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Article updated on April 13, 2024 at 4:00 AM PDT

Best Adjustable Dumbbells for 2024

Save space and money on home workouts with our top picks of the best adjustable dumbbells.

Our Experts

Written by 
Giselle Castro-Sloboda
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
Giselle Castro-Sloboda Fitness and Nutrition Writer
I'm a Fitness & Nutrition writer for CNET who enjoys reviewing the latest fitness gadgets, testing out activewear and sneakers, as well as debunking wellness myths. On my spare time I enjoy cooking new recipes, going for a scenic run, hitting the weight room, or binge-watching many TV shows at once. I am a former personal trainer and still enjoy learning and brushing up on my training knowledge from time to time. I've had my wellness and lifestyle content published in various online publications such as: Women's Health, Shape, Healthline, Popsugar and more.
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What to consider

Weight capacity and design

Adjustable dumbbell sets will differ in their maximum capacity and their weight increments. You should also consider the overall design, what you have room for and how easy the set is to use.

Type of exercise

The type of exercise you're using your dumbbells for could tip the scales when it comes to the best set for you. Consider your overall workout routine before you make a final decision.

Warranty

Dumbbell sets will differ in their warranty periods, so make sure to read the fine print before you buy.

Our Picks

$429 at Amazon
Activafit Best Adjustable Dumbells
Best overall adjustable dumbbells
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
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$380 at Amazon
Core Adjustable Dumbbells
Best adjustable dumbbell design
Core Adjustable Dumbbells
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$379 at Mx Fitness Supply
Bowflex Best Adjustable Dumbells
Best adjustable dumbbells for versatility
MX55 Rapid Change Adjustable Dumbbells
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$349 at Flybird Fitness
Activafit Adjustable Dumbbells
Best adjustable dumbbells for experienced lifters
Flybird 55 LB Adjustable Dumbbells
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$420 at Ativafit
Best Adjustable Dumbells
Best adjustable dumbbells for ease of use
Ativafit 71.5 Adjustable Dumbbell Set
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A home gym isn't the same as a regular gym. You want the same functionality but on a lower budget, while taking up less space. Adjustable dumbbells fit that criteria. Traditional dumbbells come in different sizes that you'll need to buy separately, and adjustable dumbbells are a great alternative. They let you change the weight as per your requirement, making them perfect for home gyms of any size, saving you space, and money. Popular brands like Bowflex and Nordictrack have deals throughout the year, so you can save even more if you shop at the right time.

I have years of experience testing fitness equipment, and I've reviewed and tested various popular adjustable dumbbell brands. I've put together this guide with the best adjustable dumbbells on the market so you can pick the best one for you. Before you shop, take a look at our top picks and buying advice to understand the types of adjustable dumbbells that are out there and which are best for your home gym.

What are the best adjustable dumbbells overall?

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells stand out as the best overall choice in our roundup. The dial system lets users easily select their preferred weight (ranging from 5 to 52.5 pounds). The great quality of the construction makes these a fine choice for intense workouts, while the compact design makes them suitable for small spaces. If the Bowflex dumbbells are not quite your style, other solid choices I enjoyed were the Core Adjustable Dumbbells and Ativafit 71.5 Adjustable Dumbbell Set. You have a good selection to pick from based on your needs and taste. Take a look at our top picks below.

Best adjustable dumbbells for 2024

$429 at Amazon

Best overall adjustable dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

These Bowflex dumbbells are a fan favorite that was hard to come by during the peak of the pandemic. After finally getting my hands on a set, I understood why. They were packed well and easy to set up compared with the others that I had to unbox. Not only were the dumbbells properly secured to the rack with straps, but I found it easy to slide them out onto the floor in my living room. Bowflex offers the option to purchase a and a separately, but I decided against it because of the lack of space in my home. 

The Bowflex dumbbells are a standard round shape and have a sleek black and red design. They're made up of steel, nylon, ABS plastic (commonly used in 3D printing) and thermoplastic rubber. These dumbbells replace 15 sets of weights and range from 5 to 52.5 pounds. There are dials on opposite sides of the individual dumbbell, which you have to twist one at a time to change to your desired weight. Logically, I wouldn't expect to have to turn the dial in two different places (or directions) on a single dumbbell, but the design makes it a seamless process without any of the weight getting snagged.

I liked that these dumbbells have a rubber grip on the steel handle, which made them comfortable to hold for long periods. One complaint I've heard about the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells is that they're bulky, making it hard to do certain exercises such as deadlifts and overhead presses. I did find the dumbbells to be oversized, but I noticed that was the pattern with most adjustable dumbbell designs. I didn't love how bulky it felt to have the weights overhead or for deadlifts, but I didn't mind them when I did chest presses, bicep curls, lunges or squats. 

A year-long JRNY membership is also included with your purchase if you'd like to take on-demand strength classes to get the most out of your dumbbells. If you're looking for a reliable, tried-and-true set of adjustable dumbbells, then you'll like the Bowflex's style. 

$380 at Amazon

Best adjustable dumbbell design

Core Adjustable Dumbbells

After the Bowflex, the Core adjustable dumbbells had my second favorite packaging. It made sense to me that, upon unboxing these dumbbells, the rack was at the very top. This made it easy to not have to lift the heavy weights first before locating the rack. I also liked that the weight plates are magnetic and can be easily separated before the dumbbell is placed on the rack. These were also the only ones that came with a loose handle that latched onto the base and then the weight plates. 

Core's dumbbells range between 5 to 50 pounds, and you can change the weight in 5-pound increments. They're easy to use since you can change the weight with just a twist of the handle, and they have the fastest weight transition for an adjustable dumbbell with a manual design.

Although these dumbbells are round, I liked the sleek design and found them to be the least bulky of all the adjustable dumbbells I tried. I liked the contoured and soft grip handle which made the dumbbell comfortable to hold and molded perfectly into my hand. I also noticed they didn't roll around when I placed them on the floor, which made them feel extra secure and was a bonus since I live on the top floor and didn't want to disturb my downstairs neighbors.

One thing I didn't like about these dumbbells was that I would have to hold the rack down when I changed it to a heavier weight. This was because the weights felt stiff and would get stuck as you pulled them out of the rack. This could've easily been my own user error, but Core also offers an optional stand for purchase. Based on customer reviews, the stand is sturdy and eliminates the issues I experienced compared to just having the rack alone. Another solution I figured out was to place the rack on a rubber mat -- it provided a better grip and made it easier to slide out the dumbbell. 

$379 at Mx Fitness Supply

Best adjustable dumbbells for versatility

MX55 Rapid Change Adjustable Dumbbells

The MX55 adjustable dumbbells didn't take long to put together, but the hexagon shape of the plates took me a moment to figure out how to set it up in the rack. This is because they each have indented slots that they slide into to keep them aligned. Also, the MX55 racks come assembled, but users have to attach protective rubber feet (that come in the packaging) to the bottom of the cradles first.

These dumbbells replace 10 sets of dumbbells, ranging from 10 to 55 pounds. They have a small dial on top of each side of the handle as well as a button beneath them. To change the weight, you have to press the button underneath first, which prompts the dial to pop up. From there you can turn the dial, select the weight and press the dial back down to lock the weight into place.

These adjustable dumbbells are ideal for doing offset exercises since each of the weight plates weighs only 2.5 pounds. The weight legend on the rack gives a guide on the proper offset settings based on how much weight you want to lift. For example, if you are doing an offset squat that's 17.5 pounds, all you have to do is adjust one side of the dials to 15 pounds (setting 2) and the other to 20 pounds (setting 3). Keep in mind the purpose of offset exercises is to intentionally load one side more than the other, which will make the dumbbells feel imbalanced. 

I liked that even while holding a dumbbell that was uneven in weight, it was still comfortable to grip and didn't dig into my palm. If you're into experimenting with offset exercises or want to focus on strengthening your muscle imbalances, the MX55 adjustable dumbbells are the right match for you. 

$349 at Flybird Fitness

Best adjustable dumbbells for experienced lifters

Flybird 55 LB Adjustable Dumbbells

The Flybird 55 LB adjustable dumbbells are made up of cast-iron weight plates and a black plastic-coated handle. They adjust from 11 to 55 pounds and go up or down in 11-pound increments. I prefer my weights to have 5-pound increments and found that doubling the weight each time was a bit much. 

The dial on these dumbbells was easy to use and just required a single twist to lock in the weight. Unlike the other adjustable dumbbells I tested, you don't have the option to choose an in-between weight. I also found 11 pounds as the lightest weight option to be on the heavy side, specifically for newer lifters. 

I'd recommend these if you're an experienced lifter and know you can handle double the weight each time. The round design is similar to other adjustable dumbbells and passed the roll test when I placed it on the ground. In other words, it stayed put and didn't seem at risk of rolling around. The dumbbells were the right challenge for me when I was doing heavier lifts such as squats and deadlifts. The handle design was my least favorite because I found the plastic to be tough on the hands and think it would have benefited more from a protective rubber covering. 

$420 at Ativafit

Best adjustable dumbbells for ease of use

Ativafit 71.5 Adjustable Dumbbell Set

The Ativafit 71.5 Adjustable Dumbbells were my runner-up for a couple of other categories, but ultimately I found them to be the most foolproof to use. The dumbbells range from 5 to 71.5 pounds and replace 12 sets of dumbbells. The plastic rack has grooves that latch onto the dumbbells, keeping them secure when not in use. By looking at these you can tell these are high-quality dumbbells because of the sturdy iron plates that make up the weights. It also has a nonslip handle with a rubber grip, which helped with my grip when upping the weight. 

My favorite part about these dumbbells is how easy it is to change the weights with just a press of the red button on top of the dumbbell and a twist of the dial. This is also the heaviest adjustable dumbbell on the list, making it a good option for heavy lifters and those who have never owned an adjustable dumbbell before. 

Other adjustable dumbbells we tested

  • Smrtft Nuobell 80: In a previous adjustable dumbbell roundup, CNET writer Lindsey Boyers named the Smrtft Nuobell 80 the adjustable dumbbell with the best design. I couldn't get my hands on these dumbbells, but based on the review, they could've potentially tied with the Core Adjustable Dumbbells given their sleek look and favorable design. 
  • Powerblock Pro 32: Even though I didn't get to try these Powerblock sets, I'm familiar with Powerblock and consider them a classic. In CNET's previous best list, the Pro 32 was named the best adjustable dumbbell for beginners and I would've probably chosen it as well if I'd gotten to formally test it. These are easy to hold thanks to the rubberized ergonomic grip handle and the pin-lock system may be easier for newbies to manage compared to dials on other adjustable dumbbells. 
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How we tested the best adjustable dumbbells

We took a multifaceted approach to ensure a comprehensive assessment of performance for diverse needs and preferences. Here are the metrics we considered.

Ease of use: This is an essential factor when selecting adjustable dumbbells. We looked for intuitive adjustment mechanisms and considered how quickly users can switch between weights.

Weight adjustment increments: We checked out how much flexibility the adjustable dumbbells allow for weight increments.

Design and comfort: The design of the adjustable dumbbells played a big role in our evaluation. We considered things like ergonomics, comfort and compact storage.

Load versatility: We assessed the range of weight options and the ease of transitioning between them during a workout.

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Factors to consider when choosing adjustable dumbbells

Shape: Think about what shape feels comfortable to you. Some dumbbells can feel awkward or imbalanced if they're too square or round. 

Materials: Consider what material you want your dumbbells to be made up of. Many are made with iron, steel, aluminum alloy or plastic.

Comfort and feel: Decide whether you want your handles to have a protective covering. Choose dumbbells that feel sturdy and fit comfortably in your hand. 

Warranty: Check the company warranty and what it covers, and be sure to double-check the return policy.

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Adjustable dumbbell FAQ

How much do adjustable dumbbells cost?

Adjustable dumbbells can range anywhere from about $200 to $500 or more depending on the weight range and brand.

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What do adjustable dumbbells usually weigh?

Weights on an adjustable dumbbell can range from 5 to 50 pounds (sometimes more). Some might go by kilograms and require you to do a little extra math (multiply by 2.2 to convert to pounds).

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How do you use adjustable dumbbells?

Adjustable dumbbells have a manual dial that turns and latches on to the selected weight. Some companies experimenting with more advanced technology may use digital dials or voice control, such as Nordictrack.

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What to look for when buying adjustable dumbbells?

The right set of adjustable dumbbells for you will be ones that fall in the range of weights you prefer. Also consider handling, comfort, design and cost.

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Can you drop adjustable dumbbells?

As with any dumbbells, we don't recommend dropping adjustable dumbbells. They may pose an injury risk and it may affect their functionality. 

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