Best Dumbbells

December 16, 2021 13 min read

best dumbbells

Dumbbells are versatile, durable, and effective pieces of equipment that have been enhancing workouts for decades. 

Although a dumbbell might not come across as a flashy, exciting piece of equipment, they are extremely beneficial in helping you build lean muscle mass and providing you with a challenging exercise session. 

Although you might not think dumbbells can differ too much, they really can. There are so many different types of dumbbells available, and it may make it confusing to know which ones you should be using for your workouts. 

To make it easier, we have compiled a review of the best dumbbells around, a buyer’s guide on what to look out for when investing in a set of dumbbells, and we have also answered some frequently asked questions to help put you even more at ease.

best dumbbells to buy

The Best Dumbbells

Adjustable Dumbbell Set (Best Adjustable Dumbbells)

Factory Weights’ Adjustable Dumbbell Sets are thebest adjustable dumbbells that we have to offer. 

The sets come in three different options. You have the option of purchasing a 20, 30, or 50 kg dumbbell set. 

The set allows you to assemble two dumbbells at a time. In the set, you will find weight plates, bars, and screws to fasten the weights.

The great thing about this adjustable dumbbell set is that you can use different weighted dumbbells, depending on what exercise you are doing and how heavy you would like the weights to be. 

They are also perfect for both beginners and advanced weight trainers, as you can choose what weight you would like to set them at. 

Lastly, another very beneficial aspect is the fact that they make for easy storage. The fact that they are adjustable and can be disassembled means that they can fit into a smaller space compared to what 10 or more different dumbbells would.

The price of these sets ranges from £59.20 for the 20 kg set, £88.80 for the 30 kg set, and £148 for the 50 kg set.

 

Why It’s Great 

  • Easy storage
  • Weight can be easily adjusted
  • Suitable for all levels of weight trainers
  • The sets come in different weights

Who It’s Right For

  • Beginner weight trainers
  • Advanced weight trainers 
  • People who don’t have a lot of space to store things
  • People who like to workout at home
  • People who want to change between different weights 

2 kg Dumbbells Pair (Best Dumbbells for Beginners)

The 2kg Dumbbells Pair from Factory Weights is the perfect set of weights for beginners. 

They are a light enough weight that you won’t injure yourself, but also heavy enough so that someone who is just starting out with weights will still be able to get a workout. 

These dumbbells have a cast-iron centre that provides the weight and are covered with neoprene to provide a comfortable and secure grip. 

These small weights are ideal for incorporating into cardio exercises and doing exercise sets that require a lot of reps. 

best dumbbells for beginners

The number is printed on the sides of the weight so that you can easily identify them and not get confused by the different weights. 

The hexagonal shape is also beneficial because it stops the weight from rolling away when it is placed on the ground, which makes it a lot safer for those around you. 

These weights are perfect to use at home or in the gym, and can also be used for strength training, cardio exercise sessions, as well as high-intensity interval training. 

The cost of these dumbbells is £15, making them very affordable. 

Why It’s Great

  • Perfect for beginners
  • Can be used for different modalities of exercise
  • Hexagonal shape prevents them from rolling away
  • Neoprene covering makes them easy and comfortable to grip

Who It’s Right For

  • People who are just starting out with strength training
  • People who want to make their cardio and high-intensity exercise a little harder
  • People who want to exercise at home

Rubber Hex Dumbbells Pair (Best Dumbbells for Gym Use)

Factory Weights offers a wide range of Rubber Hex Dumbbell Pairs. These dumbbell pairs range from 5 kg pairs up to 40 kg pairs. 

best dumbbell weight

These weights are perfect for more advanced strength trainers and are the best dumbbells to be used in a gym establishment, or in your home gym.

The fact that they can be ordered in such a large variety of weights means that you can use them for any exercise you’d like, and you would still be able to sufficiently challenge yourself.

Theseblack rubber hex dumbbells have a hexagonal shape that secures them when they are on the ground and prevents them from rolling away. Their grips are also made with knurled steel, which ensures that you can hold them securely and they won’t slip out of your hands. 

They are also covered in a rubber material that protects them, provides durability, and ensures that they don’t damage any floors or mats that they are placed on or dropped on. 

The only downside is that if you want these dumbbells in ten different weights to accommodate your different exercises, they will take up more space than the adjustable set.

Since there are so many different weights available, there are a lot of different prices that go with them. But, the 5 kg pair, which is the cheapest, cost £26.00, and the 40 kg pair, which is the heaviest, cost £174.40. The rest of the weights fall somewhere within that range.

Why It’s Great

  • It will provide advanced strength trainers with a decent challenge 
  • They won’t roll away 
  • The knurled grip makes for a comfortable hold
  • There is a variety of different weight classes

Who It’s Right For

  • Intermediate to advanced strength trainers
  • People who like to train in a gym setting 
  • People who want to enhance their gym at home 

3 kg Dumbbells Pair (Best Dumbbells for Water Aerobics)

The 3 kg Dumbbells Pair from Factory Weights are thebest dumbbells for water aerobics.  

It is very common to use dumbbells for water aerobics to make the exercises more intense and to help you get more toned through the exercises. 

Because these dumbbells are covered in neoprene, they won’t rust from the water, which is one of the most important things to consider when choosing dumbbells for water aerobics. 

The reason the 3 kg weights were suggested instead of the 2 kg weights is that the buoyancy makes them feel lighter, so you can use slightly heavier weights in the water than on the land. 

best dumbbells for home

These weights are also nice and small, so they can fit in your bag when you are transporting them to and from your water aerobic classes. 

These weights can be used for beginner and more advanced water aerobics classes, you would just need to adjust the number of reps accordingly. 

The neoprene cover also provides a good grip, so the weights won’t slip out of your hands in the water. 

These 3 kg pairs of dumbbells are very affordable and only cost £20.

Why It’s Great

  • Won’t rust
  • Good grip so it won’t slip in the water
  • Easy to transport

Who It’s Right For

  • Ladies or men who are interested in improving their water aerobics classes
  • People who instruct water aerobics
  • Anyone who wants to increase their muscle tone

30 - 40 kg Hex Rubber Dumbbell (Best Dumbbells for Bodybuilding) 

Any of the Hex Rubber Dumbbells ranging between 30 kgs to 40 kgs will be ideal for men who enjoy bodybuilding and who are trying to increase their muscle mass. 

The Hex Rubber Dumbbells from Factory Weights are the perfect dumbbells for people who frequent the gym on a regular basis, or for those who like to exercise at home, but still want to get strong and gain muscle. 

These dumbbells are coated with a rubber material that protects them and the equipment around them. They also have a knurled grip that helps you hold onto them securely. This is especially important for the heavier weights, as it gets quite difficult to get a solid hold on them. 

The hexagonal shape of the ends of the dumbbell makes sure that it doesn't roll away, even in instances where you have to drop the weights down fast after an exercise. 

These dumbbells are also very versatile. They can be used to train your upper body, but will also work very well for lower body exercises, too. So you aren’t just limited to using them for one type of exercise. 

what are the best dumbbells to buy

These dumbbells start at a cost of £149 and increase in price as the weight increases. 

Why It’s Great

  • Has a protective rubber covering
  • The knurled grip makes it harder for you to drop them
  • Can be used at the gym or at home
  • Helps to build muscle very well

Who It’s Right For

  • Bodybuilders
  • Advanced gym goers
  • People who want to increase their lean muscle mass
  • People who want versatility in their workout sessions

Best Dumbbells (Buyer’s Guide)

There is a very wide variety of dumbbells that exist on the fitness market. And while they may serve the same purpose, there are many things that are different about them, and that will cause them to suit certain people better than others. 

In order to help you choose which type of dumbbells are best suited to you, we have put together aguide to buying dumbbells to show you the different types that are available, as well as to help you decide which type will work best for you. 

Material Of Dumbbell

Dumbbells are made out of different materials. It is important to familiarise yourself with the different types, and see which type of material will be better suited for you. 

Chrome

Chrome dumbbells have been a popular choice for many years. They are usually cheaper than rubber dumbbells, but there is a risk of them being scratched or even chipping. 

what dumbbells to buy

Chrome dumbbells are not as strong and durable as rubber dumbbells are.

Rubber

Rubber dumbbells are slightly more expensive, but they are very robust and the rubber coating provides a protective coating. 

This protective coating is not only to protect the dumbbells, but also the weight rack they are stored on, and the floor that they are dropped on.

best store to buy dumbbells

You’ll end up saving money in the long run due to the sheer durability of the rubber.

Vinyl-coated

Dumbbells coated in vinyl usually don’t go above 10 kgs and are targeted towards women. vinyl-coated dumbbells are durable, but can also be slippery to hold on to them.

So, if you sweat a lot, or exercise in a hot climate, these types of dumbbells will not be ideal for you.

Shape Of Dumbbell

Dumbbells usually come in two different shapes - either round or hexagonal. The only major difference between the two of them is that the hexagonal dumbbells don’t roll around on the floor as the round ones do. 

Adjustable vs Fixed

The most common type of dumbbells you get is fixed dumbbells, and these are usually the ones that you see in gyms.

Adjustable dumbbells are great for those who don’t have much storage space, and those who want a variety of different weights, but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on a whole set of fixed dumbbells. 

Adjustable dumbbells are very versatile and can be made to suit beginners, as well as those who are more advanced. 

Fixed dumbbells, on the other hand, can’t change their weight, they are stuck with what they are. They are more secure and sturdy, but they take up a lot more space if you want a variety of different weights to work with. 

Fixed dumbbells can weigh anywhere from 1 kg up to 50 kgs. Whereas adjustable dumbbells don’t usually go up to such a high weight.

best dumbbells on the market

Grip Shape and Size

Some dumbbells have a thicker grip, and some have a smaller grip. Neither is better than the other, it just comes down to preference. 

The grip of the dumbbells can also vary. Rubber dumbbells usually have a thinner grip that is knurled and makes for a more secure grip.

Cost

Your budget is a very important aspect that you need to consider. Dumbbells can end up being quite pricey, especially as the weight goes up and the dumbbell gets heavier. 

If you have a fairly small budget that you need to stick to, then investing in adjustable dumbbells might be the way that you need to go. 

Adjustable dumbbells allow you to still get variation in terms of different weights, but they keep the cost down. Buying five pairs of differently weighted fixed dumbbells will be a lot more expensive than the cost of buying one pair of adjustable dumbbells will be. 

Space

If you are buying the dumbbell pairs for you to use at your house, space is definitely something that you need to take into consideration before purchasing them.

If you have a home gym with lots of extra space, then a variety of fixed dumbbell pairs will work perfectly for you.

On the other hand, if you have very limited space in your house, then a variety of fixed dumbbells definitely won't be ideal for you, as you won’t have anywhere to store them.

In this case, you should probably opt for a set of adjustable dumbbells, as they are much easier and neater to store, but will still provide you with the different weights that you are wanting to have. 

best weight for dumbbells

What Weight You Need

The weight that you are looking to use for your exercises should also play a role in determining which dumbbells you want to buy.

If you are a very strong, advanced strength training athlete, then the dumbbell pairs that weigh 2 kgs obviously won’t work for you. Adjustable dumbbells probably won’t work for you either, if this is the case. 

Adjustable dumbbell sets usually only go up to 50 kgs, which means that the dumbbells can only have 25 kgs on each of them. 

If you are an advanced strength trainer or bodybuilder, then this weight probably won’t be the right option for you. You will need fixed dumbbells that weigh 30 kgs or more each.

If you are a beginner strength trainer, or a female who won’t be using weights more than 25 kgs on each side, the adjustable dumbbells, or lighter fixed dumbbell pairs will work perfectly fine for you.

What Grip You Will Need

The grip of the dumbbell plays much more of an important role than you would think. 

Dumbbell grips are usually smooth, such as the chrome or vinyl covered ones, or they are a bit more textured, such as chrome dumbbells that have a knurled grip, or neoprene covered dumbbells. 

The reason that this is important is that some people tend to sweat a lot more than others. If you are someone who happens to sweat quite a lot during your exercise sessions, then smooth dumbbells won’t be the right choice for you. 

Smooth dumbbells will become slippery if your hands sweat, and this will make it harder to keep a grip on them. Which will either just be annoying and slow down your session, or it could be quite dangerous if they slip out your hand and you drop them, especially if they are very heavy.

Brand or Manufacturer

While brand names definitely aren’t everything, it is important that the dumbbells you are buying are of good quality and properly manufactured. 

Some people may see a special on dumbbells and purchase them because they just seem so cheap.

On the other hand, some dumbbells can get really expensive.

At FactoryWeights, we aim to make weight training far more accessible by supplying high-quality products at a much more affordable rate.

Thickness Of Bar

The thickness of the bar of the dumbbells you purchase is another aspect that you wouldn’t normally think about. 

But, if the bar is too thick, or even too thin, it can be extremely uncomfortable, and difficult to use. 

For women particularly, it is recommended to get dumbbells that have a thinner handle. A thick handle is sometimes hard to wrap your whole hand around and becomes dangerous if you can’t get a good grip on it.

Men, on the other hand, may prefer slightly thicker grips as their hands might be too big for the thinner handles.

Best Dumbbells (FAQs)

Are Fixed or Adjustable Dumbbells Better?

Neither is technically better than the other, but the one that will work better for you depends on a variety of factors.

Adjustable dumbbells are usually the better option if you are using them to exercise at home, and you want to save space, don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on dumbbells, but still want variation in your workouts.

Adjustable dumbbells are also a better option if you travel a lot and would like to take them with you.

Fixed dumbbells, on the other hand, take up a lot of space and be quite expensive, so they are more often found in the gym. 

But, if you are not worried about space or price, fixed dumbbells are usually the better option, as having to adjust the dumbbell weight with each exercise can be tedious and time-consuming. 

Can You Build Muscle With Dumbbells?

Yes, you most definitely can. As long as the dumbbells are heavy enough to provide you with a progressive overload, they can be an excellent tool to enhance your strength training and will help you to build lean muscle mass. 

Are Dumbbells Better Than Barbells? 

This depends on the type of exercises that you are wanting to do. Barbells are better for exercises such as deadlifts, back squats, and good mornings. 

But, dumbbells are far more versatile and can be used for a larger variety of exercises.

So, in order to decide which one will be better for you, it is best to assess what type of exercises you will be doing, and which pieces of equipment will be best suited for this

What Are The Best Dumbbells For Women?

best dumbbell weights for women

Any type of dumbbells that you get is the best type of dumbbells for women. 

There is a common misconception that using weights will make a woman bulky. This is not true, and women can, and should, train with the same dumbbells that mean do. 

The only difference is that men are naturally stronger than women are. So, as a woman, the only thing that you need to worry about is how heavy the dumbbells are.  As a woman, you can definitely get stronger and use the same weights that a man can, but it’s better to work your way there rather than risking injury.

Make sure you don’t use ones that are too heavy for you, rather slowly progress to using heavier weights. 

Are Dumbbells Better Than Machine Weights?

One is not really better than the other, as they both serve a purpose. Using machine weights is usually easier than using free weights, which is obviously helpful for beginners. 

Machine weights are also safer if you are just starting out with weight training and still learning the correct form. 

Free weights, such as dumbbells, provide a more challenging exercise session, and the correct form needs to be used and perfected with them.

Free weights are also cheaper, take up less space, and are more versatile. If you are exercising in a gym this will obviously not be a problem for you, but if you are looking at purchasing this type of equipment for your home, free weights might be the better option for you.

What Muscles Can I Target With Dumbbells?

Dumbbells are some of the most versatile and dynamic forms of weights that you can get. 

You can train almost every single muscle on your body with them.

Dumbbells can help you pull off a challenging leg session one day, whilst targeting all the muscles of your back. 

We would recommend following a dumbbell exercise program to make sure you target the muscles you are wanting to and to make sure your form is correct while doing so.

Final Thoughts

Dumbbells are a wonderful piece of equipment that can take your exercise regime to the next level, and help you build immense amounts of lean muscle mass. 

As you can see, even though they are versatile and all technically serve the same purpose, they can still be very different.

Because of this, it is important that you take some time and choose ones that are suitable for you, your exercises, and your goals.

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