HomeBest of 202411 Best Weight Plates in 2024: Rubber, Iron, and More

11 Best Weight Plates in 2024: Rubber, Iron, and More

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Weight Plates are an essential piece of gym equipment for anyone looking to strength train. I consider them to be one of the ‘core four’: a squat rack, a barbell, some weight plates, and a weight bench, especially for the home gym.

We’ve tested dozens of plates from some of the top brands in the industry. We’ve used them for powerlifting, weightlifting, and everywhere in between. Here are some of the factors we considered (more below):

  • Thickness: How thin are the plates? How many can you load onto the bar?
  • Accuracy: How accurate is each plate to its stated weight?
  • Durability: Are the plates made of high quality materials? Do the warp, chip, or bend?

In this article, I’ll share our top picks for the best weight plates. Whether you’re looking for bumper plates, steel plates, or change plates, this article has you covered.

What are the Best Weight Plates?

We found the Rogue Echo Bumper Plates to have the best blend of performance and value. Their low bounce is consistent with some higher-end plates without the bigger price tag. We love how they’re narrower than most plates in their class, and we felt their durability was excellent overall. In our experience, these plates offer the best bang for your buck.

Our Top Picks

Best Basic Black Rubber Weight Plates: Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

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Best Basic Color Rubber Weight Plates: Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates

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Best Cast Iron Weight Plates Strength Co. Olympic Iron Plates

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Best Competition Bumper Plates: Rogue Competition Bumper Plates

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Best Urethane Bumper Plates: American Barbell Pro Urethane Bumper Plates

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Most Versatile Bumper Plates: Vulcan Alpha Bumpers

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Best Calibrated Weight Plates: Rogue Calibrated Steel Weight Plates

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Best Weight plates with Handles: REP Urethane Coated Equalizers

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Best Change Plates: Rogue Change Plates

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Best Cheap Weight Plates: CAP Olympic Grip Plates

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Best Looking Weight Plates: Fringe Sport Savage Bumper Plates

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Best Basic Black Rubber Weight Plates: Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

Best Overall Black Bumper Plates
Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

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.

Key Specs

  • Price: $190 (45 lb Pair)
  • Material: Virgin Rubber w/ Stainless Insert
  • Weight System: Pounds
  • Weight Options: 10-45 lb (also available in 160-560 lb sets)
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 1%
  • Collar Opening: 50.6mm (1.99″)
  • Durometer Rating: 88 (Low-to-Medium Bounce)
  • Warranty: 90 Days on 10-15 lbs & 3 Years on 25 lb+


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Summary

When it comes to basic black bumper plates, the Rogue Echo v2 plates are our top pick. These simple plates are accurate, aesthetic, and they have the added benefit of being approved for the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT).

With a single durometer rating of 88 across all weight variants, they offer a medium-to-low bounce. They’re constructed with virgin rubber and they include stainless steel center rings measuring 50.6mm – this size is very common for plates of this style. Not only does virgin rubber contribute to a lower bounce and more durability, but it also helps to reduce smell compared to recycled rubber. That said, some users have complained about the Rogue Echo plates smelling, at least at first. This smell will commonly dissipate over time.

Rogue Echo Bumper Plates - Best Bumper Plates

A great quality of these plates is that they have a weight tolerance of +/- 1%. They also offer among the thinnest profiles on the market, which is a nice benefit if you’re a big lifter. This will allow for up to 590 lbs of plates on a traditional barbell depending on the collar you’re using.

Another great feature of these is that they’re approved for the ACFT, which is a 6-event assessment for Army combat readiness. You can buy these plates in pairs or sets, and even in color. The colored version has a slightly thinner profile than even the regular black Echo plates. Aesthetically, the black version includes a matte black finish with contrasting white lettering. I like the simple look of these plates and the white lettering helps to quickly identify the right plates.

If you’re looking for quality basic black bumpers, the Rogue Echo v2 plates are going to be tough to beat given their price, performance, and reputation.

Pros

  • High-quality plates with a great reputation
  • Very strong price-to-performance ratio
  • 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 Basic Color Rubber Weight Plates: Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates

Best Overall Color Bumper Plates
Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates

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

Key Specs

  • Price: $279 (45 lb Pair) w/ Free Shipping
  • Material: Virgin Rubber w/ Stainless Insert
  • Weight System: Pounds
  • Weight Options: 10-55 lb (also available in 100-370 lb sets)
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 1%
  • Collar Opening: 50.4mm (1.98″)
  • Durometer Rating: 90 on 10-15 lb plates; 85 on 25 lb+ (Low-to-Medium Bounce)
  • Warranty: 3 Years on 25 lb+ & 1-Year on 10-15 lb


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Summary

The Fringe Sport Plates are a great entryway into the world of color bumpers without spending a bunch of money. I’ve owned and used most of the Fringe Sport plate styles, and I would say as a whole, they offer great value. These plates are built the same as their cheaper black bumpers and black contrast bumpers, but obviously with a full paint job.

These virgin rubber plates have a stainless steel hooked insert, which helps to increase the overall durability of the plates. In a home gym setting, you can rest assured these will last for years, and they have a strong track record to back it up. These plates have been on the market since 2014 and, with hundreds of verified reviews between these plates (including black and contrast), the long-term performance is very promising.

The plates have a shore durometer rating of 85 on 25 lb+ and 90 on 10-15 lb, which results in a low-to-medium bounce. A 1% +/- weight tolerance indicates very good accuracy, and I can attest to their accuracy having used and weighed them. The 50.4mm diameter is tighter than many plates of this style – this keeps the plates nice and snug on the bar.

Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates on White Background

One thing Fringe Sport is known for is having resilient 10 lb plates. A common downside to 10 lb plates is that they can warp, bend, and “Taco” over time. This is especially true for recycled rubber plates, but also generally with lesser-quality options. Fringe (and some other companies too) have their 10 lb plates designed with a 445mm diameter vs. 450mm. This reduces the amount of abuse the plates experience since the heavier and stronger plates will be the ones hitting the ground and absorbing the force. Their 10s and 15s offer a 1-year warranty, which is more than most (3-6 months), and anything heavier comes with a 3-year warranty.

One thing to consider is that the Fringe Plates have a slightly thicker profile than some competing plates. For example, the 45 lb plate has a thickness of 2.9″ whereas the Rogue Echos 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.

Pros

  • Nice value and includes free shipping
  • Stainless steel inner ring
  • +/- 1% accuracy
  • Wide range of set options
  • Strong warranty

Cons

  • Durometer rating on 25 lb+ is less than 10-15 lb
  • Thicker than some plates of similar style

Best Cast Iron Weight Plates: Strength Co. Olympic Iron Plates

Best Cast Iron Weight Plates
Strength Co. Cast Iron Plates

The Strength Co. Cast Iron Plates are USA-made high-quality plates with a thin profile and a beautiful aesthetic.

Key Specs

  • Price: $195 (45 lb Pair)
  • Material: Machined Cast Iron
  • Weight System: Pounds
  • Weight Options: 1.25-100 lb (also available in 175-465 lb sets)
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 2%
  • Collar Opening: 50.5mm (1.99″)
  • Warranty: Out of tolerance, cracks, or structural defects are fully warrantied


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Summary

If you’re looking for classic non-calibrated iron weight plates, then the Strength Co Olympic Iron Plates have your name all over them. I’ve owned these plates since they were released and they’re at the top of the list for me. These USA-made plates are produced in the Waupaca Foundry in Wisconsin where they’re cast in gray iron and machined along the exterior and interior diameters for a very smooth finish.

Each plate is electrically finished in e-coat, which is a thin application that does a nice job of enhancing durability and protecting against corrosion and oxidation. It also looks very slick and, with the ultra-smooth edges, has a very refined look and feel. Keep in mind that with any applied finish, it may wear down over time as the plates are used.

The Strength Co Iron Plates

The thing I love the most about these plates is that they have a deep lip but without the width of a deep dish plate. For example, a 45 lb weight plate is only 1.25″ thick, whereas the Rogue Deep Dish 45 lb plate is 1.97″. If you’re lifting heavy weight, this can add up quickly. For comparison again, a 45 lb calibrated iron plate has a width of ~0.86″, so the Strength Co plates are closer to calibrated width than deep dish width. The lip, mind you, makes it much easier to handle these plates, especially compared to calibrated.

The Strength Co cast plates have a weight tolerance of 2% on all variants, which is consistent with this style and better than the 3% on standard iron Olympic weight plates. The collar opening is machined to 1.99″ (50.5mm), which creates a tight fit on the bar.

All-in-all, I couldn’t be happier with the Strength Co Iron Plates – they’re outstanding.

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • Deep lip makes it very easy to handle
  • Available in pairs and sets
  • 2% weight tolerance from 2.5-45 lb
  • Thin profile = more weight on the bar

Cons

  • E-coat application protects against corrosion/oxidation, but may wear down over time

Best Competition Bumper Plates: Rogue Competition Bumper Plates

Best Competition Bumper Plates
Rogue Competition Plates

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

Key Specs

  • Price: $335 (45 lb Pair)
  • Material: Virgin Rubber w/ Full Hard Chrome Hub
  • Weight System: Pounds & Kilograms
  • Weight Options: 25-55 lb & 10-25 kg (also available in sets)
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 15 grams
  • Collar Opening: 50.4mm (1.98″)
  • Durometer Rating: 94 (Low Bounce)
  • Warranty: 5 Years


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Summary

The Rogue Competition Bumper Plates have a very special place in my heart because they were the first plates I ever purchased for my home gym. If you’re someone who trains for competition, someone who demands the most accuracy, someone who requires the thinnest bumpers available, or just someone who likes the finer things in life, then competition bumpers will likely appeal to you.

The Rogue Comp plates come in pound and kilogram variants. The kilogram version is approved by the IWF to be used in international sanctioned events and those plates are embossed with the IWF logo. With that distinction, and really any competition plate for that matter, comes the tightest tolerances. These plates are accurate to +/- 15 grams. Of the 10 Rogue Comp Plates I own, all of them fall within this threshold. The collar opening is 50.4mm, which sits very tight on the bar and reduces noise/vibration.

Rogue Competition Bumper Plates on White Background

Three of the biggest benefits of competition plates include durometer rating, plate width, and the center hub. The Rogue Competition Bumpers have among the highest durometer ratings on the market. With a shore rating of 94, it produces a minuscule amount of bounce. Rest assured you will not be chasing your bar around the platform with these plates. Another benefit is that competition weight plates have a very thin profile, which of course means you can load more weight onto the bar. Lastly, the full-size center hub contributes to improved durability. These plates are built to withstand tens of thousands of overhead drops.

Aesthetically, the colors on these plates pop very nicely, especially with the raised contrasting white lettering. The full center hub is also beautiful, but one thing to consider is that the mirror-like hard chrome is going to show imperfections more than the commonly used zinc hubs on competing plates. Thankfully Rogue includes raised flanges around these hubs to prevent metal-on-metal contact. Even still, you will see some smudges and fingerprints from time to time.

Pros

  • Extremely accurate
  • A 94 shore durometer rating creates a very low bounce
  • Available in pounds and kilograms (IWF-Certified)
  • Thinner profile compared to traditional bumper plates
  • Excellent warranty

Cons

  • Chrome center hub will show fingerprints, smudges, and imperfections more than zinc
  • Expensive for the average home gym owner
  • Packaging could be improved

Read our Full Rogue Competition Bumper Plate Review


Best Urethane Bumper Plates: American Barbell Pro Urethane Bumper Plates

Best Urethane Bumper Plates
American Barbell Urethane Plates

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

Key Specs

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


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Summary

The American Barbell Urethane Plates are simply some of the most beautiful plates available, and they perform very well. American Barbell is the first company to produce urethane bumper plates. These plates are available in both pounds and kilograms, but neither are available in sets.

Urethane has a few advantages over rubber. One being it’s more durable, two being it’s more customizable with color/logo, etc…, and three being that it’s odorless. At the end of the day, urethane plates are a luxury item for most. This is especially true in the home gym where most lifters will never hit the volume necessary to totally degrade a high-quality bumper plate. As such, unless you just love the look or you intend to throw around a lot of weight with a lot of frequency, it’s hard to justify the cost over less expensive rubber competition bumper plates.

American Barbell Pro Urethane Bumper Plates on White Background

A disadvantage of urethane compared 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.” Another consideration is that the collar openings on urethane plates have extremely tight tolerances. This can make it a little more challenging to slide plates on and off, it can make it louder to slide on and off, and it can cause some cosmetic sleeve issues on certain finishes (Cerakote, zinc, etc…).

Aesthetically, I have not found a weight plate that can match the vibrancy of the American Barbell Urethane Plates. One thing to consider between the LB and KG variants is that the LB version does not include an “LB” callout as the KG plates do. I’m not sure why American Barbell omitted them in such a way, but it’s unfortunate in comparison in my opinion. The center hub is hard chrome and it’s totally smooth, which differs from some other urethane plates that have indented hubs.

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

Pros

  • Beautiful aesthetic
  • Urethane is more durable than rubber
  • Tight tolerance on the collar opening creates a very snug fit
  • Available in pounds or kilograms
  • Very low bounce

Cons

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

Read our Full American Barbell Urethane Bumper Plates Review


Most Versatile Bumper Plates: Vulcan Alpha Bumpers

Most Versatile Bumper Plates
Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates

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

Key Specs

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


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Summary

The Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates are some of the most unique looking and functioning bumper plates available. What separates these plates from the competition is that the Alpha Bumpers were specifically designed to be used on a variety of surfaces, whether indoors or outdoors. That could include anything from traditional gym flooring to asphalt.

Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates on White Background

These plates come with a durometer rating of ~89, which is very high for a non-competition bumper plate. This leads to a very low bounce, which you can see in the video above. While Vulcan doesn’t state this durometer on the product page, they make note that it offers an equivalent bounce to the Vulcan Black Bumpers, which have a stated ~89 durometer rating.

Vulcan also states that these plates have a ~25% noise reduction when dropped from 9 feet. This appears to be compared to recycled rubber plates like Hi-Temps, which have lousy tolerances that can lead to excess noise. In my experience, the Alphas are comparable to high-end bumper plates as it relates to noise.

Alpha Bumper Plates by Vulcan Strength

The fleck pattern is something that Vulcan has been offering since 2015. It’s a very unique look that’s based on the IWF color scheme. No plate is exactly the same and, while there are some other fleck plates on the market (notably from Rogue), they don’t offer the same versatility as the Vulcan’s given their indoor/outdoor design.

In terms of durability, the center ring is hooked into the bumper to extend life and performance. Vulcan is so confident in this design that they offer one of the best warranties you will find on any style of bumper plate, which is 4 years on 35 lb+, 3 years on 25 lb, and 1 year on 10-15 lb.

Pros

  • Made for indoor and outdoor lifting on a variety of surfaces
  • High durometer rating for non-competition bumper plates
  • Wide range of set options
  • Excellent warranty without use restrictions
  • Fleck design creates a fun and unique look

Cons

  • Wider profile than most virgin rubber bumper plates
  • Collar opening not as tight as some other bumper plates

Best Calibrated Weight Plates: Rogue Calibrated Steel Weight Plates

Best Calibrated Weight Plates
Rogue Calibrated Steel Plates

The Rogue Calibrated Steel Plates are extremely accurate competition-approved weight plates with an ultra-thin profile.

Key Specs

  • Price: $240 (45l b Pair)
  • Material: Machined Cast Iron
  • Weight System: Pounds & Kilograms
  • Weight Options: 0.25-55 lb & 0.25-50kg (also available in sets)
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 10 grams
  • Collar Opening: 50.4mm (1.98″)
  • Warranty: 1 Year


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Summary

The Rogue Calibrated Steel Plates are some of the finest powerlifting plates on the market. Available in both pounds and kilograms, these plates are machine calibrated to a weight tolerance of +/- 10 grams. Calibration is achieved via a plug in the back of the plate. When the plates are manufactured they are first weighed and then a plug is inserted to bring the plates into the required tolerance.

Both the LB and KG versions of these calibrated plates from Rogue are spec’d to IPF standards, but only the KG version is IPF approved. The collar opening measures 50.4mm, which leads to a very tight fit on the bar. Because there is a tolerance of +/- 0.2mm (fairly normal), the opening could actually be smaller.

Some users, myself included, have experienced calibrated plates that are difficult to slide onto the bar. Also, because the center ring is powder-coated, you may find your bar’s sleeves wearing some of that paint as plates slide on and off. This is especially true on bars that have grooved sleeves.

Rogue Calibrated Steel Weight Plates on White Background

Aside from weight tolerance, the biggest benefit of a calibrated plate is how thin they are. They’re so thin that you can load 1,500 lbd or 700kg onto the bar. If you train with powerlifting specificity, especially in a competitive setting, calibrated plates are highly recommended. As great as the thin profile is, however, it makes it difficult to pick up plates when they’re lying flat on the floor. There are no beveled edges or anything that can help.

Aesthetically, the Rogue Calibrated Steel Plates look phenomenal… at least early on. Calibrated plates in general tend to chip quickly, so your beautiful paint job will never look as good as the day you got them. These are powerlifting plates, though – they’re made to take a beating, not win a beauty pageant.

Pros

  • Ultra-thin profile for maximum weight capacity
  • Extremely accurate with +/-10 gram tolerance
  • Available in pounds and kilograms (IPF approved)
  • Available in pairs and sets

Cons

  • Paint will never look as good as the day you got them
  • Difficult to handle when lying face down

Best Weight Plates with Handles: REP Urethane Coated Equalizers

Best Weight Plates with Handles
REP Urethane Equalizer Plates

The REP Urethane Coated Equalizers are heavy-duty & accurate plates with easy-to-use cutouts and a thin profile.

Key Specs

  • Price: $279.99 (45 lb Pair) w/ Free Shipping
  • Material: Urethane-Coated Cast Iron
  • Weight System: Pounds
  • Weight Options: 2.5-45 lb
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 3%
  • Collar Opening: 51mm (2.0″)
  • Warranty: Lifetime for 10 lb+ & 5 Years for 2.5-5 lb


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Summary

The REP Urethane Coated Equalizers represent a modern spin on the shooter-style plates popularized by Ivanko. Commonly seen with circular cutouts, these shooter plates actually have hexagonal cutouts that give it a distinguishably different look and feel. I find that the flat edges of the plate are very comfortable in the hand – more so than circular. I tend to also favor the aesthetic more than others.

The Equalizers state a weight tolerance of +/- 3%, which equates to less than 1.5 lb on a 45 lb plate. While other plates have a tighter guaranteed tolerance, each of my REP Equalizers (14 total plates) were well within that range.

Rep Urethane Equalizer Plates being held in hands - Garage Gym Lab

These Olympic weight plates have a collar opening of ~51mm (2″). Unlike other shooter-style plates which have a standard opening wrapped in urethane, these from REP have a steel insert. In conjunction with the slightly larger hole opening, they load onto the bar very easily… almost too easily. When you’re lifting with the REP Urethane equalizers, I strongly recommend using collars, otherwise, you risk them sliding around too much. The benefit of the steel insert, however, is that you get a more consistent fit from plate to plate.

In terms of thickness, the Urethane Equalizers have a moderate profile. They’re thinner than some bumper plates, but they’re thicker than iron plates… not surprising since they’re just wrapping an iron plate in urethane. At around 1.83″ on the 45 lb plate, you can effectively load a significant amount of weight onto a standard Olympic bar. Still, they’re slightly thicker than the competing urethane shooter-style plates from Rogue and Ivanko.

Overall, these are very nice plates. Factoring in price with the specs, I think they’re the best bang for buck plates with handles.

Pros

  • Very easy to handle (get it?)
  • Urethane cover dampens sounds and increases overall durability
  • Steel insert creates a more consistent fit than machined openings and makes sliding plates on and off easier
  • Very aesthetic plate with the hexagonal cutouts vs. circular
  • More attractively priced compared to other shooter-style plates

Cons

  • Thicker than competing shooter-style urethane plates
  • Collars are necessary to prevent the plates from sliding off while lifting due to the steel insert

Read Our Full REP Equalizer Plates Review


Best Change Plates: Rogue Change Plates

Best Change Plates
Rogue Change Plates

The Rogue Change Plates are rubber-coated plates ranging from 1.25 to 10 lbs with extremely accurate tolerances.

Key Specs

  • Price: $99 (10 lb Pair)
  • Material: Rubber-Coated Cast Iron
  • Weight System: Pounds & Kilograms
  • Weight Options: 1.25-10 lb & 0.5-5kg (also available in sets)
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 10 grams
  • Collar Opening: 50.4mm (1.98″)
  • Warranty: 1 Year


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Summary

Change plates are a necessity for strength training since they help bridge the gap between larger plates. The Rogue Change Plates are sold in LB and KG variants. There are 4 total change plates in the LB line and 6 total in the KG line. The KG change plates are also IWF approved although both lines are spec’d to the same standard of quality/tolerances.

The plates are color-coded for easy identification and, while they look beautiful at first, they will quickly show dirt and grime. Like the calibrated plates, they’ll never look as good as the day you got them.

Rogue Change Plates on White Background

Performance-wise, these are excellent plates. I’ve owned these for 5 years and they have worked very nicely. They’re accurate to within 10 grams and they’re tight-fitting with a 50.4mm opening. On some bars, the rubber lining on the inner diameter can get hung up on the sleeves and make them slightly difficult to load and unload. This is more true if you’re trying to grab them quickly and load/unload them at an angle.

While Change Plates can get most people to what they need to get to weight-wise, if you require even more fine-tuning, you can purchase the Rogue Fractional Plates.

Pros

  • Rubber coating increases durability
  • Very accurate with a tolerance of +/- 10 grams
  • Snug fit on bar with a 50.4mm opening

Cons

  • They get dirty quickly and stay that way

Best Cheap Weight Plates: CAP Olympic Grip Plates

Best Cheap Weight Plates
CAP Olympic Grip Plates

The CAP Olympic Grip Plates are a no-frills weight plate option at a great price point and with good overall user feedback.

Key Specs

  • Price: $154.99 (45 lb Pair)
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Weight System: Pounds
  • Weight Options: 2.5-45 lb
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 5%
  • Collar Opening: 50.8mm (2.0″)
  • Warranty: 30 Days


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Summary

The CAP Olympic Grip Plates are a no-frills cast iron plate at an attractive price. There is nothing special about these plates. Buyers of these plates are generally not competitive lifters – they’re made for recreational lifters, beginner lifters, or anyone looking for cheap weight plates.

That said, they have served thousands of people well for that purpose. Perhaps the best feature of these plates is the angled grips. This allows for easier handling compared to a standard iron plate. The collar opening measures 50.8mm, which will accommodate Olympic barbells.

CAP Olympic Grip Weight Plates

Because these plates are cast and not machined, there may be rough spots as well as sharper edges within these cutouts and along the interior collar opening. There have been some reviews complaining about this, which includes scratching barbell sleeves. I would recommend that you not use CAP plates on a nice barbell for this reason.

The durability of these plates is OK, but again, there are better options in that department. Some reviews have mentioned the handle cracking during deadlifts, etc… These plates also use a baked enamel coating, which looks OK, but which also tends to chip off over time.

These plates aren’t going to win any performance or beauty contests, but they can serve as a solid starter set without breaking the bank.

Pros

  • Very budget-friendly for those looking for cheap weight plates
  • Angled cutouts make it easy to handle these plates
  • Available in black or gray and singles or pairs

Cons

  • Collar opening can be inconsistent
  • Accuracy is not guaranteed
  • Enamel finish can chip over time

Best Looking Weight Plates: Fringe Sport Savage Bumper Plates

Best Looking Weight Plates
Fringe Sport Savage Bumper Plates

The Fringe Sport Savage Plates are uniquely-designed bumper plates with tight tolerances, strong performance, and great looks.

Key Specs

  • Price: $282 (45 lb Pair) w/ Free Shipping
  • Material: Virgin Rubber w/ Stainless Insert
  • Weight System: Pounds
  • Weight Options: 10-55 lb (also available in 100-460 lb sets)
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 1%
  • Collar Opening: 50.4mm (1.98″)
  • Durometer Rating: 90 on 10-15 lb plates; 85 on 25 lb+ (Medium Bounce)
  • Warranty: 3 Years on 25 lb+ & 1 Year on 10-15 lb


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Summary

The Savage Bumper Plates from Fringe Sport I think are the coolest-looking bumper plates currently available. They have a very unique striped pattern where no plate looks the same. They’re sure to stand out in any gym.

Fringe Sport Savage Plates on White Background

These plates are built to the exact performance specs as the Fringe Color Bumper Plates from above. To summarize, they perform well, they have a low-to-medium bounce, they include a stainless hooked insert for increased durability, and they offer an impressive warranty.

Pros

  • Nice value and includes free shipping
  • Stainless steel inner ring
  • +/- 1% accuracy
  • Wide range of set options
  • Strong warranty

Cons

  • Durometer rating on 25 lb+ is less than 10-15 lb
  • Thicker than some plates of similar style

Bumper Plates vs. Metal Plates

Bumper Plates vs. Metal Plates

When it comes to picking the best weight plates for you, the first thing you need to determine is if you should buy bumper plates or metal plates.

Bumper Plates

Bumper Plates are the ideal choice if you train in Olympic Weightlifting, CrossFit, or other functional training styles. These are very durable plates that are built to withstand drops… thousands of them. Bumpers can be used in other styles too, including powerlifting and machine weight training, but keep in mind that bumper plates are generally thicker than metal plates. This will limit the amount of weight you can load onto a bar or a machine.

Bumper plates include steel or iron cores that are coated in a thick layer of rubber or urethane depending on the style that you’re looking for. I’ll help you decide between the two below. This allows them to absorb and distribute force better than metal, which makes them essential in many training styles. Bumper plates tend to be a very aesthetic option as well since many of them include an attractive color scheme adopted by the IWF (International Weightlifting Federation). Another consideration is that bumper plates are usually more expensive than iron or steel plates, but this also depends on selection. For instance, basic black bumpers will be less expensive than calibrated competition steel plates.

Metal Plates

Conversely, metal plates are constructed with exposed cast iron or steel and they’re ideal for powerlifting and machine training. These plates can range from ultra-thin calibrated plates to old-school deep dish plates. They may or may not include a finish to protect against oxidation or to create a color scheme. Metal plates are generally thinner than bumper plates, they aren’t meant to be dropped, they’re louder than bumper plates, and they’re generally less expensive.


Common Weight Plate Materials

Weight Plate Material

Weight plates are commonly produced with the following materials:

Rubber Weight Plates

You will most commonly see rubber used on bumpers plates. Depending on your budget, intended use, aesthetic preferences, and tolerance to smell, you can pick between recycled rubber or virgin rubber. Recycled rubber is cheaper than virgin rubber, but it’s not as durable, it doesn’t look as nice, and it’s smellier. You also may find rubber applied as a thin layer around iron or steel plates. Don’t confuse these with bumpers. This application is for noise reduction and it has some durability benefits, but it doesn’t mean you should drop them or use them in the same manner as rubber bumper plates.

Urethane Weight Plates

This is a premium material used on bumper plates instead of rubber. Urethane is a more durable product, it’s virtually odorless, it’s the most customizable with colors & logos, and it’s generally more expensive than rubber. You may also find urethane used around iron or steel plates in the same manner as rubber. Again, this is not to be confused with a urethane bumper plate.

Cast Iron Weight Plates

With metal plates, you will most commonly find simple gray cast iron or machined cast iron. Machined iron plates are more accurate, more expensive, more aesthetic, and generally more durable. You also may find some plates, like the Rogue Deep Dish plates, that are cast with an even more durable iron known as ductile iron. Unlike bumper plates, most cast iron plates are not all the same diameter. For example, a 45 lb metal plate will be larger than a 25 lb metal plate.


How to Pick the Best Weight Plates

Here are a few of the most important factors to consider when buying a pair of wrist wraps:

Training Style

Before anything, you need to decide if bumper plates or metal weight plates fit your training style. If you’re an Olympic weightlifter, a CrossFitter, or you’re just into functional/general-purpose fitness, bumper plates are the best choice. If you’re a powerlifter or if you use machines often, metal plates will likely be your best choice.

Materials

If you’re buying bumper plates, decide if you want urethane or rubber (see above). If you’re buying metal plates, consider gray iron, ductile iron, machined vs. non-machined, etc…

Hub Style

With bumper plates, there are different hub styles to consider as well as the material of those hubs. A competition bumper plate, for example, will have a full center hub/disc. These are the most durable bumper plates and they’ll generally have hard chrome or zinc-plated hubs. Chrome is more reflective whereas zinc has more of a brushed look. Urethane plates have a slightly smaller diameter hub and other general-purpose bumper plates will have an insert. These can be chrome, zinc, or even stainless steel.

Durability

When buying weight plates, durability is a very important consideration. Ask yourself, what type of training will I be doing, will I be dropping from overhead, will I be training with multiple people, do I train in a humid environment, etc… In a home gym setting, most weight plates will last years, but some plates are simply made better than others. While it’s not the end-all-be-all, price and durability are well correlated. Machined calibrated plates are going to be more durable than cheap gray iron plates,  competition bumper plates are going to be more durable than Hi-Temp bumpers, etc…

Bounce

With bumper plates, bounce is a very important consideration, especially if you’re performing Olympic Weightlifting movements. Bounce is determined largely by a bumper plate’s durometer rating. Measured from 0-100, this number determines the hardness of the material. The higher the number, the lower the bounce. Competition bumpers have durometer ratings in the mid 90’s, which results in a very low bounce. Conversely, Hi-Temps have a durometer rating in the mid 70’s, which leads to a much higher bounce. If you don’t want to chase your bar around the gym, consider durometer ratings of 85+.

Plate Thickness

Some plates are much wider than others. Calibrated weight plates are among the thinnest. If you’re a heavy lifter, thinner plates are going to be advantageous because you can load more weight onto the bar. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Hi-Temp rubber bumper plates are the thickest. Manufacturers will usually display each plate thicknesses on their product pages.

Plate Diameter

The standard diameter for a properly spec’d Olympic weight plate is 450mm for a 45 lb plate. Bumper plates will all have the same diameter from 15 to 55 lb, which means no matter what denomination you use on the barbell, you will be pulling from the same height every time. Metal plates do not have consistent diameters from 25 to 45 lb. To pull from standard height, you will at least need to have two 45 lb plates on the bar or you’ll have to elevate the bar on blocks.

Collar Opening

When you hear the words “Olympic weight plates,” it is referring to the type of barbell you’re using. Olympic barbells (not to be confused with just Olympic Weightlifting) have sleeves that measure ~1.96″. Olympic weight plates, therefore, are built to accommodate Olympic bars. Still, some plates may have a tighter hole opening than others. For example, a competition bumper plate will have around a ~1.97″ (50mm) hole opening, meaning it fits very snug on the barbell. Basic bumpers may be closer to 2″ (50.8mm), which of course will fit a little looser on the bar.

Weight Tolerance

Competition bumper plates and calibrated iron plates will provide the most accurate weight tolerances from plate to plate. Typically you will see them within 1% or 15 grams of their stated weight. Basic bumpers and basic gray iron plates will have a more lenient weight tolerance in the 3% range or sometimes higher. If you train competitively or you just want the most accurate plates, keep this in mind.

Warranty

On quality bumper plates, you will often see warranties of 3-5 years on 25 lb+ plates and 3 months to 1-year on 10-15 lb. Most weight plates will far outlive any warranty claim, but the peace of mind is nice to have.

Price

See the FAQ section below for a breakdown of prices for different styles of plates.


Honorable Mentions

There is no shortage of weight plates on the market. This section will feature the runner-ups to the winners listed above. If you would like to do more research and see even more options, be sure to check out the Garage Gym Lab Equipment Finder.

  • Rogue Echo Bumper Plates v2Runner Up to Best Basic Black Bumpers. The Rogue Echos are an immensely popular bumper plate and for good reason. These plates have a tight tolerance of +/- 1%, stainless steel inserts, a 50.6mm collar opening, and a high durometer rating of 88 for a low bounce. They’re also approved for the Army Combat Fitness Test – one of only a few plates.
  • REP Color Bumper PlatesRunner Up to Best Color Bumper Plates. The REP color bumper plates are another very popular plate. These plates are thin enough to load over 500 lbs of weight and they carry a weight guarantee of 3%. The contrasting raised white lettering looks great against the bright colors. With plates ranging from 10-55 lbs, they cover all the bases, and they include a strong 3-year warranty on 25 lb+ variants.
  • Rogue Deep Dish PlatesRunner Up to Best Cast Iron Plates. Also made in the USA, these Rogue Deep Dish Plates are real stunners. They have an aggressively deep lip on 35 lb+ variants and they go up to 100 lbs. These plates are machined and e-coated similar to the Strength Co’s and they have a similar weight tolerance of 2%. The downside in comparison to the Strength Co’s is that the Rogue Deep Dishes are much thicker. The 45 lb plates are about 3/4″ thicker, which will limit the amount of weight on the bar in comparison. Still, these are beautiful and high-performing plates with a vintage look and feel.
  • Rogue 6-Shooter Olympic Grip PlatesRunner Up to Best Plates with Handles. The Rogue 6-shooters are cast iron plates with either a gray hammertone finish or a urethane coating. 6 circular cutouts make for easy handling and they come with an impressive 1% weight tolerance on 25 lb+ variants. 45 lb plates are 1.36″ thick on the iron version and 1.5″ on the urethane version. They also include a 5-year warranty (iron version), which is one of the highest in the industry.
  • REP Change PlatesRunner Up to Best Change Plates. The REP Change Plates are high-quality rubber-coated plates with a steel collar opening. This differs from the Rogue Change Plates, which have a rubber collar opening. This will make these plates easier to slide on and off. The REP plates are less expensive and they offer free shipping.
  • Fitness Gear Olympic Cast PlatesRunner Up to Best Cheap Plates. Fitness Gear is exclusive to Dick’s Sporting Goods. These plates are similar in design and function to the CAP Olympic Grip Plates. There’s nothing fancy about them – they’re budget plates and they’re ideal for recreational and/or beginner lifters.
  • Rogue Fleck PlatesRunner Up to Best Looking Plates. The Rogue Fleck Plates became an overnight sensation during quarantine in the heart of COVID-19. These plates offer a beautiful fleck design with vibrant colors matched to the IWF scheme. Performance-wise, these plates have a +/- 1% tolerance and a 90 shore durometer rating. With a 50.4mm stainless steel collar opening, they sit very snug on the bar. While these may look like the Vulcan Alphas, they’re different in that these are not to be outdoors like the Alphas.

FAQs About Weight Plates

  • Should I Buy Olympic Weights or Standard Weights?

    Depending on which barbell you use, you will need to buy Olympic weight plates or standard weight plates. This is determined by the size of your barbell’s sleeves. Olympic weights work on Olympic barbells, which have sleeve diameters of 2″. Standard weights work on standard barbells, which have sleeve diameters of 1″. In general, Olympic weights and Olympic barbells are higher quality, longer-lasting, and better-performing.

  • How Much do Weight Plates Cost?

    The cost of weight plates will largely depend on the style of the plate, the material used, and the brand of the plates. The following breakdown shows the normal range on a price-per-pound basis (45 lb benchmark) for popular weight plates:Gray Iron Plates – $1.50-$2.00Machined, Non-Calibrated Iron Plates – $1.80-$2.65Calibrated Iron Plates – $2.75-$3.05Rubber-Coated Iron Plates – $2.40-$4.00Basic Rubber Bumper Plates – $1.75-$3.10Competition Rubber Bumper Plates – $2.80-$3.80Urethane Bumper Plates – $2.55-$3.90

  • What Weight Plates are Made in the USA?

    Generally speaking, most bumper plates and calibrated iron plates are made internationally, typically in Asia. There are, however, a few notable weight plates that are made in the USA, including bumper plates and metal plates:Rogue Deep Dish PlatesRogue USA Olympic PlatesStrength Co Olympic Iron PlatesKabuki Iron PlatesRogue MIL Spec Bumper PlatesHi-Temp Bumper Plates

Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab and has over two decades of fitness/training experience. He serves as the chief content creator and runs our YouTube channel and social media accounts. When he's not testing equipment or sharing his love for home gym life, you'll find him with his wife and two kids in sunny South Carolina.
Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab and has over two decades of fitness/training experience. He serves as the chief content creator and runs our YouTube channel and social media accounts. When he's not testing equipment or sharing his love for home gym life, you'll find him with his wife and two kids in sunny South Carolina.

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