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Why Are Dumbbells So Expensive? [12 Reasons 2023]


During and after the pandemic, many people went from regularly working out in gyms to exercising at home.

Because of this, many people were looking to invest in weights and other workout equipment to have a multifaceted workout place at home. 

If you want to build muscle, then having a set of weights or dumbbells is a must for an at-home gym. 

Due to increasing demands for workout equipment and higher production and shipping fees, the costs of dumbbells have increased substantially. Not to mention the new technology that workout equipment comes equipped with today can drive the prices up. Additionally, considering that dumbbells come in pairs and they are made of high-quality material, you will naturally have to pay more for your product. 

Here are the top 12 reasons in 2022 that dumbbells are so expensive. 

1. They Are Heavy 

Shipping costs are directly correlated with how heavy an item is.

Considering dumbbells can range in weight from half of a pound up to fifty pounds can tell us one reason why we see those costs absorbed when we go to purchase off the shelf. 

And that is the weight of only one dumbbell. Dumbbells are relatively small in size, even though they are heavy.

One box generally contains multiple dumbbells, which easily make the weight of a package go over 100 pounds. This is a heavy shipment. 

Once a package is over 150 pounds, it is considered freight. The supply and shipping fees required to ship these heavy items can directly affect the cost. 

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2. Manufacturing Process

Dumbbells are crafted of premium quality materials. Workout equipment generally needs to be made of a durable product. While the range of those materials can vary in cost, they still tend to be on the pricier side.

Most of the time, dumbbells are made of either cast iron (the most popular choice) or stainless steel. These materials are expensive. Thus the final product bought in stores is wrapped in their final cost. 

3. Nature of the Product

Many people wonder why cast iron products can be so costly. Since dumbbells are typically made out of this material (but coasted in a softer material like rubber), it gives us reason to discuss why it affects the cost. 

Cast iron takes time to work with. More material and effort go into working with cast iron. Since it takes more time–this can drive up the cost of the dumbbell. 

4. New Year’s Resolutions

A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions during the holidays. They make promises to start the year off right. When they do this, they start looking into products to help them achieve their goals. 

Marketers will play to this and mark the cost of dumbbells up around December and January. If you need a new set of dumbbells, try to avoid purchasing during these months as this can make them more expensive.

5. Logistics

With shipping delays, there is a higher price to get things shipped and get them there on time. Producers are paying a premium to ship their items because of the delays.

Additionally, the cost of fuel can make freight more expensive. Since many dumbbells are imported from China, costs like tariffs, fuel for a boat, and the labor shortage can drive the prices up.

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6. Buying In Pairs

Dumbbells are one of those items where you cannot buy just one. To get the most out of a workout, you typically need two dumbbells.

While exercises can be completed with one, it can lengthen your training and make your weight shift as you move. 

Since you need two dumbbells, that automatically doubles the cost when you get to the cash register.

If you want to get more than one weight size, you will just continue adding to that final price tag. 

7. Updated Technology

Not all dumbbells are made equal. Today, you can buy ‘smart weights’ with sensors that can track your workout.

So not only are you paying for a pair of weights made from high-quality material, but you are paying for the technology to help you create more effective workouts. 

8. Labor Shortage 

Products typically come from a manufacturing company that takes the time to make an item and ensure quality control. To do this, these companies need people to work their machines and man the lines. 

Ever since the pandemic hit in 2020, companies with line work have had difficulty keeping their companies fully staffed. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, that was due to COVID-19 outbreaks. But now, it is due to the costs of hiring and the demands of not being able to hire enough workers because of the cost of living. 

9. Supply and Demand

Supply and demand also play a part in how expensive an item is. Since the need or want for dumbbells has increased, the price has increased also. 

However, if the demand for dumbbells was not so high, the price might fall slightly. However, with the quality material that these are made from, dumbbells will still carry a cost. 

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You would see the most price difference in a retailer putting them on sale or special to try and move them off the floor if the demand were to fall. 

10. Equipment Brands 

When it comes to working out, there are a lot of brands that have their name in the workout game.

When you pay for a name-brand item, you are also paying for the premium of the name. The quality of the product. And it is knowing that you will never have trouble with what you purchased. 

Just going into a department store, you will see different brands of dumbbells. Each brand will have its price point.

If you see one that is a little more expensive but you trust the name, that is why the brand can affect the price of dumbbells. 

11. Adjustable Options

There are adjustable dumbbell options on the market today. This means you can adjust the weight to your preference for any workout. You can change it during your training or even at your next activity. 

You are paying for the convenience of having multiple sets of dumbbells with just one pair.

You are paying for the space you are saving and the convenience. This feature is another reason dumbbells are currently so expensive in 2022. 

12. It’s An Investment

When purchasing dumbbells as part of your home gym, you are investing. Anytime you invest, you will be spending a good bit of money.

Dumbbells are made to last for years, so you won’t have to purchase them again so quickly. 

When products are made to be an investment, they are made to last. This can affect the overall cost of the product. 


Dumbbells are expensive because they are made from high-quality materials.

The dumbbells market has grown exponentially over the past years, increasing demand and lowering the supply.

Logistics and retailer markup costs also reflect in the final price.