The 9 Best Dumbbells of 2021

Up your workout game with these picks

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Our Top Picks
Starting at 2.5 pounds each and going up to 12.5 pounds, this set easily adds weight to your routine as you get stronger.
Since these dumbbells come in eight different weights and 11 fun colors, it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Bluetooth connectivity helps track your stats—repetitions, weight lifted, calories burned, and more.
Ideal for beginners, this pair is customizable—simply add or subtract the mini bars from the sides to adjust the load.
The chrome-plated dumbbells are durable enough to last for years, while the hexagon shape keeps them from rolling around.
Best Space-Saving:
Bala Bars at Amazon
The 3-pound bars are a solid weightlifting starting point, less bulky than other picks, and take up minimal space in your bag.
These floatable weights are made of EVA-foam, so no need to worry about H2O getting everywhere when you carry them home.
These water-filled dumbbells are lightweight, compressible, and completely adjustable for workouts on the go.
Comes with five different pairs of dumbbells, which range from 5 pounds to 25 pounds—giving you a total of 150 pounds.

You could call dumbbells the OG of home gym equipment. They’ve been a tried-and-true fitness staple in people’s living rooms for good reason: dumbbells can up the ante on your strength workouts, as well as on your cardio routines. With a set of these handheld weights, you can maximize the benefits of moves like squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, rows, and more.

Here are the best dumbbells on the market for all your needs.

Best Overall: NordicTrack SpeedWeight Adjustable Dumbbells

NordicTrack SpeedWeight Adjustable Dumbbells

These adjustable dumbbells from NordicTrack give you five sets of weights—all in one compact case. Starting at 2.5 pounds each and going up to 12.5 pounds, you can easily add weight to your exercises as you get stronger without having to buy multiple pairs of dumbbells.

With your purchase, you also get one year of an iFit membership, meaning you get access to tons of free video workouts from top trainers who show you smart ways to lift weights. If you’re looking for a heavier set, NordicTrack also sells a pair that goes up to 55 pounds each.

Consider this a complete at-home training kit.

Best Budget: Portzon Set of 2 Neoprene Dumbbell Hand Weights

These neoprene dumbbells from Portzon are a classic pick—and a pretty budget-friendly one, too. The dumbbells are coated with easy-to-grip neoprene, which will make them comfortable to hold onto. And their hexagonal shape will keep them from rolling away when you set them down.

Choose from a pair of 1-pound dumbbells, 10-pound dumbbells, or something in between. Since the dumbbells come in eight different weights and 10 fun colors, it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. 

Best Adjustable: Bowflex SelectTech 560 Dumbbell

Investing in an adjustable dumbbell is a time- and space-saver. The Bowflex SelectTech 560 compact design adjusts from 5 to 60 pounds with a turn of the handle, meaning that you don’t need to purchase (or make room for) other sets of dumbbells as you progress.

Users say they like the sleek design and soft, rubbery grips. But what’s especially cool about this model is that thanks to Bluetooth connectivity, repetitions, weight lifted, and calories burned are all tracked on the accompanying Bowflex Connect app. 

Best for Beginners: Nice C Adjustable Dumbbells

New to weight training? Nice C's adjustable dumbbells are the perfect starter kit. Choose the 4-pound or 11-pound pair and you can add or subtract mini bars that screw into the sides of the dumbbell. That means your weight can range from 2.3 pounds up to 4 or 11 pounds, depending on the number of bars you add. As you get stronger with your weight training, continue to increase the load for added intensity.

In addition to being adjustable, these also come in a range of cool colors and feel super comfy in your hands. 

Best Advanced: CAP Barbell Set of 2 Hex Rubber Dumbbell

If you’re looking for a gym-like pair of solid, sturdy dumbbells, these CAP Barbell sets definitely fit the bill. While they have lighter weights for sale, you can also go super heavy—with pairs of dumbbells up to 120 pounds each. Anyone with experience lifting who wants to take their training to the next level can do so by choosing a heavier set of these weights.

The cast iron, chrome-plated, and rubber dumbbells are also durable enough to last for years, while the hexagon shape keeps them from rolling around when you set them to the side or use them on the ground. 

Best Space-Saving: Bala Bars

Bala Bars

If you’re working on building your arm workout equipment arsenal, these 3-pound dumbbells from Bala are a solid starting point. Whether you’re new to upper body strength workouts or you need a break from heavier weights, these offer a light challenge. And as you build your strength, you can always increase your repetitions to make the workout more challenging.

Available in a variety of fun colors and less bulky than traditionally-designed dumbbells, the bars fit perfectly in your hand as you work through curls, extensions, and raises. Each set is complete with a mesh carrying case for seamless portability, whether you’re toting these to the gym or on a trip. 

Made with recycled stainless steel covered in silicone, the bars are a sustainable choice you can feel good about. 

What Our Editors Say

"These are great for daily use and give me a break from my 5-pound dumbbells. I appreciate the sleek design, which can initially feel slippery, and place them in a corner of my desk as a reminder to take standing breaks. I use them a lot for lateral raises or shoulder presses. The Bala Bars also complement my trampoline workouts, and the 3-pound weight is just right for simultaneous jumping. I’ll even hold these during leisure walks for added resistance." — Tori Zhou, Associate Commerce Editor 

Best for Pool: SunLite Sports High-Density EVA-Foam Dumbbell Set

Prefer to work out in the pool? These dumbbells up the resistance on moves like bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, and rows. Made of EVA foam, they're designed to float, so it takes your strength to move them underwater. The material won’t hold onto water, so don't worry about H2O getting everywhere when you put them in storage or carry them home from the public pool.

Use them to maximize the benefits of classes like water aerobics classes or aqua Zumba, too. 

Best Portable: Mworld2 2Pcs/Set Portable Adjustable Water-Filled Dumbbell

Searching for a set of dumbbells you can travel with? Look no further. These water-filled dumbbells are lightweight, compressible, and completely adjustable. Toss them in your suitcase, knowing they won’t weigh it down or demand a ton of space. And fill them up once you reach your final destination. 

Since they’re completely adjustable, you can control how heavy they are. And yes, they do get pretty heavy—when completely full, they can weigh up to 20 pounds apiece. 

Best Rack Set: CAP Barbell 150-Pound Dumbbell Set with Rack

Looking for an all-in-one training system? This CAP Barbell dumbbell set has you covered. The set comes with five different pairs of dumbbells, which range from 5 pounds to 25 pounds—giving you a total of 150 pounds to work with. 

The dumbbells are made of heavy-duty iron and durable steel, so you don’t have to worry about them failing to hold up over time. And since they ship with an A-frame rack, they’re incredibly easy to store between workouts. 

Final Verdict

You get the most bang for your buck with a set of adjustable dumbbells, like the NordicTrack SpeedWeight Adjustable Dumbbells, though they’re definitely more expensive than single sets. If you’re looking for that single weight set—and a pair that’s heavier in weight—CAP Barbell Set of 2 Hex Rubber Dumbbells are a great go-to. 

What to Look for in Dumbbells


When deciding which dumbbells to go with, think about the amount of weight you want to lift. If you’re new to fitness and just want to add a little resistance to your typical bodyweight workout, stick to a set of lower weight dumbbells. If you’re an avid exerciser who’s looking to go heavier on moves like deadlifts and squats, you’ll want a double-digit load. 


If you want a few sets of weights to have more options, but you don’t have a ton of space, choose an adjustable dumbbell or a set that comes with a stand. That way, you don’t have to worry about stacking your own weights or having multiple sets taking up tons of room. 

Fitness Goals

For those who prefer cardio workouts or those who want to increase their muscular endurance, a lighter set of dumbbells is better suited for higher-rep workouts. But, if you want to build strength and muscle, a heavier set could get you there faster. Decide what you want out of our weighted workouts to determine what set of dumbbells is right for you.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

Mallory Creveling has been covering the fitness industry for more than a decade, often writing about workout equipment. She’s also a personal trainer who’s tried tons of at-home equipment. She knows what moves work best with added weight, and what to look for to get the most out of your gear.

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