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The best kettlebells, recommended by personal trainers

We spoke to some top personal trainers to put together our list of the best kettlebells to buy to add some variety to your home workouts

The best kettlebells

If you’re looking to buy fitness equipment to build your home gym, alongside set of dumbbells and a weight bench, a kettlebell is an inexpensive but essential addition to your setup.

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Not only do kettlebell exercises add variety to your workouts, but the compound movements performed using kettlebells are a highly effective way of building strength and getting your heart pumping.

Whether you’re just starting out and looking to explore home fitness for the first time, or you’ve been lifting for years and want to upgrade your home gym setup, there are a few considerations you should make first to ensure the ones you choose are best suited to your intended uses, so The Recommended spoke to two of the most knowledgeable personal trainers to find out what you should look out for (and avoid) when shopping for kettlebells.

Jump to the best kettlebells:

Our fitness experts

Tom House and Louisa Drake
Tom House and Louisa Drake (credit: Oly Barnsley)

Tom House and Louisa Drake are both personal trainers and fitness experts with years of experience helping their clients achieve their fitness goals.

Tom House is a personal trainer who specialises in women’s health, providing bespoke services dedicated to prenatal and postpartum fitness, as well as sessions specifically tailored around the effects of menopause. Having worked in London for ten years, Tom is also passionate about how exercise can help people manage their work-life balance, running weekly online HIIT classes and corporate workouts.

Fitness expert Louisa Drake is a former dancer, choreographer, and fitness instructor to some of the UK’s biggest celebs. She is the founder of the Louisa Drake Method, a fusion of Pilates and strengthening techniques, which she teaches through small group classes and private training at her award-winning LDM Studio in Fitzrovia, London.

We put three questions to both of them to understand exactly what you need to know when shopping for kettlebells and got their expert recommendations of some of the best kettlebells to buy and why.

What should you look for when buying kettlebells?

“Size and looks are the main priorities,” says Tom. “Concerning the former, if buying online, check the dimensions first. It may ‘only weigh 6kg’, but if it arrives and it’s the size of a football, then how you are able to use it will be restricted.”

More importantly, Tom says, “does it give you some pleasure to look at? If it’s a plastic monstrosity, then it’ll be a false economy that it was £5 less than the sleek looking one because you will be less likely to use it and you will certainly take less satisfaction from it.”

Louisa notes that there are two types of kettlebells you should consider. “Cast iron kettlebells are the most diverse and are excellent for both beginners and keen lifters,” she says. “The handle is wider than the bell or base, ideal for two-handed movements such as swings and goblet squats.”

The second is competition kettlebells, which have slimmer handles that align with the bottom of the bell. “This slimmer and skinnier handle allows for better and more seamless on-armed movements in competition,” Louisa says.

What should you avoid when looking for kettlebells?

“Avoid anything that’s too heavy, too large, or doesn’t make you happy to look at,” says Tom. “For almost everyone I have ever trained, a big part of why they exercise is to feel better, so you should bear that in mind when choosing your kit.”

Louisa adds that you should consider the thickness of the handle. “If you can’t wrap your fingers all the way around the kettlebell handle, then the handle is probably going to be a bit too thick for you. This means it can tire out your forearms over repetitions.”

The material the kettlebell is made from is also something to look out for. “Most are made from iron and come unfinished or with a rubber or vinyl coating,” adds Louisa. “I prefer using an uncoated handle as this offers the best grip. Vinyl or plastic handles tend to become too slippery, and some of the coatings can be rough on the hands.”

Which are the best kettlebells?

“In general, the ideal kettlebell weight for women is 8kg or 12kg, and for men from 12kg or 16kg,” says Louisa. “There are lots of other sizes in between, but I mainly work using these weights with new clients. I like ergonomic kettlebells due to the wedge shape design as it helps protect your hands and forearms.”

Tom has a set of Lonsdale kettlebells from Sports Direct that he says is “well proportioned, inexpensive and come in nice colours”. For heavier work, he prefers cast-iron weights from ORIGINAL Kettlebell.

Find out more about each of these expert-recommended kettlebells and some of our own top picks below.

The best kettlebells

Best overall kettlebells: Body Revolution Kettlebell

Easy storage

Body Revolution Kettlebell

These kettlebells tick a lot of our experts’ boxes: they’re made from cast iron, have large handles allowing for a range of motion, and are available in a choice of weights ranging from 2-20kgs.

When buying kettlebells online, our expert Tom says to check the dimensions to make sure they are not too bulky. These Body Revolution kettlebells come in a compact design and feature flat, non-slip bottoms, which helps with storage.

Best versatile kettlebell: Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Weights and Dumbbells

Great for multiple uses

Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Weights and Dumbells

This Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Weight is ideal for anyone looking to invest in a high-quality, all-in-one kettlebell that allows you to quickly switch between different weights.

Great for anyone looking to save on space, this kettlebell houses six weight options ranging from 3-18kg in one compact design. A rotary dial on the top of the kettlebell allows you to easily switch between weights and perform a variety of whole-body workouts.

Best for experimenting: DKN Unisex’s Vinyl Kettle Bell Weight Set

Great for starting out

DNK Unisex Vinyl Kettle Bell Weight Set

This set of kettlebells from DNK comprises four weights ranging from 2 to 8kg – an excellent choice for beginners wanting to experiment with different weight combinations.

For two-handed exercises, our expert Lousia recommends choosing a kettlebell with ergonomic handles that are wider than the base. This kettlebell set ticks both of these boxes.

Best kettlebells for beginners: PROIRON Cast Iron Kettlebell Weight

A solid set

PRIORON Cast Iron Kettlebell Weight

When working with new clients, our expert Louisa uses 8-12kg weights for women and 12-16kg weights for men. These kettlebells from PROIRON are available in a nice range of weights for beginners.

Featuring a smooth, extra-wide handle with no rough edges and made from 100% cast iron, these kettlebells have no welds, weak spots or seams, which should ensure a long lifespan.

Best for heavy lifting: ORIGINAL Cast Iron Kettlebells UK

Built to last

Cast Iron Kettlebells UK

Recommended by our expert Tom, Original Kettlebell’s cast iron kettlebell feature a 35mm handle, a machined flat base, and a smooth metal surface finish, which he says is ideal for heavy lifting.

Available in a choice of weights – 12kg, 16k, 20kg and 24kg – these kettlebells are coated in an electrically-applied paint which is baked onto the surface of the kettlebell, designed to inhibit rust and extend their lifespan.

Best for technical movements: Ram Elite Steel Competition Kettlebells

Slim handle for seamless motion

Ram Elite Steel Competition Kettlebells

This competition kettlebell has a slim, uncoated handle, which our expert Louisa tells us provides the best grip and allows for efficient one-armed movements.

Competition kettlebells such as this one from Ram Elite Steel meet World Kettlebell Competition Standards, which means they are consistent in weight and size. This one is hollow and made from a single block of steel.

Best colour variety: Body Revolution Kettlebells

Stylish weights

Body Revolution Kettlebells

Whether you’re a newcomer to the gym or have been lifting for years, these neoprene coated cast iron kettlebells, available in ten weights ranging from 2kg to 24k, are suitable for all fitness levels.

One of the main tips our expert Tom gave for buying gym accessories to use at home is to pick products that are nice to look at and you will feel motivated to use them. These stylish kettlebells are available in ten vivid colours, depending on which weight you choose.

Best for home gyms: Bionic Body Soft Kettle Bell with Handle

Protects your flooring

Bionic Body Soft Kettle Bell with Handle (1)

If you’re looking for a kettlebell that’s not likely to damage your flooring during workouts, you should consider a soft weight such as this vinyl leather option from Bionic Body.

When shopping for kettlebells, our expert Louisa also says it’s important to consider the shape and thickness of the handle. This kettlebell, which is available in a selection of weights ranging from 10lb to 30lb, features an ergonomic handle, which is great for performing large movements such as swings, squats and deadlifts.

Best for one-armed movements: ATOM BELLS Competition Kettlebell

Brilliantly balanced

ATOM BELLS Competition Kettlebell

Another competition kettlebell, this pick from ATOM BELLS is moulded using precision single casting technology with no welding of filling and is available in weights ranging from 8 to 32kgs.

The sizes of the bells of these kettlebells are consistent regardless of the weight you choose, which ensures you can perform the same full range of exercises while swapping between weights.

Best kettlebells for grip: Yes4All Single Vinyl Coated Kettlebell

Wide handle

Yes4All Single Vinyl Coated Kettlebell

This kettlebell from Yes4All has a slightly textured handle, designed to promote a comfortable and secure grip while performing exercises.

These kettlebells come in a range of weights, from 5 to 45lbs, and their vinyl coated finish helps to reduce noise and protect flooring.

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If you would like to read more expert-recommended fitness round-ups, check out our Fitness page for a full list of recommendations, including the best dumbbells and the best pull up bars recommended by personal trainers, as well as the best foam rollers, recommended by physiotherapists.