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Best adjustable dumbbells 2022

Image shows best adjustable dumbbell, JaxJox connect, being used in a garage
(Image credit: Harry Bullmore)

For decades, the humble dumbbell has been among the most flexible and effective training tools money can buy – then the best adjustable dumbbells came along. 

These clever pieces of kit not only allow you to perform a huge range of muscle-taxing exercises, they also change weight to make sure you’re continually challenged in your training. After all, this is the key to making consistent progress. So, if you’re wondering how to get stronger (opens in new tab) and fitter at home, investing in a pair of adjustable dumbbells could be a good option. Make sure you’re also hitting your nutritional needs with the best protein powder (opens in new tab), and you’ll have a potent cocktail for gains. 

Deciding to buy one of these futuristic free weights is only half the battle, however. You also have to pick the perfect pair to suit your individual circumstances. Factors you might want to consider include your previous strength training experience, the type of exercises you plan to use them for and your budget. (If the final point is chief among your concerns, try our roundup of the top cheap adjustable dumbbells (opens in new tab) deals.)

To help you make up your mind, we’ve put a selection of top sets to the test to bring you a comprehensive guide to the best adjustable dumbbells on the market right now. Plus, we’ve got the lowdown on the features you should be looking for.

Best adjustable dumbbells

The JaxJox DumbbellConnect adjustable dumbbells

(Image credit: Future)
Best adjustable dumbbells overall

Specifications

Type: Digital
Weight range: 8lb-50lb
Size: 19.5in x 7.5in
Warranty: 1 year

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek, sturdy design
+
Changing weight is effortless
+
Innovative features

Reasons to avoid

-
Need to be charged up to work
-
Screen on the dock can be hard to see at some angles

The Jaxjox DumbbellConnect adjustable dumbbells scored highly across the board with their sleek design and slick performance. As the only digital dumbbell on this list, this pioneering product also brings something completely different to the free weight world. 

Each dumbbell takes up just 19.5in x 7.5in of floor space and offers eight different weights to choose from, ranging from 8lb-50lb (3.6kg-22.7kg). To switch between the weights, all you have to do is load the dumbbells into their holding dock and press the plus or minus buttons on the base, with the weight displayed on a small, bright LED screen. They then take care of the work, saving time and hassle compared with the rigamarole of changing plates and slow-spinning collars on traditional spinlock sets.  

We found the dumbbells themselves compact and comfortable to use, with the knurled metal handles providing great grip and the slim plates locking securely together so we were never worried they would come loose. They look good too, with a matt gray finish that wouldn’t go amiss in a trendy apartment, nor a modish home gym. 

The base has to be charged up and the weight-changing mechanism won’t work if they run out of juice. But a full tank will last for weeks. 

If it’s the best of the best adjustable dumbbells you’re after, we’d say your search is over. 

What the users say

The Jaxjox DumbbellConnect Adjustable Dumbbells score 4.7 out of a possible five stars from 28 reviews left on the Jaxjox website. Users say they can replace a whole rack of dumbbells, and praise their sleek, compact design. 


The Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells are a versatile, affordable and space-efficient home workout tool

(Image credit: Future)
Best budget adjustable dumbbells

Specifications

Type: Selectorized
Weight range: 5lb-50lb
Size: 16in x 9.5in
Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+
Clever yet simple method of changing weight 
+
Neat design
+
10 different weight options

Reasons to avoid

-
Stiff to remove from holding dock
-
Large (5lb) jumps in weight

Providing quality at a lower cost, the Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells offer a more affordable alternative to the premium products on our roundup. But, despite their price, they still offer the functionality of the best adjustable dumbbells, with eight weight options from 5lb to 50lb (2.3kg-22.7kg). And the positives don’t end there. 

Our favorite feature was the nifty weight-changing mechanism embedded within the handle, similar to the Flybird pair. All you have to do is twist the central grip left or right and the load will increase or decrease by five pounds, with the current weight displayed in a small window on the handle. This is delightfully simple, takes just seconds, and means there’s no need for a dial on either end of the dumbbells, making them a compact, comfortable shape. 

Unfortunately, the Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells were let down by how tightly they fitted within their holding dock. With no segregated sections between the plates, they’re crammed into a space that is slightly too small. So, particularly at higher weight settings, a considerable tug is needed to remove them from the dock, and we sometimes had to put our foot on the tray to stop it lifting up with the dumbbell. 

However, once we’d unracked the weights, they were a joy to use. They aren’t as long as other adjustable dumbbells, so they never felt unwieldy whatever exercise we were doing, and the plates felt secure with no wobbling or rattling. 

It’s for these reasons that we think these free weights are the best cheap adjustable dumbbells available. 

What the users say

The Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set scores 4.6 out of five stars on Amazon, with more than 650 reviews left on the site. Buyers said they were simple to set-up and use, and were great for space-saving, though several people warned not to drop them from any height as this had caused their dumbbells to break. 


The Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbell

(Image credit: Future)
Best selectorized adjustable dumbbells

Specifications

Type: Selectorized
Weight range: 5lb-53lb
Size: 15.8in x 8in
Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+
Smooth, quick weight changes 
+
15 weight options
+
Secure and silent in use

Reasons to avoid

-
Plastic finish feels cheaper than metal alternatives
-
Holding the dumbbells can feel awkward in the goblet position

If the idea of a digital dumbbell is a step too far, don’t worry. The Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells offer an impressive 15 weight options (the joint highest number of all of those we tested) from 2kg to 24kg without bringing electricity into the equation. 

Easy to use dials on either end of the dumbbells can be twisted to select your weight of choice, with small 2.5lb (1kg) jumps between most loads making these a great option for those new to strength training. These allow you to increase the load you’re lifting gradually, so you can keep challenging yourself as you grow stronger and make use of the progressive overload (opens in new tab) training principle – a key pillar of resistance training. 

The weight-changing mechanism is intuitive to use and takes just seconds, making it great for more advanced training protocols like supersets and dropsets. The dumbbells are effortless to remove and re-rack from their holding dock (something that certainly wasn’t the case with all adjustable dumbbells we tried) and the plates felt secure when pressed overhead. 

The plastic finish of the plates cheapens the overall aesthetic somewhat, and we found the way they attach for some weights can be tricky to hold in a goblet position. However, the overall product is still first class, with the small increments in weight and smooth performance making these adjustable dumbbells a top option for anyone looking for a versatile home workout tool.  

What the users say

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells have a rating of 4.8 out of five stars on the Bowflex website, with more than 6,700 reviews submitted. 


NordicTrack Select-A-Weight dumbbells 50lb

NordicTrack Select-A-Weight dumbbells 50lb (Image credit: Brielle Diskin)
Best adjustable dumbbell for weight variety and spread

Specifications

Dimensions: 70" x 34" x 55"
Weight: 165lbs / 74kg
Max user weight: 300lbs / 136kg
Tread belt size: 20” x 55”
Display: No screen
Speed: 0-10mph
Incline: 0-10%
Other features: Dual grip heart rate monitoring, 30 inbuilt workouts, Bluetooth speakers, rapid-charge USB charging port, headphone jack, one-touch controls, fan, foldable

Reasons to buy

+
 Very quiet 
+
 Affordable 

Reasons to avoid

-
No touchscreen 
-
Not suitable for taller / heavier people 

Equalling the Bowflex SelectTech’s 15 weight settings record, the NordicTrack Select-A-Weight adjustable dumbbells are another strong choice for those just starting their strength training journey. 

Unlike any other pair we tested, they have two separate ways to switch the load you’re lifting. Sliding pins on either end of the dumbbells allow you to add or remove pairs of larger 5.5lb plates to the central bar, while secondary sliding pins on the inside of the handles enable you to choose whether to add zero, one or two 2.5lb plates. 

This provides more weight options and means you can increase the load you’re lifting in smaller jumps – ideal for beginners looking to make incremental gains. However, we found it a bit fiddly having to tinker with up to four separate pins per dumbbell when you want to change the weight.

They’re a bit bulky too, making them slightly unwieldy, and the plastic-laden design definitely didn’t scream ‘premium’ to us.

Still, there was a lot to like. The octagonal shape means you can place them on the ground without worrying about them rolling away; the dumbbells felt sturdy and secure in our hands; and with your purchase you gain 30-days’ access to the iFit app – an enormous resource of follow-along workout videos perfect for anyone needing exercise inspiration. 

What the users say

The NordicTrack Select-A-Weight adjustable dumbbells have a rating of 4.6 out of a possible five stars on Amazon from more than 870 reviews. Buyers praised their 'great value' and said the weights are 'functional' and 'effective'. 


Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell

(Image credit: Brielle Diskin)
Best adjustable dumbbells with 'twist' changing mechanism

Specifications

Type : Selectorized
Weight range: 11lb-55lb
Size: 19.5in x 11.5in
Warranty : 2 years

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to change the weight 
+
Clean design
+
Compact

Reasons to avoid

-
Only five weight options 
-
Round shape means weights can roll away

The Flybird’s sleek and simple design makes them one of the best-looking adjustable dumbbells around, which is definitely a major plus for anyone like us, whose living room doubles up as their home workout space. This also made them ideal for fitting in snack-sized workouts while working from home, with the changeable weights rarely out of arm’s reach. 

The dumbbells we tested offered five weight settings, starting at 11lb (5kg) and working up to 55lb (25kg) in 11lb increments. These jumps are quite large for beginners – a bicep curl with an 11lb dumbbell will feel very different to one with 22lb on the bar – but the brand does offer a 25lb (11kg) option which has five weight options from 5lb, increasing by 5lb.

Rather than the dials featured on either end of most selectorized adjustable dumbbells, this Flybird set has a neat system whereby you only have to twist the central handle to change the weight. The different loads are clearly labeled on a buffer at either end of the handle, and the plates lock into place when you remove the dumbbell from its holding dock, ensuring a speedy and secure transition. 

The plates didn’t rattle during lifts (a problem we encountered with the Ativafit 55lb pair) and the tightly-packed design never felt cumbersome to lift. As long as you choose the best weight option for you, of the 55lb and 25lb variations available, then you can’t go far wrong with this solid adjustable dumbbell. 

Editor's note: We are currently in the process of reviewing these adjustable dumbbells and will update this guide accordingly when we have finished our testing process.

What the users say

The Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells score 3.8 out of five stars on Amazon. Those who have bought the product say they enjoy having the functionality of several dumbbell in a single free weight, though several say the weight plates have fallen off during their workouts. This was not something seen during our tests. 


Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells

(Image credit: Future)
The best adjustable dumbbells for slow-paced exercise

Specifications

Type: Selectorized
Weight range: 5.5lb-55lb
Size: 16.73in x 7.68in
Warranty: 1 year

Reasons to buy

+
10 weight settings from 5.5lb-55lb
+
Clean design
+
Security lock for safety 

Reasons to avoid

-
Plates rattle during use
-
Plastic handle and holding dock feel cheap
-
Long, chunky shape feels unwieldy

The Ativafit 55lb Adjustable Dumbbell set does exactly what it sets out to, offering 10 weight options from 5.5lb to 55lb (2.5-25kg) in one space-savvy package. But, don’t expect any bells, whistles or additional features that make it stand out from its counterparts. 

During our tests, we found the Ativafit’s shape allowed us to complete most exercises comfortably. Presses, rows and deadlifts presented no problems, but we found with movements like bicep curls, the greater length of these dumbbells could catch against our hips. They were also slightly awkward to hold in the goblet position (for exercises like squats and lunges). 

Easy access dials on either end of the dumbbells make changing the weight an easy procedure, and a small red security button next to the handle makes sure the plates are attached securely before you start lifting. However, they jiggle and rattle slightly during most movements, which can not only be annoying, but also means slipping them back into their holding dock can be tricky as the plates don’t align. 

It’s for this reason that we think these adjustable dumbbells are best-suited to someone looking to use them exclusively for slower tempo strength training. Although, if you want to add weight to your home HIIT workouts, we recommend looking elsewhere. 

What the users say

The Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells score 4.4 out of five stars on Amazon, from more than 4,900 reviews. Buyers say it is quick to switch weights and good value thanks to the wide range of weights (from 5.5lb to 55lb). Some reviewers said they had experienced problems with weights coming loose during workouts, but this is not something we encountered during testing. 

How we test adjustable dumbbells

We put the best adjustable dumbbells to the test to see which pairs were worth their (considerable) weight in gold, and which sets didn’t live up to our high standards. 

We tested each pair over the course of a couple of weeks, adding them to our home gym set-up and using them for a series of workouts varying in type, duration and intensity. We also completed a standardized weights at home workout with each model to make sure they could stand up to the rigors of strength training staples such as supersets of bench press, bent over rows, shoulder press and deadlifts. 

Each pair was reviewed based on its set up and ease of use, design, features and functionality, performance and value for money. Only products that provided several weight options in one compact package, allowed us to change the load with minimal effort, and felt comfortable and secure when lifted, earned a spot on our roundup of the best adjustable dumbbells. 

What are adjustable dumbbells?

As the name suggests, adjustable dumbbells are clever bits of kit that provide users with the ability to change the weight as they go. They can be split into three main types, categorized by the method used to adjust the load:

Digital adjustable dumbbells: The most recent addition to the adjustable dumbbell family, you can alter the load of these free weights with the touch of a button. As with the Jaxjox DumbbellConnect, reviewed above, to change the weight all you have to do is to load a pair of dumbbells into their respective holding docks and select your chosen load using plus and minus buttons on the base. Then, they will take care of the rest. They need to be charged up, but that’s the only real downside. 

Selectorized adjustable dumbbells: There’s no need to charge these weights up. Instead, just place them into a holding dock and turn a dial to find the right weight for you. This is usually found on either end of the dumbbells, but sometimes controlled with the central handle. That done, and you’re ready to lift – it really is that simple. When it comes to selectorized adjustable dumbbells, the Bowflex SelectTech 552s proved to be our top picks on test. 

Spinlock adjustable dumbbells: Many people’s first foray into the world of free weights, you’ll likely recognise this type of adjustable dumbbell from your school gym or an old set you used in your teenage bedroom. They require far more of a manual effort than digital and selectorized dumbbells as you need to construct the weight yourself. Add the necessary plates to a central bar to decide the load, then secure them into place using collars that spin into position along the handles’ grooved ends (similar to a nut and bolt system). 

Are adjustable dumbbells good for home gyms?

The short answer? Yes. We think adjustable dumbbells are a flexible and innovative training tool to add to your home gym. 

The main aim of an adjustable dumbbell is to provide several weight options in one compact package. So, you still get all the versatility of a standard dumbbell that allows you to perform hundreds of different exercises from barbell curls to bench press, while also being able to increase the weight you’re lifting as your strength increases. This principle, called progressive overload, is a key pillar of strength training and will allow you to continually challenge yourself in order to enjoy steady gains. 

Usually, you would need a wide selection of fixed weight dumbbells to achieve this, leaving your home workout space cluttered and messy. However, with a space-conscious adjustable dumbbell set, you can enjoy the benefits of a dumbbell rack that takes up the equivalent floor space of a shoebox. 

Are adjustable dumbbells worth it?

The asking price for most adjustable dumbbells might raise a few eyebrows at first, but bear with us and we’ll explain why we think these free weights are a shrewd investment. 

The adjustable dumbbells featured on our list range in price from $379.99 to $499.99. Of those we tested, the Bowflex SelectTech 552s and the NordicTrack Select-A-Weights had the greatest number of different weight options on offer, with 15 apiece. 

Now, wherever you buy them from, a rack of 15 fixed weight dumbbells ranging from 2kg to 24kg (the range of the Bowflex dumbbells) is going to leave your wallet considerably lighter than it was. Whereas, with a single fee, an adjustable dumbbell provides all you need for a varied and effective home workout routine, which can save you further money by providing an alternative to your monthly gym membership.

Factor in the space-efficient nature of an adjustable dumbbell, and investing in a pair of these seems a worthwhile addition to your fitness routine. 

Harry Bullmore is a fitness writer covering everything from reviews to features for LiveScience, T3, TechRadar, Fit&Well and more. So, whether you’re looking for a new fitness tracker or wondering how to shave seconds off your 5K PB, chances are he’s written something to help you improve your training. 


When not writing, he’s most likely to be found experimenting with a wide variety of training methods in his home gym or trying to exhaust his ever-energetic puppy. 


Prior to joining Future, Harry wrote health and fitness product reviews for publications including Men’s Health, Women’s Health and Runner’s World. Before this, he spent three years as a news reporter with work in more than 70 national and regional newspapers.