8 best kettlebells 2024: tried, tested, and reviewed by a fitness expert

The best kettlebells are so versatile they should be part of everyone's training routine. Whether you're new to strength training or a seasoned lifter, kettlebell workouts are a brilliant way to improve strength and conditioning, and having access to one at home means you can easily perfect technical kettlebell skills like snatches, cleans and swings. 

Whether you prefer adjustable kettlebells or standard ones, you'll want the most from your budget and investment. We've tried and tested the best kettlebells currently on the market from leading brands worldwide, housed each kettlebell for over six months, and tested them against criteria such as usability, budget, durability, grip and the ability to use them during strength programs, CrossFit, cardio and hybrid workouts.

Only then did we add them to our cast iron round-up of models to recommend. Unsurprisingly, our most-used and loved Bowflex SelectTech kettlebell came out on top. But it's worth noting that Bowflex has filed for bankruptcy recently, so while you might pick up a fantastic deal, it's worth reading up on whether or not it's worth investing.

Research from the Journal of Human Kinetics shows kettlebells are great additions to functional resistance and strength programs, building neuromuscular power, full-body strength, core stability, balance, coordination and more. Plus, they're just great fun to exercise with. The current boom in the kettlebell market means choosing the right model can feel confusing, so we recommend reading up on kettlebell beginner tips and swatting up on our guide below. 

The quick list

Here are the best kettlebells you can buy right now based on our testing. Scroll down for in-depth reviews.

Best kettlebell overall

Image of Bowflex SelectTech 840 kettlebell on wooden floor next to workout mat during kettlebell workoutEditor's Choice

(Image credit: Future)

1. Bowflex SelectTech 840 adjustable kettlebell

Best kettlebell overall

Specifications

Weight range : 8-40lbs/ 3.5-18kg
Kettlebell size: 8.8 x 7 x 12.5 inches
Kettlebell weight: 40lbs/ 18kg
Number of weight settings: 6

Reasons to buy

+
6 adjustable weight settings
+
Easy to store
+
1-year JRNY membership
 

Reasons to avoid

-
Difficult to hold during some moves
-
Bulky during technical lifts

This 6-in-1 adjustable kettlebell ranges between 8-40lbs and features a turn dial for six on-the-go adjustments. The Bowflex SelectTech is the most versatile and storage-friendly model we’ve tested, so we could switch quickly between upper and lower-body workouts, strength training, and cardio without messing around with plates — all you have to do is place the weight in the tray and turn the dial. 

Each purchase comes with a JRNY Mobile-Only two-month membership, giving you access to motion tracking, exclusive trainer-led workouts, and exercise content via the on-demand library on the Bowflex SelectTech app

We’ve been testing the Bowflex for months, and the ergonomic handle is a top feature for easy swinging and lifting. The smooth composite material also makes cleans and goblet holds easier on your arms and hands. Still, the bell and handle get sweaty and harder to hold, so we recommend using grip gloves if you plan to swing overhead or try more technical exercises. 

It’s chunky and somewhat cumbersome, but if you’re short on space and looking for a 6-in-1 solution, you can’t go wrong with the Bowflex, and it’ll save you a fortune too. 

Best kettlebell budget buy

Amazon Basics kettlebell on wooden floor during testing

(Image credit: Future)

2. Amazon Basics

Best kettlebell budget buy

Specifications

Weight range: 6kg-20kg/ 13.2-44lbs
Kettlebell size: 18.3 x 15.9 x 26.8 centimeters
Kettlebell weight: 12kg
Number of weight settings: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Easy to store
+
100% cast iron
+
Space for two-handed exercises

Reasons to avoid

-
Not adjustable
-
Not grippy

Get back to basics with the Amazon Basics’ cast-iron kettlebell. If you’re new to kettlebell training, on a budget, or just need convenience, this kettlebell is worth every dollar. 

You’ve got a vast range of weights to choose from, and although they’re non-adjustable, the palatable price means you could buy more than one for your home gym, and the cast-iron design makes these kettlebells built to last. 

We needed chalk during testing, as the painted surface protects against corrosion but makes the bell slippy during weight training. The wide textured loop handle should add some grip and supports two-handed movements like kettlebell swings, and the base supports floor movements like renegade rows

This model is backed by an Amazon Basics limited one-year warranty, so there’s no need to worry if it's not the one for you. 

Best kettlebell for technical skill training

Gravity Fitness Spartanbell against wooden floor during best kettlebells testing

(Image credit: Future)

3. Gravity Fitness Spartanbell

Best kettlebell for technical skill training

Specifications

Weight range available: 12-24kg
Kettlebell weight: 12kg
Number of weight settings: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Brilliant quality cast-iron
+
Beautiful design
+
Compact
+
Wide and stable base

Reasons to avoid

-
Sharp edges unsuitable for beginners learning technical moves
-
Lack of grip

The iconic Spartanbell kettlebell from Gravity Fitness features Gravity’s exclusive Spartan design, crafted from cast iron to be seriously durable and robust. 

Aesthetically, this kettlebell can do no wrong, and it’ll see you through heavy weightlifting, technical lifts, bodybuilding, CrossFit and most strenuous workouts. Plus, it looks awesome. But you’ll need to have mastered technical skills like cleans and snatches before buying one. 

The design of the superbly crafted bell means it isn’t smooth or rounded, so banging this model against body parts could leave you with bruises if you’re new to technical lifts or fall victim to the foream slap. During testing, we had a few scrapes when lifting for high reps and sets, knocking the bell against arms or legs. 

That said, the Spartanbell has a competition-standard consistent handle thickness that we found easy to grip during workouts, and it’s compact with a very stable and wide base, stowing away easily and taking up little space in your home. You'll just need to get adjusted to the irregular shape. 

And if you’re not convinced, the model comes with a lifetime warranty to sweeten the deal. We've already noticed some chips and scuffs, but we haven't gone easy on this bell during testing. 

Best kettlebell for CrossFit and Hybrid workouts

Box kettlebell on wooden floor during best kettlebell testing

(Image credit: Future)

4. Bulldog Gear Box kettlebells

Best kettlebell for CrossFit and hybrid workouts

Specifications

Weight range available: 4-40kg
Kettlebell size: 16kg/36lbs: 23.5 x 20 x 3.5 centimeters
Kettlebell weight: 16kg / 36lbs
Number of weight settings: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile for CrossFit and hybrid-style exercise
+
Great grip and holds chalk
+
Perfect for beginners

Reasons to avoid

-
Non-adjustable
-
Scuffs and chips easily

Bulldog Gear’s Box kettlebells top the charts across most buying guides for the most versatile kettlebells on the market, and we agree. During testing, this kettlebell marked well against pretty much all of our criteria, ticking boxes for CrossFit-style workouts, strength and cardio training. 

With a weight range spanning 4-40kg, there’s something for all abilities. We tested the 16kg/ 36lbs, meaning we could switch between upper and lower body workouts easily and test most exercises. You get plenty of tacky grip on this model due to the matte black finish, but chalk holds well on the bell if you prefer using it. 

The box kettlebell range includes sturdy, durable bells with a great size base for lifting from the ground. Each model also has a color-coded band on the handles to quickly spot and change weights during workouts and an embossed weight identification in lbs/kgs. This model should be a staple in any home gym or hybrid class setting and it’s one of our top recommendations for best kettlebells on the market., but it's worth noting the bell scuffs and chips easily.

Best kettlebell for home gym

Close up of ONNIT Primal Chimp kettlebell against wooden floor during best kettlebells testing

(Image credit: Future)

5. ONNIT Primal Kettlebell

Best kettlebell for home gym

Specifications

Weight range available: 36-90lbs
Kettlebell weight: 16kg/36lbs
Number of weight settings: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Awesome designs
+
Durable, chip-resistant iron
+
Suits most workouts

Reasons to avoid

-
Sharp edges unsuitable for beginners learning technical moves 
-
Requires chalk

ONNIT Primal bells have been adopted and endorsed by pro athletes like AJ Hawk and Adam Dowell and described by some users as “functional art.” Aesthetically, these animal-inspired bells look slick and mean. Put them to the test and they stand up as some of the best kettlebells out there — durable, hardy and reliable, and capable of tackling any workout. 

The Primal range is made from chip-resistant iron with large handles to enhance grip during sweaty workouts and technical lifts. Each bell in the Primal range comes in a different weight. We tested the Chimp Primal Bell, but Howler weighs 18 lbs, and Bigfoot comes in at a hefty 90 lbs. 

This bell stood its ground during testing but we found it slightly cumbersome to hold because of its shape, and you'll need chalk to secure your grip. We also recommend a passable level of technical skill and forearm and wrist strength to avoid hitting the jagged edges against you during exercises like cleans. And we recommend taking your best fitness trackers off beforehand for this very reason.  

If you've never used kettlebells, Primal bells are still popular with beginners, but we recommend other, more forgiving, models in this line-up, as you don't want to experience the dreaded KB forearm slap with these bad boys.

Best kettlebell for high tech

JAXJOX Connect 2.0 kettlebell on wooden floor during testing

(Image credit: Future)

6. JAXJOX KettlebellConnect 2.0

Best high tech kettlebell

Specifications

Weight range available: 12-42lbs/ 5.5-19kg
Kettlebell size: 37.5 x 43.5 x 37.5 centimeters
Kettlebell weight: 42lbs
Number of weight settings: 6

Reasons to buy

+
High-tech features like motion sensors and real-time performance tracking 
+
6 automatic interlocking weight changes in small increments
+
Fast-charging 

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Bulky
-
App subscription required

Welcome to the future. The 6-in-1 digital adjustable kettlebell ranges from 12-42lbs/ 5.5-19kg and includes features like real-time performance tracking and advanced motion sensors. 

Connecting with the JAXJOX App is fast and easy, which gives you access to track accurate reps, sets, volume and power during exercise, and your purchase includes a 30-day free trial of the app for on-demand workouts and FitnessIQ tracking. 

The KettlebellConnect’s bullet-stacking system uses a rotating weight-selection core, so we could adjust on the fly in seconds in small increments during testing, perfect for switching between strength training and cardio or upper and lower-body workouts. And most importantly, it actually works well. 

If the tech hasn’t gone far enough, this model uses a machine-learning algorithm to generate a FitnessIQ. AI, stop reading my brain. It measures heart rate, steps and workout consistency as part of the calculation to track progress, and six-axis motion sensors to help monitor movement. 

Despite its high-spec credentials, on a practical level, this kettlebell is seriously bulky, and more technical moves were trickier due to the sheer size of the bell. Taller users might not find this an issue, but our tester, standing at 5”2, measured the bell sitting from wrist to elbow during overhead exercises.

But it charges quickly and saves space on the equivalent of six kettlebells. If you’re looking for real-time metric tracking and progress reports, it’s the perfect match.

Best kettlebell for competition

Wolverston competition kettlebell in blue on wooden floor during best kettlebells testing

(Image credit: Future)

7. Wolverston competition kettlebell

Best kettlebell for competition

Specifications

Weight range available: 4-48kg
Kettlebell size: W 210mm x H 280mm
Kettlebell weight : 12kg
Number of weight settings: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Calibrated competition bell suits functional strength training and competition athletes
+
Consistent sizing
+
Suits competition kettlebell athletes

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulky
-
Expensive

Wolverston Fitness competition kettlebells are suited to any strength training or functional training workout like CrossFit purely because they perform to last. 

These bells are consistently sized and colored to reflect their weight class so you can switch up and down quickly during workouts. The bells were designed by Girevoy athletes and calibrated for competition, using high-grade iron and a hollow core to maximize performance and reduce kettle rattle. 

During testing, we loved the wide flat base, which offers more stability than other models of its peerage, and it proved one of the easiest and grippiest to use during CrossFit. The stainless steel handle gave us plenty of room to grip during multitudes of kettlebell exercises due to increased handle clearance, and it responds well to chalk for sweatier workouts. 

The dimensions of the bells are uniform, allowing better consistency across all exercises, but the handle design can be altered to fit competition rules. The uniform size might bug you if you're only lifting light weights, but if you’re hoping to develop your technique on the bell or train for kettlebell competitions — it’s a perfect fit. You can even buy single or dual, depending on your needs.

Best kettlebell for grip

TRX bell kettlebell against white background

(Image credit: Amazon)

8. TRX rubber coated kettlebell

Best kettlebell for grip

Specifications

Weight range available: 4kg-40kg /8.8-88lbs
Kettlebell weight: 40kg/88lbs
Number of weight settings: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Rubber coating holds chalk well for great grip
+
Easy to store
+
Versatile 

Reasons to avoid

-
Non-adjustable
-
Expensive to build a kettlebell set

TRX rubber coated kettlebells are the grippiest we tested. The kettlebell has been constructed with a durable rubber coating on the bell and a powder-coated, textured cast-iron handle for better grip, maintaining a smooth finish while resisting scuffs and dirt during workouts. 

We swung, cleaned and pressed this bell through its paces during various functional workouts, and it came out on top every time with minimal scuffs to speak of. The sturdy flat base provides grounding when lifting from the floor, and the bell adapts well to strength and cardio workouts. 

If you plan to buy several kettlebells, TRX uses international color-coded weight rings to help you identify what you need during workouts, and each bell comes marked in lbs and kgs for easy identification. You can also access a 14-day free trial to the TRX Training Club App with your purchase. 


Group of the best kettlebells on a wooden floor during testing

(Image credit: Future)

How to choose the best kettlebell for you

If you’re new to kettlebell training, it can feel like a minefield shopping for them. Below, we answer the most common questions to help you choose the best kettlebell for you. 

We also reached out to the masters of kettlebells, the Kettlebell Kings, and asked for honest opinions. "I've found that most of my clients and athletes will develop technique and strength faster with a higher quality bell," says Mike Silverman, who is a Living.Fit kettlebell master coach and the lead coach of the Tough Temple Kettlebell Club in Bethesda, MD. 

"Subtle things like window sizes, smoothness of the brand imprints on the metal, and finish quality on the handles really make for a better lifting experience. The top reason rookies quit is pain, especially in those with thin arms. A pointy bell hurts your forearms, a bell with crappy handles beats up your hands, and sharp logos are hard to rack pain-free." Here are some other things to look out for.

Adjustable vs fixed kettlebells

“Traditional” kettlebells are our favorites for building strength and developing the kettlebell technique. Typically, they are made from steel or cast iron and are extremely durable, sometimes with powder or vinyl coating. These models also vary in handle style, bell size and weight availability. Some might also have a special matte coating to enhance grip, while others (competition kettlebells) are standardized specifically for kettlebell competitions. 

The best adjustable kettlebells are a solid investment if you can afford the initial price tag and prefer having various weights available. A turn dial or button to change weights is handy, but they usually have a less durable design, a slippery plastic outer shell and come in much bigger sizes that aren’t standardized; this can make certain exercises harder to do, and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to perform some exercises using two.

Silverman adds, "While the adjustable bells are convenient, I greatly prefer a standard weight bell. Most of the adjustable kettlebells I've tried either rattle over time or feel somewhat off balance to me." He adds, "There's also the question of durability over time...I've never had a chunk of metal loosen up or wear out, but I've had more than my share of adjusting systems and screws fail. Nothing wrong with an adjustable bell, but for me, it's solid steel and magnetic chips if I'm going between sizes."

Competition vs cast iron kettlebells

Competition or “sport” kettlebells are standardized and color-coded to meet particular competition regulations, so whatever weight you use, the kettlebell will land the same way during the same exercises. 

The handles are generally 33 and 35mm in diameter with a squarer window to improve grip during endurance events and high reps and sets. If you don’t compete and have large hands, you might struggle to use competition bells during two-handed exercises, which is why they’re well-suited to single-arm exercises. 

And they’re bulky, so unless you complete and want to develop consistent technique across kettlebell exercises, you don’t necessarily “need” a competition kettlebell. But the stable base is helpful, whereas cast iron model bases can get smaller with decreases in weight.

Wolverston competition kettlebell vs Gravity cast iron Spartanbell

(Image credit: Future)

Competition bells are often made from durable steel, but our top pick — the Wolverston Fitness competition kettlebell — uses high-grade iron and solid one-piece casting with a hollow core. They also produce Wolverston GS Competition kettlebells specifically for Girevoy Sport (a kettlebell endurance sport). 

Cast iron kettlebells are produced using a solid piece of metal and often increase in size with their weight. Typically, the handles are more spacious but less grippy, and you can hold two more comfortably than competition kettlebells. They feature at most gyms and CrossFit studios as the most versatile options.

"I'm a competition kind of boy, but each has its place," Silverman says. "Competition bells are standard sizes, meaning regardless of the weight the handle and bell stay the same. You can grab an 8kg or a 40kg kettlebell and it's the same size. That really helps your technique stay consistent." 

He adds, "Comp bells, because they're fairly big, distribute pressure across your forearms evenly so they don't hurt like smaller cast bells tend to do. Being wider and flatter, comp bells are safer and more versatile for things like pushups and daggers, unless you're into having a bell flip and smacking your knuckles into the floor."

Powder vs vinyl vs rubber coating kettlebells

Some kettlebells have a powder or vinyl coating for extra protection and grip. We find that powder coating holds chalk well, but rubber coating is also seriously grippy. It can be a personal preference. 

How to hold a kettlebell properly

Time and time again, we see people lose efficiency on the bell by adopting uncomfortable and unsafe grips. 

So, before you jump into the kettlebell exercises like the 5 best kettlebell ab exercises for beginners, learn how to hold a kettlebell properly here.  

How we test the best kettlebells

Competition bells are often made from durable steel, but our top pick — the Wolverston Fitness competition kettlebell — uses high-grade iron and solid one-piece casting with a hollow core. They also produce Wolverston GS Competition kettlebells specifically for Girevoy Sport (a kettlebell endurance sport). 

Cast iron kettlebells are produced using a solid piece of metal and often increase in size with their weight. Typically, the handles are more spacious but less grippy, and you can hold two more comfortably than competition kettlebells. They feature at most gyms and CrossFit studios as the most versatile options. 

Some kettlebells have a powder or vinyl coating for extra protection and grip. We find that powder coating holds chalk well, but rubber coating is also seriously grippy. It can be a personal preference. 

FAQ

What size kettlebell should I start with?

Kettlebells range between 5lbs/2kg to around 200lbs/ 90kg, but the size isn’t indicative of how much the kettlebell weighs (see image below). 

For example, competition kettlebells are uniform in size regardless of the weight, so you’ll notice they’re color-coded to help you identify the weight, and they have squarer handles. 

Other models have much wider handles and smaller bells, and again, have the weight range or color-coding engraved on them. Some bells increase in size in line with the weight, so it’s worth looking at the type and brand of the kettlebell first before you buy one.

If you’re new to weightlifting or using kettlebells, we recommend a lighter weight and cast iron kettlebell. Build up as you increase stamina, strength and muscle mass. 

What kettlebell weight should I use?

Choosing the right kettlebell weight is important. For beginners with no experience, start with a lower weight and learn the mechanics and range of motion first. It’s entirely dependent on experience, but as a guide, men might start at 35-45lbs (16-20kg) and women at 18-26lbs (8-12kg).

For anyone with plenty of weight training experience, 53-70lbs (24-32kg) for men and 35-53lbs (16-24kg) for women is a good guide. 

These are just suggestions and it will vary depending on the exercise and your specific training background. People tend to lift heavier for lower body exercises and pulling exercises. Pushing exercises like an overhead press might require you to drop down.  

We recommend lifting heavier if you plan to perform swinging exercises but make sure your exercise form is tight and you don’t overwork your lower back. That’s where the best adjustable kettlebells are a worthy investment, as you can switch up and down between exercises. 

Do I need one or two kettlebells?

It depends on your training. Research — like this study — shows that unilateral (single-sided) training helps improve coordination and iron out muscular imbalances or weaker areas in the body, increasing balance and core stability and promoting cross-education — when muscles on the unworked side of your body become stimulated.

To counter the instability, your core muscles must work harder to keep you balanced during an exercise, and you can focus on alternating exercises if you can only afford one of the best kettlebells or have limited home space. 

You only really need one. Exercises like swings, squats, presses and rows can all be executed using a single kettlebell. However, if you feel experienced with kettlebells, and you can invest, dual-loading helps pack on weight and challenge stability under heavy loads. 

What is the best kettlebell to use?

Deciding on the best kettlebell for home exercises shouldn’t be stressful, so here are a few things to consider when choosing. 

Size

As we mentioned, competition kettlebells are uniformly sized, but if you want to save space or use a smaller bell, they might not be for you. Just remember to check the weight too. The best adjustable kettlebells can also be bulky, but it’s the trade-off you make for having multiple weight choices in one place. Beginners may want to start practicing with a smaller-size kettlebell. 

Weight

Where possible, we’ve noted the weights down in lbs and kgs, but retailers will often use one metric and not list others. If you’re unsure, use a metric conversion calculator or contact the retailer directly. 

If you can afford to, we recommend buying a light, medium and heavy kettlebell to cover all your needs, especially if you enjoy strength training and adopt progressive overload techniques to build strength and muscle. 

What is the best kettlebell for CrossFit?

CrossFit workouts fuse calisthenics, gymnastics, conventional Olympic lifting, cardio and hybrid training. If you enjoy CrossFit, a kettlebell that can suit many workouts is your best bet. 

CrossFit gyms house cast iron bells with finishes that take chalk well for enhanced grip. That’s because you’ll train endurance and hit high reps and sets, so you’ll need all the help you can get. And let’s face it — we CrossFitters love a bit of chalk. 

During fast-paced WODs, the color coding is easy to spot, and the wider handle is versatile for switching between jerks and American kettlebell swings, cleans and upright rows.

What is the best kettlebell for beginners?

Kettlebell beginners, look for single-casting (a kettlebell cast from a single metal mold) rather than models with the handle welded to the bell. Single-cast kettlebells are more durable and less likely to break apart. Most manufacturers will mention buzzwords like single cast or similar to help you decide. 

Single-cast cast iron kettlebells featuring a rubber or matte powder top coat are hugely popular choices. And if you need more stability, choose a cast iron kettlebell with a bigger base for stability, compact size and a consistent, wide, flat handle.

Taller handles provide more of a window to bring your arm through or hold during exercises like Halos. Unless you plan to use them to a technical level, choose a basic, affordable kettlebell — we recommend Amazon Basics kettlebell — to start with and save some money. Ready to get started? Here are the 7 best kettlebell ab exercises for strengthening your core muscles.  

Sam Hopes
Senior Staff Writer - Fitness

Sam Hopes is a level III qualified fitness trainer, level II reiki practitioner, and senior fitness writer at Future PLC, the publisher of Tom's Guide. She is also about to undertake her Yoga For Athletes training course. Having trained to work with mind and body, Sam is a big advocate of using mindfulness techniques in sport and fitness, and their impact on performance. She’s also passionate about the fundamentals of training and building sustainable training methods.  When she's not writing up her experiences with the latest fitness tech and workouts, you’ll find her writing about nutrition, sleep, recovery, and wellness.