers that allow you to change the weight. Other simpler versions are loaded like a barbell, where you must pull or screw off the weights throughout your workout via a clip or a spin lock handle.

Ease of Weight Change

The ease of weight change depends on their loading mechanism type. The fastest and easiest mechanisms are usually the dials, while the spin lock or collar dumbbells take much longer to change the weight.

Space requirements

The most significant benefit to an adjustable dumbbell set is that it saves you space, but some are better than others.

Pay special attention to the barbell-style dumbbells, which have bar overhangs. This will prevent you from standing them up straight, making them much bulkier to store.

Some adjustable dumbbells come with stands or handy storage trays, while others do not. Many companies offer stands for storage at an additional cost.

Durability

No matter which option you choose, shelling out on home gym strength equipment is an investment, and you want to ensure it will hold up over time. The most durable adjustable dumbbell options are typically steel, while those with plastic mechanical parts tend to break down faster over time.

Warranty

The high-end brands usually have a warranty. However, options sold through Amazon may come with a protection plan, so check before buying.

Individual Reviews
Buy today for $399

NordicTrack 55 Lb. Select-A-Weight Dumbbells

Best Overall

  • Weight range: 10 to 55 lbs.
  • 15 incremental weight adjustments
  • Ideal for use with iFit interactive training

While the NordicTrack brand is known for its exceptional home cardio equipment, these dumbbells deserve their own praise.

This Select-A-Weight adjustable dumbbell set comes with a staggering 15 weight options at the low price of $399. This makes it the most affordable adjustable dumbbell in its class.

The weight range goes from 10 to 55 lb, which is a reasonable increment for those new to strength training or who enjoy circuits or muscular endurance.

These dumbbells are crafted from steel and plastic and are designed like traditional dumbbells, so they feel and move like what you're used to using at a commercial gym.

The dumbbell itself is about 17 inches long. The grip is a knurled metal bar, just like a barbell, and the weight change mechanism relies on a pull tab system.

You must move four pull tabs on each dumbbell to change the weight, which could feel cumbersome.

Another feature I love about these is the flat ends. This allows you to naturally rest the dumbbells on your thighs, as you would before a shoulder press, dumbbell bench press, etc.

NordicTrack offers a limited 90-day warranty, but you must pay a $250 shipping fee to return them.

The knurled handle provides excellent grip, and for the price point, these dumbbells are a good choice for most home gym enthusiasts.

NordicTrack 55 Lb. Select-A-Weight Pros
  • Best Value
  • 15 weight options
  • Includes storage cradle
  • Flat end caps
  • 2-year warranty
NordicTrack 55 Lb. Select-A-Weight Cons
  • Clunky pull tab change
Buy today for $429

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Best for beginners

  • Weight Range: 5 to 52.5 lb
  • Replaces 15 sets of weights
  • Weight selection dial
  • JRNY app with Motion Tracking

The Bowflex brand has been one of the most popular brands for adjustable dumbbell options for years, and it's easy to see why.

The SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbell is stylish, easy to use, and moderately priced. The set replaces 15 different traditional dumbbell sets and costs $429.

What I like most about these is how easy they've made the weight change with their dial system. This breezy weight adjustment, coupled with their smaller weight increments (2.5 lb vs. 5 lb) and the fact that weights start at 5 lb and go to 50 lb, make this the perfect choice for beginners.

The SelectTech design is similar to a traditional dumbbell, is 17 inches long, and comprises steel, plastic, and rubber.

The downside of their design is an opening on one side of the dumbbell, and the weights are held in by little plastic nubs. Over time, that plastic can break off, and the weights can drop out. This is a huge safety concern for moves like the bench press, as the weights could hit you in the face.

The SelectTech 552 dumbbells have flat end caps and a rubber handle with some cushioning, which is very comfortable. They also come with weight cradles for easy storage.

My main concern with these is their durability. Plastic tends to be far less durable than steel, so I would not recommend dropping these on the floor. Thankfully, they come with a standard 2-year warranty, and you can purchase an additional two-year protection plan through Amazon.

My favorite feature of the SelectTech 552 dumbbells is a purchase includes two months of free access to the Bowflex JRNY app.

The app enables you to use the JRNY motion tracking technology, which counts your reps and tracks your form in real-time simply by using your phone or tablet's camera.

This is a standout feature, particularly for beginners who may struggle to learn exercise form at home.

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells are an excellent option for beginners. Their ease of use, free app subscription, and compact design make them a solid investment.

BowFlex SelectTech 552 Pros
  • 15 weight options
  • Small weight increments
  • Large weight range
  • Includes storage cradle
  • Free 60-day JRNY trial
BowFlex SelectTech 552 Cons
  • Some potentially less durable plastic parts
  • Max weight is 52.5 pounds
  • Relatively large size for every weight increment
Buy today for $419

Powerblock Elite USA 90 EXP

Best for building muscle

  • Weight Range: 5 to 90 lb.
  • Replaces 825 lbs. of free weights
  • Adjustable in 2.5 lb. or 5 lb. increments
  • Made in the USA, built to last

One common complaint from serious strength enthusiasts is that adjustable dumbbells typically only weigh around 50 lb max. So, they're usually not the best option for advanced lifters and those who want maximum muscle gain. However, Powerblock has solved that problem with its Powerblock Elite USA 90 EXP adjustable dumbbells.

These dumbbells are highly compact at only 12 inches long, and the standard option ranges from 5 to 50 lb, with 2.5 or 5 lb increment changes.

You can purchase extension kits to keep up with your strength gains for $189 a piece. The stage 2 kit includes 5 to 70 lb, and the stage 3 extension kit includes 5 to 90 lb.

Its design makes Powerblock utterly different from the other dumbbells on the market. Unlike anything I've ever used, the rectangular shape does take some getting used to.

You must reach into the box to grab the hand grip, and your arm rests on one of the forearm rest bars. Some people find these comfortable, while others find it an odd sensation.

The dumbbells are made up of steel plates and utilize a pull-pin method for changing the weights. This method isn't intuitive, so these are a better option for experienced lifters.

Each dumbbell has a color-code weight adjustment guide to help you with your plate math, which is nice, and a rubberized grip on the handle. They are incredibly well-made and durable, and people seem to love them. Even better, they come with a 5-year home-use warranty, so you know Powerblock believes in their product.

At $419, they are less expensive than other options on this list and feel higher quality.

These are an excellent option for strength athletes looking for a versatile piece to add to their home gym.

Powerblock Elite USA 90 EXP Pros
  • Very high quality
  • Up to 90 lbs.
  • Compact size
  • 5-year Warranty
Powerblock Elite USA 90 EXP Cons
  • Slightly awkward grip vs. traditional dumbbells
  • Clunky weight change system
Buy today for $595

SMRTFT NÜOBELL 50LB

Best for small spaces

  • Weight Range: 5 to 50 lb
  • Includes portable cradles
  • High quality construction

The SMRTFT NUOBELL adjustable dumbbell system is as compact as it is stylish.

At just 15.5 inches long, this 10-in-1 dumbbell set is highly space-efficient and durable due to its machined steel weight plates.

Priced at $595 and up, you can purchase these dumbbells in black, matte black, silver, and olive green, and a portable cradle for storage is included.

Weights begin at 5 lb and change in 5 lb increments up to 50 lb, and you change the weight with a smooth dial system.

The NUOBELL is designed to look and feel like a traditional dumbbell you'd find at a commercial gym. They feature a classic knurled bar, and the end caps are flat, so they work naturally with all your lifts and are easy to store upright if needed. You can also purchase a one or three-year extended warranty for an additional cost.

I love these because they look cool, are super easy to use, and don't take up tons of space. I recommend the SMRTFT NUOBELL if you can swing the price point and want your home gym equipment to be compact and stylish.

SMRTFT NÜOBELL 50LB Pros
  • Different color options
  • Includes storage cradle
  • Compact
  • Well designed
  • Easy dial weight change
SMRTFT NÜOBELL 50LB Cons
  • Expensive
  • Warranty costs extra
  • May require pre-order
Buy today for $36

Sportneer 4-in-1 Adjustable Dumbbell

Best for Physical Therapy & Rehab

  • Weight range: 2 to 5 lb
  • Easy to adjust
  • Inexpensive

If you're rehabilitating an injury or want to develop muscular endurance, the Sportneer 4-in-1 dumbbell set is a super affordable option.

These adjustable dumbbells are plastic, range from 2 to 5 lb, and use plates that click together quickly. At $60, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more cost-effective dumbbell set in that weight range.

The handle grip is the same continuous plastic, which could cause a problem if your hands get sweaty.

The lighter weights are perfect for working small muscles targeted in physical therapy or for anyone with strength or dexterity limitations.

Changing weights is very quick, and the process is intuitive. They also come in fun colors like mint green, yellow lemon, and standard black.

You can purchase a 2-year protection plan on Amazon.

The Sportneer 4-in-1 dumbbells are easy to use and get the job done for a steal. I recommend these dumbbells if you're rehabilitating an injury at home and aren't expecting too much.

Sportneer 4-in-1 Adjustable Dumbbells Pros
  • 2 to 5 lb weight range
  • Very affordable
  • Easy clip-in weight change
  • Fun colors
Sportneer 4-in-1 Adjustable Dumbbells Cons
  • Plastic grip
  • Only goes to 5 lb
  • Protection plan costs extra

Compare Best Adjustable Dumbbells

DumbbellsPriceWeight RangeGrip DesignDimensions
Sportneer 4-in-1$362 to 5 lbRibbed plastic‎11.02 " L x 4.3 " W
 NordicTrack Select-A-Weight Dumbbell$39910 to 55 lbKnurled metal19.4” L x 11.4” W x 8.5” H
Powerblock Elite USA 90 EXP$4195 to 90 lbRubber12” L x 6” W x 6” H
Bowflex  SelectTech 552$4295 to 52.5 lbKnurled metal16.9” L x 8.3” W x 9” H 
SMRTFT Nuobell$5955 to 50 lbKnurled metal15.5” L x 7.5” W x 7.5” H

Step-by-Step Guide: Creating Your Ideal Fitness Program with Adjustable Dumbbells

You can get a killer total body workout with adjustable dumbbells at home. Here is my step-by-step guide to building a full-body home workout tailored to your goals.

Set Your Goals & Expectations

Before starting a new exercise routine, check in with yourself and establish reasonable goals that will help you stay on track.

Follow the SMART method for setting goals used by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

Start Small & Track Your Progress

Beginners should shoot for 2 to 3 total body strength sessions weekly. You can use your adjustable dumbbells for most of these moves and incorporate bodyweight exercises and cardio as desired.

Make sure you're keeping track of the weights you use each week so you can assess your progress. By lifting progressively heavier each week, you will continue to see progress and not plateau.

You can jot down your weights in a simple notebook or track them with your phone.

Commit to the Program & Enjoy the Process

Strength programs should be run for at least 4 to 6 weeks, utilizing progressive overload before the program can be assessed.

By performing the same workouts from week to week and increasing your intensity over time, you will master the exercise form, build strength, and lean muscle, increasing your strength and improving your metabolism.

Total-Body Strength Workout with Adjustable Dumbbells

Day 1

  • 5-10 min warm-up
  • Goblet squat 4 x 10 reps
  • Standing Lunges 3 x 8 reps each leg
  • Floor Press 3 x 8-12 reps
  • Gorilla Row 4 x 8-12 reps
  • Upright Row 3 x 12-15 reps

Day 2

  • 5-10 min warm-up
  • Romanian deadlift 4 x 10 reps
  • Rear-elevated split squats 3 x 8 reps each leg
  • Dumbbell bench press 3 x 8-12 reps
  • Single-arm dumbbell row 4 x 8-12 reps
  • Bent arm side raises 4 x 15

Bottom Line

Our best overall pick for adjustable dumbbells is NordicTrack Select-A-Weight. It has 15 different weight options, which is plenty for most people. This set is compact, and it comes with a cradle for easy storage. The knurled handle is great for an easy grip, and the end caps are flat. That means you don’t have to maneuver around awkward ends poking out. This set is an exceptional value for the price.

Order the NordicTrack Select-A-Weight today and get a two-year warranty and a 30-day trial of iFit to maximize your results.

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Adjustable Dumbbells FAQs

What are the key factors to consider when choosing adjustable dumbbells?

The most important factors when considering purchasing an adjustable dumbbell set include:

  • Price
  • Loading mechanism
  • Ease of weight change
  • Space requirements
  • Grip style
  • Warranty
  • Durability

Are any adjustable dumbbells specifically designed for beginners or people with limited strength?

Adjustable dumbbell sets that are appropriate for beginners typically have a weight range of 5 to 50 pounds and should be space-efficient and easy to use.

We recommend the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Are there any adjustable dumbbells that can be easily stored or compacted for small spaces?

At only 15 inches long with a sleek, compact design and cradle, the SMRTFT NÜOBELL adjustable dumbbell is a great option for small spaces.

Are any adjustable dumbbells suitable for advanced weightlifters and muscle gain?

Most adjustable dumbbells typically go up to 50 lb or so, but the Powerblock Elite USA adjustable dumbbells can go up to 90 lb each with the purchase of extension kits.

These dumbbells are well-made, durable, and suitable for advanced lifters and bodybuilders.

Which adjustable dumbbells have the best user reviews?

According to Amazon's metrics, these are the top-rated options we reviewed.

  1. Bowflex SelctTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells: 4.8 stars
  2. Powerblock Elite USA 90 EXP: 4.7 stars
  3. NordicTrack Select-A-Weight Dumbbell

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