Bumper plates are rubber plates with a steel core designed for Olympic style bars.
If you’re into weightlifting, specifically Olympic lifting, you may already know about bumper plates. Training with these plates makes a lot of sense if you plan to compete.
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 bumper plates.
Since they’re made of rubber, 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:
Quick Answer – The Best Bumper Plates
- Fringe Sports Color Bumper Plates – Best Overall
- HulkFit Olympic Rubber Bumper Plate – Best Economical Home Gym Bumper Plates
- Rogue HG 2.0 Bumper Plates – Best Slim Bumper Plates
- CAP Barbell Black Rubber Bumper Plates – Best No Odor Bumper Plates
- Eleiko IWF Weightlifting Training Discs – Best Competition Bumper Plates
- Aachen Competition Rubber Bumper Plates – Best Budget Competition Bumper Plates
- REP Fitness Bumper Plates – Best Value General Training Bumper Plates
- Rogue Echo Bumper Plates – Best Overall General Training Bumper Plates
- Titan Fitness Elite Olympic Bumper Plates – Best Black Bumper Plates
Reviews – The Best Bumper Plates
1. Fringe Sports Color Bumper Plates – Best Overall
Fringe Sports Color Bumper Plates are manufactured using virgin rubber. This is a higher quality type of rubber that is extremely durable.
They feature an anchored steel insert with a 2” diameter. The insert is specially designed to not come loose. They also feature raised lettering as well as numbering and are labeled in pounds.
Fringe Sports Bumper Plates are color-coded for easy weight identification. They 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! All of these features make Fringe Sports Bumper Plates the best overall bumper plates.
- Anchored Steel Insert
- No Bounce
- Colored Coded To IWF Standards
- May Be Too Pricey For Some Users
2. HulkFit Olympic Rubber Bumper Plate – Best Economical Home Gym Bumper Plates
HulkFit Olympic Rubber Bumper Plates are manufactured using high-density rubber and color-coded for easy identification. HulkFit Bumper Plates use a solid steel inner ring with a 2” diameter designed 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 minimal bounce and can handle repeated drops. They are also well priced. That makes HulkFit Olympic Rubber Bumper Plates the best economical 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 weight on the bar.
Like all bumper plates, the Rogue HG 2.0’s have stainless steel inserts with a 2” diameter. They are durable and economically priced.
The fact that you can load more pounds on the bar when using these makes Rogue HG 2.0 the best slim bumper plates.
- Slim Design Lets You Train Heavier
- No Bounce
- There Have Been Some Complaints About Quality
4. CAP Barbell Black Rubber Bumper Plates – Best No Odor Bumper Plates
CAP Barbell Black Rubber 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 bar with no rubbery odor. They are a low bounce bar that prevents potential injury. Repeated drops will not damage the plates or the bar.
They come in several sizes and feature black lettering and numbering. The fact that they are odor controlled makes CAP Barbell Black Rubber 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
5. Eleiko IWF Weightlifting Training Discs – Best Competition Bumper 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 and the rubber is a special “Swedish rubber” that has superior durability. This type of rubber will last longer than other types, making Eleiko plates a good investment. They are color-coded to IWF standards and use white lettering as well as numbering.
These are extremely expensive plates but if you compete, or just simply want the best, the Eleiko IWF Weightlifting Training Discs are the best overall bumper plates.
- IWF Certified
- Competition Quality
- Precise Poundage To The Gram
- May Be Too Pricey For Some Users
6. Aachen Competition Rubber Bumper Plates – Best Budget Competition Bumper Plates
Aachen Competition Rubber Bumper Plates are a good option if you plan to compete.
These durable virgin rubber plates are made to competition standards. They feature a unique chrome-plated steel hub that is considerably larger than the steel inserts you usually see on other plates.
The Aachen Bumper Plates are color-coded with white lettering and numbering. They have been drop tested thousands of times to ensure durability.
Best of all, they are priced right. That makes the Aachen Competition Rubber Bumper Plates the best budget competition bumper plates.
- Made To Competition Standards
- Features A Large Steel Hub In The Center
- Weight May Be Off By 10 Grams
7. REP Fitness Bumper Plates – Best Value General Training Bumper Plates
The REP Fitness Bumper Plates are made for value. These plates are manufactured to be durable with minimal bounce. They use virgin rubber with steel inserts and 2” diameter holes to fit any Olympic bar.
One good feature is that the 10lb plates are thicker for strength. The heavier plates are thinner so you can get more weight on the bar.
rThese plates are great for any style of training and are value-priced. In fact, they are the best value for general training Bumper Plates.
- 10lb Plates Are Made For Strength & Durability
- No Bounce
- Higher Weight Plates Are Thinner So You Can Load The Bar Heavier
- Strong Rubbery Odor
8. 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. There’s no bounce and they’re black with white lettering and numbering.
They also feature steel inserts 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 Echo Bumper Plates the best overall bumper plates for general training.
- Made Using Virgin Rubber
- Reasonable Price
- Good Quality
- They Can Have A Strong Chemical Odor
9. Titan Fitness Elite Olympic Bumper Plates – Best Black Bumper Plates
Titan Fitness Elite Olympic Bumper Plates are a durable plate designed to have minimal bounce.
The Titan plates feature a steel hub that’s a little bigger than most plates. They are manufactured to IWF standards with a raised plate lip so they can be picked up easier.
These plates are black with white lettering.
While many bumper plates use color coding to distinguish between weight, the Titan Elite Bumpers use color-coded numbering. 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.
- Low Bounce – High Durability
- Manufactured To IWF Standards
- Features Color Coded Numbering
- Some Users Do Not Like The Finish
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 — If you workout in a garage or extra room, the last thing you want to deal with is potential damage to your floor should you drop a plate or loaded barbell. While you may still have to deal with a little damage, especially if you train in a spare bedroom in your house, bumper plates will not cause the kind of damage a regular plate can.
- Bumper plates are quieter — If you have ever dropped a regular plate 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 so 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 — Since bumper plates can be dropped without bouncing or causing much damage, 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. If you’re overhead pressing, you can drop the bar and not worry about catching it.
What To Look For In A Bumper Plate
The first thing you should decide is if you want a basic general training bumper plate or a competition-level plate. A training plate is less expensive than a competition plate. They will not be as precise, meaning your 25lb plate, for example, may be off by a couple of grams.
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, 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 Powerlifting.
If you watch a deadlift in competition, the powerlifter will lift the weight, hold for a moment, and sometimes just let the weight drop. In these instances, you’ll want the least amount of bounce possible.
Type Of Rubber
The best rubber for a minimal bounce is virgin rubber. This type of rubber is also the most durable. 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.
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 made of steel and anchored to the plate.
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. There are a few plates that have a lip on the edge to allow for easier handling.
This may be convenient but if you choose a plate like this, the extra edge will add to the width. Look for a design that combines the lip with a thinner plate.
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 poundage of a plate.
So, most companies follow a uniform color code that designates a specific weight as per IWF standards:
- Red Plates are 55 lb
- Blue Plates are 45 lb
- Yellow plates are 35 lb
- Green plates are 25 lb
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 bumper plates used.
Since IWF certified bumper plates are expensive, most training plates are not certified but the manufacturer matches IWF standards.
Do You Need Bumper Plates?
Indeed, bumper plates are mainly designed for lifting styles that encourage dropping the weight, as in Olympic lifts.
Still, even if you never drop your barbell, if you train at home, it makes sense to train using quiet plates.
As noted above, have you ever wanted to train when no one else is awake?
Hard, isn’t it?
A rubber plate won’t make much noise, making it ideal for home gyms.
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.
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 also 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 an outstanding bumper plate.
If you plan to compete, the best competition bumper plates are the Eleiko IWF Weightlifting Training Discs. 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 are the best home gym bumper plates. This is the plate for bodybuilders, Crossfitters, 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!