Best dumbbells: 5 best buys to kickstart your New Years resolutions

We've rounded up five of the best dumbbells to turn any room into your own at-home gym

best dumbbells
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Let's go ahead and start this year on the right note: it's time to invest in yourself, and how can you do that? Well, for starters, instead of making a New Year's resolution to work out more, let's go ahead and do that: work out. And the only way to do that in these strange times? By creating an at-home gym with a set of the best dumbbells.

An at-home gym is a safe and effective solution for anyone looking to workout but still a bit apprehensive about heading back to their regular gym (we completely understand), which is why we think it's a great idea.  

Plus, the best part, after you section off a small space where you can work out, there are only a couple of pieces of equipment you really need, one of which is the best yoga mat and the other is a set of the best dumbbells.

There are a dozen different features and functions you need to consider from how heavy you want each dumbbell to be, are you looking for two to hold in each hand or just one single version – and then there is the color selection. Oh, and once you get through determining all of that, you need to figure out your purpose and why you're picking up one of the best dumbbells in the first place. Are you looking to build muscle, lose fat, strengthen, or maybe all of the above? 

So, if you're starting to scratch your head, that's not an issue — it's where we come in. 

Investing in not only the best dumbbells but the right one for you is something you should not take lightly, and that is why our team of experts has done all the heavy lifting (no pun intended) for you.

We've trialed and tested dozens (and we mean dozens) of different dumbbells in hopes of finding the creme de la creme to help you start the New Year right. We've taken every factor, figure, feature, and most importantly: the price point into consideration.

And the result? Simple — we've indicated the five best dumbbells to invest in ASAP. Check them out, then scroll to the end for more buying advice if you still aren't sure what type to choose.

best dumbbells

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. CAP Barbell Set of 2 Hex Rubber Dumbbell with Metal Handles

The best dumbbells: the best overall option available

Specifications
Includes: Set of 2 or Set of 4
Materials: Solid cast iron, chrome plated handle & rubber coated weights
Weight: 3lbs to 115lbs
Type: Hexagon
Reasons to buy
+Available in a set of two or set of four+Versatility in sizes (starts at 3lbs and up to 115lbs!)+Flat hexagonal surfaces will prevent rolling
Reasons to avoid
-Pricier

Whether you're an advanced lifter or someone looking for endless versatility, we highly recommend the CAP Barbell Set of 2 Hex Rubber Dumbbell with Metal Handles for you. It's the best overall option available in the market.

Why we love it

Available in sets of two or fours, these dumbbells are designed in a high-quality design. The solid cast-iron, chrome-plated handle, and rubber-coated weights will not damage floors or detach over time; making them a worthwhile investment. Whereas the flat hexagon surface prevents rolling and knurled handles to prevent slipping. 

Versatility

Whether you're looking to perfect your curls, lifts, or squats, this set of two dumbbells will be endlessly versatile. You can start slow and with a few reps here and there, and work your way up, and your strength improves. We love how these weights do it all and do it all safely!  

best dumbbells

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2. CAP Barbell Color Coated Hex Dumbbell Weights with Contoured Chrome Handle

The best dumbbells: the best for a full-body workout

Specifications
Includes: One dumbbell
Materials: Heads are made from ASTM A48 Class 20 grey iron coated in p0 shore hardness rubber joined together by a solid 1018 cold rolled steel chromed handle.
Weight: 3lbs to 12lbs
Color: Multiple
Style: Hexagon
Reasons to buy
+Single handheld weights available in 3lbs to 15lbs+Multiple colors to match any home or aesthetic+Can use for a full-body workout
Reasons to avoid
-Have to buy each weight individually-Pricer

If you're looking for a dumbbell that can easily match any home or aesthetic, we highly recommend turning your attention to the CAP Barbell Color Coated Hex Dumbbell Weights with Contoured Chrome Handle. 

Why we love it

It doesn't matter if you're a beginner or expert weight lifter, this individual handheld weight Is available in a slew of sizes ranging from 3lbs upwards to 15lbs, and the original hex-shaped heads prevent rolling. 

The medium depth knurling on the ergo handle provides essential grip and security when in use, while the PVC coating is extremely durable. 

Versatility

If you're looking for a dumbbell that offers full control: you've met your match. Here this dumbbell can target specific muscle groups or attain a full-body workout. You can use it for isolating one muscle, reach for a variety of different weights for HIIT workouts, or use it regularly in functional training, too!  

best dumbbells

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex Hand Dumbbell Weight

The best dumbbells: the best for beginners

Specifications
Materials: Contoured, textured, chrome handle for a comfortable, secure grip
Weight: 10lbs to 50lbs
Style: Hexagon
Includes: one single weight
Reasons to buy
+Affordable option that's great for beginners +Hex-shaped style to prevent slipping+Comfortable grip
Reasons to avoid
-Have to purchase a second dumbbell for the set

If you're someone who enjoys a rubber grip dumbbell, let us be the first to recommend the AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex Hand Dumbbell Weight. 

Why we love it

This individual handheld dumbbell is a great beginner's option. It will help improve strength, tone your arms, and reduce the appearance of fat. Available in a slew of sizes — ranged from 10lbs to 50 lbs — the hex-shaped rubber-encased ends not only prevent rolling and promote stay-in-place storage, but the chrome handle will also ensure a secure and comfortable grip.

Versatility

While you'll need to invest in a second handheld dumbbell to rep all of the benefits this dumbbell has to offer, it's still pretty impressive as a standalone. Here, this dumbbell will cover all the basics when it comes to resistance training and is excellent for arms, chest, back, core, and even legs. 

best dumbbells

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4. shanchar Adjustable Weights Dumbbells Set

The best dumbbells: the most all-inclusive circular option

Specifications
Included: 6 plates, two barbells to connect
Weight: 20,30 and 40lbs
Material: rubber exterior to reduce slipping
Type: Circle
Reasons to buy
+The attached barbells allows full versatility and control over how much weight is distributed+Versatility within workouts; isolate muscles or go for a full-body workout+Worthwhile investment 
Reasons to avoid
-N/A

Now in the event, you liked the other three options but didn't love them (due to their shape), let us introduce you to a circular dumbbell: this shanchar Adjustable Weights Dumbbells Set. 

Why we love it

What we love the most about this multi-functional design is just how suitable It is for indoor use. The counterweight is covered with rubber to avoid damage to the floor, while the connecting rod is covered with a rubber coating to ensure a firm grip. Oh, and what's sweetening the pot even more? There's also a special embossing to prevent dumbbells from rolling; plus, it's high-temperature resistance and immune to aging! 

Versatility

Remember before when we mentioned how versatile and adjustable circular dumbbells were? Well, we were not kidding. Here, this multi-functional design allows users to have full control. The adjustable bar is connected by a connect to form a barbell to meet the needs of leg muscle training. 

Oh, and when you're not working out your muscle? Go ahead and remove one (or more) plates to use the free weights for overhead presses or isolate any muscle group, too! 

best dumbbells

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Nice C100 Adjustable Dumbbell Barbell Weight Pair

The best dumbbells: the best non-slip circular version

Specifications
Included: barbell or two dumbbell pair
Weight: 33lb to 66lb barbell OR 16lb to 33lb handweights
Material: neoprene
Type: Circular
Reasons to buy
+Adjustable bar to control how much weight is used+Can be used for a handful of workouts+Versatile
Reasons to avoid
-Pricer

Whether you're looking to perfect your deadlifts or work on your backside (via squats), the Nice C Adjustable Dumbbell Barbell Weight Pair is the suitable solution for you. 

Why we love it

Does anyone else get nervous that when working out, that their weights can get a bit too heavy and end up slipping? If so, you're not alone, and this slip-resistant neoprene is here to alleviate those fears. Here the material is paired to perfection with an upgraded curve-shaped handlebar to allow the tightest, firmest grip possible to improve your hand-eye coordination and avoid any unwanted injuries. 

Versatility

The all-in-one dumbbell-barbell set allows you to have a versatile workout, whether you're looking to sculpt your arms or practice your deadlifts. It's designed to improve not only your overall health or encourage weight loss, but when used properly it will strengthen the upper body, core muscles, and even your lower back! But how? 

Simple: the adjustable dumbbell set comes with a connecting bar that can be easily attached to both dumbbells to transform into a barbell. 

Here this set comes with 12 weight plates: four 2.8 lb. plates, four 3.3 lb. plates, and four 4.4 lb. plates. Each dumbbell handle weighs 0.6 lbs. The lowest weight you can adjust to for each dumbbell is 0.6 lbs. with no plates attached. The highest weight with all the plates attached is 22 lbs. Weights can be added or taken off in 2.8 lb., 3.3lb., or 4.4 lb. increments. The barbell rod weighs 0.5 lbs., so the barbell can be adjusted from 1.1 lbs. to 44 lbs. 

The result? Full customization whenever and wherever.

What's the difference between fixed and adjustable weights? 

Are you wondering whether or not fixed weight or adjustable weights are right for you? Let us help you smoothen out the selection process by explaining the differences. 

Fixed weights are nothing more than a pair of dumbbells. This 2-pack is ideal for any first-time users or weight enthusiasts looking to dial-in on one region of their body: meaning biceps, triceps, or any arm region. As a result, these dumbbells are on the bulkier side and traditionally need larger storage spaces (due to their heavier weight). 

Now, if you're looking for versatility and control? 

Adjustable weights will better suit you. Instead of coming in one fixed weight, adjustable weights offer a dial system to control how much weight is (or isn't) used at one time. Versatility is an essential component here, and many users loved how this style works in a variety of workouts (from lunges to clean-and-presses, and so on!). 

Does the type of material used matter? 

When it comes to the type of material your dumbbell is crafted from, it boils down to what you like. Dumbbells are available in several different types of materials including, rubber, neoprene, and metal, but it's all about what you like and what you don't like. 

Traditionally speaking, rubber and neoprene tend to be a softer material, easier on your hands, and less damaging to floors. It's easier to grip this material and, in turn, allows for a firmer hold; however, make no mistake does that translate into being "better."  

Metal dumbbells are just as efficient, and some lifters love how this material is sturdier and lasts longer; it provides longevity in their investment.

What type of shapes do dumbbells come in? 

Future lifters have a choice between two dumbbell shapes: hex and circle. The difference between the two is (again) your personal preference and boils down to what specific style you like more and what your goals are when using them. 

If you're looking for control, then a dumbbell with a hexagonal end would be your speed. It is less likely to roll away when placed on the floor and is suitable for a slew of exercises from renegade rows to deadlifts. 

Now, if you're looking for a dumbbell that offers simplicity, a circular style might be more your speed. Here, you can engage in bicep presses or ab rolling; with ease of use.