We've tested the best adjustable dumbbells for weightlifting at home 2024

Best adjustable dumbbells: Quick menu

The best adjustable dumbbells make a great addition to any home workout space. These customizable weights combine several dumbbell weights, so you don't need space for a whole rack to still benefit from a muscle-building workout. 

However, there are many styles to choose from, and it can be hard to tell which are the right weights for your training. Some come with removable weight plates, while others use twistable dials to change the load and other tech-focused models use digital weight changes. 

They may seem expensive, but investing in a durable set of adjustable dumbbells with a wide weight range and small adjustment increments allows you to train with the same dumbbells for many years before an upgrade. 

We've put many of the best brands to the test to help you find the best adjustable dumbbells for your needs, looking at ease of use, value for money and whether they feel comfortable and safe to use for weightlifting sessions and sweaty workouts. 

The quick list

If you're after a quick run-down of our best adjustable dumbbells, we've made a short summary of the models below. However, we've got a full breakdown later on as well, with photos, links to our reviews and comparisons. 

The best adjustable dumbbells you can buy today

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Best adjustable dumbbells overall

NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells.

(Image credit: Future)

1. NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells

Best adjustable dumbbells for most people

Specifications

Weight range (per dumbbell): 10-55 lbs
Size: 19 x 11.4 x 8.5 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Large weight range
+
Comfortable grip
+
Small adjustment increments 

Reasons to avoid

-
Weight adjuster pins are temperamental
-
On the pricey side 
-
One a three-month warranty 

If it's an easy-to-use, versatile set of adjustable weights you crave, NordicTrack's Select-a-Weights are the best overall adjustable dumbbells for most people. With 15 total weight loads to choose from, ranging from 10 to 55 pounds, and adjustments possible in both 5 and 2.5-pound increments, this is a weight set you can truly grow with.

Made of steel and hardened plastic, the NordicTrack Selecy-a-Weights feel well-constructed and solid in hand. They come with a plastic storage tray that's also well-made though unlikely to survive a dropped weight. Still, the weight set doesn't take up too much floor real estate, making it a solid choice for apartment dwellers. 

The handles of these adjustable weights have a decent amount of knurling, making them plenty grippy, even for the sweatiest hands. That said, the addition of rubber grips might make them a bit more comfy. 

The weight-adjusting pins can be a tad temperamental to set into place but overall, they work as they should. More importantly, you don't have to worry about weights falling off, like the NordicTrack iSelect Dumbbells, which we do not recommend. 

NordicTrack's Select-a-Weight Dumbells come with a 30-day free trial of the iFit app which is bursting at the seams with on-demand workout routines and at-home training sessions. However, you only get a three-month warranty, which is a bit measly. 

Best adjustable dumbbells for beginners

Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells

(Image credit: TJ Fink/Future)
Best adjustable dumbbells for beginners

Specifications

Weight range (per dumbbell): 5-52.5 lbs
Size: 15.8 x 9 x 8 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable grip
+
Large weight range
+
5 lb adjustment increments
+
Two-month access to JRNY workout app

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Bulky when fully loaded
-
Bowflex bankruptcy puts future product support in question

If you're after a single set of easy-to-use weights that will see you through strength workouts and high-intensity training, while keeping up as you get stronger, look no further than the Bowflex SelectTech 552i adjustable dumbbells. 

Each dumbbell ranges between 5 and 52.5 lbs in 5-pound increments, so it has a great range and small enough increments that you can gradually increase the load as you get stronger (in line with progressive overload training). 

It's easy to switch the load as well — all it takes is a twist on the dial on each side to set your desired weight. The mechanism is secure as well. We were initially wary of dropping plates on our head during presses, but they stayed firmly in place (thankfully!). 

We felt they were also more ergonomic than any other weights we've tested, but that didn't stop the handle from becoming a bit slippery when you've got sweaty hands. And the handle isn't quite long enough to grip with two hands either. 

However, you also get two-month access to JRNY workout app, which comes with hundreds of on-demand classes and sessions for you to use while training at home or the gym. The app also has some features specifically for these weights, like dedicated classes and motion tracking to help improve your form. 

We originally reviewed the first-generation Bowflex SelectTech 552, but the company has since released the 552i, which are almost unchanged except for an improved rubber grip. 

Note: Bowflex recently filed for bankruptcy, which may make it difficult to replace or repair defective dumbbells under warranty. Similarly, the future of Bowflex's companion JRNY app is in question. Keep this in mind when considering the Bowflex SelectTech 552i.

Best budget adjustable dumbbells

Amazon Basics Adjustable Dumbbells on a hard floor

(Image credit: TJ Fink/Future)
Best budget adjustable dumbbells

Specifications

Weight range (per dumbbell): 3-19 lbs
: 13.7 x 5.7 x 5.7 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Budget-friendly 
+
No plastic 
+
Comes with a carrying case

Reasons to avoid

-
Switching loads is a time-consuming process

The Amazon Basics adjustable dumbbells are a solid, entry-level set of weights at a good price. The retailer's Basics range is usually good value for money, and that applies here as well, as you get a durable set of weights that are great for the price. 

The weight plates fit together well, so you don't get a lot of banging metal as you exercise, and there's a textured handle to improve your grip. It's not as comfortable as the contoured grip on the Bowflex SelectTech 552i, but it does help. 

And, unlike pricier models, you can remove all the plates and store the set away in the included carry case for when you want to take them out with you. However, the downside is that it's a fairly manual process, and not that quick. 

So, if you want to change loads between exercises, you'll have to spend longer with the Amazon Basics adjustable dumbbells. And if these are your first weights, you might prefer the security of a dial, rather than using the clips to keep the plates in place. 

Best adjustable dumbbells for durability

Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells in their storage trays

(Image credit: Jeff Parsons/Tom's Guide)
Best adjustable dumbbells for durability

Specifications

Weight range (per dumbbell): 11-66 lbs
Size: 16.3 x 7.9 x 8.3 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Load up to 66 lbs
+
Weight plates feel secure during exercise
+
Tray holds spare weights plates

Reasons to avoid

-
Flimsy storage tray
-
On the expensive side

Like many of the best adjustable dumbbells, the Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells have a circular, rather than hexagonal design, and come with a quick adjustment mechanism so you can switch between 11 and 66 lbs with ease. 

To keep the weights secure, there's a red button you need to press to unlock the mechanism. From there, it only takes a few twists to select your chosen load. It's important to do this before lifting them out of the storage tray, though. 

The tray is designed to hold the additional plates while they're not in use, and you risk accidentally dropping a plate if you change the load while out of the tray. We did find it a little strange that the tray feels so flimsy on a premium set, but it did the job. 

But once in use, we had no reservations, as the plates fit together snugly and didn't clash together or make a lot of noise while exercising. Although, we did make sure to place them back in the tray between sets to stop them rolling away. 

However, they're also expensive. You'll often find the Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells on sale as individual weights, rather than as a pair, so keep that in mind if you spot a price that seems on the low side. Expect to pay around $600 for a set. 

Best value adjustable dumbbells

Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells in their storage traysbest value awards badge

(Image credit: TJ Fink/Future)
Best value adjustable dumbbells

Specifications

Weight range (per dumbbell): 5-25 lbs
Size: 15.7 x 7.6 x 6.3 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Increase the load in 5 lbs increments
+
Comfortable handle
+
Adjustment safety features

Reasons to avoid

-
Plastic storage tray

If you're looking for a sturdy set of adjustable dumbbells with an easy adjustment mechanism without breaking the bank, the Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells might be exactly what you need. 

These excellent value dumbbells are easy to adjust, as all you need to do is place the dumbbell in its storage tray, rotate the handle to the load you want, and then lift the dumbbell out of the tray. Plus, you can adjust in 5 lbs increments. 

This makes them a good option if you want to gradually increase the load as you get stronger. And, to prevent accidents, you can't remove the plates once the dumbbell is lifted out of its storage tray. 

The plates fit together well, so there's not a lot of noise while you're working out, and the contoured handle helps you keep a firm grip, even when you've got sweaty hands.

You don't get an app (like you do with the Bowflex SelectTech 552i), but the Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells are a solid option at a reasonable price and are some of the best value adjustable dumbbells available right now. 

Best adjustable dumbbells for grip

Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell on a storage rack

(Image credit: TJ Fink/Future)
Best adjustable dumbbells for grip

Specifications

Weight range (per dumbbell): 5-50 lbs
Size: 14.5 x 7.9 x 7.2 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Easy weight adjustments
+
Optional storage stand
+
Comfortable handle and grip

Reasons to avoid

-
Weights can rattle during exercise

The grip on the Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells is the best we've ever tested. We felt fully in control of the weights, and it felt secure even with sweaty hands in the middle of a workout. 

You get a 5-50 lbs range, which is large enough for small changes between exercises and to train into as you get stronger. Plus, you can increase the load in 5 lbs increments if you use progressive overload training. 

There's a quick adjustment mechanism that's easy to use, so it should leave you plenty of time to catch your breath and change the load between exercises. All you need to do is place the dumbbell in its cradle, and turn the dial, just like with the Flybird weights. 

There's not a lot of difference between those two models, but if you're looking for a comfortable, durable grip for during sweaty high-intensity sessions, then the Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells are a great choice.

Best adjustable dumbbells with barbell

Tespon Adjustable Dumbbells and Barbell in a home gym

(Image credit: Tom's Guide/Future)
Best adjustable dumbbells with barbell

Specifications

Weight range (per dumbbell): 5.6 to 33 pounds
Size: 15.6 x 8.4 x 8.4 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Two  comfortable dumbbell handles
+
Foam-coated bar for barbell workouts
+
33 lbs per dumbbell or 66 lbs on the bar

Reasons to avoid

-
Plastic outer design
-
Have to manually add or remove weights

The best adjustable dumbbells make great home workout companions, but if you've trained at the gym and miss deadlifting with a bar, this Tespon Adjustable Dumbbells and Barbell is just what you need. 

You get two dumbbell handles with enough weight plates (coated in plastic, filled with an iron and cement powder) to load each up to 33 lbs. The bars are foam coated to make the lift more comfortable too. 

To adjust the load, you'll need to manually remove or add plates, so it can be time consuming and not the most practical solution if you want to change weights between exercises in the middle of a workout. 

However, it does come with a larger foam-coated bar for when you want to train with a barbell instead. The weight plates all fit onto this longer bar, and you can add the full amount up to 66 lbs. 

How to choose the best adjustable dumbbells for you

When it comes time to decide between the best adjustable dumbbells, it'll depend on how you like to exercise, your budget, and the weight range. If you're new to resistance training, you'll want a set on the lower end, starting at around 20 lbs. For experienced lifters, you may prefer a maximum weight around 50 lbs. 

The minimum and maximum load are important, but so is the range and adjustment increments, as that's the main purpose of adjustable dumbbells.

If you want something that'll see you through the years as you get stronger, opt for a wider range. If you need weights to complement bodyweight or cardio workouts, then a narrower range might suit your needs, and that's often a more budget-friendly option too. 

You'll want to also look at the adjustment mechanism on offer. Premium sets usually come with easy to use dials, and don't require you to take weight plates off manually, but they also cost more and tend to come with extra features like storage trays or access to virtual workout apps. 

If you're working on a budget, you may prefer manual weights plates and a narrower range or lower maximum weight. Generally, the heavier you go, the more you'll need to spend. If you're buying online, check your retailer's shipping policy too, as they may charge extra to deliver heavy items.

How we tested the best adjustable dumbbells

To help you find the best adjustable dumbbells for your home workouts, we spent time lifting them! For each of the sets of dumbbells, we considered the design, ergonomics, and how easy they were to adjust. 

Firstly, we looked at the general design and how durable the materials felt. This didn't just include the weights themselves, which are often metal or plastic, but we also assessed the weight holders and trays too. 

Once you've picked them up and you're ready to work out, you want to be sure they're comfortable to hold, even during longer sessions. So, we put them to the test across a variety of controlled and high-intensity exercises. 

This would all also be true of standard dumbbells, but the best adjustable dumbbells come with adjustment mechanisms, allowing you to switch between weights. So, we looked at how easy the system was to use, and the type of mechanism in use; dials, manual plates, or handle twists.

FAQs

What are the cons of adjustable dumbbells?

Although adjustable dumbbells are a space-saving option compared to buying a range of fixed-load weights, they are still quite bulky. They combine several weights into a single unit, and tend to be circular rather than hexagonal, so may be harder to keep in place during floor exercises.

Because of the extra weight compared to a set of fixed dumbbells, they're also not as easy to carry with you to the gym, workout space, or local park. But you can get around this by investing in a set with removeable weights plates, like the Amazon Basics set. 

Should you buy one adjustable dumbbell or a pair?

You can do many exercises with a single dumbbell, just be sure to train the same on both side of your body (like doing lunges with the weight in your right and then left hand) to ensure you keep your muscle development balanced. 

However, it's definitely easier to do some staple moves like chest presses or deadlifts with two dumbbells, so it depends on the style of training and how often you'll use them whether you need to buy a pair or a single dumbbell.

It's important to check the product listing before you buy your weights, as adjustable dumbbells can be sold as individual weights or as a pair. The price often gives an indication, but it's worth looking over if you're after two.

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James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is Tom's Guide's Fitness Editor, covering strength training workouts, cardio exercise, and accessible ways to improve your health and wellbeing.

His interest in fitness started after being diagnosed with a chronic illness, and he began focusing on strengthening his core, taking regular walks around the city, and practicing meditation to manage the symptoms. He also invested in fitness trackers, home workout equipment, and yoga mats to find accessible ways to train without the gym.

Before joining the team at Tom’s Guide, James was the Fitness Editor at Fit&Well, where he covered beginner-friendly exercise routines, affordable ways to boost your wellbeing, and reviewed weights, rowing machines, and workout headphones.

He believes that exercise should be something you enjoy doing, so appreciates the challenge of finding ways to incorporate it into everyday life through short muscle-building sessions, regular meditation, and early morning walks.

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