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Olympic bumper plates are an essential piece of home gym equipment due to their low bounce, safety features, and lower noise produced compared to iron-weight plates. However, choosing a set of bumper plates can be difficult due to the amount of variety that’s available on the market.

In this guide, we strive to give our best bumper plate recommendations based upon years of use with a large variety of brands and makes.

The Best Bumper Plates

70 Plates Researched, 32 Tested

After researching over 70 bumper plates and using 32 of them, we’ve determined that the best bumper plates for most people are the REP Black Bumper Plates. The best competition bumper plates for most people are the Rogue KG Black Training Bumper Plates. Taking into consideration rubber used, durability, noise, appearance, price, warranty, and availability, these bumper plates will work well for any home gym, commercial gym, or CrossFit Affiliate.

Best Bumper Plates Overall: REP Fitness Black Bumper Plates

Best Bumper Plates Overall

REP Black Bumper Plates

GGR Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Extremely durable and attractive
  • Ideal for cross-training and Olympic weightlifting
  • 10-lb plates are extra thick (1") to increase durability
  • 45-lb plates are thinner than most at 2"

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Extremely durable and attractive
  • Ideal for cross-training and Olympic weightlifting
  • 10-lb plates are extra thick (1") to increase durability
  • 45-lb plates are thinner than most at 2"

Cons

  • 3% weight tolerance is pretty high
  • Like many rubber bumpers, may smell a little for some
  • No 55-lb option

Bottom Line

The REP Black Bumper Plates are extremely durable and feature a thick 10-lb plate meant to withstand drops.

The REP Fitness Black Bumper Plates are our top pick for the best standard bumper plates for most people. We’ve reviewed these in-depth in the past and our initial findings still stand: for most people, these are the bumper plates we recommend due to the value proposition.

From the high-density rubber used to maximize durability and limit rebound to the great price, the REP bumper plates should be the top choice when looking at rounding out any home or commercial gym. REP Fitness has comprised their bumper plates out of high-density rubber that has a matte finish feel. We’ve had a set for over a year and they still look as good as new despite their constant use.

One notable thing about the REP bumpers is that the 10-pound bumpers are designed to be extra thick (1 inch thick) to prevent bending and cracking, which happens often when 10-pound bumpers are dropped from shoulder-height or overhead. On the flip side, the 45-pounders are designed to be thinner than most (2.83 inches). This means you can fit more REP 45-pound bumpers on an Olympic bar than you can with 45-pound bumpers from other brands.

Our one callout for the REP bumpers is the 3% weight tolerance. This is a little higher than what we like to see (1% is ideal for non-calibrated plates), but it’s still completely fine for the average home gym owner. If you aren’t competing, it doesn’t really matter, to be frank. (And for those who do compete, we have a separate pick for that.)

Finally, we appreciate REP’s testing of these bumper plates: These bumpers have been tested and proven to withstand 12,000 drops from an 8-foot height. How’s that for durability?

Best Budget Bumper Plates: Tru Grit Fitness Economy Bumper Plates

Best Budget Bumper Plates

Tru Grit Fitness Economy Bumper Plates

GGR Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Affordable bumper plates
  • Made of virgin rubber
  • Stainless steel inserts
  • Sold in pairs

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • Durable
  • White-on-black lettering and numbering
  • Low bounce
  • Virgin rubber

Cons

  • Slippery at first
  • Strong rubber smell initially

Bottom Line

The Tru Grit Fitness Economy Bumper Plates are an affordable option for your home gym.

If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option for bumper plates for your home gym, you’ve got to check out Tru Grit Fitness; specifically, the Tru Grit Fitness Economy Bumper Plates.

These bumpers are some of the best affordable plates you can find. Starting at around $60 for a 10-pound pair, they’re $10 cheaper per pair for 10s) than our top pick, the REP bumpers. Yet, you’ll still enjoy durable, attractive plates with low bounce and minimal sound when dropped.

Additionally, the Tru Grit Economy Bumper Plates featuers a 1% weight tolerance, which is rare to see in a budget weight plate. This means that each plate will have a discrepancy no greater than 1% more or less than the stated weight.

There are some sacrifices you’ll have to make when purchasing any piece of budget equipment. With these bumper plates, the main sacrifice is the durability of the lettering. We’ve noticed that the white lettering tends to rub off after time, so it may get tough to read the weights. However, most avid exercisers can tell the weight of a plate by the thickness.

All in all, we’ve been pleased with the Tru Grit Economy Bumpers, especially given the pricing.

Best Bumper Plates for CrossFit: Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

Best Bumper Plates for CrossFit

Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 3.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Great value for the quality
  • Black-and-white contrast for easy weight identification
  • 88/100 durometer rating
  • 3-year warranty

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Tremendous value
  • Shore A Durometer rating of 88
  • Weight tolerance of these bumpers is +/- 1%
  • Great for general training and CrossFit
  • White lettering offers great contrast
  • Stainless steel insert rings
  • 25-45 lb plate variants are warrantied for 3 years

Cons

  • Wide plates
  • Maximum you can fit on the bar is less than 500 lbs
  • May smell bad out of the box

Bottom Line

The Rogue Echo Bumper Plates are a great value plate based upon our review. Although they're cheaper than Rogue's flagship HG 2.0 Plates, they have extremely similar specs and warranty at a much lower price. If you need bumper plates for your garage gym, these are a great option. If you need them for your commercial facility or CrossFit Affiliate, we'd suggest going with something like Hi-Temps.

The Rogue Echo Bumper Plates are, based upon the number of reviews on Rogue’s site, the best-selling bumper plate they have. They’re also the cheapest.

These are a unique set of plates in that they have the exact same specs as the more expensive Rogue HG 2.0 Bumper Plates. Despite this, the Echo Bumpers have a more rounded edge making them easier to pick up, raised lettering that is painted white for contrast, and a thinner width allowing you to fit more weight on the bar than the HG 2.0’s at a significantly lower price.

Seriously, the similarities are uncanny. Here are a few:

  • Imported (Country of origin is unknown. Assume China.)
  • 100% Virgin Rubber
  • StainlessSteel Inserts
  • 450MM Diameter
  • 50.4MM Collar Opening
  • 88 Shore A Durometer Rating
  • 10-15 LB Variant Plates have a 90 Day Warranty
  • 25-45 LB Variant Plates have a 3 Year Warranty
  • Standard BlackBumper Plates

With all of this said, I reached out to multiple people at Rogue and received various responses. Here’s one from their chat (I used a pseudonym so they would give me a normal answer):

I went up the chain to see if I could get further info on the differences and was told there are differences between the two outside of the profile and colored lettering, but that the difference was proprietary and they could not be divulged.

So, with all this said, based upon the price, reviews, and listed specs, the Rogue Echo Bumper Plates are a better value than the HG 2.0 Plates. I have a set of HG Plates and have had them for a few years. They still get quite a bit of use and despite some minor scars and scuffs (we use them outside on the driveway mostly) they look and perform as good as the day I got them.

For the price, honestly, the Rogue Echo Bumper Plates are some of the cheapest bumpers with a warranty available. Especially when you factor in Rogue’s excellent shipping rates. These are the cheapest bumper plates we recommend. Titan has some that may be a bit cheaper depending on the sale and time of year, but they have no warranty which is important for rubber weight plates.

Best Standard Bumper Plates: Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates V2.0

Best Standard Bumper Plates

Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates

GGR Score: 5 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Offer great durability
  • Designed and warrantied for both indoor and outdoor use. Unique color pattern
  • Available in every weight increment

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Well-liked bumper plates
  • Great durability
  • Designed and warrantied for both indoor and outdoor use. Unique color pattern
  • Steel insert
  • Available in every weight increment
  • 48-month warranty
  • May be less noisy

Cons

  • Center steel insert hub is not stainless steel
  • Rogue Fleck Bumper Plates are cheaper in pairs
  • Claims that these are quieter are not substantiated

Bottom Line

The Vulcan Strength Alpha Bumper Plates are an extremely popular weight plate that claim to be more durable and quieter than pretty much every other bumper plate on the market. In addition to their function, they also include a unique color fleck pattern that most find to be very aesthetically pleasing, which we agree. Although we can't comment on the efficacy of the claims made, we can say that by and large, reviewers of the plates love them as do most in the home gym community. We do recommend them, although they are a bit more expensive than many competitors on the market, including the Rogue Fleck Plates that have a similar appearance.

The Vulcan Strength Alpha Bumper Plates V2.0 are some of the best bumper plates on the market for most people. They’re almost 100% universally well-liked and reviewed, have a unique color system that uses flecks, and are priced very competitively.

A few things we love about the plates are durability, tight tolerances on the collar openings, dead bounce which leads to a lower amount of noise, and the look. One reason so many people like the Alpha plates from Vulcan is that their noise level, when dropped, is supposed “25% quieter when dropped from a height of 9 FT” according to the company. We haven’t been able to personally test this, but many reviewers attest to how quiet they are.

One thing that Vulcan has avoided with these compared to other plates at a similar price range is the nasty rubber smell that often is smelled when unboxed. Sure, it almost always eventually dissipates, but it’s a part of the process of importing rubber from China.

Lastly, these plates aren’t overly thick like Hi-Temps, so they fit quite a few on the bar at once. They do come with a 4-year warranty as well which is much better than most of the competition, including Rogue. If you like the colored plates, but don’t want to pay what they typically cost, these are a great compromise.

By and large, the Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates V2.0 are some of the most well-liked standard bumper plates on the market. They utilize a unique rubber formula with colored flecks that allows the amount of weight to be easily identified and, in our opinion, looks pretty cool.

In addition, these are some of the only plates warrantied for outdoor use (a 4-year warranty, by the way) and are said to make 25% less noise than competitors’ bumpers (we haven’t tested this or seen verifiable results yet, however). For these reasons and more detailed below, these are our Runner-Up Pick.

Read my full Vulcan Alpha bumper plates review to learn more.

Best Competition Bumpers: Rogue Black Training Bumper Plates

Best Competition Bumpers

Rogue KG Black Training Bumper Plates

GGR Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.8 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Shore A Durometer: 94
  • Weight tolerance: +/- 15 grams of claimed weight
  • Unique, color-coded rubber stripe
  • Raised, color-coded lettering on the face of the plate

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • All-black, gloss-matte-gloss finish
  • Unique, color-coded rubber stripe
  • Raised, color-coded lettering on the face of the plate
  • Shore A Durometer: 94
  • Weight tolerance: +/- 15 grams of claimed weight
  • Come in pairs or full sets
  • Come in lbs or kgs

Cons

  • Some people say steel center corrodes over time
  • Rogue doesn't offer free shipping

Bottom Line

If you compete, these are some of the best affordable competition bumpers you can get.

The Rogue Black Training Plates are the best competition bumper plates for most people. Although competition bumpers typically are all different colors, for most people, their plates will never be used for competition and therefore do not need to be to IWF color-coding specs. Therefore, colors are used by most for looks and ease of identifying the different weight increments.

The Rogue Black Training Plates accomplish both of these by looking absolutely dapper (this is obviously a personal opinion, but their aesthetics are generally very well-liked) and have colored on both the edges and sides to make identification extremely easy.

We’ve tested and reviewed these plates, and honestly like them better than Rogue’s top-of-the-line and most expensive plates, the Rogue Competition Plates.

First off, the Black Training Bumper Plates come in both pounds and kilograms, depending on which suits your tastes. Despite being in America, land of the Imperial System, I use kilos in my garage (once you go kilo, you don’t go back…or something like that.) These are of virgin rubber plates, meaning the rubber hasn’t been recycled and therefore is more durable.

The Shore A Durometer Rating is 94, which provides little bounce for lifters that plan to drop bars from overhead or who use them for powerlifting (although we’d suggest the Rogue Calibrated Plates) and are deadlifting while dropping weight from hip height.

The center hub is a two-piece steel disk that is chrome plated and secured using stainless steel bolts. We have had a few users report in reviews that the hub does corrode over time, though we haven’t experienced it personally.

The colors of the plates are all accurate and extremely vibrant with raised lettering and a stripe of color on the edge of the plates. The color strip really makes the plates pop and makes it extremely easy to know which ones are which. All of the plates have a consistent 450MM plate diameter with a 50.4 MM collar opening making them fit well on an Olympic bar sleeve.

The weight tolerance is +/- 15 grams which is extremely accurate. the plates we weighed were all within this range, with most being exact. Although we love color bumper plates for the look, these have most of the benefits but at a lower price. A full 140KG weight set is much less than a full-colored version and also has free shipping on Rogue. These would be great for Olympic Weightlifting Gyms or even CrossFit Boxes in addition to home gyms.

Rogue has the largest selection of bumper plates in the industry, but the ones that we like the best for those looking for our Top Pick for the Best Competition Bumper Plates are then Rogue Black Training Bumper Plates. Despite their name, these plates are not 100% black. The raised lettering is colored according to the IWF color standards as well as a strip of rubber on the edge of the plates.

We recommend these over full-color plates due to their better price, lack of scuffing, and the fact that they’ve colored in all the areas that matter. If you want competition bumpers for Olympic Weightlifting, as CrossFit equipment, or just general training where you need room on the bar, these are what we recommend.

Best 10-Pound Bumper Plates: Fringe Sport Black Bumper Plates

Best 10-Lb Bumper Plates

Fringe Sport Black Bumper Plates

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Use 100% virgin rubber
  • Shore Durometer of 85 sHA for a dead bounce
  • Strong 10-lb that withstand dropping plates
  • Free shipping
  • Weight tolerance is +/- 1% of stated weight

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Use 100% virgin rubber
  • Shore Durometer of 85 sHA for a dead bounce
  • Have a 55-lb option
  • Beveled edge that makes them easier to carry
  • Unique hooked insert so more surface area of the insert grabs onto the rubber
  • Free shipping
  • Claims it’s okay to drop the 10-lb plates
  • 3-Year Warranty comes standard
  • Weight tolerance is +/- 1% of stated weight

Cons

  • Wide plates
  • Can’t load more than 500 lbs on most bars

Bottom Line

The Fringe Sport Black Bumper Plates are generally the best value bumper plates that we've reviewed. They feature a good warranty, have a wide variety of weight increments, low bounce, and are extremely durable. If you're looking for bumper plates for Olympic Weightlifting or CrossFit and want something that will last without (totally) breaking the bank, then these are a great option.

The Fringe Sport Bumper Plates are our top pick for the best 10-pound bumper plates for most people. We’ve reviewed these in-depth in the past and our initial findings still stand: for 10-pounders, these are the bumper plates we recommend.

From the virgin rubber used to maximize durability and limit rebound to the great price, the Fringe Sport bumper plates should be the top choice when looking at rounding out any home or commercial gym. Side note: These are sometimes known under their other name on Amazon as OneFitWonder Plates.

Fringe Sport has comprised their bumper plates out of 100% high-density virgin rubber that has a matte finish feel (a sign of better, more durable rubber. Most of the time you can tell a cheaper-made bumper plate with how shiny it looks, the virgin rubber used by Fringe Sport is a bold black finish that shouldn’t fade away as a result of the wear and tear that takes place in the course of a bumper plates life.

The reason Fringe Sport has used virgin rubber to make their bumper plates is that virgin rubber is overall more malleable and can be combined smoother than recycled rubber. Not only that, but virgin rubber is slightly more uniform in its construction. Virgin rubber is also more durable and will not harm your floor when dropped from overhead which is great news for any home gym owner.

The result is a 10-pound bumper plate that is resistant to “taco-ing” (AKA, bending in the middle) even when dropped often. The Fringe Sport 10-pound bumpers have the highest Shore A Durometer rating of any 10-pound bumper we know of–an impressive 90.

Read my full Fringe Sport Bumper Plates review to learn more.

Best Urethane Bumper Plates: Titan Urethane Bumper Plates

Best Urethane Bumper Plates

Titan Urethane KG Bumper Plates

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Color-coded for easy identification
  • Raised plate lip making picking up the plates easier
  • Durometer rating of 90 for a minimal bounce
  • Come in 5 to 25 kg options

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Color-coded for easy identification
  • Raised plate lip making picking up the plates easier
  • Durometer rating of 90 for a minimal bounce
  • Come in 5 to 25 kg options 
  • Come in lbs and kgs
  • Free shipping
  • Sold in pairs or sets

Cons

  • May not be necessary unless you drop plates often
  • Higher cost than regular bumpers

Bottom Line

If you are looking for extremely durable plates and have the money, than these urethane plates are a great option and among the most affordable of their kind.

If you’re in the market for quality bumpers made of urethane, the Titan Urethane Bumper Plates are the best value currently available. We’ve used and reviewed both the American Barbell Urethane Pro Series Bumper Plates (which we think are the best when the price isn’t considered) and the Rogue Urethane Plates (which based upon country of origin and the design of the hub, we would assume are the exact same as Titan’s.)

The Titan Urethane Bumpers feature the extremely vibrant colors that urethane allows are and are available in both pound and kilogram increments. The letters on the face of the plates are raised and the weight increments are displayed in a contrasting gray color that makes identifying the weight extremely easy.

Urethane is extremely durable, so long as it’s high-quality urethane that’s used, yet tends to be rather slick. Titan added a textured finish to combat this that does add some grip, although they’re still a bit slippery. All of the plates do have a lip on their edge that makes them easy for carrying and come with a weight tolerance guarantee of +/- 1% which all of the plates we tested met, even the 5 KG plates.

The center hub on these plates is hard chrome, but thanks to the plate being largely made of urethane, they have an extremely low bounce, even lower than high-end rubber plates.

Urethane, in general, will lead to a more durable, quality bumper and they are thinner than most rubber plates, however, they’re also more expensive in many cases. These are by far the best priced, especially when you factor in that Titan offers free shipping.

We think that these are overkill for most of our readers, but for those that want a high-end plate at a low cost, these are an awesome option. They’re probably the plates that get the most use at my gym due to their bright colors.

For most people, we don’t recommend urethane bumper plates due to their cost. However, if you like the vibrant colors, durability, and low bounce of urethane, then the Titan Urethane Bumper Plates are what we suggest. Out of the bumpers we’ve tested and reviewed, these from Titan offer the best value.

Practically all urethane bumpers are the same and made in similar factories (you can tell by the center hub). The only company that makes urethane bumpers that look different is American Barbell, which we prefer, but they’re more expensive and we don’t think it’s worth it for most.

Best Rubber Bumper Plates: Eleiko IWF Weightlifting Training Discs

Best Rubber Bumper Plates

Eleiko IWF Weightlifting Training Discs

GGR Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • IWF-certified plates
  • Built to withstand hard training.
  • Identical to competition line without the calibration for official use
  • Zinc steel hubs

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • IWF-certified plates
  • Built to withstand hard training.
  • Identical to competition line without the calibration for official use
  • Zinc steel hubs

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Hyper-specific warranty regarding dropping weights

Bottom Line

If you have the money and want plates at a premium, these are certainly a great option.

Eleiko is synonymous with high quality and Olympic Weightlifting. They’ve been around for about as long as anyone in the industry and are still making extremely well-received Olympic plates, barbells, and other strength training equipment.

Eleiko has quite a few different sets of bumper plates available, but the ones we’d suggest to those that want Eleiko and plan to use them for training and not an IWF competition are the IWF Weightlifting Training Discs.

These plates are IWF-certified for training and have the same feel and performance as their competition plates but with looser tolerances for weight calibration than competition plates require. One thing that is unique about these plates is that they use “Swedish rubber.” I honestly have no idea what the benefit of Swedish rubber could be; Eleiko also claims their Olympic bars that use Swedish steel are superior to steel found elsewhere. This could certainly be marketing speak, however, regardless of whether it is or not, Eleiko Bars and Plates are some of the most well-liked in the world.

If you want the best and don’t mind paying for it, then you can’t go wrong with a set of Eleiko’s.

Simply put, if you want some of the most legendary and heralded bumper plates ever created, the Eleiko IWF Weightlifting Training Discs are the pinnacle. However, they’re also extremely costly for what many consider not much better quality than Rogue’s top set of bumper plates.

Best Rogue Bumper Plates: Rogue KG Competition Bumper Plates

Best Rogue Bumper Plates

Rogue KG Competition Bumper Plates

GGR Score: 4.7 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.8 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 15 grams of claimed weight
  • Shore A Durometer rating of 94
  • Gloss-matte-gloss finish and raised lettering for a clean, bold look
  • Color-coded

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • IWF standard 450MM in diameter,
  • Chrome-plated steel disc inserts 
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 15 grams of claimed weight
  • Shore A Durometer rating of 94
  • Gloss-matte-gloss finish and raised lettering for a clean, bold look
  • Color-coded
  • Come in sets or pairs
  • Protective Rubber Flanges

Cons

  • More expensive than regular bumpers
  • Rogue doesn't offer free shipping

Bottom Line

If you are a competitive weightlifter or simply want a clean, durable bumper, and you have the money, these are a great option.

If you’re an Olympic Weightlifter and want to practice how you play or are putting on weightlifting meets, the Rogue Competition Bumper Plates are some of the best available at any price.

Granted, a bumper plate set from Rogue is less than that from Eleiko, Uesaka (arguably the best plates in the world, but also the most expensive and difficult to order,) DHS, and others at this level, they are still a pretty penny. However, we’ve been told by various sources that the Rogue Competition Bumpers are made in the same factories as Eleiko’s.

I wouldn’t suggest basing your purchase on this information, however, we’ve been told enough times by knowledgeable people that this is the case to make us at least curious.

Seeing as these are Rogue’s premier plates, you’d expect them to have all of the trappings of a high-end set of bumper plates. This means accurate colors that are consistent throughout and honestly look extremely clean. A chrome-plated steel disc hub that shines extremely well and prevents rust from forming in a garage gym.

IWF Standard measurements including a 450MM outside diameter and 50.4MM collar opening and although they’re not IWF-certified yet, we’d assume they eventually will be due to Rogue being a “second-tier supplier” for the IWF.

The finish of the plates has a gloss-matte-gloss finish with raised lettering that makes them stand out in any gym. The actual weight in comparison to the stated weight is extremely accurate with a weight tolerance of +/- 15 grams. The durometer of the plates is a 94, which will provide a low bounce due to the hardness of the rubber. If they were much harder, they would be more prone to cracking, so this is a great medium.

Lastly, reviews on these are extremely positive. There are only two 4/5 star ratings on Rogue.com and only a couple on our site as well. We’ve talked to many that have owned both these and expensive competitors and see no reason to go with someone else.

If you want an extremely high-end set of bumper plates for Olympic Lifts and other movements, want to use what’s used in the CrossFit Games, and don’t want to pay the cost of Eleiko, then these are what we recommend.

Benefits of Bumper Plates

bumper plate benefits

Bumper plates are some of the most expensive pieces of equipment that will go in any home gym or commercial gym. They are expensive to make, ship, and store. There is literally nothing about them that is cheap, yet you’ll find them in any gym worth its salt across the world. So, why would someone purchase bumpers, and look for the best bumper plates despite their cost? Here are three reasons why:

Bumper plates are quieter than iron plates

Without a doubt, bumper plates when compared to cast iron plates are vastly quieter. Think about it, rather than uncoated iron being dropped on the ground which makes a loud, shrill sound that continues to reverberate, virgin rubber or urethane compresses leaving a much quieter thud. This is a very significant difference as any home gym owner with neighbors will attest as well as any commercial gym owner with a landlord that likes to “pop in” to the gym at random times.

The decibel level of bumper plates being dropped can also be mitigated further by the use of rubber matting such as horse stall mats which we often recommend.

rubber or iron bumper plates

Bumper plates are safer for you and your equipment than iron plates.

Have you ever dropped a 45 LB iron plate on your foot? I have, and a majority of the time it leads to broken bones. But, more common than broken bones are cracked concrete, a disturbed foundation, and damaged barbells. Bumper plates compress when dropped, therefore taking some of the blow, and damage was done to whatever they are hitting. If they land on you, they won’t hurt nearly as much as steel.

If they’re hitting your Olympic barbell sleeve because you’re doing Olympic Weightlifting lifts and dropping the bar from overhead, bumper plates won’t leave permanent scars or potentially deform your bar like cast iron will.

Most importantly, outside of your safety, of course, is the fact that bumper plates won’t hurt the foundation of your much more expensive home. If you’re going to lift at home, then you should have bumpers.

Bumper plates have higher workout versatility than iron plates.

Thanks to the more quiet and safe nature of rubber in comparison to its older brother iron, bumper plates allow a greater workout versatility. With metal plates, you can’t drop the weight from overhead unless you don’t mind breaking things. You also shouldn’t drop them from hip height, although many do.

On the other hand, bumper plates can be dropped from just about any height without fear. This means suddenly you can overhead press, clean and jerk, snatch, deadlift, and other barbell exercises and movements without worrying about dropping the bar. This is a significant benefit for home gym owners where space is limited.

Why We Recommend Bumper Plates for Home Gyms

best bumper plates for home gym

Home gym owners are, in all honesty, the ideal candidates for bumper plates. All of the benefits previously stated apply directly to those with garage gyms and I’d say they’re even more relevant for owners of commercial gyms or CrossFit Affiliates.

First, the quiet nature of rubber makes it so that those lifting at home don’t have to worry about waking up their family along with the entire neighborhood when they decide to work out at 5 a.m. The benefit of a home gym is that it’s always open. Forcing yourself to only workout when people are awake because you’ll wake them up with your weight plates defeats the purpose.

Next, a majority of the time you’ll be working out in your garage gym alone. This means safety is of utmost importance, as there won’t be anyone to help you should you get hurt. Rubber is safer than iron; few will argue with that. It’s the reason all of our kids’ toys are coated in shiny colors of rubber, versus hard metal. And, bumpers work as well for strength training as they do for cardio or conditioning workouts.

Finally, a home gym has finite space. This means limited space for both equipment and room for movements that use the equipment. To maximize the room, equipment that can do multiple things is ideal, and the best bumper plates that we recommend fit that bill more so than metal weights. Having worked out in my home gym for more than a decade and helping thousands of others start their own gyms, I would highly suggest bumper plates for most people.

RELATED: Compact Exercise Equipment

Standard Bumper Plates vs Competition Bumper Plates

Standard Bumper Plates vs Competition Bumper Plates

There are two types of bumper plates currently on the market. The first doesn’t really have a specific name, so we’ll just call them “Standard Bumper Plates” (sounds pretty riveting doesn’t it?) and the other type is “Competition Bumper Plates.

Standard bumper plates are the ones most often seen. These are typically black, although many companies have started to make colorized versions, even ones with cool graphics like these Fringe Sport Savage Plates (the colors look even better in person.) Standard bumper plates use a steel insert instead of a hub, are wider than competition plates, and therefore don’t allow you to fit as much weight on the bar, are more likely to warp, and are often much cheaper.

Competition bumper plates, on the other hand, utilize a steel hub that is often in two sections and is then bolted together securing the rubber, allowing more weight to fit on the bar due to their thin width, are most often in different colors and are typically more expensive. Although competition bumper plates often have a more dead bounce than black bumper plates, that isn’t always the case. It largely depends on the Shore A Durometer Rating of the plates.

For most people, standard/black bumper plates are what we’d recommend. Most trainees can’t Olympic lift more than what is allowed on the bar with these types of plates and if using them for deadlifts or squats, it’s easy to add some castiron plates on the end to meet whatever weight that is needed.

If you want plates that should last the rest of your life, want the ability to put as much weight on the bar as most can possibly lift, and the aesthetics of things matter to you, then we suggest competition plates. It’s what I use in my garage gym, but then again I also have a 10 Foot tall squat rack and 30 barbells, so I wouldn’t say I’m a “typical” home gym owner.

How We Picked and Tested the Bumper Plates

best bumper plates

In order to gather enough bumper plates to make a truly comprehensive comparison, we first began as we do with all of these types of guides by searching both the internet and the Garage Gym Reviews Product Dashboard for weight plates. We currently have over 100 different bumper plates that have been rated and reviewed by users on Garage Gym Reviews with more being added daily as they’re released.

In addition to what was listed in our database, we researched Amazon, Walmart, and manufacturer sites like Rogue Fitness, Rep Fitness, Titan Fitness, EliteFTS, and others to see if we missed anything. In addition, we discussed the topic with our Garage Gym Community Facebook Group as well as the r/homegym subreddit of which I am a Mod.

In addition to all of this, I talked to some CrossFit Games Athletes as well as high-level Olympic Weightlifters to see what they’ve used and which they prefer. I’m always wary to put too much emphasis on what athletes think as they typically could care less other than looks, but I think it’s worth doing.

bumper plates

Lastly, we compiled what we had on hand, which is currently over 20 different types of bumper plates, and read the individual reviews we’ve done on them.

We took all of this and have ranked the bumper plates based on various categories and budget levels.

I think it’s important to note something first though. Olympic plates (Olympic plates have a 2″ collar opening, standard plates, the old-style have a 1″ hole) don’t have nearly the amount of review characteristics as something like Olympic barbells.

However, after some discussion among those on the Garage Gym Reviews team, we were able to narrow down our specs for how we judge bumper plates for our guide. Here is the list, in no particular order:

Overall Construction: The overall construction of a bumper plate deals with the materials used and how they were put together from a macro standpoint. Overall, how was the bumper plate constructed, and is it in line with the price point?

Weight Accuracy: How accurate to the listed weight are the plates. Using highly accurate scales we tested the plates. In addition, does the company offer a weight accuracy guarantee? The closer to the stated weight the guarantee is, the better.

Warranty: Is there a warranty on the plates? If so, how long is it? Good bumper plates have a minimum of a one-year warranty.

Width, Collar Opening, &Diameter: The diameter of bumper plates should be as close to 450MM as possible as this is the IWF standard. The thinner the plates, the better as it will mean more weight can fit on the bar. The collar opening should be as close to 50.4MM as possible. This, again, is the International Weightlifting Federation Standard.

Price: We’re not so much looking at the price, but the value of the plates. If they’re expensive, they should have durability and quality that reflect the price.

Color Coding Accuracy: The colors of the bumper plates should be the following: Red for 55LB/25KG. Blue for 45LB/20KG. Yellow for 35LB/15KG. Green for 25 LB/10KG. 10 and 15 LB bumper plates vary.

Shore A Durometer Rating: This rating determines, in essence, how hard or soft the rubber is which in turn dictates how much bounce the plate has.

Steel Insert Quality: A stainless steel insert is best, but other metals can be used if priced accordingly. Whether it’s molded with the rubber or added afterward matters as well.

Printed or Raised Lettering: Printed lettering will fade with time and make it hard to know how much the plates weigh. Good quality plates most often have raised lettering that shows the amount of weight being used.

Steel Hub Finish: Competition bumper plates utilize a steel hub that is often plated with chrome or uses zinc.

Durability: Bumper plates, when used in a home gym setting should last decades. We look to reviews from users to get an average.

Bumper Material: Virgin Rubber, Crumb Rubber, and Urethane are the most often used materials for bumper plates.

Why We Don’t Recommend Hi-Temp and other Crumb Rubber Bumper Plates

Rogue bumper plates
4.14
Crumb Rubber Bumper Plates
Hi-Temp Bumper Plates
Hi-Temp Bumper Plates

Hi-Temp Bumper Plates have been made in Tuscumbia, Alabama, for over a decade. This makes them one of the few American-made weightlifting plates still around. Unlike iron plates or the poor construction of many imported bumpers, Hi-Temp Bumpers are hard to crack. They are made of recycled vulcanized rubber and have a 2-inch stainless steel insert. As one could expect, the manufacturing process can sometimes cause aesthetic blemishes. Regardless, you will find that these quality plates still perform to your expectations.These bumper plates also stand out because the collar is inset from the plate. This means better protection when you load multiple plates. This design also reduces the risk of inserts getting impacted or coming out.Hi-Temp Bumpers are 445 millimeters in diameter and within .5 pounds of the claimed weight, give or take. You can order these plates in pairs (10-pound, 15-pound, 25-pound, 35-pound, or 45-pound), or in a full set option where combined weight ranges from 160 pounds to 1,000 pounds. 

Hi-Temp Bumper Plates are some of the most popular (or used to be at least) bumper plates on the market. They’re especially popular among CrossFit Boxes and high-traffic functional focused commercial gyms. The reason we don’t recommend them is not that they’re not that great, but because their steel insert ring often falls out due to the molding process, they’re the widest plates available which means you can’t fit a lot of weight on the bar, and they’re more expensive than many of the other options.

If you’re running a high-traffic CrossFit Affiliate, I could see use cases for Hi-Temps, however, there are simply too many other options now available that have a lower bounce, standard diameter, and a better value.

The Top 5 Bumper Plates For Most People

Just want our straightforward answer for which are the top 5 bumper plates that we recommend for most people?

Here they are:

  1. Fringe Sport Bumper Plates
  2. Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates V2.0
  3. Rogue Echo Bumper Plates
  4. Titan Elite Olympic Black Bumper Plates
  5. Rep Black Bumper Plates

What to Look Forward To

We’ve seen some interesting new bumper plate designs leaked recently. One in particular that we posted on our Instagram are these new plates from Rogue that feature holes throughout:

rogue bumper plates

We’re guessing they’re designed to make less noise and have a more dead bounce. We’ll see how that works out in real life.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bumper Plates

Are competition bumper plates worth it?

Competition bumper plates are very durable and this is the main reason using the best bumper plates is worth every penny.

Do bumper plates make a difference?

Bumper plates make a huge difference when compared to iron plates, because bumpers are more durable and can be tossed around a home gym. On the other hand, with iron plates, they can’t just be thrown anywhere.

What are bumper plates?

Bumper plates are strong rubber-weight plates. They usually have a uniform diameter within all weights and are used during Olympic and CrossFit exercises. The weights, barbell, and the floor are all protected by the rubber structure of the bumper plates.

The Competition

It would be impossible to include every bumper plate on the market in our recommendations and still make them easily accessible. For this reason, we include reasons why other plates didn’t make our top rankings below:

Hi-Temp Bumper Plates – see here for more info.

Hi-Temp Competition Training Plates – Decent plates, but no 55’s, they chip easily and don’t have great reviews.

Rogue Fleck Plates – Very similar to our Runner-Up the Vulcan Alpha Bumpers V2.0. I haven’t been able to use them or see reviews yet, so I will withhold a complete comparison. That said, these are pretty similarly priced, it depends on the package, but they are thinner than Vulcans, although Vulcan offers a longer warranty.

Rogue Training 2.0 Plates – We have multiple sets of these in both black and color. They were the same plates that Pendlay/MDUSA used to sell. After using them for a few years, I can confirm that they’re an okay plate, but there are many more we’d suggest above them today.

Rogue Dumbbell Bumpers – They’re cool, but certainly not a full replacement for real bumper plates.

Onnit Captain America Shield Bumper Plates – Cool-looking novelty plates, but they are now sold out everywhere.

Rep Fitness Competition Bumper Plates – We actually really like these plates. They’re a good value competition plate and have been very durable in our gym. However, they fit a weird price gap. If you want colored plates they’re a great option, however.

Fringe Sport Competition Bumper Plates – These are the exact same as Reps at a similar price point. On sales, Fringe Sport can be had for less.

Fringe Sport Savage Bumper Plates – Awesome-looking plates. Probably one of our favorite designs, however, we know not everyone would love them so we recommended the same plate in a more simple style as our top pick.

Fringe Sport Black & Color Bumper Plates – Same as the Contrast plates that we’ve recommended in different styles and price points. Choose your favorites.

XMark Hi-Impact Bumper Plates – Good bumper plates for the price with a good 3-year warranty. However, they are a bit more expensive than some of the other offerings, although we’d recommend them to PRIME Shipping lovers.

XMark Go Green Crumb Rubber Bumper Plates – Decent crumb rubber bumpers that are imported and have a nasty odor. If you’re going to get recycled car tire crumb rubber bumpers, just go with Hi-Temp.

X Training Equipment Premium Color Bumper Plates – These are highly reviewed on Amazon, however, the colors are completely off. For instance, 45 LB plates are red instead of blue. If this were fixed, for the price, these are actually a decent value.

HulkFit Color Coded Rubber Bumper Plates – These are high-density rubber-colored plates with a unique hub. They’re priced pretty well, but their colors are completely off and we question their long-term durability due to the unique hub design. They also have been known to crack:

Vulcan Absolute Competition Bumper Plates – Haven’t seen enough reviews or held them ourselves so can’t currently rank. They do have a great, 5-year warranty though.

DHS Competition Bumpers – Great bumpers at a high price. Would like to see more reviews or spend more time with them than we have.

Synergee Bumper Plates– Pretty pricey compared to the competition for a similar plate. They also come with no known warranty.

Uesaka Competition Bumpers – These are some of the most well-liked bumpers among Olympic Level Weightlifters that we’ve talked to. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to do anything other than seeing pictures online with them. Eventually, we’ll use them and update our rankings. Until then, we’ll admire from afar.

Uesaka Pro Series Training Bumpers – Haven’t had enough use or heard enough reviews from others to give a recommendation.

Eleiko IWF Weightlifting Competition Discs – A more calibrated version of the Training Discs. Not worth the price for anyone but a meet director in comparison.

Eleiko Sport Training Discs – Great option for those that want Eleiko on a very big, but still a budget type of budget. If you’re going to spend this much though, you might as well buy their IWF plates.

Eleiko XF Bumpers – Great bumper plates for those in Europe. A bit too expensive for most in the US, however, they do have great sound suppression although they are a bit thick. They now offer these in pounds as well as kilos.

American Barbell Color Urethane Pro Series Plates – I’m a big fan of these plates, in fact, they’re some of the favorites that I own. However, despite how much I like them when comparing them to others such as the Titan Urethane Plates, they’re simply too much more costly to recommend above the others. I do think they’re a better plate than Titan’s and they have a better warranty, so if you want Urethane, and don’t mind dropping some change, these are a great option.

American Barbell Sport Bumper Plates – These are high-quality standard bumper plates available in black, color, KG, and LB variations. These almost took the top spot, however, there is no listed Shore A Durometer Rating or warranty information so we’re unsure of the quality of the plates. The pricing is actually really great especially when you consider Free Shipping. If you want just plain black bumper plates, these are pretty great.

Titan Olympic Rubber Bumper Plates – We have not personally tested these, however, we’ve heard enough bad press from our readers that they have an awful smell, are prone to warping as well as often have their steel insert fall out. They’re cheap in price, but likely for a reason.

Werksan LionFit Bumper Plates – Great, high-end competition bumpers, however, I believe they have closed their US operations.

PRx Color Elite Bumper Plates – This appears to be similar to the older Pendlay type plates, however at the price point, they’re a bit much for the quality.

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