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Weight plates are an essential piece of home gym equipment. With weight plates, you can perform virtually any exercise you can think of. The best weight plates will resist damage, have minimal to no bounce, fit snugly on an Olympic barbell, and look good while you’re smashing PRs left and right.

In truth, the “best” weight plates will be different for everyone and which plates are the best for you depends largely on your training style and goals, and your budget. This guide to weight plates should help you make a smart decision based off our multi-point rating system that looks at things like:

  • Durability: Can these plates last a long time?
  • Size: Will they crowd a barbell or can you easily stack them for heavy lifts?
  • Weight accuracy: Are the stated weights accurate or is there a discrepancy? Will the company replace them if there’s a large difference?

There are a lot of weight plates out there and we highly doubt any other guides to the best weight plates are written by people who have tested as many weight plates as we have. We’ve tested literally hundreds of weight plates, including all of the bumper plates, iron plates, steel plates, and competition plates available.

We’ve done the research on pricing, shipping, warranty, and construction; and we’ve done squats, deadlifts, and Olympic lifts with these plates—and dropped them from overhead when appropriate—to create this comprehensive guide to the best weight plates for you.

The Best Weight Plates for 2024

Best Weight Plates Video Review

Best Budget Weight Plates: REP Fitness Old School Iron Plates

Good for: Anyone who wants some good-looking metal weight plates for a good price.

Best Budget Weight Plates

REP Old School Iron Weight Plates

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Available in pairs and sets
  • High-quality matte finish
  • Single-sided with a deep lip
  • Very reasonable pricing

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Available in pairs and sets
  • Vintage design looks great in any home gym
  • High-quality matte finish
  • Single-sided with a deep lip
  • Very reasonable pricing

Cons

  • 3% weight tolerance
  • Iron plates are prone to scuffing
  • Only have a one-year warranty

Bottom Line

If you just need plates to get the job done, and you aren't going to be dropping the barbell, then these are a great affordable option.

REP Fitness Old School Iron Plates are similar to the Rogue Deep Dish Plates. Like the Deep Dish Plates, the REP Old School Iron Plates are single-sided with one deep lip. They’re solid cast iron coated with a matte finish and raised silver lettering to complete the classic vintage look.

Since they’re bare metal plates, they also cost less than the urethane-coated REP Equalizer Plates we love. All in all, they’re a solid choice that comes at a great price point. There’s nothing inherently special about these weight plates in terms of construction or function, but if you’re looking for value, you’ve found it.

While the REP Old School Iron Plates may not seem like a budget item on the surface, once you factor in shipping costs, these come out less expensive than the Deep Dish Plates and a lot of other iron plates. REP’s free shipping really comes in clutch here.

Just like REP’s standard iron plates, the Old School Iron Plates feature a complete cast construction. There are no machined or precision-drilled parts, so expect some minor discrepancies between plates you receive. I don’t think small imperfections are anything to worry about, but it’s worth noting.

Unfortunately, REP Fitness only warranties these iron plates for one year. This doesn’t make me feel super confident in the product, but then again, most bare metal plates don’t have a fantastic warranty.

RELATED: Best Budget Home Gym Equipment

Best Urethane Weight Plates: Titan Fitness Urethane Bumper Plates

Good for: Fans of bumper plates who want something a bit more durable and with less bounce.

Best Urethane Weight Plates

Titan Urethane LB Bumper Plates

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Ultra-durable virgin rubber
  • Extremely durable
  • Color-coded
  • 1% weight tolerance

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Ultra-durable virgin rubber
  • Minimal, near-dead bounce
  • Most vibrant colors I’ve seen
  • Chrome-plated steel disc inserts
  • 1% weight tolerance

Cons

  • Urethane has a universal problem with being slippery (chalk up!)
  • Hard to pick up from the ground
  • Noisier than non-urethane bumper plates

Bottom Line

People looking for affordable urethane plates that will last a long time will enjoy the durability and price point of these plates.

I love a good urethane weight plate. Urethane is an ultra-durable type of rubber that makes for solid, dense weight plates that resist bouncing and skipping.

Titan Fitness lists the weight tolerance as plus/minus 1%, which I have found to be accurate in my usage of these plates. Constructed of virgin urethane rubber, a solid cast iron core, and a hard chrome center hub with a chamfer, the Titan Fitness Urethane Bumper Plates are sure to bless your garage gym for many years.

My main complaint: Because of the lipped, squared-off design, these weight plates are very hard to pick up from the ground if they’re lying flat. It’s just tough to get a finger under the plate to lift it up.

You should also know that urethane is universally slippery, so expect these weight plates to be more grip-averse than most rubber weight plates.

One of my favorite things about these weight plates is their vibrant color. Pictures don’t do them justice and I have a hard time explaining just how shockingly bright these plates are. I might’ve enjoyed unboxing these plates as much as I enjoy using them to this day: They are a standout addition to any home gym.

Best Rubber Weight Plates: Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

Good for: Anyone who needs bumper plates in any capacity.

Best Bumper Plates

Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

GGR Score: 4.2 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.

If you’re looking for a durable, classic set of black bumper plates, look no further than the Rogue Echo Bumper Plates. These sturdy bumpers are constructed of virgin rubber with a stainless steel center ring—two factors that automatically boosted these weight plates to the top of our list.

Although the Echo bumpers are imported and we’d prefer to see them made in the U.S., we know that would jack up the price. We also don’t think the quality is subpar at all despite being imported.

With a Shore A Durometer rating of 88, you can rest assured that the Echo Bumper Plates will withstand drops from the overhead position as well as ego bar slams after hitting a personal record. The 450-millimeter diameter and 50.6-millimeter collar opening meet the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) specs and Rogue’s promise of a +/- 1% weight tolerance means you can confidently train with these bumper plates and hit the same numbers in competitions.

Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

I love the dead bounce on these plates, and it’s something you won’t often see in an economy-priced weight plate. I also think these are some of the cleanest-looking bumper plates out there with a smooth matte black finish and stark contrast with the raised white lettering.

Based on the number of reviews on the Rogue website, the Echo Bumper Plates are Rogue’s best-selling bumpers. These also happen to be Rogue’s least expensive bumper plates. When you factor in Rogue’s exceptional shipping prices and the three-year warranty on the 25-, 35-, and 45-pound plates, you have the best bumper plates for the best price right here. I will say I’m not a fan of the measly 90-day warranty on 10- and 15-pound Echo bumpers, but other than that, these are a win-win in my book.

Most Durable Bumper Plates: Iron Bull Strength BP Plates

Good for: Functional fitness fanatics who regularly drop and slam a loaded barbell.

Most Durable

Iron Bull Bumper Plates

GGR Score: 4.25 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Black virgin rubber with white lettering in a low bounce design 
  • Steel center inserts 
  • Factory-tested to withstand over 10,000 drops from an 8-foot height
  • Available in a variety of weight options and sets

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sold in pairs
  • Low bounce design
  • Attractive

Cons

  • There are cheaper ones out there
  • No free shipping until you spend $150

Bottom Line

Iron Bull Strength's Black Bumper Plates, featuring a stylish and durable design with low bounce, steel center inserts, and extensive factory-tested endurance, are a solid choice well-suited for a variety of exercises, from Olympic weightlifting to powerlifting.

You might think that the most durable bumper plates should be our top pick for the best overall weight plates. But that’s simply not the case: Durability is just one factor you should consider when looking for weight plates, albeit an important one. There are many other things you should consider, of course, such as price, warranty, shipping, diameter, width, and more.

If durability is the primary driver for your bumper plate purchase, the BP Plates from Iron Bull Strength are a fantastic option. These dense bumper plates feel great during use, too, with a low, dead bounce from as high as overhead. The BP Plates have all been tested to withstand more than 10,000 drops from 8 feet high—including their extra-thick 10-pound plates—ensuring durability in a home gym environment.

The bumper plates are constructed of virgin rubber: a solid, dense rubber that allows for a low, dead bounce when dropped. A low bounce protects your weights, barbell, and home gym flooring as well; plus, it helps reduce noise during workouts. 

Woman deadlifting with Iron Bull Strength BP Plates

Although Iron Bull Strength doesn’t give a specific Durometer rating, GGR Everything lead reviewer Lindsay Scheele thought they were solid, in her workout of hang cleans, deadlifts, and front squats. “They had a small bounce when they were dropped, which I prefer, and at no point did they seem to have weak spots when dropped from overhead,” Lindsay adds. “Overall, these are solid.”

Able to be bought in pairs or bundles, the BP Plates are a bit pricier than other bumpers, and free shipping is only for orders above $150; so if you’re looking to buy just a pair of plates, you might have to add shipping costs. Plus, with a limited lifetime warranty (so long as you don’t use these plates negligently), these bumper plates are sure to last.

Best Crumb Rubber Plates: PRx Crumb Rubber Bumper Plates

Good for: Those who want crumb rubber plates instead of plates made with virgin rubber

Best Crumb Rubber Bumper Plates

PRx Crumb Rubber Bumper Plates

Product Highlights

  • Individual bumper plates range from 10 lbs to 45 lbs 
  • Bundles of 160 lbs or 260 lbs 
  • Made from recycled crumb rubber
  • Fits standard Olympic barbell

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Can buy the plates individually or in bundles
  • Recycled crumb rubber provides less impact and noise
  • Plates can endure 30,000 drops

Cons

  • Cannot drop the 10 lbs and 15 lbs plates
  • No free shipping

Bottom Line

The PRx Crumb Rubber Bumper Plates are made from durable, recycled crumb rubber and make a good quality plate. The material allows for less noise and impact compared to steel plates. Users can fit five 45-pound plates on each side of a bar.PRx states that they have tested the plates to withstand 30,000 drops. However, a caveat is that the 10-pound and 15-pound plates cannot be dropped if alone on the barbell. Doing so will lead to the inserts being damaged and the warranty will be voided.

Crumb rubber plates are made from recycled rubber and creates a more durable plate than those made with virgin rubber (brand-new rubber) and provides a high bounce for CrossFitters or Olympic lifters who are looking for that type of thing (sorry powerlifters, you’re going to have to look at our other options). We’ve tried more than 10 crumb rubber plates and the PRx ones are our favorite to date.

Lindsay Scheele, home gym equipment and Garage Gym Reviews Everything host, uses these for her CrossFit-style workouts and is “obsessed” with them, saying it makes her workouts much more fun.

“I’m a big fan of the flaky look on the plates,” she adds.

While these are indeed durable the 10- or 15-pound plates are so thin and flexible that dropping them may cause the steel insert to pop out and cause damage to the plates and your barbell. Good thing these are sold individually so you can skip those two weights if you want.

Best 10-Pound Bumper Plates: Fringe Sport Black Bumpers

Good for: Beginners and experienced lifters alike looking for solid training bumpers that won’t bend and break.

Best 10-Pound 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.

Not all 10-pound bumper plates are created equal. If you’re going to pay extra attention to any of your weight plates, make it the 10-pounders. These are the most vulnerable weight plates in your collection of bumpers, so make it a point to get good ones and take good care of them.

As all bumper plate enthusiasts know, 10-pound bumper plates are prone to bending, flexing, cracking, and deforming. Making 10 pounds of rubber fit a 450-millimeter diameter is no simple task. But Fringe Sport has done a pretty darn good job.

Fringe Sport Black Bumpers

Fringe Sport’s 10-pound bumpers are the best we’ve tested. The Shore A Durometer rating of 90 is higher than that of Rogue’s Echo 10-pound bumpers, so naturally, the Fringe Sport ones don’t bend or flex as easily. The hooked stainless steel center hub adds to the durability.

Plus, Fringe Sport offers a one-year warranty on their 10-pound black bumper plates, which is almost unheard of. For comparison, the warranty on the Rogue Echo 10-pound bumper plates is just 90 days. We have no problem recommending a full set of Echos—minus the 10s—and heading over to Fringe Sport for your 10-pounders. This might irk some home gym owners who get nit-picky about having cohesive sets of equipment, but I truly think it’s the right choice.

Or, if you’re just looking to add a set of 10s to your existing collection, we urge you to try these out. Our biggest complaint with the Fringe Sport 10-pound bumper plates is that the diameter is ever so slightly smaller than the diameter of the rest of the plates in this collection: The 10-pound plates are 17.5 inches in diameter while the rest of the collection meets the IWF standard of 17.7 inches. It’s a small difference and probably unnoticeable for most people, but we think it’s worth calling out.

RELATED: Best CrossFit Equipment

Best Competition Bumper Plates: Rogue Competition Bumper Plates

Good for: Olympic weightlifters who want tried-and-true competition plates.

Best Competition 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.

Many think competition Olympic bumper plates are the same as regular training bumper plates. This is not so. Competition bumper plates utilize a steel center plate instead of just a center ring; are thinner so you can fit more weight on the bar; are made to IWF specs (including color), and have tighter weight tolerances than standard bumpers.

The Rogue Competition Bumper Plates in particular feature a chrome-plated steel center plate, a gloss-matte-gloss finish in IWF colors, raised white lettering, and official IWF branding. The 450-millimeter diameter meets IWF specs. With a 50.4-millimeter collar opening, these competition bumpers fit an Olympic barbell very snugly and may not fit cheaper barbells that aren’t made to spec.

Tight weight tolerance of just +/- 15 grams of the stated weight means competitors can confidently train with these Olympic weight plates and match their lifts in competitions. Rogue Competition Bumper Plates have an insanely high Shore A Durometer rating of 94, making these some of the densest bumper plates available. No matter how much or how little weight you have on the bar, you will receive a dead bounce when you drop these weight plates.

I love that Rogue added a raised flange around the metal disc to prevent direct metal-to-metal contact when loading multiple plates on your barbell. This prevents premature scuffing and rusting of the steel beneath the chrome coating; however, scuffing and rusting is still always a possibility, especially if you don’t take proper care of these weight plates.

The saying “you get what you pay for” rings true with these plates. Rogue Competition Bumper Plates are not a budget product—I’d go as far as to say they’re a luxury. They’re simply too expensive for most people, and I honestly wouldn’t recommend them for people who have no plans to compete. If you do compete in weightlifting, however, this is the best plate set option for you.

Best Cast Iron Plates: The Strength Co. Olympic Iron Barbell Plates

Good for: Everyday lifters looking for plates that are easy to handle.

Best Cast Iron Plates

Strength Co. Olympic Iron Barbell Plates

Product Highlights

  • Made in the USA
  • Cast of gray iron, built to last a lifetime
  • Snug fitting inner diameter of 1.99"
  • E-coating meant to prevent corrosion and chipping
  • Functional and easy to handle

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Veteran owned and American made
  • E-coating is used to attach paint to the surface of the iron to increase durability
  • Sleek and aesthetic design
  • Will fit more snuggly than most on your Olympic barbell

Cons

  • Poor packaging may result in cosmetic damage
  • May not fit well on some plate trees

Bottom Line

These slim plates are sleek looking and easy to handle. The lip of the plate makes them versatile and the slim design ensures you will be able to stack your bar with plenty of weight. If you are looking for traditional cast iron weight plates that will last a lifetime and have multiple uses then these are probably a great fit.

We love a plate that looks sleek, yet solid, and these plates hit the mark on that. These look great and are super functional too. With these plates you won’t have to worry about them slipping from your tired grip thanks to the deep lip on the edge of the plates. Whether you want to load up your barbell for some heavy squats or work on your grip with minimal equipment, these have you covered. 

With a smaller inner diameter of 1.99”, you won’t have to worry about these weights wiggling around on the barbell. At the time of release, these were the tightest fitting plates on the market! The largest plate in the set is also only 1.25” so you will have plenty of room on your bar to keep stacking them up. 

While these iron weight plates may not be the best option for Olympic lifts with so many great bumper plates out there, they are perfect for powerlifting or bodybuilding-style workouts. 

In addition to traditional barbell exercises, deep-dish plates like these have other applications thanks to the extra room for grip. You can use these for farmer’s walks, halos, or even reverse curls with the right grip.

Best Weight Plates on Amazon: CAP Barbell Olympic Grip Plates

Good for: Home gym owners looking for affordable weight plates with relatively fast shipping.

Best Weight Plates on Amazon

CAP Barbell 2-Inch Olympic Grip Plate

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Easy-grip design
  • Available on Amazon in pairs or singles
  • Semi-gloss finish looks nice
  • Budget-friendly

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy-grip design
  • Available on Amazon in pairs or singles
  • Semi-gloss finish looks nice
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Not available in kilos
  • Not the most durable weight plates
  • CAP’s coating is known to chip and scuff easily

Bottom Line

If you want a very budget-friendly weight plate from Amazon, these are your best bet.

CAP Barbell is known for its budget-friendly pricing and availability at big box stores like Academy Sports & Outdoors and Dick’s Sporting Goods. However, you can also get a lot of different CAP products on Amazon. I’ll be the first to say I wouldn’t normally recommend CAP Barbell weight plates over other brands, but if you’re set on ordering gym equipment from Amazon, these are your best bet.

RELATED: Best Budget Home Gym Equipment on Amazon

CAP has been around for a long time and makes decent, but not great, fitness equipment. These plates are solid cast iron with a semi-gloss enamel painted finish. They feature oversized grips for easy loading onto the bar and clearly marked weight indications in silver.

I agree with the primary sentiment on Amazon: These plates are what they are. They’re run-of-the-mill iron weight plates you can use for general strength training. There’s nothing extraordinarily good or extraordinarily bad about them.

CAP Barbell Olympic Grip Plates

There are, however, some minor imperfections you should know about these plates. First of all, they aren’t made to IPF specs, so skip them if you care about that. (We aren’t worried about IWF specs, since we hope you aren’t planning to snatch or jerk with these.) The diameter of the 45-pound CAP plates falls short of the IPF specification of 17.7 inches. These measures about 16.75 inches, which only really matters when you’re deadlifting—just something to keep in mind.

If you search these online, you’ll see a lot of good reviews and a lot of bad ones. It seems to me that all of the people who left good reviews had the right expectations and understood what they would get out of a budget weight plate they ordered on Amazon. People who left bad reviews seemed to think they were ordering from Rogue Fitness or Eleiko. Set your expectations correctly and you’ll enjoy these weight plates just fine.

As one reviewer said on Amazon: “This is a 45-lbs weight with a 2-inch hole in it. Not much to go wrong. It’s heavy and I can pick [it] up and put it back down again to get stronger.”

Well, there you have it.

Best Calibrated Steel Weight Plates: Rogue Calibrated Steel Weight Plates

Good for: Powerlifters who compete and want to be sure they’re training with accurate weight plates.

Best Calibrated Steel Weight Plates

Rogue Calibrated LB Steel Plates

GGR Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Available in kilos or pounds
  • IPF-approved
  • Machine calibrated to within +/- 10 grams
  • Thin design for 1,500-lb load capacity

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Available in kilos or pounds
  • Thin width allows for heavier loads on the barbell
  • IPF-approved
  • Very tight weight tolerance (15 grams)
  • Machine calibrated to within +/- 10 grams
  • Calibration plugs on back of plates for increased precision
  • 50MM collar opening
  • Thin Design for 1500LB load capacity
  • Low Gloss Powdercoat surface finish
  • Exclusive Rogue branding, Artwork on one side only

Cons

  • Paint is known to chip away fairly easily
  • Can be hard to pick up from the ground if lying flat
  • Center ring fits very snug and may not fit cheaper barbells not made to IPF spec

Bottom Line

The Rogue Calibrated Steel Weight Plates have a tight weight tolerance of just 15 grams, are IPF-approved, and are extremely durable.

If you see “calibrated” in the name, expect a high-quality product. If you see Rogue in the name, double your expectations. These are by far the best steel weight plates I’ve ever had the pleasure of using.

When a plate is calibrated, it means the actual weight is less likely to deviate from the stated weight. Some weight plates, for example, might state 45 pounds. But if you weigh it, you could get an actual weight of anywhere from 40 to 50 pounds (typically, inaccurate plates are lighter, not heavier). Calibrated weight plates are machined to precision.

Rogue Calibrated Steel Weight Plates

Available in both kilos and pounds and made to IPF specs, these Rogue Calibrated Steel Weight Plates have a tight weight tolerance of just 15 grams more or less than the stated weight. The 50.4-millimeter center opening fits Olympic barbells snugly and, like others with a tight center hub, may be a struggle to fit on cheaper bars that don’t fully conform to IPF specifications.

These plates are extremely thin and probably the absolute best weight plate option for powerlifters on this list. The 55-pound plates are barely over an inch in diameter, so on a standard Olympic barbell, you can load more than 1,000 pounds on the bar.

I will note that the coating on these plates isn’t the best. The paint chips easily and although we haven’t used these plates as much as we’ve used some others, they look more worn than they should. They do look smooth when the paint is new, though.

Best Weight Plates With Handles: REP Fitness Equalizer Urethane-Coated Iron Olympic Plates

Good for: Powerlifters or bodybuilders looking for plates that make loading the bar easy and efficient.

Best Weight Plates With Handles

REP Urethane Coated Equalizer Plates

Product Highlights

The REP Equalizer Plates are the most attractive urethane encased plates available today. Our plates feature a symmetric design that is both eye-catching and functional.

This type of weight plate is most often found at big-box commercial gyms. This is for good reason: Cast iron weight plates are an economical choice, yet they’ll last for ages. The six-hole design in these REP Fitness Equalizer Plates also makes them much easier to grip and move around than other types of plates, which means members are theoretically—emphasis on theoretically—less likely to drop weights on their toes.

Anyway, REP’s Equalizer Urethane-Coated Iron Olympic Plates are a great pick for anyone who hates bothering with bumpers or metal plates that feel nearly impossible to pick up from the ground. We’ve all been there: Trying for five minutes to finagle a finger underneath a plate lying flat on the ground or stacked on one of those mobile plate poles; eventually asking for a buddy to help or accepting the pain that is smashing your fingernail between two 45s. But I digress.

REP Fitness Equalizer Urethane-Coated Iron Olympic Plates

They’re super easy to load onto bars, and thanks to the thin width (45s clock in at just 1.8 inches), you can load up to eight 45-pound plates on each barbell sleeve and still have room for collars. We’re looking at 720 pounds on the bar, making these a solid choice for a powerlifting bar. If you’re using a 15-kilogram bar like the Bella Bar, note that the barbell sleeves are shorter, so you won’t be able to fit as many plates.

Compared to bare steel or iron weight plates, rubber-coated ones like these have increased durability, so they should resist damage longer. Over time, the thin rubber coating may start to peel, but by that point, you’ve had many years of use without even touching the metal underneath.

Just remember: These are not bumper plates. Despite the rubber coating, you can’t drop these from overhead, from the front rack, or from anywhere. While REP does offer a lifetime warranty on these plates, they aren’t warrantied for dropping. So don’t drop ‘em.

In addition to a weight tolerance no greater than +/- 2% of the stated weight, these plates feature a machine-drilled center hole—not cast—for a super tight fit on the barbell sleeve.

For a closer look at these, check out my REP Equalizer Iron Olympic Plates review.

Why Your Home Gym Should Have Weight Plates

Weight plates are a staple for any home gym. With a barbell and some weight plates, you can do 99% of the exercises you need to do to get stronger and fitter. If you can only choose one type of equipment to get for your home gym right now, make it a barbell and a set of plates, even if it’s just one pair of 45s. This will do you better than all the dumbbells or cardio equipment in the world.

With a barbell and plates, you can do back squats, front squats, deadlifts, overhead press, bench press, clean and jerks, snatches, rows, lunges, and some of the best back exercises. You can also do accessory work such as biceps curls, Romanian deadlifts, good mornings, skull crushers, and so much more.

A good barbell and some durable weight plates—whether you choose bumpers or metal plates—can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. You’ll have a better gym and become a better athlete with these basic but important pieces of gym equipment.

RELATED: Barbells vs Dumbbells

best weight plates

Bumper Plates vs. Metal Plates

In the fitness community, you’ll often hear people argue over whether metal plates or rubber plates are best. The truth is, neither is inherently better than the other. They just have their own places and their own uses. Choosing the right type of plate for your facility and your training style is what’s important.

Bumper plates are best for Olympic lifting and functional fitness-style training. If you’ll be dropping your barbell at all from overhead, from the front-rack position, or even from the hang, you should get bumper plates. Why? Because bumper plates are made primarily of rubber: A thin iron or steel core is coated with a thick, protective layer of rubber to create accurate yet durable plates.

Metal plates, on the other hand, don’t have a protective rubber coating. This means you should not drop them from any position, so it limits the types of lifts you can do with them. If you have no intention of doing Olympic lifts or CrossFit-style training, iron or steel plates are a good option for you. They can get noisy, though, especially on heavy deadlifts or simply while re-racking the bar.

Keep in mind that some metal plates have a thin rubber outer layer, such as the American Barbell Iron Olympic Plates, but this doesn’t make them bumper plates. You still shouldn’t drop these or similar plates from any position. If you’re after metal plates, the kind with a thin rubber coating reduces noise, which is a good option if you live close to your neighbors.

Bumper Plates vs. Metal Plates

How to Choose the Best Weight Plates for Your Garage Gym

Weight plates, like all other home gym equipment, are subjective. The best weight plates for you may not be the best weight plates for someone else. (That’s why we have so many categories of weight plates in this roundup.)

To choose the best weight plates for your home gym, consider the following factors and buy the weight plates that best fit your needs for each category.

Materials and Construction

Rubber or metal? That is the question—the initial question, at least. Much more goes into weight plates than just “rubber or metal,” but to narrow down your options, that’s the first thing you should consider. Do you need bumper plates or will metal plates suffice?

Once you determine that, consider what subcategory of materials you need. If you’re going with bumper plates, will recycled rubber types such as crumb rubber work for you? Or do you need something with a higher density and less bounce, such as urethane rubber? If you’re going with metal, research the differences between cast iron plates and steel plates. Look for calibrated metal plates if you’re a competitive powerlifter.

Make sure to also look at what the center ring is made of on any weight plates you’re interested in. A stainless steel center ring is best for durability and longevity. Any version of finished steel, such as zinc-coated steel, will scuff over time and potentially rust if not in a climate-controlled environment or if not cared for properly. Some center hubs are made of brass, which is soft and can scuff easily.

Your Training Goals

This goes hand-in-hand with materials and construction. The way you train and your fitness goals will largely dictate which weight plates are the best for your home gym. As mentioned above, rubber weight plates are best for people who do Olympic lifting, functional training, or otherwise have any chance of dropping barbells. Metal plates will work for powerlifters and anyone else who has no intention of dropping weights.

Durability

Once again, we circle back to materials and construction. As you would expect, pricier plates generally (but not always) prove to be more durable than less expensive weight plates. For example, urethane rubber plates are more expensive than crumb rubber plates; urethane is far more durable than crumb rubber and will hold up for many more years. As for metal plates, it’s worth paying more for ones that are powder-coated, e-coated, or rubber-coated to delay scuffing and rusting.

Your Home Gym Setup and Location

Think about things like flooring and insulation when choosing weight plates. If you live in a townhome and your garage backs right up to your neighbors’ on both sides, consider getting high-quality bumper plates to keep bounce and noise to a minimum. If you happen to have 10 acres of land and a barn-turned-gym, however, who cares how much noise your iron plates make?

Working out on unprotected floors, like bare concrete? First of all, I recommend getting some inexpensive horse stall mats from your nearest Tractor Supply Company store, but if that’s not an option at the moment and you’re ready to buy plates, bumpers are likely to be better for your floors (and they’ll hold up better than bare metal plates on bare concrete floors).

Calibrated vs. Uncalibrated Weight Plates

If you compete in powerlifting or Olympic lifting, you should consider buying calibrated weights. For powerlifters, calibrated iron or steel weights are the best options. For Olympic lifters, competition bumper plates are the best. Regardless of your sport, look for plates that deviate no more than 15 grams from the stated weight.

Budget

Your budget, of course, ultimately determines which weight plates you can buy. More money will get you better weight accuracy, improved durability, and higher quality materials. A tighter budget means you’ll have to sacrifice some elements of a good weight plate, such as weight accuracy or, when it comes to bumper plates, minimal bounce.

FAQs About Weight Plates

What material is best for weight plates?

If you’re a bodybuilder or someone who doesn’t plan on slamming weights often, go for iron or steel weight plates, like the REP Fitness Old School Iron Plates. Powerlifters or CrossFitters, on the other hand, should lean toward rubber or urethane plates, such as the Titan Fitness Urethane Bumper Plates, because they can be bounced on the floor and take little to no damage. 

Are expensive weight plates worth it?

In the long run, yes. Expensive weight plates are more likely to have a better weight accuracy and are made of stronger materials that will help them last longer than budget weight plates that are made of less durable materials.

Why are 45 pound plates so expensive?

45-pound weight plates are expensive simply because it takes a lot of material and manpower to make them.

What are the best quality bumper plates?

The best bumper plates are the Titan Fitness Urethane Bumper Plates because they’re made of durable materials, have good weight accuracy, and have vibrant colors that look good in a home gym.

The Competition

There are hundreds of options out there for weight plates. It would be impossible to cover all of them in-depth, but we did put together a list of all of the plates we’ve tried or, at the very least, thoroughly researched. Here’s a look at some other options for bumper plates, competition bumpers, iron plates, and steel plates compared to our top picks above.

Bumper Plates

Rogue Fleck Plates: These are very similar to the Vulcan Alpha Bumpers V2.0. I haven’t been able to use them yet, so I will withhold a complete comparison. That said, these are pretty similarly priced, but they are thinner than Vulcan plates. It’s worth noting that 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/MuscleDriver USA used to sell. After using the Training 2.0 plates for a few years, I can confirm that they’re okay plates, but there are many more we’d suggest above them today.

Fringe Sport Savage Bumper Plates: I love the way these plates look—they’re probably one of our favorite designs, however, we know not everyone will love this design, so we recommend the same plate in a more simple style: the Fringe Sport black bumper plates.

Fringe Sport Black and Color Bumper Plates: These are the same as the contrast plates that we’ve recommended in different styles and price points. Choose your favorites.

Nike Rubber Bumper Plates: Although big in apparel, Nike Strength equipment is pretty new to the scene of strength and fitness equipment. Their bumper plates are sharp-looking and durable, but can only be bough in pairs.

XMark Hi-Impact Bumper Plates: I think these are good bumper plates for the price, and they come with a good three-year warranty. However, they are a bit more expensive than some of the other offerings.

XMark Go Green Crumb Rubber Bumper Plates: These are decent crumb rubber bumpers, but I don’t like that they’re imported and I really don’t like that they 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, but the colors are completely off. For instance, the 45-pound plates are red instead of blue. ‘Scuse me? 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 off and we question their long term durability due to the unique hub design. They also have been known to crack.

Synergee Bumper Plates: I think these are just too pricey for being so similar to so many other options

Eleiko XF Bumpers. These are great bumper plates, but I think they’re too expensive for most home gym owners in the US. Eleiko equipment is always cheaper in Europe since that’s where the headquarters is. Regardless, these plates have great sound suppression although they’re a bit thick for my liking. They now offer these in pounds as well as kilos.

Eleiko Sport Training Discs: These plates are a great option if you want Eleiko plates on a semi-budget. They’re still hella expensive though. If you’re going to spend this much on plates, you might as well buy their IWF plates.

Titan Fitness Urethane Bumpers: From what I can tell, these are the exact same as both the Rogue urethane bumpers and the American Barbell urethane bumpers. Like I mentioned in my review of the American Barbell urethane bumpers above, urethane plates are slippery and known to crack, although the latest versions of urethane bumpers have been very durable.

Titan Fitness Black Bumper Plates: An economy plate, Titan’s basic black bumper plates are great for the home gym owner who needs to stock up with a ton of plates. However, Titan is still having some supply chain troubles and these plates are often out of stock.

American Barbell Sport Bumper Plates: I don’t have these on-hand, but I’m told they’re made in the same factory as the Rogue HG 2.0 Plates, so I would assume they’re just as good. I’d say these are some of the best bumper plates in the industry if price wasn’t a factor; they’ve always been priced higher than Rogue’s for no apparent reason.

Competition Plates

Rogue Hi-Temp Competition Training Plates: These are decent plates for being crumb rubber, but they don’t come in a 55-pound version and I’ve noticed they chip easily (as do most crumb rubber plates).

REP Fitness Competition Bumper Plates: We actually really like these plates and have reviewed them in-depth. They’re a good value competition plate and have proven very durable in our gym. However, the pricing feels off to me: At the time of writing this, they weren’t very budget-friendly, but they weren’t high enough quality to outrank other competition bumpers. They’re good competition bumper plates, but they’re not better than Rogue’s and not priced as low as Titans. If you want full colored plates they’re a great option, however.

Fringe Sport Competition Bumper Plates: These are the exact same as the REP Fitness plates above at a similar price point. Keep an eye out for sales at Fringe Sport, and these can be had for less.

Vulcan Absolute Competition Bumper Plates: I haven’t held these in my hands, so I can’t currently rank them. They do have a great five-year warranty though.

DHS Competition Bumpers: These are great bumpers but they come at a high price. I would like to see more reviews and spend more time with them to decide if they’re truly worth it.

Uesaka Competition Bumpers: These are some of the most well-known and used bumpers among Olympic weightlifters that we’ve talked to. I actually have Uesaka Warriors in my garage. They’re camo, extremely cool bumpers, but they’re priced too high to recommend, in my opinion. They’re also very soft and I worry about chipping.

Eleiko IWF Weightlifting Competition Discs: A more calibrated version of the Eleiko Training Discs, I still don’t think these are worth the price for anyone but an elite competitor.

Iron Plates

Titan Fitness Cast Iron Olympic Plates: Titan has redesigned the mold since I last tested these, so I need to try them out again. When I tested them, I enjoyed them, but they’re totally different plates now.

Rogue Olympic Plates: These are just like all other standard barbell plates. Nothing special to report here.

American Barbell Rubber Coated Iron Olympic Plates: I used American Barbell Rubber Coated Iron plates in a commercial gym not too long ago. They’re designed for the commercial setting and are priced as such. They’re excellent plates with a great coating, but again, priced pretty high and not really designed for the home gym owner in mind.

Steel Plates

Titan Fitness Calibrated Steel Weight Plates: These are new and we haven’t had the chance to test them yet, but we’re on it!

Rogue Six Shooter Urethane Grip Plates: Rogue Six Shooters have a great urethane coating and feel exactly like REP’s urethane equalizers. They’re a bit quieter than bare steel and they’re a great looking plate. The holes are great for gripping and moving.

Synergee Standard Metal Weight Plates: I don’t have experience with these plates, but our staff writer Amanda Capritto does, and she says they’re just like the Rogue Olympic Plates and REP Fitness standard iron plates—just a typical iron weight plate. When it comes to this type of plate, price, shipping, and warranty are the most important factors.

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