Why Are Dumbells So Expensive? (5 Reasons Explained)

Dumbbells are an essential piece of gym equipment used to build strength, muscle, power, and endurance. Dumbbells come in various shapes, sizes, and weights, so there is a dumbbell for everyone. Having your own set of dumbbells can help you achieve your fitness goals without going to the gym.  

But why are dumbbells so expensive? In this guide, we will examine why dumbbells and various other types of weights are so expensive. 

Why Are Dumbbells So Expensive


The first factor that will influence the cost of your dumbbells and other free weights is the material they are made out of.

Dumbbells are commonly made from cast iron, stainless steel, rubber, or plastic. Concrete dumbbells are typically the cheapest, and rubber-coated cast-iron hexagonal dumbbells are usually on the more expensive side. The dumbbell material that's right for you will depend on your specific needs.

However, no matter which material you choose, it will be important to keep them clean and maintained to ensure their longevity. 

Shipping And Handling Costs 

Unless you buy your dumbbells in person at a big box store or a sporting goods store, shipping and handling will significantly impact price. Dumbbells are big and heavy, which is excellent for your workout, but it also means you will pay a lot to have them shipped to your house. If you don't want to pay shipping, support your local sporting goods store. 


Another factor you have to consider when pricing dumbbells is how you're going t store them. Unless you have an oversized garage or a dedicated space in your home for your fitness supplies, storage is vital. Some dumbbells have stands available, and you can buy several types of racks for your dumbbells, but these are all additional expenses. 

Build Quality 

The thing that likely influences the price of dumbbells the most is build quality. This goes back to the old saying, "you get what you pay for." While you can save a lot of money by buying cheaply made dumbbells, you will likely end up paying for a new set sooner than later. 

There are relatively cheap dumbbells available made from rubber-coated concrete and tubular steel handles. These will do the job for a while, but concrete doesn't like being dropped, and these will deteriorate much quicker than cast iron ones. 

Supply And Demand – Why is it so hard to buy dumbbells currently? 

It seems like dumbbells are more expensive now than they have ever been. When gyms first when on lockdown at the start of the pandemic, home gym equipment like dumbbells became extremely popular.  

Dumbbells sold out quickly online and at local retailers as people who once frequented the gym scrambled to set up make-shift home gyms. This raised the price of the equipment drastically. 

Even as gyms started to reopen, dumbbells continue to be hard to find. An already short supply mixed with still high demand because of the hesitancy to return to gyms means we still haven't seen a price drop. 

Why Are Weights So Expensive

Different Types Of Dumbbells & Their Cost (How Much To Pay) 

Rubber Dumbbells 

A lot of dumbbells used today are made of metal and iron and coated with synthetic rubber. These dumbbells are flexible and waterproof, and hex dumbbells are great for exercises like offset pushups. You can even drop them a couple of feet off of the floor without worrying about them cracking (just don't ruin your floor!) 

Rubber dumbbells are available in fixed sets as well as adjustable. The average price of one pair of fixed rubber dumbbells (10 Pounds) is right around $60.  

Iron dumbbells 

Traditional iron dumbbells are available in fixed versions and adjustable versions. However, most hardcore gym enthusiasts only work out with iron dumbbells.

Iron dumbbells are usually priced slightly lower than rubber dumbbells, but if safety is a concern, the extra price for rubber dumbbells is well worth it. 

Fixed iron dumbbells will cost you $50-60 on average for one pair of 15-20 pound dumbbells. 

Studio Dumbbells 

Studio dumbbells are lighter-weight dumbbells usually coated with neoprene or rubber. They are generally used for cardio training but can also be used for strength training.

Since these are lighter weight, they are much easier to take with you and are safer than their heavier counterparts. The prices for these dumbbells vary greatly and can cost anywhere between $10-$60. 

Adjustable Dumbbells 

Adjustable dumbbells are an excellent option for people wanting to work out at home in the long term. Adjustable dumbbells eliminate the need to invest in several sets of costly dumbbells. And they keep you from only being able to workout with one weight during your workouts so that you can switch back and forth between several. 

The bulk of adjustable dumbbell sets adjust from 2.5lbs to about 50lbs. They do require a larger upfront investment, but you will only need to buy it once.

With other types of dumbbells, you will need to buy several sets, and the overall cost will be much higher than the cost of one set of adjustable dumbbells. And you will also have to find a way to store them and buy extra storage supplies.  

We find that adjustable dumbbells are the best cost and space-saving solution. The average price for a set of adjustable dumbbells is a one-time investment of $350. 

Fixed Urethane Dumbbells 

Urethane dumbbells are often considered better than rubber and iron dumbbells in terms of usage and durability. They are impact resistant, shock resistant, and have a higher tear strength.

Because of this, urethane dumbbells will cost you more than rubber and iron dumbbells. A single 30lb urethane dumbbell will cost you, on average, between $60 and $90. 

How To Save Money When Buying Dumbbells 

Since the prices of dumbbells are so high, don't be afraid to shop around and look for the best deals on the type of dumbbells you need. There are often seasonal sales in-stores and online discounts throughout the year.  

Don't be overly committed to a single brand and consider using different brands. The name brand on your dumbbell isn't going to make you gain muscle. How you use the dumbbell builds the muscle, so buying a different brand that's on sale is a great way to save a few dollars.  

You may also save a little by buying your dumbbells secondhand through local resale stores, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace. 

Can't Afford A New Set? Cheap Alternatives For Your Home Gym 

  • Bodyweight Exercises  
    If you can't find good deals and dumbbells are out of your price range, you haven't lost all hope just yet. You have a few alternatives. First are bodyweight exercises. Instead of buying hundreds of dollars worth of dumbbells, you can engross yourself in calisthenics. Bodyweight training and involves activities based on a series of core exercises; pushups, pullups, planks, and sit-ups. 
  • Filled Water Bottles  
    Old gallon water jugs can serve as excellent dumbbell replacements. And, you can even adjust the weight of them by adding or removing the amount of water in them. 
  • Books  
    For all of our book lovers out there, you can fill a bag with books or wrap a belt around a stack of books to easily add weight to your workouts.    
  • Paint Cans  
    Like gallon jugs, paint cans can serve as excellent dumbbell replacements. Most of us have a few old cans of paint cans in our garage that can easily be used in place of dumbbells. Just place wrap a towel around the wire handle for a more comfortable grip. 
  • Bags Of Sand  
    Sandbags are great for full-body workouts and are a cheaper alternative to dumbbells. You can fill your own sandbags or buy them pre-filled. If you do it yourself, you don't want to fill just any bag with sand. Use a burlap sack or another durable material. If you want to really save some money, just shovel sand and dirt from your backyard into a trash bag, put that in an old duffel bag, and you're set. 
Why Are Urethane Dumbbells So Expensive

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Why are bowflex dumbbells so expensive? 

Bowflex adjustable dumbbells are excellent fitness investments. Each model has easily adjustable weights, durable engineering, and ergonomic design. Some even have Bluetooth connectivity. 

Bowflex adjustable dumbbells are a little on the pricey side. However, they are still an excellent value for your money with a lost list of outstanding features and benefits. 

Are other weight and barbells also expensive? 

The lack of supply to meet the demand for garage gym equipment during the pandemic has meant all home gym equipment has seen a rise in price, not just dumbbells. So if you want to build a home gym right now, you will be paying for it. 

Are concrete dumbbells safe? 

Any heavy dumbbell has the potential to be dangerous. Anything with a considerable amount of weight that you can drop on yourself is a potential hazard. That's why it's critical to never try to lift more than you're capable of and to use proper form while you work out. 

Can you get shredded using dumbbells?  

Dumbbells are a versatile piece of equipment that allows you to perform several different exercises. If your goal is to get shredded fast, use dumbbells to do compound exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time. This saves more time than targeting each muscle group individually. 


Dumbbells have never been cheap, but they have become much more expensive since the rise of popularity in home gyms. However, don't let their high price turn you off. If you're serious about your long-term health and fitness, dumbbells, especially adjustable dumbbells, are an excellent investment. 

Last Updated on February 22, 2023

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Andrew White

Andrew White is the co-founder of Garage Gym Pro. As an expert fitness professional (gym building nerd) with over 10 years of industry experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern fitness & the newest market innovations for garage gyms. When he isn’t testing out products for his readers, he’s usually out surfing or playing basketball.