For the CrossFit athlete, Olympic weightlifter, and fitness enthusiast, the best bumper plates offer a safer and more durable option for your home gym or facility.
Power cleans, deadlifts, and snatches are just a few of the lifts that become more enjoyable with a good set of bumpers.
In a hurry? Check out the plates first here.
HG Rogue Bumper Plate
|View on Rogue Fitness|
REP Black Bumper Plates
|View on Rep Fitness|
Titan Fitness Economy Color Bumper Plates
|View on Titan Fitness|
HulkFit Color Coded Olympic Bumper Plates
|View on Amazon|
Rogue Bumpers by Hi-Temp
|View on Rogue Fitness|
Here Are The Best Bumper Plates
- ROGUE HG 2.0 BUMPER PLATES
- Rep Fitness
- Titan Fitness
- HulkFit Color Coded Olympic Bumper Plates (Competition Plates)
- Rogue Bumpers by Hi-Temp (Recycled Rubber)
In this article, you’ll learn what to look for when purchasing bumper plates and the benefits of training with bumpers instead of metal and traditional iron plates.
Also check out the 5 reviews for the top bumper plates available for home gyms and fitness facilities.
What To Look For When Purchasing Bumper Plates
Bumper plates, also called “bumpers”, are Olympic sized weighted plates made with thick virgin rubber. The material of the bumper plate makes dropping and bouncing your barbell on the floor safe.
When you go to buy, keep these 3 things in mind:
- Durability- Most of the wear and tear on these comes from putting on and taking off a bar, and from dropping on floor. Most bumpers are durable because they are one-piece molded virgin rubber or metal. Be cautious of multi-piece assembly bumpers, however there are exceptions.
- Density– Also known as the “durometer rating”, this measures the density of the rubber and how it will come in contact with the floor. The more expensive sets will be denser. You want less bounce also for safety reasons. Not only is solid rubber extremely dense but it also makes for a quieter sound on impact with the floor, a far nicer experience than iron plates.
- Warranty- How long does the company guarantee the equipment for? Can you get a new set if yours don’t hold up? They should come with at least a one year warranty.
If you find a set of bumper plates “secondhand”, ask the previous owner how long they have had them and how much they were used. For safety reasons, you don’t want a set that’s too worn down.
Lastly note that 10lb plates are not meant to be used by themselves on the barbell. Many of the plates will begin “tacoing” is on the barbell and dropped. Tacoing is simply bending inwards like a tortilla taco.
Benefits Of Training With Bumper Plates Vs Metal Plates
Here is a comparison of the benefits when training with the two types of weighted plates:
Benefits of Bumper Plates
- You can drop the bar- This is the obvious and biggest benefit. They can be dropped and bounced off the floor, making CrossFit workouts, Olympic lifts, and powerlifts all safer and easier to perform.
- Noise level– Bumpers are quieter when they come in contact with the floor compared to iron plates. This benefits home gym owners and facility owners alike.
- Less movement on the bar– Bumpers tend to hold snug and rattle around less on a olympic barbell better than metal plates do.
Benefits of Metal Plates
- You can stack more weight on– The biggest knock on bumper plates is that strong athletes can’t put enough weight on the bar. A typical Olympic-sized bar can hold 4-45 lb bumper plates on each end, maxing the bar out at 405 lbs. For some lifts, this is fine. But if you are a powerlifter, you may want to have some metal plates on hand, too.
- Easier to buy second hand– If you’re in the market for plates for a home gym, check Craigslist and other similar sites. Very often, someone getting rid of metal plates, which will save you a ton of money.
- Cheaper- Unless you buy them used, you will likely pay less for a set of metal plates.
Top Bumper Plates Reviewed
The featured bumper plates used at the CrossFit Games, Rogue makes a sleek design that is battle tested and proven to hold up. There will be no “tacoing”; this is the bending of the bumper plate like a taco.
Visit your local CrossFit affiliate and you’ll probably find sets of these in their gym.
This set offers a score an 88 on the durometer scale. 70 or higher is usually considered very good. The higher the number the less likely it is to dent. It tells you about the quality of the material, and its hardness.
While a 230lb set might be higher priced than Rep Fitness, Rogue generally tends to have inventory and ships fast. Also they have a 3yr warranty for 25lb to 45lb plates, but they do not make a distinction between home or commercial use, which is great if you are thinking about getting these for a commercial gym also.
$1.80/lb for a 230lb set (2x 10lb, 25lb, 35lb, 45lb)
Rep Fitness boasts that the core concept of their design- inserting stainless steel molded hooks on the inside- blows their competitors out of the water in terms of durability.
While there may be a strong rubber smell, generally speaking, they have a solid reputation, and people boast about how they hold up. The rubber smell like any new tire goes away after a while. It is best practice to air out new rubber bumper plates for a handful of days before using them.
This Rep Fitness Black bumper plates product line is meant for a home gym, but Rep Fitness does offer competition plates made to withstand more and tear meant for gyms, called the Competition Bumper plates line.
$1.38/lb for a 230lb set (2x 10lb, 25lb, 35lb, 45lb)
Titan Fitness has been a leader in supplying gyms with equipment for a while. They have a large portfolio of bumper plate products, in different colors, variations of all virgin rubber, rubber and metal, widths, and weights. This set is attractive, and the colors makes it easy to know which plates you are using.
Titan Fitness bumper competition plates are durable, and have very low if not the least amount of bounce, which makes them stand out in quality of product, and in safety. This particular set featured here in this article is meant for home gyms, meaning they are not meant to see full day of repeated dropping and being thrown on the floor, that you would encounter in a regular gym.
If you are buying for a gym, we recommend you check out their Elite Olympic Bumper Plates instead.
$1.87/lb for a 230lb set (2x 10lb, 25lb, 35lb, 45lb)
HulkFit bumper plates have many of the same features as the rest of this bunch such as a steel plate core interior, molded in with dense rubber to ensure durability. The color coding of the plates similar to Titan Fitness makes them easy to identify.
These competition plates have a unique feature that makes them universal in that their weights are posted in SI(lbs.) and Metric(kgs.) units. Other than the usability of that feature, this is good to know because the manufacturer is likely selling the same units across the world, which can mean easier availability of inventory and quicker shipping.
Prices vary due to demand
These high-quality weight plate from Rogue are almost indestructible. Made from recycled rubber, and at the core with an 2″ stainless steel insert for an olympic barbell, these are great for power cleans, olympic lifting or just people who throw their weight around literally.
With a durometer score of 75, these will bounce a little more than the other competition plates chosen here. One thing to note about the recycled rubber is that the plates can come with some aesthetic imperfections that may be caused by the manufacturing process. Also known as crumb rubber plates these are a great option from Rogue Fitness, however, there are superior alternatives available.
$2.02/lb for a 230lb set (2x 10lb, 25lb, 35lb, 45lb)
Durability, density (durometer rating) and a good warranty are 3 things to look for. They should be covered for at least a year after purchase.
The 5 sets we reviewed all rated high, which means there are a lot of good, safe options available to you.
The right set will be a great addition to your box or home gym. Good luck!