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.
Best Affordable Dumbbells At a Glance
Best Affordable Dumbbells Overall
These classic-styled adjustable dumbbells have cast-iron plates and spin lock collars. With sets ranging from 40 – 200 lbs., you should be able to get what you need to effectively build size and strength.
AmazonBasics’ hex dumbbells aren’t fancy either, but they’re 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.
Best Affordable Quick-Lock Dumbbells
Quick-lock adjustable dumbbells are usually pretty costly, and while these weights from Bayou Fitness aren’t exacrly cheap, they’re less pricey than the competition. If you’re looking to get into a program like P90x, give these a look.
The 5 Best Affordable Dumbbells
|Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells||
|TELK Adjustable Dumbbells||
|AmazonBasics Hex Dumbbells||
|CAP Barbell Hex Rubber Dumbbells||
|Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell||
|Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells|
|TELK Adjustable Dumbbells|
|AmazonBasics Hex Dumbbells|
|CAP Barbell Hex Rubber Dumbbells|
|Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell|
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
If you’re looking for serious strength training gains at home, then the TELK Adjustable Dumbbells are another great option for you. These adjustable dumbbells range from a pair of 65 lbs. all the way up to 200 lbs., making them perfect for heavy presses and compound lifts. The plates are made of 100% cast-iron and the handles are fully knurled, providing you with a good grip whether you’re doing pushing or pulling movements. They also uses spin lock collars to secure the weight plates, similar to the Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells. Thanks to their baked enamel finish, the plates are rust and oil-proof, ensuring you get decades worth of use.
Because of how heavy these dumbbells can get, you can implement strength-training routines in your home workouts to get stronger. You don’t need to buy additional plates to progressively overload your muscles as the 200 lbs. (2×100 lbs.) will be more than enough to build quality strength and size.
These dumbbells are extremely economical, especially compared to fixed dumbbells, which can get quite expensive as you go up in weight. With the TELK Adjustable Dumbbells, you can take your gains to the next level with just the one set.
Something worth noting: You may want to invest in a rubber matting for your home gym to protect the dumbbell’s enamel finish.
- Silver weight plates give them a unique look
- Plates have a baked enamel finish, making them corrosion-resistant
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.
- Extremely affordable for hex dumbbells
- Can be bought in singles if desired
The Not So Good
- Limited range of weight
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.
- Extremely large weight range
- Great quality construction
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’s an even better alternative: 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
Should You Get 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 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
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 5 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.