Best Bumper Plates
On the surface, it would appear that this guide would be filled with useless information that you know in your sleep. After all, how hard could it really be to pick out some bumper plates? For the record, these are merely weight plates that are used with Olympic barbells. But, you could just head over to Amazon and buy the first pair you see and you would be good to go, right? While you may get lucky and buy a premium pair, chances are, you will be doing yourself a disservice this way. The reality is that not all bumper plates will be made the same and paying attention to the key details can make all the difference in the world. And, after today, you will know those exact details at hand.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 3 hrs of research
Features higher density virgin rubber
The rubber will not show signs of wear quickly
Comes with color-coded plates
OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST BUMPER PLATES
Features higher density virgin rubber
The rubber will not show signs of wear quickly
Comes with color-coded plates
A smell is present (though it is not overwhelming)
Some plates will be sold individually but this right here is a full set and, better yet, the weight plates are color-coded. Also, as with most top-end options, virgin rubber was used in the engineering process.Read more
There are quite a few sets available for you to choose from (all the way from 100 to 370 pounds). Within each set, you will be provided with a variety of different weights.
In addition to the fact that these plates are made of higher density virgin rubber, they also sport expertly designed stainless steel inserts. Do note, though, that the virgin rubber can smell a bit.
Even after several uses and several drops, each of the weights will not show signs of wear and tear. The quality is premium here that much is for sure.
Though it really is a minute feature, any of the sets you select will come with color-coded weights. In an instance where you need to quickly select certain weights, this will come in handy.
Each weight sports an insert diameter of two inches. So, that means that each of them will work with Olympic barbells.
While this may seem incredibly expensive, for a full set of bumper plates of this quality, you could almost consider this a steal. The bang for your buck here is utterly marvelous.
2. XMARK LUMBERJACK
Includes a 255-pound weight set and an Olympic bar
The plates feature premium rubber casing
The weights are also designed with grip handles
The black coating on the bar is not the best
The smell can be an issue
Now, this is truly a full set as it comes fully loaded with several Olympic weights and also an Olympic bar. It is also sold by XMark Fitness so you know the quality is superb.Read more
What a set this is. All in all, you receive a seven-foot Olympic bar and a 255-pound weight set. Of course, there are also other sets available that you can pick from.
Okay, so the bumper plates are designed with rubber casings that are made from virgin and recycled rubber. As for the bar, it sports brass bushings and a protective black coating (though it is not the most pristine coating).
The weights themselves have been handcrafted from cast iron and the aforementioned rubber casings. Of course, also as mentioned, the shaft coating on the bar is designed to provide protection against rust but it does not do the best job.
On each weight, there are five slot openings and this allows you to load each of them with greater ease on the bar.
Even though the collars are not included, the bar and the weights come together. So, you do not need to worry about the compatibility unless you want to invest in a different barbell.
If you need and want it all then this may be the set for you. Of course, if you already own a premium barbell and merely require the weights then you may want to pass on this one.
3. XMARK FITNESS
Features recessed tri-grip handles
They are shipped in pairs and sets to reduce costs
Encased with peel and crack-resistant rubber casing
Be prepared for a potent smell
What a brilliant design this is. The pair of weights that you receive has been designed with tri-grip handles and integrated finger slots to ensure much easier loading on the barbell.Read more
All in all, you have three weight options to choose from (10, 25 and 45 pounds). No matter which size you pick, you will receive two weights with your purchase.
First off, each of the weights sold by XMark is handcrafted of cast iron. But, protecting this metal is premium rubber casing that is made from a combination of recycled and virgin rubber.
Cast iron itself is known for its durability but the premium rubber casing is peel and crack-resistant and is going to withstand a ton of abuse over its lifespan.
This is where XMark Fitness deserves the most credit, honestly. All throughout each weight, there are three different openings that sport recessed tri-grip handles. This small feature makes it much easier to load the plates on your barbell.
XMark Fitness designed their weights to work on Olympic barbells and this means that each of them sports an opening diameter of two inches.
A strong claim could be made that these weights deserved the gold selection on this list. If this was a complete set, maybe that would be the case but as is, you will need to buy these weights in pairs.
4. REP FITNESS
Backed by a warranty against factory defects
The lettering is bright white and very easy to see
Each weight can withstand over 15,000 drops
Many buyers have noted that bad odors can be an issue
Really, what more could you ask for? Rep Fitness presents their weights on this list and they are designed from premium virgin rubber and sport white lettering that is easily distinguishable.Read more
Variety is the spice of life and Rep Fitness is fully aware of that. As such, they provide you with tons of different options from pairs to sets (the variety is truly superb).
The combination of the virgin rubber and the stainless steel inserts make for impressive plates. Yet, you may notice a small odor resonating from the rubber (and this is common).
Being factory tested to withstand more than 15,000 drops from a height of eight feet, you can take great comfort in knowing that these weights will hold up well over time.
It is so simple yet oh so brilliant. This is referring to the fact that Rep Fitness equipped their models with white lettering instead of black.
For all Olympic barbells that sport two-inch sleeves, each and every weight that you buy here will fit securely and properly.
For being farther down on this list, it is still amazing how wonderful these weights truly are. Sure, you may have to deal with emitted odors but that is not uncommon.
5. TITAN ELITE
The different weights are color-coded
Designed with a steel collar
The raised lip makes picking up the weights easier
They are sold individually
As great as Titan Fitness’s weights are, it is worth noting right off the bat that they sell them individually. So, if you are looking for full sets, there are more convenient options out there.Read more
It is mentioned in the product description that Titan Fitness sells each of its weights individually. For the record, there are 10, 25, 35, 45, and 55-pound options available.
Past the premium rubber casing that so many other top-end models integrate, each one of the weights that you buy here is reinforced with a steel collar.
The aforementioned steel collars will actually prevent wear on your equipment while the plates themselves will stand up very well to high reps and intense use.
Of the weights that are sold, they feature different colors for easy identification. Additionally, each of them features a raised lip which makes picking them up easier.
The collar opening on each and every one of the weights is 50.6 millimeters (which works out to right around two inches).
If you needed a complete set, you could technically get it here but the process in doing so would be hampered by the fact that each weight is sold individually. In spite of this, the quality is phenomenal.
6. X TRAINING EQUIPMENT
Several size options are available
They can withstand a ton of abuse
Backed by a 180-day warranty
Until the odor is gone, it can be very potent
If one thing is for sure, sometimes rubber bumper plates give off a potent odor that can be unbearable. While you may need to manually get rid of the smell with these weights, the end result will be worth it.Read more
There is a strong variety of size options available. For the record, there are options for singles, pairs, and sets so you can go with the option that you see fit.
In addition to the 100 percent rubber construction, these have been equipped with steel inserts that will allow the accompanying barbell to fit snug. Of course, many users have complained about the potent chemical smell of the rubber.
If nothing else, you can take solace in knowing that these plates were designed and tested by CrossFit and certified Olympic weightlifting coaches.
Though this is another classic example of black lettering imprinted onto a black body, this time, it is not too difficult to see the weight specifications on each individual plate.
It is becoming a running theme and, yet again, these are going to properly fit two-inch diameter barbells.
Yes, this is another option that comes with a bad odor. Once the odor is able to be dissipated, though, everything will be history thanks to the quality present here.
7. XTREME MONKEY
They will bounce less than others
Each weight has a different font color
Can withstand 10,000 to 30,000 drops
You have to buy them individually
If you wanted to make a set with these plates, you would need to buy each desired weight individually. Of course, it may be worth it thanks to the premium design of each one.Read more
A wide variety of plates, from 10 to 55 pounds, are open for you to purchase. Yet, the seller only has singles up so you can’t buy a set directly.
It seems that Xtreme Monkey designed their plates with crumb and virgin rubber. The former prevents these from bouncing too high and the latter is used as a tough covering.
It is noted that these weighs can handle anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 drops. While this is an extremely vague range, this durability is thanks to the crumb rubber technology and virgin rubber.
Even though each of the weight options sports a black exterior, each of them has different colored lettering. This subtle feature makes it much easier to identify specific weights.
While it looks like these will fit two-inch bars, it is not specified by the seller on the official product page (at least not as of this writing).
All in all, these are not the most popular weights on the market. And, you can only buy them as singles. But, looking at each one individually, they are designed very well.
Will fit all barbells with two-inch sleeves
Virgin rubber was utilized in the engineering process
Backed by a one-year satisfaction guarantee
Very hard to distinguish the different plates
Each weight emits a strong rubber odor
In a bit of an ironic twist, OneFitWonder started this list and will end this list, as well. As opposed to the top option on this list, though, these weights are not color-coded and are quite hard to distinguish between, honestly.Read more
This right here is a 160-pound set. With it, you receive a pair of 10, 25, and 45-pound weights.
Though the odor that comes with these weights is not pleasant, they are designed with virgin rubber (which is formulated for its low bounce, density and durability).
Even the puny little 10-pound weights have been engineered to handle up to 30,000 drops. Of course, so have all the rest and this is quite a bump up from the often claimed 15,000 drops.
Though not downright impossible to see, the lettering that is present on each of the weights could have been improved. Also, these are not color-coded.
One previous buyer reported that they had difficulties fitting these on their compatible bar due to the center holes being too tight. For the record, however, these will fit barbells with two-inch sleeves.
Do not get it twisted; this really is a great option. In addition to the 30,000-drop rating that each of the bumper plates has, they are also crafted of premium virgin rubber.
9. VULCAN STRENGTH
Comes in a pair
Each plate is made from virgin rubber
Will fit Olympic-sized barbells
No color-coding or distinct lettering is present
In terms of performance and build quality, Vulcan Strength deserves a ton of credit for their bumper plates. Yet, the lettering does not stand out and this can make pinpointing a specific weight more difficult.Read more
It appears as if other sizes are available, for the record, but you do receive two plates with your purchase here. This one, in specific, is for two 45 pounders.
Vulcan Strength is yet another company to engineer their bumper plates with virgin rubber instead of recycled rubber.
Though Vulcan Strength does not provide a rating to how many drops their weights can endure, the quality is premium so expect countless drops before replacements will be needed.
This is the biggest problem with this option. You see, each of the weights is plain black with black lettering. Due to this, it is going to be tricky to quickly distinguish between them.
Granted you own an Olympic barbell (one that sports a diameter of two inches), then these weights are going to work perfectly for you.
The truth is if you do not have an issue with the black lettering on top of the black exterior, then you will utterly marvel in the design and effectiveness of these premium weights.
10. CAP BARBELL PREMIUM
Other bundles and pairs are available for purchase
Can be used with Olympic barbells
The steel inserts add protection
Not the most premium of options
Once again, the smell can be an issue
Even though these are dubbed as premium weights, admittedly, there are superior options out there. Yet, at the same time, CAP Barbell’s plates will be a welcome addition to anyone’s home gym.Read more
While you can opt for a single pair of weights, there are also a few bundle options available. With these, you will receive a unique selection of plates.
Nothing out of the ordinary here as each individual weight features a cast iron core that has been encased with virgin and recycled rubber. Also, there are steel inserts.
Overall, the durability is pretty good here. As one buyer did point out, though, the quality could use improved around the center rings of the plates.
This is one of the worst culprits of easy identification you will ever see. For whatever reason, the lettering is barely visible from even a decent distance (let alone from far away).
Each of the bumper plates you get all can be used with two-inch Olympic bars (as each of them has the same sized opening).
Few buyers out there will question the effectiveness of this option. However, some slight flaws prevent it from topping most of the entries on this list.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
What size plates do you want and do you want a full set? Answering these questions will go a long way in the buying process.
First and foremost, you need to figure out what you want. Yes, this is a very vague proclamation but it is merely in regard to how many weights you want and the total weight you want. From one person to the next, though, this is going to be completely different and it is important to address because bumper plates come in different sizes. Not only this but not all sellers will package their models in the same manner. Some will offer you with the option to buy a bundle of weights and others may only offer theirs in pairs. Then, of course, you have the rare sellers that only sell their plates individually.
Now, it goes without saying that you can always find another way. For example, if you wanted a total weight of 300 pounds, you could simply buy enough pairs or individual weights to meet this amount. Of course, doing so will be much easier with a seller that offers a bundle of weights (and also cheaper, for that matter). With all this being said, the amount you desire is all dependent on you. But, know this, you can benefit quite a bit from heavier deadlifts.
Due to the nature of their design, it is vital that the materials are premium.
This is section is all about the rubber. Now, not all weights on the market will be made with a composition of rubber. Yet, most of the top-end models will utilize this material. But, not all rubber is the same and in the world of bumper plates, it typically comes down to either recycled or virgin. The difference between these two is night and day so it is important to understand the differences between them. To start, let’s focus on recycled rubber. This is also known as crumb rubber and it is comprised of old tires. Literally, old tires are ground up into little pieces and these are known as crumbs. From there, a binding agent is used to join all the crumbs together. This same binding agent is actually used to determine the quality of the rubber.
In all reality, this type of process is inferior to virgin rubber. If nothing else, this type looks much smoother and is more uniform in its construction. Also, it is more durable as a whole and when you end up dropping the bar, this type of material will not damage or scuff your floors. One last thing; you should also look for models that sport stainless steel inserts as these will help to protect the barbell.
These are literally designed to be dropped at the apex of your lift. So, they need to hold up to abuse.
In a way, this is merely a continuation of the last section. The materials that are utilized will go a long way in determining the durability of any given bumper plate. But, why is it so important for them to be durable, in the first place (outside of the obvious fact of you wanting to spend your money wisely)? The main reason is due to the nature of what they are designed for. After you have performed a lift with your barbell (and the attached weights), you merely drop it to the floor. Yes, this is done at the apex of the lift and that means that the weights are going to come slamming on the floor. This process will be repeated over and over again and this means that the plates will go through a ton of abuse during their lifespan.
Some sellers will claim their weights are tested to withstand 15,000 drops (with some even claiming this number to be 30,000). While this rating is a good reference point, this is also where virgin rubber holds an advantage. You see, crumb rubber will deteriorate over time and even though virgin rubber is going to mark up easily, it is still the more durable of the two.
The features you need to look for may seem trivial but they are actually very important.
Some of you may have the mindsight that the color of a bumper plate is nothing more than trivial nonsense. However, this could not be farther from the truth. First and foremost, if you buy a set of weights that are color-coded (or at least easily distinguishable from one another) then it is going to be much more convenient for you to pick out the weights you want to place on the barbell. But, did you also know that certain weightlifting federations have a standardized color set that is used for competition? Two that come to mind are the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) and the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF). What this means is if you get a set of plates that are in accordance to these color standards (which can be found online), it will become muscle memory when you go to select your weights.
Another feature that on the surface appears minor is integrated slots. Bumper plates can get downright heavy and if they are not easy to lift onto the barbell, you could end up hurting yourself. With integrated slots and possibly grips, you are provided with a convenient means of grabbing the plates when lifting them.
This is simple; you need to buy plates that will fit on your barbell.
No, this has nothing to do with software as it is not as if you can link your smart devices to a bumper plate. Instead, “compatibility” is merely referring to the barbell that you are using. What you need to ensure is that the plates you buy will fit onto the barbell safely and securely. Well, the way to do this is to assess the diameter of the center opening. As you have seen in this guide, models with two-inch diameters are common.
The reason for this is this is the standard for Olympic plates and barbells. But, not all models will be like this and some weights will only have one-inch diameters. Even if this is the case, make sure that you have a compatible barbell to go with them.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
What you need to understand from the word go is that not all options on the market will come with the same amount of weights. Depending on the seller, you may be given the option to invest in a bundle of weights, pairs, or even just a single weight. Most plates range anywhere from 10 to 55 pounds and bundles will typically provide you with a set number of each.
It is debatable but this right here may be the most important factor of the entire buying process. Yeah, it is that important. And, it really all comes down to the type of rubber that you choose. Not all bumper plates will be encased with rubber but it is a very common material choice. Of course, there are different types (such as virgin and recycled). With all due respect to recycled rubber, virgin rubber reigns supreme.
Yes, this stems right off of the last section and this is just as important. And, this comes down to the fact that with these types of weights, you will be dropping them at the apex of your lift. So, it is safe to say that they need to be able to handle a significant amount of drops. When we say significant, this means upward of 15,000 to 30,000 drops.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How do you get rid of the smell?
This is probably the number one complaint when it comes to this type of fitness equipment. But, this is one of the issues of rubber as it does tend to emit a potent odor. But, in general, when it is recycled, the smell is much worse than it is with virgin rubber. Yet, you can help out the situation by eliminating the potency of the odor. One of the best methods of doing so it to merely soak the plates in a solution of water, baking soda and white vinegar. In a tub, fill it up with enough water to cover the weights and then add two cups each of vinegar and baking soda. After an hour or so, rinse them off (this can be repeated as many times as it takes).
q: What does the durometer rating indicate?
Though this has not been touched on yet, this right here is very important. In general, the durometer rating is a system that is used to inform people of how hard a certain object is. The reason this is important, in this case, is because you will be dropping bumper weights when you lift them up. So, the harder they are the less bounce they will have. Most models will have a rating of anywhere from 70 to 95 (the higher the number, the harder it is). Also, virgin rubber tends to be harder than recycled (though this means it is also louder).
q: Why buy these, in the first place?
Really, the main reason why is so you can drop the bar at the apex of the lift. But, why is this so important? It is simple really; it all comes down to safety. While you would think that tossing 300 pounds on the ground would be less safe, the strength needed to perform an overhead lift can be intense enough. With normal weights that are not designed to withstand drops, you would then need to gather the strength to safely bring the entire bar down.
q: Do you need these plates for deadlifts?
Alright, so even though you know the benefits of these types of plates, are you going to require them for something such as deadlifts? The easy answer to this question is no and it is not just with deadlifts (as squats and other presses also apply). Bumper plates will not be needed for these types of lifts and will only be needed for Olympic lifts.
q: What is IWF Certification?
Perhaps you are serious about your craft and aim to partake in worldwide competitions for Olympic lifts. If you do plan on doing so, then IWF certification is going to be of some importance to you. The IWF regulates international weightlifting competitions and they standardized what plates can be used. And, the only models that will be sanctioned by them will be those that are IWF certified. Yet, investing in these types can be downright expensive and it is not advised unless you are very serious about competitive lifting.
q: Why are they so greasy?
Remember when it was claimed that bad odors are one of the most common complaints about these types of weights? Well, the second may be the greasiness of the plates. During the manufacturing process, these plates will be greased and oftentimes they are not cleaned well enough. So, this can leave you with greasy weights. To combat this, create a solution of soap and water and soak them in it. If the grease still persists then you can use some degreaser to get it off.