Best dumbbells: 5 best buys to keep your fitness goals in check year-round

Here are the best dumbbells to sculpt, firm and tone out your bodies — all year long.

best dumbbells on display at home
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Want to keep your fitness goals aligned? The best dumbbells are the answer; they're the perfect at-home workout that will lean, tone, and sculpt muscles all at once. 

But with dozens of dumbbells on the market, it can get a bit overwhelming. For instance, how heavy are you looking to go here? Or what about quantity; do you want an individual dumbbell or set? And what about the color? 

Oh, in the rare chance you get through answering all of those, you need to figure out your purpose. Why are you picking up 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 ones 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 keep your fitness goals in line. 

We've taken every factor, figure, feature, and most importantly: the price point into consideration, and these are the best dumbbells to keep us in shape all year long. 

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 do we love it?

Available in sets of two or fours, these dumbbells have 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. Compared to 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

(Image credit: Amazon)

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 do we love it?

It doesn't matter if you're a beginner or expert weight lifter: this 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, and the PVC coating is durable. 

Versatility

If you're looking for a dumbbell that offers complete 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
+An 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 do 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: it's excellent for resistance training and is even better for sculpting arms, chest, back, core, as well as, legs. 

best dumbbells

(Image credit: Amazon)

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 allow 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, if 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 do 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 complete 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 do we love it?

Are you ever nervous that your weight is too heavy and ends 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 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, and when used the right way, 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. 

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 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 correct 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 handful of workouts (from lunges to clean-and-presses, and so on!). 

Does the type of material used matter? 

You'll find the best 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. 

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. 

Brittany Romano
Brittany Romano

Brittany Romano is Future's U.S. Shopping Editor, residing on the Upper East Side in New York City. From her start as a freelance fashion market assistant at Marie Claire to building a highly profitable commerce vertical at Us Weekly and AMI brands, Brittany has produced award-winning content covering everything from celebrity beauty hacks to must-have items from online sales. She is a graduate of New England College. When she isn't writing, you can spot her on Fifth Avenue lusting over the yet-another Chanel bag, making a stylish statement on her velvet couch (in the most luxurious sleepwear), or at a Boston Bruins game, in her signature So Kate Louboutins. 


Follow her on Instagram at @ItsBrittanyRomano