Why Are Dumbbells So Expensive

Anyone considering getting into a home workout routine will likely want to buy their own dumbbells, but the costs can be staggering. At first glance, most dumbbell sets look very similar at a cursory glance giving credence to the idea that they must not vary much in price based upon the number of weights being purchased. If you’re looking for a solid, simple home workout solution, dumbbells are the best option for you. They come in preset weights, so it’s easy to work with the weight that is most appropriate for your fitness level – ensuring you don’t put yourself at risk of injury by starting with too much weight. 

Although purchasing a range of weights and making sure that each one is right for you is a good idea, buying them individually every time can get pretty pricey. In this article we’ll look at what you can expect to pay for a set of dumbbells. So no matter if you’re a serious athlete or just looking to stay fit, dumbbells can be great for at home workouts. However, if you look closely at the prices, you will see that these prices are all vastly different. The question then becomes: why are dumbbells so expensive?

Why are so dumbbells so expensive

What are dumbbells?

Dumbbells can be useful for home workouts. They are relatively small, inexpensive, and suitable for a wide variety of exercises that people can perform in their own homes. Dumbbells are also often more efficient than barbells in some exercises. Dumbbells are among the most popular home fitness equipment, and they come in a variety of types, shapes and sizes. There are numerous kinds of dumbbells, each designed to meet specific fitness goals. Sports enthusiasts, bodybuilders and casual gym-goers have found this equipment to be very helpful.

Why are dumbbells so expensive?

No matter what you’re looking to achieve in the gym, you will always need a set of dumbbells. Whether your primary goal is to work on building muscle or getting stronger, oftentimes dumbbells are included into your workout routine. And there lies the problem: dumbbells are pretty darn expensive for what they are. 


  • Dumbbells can be made out of several different materials including steel and cast iron, both of which are pretty expensive materials. The price has increased on these materials the past few years due to several factors. The supply chain has been impacted as a direct result of COVID-19 causing shipping to be backed up and a lack of supply in these items. The bottleneck has in turn raised prices of steel making it even more expensive to manufacture dumbbells. Another reason is typically dumbbells are manufactured in China, so to transport and ship them to the United States can be pretty pricey causing the retail value to increase on dumbbells. 


  • Dumbbells can be a big part of a manufacturers or retailer’s inventory. Since they are pretty big and bulky they can take up a lot of space in a warehouse making them costly to store. Of course these aren’t the only reason for the cost. It also is just a simple truth that dumbbells don’t move quickly. They’re big and usually sold in sets of 2,4,10,15 or 25 lbs. That means for a retailer to keep inventory of them they need to have space in the warehouse. And with stock moving slowly during normal times, those weights and the space they occupy need to be tied up for longer than the average item. 


  • While many people have a good understanding of the costs of steel and other raw materials, they don’t take into account production costs. Castings are often a large part of the production cost of a dumbbell. They can be expensive to make because the process used to create them is more costly than others. The metal must be melted in a process called casting and there is often cutting and or finishing required before the barbells get boxed. Sometimes that extra processing is done during casting. Given the number of square inches along with the weight, a square inch is still typically considered to be less expensive than larger castings even though you may use more metal for it. When you buy high-quality dumbbells, you are basically paying for the iron shaft and heads. Prices increase pretty drastically as you require specialty materials to turn this into a well-designed dumbbell that’s safe to use in your home gym. Those additional costs come from refining the casting process and developing newer ways to produce a durable yet high-performing product.

Why are dumbbells so expensive

Average price of dumbbells

If you are looking to add dumbbells to your home gym, it will cost you a bit of money depending on the size of the set. An average cost of dumbbell weights costs $1.67 per pound which is about $950 for a full set from 5 to 50 pounds (25kg). Cast iron dumbbells without any coating are the cheap option because they are produced at larger scale ($1.20/lbs.) which means about $680 for 10-50 pounds full sets. Not only that, heavier dumbbells are cheaper per pound than light ones providing additional cost saving options. Aluminum and vinyl coated dumbbells are significantly more expensive (around $2/lbs.).

Cast Iron

Firstly, cast iron dumbbells are not made of any fancy materials or encased in something soft. They are metal on the inside and outside. Cast iron dumbbells are made of cast iron, which is a metallic mineral that occurs naturally, it is then shaped into dumbbells. Cast iron dumbbells are an average price of $1.20 per lbs. Which is significantly cheaper than the average of $1.67 for dumbbells. 


A $1.69/lb coated dumbbell is the most common type of dumbbell. This type of dumbbell is a standard weight (15, 25, 35, etc) and has an iron core with a rubber coating on the inside to make them easier to handle and portable while using. Coated Dumbbells are the most common variety of dumbbell, making up over 50% of the market. They are made with a cast iron inner core and then encased in a rubber or plastic coating. This kind of construction makes it more durable and able to withstand abuse better than most varieties of dumbbells, which is why they are also the most popular type.

Other Material

The market is filled with different materials on the market when it comes to dumbbells. Some of these materials are more durable than others. This can be a huge factor when it comes down to their price since you’ll have to replace them sooner than later if your material isn’t very durable. There are two main materials used to make dumbbells: chrome and urethane. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. Chrome dumbbells are built to last for a long time. They are chrome on the outside and are a hard material so chipping them won’t be easy. Urethane dumbbells are similar in the fact they look great and are hard to break. However, urethane dumbbells can be almost double the price of your average dumbbell. 

Dumbbell Price Per Weight 

Dumbbells cost more as they get heavier because they are not just the dumbbell itself but it is the weight plus the handle, construction, shipping and handling that make up the cost. Instead, we made a comprehensive price list of all the dumbbells and their weights here.

Weight  Average Price  Average Price Range
5lb dumbbells $12.48 on average  $5-$25
15lb dumbbells $27 on average  $20-$50
30lb dumbbells $48.62 on average  $25-$90
50lb dumbbells $82 on average  $50-$145

Why are dumbbells so expensive


Dumbbells are a great addition to any workout routine but it’s always important to use protein while lifting heavy weights too . They are convenient, easy to use, and versatile. One can slim down, build muscle, or stay fit with the use of dumbbells. A person should be wary when purchasing their sets of dumbbells for home use, as there are a plethora of options available for purchase on the market today. A person can choose from numerous types of dumbbell sets, ranging from basic weights to sets having adjustable sizes that come with storage racks. There is a great selection for any type of home use or workout area in your own home. One should always consider the space they have to offer; weight training is a great way to get fit and ready for the day’s tasks. It also helps that it doesn’t need a lot of equipment to get started. 





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