The Best Bumper Plates for Competition, CrossFit, and More

Start throwing your weight around with a stellar set of bumper plates.

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There are very few things in life more satisfying than hitting a new PR and slamming the barbell (with all that glorious weight) down on the ground. If you love that feeling as much as we do, you’re going to need some bumper plates to lift with. Originally designed for Olympic Weightlifting, these plates are composed of a solid metal core surrounded by high density rubber, and are essentially built to be dropped. 

Bumper plates are essential if you’re going to be doing explosive lifts like the snatch and clean and jerk. But even home gym enthusiasts who care about their floors and want to attempt other heavy lifts will be thankful to have bumper plates to help soften the blow. Bumper plates used to be very expensive, but with a wide variety of affordable and pro-grade options now available to consumers, we’ve compiled a list of the best bumper plates for garage-gym warriors and professional athletes alike.

Best Bumper Plates

Best Bumper Plates Overall

The Force USA Pro Grade Colored Plates have the best set of features we’ve seen when taking price into consideration. While they aren’t competition certified, they are designed to match the official IWF plate sizes, and are an excellent option if you’re on the hunt for an affordable and all-around trustworthy set of high-quality bumpers. 

Force USA Pro Grade Colored Plates

Brightly colored, these durable plates are going to be easily identifiable and make it simple to count the weight on the bar. Manufactured using dense rubber, these plates are also going to minimize noise and bounce. No matter if you’re working out in a gym or a garage, your neighbours will thank you.

Force USA Pro Grade Colored Plates
Force USA Pro Grade Colored Plates
Force USA Pro Grade Colored Plates

The colored plates from Force USA have appeal for any type of lifter. Whether you're prioritizing a great deal or are set on a high-quality product, these plates, designed to match IWF sizes, are amazing all-around plates. 

Who Should Buy Force USA Pro Grade Colored Plates

  • Buyers who want a set of bumper plates that offers incredible value for money.
  • Lifters who like colorful plates that are easy to identify.
  • Consumers who want a dense set of plates with minimal bounce.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Force USA Pro Grade Colored Plates

  • Consumers looking for a set of budget plates.
  • Athletes who need a set of plates certified for competition.
  • Lifters who prefer all black plates.

An altogether great package, these plates are very good value for money. Designed to IWF standards, they are going to be a great addition to your gym equipment.

Best Bumper Plates for Competition

If you’re using bumper plates, odds are you’re going to be doing at least one Olympic lift variation. Many find this style of training very enjoyable and end up training for competition. If you think this could be you, we’d highly recommend buying plates that correspond to what you’ll use on the big day.

Rogue Color KG Training Plates

We love these plates for several reasons. They’re incredibly well made, with a guarantee that the plate is within 15 grams of it’s stated weight. The nickel coating on the steel center plate gives great durability, and apart from the color, they are almost identical to the plates you’ll compete with. 

Rogue Color KG Training Plates
Rogue Color KG Training Plates
Rogue Color KG Training Plates

Competitive weightlifters will appreciate the details of these plates. They're dialed in to be within 15 grams of the stated weight, are ultra durable, and have minimal bounce so you don't have to worry about where the weight goes after you hit that big lift in training. 

Who Should Buy Rogue Color KG Training Plates

  • Athletes who are going to be competing using KG plates.
  • Lifters who want to train with bumper plates that are close to competition specification.
  • Buyers looking for very durable bumper plates.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Rogue Color KG Training Plates

  • Lifters who prefer to train with lbs.
  • Consumers with a tighter budget.
  • Buyers that prefer plates with greater bounce.

For weightlifters who need to ensure they are competition ready, these KG training plates are a great option. 

Best Rubber Bumper Plates

Rubber is a cheaper option than urethane as it is slightly less durable, but don’t think you need to rule it out just because of that. As a material it still holds its own and is very hard wearing under most circumstances. We love these Fringe Sport Bumper Plates which are made from virgin rubber and have some really clever features.

Fringe Sport Bumper Plates

Made with density in mind, these plates will give you more space on the bar. Their “hooked” stainless steel adds extra durability compared to other similarly priced plates. We also can’t fail to mention the longer-than-average three year warranty they offer on all plates over 15lbs. Fringe Sport is putting their money where their mouth is, and we respect that.

Fringe Sport Bumper Plates
Fringe Sport Bumper Plates
Fringe Sport Bumper Plates

The Fringe Sport rubber bumper plates are relatively affordable, durable, no-frills plates that also have a good amount of density to them, saving you space on the bar to add more weight as you get stronger. 

Who Should Buy Fringe Sport Bumper Plates

  • Lifters who want higher density rubber bumper plates to fit more weight on the bar.
  • Consumers who want a long warranty for their equipment.
  • Trainees looking for durable plates with low bounce.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Fringe Sport Bumper Plates

  • Lifters who need a set of competition certified plates.
  • Consumers with a tighter budget

Fringe Sport have outdone themselves here, offering up a plate that is middle of the range in price, but can compete with more expensive models in quality.

Best Urethane Bumper Plates

Urethane really is the gold standard for longevity. Unless you’re lifting non-stop and perform zero basic maintenance, your plates are going to be in excellent condition. Unfortunately this is more costly up front, but you can think of it as an investment that pays off the longer you keep using the plates. 

American Barbell Urethane Pro Series

Aside from the urethane coating, these colorful plates are dense to give less bounce and are thinner than many other bumper plates, allowing for more weight on the barbell. The single-mold chrome central insert is another smart piece of design that will increase durability when compared to other similarly priced plates.

American Barbell Urethane Pro Series Plates
American Barbell Urethane Pro Series Plates
American Barbell Urethane Pro Series Plates

These high-end urethane-coated bumper plates from American Barbell not only look fantastic, but are also top-of-the-line bumper plates for those who are serious about training and decking out their home gym with the best of the best. 

Who Should Buy American Barbell Urethane Pro Series

  • Lifters who want extra durable plates to stand up to the rigors of training.
  • Athletes who compete in sports that use KGs.
  • Buyers looking for plates with minimal bounce.

Who Shouldn’t Buy American Barbell Urethane Pro Series

  • Trainees who prefer to work in lbs.
  • Home owners worried about their floors, as Urethane has less bounce and will be less forgiving.
  • Buyers with a tighter budget.

These plates aren’t the most affordable, but they look great, perform exceptionally well. They’ll also last you a lifetime. If you aren’t worried about the cash, these should definitely be on your list.

Best Bumper Plates for CrossFit

CrossFit is notorious for many things, and dropping bars in the gym is one of them. If you’re going to be pushing the limit on thrusters, you’re going to want plates that can survive the aftermath. Rogue’s Hi-Temp bumper plates are trusted in boxes across the globe to do just that.

Hi-Temp Bumper Plates

We love these plates for their durability, but also for the fact that they are made of recycled vulcanized rubber. We applaud any initiative to try and make training more sustainable for both us and the planet. Alongside the noteworthy environmental touch, these plates are also some of the most affordable on the list. The one obvious downside to these plates is the bounce. You need to be on your guard when you drop them as they can rebound quite high.

Rogue Hi-Temp Bumper Plates
Rogue Hi-Temp Bumper Plates
Rogue Hi-Temp Bumper Plates

A staple in box gyms across the globe, these Rogue bumper plates by Hi-Temp are really affordable and can take a beating. They're known for having a good amount of bounce, which can be a pro or con depending on your personal training preferences. 

Who Should Buy Hi-Temp Bumper Plates

  • Consumers who want a set of plates that are great value for money.
  • Athletes looking for an environmentally conscious choice with their gym equipment.
  • CrossFitters searching for plates to complement their training.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Hi-Temp Bumper Plates

  • Trainees who need competition specification plates.
  • Buyers who want more aesthetically pleasing bumper plates.
  • Lifters who want plates with less bounce.

For lifters on a budget, you can’t go wrong with these plates. They may not be the most beautiful, but they’ll perform admirably, and your bank balance will thank you.

Best Bumper Plates for Weightlifting

Olympic Weightlifting is one of the few barbell sports where dropping the bar is a routine part of the action. The plates used are designed specifically with that in mind. These training plates from Rogue are ideal for lifters who want a plate that has all the same features as a competition sanctioned set, but are slightly cheaper.

Rogue Color KG Training Plates

Manufactured using virgin rubber and stainless steel with a nickel finish, these plates are dense but have very minimal bounce with a durometer rating of 90. You’re going to pay more compared to some of the other options on this list, but you should get a much better lifespan out of these plates for your money.

Rogue Color KG Training Plates
Rogue Color KG Training Plates
Rogue Color KG Training Plates

Competitive weightlifters will appreciate the details of these plates. They're dialed in to be within 15 grams of the stated weight, are ultra durable, and have minimal bounce so you don't have to worry about where the weight goes after you hit that big lift in training. 

Who Should Buy Rogue Color KG Training Plates

  • Trainees competing and training for weightlifting using KGs.
  • Buyers who want plates with minimal bounce.
  • Lifters who want durable plates that are precisely calibrated.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Rogue Color KG Training Plates

  • Lifters who prefer to work in lbs.
  • Consumers with a tighter budget.
  • Athletes who need plates that are competition specification.

These plates are an excellent compromise. Functionally, they perform just as well as competition grade plates, but they are lighter on the wallet. 

Best Bumper Plates on Amazon

When buying gym equipment, shipping costs can quickly add up. Amazon is a great option here thanks to their prime shipping option, but it can be a minefield selecting equipment that isn’t going to fall apart the first time you use it. We’ve scoured Amazon and think the Pinroyal plates will stand the test of time.

Pinroyal Bumper Plates

Manufactured with recycled rubber and stainless steel, these plates are great at absorbing shock and maintaining their integrity.

Pinroyal Bumper Plates
Pinroyal Bumper Plates
Pinroyal Bumper Plates

These Pinroyal bumper plates are made of recycled rubber and stainless steel. While they'll stand the test of time in the gym, they're also great options if you're looking to Amazon to save on shipping. 

Who Should Buy Pinroyal Bumper Plates

  • Consumers who want to make use of Amazon Prime and save on shipping.
  • Anyone looking for a durable, but affordable set of plates.
  • Buyers who like all black plates.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Pinroyal Bumper Plates

  • Lifters who prefer to train in KGs.
  • Buyers looking for more colorful plates.
  • Consumers looking for plates with a warranty.

Already well-priced, with the option of Prime shipping, these plates are very attractive. As a set of training plates, they’re a great option.

Bumper Plates vs Traditional Metal Plates — What are the Differences?

While this article is all about bumper plates, there are other different types of weight plates you could use to stack your barbell. Here are some of the differences between bumper plates and the others to help you make the right buying decision.  

Traditional Metal Plates

We’re lumping a lot of subtly different styles together here, but the one commonality that all traditional plates have is that they are solid lumps of metal. They may have handles, be different shapes, sizes and diameters, they can also have thin rubber or urethane coverings, but ultimately they are primarily constructed of solid metal. This generally means thinner, cheaper plates. That’s great for the wallet and loading more weight on the bar, but unfortunately the downside is durability and usability. You can’t drop these plates repeatedly and expect them (or your floor) to survive. 

Bumper Plates

Bumper plates have a metal core of varying size, surrounded by either rubber or urethane (more on these two materials later). This style of plate is designed specifically to absorb impact and not break. The impetus for this style came from Olympic Weightlifting where weights were dropped once lifted successfully overhead. More expensive than traditional plates due to the more complex manufacturing process, they are much more durable than traditional weight plates and are essential if you’re opting for lifts where dropping the bar is common practice. 

What to Consider Before Buying Bumper Plates

Bumper plates aren’t your only option for loading up your barbell. Here’s what you should think about before buying a set.

Your Training and Sport

This is going to be one of the major factors in choosing bumper plates. If dropping a barbell is going to be anything more than a freak accident, you should strongly consider getting bumper plates. For Olympic Weightlifters and CrossFitters, they are non-negotiable. For others, the decision is more open ended.

Your Budget

A major factor to consider when choosing whether or not to get bumper plates is cost. They are, unfortunately, more costly than solid metal plates. What we can say is that within the bumper plate category, there are cheaper options. Sport certified plates are going to be the gold standard, but cost the most. Training plates will be cheaper and similar to sport certified in virtually every respect other than lacking certification. Finally, there are the cheapest bumper plates that are going to be slightly larger and not quite as durable, but will be easier on your bank account. 

Durability

Bumper plates are pretty durable by design, however there are levels to the game. As you might expect, the more expensive, the more durable. On the lower end of durability you’re going to find softer rubber bumper plates, and then on the higher end, you’ll find the urethane coated plates. For the average trainee though, you are unlikely to break either of these. It tends to be in busy gym settings that plates begin to get truly damaged. Our advice is to consider your budget first, and whatever your decision, be sure to care and store your plates properly to get the most life out of them.

Bounce

The first time you drop a bar with bumper plates, the bounce can catch you by surprise. It is measured using a durometer (ranging from 0-100), which is the international standard for the hardness measurement of rubber, plastic and other non-metallic materials. 0 is very soft and 100 is very hard. Bouncier plates will be around 70 to 80 and the less bouncy will be 80+. Pay attention to this, as it could save you from accidentally destroying some of your garage when the bar rebounds for the first time.

Colors

There are a whole lot of options now. We’ve seen bright pink, we’ve seen the standard black and everything in between. You can kit yourself out with all the colors of the rainbow if you so wish. You will have to pay for the customization, but if you’ve got a particularly strong design background or simply love one specific color, you can scratch your itch.

Materials 

There are really only two choices for materials when buying bumper plates: Urethane and rubber. These will be the covering over the metal core of the plate. Here’s a brief overview below. 

Urethane

Urethane is going to be the most durable option for bumper plates, but it will cost a fair bit more than the equivalent rubber plates. It is very hard wearing and is also great for customization. It’s also more common on competition plates and higher-end products. So if you’re looking to make a long term investment, consider a set of urethane coated bumpers. 

Rubber

Rubber can be either virgin or recycled. Both will perform similarly in terms of durability, but the advantage of virgin rubber is that it will look nicer and won’t come with any strange smell. Recycled rubber doesn’t always smell bad, but it can. Within each of these categories, you can also get softer or harder options that will have more or less bounce depending.

Final Word

Bumper plates are — yes, we’re going to say it — a lot of fun. They allow lifters to focus on explosive movement and pushing their limits without worrying about damaging their equipment. We should note — you should always take the proper safety precautions when lifting. 

The obvious downside is the price. Compared to solid metal plates, you are going to pay a decent amount more for the same weight. 

What this all comes down to is you and your training. If your one true love is strict lifting and you won’t be caught dead losing control of the bar, metal plates make a lot of sense. If, on the other hand, you’re performing overhead barbell movements or know you need some variety to keep you stimulated, it’s probably worth shelling out to have plates that help you train harder and happier.

FAQs

Why should I get bumper plates instead of metal plates?

The main reason to get bumper plates is for if you’re planning on doing any form of Olympic Weightlifting or another barbell sport that will involve dropping the bar. Bumper plates are designed specifically to be able to absorb impacts and not break.

Are bumper plates better than other types of plates?

That really depends on your perspective. They are going to be larger than solid steel plates, so you’ll be able to load less weight on the bar and they are usually more expensive. They are however much more durable and can be dropped repeatedly with no issues.

Can bumper plates help me lift more weight?

They won’t add to your strength directly, and you should always use training as the core from which you develop strength to lift more weight. Bumper plates could give you a mental edge if you know that dropping the barbell and releasing the weight immediately after you’ve hit your lift is an option (assuming your gym/home has no issues as well!).