If you are looking for a different way of working out or you are looking for new dumbbells, you might want to consider getting ones that are adjustable. They are very similar to non-adjustable ones with a few exceptions. You can find the differences as well as some tips to buying the best adjustable dumbbells below this list of the top 10 that you can buy today, and at the end, all of them are compared to find out which is possibly the best of the best.
List of the Top 10 Best Best Adjustable Dumbbells in 2020
- List of the Top 10 Best Best Adjustable Dumbbells in 2020
- #10 Ironmaster 75 lb Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System with Stand
- #9 Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbell
- #8 Power Block GF-SPDBLK24 Adjustable SpeedBlock Dumbbells (Pack of 2), Black, 24lb.
- #7 TELK Adjustable Dumbbells, 65, 105 to 200 lbs
- #6 Weider Speed Weight Adjustable Dumbbell – 5-25 lbs.
- #5 XMark Adjustable Dumbbell (Available singles or Pair)
- #4 Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells 40, 50, 52.5, 60, 105 to 200 lbs
- #3 Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set by Affordable Dumbbells – Adjustable Weights
- #2 Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell (Single)
- #1 Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair)
- Buying Guide to Choosing the Best Adjustable Dumbbells on the Market
- Things to look for
- Adjustable vs. Non-adjustable
- Benefits of Using an Adjustable Dumbbell
- How to use an Adjustable Dumbbell Properly
#10 Ironmaster 75 lb Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System with Stand
Despite how they look, these dumbbells are actually very good in terms of metal quality, durability, and lifespan. The plates are possibly the most square and they have unique, large, and round ends on each of the dumbbells. They are pretty popular due to how long they last and how sturdy they are, despite being one of the most expensive sets out there. Due to the max weight, it is safe to say that these are probably best to be used by experienced users.
#9 Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbell
These dumbbells are also pretty expensive, but like the last pair, they are one of the most durable. They are also one of the more comfortable dumbbells due to their soft and supportive rubber grips. They also come with a stand/holder for storage and dials for making the adjustments. Another way they are like the last ones: they are probably more suited towards experienced and maybe intermediate users.
#8 Power Block GF-SPDBLK24 Adjustable SpeedBlock Dumbbells (Pack of 2), Black, 24lb.
The design of this looks a little bizarre due to the bread-looking plates and bell. There isn’t as much room to grip it when compared to others, but if you have smaller than average hands, you should be fine. They could also be good for kids to use since they are low-weight; make sure to educate them on how to use weights. Keep in mind, this isn’t a set despite the name. It is only one dumbbell.
#7 TELK Adjustable Dumbbells, 65, 105 to 200 lbs
With the classic look and design, these dumbbells can be great for people who like the older designs rather than the newer ones, like the last dumbbell. The plates are made of thick cast-iron that has an enamel finish to prevent rust, making them one of the more longer-lasting sets out there. Unlike many of the other adjustable sets, this set comes with several low weights: 8 5-pound plates, 4 2.5-pound plates, and 4 1.25-pound plates. The ends that hold the plates feel a little cheap, but they do their job for the most part by keeping them in place.
#6 Weider Speed Weight Adjustable Dumbbell – 5-25 lbs.
Possibly the simplest and smallest design out there now, this weight is definitely not for someone with big hands. Between the max weight of 25 pounds and the smaller than average gripping room, it seems to be most appropriate for children or teens who are learning how to work out with weights. This one also only comes in a single pack, but it does come with a simple holding tray.
#5 XMark Adjustable Dumbbell (Available singles or Pair)
Similar design to the last dumbbell, this set is one is also light-weight yet affordable. It does have a slightly larger gripping area, making it easier to use than the other smaller models. It is also available in a set that has a maximum weight of 50 pounds, too. So if you like the look and specs but you want more of a workout, then you may want to take a look at the heavier set.
#4 Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells 40, 50, 52.5, 60, 105 to 200 lbs
Very similar to the other classic set on here, these dumbbells have nearly the exact same design, appearance, and material; cast iron with a black finish to prevent rusting. While this particular set has a max weight of 20 pounds per hand, they are also available in 50, 60, 105, and 200-pound sets as well as a 52.5-pound single dumbbell. One of the main differences between this classic design and the last one is the fact that this set comes with a 5-year-long warranty and is more affordable. The other classic design was more expensive and did not have a warranty.
#3 Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set by Affordable Dumbbells – Adjustable Weights
One of the more reliable and improved designs, this set is hard to compete with. The plates have a semi-classic design, being round and indented, the handgrip is made of a comfortable rubber/foam material that prevents slipping, and it is easy to adjust the weight. They also come with holders that are shaped for you to easily grab them and have a twisting lock that keeps the weights in place safely and reliably.
#2 Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell (Single)
Definitely looking more high-grade and professional than many other sets, this dumbbell comes with many of the bells and whistles. It has the weight meter for easy adjustments, a custom-fit holder for storage, and a durable safety lock for keeping the weights on the bar. Unfortunately, it is one of the most expensive, especially if you want to get 2, one for each hand at the same time, but it is also one of the longest-lasting and suitable for experienced dumbbell users who are looking for the best of the best.
#1 Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair)
Another by Bowflex, this set has nearly the same design as the previous dumbbell excluding the lower-quality plastic locks to keep the weights attached to the bar. However, it made the top of this list because of the same reliability and dependability, but it is a pair and not a single pack, making it more affordable. Each dumbbell comes with its own form-fitting holder that has a unique and flattering shape which help make the weights look all the more professional and something that can be shown off to friends or fellow workout buddies. There is also another bundle with this same set that also comes with a bench, too.
Buying Guide to Choosing the Best Adjustable Dumbbells on the Market
Things to look for
Most dumbbells have handles that are metal with a no-slip grip pattern etched into the metal. While this is one of the more popular designs, there are some dumbbells that have or come with rubber or foam handles. These are designed for a more comfortable grip for longer workouts. Most if not all of them are also specially designed to prevent them from slipping out of the user’s hand when or if their hands get sweaty. Metal handles are usually slip-resistant, but for those of you out there who sweat like you’re taking a shower, a rubber or foam grip handle may be the best for you. However, if you do end up getting a metal handled set and decide that you actually want one with grips, they are easy to find both online and in stores and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
The typical material that dumbbell sets are made of is usually steel, cast-iron, and even weighted plastic. Adjustable sets are usually made of metal with chrome plates, handles, and other pieces. If you’re looking for a cheaper set, plastic is usually more affordable, but metal-based sets are far more durable and can last for years longer. Unfortunately, metal sets tend to rust easily, especially in humid climates. So, if you live in an area where it is naturally humid and you don’t have a dehumidifier in your work out area, getting a set that has a protective coating to prevent rust and corrosion may be the best option. Most sets will usually say if it has this coating or not, but you can always check any reviews if it doesn’t say.
You can usually tell how long a dumbbell set will last by the warranty. Nearly all of them come with a warranty, but the ones that have a lifetime warranty can be ideal for those who are committed to that particular set. If you like to switch sets every few years or even months, the lifespan may not matter to you, but keep in mind that some sets do not come with warranties. This means that you won’t be able to get a replacement set or get your money back if the set is a faulty one that breaks within a few weeks of using it. It is usually very common for a set to have a 10 or more year warranty, though.
If you do not already have a weight rack in your home gym, then you might want to consider either getting a set that comes with a holder or getting a separate weight rack. They can help protect your weights and your floor and prevent you from losing track of the weights. If you are only planning to get one or two sets, then it can be better to just get a weight set that comes with a holder or rack, but if you are the work-out junkie, then getting a larger rack that holds multiple weights and/or dumbbells would be better, if you don’t have one already. Racks and holders can easily be found online, but just make sure they would be able to hold the size of the weights you have or are buying. Another thing to check is how much weight the rack can sustain. Most are designed to hold over a hundred pounds, but some of the cheaper-quality ones may not be sturdy enough to hold your weight set.
Increments of weight
If you are new to working out, then you may want to look into getting a set that has lower increments of weight. This means to go for a weight set that has weights between 5 pounds and 50 pounds or so. As you get more experienced and conditioned, you can add more weight to up your improvement and muscle. Most weight sets increase in increments of 5 pounds, but others can increase in increments of between 2 to 3 pounds as well. These can be beneficial for people who have very little muscle or are recovering from an injury since they allow the user to work their way up even more steadily, lowering the risk of injury. For those who are used to working out and have more experience/muscle, a set that raises in increments of 5 to 10 pounds would probably be best.
The plate design
Most plates are a standard circular shape, but there are a few sets out there that have weighted plates that are shaped like squares. You don’t have to worry about sharp corners, though, because nearly all plates that are square-shaped have rounded off corners that make it look half like a circle and half a square. Another key difference between the plates is if it is flat or has indented markings. The classic and traditional design is a round plate with indented markings that list the weight of the plate. However, some newer plates are completely flat with no markings on them. The weight is calculated either through the handle of the dumbbell or based on the size of the plate.
Adjustable vs. Non-adjustable
Other than the fact that you can or cannot remove the weights, there is little to no difference between an adjustable and non-adjustable dumbbell. The two major differences are in cost and space. You can expect to pay much more for a non-adjustable dumbbell set than you can for an adjustable one. If you are getting just one weight like a 10 or 20-pound single set, then a non-adjustable could be ideal. However, if you plan to use different weights at different times, then adjustable might be better for you. Also, non-adjustable sets require much more storage space than adjustable sets do.
Benefits of Using an Adjustable Dumbbell
They can be safer than a barbell
It is always recommended to have a spotter when using a barbell, but if you are working out at home, then you probably don’t always have a spotter around to watch or help you if something happens. Working out with dumbbells can be much safer, especially when doing exercises where you might lose control suddenly since they can be tossed away much easier than a barbell can. Now mind you, it is never a wise idea to just throw the weights anywhere, and this is just a tip/fact that the dumbbells CAN be thrown easily when losing control. Avoid throwing your weights around as this can lead to injury or damage of the weights or property.
They can be more affordable than a barbell set
Whether you are buying a set or the barbell and weights separately, you can expect to pay a much higher price than that of a dumbbell set, adjustable and possibly non-adjustable. Barbells also require additional equipment that will increase the budget like holders, seats, etc.
They ensure a more even workout
Many people tend to shift the weight they are lifting when they are working out with a barbell. With dumbbells, the weight is completely even for both hands so there is little to no chance of overworking or under-working one arm. They also provide a more exerting workout since they allow more range of motion and, through this, work more muscles than a barbell can. Make sure you are putting the correct weights on both dumbbells before you make the adjustment and before you begin your workout.
They have more range of motion
As just mentioned, dumbbells have a much wider range of motion than other weights do. Many people use them in combination with activities like stretching, squats, crunches, lunges, and more. This can work out parts of your body that would normally not be used while doing these activities, conditioning your muscles more and achieving a higher workout performance.
How to use an Adjustable Dumbbell Properly
If there is some assembly required when you first get/buy a new set, then follow the directions exactly to put them together. Then, make sure you adjust them to fit your fitness requirements. It is usually best to start out low with a new set, especially if you are new to working out since you will have to get used to holding and using them before using heavier weights. Each brand has its own design on how to adjust them, which you can usually find in the instructions. Make sure the weights are properly secured before beginning your workout and don’t forget to stretch before you start lifting any weights. Stretching for a few minutes before lifting weights can warm up the body, prevent strains, sprains, and other work-out related injuries. After using them, it is a good idea to wipe them down with sanitation wipes and make sure they are dry before putting them back into their holder or rack. Try to avoid leaving them on the floor or someplace where they can fall, be knocked over, and be tripped on as these can lead to scratches, damage to the floor or dumbbells, and broken bones.
When looking at the design, durability, lifespan, weight capacity, affordability, and popularity, it is not difficult to see that the Bowflex SelectTech 552 wins this round. While it is more expensive than some of the other pairs of dumbbells out there, the quality and lifespan make the cost worth it. On top of that, it uses heavier weights than many of the cheaper models.
If you did not like any of the sets or singles that were on this list, as a beginner or intermediate weight lifter, you know how to pick out a set or single pack that can be great for you personally. Look at the specs, think about your ability and/or skill level, prioritize quality vs cost, and look around. There are many different brands, designs, and models out there to choose from.