HomeBest of 202213 Best Bumper Plates to Buy in 2022

13 Best Bumper Plates to Buy in 2022

Bumper plates are some of the most common types of weight plates that you can buy. They’re versatile, they’re quiet, they’re durable, and they look great. Weight plates are an essential piece of gym equipment for anyone looking to strength train, and bumper plates are a great option. Along with plates, I consider a squat rack, a barbell, and a weight bench to be essential for any gym, especially a home gym.

Bumper plates can range in specs, material, price, quality, etc… which can be a challenge when narrowing down a list of potential candidates.

In this article, I’ll take you through some of the best bumper plates to buy in 2022. Whether you’re looking for basic rubber bumper plates, competition bumper plates, or urethane bumper plates, this article has you covered.

Let’s dig in!

Best Bumper Plates in 2022

How to Find the Best Bumper Plates for You

Selecting gym equipment can be exhausting, overwhelming, and downright confusing when you factor in different features, prices, etc… Bumper plates are certainly no exception, and it’s important to filter them down to make the best buying decision for you.

In addition to this guide, which will detail everything you need to know about bumper plates, Garage Gym Lab also has a very useful equipment finder that will filter it down for you based on a few quick questions. It takes less than 30 seconds – no emails, no funny business – just helpful content right inside your browser.

Each bumper plate that I have outlined in this article has either been personally owned/used by me or has been meticulously researched through spec comparisons, user reviews, and feedback from people I trust.


Quick Navigation

  1. The Winners
  2. Benefits of Bumper Plates
  3. Types of Bumper Plates
  4. Important Factors to Consider
  5. FAQ’s

Best Overall Black Bumper Plates

Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

Rogue Echo Bumper Plates - Best Bumper Plates

Price: $175 (45lb Pair)
Material: Virgin Rubber w/ Stainless Insert
Weight System: Pounds
Weight Options: 10lb-45lb (also available in 160lb-560lb sets)
Weight Tolerance: +/- 1%
Collar Opening: 50.6mm (1.99″)
Durometer Rating: 88 (Low-to-Medium Bounce)
Warranty: 90 Days on 10-15lbs & 3 Years on 25lb+

Pros

  • Great value for plates with a longstanding reputation as being high-quality
  • Stainless steel inner ring
  • +/- 1% accuracy
  • Approved for Army Combat Fitness Test
  • Contrasting white lettering helps for quick weight identification
  • 3 available set options

Cons

  • Some owners have complained about the smell
Best Budget Bumper Plates
Rogue Echo Bumper Plates
4.9

The Rogue Echo Bumper Plates are some of the most popular and well-reviewed plates on the market. They're very budget-friendly with solid performance and specs.

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The Rogue Echo v2 bumper plates are some of the most popular rubber plates on the market given their price and performance. They’re simple, attractive, accurate, and approved for the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT).

The Rogue Echo Bumpers all offer a durometer rating of 88 from 10lb-45lb, which creates a medium-to-low bounce. The plates are constructed with virgin rubber and they offer a stainless steel center ring. This ring measures 50.6mm, which is common for a plate of this style. The virgin rubber helps contribute to a lower bounce and it reduces the smell compared to recycled rubber, although some owners have still complained about it.

One of the best features of the Echo plates is that they have a weight tolerance of +/- 1%. They’re also among the thinnest cheap bumper plates around, which is a big benefit if you’re a big lifter. This will allow for up to 590lbs of plates on a traditional barbell depending on the collar you’re using.

Another nice feature of these is that they’re approved for the ACFT, which is a 6-event assessment for Army combat readiness. These plates can be purchased in pairs or sets, and they can also be purchased in color. These colored bumper plates are slightly thinner than even the Black Echo plates. In terms of aesthetics, the black version includes a matte black finish with contrasting white lettering. They’re a sharp-looking plate with a simple overall aesthetic.

Overall, if you’re looking for basic black bumper plates, the Rogue Echos are our top pick. Their price-to-performance ratio is one of the strongest out there.


Best Overall Color Bumper Plates

Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates

Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates - Best Bumper Plates

Price: $249 (45lb Pair) w/ Free Shipping
Material: Virgin Rubber w/ Stainless Insert
Weight System: Pounds
Weight Options: 10lb-55lb (also available in 100lb-370lb sets)
Weight Tolerance: +/- 1%
Collar Opening: 50.4mm (1.98″)
Durometer Rating: 90 on 10-15lb plates; 85 on 25lb+ (Low-to-Medium Bounce)
Warranty:  3 Years on 25lb+ & 1-Year on 10-15lb

Pros

  • With free shipping, these plates offer a very nice value
  • Stainless steel inner ring
  • +/- 1% accuracy
  • Numerous set options
  • Solid warranty

Cons

  • Durometer rating on 25lb+ is less than 10-15lb
  • Thicker than some plates of similar style
Best Color Bumpers
Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates
5.0

The Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates are affordable, high-performing bumpers with a very strong reputation.

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These Fringe Sport Bumper Plates are a great choice for someone looking for quality colored bumpers at a solid price. Having owned nearly all the plate styles that Fringe Sport offers, I can attest to their quality, value, and overall performance.

These plates have a hooked stainless steel insert that works to increase the durability of the plate. Some plates with a simple pressed insert will dislodge over time or warp sooner. These plates have a very strong reputation with hundreds of verified reviews dating back to their release in 2014. In the home gym, you can be confident they’ll last years and withstand constant abuse thanks to how they’re constructed.

The Fringe Sport Color Bumpers are made with virgin rubber and they offer a low-to-medium bounce. The 25lb+ variants carry a durometer rating of 85 while the 10lb and 15lb variants carry a rating of 90. The tolerances on these plates are very tight. In terms of weight, they are guaranteed to +/- 1%, which I can again verify on my set. In terms of the hole opening, it measures 50.4mm, which produces a very snug fit that reduces vibration and noise.

The diameters of these plates are also consistently 450mm, except for the 10lb plates. These were purposely built to 445mm to limit them warping over time. Because the 10lb plates are the thinnest, they’re prone to “Taco” if dropped and met with the ground. By having them slightly smaller, when they’re on the bar with other plates, they don’t meet the ground. Therefore, they last a lot longer. Furthermore, their 10lb and 15lb plates carry a 1-year warranty, which is longer than many others that offer 3-6 months. Heavier variants carry a strong 3-year warranty.

One thing to consider is that these Fringe Sport bumper plates have a slightly thicker profile than some competing plates. For example, the 45lb plate has a thickness of 2.9″ whereas the Rogue Echos are 2.36″, the LUXIAOJUN Color TQ plates are 2.36″, and the REP Color Bumpers are 2.8″. This will only pose an issue if you’re nearing max capacity, but it’s something worth noting nonetheless.

Overall, these are excellent colored bumpers.


Best Overall Competition Bumper Plates

Rogue Competition Bumper Plates

Rogue Competition Bumper Plates - Best Bumper Plates

Price: $345 (45lb Pair)
Material: Virgin Rubber w/ Full Hard Chrome Hub
Weight System: Pounds & Kilograms
Weight Options: 25lb-55lb & 10kg-25kg (also available in sets)
Weight Tolerance: +/- 15 grams
Collar Opening: 50.4mm (1.98″)
Durometer Rating: 94 (Low Bounce)
Warranty: 5 Years

Pros

  • Very accurate
  • Durometer rating of 94 creates a very low bounce
  • Available in pounds and kilograms (IWF-Certified)
  • Thinner profile compared to traditional bumper plates
  • Great warranty

Cons

  • Chrome center hub will show fingerprints, smudges, and imperfections more than zinc
  • Expensive for the average home gym owner
Best Competition Plates
Rogue Competition Plates
5.0

The Rogue Competition Plates are extremely accurate, high-quality, and beautiful bumper plates. They're ideal for serious lifters

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The Rogue Competition Bumper Plates are some of the nicest overall plates on the market. These were the very first plates I ever purchased for my home gym. I’ve owned them since 2016 and they’ve held up tremendously after years of use.

Competition plates are known for being the most accurate type of bumper plate. These are accurate to within +/- 15 grams. I’ve weighed all 10 of mine and all are within this guaranteed tolerance. These plates are available in pounds (what I have) or in Kilograms. The Kilogram version is approved by the IWF to be used in international weightlifting competitions and they include an attractive IWF logo. In addition to the weight tolerance, the collar opening is also very tight at 50.4mm, which creates a snug fit on the bar.

These plates have a very high durometer rating of 94, which is among the highest in the entire industry. This creates an exceptionally low bounce. They include a full-sized center hub with a hard chrome finish. This increases the durability of the plates while also looking beautiful. These plates also have a very thin profile, which is a general benefit of competition bumper plates. This means you can load more weight onto the bar relative to some other bumpers.

The colors on these plates are bright and very aesthetically pleasing. I love the raised lettering and contrasting white text. Keep in mind that, while the chrome hubs look beautiful, they will show blemishes more than zinc, so the occasional wipe-down may be necessary. Rogue does include raised flanges around the hub to prevent metal-on-metal contact, which certainly helps.

If you’re training for competition, if you require thin plates, if you demand tight tolerances, or if you just like top-flight equipment, these are an excellent option. They’re the best Rogue bumper plates available.


Best Overall Urethane Bumper Plates

American Barbell Pro Urethane Bumper Plates

American Barbell Pro Urethane Bumper Plates - Best Bumper Plates

Price: $473 (45lb Pair)
Material: Urethane w/ Hard Chrome Hub
Weight System: Pounds & Kilograms
Weight Options: 25lb-55lb & 10kg-25kg
Weight Tolerance: N/A
Collar Opening: 50.4mm (1.98″)
Durometer Rating: N/A (Low Bounce)
Warranty: 3 Years

Pros

  • Possibly the best-looking plates on the market
  • Urethane is more durable than rubber
  • Available in pounds or kilograms
  • Tight collar opening creates a very snug fit
  • Very low bounce

Cons

  • Not sold in sets
  • Urethane is slicker/harder to grip than rubber
  • Expensive for the average home gym owner
Best Urethane Plates
American Barbell Urethane Plates
4.9

The American Barbell Urethane Plates are premium bumper plates with a beautiful aesthetic and excellent performance.

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Like the Rogue Competition Plates above, the American Barbell Urethane Bumpers were some of the first plates I added to my home gym. In my opinion, these are the nicest-looking plates available and they offer very strong performance to boot.

Urethane has a few advantages over rubber. One being it’s more durable, two being it’s more customizable with color/logo, and three being that it’s odorless. Ultimately, most home gym owners will find urethane plates to be a luxury item. Unless you’re hitting a ton of volume with a lot of frequency, you’re unlikely to achieve the durability benefits over rubber bumper plates in a home gym. In a commercial setting, the case for urethane is stronger, especially with the customization possibilities.

One disadvantage of urethane relative to rubber is that it’s slicker, which can make it more challenging to handle the plates. The pebble grain surface looks amazing, but it doesn’t do much in way of generating friction to alleviate this “issue.” One other thing to note is that I’ve found the collar openings on urethane plates, in general, to be tighter than even competition rubber bumpers. This is good and bad. On one hand, it reduces noise and vibration during lifts. On the other hand, it can be louder sliding the plates on and off and it can cause more imperfections on certain sleeve finishes, namely Cerakote.

I have personally not found a better-looking plate than the American Barbell Urethane Bumpers. They’re stunning plates with very vibrant colors. An interesting thing about them, however, is that the LB plates don’t have the weight callout, whereas the KG plates do. I’m not sure why this is the case, but the KG plates do look nicer because of that, in my opinion. The center hub is hard chrome and it’s smooth, which differs from some other urethane plates that have indented hubs. I prefer the American Barbell hub style from a visual perspective.

While American Barbell doesn’t claim a weight tolerance or a durometer rating, my experience shows an accuracy of +/- 1% and a low bounce.

If you’re looking for urethane plates and you have a big budget, these are hard to beat. Check down below for some less expensive options.


Most Versatile Bumper Plates

Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates

Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates - Best Bumper Plates

Price: $214.99 (45lb Pair)
Material: Virgin Rubber w/ Stainless Insert
Weight System: Pounds
Weight Options: 10lb-55lb (also available in 160lb-1,000lb sets)
Weight Tolerance: +/- 1%
Collar Opening: 50.6mm (1.99″)
Durometer Rating: 89 (Low Bounce)
Warranty:  4 Years on 35lb+, 3 Years on 25lb, & 1 Year on 10-15lb

Pros

  • Can be used on a variety of surfaces both indoors and outdoors
  • High durometer rating
  • Numerous set options
  • Outstanding warranty without use restrictions
  • Fleck design creates a unique look

Cons

  • Wider profile than most virgin rubber bumper plates
  • Collar opening is not as tight as some other bumper plates
Most Versatile Bumpers
Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates
4.9

The Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates are uniquely-designed plates for indoor and outdoor use. They're very durable, low-bounce, and well-reviewed.

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The Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates are very unique in terms of their aesthetic and their function. The best feature of these plates is that they’ve been designed to be used indoors and outdoors on a variety of surfaces. This can include concrete, asphalt, rubber flooring, and many others.

The Alphas have a durometer rating of 89 on all plates, which is high for non-competition bumper plates. This creates a low bounce that you can see firsthand in the video above. They’re also guaranteed to be within a +/- 1% weight tolerance, so you can rest assured you’ll be lifting very close to the stated weight.

Vulcan claims that these plates offer a noise reduction of ~25% when dropped from 9 feet. This appears to be compared to recycled rubber plates like Hi-Temps, which have poor tolerances that can lead to excess noise. In my experience, the Alphas are similar to other high-end bumper plates when it comes to noise.

Vulcan was one of the first companies to offer the flecked pattern on bumper plates. Originating in 2015, this design is fun, unique, and it’s still based on the IWF color scheme. Each plate is different in terms of its fleck pattern. Other fleck plates on the market, while looking similar, don’t offer the same versatility as the Vulcan’s given their indoor/outdoor design.

The center ring is hooked into the bumper to increase durability and overall life expectancy. Vulcan is so confident in this design that they offer a 4-year warranty on 35lb+, 3 years on 25lb, and 1 year on 10-15lb variants. This is one of the best warranties in the industry for rubber bumper plates.

If you like the unique fleck design and you see value in the indoor/outdoor capabilities, the Vulcan Alphas are a great buy.


Runner-Up Black Bumper Plates

REP Black Bumper Plates

REP Black Bumpers - Best Bumper Plates

Price: $199 w/ Free Shipping (45lb Pair)
Material: Virgin Rubber w/ Steel Insert
Weight System: Pounds
Weight Options: 5lb-45lb (also available in 160lb-370lb sets)
Weight Tolerance: +/- 1%
Collar Opening: 50.4mm (1.98″)
Durometer Rating: N/A (Medium Bounce)
Warranty: 6 Months on 10-15lbs & 3 Years on 25lb+

Pros

  • Accurate to +/- 1% guaranteed weight tolerance
  • Hooked inserts increase durability
  • Available in a 5lb variation for technique training
  • White contrast raised lettering
  • Wide range of set options

Cons

  • Warranty is void if mixed with Hi-Temp plates
  • No stated durometer rating
  • Center ring is not stainless steel
Runner-Up Black Bumpers
REP Black Bumper Plates
5.0

The REP Black Bumper Plates are a great budget-friendly option for basic plates with solid performance and user feedback.

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The REP Black bumper plates are a very solid choice if you’re looking for a basic set of bumpers. These plates are accurate, they look nice, and they’re durable.

These bumpers from REP Fitness have a guaranteed weight tolerance of +/- 1%, which is common for plates of this style. Considering these plates used to be +/- 3%, it’s a welcomed change that puts them firmly in the conversation among their competition.

While these plates don’t have a stated durometer rating like some others, in my experience, they offer a very similar bounce as similar plates. This medium bounce likely puts the durometer in the 85-90 range. While it would be nice for them to have this spec referenced, you can rest assured it’s on par with others.

The center ring is not stainless steel, but it does have hooked inserts, which greatly help increase the durability of the plates. They’ve also beefed up the 10lb plates with additional thickness to discourage warping. The 45lb plates are 2.83″ thick, which falls somewhere in the middle on the spectrum of similar plates. This allows for over 500lbs of weight.

The REP black bumpers have raised white lettering, which contrasts nicely to quickly identify plates. In terms of warranty, these plates have a very competitive 3-year warranty on 25lb plates and a better-than-most 6-month warranty on 10-15lbs.


Runner-Up Color Bumper Plates

Rogue Fleck Bumper Plates

Rogue Fleck Plates - Best Bumper Plates

Price: $190 (45lb Pair)
Material: Virgin Rubber w/ Stainless Insert
Weight System: Pounds
Weight Options: 10lb-55lb (also available in 160lb-350lb sets)
Weight Tolerance: +/- 1%
Collar Opening: 50.4mm (1.98″)
Durometer Rating: 90 (Low Bounce)
Warranty:  2 Years

Pros

  • Fleck pattern provides and unique and fun look
  • High durometer rating of 90 on all plate variants
  • Stainless steel inner ring
  • +/- 1% weight accuracy
  • Four set options are available
Runner-Up Color Bumpers
Rogue Fleck Plates
4.9

The Rogue Fleck Plates offer a unique and fun patterned design with strong specs and performance.

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Cons

  • 2-year warranty is very strong on 10-15lb variants, but not as strong on 25lb+ plates

The Rogue Fleck Plates became an instant classic during the heart of quarantine due to the fact they were in stock more than many other plates. It turns out they’re great plates in general, which has resulted in them being some of the more reviewed Rogue Fitness bumper plates.

The first thing you’ll notice about these plates is their interesting and fun fleck pattern. The colors are bright and they’re coded to the IWF color scheme for easy identification. Each plate has a different pattern, so no plate will be the same in terms of looks. The contrasting white lettering provides a nice pop and the text is very legible.

One of the best features of the Rogue Fleck Plates is the high durometer rating of 90 on all variants. This results in a very low bounce that you would normally find on urethane and competition-level bumper plates. They also have a relatively thin profile (2.76″ on 45’s), which allows for plenty of weight on the bar for most people.

The center ring is stainless steel and it measures 50.4mm for a very snug fit. These plates are guaranteed to +/- 1% on weight accuracy and they offer a full two-year warranty on all variants, which includes 10-15lbs.

While the Rogue Fleck Plates weren’t designed to be used outdoors like the similar-looking Vulcan Alphas, they are less expensive. As such, they’re a strong contender if you’re looking for fleck-style/unique plates.


Runner-Up Competition Bumper Plates

REP Competition Bumper Plates

REP Competition Plates - Best Bumper Plates

Price: $299.99 w/ Free Shipping (45lb Pair)
Material: Virgin Rubber w/ Full Zinc Hub
Weight System: Pounds and Kilograms
Weight Options: 25lb-55lb & 10kg-25kg (also available in lb sets and kg sets)
Weight Tolerance: +/- 10 grams
Collar Opening: 50.5mm (1.98″)
Durometer Rating: 92 (Low Bounce)
Warranty:  5 Years

Pros

  • Extremely accurate to +/- 10 grams
  • 92 shore durometer rating results in a dead bounce
  • Available in pounds and kilograms
  • Very strong 5-year warranty
  • Thin profile = more weight on the bar

Cons

  • Still somewhat expensive for the average home gym owner, but free shipping sweetens the deal
  • Zinc hub is very durable and hides smudges better than chrome, but it’s visually not as vibrant
Runner-Up Competition Plates
REP Competition Plates
4.9

The REP Competition Bumper Plates are highly accurate and thin plates with a full center hub for durability and a low bounce.

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The REP Fitness Competition Bumper Plates are some of the best comp plates that you can buy for the money. They’re very well-spec’d, in some areas better than Rogue, and they’re very strong performers.

One of the biggest benefits of competition bumpers is the thinner profile relative to other styles. With the 45’s measuring only 2.125″ thick, you can load nearly 700lbs on the bar with these plates. In addition, they’re very accurate with a guaranteed weight tolerance of +/- 10 grams. This is better than the Rogue Competition Bumper Plates (15 grams) and on par with some of the most high-end plates on the market.

The REP comp plates have a very high durometer rating of 92, which creates a very low bounce. This isn’t as high as the Rogue plates (94), but it is higher than most other comp plates out there (90). They also have a full zinc hub, which is very common. While they may not look as good as chrome, they do hide smudges, fingerprints, etc… better than chrome. Full-size hubs generally increase the durability of a plate significantly. These competition plates from REP have been factory tested to over 30,000 drops from 8 feet.

You can purchase these plates in pounds or kilograms and they’re available in a variety of sets. They have a very strong warranty of 5 years. Aesthetically, these plates have a standard IWF color scheme with contrasting raised white lettering.

The REP Competition Bumper Plates are beautiful plates with great specs at a very reasonable price point for this style of plate.


Best Budget Competition Bumper Plates

LUXIAOJUN Competition Bumper Plates

Price: $278 (45lb Pair)
Material: Virgin Rubber w/ Full Zinc Hub
Weight System: Pounds and Kilograms
Weight Options: 25lb-55lb & 10kg-25kg (also available in sets)
Weight Tolerance: +/- 15 grams
Collar Opening: 50.4mm (1.98″)
Durometer Rating: 90 (Low Bounce)
Warranty:  3 Years

Pros

  • Accurate to +/- 15 grams
  • Shore durometer rating of 90
  • Available in pounds and kilograms
  • Channel grooves make for easier handling
  • Very thin profile

Cons

  • 3-Year warranty isn’t as high as some other competition plates
  • Zinc hub is very durable and hides smudges better than chrome, but it’s visually not as vibrant
Best Budget Competition Plates
LUXIAOJUN Competition Plates
4.9

The LUXIAOJUN Competition Bumper Plates are excellent plates if you're looking for comp specs on a budget. These offer several great features.

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In my opinion, LUXIAOJUN is offering some of the best plates on the market across the board. These competition bumper plates are no exception, and they’re frequently on sale for excellent prices.

Like other competition plates, these from LUXIAOJUN are thin, accurate, and very durable. The 45lb plates have a thickness of 2.12″, which is very consistent with the market and which allows for nearly 700lbs of bar weight. They’re also accurate to +/- 15 grams, which is the minimum for competition-level plates.

The plates have a full-zinc hub, which increases durability. While the warranty of 3 years isn’t as strong as some other plates (5 years), there is little concern that they won’t last well beyond that in normal lifting environments… especially in a home gym. The shore durometer rating of 90 leads to a very low bounce, which helps contribute to a longer life.

The LUXIAOJUN Competition Plates offer their staple channel grooves, which make them much easier to handle compared to some other plates, including competition plates. They also have raised flanges around the hubs to prevent metal-on-metal contact, which is a standard for this style of plate.

Aesthetically, I’m in love with these plates. The colors are very vibrant and the raised white lettering looks great. I also love the signature from none other than Lu Xiaojun on the center hub. This is a unique and awesome-looking touch.

What makes these plates so attractive, other than their great specs, is their price. Not only are they priced very well, but they’re often on sale. I would strongly recommend checking them out if you’re looking for competition bumper plates on a budget.


Runner-Up Urethane Bumper Plates

Vulcan Urethane Bumper Plates

Vulcan Bumper Plates Urethane Loaded 2 - Garage Gym Lab

Price: $284.99 (45lb Pair)
Material: Urethane w/ Chrome Insert
Weight System: Pounds
Weight Options: 10lb-55lb
Weight Tolerance: +/- 1%
Collar Opening: 50.4mm (1.98″)
Durometer Rating: 90 (Low Bounce)
Warranty: N/A

Pros

  • Beautiful, vibrant colored plates
  • Urethane is more durable than rubber
  • Center hub creates very a tight fit on the bar
  • +/- 1% accuracy
  • 90 shore durometer rating

Cons

  • Not available in kilograms or sets
  • Urethane is slicker than rubber
Runner-Up Urethane Plates
Vulcan Urethane Bumper Plates
4.9

The Vulcan Urethane Bumper Plates are some of the best-looking plates on the market with strong performance to match.

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The Vulcan Urethane Bumper Plates were the second set of urethane plates that I added to my home gym. I’m very impressed with them, including their looks, their performance, and their price.

These plates have a high shore durometer rating of 90, which creates a low bounce that’s consistent with other urethane plates. They’re also guaranteed to be within +/- 1% of the stated weight, which is consistent with similar-style plates. Their low-profile build also allows for a higher weight load relative to thicker rubber plates.

The center hubs on these plates are smooth hard chrome, and aside from looking great, they have a very tight tolerance. Of all the plates I’ve owned, I would say that these fit the most snug of any of them. A raised flange is included to keep the chrome looking great, although some wipe downs may be necessary to remove fingerprints, etc…

Urethane bumpers have some advantages over rubber bumper plates, including durability, color vibrancy, and low odor. These plates are extremely vibrant and aesthetically very nice-looking. I love the Vulcan logo at the bottom with the integrated weight call-out. If there’s one odd thing about these plates, however, it’s that the 35lb variants have a highlighter-like look to them, which I don’t care for. Then again, I don’t care for 35lb plates in general… a topic for another day.


Best Budget Urethane Bumper Plates

LUXIAOJUN Urethane Bumper Plates

LUXIAOJUN Urethane Plates - Best Bumper Plates

Price: $230 (45lb Pair)
Material: Urethane w/ Chrome Insert
Weight System: Pounds and Kilograms
Weight Options: 25lb-55lb & 10kg-25kg (also available in sets)
Weight Tolerance: +/- 1%
Collar Opening: 50.5mm (1.99″)
Durometer Rating: 85 (Low-to-Medium Bounce)
Warranty:  3 Years

Pros

  • Vibrant plates with IWF specs
  • Channel groove makes for easy handling
  • Hard chrome center hub with signature
  • +/- 1% accuracy
  • Available in pounds and kilograms

Cons

  • Durometer rating of 85 is less than some urethane plates
  • Urethane is slicker than rubber
Best Budget Urethane Plates
LUXIAOJUN Urethane Plates
4.9

The LUXIAOJUN Urethane Plates offer tremendous value on high-quality bumpers with excellent specs and features.

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If there’s one thing you’ve learned in this article, it’s that LUXIOAJUN is selling some of the best plates for the money. You won’t find a higher-quality urethane plate at this price point. Like other urethane plates, these are highly durable, accurate, thin, and low-odor.

These plates have a guaranteed weight tolerance of +/- 1%, which is industry-standard for urethane plates. They’re also built to IWF specs with a 2″ collar opening and a 450mm diameter. The 2.09″ thickness is among the lowest on the market, which is great if you’re a heavy lifter considering this is thinner than competition rubber bumper plates.

The LUXIAOJUN Urethane Plates have a shore durometer rating of 85, which is lower than most urethane plates (90). This will result in a slightly bouncier plate relative to some of the others.

They have a smooth hard chrome center hub with a Lu Xioajun signature embellishing the front. This is one of my favorite touches of any plate, and I think it looks excellent. The colors are very vibrant and the contrasting white lettering pops beautifully.

Like other LUXIAOJUN bumper plates, these include the channel grooves for very easy handling.

All-in-all, these are great urethane plates at unbeatable prices. Not only are their retail prices significantly less, but they’re often available on sale.


Best Cheap Bumper Plates

LUXIAOJUN E1 Bumper Plates

LUXIAOJUN E1 Bumper Plates - Best Bumper Plates

Price: $159 (45lb Pair)
Material: Virgin Rubber w/ Stainless Insert
Weight System: Pounds
Weight Options: 10lb-55lb (also available in 100lb-550lb sets)
Weight Tolerance: +/- 1%
Collar Opening: 50.6mm (1.99″)
Durometer Rating: 90 on 10-15lb plates; 85 on 25lb+ (Low-to-Medium Bounce)
Warranty:  3 Years on 25lb+ & 90 days on 10-15lb

Pros

  • Excellent value for well-spec’d plates with strong performance and looks
  • Channel groove allows for easy handling
  • Stainless steel inner ring
  • +/- 1% accuracy
  • Numerous set options

Cons

  • Durometer rating on 25lb+ is less than 10-15lb
  • Black on black can make it more challenging to quickly identify plates
Best Black Bumpers
LUXIAOJUN E1 Bumper Plates
4.9

The LUXIAOJUN E1 Bumper Plates are affordable, high-quality rubber bumpers with great features.

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The E1 bumper plates from LUXIAOJUN are some of the nicest black bumpers that I’ve used. These are designed by the world-renowned weightlifter, Lu Xiaojun, and they have several nice qualities. I’ve owned these plates in my home gym since early 2021 and I’ve been quite impressed.

The E1 Bumpers offer an excellent value for what you get in terms of specs, performance, and looks. These plates have a guaranteed weight tolerance of +/- 1%. I can confirm on my set, having weighed all of them, that they do fall within this range.

These plates offer a low-to-medium bounce with durometer ratings of 85 on 25lb+ variants and 90 on 10lb & 15lb variants. Although it would be nice for all the plates to offer a 90 rating, this is very common on plates of this style, and the bounce is still minimal. Contributing to this is the virgin rubber used on these plates. Not only does that help with performance and producing a lower bounce, but it also greatly reduces odor.

One of my favorite features of these plates are the channel grooves on both sides. Coupled with a deeply beveled edge, this makes it far easier to grip and carry these plates compared to traditional flanges. This includes picking the plates up from a flat position on the ground.

When it comes to aesthetics, these plates simply look fantastic. The channel grooves, raised lettering, and stamped logo look excellent on the matte black finish.

If you’re looking for a basic set of high-quality black rubber bumper plates at a great price, the E1s are an excellent choice.


Best Bumper Plate Storage

Rogue Vertical Plate Tree 2.0

Rogue Vertical Plate Tree - Best Bumper Plates

Price: $220
Material: 11-Gauge Steel & Schedule 40 Pipe
Tiers: Three
Dimensions: 26″ long, 24″ wide, 50″ tall
Sleeve Length: 12″
Sleeve Spacing: 18.275″ on center

Pros

  • 12″ long sleeves can accommodate over five 45lb plates (depending on style)
  • Bolt-together design is easy to assemble
  • Optional wheel kit for portability
  • Side holes for optional barbell holders

Cons

  • Powder-coated sleeves will show imperfections quickly
Best Plate Storage
Rogue Vertical Plate Tree 2.0
4.8

The Rogue Plate Tree 2.0 is an affordable and high-quality plate tree with 12" sleeves and optional wheels for easy transportation.

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If you’re going to be buying bumper plates for your home gym, you need a place to store them. There are many options out there, including horizontal floor storage, mass storage units, on-rack storage, wall storage, and vertical plate trees.

I like plate trees because of their convenience, footprint, and portability (in some cases). The Rogue Vertical Plate Tree 2.0 is an excellent option for home gym owners.

The best thing about this plate storage system is that it includes 12″ long posts. This is longer than many other plate trees and, as such, it will accommodate more plates. Depending on what type of plates you’re using, you can place more than five 45lb plates on one post. There are 6 total posts available and they’re spaced 18.275″ on center to allow for full-diameter plates.

I also love the options this plate tree offers. Firstly, you can purchase the wheel kit so you can move the tree around as you need. For less than $10, I think this is a great add-on. Secondly, because the crossmembers have side holes, you can mount horizontal barbell holders and turn this into a bar and bumper plate storage tree.

The only real downside to this plate tree is that the posts are powder-coated, which will show imperfections almost immediately.

While there are many bumper plate trees and storage options out there, I highly recommend the Rogue Plate Tree 2.0 for most home gym owners.


Benefits of Bumper Plates

When it comes to picking the right plates for your gym, one of the first questions you have to ask is whether you need bumper plates or steel plates. Bumper plates offer a few primary benefits:

1.) They’re Very Versatile

Bumper plates are the most versatile type of weight plate. Whether you train for Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, CrossFit, bodybuilding, or more, bumper plates are a great choice. Steel plates, on the other hand, are mainly used for powerlifting and machine-based lifting. Unless you require specificity and/or maximum loading potential (steel plates are thinner), then I recommend bumper plates.

2.) They’re Very Quiet

Another benefit of bumper plates is that they’re very quiet – much quieter than iron plates at least. In the home gym, this could play a critical factor in determining which plates to buy. If you’re concerned with noise, bumper plates are the answer.

3.) They’re Very Durable

High-quality bumper plates are built to withstand thousands of drops, making them a very durable option. In the home gym, it’s realistic to expect bumper plates to last well beyond their stated warranty.

4.) They’re Very Aesthetic

Bumper plates come in a variety of looks. With options for full color, all-black, contrasting lettering, color stripes, fleck patterns, etc… there is a lot to choose from based on your aesthetic preferences. They also tend to look better for longer relative to steel plates.

5.) They’re Available at Every Budget

Bumper plates can range from budget-friendly to very high-end. While they’re generally more expensive than steel plates, there’s a bumper plate option for virtually every budget level.


Types of Bumper Plates

Bumper plates come in a variety of styles based on budget, aesthetics, and most of all, performance.

Crumb Bumper Plates

Crumb bumper plates are among the most economically-priced plates available. These plates are made from recycled rubber, which emits a more potent smell than virgin rubber. Crumb bumpers are the thickest type of bumper plate, which limits how much weight you can load onto the bar. They have the lowest durometer ratings, which leads to higher bounce, and they’re not as durable as other bumper plates. If you’re on a tight budget, crumb bumper plates are a solid option, but their performance is lacking relative to others.

Black Bumper Plates

Black rubber bumper plates are also some of the most economical bumpers in terms of price. These plates generally offer a mid-80s durometer rating, which produces a medium bounce. These plates have a narrower profile than crumb bumpers, but they are noticeably thicker than competition or urethane bumper plates. Being all one color, they aren’t as easy to identify quickly, but some black bumpers will include contrasting white lettering to help. These are more durable than crumb bumpers, but less durable than competition and urethane bumpers.

Color Bumper Plates

Color rubber bumper plates are built the same as black bumpers, with the only difference being they offer colors. This typically includes a standard IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) color scheme. Some plates, like the Rogue Fleck Plate, Vulcan Alphas, Fringe Sport Savage Plates, etc… will have unique patterns, but they still maintain the overall color scheme. This makes weight identification immediate and it creates an overall nice aesthetic.

Urethane Bumper Plates

Urethane bumper plates are some of the best plates that you can buy. These plates are on the more expensive side, but they include a few advantages because of the urethane material: they have little to no odor, they have the most vibrant colors, and they’re more durable than rubber. Urethane also allows for complete customization in terms of color, logos, etc… which is a benefit for facilities or high-end home gym consumers. Urethane plates also have a low bounce.

Competition Bumper Plates

Competition Bumper Plates are the highest-tier bumper plate given their performance and IWF-spec profiles. These are among the most expensive plates available, but for good reason. Competition bumpers are extremely accurate (usually +/- 10 or 15 grams), they’re thin, and they offer the lowest bounce among bumper plates. They also have a full center hub, making them extremely durable. They’re fully colored, although some plates may be black with a colored stripe. These are called ‘training plates’, but they are often built the same as competition plates. Some competition bumper plates are officially approved by the IWF to be used in international competitions.


Important Factors to Consider When Choosing Bumper Plates

The following factors are among the most important based on my experience:

Training Style

One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing any piece of gym equipment is your training intention. Are you training for a weightlifting competition? If so, you should consider competition plates. Are you training for general strength & conditioning? If so, then black or colored bumper plates are a great choice.

Price

Price is another top consideration. See the FAQ section below for a breakdown of prices for different styles of bumper plates.

Durability

Different bumper plates have different levels of durability. For example, a full center hub is going to protect against warping better than a center ring. I center ring with hooks is going to protect against warping better than a simple pressed ring. Virgin rubber is going to hold up better than recycled rubber and urethane will tend to hold up better than both. Are you planning to train multiple athletes? If so, you may want to purchase plates more capable of withstanding abuse. If it’s just you, a more basic bumper will likely serve you well for a long time.

Materials

Bumper plates are made from recycled rubber, virgin rubber, or urethane. Your preferences around aesthetic, bounce, smell, price, etc… will determine which material is best for you. Similarly, hubs can include stainless steel, hard chrome, zinc, etc… While not as important beyond mainly aesthetic reasons, this is something else to consider.

Hub Style

The center hubs of bumper plates play two main roles: they influence durability and change the aesthetic of the plates. Competition bumpers, for example, have full steel hubs that are typically hard chrome or zinc. Hard chrome is beautiful, but it shows fingerprints, etc… more than the flatter look of zinc. Urethane bumpers have a medium-sized hub, typically chrome, that provides a mix of looks and durability. Basic bumpers have a smaller center ring, oftentimes which is stainless steel. I recommend hooked center rings – these anchor into the plate, which greatly increases durability and prevents the plates from warping.

Bounce

Bounce is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing bumper plates. A low bounce means you won’t be chasing your barbell around the gym. It also makes for a more efficient experience when lifting multiple reps. The bounce is determined in large part by the shore durometer rating. This number, measured from 0-100 states the hardness of the material. High durometer ratings are correlated with a lower bounce. For example, competition bumpers have the highest durometer ratings (90+) and the lowest bounce. Crumb bumper plates, on the other hand, have the lowest durometer ratings (75-80) and the highest bounce. Basic bumpers and urethane bumpers are typically in the middle (85-90) for a medium bounce.

Thickness

Thickness is a crucial consideration if you’re a heavy lifter or if you’re using bumpers on plate-loaded machines. If either of those is true for you, you should focus on thinner bumper plates, which are generally competition bumpers or urethane bumpers. Crumb bumper plates have the thickest profiles, followed by basic black/color bumpers, and then competition/urethane bumpers.

Weight Tolerance

When you’re lifting weights, you want to lift with plates that are close to their stated weight. Competition plates will be the most accurate, often to +/- 10-15 grams. Other high-quality black/color/urethane bumpers will often have a guarantee of +/-1%. Some others will have a higher tolerance of +/-3% although they’re typically well within this range. In general, bumper plates tend to be more accurate than steel plates.

Warranty

Quality bumper plates will typically outlive their warranties under normal conditions, especially in a home gym. You will commonly see 3-5 year warranties on 25lb+ bumpers and 3 months to 1 year on 10-15lb variations.


FAQs

What are Bumper Plates?

Bumper plates are a type of weight plate with a rubber outer construction and a steel center construction. Bumper plates have consistent diameters and they can be used for Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, CrossFit, and more.

How Much Do Bumper Plates Cost?

Bumper plates range in price based on their materials, lifting purpose, brand, and more. The following breaking shows a standard range on a price-per-pound basis (45lb benchmark) for bumper plates:

  • Crumb Bumper Plates – $1.83-$2.10
  • Black Bumper Plates – $1.75-$2.25
  • Color Bumper Plates – $2.15-$3.10
  • Urethane Bumper Plates – $2.55-$3.90
  • Competition Bumper Plates – $2.85-$3.80

Should I Buy Bumper Plates?

I highly recommend bumper plates because they’re the most versatile type of weight plate. Unless you’re specifically training as a powerlifter or you’re training a lot with plate-loaded machines, bumper plates will offer the most bang for your buck.

Who Makes the Best Bumper Plates?

There are dozens of companies making high-quality bumper plates. Below is a list of some of the top brands:


So, there you have it – my rankings of the best bumper plates to buy in 2022!

If you have any questions about bumper plates, please leave a comment below. Likewise, if you own any of these plates and you want to chime in with your own thoughts, please do so!

If you found this review useful, please feel free to share it on social media!

The bar is loaded,

Adam

Adam
Adam
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab. He serves as the chief content creator with over two decades of training experience. When he's not testing equipment and writing about all things fitness, Adam loves spending time with his wife and two children.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Adam. Really love this breakdown. I have a combination of calibrated powerlifting paltes, regular bumper plates, competition bumper plates and urethane bumper plates and love them all. I’m glad you mentioned the tightness of the holes of urethane bumper plates. I haven’t seen anyone ever mention that and thought I was crazy or I received a bad set. Like you said, they’re tighter than my competition bumpers and even tighter than my calibrated plates! I actually put UHMW tape on the inside of my plates’ holes to prevent scratching up my SS Yoke, my power bar with cerakote sleeves and also my powdercoated plate tree. This works really well for damage prevention and noise reduction but as a result, my urethane bumpers can be very difficult to get onto some of my bars. Anyway, just wanted to show my appreciation for you calling that out!

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