Workouts & Exercises

Cheap Adjustable Dumbbells for Tight Budgets – Best Affordable Options

From the simple ones to others that look like something right out of a sci-fi movie, adjustable dumbbells come in all shapes, types, and sizes. But the question remains. Are there any cheap adjustable dumbbells out there? Are they worth the bargain or will I end up with some el-cheapo that just doesn’t cut it? And if there really are some good ones, where can I find them?

If you are planning to add one of these bad boys to your home gym (or even a commercial one), there’s a good chance these questions have you scratching your head. Well, your search ends here. This article has everything you need to know about these dumbbells, and I will be sharing a few affordable ones at the very end too, so...scroll on.

How Much Should Adjustable Dumbbells Cost?

A good adjustable dumbbell shouldn't cost you much

For several reasons (that we’ll get into in a moment) adjustable dumbbells, just like most other gym equipment, can be very costly - don't worry though, these aren't going to cost you as much as one of those high-end  incline treadmills would.

So, how much should I pay for a good set of adjustable dumbbells?

Well, it depends. Different brands will sell their dumbbells at their set price, the sets vary in weight, the selection mechanism is different too, and a laundry list of other determining factors as well. So it becomes virtually impossible to pin down any particular price tag for all the adjustable dumbbells out there.

However, you still stand a chance to get an affordable pair, with most of them within the range of 5 to 50 pounds costing between $280 and $330. The best way to get the closest approximation is to compare the price per pound.

Are Adjustable Dumbbells Worth It?

Adjustable dumbbells come with a long list of benefits

When you look at the amount you need to part with for a set of adjustable dumbbells, it might seem like they are overhyped or overpriced. Far from it!

Adjustable dumbbells are worth their weight in gold, considering all the benefits you can get with a set even if you only go as far as using them for essential fitness exercises.

Here’s a rundown of some of the top ones.


Adjustable dumbbells don't cost as much as the fixed ones do

First, and most importantly, adjustable dumbbells are going to cost you less than most fixed ones out there. You can use the separate weight of the dumbbells individually or combine them to achieve an accumulative weight.

Besides, with the fixed dumbbells, like the massive millenium model, you will also need to factor in the need for a storage rack, costing you an extra $200-$300 (give or take), which isn’t so budget-friendly after all, or is it?


These dumbbells also helps save on space

If space is at a premium for you, then adjustable dumbbells are the way to go. With fixed dumbbells taking up a few cubic feet of storage even when nicely stored in the rack (You can even make a DIY dumbbell rack but still it will consume a lot of space), you might have little choice other than avoiding them altogether.

Their compact design makes adjustable dumbbells ideal for users who are tight on space, creating some extra room for exercise or installing other types of workout gear.  You do realize, if you're living in an appartment, space can be hard to come by, that's where such equipment like the adjustable dumbbells, foldable exercise bikes with a backrest, and other space-saving machines come in handy. 

Here's the point...either go small, or opt for foldable models, simple!

They Get the Job Done

These dumbbells are a great option to achieving fitness goals

Besides being awesome at saving space and money, adjustable dumbbells are every bit as awesome when it comes to helping achieve your weight loss or fitness goals, Doesn't matter if you are venturing into youth weight lifting training, looking for a fitting exercise for teenage girls, or just want to measure your fitness level, they will get the job done. Just because they are compact and cheaper doesn’t mean they are less efficient workout equipment. 

These dumbbells are surely going to make you break a sweat and work your muscles to the max. Whether you are doing a more basic exercises like alternating dumbbell presses and Zottman curls or a slightly advanced exercise like the seated tricep press, you will get the same benefit as if you are using a regular dumbbell.

Dumbbell Set 

Save on money and space, get the whole rack in a single set

When setting up a home gym, space can be a challenge, but that’s just one part of the problem; the budget for a whole rack of dumbbells could be the bigger hurdle. Thankfully, you don’t have to stretch your little available space and funds to the limit while you can get that whole rack in a set instead.

These sets usually come in three main varieties.  

The Spinlock

Spinlocks make it easy to add weights to your set and lock them in place

These dumbbells are popular on the market, and usually have the weight plates held together by a lock. Then the user can simply add the weight they want to the dumbbells and lock them in place. Although this might seem like a lot of work, it isn’t. And these dumbbells are very affordable, which makes them a favorite for many.

Dial a Weight

Dial a weight design make it super easy to select weight

If you have the ease of use as your priority, go for this one. With the dial a weight dumbbell set, you just select the weight that you intend on lifting, and the weight that you don’t need is left in the holster. They might cost you some more, but for that hi-tech feel, they are worth every single penny.

Selector Pins

The selector pin also makes easy work of selecting your desired weight

With selector pins, you can dial any weight that you want to add or remove from the weight as you lift. Once the desired weight is selected, everything else is left in the holder. This model takes the center stage of adjustable dumbbell models for its ease of use and convenience.

Bowflex Dumbbells

These crazy-looking dumbbells are some of the best options out there

While there’s a wide array of different adjustable dumbbells out there, Bowflex dumbbells are one of your best shots at getting a worthy addition to your home gym.

They might look like some crazy gizmos right out of a sci-fi movie, but these dumbbells are very much a serious workout gear that you can useas an addition to your calisthenics or weight lifting workouts.

Bowflex dumbbells are also adjustable, with a dial system that allows the user to fine-tune the weight settings as desired when in use. But what ranks these dumbbells among the top choices for many is the fairly easy and fast adjustment.

With this taking just 5 seconds, you can always maintain your heart rate even when switching the weights in between sessions. And the wide range of the weight is quite remarkable.

Ranging from 5 pounds to 52.5 pounds and everything in between, you can get the perfect weight to work both your biceps and triceps with different workouts like bench presses, squats, bicep curls, and other dumbbell workouts as well.

How Do These Dumbbells Work?

Bowflex dumbbells are some of the easiest to select the desired weight

One thing that truly sets Bowflex apart is the ease of adjustability. All you need to do is rotate the dial system at the end of your dumbbell; a number on each dial turn allows you to switch to the needed weight.

Simply put, with each turn of your dumbbell’s dial, the dumbbell engages or disengages some of the weights, so when you pick it up, some of them will remain in their stand.

Once your workout session is over, you can easily replace your dumbbell in the stand and Ta-Da! You’re done and dusted in a snap.

Are Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells Worth It?

Bowflex dumbbells pack in a long list of awesome features

Now that you know a bit about these dumbbells, you must be wondering whether they offer you the value for your money or the ease of use is all you get.

To be honest with you, as is the case with other options like the BWSS adjustable dumbbells, this one too has a list of great benefits that you’ll be thankful for. Here are a few;

You Can Adjust the Weight in A Snap

Selecting the desired weight is as easy as it is fast

I know, I have mentioned this before. But let’s be real, nothing quite beats the convenience of an adjustable dumbbell that allows you to change the weight and carry on with your workout in seconds. Besides, the weights pack nicely in their slots without any irritating sound of the metal hitting on the sides. 

This also proves very helpful for users who are monitoring their heart rate and want a quick swap before any significant change happens.

What’s more, they allow you to mix up your workout, seamlessly transitioning between shrugs and lunges and doing raises or curls in no time.

Great for Compound Workout 

You can also use these dumbbells for a variety of workouts

The versatility of these dumbbells makes them perfect for compound motions including several movement-based workouts since you won’t be limited by weight as you would with heavier equipment like barbells.

Work Your Muscles

Make the most out of your dumbbells by working several muscles

Of course, with these dumbbells doing what they are built to, you cannot only enjoy the flexibility and versatility that they have to offer, but they also help to achieve your fitness goals. And thanks to the ability to employ several movement patterns, you can work on building strength on specific parts easily.

They Are Real Space-Savers

As far as saving on space, you can count on the Bowflex too

If space isn’t on your side, then what you need is a type of dumbbell that takes as little space as possible. And Bowflex dumbbells are great at that, thanks to the compact design and the ideal storage. You’ll never have to worry about these dumbbells even when you are seriously short on space.

The ability to keep them out of the way helps too. The last thing you want is to trip and flying across a room full of all kinds of gym gear. Another bit that makes these dumbbells awesome is the noiseless action, so you won’t be pissing off everyone else in the house or the neighbor next door.

The Quality Is up To Snuff 

The quality also stands out

Bowflex stays on top of their game as far as the quality of their equipment goes, and dumbbells are no exception. Such Bowflex models as the Bowflex 522i have an aluminum base that is both lightweight and strong, giving it a great feel. However, the iron construction of the dumbbell gives them enough weight to achieve endurance and tone your muscles. 

Any Bummers?

This dumbbell doesn't come without its downsides too

The only gripe I have with Bowflex is the lack of clear enough instructions on the process of adjusting the dumbbells, which might prove a challenge for first-timers. Especially the special locking function can prove to be a bit baffling for some users.

Why Are Adjustable Dumbbells so Expensive?

Adjustable dumbbells can be a bit expensive

Chances are, the reason you are on the hunt for a cheap adjustable dumbbell is that you’ve tried your luck on the market, only to be slapped with high prices everywhere you turn. If you are wondering why most of these tools are so expensive, here are a few points to clear that up for you.

The Material Is Expensive

The material of these workout items costs a lot

One of the reasons you are running down cheap dumbbell options only to run up against high prices has to do with the iron material. Iron is heavy, tough, resilient, and durable, but this makes it costlier than the other metals. Some dumbbells are made of steel, which is also strong and lasting, but doesn’t come cheap either.

They Are Usually Manufactured Abroad

Shipping costs also cause the prices to spike

Another reason behind dumbbells’ sky-high prices is that they are usually made abroad. This means long shipping processes and costly fees.

Their hefty nature makes them the go-to gear for those looking to increase their metabolism with exercise, get rid of belly fat, lose weight, and build muscles in the long run. But when it comes to shipping, that very weight makes these weights costly due to taxes, shipping fees, and tariff charges. 

Top-Notch Construction 

The construction is also worth the extra cost

The construction of these equipment itself also calls for top-quality standards that guarantee lasting durability and high-end performance. The thing is, while dumbbells will last you through endless workout sessions, the high-quality build means high prices. 

What to Look for When Shopping for Adjustable Dumbbells

Keep an eye out for those great features

Now that you have seen the ins and outs of these dumbbells and you’re considering stepping up to the market and grabbing one for your home gym, it’s time to look at a few pivotal things to keep your sights on when shopping.

Check to Ensure the Plates Won’t Slide

Don't compromise the locking mechanism for anything

Without a secure locking mechanism, your dumbbell set plates will likely have that annoying “clanking” sound that you might not be very comfortable with during your workout. For the best workout experience, make sure the securing mechanism that is holding the weights in place is solid.

Also, it pays to have a bumper of some sort or something between the fastener and the plates to keep the wiggle room at a minimum.

Have the Entire Range of Weights 

More weights mean better room for growth

The fact that you want the convenience that comes with adjustable dumbbells doesn’t mean you have to settle for less as far as weight options go.

Sure, sometimes all you need is to add a little weight to your treadmill runs  or some other forms of cardio workout to intensify things a bit. But when it comes to dumbbell-only workouts,  you are going to outgrow the lighter weights with time (actually, sooner than you might think) and need to ramp up your exercise with the heavier ones. 

So you need the entire package for the long term, have it from the get-go. One more important thing, consider the number of weight increments that you plan to use depending on your goals.

Don’t Overlook the Ease of Storage

Convenience is very essential when it comes to storage

It might not be as important as the other factors. But when space is hard to come by, every inch counts. Therefore, you should aim at saving as much room as possible with your set.

Besides, a 10-pound weight isn’t something you would leave lying around on the gym floor, lest it trips you and sends you tumbling head over heels in a room full of all kinds of workout equipment.

And while at it, keep in mind that considering the amount of space available before buying helps make the right decision too.

Other Essential Features

Anything else that sets these dumbbells apart from the fixed one is worth noting

The list of the things to be on the lookout for when buying an adjustable dumbbell is a long one. However, besides the one I have listed here, you also need to keep an eye out for others including the following;

First, make sure the plates can be swapped easily, check the maximum weight available (some max out at 50 pounds, others at 100 pounds), and don’t forget the warranties.

Cheap Adjustable Dumbbells

Time to get yourself a worthy adjustable dumbbell

All said and done, you still need an affordable adjustable dumbbell, right? Well, let’s dive right in and look at some of the best bargains on the market.

ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbell

The ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbell offers the best bang for the buck

The ATIVAFIT comes across as the best bang for your buck, allowing you to save up to 50% with the purchase of two or more of the brand’s dumbbells. But don’t mistake the fair deal for a cheap knock-off.

This dumbbell sports an easily adjustable weight with a quick push-pull design that makes life easy for you with the ability to switch from 5.5 pounds to 27.5 pounds in no time. A well-contoured, textured handle offers a soft yet secure grip for absolute control.

You can also use this dumbbell for a wide range of applications, from basic exercise to core fitness and strength-building workouts as well as heavy lifts for building leg muscles. With the counterweights featuring a solid steel material, you get the best quality, stability, and durability.

A compact design makes it perfect for saving on space, and you can always adjust the Chrome-plated knurled handles to increase the friction if or when needed. So who’s this dumbbell for? The ease of use, a wide variety of weight options for your dumbbell weight needs - say like when deciding the right dumbbell curl weight, and an elegant look makes it ideal for both men and women.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Version 2 Adjustable Medium Dumbbells

The Bowflex 552 is an all-rounder

If you are out for an all-rounded dumbbell, then this Bowflex SelectTech will make a perfect choice for you. Combining up to 15 sets of weights in a single unit, this option wins the prize as my best overall choice.

A unique dial system allows you to switch between weights easily and fast. Speaking of which, you can adjust your dumbbell from 5 pounds to 52.5 pounds. For the first 25 pounds, you get easy 2.5-lb increments to get you going.

The grip is also very comfortable, which feels great when doing a variety of cardio, especially after your workout sessions. What’s more, since you get a pair, you can have one for each hand without having to spend more.

For a worry-free purchase, BowFlex gives you a two-year warranty on both the weight plates and the parts.  Above all, the compact construction of these dumbbells means you can store them nicely out of the way to create room in your gym.

The only slight bummer is that these dumbbells extend out a bit far, making it hard to keep your hands parallel when doing some moves, but for the large-bodied users, that shouldn’t be much of a problem.

ProForm SpaceSaver Dumbbell

The Profom Space save is great for workout customization, too

This ProForm dumbbell is a single 25-pound adjustable dumbbell set with two dumbbells that allow you to customize your workout nicely and easily with a simple slider adjustment.

The adjustment’s ability to move quickly between the weights is not only great for making easy work of changing your weights, but it also keeps your workout moving nice and smoothly.

With the different weights, you can ante up your workout steadily as you outgrow the lighter weights and move up to the heavier ones for more intensive exercise — without spending more money on a new set of dumbbells for the new weight requirements.

Although the handle is made of metal, it has a sort of cross-hatching for a solid grip and reducing slippage.

Storage is easy and convenient; you don’t need a whole hectare of space for your dumbbell. And it gets even better; this dumbbell also comes with a tray, which is very handy as far as the storage goes.

PowerBlock Sport 24 Adjustable Dumbbell

Get the powerblock 24 for a set of adjustable dumbbells that doesn't disappoint

This PowerBlock combines affordability and efficiency thanks to its widely adjustable design that allows you to select different weights starting at 3 and maxing out at 24 pounds. You get 3-pound increments with the help of a selector pin that makes changing the different weights as easy as it is fast.

Since what you get is a pair of adjustable dumbbells, you have one for each hand so no need for spending any more money on an extra one. To give you great comfort, the PowerBlock has a rubber-padded handle that offers unmistakable wrist protection. An auto-lock is also in place to make your dumbbell not only easy to use but also safe for your workout session.

As far as storage and the issue of space, you have nothing to worry about with this dumbbell. It’s a compact little unit that packs away nicely unlike the traditional dumbbell racks that take up almost all the space in your gym.

Don't get it twisted, racks can be great for keeping your weights off the floor, safe from moisture, and saving you the hustle of cleaning rust often, especially with the metal ones that don't have enough coating or whose coating has worn away with use. 

What’s more, you can’t go wrong with the welded solid steel material that makes this dumbbell a great choice for high performance and durability. And while still at it, you can’t possibly miss the powder-coated finish that brings out that outstanding look while offering the much-needed protection for your dumbbell.

CAP Barbell 60-pound Adjustable Dumbbell

Cap also have some awesome dumbbells

Let’s be real, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an adjustable dumbbell packing 150-pounds total weight. Coming as a set with 17-inch handles, four 1.25-pound plates, and four 2.5-pound plates, as well as sixteen 5-pound plates, you have everything you’d ever ask for in an adjustable dumbbell.

The handle is made of diamond-knurled chrome to give you the best of reliability and firmness with non-slip performance. The weight plates feature a high-grade cast iron for ultimate performance, and with a black epoxy finish that keeps them from rusting or corroding after years of use. Moreover, the plates are designed to accommodate standard 1-inch handles or bars, giving you a bit of flexibility

 A star locking system with rubber O-rings allows for easy tightening or loosening of your adjustable dumbbell and ensures the plates are securely in place. I also couldn’t help loving the compact design, which makes the dumbbell a breeze to store since you don’t need to organize multiple dumbbells in the gym.

The versatility and flexibility of this set make it perfect for working the different individual muscles or working your whole body by employing different workout moves.

Ringstar Starring Adjustable Dumbbells

Rising star also rolls out some awesome dumbbels for any gym

Here’s another set that is built with your needs for a solid but affordable dumbbell at heart. With a total combined weight of 105 pounds, it’s a real bargain for those seeking a heavy-duty dumbbell for their workout.

The set comes with sixteen 5-pound plates, four 2.5-pound weight plates, and four 1.25-pound plates. In the purchase, you also get two 15.75” by 1.15” handles as well as four collars handles. Besides, the plates can accommodate the standard 1.15” handles.

With the weight plates built of cast iron, you can expect absolute performance and durability out of your dumbbells. And the handles don’t disappoint either, with their textured chrome construction with a high-quality chrome coating offering a solid, non-slip grip.

When it comes to setting the weights, you will be thankful for the loose-resistant rubber trims and threaded ends as well as star-lock collars that ensure solid, safe, and secure weight plate changes during your workout.

The other impressive bits to this set include the compact construction, which makes them easy to store out of the way and save much space.

Core Fitness's Budget Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set

Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells are great in terms of weight

With the purchase of this set, you get two weights, two cradles, as well as an exchange guide. And yes, you have a parts warranty of 2 years as well.

But the real deal in this is the quick plate change technology that makes changing the weight so easy you can do it with one hand by simply twisting the handle and weight. You can’t miss the contoured, textured handle with a soft grip that offers you a comfortable yet secure control of your dumbbell.

Its TwistLock technology makes this dumbbell feel very natural, without any large and clunky handle. And the dumbbell gets even smaller as you reduce the weight, making it more manageable and easier to use.

With the weight adjustable from 5 pounds to 50 pounds and everything in between, you can choose the weight that best fits your workout needs, choosing from the low to the high end of the spectrum. Of course, the dumbbell is compact enough for easy storage and doesn’t take up much space, which is a welcome advantage too.

NordicTrack Speed Weights

Nordicktrack Speed Weight isn't cheap, but this dumbbell is worth every penny

This dumbbell might not be very cheap, but I own one and I’m loving every ounce. Its Select-A-Weight design allows you to switch between the 14 weights selections easily and fast. Moreover, the adjustable weight selection has an easy-to-operate function that lets you select either 2.5-pound weights, or 5-pound, or 10-pound weights to customize your workout.

Included storage trays that come with the purchase offer the needed ease and convenience to store your dumbbells when not in use. But what makes things even easier is the clear marking on the trays for the different weight values, allowing you to track your weights with ease when working out.

 I also can’t help loving the iFit compatibility that allows the user to learn proper form and moves on the fly using trainer-led videos on a Smartphone or tablet. These and the other outstanding benefits that you get with this dumbbell make it worthwhile.

The Takeaway

All these adjustable dumbbells have something to offer

And there you have it all guys. If you have been hard-pressed to find any cheap adjustable dumbbells, I believe this article has answered your questions and pointed you in the right direction. Grab your ideal adjustable dumbbell today and get the best of affordability and performance.

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