Build Up Your Strength and Muscle with the Best Weight Plates for 2023

weight plates


When it comes to weight training, my only regret is that I didn't find it sooner in my life. However, when I finally started lifting weights, I fell deeply in love. In fact, although I'm a member of a CrossFit gym, my lifting love runs so deep that I've invested in barbells, bumper plates, and a weight rack for my home.

I use rubber bumper plates at home because I do workouts where the barbell may need to be dropped from overhead. However, I was given some old-school iron plates and I'll throw those on the bar when I am doing deadlifts or back squats. The type of weight plates that will work best for you depends largely on the type of workouts that you will be performing with them, as well as the type of space that you will be working out in. We are bringing you the best weight plates available so that you can make smart choices.

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The Best Weight Plates - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall Weight Plates - REP Fitness Black Bumper Plates

REP Fitness Black Bumper Plates

SPECS

  • Material: Rubber
  • Weight options: 5-45 lbs.

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Versatility and durability are two of the main attributes that you want in weight plates, and the REP Fitness Black Bumper Plates will be with you through a variety of workouts for years to come. REP has paid special attention to the width of these plates, and can I just say, kudos?

Many 10-pound plates can bend or have the inserts come loose because they are usually fairly thin. However, REP's 10-pound plates are thicker than most other plates on the market, and this adds to their durability. Additionally, the 45-pound plates are thinner, allowing you to add more of them to the bar. REP also made the wise decision to use steel inserts that will add longevity to these plates. The low bounce of these plates makes them great for when you have to drop the bar from overhead. This factor in combination with the durability, versatility, and attention to detail make these our pick for the overall best weight plates.

What We Like

  • Low bounce
  • Steel inserts
  • Durability
  • Thickness of the plates
  • Free shipping

What We Don't Like

  • Fairly expensive
  • Warranty could be longer

BUY: REP Fitness Black Bumper Plates

Best Budget Weight Plates - REP Fitness Old School Iron Plates

REP Fitness Old School Iron Plates

SPECS

  • Material: Iron
  • Weight options: 2.5-45 lbs.

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If you want to make gains with the barbell and your budget, check out the REP Fitness Old School Iron Plates. With their matte finish and raised lettering, these vintage-inspired plates definitely give old-school vibes. These plates do not have any kind of rubber coating, which means that you have to be very careful not to drop these.

Keeping with their old-school leanings, these plates are made from simple cast construction. This means that you may have to deal with a higher weight tolerance than other plates and some minor flaws and discrepancies from plate to plate. However, given the price point and that REP offers free shipping (it's a huge bonus on weight plates), these slight imperfections can be easily forgiven.

What We Like

  • Free shipping
  • Wide weight range
  • Vintage stylings
  • Affordability
  • Can purchase in pairs and sets
  • Marked in pounds and kilograms

What We Don't Like

  • 3% weight tolerance
  • Only 1-year warranty
  • Scuffs and nicks easily
  • Should not be used for Olympic lifting

BUY: REP Fitness Old School Iron Plates

Best Cast Iron Weight Plates - Rogue Deep Dish Plates

Rogue Deep Dish Plates

SPECS

  • Material: Cast iron
  • Weight options: 5-45 lbs.

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When you're taking your lifting back to the old school because you're an old fool who's so cool, you'll want to make sure that you have the best-cast iron plates along with you. Therefore, you'll want to get your hands around the Rogue Deep Dish Plates. Not only will the plates remind you of the glory days of Muscle Beach, but they will also be a reliable companion during your pump sessions.

These cast iron plates are wider than Rogue's other iron plate offerings. This is also a nostalgic nod to the days before rubber plates were used in Olympic weightlifting, and the extra width helped reduce damage to lifting platforms when the weights were dropped.

Of course, there are now much better options for training that requires you to drop your barbell, but these are excellent plates for powerlifting and bodybuilding movements. It doesn't hurt that they look pretty cool, too.

What We Like

  • Retro-inspired look
  • 2% weight tolerance
  • Durability

What We Don't Like

  • Width doesn't allow for many plates to be added to bar
  • No 2.5 plates
  • Scuffs and dents fairly easily

BUY: Rogue Deep Dish Plates

Best Urethane Weight Plates - American Barbell Pro Urethane Bumper Plates

American Barbell Pro Urethane Bumper Plates

SPECS

  • Material: Urethane
  • Weight options: 25-55 lbs. | 10-25 kg

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Lifting isn't boring, and thanks to the colorful American Barbell Pro Urethane Bumper Plates, your weight plates don't have to be either. With these plates, you can lift heavy and drop them from overhead without much concern about damage thanks to them being made from urethane. Not only is this material highly durable, but it is also odorless. Therefore, you don't have to worry about that distinct rubber smell of other plates.

You can order these plates in pounds or kilograms depending on your preference. And, while we like how the tight opening of the American Barbell Pros will keep your plates snug to the bar, the small holes may cause challenges getting the plates on and off the bar. Although we are big fans of the plates, you should be prepared to shell out for these beautiful, durable plates as they will run you more than their rubber counterparts.

What We Like

  • Available in pounds and kilograms
  • Uses durable urethane
  • Low bounce when dropped
  • Colorful

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Small weight range
  • Can only purchase as singles

BUY: American Barbell Pro Urethane Bumper Plates

Most Durable Bumper Plates - Titan Fitness Single Elite Black Bumper Plates

Titan Fitness Single Elite Black Bumper Plate

SPECS

  • Material: Rubber
  • Weight options: 10-55 lbs.

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Weight plates are expected to take a beating and keep coming back for more, and the Titan Fitness Single Elite Black Bumper Plates are as tough and durable as they come. However, they don't stop there. These plates are also a great option for affordable competition bumper plates, and they have minimal bounce which will reduce your chance of injury when you are doing intense workouts with high reps.

These plates are on the thin side which allows you to keep loading up your bar, and the raised lips make them easy to pick up and slide on. This will make chasing your PR dreams a little bit easier. Also, thanks to the snug reinforced steel collars, you won't have to worry about nicks and movement.

What We Like

  • Durable
  • Low-bounce
  • Affordable
  • Weight tolerance guarantee
  • Raised lip

What We Don't Like

  • Opening can peel
  • No 2.5 or 5-lb. options

BUY: Titan Fitness Single Elite Black Bumper Plate

Best Weight Plates on Amazon - AMGYM Weight Plates

AMGYM 10LB Bumper Plates Olympic Weight Plates

SPECS

  • Material: Rubber
  • Weight options: 10-55 lbs.

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Is there anything you can't get on Amazon? Although there are probably a few things, weight plates aren't one of them. If you're looking for affordable, reliable rubber bumper plates that can be delivered with quickness, check out the AMGYM Weight Plates on Amazon.

These plates are available in pairs and sets, and they will make an excellent addition when you're doing intense, high-rep workouts. When you need to drop them, you won't have to worry about them bouncing all over the place. The rubber also makes them less noisy than their steel counterparts, making them an excellent choice for home gyms.

What We Like

  • Quick delivery
  • Great for Olympic lifts
  • Quiet

What We Don't Like

  • Questions about durability
  • Some complaints about not fitting Olympic bars

BUY: AMGYM Weight Plates

Best Competition Weight Plates - Rogue Competition Bumper Plates

Rogue Competition Bumper Plates

SPECS

  • Material: Steel
  • Weight options: 25-55 lbs.

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Competition plates differ from other regular training plates in several ways. The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has several specs, including particular colors for each weight increment, that plates must adhere to in order to be considered competition plates. In addition to getting a colorful array of plates with the Rogue Competition Bumper Plates, you can also be assured that these plates use a steel center plate and are the specified IWF width.

Unless you just have money to burn, we don't recommend these plates for the casual weightlifter. This is because they are certainly on the high end of the price range. However, with the spot-on weight tolerance and nearly non-existent bounce, the Rogue Competition Bumper Plates are a superb choice for competitive Olympic weight plates.

What We Like

  • Excellent weight tolerance
  • IWF-certified
  • Thinner width
  • Can order in pounds or kilograms

What We Don't Like

  • Very expensive
  • Prone to rusting

BUY: Rogue Competition Bumper Plates

Best Weight Plates with Handles - REP Fitness Equalizer Urethane-Coated Iron Olympic Plates

REP Fitness Equalizer Urethane-Coated Iron Olympic Plates

SPECS

  • Material: Urethane and cast iron
  • Weight options: 2.5-45 lbs.

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The urethane coating of the REP Fitness Equalizers improves the durability and longevity of the cast iron plates that are already known for their grit. Furthermore, the six-hole design makes these plates super easy to pick up and slide on and off of the bar. It also makes them harder to drop.

While the rubber coating will help protect these plates when compared to straight cast iron plates, this does not mean that they should be dropped. Therefore, you should not use these plates for Olympic lifts or other workouts where you would be dropping the bar from overhead. If you do drop them and they are damaged, it will void your lifetime warranty.

What We Like

  • Large weight range
  • Excellent weight tolerance
  • Easy to handle
  • Free shipping
  • Snug fit on barbell

What We Don't Like

  • Not offered in sets
  • Urethane will eventually peel
  • Can't be dropped from overhead

BUY: REP Fitness Equalizer Urethane-Coated Iron Olympic Plates

Best Calibrated Weight Plates - Rogue Calibrated KG Steel Plates

Rogue Calibrated KG Steel Plates

SPECS

  • Material: Steel
  • Weight options: 0.25-50 kg

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Given that some weight plates can be off by up to 5 pounds, if you want to ensure accuracy you will probably want to invest in calibrated plates such as the Rogue Calibrated Steel Plates. Plates that are machine calibrated are more likely to be the stated weight.

Adding to their attributes is the fact that these plates are made to the International Powerlifting Federation specifications. Therefore, you can train and compete without worry. Additionally, given that powerlifters are generally putting up big numbers, these plates are great for them because they are thin in diameter, and you can stack several plates on the bar.

What We Like

  • Precision calibrated
  • Thin diameter
  • Fantastic weight tolerance
  • IPF approved

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Paint is prone to chipping
  • Hard to pick up

BUY: Rogue Calibrated KG Steel Plates

Best Weight Plates for Home Gyms - Rogue Echo Bumpers

Rogue Echo Bumpers

SPECS

  • Material: Virgin rubber, stainless steel
  • Weight options: 10-45 lbs.

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Made from virgin rubber, the Rogue Echo Bumper Plates are an excellent choice for any home gym enthusiast. These plates can handle repeated drops from overhead as well as the wear and tear of high-rep barbell workouts. And when you do drop them, you won't have to worry about them bouncing.

Although these are not competition plates, the collar opening meets IWF specs. Furthermore, due to the low weight tolerance, you know that you're most likely lifting the weight that is stated on the plate. Rogue is known to make quality weightlifting gear, and the Echo Bumpers aren't an exception.

What We Like

  • Low bounce
  • Tight weight tolerance
  • Available in pairs and sets
  • Stainless steel insert rings

What We Don't Like

  • Strong rubber odor
  • Can only load 500 lbs. due to diameter

BUY: Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

What to Consider When Buying Weight Plates


Type of Workouts

When purchasing weight plates, you will want to consider what type of lifts you will be doing. If you will be using the weights for CrossFit, HIIT workouts, or Olympic weightlifting, it will be best to buy rubber plates. With HIIT, CrossFit, and Olympic lifts, you will often do movements that require you to drop the barbell from overhead. Rubber plates will withstand this better, and they will be easier on your floor. However, if you will be participating in powerlifting or bodybuilding exercises, iron plates will be your best bet. When maintained and cared for, iron plates can last a lifetime. Also, considering that you won't have the need to drop your barbell and weight plates from overhead, you don't have to worry about the plates damaging your floor.

Material

If you're painting weight plates with broad strokes, they are made out of rubber or metal. However, once you determine if you would be best suited with rubber or metal plates, you can then investigate the sub-categories. Rubber plates will be best suited for cross-training and Olympic lifts. However, you will need to consider if plates made from crumb rubber (recycled rubber scraps) will suffice or if would you rather have denser plates that produce less bounce such as those made from urethane rubber.

Workout Location

If you are using your weight plates in a home gym set-up, you will want to consider the type of flooring and insulation that you have when buying weight plates. Generally, bumper plates will serve you best when you are working out in your garage or spare room. These plates will be easier on your floors and they aren't as noisy. If you don't plan on dropping your plate, and you don't have to worry about noise complaints from your neighbors, you will be fine with metal plates. Rubber flooring or horse stall mats are also recommended for both bumper and steel plates.

Bumper Plates vs. Traditional Plates

Much like the apples to oranges adage, when comparing bumper plates to traditional plates, you will find that although they are in the same family, they serve different purposes. Therefore, when deciding which plates are best for you, it depends largely on the types of lifts that you will be doing and where you will be working out.

Bumper plates, which are typically made with rubber, are best for Olympic lifting. Additionally, they are great for functional fitness, such as CrossFit and HIIT. These types of workouts typically involve the barbell being dropped from overhead a good bit and the rubber will absorb the drops and help protect your floors.

Traditional plates made from cast iron or steel are incredibly durable if they are used correctly. This means that they should not be dropped at all (yes, even if they are coated in rubber). Therefore, these types of plates are great for performing powerlifts. It should be noted that traditional plates can be noisy, even when you are just racking the bar or putting the plates away.

FAQs About Weight Plates


What are the different types of weight plates?

Although several sub-categories exist within the categories of weight plates, there are basically two types of plates: standard and Olympic. The main difference is the diameter of the hole that the barbell goes through. You'll find a host of different materials that are used for both standard and Olympic plates.

Does it matter if I drop metal weight plates?

Dropping metal plates should be avoided at all costs. Yes, even if they have a rubber coating. You can damage the plate itself, the barbell that it is attached to, and the floor.

How accurate are weight plates?

The accuracy of the weight of plates is largely dependent on if they are calibrated or not. You will want to look for the weight tolerance range to determine how much the plate weight may deviate. Cheaper plates can have a weight tolerance range up to 5 percent, whereas more expensive plates will have a range of 1-2 percent.

How long do weight plates last?

With proper care and maintenance iron plates can last a lifetime. However, bumper plates, those that are designed to be dropped repeatedly, will last 5-10 years. Plates used in home gyms will typically last longer than those in commercial gyms.

About the Author

Sosha Lewis

Sosha is a staff writer for ACTIVE.com and a CrossFit enthusiast. Her work’s been featured in The Washington Post, Huffington Post, MUTHA Magazine, Charlotte Magazine, and The Charlotte Observer. Her weekly column, Soshally Awkward, is featured on the nationally-syndicated radio show, Bob & Sheri.

See More from Sosha

Sosha is a staff writer for ACTIVE.com and a CrossFit enthusiast. Her work’s been featured in The Washington Post, Huffington Post, MUTHA Magazine, Charlotte Magazine, and The Charlotte Observer. Her weekly column, Soshally Awkward, is featured on the nationally-syndicated radio show, Bob & Sheri.

See More from Sosha

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