How Much Do Dumbbells Cost & Why Are Some Expensive?

Are you planning to build a home gym? Or do you just want to get some equipment so you can train at home whenever the weather is terrible, or you simply don’t feel like going to the gym? If yes, you will need to know exactly how much dumbbells cost, which is the topic of our article.

How much do dumbbells cost? Typically between $1 - $2 per pound. However, their cost can differ depending on the material they’re made from, their weight, and whether they’re new or not. That is why you need to first decide what kind you want before making the decision to buy one or multiple pairs.

How Much Do Dumbbells Cost

Typically, one pound of weight for a dumbbell will cost you around $1,50 - 2.00. And so, for a pair of standard 5-pound dumbbells, you can expect to pay as little as $17-20. However, those will probably not be enough for most athletes to get a decent workout, which is why you might be looking to buy either a set of light weights (if you plan on only doing some workouts at home) or a full rack of heavy dumbbells (if you plan on building your own home gym). In most cases, a set of dumbbells that weigh 2.5, 5, or 8 pounds will cost anywhere between $40 to $50, while a few sets of heavy dumbbells will have a heftier price tag and may end up costing more than a thousand dollars. 

With that said, there are ways to lower the cost of dumbbells and thus make the idea of having a home gym seem less like a mission impossible. Below, let’s take a look at the different price of dumbbells, depending on the material they’re made from and the mechanism they use.

Type of Dumbbells

Not all dumbbells are made the same, and while some types may be better for a gym environment, others are more suitable for a home gym and more cost-effective. Let’s take a look at them. 

Dumbbells Workout

Fixed

This is the traditional type of dumbbell you typically see in the gym. We call them fixed because their weight cannot be altered. This kind of dumbbell is a must-have for any commercial gym - they’re very durable, they have various different weights, and are more comfortable for when you have to move from one weight to a higher or lower one. With that said, for you to be able to use such at home, you would have to either settle on one or two pairs, or you have to go down the route of building a full-on home gym and making a big investment. That’s because they’re typically more expensive than adjustable dumbbells, and they also take up more space, making them less ideal for people who simply want to do one or two training sessions per week at home.

Adjustable 

If you ask most fitness experts, they will likely recommend that you get adjustable dumbbells for your home gym. Not only do they take up a lot less space compared to fixed ones, but they also tend to be a lot cheaper (if you want to be able to use a variety of different weights). Along with that, their price depends on the mechanism they use for switching the weight. If you want to be super cost-effective, you can get the “old school” version, where you basically load and unload plates from smaller bars that serve as dumbbells. That way, you will only have to pay the cost of free weights that you can use for other purposes, like if you get a squat or deadlift bar for home training. However, if you want to get fancy, you can get a more modern pair of adjustable dumbbells that use a quicker mechanism that allows you to change the weight by twisting the handle. 

In any case, getting adjustable instead of fixed ones will lower the cost of dumbbells substantially and may enable you to get other types of equipment for your home gym. 

Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells

Materials Dumbbells are Made From 

Usually, dumbbells are made from one of these three materials: neoprene, cast iron, and rubber-coated. And when you’re looking for a pair on Amazon or another website, you will likely see different kinds. Let’s take a look at what their key differences are. 

Neoprene

Neoprene is a kind of synthetic rubber, and it's the material you will find in the dumbbells you typically buy for working out at home, especially in the range of 2.5 to 10 pounds. If you’re looking to do more HIIT-style workouts, or you simply don’t need that heavy of weights for, at home, these could be a great choice. Additionally, you can find them for a reasonable price if you get a bundle that contains a few pairs of different weights.

Cast Iron 

If you walk into an old-school weightlifting gym, this is the kind of dumbbells that you will see. There’s nothing pretty about them and they’re pretty straightforward - just a piece of solid iron with the weight engraved on each side. Even though these dumbbells aren’t flashy at all, they’re super durable and can be cost-effective, as making them is not as expensive as making more fancy types of dumbbells.

Rubber Coated

With these ones, the dumbbell price per pound is the highest. They’re the kind you will see in most commercial gyms and are likely to be the best fit for your home gym if you’re investing in building one. They’re rubber-coated, which helps protect your floors if you accidentally drop them or place them down too harshly. Having said that, they’re also durable and can be used for long periods of time without getting scrapes or breaking.

How Much the Dumbbells Weigh

If you ask someone how much does a set of dumbbells cost, the likely answer will be, “Depends on the weight.” Out of all the factors we just discussed, weight is perhaps the biggest and most prominent driver of price. And I don’t have to tell you that the heavier a set of dumbbells is, the more money it will cost. 

As for as my research goes, typically, a pound of dumbbell weight will cost around $1,50 to $2. However, there seems to be a sliding scale when it comes to really heavy weights, and the price there can drop from $1 to $1,50 per pound. That means a 50-pound dumbbell can cost around $45 to $60. It would be strange for you to have to pay $2 or more for a dumbbell that’s this heavy.

Should You Consider Shipping Costs?

Now that we’ve discussed all the factors that play a role in the price of dumbbells let’s talk a little bit about how to get the dumbbells to your home. The best case scenario for you would be to either get free shipping (which rarely happens) or to be able to pick them up directly from a store with your own vehicle. When ordering weights online, it’s a must that you check the shipping costs, as it may turn out that they’re as high as the price of the dumbbells you’re buying.

Dumbbells Workout

How Much Do Used Dumbbells Cost

When it comes to cost-saving, one of the best ways to lower the cost for your home gym is by buying used equipment either from previous owners or from gyms that are looking to do renovations. When you look for used dumbbells online, the price can vary from $0.70 to $1,5 depending on the material the weights are made from and how well maintained they are. And you have no problem using pre-owned dumbbells as long as they’re not broken. You can disinfect them at home, and then they’re good to go. The only issue is how to trust their condition if you’re unable to see them in person before the purchase. As you already know, shipping costs can get really high, and if you can’t trust the buyer, it’s a bit of a gamble; deciding to get used dumbbells that may have some damage on them. 

Is Buying a Set More Cost-Effective? 

In most cases - yes. Stores typically provide significant discounts to people who want to buy more than one pair of weights and are looking to get large sets with varying weights. If you’re looking to build a real home gym, this is the ideal solution for you, as you can save hundreds of dollars by purchasing all your wanted pairs of dumbbells in one go. 

Budget Friendly Dumbbells We Recommend

We’ve already discussed everything related to the price of dumbbells - from the weight to the material and their type. You already know that if you’re genuinely seeking cost-effectiveness, getting adjustable dumbbells is the best way to achieve it. And if you’re not sure which ones to get, here are our recommendations. 

This pair of adjustable dumbbells go from 1,5 to 50 pounds and even has expandable extension kits if you’re looking to add even more weight. The PowerBlock Elite EXP dumbbells are some of the best you can find on the market - they’re easily adjustable with the help of a magnetic pin, extremely durable, and comfortable for all kinds of training sessions. Additionally, they don’t take up a ton of space and can be carried around, in case you want to have a set for when you’re going on a long holiday or planning to live abroad for a while. 

PowerBlock Elite EXP Adjustable Dumbbells

For those of you looking for an affordable and cost-effective option, the Yes4All set is just for you. Instead of using new mechanisms for changing the weights, this set is truly “old school,” and you change the weight by adding or removing plates on the two bars. If you already have free weights at home, this is a terrific option as you can use the equipment you already have to enhance your training sessions. With this set, you can add as much weight as you want (or can lift), and they’re likely to last you for a very long time. Along with that, they don’t take up a ton of space and can easily get moved around if needed. 

Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbell Set

Last but not least, we have the WF athletic dumbbell set. Unlike the previous options we discussed, this one is not adjustable and instead is a set of fixed dumbbells that includes a pair of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25-pound rubber dumbbells with a dumbbell rack to store the weights. Thanks to the design of the rack, this set doesn’t take up as much space as you would typically expect, and the rubber-coating on the dumbbells is perfect for protecting your floors. Along with that, this set is extremely durable, and the hex-shaped heads of the dumbbells prevent them from rolling on the floors and causing damage.

WF Athletic Supply 5-25Lb Rubber Coated Hex Dumbbell Set

FAQ

Why are dumbbells so expensive?

When people ask “how much are dumbbells,” some get pretty shocked upon hearing the price. However, the cost of dumbbells is understandable - first of all, they’re limited in supply, then you have the cost of labor and the cost of material, and finally, shipping costs are much higher because of the heavyweight.

What is a good price for adjustable dumbbells?

The price of adjustable dumbbells can vary depending on the mechanism they use for changing the weight. For the old school kind, where you change the weight by adding or removing plates, the price is typically around $40 - 50 for 40 pounds. However, in this situation, you have to consider how much do weights cost, as you will need to get additional plates. With adjustable dumbbells that use modern ways of shifting the weight, the prices vary between $300 - 400 for 50 pounds.

What are the cheapest dumbbells?

The cheapest dumbbells you can get are adjustable ones, where you change the weights by adding or removing plates off the bars. Those ones are the most-effective option you can find on the market, with some 40-pound pairs starting from $40.

In Conclusion

As you already know, how much you have to pay for dumbbells depends mainly on how heavy they’re and the material they’re made from. With that said, the most cost-effective option for home gyms is adjustable dumbbells, as they offer a variety of weights and can help save up on space. With that said, have you purchased dumbbells recently? If yes, what do you think are the best options on the market? Let us know down below. 

Also read:

References:

  • High Bar vs. Low Bar Squat: What's More Effective? // Health Line:            https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/high-bar-vs-low-bar-squat
  • 7 Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) // Health Line: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-hiit
  • 5 Reasons for Owning a Home Gym // Nordic Track:                   https://www.nordictrack.com/learn/5-reasons-for-owning-a-home-gym/


My name is Ihor and I have been a professional weightlifter since 1996. With over 20 years of competition experience, my resume includes European Champion in 2009 and the silver medalist at 2011's Senior World Championships – 105kg division.

I competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

After hanging up my own competitive lifting shoes, I decided to share my huge background as a coach. I am currently coaching multiple athletes who are competing at national and international competitions.

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