For the CrossFit athlete, Olympic weightlifter, and fitness enthusiast, 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?
Here Are The Best Bumper Plates
In this article, you’ll learn what to look for when purchasing bumper plates and the benefits of training with bumpers instead of metal plates.
Also check out the 4 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 rubber. The material of the 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 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.
- 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.
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. 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 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.
Visit your local CrossFit affiliate and you’ll probably find sets of these in their gym.
For what it’s worth, Rogue’s set offers a score an 88 on the durometer scale. 70 or higher is usually considered very good.
For 160lbs of plates, you’ll pay $275.
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 a few customers commented that the set smells strongly of rubber, generally speaking, they have a solid reputation, and people boast about how they hold up.
This Rep Fitness Black bumper plates product line is meant for a home gym, but Rep Fitness does offer higher grade plates made to withstand more and tear meant for gyms, called the Competition Bumper plates line.
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 rubber, rubber and metal, widths, and weights.
Titan Fitness bumper 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.
If you are buying for a gym, we recommend you check out their Elite Olympic Bumper Plates instead.
OneFitWonder makes their set out of “virgin rubber”, known to score well in the 2 categories we looked at earlier- durability and density.
Customer reviews boast about the customer service if something goes wrong, so at least this set checks off the “find a set with a good warranty” box, too.
Their 160lb set is nearly identical in price to Rogue’s variation.
XMark is newer on the scene than the other options, but their plates grade as durable and dense like the others.
This particular bumper plate is designed to have a particularly lower bounce, which will keep you and the floor safe when training.
Bumper plates make the training experience safer and make lifts like deadlifts, power cleans and snatches more enjoyable.
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 4 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!