man lifting adjustable dumbbells during his outdoor workout

7 Best Adjustable Dumbbells in 2021 (Review)

Dumbbells are a highly versatile addition to any home gym. When deciding on which product to invest in, however, a couple of hurdles often arise.

The choice customers face when purchasing dumbbells for home use often leaves them with one of two issues. First, different exercises require different weights to perform appropriately, but getting a broad array of dumbbells can be expensive, and makes them difficult to transport and space-consuming!

On the other hand, past offerings of adjustable dumbbells have often come with fiddly components, and they take up precious workout time to constantly adjust weights between exercises.

Luckily, recent advancements have managed to solve both of these issues. To that end, this article aims to cover some of our picks for the best adjustable dumbbells in 2021.

Jesse

Written by qualified personal trainer Jesse. Last updated:

The Best Adjustable Dumbbells

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1. Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells

side facing flybird adjustable dumbbells

Key Features:

  • Super easy locking system to adjust dumbbells in seconds
  • Comes with holding tray to stabilise and protect flooring
  • Ranges from 5 – 25 lb. for a whole-body workout

Key Specifications:

  • Product Weight: 25 lb. (11.3 kg.)
  • Dimensions: 14.6” x 7.9” x 6.7”
  • Adjustment Levels: 5

This set of adjustable dumbbells from Flybird is a prime example of where the future of fitness equipment is headed. This is an easy-to-adjust, safe, and effective set of adjustable dumbbells, with connector structures built into the base.

The dumbbell weight range in this Flybird model spans from 5-25 lb. This makes it a piece of home gym equipment suitable for any fitness level, handling everything from light bicep curls to heavier dumbbell weight lifting sessions.

Changing between this wide range of weights is faster than ever. Simply place the dumbbell into the tray, and twist. This saves precious minutes changing between different workout equipment, making your home workouts more effective.

The buckle structure of the tray means these dumbbell sets can only be adjusted in the tray itself. You’ll never have to worry about the dumbbell slipping or moving while you’re working out at home. This is the future of adjustable weights!

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2. Nice C Non-slip Adjustable Dumbbells

side facing nice c non-slip adjustable dumbbells

Key Features:

  • 3-layered non-slip material
  • Small and compact, great space savers
  • 2.3-11 lb. Weight range for a light full body workout

Key Specifications:

  • Product Weight: 9.13 lb. (4.14 kg.)
  • Dimensions: 11.3” x 7.32” 3.98”
  • Adjustment Levels: 5

Where To Buy

The Non-Slip Adjustable Dumbbells from Nice C are perfect for beginner and intermediate fitness workouts. While their lighter weight won’t be the most appropriate for building muscle mass or bone density, they are great toning tools for cardio, strength, and endurance.

The multi-layered neoprene material provides a firm grip, and saves your floor from scuffing, dents, or other marks. Fine-tune your arm exercises or full body workout with the small weight blocks, which can be placed under the end caps.

Weight training isn’t just for bodybuilders, and these light dumbbells can still provide a high intensity session to increase your stamina. Along with a quick search for healthy eating and exercise tips, you’ll be achieving your fitness and weight loss goals in no time.

The Nice C Non-slip grip dumbbells are also offered in several color options, so you can do your resistance training in style!

3. Sunny Health SJTT9

side facing sunny health sjtt9

Key Features:

  • Diamond knurled grip
  • Plastic carry case included for easy and convenient transport
  • Compatible with many weight plates

Key Specifications:

  • Product Weight: 33 lb. (15 kg.)
  • Dimensions: 16” x 12” 3.5”
  • Adjustment Levels: 6+

Where To Buy

A more familiar style in the market of adjustable weight options, these chrome finish dumbbells from Sunny Health and Fitness have been used for decades for home strength training sessions. Each single weight in this set can be adjusted from around 3 lb. to 16 lb.

These dumbbells will also accommodate any one-inch weight plates, making them compatible and versatile enough for upper body lifting workout staples. Things like tricep presses, lateral raises, hammer curls, and more are a cinch with this classic adjustable dumbbell set.

These Sunny Health adjustable dumbbell weights also come with a handy carry case included. Sometimes transporting heavy adjustable dumbbells can be a hassle; with these, simply disassemble and pack, and you’re ready to go!

No adjustable dumbbells review would be complete without a classic design like this. While nothing ground-breaking, these dumbbells have been around for so long for a reason: they’re a reliable, durable, and safe way to make the most of your workout time.

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4. CAP Barbell 60-Pound Adjustable Dumbbells

side facing cap barbell 60-pound adjustable dumbbells

Key Features:

  • Black epoxy finish to prevent rust
  • Up to 50 lb. per dumbbell for a 100 lb. + set
  • Suitable for heavy weight lifting sessions

Key Specifications:

  • Product Weight: 33 lb. (15 kg.)
  • Dimensions: 14” x variable
  • Adjustment Levels: 20+

Where To Buy

Another option for those wanting to stick with the classic design, the CAP Barbell set of adjustable dumbbells comes equipped with all the weights the handles can fit. These adjustable weights can load up to 50 lb. on each dumbbell, for some serious strength training.

The impressive weight range of this home gym equipment is further complimented by its durable cast-iron build, with a black epoxy coating. This will prevent any cracking or rust that plagues many adjustable weights over the long term.

With the classic threading and star lock collar design, the CAP Barbell dumbbell weight set has been used for home resistance training by thousands of customers. The rubber O-rings provide a snug fit and security.

Again, you may have seen this style of equipment before, but that’s because it has been so dependable. If you want to go as high as 200 lb. with your free weights, simply source some 10 lb. plates and load up!

5. Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells

side facing ativafit adjustable dumbbells

Key Features:

  • Studded knurl grip
  • Two set options – 55 lb. or 70+ lb.
  • Simple dial system allows changing in seconds

Key Specifications:

  • Product Weight: 71.5 lb. (32.4 kg.)
  • Dimensions: 16.34” x 7.5” x 8.67”
  • Adjustment Levels: 17

Where To Buy

Ativafit has provided another cutting edge set of adjustable dumbbells with a connector here. Unlike the Flybird adjustable dumbbells, which are changed by turning the handle, these dumbbells can be adjusted at both ends. This allows for a more gradual and personalised setting of the weight.

The Ativafit dumbbells come as a single piece, so be sure to order two if you want the pair. They also come in a 55 lbs. version, or the more heavy-duty 71.5 variant. The value of having essentially 17 pairs of dumbbells that take up the footprint of one is hard to ignore.

These dumbbells use a smart locking system that only allows the weights to be adjusted while sitting on the frame. This ensures your weights will be smooth and secure, never becoming wobbly or noisy while you train.

The time saved by being able to instantly switch weight is a feature that will no doubt become the new standard in the fitness industry.

6. Nice C Adjustable Dumbbells

side facing nice c adjustable dumbbells

Key Features:

  • Neoprene and padded handles for comfort and grip
  • Can accommodate weight from 1.1 lb. to 66 lb.
  • Unique connecting bar to turn dumbbells into a barbell

Key Specifications:

  • Product Weight: 46.55 lb. (21.1 kg.)
  • Dimensions: 19.5” x 8” x 7.5”
  • Adjustment Levels: 12+

Where To Buy

One of the more unique dumbbell sets on this list, this Nice C product comes with two dumbbells, an assortment of weight plates, and a connecting bar. This gives your dumbbells the added versatility of becoming a barbell set.

The sleek yellow neoprene design makes this set stylish and safe, for your grip and your surfaces. It takes only a moment to transform your dumbbells into one connected barbell, giving you more exercise options. A barbell can take the strain off some of the smaller, supporting muscles when performing major movements.

These sets can be purchased at anywhere from a pair of 11 lb. dumbbells (for a 22 lb. bar) up to a 33 lb. pair (making the maximum 66 lb. bar). For those who like to do class style workouts such as a body pump, this set from Nice C is ideal.

7. Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells

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Key Features:

  • Twist lock technology – change weight in a second
  • Lightweight but sturdy frame
  • Adjustable in 5 lb. increments from 5-50 lb. each

Key Specifications:

  • Product Weight: 50 lb. (22.67 kg.)
  • Dimensions: 14.5” x 7.9” x 7.2”
  • Adjustment Levels: 10

Where To Buy

This final set of adjustable dumbbells from Core Fitness sports another futuristic design. Their twist lock cradles allow you to change weight without releasing the dumbbell handle. The Core Fitness dumbbells come included as a pair, with two cradles.

To make adjusting the weight even more convenient, this set can be purchased with an additional stand. This allows you to adjust the weights standing up, rather than from the floor. The cradles also boast a more streamlined design, being lighter and more transportable than competitors.

The plates in this set provide 5 lb. of resistance each, without being thick or bulky. This really is a sleek, ergonomic design. It is incredible to be able to have 10 different pairs of dumbbells in your hands, without letting go of the handle once – and all in a matter of seconds!

Take advantage of the smart, compact Core Fitness adjustable dumbbells to take your home gym to the cutting edge.

Adjustable Dumbbells – Buying Guide and FAQ

5 Features to Look for in Adjustable Dumbbells

a guy using an adjustable dumbbell in the gym

Weight Capability

The main element here is the maximum weight each dumbbell can hold, and more is definitely much better. Consider what weight you’ll need for your heaviest lift, and whether the increments on offer are enough to cover all your desired exercises.

As an alternative, check out our article on the best weight lifting curl bars to complement your dumbbells.

Safety

The last thing you want to worry about when training is your equipment falling apart, possibly dropping a weight onto you. Whether it’s a good thread and lock collar, or the new Twist Lock tech in the Core Fitness model, your dumbbells need to keep you at ease by being built to be safe.

For more ideas on how to keep yourself safe, take a look at our piece on when to use a weight lifting belt in your training. Making your home gym safe is crucial to avoiding injury and keeping yourself in top condition.

Levels of Adjustment

Again, more is better! Being able to increase your weight by smaller increments makes it easier to progress your strength and endurance over time. As the weights get larger, it’s important to have more levels of adjustment so you can avoid getting stuck between a weight that’s too easy, and one that’s too difficult. You’re also less likely to strain muscles if you can increase gradually, so this is important to consider, especially if you’re just starting out and don’t have a good sense of how hard you can push yourself yet.

Convenience

This comes down to personal preference. Do you want to save space and get through your workouts quicker, without having to take up to a minute every time you want to change weights? The Flybird or Ativafit options may be ideal for their ability to switch weights in seconds, and taking up a small footprint compared to a set of multiple dumbbells. If you’re less concerned with space, there’s still the cost aspect of buying multiple dumbbell weights which you’ll need to consider.

Long-Term Durability

Like any piece of home gym equipment, you want it to do its job for as long as possible. Be aware that due to the precise technology of the locking mechanisms used in newer adjustable dumbbells, any dropping could cause damage to the mechanism. Be sure to take care of your equipment, and consider alternatives if you like to throw your weights around.

Adjustable Dumbbells FAQ

a woman exercising with an adjustable dumbbell in the gym

Q: Are adjustable dumbbells worth it?

A: Adjustable dumbbells are a highly versatile piece of equipment for any home gym. In terms of value for money, a quality set of adjustable dumbbells provide hundreds of exercises at varying resistance levels.

For more information on the cost of a home gym, read our article that covers the most common costs involved in assembling the necessary set up.

Q: How do adjustable dumbbells work?

A: The two main types of adjustable dumbbells in this review include the threaded handles, which allow you to add and remove plates and lock them in with a spin lock collar, and the newer twist lock style. You can find a more in-depth explanation of how these products work in our article on how adjustable dumbbells function.

Q: Can you drop adjustable dumbbells?

A: The trade-off for having one pair of dumbbells that can interchange weights means that the products necessarily have more moving parts. This makes them more vulnerable to the impact caused by dropping or throwing them.

For a different tough piece of equipment that may suit you, you can see our coverage of the main differences between kettlebells and dumbbells.

Q: Are adjustable dumbbells safe to use?

A: As mentioned, the adjustable dumbbells in this review all feature either long threaded handles, or twist lock mechanisms that secure the weight firmly to the handle. Unlike lower quality products with flimsy clips, these dumbbells are very safe to use.

Q: What exercises can I do with adjustable dumbbells?

A: Adjustable dumbbells can facilitate hundreds of open-chain, free-weight exercises. The range of weights makes them useable for every muscle group and training goal. If you’d like to add some effective bodyweight exercises to your routine, you may be interested in our coverage of home pull-up bars.

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