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The cannonball-with-a-handle weight you’ve seen around the gym is a kettlebell — and it’s one of the smartest investments you can make to boost your fitness and your butt.

In fact, rumor has it that Beyoncé is actually talking about kettlebells when she says “left cheek, right cheek, drop it low and then swang” in the “Savage” remix. Well, maybe not, but she is a legit fan of kettlebells.

Personal trainers are too. The kettlebell is one kick-ass fitness tool and “the most underutilized piece of equipment in the gym,” says Lauren Kanski, a NASM-certified personal trainer. “If I had to choose one exercise to do for the rest of my life, it would be the kettlebell swing.”

Now, let’s dive into some specific kettlebell brands and models that are highly rated or have unique features and benefits.

So, how’d we choose the KBs that are the BKs (bee’s knees)? Here’s what we looked for:

  • Good reviews. OK, we know it can be hard to trust online reviews. But generally, the negative ones tend to be spot-on (esp if multiple people have the same complaint), so you won’t find a kettlebell with pages and pages of negative reviews on this list.
  • Wide weight range. We also looked for kettlebells that were available in a wide range of weights to suit beginners, competitive weightlifters, and everyone in between.
  • Durability. Finally, we wanted durability. We scoured reviews to make sure these bells weren’t breaking, dropping plates, or splitting at seams.

Best overall kettlebell

Metrixx Elite Precision E-Coat Kettlebell

  • Price: $$–$$$
  • Sold as: single
  • Available weight range: 9–106 pounds (lbs.) (sold in kilogram increments, FYI)
  • Pros: wide handle, protective e-coat coating
  • Cons: expensive

Good kettlebells can get PAH-RICEY! But if you’re really into kettlebell workouts or do a lot of CrossFit, they can be worth it.

“Really nice iron kettlebells will outlive you if you take care of them, so don’t be afraid to invest!” says Kanski. In fact, most truly high quality kettlebells come with a lifetime warranty.

At first glance this iron kettlebell looks pretty basic, but some key elements make it a standout pick. For one thing, it has an ever-so-slightly wider handle, so it doesn’t cramp your fingers while you’re gripping with two hands. The handle is also designed so different weights will fall on the same part of your forearm during moves like presses and snatches.

The Metrixx Elite also has a really nice finish that won’t irritate your hands — not too slippery, not too rough. It features an e-coating, which is supposedly smoother, more uniform in texture, and less likely to chip than a powder coating. And every single kettlebell is made from its own mold.

Best budget kettlebell

Marcy Hammertone Kettlebells

  • Price: $
  • Sold as: single
  • Available weight range: 10–55 lbs.
  • Pros: excellent price, durable
  • Cons: some negative reviews re: quality control, paint chipping

Calling all minimalists! This basic, no-frills kettlebell is made of cast iron with a non-rust coating, so it’s built to last. Available in a range of poundages (from 10 to 55 lbs.), it’s highly rated and does everything a kettlebell should.

”You can swing it, snatch it, press it, pretty much do any type of workout you do with a kettlebell,” writes one 5-star reviewer on Amazon. “Highly recommend, and a great price as well.”

Best kettlebell with an extra-secure grip

Yes4All Powder Coated Kettlebell

  • Price: $
  • Sold as: single
  • Available weight range: 9–71 lbs.
  • Pros: powder-coated, affordable
  • Cons: some reports of defects in the handle that can irritate your hands

Got sweaty hands? Similar to the Marcy Hammertone above, this fully cast-iron Yes4All model delivers everything you need in a classic kettlebell — plus a little extra grip! Its powder-coated finish provides added texture for a secure hold during kettlebell swings.

The color-coded bands at the base of the handle correspond to the kettlebell poundage (ranging from 9 to 88 lbs.) and help make it easy to identify the proper weight if you decide to stock up on a few of ’em.

Best floor-safe kettlebell

Amazon Basics Vinyl Coated Cast Iron Kettlebell

  • Price: $
  • Sold as: single
  • Available weight range: 10–60 lbs.
  • Pros: good value, vinyl coating to protect floors
  • Cons: some quality control issues

This beauty has all the benefits of a solid cast-iron bell plus a vibrantly colored vinyl coating that protects your floors (and your arms and wrists during certain moves). The textured handle also provides a nice secure grip.

Beware of some other vinyl-coated kettlebells that are actually made of an iron handle fused to a concrete base — those impostors do not hold up well over time.

Some reviewers complain about bad quality control with these kettlebells, but tons of other reviewers say they’re an amazing value for the price and get the job done.

Best adjustable kettlebell

Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell

  • Price: $$$
  • Sold as: single
  • Available weight range: 8–40 lbs.
  • Pros: replaces 6 separate kettlebells
  • Cons: limited weight range, pricey

Tiny apartment, big fitness goals? An adjustable kettlebell ensures you have the proper poundage to do a variety of kettlebell exercises without taking up loads of space. Bonus: You won’t “outgrow” it as easily as single-weight options as you get stronger.

This model from Bowflex is widely considered the gold standard, easily adjusting to six settings between 8 and 40 lbs. Just turn the dial on top to add or drop a weight plate.

Best budget adjustable kettlebell

Apex Adjustable Heavy Duty Kettlebell

  • Price: $$
  • Sold as: single
  • Available weight range: 20–50 lbs.
  • Pros: great if you already have weight plates, affordable for an adjustable bell
  • Cons: If you don’t have plates, it’s just a 20-lb. kettlebell.

This adjustable kettlebell from Apex is great (and more budget-friendly than Bowflex), but only if you already have weight plates at home.

It includes a 15-lb. weighted handle made of powder-coated iron (for better grip), a 5-lb. bottom plate, and four nonweighted removable spacer disks that you can replace with standard 2.5-, 5-, or 10-lb. weight plates. That means it can go from a minimum weight of 20 lbs. to a max of 50 lbs.

Best kettlebell for travel

Kettle Gryp

  • Price: $
  • Sold as: single
  • Available weight range: up to 55 lbs.
  • Pros: cost saving, perfect if you already have dumbbells
  • Cons: not actually a kettlebell

When hitting up a hotel gym, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a kettlebell — but dumbbells are in high supply. That’s why this lightweight dumbbell-to-kettlebell adapter is so great for travel. It accommodates many weights, depending on handle size, up to 55 lbs.

“I take it everywhere I travel. While it doesn’t fit every dumbbell, it fits nearly all the ones I’ve encountered in hotel gyms,” writes one reviewer.

Best two-handled kettlebell

Kamagon Water Filled Adjustable Weight Kettlebell

  • Price: $
  • Sold as: single
  • Available weight range: up to 13 lbs.
  • Pros: doubles as small medicine ball, dual-handled design
  • Cons: limited weight

More of a nontraditionalist? This kettlebell takes some liberties with the classic design, and we don’t hate it! Made from durable plastic, this kettlebell can be filled with water to hit your desired weight. The small 9-inch version holds up to 13 lbs., and the large 14-inch version holds up to 45 lbs.

Its two-handled design offers easier maneuverability during certain exercises (like the two-hand press), and most users like that the water adds a unique element to workouts. “Since the water sloshes around inside the ball, it creates an unstable weight, thus creating more of a challenge to your muscles while working out,” writes one 5-star reviewer on Amazon.

Plus, you can drain out the water and easily transport this kettlebell in your luggage — it doesn’t collapse, but it’s super lightweight when empty.

Best kettlebell for beginners

CAP Barbell Soft Kettlebell

  • Price: $
  • Sold as: single
  • Available weight range: 5–20 lbs.
  • Pros: floor-safe, safer for households with kids, soft handle more suitable for folks with arthritis or low grip strength
  • Cons: not ideal for certain holds or moves because it doesn’t hold its shape

While most kettlebells on this list are perfectly fine for all fitness levels, “a beginner doing workouts at home may want some more padding around the bell than someone more experienced throwing the bell around the gym,” says Kanski.

So, if you’re a bit hesitant to sling around a solid piece of iron (or you want to intro your kiddos to the wondrous world of kettlebells without worrying about them losing a toe or busting your floors), consider this CAP kettlebell made of neoprene fabric and filled with iron sand, available from 5 to 20 lbs.

Best kettlebell beginner set

Best Choice Products 3-Piece Kettlebell Set

  • Price: $
  • Sold as: 3-piece set
  • Available weight range: 5–15 lbs.
  • Pros: affordable beginner set
  • Cons: not the highest quality (made of cement-filled plastic)

Until you figure out that you really like kettlebell workouts, you may be hesitant to shell out the big bucks, especially for a full set. That’s why this set of three — with beginner-friendly weights of 5, 10, and 15 lbs. — is such a great starter pack.

Made from durable plastic and filled with cement, these are a bit bigger than your standard iron kettlebells and won’t hold up to heavy use quite as well, but they’ll certainly do the job until you decide to graduate to a higher-quality bell.

Best for kettlebell swings

TKO Kettlebell with Plastic Shell

  • Price: $
  • Sold as: single
  • Available weight range: 8–20 lbs.
  • Pros: affordable, wide grip
  • Cons: bigger than iron or steel kettlebells

Here’s another kettlebell that won’t break the bank or bust up your floors when you accidentally let go midswing! This budget-friendly TKO option is made from cement covered in scratch-resistant plastic, so it’s a tad bigger but still works like a charm. It’s available in 8-, 10-, 15- and 20-lb. versions.

Reviewers love the wider, ergonomic handle on this kettlebell, which allows for better grip and maneuverability when you switch positions.

Best competition-rated kettlebell

Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell

  • Price: $$–$$$
  • Sold as: single
  • Available weight range: 18–106 lbs.
  • Pros: competition-ready, consistent size across full weight range
  • Cons: expensive

Kettlebell Kings makes a variety of kettlebell styles, and they’re all pretty great (Kanski is a big fan). Their Competition Kettlebell is no exception, and it just so happens to be a looker too!

But what exactly is a competition kettlebell? You may notice that this one looks a tad different from the others on this list. That’s because competition kettlebells are made of steel (not cast iron) and are always the same exact size (including the handles), regardless of weight.

This allows you to have a consistent training experience no matter what, which can be particularly beneficial if you’re doing a lot of high-rep sets or focused technique work. In general, though, either style of kettlebell (cast-iron bells are sometimes referred to as hardstyle kettlebells) can be used to get a total-body workout that builds muscle and increases cardiovascular endurance.

As with the Metrixx Elite, each Kettlebell Kings bell is made from its own individual mold to ensure the exact correct weight. This Competition Kettlebell is available in weights from 18 to 106 lbs.

PriceWeight offeredWeight materialHandle materialWhat stands out
Metrixx Elite Precision E-Coat Kettlebell$$–$$$9–106 lbs.ironirongreat for serious athletes
Marcy Hammertone Kettlebells$10–55 lbs.cast ironcast ironbest all-around for general use
Yes4All Powder Coated Kettlebell$9–71 lbs.cast ironcast ironsecure powder-coated grip
Amazon Basics Vinyl Coated Cast Iron Kettlebell$10–60 lbs.cast iron with vinyl coatingcast ironprotects your floor
Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell$$$8–40 lbs.coated metalmetal on plastic housing for weightsadjustable weight
Apex Adjustable Heavy Duty Kettlebell$$20–50 lbs.cast ironcast ironadjustable and budget-friendly
Kettle Gryp$up to 55 lbs.N/AABS plasticturns any dumbbell into a kettlebell
Kamagon Water Filled Adjustable Weight Kettlebell$up to 13 lbs.PVC plasticPVC plastictwo-handled style
CAP Barbell Soft Kettlebell$5–20 lbs.iron sand in neoprene fabricneoprene fabricneoprene bag style
Best Choice Products 3-Piece Kettlebell Set$$5–15 lbs.cementplasticsolid beginner set
TKO Kettlebell with Plastic Shell$5–20 lbs.cementplasticroomy grip for two hands
Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebell$$–$$$18–106 lbs.steelsteelcompetition-rated

Setting out on an adventure to find your own kettlebell? Here’s what to keep in mind while browsing.

Weight

So, which kettlebell weight should you buy? Short answer: It all depends.

“Starting weight is relative to the individual and their training history in general, and it also depends on what exercises you’re doing,” says Kanski. “For lower-body and hip-dominant movements (cleans, swings, etc.), you want heavier loads so you can actually ‘feel’ the movement. For overhead movements (snatching, pressing, etc.), you want something lighter to medium-size load until you get used to it.”

Generally, a good starting point for beginners (especially if you plan to use your kettlebell for swings) is around 18 lbs. for women and 35 lbs. for men. If you’re really unsure, just opt for a kettlebell with a good return policy!

Construction

While all the kettlebells on our list are pretty durable, you’ll want to consider the materials used and whether they’re gonna vibe with your floor.

Renting an apartment? Go for neoprene or vinyl-coated to avoid cracked tile or scratches. Adding some kettlebells to your garage home gym, or got some foam mats laid down in your weightlifting space? Cast iron or steel is where it’s at!

Handle size

Big hands? Look for a kettlebell with a handle that fans out in each direction so you can safely and securely hold it two-handed.

Tiny hands? Try to find one that has a thinner handle, as opposed to a thicker one that might be harder for you to hold.

It’s totes OK to adopt a Goldilocks attitude here and look for the one that’s just right.

Still need some convincing that the kettlebell is for you? Here’s why kettlebells are the MVP of a home gym.

They’re master multitaskers (helloooo, full-body workout!)

Due to their unique shape, kettlebells have some unique advantages over dumbbells and can be used for a range of dynamic exercises, including cleans, snatches, Turkish get-ups, squats, and (of course) swings.

They allow you to experience a full-body workout with just one piece of equipment. “Kettlebells can be used to train strength, endurance, and power all in one,” says Kanski.

In fact, Beyonce’s trainer, Marco Borges, has revealed that the kettlebell squat-and-press is a major part of the singer’s fitness routine.

And while most strength exercises involving weights don’t get you into an aerobic zone, research shows that Tabata-style kettlebell swing workouts (20 seconds of maximum-intensity swings alternated with 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds) pump you up enough to “elicit a vigorous cardiovascular response” that enhances aerobic capacity. In other words, they give you mad cardio gains.

They combat the nasty effects of sitting all day

During a kettlebell swing — arguably the most popular kettlebell move on the planet — you engage your entire posterior chain of muscles at the same time (think: butt, hamstrings, and back), plus your abs!

This does wonders to combat the negative effects of sitting for hours on end in an office chair, which often leads to anterior dominance, or shortened, tight muscles on the front side of your body that can prime you for injury.

They boost functional strength (the useful kind of 💪🏽)

As a result of the shape and positioning of the handle, “the kettlebell mimics things in daily life such as bags, groceries, and other levers we use for carrying, grip, and power movements,” says Kanski.

This means many kettlebell workouts can help you build strength and muscles that are actually useful in real life — not just for show!

They’re usually pretty affordable

In the grand scheme of fitness equipment, kettlebells are pretty affordable for the level of workout they provide — often running from $10 to $200, depending on the weight, quality, and materials.

Just keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic has everyone snapping up home gym equipment. While stocks are starting to replenish, some prices may still be inflated as a result of the high demand.

Here are some sweet moves to try. But FYI, if you’re new to kettlebells, it’s always a good idea to consult a personal trainer to make sure your form is correct.

Upper body

Kettlebell halo

This is great for your shoulders!

With the kettlebell upside down, grip the handle with both hands at your chest. Staying steady and controlled, slowly make a circle around your head, then return to the starting position.

Kettlebell push press

This move provides some serious arm burn. You can do it on one side at a time or both sides at once.

Hold one kettlebell at shoulder level with your arm close to your torso and press it straight up, bending your knees slightly if necessary to help you lift the weight. Then return to the starting position.

Lower body

Kettlebell goblet squat

Use both hands to hold either side of the kettlebell’s handle to your chest. Sink down as low as you can into a squat position while keeping the kettlebell firmly in place at your chest, then return to the starting position. Goblet so you can wobble it!

Kettlebell single-leg deadlift

This move helps with balance but also works your hips, back, and legs.

Stand straight up and hold a kettlebell at your right side with your right hand. Ground your left foot down as you lift your right leg off the floor and hinge forward. Aim to keep your back and right leg straight while your right arm stays still. Return to the starting position and switch sides.

Core

Kettlebell swing

The KB swing isn’t just good for your core — it works your whole body.

Stand with legs spread slightly wider than hip width and place the kettlebell on the floor between your feet. Hinge your hips back, slightly bending your knees, and grab the handle with both hands. Pull the kettlebell back between your legs, and then thrust your hips up and forward, swinging the bell up to chest height while engaging your glutes.

Kettlebell Russian twist

Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet flat, holding a kettlebell with both hands. Lean back about 45 degrees and lift your feet off the floor, balancing on your sit bones. Twist from side to side in a controlled motion, keeping your core engaged.

What’s the proper way to hold a kettlebell?

Depending on the type of exercise you’re doing, there are several correct ways to hold a kettlebell — including even holding the bottom rather than the handle.

Most importantly, make sure to always have a secure grip and make sure your wrist is straight and not awkwardly bent while supporting the weight.

What’s the diff between a kettlebell and a dumbbell?

Beyond their superficial differences, kettlebells are a little more versatile thanks to their unique shape and handle placement. You can use them like dumbbells in almost every way, but you can also get a lot more use out of a kettlebell because you can hold it in a variety of ways — you don’t see people swinging dumbbells around, after all.

They also provide an additional challenge because their weight isn’t perfectly balanced (the bottom weighs more than the handle).

Can I gain a lot of muscle using a kettlebell?

For sure, as long as you’re working out consistently, you’re challenging yourself with more reps/weight as you get stronger, and your nutrition is on point.

Can I use a kettlebell for cardio?

Do a few rounds of kettlebell swings and TELL US that ain’t a cardio workout. A good kettlebell sesh can get your heart pumping just as effectively as a treadmill jaunt, and it pulls double duty — strength and cardio rolled up into one!

Yes, kettlebells may be a convenient tool to work your whole bod at once, but if you’re on a serious budget right now, know that you don’t NEED one to build strength and muscle. You can get a great workout with bodyweight exercises alone.

And remember: For the average person, the lower-priced options on this list provide nearly all the same benefits as pricier picks. So, during this time of serious economic turmoil and widespread unemployment, don’t break the bank in the name of fitness!