As we get older, our bodies gradually lose muscle—and that’s not good news. We need strong muscles to boost metabolism, burn more calories, and maintain a healthy weight. Muscles also help us avoid injuries and maintain balance as we age. Yet research has shown that with age, muscle physiology changes. Starting at about the age of 30, we lose muscle mass, strength, and function at a rate of about 3-8 percent per decade, with the decline becoming more pronounced after the age of 60.
We can counteract this unhealthy change by performing strength-building exercises about twice a week. For those who don’t have the time or the budget to run to the gym that often, working out with dumbbells can be a smart alternative way to challenge your muscles in the comfort of your own home.
We recently reviewed dozens of dumbbells for home workouts to determine which ones are likely to work best for you. We looked at the construction and materials, what you’d be using them for, price, ease-of-grip, durability, and longevity. All of these top-rated dumbbells can be purchased online at Amazon.
We’ve identified the CAP Barbell Hex Rubber Dumbbell as the best option. There’s a lot to like about this dumbbell, one of the main ones being its versatility. As you increase your fitness, you can purchase heavier weights until you have a full set, all the way up to 120 pounds.
The 5 Top-Rated Dumbbells for Home Workouts
|Best Dumbbells Overall||CAP Barbell Hex Rubber Dumbbells||4.5|
|Best Smart Dumbbells||Move It Beat Smart Dumbbells Set||4.4|
|Best Budget Dumbbells||AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbell Weight Pair||4.7|
|Best Water Dumbbells||TheraBand Water Weights||4.5|
|Best Dumbbells for Kids||PowerTRC Adjustable Dumbells for Kids||4.4|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change.
Best Dumbbells Overall: Cap Barbell Hex Rubber Dumbbells
The CAP Barbell Hex Rubber Dumbbells can be used by anyone in the family, of any fitness level. The weights come in a variety of sizes, from 3 pounds up to 120 pounds each, with the prices starting at $21.20 for a pair and then increasing with size.
You can use these for just about any exercise that allows weights, from curls to lifts to squats and presses and more. They’re made of solid cast iron with a chrome-plated handle that’s knurled to prevent slippage. The weights themselves are rubber coated, will not detach, and are hexagonal, so you don’t have to worry about them falling off to damage the floor or other surfaces. One reviewer mentioned it was nice as they didn’t mark up wood floors. Some reviewers did complain about the rubber smell initially, so if you notice that, you may want to wash them off after you get them, and store them in the garage for the first few weeks until the smell dissipates.
The other good thing about these weights is that once you have them, you probably won’t have to replace them. They are durable and long-lasting with no maintenance required, and the chrome finish prevents rust, so expect these to be around through all your workouts and perhaps your children’s workouts, too!
Cap Barbell Hex Rubber Dumbbells Key Features:
- Made of chrome-plated cast iron and rubber—durable and lasting
- Comes in a variety of sizes—great for all fitness levels
- Weights non-detachable and hexagonal—won’t come off and damage surfaces
- No assembly required
Best Smart Dumbbells: Move It Beat Smart Dumbbells
Technology has come to dumbbells! If you find you get bored quickly with normal dumbbells, maybe you should try the Move It Beat Smart Dumbbells. They’re small—available only in 1.65- and 2-pound options—but they come with an app that helps you visualize, track, and attain your fitness goals.
Sync the dumbbells up with your cell phone, tablet, television, or computer, and you can enjoy access to professional workouts with over 30 step-by-step coaching videos, including dancing, boxing, and toning options. The app projects the videos onto whatever screen you want to use. By combining these weights with your aerobic workouts, you can get more done in less time without having to go to the gym.
These weights are made of high-quality rubber and iron and have a streamlined design that makes them comfortable to hold. Plus they’re small and portable, so you can take them with you when traveling to make sure you still get your exercise in.
Move It Beat Smart Dumbbells Features:
- Comes with over 30 coaching videos for immediate workout fun
- Long battery life—lasts for up to 300 minutes on one charge
- Comes with the Move It App that allows you to journal your workouts and build custom workouts
- App also allows you to get your friends involved in competitive workouts
- Dumbbells include sensors that detect how hard you’re working
Best Budget Dumbbell: AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbells
The AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbells only come in a limited number of sizes, but you can’t go wrong on the price, especially if you’re just getting started on a fitness program. You can get a pair of one-pounders for under $10, which can make it easier to ease into strength-training.
These little weights are easy to hold, as they have an easy-grip neoprene coating. They’re also color-coded—each weight value has its own color—which makes it easy to identify the one you want once you get a set of them at home.
Like our best overall weights, these also have a hexagonal shape so they won’t roll away. One reviewer mentioned that they are easy to move around without making a ton of noise, too, so if you’re a mom exercising while the baby is asleep, these may be the weights for you. The weights are backed by an AmazonBasics one-year warranty, so you can buy with peace of mind.
AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbells Key Features:
- A budget-friendly way to get started on a strength-training program
- Easy-grip neoprene coating makes them easy to hold onto
- Color-coded for easy identification
- Variety of sizes from one pound up to 20 pounds
- Backed by an AmazonBasics one-year warranty
Best Water Dumbbells: TheraBand Water Weights
Working out in the water is highly recommended if you want to preserve joint health. Many people love using water weights as part of water aerobics. The weights add a strength-training element to your cardiovascular exercise, meaning you can get both done at the same time.
The TheraBand Water Weights are specifically made for aquatic physical therapy, pool fitness, and hydrotherapy. They’re also a perfect addition to aqua Zumba and water aerobics. They have a padded grip so you can hang onto them even with wet hands, and come in light, medium, and heavy sizes depending on your fitness level. As you get more in shape, you can move up to the more challenging sizes.
Made of foam with varying buoyancy, these weights also work well for rehabilitating shoulder injuries and recovering from shoulder surgeries, and can be used in a variety of exercises to build upper-body strength. One reviewer noted that they were perfect for her mom when recovering from a stroke.
TheraBand Water Weights Key Features:
- Comes in three weights so you can gradually increase your fitness
- Perfect for recovering from injuries and surgery
- Great for pool fitness, water aerobics, and aqua Zumba
- Economical—even the heavy weight is under $35
Best Dumbbells for Kids: PowerTRC Adjustable Dumbbell for Kids
Setting good habits starts early, and you can get your kids into strength training easily with the fun and colorful PowerTRC Adjustable Dumbbells for Kids. With three different weights on each end, children can choose how high they want to go, plus have fun trying a variety of options. The weights themselves can also be filled with sand or water to increase the challenge, so there’s no worry of anyone growing out of these too soon.
Made of durable ABS plastic, the products are safe and non-toxic and are perfect for kids who want to work out alongside mom or dad. The end screw is also made of plastic, making it easy for kids to unscrew it and add or subtract weights as they wish.
Even toddlers can play with these. Several reviewers mentioned that when these were around, their toddlers were happy to play with them, allowing the adult dumbbells to remain undisturbed. Bring these along and you may even be able to take your kid to the gym with you!
PowerTRC Adjustable Dumbbells for Kids Features:
- Made of safe, non-toxic plastic
- Easy and fun for kids to use
- Capable of creating a wide variety of weight levels
- Get kids started on healthy fitness habits early!
With all these quality products available, there’s no reason to wait any longer to get stronger! Meanwhile, if you’re wanting to bulk up your muscle while lifting weights, check out our article on the 25 Best Muscle-Building Supplements.