If you work out at home, you likely already have a basic set of dumbbells to accomplish a huge range of strength-training exercises. But if you don’t yet have at least one kettlebell, now’s the time to invest.
These versatile weights will help you build strength and endurance, all in an efficient package: Unlike with a barbell or adjustable dumbbell, weight in a kettlebell is concentrated on one side so you can move fluidly and swing explosively for ultra-effective (and fun!) squats, swings, lunges, presses, and more.
You can buy a whole set to supercharge your training sessions in the new year, or just a single kettlebell in a versatile weight for your routines. Or get the best of both worlds: If you don’t have enough space or budget to invest in a full set of kettlebells, select an adjustable-weight option. For an even smaller (and cheaper) footprint, try a converter accessory to make your dumbbell into a kettlebell instantly.
When you’re shopping for a kettlebell, look for three things, advises Lauren Henneke, a performance coach for the high-end, at-home training app Future. You want durability, an oval shape with a flat bottom, and proper space between the handle and bell.
Likewise, when shopping for kettlebells, know what to avoid. Stay away from plastic kettlebells, which Henneke says, are “less durable” and provide “poor grip when hands are sweaty.” She also suggests avoiding a bell with too thick of a handle, which “fatigues the forearms quickly.”
Here are the best kettlebell options on the market, based on Henneke’s professional trainer recommendations as well as customer reviews and ratings.
This is Amazon’s best-selling kettlebell, with more than 12,000 reviews and a near-perfect five-star rating. This cast iron bell is solidly built without any welds or seams. The durable vinyl finish prevents corrosion as well as protects flooring and reduces noise when your weights come into contact with it. (Your downstairs neighbors will thank you.) A wide, smooth handle is easy to hold and a flat bottom makes them easy to store. This kettlebell comes in nine different weights between 5 and 45 lbs.
This straightforward cast iron kettlebell checks all the boxes, and it won’t break the bank, either! It comes in a variety of sizes (here’s a 25-lb pick if you'll need something a bit heavier), it's extremely durable, and you'll be able to find something similar in just about any gym you visit, so there won't be any surprises.
You can’t beat the price for a complete set of kettlebells for the everyday user. This set of four includes 5, 10, 15, and 20-lb bells. Wide, ergonomic handles make for comfortable maneuvering and easy gripping. They’re made of vinyl and filled with cement, so they won’t rust.
For the ultimate in durability, Henneke recommends these powder-coat kettlebells, which are each made completely from a single piece of cast iron. (Many kettlebells have the handles welded on, which makes them more vulnerable to breakage; casting from a single piece of metal makes them just about indestructible.) A system of colored bands helps you identify the weight easily, and they’re stamped in both kilograms and pounds so you always know which weight you are working with. Powder coating makes for an excellent gripping surface when your hands are sweaty.
With the turn of a dial, you can change your resistance from 8 lbs all the way up to 40 lbs with this adjustable bell, which Henneke highly recommends. It replaces up to six traditional kettlebells in a space-efficient design. Use the dial to adjust in small increments to gradually increase your strength. Weight settings include 8, 12, 20, 25, 35, and 40 lbs, and an ergonomic handle has durable molding around metal plates.
Already have a full set of dumbbells at home? Or miss your kettlebell when you travel? At less than a single pound, this grip accessory holds most standard dumbbells up to 55 lbs, instantly converting them into a kettlebell. Toss it into your bag for easy portability. (Plus, you can feel good about buying from a veteran-owned company where the product is manufactured in the USA.)
No space for a big dedicated home gym? No problem. Henneke recommends these adjustable-weight kettlebells by Tru Grit. They’re sold in two sizes, so you can choose the best option for a compact, efficient all-in-one workout tool that you can tuck away easily. They come in 20-lb max (5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, and 20-lb settings) or 40-lb max (7.7, 12.3, 17.8, 23.7, 29.7, 35.2, 40-lb) adjustable options. Just remove or add the plates to get your desired weight. This sturdy bell is made from solid cast iron and built to last.
For a traditional cast iron bell, Henneke recommends these Onnit kettlebells, which come in eight different weight options from 6 to 38 kilograms (or 13 to 70 lbs). With a powder finish, these bells offer an excellent grip during strength and endurance exercises and won’t irritate your hands. Gravity-cast molding provides top-end durability, stability, and weight accuracy. Plus, the color-coded system makes it easy to grab the bell you need at a glance.
While it definitely gets points for design (so cute!), there are plenty of other reasons this kettlebell has a pile of five-star reviews. It has a classic cast iron handle and a durable neoprene coating so you won't scratch up your floor—and it also comes in a variety of sizes, from 5 lbs to 20 lbs.
If you’re serious about your training, Henneke recommends these competition-style kettlebells, made from a steel shell with an unpainted, sanded handle. They’re available in a full range of 16 different weights, from 8 to 48 kilograms. All sizes have the same diameter, which makes for an easy transition when changing weights.
Henneke recommends these competition-style kettlebells, which rank among the industry’s best for serious trainers. Competition kettlebells are made of steel and come in uniform size regardless of weight. These come in weights from 8 to 48 kilograms with height, handle width, and base diameter all consistent throughout the weight range, allowing for easy transitions between weights. The surface is smooth with a matte black powder coat finish for reduced friction and improved comfort.
Henneke likes these competition kettlebells, each made with an individual mold cast precisely to the corresponding weight. These contain no fillers and are each cast as a single solid piece of steel without any welded parts. Expect super-solid construction and durability; these come with a lifetime warranty.