Fitness trends come and go. But one of the latest viral workouts marks the return of what, for many, is a relic of childhood: the weighted hula hoop. Of course, the regular hula hoop never really went anywhere, but thanks to the rise of at-home workouts and buzz on social media, hula hoop sales have risen by about 20% within the last two years. These trendy hoops are different from the lightweight and colorful ones found on playgrounds, however. They’re larger and heavier—but still just as colorful—and meant to give users a low-impact cardio workout.
I never broke any hula hooping records as a child, but I was once able to master the basics. With that—plus a few suggestions from TikTok—in mind, I set out to find the best weighted hula hoops. In the end, the Dumoyi Smart Weighted Fit Hoop ($50) took top honors as best one. But there are some other hoops to consider, depending on your budget and the type of hoop you prefer.
Here’s the TL;DR on how the best weighted hula hoops stacked up:
- Dumoyi Smart Weighted Fit Hoop (Best Smart Weighted Hoop)
- Dynamis Fat Burning Weighted Hoop (Best Traditional Weighted Hoop)
- Infinity Hoop
- UNPARALLELED Weighted Exercise Hoop
The Best Weighted Hula Hoops
Best Smart Weighted Hoop
Dumoyi Smart Weighted Fit Hoop
- Size: Up to 52.36 inches
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Material: Plastic
- Feels lightweight
- Adjustable rope for beginners
- Extra “massage heads” provided for comfort
- Two conflicting sets of assembly instructions
- Links can stick when removing them
The Dumoyi Smart Weighted Fit Hoop emerged as our best smart hoop thanks in part to its comfortable, sturdy construction. At first, it was so sturdy that it wore me out—the rope that connects the weight to the hoop is hefty enough that it’s a doozy even without the one-pound weight. But this means it also holds up during every use. It’s also adjustable, so beginners can make it shorter if needed.
From the start, the Dumoyi smart hoop was a winner, as its packaging was clearly labeled. (Some of the other picks lacked here.) While the instructions printed on the box varied slightly from those provided inside, it was an intuitive assembly process. Putting the hoop together was a breeze as the links all snap together easily while staying secure. Dumoyi provides 30 links total. As a size 14 and XL in bottoms, I used 23 of the links, which still fits into its “regular” sizing (for Dumoyi, plus sizing is advertised as “24 + 6 knots” for waists up to 52.36 inches). Additional “massage heads,” which are advertised as “shock absorbers,” are also provided. While taking links off is a bit harder than adding them, it isn’t a dealbreaker, as this actually makes it feel more secure once assembled.
The Dumoyi smart hoop feels lightweight once you are wearing it and is comfortable enough (though I wouldn’t say the purported massagers actually resemble a massage in any way). Nothing pulls or pokes the skin when it’s used, even as the wheels that carry the weighted string move it around the track. The track is large enough for the wheels to glide without getting caught on the space between the links as it swings around.
To put it on, you flip open two magnetic clasps (that “lock” it closed for security) and pull the links apart. You will want to be careful, however, as the wheels glide a bit too well and can fall out of the track if you angle one end of the hoop toward the floor when it isn’t clasped closed. Put the hoop around your waist and fit the two links back together, before flipping the two clasps down into the locked position. Once closed with the magnetic clasp, everything is secure and works as advertised.
The Dumoyi Smart hoop was the first of all the hoops I got the hang of during testing, leading me to believe it is one of the easiest options for complete beginners. When you’re not using the hoop, it can be in a loop with the magnetic clasps locked—no need to disassemble—and doesn’t take up much room. You can easily wipe the parts down with a damp cloth or disinfectant wipe when you’re done.
Best Traditional Weighted Hoop
Dynamis Fat Burning Weighted Hoop
- Size: 31-36 inches
- Weight: 3.6 pounds
- Material: Foam and plastic
- Plush foam padding
- Sections have solid connection points
- Keeps shape when in use
- No assembly instructions
- Not clear the hoop could be used smaller
Thanks to its soft foam feel and sturdy construction, the Dynamis Fat Burning Weighted Hoop took top honors for the best traditional weighted hoop. While using a traditional weighted hoop isn’t nearly as comfortable as a smart hoop—having a weighted object continuously hit your hips doesn’t feel great—the foam padding on this hoop is very thick, making the experience as pleasant as possible.
The biggest hiccup I found with the Dynamis hoop is it doesn’t include any instructions whatsoever. That wasn’t a deal breaker, however, as it’s a relatively intuitive process. I found myself questioning whether or not you could choose to remove one of its sections out to make the hoop smaller once it was assembled, which wasn’t answered until I looked at the listing on the Dynamis website. (The answer is yes.) This gives this hoop some ability for customization if you need a slightly smaller hoop, just like you’d find in a smart hoop.
The hoop comes with eight portions total, which snap together securely. It’s the simplest assembly of all of the hoops tested, and it gave me peace of mind that it wouldn’t come apart.
This hoop is 3.6 pounds but actually feels lightweight. It appears Dynamis once offered a 2.4-pound version, but it is no longer available on their website. As is, it seems to be a reasonable weight for a beginner.
Using a traditional hoop comes with a larger learning curve than a smart weight, but I was able to consistently get some rotations of the hoop and would just start again when it fell. This isn’t a dealbreaker, as beginners are only supposed to use the hoop for a few minutes at a time and build up use slowly.
Are Weighted Hula Hoops Worth It?
There’s a reason weighted hula hoops go viral every so often: They provide a good workout in a short amount of time. You can even find in-person hula hoop fitness classes, which make the workout more structured and social. But before you get hooping, you need to know which hoop to pick. You can find two types of weighted hula hoops: smart hoops and traditional hoops. Both are effective, but they have some key differences.
What’s The Difference Between A Smart Hula Hoop and Traditional Hula Hoop?
A smart weighted hula hoop doesn’t look much like a hula hoop at all. It’s made of links—often plastic—that connect and are intended to sit snug at the waist. To use it, you open it and clip it on. The links have a track with a rolling component that can move around and is connected to a 1-2 pound weight via a string; the weight then swings around like a pendulum as you rotate your hips. A traditional weighted hula hoop—usually 2-3 pounds—also has links, but they are larger and click together to form a large hoop. This kind of hoop looks like one that kids might use, but it’s heavier—the links are what carry the weight—and has a wider circumference.
There is a major pro and con to each type of hoop. A smart weighted hoop doesn’t require effort to keep it up on your waist, but it isn’t as versatile as a traditional weighted hula hoop. Almost every hula hoop instructor uses a traditional weighted hoop simply because you can use it for other exercises, as it isn’t made to only snap around your waist. However, if you are using either type of weighted hula hoop around your waist for a cardio workout and to target your core, you will see similar benefits. Both traditional and smart hoops have been found to activate the core muscles SAGE journals “Effects of hula hooping and mini hooping on core muscle activation and hip movement” View Source . While the traditional hoop activates your core at a moderate intensity and the smart hoop is low-intensity, the latter also allows for less impact to the body after extended use.
Overall, you should see results if you regularly use a weighted hula hoop of any kind. The type you use comes down to preference. While the smart hoop requires a smaller range of motion and is lower impact, the traditional hoop is more versatile and will give you a higher intensity workout.
Will A Weighted Hula Hoop Help You Lose Weight?
A result commonly sought after—and advertised on social media—is using a weighted hula hoop for weight loss. One study indicates that hula hooping for six weeks will reduce the size of the waist and hips The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research “A Six-Week Trial of Hula Hooping Using a Weighted Hoop Effects on Skinfold, Girths, Weight, and Torso Muscle Endurance” View Source , though body mass did not change; it was simply redistributed. This doesn’t mean that overall weight loss isn’t possible, says Karla Horton, founder of Dragonfly Paddle and Fitness, offering hoop fitness classes. But you may need to add other types of exercise, like cardio. Diet is also a component (as is the case with most fitness equipment and workout routines). “If you just put on a hoop and think that is all that is needed, you will max out on weight and plateau quickly,” she notes.
Horton specifically adds that hula hooping can increase lower back strength ResearchGate “Effects of Hula Hooping Exercise on Lumbar Stability Level and Transversus Abdominis Function in Asymptomatic Individuals with Poor Lumbar Stability” View Source , which, like all strengthening and stretching exercises Harvard Health “Stretching and Strengthening Are Key To Healing and Preventing Back Pain” View Source , plays a role in reducing back pain. Studies show that it can also decrease LDL cholesterol NIH—National Library of Medicine “Effects of Weighted Hula-Hooping Compared to Walking on Abdominal Fat, Trunk Muscularity, and Metabolic Parameters in Overweight Subjects: A Randomized Controlled Study” View Source .
“Not all hoops are created equal,” Horton says. “Safety is foremost in terms of the materials it is made of. Are they toxic? Are the connections solid so it doesn’t break apart? Is it too heavy? It is not necessarily just the hoop that gets the results, it’s how you use it.”
How To Use a Weighted Hula Hoop
The mechanics of hula hooping are the same whether you’re using a smart hoop or a traditional hoop. For the basic, static hooping stance, place one foot slightly ahead of the other and move your hips in a front-to-back motion. “When bending your knees, ensure that you keep the weight in your heels and your knees aligned with your toes,” Horton says.
As for how long you should hoop, each weighted hoop usually has a recommendation on the box or in the instructions. As a general guideline, Horton says beginners should limit themselves to five minutes per day, with the goal of working up to a maximum time of 15 minutes per day. You should make sure you hoop for equal time in both directions—this is to maintain muscle balance—and remember that overusing a weighted hula hoop may cause muscle bruising.
If you are looking for a weighted hula hoop to be your primary exercise tool, a traditional hoop is the choice for you (ideally, via a class with a certified instructor). Horton notes that with traditional weighted hoops, classes will often incorporate stretching, yoga, Pilates, cardio, and strength training. If you are planning on just hula hooping—either with a smart or traditional hoop—don’t. Horton emphasizes that you need to incorporate other types of exercise to engage other muscle groups.
Finally, as with any exercise program, talk to your doctor before using a weighted hula hoop. People with the following conditions should not use a weighted hoop, according to Horton:
- People who are pregnant
- Those with bleeding disorders or certain illnesses
- Prior injury, surgery, or damage to the joints or spine
- People who have recently had surgery
In any case, discuss your exercise plans with your doctor before purchasing and/or using a weighted hula hoop.
How We Found the Best Weighted Hula Hoops
Meet Your Guinea Pig
I’m Ashley Lauretta, a health and fitness journalist with more than a decade of experience. I’ve been a contributing editor for running and triathlon magazines, where I got extensive experience testing gear and products in the running and fitness space. I’ve regularly attended expos to see the latest and greatest in fitness gear and enjoy trying out new-to-me products as a novice to replicate the typical user experience. I’ve interviewed fitness trainers and coaches from all disciplines for places such as WIRED, Well+Good, Parade Magazine and Runner’s World, and written for companies such as Nike, Under Armour, Livestrong.com and more.
As part of my research for this guide, I spoke with Karla Horton, an International Sports Medicine Association-certified personal trainer and yoga instructor based in Maryland who teaches weighted hoop fitness classes at her yoga studio. (That’s when she isn’t on the water teaching paddleboard yoga and bootcamp classes.)
Our Testing Process
To find the best weighted hula hoops, I first researched the types of hoops to make sure I understood the benefits and drawbacks of each category. From there, I spent hours looking at customer reviews and product information for both smart weighted hoops and traditional weighted hoops, ending up with ten hoops total that had the potential for testing. Then, the list was culled to four, with both categories represented in the testing pool. The Nessie purchased these hoops for testing.
As I received each hoop, I timed the set-up process from start to finish, including opening the box, reading instructions and assembling each hoop. I did a total of three workouts with each hoop and invited my husband to use each hoop once as well. Because weighted hoops are only supposed to be used for a short amount of time—especially by beginners—hoops were used for no more than ten minutes at a time.
I didn’t know I would be so humbled by the adult take on a children’s toy. I combed through studies, did extensive research on which weighted hula hoops are on the market, realized I actually couldn’t hula hoop anymore, spent at least a half hour watching YouTube videos on how to hula hoop, talked with a hula hoop instructor, and (eventually) did a lot of hula hooping.
After each workout, I took notes on the comfort, ease of use, and functionality of each hoop, ultimately giving them a rating in each category. When available, I also took customer reviews into consideration. I disassembled and reassembled each hoop in between uses, as they are all advertised to be easily portable for use anywhere. For more information on how we found the best weighted hula hoops, you can read the test notes.
Other Weighted Hula Hoops To Consider
- Size: Up to 52 inches
- Weight: 5 pounds
- Material: Plastic and Silicone
- Comes in two sizes
- May be too heavy for beginners
- Long shipping time
If you’ve seen weighted hula hoop pop up on your TikTok For You page, it is very likely that it was the Infinity Hoop. This smart hoop is the viral hoop and while we recommend it, it has a few downsides. The largest issue is in the long shipping time; it took roughly three weeks from purchase to delivery to Florida (likely because it ships from China).
Once the Infinity Hoop arrived, I noticed that it’s almost identical to the Dumoyi Smart Weighted Fit Hoop, which led me to believe that it’s viral simply because it has better marketing.
Infinity Hoops provides limited assembly instructions, but was the last hoop to arrive so I already had an understanding of how it worked. The mechanism that opens and closes the hoop—though secure—took me the longest to figure out due to lack of instructions (you have to slide it back to allow it to open and there are no arrows or markings included that indicate this). The Infinity Hoop comes with silicone covers for the “massage nodes,” though I am not sure if those are used for added comfort or when storing the hoop—they simply aren’t mentioned. Additionally, it comes with a tape measure. It’s unclear if this is simply to track progress (weird and possibly triggering) or aid assembly (unnecessary, in my experience).
Once assembled, however, the Infinity Hoop works as advertised. The track is a bit more narrow than that of the Dumoyi hoop, so every once in a while the weight tends to catch in the spaces between the links. The length of the rope connecting the weight to the hoop isn’t adjustable, but the shorter length (about nine inches) will make it easier for beginners.
Reviews on the Infinity Hoop website are all curated to positive perfection, so there isn’t an average customer rating that can be considered when deciding to purchase the hoop. It comes in two sizes—”regular,” which is 24 links, or “large,” which is 28 links— but ultimately is about the same size as the Dumoyi. This isn’t a bad smart weighted hoop, but at the price point and with delayed shipping, it isn’t our top choice.
UNPARALLELED Weighted Exercise Hoop
- Size: 35-40 inches
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Material: Foam and plastic
- Waist belt included for comfort
- Clear assembly instructions
- Hard to push segments together
- A bit malleable when assembled
Of all of the hoops we tested, the UNPARALLELED Weighted Exercise Hoop comes with the most “bonuses.” Not only does it come with a carrying case and a waist belt that provides extra padding, it also provides access to about 15 workout videos (ranging from 3 minute hoop beginner videos to 35 minute full-body workouts).
Even with these extras, however, this traditional weighted hoop couldn’t take top honors. It came with the clearest assembly instructions but it was still tough to put together. At times, I had to brace the hoop against my body in order to click the “male and female” parts—as labeled in the instructions (I wish the language was inclusive!)—together. While it didn’t come apart during use, the hoop just didn’t seem as sturdy as the Dynamis traditional hoop. In fact, the foam seemed to shift during assembly, which may be because it isn’t as thick.
The ease of use is there (as much as it can be for a traditional hoop) and it works exactly as promised. It’s a bit more flexible than the Dynamis, but that didn’t seem to cause any issues. If you’re looking for a weighted hoop at a lower price point and one that can be easily transported and stored thanks to the included carrying bag, this weighted hoop is a reasonable choice.
- Horton, Karla. Certified trainer interviewed via email by Ashley Lauretta (September 2022)
- Rise in hula hoop sales: Stir-Crazy Adults Breathe New Life Into Hula Hoops (The Wall Street Journal, April 2021)
- Hula hoop patent: This Day in History—March 05 (The History Channel, Updated March 2021)
- Both types of weighted hoops activate core muscles: Effects of hula hooping and mini hooping on core muscle activation and hip movement (The Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, November 2018)
- Hula hooping reduces the size of waist and hips: A Six-Week Trial of Hula Hooping Using a Weighted Hoop (The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, May 2015)
- Hula hooping increases lower back strength: Effects of Hula Hooping Exercise on Lumbar Stability Level and Transversus Abdominis Function in Asymptomatic Individuals with Poor Lumbar Stability (Journal of Exercise Physiology, February 2020)
- Weighted hula hooping can decrease LDL cholesterol: Effects of Weighted Hula-Hooping Compared to Walking on Abdominal Fat, Trunk Muscularity, and Metabolic Parameters in Overweight Subjects: A Randomized Controlled Study (Obesity Facts, September 2019)