The Best Bumper Plates to Help You Raise the Bar in 2022

people lifting barbells with bumper plates


From deadlifts to bench presses, bumper plates are an essential part of your weightlifting routine, especially when they are strategically paired with other home and garage gym essentials, like weight benches and barbells. The best bumper plates, though, can help you lift safely while keeping noise and bounce to a minimum. Nothing is worse than the sound of plates loudly clapping against the floor or damaging your home gym's surface.

But with a wide variety of plates available on the market, it can be hard to distinguish between them and find the right ones for you. That's why the ACTIVE Reviews Team sifted through hundreds of options for you. They rounded up the top six on the market and also broke down a few key factors to keep in mind when selecting the best bumper plates for you.

Why Trust Us?

The ACTIVE Reviews Team is made up of fitness experts that include athletes, coaches, and certified trainers who bring their years of knowledge and experience to each review. More importantly, each member of our team is a fitness enthusiast. Fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.

Best Bumper Plates - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall Bumper Plates – Force USA Pro Grade Bumper Plate

Force USA Pro Grade Bumper Plate

Specs

  • Weight range: 10-55 lbs.
  • Diameter: 450 mm
  • Collar opening: 50.4 mm
  • Materials: Rubber
  • Key feature: Minimizes noise and bounce
  • Warranty: Comprehensive 3-year Force USA® replacement warranty

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The balance of an affordable price point and top-notch quality makes the Force USA Pro Grade Bumper Plates the best overall choice. Less expensive than many plates of similar material, these bumper plates are crafted from durable virgin rubber with a stainless steel collar opening. This creates a smooth surface that promotes shock absorption, which helps to protect your floor and limit noise.

Each bumper plate in this set is color-coded per size to match IWF standard. Plus the print markings are bold and clear, making them easier to grab and go. The collar opening is Olympic-sized (50.4mm), making these plates ideal for Olympic lifting, powerlifting, functional training, and other heavy-duty workout regimens. They also come backed with a three-year replacement warranty.

What We Like

  • Color plates make it easy to identify weight
  • Dense rubber means minimal bounce and noise
  • Designed to IWF standards
  • Affordably priced

What We Don't Like

  • Not certified for competition

BUY: Force USA Pro Grade Bumper Plates

Best Budget Bumper Plates – American Barbell Black LB Sport Bumper Plates

American Barbell Black LB Sport Bumper Plates

Specs

  • Weight range: 10-55 lbs.
  • Diameter: 450 mm
  • Collar opening: N/A
  • Materials: Rubber
  • Key feature: Great quality for the price tag
  • Warranty: Limited 1-year warranty from the date of delivery

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If you want reliable bumper plates for a good price, the American Barbell Sport Bumper Plates are a great option. High-quality bumper plates can come with a hefty price tag, but these are built to last with a quality not typically seen at this price point. They feature a stainless steel insert that makes it easier to load them onto the bar, and they boast minimal bounce thanks to a thick rubber coating. Plus, the black plates will make your weight rack look sleek and organized, while the raised lettering helps to identify weight quickly and won't wear off with use.

One drawback with these bumper plates is the lack of bevel, which can make it difficult to pick up heavier weights when they’re laying on the ground. It's also worth noting that the thinner plates can be damaged more easily with a free-falling bar, so you may consider having some sturdier technique plates on hand. But, overall these plates deliver a lot of value for the investment.

What We Like

  • Solid quality for a good price
  • Accurate weight available in pounds and kilograms
  • Insert is stainless steel rather than a soft metal, promotes easy loading onto the bar

What We Like

  • The plates can be difficult to pick up when laying flat on the ground since there is no significant bevel
  • Although they have “minimal odor,” the rubber smell is still noticeable

BUY: American Barbell Black LB Sport Bumper Plates

Best Bumper Plates for Crossfit – Fringe Sport Contrast Bumper Plate Set

Fringe Sport Contrast Bumper Plate Set

Specs

  • Weight range: 10-55 lbs.
  • Diameter: 450 mm
  • Collar opening: 50.8 mm
  • Materials: Virgin rubber
  • Key feature: Minimal rebound
  • Warranty: 3-year Warranty on 25, 35, 45 and 55 lbs.; 1-year warranty on 10 and 15 lbs.

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CrossFit is no joke, and if you're an avid fan of this high-intensity workout program, you need plates that are easy to grab and work with many different types of barbells. The professional matte finish of the Fringe Sport Contrast Bumper Plate Set and pops of color offer visual cues to help you quickly identify your weight options. The stainless steel "hooked" insert remains firmly seated. And, the dense, solid virgin rubber makes for a true dead bounce so they can be safely dropped from overhead with little risk of damaging the floor, platform, or bar.

Plus, a higher density means thinner bumpers, so you can comfortably fit more weight on the bar. Plates are sold in pairs and have kilogram weight conversion printed on each plate, and fits all Olympic barbells with 2-inch sleeves.

What We Like

  • Beveled edge for easier pickup and loading
  • Longer than average warranty on plates more than 15 lbs.
  • Bright colors help you quickly identify plates

What We Don't Like

  • Not competition certified

BUY: Fringe Sport Contrast Bumper Plate Set

Best Olympic Bumper Plates – REP Competition Bumper Plate Sets

REP Competition Bumper Plate Sets

Specs

  • Weight range: 10-25kg
  • Diameter: 450 mm
  • Collar opening: 50.5mm
  • Materials: Zinc-coated
  • Key feature: More affordable Olympic-level option
  • Warranty: 5-year warranty on all plates

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Designed with an Olympic lifter in mind, the REP Competition Bumper Plates can help you set new personal records without having to worry about destroying your floors. It uses a patented design for the inner collar piece, which offers better absorption and dispersal of force for increased durability. Feel free to do all the cleans or overhead squats your heart desires without fear of wrecking your home gym.

The lettering and rubber surface around the center disc are raised, which limits metal-on-metal contact, and the thinner profile means you can add more weight on the bar. Competition weights are typically louder than virgin rubber plates, so if you're dropping these from a distance be prepared for them to hit a little louder. But with a durometer rating of 92, these plates have less bounce than other options so keep that in mind if bounce-back is a top concern for you.

What We Like

  • Available in pounds and kilograms
  • Raised outer ring with angled edge, helps you easily lift plate off the ground
  • Inner collar piece offers increased durability

What We Don't Like

  • Price doesn't include shipping, so depending where you live the shipping cost could be steep
  • The zinc plating on the steel disc can be prone to discoloration (though it doesn't affect the usability of the plates)

BUY: REP Competition Bumper Plate Sets

Best Urethane Bumper Plates – Titan Urethane LB Bumper

Titan Urethane LB Bumper

Specs

  • Weight range: 10-55 lbs.
  • Diameter: 450 mm
  • Collar opening: 50.6mm
  • Materials: Urethane rubber over a steel core
  • Key feature: Durability
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

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Urethane bridges the gap between rubber and plastic. It's harder than rubber, which gives it top-notch load-bearing abilities. But it's softer and more pliable than plastic, making it impact resistant and durable. The tradeoff is that urethane typically costs more than rubber or iron. However, this Titan set is a nice compromise, offering a more affordable urethane option, which makes it more accessible for home gym enthusiasts. Although these plates are compliant with IWF standards for diameter and color-coding, they are labeled in pounds rather than IWF-required kilograms.

Urethane can be more slick than rubber, but these plates are textured and have a raised edge, making them easier to handle when you're getting your sweat on. If you like to lift heavy, you'll enjoy being able to stack these thinner, denser weights so you can get the heft without losing strength or durability. The vibrant colors will get you jazzed about finding different ways to use these plates and make the most of your investment: Try them solo to add weight to dips, pull-ups, sit-ups or toe taps.

What We Like

  • Raised edge makes it easier to pick up the plates
  • Odorless compared to rubber bumper plate options
  • The 5kg plate matches the set, but the smaller size protects it from drops
  • Great price-point for urethane plates, which are typically an investment compared to rubber plates

What We Don't Like

  • Weight is in pounds, not IWF-required kg
  • Limited warranty compared to other plates

BUY: Titan Urethane LB Bumper

Best Competition Bumper Plates – Life Fitness Hammer Strength Urethane Bumpers

Life Fitness Hammer Strength Urethane Bumpers

Specs

  • Weight range: 10-55 lbs.
  • Diameter: 450 mm
  • Collar opening: 50 mm
  • Materials: Urethane
  • Key feature: Textured finish to resist wear
  • Warranty: 5-year warranty

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Athletes will appreciate this top-notch bumper plate designed to take a beating while helping you crush your weightlifting goals. Made for intense competition-level training, they feature a surface texture molded into the bumper to hide signs of wear and tear. Not only does this design help your bumpers look fresh, but it also strikes the perfect balance of low bounce performance with enough flexibility to protect your lifting surface.

The hub is made from precision-machined high-grade steel and then cemented with industrial chrome plated to protect against corrosion. A proprietary bonding agent chemically binds the urethane to the metal, which keeps the two materials locked together drop after drop. Bonus: The weight numbers are molded in, so they won’t be scratched or scraped off.

What We Like

  • Sturdy textured finish increases durability and reduces signs of wear and tear
  • Molded raised numbers are easy to identify and won't rub off with use
  • Available in sleek black or vibrant IWF-standard colors

What We Don't Like

  • While this is a good value for quality competition plates, urethane is by nature a superior product that comes with a heftier price tag

BUY: Life Fitness Hammer Strength Urethane Bumpers

What to Consider When Shopping for Bumper Plates

Whether you're thinking about adding to your collection or you're just getting started, there are a few elements to keep in mind when weighing your bumper plate options. We break these down below:

International Weightlifting Federation Standards

The IWF is the governing body for the sport of Olympic weightlifting. Competition bumper plates conform to the IWF specifications on dimensions, tolerances, and weight plate colors. The IWF specifies the competition Olympic plates 10 kilograms and heavier must be 450 millimeters (18 inches) in diameter. Note: Many companies offer plates that meet IWF standards but are not certified competition plates.

Color by Number

To avoid confusion and help you quickly choose and calculate the right weights, many bumper plates are color-coded to the IWF standard:

  • White: 5 kilograms (11 pounds)
  • Green: 10 kilograms (22 pounds)
  • Yellow: 15 kilograms (33 pounds)
  • Blue: 20 kilograms (44 pounds)
  • Red: 25 kilograms (55.1 pounds)

If you want to be able to quickly grab the weight that you need without stopping to make sure it’s the correct amount, you may want to make sure the plates you select follow this color coding process.

Shore Durometer Rating

Companies use this rating to show how much their bumper plates will bounce when dropped. If you’re planning to drop your weight from overhead, you want that bar to rebound as little as possible to avoid injury. The higher the score the less bounce there is in the plate. For example, an 85 and higher durometer score equates to a plate with a lower bounce.

Olympic versus Standard Bumper Plates

Olympic bumper plates are made to the size and weight specifications for use in Olympic weightlifting. The label "Olympic" is a standard shorthand to represent that the plate is 450 millimeters (17.72 inches) in diameter and the collar opening is approximately 50 millimeters (2 inches) in diameter. The collar opening for a standard non-Olympic plate, on the other hand, is typically 1 inch in diameter. Keep in mind that collar openings can vary slightly depending on the bumper plate set, so be sure to double-check the measurements to ensure compatibility with your barbell.

Bumper Plate FAQs


What is the advantage of bumper plates?

Because the weight plates are encased with a high-density rubber, bumper plates are designed to be safely dropped from an overhead position in weightlifting movements (like in an overhead squat or clean and jerk). The rubber layer acts as a shock absorber, which allows you to drop weight without damaging the weights or your floors. Bumper plates are also extremely durable and produce less noise when dropped than an iron weight plate, making them a great option for a home gym.

What are the differences between bumper plates and weight plates?

Bumper plates are made of a weight plate covered with rubber or a urethane outer layer that is conducive to exercises in competition weightlifting, Olympic weightlifting, and CrossFit.

On the contrary, weight plates are usually made of cast iron without any sort of outer layer or covering. Weight plates can also vary in thickness and diameter while bumper plates typically follow the IWF standards for weight and size. Bumper plates are made to handle the wear and tear of being thrown around, while weight plates are more likely to crack when they hit the ground (intentionally or accidentally).

When do I need to use bumper plates?

If you're an experienced weightlifter doing controlled, time-under-tension movements where dropping weight is unlikely, weight plates are a fine choice. Bumper plates are ideal if you want to lift weight quickly and have the confidence to be able to safely drop weight if necessary.

Although they tend to be more expensive than iron plates, bumper plates are more durable and can be a better long-term investment. Bumper plates are also great for newbies because they are more forgiving if one drops.

Can I mix bumper plates with regular plates?

You can mix weight options strategically to help reduce cost and still protect your floor and equipment from damage. Just make sure the iron plates you load on your barbell are the same or less weight as the bumper plates so there is minimal damage to your plates, barbell, and floor.

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