10 Best Kettlebells For Home Use 2020
Kettlebells can seem intimidating.
Cast iron models look like cannon balls with handles.
At first glance, exercises like kettlebell swings can look scary and even a little dangerous. But the best kettlebells have a wide handle that makes them ideal for dynamic exercises like swings.
You can use kettlebells for ballistic strength training, as well as for stamina and cardio training. They can also enhance your home workout routine so that you continue to challenge your muscles and experience continued growth.
There are a lot of different styles of kettlebell on the market, including competition and standard bells. You will find cast iron, powder coated, and even vinyl coated models. And the weight of the bell, which is obviously very important, can range from a few pounds to 100lbs or more.
So, how do you know which is the best kettlebell for your home workout? We’ve found 10 of the best bells, including a variety of cast iron and vinyl, as well as some adjustable kettlebell sets, so that you can find the one best suited to your needs.
Kettlebell Buying Guide
When compiling the list we considered the following factors:
There’s a reason that most kettlebell sets are cast iron. Not only is it heavy, facilitating small but heavy weights, it is durable and hard-wearing. You will be heaving your kettlebells all over the place and, no matter how good your form, there is likely to be occasion when you drop one on the floor or bang two bells together.
Flimsy bells will become damaged and you will have to replace them more often, because even a small chip makes them uncomfortable to hold.
• Cast Iron – Cast iron is the most popular kettlebell material. As mentioned, it has a high mass which means that manufacturers can create reasonably small bells that have a good weight to them. It is also hard-wearing and durable. Because cast iron bells are made from a single piece of metal, there are no seams on the handles. Seams can cause discomfort and even injury to the hands.
• Vinyl – Vinyl kettlebells have become increasingly popular. The reason for this popularity is that cast iron is heavy and can damage floors when dropped. Commercial gyms and health centers buy vinyl coated bells in order to protect the floor. However, the vinyl sleeve tends to have a seam on the handle, which can cause discomfort. What’s more, it affects the grip. Some vinyl bells make it difficult to perform the full range of movements required from kettlebell exercises. Some can be dangerously slippery when you are sweating, too. If you do buy vinyl kettlebells, check reviews to ensure that they still offer a reasonable grip.
Different kettlebell exercises require different weights. Some exercises require the use of both hands and some use one hand. What’s more, bells can be used for strength and cardio training. This means that you will need different weights at different times, so it is likely that you will end up with a set of kettlebells in different weights.
What Size Kettlebell Should I Get?
There is some debate over the weight of kettlebell a person should use. However, it is widely accepted that an average man should start with a weight of 25lbs while an athletic man should adopt a 35lb kettlebell weight regiment.
The average woman should start on 15lbs and move up to 25lbs with experience. Competitive lifters might use considerably heavier bells, but this isn’t necessary for the average home user.
You should experience some discomfort following a kettlebell workout, but this should be muscle discomfort from the workout itself. You shouldn’t experience pain or discomfort in the hands. Gloves can help, and you can even buy wrist guards that are designed for the very purpose of protecting against the rub of the bell.
However, the handle should be comfortable. This means choosing a kettlebell with a decent handle that fits your workout and your hand size. The design should also prevent any sharp edges from rubbing against your body.
There are various types of kettlebell on the market. The three most common are:
• Standard – The standard kettlebell, typically made from cast iron, can be held with one or two hands. It offers versatility and comfort and even the lighter bells should have a handle wide enough for two hands.
• Competition – In contrast, competition bells are designed for lifting with one hand. Their handle is narrower, which prevents them from being used for standard exercise like swings. You may want to progress to this type when you are more experienced, but a standard or cast-iron kettlebell is your best bet when starting out.
• Adjustable Kettlebells – Adjustable kettlebells tend to be overlooked by serious users. They offer the convenience of adjustable weight and space saving, but experts shy away from them because the dynamic movement of kettlebell exercises means that adjustable and locking parts are not a good idea. We have included some adjustable models in our list, but you should consider alternatives for anything other than swings.
Best Kettlebell Reviews
Available in 5lb increments between 5lb and 50lb, as well as 60lb, 70lb, and 80lb options, Cap Barbell kettlebells are made from powder-coated cast iron.
The powder coating makes the bells more sympathetic to the skin and ensures their longevity. Importantly, though, the bells retain their seam-free surface. Coupled with the wide handle, this means that Cap kettlebells are suitable for one-handed and two-handed exercises. These are cheaper than a lot of the premium options on the market, making them a great combination of quality and affordability.
• Affordable compared to a lot of high-end bells
• Available in a wide range of weights
• Powder coated finish is comfortable and seamless
• Some reviewers have said the handle size could be bigger
Yes4All solid cast iron kettlebells range from 5lb to 80lbs in weight and they boast an extra wide handle for two-handed swings. They also have a flat bottom to prevent them rolling away on a flat surface, and some of the heavier weights include neoprene pads to cushion the hands and wrists.
There have been some reports of damaged bells and chipped handles but only from a limited number of buyers.
• Cast iron construction
• Flat bottom to prevent rolling
• Neoprene cushions with some models
• Great range of weight options
• Some reports of damaged weights and handles
3 – Onnit Primal Kettlebells
The most striking feature of the Onnit range of Elite kettlebells is their unique design. The range includes monkey, zombie, and even Darth Vader heads and they look incredible.
The design doesn’t interfere with the bell construction either. The edges don’t scrape against the body and the weights are accurate. The Primate bells have wide, textured handles, so they’re great for two-handed swings and you can retain grip even when you’re sweating heavily. There is a reasonable range of weights, each with a different monkey head, from howler to big foot.
• Great looking design
• Wide handles that have good grip
• Different weights to choose from
• Weight range could be broader
• Among the more expensive kettlebell design
4 – Kettle Gryp
The Kettle Gryp isn’t a standard kettlebell. In fact, it isn’t a kettlebell at all. What it is, is a handle that fixes around your existing dumbbells to convert them into kettlebells.
If you travel to a lot of hotels you will know that most places have dumbbells but far fewer have kettlebells. The Kettle Gryp isn’t without its faults but it is very useful for the regular traveler or for those with a home gym filled with dumbbells but no room or budget for a new kettlebell.
• Convert dumbbells into kettlebells
• Handle is easy to fix to most dumbbells
• Lightweight and highly portable
• Maximum weight (55lbs) might not be enough for some
• Not suitable for all kettlebell exercises
The AmazonBasics vinyl coated cast iron kettlebells are available in weights ranging from 10lb to 60lbs.
They are made from solid cast iron, which means that there’s no seams, but the bottom half of the bell is coated in vinyl. The vinyl is meant to protect the floor as well as your legs and body. As you would expect from Amazon, the price is low, and the quality is reasonable.
• Cheap but good quality
• OK range of weights
• Vinyl coating to protect floors and legs
• Not everybody will want the AmazonBasics logo on show
Adjustable kettlebells get a bad rep. They have to allow for the full weight, which means that they can be bulky and cumbersome when only using lower weights, and the dynamic and often vigorous swinging motion used with kettlebells can be off-putting when you have to lock weights in place. But, they are space saving and can save you money compared to a full set. They’re not for everybody, but if you are interested, you can read our guide to the best adjustable kettlebells.
The BowFlex adjustable kettlebell is one of the best adjustable models on the market, has a barrel type design that doesn’t get in the way too much, and is priced reasonably. If you want an adjustable model, this is a good choice.
• Weight can be adjusted from 8lbs up to 40lbs
• Saves space and money
• Weights have to be locked into place
• The design is more cumbersome than standard kettlebells
Available in 5lb increments from 10lb to 30lb, the Bionic Body soft kettlebell is designed to prevent injury to yourself and damage to your floors.
Despite the unique leather design, it gets plenty of positive reviews from buyers, although there are many that would prefer heavier weights than Bionic offers.
• Leather design to protect floors and bodies
• Really good quality materials
• Limited weight range
• Not everybody will appreciate the leather
The Best Choice Products HDPE kettlebell set contains 5lb, 10lb, and 15lb kettlebells. They are made from a hard HDPE plastic and filled with cement and while this isn’t as high a quality or as durable as cast iron, it does mean that the cost is lower than a lot of the standard bells.
With that said, buyers have complained that the textured grips can cause callouses and the bells themselves are considerably larger than cast iron models. If you want a budget set of relatively light kettlebells, though, these are a strong choice.
• Come with their own rack for storage
• Textured handle offers decent grip
• Textured handle has proven uncomfortable
• Low weights
• Very large for their weight
Gymenist kettlebells come in weights from 5lbs to 50lbs. They are made from cast iron and have a neoprene covering on the bottom half to prevent damage to floors and injuries to legs.
The handle is left bare providing the strength and the grip that cast iron has to offer. They are cheaper than a lot of the premium models but some buyers have complained that the handles are too thick, too small, and some have a sharp edge that makes them uncomfortable.
• Neoprene coating to protect floors
• The handle is too thich
• The handle is too small
• Some users have complained of a sharp edge on the handle
BalanceFrom GoFit all-purpose weights are cast iron kettlebells that have a vinyl coating on the bottom half.
Weights go up to 100lbs and these products are priced well, with the bigger 100lb weights costing more than the smaller weights. A wide handle makes them suitable for a whole range of exercises. They have a flat bottom to make storage easier, and they receive generally good reviews.
However, some buyers have complained that there is a sharp edge on the handle that can be uncomfortable, and there has been the occasional complaint of a powerfully toxic smell when the items are new.
• Textured handles for better grip
• Wide range of colour coded weights
• Apparently, the vinyl has a somewhat toxic smell initially
• There are sharp edges on the handle so gloves are advised