Dumbbells are an essential part of any home gym. They’re convenient and allow for as much or greater exercise variety compared to their barbell counterpart. You can use dumbbells for most compound and isolation exercises, meaning effective full body workouts are possible just using a pair of dumbbells. When used as singles, they’re also an effective tool for correcting strength imbalances as they force your muscles to work unilaterally.
And, while some dumbbells are pricey, there are plenty of options on the market that allow you to build quality muscle without having to spend tons of money.
You don’t have to buy the most expensive dumbbells to get a good workout, but you definitely get what you pay for. You can opt for adjustable ones or buy a set of dumbbells with different weights. In the end, it’s all about choosing which dumbbells suit your needs. If you’re looking for affordable dumbbells for your home gym, we have five of the best options for you to consider.
Top 3 Affordable Dumbbells At a Glance
Best Affordable Dumbbells Overall
These classic-styled and budget-friendly dumbbells have cast-iron plates and spinlock collars. With each handle holding 5 – 100 lbs, and the set being 200 lbs. in total, you’ll have plenty of weight to effectively build size and strength. They’re arguably the best option overall, and certainly the best cheap adjustable dumbbells currently available.
Best Cheap Hex Dumbbells
Rep Fitness’ hex dumbbells are both unique and cheap. If you like the rubber-coated, fixed-weight style of dumbbell, but you don’t want to fork out the big bucks for the, then check these out. They have knurling the full length of the handles, durable rubber heads, and progressively thicker handles on heavier weights. Simply unbeatable.
Best Affordable Quick-Lock Dumbbells
Quick-lock adjustable dumbbells are usually pretty costly, and while these weights from PowerBlock aren’t exactly cheap, they’re less pricey than the competition. If you’re looking to get into a program like P90x or you just don’t want to mess around with plates and collars all over your home gym, then give these a look.
The 10 Best Affordable Dumbbells
|Titan Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells||
|Rep Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbells||
|Powerblock Elite Series||
|Rep Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells||
|Rogue Rubber Hex Dumbbells||
|Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells||
|Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells||
|AmazonBasics Hex Dumbbells||
|CAP Barbell Hex Rubber Dumbbells||
|Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell||
|Titan Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells|
|Rep Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbells|
|Powerblock Elite Series|
|Rep Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells|
|Rogue Rubber Hex Dumbbells|
|Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells|
|Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells|
|AmazonBasics Hex Dumbbells|
|CAP Barbell Hex Rubber Dumbbells|
|Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell|
Working out at home is all about balancing functionality and cost. These Titan Fitness adjustable dumbbells offer plenty of former for not much of the latter, making them the best set of this type on the market. These dumbbells feature precision machined handles and chrome painted plates which ensure longevity even in less-than-optimal conditions.
This particular set allows you to go from 5 lbs to 100 lbs on each of the two dumbbells. That’s 24 different plates in total. The issue with adjustable sets like this one usually starts with collars undoing themselves as you work out. The ones Titan offers with this set don’t have that problem. This is a perfect set for those looking for adjustable dumbbells that are both affordable and good quality.
- Arguably the best cheap dumbbell set on the market
- Adjustable set that offers 200 lbs; 100 lbs per dumbbell
- Features chrome plating that reduces maintenance to a minimum
- Doesn’t take much space at all
- Collars that stay in place
The Not So Good
- Adjusting the dumbbells for each exercise is a nuisance
- Massive size due to thick plates
As far as simple dumbbells go, nothing beats a set of rubber hex dumbbells. REP Fitness offers what are arguably the best rubber dumbbells of this type on the market. Simple, durable and functional, a pair of these dumbbells feature chrome-plated, knurled handles and accurately weighed heads.
What truly sets these apart from the rest is the progressive thickness of the handles. Namely, as you go up in weight, you’re given a thicker handle. This simple feature makes using heavy dumbbells much more comfortable. REP Fitness offers a lifetime warranty on their rubber hex dumbbells if they’re used mainly at home. Overall, these are easily the most durable and affordable set of hex dumbbells on the market.
- Top tier build quality
- Great bang for the buck value
- Knurling the full length of the handle
- Lifetime warranty if used at home
- Progressive handle thickness offers more comfort
- Up to 125 lbs. pairs of bells is ridiculously big
The Not So Good
- Heavier bells are very large and somewhat awkwardly shaped (e.g., 70 lbs+)
- Full set requires considerable space for storage
What PowerBlock offers with their Elite series dumbbells is a whole different take on functionality. These are what you call quick-adjust or quick-lock dumbbells, meaning that you can select the weights you want by simply shifting the weight selector to your desired plate. In essence, this design solves the issue most people have with adjustable weights, which is manually removing the collar/plates for each exercise. That takes a lot of time with regular adjustable dumbbells, but not with these.
Moreover, while PowerBlock aren’t typically associated with budget equipment, these quick-lock options are among the cheapest dumbbells of their type currently available.
In addition to being both practical and relatively inexpensive, Elite Series from PowerBlock also offers a much more diverse upgrade path. The dumbbells feature 50 lbs. on each weight out of the box. However, you can get expansion kits that will ultimately push each dumbbell to 90 lbs. Best of all, these weights take almost no room, even with add-on kits. If you want the convenience and footprint of adjustable dumbbells in a package that eliminates long weight adjustment times, this is it.
Perhaos our only gripe with these weights is their shape. It feels very much like working out with your hand plunged into a heavy cage compared to the more classically-shaped dumbbells above and below.
- One of the most practical and functional designs on the market
- Features a quick-select system for fast adjustments
- Quality made piece of kit that’s both durable and reliable
- With upgrade kits applied, you’re getting up to 90 lbs. per arm, which is in bodybuilding range
The Not So Good
- More expensive than regular adjustable dumbbells but cheap compared to similar designs
- Lifting a heavy cage can feel weird
Rep Fitness offers a diverse selection of dumbbells, including a basic adjustable set that’s aimed at beginners and home users. What you’re looking at here is a simple package that’s all about function over form. Rep went with standard cast iron plates paired with chrome-plated, knurled handles.
The company offers 3 different sets – a 40 lbs adjustable set that features two handles, a 52.5 lbs set that features only one handle, and a 40 lbs set of add-on weights. Each handle is 4lb, and the weight plate distribution ensures you have plenty of room to progressively overload in small increments. If you decide to get the set with two handles as well as the add-on set of plates, you should know that each handle can take a maximum of 125lbs. Although this isn’t the shiniest set out there, they’re great value dumbbells that get the job done.
- Affordable and functional set
- Comes with plenty of room for upgrades
- Features chrome-lined handles and star collar
The Not So Good
- You’ll need the add-on set unless you’re an absolute beginner
- Spinlock star collars sometimes come undone when used
Rogue is a brand that needs no special introduction. The same can be said about their rubber hex dumbbells. What Rogue offers here is a run-of-the-mill dumbbell which brings you the simplicity and functionality of a simple hex design, but also the quality of the Rogue brand. As far as price goes, these are priced very reasonably (pretty much identical to Rep’s hex dumbbells, with the difference in price likely to be shipping). You’re getting high-quality heads, quality rubber coating, and an extremely durable handle to head connection. Weight ranges from 2.5 lbs to 125 lbs per dumbbell.
Much like other models in this segment Rogue’s hex dumbbells feature progressive handle diameters which expand as you go up in weight. However, the handles on these also feature an ergonomic contour. This is perfectly fine for lighter dumbbells, but it’s less secure on the heavier ones, especially compared to Rep’s fully knurled handles. Aside from that, Rogue has done a great job, making these a solid choice for anyone after some budget-friendly hex dumbbells.
- Standard Rogue quality all around, including the materials
- Progressive handle diameter
- 2.5 lbs. to 125 lbs. range with 2.5 lbs. increments
The Not So Good
- Ergonomic handles on heavier sets aren’t great
Bowflex is another company that has taken the standard adjustable dumbbell design and taken it into the 21st century. Where Bowflex stands out with the SelectTech 552s is the fact that they’ve managed to retain a classic dumbbell appearance. Lifting these feels more like lifting classic weights than the Powerblocks, which feel like sticking your hand inside a heavy cage.
The mechanism used to select weights on these is somewhat complex but durable. As a result, you get a space-efficient set of dumbbells that are every bit as functional as having 15 sets of regular dumbbells in your home gym.
This particular set features plates that range from 5 lbs. to 52.5 lbs. per arm. The first 25 lbs. are laid out in 2.5 lbs. increments, which allows for sustained progressive overload even if you’re a novice lifter. To use these weights, all you need to do is select the weight you want using the wheel on each side of the dumbbell and lift it up from the tray. All excess plates will remain on the tray. It’s a quick and efficient design.
- The ultimate in quick-adjust dumbbells
- A simple weight selection mechanism
- Good weight distribution per plate
- Beginner-friendly design
The Not So Good
- No expansion options at this time; if you want heavier then you’ve got to get the more expensive 1090s
- The plastic in parts of the construction can be prone to damage
The Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells are your classic, old-school adjustable dumbbells that are made of cast-iron, and use spin lock collars to secure the weights onto the bars. The great thing about these dumbbells is that they’re adjustable on the fly. You don’t need to purchase a rack of dumbbells because they come with plates that range from 40 lbs. up to 200 lbs.
This makes them affordable while also allowing for a variety of weight combinations for different exercise selections.
The knurled chrome handles provide a secure grip when doing heavy lifting and the spin lock collars come with rubber trims on the ends for a safe workout. The cast-iron plates are painted with a glossy black finish so you can rest assured they’re protected from any rusting. If you’re tight on space, these dumbbells are perfect because you can disassemble them easily.
The Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells are versatile enough to transform into a barbell by using the dumbbell connector, which converts the two handles into one long bar. This means you can further expand your workout routine by incorporating barbell exercises, thus maximizing your strength and size gains. Their rugged construction is made to last and will suit any home gym that’s looking for affordable dumbbells that are both versatile and durable.
- Good range of weights to suit any level of strength
- Cast-iron plates are super-versatile
- Connector allows you to turn them into a barbell
The Not So Good
- Finish on the plates can chip off easily
The AmazonBasics Hex Dumbbells are your standard rubber dumbbells that will serve most home gyms just fine. If you’re the type of person who prefers fixed-weight dumbbells, and you want to stretch your investment, then these are worth taking a look at.
The core of the weights cast-iron, while the bar has a textured chrome grip that helps reduce the likelihood the dumbbell slipping from your hand once you start sweating. What we liked about these dumbbells is that they’re relatively sleek and compact, which makes them feel less cumbersome when performing various exercises. The rubber-encased ends come in a non-rolling hexagonal shape, ensuring they remain right where you set them down..
The AmazonBasics Hex Dumbbells are available in 10 lbs. weights up to 50 lbs., making it ideal for incorporating a variety of rep ranges. If you’re a fan of high-volume training, you’ll definitely appreciate these set of dumbbells. The rubber material is built to last and promotes a safe workout even when you’re pushing your muscles to failure.
You can purchase the dumbbells individually for a more focused and unilateral workout, or buy in pairs for more balanced routines. Fixed rubber dumbbells are an essential in any home gym and with the AmazonBasics Hex Dumbbells, you’re getting a quality workout equipment without breaking the bank.
- Pretty affordable for hex dumbbells, especially if bought at the right time
- Can be bought in singles if desired
The Not So Good
- Limited range of weight
- Lower quality construction than the options above
The CAP Barbell Hex Rubber Dumbbells are very similar to what you’ll find in most commercial gyms and for good reason. Like all good rubber hex dumbbells, they’re constructed with a chrome-plated cast-iron handle and rubber-coated weights that are hexagonal in shape. One thing that makes these a better option than others, especially the cast-iron ones, is that they’re more durable and robust. The rubber coating can take quite a beating and there’s no risk of damaging your floors since the material absorb shocks extremely well. You can also enjoy a quieter workout since there’s no clunking sound that comes with using cast-iron dumbbells.
Because of their hexagonal shape, these dumbbells won’t roll away from you after setting them down. The handles are knurled and provide good grip when doing bench presses and lateral raises. They’re much easier to use since there’s no assembly required. You just grab the dumbbells and start lifting.
Overall, the CAP Barbell Hex Rubber Dumbbells are great for anyone looking for quality home gym equipment at a reasonable price point. The materials are long-lasting and you’ll enjoy a workout that rivals anything you can get in a commercial gym.
If you’re looking for a robust dumbbell that’s both premium and hard-wearing, these are the ideal choice.
- Suitably large weight range
- Great quality construction
- When bought in multiples, they’re the best cheap dumbbell set in the market
The Not So Good
- Can only be bought in pairs
Quick-lock adjustable dumbbells like PowerBlocks and Bowflex SelectTechs have become increasingly popular for fitness enthusiasts wanting to establish their home gym with easy-to-use, high-quality dumbbells.
The problem is these products can get very expensive, meaning you may not be able to add as much additional equipment to your home gym as you’d like. Fortunately, there are more and more alternatives being released onto the market. One of these alternatives are Bayou Fitness’ Adjustable Dumbbells.
These quick-lock dumbbells are constructed from heavy-duty steel that’s chrome plated and offer rapid adjustability for swift transitions between your exercises. They’re ideal for workout programs like P90x that require you to move from one exercise to the next with minimal rest time.
You can select weights that range from 10 lbs. up to 50 lbs. and the weight selection is quite simple. You just slide the pin to select your desired weight and lift up the dumbbell. The bar itself weighs 5 lbs. and you can use it as a stand-alone dumbbell for those high rep sets. Each plate weighs 2.5 lbs. and you can adjust the dumbbell in 5 lbs. increments.
The Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells combine high-end features with an affordable price tag, making them a great option for people looking to invest in a set of quick-lock dumbbells for their home workouts.
- Quick-lock dumbbells are perfect for high-intensity programs
- Extremely quick and easy to adjust
- Storage trays included
The Not So Good
- Still not particularly cheap dumbbells
- Only available on Amazon, meaning they’re very prone to price gouging (such as during a pandemic)
Should You Get Cheap Dumbbells?
Dumbbells are a staple in most muscle-building programs and it’s easy to see why. You can get a well-rounded workout just using a pair of dumbbells. They can be used to perform bicep curls, lunges, Romanian deadlifts, weighted crunches, and more.
If you also have a weight bench, dumbbells can be used for bench presses and chest flyes, meaning you can target virtually every muscle group in your body with a vast range of effective exercises. Dumbbells are also great for working stabilizing muscles, which allow you to move with good biomechanics. This shores up your posture, and minimizes your risk of injury.
Dumbbells can also be more joint-friendly compared to barbells because, for many exercises, they restrict your movement less. When using a barbell, your hands are in a fixed position and you can’t rotate them. This can cause excessive stress on your joints, especially when pressing heavy loads.
If you’re contemplating purchasing a set of dumbbells, don’t hesitate to make the investment. They’re perfect for home trainees who have limited space and equipment but want to workout and live an active lifestyle. Indeed, no home gym is complete without a set of dumbbells.
Choosing the Right Affordable Dumbbells
When choosing dumbbells for your home gym, there are numerous factors to consider. If you have plenty of space available, you can opt for fixed dumbbells and store them in a dumbbell rack. But if your home gym is small, then adjustable dumbbells are a better option. This is because you can disassemble the dumbbells and stack the plates to save space.
Also, consider the materials used in the dumbbells as this will determine how comfortable you’ll be when lifting weights.
Metal dumbbells are a great choice that can withstand heavy lifting environments, but they’re prone to scratching and chipping. Rubber dumbbells on the other hand, feel much more premium and more robust. The rubber coating not only protects the dumbbells, but also the surrounding lifting area.
Some dumbbells have a neoprene coating that covers the entire dumbbell for more comfort and ease of use. These dumbbells are known as studio dumbbells and tend to be lighter in weight (think 2 – 10 lbs.). They work great for weighted cardio or HIIT sessions.
Lastly, consider the extent of adjustability you need. Most adjustable dumbbells offer more variety, and are perfect for those who don’t have the space or budget for a full, expansive set of fixed dumbbells. This is where quick-lock dumbbells really come into their own. They cost significantly more than standard adjustable dumbbells, but what they lose in affordability, they make up for in convenience.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dumbbells
Where can I get cheap dumbbells!?
During a pandemic, you’re going to struggle to find discount dumbbells.
Retailers are either completely out of stock, or those that have stock have jacked up the price due to the explosion in demand. Our first iteration of this article had the Amazon products higher up the list, because Amazon was the cheapest place to get most free weights. Not anymore. Sellers are blatantly price gouging on the platform, which Amazon is reportedly working hard to address. Unfortunately, there being millions of product listings makes this an uphill battle.
So, where to buy dumbbells for cheap? At the moment, Titan Fitness, Rep Fitness and Rogue Fitness are your best bet. Rogue and Titan seem to have much higher stock levels (Rogue manufactures a lot of their products, so they tend to have the most available stuff). Titan has multiple warehouses and are getting sufficiently large in their own right, so they’re restocking regularly too. Rep Fitness are struggling to maintain stock levels, it seems. Which is a shame, because their dumbbells are great quality and very reasonably priced. If you can happen upon a moment when Rep has restocked and score yourself some cheap dumbbells, you’re one of the lucky ones.
Do dumbbells help build muscle?
Absolutely. You can build muscle very effectively using dumbbells as part of your overall workout routine. As mentioned above, the key here is to progressively overload your muscles. You can achieve this in many different ways, such as using heavier weights on progressive workouts, gradually increasing the number of sets or reps you do, shortening your rest periods, or changing the biomechanics of your lifts (e.g., slowing down the negative portion of the rep).
Dumbbells can be extremely useful in helping you pack on quality muscle if you know how to use them properly.
Which are better: Dumbbells or barbells?
Dumbbells allow for a greater range of motion while barbells have more overloading potential. Both are effective at building a respectable physique and neither one is superior to the other. Most people incorporate dumbbell and barbell exercises in their workout routines to achieve a healthy balance of strength and size. It all depends on your goals and which equipment you prefer using.
What is a good dumbbell weight to start with?
If you’re a novice to strength training using dumbbells, it’s best to start with light weights so you can practice proper form and technique. Grab a dumbbell weight anywhere from 2-10 lbs. If the dumbbell feels light, increase the weight by 2 lbs. until you are able to perform an exercise comfortably within the 8-12 rep range. The weight you’re using will vary depending on which exercise you’re performing.
For compound movements like bench presses and dumbbell squats, you can use 10 – 20 lbs. dumbbells as a starting point. For isolation movements like bicep curls and tricep extensions, you can start with 6 – 10 lbs. dumbbells.
Concentrate on the target muscle during the exercise and avoid swinging the weights. If you can’t lift the dumbbells with proper form, lower the weight and make sure you’re not using momentum when performing your exercises of choice. Gradually increase the weight, sets, or reps to keep building strength and muscle (a principle known as progressive overload).
Well, there you have it: The 10 Best Affordable Dumbbells.
Whether it be choosing an adjustable dumbbell or opting for fixed rubber dumbbells, these options will help you achieve your fitness goals without spending tons of money or buying a gym membership. Weigh your options and go with the one that fits your needs accordingly.