ComScore

The 9 Best Dumbbells to Help You Smash Your 2023 Fitness Resolutions

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. You can learn more about that process here.

Whether you’re newly resolved to move your body more in 2023 or are a veteran fitness aficionado, there are a few key gym staples that everyone should have in their workout arsenal, beginning with the best dumbbells for your home. A foundation of many fitness routines, including your online cardio classes that blast Beyoncé, these handy accessories are suitable for both beginners and elite-level athletes alike, feel intuitive to use, and, unlike intimidating weight racks and large machines, they're small enough to work seamlessly into any home gym setup.

As a certified personal trainer from the American Council of Exercise, I incorporate dumbbells into my clients’ routines as a gentle-yet-effective way of boosting both muscular strength and cardiorespiratory endurance. (Try a weighted jump squat and thank and/or curse me later.) But not all dumbbells are created equally. From neoprene-coated options to cast-iron and hexagonal choices, dumbbells take on many shapes, materials and weights.

Using the knowledge I've gained on them over the years, I’ve scoured the internet for the best dumbbells on the market that are durable, easy to use and at a good value for their quality. For the best burn you’ve had in years, check out my list below.

Meet the Expert

Marissa Miller is a certified personal trainer from the American Council on Exercise with a specialization in orthopedic exercise

Where to Buy Dumbbells

Dumbbells have become so ubiquitous that you can get them anywhere from specialized sporting goods stores, like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Academy Sports + Outdoors, to mega-stores (Amazon, Walmart, Target) and even fashion retailers (we see you, Anthropologie). Yes, some dumbbells are cute enough to stash on display. Other spots to nab them include but are not limited to LifePro, Fitness Factory, SPRI, Champs and more.

Which Dumbbells Are the Best?

Because we all have different athletic goals and capabilities, there’s no one real “best” type of dumbbell. In general, however, there are a few types you'll want to look for.

When selecting a weight for your dumbbell, lighter is always better—especially at the beginning. Remember: If a certain dumbbell feels too light, you can always double up, but you can’t cut a weight in half.  

You’ll find many dumbbells also possess a combination of the below features.

  • Neoprene: Neoprene dumbbells are incredibly popular because they coat the bulky, slick and cold cast-iron weighted insert with a grippy, plasticky material (though it's actually made of synthetic rubber). It serves as a safety measure in the event that your hands get too sweaty and lose their grip, and they also provide an element of cushioning that will help prevent blisters. Plus, neoprene weights are often color-coded by weight, allowing you to more neatly organize your dumbbells or identify them while you’re delirious mid-workout. 
  • Hexagonal: If you’ve ever tried to perform a weighted burpee, plank or renegade row, you know just how important it is to consider the shape of the weight plates on each side of your dumbbells. Unlike a round weight plate, which has the potential to roll out from beneath you, a hexagonal surface provides more stability to ground your body or store weights in place. 
  • Adjustable: The coolest part about dumbbells is that their weight doesn’t have to be fixed. Adjustable dumbbells feature numerous plates in a variety of sizes that you can add or subtract to the bar as you modify or intensify your workout. When selecting adjustable dumbbells, be sure to look for safety-locking mechanisms that will keep the plates secure.

The Best Dumbbells at a Glance

The 14 Best Yoga Mats, According to Instructor and Devoted Yogis


Best Adjustable Dumbbells

1. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells

Bowflex

  • Why We Love Them: Incremental weight adjustment, free one-year JRNY membership
  • Weight Range: 5 to 52.3 pounds

Bowflex makes a mean set of adjustable dumbbells. This set has 15 weight settings to replace a clunky pile of individual weights, and it comes with a space-saving and safety-promoting stand and dial that lock the plates in place. Better yet, you can use the included JRNY one-year app membership to follow along with dumbbell workouts from engaging trainers, hold yourself accountable and actually enjoy your workout.

Best Expandable Dumbbells

2. PowerBlock Elite EXP Dumbbells

PowerBlock

  • Why We Love Them: Adjustable, compatible expansion pack, auto-lock mechanism
  • Weight Range: 2.5 to 50 pounds

The dumbbells you use for your home might differ significantly from those you find in your local gym. You’ll likely want an adjustable pair to maximize space and convenience, and that’s precisely what makes these PowerBlock dumbbells a great find. With up to 50 pounds each, plus the option of adding even more weight (70 or 90 pounds) with an expansion pack, they’re said to replace 16 pairs of dumbbells. Their angled ergonomic design allows you to prop yourself up in poses like plank, as well, all without rolling forward.

Best Cheap Dumbbells

3. Amazon Basics Adjustable Dumbbells

Amazon Basics

  • Why We Love Them: Textured grip, included carrying case
  • Weight Range: .5 to 40 pounds

When buying dumbbells, you’re not looking for cheap ones so much as you’re looking for inexpensive ones. While on the affordable side, these Amazon Basics adjustable weights offer a pretty decent value for their durable cast-iron material, customizable weight combinations and threaded collars, which will help secure the plates. The up to 40-pound set comes with a free carrying case and two 3-pound barbells, four 2.5-pound plates, four 5-pound plates, and four half-pound collars.

Most User-Friendly

4. Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells

Yes4All

  • What We Love Them: Intuitive design, textured grip
  • Weight Range: 5 to 55 pounds

Yes to sweating over your workout—no to sweating over finicky equipment. Dumbbells are intimidating enough as it is, so you’re best off using a pair that’s intuitive to use and dismantle. These not only do check all those boxes, they'll stand up to rigorous workouts. They offer up to 55 pounds of cast-iron plates, a textured grip for added safety and comfort and rubber-trimmed collars to keep weight plates secured.

  • Why We Love Them: Quick weight adjustment, anti-slip materials, free storage tray
  • Weight Range: 5 to 25 pounds

With a one-second and one-handed weight-changing mechanism, Flybird prides itself on offering one of the most efficient pieces of gym equipment on the market. You can adjust the weight in 5-pound increments to suit a variety of fitness levels, and we also adore the free storage tray it comes with, which will protect your floors. Better yet, the anti-slip material is designed to keep you comfortable and blister-free during your weight-training session. 

Best Hex Dumbbells

6. BalanceFrom Hex Dumbbells

BalanceFrom

  • Why We Love Them: Stabilizing design, texturized grip
  • Weight Increments: 10 to 50 pounds

Using dumbbells is about so much more than pumping iron to bulk up your arms—they allow you to train your core by challenging your stability. You can balance safely on these BalanceFrom hexagonal dumbbells, which allow you to prop yourself up for weighted burpees, tricep dips or whatever other creative moves your video trainer has drummed up for your at-home workout. The two weights, which come in 10- to 50-pound weight increments, are also coated in an anti-slip rubber material and feature a texturized handle for ultimate support.

Best Basic Dumbbells

7. All In Motion Dumbbells

All in Motion

  • Why We Love Them: No-roll shape, anti-slip grip
  • Weight Increments: 5 pounds, 20 pounds

For a dumbbell that will be comfortable at any weight, no matter how you hold it, grab these All In Motion dumbbells. These single 5- or 20-pound weights are made of a solid cast iron and coated in texturized PVC from the barbell to the plate for improved stamina and reduced risk of injury. The no-roll hexagonal construction will also keep you feeling secure, too, whether you’re pushing through elevated push-ups or burning through burpees. 

Best Dumbbells for Beginners

8. Marcy Neoprene Dumbbell Set

Marcy

  • Why We Love Them: Color-coded, included carry case, anti-slip grip
  • Weight Range: 2 to 5 pounds

There’s no need to venture into weight-lifting guns blazing. Ease your muscles in by lifting with this comprehensive set of beginner-friendly Marcy dumbbells covered in slip-resistant neoprene. This set of 2-, 3- and 5-pound weights will be great for those who are still finding what works best for them or experimenting with more challenging moves. Plus, their color coding will make it easier to spot and identify the right set mid-workout.

Best Nonslip Dumbbells

9. PayLessHere Adjustable Dumbbells

PayLessHere

  • Why We Love Them: Anti-slip, lock nuts, adjustable
  • Weight Range: 5.6 to 66 pounds

You can count on these weights to hold their grip if your hands get sweaty during your workout, seeing as how they are made of high-quality plastic with a sturdy construction. The handy lock-nuts used to secure the weights (choose from 5.6 to 66 pounds) are a breeze to remove, too, making it super easy to change the weights during your workout.

The Best Home Gym Equipment, According to 26 Exercise Instructors


Want to know which buzzy products are *really* worth buying? Sign up for our shopping newsletter to uncover our favorite finds.

Why You Should Trust Us

Marissa Miller is a freelancer with more than 10 years of experience editing and reporting on all things health, beauty, fitness, style and home for publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Teen Vogue, GQ, CNN Style, Women's Health, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, USA TODAY and many more. Her first novel, PRETTY WEIRD: Overcoming Impostor Syndrome and Other Oddly Empowering Lessons, was published by Skyhorse Publishing and distributed by Simon & Schuster in May 2021. She's on Twitter at @Marissa__Miller and on Instagram at @marissamiller__ talking about journalism, Lululemon leggings and her two cats Freddie and Hendrix.

PureWow is the best friend you never had when it comes to finding the best, most useful lifestyle products online. Founded in 2010, our company’s editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which ones are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series, which sees each and every item we test being ranked on a 100-point scale of awesomeness, to the painstakingly curated lists our fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family editors create as vertical experts, you can trust that our recommendations include some of the greatest items you’ll find on the internet. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.