Different Types of Dumbbells

Different Types of Dumbbells

Imagine all the free time you could claim if you didn’t have to go to the gym after work.

Not working out isn’t an option and exercising at home never feels challenging enough. At home, space is limited - so home workout set-ups are often minimal. A yoga mat, resistance bands and jump rope provide a decent workout at home .. with one key factor missing.

Resistance training with progressively heavier weights is an important part of a fitness regime. Doing this consistently will help you manage or lose weight, increase metabolism, protect your joints from injury, lower inflammation, and even improve your cardio. We go to the gym because it’s easy to access weights. What if we could have this luxury at home too?

A complete set of dumbbells often includes pairs of 4.5 lbs to 70 lbs or 9 pairs of weights (4.5 lb, 9 lb, 18 lb, 27 lb, 35 lb, 44 lb, 53 lb, 62 lb, 70 lb) … this takes up a lot of space! Could a more compact piece of equipment save the space it would normally take to store all these options?  

There are so many equipment options to choose from to start weight training at home. What’s the best kind to go for? Let’s take a look at the different types of dumbbells so you can choose which is right for you.


What are the different types of dumbbells? 

Fixed dumbbells

To put it simply, fixed dumbbells are the type with a handle and two fixed weights stuck on both ends. You can find cheaper fixed dumbbells filled with sand, concrete or water inside to create the weight. These don't last very long and are prone to cracking and making a mess.

Most would gravitate toward metal dumbbells with a coating around the weights to protect your surfaces. There are also variations in the shape of the weight at the end of each bar. Hexagonal weights will not roll away when you place them on the ground. 

A complete set of fixed dumbbells at a regular gym usually offers from 2.5 all the way up to 95 lb pairs. The amount of space you’d need for a set depends on how heavy you’d want to go up to. 


Studio dumbbells

These are the smallest types of fixed dumbbell sets you can find, often technicoloured and stored in a stand. They are a good option if you have a little bit of space and don’t need too much weight variation, with many studio dumbbell pairs only going up to 11 lbs.


Dumbbell weight plates

There are also dumbbell plates, which are dumbbells you can adjust by removing a screw and adding more plates. These could be a good option for a home gym, as you’d only need one pair and all the weights you’d like to add on. There are some drawbacks. It might be tough to store them away neatly when there are so many loose plates. Adjusting the weights mid-workout during a super-set for example would also be extremely inconvenient. 



While dumbbells feature two equal weights with a bar in the middle, kettlebells have one large, spherical weight with a handle on top. Holding a dumbbell, the mass exists on each side of your hand, while with the kettlebell, the weight is directly underneath. Kettlebells are great for many types of workouts but you would lose out on working both sides simultaneously. If you are strapped on space, kettlebells might not be the most efficient choice.


Adjustable Dumbbells

Adjustable dumbbells are often plate-loaded with a high-quality locking mechanism - either a plate-loaded spin lock style or a twist handle style. This means you can easily adjust them even mid-workout.  

Different weight ranges are available, from 5-25 lbs, 4.5-44lbs or 4.5-70lbs. One pair of adjustable dumbbells in the range of 4.5-70lbs can replace up to 9 sets of fixed dumbbells. Adjustable dumbbells are the most affordable, convenient, and space-saving solution.


Other Dumbbells

There are other kinds of dumbbells too. Although they don't have an adjustable weights system like the plate-loaded adjustable dumbbells, they do exist. To name some of them, Rubber-coated or rubber dumbbells, urethane dumbbells, hex dumbbells, chrome dumbbells, fixed weight dumbbells, neoprene dumbbells, rubber-coated hex dumbbells, round dumbbells, cast iron dumbbells, and selectorized dumbbells.


There are so many options of weights to choose from! Each has its benefits. Fixed Dumbbells are easy to swap out for the best weights mid-workout. Dumbbell Plates are more space-saving at home. Kettlebells offer a different type of workout dumbbells cannot. And adjustable dumbbells offer the weight variation you need in a compact, space-saving package. 

 You don’t need to devote precious square footage to an ugly dumbbell rack just so you can have the weight options for a difficult workout. If you’re looking to improve your home gym setup and you are tight on space, adjustable dumbbells are the way to go. Adjustable dumbbells offer you the flexibility of having up to 9 pairs of weights all in one compact pair that can easily be tucked away. 


Learn more about Better Body’s adjustable dumbbells.