When it comes to using kettlebells in your exercise routines you’d be hard-pressed to find any piece of equipment that’s more efficient. With their clever design lending itself nicely to all kinds of functional movements such as presses, jerks and swings to name a few, kettlebells are able to provide a very powerful and effective core-intensive and full-body workout and can help burn a truck-load of calories, even more so than an all-out cardio routine.
If you’re looking for a comparison on kettlebells vs dumbbells then take a look at my article where I go into a bit more detail on the merits of both. But if you’re convinced that kettlebells are the way forward for you, or you’d like to mix up your workouts and increase your strength and endurance in a slightly different way, then read on for my recommendations on some of the best kettlebells to buy.
How To Pick The Best Kettlebell For Your Needs
These colourful, heavy, teapot-looking weights offer a fun way to add muscle-building resistance whilst incorporating an intense aerobic workout. They’re great for home gyms as they take up little space and so when considering which make to buy, try and choose one with good grip and solid casting if you’e looking for a metal variety. For ease, and to save space, you could also look to purchase an adjustable kettlebell, or one made from fabric if you’re worried about dropping it or flinging it against a wall!
Check the weight
As with anything new, it’s always best to start out with a moderate weight as some of the more intense sessions you might find yourself putting your body through could prove almost impossible to complete. Be careful not to go too light though as too far the other way and you may not be challenging your muscles enough. Opt for somewhere in between and if you’re unsure then try and visit your local gym or fitness store and try some out so you get the weight right.
Note the handle clearance
It’s always a good idea to check the handle clearance from the bell itself and its diameter. If your hands are large you may find some kettlebells difficult to grip.
Spend a bit more for quality
As with all gym equipment, see it as an investment. You don’t need to overpay, but go too cheap and you’ll be having to fork out more money for replacements over time. Although vinyl may be cheaper they can crack and split, and the handles on some cheaper varieties can be uncomfortable. My choice generally is the solid cast-iron version, especially those with a smooth handle which seem to tick the boxes of being both comfortable to use and sturdy enough to last.
Really short on space?
If you’ve heard of selectorised dumbbells then you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear that you can also purchase the kettlebell equivalent. These offer a good spread of different weights in one neat package.
My Top Picks…
Here are my top picks which I’ve split under five different categories.
Cast Iron / Combo-coated Kettlebells
Garage Fit Powder Coated Kettlebells
Price: From $24.99 – $154 (£19 – £118) depending on the size/weight
Size/weight range available: 9 Ilbs (4 Kg) – 88 Ilbs (40Kg)
Where to buy: Garage Fit
Made from a solid cast iron with a black anti-corrosion paint finish, these kettlebells are durable and designed to last. With a wide handle for even the largest of hands and a texturised surface to improve grip, Garage Fit have produced a kettlebell in a range of different sizes and weights suitable for beginners to advanced trainers alike.
- Sturdy, solid and durable
- Kg and Ilbs markings to save time having to convert the weight
- Corrosion resistant
- Extra wide handle
- Not the best grip if your hands get sweaty
- Pricey if you opt for the heavier kettlebell weights or want to buy more than one, but you get what you pay for here!
Yes4All Combo Coated Kettlebell Set
Price: From $45.99 (£35) to $169.49 (£130.50)
Size/weight range: Various sets available from 5-15 Ilbs (2-7Kg) to 5-30 Ilbs (2-4Kg)
Where to buy: Amazon
These kettlebells are made from cast iron (handles) with a concrete body and a vinyl coating for protection, so you get the durability of iron with the protection of a vinyl coating. The handles are textured for grip and wide so good for large hands and the bells have a flat bottom for stability when placed on the floor. The range of weight spreads they offer is good for both beginners and more advanced but obviously the heavier the set the more you pay with a top price of $169 or 130 for the heaviest set. These will last you though so if you can afford to pay extra then do.
- Durable and high quality
- Vinyl coating for added protection to floors and ceilings!
- A good choice of weight spreads available whether you’re a novice or more advanced
- Pricey for the heavier sets
Mirafit 3-piece Kettlebell Set With Stand
Price: £44.99 ($58)
Size/weight range: 5 Ilbs (2Kg) 10 Ilbs (5 Kg) and 15 Ilbs (7Kg)
Where to buy: Amazon
An all-vinyl affair, Mirafit offers this set of three kettlebells together with storage stand to keep them together and tidy when not in use. There’s not a huge maximum weight here but a fairly decent spread between 5 and 15Ilbs which allows newbies a good entry-level introduction to kettlebell training and for a fraction of the price of a single kettlebell compared to some other well-known brands. The easy-grip handles are comfortable too. Because they’re vinyl you’ll need to take a bit more care of them than cast iron equivalents. Warning – weight numbers printed on the kettlebells are in Ilbs not Kg!
- Good weight spread
- Decent price
- Comfortable grip
- Good option if you’re just starting out with kettlebell training
- Top weight is not very heavy so advanced lifters may want to opt for a weightier option
- Needs more looking after than iron
Bionic Body Soft Kettlebell With Handle
Price: From $27.12 (£20.96) up to $131.00 (£101.21)
Size/weight range: Between 10 Ilbs (5Kg) to 40 Ilbs (18Kg)
Where to buy: Amazon
This kettlebell is made of soft materials with a vinyl handle to help prevent damage and injury from accidental drops. It has a large, ergonomic handle which makes it good to grip, and comes in a range of sizes along with a two-year warranty. Despite the materials used it’s surprisingly durable and feels solid. It’s not the cheapest though and the heaviest weight will set you back over $130 or £100 – and that’s for just one!
- Made from a combination of soft materials to prevent injury and damage
- Surprisingly durable and solid considering it’s not made of metal
- A good spread of weight available
- Pricey – you can get the same weight with cheaper kettlebell makes for a lot less.
Meister Elite Portable Sand Kettlebell
Price: From $11.99 (£9.26) to $16.99 (£13)
Size/weight range: Between 10 Ilbs (5Kg) 15 Ilbs (6 Kg) and 20 Ilbs (9Kg) weights available
Where to buy: Amazon
This one-piece construction with dry bag seal makes this a good option for working out at home or taking your weights with you whilst travelling. Although the weight is made up of sand it’s a heavy-duty flexible PVC outer which is durable and promises no sand leak, and has a surprisingly comfortable neoprene grip which actually offers good grip. Warning though – you will need to provide your own sand!
- Versatile and can take with you anywhere
- Good grip
- You’ll need to provide your own sand
Bowflex SelectTech 840 Adjustable Kettlebell
Price: $191.74 (£148.13)
Size/weight range: Between 8 Ilbs (3 Kg) to 40 Ilbs (18 Kg)
Where to buy: Amazon
The SelectTech 840 Single Weight by Bowflex is the ultimate adjustable kettlebell – not just because it’s Bowflex but because the decent weight spread means you get six kettlebells in one in a sturdy, durable design that takes up little space. Just a turn of the dial cleverly changes the resistance anywhere from 8 Ilbs all the way up to 40 Ilbs which should be enough for both newcomers and more advanced lifters alike. The handle is ergonomic with a good grip and the vinyl molding is tough enough to cover the metal plates within and be swung around and dropped (but not too often!) As it’s a Bowflex it is pricey, but compared to a lot of the kettlebell sets you get for a similar price, you’re getting a lot for your money and in a space-saving design. You also get access to 24 trainer-led exercises to teach foundational technique – which is great if you’re just starting out.
- Good weight selection so suitable for newcomers and more advanced lifters
- Easy-to-use and switch the weight up or down with the turn of a dial
- Durable and built to last
- Space saving
Price: From $95.99 (£74.35) to $309.99 (£240.10)
Size/weight range: Between 4 Kg (8 Ilbs) to 48 Kg (105 Ilbs)
Where to buy: Kettlebell Kings
Seen as an ‘upgrade’ to the powder-coated cast iron kettlebell, cerakote is a polymer-ceramic composite coating and is seen as a more durable option to powder coating, e-coats and matt paints. It’s used to enhance performance properties such as abrasion/wear, corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, impact strength and hardness. This means that when the manufacturer says they are built to last, they really are built to last! And with Kettlebell Kings’ range you get to have a bit of fun with customising your own look with options to choose the paint colour and finish from ‘blue titanium’ and ‘corvette yellow’ to ‘zombie green’, ‘distressed copper’ and ‘snow camo’.
In terms of functional use these are at the premium end. They’re cast from a single piece of metal without having to weld a handle on which means they are much less likely to break. The grip is wide and Kettlebell Kings promise weight accuracy to within 0.3 Kg or your money back, and also offer a lifetime warranty. They are expensive though, as you can see from the pricing, but they do offer a progressive discount on more than one – so the more you buy the bigger the discount you’ll receive!
- Quality and durability assured with a lifetime guarantee
- Corrosion, abrasion and impact-resistant
- Customise your own look
- Wide-grip, comfortable handles
- Progressive discount, so the more you buy the bigger discount you receive
- Very expensive!
Kettle Gryp Adjustable Portable Weight Grip
Price: £34.95 ($45.24)
Size/weight range: Up to 25 Kg (55 Ilbs)
Where to buy: Amazon
Something a little different and a good alternative if you have a set of dumbbells and aren’t quite sure about whether to pay out for a kettlebell. The Kettle Gryp turns any dumbbell into a kettlebell with its clever little design. Not only is the handle large enough for most hands, offering secure grip, you can attach any single dumbbell in a simple click up to 25 Kg (55Ilbs) and swing it around like a kettlebell making it not only an affordable, versatile and dynamic option but space-saving too. And it comes with a lifetime warranty so quality is guaranteed.
- Versatile and dynamic way to kettlebell train without paying out on expensive kettlebell weights
- A cheaper alternative to the kettlebell. Use your existing dumbbells
- Durable and easy to use
- It’s a handle, basically, so unless you have a set of dumbbells you’ll need to purchase them as well – in which case you may just as well pay for a kettlebell!
Which Type Will You Go For?
There you have my top picks for kettlebells. Of course there are lots of makes and varieties out there but these cover the most popular types and the ones I’ve listed above are, in my opinion, some of the better ones. But it’s a personal choice so do your research, shop around and make sure, if you’re going to invest in some, that you pick the right ones, and that they’ll last!
What are your favourite type of kettlebells? Have you used any of the ones above and have your own testimonials to share? Comment below and let me know your thoughts!
Just so you know…
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