After 16 Hours of Testing, These Are the Best Adjustable Dumbbells

Our experts agreed, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells are the best

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

best adjustable dumbbells

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

Adjustable dumbbells "provide access to an entire dumbbell rack that occupies only a fraction of space," Prince Brathwaite, CPT, founder of Trooper Fitness, says. The pairs we recommend can replace anywhere from three to 15 (or more) dumbbells in a single set, making them a great space-saving option for anyone who does strength training at home.

Tested & Approved

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells are our top pick, thanks to their superior grip, wide weight range, and ease of adjustability. If you're on a budget, the BESPORTABLE Adjustable Weight Dumbbells are a solid choice.

To find the best adjustable dumbbells, we tested 15 top-rated pairs by performing an intermediate full-body weightlifting circuit with each set in The Verywell Testing Lab to find the seven best. Our testers (including two certified personal trainers) evaluated each pair through jumping squats, overhead presses, walking lunges, and more to score each pair on their setup, adjustability, ease of use, grip, durability, storage, and overall value.

According to our test, these are the best adjustable dumbbells on the market today.

Best Overall: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

4.9
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells

Courtesy of Bowflex

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    5/5
  • Adjustability
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4.8/5
  • Grip
    4.8/5
  • Durability
    3.5/5
Pros
  • Comes assembled

  • Adjusts with the turn of a dial

  • Easy to grip with wet or dry hands

Cons
  • Other dumbbells are more durable

After completing a circuit of three lower body and three upper body strength training exercises, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells were the clear overall winner of our test with their impressive weight range and ease of adjustment as the standout features. These adjustable dumbbells ship fully assembled, although you need to use the provided Allen wrench that comes with the dumbbells to free them from the strap that holds them in place upon delivery.

Our testers gave these dumbbells a 5 out of 5 for adjustability because they found that they could quickly adjust weight between each exercise in less than 20 seconds with the quick turn of a dial. Plus, since the dumbbells adjust from 5 to 25 pounds in 2.5-pound increments and from 25 to 52.5 pounds in 5-pound increments, they offer plenty of weights for a variety of total-body exercises for both beginner and advanced users. And they allow users to increase the weight they use over time, ensuring they can keep progressing their workouts to achieve better results. We found that the maximum weight of the dumbbells was slightly higher than what was listed by the manufacturer—we measured 53.6 pounds, whereas the manufacturer lists 52.5 pounds. 

These dumbbells scored a 4.8 out of 5 for ease of use. Our testers found that although the adjustable dumbbells are slightly bulkier than regular dumbbells, they still maintain the traditional dumbbell shape (unlike many other adjustable dumbbells). This allows you to perform any traditional strength training exercise without having to alter your form.

These dumbbells also scored well for portability, grip (with both dry and wet hands), and storage, as they ship with their own storage bases. However, our testers did find them to be slightly less durable than other dumbbells on this list. The dumbbells stayed intact when dropped on gym flooring, but a small piece of one of the dumbbells chipped off when they were dropped on concrete flooring. But rest easy knowing these dumbbells come with a two-year warranty.

While they don't ship with a rack, Bowflex does offer a rack made especially for these dumbbells that you can buy separately (available at Amazon).

Weight Per Dumbbell: 5 to 52.5 pounds | Total Set Weight: 105 pounds | Replaces: 15 sets of weights | Sold As: Pair | Storage Bases Included: Yes | Warranty: Two years

bowflex selecttech adjustable dumbbells

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

What Our Testers Say

"I love how easy these adjustable dumbbells are to adjust between exercises. It took me less than 20 seconds to adjust the weight between sets. I was also able to maintain a good grip on the dumbbells, even with wet hands, thanks to the grippy rubber handle." — Isabella Broggini, NASM-CPT, Commerce Editor, and product tester

Best Overall Runner-Up: Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set

4.7
Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set

Source: Core Home Fitness

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    4.5/5
  • Adjustability
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4.5/5
  • Grip
    4.5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
Pros
  • Very durable

  • Adjusts with the twist of the handles

  • Offers lots of weights

Cons
  • Requires assembly

  • Adjusts in bigger increments; not great for beginners

Although these dumbbells don't ship assembled, our tester took less than five minutes to fully assemble them without needing any tools, so these dumbbells received a 4.5 out of 5 for setup and unboxing.

Like the Bowflex weights, the Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells also received a 5 out of 5 for adjustability. Testers found they could easily adjust the weights from exercise to exercise with a simple twist of the handles. However, our testers still think the Bowflex is superior in terms of adjustability because, while the Bowflex adjusts in 2.5-pound increments up to 25 pounds and offers 15 weights in one, the Core Home Fitness dumbbells adjust in 5-pound increments and only offer users ten dumbbells in one. Our beginner testers thought the 5-pound weight increase might be a little difficult to work up to week over week, and they would have preferred slightly lower increment adjustments.

Our testers gave these dumbbells a score of 4.5 out of 5 for ease of use and a 4.5 out of 5 for grip because they found the weight to be balanced and were able to complete all exercises without having to adjust their grip (although one tester felt the dumbbells slipping a little when performing exercises with wet hands).

These dumbbells scored particularly well for durability, earning a score of 5 out of 5. When dropped on gym flooring, the dumbbells remained completely intact with no scratches. And dropping them on concrete resulted in only minor scratches with no broken or chipped parts.

Weight Per Dumbbell: 5 to 50 pounds | Total Set Weight: 100 pounds | Replaces: 10 sets of weights | Sold As: Pair | Storage Bases Included: Yes | Warranty: Two years

adjustable dumbbells test

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

What Our Testers Say

"As a beginner, I wasn't intimidated by the weights and quickly knew how to adjust. It's easy to use, and it felt very comfortable in my hands. The adjustable weights were firm and stayed in place. When I started to sweat, I felt it slipping a little, but I still had a good grip on it. Overall, super easy to adjust and store." — Israel Fontoura, Commerce Producer and product tester

Best Budget: Besportble Adjustable Dumbbell Set

3.6
Besportble Adjustable Dumbbell Set

Courtesy of Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    3/5
  • Adjustability
    2/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Grip
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Easy to grip with wet or dry hands

  • Very durable

Cons
  • Hard to store with many parts

  • Maximum weight isn't as heavy as other options

With this dumbbell set, you get 16 plates, two dumbbell collars, and two dumbbell bars, all at an affordable price. The 16 plates include four 5.51-pound plates, four 4.4-pound plates, four 3.3-pound plates, and four 2.28-pound plates—great for beginner weightlifters who may prefer to increase their weights in smaller increments week over week.

These savings may come at a cost, though, as our testers gave these dumbbells lower scores for set up and unboxing, adjustability of weight during the workout, and portability and storage. Since the dumbbells can't be adjusted with the turn of a dial like their more expensive counterparts, it took our testers longer (about two minutes) to adjust the weights between each exercise in the circuit. To adjust the dumbbells, testers had to unscrew the barbell collars, add weight plates, and then screw them in place again. This process may get easier over time as you get used to the weights, and some may prefer this no-frills, straightforward approach to adjusting.

Our testers noted that these weights may be difficult to store, given that they come in many parts and don't come with a carrying case or rack.

The dumbbells did receive good scores for ease of use and grip, though—earning a 5 out of 5 for both attributes—and one tester noted that the plastic grooves running along the handles made the dumbbells easy and comfortable to grip (even with wet hands) without pinching your skin. The dumbbells scored 5 out of 5 for durability, as they only had minor scratches after testers dropped them on concrete and gym flooring.

Weight Per Dumbbell: 5.4 to 33 pounds | Total Set Weight: 66 pounds | Replaces: Eight sets of weights | Sold As: Pair | Storage Bases Included: No | Warranty: Not listed

adjustable dumbbells test

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

What Our Testers Say

"[These are] perfect for beginners or people who want to do lower weights for strength training. If you're planning to advance to higher weights, this may not be the product for you." Jonathan Valdez, ACE-CPT, Verywell Fit wellness review board member, and product tester

Best Heavy Weight: Nüobell Adjustable Dumbbell

4.4
SMRTFT Nüobell 80lb
Our Ratings
  • Setup
    4/5
  • Adjustability
    4/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Grip
    5/5
  • Durability
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Adjusts with the twist of the handles

  • Offers heavy max weight

  • Offers lots of weights

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Adjusts in bigger increments; not great for beginners

For the advanced weightlifter looking to keep up their strength gains at home or in limited space, the NÜOBELL 80LB Classic Adjustable Dumbbells are a great pick. Our testers gave these dumbbells a 4 out of 5 for adjustability, as the dumbbells can easily be adjusted between exercises with the simple twist of a handle, and the dumbbells adjust from 5 pounds all the way to 80 pounds in 5-pound increments.

However, when measuring the weight of the dumbbells in The Lab, we found that the minimum weight was actually 6.4 pounds, slightly higher than what was listed by the manufacturer. This, and the fact that the dumbbells require you to increase weight over time by 5-pound increments, make these adjustable dumbbells not a great pick for beginners.

Although these dumbbells don't come fully assembled, set up and unboxing is relatively easy (it took our tester less than nine minutes), and the dumbbells ship with a manual with directions and pictures for a six-step setup. An intermediate or advanced lifter shouldn't have a problem setting these up, but a beginner may require some assistance.

Our testers gave the dumbbells a 5 out of 5 for both ease of use and grip. These weights are shaped like regular dumbbells and can be used for all exercises you would do with traditional dumbbells without requiring you to alter your form or the way you hold them. And our testers' grip was solid with both wet and dry hands.

These dumbbells scored a 4 out of 5 for portability, and they come with their own storage cradles, although you may want to purchase a NÜOBELL stand (available on Smrtft) for easier storage.

Weight Per Dumbbell: 5 to 80 pounds | Total Set Weight: 160 pounds | Replaces: 16 sets of weights | Sold As: Pair | Storage Bases Included: Yes | Warranty: Not included (sold separately)

adjustable dumbbells test

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

Best Compact: PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells

4.4
PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
Our Ratings
  • Setup
    4/5
  • Adjustability
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Grip
    4/5
  • Durability
    5/5
Pros
  • Very durable

  • Comes assembled

  • Offers lots of weights

Cons
  • Not shaped like traditional dumbbells

  • Adjustment mechanism isn't super straightforward

These compact adjustable dumbbells may not look like traditional dumbbells, but they still allow you to get 16 weights in one. And thanks to their square shape, they can easily be stored and stacked in a corner of your apartment or garage without taking up too much space—which earned them a 5 out of 5 for storage.

The 5.5 x 11.75 x 6.25-inch dumbbells are easily the most durable dumbbells on this list. Our testers gave them a 5 out of 5 for durability after dropping them on both foam flooring and concrete, which resulted in zero damage to the dumbbells—not even minor scratches. These dumbbells broke the concrete, so you should be careful not to drop them on your floor (they come with a warning from the manufacturer that says "do not drop").

The dumbbells adjust from 5 to 50 pounds each in 2.5-pound increments (although when we measured the minimum weight of the empty handles in the lab, they were actually 5.4 pounds, instead of 5 pounds as reported by the manufacturer). Customers who want to lift even heavier can purchase add-on weights that go up to 70 pounds (Available at Dick's) or 90 pounds (Available at PowerBlock)—both sold separately—thanks to the dumbbells' expandable stands.

While the adjustment mechanism is fairly easy once you get the hang of it—simply place the auto-lock handle on the color-coded bar that corresponds with the weight you're trying to use—it can be difficult to understand for beginners. The dumbbells also come with two Chrome adder weights that allow you to increase the weight in 2.5-pound increments, further customizing your weightlifting experience.

We recommend watching a how-to YouTube video that guides you through how to adjust these dumbbells if you've never used them before, as they don't ship with clear instructions.

What Our Testers Say

"Although these adjustable dumbbells are shaped a little unconventionally, they're very storable given their square shape and the fact that they easily adjust from 5 to 50 pounds (and you can buy add-on weight separately to make them adjust to 90 pounds)." Isabella Broggini, NASM-CPT, Commerce Editor, and product tester

adjustable dumbbells test

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

Weight Per Dumbbell: 5 to 50 pounds | Total Set Weight: 100 pounds | Replaces: 16 sets of weights | Sold As: Pair | Storage Bases Included: No | Warranty: Five years, limited

Best Single Dumbbell: FLYBIRD Adjustable Dumbbells

4.5
FLYBIRD Adjustable Dumbbells

Courtesy of Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    5/5
  • Adjustability
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4.5/5
  • Grip
    4/5
  • Durability
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Adjusts with the twist of the handle

  • Comes assembled

Cons
  • Can only be adjusted to 5 different weights

  • Some may prefer pair to single dumbbell

If you're looking for a single dumbbell—whether it's to save space or because you're on a budget—the FLYBIRD Adjustable Dumbbell is a great, reliable choice. You can adjust the weight of the dumbbell with a quick turn of the handle, and the dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 25 pounds in 5-pound increments. It's so easy to adjust that our testers gave it a 5 out of 5 for adjustability.

Because the dumbbell is also super easy to set up and unbox (it took our tester 13 seconds from start to finish) as well as to use, the FLYBIRD would have been our "best for beginners" pick if only it adjusted in smaller increments. For beginners looking to increase the weights they use over time, it may be hard to jump from 5 to 10 pounds for certain exercises. But we still think this is a great pick for more advanced beginners who already feel comfortable working with 5 to 25 pounds.

Thanks to the textured handle, our testers found the dumbbell fairly easy to grip with dry hands. But when completing the test with wet hands, one tester noted that the metal handle of the dumbbell started sliding a bit in their hand. This earned the dumbbell a rating of 4 out of 5 for grip. If you're someone who tends to get sweaty when exercising, you may want to opt to use these with weightlifting gloves to maintain a good grip throughout your workout.

The adjustable dumbbell comes with a storage base and is fairly lightweight, so it should be easy to move and store.

What Our Testers Say

"I would prefer if this product came with another dumbbell, as a pair would allow for more exercise versatility. However, the price is good enough that someone could buy two dumbbells, and it would still be cheaper than most on the market." — Israel Fontoura, Commerce Producer and product tester

adjustable dumbbells test

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

Weight Per Dumbbell: 5 to 25 pounds | Total Set Weight: 50 pounds | Replaces: Five sets of weights | Sold As: Single | Storage Bases Included: Yes | Warranty: One year, limited

Best Grip: Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dumbbell

4.5
Our Ratings
  • Setup
    5/5
  • Adjustability
    4/5
  • Ease of Use
    4.5/5
  • Grip
    5/5
  • Durability
    4.5/5

Earning a perfect score of 5 out of 5, we love the textured grip on this adjustable dumbbell, which is perfect for weightlifters in need of a particularly anti-slip handle. Even when performing lifts with wet hands during the wet test, our tester noted that her hands never slipped from the handle, even when performing the exercises with a heavier weight.

Perfect for intermediate-to-advanced weightlifters, these dumbbells adjust from 15 to 55 pounds in 10-pound increments, making a single dumbbell the equivalent of five sets of weights. Our tester noted that this weight range may not be the best for beginners, as starting off with 15-pound weights and progressing the load at a pace of 10 pounds can be difficult for those just starting out. 

We love that the weight of these dumbbells can be easily adjusted with the twist of their handle and that the safety locking mechanism secures the dumbbells on your chosen weight, even when completing more dynamic moves, like weighted jump squats

We were also impressed that the dumbbells came fully assembled and were super easy to set up—which earned them a score of 5 out of 5 for setup. Easier to store than other options on our list, this pair also came with its own storage bases. 

You can also buy this set as a single dumbbell, or buy the heavier option that adjusts from 11 up to 71.5 pounds in 5.5-pound increments.

What Our Testers Say

"I would recommend these weights to someone who is already a pretty heavy weightlifter and who doesn't require weights below 15lbs and who feels comfortable progressing weights in 10-pound increments." —Isabella Broggini, NASM-CPT, Commerce Editor, and product tester

adjustable dumbbell test

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

Weight Per Dumbbell: 15 to 55-pound or 11 to 71.5-pound options | Total Set Weight: 110 pounds or 143 pounds (depending on which option you chose) | Replaces: Five or 12 sets of weights | Sold As: Single or pair | Storage Bases Included: Yes | Warranty: Not listed

Best for Cardio: NiceC Adjustable Dumbbell Pair

4.6
NiceC Adjustable Dumbbell Pair
Our Ratings
  • Setup
    5/5
  • Adjustability
    4/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Grip
    5/5
  • Durability
    4/5
Pros
  • Comes assembled

  • Budget-friendly

Cons
  • Not suited for traditional weightlifting

Although we wouldn't recommend these dumbbells for traditional weightlifting, they're a great pick if you're looking for a lightweight dumbbell to add to your cardio routine to make it more challenging. Use it for arm exercises while you cycle (à la Peloton), to power your punch in kickboxing, or to add some resistance to your HIIT exercises.

These dumbbells are listed as "adjustable." However, they only adjust to three weights. When we weighed each dumbbell in The Lab, the minimum weight per dumbbell was 2.2 pounds (although the manufacturer lists it as 2.3 pounds), the medium weight was 3.4 pounds, and the maximum weight was 4.4 pounds (although the manufacturer lists it as 4.5 pounds). But our testers still gave these dumbbells a score of 4 out of 5 for adjustability because they're super easy to adjust while you exercise—simply twist open the ends of the dumbbells to add or remove the small weight bars found inside to increase or decrease the weight.

Thanks to the curved shape and neoprene coating of the handlebars, our testers found these dumbbells super easy to grip with both dry and wet hands (a feature that is particularly important if you're using them during a sweaty cardio routine).

Weight Per Dumbbell: 2.3 to 4.5 pounds | Total Set Weight: 9 pounds | Replaces: Three sets of weights | Sold As: Pair | Storage Bases Included: No | Warranty: Not listed

adjustable dumbbells test

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

Final Verdict

Of all the adjustable dumbbells we tested, we think the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (view at Amazon) are the best overall choice due to the ample weight range they offer (which is great for both beginner and intermediate weightlifters) and the fact that they allow you to adjust the weight you're using super-fast between exercises. We also love that users can increase the weight of the dumbbells by 2.5-pound increments up to 25 pounds, allowing beginners to progress the weight they use over time with a lower risk of injury.

For beginner weightlifters looking for a truly budget-friendly, no-frills adjustable dumbbell that still gets the job done, the BESPORTBLE Adjustable Weight Dumbbells (view at Amazon) are a solid pick. Although this pick didn't score the highest on the list for all attributes, you still get 16 dumbbell weight plates at an affordable price, allowing you to adjust each dumbbell from 1.2 to roughly 39.6 pounds in small, manageable increments.

adjustable dumbbells test

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

How We Rated the Adjustable Dumbbells

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best adjustable dumbbells we tested. We recommend them without reservation.

4.5 to 4.7 stars: These dumbbells are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.

4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great dumbbells, but others are better.

3.5 to 3.9 stars: These dumbbells are just average.

3.4 and below: We don't recommend dumbbells with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

How We Tested the Adjustable Dumbbells

To make our list of the best adjustable dumbbells, members of the Verywell Fit editorial team tested 15 adjustable dumbbells in The Verywell Testing Lab to see how they performed in key areas, including unboxing and set up, adjustability, ease of use, durability, grip, portability, storage, and overall value. Five testers—including two certified personal trainers, one barre instructor, and two beginner-to-intermediate weightlifters—spent two full days running through a circuit of a variety of dumbbell-based strength training exercises.

Unboxing

Before beginning the circuit, we unboxed each dumbbell and took note of the initial condition of each as well as how long it took us to set each dumbbell up for use once unboxed. We also noted how portable and storable each dumbbell was, based on its bulkiness, weight, and whether it came with a storage device—like a storage base or rack.

Throughout the test, our testers paid special attention to how each dumbbell felt in their hands and if the weight felt evenly distributed in the dumbbell.

Weightlifting Circuit

We tested each adjustable dumbbell twice through a dumbbell weightlifting circuit of six upper body and lower body exercises which included dumbbell squats, dumbbell jump squats, dumbbell overhead presses, dumbbell walking lunges, dumbbell Russian twists, and dumbbell single-arm front raises. Before running through this exercise circuit for a second time, each tester sprayed their hands with water to see how their grip would hold up when things got humid or sweaty.

We evaluated the ease of use of each dumbbell while performing each exercise in the circuit, as well as the ease of adjustability of the dumbbells by taking note of how long it took to adjust the weight from exercise to exercise. During both the wet and dry tests, we paid special attention to whether our grip on the dumbbells faltered or didn't feel as secure at any point throughout the circuit.

Drop Test

Following our sweat test, we took each dumbbell through a drop test to evaluate its durability. Testers dropped each dumbbell from hip height once on gym foam flooring and once on concrete slabs to evaluate how the dumbbells would hold up if accidentally (or purposefully) dropped on various flooring.

Dumbbells that only had very minor scratches after being dropped on foam and concrete flooring received a higher score for durability, while those that chipped or lost parts throughout the test scored lower for this attribute.

adjustable dumbbells test

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

Attributes vs. Price

We also rated each dumbbell for "overall value," a subjective score that weighs all the other attributes (unboxing and set up, adjustability, ease of use, durability, and storage) against the price of the dumbbell. If an adjustable dumbbell scored highly on all attributes but was significantly more expensive than the other dumbbells we tested, we did not give it a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for overall value.

Computing the Score

We then used this data to calculate an overall average score. Because this score is an average, no adjustable dumbbell received a perfect overall rating. Some of the adjustable dumbbells that scored highest for adjustability and ease of use scored lowest for storage because since they offer more weights to the user, they tend to be slightly bulkier. And some adjustable dumbbells that were super storable scored low for adjustability because they didn't offer our testers enough weights to complete a full workout.

Since the quality of some dumbbells may deteriorate over time based on their durability, we are continuing to test each dumbbell at home, and we will update our recommendations based on any new insights.

What to Look for in an Adjustable Dumbbell

Weight

Any time you're shopping for weightlifting equipment, the actual weight should be a key factor. Consider your experience as a lifter and find a set that suits your needs and skill level. Remember that sets can range from light (2 to 11 pounds per dumbbell) to heavy (11 to 70 pounds per dumbbell) to wide-ranging (4 to 100 pounds per dumbbell).

You'll also want to keep in mind increment jumps. "Especially for weight under 25 pounds, you may want the weight to go up in small increments," Marita Martina Gumbs, CPT, Fight 2B Fit DC Lead Trainer, says. "Going from 10 pounds to 20 pounds—or even 10 pounds to 15 pounds—can be tough to handle." If you want more control over your workouts, look for a set that increases in smaller, more nuanced increments.

Efficiency

How many dumbbell sets are you trying to replace? Depending on weight range and increment size, adjustable dumbbell sets can replace between 4 to 15 dumbbell sets (and sometimes, even more).

Unit Size

Some adjustable dumbbells are sold as singles, and others are sold as pairs. This is key to keep in mind as you compare prices, consider weights, and ultimately buy a set of dumbbells. You should also check whether the weight in the product description describes a single dumbbell or a full set. (You'll be disappointed if you get a 20-pound set, thinking you ordered two 20-pound dumbbells. And you'll also be disappointed if you receive one dumbbell, thinking you ordered a full set.)

Price

One thing that our testers noted after testing 15 adjustable dumbbells in The Verywell Testing Lab is that you'll probably have to shell out a minimum of $300 for a high-quality adjustable dumbbell. Cheaper options do exist, but keep in mind that you'll likely end up compromising in some areas—like weight range, increment increase, ease of adjustment, portability, and durability—if you opt for a budget-friendlier option.

adjustable dumbbells test

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do adjustable dumbbells work?

    Most adjustable dumbbells come equipped with some type of lock. Unlock the dumbbells, and you can add or remove weight as you see fit—usually by turning a dial or sliding a slider to a given number. This number signals how much you want the dumbbell to weigh, and the dumbbell will use it to determine how much weight to add or drop.

    Some manually adjustable dumbbells won't do this work for you. Instead, you'll have to remove the collars from your dumbbells and add or remove weight plates until you reach your desired weight.

  • Are adjustable dumbbells safe?

    Adjustable dumbbells can be safe, but it's important that you follow the directions for your specific set. If you don't lock your dumbbells properly, weights could fall off of them mid-workout—leading to potentially serious injuries.

    Brathwaite notes that spinlocks may be tougher to use than other locks, and he specifically recommends Bowflex's SelectTech Dumbbells (view at Amazon) for their ability to be used easily and safely.

adjustable dumbbells test

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Isabella Broggini is the Commerce Editor for Verywell Fit and a certified personal trainer who has trained clients at Equinox. Isabella strength-trains using dumbbells several times a week. While testing adjustable dumbbells in The Verywell Testing Lab, Isabella focused her attention on the time it took to adjust each dumbbell throughout the workout circuit as well as how long it took her to set up and unbox each dumbbell. She performed side-by-side comparisons of products and collected first-hand data.

Isabella favors slightly pricier adjustable dumbbells if it means she can get more weights per dumbbell. Isabella is a fan of the POWERBLOCK Elite EXP Adjustable Dumbbells (view at Amazon) because they offer lots of weight options in one dumbbell and can be easily stored in her small one-bedroom New York City apartment.

Additional reporting by Lindsey Lanquist.

Verywell Fit writer Lindsey Lanquist has years of experience in the health and fitness space. For this piece, she prioritized adjustable dumbbells that were easy to use and genuinely well-reviewed by those who've tried them. She also made sure to feature adjustable dumbbells in a range of different weights and styles. After all, personal preference can vary a lot—and you deserve an adjustable dumbbell set that meets your precise needs.

Was this page helpful?