This is my review of the best cheap dumbbells.
I’ve used quite a lot of dumbbells in my time, and hands down, I find the Bowflex 552 to be the best of the bunch.
Being a fitness enthusiast, I’ve owned or used every dumbbell on this list. I want to share my knowledge with you so that you can find the best equipment possible to help you on your fitness journey..
The reason I say the Bowflex 552 makes for the best cheap dumbbells is because it takes up very little space, it is versatile, it is high quality, and is quite economical despite having a bit of an upfront investment.
This list I’ve created will help you find what you’re looking for regardless of your fitness level. That said, all of these are great for beginners and will be great for your home workouts.
Read along to find the best cheap dumbbells for your personal fitness solitude.
- ) Bowflex 552
- ) Lifepro Adjustable Dumbbells
- ) Yes4All Dumbbells
- ) Amazon Basics Dumbbells
- ) Hex Dumbbells
- ) Neoprene Dumbbells
This one is by far my top choice. What I like about adjustable dumbbells is their versatility and convenience. The Bowflex 552 is a dumbbell (single or pair) that ranges in weight from 5 pounds to 52.5 pounds. It’s great for beginners as it has a great weight range. That allows you to progress for several months to a couple of years without needing heavier weight.
The thing about adjustable dumbbells is that they are a bit pricey up front, but they make up for it over the long term. I’ve owned mine for over two years now and they still are functioning well, so they are definitely worth the investment.
In general, the thing that makes adjustable dumbbells great is the fact that a pair of them will replace a large amount of dumbbells. This means that they take up very little space, so this is great if you live somewhere with very little space. It also saves the hassle of having to move a large amount of dumbbells if you move.
The Bowflex 552 is simple to use. There are dials on either end, and you simply need to turn the dial to the desired weight you want to use on both sides of the dumbbell. In other words, if you want a 10 pound dumbbell, then you need to turn the dials on both ends of the same dumbbell to the “10” setting. I will say, sometimes it is not easy to turn the dials; sometimes they get stuck and you will have to fidget around with them a little in order to get them to move. This can get a little annoying sometimes, but for the most part, it’s not a huge deal. You can definitely do drop sets with these as you can quickly change the weight.
These dumbbells are a little bulky. You may have to adjust some of your exercises just a bit, namely pressing movements. This is pretty easy to deal with and only a slight annoyance at worst, and you will still get a great workout. The grips are also pretty nice–they’re smooth, so they don’t hurt my hand when I’m trying to do heavy dumbbell presses. That said, a downside to smooth handles comes from a lack of grip when your hands get sweaty.
A common question with these is “can you drop them”? No. No you cannot. These dumbbells have several mechanical components. If you drop the dumbbells, you will damage those components, making the adjustable aspect unusable. Realistically, there is no reason to be dropping dumbbells, so this should not be a concern.
Overall, the Bowflex 552 is a great and versatile piece of equipment that will be sure to make a great addition to your home gym. It also is great if it’s your first piece of equipment–it was my first piece of equipment when I began building my home gym.
The Lifepro Adjustable Dumbbells are much like other adjustable dumbbells. It ranges in weight from 5 to 25 pounds and is great for beginners.
These dumbbells will be a bit pricey up front, not as much as the Bowflex 552 listed above, though. These dumbbells will replace many dumbbells, saving you from having to buy multiple sets of fixed weight dumbbells.
Like other adjustable dumbbells, what I like about these is that they take up very little space, yet function as 5 different pairs of dumbbells.
These have a much better adjustment feature than the Bowflex 552 in my opinion. To adjust the weight, there is a single pin that you simply pull up on and then slide to the desired weight (between 5 and 25 pounds). You don’t need to do this on both ends of a single Lifepro dumbbell unlike its predecessor mentioned above.
The handles on these have a textured grip. Since these dumbbells aren’t super heavy, they don’t hurt my hands when doing dumbbell press and other pressing movements.
Like any other dumbbell with mechanical components, do not drop these, or you risk ruining the dumbbell. Since they are quite light, the likelihood of dropping them will be low. Since these dumbbells are primarily made of steel, they will last for a long time.
These dumbbells are a great starting point for your fitness journey. If you are serious about gaining strength or building muscle, you will eventually need heavier dumbbells.
This right here would be my second choice out of all the dumbbells on this list. These dumbbells are the classic adjustable style where they come with a handle with screw on clamps to hold in place the plates that you can put on these.
The cost for these is a bit high, but the cost to weight ratio is insane compared to any other dumbbell on this list. For that reason, these are definitely be worth it in the long term.
What I like about this type of adjustable dumbbell is the fact that you can customize it more than any other. You can always buy additional plates to put on the handles. Now that said, there is one annoying problem with these dumbbells in particular: the handles are 1.15 inches in diameter. What this means is that only the plates that come with these and olympic plates will fit on these handles. In other words, if you want additional plates, you either need to buy the same brand name plates (Yes4All) or you need to buy a new pair of handles that are 1 inch so that you can fit any plate on them.
When it comes to space, these dumbbells will sort of take up a lot–or at least the plates will. Ideally a rack will help with the plate storage, or you will simply have to stack the plates on the ground like I did until you are able to get a storage rack.
Using these dumbbells is pretty easy. You choose a weight that you’d like to do, unscrew the star-lock collars and place the plates onto the handles, then screw the star-lock collars back on. This is the part that I’m not a huge fan of though. When I use these, I do find myself spending a lot of time swapping weights. Usually, I spend my entire resting period between sets setting up the next weight I want to use. Because of this, I try to use these dumbbells only for much heavier lifts. By doing so, I’m not spending a bunch of time putting plates on and taking them off.
The handles for these dumbbells are quite nice. They’ve got a cool, chrome look and are a bit larger than other handles like this. Again, they are a slightly larger diameter than a standard set of adjustable dumbbell handles, so you won’t be able to fit standard 1 inch plates on them, which can be a bit annoying. The texture of the handles gives a great grip. The only downside is that doing heavy lifts can be rough on the hands due to the texture of the handles.
This is definitely a nice set of dumbbells to get. The amount of weight you get for the money is totally worth it. There are two main drawbacks to these dumbbells. The first is the size of the handles, which will not fit standard 1 inch plates on them. The second is the constant weight swapping during my workout. Get past these and you have a solid set of dumbbells that will last you a long time.
Hex Dumbbells are a classic dumbbell type that comes in a fixed weight. I quite enjoy using these dumbbells, but I do have a couple of issues with them.
The main problem with fixed weight dumbbells is not the quality, but rather the price. Now, you can get a pair of these for a reasonable price. The price will increase as you increase in weight, so keep that in mind. The main issue is that since these are a fixed weight, if you find yourself needing a heavier pair of dumbbells, you will have to buy those separately. Overtime, the cost of buying these types of dumbbells will get extremely pricey in order to get a full dumbbell set.
One of the better aspects of these dumbbells compared to any other on this list is its longevity and durability. I like the fact that these dumbbells will last forever and can take quite a beating, meaning you can drop them if you like.
Since you will need a separate pair of these for each weight, these dumbbells will take up a lot of space in your home gym. The good news is you can store them on a rack or on the floor. If on the floor, they won’t roll around due to their shape.
These dumbbells are very straightforward to use. There are no mechanical components to adjust, so you simply can pick them up and begin your exercise. The bad news again comes from the fact that these have a fixed weight. If you only have a pair of these on hand, you may not be able to do certain exercises, such as bicep curls, if the ones you own are too heavy. On the flip side, doing things like dumbbell presses will provide minimal results if you only own a ten-pound pair of these. If you’re a beginner, I’d recommend sticking with a lighter pair of these as you’ll be able to do a lot more unique exercises.
Some reviewers have mentioned that these dumbbells can have a weird or strong rubber smell, so keep that in mind if you buy.
Overall, I quite like these dumbbells, but the main issue I have with them is the cost needed to get a full set of these. I’d recommend these more if you are only interested in only using a couple of pairs of light dumbbells.
What the heck is Neoprene you ask? It’s basically rubber.
These dumbbells are cheap, but sold only as single dumbbells, and they have a fixed weight.
Neoprene dumbbells are generally lightweight dumbbells. They’re great starting equipment for those looking to begin their fitness journey. Like other fixed weight dumbbells, there’s not much to these; you just pick them up and do the exercise you want.
One thing I like about these is that they are generally more compact than other dumbbells of the same weight, so they’re easy to store. They don’t take up a lot of space individually, but if you want a full set, be ready to make some room for them.
Another thing I like about these dumbbells is the grip. The neoprene material gives you a good grip. If your hands get sweaty, these may slip a little, but not too much.
These dumbbells are quite durable, so feel free to drop them if you like, but it’s pretty unnecessary since they are so light in weight.
These are great starter dumbbells since they are quite cheap and light in weight. Again the main issue is that you will need a lot of space and money to buy a full set of these.
How To Choose Dumbbells
When it comes to buying a pair of dumbbells, there are several factors you’ll need to consider.
Ask yourself what your fitness goals are. If you want to build strength or an aesthetic physique, you’re going to want a wide range of dumbbells with a wide range of weight.
If you want to just get in a little bit of exercise once in a while or do a light workout, you may be okay with just a couple of single dumbbells or a pair or two.
If you’re a beginner who’s never lifted before, a dumbbell set with a smaller range in weight may be more appropriate.
Keep your goals in mind when buying dumbbells.
Some dumbbells are going to take up more space than others.
Adjustable dumbbells take up the least amount of space, whereas you will need a lot of space to store adjustable dumbbells that use plates. You will need even more space to store non-adjustable dumbbells.
This is how quickly and easily you can switch from one weight to the next.
The most convenient will be adjustable dumbbells that don’t require plates or non adjustable dumbbells.
I find that using adjustable dumbbells with plates to be the least convenient due to the constant plate swapping as well as having to clean up the plates after a workout.
A single, non-adjustable dumbbell is going to have little versatility, especially the heavier it is. If you want to get in an arm workout, you may not be able to if you only have a pair of very heavy dumbbells. On the other hand, if you only have a pair of light dumbbells, you won’t be able to build much strength.
A set of dumbbells with the ability to adjust their weight are the most versatile as they allow you to do a wide range of exercises.
Dumbbells tend to comprise of Cast Iron, Rubber, Plastic materials, and sometimes sand or cement.
Cast Iron dumbbells are typically heavier and very durable, and thus have a long life span.
Rubber and Plastic dumbbells are typically very cheap and light, so are often great for beginners or for those who need dumbbells for warm ups.
Dumbbells typically come in either a Hexagonal shape or a Circular shape.
Hex dumbbells are a bit safer as they will not roll around when you set them down or when you use them to do push-ups, but often only come as fixed weight.
The types of handles that dumbbells have can affect your workout. They can either have a texture or are smooth.
Textured handles will give a better grip but can be uncomfortable or even a bit painful to hold when using heavier weight.
Smooth handles are generally more comfortable, but if your hands get sweaty, then you may find the dumbbells slipping in your hand during your workouts.
There are a huge amount of different kinds of dumbbells, and choosing the right ones for your home gym can be a challenge.
Adjustable dumbbells prove to be the best cheap dumbbells due to how much space they save, their versatility, and their economic value.
For these reasons, the Bowflex 552 is the best choice for anyone who is on the journey or just beginning.