There’s no doubt that dumbbells are an essential piece of home gym equipment. They’re versatile, and allow a good range of motion. Certain exercises can’t be done without them, and the best affordable dumbbells are used by everyone from hardcore bodybuilders to fitness enthusiasts to Moms trying to get into shape. Dumbbells come in various styles, from pre-fixed to adjustable to the “PowerBlock” type of concept. Your choice is based on budget, space, and goals. Let’s dive in and find out what the best affordable dumbbells are!
In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:
- Adjust The Weight With A Dial – Choose The Weight & Train
- The Poundage Ranges From 5 to 52.5 Lbs
- Includes Media rack & Workout App
- May Be A Little Pricey For Some Users
The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells feature an innovative design that allows the user to quickly and easily change the weight on the dumbbells. Each dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 lbs with the first 25 lbs adjusting up in 2.5 lb increments. The weight you want to use is selected using a unique dial system. Simply dial in the weight, grab the dumbbells and you’re good to go. The included dumbbell stand incorporates a media rack, and you can download workouts to your phone. The design of these dumbbells is ideal for a small home gym or exercise area. All of these advanced features make the Bowflex SelectTech 552 the overall best affordable dumbbells.
- Features 33 lbs Of Plates
- The Handles Are Solid Steel
- Includes A Plastic Carrying Case
- Star Lock Collars Loosen Quickly
The Sunny Health & Fitness Chrome Dumbbell Set features knurled handles that provide a slip-free grip while exercising. The weights can be adjusted quickly with the easy-on, easy-off Star Lock collars. The handles are made of solid steel and weigh in at 2.75lbs each. This set includes 33lbs of plates, including (8) 2.5 lb plates, and (4) 1.25 lb plates. It comes with a plastic case for storage and easy transport. If you’re a beginner and need a good dumbbell set that can be easily adjusted, the Sunny Health and Fitness 33lb Chrome Dumbbell Set is a great place to start. They don’t take up much space, and the dumbbells can be easily stored. The amount of weight provided is great for most beginners and makes a good addition to a barbell or home gym machine program.All of these features make the Sunny Health & Fitness Chrome Dumbbell Set the best affordable dumbbells for beginners.
- Made Of Cast Iron
- Rubber Coated Hexagon Shaped Weights
- Contoured Handles
- Sold As Singles, May Be Pricey To Buy Several Pairs
The AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbells are pre-fixed and come in several poundages up to 50lbs. They are available in 5lb increments starting at 10lbs and are made of cast iron for strength and durability.
These dumbbells feature contoured, knurled handles for comfort and a good grip. The rubber coating provides a safe workout and ensures quietness if you train in the morning. The hexagon shape prevents rolling, a common issue with regular round plates. The AmazonBasics are sold as a single dumbbell, so it may be costly to build a set. Still, you can buy singles or pairs as your goals and needs dictate. The AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbells is the best hexagon pre-fixed affordable dumbbells.
- 14” Steel Handles
- Knurled For A Solid Grip
- Star Lock Collars Feature A Rubber Seal To Prevent Loosening
- Adjustable Dumbbells Do Not Require A Lot Of Space
- The Rounded Plates Tend To Roll Easily
Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells feature 14” knurled chrome steel handles, round cast iron plates, and Star Lock collars. The collars feature rubber seals to help prevent loosening. The Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells come in different sizes, from 40lbs up to 200lbs. There’s also an optional connector that turns your dumbbells into a straight bar. With the connector, this is a great set if you don’t already own a barbell. If you do own a barbell, the connector frees up your bar for the big compound movements like squats or deadlifts. The Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells are the best affordable dumbbells for versatility.
- Knurled, Ergonomic Handles For A Good Grip
- Good Weight Selection – Goes Up To 120lbs In 5lb Increments
- Hexagon Shaped To Prevent Rolling
- Some Home Gyms May Not Have Enough Space For More Than A Few Pairs
The CAP Barbell Coated Hex Dumbbells are made from iron with knurled cold rolled steel handles. The handles are ergonomically designed for a solid grip. The hexagon-style heads prevent rolling and are rubber coated for safety. The rubber is also quiet in case you drop a dumbbell while training, and won’t cause as much potential damage as dumbbells that are not coated.The CAP Hex Dumbbells range from 5lbs up to 120lbs in 5lb increments. The downside is that you will need a rack and enough space if you want a good range of weight. That’s enough weight for all but the strongest users and enough for any home gym. That makes the CAP Barbell Coated Hex Dumbbells the best affordable dumbbells for bodybuilders.
- Knurled Handles – Ergonomically Designed For Grip & Comfort
- Rubber Coated Cast Iron Heads
- Available In Various Poundages
- May Take Up Too Much Space If You Need A Rack
The Papababe Rubber Coated Cast Iron Hex Dumbbell Set features cast iron heads with a durable rubber coating. The handles are knurled and ergonomically designed for a solid grip. The hex design of the heads prevents rolling. These dumbbells are sold as a pair and range from 5lbs to 50 lbs and include an 8lb and 12lb pair. They go up in 5lb increments from 15 to 50 lbs. The Papababe dumbbells take up very little space and can be stored out of the way if needed. However, the downside is if you need several pairs, you may need a rack for storage. This requires a home gym area with enough available space for a rack. Still, the Papababe Rubber Coated Cast Iron Hex Dumbbells are a great addition to anyone’s home gym. The poundages are ideal for serious workouts that don’t get too heavy. Plus, all the features make the Papababe Rubber Coated Cast Iron Hex Dumbbells the best affordable dumbbells for fitness.
- Includes A Travel Case – Take Your Dumbbells Anywhere
- Up To 40lbs – Light Enough For Easy Carry
- Cast Iron Plates For Durability
- May Not Be Enough Weight For Some Users
The Marcy ADS-42 40lb Adjustable Dumbbell Set includes two handles, Starlock collars, 40lbs of plates, and a storage case. The handles are knurled for a good grip. The plates are cast iron and come in two sizes: 4-3lb plate and 4-5lb plates, with each handle weight 2.5lbs. Add in the Starlock collars, and you have 40lbs or 20lbs per dumbbell. The storage case is a perfect way to take the Marcy ADS-42 Dumbbell Set with you when you travel. This is ideal for business travelers who spend a lot of time in hotels that may not always have a gym. It’s also a great choice if you’re on vacation, or simply want to take your dumbbell set to the local park or beach for some outdoor training. That makes the Marcy ADS-42 40lb Dumbbell Set the best affordable dumbbells for travelers.
- Expandable Dumbbells – Add Up To 40lbs At Your Convenience
- Space-Saving Design
- Load In 2.5lb Increments – Great For Progressive Overload
- The Boxy Design May Make Some Exercises Awkward To Perform
The Powerblock Elite EXP Adjustable Dumbbells come in a range of 5lb to 50 lbs. The weights load in 2.5lb increments. This is a space-saving design that replaces a rack of 16 pairs of dumbbells. One of the nice features of the PowerBlock Elite EXP is that the “EXP” stands for expandable. You can add more weight to this set, up to 70lbs and then 90lbs. This allows the user to add weight as their budget permits and their strength goes up. These features work great if you have a dedicated but compact home gym space, especially since you can add more weight without taking up more space. That makes the PowerBlock Elite EXP the best affordable dumbbells for a small home gym.
- Durable Neoprene Design
- Includes Storage Rack
- 20lbs In Three Weight Increments
- May Not Be Enough Weight For Some Users
The AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbell Hand Weights come as a 20lb set and include a stand. There are two 2lb, two 3lb, and two 5lb pairs. These dumbbells are a good choice for senior users that are trying to get in shape or perhaps do some rehab work at home. The weight range is ideal for most senior users. The neoprene design is durable and can be used outside or inside. The rack will take up a little space but will work well in a small room or area devoted to exercise. The lighter weight and ease of use make the AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbell Hand Weights the best affordable dumbbells for seniors.
- Available In Increments Up To A 50lb Pair
- Tough Neoprene Features Hex Heads To Prevent Rolling
- Rack Included
- Some Users Feel The Rack Is Wobbly
The BalanceFrom GoFit All-Purpose Dumbbells are made using durable neoprene. The main advantage of these dumbbells is that you can go up to a 50lb set. This allows more serious training, and the hexagon shape heads prevent rolling. Each poundage level is color-coded, and the BalanceFrom GoFit set comes with a rack for easy storage. You’ll need available space for the rack, but it will fit even in smaller home gyms. Some assembly is required, but there’s a convenient tool included.
The durable, color-coded design and the ability to go up in weight over other neoprene dumbbells are ideal for anyone that trains casually as well as serious trainers. It’s an especially good poundage range for women. These features make the BalanceFrom GoFit All-Purpose Dumbbells the best affordable dumbbells for women. Dumbbells are a “must-have” for any serious home gym. Whether your goals are fitness-oriented, bodybuilding oriented, or sports-oriented, there are quite a few exercises that can only be done with dumbbells. You could effectively work your entire body with a set of adjustable dumbbells and a bench. The days of buying a barbell set and getting two dumbbell handles as part of the set are over.
Oh sure, you can still do that, but now you have some pretty impressive choices when it comes to getting affordable dumbbells. Buying affordable dumbbells is not complicated. Here’s what you should look for in a good set of affordable dumbbells: The first thing to consider when looking at dumbbells is whether you want adjustable or pre-fixed. The old classic handles with a lockable collar work great as long as you have plates available. Whether you’re using Olympic or standard plates, it’s very easy to load up your handles for whatever exercise you want to do.
The downside to adjustable dumbbells is that it takes a little time to change the weights. This can be a limiting factor during your workout. Still, many newer adjustable dumbbell sets now include a connector bar that transforms your dumbbells into a straight bar. This is a good idea that opens up more training options.
A pre-fixed pair, especially if you have several pairs at different weight levels, works better for more intense training techniques that require you to change weight levels quickly. For example, if you’re performing drop sets, you’ll want to drop down in weight quickly to keep the set going. Drops are a common bodybuilding technique and can work well with a pre-fixed hex dumbbell set.
While you can buy iron hex dumbbells at any weight level, rubber-encased are the safest and quietest for home use. Also, the hexagon head design prevents the dumbbells from rolling if you put them down on the floor. The downside is that you’ll need a rack if you plan on owning several pairs. Still, there’s nothing like an impressive rack of dumbbells if you have a hardcore home gym setup. There are newer concepts in adjustable dumbbells such as the Power Block concept. This is the basis for some of the more “exotic” style dumbbell sets like Bowflex. This type of dumbbell is compact and easily adjustable.
If fitness is your goal, a smaller set of neoprene dumbbells will work just fine. This style of dumbbell is pre-fixed and durable. They usually feature a hexagon head design to prevent rolling. If you’re a serious trainer and have a large home gym, chances are you’ll want a serious rack with several pairs of dumbbells. However, some people like to train outdoors, whether it’s on the back deck or at a local park. Some travel a lot and have found that not every hotel has an onsite fitness center. Some have very limited space and need to store the dumbbells under the bed when not in use. No matter how much space you have, there’s a choice in dumbbells for you. There’s no exercise that can’t be done with a pair of dumbbells. They can be used in place of or in conjunction with a bar. Also, they allow the use of isolation exercises that ensure complete development. It’s important to realize that some exercises can’t be done without using dumbbells.
- Side Laterals
- Rear Laterals
- Arnold Press
- Flat Flyes
- Incline Flyes
- Supinating Incline Curls
- One Arm Triceps Kickbacks
- 1-Arm Dumbbell Row
Other exercises, such as concentration curls, for example, can be done with a bar but are designed to be done with dumbbells. You can do most of the same exercises with dumbbells that you can with a bar, but dumbbells can allow for a greater range of motion. This is especially true of exercises such as flat or incline bench presses.
With so many choices in affordable dumbbells, there’s something for everybody. The Bowflex SelectTech 552 is the best overall because they are compact and easily adjustable. Simply turn the dial to your desired weight and start lifting. They also come with a storage rack that includes a media center, and you can download a workout app to your smartphone. If you travel frequently, the Marcy ADS-42 40lb Dumbbell Set is the ideal choice. It comes with a total of 40lbs of plates and a convenient travel case. The Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells include 14” knurled chrome steel handles, round cast iron plates, and go all the way up to 200lbs. This is the ideal dumbbell set for bodybuilders, especially those that train heavy. Ultimately, the best affordable dumbbells should be the ones that not only fit your budget but also fit your needs. Happy Training!