Kettlebells are a proven way to dominate your workouts. Here’s a breakdown of the best kettlebells for athletes and gymgoers. Read our list and get to swinging.
Kettlebells have become wildly popular in recent years.
They are also one of the best things you can add to your home gym. They are small in size, affordable, and require a minimal amount of workout space.
Kettlebells are endlessly versatile.
They work the whole body, improves core strength, and builds lean muscle. Athletes can use them for ballistic training, developing explosive hip power. Gymgoers can use it as strength conditioning and/or cardiovascular exercise.
Kettlebell swings are low-impact, making them an excellent alternative to traditional cardio exercises like running. Doing KB swings are also super affordable and don’t require a ton of space to set-up.
Don’t let the odd shape and old-school design fool you—the humble kettlebell is a powerful weapon for your home workouts.
Here are the best kettlebells for every kind of athlete. Read our list, match up the kettlebell to your home gym and workout goals and get to swinging.
Kettlebell Kings Powder Coated Kettlebell
? Best overall kettlebell
There’s a reason that the Kettlebell Kings KB’s are at the top of the list for both best overall kettlebells and competition-style KBs…
They are simply awesome.
The Kettlebell Kings Powder Coated KB’s are made with cast iron and then finished with a powder coat to maximize the lifespan of the KB and also help you keep your grip on the kettlebell (which, needless to say, is important!).
Powder coated kettlebells are excellent in terms of durability and also for superior grip. If you build serious hand sweat—like I do—then you’ll appreciate the added grip that comes with a powder coated finish.
Unlike kettlebells and handles that have a vinyl or matte finish, you can retain your grip better with this kind of kettlebell.
I really like the handle thickness on these kettlebells, and the handle diameter varies by weight.
The heavier the kettlebell, the thicker the handle, with the lower weights (4kg to 18kg) having 29-33mm handles before jumping to 38mm and up as you get into the 20kg and over range.
Kettlebell Kings offers their powder coated KB’s in a huge range of weight options, from 9lb all the way up to a Herculean 203lb, making them an excellent choice for kettlebell enthusiasts of all levels.
Kettlebell Kings ships for free over $150 in the continental USA (which is a big deal—shipping heavy weights is often prohibitively expensive) and they are available at the official Kettlebell Kings website here.
KHTO Competition Kettle Bells
The KHTO Kettle Bells are competition-grade bells. Welded without seams, they are made with corrosion-resistant steel that has been baked to prevent rusting.
The inside of the bells are filled with cement and sand, and the bells are color-coded to designate weight.
- See also: 5 Best Competition Kettlebells
The KHTO Kettle Bells are produced in weights from 10 to 50-pounds. The light ones are the same size as the heavy ones, with the bottom of the kettlebell wrapped with a vinyl coating to protect your floors.
Amazon Basics Cast Iron Kettlebells
Amazon has steadily infiltrated the fitness market with its own line of gear, marketed under the Amazon Basics moniker.
The Amazon Basics Cast Iron Kettlebell are a no-frills kettlebell made purely of indestructible cast iron. The surface of the KB’s are painted to give them a smooth and slip-free grip.
These kettlebells are well-priced (the 60-pound model pictured retails for just over $80) and exceptionally well-reviewed, with nearly nine thousand five-star reviews.
Available in a wide variety of weights (10 to 60-pounds) the Amazon Basics Cast Iron Kettlebell will work your entire body in the comfort of your home gym.
Nordic Lifting Kettlebell
Looking for the heaviest of the heavy-duty kettlebells? And also want something that is going to keep swingin’ year after year?
Welp, Nordic Lifting produces a series of extremely durable cast-iron kettlebells that go all the way up to 97-pounds in weight.
The exterior is painted with a powder-coated finish to keep the iron from rusting or corroding and they are cast in one-piece for maximum durability and are color-coded by weight options.
Everyday Essentials All-Purpose Kettlebell
Kettlebells need to securely gripped in your hands while also comfortable. This isn’t always the case, as some handles on KBs are too narrow, or the “window” between the handle and the bell too small.
The Everyday Essentials All-Purpose Kettlebell has a wide variety of weight options, from for 5 to 50 pounds, and the handle sits comfortably and securely in your hands through all of your swings and presses.
A flattened bottom keeps the kettlebell upright between rounds and workouts, while the vinyl cover lists the weight and improve the aesthetics of what can often be a dull-looking piece of gym equipment.
Sold in singles, Everyday Essentials backs their bells with a two-year warranty.
CAP Barbell Cast Iron Competition Kettlebell
Featuring a wide and thick handle for a secure and slip-free grip, the CAP Barbell Competition Kettlebells check all of the boxes for a superior kettlebell.
Welded seamlessly—seams on the handles are the worst—and made with cast iron, these kettlebells are made for functional training, whether you are working on improving your squat, mastering the pistol squat, or simply want to improve the power and strength in your posterior chain.
Weight options vary based on availability, but when fully stocked they run as high as 88-pounds, making it one of the few kettlebells on the market at that higher weight limit.
Body Glove Kettlebell Weights
The cast-iron kettlebell isn’t for everyone. Body Glove—yup, that body glove probably better known for surf and swim apparel—makes a kettlebell that is constructed of plastic.
There are some advantages to this.
For starters, they are a breeze to clean—simply wipe down the kettlebell when you are finished working out. And second, the plastic will never scuff or stain your floor, making the Body Glove Kettlebell perfect for beginner lifters who work out inside the home on carpet or hardwood.
This type of construction does have its limitations with weight, however, available in a range of 5 to 15-lb sizes.
TRX Training Kettlebell
TRX is a popular maker of fitness gym equipment. Their TRX straps have long been one of my home gym essentials and the TRX Slam Ball is one of my favorite pieces of workout gear for building speed and explosiveness.
Kettlebell swings are also an exercise that develops ballistic speed, and the TRX Training Kettlebell is perfectly designed for all of your KB training needs. Made with an extra-wide and thick handle, the slip-free cast-iron sits comfortably in your hands, even long into your workout.
A flat bottom makes storing between workouts simple, and TRX also includes a ton of educational training content with their products, giving you lots of ideas for implementing the kettlebell into your workouts.
Weight options start at 6kg (13.2-lbs) up to 40kg (88-lbs).
Best Kettlebells – Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of kettlebells?
Kettlebells are relatively simple in function—provide resistance in the form of weight—but come in a huge range of shapes and sizes.
The two main types of kettlebells are cast iron, powder-coated kettlebells and competition-style kettlebells.
Cast iron KB’s have thicker handles that increase with weight. Competition-style KB’s have a uniform handle thickness and overall dimensions, no matter the weight.
The smaller handle size on competition-style KB’s also makes it more difficult to do two-handed swings.
Additionally, there are vinyl and plastic kettlebells out there, predominantly in the lower weight ranges (5-15lbs) that I would avoid as they get extremely slippery in your hands the moment you start to build a sweat.
How many kettlebells do I need for a home gym?
One of the best parts about training with kettlebells is that you don’t need a full rack of them or a ton of floor space to use them.
Beginners are advised to start with one kettlebell before moving on to two-KB movements to get a firm grasp of the mechanics of kettlebell swings and exercises.
Ultimately, you can get an absolutely killer workout with just one properly-weighted kettlebell.
What should you look for when buying a kettlebell?
Handle size and thickness are probably the two most important things to look for when choosing a kettlebell. Not having a proper and comfortable grip is going to stop your workout dead before you have a chance to get after it.
See also: What Size Kettlebell Should I Buy?
Lifters who want to focus on the two-handed swings will want to choose a cast iron kettlebell, while the more advanced user who wants to master single hand movements and also progress to doing two-kettlebell movements will want to invest in competition-style kettlebells.
Why are kettlebells so expensive?
Kettlebells range widely in price, from around $20 and then heading north to the $200-$300 range for the 150lb and over KB’s. The sticker shock sometimes dissuades people from investing in KB’s because of what feels like an exorbitant upfront cost.
The reason KB’s seem so expensive is fairly simple—the more material required to cast and machine the dumbbell, the more expensive it’s going to be.
On the plus side, kettlebells require little care and will last you a lifetime, making them almost always a one-time investment.
The Bottom Line
Kettlebells are one of my go-to forms of resistance and strength training in the gym.
My little collection of kettlebells was particularly a lifesaver during the spring of 2020 when my local gym closed for months due to the pandemic.
Each day I drove down to a local parking lot with my KB and a jumping rope and got after it.
Nowadays, there are tons of excellent KB’s for the home and garage gym enthusiast. To recap:
⭐ My top choice for best kettlebells continues to be the Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat KB. Superior construction, free shipping and excellent casting make it a no-brainer for kettlebell enthusiasts of all levels.
Grab the kettlebell that lines up with your goals and get to swinging!
More Kettlebell Guides and Articles
10 Benefits of Kettlebell Swings (And Should You Do Them Every Day?). Kettlebell swings are a simple exercise that pack a huge punch. Here are ten benefits of kettlebell swings, from improving your posture to burning belly fat.
What Muscles Do Kettlebell Swings Work? (And Tips for Doing Them Like a Pro). Kettlebell swings are one of my favorite exercises for a full-body workout. Here’s a detailed look at all the muscles worked in kettlebell swings and some pro tips for doing them correctly.
Best Adjustable Kettlebells for Small Spaces and Big Workouts. Curious about adjustable kettlebells? Here’s a detailed look at the best adjustable kettlebells for every kind of budget and athlete.