Are Adjustable Dumbbells Worth It? All You Need to Know

Are Adjustable Dumbbells Worth It

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Are Adjustable Dumbbells Worth It? As we know, dumbbell workouts are highly effective at increasing strength and muscle mass for your whole body. Unfortunately, space limitations often prevent people from storing multiple dumbbell weights at home for their various workout needs. 

A great solution for those with a lack of space is an adjustable dumbbell. It’s a single dumbbell that offers weight adjustments in increments that vary according to the model. 

The most common type of adjustable dumbbells is the plate-loaded type. With this type, you simply open the lock, add plates, and then secure the lock. 

Another popular type of adjustable dumbbell is the spinlock type. This type of dumbbell requires you to spin the lock and adjust the plates as needed. 

Some adjustable dumbbells work with a locking base. You simply move the slide adjuster in either direction, to increase or decrease the weight. Most of these move in increments of ten pounds.

Once you have selected your desired weight, you simply push the lock back in place and start lifting. 

Are Adjustable Dumbbells Worth It All You Need to Know
Are Adjustable Dumbbells Worth It? All You Need to Know

Table of Contents

Adjustable dumbbells are a convenient and cost-effective option for people who want to build strength and tone their muscles at home. But are adjustable dumbbells worth it?

Here are a few things to consider when choosing adjustable dumbbells:

  1. Price: Adjustable dumbbells can be more expensive than fixed dumbbells, so it’s important to consider your budget when deciding whether they’re worth it. Keep in mind that adjustable dumbbells may save you money in the long run, as you won’t need to buy multiple sets of fixed dumbbells with different weight increments.
  2. Weight range: Make sure to choose adjustable dumbbells that have a weight range that meets your needs. If you’re just starting out, you may not need a large weight range, but if you’re an advanced lifter, you’ll want adjustable dumbbells with a higher weight capacity.
  3. Ease of use: Adjustable dumbbells should be easy to use and adjust, so you can quickly change weights during your workout. Look for adjustable dumbbells with a smooth and easy-to-use weight-adjustment system.
  4. Quality: Are adjustable dumbbells worth it if they’re low quality and prone to breaking? Definitely not. Be sure to choose adjustable dumbbells that are made with high-quality materials and have a reputation for being durable.
  5. Space: If you have limited space in your home gym, adjustable dumbbells may be a more convenient and space-saving option. Keep in mind, however, that adjustable dumbbells can still be bulky, so make sure you have enough space to store them.

When asking the question of ‘are adjustable dumbbells are worth it?’, we have to consider factors such as price, weight range, ease of use, quality, and space. By taking the time to research and choose the right adjustable dumbbells for your needs, you’ll be able to get the most out of your workouts and achieve your fitness goals a lot more efficiently.

Are Adjustable Dumbbells Worth It?

The cost of adjustable dumbbells vs buying individual fixed dumbbells is what puts many people off. Leading many to ask ‘are adjustable dumbbells worth it?’.

Some years ago, the price of adjustable dumbbells was considerably higher than today. I paid about $600 for my first set many years ago which was a lot at the time, but due to the fact I had very limited space the only other options I had was to buy one pair of traditional dumbbells or to buy a full body OYO workout gadget thing, you know the type of thing you see on those infomercials on TV? I mean, it looked OK but my heart was set on working out with dumbbells.

The space limitation in my apartment at the time wouldn’t allow me to have lots of weights, and a traditional dumbbell set would have just looked like a mess on my living room floor. So despite the cost, I just closed my eyes and went for the adjustable dumbbell set and to be honest, they’ve been great since. 15 years later and they still work very well for me.

When all the gyms closed down over the pandemic, I was still able to get a full-body workout in and I’m so glad I didn’t have to buy those horrible doorway resistance bands!

are adjustable dumbbells worth it doorway straps
Who remembers the mad rush for these during the pandemic?

Since then, the price of adjustable dumbbells has come down a lot making adjustable dumbbells a lot more accessible for people who want to workout at home but don’t necessarily have a lot of space for a whole dumbbell rack. 

Are Adjustable Dumbbells Worth It

If you like to work out at home and do not want to sign up to join a gym, having adjustable dumbbells is a good option. If you add a good pull-up bar and a weight bench, you would have enough to do a wide range of exercises for the whole body at the fraction of the cost of a year long gym membership. 

I have personally found them very useful, to the point that even if I had space for a full dumbbell rack at home, I would still just prefer to save the space and have all of my dumbbells at home neatly in one set. It’s just more convenient. 

Are Adjustable Dumbbells Safe?

Another thing to think about when considering the question of are adjustable dumbbells worth it is the possible downsides.

Adjustable dumbbells are safe to use if they are used properly. We recommend buying from a recognised brand. You can find very cheap adjustable dumbbell sets online these days but I would be concerned for the build quality.

For something like a dumbbell that you intend to lift over your head for example, you don’t want to have any doubt in its ability to not fall apart when you’re in the middle of a workout.

By going for a piece of equipment that feels well made from a reputable brand, you’re going to be able to workout without that nagging fear of them not clicking into place and securing properly after a few months.

Look For Quality When Choosing Adjustable Dumbbells

The best way to prevent the possibility of a falling or malfunctioning adjustable dumbbell set is to only consider high-quality adjustable dumbbells.

Look for brands that have a good reputation for producing equipment that is both safe and reliable. This is going to require you doing a bit of researching. Read reviews, but not just the top end reviews, read the 1-3 star reviews too and see if there are consistencies. Also, check the warranty/guarantee. A reputable brand will happily provide you with a guarantee on their product if something was to go wrong.

Are Adjustable Dumbbells Worth It 3

Adjustable Dumbbell Safety Tips

When shopping for adjustable dumbbells, keep a few things in mind that may help prevent injury to you or others.

  • Adjustable dumbbells should have a protective cap made of non-breakable material, such as rubber, to cover the end of the post. This will stop it from becoming hazardous if it comes loose during use.
  • The weights themselves should have coated surfaces, in order to prevent them from chipping or breaking and to prevent moisture getting in and forming rust, this is especially important if you use them outdoors.
  • Look for a set that give you a reassuring click making sure that all weight is secure. All of the dumbbells we recommended below have this.
  • If you buy a used set from somewhere like eBay be very careful. Don’t buy adjustable dumbbells that look like they may have been repaired with any kind of adhesive, which can reduce the amount of weight they will hold even if the seller offers to lower the price, just walk away. You may save money, but how much value would you put on the risk of a weight falling onto your nose? Ouch!

Who Makes the Best Adjustable Dumbbells?

To help answer the question of ‘are adjustable dumbbells worth it’, we are going to go through 3 dumbbell sets on the market today.

There are quite a lot of adjustable dumbbell choices on the market today, you may find it difficult to choose the best. The following are my top three picks. 


Although they do tend to be more expensive, Bowflex sets are well put together and will stay in good condition for many years. Some of the Selecttech sets for example come with two dumbbells and a storage stand. They also offer a full size stand that comes with a media rack too, well worth considering if you have the space. You then have a Teflon grip designed to hold your smartphone or tablet in place while you work out.

are adjustable dumbbells worth it

Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell Set

A well-made solid adjustable dumbbell choice. Consider pairing with a stand.

These dumbbells adjust from 5 to 52 pounds. Up to the first 25 pounds, you can adjust the dumbbells in 2.5-pound increments. You can expect most adjustable dumbbell sets to top out at 50-60 pounds. So we’d say the Selecttech are a solid choice.  


NordicTrack is another solid name in the adjustable dumbbell market. With this set, you can adjust each dumbbell from 10 to 55 pounds. You have the option of moving up in 2.5-to-5-pound increments. Each dumbbell comes with its own storage tray, and you simply slide the weight selection lever until you land on your desired weight. Once it is locked in place, you are ready to lift. 

Core Fitness

are adjustable dumbbells worth it core fitness

Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set

Adjustable with one hand for added ease of use.

What I like best about this dumbbell set is you can adjust the weight with one hand. Simply put it on its base and twist the handle. The weight automatically adjusts and you are ready to lift. The textured soft-grip handles are ideal for safe lifting. Each dumbbell in the Core Fitness set adjusts from 5 to 50 pounds.

Some Things to Consider Before Buying

No matter which adjustable dumbbell set you choose, there are some things you should look for before buying. Consider the following. 

  • Ease of adjustability is essential for adjustable dumbbells. You do not want a dumbbell that is difficult to adjust and will interrupt the flow of your workout. The sets above are all easy to adjust. 
  • Weight – Make sure the set will offer the minimums and maximums you need for working out. Most sets range from 5 to 50 pounds, but some sets can go up as high as 90-100. It never hurts to consider your workout needs in the future as well.
  • Secure – Choose a set that has secure plates that will not slide out of place. Most sets have storage options that hold each plate in place securely. 
  • Size – Finally, you should also choose an adjustable dumbbell set that will store away with little effort. Since one of the primary reasons for purchasing these sets is for space-saving, it is important to choose one that is compact, for easy storage. 

You can imagine how much money that would cost if you were trying to build a home gym. With adjustable dumbbells, you pay much less when considering how many dumbbells they replace. 

Adjustable Dumbbells Pros and Cons?

I’ve given you a lot of information on adjustable dumbbells, to help you decide if they are for you. You need to weigh the good and the bad of any purchase consideration. While adjustable dumbbells are perfect for me, they may not work well with your situation. The following provides some pros and cons that will help you make an informed decision. 


  • Adjustable dumbbells take up much less space when you compare them to multiple sets of dumbbells. You can store them in a closet or even slide them under your bed. 
  • Although they are more expensive than a single fixed dumbbell, they actually save you money. If you had to purchase 30 dumbbells of various weights, it would be much more expensive than a single adjustable set. 
  • Another advantage of adjustable dumbbells, is they are easy to adjust. Most of them can be adjusted with one hand, so you do not have to interrupt your workout routine. 
  • Having access to a set of adjustable dumbbells offers much more flexibility in your workouts. With this single set, you can perform a variety of exercises, making your home gym more versatile. 


  • Cheaper lower quality adjustable dumbbells can seem flimsy and unstable because they are made from inferior materials to save on costs. It is important to read the reviews carefully and research as much as possible before buying. 
  • Many of these sets have plastic and rubber components that can cause them to be less durable. With some cheaper brands, people have reported the weights coming loose during a workout, which could of course be dangerous. 

To overcome the cons, it is important to choose a well-made adjustable dumbbell set. You should also take great care in learning all you can about your options before making a choice. The more you know, the better informed you will be. 

Conclusion – Are Adjustable Dumbbells Worth It?

If you are thinking about building a home gym or just simply working out at home with good quality equipment like I was and a gym membership isn’t for you, I would say that an adjustable dumbbell set is very much a cornerstone piece of equipment. 

If you are on the fence about purchasing adjustable dumbbells and still wondering ‘are adjustable dumbbells worth it?’, if you can, try before you buy. Some gyms have these available, some stores might have them on display or you might have a friend who would let you try them out in a workout. 

So are adjustable dumbbells worth it? An adjustable dumbbell set can replace up to thirty weights, so it goes without saying, this can be a game-changer. Together with a pull-up bar and weight bench, you will be pretty much covered for a wide range of exercises. 

Do check out the brands above and see which one will offer you the best benefits. 

Happy lifting!

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