Bumper plates are an essential tool for weight training activities that involve performing lifts such as snatches and clean and jerks that require dropping the bar onto the ground from a high position. Try this with steel or cast iron plates and well, sorry to hear that! Today we’re reviewing the best bumper plates for weight lifting, CrossFit, and any lifting routine where you may need to bail the weight.
There are many different options on the market, however, we chose ones from reputable brands. They also come in different sizes, purchase options (pairs, sets, etc), colors, and price points.
If you’re looking for some high-quality bumper plates to equip your home or public gym, we’ve done the digging to find ones that we would personally use.
What Are Bumper Plates And What Are They Used For?
Bumper Plates are steel or cast iron weights encased in rubber or urethane (pricier and more durable) material and are all the same diameter regardless of weight. Aside from being designed for Weight lifts, the appeal and common use of these types of weight plates is that they can be dropped without causing damage to the equipment and flooring for the most part.
But it’s important to note that you should still use appropriate flooring or mats with bumper plates. Just because they are made using rubber doesn’t mean they are totally safe to drop on every and any surface.
They also have a slight bounce when dropped, softening the landing, as opposed to cast iron or steel plates, that when dropped on certain surfaces (even soft ones) wouldn’t be pretty and it’s not recommended.
Athletes and lifters who perform weightlifting movements such as snatches, clean and jerks, and weight lift variations will have to drop the bar and sometimes they need to bail the weight during a failed lift. This is where bumper plates are so important.
Top 8 Bumper Plates Ranked:
1. XMark Bumper Plates Sets
Taking the first spot on our list are bumper plates from XMark, a brand we’ve featured in several of our other product reviews. We know they make quality products and so we would not hesitate to recommend them for serious lifters.
It’s important to note that you have many purchase options so be sure you’re aware if you decide to go with these. For example, they offer pairs and entire sets that range from 10 – 410 lbs. They also have a chart that shows the plate thickness by weight.
XMark uses cast iron plates and encases them in modern, high-density rubber for maximum protection.
The plates have commercial stainless steel inserts (holes) that should slide easy on and off the barbell.
Warranties: XMark warrants the 25, 35, and 45 lb plates to be free from defects in workmanship and materials, under normal residential use and conditions, for a period of three (3) years from the original date of purchase; COMMERCIAL USE one (1) year. Cosmetic damage is not covered by warranty.
- Technologically advanced hi-impact bumper plates
- Meets IWF standard 17.7″ (450mm)
- Many options to choose from (pairs and sets)
- Upgraded, thicker 10 lb plates prevents bending
- Very reputable brand
- Minimum bounce
- They have a small smell but that eventually goes away
- May not be easy for everyone to grip using one hand
About the brand
Taken from their site, “XMark products will grant you the finest return on each fitness investment.”
The brand takes big pride in knowing that it provides carefully and precisely crafted exercise equipment.
“Attention to detail was put into every aspect of our equipment, and their ergonomics are second to none.”
It’s not just about making products for them but rather, being responsive to customer needs.
2. Synergee Color Bumper Plates
We could honestly say we’d recommend our second pick as much as the first because synergee is top-notch.
They too offer a range of options from a 10 lb pair to a 350 lb set of bumper plates, in addition to single 25 lb, 35 lb, 45 lb, and 55 lb plates. The plates are color-coded according to their weight for convenience which is a good selling point.
Synergee rubber polymer bumper plates were designed for less bounce which is all-around good when training and exerts less force on the barbell, also protecting the inside ring. They have a 2″ collar opening and are supposedly odor-free which many lifters will appreciate as this is apparently a popular annoyance.
We really like these thin, compact and durable plates and feel they belong a top spot on our list.
Warranties: Free and fast product replacement
- Color-coded plates are convenient
- Wide range of plate options
- Made for less bounce which extends life of equipment
- Thin, compact and durable
- Raised numbers increase visibility and longevity
- Minimal odor
- Few complaints about shipping condition
About the brand
Started by Joey Huneau, Synergee Fitness USA was born from the desire to offer affordable, quality home exercise equipment to “make personal fitness goals within reach for all”.
Hunenau grew up in a health-focused household with his mother Gina, a trainer, entrepreneur, and group fitness leader who was passionate about fitness. As a result, Gina and Joey opened a gym, Synergee Fitness, located on the north shore of Lake Superior – run by his mother, sisters, and himself.
They were inspired by the impact their business was making on the community but it wasn’t enough. They wanted to reach a broader range of people and subsequently became a distributor of fitness supplies (I Heart Synergee) to help people everywhere improve their lifestyles by having access to exercise equipment.
… And well, the rest was history.
3. Rep Fitness Color Coded Bumper Plates
Another option that drew our attention was color coded bumpers from Rep Fitness.
They’re tough plates made for weightlifting and CrossFit activities and they’ve specially designed the plates for specific use and to prevent damage and something called “tacoing” where the plates bend over time. Their 45 lb plates are thinner (72mm thick) than a lot of other options from different brands which means you can also fit more weight on the bar.
These plates were factory tested to withstand the impact of 12,000 drops from a height of 8 feet. All plates are IWF (International Weightlifting) standard 450mm/17.7″ except for the 10 lb plates that are a little smaller for durability purposes.
Warranties: 1-year warranty on 10’s and 15’s, 3-year warranty on 25’s, 35’s, 45’s, 55’s (home use only)
- Meet IWF standards
- Enhanced 10 lb plates
- Color coded for reliable loading
- Thinner 45 lb plates means more weight on the bar
- May have a minor smell
About the brand
Rep Fitness is a company based in Colorado, USA. They make and test their own gear and equipment used in home and commercial gyms and ensure they never cut corners.
“Our mission is to provide high value fitness equipment with Trust, Expertise, and Innovation. Buy with confidence knowing that we use the gear ourselves and stand behind it 100%.”
4. Iron Crush Olympic Bumper Plates
Why have we included bumper plates by the brand Iron Crush? Simple, pay less for upgrades.
Don’t take our word for it though… “At Iron Crush our goal is to help people crush iron without crushing the bank” – these are words directly from the company.
You can expect these to be durable bumper plates that’ll get most jobs done. They’re made from virgin rubber that is supposedly stronger than regular rubber while being more shock absorbent and carrying less odor. The stainless steel inserts are made for repetitive use and won’t damage. This is also due to the low dead bounce of these plates. Their 10 lbers are also made thicker at 1.06″.
At the moment, these plates are offered in 15, 25, 35, and 45 lbs.
Great option for home, gym and CrossFit style training.
Warranties: Not sure
- Made of stronger and more durable virgin rubber
- Minimal odor initially
- Thicker 10 lb plates
- Offered in multiple sizes
- Made according to IWF specifications
- Only sold in pairs
About the brand
One thing that Iron Crush does over other brands is offer design upgrades that cost nothing extra for their customers. A few examples of how they accomplish this is by adding better paint finishes that enhance durability, and functionality improvements minus the bells and whistles. Therefore, more focus goes into making high-quality products that work.
They have warehouses in both the US east and west coast.
5. Archon Fitness Equipment Bumper Plates
Another good value option, Archon Fitness bumper plates are sold in sets and pairs, and were tested to withstand the impact of 15,000 drops (that’s a lot!).
Choose from 10 lbs, 15 lbs, 25, 35, and 45 lbs plates.
The plates are designed to cause minimal bounce and stainless steel inserts ensure long-term durability and easy put on and take on.
While the plates are mostly black colored, the words and numbers are color coded which is awesomely convenient and something we really like to ensure consistent loading.
One of the selling points for us is the company makes their own products which gives us peace of mind in knowing that they offer reliable quality and functionality.
Additionally, you can check out the Archon website for videos on blogs on using their products for best results.
Warranties: 10-15 LB Plates are warrantied for 1 Year. The 25-45 LB Plates are warrantied for 3 years.
- Sold in pairs and sets
- Aesthetic color-coded plates
- Tested for 15,000 drops
- No current option to buy singles
About the brand
Archon Fitness was started by Dan Sprouse, a fitness advocate who when he started the brand focused on quality and functionality. Well, nothing has changed since then. Their mission is to help customers become the best versions of themselves by offering affordable and high-quality equipment.
6. Iron Bull Strength HD Bumper Plates – 35 and 45 lb Pairs
This is a name we’re no stranger to. Iron Bull Strength is one of the reputable brands that offers a solid lineup of gear and equipment that we’ve recommended many times before.
You can choose from 25, 35, and 45 plates. It’s important to note that they’re offered in singles, so if you’d like to purchase a pair, make sure to change the quantity accordingly.
Virgin rubber is used for these weight plates for high durability and little bounce when dropped and stainless steel inserts offer good protection during high impact activities. They meet IWF standards (450mm/17.7″) The collar opening for the plates is 50.4mm which makes them suitable for 2″ Olympic barbells.
Embossed letters and black finish give these plates a very aesthetic look.
Warranties: Full refund if not satisfied with weight plates
- Made of tough virgin rubber
- Designed for minimal bounce
- Meets IWF specifications
- Offered in singles only
About the brand
Located in Quebec, Canada, Ironbull Strength is a designer, manufacturer and distributor of fitness equipment.
“Iron Bull Strength is not just a fitness brand offering top quality products. We empower men and women to dig deep within and grasp their inner beast“.
The mission of Iron Bull is to offer better quality products than the competition but at the lowest prices.
7. Zion Fitness Onyx Edition Bumper Plates
Zion Onyx Edition bumper plates are right up there with the other choices we’d recommend. Plus, we dig the cool name!
You can use them with 2″ Olympic plates and they are made to stand against the toughest and most brutal workout sessions where you have to bail the weight from high positions.
Offered in 10, 15, 25, 35, and 45 lb plates and you can purchase in pairs or sets.
One thing that stands out about the brand is that they guarantee their “ultra-balanced” free weights to be within 1% of the marked weight. Not all brands can be this honest or reassuring.
- “Our 10-15LB variant plates are warrantied for 60 days from the original delivery date and are not warrantied if dropped on their own. The 25-45LB variants are warrantied for 2 years. NOTE: 10-15LB bumper plates are not designed to be used alone on a barbell as they will “taco”.
- Offered in pairs and sets
- Virgin rubber and stainless steel inserts are strong and durable
- Meets IWF standards
- Company ensures 1% weight accuracy
- Minimal bounce
- Pricey but high quality and worth what you spend
About the brand
Zion Fitness offers a nice selection of bumper plates, barbells, dumbbells and accessories that support lifters performance at affordable price points.
8. X Training Equipment
These Olympic bumper plates are perfect for crosstraining. They come in different colors to help with accurate loading and are made of 100% rubber that’s durable, gives minimal bounce, and doesn’t stink! The stainless steel inserts give a snug fit and these plates should feel like they’re quality options when performing your WODs or any lifting activity.
- “Strong warranty: X Training guarantees our products shall be free material defects in workmanship and materials under normal use and conditions during the warranty period. 10lb and 15lb plates are covered for six months. 25lb, 35lb, and 45lb plates are covered for three years. The warranty does not cover ordinary wear and tear or cosmetic damage.”
- Bright color options
- Made from durable rubber
- Designed for minimal bounce
- Minimal odor
- Great for crosstraining
- Not offered in sets
About the brand
X Training Equipment offers a nice selection of bumper plates, barbells, dumbbells and accessories that support lifters performance at affordable price points. Their bumper plates are designed and tested by lifting specialists such as weightlifting and CrossFit coaches and athletes.
Located in Jacksonville Florida, they encourage those in the area to come in and test drive their equipment.
Things You Should Know Before Purchasing Bumper Plates
Unless you’re knowledgeable about bumper plates and have experience using them, we recommend that you learn and understand their use and know the differences between the various options available. This will ensure you choose the best option for your needs.
Quality and durability
First and foremost, it’s important that the plates are good quality and durable. The rubber should not be separating from the plates after using them for a few months and you want them to look and feel like they are going to last you for years.
Good options are made using virgin rubber and or urethane as these are durable, very functional and reduce odor.
Competition vs. training bumper plates
There are two common types of bumper plates – competition and training. Here’s a brief breakdown talking about some of the differences.
Competition plates are used for, you guessed it, weightlifting competition. They meet competition standards set by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) to be used in sanctioned weightlifting events.
The IWF has a list of requirements to ensure the plates meet certain specifications. These include things like bumper plate colors, plate diameter, and weight accuracy.
Training plates, on the other hand, do not necessarily meet IWF specifications although it may come down to a few insignificant differences. However, you’ll find that most on this list do. But really, for training purposes, any good quality bumper plates will be sufficient and competition plates are not necessary.
No need to go all fancy if just training at home, or even in the gym. It won’t offer you any advantages either.
However, we highly recommend that you weigh your plates to ensure accuracy.
What’s unique about bumper plates compared to standard weight plates is that they are all the same diameter regardless of weight with the exception of 10 lb plates.
Where they differ is in the thickness or width of the plate and the construction.
Why is this? Well, there are many advantages of same size plates. For one, all of the plates make contact with the ground at the same time. This is not only safer but it protects the weights and flooring. Additionally, weight lifts are performed from a certain height off the floor and this could allow you to train with lighter weights, plus it’s easier to do exercises such as barbell hip thrusts.
Inner ring size
Make sure that the plates you use have an inner ring diameter of 2″ to fit Olympic barbells. Many people find that even though brands will say the rings are 2″, they’ll feel too snug or possibly even loose. The plates should fit the bar without easily sliding off but they should also come off without a lot of struggle too.
That’s why purchasing bumper plates from a reputable brand is always recommended. This ensures better quality control and consequently, a better experience.
To extend from the previous point, having weights of the same diameter keeps the bar close to the ground when dropped because they hit the floor at the same time which spreads out the surface area of the impact. This may also increase safety compared to using a variety of standard weight plates.
Color-coded vs black plates
If you aren’t familiar with bumper plates then you’ve probably wondered why some plates are different colors and others are black. Well, the color-coded plates help lifters to visually differentiate between the weights on the bar. For example, because all weights are usually the same diameter, it may sometimes be hard to tell the difference between a 35 and 45 lb plate at a glance.
You may have 3, 45 lb plates and one 35 lb plate on each side of the bar. They may be close in size but black plates would make it harder to tell. Sometimes we think a certain amount of weight is on the bar when in fact we were wrong, and as a result, had the wrong weight on the bar. This can affect training sessions and even cause injuries because of uneven loading if we aren’t careful.
But it also makes it more convenient for home training especially if you have the weights stacked against one another. For example, using certain training methods such as drop sets, where you perform a set using a certain weight, then drop the weight and do another set.
It’s nice to be able to easily identify the plates instead of having to glance at the number on it.
Color plates are also a little more expensive so you have to decide if it’s worth it to you. For home use, they may not be. However, if you’re used to a competitive environment (or want to feel like you are, then why not go with the color-coded plates. The IWF and IPF (International Powerlifting Federation) both have specific color scheme requirements for weightlifting competition.
LBs vs KGs
Bumper plates come in lbs and Kilograms.
However, there’s a misconception that they are the same but with a different unit of measurement. When it comes to quality plates from reputable companies, the number on the plate actually means what it reads and is not a close estimate.
For example, a 45 lb plate will likely weigh 45 lbs or close to it. But a 20kg plate should weigh roughly 44.1 lbs.
So which should you choose?
Well, it depends.
The IWF requires plates to be in kg for all competitions and competitors. So if you do compete in weightlifting competitions, then it makes sense to get bumper plates in kilograms (kg). This ensures accuracy and it’s always a good idea to replicate the competition environment in training so that nothing changes when you hit the platform.
Not to mention, you can and probably should buy calibrated kg plates that ensure the weights are exactly what they read on the side. Non-calibrated plates may be close but it’s better to be as close and accurate as possible.
Additionally, you’ll find that color plates are often labeled in kg. Although there are color coded plates in pounds too.
However, there are some drawbacks to kg plates. For instance, if you’re used to the imperial system (lbs), it can be challenging to make the switch if you go with kg. For example, 2.2 kg is 5 lbs. You’d have to calculate your weights when training and this could be rather inconvenient. Plates in kilograms are not as straightforward compared to pounds in this case, however, weightlifters from the US are not exempt from IWF kilogram plates requirements.
If you train at home, either should do depending on what you’re trying to achieve and your preferences.
But it’s also important to note that if you’re looking for used plates in the US, you’ll probably have much better luck with plates labeled in lbs.
Ultimately, it’s best to pick one and stick with it but just keep these things in mind.
Thinner plates are preferred as you can pile more weight on the bar, and they are generally made from denser material and higher quality compared to thicker and cheaper options. It’s not hard for strong individuals to max out the space on a standard Olympic 7-8′ barbell which is used in most home gyms.
That’s why a thinner plate is better if you take your training progress seriously.
That’s right, no mistake here. A lot of rubber plates can smell really bad which can affect someone’s desire to use them. Plates made using virgin rubber often reduce or eliminate odor but make sure that the plates you buy say this in the description.
Why You Should Buy From One Of These Brands
Quality is one of those things that are non-negotiable when it comes to serious weightlifting and weight training activities. One of the big reasons for this is the quality control for example. A common issue with buying from cheaper brands is you could get two plates labeled with the same weight but the problem is, they’re not actually the same weight.
Sometimes they can be off significantly which is very bad. For one, this will develop or worsen imbalances, but it’s simply inaccurate. So you think you’re lifting a certain amount of weight when in fact you’re not (a sure punch in the ego).
It’s best to spend more (at least if you’re serious about your training and safety) and get good quality equipment rather than waste hard-earned money on low-quality stuff.
That wraps up our list of best bumper plates reviewed for 2022. If you do weightlifting activities at home or want to equip your gym with weight plates to do the same type of training, then bumper plates are a must. Dropping the bar from the front racked or overhead position using anything but rubberized plates is asking for a damaged floor.
There are various options on this list and we hope you’ll be able to use the information provided in this article to choose the best one for your needs.