Best dumbbells for women: the effective accessory for toning up at home

This batch of the best dumbbells for women will suit all goals and budgets

Best dumbbells for women - pink dumbbells against yellow yoga mat
(Image credit: Getty)

Buying the best dumbbells for women is one of our top home workout tips—a good set of free weights is the number one piece of fitness kit worth investing in and adding to your equipment if you’re working out at home. 

Let’s face facts, the gym scene is facing a precarious time. As much as we may want to work out at our favorite studios, we just don’t know what’s going to happen with the coronavirus pandemic, so you’re far better off creating a home workout space. 

You can use handheld dumbbell weights to work every part of the body. Want to sculpt a strong upper body? Get going with some dumbbell bicep curls and shoulder presses. Looking to tone up? Have a go at an overhead tricep dip using one heavy dumbbell. Our glutes, hamstrings and quads love a good old dumbbell Romanian deadlift or Bulgarian split squat. 

There’s a reason why so many gyms stock Technogym and that’s because their weights are super user-friendly and come in a wide range. If you don’t have a spare $200 to drop on a pair, Eleiko is a just-as-good alternative – its rubber hex dumbbells are easy to hold, are coated in ‘anti-roll’ ends and, most importantly, come in a wide range of weights—from 2.75lb to 55lb. Oh, and they’re about half the price!

Our tried-and-tested best dumbbells for women guide will help you figure out which are the best weights for you.

The best dumbbells for women you can buy right now

best dumbbells for women - young Asian woman exercising with dumbbells outside

(Image credit: Getty)

The best dumbbells for most women

Cloud Fitness

(Image credit: Cloud Fitness)

Cloud Fitness XTR Neoprene Hex pair

The perfect at-home weights for an effective but not intimidating workout

Specifications
Weight range: 3KG-5KG
Reasons to buy
+Great grip from neoprene material+Attractive colours
Reasons to avoid
-Limited weight selection

Cloud Fitness was founded by two moms from Hertfordshire in the UK, who started supplying friends, family and their local community with gym equipment. Now, they specialize in producing all kinds of home workout kit,  including these anti-roll, hexagon dumbbells. 

Not only are they attractive, but these dumbbells feel really solid and easy to grip. Because they’re made from one solid piece of iron, the weights feel balanced as you lift. If you’re working out on wood or tiled flooring, you don’t have to worry about leaving scuffs or marks from dragging the weights either, as the neoprene covering protects both the weights and their surroundings! 

The best premium dumbbells for women

Eleiko

(Image credit: Eleiko)

Eleiko XF Dumbbells

Easy to grip, stack and progress – the perfect weights to get into serious shape

Specifications
Weight range: 1KG-40KG
Reasons to buy
+Great range of weights+Easy grip
Reasons to avoid
-Quite pricey, even for lighter weights 

Eleiko’s dumbbells are the closest you’re going to get to premium gym-standard equipment at home. These weights range from 2.2lb to 88lb, meaning that you can progress to your heart’s content and target specific muscles with specific weights. 

Like the Cloud Fitness pair, the ends are hexagonal, which stops them from rolling away. Having these sorts of ends also means that you can use these weights as handles for various exercises, such as renegade rows. Again, rubber ends mean that you can throw them down without making too much of a racket or doing any damage, while the handles are slightly curved and engraved to help you get a proper grip. These are serious weights for a serious workout. 

The best dumbbells for women on a budget

Opti

(Image credit: Argos)

Opti dumbbell tree set

You really can’t go wrong with this set of weights

Specifications
Weight range: 1.1kg - 4.5kg
Reasons to buy
+Cheap and accessible
Reasons to avoid
-Light weight selection-Slippery surface material

If you’re new to training and want a few pairs of light dumbbells, this Opti tree set from Argos is a steal. It holds three pairs weighing 2.4lb, 5lb and 10lb, which can be neatly stored away after use. 

The vinyl design makes them softer and easier to hold, so you won’t feel as though you’re lugging around big blocks of iron, although they may be liable to roll away if you’re training on uncarpeted flooring. 

While these probably won’t cut the mustard for anyone looking for a heavy workout, they’re great for beginners and for anyone who wants to tone smaller muscles without breaking the bank.

The best space-saving dumbbells for women

York Fitness

(Image credit: York Fitness)

York Fitness adjustable gold vinyl

Progress using just one pair of weights rather than umpteen sets

Specifications
Weight range: Adjustable - 8 1.25 kg vinyl plates
Reasons to buy
+Multiple weights in one package+Easy to progress
Reasons to avoid
-Less comfortable to lift-Takes longer to swap between weights

If you can’t be bothered with having umpteen pairs of weights littering your home, why not get yourself just one pair of adjustable weights instead? This York Fitness model looks pretty old school but it’s effective. It comes with eight 2.7lb plates and two spinlock bars. All you have to do is add however many plates you need to the bars and away you go. 

You might find that adjustable weights are a bit of a fuss—you can’t move between exercises quickly without changing the ends—but they are convenient in terms of having a lot of kit in one space-saving package (especially if you’re storing your fitness equipment in a smaller apartment or studio). The vinyl covering may also make it harder to grip or see the weights potentially rolling away, but at least the plates are easy to load and secure onto the bar.

The best dumbbells for women who don’t mind a splurge

Origin UD2

(Image credit: Origin)

Origin Fitness UD2 Urethane dumbbells

Impact resistant and made from odorless material

Specifications
Weight range: 1kg-40kg
Reasons to buy
+Odorless+Durable+Sleek
Reasons to avoid
-Normally expensive outside of sale season

Origin Fitness’ dumbbells, like Eleiko, go up to 88lb. They are definitely expensive, but they’re worth the investment if budget isn't a concern. 

The thick urethane end coverings are shock resistant, impact resistant and ultra-durable, while the knurled handle improves grip (even when your hands are mega-sweaty). Speaking of sweat, if you're feeling worried about sweaty, smelly weights stinking up your workout space, don’t be—these are made with odorless material. 

Again, these are gym-standard weights that are also available for home fitness, so they’re aimed at people who are serious about toning up and getting strong. All of these urethane dumbbells are covered by a 36-month warranty against manufacturer’s defects, excluding normal wear and tear. 

How to choose the best dumbbells for you

Ideally, you want to own a few sets—a lighter pair for smaller muscles, something heavy for the lower body and a medium set that you can use for endurance or progression. The great thing about home workouts is that you can’t compare yourself to anyone else and there’s plenty of opportunity to progress at your own pace. 

You want to make sure that the brand you choose has the kind of weights that you’re looking to lift. Then it’s a case of materials and size. Some dumbbells can be slippery or too wide in the middle, which can make it hard to get a proper hold. Women don’t need different weights to men, but some of us might have smaller hands, so you want something that’s easy to handle and lift without compromising on heaviness. 

Remember, weights can only do so much—the results come from correct form, carefully planned regimes and perseverance. To some degree, it doesn’t really matter what your weights look like, so long as you’re using them correctly. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t get a few sleek pairs to suit you—and in some cases, your home decor!