The 5 Best Dumbbells for Home Gym in 2019
#1 5-50 lb Rep Rubber Hex Dumbbell Set with Rack
For the most authentic home gym experience, you can’t go past the 5-50 lb Rep Rubber Hex Dumbbell Set with Rack. Offering a wide variety of dumbbells, this set enables the user to achieve a full body workout ranging from beginner to advanced. With a conveniently shaped rack which aligns perfectly against any wall, the dumbbells can be stored perfectly to minimise clutter.
- Set includes a free rubber mat to protect floors
- Designed for easy lifting and quick exercise transitions
- Made from premium low odour rubber with a fully knurled straight handle
#2 Merax Home Gym Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbell & Foldable Utility Weight Bench Set
If you like the ease and convenience of dial dumbbells, the Merax Home Gym Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbell & Foldable Utility Weight Bench Set will be unbeatable value! Combining 12 sets of weights into one and paired with a solid and multi-function weight bench, you’ll have everything you need to take your fitness to the next level!
- Allows diverse workout options
- Easy to adjust dial weights
- Bench made from durable heavy duty safeguard steel
#3 Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbell
Popular for their smooth adjustment, dial dumbbells are definitely the way of the future. With the Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbell, the weight increment can be changed in seconds, giving the user a dynamic and time-effective workout.
Why waste time with clips and screw caps when you can simply dial and lift!
- 12 different weight settings to choose from
- Sleek, black design with supporting tray
- Perfect for a full body workout
#4 Ringstar Starring 105-200 Lbs Adjustable Dumbbells
Offering the most weight possibilities, the Ringstar Starring 105 – 200 Lbs Adjustable Dumbbells are great for heavy lifters and bodybuilding enthusiasts. Made of high quality spray painted cast iron, this set of dumbbells will last a lifetime while providing challenging increment options for a tough and intense workout every time!
- Easy to assemble with no tools required
- Comes with plastic trays to prevent weights from rolling
- Can be taken apart for easy storage
#5 WF Athletic Supply 56 lb Dumbbell Set with Storage Rack
These beautifully coloured and ergonomically shaped hex dumbbells make a great addition to a home gym or yoga studio. The WF Athletic Supply 56lb Dumbbell Set with Storage Rack is perfect for HIIT workouts, walking, martial arts and dance sports, just to name a few.
Beautifully presented in a space-saving rack, this set is a top choice for beginners and cardio-fitness enthusiasts.
- Dumbbells are Hex shaped to prevent rolling when placed on the ground
- Easy to assemble A frame rack included
- Neoprene covered to assist grip and durability
While most gym items tend to be somewhat limited in use, the fitness world is your oyster with a set of good quality dumbbells.
It’s no wonder the first item that makes up many home gyms is, in fact, the humble dumbbell. Dumbbells are arguably also the “symbol of fitness”, as frequently featured in logos, cartoons, clothing designs and advertisements across many decades.
Editors' Choice: 5-50lb Rep Rubber Hex Dumbbell Set with Rack
A good quality, Hex-shaped rubber dumbbell never goes out of style. It really is the perfect fitness staple, and the Rep Rubber Hex Dumbbell Set With Rack is no exception. This set is coated with premium low-odor rubber and its chrome-plated handle is straight and fully knurled for maximum grip and slip prevention.
Hex dumbbells are indisputably versatile — their design is perfect for both compound movements (such as squats) and isolation movements (like bicep curls and tricep extensions).
Although the 5-50lb set is pictured, different combinations of weight sets are available through Rep for up to 100lb weights. In fact, the 100lb sets are so popular, they are currently out of stock!
Good news is, you can still purchase the set above while stocks last. This item is undoubtedly loved by customers and boasts great reviews and star ratings on Amazon.
Rep Rubber Hex Dumbbell Set with Racks Pros:
- Comes with a rack and floor mat.
- Knurled straight handle for easier grip.
- Easy to store against a wall, with weights arranged according to increments for quick exercise transitions.
Rep Rubber Hex Dumbbell Set with Racks Cons:
- It can take up a lot of space.
- Assembly is required for the rack.
- Parts can arrive at different times after ordering which can delay your workout routine.
Best Value: Merax Home Gym Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbell & Foldable Utility Weight Bench Set
Chances are, if you are buying dumbbells, you are probably considering buying a weight bench to complement your workout. If that’s the case, the Merax Home Gym Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbell & Foldable Utility Bench Set is the solution for you. In just one transaction, you can buy a durable set of dial dumbbells and you’ll also receive an adjustable bench to take your workouts to the next level.
The dumbbell weight is adjustable in 5 lb increments through a unique dial system, giving the user 12 different weight settings to choose from without the wasted time of adding plates and fiddling with clips and screw caps. The dial dumbbells are suitable for most types of workouts and also come with a tray and stable rack for secure storage.
The bonus weight bench boasts 4 seat and 6 ladder adjustments through built-in heavy duty steel slots; this versatile design allows flat, upright, or multi-level incline and decline positions.
Merax Adjustable Dial Dumbbell & Foldable Bench Set Pros:
- Fantastic value, as the buyer receives both the bench and the dial dumbbells set at the click of one button.
- Offers increased workout options due to the ease of weight increments plus the option of a bench.
- Weight bench capacity up to 800 pounds and dumbbells can be adjusted to 71.5 pounds each, catering for a large range of users.
Merax Adjustable Dial Dumbbell & Foldable Bench Set Cons:
- Requires more space than the average set, as the weights cannot be disassembled (and given the weight bench addition).
- Difficult to store as the bench is not able to be folded.
- Dial Dumbbell weights can be larger than average non-adjustable dumbbells, making them harder to grip when it comes to isolation movements.
Best Low Weight: WF Athletic Supply 56lb Neoprene Dumbbell Set
Weights and dumbbells don’t have to equal bodybuilding; anyone can benefit from using them to complement a fitness routine. The WF Athletic Supply 56lb Neoprene Dumbbell Set with Storage Rack is ideal for users who only want to add a small weight to their workout to increase intensity and muscle endurance.
Perfectly suited to sports like yoga, pilates, HIIT and cardio boxing, these ergonomically Hex shaped and easy to grip dumbbells provide the perfect added challenge and variety to many types of workouts.
With lively bright colors and beautifully arranged in an A frame rack for easy storage, this dumbbell set from WF Athletic Supply will enhance any studio or home gym. Made from sturdy iron and dipped in neoprene for protection, this item will also last a lifetime!
WF Athletic Supply 56lb Neoprene Dumbbell Set Pros:
- Stylish design.
- Neoprene protective cover adds durability and makes dumbbells easier to hold.
- Easily stored in A frame rack.
WF Athletic Supply 56lb Neoprene Dumbbell Set Cons:
- Due to its low weight, it is best suited to complement muscle endurance rather than achieve substantial strength gains.
- The large weight increments between weights can mean that a weight may be too light for a user while the next size up is too heavy.
- Targets only a specific type of user due to its design and range.
Best Mid Weight: Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbell
Does this item look familiar? That’s because you have seen the Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbell featured earlier in our review! We also included it in our Best Value section because this fantastic set of dial dumbbells can be purchased as a weights and bench combo, making it a great fit (pun intended!) for those who want a cost-effective offer.
However, we are pleased to announce that this incredibly easy to use dumbbell set does come on its own, for those who can’t spare any space for a weights bench.
The Merax Adjustable Dial Dumbbell has a well-earned place as a top contender in the category of middle-weight range, given it packs a solid punch when it comes to simple increments and versatility.
The main reason people tend to choose these dial dumbbells instead of metal plates is precisely because of their revolutionary dial system. Some of the most frequent complaints of other types of adjustable dumbbells are the time it takes to add and remove plates, as well as the noise of the plates clinking against one another. Not to mention that over time, the screw caps and clips that come with most adjustable dumbbells tend to loosen, rendering them less effective and forcing the user to spend extra cash replacing them.
The Merax Adjustable Dial Dumbell expertly removes this problem and facilitates the entire user experience, promoting both exercise adherence and equipment longevity.
Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbell Pros:
- By far the quickest transitions when compared to any other adjustable dumbbell combination
- Suitable for many types of users, from beginners to more advanced lifters
- Worldwide two-year warranty
Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbell Cons:
- Its large design makes it inconvenient for use in cardio-fitness style exercises
- Weight is only adjustable in 5.5 lb increments, which is substantial
- There is only one way to store, since dial dumbbells cannot be taken apart.
Best Heavy Weight: Ringstar Starring 105-200 Lbs Adjustable Dumbbells
For those who are serious about adding size and mass to their muscles, the Ringstar Starring 105-200 Adjustable Dumbbells is our top pick, as it offers the most possibilities.
Working out at a home gym doesn’t have to mean just doing ab crunches in front of the TV — it can mean serious training, too. Don’t be fooled by the word ‘home’ and its association with relaxation; with the right equipment, a little motivation and a lot of grunt, lifting weights at home can and will make you fit and strong!
This is exactly where the Ringstar Starring 105-200 Adjustable Dumbbells set comes in: featuring high quality cast iron material, these weights can be combined in a variety of ways with increments of 5 pounds to combine a whopping maximum of 105 pounds per dumbbell!
Ringstar Starring 105-200 Lbs Adjustable Dumbbells Pros:
- Made with durable chromed/spray painted cast iron.
- Can be fully taken apart for easy storage or simply placed in the convenient stands, which are included.
- Easy to set up, no tools or instruction manuals required.
Ringstar Starring 105-200 Lbs Adjustable Dumbbells Cons:
- Screw caps can mean longer times between weight increment changes.
- Can be noisy, as plates tend to touch each other due to frequent movement and wear and tear.
- The screw caps can lose tightness over time, requiring replacement.
Adjustable vs. Fixed Dumbbells
There are two main types of dumbbells: adjustable and fixed.
Adjustable dumbbells allow the user to load a combination of plates onto a small steel bar to create a custom weight, or to use a dial to regulate the amount of weight loaded onto the dumbbell bar.
- Easier to store.
- Potential to increase and decrease weight using only one bar, limiting clutter.
- Best as a space saver for multiple users.
- Can take a much longer time to change weight increments.
- Generally noisier as plates tend to hit each other during lifts.
- Most types depend on screw stoppers and clips, which can lose tightness after long periods of use.
Fixed dumbbells cannot be altered in any way, as they are specifically manufactured and shaped to weigh a determined amount.
- Overall more ergonomic and easier to handle, without weight plates to worry about.
- Most are available in Hex shapes that don’t roll off if placed on the ground.
- No time wasted changing weight increments.
- Best for HIIT and cardio style classes (for all the above reasons!)
- Multiple dumbbells must be bought to have enough variety.
- Harder to store as they don’t come apart, meaning a dumbbell stand may be required.
Dumbbells Buyer’s Guide
There are many varieties of dumbbells on the market, making it difficult for a buyer to choose between all the options. In order to streamline the process, we have compiled some common considerations and helpful tips in selecting the best set of dumbbells for your individual needs.
How much could you potentially lift?
This will be a vital question in choosing the most appropriate dumbbells.
If you are seeking to improve your strength, you should never choose what you can already lift. A key aspect in strength gain is the ability to progress and overload, meaning you would have to realistically imagine your lift potential — and then overstate it by a few pounds — just to be on the safe side. After all, a set of dumbbells won’t be much use to you if within a month or so of training, you can already lift the heaviest dumbbell combinations with ease.
- For cardio-based classes and especially light lifting, fixed dumbbells are a great option because the maximum weight is not a huge concern.
- For those who have enough space to kit out a comprehensive gym, fixed dumbbells offer the quickest exercise transitions and come in more varied sizes and increments.
- For bodybuilding style workouts, a lot of users tend to choose adjustable dumbbells because they provide a greater maximum weight range without the additional space required for fixed dumbbells.
Weight Adjustment and Increment
“I really want to waste valuable training time on lengthy plate changes and ineffective exercise transitions” — said no one ever.
To echo this sentiment felt by many gym goers, one word comes to mind straight away: convenience.
A huge factor in home workouts, convenience is key when it comes to adjusting equipment. Let’s face it, if you are going to need multiple tools, screwdrivers, an additional person there to show you how, or extra time to actually load and unload, you’ll easily lose motivation.
As a guide, the fastest change methods are, respectively: fixed dumbbells, followed by dial dumbbells, then plates (secured by clips rather than screw caps), with the slowest method being water-filled dumbbells.
There are of course other advantages to each of these types of adjustment; however if time is key for you, consider choosing one with a faster conversion.
In terms of increments, it is also important to note how much your weight increases once you add a plate (not to mention the weight of the bar itself, which some of us may forget to factor in!)
When shopping, you will notice that some sets offer smaller increments per dumbbell or plate, while some have bigger discrepancies. So which one to choose? Naturally, this will depend on your overall purpose for buying the equipment. Some important points to take into account when deciding on bigger or smaller increments are as follows:
- Generally, when performing compound lifts, most people can handle bigger increments, while isolation movements require smaller weight increments.
- If you are a seasoned lifter, opt for smaller increments because your rate of progression will most likely be smaller and slower. As a rule of thumb, beginners progress at a faster rate due to being relatively untrained and highly susceptible to strength improvements compared to more experienced lifters or athletes, who usually make smaller gains over a longer period of time.
(For a bodybuilder, for example, an extra couple of pounds can feel like a huge addition to what is already an extremely heavy load.)
Some dumbbells have rubber handles, while others are made with neoprene or metal bars.
For either adjustable or fixed dumbbells, you’ll most likely encounter the standard steel bar combinations, which are either smooth or grooved.
- Smooth bars tend to be easier on the palms, causing less callouses. However, a down side to smooth bars is that they are also harder to grip once the load becomes heavier. Anyone who has experienced grip fatigue will know just how frustrating it is to be unable to hold a weight before having exhausted the targeted muscle.
Another factor is sweat — once your palms start to become damp, it can be difficult to hold on to smoother bars as the surface is slippery (this is the reason some athletes use chalk).
- Grooved bars have the advantage of making it easier to maintain a strong hold; however, they do also dig into your palms, which can cause some pain and at times, the unsightly callouses that go with it.
Fixed dumbbells will usually have grooved bars or be covered in rubber or neoprene, although there are exceptions. If in doubt, we suggest physically trying different types at a sports shop before grabbing an online bargain on Amazon.
As with every product, a buyer must consider manufacturing materials and potential durability. The construction of a dumbbell can also affect the overall user experience; for example, dumbbells that are made of metal will have a different odor compared to dumbbells covered with neoprene, which will also differ from plastic/water dumbbells.
- Metal bars and plates tend to be stronger and last longer, especially if they are coated. Remember that metal can scratch flooring or chip tiles, so if you are considering this option, we recommend also investing in good quality mats or at least a thick carpet to prevent damage to the home.
- Rubber or neoprene coating is especially important to prevent rust, which can be unsightly, unhygienic and also emit and unpleasant smell. Another huge advantage to rubber coating is that it causes less damage to floors (and the product itself) if it is accidentally dropped.
All exercise equipment can be bulky, and dumbbells are no exception.
If you’re looking to buy for a home gym, you will require suitable space to train and store your dumbbells.
Adjustable dumbbells can be superior when in comes to storage, as a lot of these types of equipment can come apart and take up less space than fixed dumbbell sets.
However, for those concerned with design and aesthetics of the gym, fixed dumbbells can be more easily stored in racks than adjustable dumbbells, making the space appear more organized and clutter-free.
Most suppliers have a wide range of racks and stands, that either come with the product or can be bought separately, which greatly assist with storage concerns.
Even though price is the last part of our buyers guide, it is by no means the least important. Being the first thing that most customers look at when browsing, an affordable price tag is obviously a very attractive feature.
However, don’t be seduced by a false bargain; the phrase “you get what you pay for” springs to mind, as often the cheapest items will be the ones made from the lowest quality materials and offer the least warranty options.
Having said that, buyers don’t always have to select the most expensive products on every occasion to ensure superior quality; the key when shopping is to determine value for money.
Some questions you’ll have to ask yourself relative to price include:
- Will it last a long time?
- Is it produced ethically?
- Does it offer enough variations and increment options for a number of challenging workouts?
- Are there any hidden/extra costs like shipping, warranty not included, stand purchased separately, etc?
- Is it user friendly enough to be used frequently and consistently, justifying the investment?
Choosing the best dumbbells for your home gym isn’t always easy, but it will be worth it. Dumbbells are undoubtedly staple items. They provide a greater range of options for muscle strength and endurance gains than any other fitness equipment, making them an essential item in your home gym.
Which option did you choose? Let us know in the comments!
About The Author
Cristy is a freelance writer interested in a variety of topics – from poetry and self-development to fitness, travel and culture.
Also a qualified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, she specializes in Muay Thai kickboxing, resistance training and running.
A self-confessed (extreme) morning person, Cristy usually achieves most of her daily tasks before the sun is up.
When she isn’t writing or watching the sunrise, you can find her hanging out by the ocean, exercising or enjoying a strong caffeine hit (and sometimes doing all of these things simultaneously).
Cristy lives in Australia, where she enjoys long walks on the beach and indulging in the occasional Tim Tam.Read More