Reviewing The Best Starter Dumbbell Set For Home

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So you’re ready to dive into your fitness journey and begin shopping around for equipment for your home gym – where do you start? 

One of the first things to purchase to start working out is a set of good dumbbells. This classic piece of weightlifting equipment can be used for so many different purposes, and having a good starter set will get you well on your way to achieving all of your fitness goals. 

With so many options out there for dumbbells, it can be overwhelming to determine which product is the best starter dumbbell set for you. We’ve reviewed seven of the best dumbbell sets for you so you can spend less time researching and more time weightlifting. We’re also answering some of the most frequently asked questions about dumbbells and home gyms. 

Product Reviews and Comparison Chart

Comparison Chart

Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells – 105 lb Dumbbell Weights (Pair)
ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbell for Workout Strength Training Fitness Weight Gym (Single) (27.5)
CAP Barbell Set of 2 Hex Rubber Dumbbell with Metal Handles, Pair of 2 Heavy Dumbbells Choose Weight (5lb, 8lb, 10lb, 15lb, 20 Lb, 25lb, 30lb, 35lb, 40lb, 50lb) (15lb x 2)
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (pair)
Sporzon! Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbell, Pair, Black
Amazon Basics Neoprene Coated Dumbbell Hand Weight Set, 12-Pound, Set of 2, Black
wolfyok Fitness Dumbbells Set, Adjustable Weight to 44Lbs, Home Fitness Equipment for Men and Women Gym Work Out Exercise Training with Connecting Rod Used as Barbells (Pair)

Yes4All

Adjustable Dumbbells

This adjustable dumbbell set is a great beginner’s option because of its versatility and different buying options. You can adjust the weight from 40 to 105 pounds depending on your needs, and since the bar is standard, you can always buy more plates later if you find that you need them. The plates that this set come with are cast-iron and come with star-lock collars for safety.  

The handles themselves are made of knurled chrome, which is great for both your grip and comfort during your workout. The most interesting option on these dumbbells is that you can choose to buy them with a connector to make a makeshift barbell, increasing the versatility of your workouts

Pros

  • Adjustable up to 105 pounds
  • Cast-iron plates
  • Dumbbell connector option
  • Knurled chrome handle
  • Standard bar

Cons

  • Not very easy to change weights

Key Takeaway

The Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells are a solid set that can work well for almost anyone looking to buy a starter dumbbell set. The standard sizes and optional dumbbell connector make it a good choice for multiple workouts – just be aware that it takes some time to adjust the weights vs. other quick-change adjustable dumbbell sets.

ATIVAFIT

Adjustable Dumbbell

If you’re looking for a small and adjustable beginner dumbbell set, you might consider ATIVAFIT’s adjustable dumbbell option. This easy-to-adjust set can take the place of four different dumbbell weights ranging from 5 to 27.5 pounds per dumbbell. 

The product itself is pretty well-made, offering a soft and comfortable grip to maximize security during your workout. On the downside, some users do report that the weights can shift which can lead to some unwanted noise.

Pros

  • Replaces 4 sets of dumbbells
  • Compact design
  • Easy to adjust
  • Soft, comfortable grip

Cons

  • Some weight-shifting during workout reported

Key Takeaway

The ATIVAFIT is perfect for a beginner who is going to be working out with weights on the lower end of the spectrum. It is cost-efficient and great for those with limited storage.

CAP

Barbell Hex Rubber Dumbbells

 These fixed dumbbells are from the reputable brand CAP Barbell, and they have the quality to back them up. They are made of good materials like solid cast iron and chrome-plating, plus they are coated with rubber to prevent floor damage. The weights themselves are hexagonal, which will prevent them from rolling away and presenting potential accidents and injuries.

One potential con of this product is that it is not adjustable, so you may have to buy multiple pairs. This can present a storage and cost issue. However, because they are fixed and not adjustable, it also means that they are going to be more durable than some of the other products in this review with removable parts.

Pros

  • Hexagonal design
  • High-quality build
  • Rubber-coated
  • Durable

Cons

  • Not adjustable

Key Takeaway

With a classic design and a solid construction, CAP Barbell’s Hex Rubber Dumbbells are a great purchase for someone looking to build a home gym with fixed weights. It will cost you more than an adjustable dumbbell set, but the good quality might make it worth your while.

Bowflex SelectTech 552

Version 2 Adjustable Dumbbells

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 is an adjustable dumbbell that can take the place of fifteen different dumbbell sets, making it a great space-saving option for people who like to use a lot of different weight sets. You can easily adjust the weight on the bar by turning a dial, making it easy to quickly switch between different sets during your workout. 

This set also comes with the added benefit of being backed by a reputable home gym manufacturer. On the other hand, because of the high quality and different weight options available in this set, it will also cost you significantly more than other adjustable starter dumbbells.

Pros

  • Easy to adjust
  • Big weight range
  • Compact
  • Two-year warranty

Cons

  • High ticket price value

Key Takeaway

If you value having lots of weight options and have the money, the SelectTech 552 is a great choice for an adjustable dumbbell. However, the cost may make it more suited for a more advanced workout.

Sporzon

Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbell

These fixed hexagonal dumbbells by Sporzon! come in a wide range of buying options depending on your weight needs, which can be nice – you only have to buy the options you know you’re going to use, but it can also get expensive if you have to buy multiple pairs. You also have the option to buy singles of the heaviest weights, which might be good for some buyers.

The classic design includes contoured chrome handles and hexagonal, rubber-encased heads for the protection of both your floor and yourself.

Pros

  • Can buy in either pairs or singles
  • Hexagonal, rubber-encased heads
  • Contoured handles
  • Wide range of buying options

Cons

  • Can be expensive

Key Takeaway

These classic dumbbells might be a good product if you only want to buy a couple of weight sets, but the price can quickly add up if you want more variety.

AmazonBasics

Neoprene Dumbbell Hand Weights

AmazonBasics offers cheap studio weights that can be good for a beginner, or for someone who isn’t going to use heavy weights. You can either buy pairs of dumbbells or sets, and the weights range from one to eight pounds.  

The weights are color-coded, which makes it quick to select the correct pair, and they are coated in neoprene for a secure grip. The heads of these weights are also hexagonal for safety, and the sets come with a stand for an easy and compact storage solution.

Pros

  • Color-coded
  • Neoprene coating
  • Hexagonal heads
  • Stand included for sets
  • Budget option

Cons

  • Very light options

Key Takeaway

 This set may be perfect for a beginner who wants to buy dumbbells for pretty light workouts, since the weight sets only go up to eight pounds. They’re also great for those who want to add a little bit of resistance to their home workout while on a budget.

Wolfyok

Fitness Dumbbells Set

This adjustable dumbbell set by wolfyok aims to combine cost-effectiveness with workout versatility. You can switch weights via sliding plates on or off of the bar, and you can also connect the dumbbells together to make a barbell, which is great for more compound exercises. The weight range for this set is relatively low, ranging from 12.8 lbs to just 44 lbs. 

The plates themselves are octagonal to prevent rolling away. But they are slightly bulkier than one might expect from a dumbbell, and they’re made of polyethylene and cement, rather than metal, so they might not be as high-quality as some might like. On the other hand, this set is priced competitively!

Pros

  • Octagon-shaped plates
  • Connecting rod for barbell use
  • Comfortable and secure grip
  • Easy adjustment
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Weight range of 12.8 – 44 lbs
  • Bulkier plates
  • Made of polyethylene and cement

Key Takeaway

This set is best suited for someone who doesn’t need heavier weights to work out and wants to save money. It isn’t going to be as high-quality as some of the other offerings on this list, but for the casual home gym use, it does the trick. 

Our Top Pick, And Why!

We chose the Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells as the best starter dumbbell set because of its optimal mix of price, versatility, and weight range. With just one relatively compact purchase, you can get up to 105 total pounds, which should cover nearly any beginner workout you’d want to do. It also has a classic design and a high-quality build, making it perfect for those just starting out.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of dumbbells are available?

When you first begin working out and hunting around for dumbbells, you’ll find that there are a couple of main categories that they fall into:

Studio Weights

You can easily distinguish these weights because they are relatively compact, covered in a neoprene coating, and are usually color-coded. These weights are great for those just starting out because they are easy to handle and usually come with various weight ranges on the lower end of the spectrum.

Fixed dumbbells

These are the most “classic” dumbbell design. They usually come in matching pairs of weight and are welded together into one cohesive cast-iron dumbbell, making them more durable and high-quality than other adjustable options. The heads can be round or hexagonal. The downsides of these dumbbells is that they can be expensive to buy one by one and may require storage solutions to store multiple pairs.

Adjustable dumbbells

Adjustable dumbbells are a popular solution for home gyms because they aim to replace several pairs of fixed weights with their weight-adjusting options. There are several different mechanisms for weight adjustment, including removable plates and quick-change solutions.

Are adjustable dumbbells worth it?

Adjustable dumbbells are very popular for those with home gyms because they are more cost-effective and are more easily stored than multiple pairs of fixed dumbbells. 

On the downside, adjustable dumbbells have removable parts, which could compromise security and safety during use. Depending on the design, they may also be harder to wield than fixed dumbbells. They are definitely worth the buy if you have limited space, but be sure to read reviews thoroughly when shopping around and buy only secure, high-quality products to prevent breaking and potential hazards.

What are the benefits of training with dumbbells?

Dumbbells, otherwise known as “free weights,” are a staple for many training regimens because of their versatility, weight range, and design. 

Easy to use

With just a little bit of training on correct form, dumbbells are easy to incorporate into your exercise routine. They are designed to be easily held with one hand, but are also great for two-handed exercises, making them perfect for a wide variety of exercises.

Engages more muscles

In addition, you aren’t working with a fixed path of motion like you would be with weight machines, so your body has to activate stabilizing muscles like your core even as you work to isolate and target individual muscles.

Cost-effective and easily stored

Dumbbells are also ideal for home gyms and beginners because they are relatively cheap compared to bigger pieces of equipment and are more easily stored.

How do I select my dumbbell weight and size?

As you shop around for the best starter dumbbell set for you, you should keep your intended use and strength level in mind. 

Ideally, you’ll want to have dumbbells in a wide variety of weights for different exercises – for example, the weights that you can use for your shoulder exercises are probably much lighter than the weights you would use for your heavier leg exercises. In addition, you’ll want to keep your progress in mind, since as you get stronger you’ll likely need to use heavier weights to continue challenging your body. 

Dumbbell sizes can vary widely based on their design, so consider whether you’ll be able to effectively hold and move your body correctly during the workout. Fixed weights are usually more ideal for these, but compact adjustable dumbbells can be used for many exercises as well.

What should I look for in a beginner dumbbell set?

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Quality

Classic fixed dumbbells are made of solid cast-iron or steel which increases their durability, but these tend to be more expensive. On the other hand, cheaper materials might save you some money, but you may be compromising your safety during your workouts.

Size

Fixed dumbbells tend to be pretty standard in size, but the size of the set is something to consider if you buy adjustable dumbbells instead. The dumbbells in the set you buy should be small enough for you to hold comfortably without compromising your form during your workout.

Weight range

You should have enough of a weight range to cover all the exercises you intend to do with your dumbbells, both now and in the future as you gain strength. You are usually faced with the option of buying pairs of fixed dumbbells or adjustable dumbbells. Adjustable dumbbells will give you more weight options, but may be designed awkwardly.

Storage solutions

Another important thing to consider is how you are going to store your dumbbells, especially if you choose to buy fixed instead of adjustable. You may need to buy a separate rack if the set you choose does not come with one.

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