Here’s your simple guide to the three main types of dumbbells available for adding some weight to your home workouts.

Discover our pick of the best dumbbells for home workouts

How To Know What Type Of Dumbbells To Buy | Men's Fitness UK

Fixed Dumbbells

As the name implies, the weight can’t be altered, which means you will need a bit of extra room to store multiple sets.

The advantage is that it’s quick and easy to use your desired weight. These are also the most durable option, so if you’ve got the money (they tend to be a bit more expensive) and the space, favour fixed dumbbells.

If you do invest in a set, try to get ones with hexagonal ends, because they can be used on the floor without rolling around. They’ll be easier to stack and store, too.

RELATED: Best Dumbbell Exercises & Workouts For Every Body Part

How To Know What Type Of Dumbbells To Buy | Men's Fitness UK

Plate Dumbbells

These are the low-cost option.

They have two collars, which secure plates to either end of the dumbbell bar.

When they’re loaded they work your body in exactly the same way as fixed and adjustable dumbbells, but the main difference is that it can be time-consuming to keep altering the weights between exercises.

Find out more about dumbbells

How To Know What Type Of Dumbbells To Buy | Men's Fitness UK

Adjustable Dumbbells

This type of dumbbell lets you change the weight you lift without having to faff around with weight plates.

The most sophisticated versions even allow you to add or subtract weight simply by moving a dial to the required value.

They are invariably more expensive than plate-loaded dumbbells but they’re more convenient, and they also allow you to stick rigidly to your rest periods.


Once you’ve got the weight sorted, tackle one of the many dumbbell workouts:

  1. Best full-body dumbbell workout to try at home
  2. Dumbbell chest & core workout
  3. Try this dumbbell-only leg workout