How to Pick the Best Dumbbell for Your Home or Commercial Gym

Lifter using dumbbells

All dumbbells are good dumbbells. But not all dumbbells are the same.  

REP offers five different styles of dumbbells, each with its own unique benefits: hex dumbbells, ergo hex dumbbells, rubber coated dumbbells, urethane dumbbells, and adjustable dumbbells. Here’s a quick overview of the different types, followed by a simplified way to help you choose the right ones.  

Different Types of Dumbbells

Hex Dumbbells

Hex Dumbbells  

What makes them unique? The hexagon head design prevents rolling and makes them easy to store.  

Material: Premium, ultra-low-odor rubber. The rubber coating minimizes noise and limits wear and tear to the dumbbells and the floor. 

Handles: Straight, chrome, and fully knurled for maximum grip. Handles are 5.2” long for all weight sizes, but the diameter is thicker (34mm) for weights above 17.5lbs and up.  

Weight range: 2.5lbs-125lbs. Also available in kilograms from 2.5kg-22.5kg.    

Ergo Hex Dumbbells

Ergo Hex Dumbbells 

What makes them unique? The hexagon head shape, which prevents rolling and provides for easy storage, combined with ergonomic-shaped handles.  

Material: Ultra-low-odor rubber. The rubber coating prevents damage to the floor and dumbbells and minimizes noise.  

Handles: Center knurled, chrome handles with an ergonomic taper for maximum grip and comfort.   

Weight range: 2.5lbs-125lbs  

Rubber Coated Dumbbells

Rubber Coated Dumbbells 

What makes them unique? In addition to the rubber-coated heads, these dumbbells have rubber-coated handles, which reduces the risk of rusting, chipping, or peeling over a long period of time. A rubber grip handle also means you don’t have to worry about cold, steel handles on a winter day in your garage gym (can you tell these were designed in Colorado?). These dumbbells also are more compact than the standard hex dumbbells, which saves space on your rack. 

As with the other hex dumbbells, the classic, rubber-coated hex design prevents the dumbbells from rolling and protects your floors.  

Material: Premium, low-odor rubber.  

Handles: Rubber grip handles that are fully textured to provide the same grip as knurled steel. Handles hold chalk well, but don’t get chilly like iron handles.   

Weight range: 5lbs-50lbs 

Urethane Dumbbells

Urethane Dumbbells 

What makes them unique? The CPU urethane coating is extremely durable and high quality. Round weight heads with white markings look sleek and high end.  

Material: Solid steel with a CPU urethane coating, which is ultra-tough, abrasion-resistant, and shows less age over time. These are designed for high volume and long-term use. 

Handles: Innovative, straight, fully knurled, solid steel handles.  

Weight range: 5-50lbs  

Adjustable dumbbells

Adjustable Dumbbells

What makes them unique? These are adjustable, so they allow for multiple weight options out of a single dumbbell. That means they don’t take up much space.   

Material: Depends on the dumbbell. The REP x PÉPIN FAST Series Adjustable Dumbbell is fully metal, including the cradle. 

Handles: Handles are fully knurled with a volcano-style pattern that provides grip assistance without being too sharp. 

Weight range: While both the REP x PÉPIN and QuickDraw dumbbells have the same lowest weight (10lbs), the QuickDraw dumbbells go up to a 60lbs max. The REP x PÉPINs top out at 125lbs. The QuickDraw™ dumbbells come in the following sizes: 30lbs, 40lbs, 50lbs, and 60lbs. The REP x PÉPINs come as 85lb, 105lb, or 125lb pairs. 

REP also makes a simple screw-on, budget-friendly Adjustable Dumbbell that goes up to 40lbs.

How to Choose the Right Dumbbells?

A man doing dumbbell curls on an adjustable bench

If you’re on a budget: Adjustable Dumbbells 

Adjustable dumbbells are the most cost-effective option. Even with the bonus add-ons, some options for adjustable dumbbells can still save you money over buying that many individual pairs of dumbbells.    

If you want dumbbells to last your lifetime: Urethane Dumbbells 

Urethane Dumbbells are the most expensive option, but they’re also the most durable. They’re coated in an ultra-durable CPU urethane coating that’s designed to hold up under heavy volume – no matter what you demand of them.  

If you are super, duper strong: Hex Dumbbells 

The Hex Dumbbells go up to the highest weight: 125lbs. This is more than many commercial gyms. We see you and your giant biceps.  

The REP x PÉPIN FAST Series Adjustable Dumbbell also goes up to 125lbs. 

If you have limited space: Adjustable Dumbbells 

These take up the least space because you can add or subtract plates onto the adjustable handles. Think of them like a mini barbell. They’re perfect for a compact home gym.  

If you lift in a garage that can get chilly: Rubber Coated Dumbbells 

These feature rubber grip handles that don’t get icy cold like steel. No need to warm up your dumbbells, as well as your muscles. These are always ready. 

You want the most comfortable dumbbells: Ergo Hex Dumbbells 

These have a special, ergonomically tapered handle designed for grip comfort. Center knurling helps your grip, too. These are all around pleasant to use for something you are going to tear your muscles apart with.  

If you want comfort, compact, and a coating: Rubber Coated Dumbbells
These handles are king. Not only are they rubber coated, but they're also ergonomically tapered -- and these dumbbells are more compact than other hex options.