General / July, 10 2017

Rubber Vs Iron Dumbbells

Dumbbells are an essential piece of workout equipment, both at home and at the gym. The many variations in styles and types mean there’s a different type for everyone. In most cases, a dumbbell has a 6-inch shaft with a ball or plate on both ends. The size of the plates or balls determines the amount of the weight of each dumbbell – anywhere from 1 kg to 100 kg each.

If you are planning your own personal or commercial gym, you are no doubt wanting to get a set of dumbbells that will be the most appropriate to your needs, goals and budget. Depending on the gym’s particular target users, most gyms have a selection of dumbbells starting from 1kg until about 50kg.

In this article, we break down the difference between the two main types of dumbbells: Rubber vs Iron.

Rubber vs Iron Dumbbells

Iron Dumbbells

Cast iron dumbbells are the most traditional type of dumbbell. A slightly newer version is the chrome dumbbell. Iron dumbbells are available in several different styles: adjustable, and one-piece. The more traditional style consists of a bar with different weight plate options that are added to the bar to make up the dumbbell.

You will see many gyms using steel, chrome plated dumbbells which are very stylish products. They are all made with toughened metals and anti chip chrome but they are not as robust as dumbbells coated in rubber or urethane. Having said that, for home gyms and facilities which don’t see enormous footfall through their free weights area chrome dumbbells can look great and deliver their function perfectly well.

Iron Dumbbells tend to be a cheaper option.

If you are looking for a good, durable iron dumbbell, check out our Chrome Dumbbells.

rubber vs iron

Rubber Dumbbells

Rubber dumbbells are metal dumbbells coated in rubber. They may be fully encased in rubber or simply have rubber-coated balls or plates. The rubber may be synthetic or made from tree sap. Either way, it is flexible and waterproof, and designed to protect your floors if dropped and your hands while in use.

Fixed Rubber dumbbells tend to best meet the needs of someone looking for a hard wearing, robust dumbbell. Usually, used for commercial gyms in which it will withstand the daily abuse of a busy facility. They would also make a great addition to a premium home gym because the quality and feel you get from these dumbbells is exceptional.

A good example of a rubber dumbbell, is our York Rubber Hex Dumbbell.

Other Factors to lookout for


Both iron dumbbells and rubber dumbbells come in a variety of grips. Straight handles are the most common, but contoured grips, and textured grips are all available to suit every preference. Coated grips can help avoid slipping due to sweat; they may also help you avoid fatigue. Contoured grips are conical in shape, which are more ergonomic and cut back on hand fatigue.

Our Cast Iron Dumbbell Set by York has a textured grip, that makes it less slippery and more comfortable to be used.

rubber vs iron


In general, rubber dumbbells are considered to be a safer choice than iron or chrome dumbbells. However, if you are allergic to latex or sensitive to strong odors, then iron dumbbells may be a better choice for your health.




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