Few items in the gym can train your whole body as efficiently and effectively as the kettlebells. And while barbells and dumbbells seem alluring at first, there is a good case to at least partially implement kettlebells in your workout routine. If you’re stuck at home, however, finding the best kettlebells might be a bit of a challenge as there are a ton of different models out there, each in a category of their own. So, how to choose the best one and what to look for? Well, that is what I am going to help you with!
In this guide, I will walk you through some of my favorite kettlebells and kettlebell sets for this year and give you their best (and worst) features, further dividing them into individual categories. Below that, we will discuss the various types of kettlebells and the most important features that you need to look for when buying your first kettlebell.
Best Overall – Amazon Basics Enamel Finish Cast Iron Kettlebell
In order for a kettlebell to be good, it has to check a lot of boxes. Some of the main ones are quality, durability, ease of use, and affordability. Bonus points if there are multiple weight options to choose from. There aren’t many products out there that combine all these qualities but the ones that do really stand out. A good example of such a kettlebell is the Amazon Basics Enamel finish cast iron kettlebell. It is extremely well-made and will be good enough for a wide variety of exercises.
The material of choice in this one is cast iron which is coated in an enamel finish. This ensures both high long-term durability and a good grip surface that prevents the iron from chipping or rusting. The handles are additionally textured and widened to support easier two-hand grip even when your hands are sweaty from a heavy workout.
The kettlebell comes in 5 different weight options, including:
- 15 pounds
- 20 pounds
- 25 pounds
- 35 pounds
- 40 pounds
While those won’t be good enough for hardcore kettlebell enthusiasts, they are more than enough for a beginner to choose an appropriate weight to start implementing kettlebell drills into their workouts. One thing I would like to see in the future would be a lower weight around 8-12 lbs that will be ideal for women and younger beginners.
- Comes in 5 different weights
- Wide and grippy handle
- Cast-iron construction
- Backed by a 1-year warranty
- Good price-to-value ratio
- Doesn’t have lower weight options
- No vinyl coating
Best Soft Kettlebell – Bionic Body Soft Kettlebell with Handle
Soft kettlebells have a ton of benefits over regular models for a large variety of reasons. One of the most obvious is that they don’t cause any loud noises when you train with them and drop them to the ground. Furthermore, they won’t damage your floor if you’ve decided to get a kettlebell for your home. Granted, they aren’t as long-lasting as a cast-iron kettlebell, but they are generally easier to handle if you’re a beginner.
The materials, although not impressive, are quite sturdy for what you get. The vinyl and leather mix for the main part of the kettlebell is sewn quite well together and is connected to the handle via three bolts making the whole construction quite future-proof. The handle is also quite comfortable and easy to hold but the overall dimensions of it don’t provide you enough room to work with.
The bell comes in a lot of weight combinations including 10 and 40-pound options which make it quite versatile no matter if you’re a beginner or an expert looking to work your way up that weight ladder! The downside to the heavier weights is that they are really expensive, easily costing more than 100 dollars. Another downside to these kettlebells is that their gap between the handle and the ball is too narrow which might cause you to hold it in an incorrect or inconvenient way during some drills. Other than that, there really aren’t any downsides, and this is one of your best bets if you’re looking for a quiet and comfortable kettlebell for your home gym.
- Great for home workouts
- Ideal for beginners
- Soft design prevents accidental injuries
- Quiet to work with
- Comes in 7 different weight and size options
- Large handle
- Two year limited warranty
- Not as long-lasting as cast-iron kettlebells
- The gap between the handle and the ball is too narrow
Best Adjustable Kettlebell – Bowflex SelectTech 840 Adjustable Weight Kettlebell
There is one single challenge that most beginners face when trying to set up their home gym – what weights to pick? And while dumbbells often come with extra plates to play around with, kettlebells are often solid and one single weight. While you can also buy a whole set of kettlebells, that won’t be very space-efficient and space is one of the biggest deciding factors when choosing home gym equipment. The Bowflex SelectTech 840 fixes the space issue by having multiple weights in it ready to be used just by using the dial which is on top of it. And while it is really expensive, it does rival the prices of other kettlebell sets but with a ton more practicality to it.
In terms of its weights, there are 8, 12, 2, 25, 35, 40-pound options all organized in plates racked on the bottom platform of the kettlebell which also doubles as a rack that you can put in a specific location in the room. The main benefit of having multiple weights at the tip of your fingers is that you will be able to gradually increase them to match your workout goals and needs. The kettlebell also comes with a list of 24 special exercises that focus on key techniques when it comes to training with a kettlebell.
Another thing worth mentioning about Bowflex’s line of products is that it also comes in the form of a dumbbell where you have even more adjustability and it can be bought both as a single and double-set option. While all of those things are great and the brand offers plenty of flexibility for home gym owners, the price is one of the biggest downsides and might put you off at first. Still, if you compare the SelectTech 840 kettlebell to similar kettlebells in terms of quality and performance, you will realize that the price actually isn’t that much different from kettlebells that offer 6-way weight adjustability.
- Offers a set of 6 kettlebells in one
- Weights can be easily switched
- Great build quality
- Space-efficient design
- Great for beginners
- Great for home gyms
- Very expensive
- The handle isnt wide enough for most people to use both hands
Best for Beginners – Yes4All Kettlebell Grip Handle
While there are a lot of kettlebell options on the market, few of them stand out with a unique approach that will be both cost-effective and space-saving for your home gym. Luckily, there are models like the Yes4All Kettlebell Grip which are vastly different from the traditional kettlebells and offer great versatility at a low price. This kettlebell/handle can be attached to any dumbbell you currently own and it will instantly convert it into a kettlebell that you can train with. While there are some downsides to that, such as the kettlebell not being very comfortable to train with, this does give you a ton of flexibility, especially if your gym doesn’t have a lot of kettlebells or your home gym is only equipped with dumbbells with various weights.
This whole kettlebell handle is made out of ABS plastic and has a tested weight limit of around 100 lbs. This makes it compatible with all dumbbells out there and can be used for both light and heavy workouts. The grip portion of the handle is quite grippy even when your hands are wet although it isn’t very smooth or soft to the touch. Overall, the handle weighs around 1 lb, which makes it especially easy to carry around in your gym bag or when you’re traveling with it.
It comes in three different color combinations, including red/black, yellow/purple, and green/purple. One of the best features of this kettlebell is its price. Despite it being a great cost-saver it also is cheap on its own, making it one of the best options for beginners that are on a budget and who maybe already own a set of dumbbells at the right weight.
- Unique design
- Excellent for home gyms
- Perferct for people with lots of dumbbells
- Good beginner option
- Fairly durable
- Wide handle for two-hand grip
- Not as comfortable as training with the teardrop-designed kettlebells
- Build quality isn’t stellar
- The latching mechanism isn’t very secure on heavier kettlebells
Best For Interval Training – TRX Training Kettlebell
While there are more and more innovations in the fitness world, traditional training equipment still alive and kicking. Cast moulded kettlebells have been the epitome of quality in the fitness community for a while now and the TRX training kettlebell is one of the best and most refined products in that niche. It comes in a variety of weights, has a comfortable handle, and isn’t as expensive as you might think!
These kettlebells feature a traditional design with a wide handle and a small bell that packs a lot of weight to it thanks to the gravity cast moulding technology. That also adds a lot to the long-term durability of the kettlebell itself, allowing it to hold up nicely to different weather conditions and chipping. The bottom of the kettlebell is perfectly flat which helps with stability and makes it easier to store on your gym’s floor.
One of the reasons many professional athletes choose this kettlebell is because of its weight options. While there are a few which are in the lower end of the weight spectrum (8, 13 and 18 lbs) the heavier two kettlebells from TRX are actually one of the heaviest on the market. They weigh the whopping 61 and 88 lbs each. There are also a few more options in between those, ultimately adding the total number of weight options possible to 11. Those are also some of the few gravity cast moulded kettlebells that weigh that much and are also not as expensive as some others with similar weights, meaning not only you’re getting good quality but that won’t also burn a hole in your pockets.
With those kettlebells you also get access to TRX’s program full of interesting workout programs and additional discounts and information about the rest of their training gear.
- 11 weight options
- Very light and very heavy options
- Excellent investment for both beginners and pros
- Wide and easy to grip handle
- Extremely durable
- Familiar TRX quality
- A bit expensive for people on a budget
- The finish on the kettlebell is rough at places
Best Kettlebell Set – Best Choice Products 3-Piece Kettlebell Set
If you are a beginner and want to get your hands on a kettlebell set that will accommodate all of the weights that you are going to be using in the first years of your training then this set is the way to go. The Best Choice Products 3-Piece Kettlebell set comes in the three perfect beginner-friendly weights, boasts decent build quality, and comes with its own storage rack so that you don’t damage the floor in your apartment. All that comes at an affordable price that rivals most other single kettlebells, making this one of the hottest products in the fitness world.
All three of the kettlebells here are made out of a concrete shell wrapped in an HDPE shell which protects the kettlebells from any damage or breakdown. Thakns to the combination of three different weights (5, 10, and 15 pounds), these kettlebells are perfect for lightweight exercises like lunges, squats, thrusts, presses and others. The rack comes in black, as the kettlebells and will be a good addition for your home gym. It is made out of the same plastic material that wraps the kettlebells thesemvels.
The one issue I have with these kettlebells is that they aren’t as comfortable to the touch as you would expect. Granted, if you’re a beginner you might like the relative softness of the plastic wrap but once your hands get sweaty, these might become slippery and if you are already used to the cast-iron coldness and roughness, these will feel very wrong in your hands.
- Relatively well-priced
- 3 weight options
- Comes with a rack
- Plastic feel to the handles
- Not comfortable when your hands are sweaty
- Not especially durable in the long run.
Best Budget Kettlebell – Yes4All Solid Cast Iron Kettlebell Weight
While kettlebells absolutely need to be durable, long-lasting, and easy to train with, they also need to be budget-friendly in order to allow people to easily stack up their training gear. An expensive kettlebell can sometimes set you back nearly 200 dollars, and that is a lot of money to pay for a single training item, especially in those times. If you’re on a tighter budget and really want a kettlebell for your home gym, I recommend getting the Yes4All Solid Cast iron kettlebell. It comes in 4 different weight options – 10, 15, 45, and 50 lbs and is one of the best bangs for your buck out there.
All the weight options are made out of solid cast-iron and are powder-finished with black paint that will prevent corrosion and chipping. The rough paint finish also gives you a better grip. That, combined with the wide top handle really makes these kettlebells very easy to work with if you’re trying new exercises.
Opposite of the wide handle lies the flat bottom of the bell that is perfect for placing it on the floor of your apartment. One thing I dislike about these kettlebells is that they are quite rough and can damage any surface they touch. They also lack any sort of sort wrap or stand to be placed on. Still, for the money you’re paying, this is a great standalone option.
- Comes in 4 different weights
- Flat bottom
- Wide handle
- Good grip
- Rough on the floor
- No stand
- Tend to break
Best for Home Gyms – Amazon Basics Vinyl Coated Cast Iron Kettlebell Weight
Home gyms are often hard to fully pack with training gear as most of it can be expensive. THat’s why people look for affordable items that won’t damage their floor or other parts of the room. The Amazon Basics Vinyl coated cast iron kettlebell is perfect for those situations. It is cheap and it is vinyl-wrapped, making it extremely safe for any accidental drops.
The kettlebell comes in a variety of weights, ranging from 10 to 60 lbs making it quite useful for people that might benefit more from a kettlebell in the lower weight range, as well as bigger people that need larger weights to train. The vinyl coating not only keeps your floor safe but also reduces the noise of the kettlebell and prevents corrosion of the bell itself, ultimately allowing it to last longer. The handle is quite wide, although it doesn’t provide the best grip surface. As a whole, these are a great option for someone on a budget that is looking for a kettlebell for their home gym where they can do cardio exercises, agility training, lunges, squats, and more!
- Great price
- Ideal for home gyms
- Vinyl wrap
- Good long-term durability
- Comes in a variety of weights
- Multiple colors
- Doesn’t come with a stand
- The handle isn’t very comfortable to the touch
- The vinyl wrap can break after a few years
Kettlebells Buyer’s Guide
Buying your first kettlebell can be a pretty straight-forward process. Still, there are a surprisingly large number of features that separate the good models from the bad ones and additionally, there are a few types of kettlebells that you need to familiarize yourself with before moving forward with your choice. Let’s start at that!
Types of Kettlebells
You’d think that this is one of those gym types of equipment that cannot vary too much and won’t have a handful of different types. Well, you’d be wrong. Kettlebells are quite a diverse group and there are a few types out there that you will most commonly find. Those are:
- Cast-iron kettlebells – Those are obviously heavy-duty and very sturdy. They last a lot and are typically smaller in size thanks to their mass density. They are also cheaper when it comes to the overall price and are a solid choice for any home gym owner.
- Competition kettlebells – Unlike the cast-iron models, these are made out of steel and are built with official competition in mind. They are also perfect for people that prepare for various challenges. They are always color-coded and are always the same size, no matter their weight. If you are all about technique and execution, those are the ones to go for!
- Vinyl-coated kettlebells – Those kettlebells can also be made out of cast-iron but have a vinyl coating/wrap around them that further protects them from the elements. It also makes them quieter when they hit the ground and are a good option for anyone looking to keep his gym floor unscratched! The wrap can be partial, where it doesn’t include the handle, or full where it wraps around every part of your kettlebell.
- Adjustable kettlebells – These are my favorites for a few very good reasons. First of all, they are mostly made out of metal just like any other normal kettlebell. Still, they are an insanely good replacement for a whole kettlebell set and are perfect for people that want to adjust their workouts based on their current needs. If your partner needs a kettlebell with a different weight, this is the best alternative out there. Typically, their adjustable mechanisms are quite simple and very solid and you aren’t sacrificing any rigidity or longevity when getting those.
- Kevlar kettlebells – Kevlar kettlebells are a form of soft kettlebells, even though there are some metal and cast-iron models that are wrapped in Kevlar to improve their longevity and overall durability. The kevlar is basically indestructible, so it will stick with the kettlebell for as long as needed and will keep your house floor intact when you drop or use the kettlebells intensively.
- Attachable handles – This is the newest invention in the fitness world. Attachable handle-type kettlebells are very straight-forward. They feature a rubber hand that attaches to any dumbbell you have laying around and creates a kettlebell-like experience. They are extremely compact and lightweight, making them very easy to carry around when you travel or to your local gym if there aren’t any kettlebells available there. Moreover, this will allow you to create extremely lightweight kettlebells by using the 1-5 lbs dumbbells at the gym or at your home. This is a great option for beginners, people that can’t lift a heavy kettlebell, or people on a budget.
- Soft Kettlebells – Soft kettlebells are usually a bag with a very durable material around it, full of sand or another heavy material, depending on the weight. They are easy to work with when you’re just starting, and are quiet when used in a house environment. Moreover, they are far safer in terms of accidental drops than the cast-iron options out there, so if you’re a beginner, this is something you should at least consider.
- Kettlebell sets – Now, I know what you’re going to say… “Wait a minute, this isn’t a different type of kettlebell”. Well, while you are right, I felt like pointing out that you have the alternative of buying a whole set of these and have them help you work your way up those weights! This will provide a great stimulus for progress and will also allow you to have your partner train with you with either lighter or heavier than your kettlebells. Still, if you don’t want to spend a fortune, don’t worry as kettlebells are one of those gym types of equipment that can and should be used one at a time. This means that buying just one at your ideal weight is more than good enough!
Now that we are done going through all the different types of kettlebells out there, let’s take a look at all the features that you have to consider when you’re buying your first kettlebell!
How To Buy the Ideal Kettlebell for You
There are 5 main key points that I want to touch on when it comes to choosing the ideal kettlebell for your home gym. Those are:
- Materials & Durability
- Sizes & Weights
Materials & Durability
The durability of a kettlebell will be ultimately determined by a few factors – its materials, how well they are cast into the shape of a kettlebell, and the final coating. Obviously, cast-iron models will be the ones that boast the best longevity and durability. Still, if there isn’t a nice coating on top, the kettlebell will chip and deform over the years, which will lead to a change in performance and grip. In fact, the coating is as important to the grip as to the life of the kettlebell itself, so make sure you choose powder coated models or ones with enamel on top. Kettlebells with polyurethane or rubber layers on top will look better and be more protected overall but that layer will easily break after 1-2 years of usage.
Sizes & Weights
In terms of sizes, you shouldn’t worry too much as most kettlebells are around the same size and shape. The only differences are the adjustable kettlebells and the kettlebell handles. Still, while sizes don’t vary a lot, weight does. IF you are a beginner I suggest starting from a lower weight such as 10-15 lbs and build your way up. Heavier kettlebells will have a different effect on your muscles, so buying new, heavier ones will always allow you to train both at the heavy and light range of weights, which is suitable both for high-intensity interval workouts and strength & conditioning ones.
The most important part of the handle is its grip. While most cast-iron kettlebells feature a “naked” handle that only has some anti-slip coating on it, other more beginner-friendly models have padded handles or handles that are wrapped in a soft material. These are definitely much easier on your hands and won’t cause a lot of blisters when you first start training with them.
The price of kettlebells varies a lot depending on the weight you want to buy. The adjustable kettlebells offer the best bang for your buck as they essentially do the job of a whole kettlebell set at a fraction of the price. IF you aren’t on a budget and want to get as versatile of a set as possible, opt for kettlebell sets with 3-5 weight variations in the. If you aren’t going to train for crossfit or strength competitions, look for cast-iron models that are in the 30-50$ range.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size kettlebell is the best for me?
Depending on your size and age, you might want to start light before you get used to the dynamics of a kettlebell. 20-25 pound models are ideal for beginners and you can easily build your way up from those. If they are too heavy, get something in the 15-20 lbs range. This is why I often recommend people to get sets of kettlebells that will include various sizes and weights that will allow you to ladder your way up those pounds!
How often should you train with kettlebells?
Depending on the results you want to see, kettlebells can be used in a variety of combinations and frequency along with your other workouts. If you want general strength & conditioning results, you can easily include kettlebells in all of your weekly workouts (3-5). If your workouts are more dynamic and oriented towards shedding weight, then include heavier kettlebell exercises 1-3 times a week.
Are kettlebells bad for you?
The only thing that can potentially allow kettlebells to hurt you is the classic overhead swing. This is a clear sign that you are using a lighter kettlebell than the one you must use instead. Overhead swings engage muscles that aren’t meant to be used in these exercises and people often risk injuries to their neck and shoulders when doing those.
Do I need more than one kettlebell?
As I already pointed out, having a set of kettlebells will allow you to adjust the weight according to your needs, workout program, and overall physical progress. Unlike dumbbells, these are used generally with either both hands at once or with one hand at a time. This means that you can easily buy just one kettlebell. Still, if you find a set that has your range of weights in it and the deal is good, jump on it!
Finding the best kettlebells for your exact needs isn’t going to be very difficult, especially if you’ve already tried your ideal kettlebell weight at the local gym. Since most of the kettlebells out there are made out of metal with a different type of wrap, you shouldn’t worry too much about longevity or build quality. Look for models with comfortable handles and a good overall design. If you’re looking for a set, make sure it goes up from your current training weight, as that will allow you to keep progressing towards your goals!