Home Adjustable Dumbbells 13 Best Adjustable Dumbbells 2022, Tried And Tested (From £39.99)

13 Best Adjustable Dumbbells 2022, Tried And Tested (From £39.99)

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Investing in an adjustable dumbbell can do more than just help you get the most out of your home workouts, it can also keep your go-to lifting zone clutter-free by limiting the number of free-weights you need (win-win, right?).

They’re, naturally, a bit pricier than your standard dumbbell or hand weight, but by providing up to 24 different weights options in one practical package, these space-saving bits of kits are a great option for anyone looking to get a sweat on and make serious resistance training gains. In some cases, these smart ‘bells even allow you to up the weight and push for new PBs with just the touch of a button (looking at you, JAXJOX).

Sound good? Well, before you ‘add to basket’, there’s a few things you should know. Luckily, our team of fitness kit experts is on hand to explain what you’ll need to look out for when picking your perfect home workout partner. We’ve even put top models to the test to bring you our 13 best adjustable dumbbell recommendations for all experience levels and budgets.

How do adjustable dumbbells work?

First up, there are three types of adjustable dumbbell; spinlock, dial and digital.

  • A traditional spinlock adjustable dumbbell tends to involve a bar with weight plates that need to be manually added or removed from the bar. They are usually held in place by metal or plastic collars (otherwise known as spinlocks).
  • A dial adjustable dumbbell usually sits in a case or tray and allows you to add or remove plates with the use of (you guessed it) a dial. Once you’ve selected your weight and lifted the dumbbell out of the rack, the remaining unused weight plates will stay put.
  • Digital adjustable dumbbells might just be the snazziest of the lot, loading into a holding dock where you can change the weight (as the name suggests) digitally. You select your weight of choice using buttons on the holding dock, with data displayed on a small screen, and any unused plates are left in place when you remove the weight.

All three types are great for providing a variety of weight options in a single dumbbell, but each has its own advantages.

Traditional spinlock dumbbells are generally cheaper, more readily available and sturdier, while dial dumbbells are quicker when it comes to loading and unloading weight plates. They also tend to have heavier weight options and a wider variety of weight increments to choose from (with the MuscleSquad Adjustable Dumbbell able to go all the way up to 40kg).

Digital dumbbells tend to be the priciest of the bunch, but by allowing you to change the weight with the touch of a couple of buttons they really take the faff out of workouts that require multiple different loads, as well as cutting down the time it takes to change weight.

Adjustable dumbbells vs fixed dumbbells

There’s no denying that both fixed dumbbells and adjustable dumbbells have their strengths, but it all depends on where you are working out, the type of movements you plan to use them for and what you are wanting to achieve.

Fixed dumbbell pros

Allow for faster weight changes

Fixed dumbbells require no adjustments. You just put down the one you no longer want to use and pick up the one you do. Whereas with adjustable dumbbells, you’ll need to reinsert them into their case first and then adjust the weight or take the time to remove plates manually and re-add others.

More durable

Fixed dumbbells are generally more durable as they don’t have fragile weight changing mechanisms like adjustable dumbbells. But if you treat your adjustable dumbbells with care, they should last just as long as fixed ones.

Come in pairs

Fixed dumbbells are usually sold in pairs but with adjustable dumbbells, it is quite common to purchase a single dumbbell. There are plenty of unilateral exercises that can be done with just one, but if your housemates enjoy joining your free weights workouts if and when they please, they’ll appreciate there being more than one dumbbell around.

Easy to use

When it comes to performance, most fixed dumbbells are less bulky and feel more natural to use than an adjustable one that can take some getting used to. They also won’t be beaten when it comes to dynamic movements like olympic lifts as they’re sturdy, solid and can survive being dropped.

Adjustable Dumbbell Pros

Since most people will be purchasing an adjustable dumbbell to add to their home workouts, having different weight options in a single dumbbell is invaluable not only in terms of space and progress but also expense.

Cheaper overall

Adjustable dumbbells can seem quite expensive compared to a single set of fixed dumbbells, but they tend to be cheaper in the long run. Once bought, you’ll have a piece of equipment that is versatile and allows you to progress without needing to buy more equipment (think of it as the world’s smallest dumbbell rack). On the other hand, fixed dumbbell sets can cost upwards of £300, and when you’re ready to lift heavier you’ll have to splurge on a new pair.

Allow you to progress

Many dumbbell users will end up sticking with the same fixed dumbbell weight for way longer than is beneficial to their training, just to avoid having to buy another set of dumbbells. This isn’t an issue with an adjustable dumbbell that can be switched easily between weights as you progress.

Versatile

An adjustable dumbbell will allow you to cater your workout based on the strength of the muscle you are targeting or the type of exercise you are performing. Looking to add weight to your HIIT plan? Easy. Needing a lighter weight for your arms that aren’t quite as strong as your legs? Done. All possible with a single weight.

Space saving

Space is an obvious benefit to having an adjustable dumbbell. They literally only require you to have storage space for one or two dumbbells and yet can be transformed into numerous by the use of a simple mechanism or by the changing of plates.

Portable

If you enjoy working out in different locations that don’t include the gym (park-workout lovers unite!), it’ll be a lot easier transporting one dumbbell, with the power to be many, than a whole lot of separate dumbbells.

At the end of the day, it depends on what you’ll be using your dumbbells for and where. If you’re looking for a specific weight to enhance a specific area of training, then fixed dumbbells will do the trick. But if you’re wanting to commit to an at-home resistance programme with the aim of progressing in strength or you use weights for different types of training, then buying an adjustable dumbbell will be a great investment.

Are adjustable dumbbells worth It?

In short, yes. If you’re looking to advance your at-home gym without advancing it width-wise, and if you’re wanting to progress your training simply by purchasing a single piece of equipment, an adjustable dumbbell is one of the best ways to do so.

Think of it as your own version of a weight-machine and dumbbell-rack heavy gym without the cost, space and time needed to get you to and from it. Sounds worth it to us…

Are adjustable dumbbells safe?

Yes, as long as you have been cleared for physical activity and are fit for resistance training, you should have no issues using adjustable dumbbells. It is worth remembering the following when using them though:

  1. Warm up: A good warm-up can help prevent injuries and prepare your body for the session ahead.
  2. Choose the correct weight: Make sure the weight you choose is appropriate to your level of fitness and strength.
  3. Focus on your form: If you cannot maintain good form, reduce your range of motion or switch to a lighter weight.
  4. Familiarise yourself with your adjustable dumbbell: Know how the weight changing mechanism works so that you can ensure your weight plates have been loaded securely.
  5. Load weights safely: Take care when loading and unloading weight plates.
  6. Listen to your body: If anything doesn’t feel right, back off or speak to a professional.
  7. Cool down: An adequate cool-down will help your body recover from the stresses of the session.

With the popularity of home gym kit soaring over a succession of lockdowns, it’s no wonder there are plenty of brands offering their own adjustable dumbbells nowadays, leaving you with a tricky decision to make.

To help you make up your mind, we’ve tested the best adjustable dumbbells that will stand the test of time and give your resistance training sessions a lift.

Women’s Health Lab-Approved

Our Women’s Health Lab in-house fitness experts tested the mettle (and metal) of nine top adjustable dumbbells.

The team timed how long it took to load each dumbbell up to its maximum weight and how quickly and easily they could change the load mid-workout. The dumbbells were also tested to see how sturdy they felt, with top points awarded to those that felt stable and didn’t rattle or shake while being used.

Finally, testers donned their leggings for a workout, using each dumbbell for the same 20 bodybuilding movements ranging from deadlifts to goblet squats to bench press. Top-scoring models moved smoothly and were a practical shape that didn’t obstruct any movement patterns.

Top-scoring models earned both bragging rights and an esteemed WH Lab Approved badge on their image, which you can see displayed below. Our editors have also picked a bonus five adjustable dumbbells that they trust to help them hit hardcore workouts at home.

Read on to see our top recommendations…

13 Best Adjustable Dumbbells

1

Best digital adjustable dumbbells

DumbbellConnect Adjustable Dumbbell Pair

JAXJOX
argos.co.uk

£499.99

One for the gadget-lovers among you, this digital adjustable dumbbell makes changing weight a cinch — just pop it in the holding dock, select your chosen load with the push of a button on the holster and watch the magic happen.

They come as a pair too, which is a major win for anyone looking to hit dual dumbbell exercises like deadlifts.

Despite all their high-tech features (we never thought we’d use a pair of dumbbells with bluetooth), these JAXJOX dumbbells are super simple to use.

The screen is easy to read and we were changing the weight with no problem after a quick play around. The dumbbells themselves have a compact design, feel really secure and move smoothly in and out of the rack. They can also be linked to a handy app, which can track your reps, sets, workout length and more.

The weight is only displayed on the holding dock, not on the weights themselves, but that was our only real niggle.

Key specs
Type:
Digital
Sold as a pair?:
Yes
Maximum weight:
22.7kg
Minimum weight:
3.6kg

2

Best dial adjustable dumbbell

SelectTech 552i Adjustable Dumbbell

Bowflex
amazon.co.uk

£249.00

Combining 15 weights into one, this space-saving dumbbell is a seriously impressive bit of kit sure to give your home workouts a boost.

The grooved rubber handle gave us great grip and proved more forgiving on our hands than its metal competitors (especially during cold winter morning workouts). Our experts also really liked the rounded finish, which was easy to manoeuvre throughout every exercise we tried.

The plastic finish didn’t have the luxe look of other metallic entries on this list, but it did mean the Bowflex ‘bell was pretty much silent with none of the clanging or banging associated with iron plates.

The dials used to select how much they weigh were easy to use too, though they take a bit longer to tinker with than others as you’ll have to turn two (one on each side of the dumbbell) to make sure you get a uniform setting.

Key specs
Type:
Dial
Sold as a pair?: No
Maximum weight:
24kg
Minimum weight:
2kg

3

Best spinlock adjustable dumbbells

40kg Cast Iron Adjustable Dumbbells

Mirafit
mirafit.co.uk

£119.95

If it’s no-frills lifting you’re after, look no further than this Mirafit spinlock dumbbell set. It comes with an assortment of smaller weight plates, so you can play around with different combinations to increase the weight from 2kg to 40kg (the greatest range of any spinlock dumbbell we tested), depending on your strength and which movement you’re doing.

These dumbbells are built to last and simple to use too, characteristics that soon saw them become favourites with our experts.

Yes, changing the weight will take longer than with dial and digital dumbbells as you need to change the plates manually and screw collars on to either end to secure them. But, once in place, these weights won’t let you down.

Key specs
Type:
Spinlock
Sold as a pair?:
Yes
Maximum weight:
20kg
Minimum weight:
2kg

4

Best budget dial adjustable dumbbell

Adjustable Dumbbell

Everlast
sportsdirect.com

£149.99

The average dial adjustable dumbbell doesn’t come cheap but, with a price tag under £150, this Everlast set was by far the most affordable we tried.

Changing the weight is quick and easy, with a single movable dial offering a range of weight settings that increase by 2.5kg each time — particularly helpful if you’re supersetting two movements that require different loads.

The dumbbell itself is quite long and bulky, which we found a bit cumbersome for exercises like curls as the plates caught on our thighs at the bottom of the movement.

But we had no problem hitting a thorough lower body workout, with split squats, goblet squats and deadlifts all moving smoothly.

Key specs
Type:
Dial
Sold as a pair?:
No
Maximum weight: 25kg
Minimum weight: 2.5kg

5

Best spinlock adjustable dumbbells for beginners

20kg Cast Iron Dumbbell Spinlock Set

York
decathlon.co.uk

£83.99

York has been in the fitness game for more than eight decades, and the brand’s wealth of experience shows in this premium pair of dumbbells. Our experts said they looked and felt the part, with the weight of each plate displayed clearly on both sides so you always know what you’re lifting. They also praised the smoothness of the spinlock collars, which were able to twist into place and secure the plates seamlessly.

The maximum weight may not be high enough to push seasoned lifters to their limits. But, with its detailed instructions and exercise sheet showing buyers a selection of exercises to try, we think this York adjustable dumbbell set is ideal for newer resistance training recruits ready to graduate from bodyweight-only home workouts.

Key specs
Type:
Spinlock
Sold as a pair?:
Yes
Maximum weight:
20kg
Minimum weight:
1.3kg

6

Best for feeling like a fixed dumbbell

Steel Adjustable Dumbbells

Northdeer
amazon.co.uk

£189.90

Unlike any dumbbell we’ve ever seen, this stylish yet sturdy set impressed our testers. The plates themselves have built-in screws, and can be added to the bar by twisting them into place (rather than securing them with a collar, as with traditional spinlock weights).

This leaves them with a sleek, compact design that feels a lot like a fixed-weight dumbbell, making them a good option for functional movements like snatches or renegade rows. At 12.5kg, the starting weight is a bit high for isolation moves like curls. But, for heavy lifters and CrossFit fans after a versatile dumbbell for compound exercises and at-home wods, these come highly recommended.

Key specs
Type:
N/A
Sold as a pair?:
Yes
Maximum weight: 25kg
Minimum weight:
12.5kg

7

Best spin lock adjustable dumbbell on a budget

Cast Iron Dumbbell Set 20kg

Solid, reliable and effective; this dumbbell set has everything you need for a hardcore home workout. We found they were best for unilateral work as, if you’re using both weights simultaneously, each one maxes out at 10kg. However, if you’re brave enough, you can load up a single dumbbell to 20kg for some spicy bulgarian split squats and single leg deadlifts.

We were big fans of the four 0.5kg plates included in the set, which allow you to increase the weight on the bar by smaller margins and squeeze every ounce of effort out of your muscles on working sets (perfect for progressive overload).

Key specs
Type:
Spinlock
Sold as a pair?:
Yes
Maximum weight:
20kg
Minimum weight:
1.35kg

8

Best adjustable dumbbell for heavy lifters

5kg-40kg Adjustable Dumbbell

MuscleSquad
musclesquad.com

£580.00

With a name like MuscleSquad and the aesthetic of a Transformer, we expected some impressive specs from these dumbbells… and we weren’t disappointed. With a max weight of 40kg per ‘bell, even leg day aficionados should be able to push themselves, though the weight can easily be stripped down to 5kg for lighter sessions too.

The dial turns with ease and is straightforward to use, making changing weight a doddle, and we liked the safety lock button for ensuring the plates stayed in place. Unloading and reracking the dumbbells into their holder to switch the resistance could be a bit clunky, and the metal plates rattled during some movements. However, if heavy compound lifts like squats are your mainstay, you won’t find a weightier pair of dial dumbbells.

Key specs
Type:
Dial
Sold as a pair?:
Yes
Maximum weight:
40kg
Minimum weight:
5kg

9

Best cast iron adjustable dumbbells

Cast Iron Adjustable Dumbbell Set with Barbell

PROIRON
amazon.co.uk

£67.99

With weight plates of durable cast iron, handles of solid steel and quality being a priority throughout the manufacturing process, these adjustable dumbbells have been made to last.

Special anti-loose O-rings will ensure that your weight plates stay where you want them to, and iron spin locks will prevent them from coming loose over time or accidentally taking a dive mid-repetition.

Did we mention the steel connector? Yep, you’ll also have yourself a barbell.

Key specs
Type:
Spinlock
Sold as a pair?: Yes
Maximum weight: 18.5kg
Minimum weight: 1.5kg

10

Best quick-change adjustable dumbbell

Sport 2.4 Adjustable Dumbbells

PowerBlock
sweatband.com

£149.99

Ok, so these look a bit daunting, but there’s a good reason for their odd appearance, we swear. The open handle design allows for a greater range of movement when performing exercises.

As for the colours, well each one corresponds to a specific weight so that it’s easy to see what weight you’re selecting. All you do is pull out the selector pin on the side of the adjustable dumbbell and reinserting it around the colour rail you want.

See, nothing too scary right?

Key specs
Type:
N/A
Sold as a pair?: Yes
Maximum weight: 11kg
Minimum weight: 1.5kg

11

Best adjustable single dumbbell

Adjustable Dumbbell

ATIVAFIT
amazon.co.uk

£98.59

This adjustable dumbbell is basically four dumbbells in one, and all it takes to select the one for you is a quick push and slide of the lever.

Weighing between 2.5 to 12.5kg, this adjustable dumbbell is a great option for those looking to progress their upper body strength slowly but steadily.

You’ll be renegade rowing and lateral raising your way to stronger arms in no time.

Key specs
Type:
Dial
Sold as a pair?: No
Maximum weight: 20kg
Minimum weight: 2kg

12

Best adjustable dumbbell barbell set

Vinyl Barbell and Dumbbell Set

Ready to get your full body workout on? It’ll be easy thanks to all the options available with this adjustable dumbbell set.

Dumbbells for tricep kickbacks? Check! Adjustable dumbbells to switch it up for squat variations? Check! Barbell to get in that chest press? Check!

All possible before the first coffee of the day, or second if we’re being honest with ourselves.

Key specs
Type:
Spinlock
Sold as a pair?: Yes (with barbell option)
Maximum weight: 25kg (on dumbbell, 50kg on barbell)
Minimum weight: 1.5kg

13

Best heavy adjustable dumbbell

Adjustable Dumbbell

MuscleSquad
amazon.co.uk

£475.00

Editors were also big fans of this lighter option from MuscleSquad for its space-savvy qualities.

Rather than having a load of separate dumbbells of varying sizes lying around, this adjustable dumbbell does the job of twelve while occupying the space of one. It’s got a good range of weights available too (from 5kg to 32.5kg), so you’ll easily be able to go from lighter core work to heavier leg work with one bit of kit.

Key specs
Type:

Sold as a pair?:
Maximum weight:
Minimum weight:

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