Top 7 Best Dumbbells For Beginners

Getting started with dumbbells or any other weightlifting routine can be intimidating. There are so many variables to keep in mind, as well as rules to follow. Worst of all, how do you even figure out which dumbbells to get?

Fear not, today we’re going to show you our picks for the top 7 best dumbbells/weights for beginners. Some of these are easily among the best weights you can find right now.

After we cover our picks and explain why they’ve found their place on our list, we’ll briefly discuss what to look for in dumbbells as a beginner.

Top 7 Best Dumbbells For Beginners:

Adjustable weights are a great way to get into dumbbells on a budget. Not only that, but they are great for those who don’t have a whole lot of space to spare and like to keep things tidy. CAP’s Adjustable Dumbbell Set is a great representation of what you can get at a reasonable price. It features four 2.5 pound plates, four 5 pound plates, which bring the total to 40lb. 

That is more than decent for beginners. With adjustable dumbbells, safety is a real concern. What we like about CAP is that their bars are properly machined and come with equally as good safety rubber trimmed collars. Speaking of which, it is the little details that really put make this set worthy of being our top pick. 

Those rubber collars we have mentioned prevent the plates from moving and ensure a positive fit when you tight everything down. Chances of those collars coming loose are slim to none as those rubber inserts lock the entire system down pretty effectively. Last but not the least, CAP ships these with plastic cases. You can use the case to store the weights when you are not using them, or during transport.

We are starting off our list with a great set of beginner dumbbells coming to us from Yes4All. What we have here are vinyl coated dumbbell weights which come in color coded options ranging from 2lb to 15lb. When you are dealing with basic weight such as these, which are obviously aimed at beginners, having them color coded makes life that much easier. These feature hex heads and handles that are 1.4″ in diameter. 

The cool thing about Yes4All’s weights is the fact that they come in 1lb increments. Being a beginner, this gradual increase in weight make all the difference. As far as quality goes, Yes4All checked all the right boxes. You just can’t go wrong with a solid cast iron core that is wrapped in a vinyl coating. You can be as rough as you want or need to be with these weights. 

Despite the lack of any obvious grip texture, you can count on having a positive purchase on that handle when you start your routine. Last but not least, Yes4All has priced these dumbbell weights in such a manner that makes them a great value option for those who are on a somewhat limited budget.

CAP’s barbell cast iron hex dumbbell weights are a stark contrast to the model we have just talked about. Not only are they more traditional in nature, but these also come in more standardized weights. CAP has catered thee weights for commercial use which is obviously apparent from the generally bare bones design. In other words, these weights feature cold cast iron build, very rustic black finish, simple yet very visible weight labels and a basic grip texture. 

With that said, there is something distinctly familiar about this design, something that inspires confidence and keeps you coming back to them. When it comes to actual weights available, CAP offers these in 3,5, 8, 10, 12, 15 pound options. Those are their ‘non standard’ weights. Above 15lbs you can get these in 5lbs increments up to 120lbs. 

This is exactly why we have decided to include CAP Cast Iron Hex Dumbbells on our list in the first place. Not only can you start off with very moderate weights, but as you progress, you have the option to enlarge your dumbbell collection all while sticking to the very same design. This way the weights will always feel familiar and look uniform.

After taking a short excursion into the more serious weights from CAP, we are back to truly beginner oriented models. The weights we want to show you next come from j/fit and represent one of the most affordable actual sets you can get at the moment. These dumbbells not only feature all of the basic weights you would need as a beginner, but they come with a very simple yet convenient rack. 

The pack comes with three pairs of weights including 3lb, 5lb and 8lb color coded sets. The cool thing about j/fit’s dumbbells is the fact that they’re double dipped in neoprene. Usually when you’re dealing with cast iron core, neoprene coated weights, there is a small chance that the coating might begin to chip after a while. By providing two layers of neoprene coating, j/fit has greatly reduced the chances of that ever happening. 

What this means in practice is that you definitely don’t need to be gentle with these particular dumbbells. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that these are light enough for those who like to travel. While you probably don’t want to take these on a flight overseas they’re great for weekend getaways.

Our next pick comes from CAP, but this time we are looking at beginner oriented vinyl dipped dumbbells which are very similar to the other such models on our list. CAP is one of the few brands who really went out of their way to offer affordable, value oriented beginner dumbbell weights. Their entire vinyl series are color coded and come in  sizes that include 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 15 lb. 

That puts them right up there with the average on the market. As far as design goes, CAP took the proven route. Cast iron cores with hex heads and quality vinyl coating has been the go to choice across the industry. If there’s one thing that sets CAP’s vinyl series apart from the rest, it’s the quality of the vinyl coating. 

Despite it being fairly similar in feel and appearance to other high end competitors on the market, the stuff that CAP uses for their coating is actually very durable. Their vinyl coating can take a real beating without chipping, cracking or suffering any other type of damage. At this price, CAP has definitely nailed the perfect price to quality ratio.

Our exploration of CAP’s offer continues as we look into their 32 lbs beginner pack. This one comes with a compact weight rack and features three pairs of dumbbells that include 3lb, 5lb and 8lb sizes. If you haven’t noticed by now, CAP knows how to design a quality dumbbell but also a good looking one. Not that aesthetics are a primary concern when looking for dumbbells, but let’s be real for a moment, a good looking set feels better in your hand even though that is a completely artificial effect. 

Anyways, where most other brands went with color coded system, CAP went with an all black finish. Aside from the obvious difference in size, you can tell these weights apart by the large printed labels on the face of each dumbbell. In terms of build quality, CAP offers their standard rock solid iron cores and very durable neoprene coating. 

The entire package is very compact. The rack is functional yet it doesn’t take too much space. If you travel frequently, CAP’s neoprene 32 pound set is a perfect choice for you. Once you’re done using them, these blend perfectly into any background, unlike most of their color coded counterparts.

If you are looking for high quality single pair weights, SPRI deluxe vinyl series might be just the thing for you. SPRI has a very long and relatively spotless track record when it comes to dumbbells in general. Their vinyl coated series are especially known for their durability and reliable coating. Much like other brands who offer vinyl coated dumbbells, SPRI hasn’t gone out of their way to change the game. 

Instead, they have used that very same design that most other brands also use. The key here is in the coating and those iron cores. SPRI has found a way to keep their weights at reasonable prices while offering great stats across the board. When it comes to available sizes, you can get anything from a 1lb to 20lb. Weights ranging from 1lb to 10lb come in 1lb increments. 

What really seals the deal for us is the fact that SPRI has manufactured these vinyl coated weights to meet the strict commercial use standards. In other words, these can easily be used in gyms which implies a much heavier wear and tear than home use. Needless to say, you won’t have issues with chipping or similar with SPRI dumbbells.

What To Look For In Beginner Dumbbell Weights?

When you are just starting off with dumbbells, the worst thing you can do to yourself is overestimate how much you are capable of lifting. This is how you get injured. There is a reason why most of the dumbbells on our list are very light in weight. 

Weight itself plays a very limited role in the beginning of your weightlifting journey. Instead, you need to focus more on form and learning how to perform different exercises correctly. 

Because of that, you should select weights based on your routine or fitness program.

Weightlifting or HIIT Cardio?

Right off the bat you will want to know whether you are going for muscle mass or cardio. Naturally, you can do both if you want to but these activities may influence your decision on which weights to get. 

If you are going for mass, an adjustable set of dumbbells might be the best way to go. On the other hand, if you are more into weighted cardio, a nice set of vinyl or neoprene dumbbells is a surefire choice and a great weights option for women.

Neoprene, Vinyl, Rubber or Cast Iron?

Each of these has its pros and cons in terms of materials, durability and so forth. However, none of those metrics really matter if you are serious about lifting weights. Any set from our list will easily survive whatever routine you have in mind. 

It is only if you plan on using the weights for an extended period of time, say up to 5 years, that you might want to consider how each material impacts the longevity of your investment. Otherwise, don’t bother too much with these details.

The Verdict

Taking the first step with dumbbells can be intimidating but also extremely fun. As long as you don’t overestimate yourself with weight levels, you should be fine. The models of dumbbells we have shown you today are mostly aimed at those who have no prior experience with strength training or weightlifting in general. 

We strongly suggest that you find an experienced fitness instructor to show you basic exercises and proper form before you start following any specific routine. Injuries are definitely not something you want to deal with when you’re just starting out. Especially with free weights such as dumbbells.

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