Bumper plates are weight plates made of rubber or urethane with a steel core specifically designed for Olympic and CrossFit weightlifting.
If you’re into weightlifting, you probably already know about bumper plates. Training with these plates makes a lot of sense. Do you compete? Bumper plates make a lot of sense for this style of lifting.
But you don’t have to be a competitive weightlifter to benefit from using bumper plates. If you train at home and like to train early before everyone’s awake, you’ll want bumpers.
Since they’re made of rubber or similar material, you won’t have to worry about noise. You can train anytime you want.
Let’s take a look at the best bumper plates available so you can make the best choice.
In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:
Best Bumper Plates
- Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates – Best Overall
- HulkFit Olympic Rubber Bumper Plate – Best Budget Bumper Plates For A Home Gym
- Rogue HG 2.0 Bumper Plates – Best Slim Bumper Plates
- Rogue Echo Bumper Plates – Best Overall General Training Bumper Plates
- Rogue Competition Bumper Plates – Best Premium Competition Bumper Plates
- CAP Barbell Black Rubber Bumper Plates – Best No Odor Bumper Plates
- Eleiko IWF Weightlifting Training Discs – Best Training Bumper Plates
- Aachen Competition Rubber Bumper Plates – Best Budget Competition Bumper Plates
- REP Fitness Bumper Plates – Best Value For General Training
- REP Fitness Competition Bumper Plates – Best Durability For Competition
- Titan Fitness Elite Olympic Bumper Plates – Best Black Bumper Plates
- Titan Fitness Urethane Bumper Plates – Best Budget Urethane Bumper Plates
- Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates – Best Patent Pending Bumper Plates
- American Barbell Urethane Bumper Plates – Best Urethane Bumper Plates
- Hi Temp Bumper Plates – Best Crumb Rubber Bumper Plates
Reviews – The Best Bumper Plates
1. Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates – Best Overall
Here’s our pick for the best bumper plate. Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates are manufactured using virgin rubber. This is a higher-quality type of rubber that is extremely durable.
The color bumper plate set features stainless steel inserts with a 2” diameter. The insert is specially designed to not come loose. The colored plates also feature raised lettering as well as numbering. They are labeled in pounds.
Fringe Sport Bumper Plates are color-coded for easy weight identification. It should be noted that they are not colored according to IWF guidelines. This is because the IWF uses white for their 5kg (11lb) plate. Since Fringe Sport uses lbs, not kgs, the weight per plate is different from official IWF standards. Yet, if you don’t compete, none of this matters.
The Fringe plates are high density with virtually no bounce. These plates are so good, you can drop a loaded bar off a 40-foot roof and they will not be damaged. That’s quality that can’t be beat!
They are available as a 230lb set. All of these features make Fringe Sport Bumper Plates the best overall bumper plates.
- Anchored Stainless Steel Insert
- No Bounce
- Weight Is Listed In Pounds, Not Kilograms
- Colored Coded For Easy Identification – Not Colored To IWF Standards
- May Be Too Pricey For Some Users
2. HulkFit Olympic Rubber Bumper Plate – Best Budget Bumper Plates For A Home Gym
HulkFit Olympic Bumper Plates are manufactured using high-density rubber. They are color-coded for easy identification. Like the Fringe plates above, HulkFit does not use IWF color-coded guidelines.
HulkFit Bumper Plates use a stainless steel insert with a 2” diameter to fit any Olympic-style bar. They are numbered in both kilos and pounds.
One important note is that the 10lb plates cannot be used alone because they can bend if you drop the bar. Despite that, HulkFit Bumper Plates feature low bounce and can handle repeated drops.
HulkFit Bumper Plates are available in singles, pairs, and sets. They are also value-minded. That makes HulkFit Olympic Rubber Bumper Plates the best budget bumper plates for home gym use.
- Made From High-Density Rubber
- Weight Displayed In Pounds & Kilos
- The Colors Do Not Adhere To IWF Standards
- The 10lb Plates Have A Tendency To Bend If Used By Themselves
3. Rogue HG 2.0 Bumper Plates – Best Slim Bumper Plates
The Rogue HG 2.0 Bumper Plates are made using hard rubber. These plates are all black, including the lettering and numbering.
They don’t bounce and are among the slimmest plates available. The slim design means you can get more plates on the bar.
The Rogue HG 2.0’s are competition plates, having been used at both CrossFit games and CrossFit regionals. It should be noted that since they are color-coded, they can’t be used for IWF competitions.
Like most bumper plates, the Rogue HG 2.0’s have a stainless steel insert with a 2” diameter. They are value-conscious and durable.
The fact that you can load more pounds on the bar while training for CrossFit competition makes Rogue HG 2.0 the best slim bumper plate.
- Slim Design Lets You Train Heavier
- Dead Bounce
- Very Durable Bumper Plates
- Good For CrossFit Competition – Not Suited For IWF
- There Have Been Some Complaints About Quality
4. Rogue Echo Bumper Plates – Best Overall General Training Bumper Plates
Rogue has a reputation for quality and their Echo Bumper Plates are no exception. They are manufactured to IWF standards.
These plates are extremely durable thanks to the fact they are made using virgin rubber. Also, they have a dead bounce.
They are black with white lettering and numbering. Plus, they feature a steel insert that will not come loose. They work well for any style of weight training.
The Rogue Echo Bumper Plates are reasonably priced and will last a lifetime. That makes the Rogue Bumper Plates the best overall bumper plates for general training.
- Made Using Virgin Rubber
- Reasonable Price
- Good Quality
- Manufactured To IWF Standards
- They Can Have A Strong Chemical Odor
5. Rogue Competition Bumper Plates – Best Premium Competition Bumper Plates
Here’s our pick for premium bumper plates that are IWF-approved. Rogue Competition Bumper Plates feature official IWF branding and raised lettering. These competition bumpers are all 17″ (450mm) in diameter. They feature chrome-plated steel inserts and a 1.98″ (50.4mm) collar opening.
Also, these Rogue plates are color-coded to IWF standards. As per IWF, the weight of each plate is listed in kilograms.
Rogue Competition Plates have low bounce, making your lifts more secure. There’s also a raised flange designed to prevent contact between discs. This also makes the plates easier to pick up.
The Rogue Competition Bumpers are accurate within 15 grams. Finally, these can be bought as singles, pairs, or sets.
- Extremely Accurate Weight
- Sold As Singles, Pairs, Or Sets
- IWF-Approved For Competition
- Not For Value-Conscious Lifters
6. CAP Barbell Black Rubber Bumper Plates – Best No Odor Bumper Plates
CAP Barbell Bumper Plates are manufactured using both virgin and recycled rubber.
They feature a cast iron core for balance and a steel insert with a 2” diameter hole.
This is a high durability plate with no rubbery odor. They are low bounce which improves control. Repeated drops will not damage the plates, the bar, or your floor.
The CAP Bumpers come in several sizes and feature black lettering and numbering. The fact that they are odor controlled makes CAP Barbell Black Bumper Plates the best no odor bumper plate.
- No Rubbery Smell
- Low Bounce
- Features A Cast Iron Core
- Thicker Than Many Bumper Plates, May Limit The Amount Of Weight You Can Use
7. Eleiko IWF Weightlifting Training Discs – Best Training Plates
Eleiko IWF Weightlifting Training Discs are competition-level bumper plates that are IWF certified for training.
The weight is as precise as it gets. The rubber is a special “Swedish rubber” that has superior durability. This type of rubber will last longer than other types, making Eleiko bumper plates a good investment.
These high quality bumper plates are color-coded to IWF standards and use white lettering as well as numbering. The weight of each plate is listed in kilograms.
The Eleiko Discs are extremely expensive. If you compete, or just simply want the best, the Eleiko IWF Weightlifting Training Discs are the best overall training bumper plates.
- IWF Certified
- Competition Quality
- Precise Poundage To The Gram
- May Be Too Pricey For Some Users
8. Aachen Competition Rubber Bumper Plates – Best Budget Competition Plates
Aachen Competition Rubber Bumper Plates are a good value-minded option if you plan to compete.
These durable rubber plates are made to IWF competition standards. They are made from virgin rubber and feature a unique chrome-plated steel hub. The hub is considerably larger than the inserts you usually see on other bumper plates.
The Aachen Competition Plates are color-coded with white lettering and numbering. Still, the weight is listed in pounds. These plates do not follow IWF color-coding guidelines.
They have been drop-tested thousands of times to ensure durability. Best of all, they are priced right. That makes the Aachen Competition Bumpers the best budget competition plates.
- Made To Competition Standards
- Features A Large Steel Hub In The Center
- Among The Most Durable Virgin Rubber Plates On The Market
- Weight May Be Off By 10 Grams
- Not IWF Color-Coded
9. REP Fitness Bumper Plates – Best Value For General Training
The REP Fitness Bumper Plates are made for value. These plates are manufactured to be durable with low bounce. They are made from virgin rubber and use steel inserts. The 2” diameter hole will fit any Olympic bar.
The REP Bumpers list their weight in pounds, not kilograms.
One good feature of the Rep black Bumper Plates is that the 10lb plates are thicker for strength. The heavier plates are thinner so you can get more weight on the bar.
Rep Fitness Bumper Plates are value-minded and great for any style of training. In fact, they are the best value for general training.
- 10lb Plates Are Thicker For Strength & Durability
- No Bounce
- Higher Weight Plates Are Thinner So You Can Load The Bar Heavier
- Some Lifters Complain Of A Strong Rubbery Odor
10. REP Fitness Competition Bumper Plates – Best Durability For Competition
The REP Competition Bumper Plates are the best value-minded plates for competition. These competition plates are factory tested with over 30,000 drops. Plus, there’s a 5 -year warranty on the plates.
The patented design features an inner steel ring. These rings improve durability by dispersing force. Also, these competition plates are low bounce.
Finally, these competition bumpers adhere to Olympic specs and follow international color standards for competition. They list their weight in kilograms as per competition standards.
- Factory Tested To 30,000 Drops
- Patent-Pending Design
- Best Value-Minded Competition Plates On The Market
- The Patent-Pending Insert Is Made Of Zinc – Some Users Feel It’s Not As Durable As Steel
11. Titan Fitness Elite Olympic Bumper Plates – Best Black Bumper Plates
The Titan Elite Bumper Plates are manufactured to IWF standards.
These plates feature a steel hub that’s a little bigger than most plates. There’s also a raised plate lip so they can be picked up easier.
The Elite plates are black with white lettering. Titan Fitness Elite Olympic Bumper Plates are designed to have a dead bounce.
Many bumper plates use color coding to distinguish between kg’s/lbs. Titan Elite Bumpers use color-coded numbering. Color on black stands out. Yet, you can’t tell the weight of the plates once the bar is loaded. With color-coded plates, it’s easy. Still, this is an improvement over other black plates that use only black numbering or even white numbering.
That makes the Titan Fitness Elite Olympic Bumper Plates the best black bumper plates.
- Dead Bounce – High Durability
- Manufactured To IWF Standards
- Features Color Coded Numbering
- Some Users Do Not Like The Finish
12. Titan Fitness Urethane Bumper Plates – Best Budget Urethane Bumper Plates
Titan Urethane Bumper Plates are the most affordable bumper plates on the market. These colored urethane plates are denser than regular rubber plates.
That means they can be thinner with no loss of strength or durability. A thinner plate means more weight. If you lift heavy, these plates will work well.
These rubber plates can be used by themselves to add weight to your chin-ups, pull-ups, and dips. Or, use them to put more weight on the bar for your competition lifts.
They meet IWF standards for diameter and color-coding. However, they are in pounds, not IWF-required kilograms. Still, they are color-coded to IWF standards. That’s possible by relating pounds to comparable kilograms. For example, a green plate is 10kg or 22lbs. The green Titan plates are 25lbs.
Finally, there is an internal steel ring that helps the plates keep their shape. Best of all, the Titan Plates are the best budget bumper plates made of urethane.
- These Plates Meet IWF Standards
- Fits Any Olympic Barbell
- Thinner Than Other Bumper Plates So You Can Load More Weight
- Color-Coded To IWF Standards, But They Are Pounds Not Kilograms
- May Not Have As Good A Warranty As Other Plates
13. Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates – Best Patent Pending Bumper Plates
These patent-pending plates are a better choice than recycled rubber plates. These plates do not use recycled rubber. They are so unique they are patented. Plus, there’s no odor like you’d find with recycled rubber plates or crumb rubber plates.
The Vulcan plates have no bounce. Plus, they have been tested for noise when dropped from a maximum height of 9ft. In fact, they are quiet and durable. They can be dropped on concrete with no damage. That can’t be said for other plates on the market.
The Vulcan Alpha Plates use an anchored insert made of steel. Also, they are color-coded to IWF standards. Yet, they use pounds, not kilograms.
Finally, the 10lb plates are slightly smaller to add density and strength.
- Plates Are Made From An Exclusive Patent-Pending Compound
- They Do Not Bounce And Are 25% Quieter Than Other Bumper Plates When Dropped
- Strong Enough To Be Dropped On Concrete
- May Be Too Thick For Some Users
14. American Barbell Urethane Plates – Best Urethane Bumper Plates
American Barbell Plates are the best bumper plates made of urethane.
Choosing bumper plates involves several factors. One of them is the material they are made from. Urethane is harder than rubber. Also, it’s more durable than rubber and has low bounce.
American Barbell is the first company to make this type of plate. The urethane used for these plates originates in Germany.
These plates feature a one-piece chrome hub. It’s 140mm (5″) in diameter and designed for easy loading and reduced wear on the bar.
The plates get thicker as they go up in poundage. Finally, the numberings and logos are molded right onto the color-coded plates. They are color-coded to IWF standards, and in kilograms, not pounds.
- The First Company To Make Urethane Plates
- Extremely Durable
- Features a 140mm Chrome Hub
- Not For Value-Minded Lifters
15. Hi Temp Bumper Plates – Best Crumb Rubber Bumper Plates
Hi Temp Bumper Plates are made for Rogue Fitness. These crumb rubber plates are another option over noisy iron plates. They’re also a better option than cheap standard bumper plates imported from other countries.
Crumb rubber is recycled from rubber tires. The Hi Temp Bumper Plates feature durable rubber with a strong 2″ insert made of stainless steel.
These plates have more bounce than other bumper plates. They are 445mm (18″) in diameter. These plates are guaranteed to be within .5lbs of the advertised weight.
One possible downside is that they are a smaller diameter than steel plates. That means they shouldn’t be used with other plates.
This is a multi-purpose plate that can be used for any training style. They are all black, even the lettering and numbering. Finally, they are sold in pairs and listed in pounds.
- Made By Hi Temp For Rogue Fitness
- Features A 2″ Insert – Stainless Steel
- Guaranteed Within .5lbs Of Claimed Weight
- Some Users Feel They Are Smaller Than Steel Plates, Therefore They Can’t Be Mixed
- A Few Users Feel They Bounce Too Much
Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Bumper Plates
Why Use Bumper Plates?
Perhaps the first question you should ask is, why use bumper plates instead of regular plates? If you’re working out at home, there are several definite benefits to using bumper plates. These include:
- Bumper plates prevent damage to floors — Do you work out in a garage or extra room? The last thing you should want is damage to your floor should you drop a plate or loaded barbell. What if you drop a bumper plate? You may still have to deal with a little damage, especially if you train in a spare room. Still, bumper plates will not cause the kind of damage a regular plate can.
- Bumper plates are quieter — Have ever dropped regular iron plates on your garage floor, or any floor? You know they can be loud. They can clang or even squeal. That’s not good if you’re trying to train quietly. Bumper plates are made of rubber or urethane. They will be considerably quieter than regular plates. That’s a lifesaver if you train early in the morning and don’t want to disturb anyone.
- Bumper plates limit the risk of injury — Bumper plates can be dropped without bouncing or causing much damage. In fact, you can drop them from an overhead lift or deadlift. You don’t have to worry about them bouncing up and hitting you. Some training styles do not emphasize lowering the bar. They emphasize dropping it once you’ve got the weight up. This includes Olympic weightlifting and certain powerlifting exercises, such as deadlifts. If you’re overhead pressing or deadlifting, you can drop the bar and not worry about it.
What To Look For In A Bumper Plate
Are you just about ready to buy bumper plates? The first thing you should decide is the type of plate you want. You can choose bumper plates for general training or for competition.
A training plate is less expensive than a competition plate. They will not be as precise. This means your 20kg plate, for example, might be off by a couple of grams.
Are these bumper plates worth it? Even if they are slightly off, we recommend bumper plates of this type because they are a better value than the expensive competition plates.
Here are some other factors to consider before buying bumper plates:
As noted, all bumper plates should have the least amount of bounce possible. The less bounce a plate has, the safer it will be if it’s dropped.
As we noted above, competition Olympic lifting focuses only on getting the bar up, the weight is usually allowed to drop once you succeed in your lift.
You may see the same thing in a Powerlifting competition. If you watch a deadlift in competition, the powerlifter will lift the weight, hold for a moment, and then just let the weight drop.
Since you lift this way when competing, you should also train this way. That’s a lot of drops. That means you need durable plates made to take the beating.
In these instances, imagine the damage from a bar with iron plates. Also, imagine the result of rubber plates with a lot of bounce.
Rubber plates with low or no bounce mean no serious damage and more control.
Type Of Material
The best rubber for a minimal bounce is virgin rubber. This type of rubber is also the most durable.
What is virgin rubber? It’s the purest form of rubber. This means longer life, strength, and low odor.
On the other hand, recycled rubber is not as durable and will have more bounce. If the bounce is a factor, make sure you choose a bumper plate made from virgin rubber.
This type of bumper plate is man-made and harder than regular rubber. It’s a type of rubber that’s more durable with a low bounce.
It also does not have an overpowering rubbery odor. Many commercial gyms will use urethane plates and dumbbells for these reasons.
It should be noted that these plates will cost more than other bumper plates.
Center Ring Quality
The best bumper plates will have a high-quality center ring that will last a long time. Poor quality means the insert becomes loose or comes out altogether. The insert should be one piece and made of steel. Also, it should be anchored to the plate.
Some hubs are made of chrome. A chrome hub, or insert, will slide onto the bar more smoothly than stainless steel. That means less wear on the bar. Still, steel is stronger and less likely to come off.
Some bumper plates are designed to be thinner so you can get more weight on the bar. This is a good idea if you’re training for competition or trying to set a new PR. Other plates get thicker as the poundage goes up.
There are a few plates that have a lip on the edge to allow for easier handling. This is more convenient and makes it easier to grab the plate. If you choose a weight plate like this, the extra edge will add to the width. Look for a design that combines the lip with a thinner plate.
Many bumper plates come in black. If you plan to buy color-coded bumper plates, you should know what each color stands for.
It’s not just for variety. The colors are set per IWF standards and indicate the weight of the plate. This can be in pounds or kilograms, depending on the manufacturer.
So, most companies follow a uniform color code that designates a specific weight as per IWF standards:
- Red Plates are 55lb or 25kg
- Blue Plates are 44lb or 20kg
- Yellow plates are 33lb or 15kg
- Green plates are 22lb or 10kg
- White plates are 11lb or 5kg
Color bumper plates make it easy to tell how much weight is on the bar. If you’re looking from a distance, you can just add up the poundage per color and there you go.
It should be noted that some companies follow their own color code guidelines.
IWF stands for International Weightlifting Federation. It’s one of the oldest sports federations in weightlifting as well as its governing body.
The IWF regulates all international weightlifting competitions. That includes standardizing any bumper plates used.
Since IWF-certified bumper plates are expensive, most training plates are not certified but the manufacturer matches IWF standards.
How To Calculate Your Weight For IWF Competition
Are you training for competition? The weight you lift is more than just what’s on the plates. You have to factor in the weight of the bar and the collars.
An Olympic bar weighs 20kg (44lbs). Bars used in women’s competitions weigh 15kg (33lbs). The women’s bar is shorter, not as thick, and won’t hold as much weight.
What about collars? They are 2.5kg (5.5lbs) each, for a total of 5kg (11lbs). In case you haven’t noticed, the IWF uses kilograms only.
So, when loading your bar, add the bar and collar weight. On a men’s bar, that’s adding 25kg or 54lbs. What a big difference!
Do You Need Bumper Weight Plates?
Indeed, bumper plates are mainly designed for lifting styles that encourage dropping the weight, as in Olympic and some powerlifting lifts.
What if you never drop your barbell? Also, if you’re a bodybuilder, you lift over a full range of motion. That means no dropping.
If you train at home, it makes sense to train using quiet plates.
Sure, for you iron plates seem like the obvious choice. Yet, as noted above, have you ever wanted to train when no one else is awake?
It’s hard, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be great if your plates made no noise?
Ultimately, you need bumper plates for two reasons. To train the Olympic lifts and/or to train quietly. You will have to decide if they are worth it over regular plates.
Why Do Bumper Plates Cost More Than Regular Plates
First of all, Olympic plates are more expensive than standard plates. Therefore, if budget is a major concern, go with regular standard plates. Also, a standard bar is cheaper than an Olympic bar.
However, finding standard plates with a 1″ hole coated in rubber may not be easy.
Most rubber plates are made for the thicker Olympic bars. They are expensive because of material and manufacturing costs. Specific machines are needed to make them. Also, shipping for heavy plates can be costly. Of course, all these costs are always passed on to the consumer.
If you’re new to the idea of using bumper plates, you can see how they are more than simply plates designed for Olympic-style lifters. They are a great choice for your home gym and any style of weight training.
What are the best bumper plates? The best overall is Fringe Sports Color Bumper Plates. These are extremely durable with no bounce, and they feature anchored steel inserts. These plates are made from virgin rubber, making them an outstanding choice.
If you plan to compete, the best competition bumper plates are the Rogue Competition Bumper Plates. These plates are competition-level and feature exceptional quality. You’ll pay for that quality, however.
If you do not intend to compete and just want a good bumper plate for general training, HulkFit Olympic Rubber Bumper Plate is the best home gym bumper plates. This is the plate for bodybuilding, CrossFit, and anyone that wants a quiet plate for home use.
As you can see, there’s a lot of choices, let your goals make the best choice for you!