bowflex 552 vs 1090

Bowflex 552 vs 1090 - Which Is Better?

What Are Adjustable Dumbbells?

In a gym, you will normally see fixed dumbbells and barbells in racks. Fixed dumbbells are great in a gym because you can grab the ones you need for your workout. 

But when you are setting up a gym at home, those fixed dumbbells will take up a lot of space. If you are staying in an apartment or a small home, space is a luxury and hence you will need adjustable dumbbells. 

As the name implies, you can adjust the weights on these dumbbells according to your needs. 

Benefits of Using Adjustable Dumbbells


When you compare the prices of fixed weights to adjustable dumbbells, you will notice that it is cheaper to get a good set of adjustable weights. 

Fixed weights are great when you start, but as you get stronger, you will have more strength and can carry heavier weights. Hence, adjustable dumbbells are a good initial investment because they last a lot longer in terms of usability. 

Another benefit using adjustable dumbbells is the convenience: all you need is a pair of dumbbells, and you are good to go. Fancy a pyramid set of chest press? You will not need five pairs of dumbbells on the floor next to you if you have the adjustable ones. (1)

Bowflex 552 vs 1090

For over 34 years, Bowflex has been producing quality equipment that saves home users’ cost and space. The brand targets the home gym market, and they have one of the best exercise tools you can have for your own gym at home. The company produces adjustable dumbbells with the dial system, and they also come with their own case. 

Bowflex SelectTech 552 

The base model for the Bowflex SelectTech range, the 552 starts at 5 lbs and goes by 2.5 lbs increments until 25 lbs. After 25 lbs, the increments are in 5 lbs increments until 52.5 lbs. The 552 replaces around 15 sets of dumbbells. (2

Bowflex SelectTech 1090

The Bowflex Selecttech 1090 model starts at 10 lbs, and it goes up to 90 lbs in 5 lbs increments, a better choice if you are stronger and can handle the bigger weight jump. The 1090 has more weights and will replace 17 sets of dumbbells. (3

In-Depth Dumbbell Comparison: Bowflex 552 vs 1090


Bowflex 552

  • $ 329 (2)

Bowflex 1090

  • $ 599 (3)

Design and Style

Bowflex 552

Bowflex 1090

  • Bowflex has a state- of- the- art dial system. The Bowflex SelectTech comes with a plastic case to store both dumbbells and weights, making it more portable.

Quality and Durability

Bowflex 552

  • Durable molding around the plates.
  • Plastic holding tabs.
  • Small parts not durable, dial and bracket can break if dropped.

Bowflex 1090

  • Durable molding around the plates. 
  • The locking tabs are metal.
  • Small parts not durable, dial and bracket can break if dropped.


Bowflex 552

  •  Rubber padded grip.

Bowflex 1090

  • All metal grip with knurling.


Bowflex 552

  • 15.75” X 8” X 9”

Bowflex 1090

  • 17.5” x 10” X 10”

Weight Ranges and Performance

Bowflex 552

  • Goes from 5 to 52.5 lbs each dumbbell .
  • 2.5 lbs increment until 25, then 5 lbs increment after.

Bowflex 1090

  • Goes from 10 to 90 each dumbbell.
  • 5 lbs increment.


Bowflex 552

  • 2 years.

Bowflex 1090

  • 3 years.

Other Special Features

Bowflex 552

  • The range comes with a free training app to help you choose exercises

Bowflex 1090

Bowflex 552 vs 1090 - What Do People Say?

choosing a dumbbell


Amazon Review Comparison


Bowflex 552

The Bowflex 552 has a 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon. 

Although it has been highly appreciated by many, some people are generally not happy with the weights falling off and not working. Other reviewers did comment on that Bowflex has to be handled with care to avoid the plastic bits breaking. The newer model has metal clips. Users did comment on the bulky size and having to adjust close-grip exercises.

…As you can see from the photos, they were well taken care of and used exclusively on a soft carpet, not concrete. I never threw the weights or slammed them after a set, so not heavy use or abuse.

Amazon Reviewer

The weights are slightly bulky meaning you may have to modify a few exercises that normally require a closer group.

Amazon Reviewer

Bowflex 1090

The Bowflex 1090 has 4 out of 5 stars. 

Many users complain that the tabs break and the weights fall off during exercises. Most also commented that the 552 does not have that problem. Although some users receive the newer metal locking instead of the molding around the plates. 

The size of the Bowflex dumbbells remain an issue for users.

Works great as 525 ones. The only problem is not easy to put it back on track after exercise. I have to use two hands to adjust the position

Amazon Reviewer

I found that the tab on the plate that fell off that connects it to the handle had broken (see pics). This must-have happened during one of the three prior workouts since I examined the plates when I first opened them and everything was fine.

Amazon Reviewer

YouTube Review Comparison


Bowflex 552

Most YouTube reviews touched on the fact that the 552 are wide and it can be difficult to do some exercises such as chest press. The dumbbells touch before you can finish the exercise. 

The handle is comfortable but you have to be more careful when using the 552. For the most part, it will work well, as long as you look after them. 

You can have weight offset on each side.

Youtube Reviewer

The build quality is great, the action is good.

Youtube Reviewer

Bowflex 1090

Most users have no issues with the 1090 and like the fact that they are versatile.

One of the reviewers commented that the dial has to be correctly placed before you lift the dumbbells. 

Incorrect dial placement will cause the dumbbells to be stuck in the case, so it is a hint that you may have to adjust the dials. The reviewers also commented on the uncomfortable grip when they are doing heavier weights. And everyone notices the bulkiness of the 1090. 

You have all these weights at your disposable, it’s ideal. You really can handle a lot with the package.

Youtube Reviewer

The handle is not well designed in my opinion. At the heavier pound, it tends to be uncomfortable.

Youtube Reviewer

Bowflex 552 vs 1090 -Which Is Better?

guy using dumbbells

The 552 is a great starting point, with 52.5 lbs maximum, you can become stronger with the Bowflex 552. 

However, if you are aiming to go beyond that weight, it will be more prudent to go straight for the 1090 due to the cost. As there are complaints that the weight plates fall off the molding, it is better to ask for the ones with metal locking. 

While serious bodybuilders might aim for the 1090, the 552 is a great home gym adjustable dumbbell if you have multiple users. The 2.5 lbs increment is perfect if you want to focus more on form as well.

All you need to add to it is a proper weight bench and you have a fully functioning home gym.

Your needs and expectations will determine which Bowflex is better for you, but it is wiser to invest in the 1090 as it will be able to grow with you. 

Best Price for the 552 found here.
Best Price for the 1090 found here.

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Article by:

Daniel DeMoss

I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.  

Get in touch: [email protected]