Best Bumper Plates Worth The Money: Review Of The Types With Pros & Cons Plus FAQ & Buying Guide
Choosing the best bumper plates for your home gym can be pretty challenging.
Most equipment nowadays has a neat finish and a high price.
Barely acceptable. On the other hand, cheap bumper plates don’t always last...
Bumper plates, especially the vividly color-coded ones can seem really attractive along with their similar diameters. But the best bumper plates are simply not defined through appearance.
A poor choice in bumper plates can lead to having plates that reek of a disgusting chemical rubber scent that can’t be dissipated, plates that bounce aggressively, and other factors that barely make them a bumper plate.
It can be hard, but we’ve got you covered.
We made the best bumper plate review just for you. And my personal recommendation is of course, the Fringe Sport Bumper Plates. And you'd know why just below this line.
- Top 5 Best Bumper Plate Sets Reviewed
- What Are Bumper Plates?
- What Categories Of Bumper Plates Are There?
- Why Should You Use A Bumper Plate?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 5 Best Bumper Plate Sets Reviewed
1. Fringe Sport Bumper Plates (Pairs)
Our Verdict: Best Overall
The Fringe Sport Bumper Plates are made of high-density virgin rubber which is more uniform and malleable. It also has a matte finish which means that they are extremely durable.
They have a hooked steel insert that remains firmly seated and stops the plates from deforming no matter how high the plates are dropped from and even if they’re being dropped repetitively.
Since it is made from a low bounce and high-density rubber, these plates are thinner which allows you to fit more weight on the bar and is also safe in tight spaces.
They are sold in pairs and are labeled in pounds on the left side and kilos on the right side.
Even though these plates are of high density which makes them thinner, Fringe Sport’s 10 and 15 lb bumpers are sturdy and durable, they don’t bend after several drops.
These bumpers amazingly need only 2-6 days to diminish its rubber scent. They are perfect for dropping a loaded bar since the plates fit perfectly on the sleeve and do not crack or split.
The plates are easy to grip and also have effective bevels on its edges so you can easily pick them up off the floor.
With a thin profile, easy beveled grip, low bounce, a perfect fit on your bar’s sleeve, and an anti-deforming steel insert, you won’t be needing anything else.
These bumper plates have every good aspect needed and hardly a bad one, which can be easily given a solution.
2. Rogue Echo Bumper Plates V2
Our Verdict: Best Budget Buy
If you want inexpensive bumper plates that still are of quality, then these are for you!
The Rogue Echo bumper plates have the IWF standard diameter as the Olympic-level weight plates so you don’t have to worry if they’ll match your bumpers at home because they’ll surely do.
They have a 1% weight tolerance, stainless steel inserts, and a Shore Durometer of 88.
It is made with excellent materials such as high-quality virgin rubber which gives it a dead bounce and incredible durability.
The Rogue Echo Bumper Plates are available in pairs or as a set, they have a rubberized texture and give you the feeling of carrying a loaded bar even if they’re light enough for your safety.
They are thinner than expected. The thin profile doesn’t only give out a professional look but also makes it easier to grip.
Since they are made of rubber material, it is normal that the plates smell of rubber chemicals, but not to worry since the smell dissipates within a week or even just a few days if you leave them in the sun.
These bumpers are significantly cheaper but also have solid quality, they are smooth to use and are relatively quiet.
What’s better than getting a high-end quality bumper plate for a price that won't even break the bank? Nothing is!
If you’re thinking of getting a new set of plates on a low budget, this is your best choice.
3. Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates Pairs
Our Verdict: Most Durable
Fringe Sport’s Color Bumper Plates are carefully designed with hard, durable, and strong virgin rubber with stainless steel inserts.
These give the bumpers a low bounce since they have high density.
10 and 15 lb plates are often in the danger of bending and breaking easily since they are too thin. But luckily, these plates have a 90 durometer that prevents it, giving you assurance in both its safety and durability.
These plates can shockingly be dropped from four stories high without deforming, cracking, or breaking!
Since bumper plates vary in thickness instead of its diameter, it can be pretty challenging to identify them. If you don't usually have a lot of time to change weight then these colored plates are for you!
The bumper’s color-coding will help you easily pick and notice what plates you need to add or remove from your bar.
And if you worry about your plates having that chemical rubber scent, they claim to have no scent at all.
Bumper plates rarely come with a durometer of 90. They’re usually 88 or 80, but these plates aren’t just hard with a low bounce and a color coding for identification. They’re also extremely durable.
So if you want plates that can be dropped from four stories high without any damage and a bounce that isn’t even higher than two feet, then these are perfect for you.
4. CAP Barbell Premium Black Bumper Plates
Our Verdict: Best Interior
CAP Barbell Premium Black Bumper Plates are made of a mix of virgin and recycled rubber. They have a cast iron core and a stainless steel insert that gives them a minimal bounce, a balanced weight, and a secure fit to the bar.
The bumpers are sturdy, consistent, and extremely durable; they are also coated with virgin rubber with a nice gloss finish that helps in the prevention of bar damage.
It also allows you to lift to your extremes and drop the bar repeatedly without worrying if you’ll damage the floor or the plates.
They are sold in pairs and are all in the uniform diameter.
In terms of the rubber scent, all you need to do is to leave them in direct sunlight for a few days.
The plates are also beveled not only for an easy pickup but also for less surface impact when the barbell is dropped. This also prevents the bumper plates’ edges from cracking.
Having a bumper plate that is made of crumb rubber on the inside and coated with virgin rubber is excellent for a low bounce and minimal noise.
These plates are good for a home gym.
5. Rogue HG 2.0 KG Bumper Plates
Our Verdict: Best Dimensions
Rogue HG 2.0 KG Bumper Plates is ideal for both newbies and heavy lifters. The plates have a slim profile that lets them stack more plates to their bar and can be used as additional weight.
The plates are not flimsy at all no matter how thin they are and are in good quality. And these plates are priced reasonably.
They come in the IWF’s standard 450MM diameter and have an 88 Shore A Durometer scale, which gives them a consistent dead bounce, smooth finish, sturdiness, and durability.
These plates have a two-inch collar opening and polished stainless steel inserts that are kinder to your barbell’s sleeves.
Also, they have no rubber smell at all so there's not a need for you to soak them or leave them in direct sunlight. They are easy to get on and off of the bar with the opening’s perfect diameter.
With these plates, you don’t need to worry about damaging your bar or them not matching the size of your old bumper plates.
Rogue’s HG 2.0 bumper plates will save you from worrying if they’ll fit your bar perfectly because they will!
With its precise dimensions, they won't slide on your bar and cause imbalance. You can also mix these with other bumper plates since they’re in the standard diameter.
What Are Bumper Plates?
Bumper plates are weight plates that are made of different types of high-density rubber. They can be plain black or color-coded.
They are designed for competitive lifting and allow you to drop a loaded barbell with only minimal noise and bounce. They also don’t damage the ground where they were dropped on and neither do they damage themselves.
The best bumper plates are for CrossFit and Olympic lifting where the lift is often finished by dropping the loaded bar to the floor.
Some types of lifts allow people to push their limits, and there are situations where they can no longer withstand the weight. The best thing to do for their safety is to drop the plates.
Since normal plates can make too much noise and destroy your floor, bumper plates were made.
Bumper plates come in the same standard 450mm diameter and are measured in both pounds and kilos.
But not because they vary in thickness instead of varying in diameter necessarily means you won't be able to fit a lot of plates to your bar. The rubber used to make these plates are extremely dense, so you still can find thin bumper plates with the same diameter and exact weight.
What Categories Of Bumper Plates Are There?
These plates have 1 inch (25mm) center holes and they are usually used with standard or adjustable dumbbells.
On the other hand, Olympic plates have 2 inch (50mm) center holes that are paired with Olympic or full-sized barbells.
Why Should You Use A Bumper Plate?
Have you ever seen bars stained with rubber?
If not, then I’ll tell you right now, they’re not pretty! And neither would you want them.
This happens when the plates’ center hole isn’t in the exact diameter or when they’re poorly made. Never force the bumpers to fit your barbell!
When buying a bumper plate, you need to consider whether you need standard or Olympic plates.
There are also times where you bought the right bumper plates for your barbel but their center hole still doesn’t fit, this is due to poor construction.
Remember, the weights should EASILY slide through your barbell but not too much as it can slide while you’re doing lifts.
Usually, there’s no danger in using 10-15 lb steel plates since they vary in size and not in thickness.
Yet, bumper plates need to be in their standard diameter which results in them varying in both thickness and construction.
Since they are made of rubber, the thinnest bumper plates which are 10-15 lb can bend. And that’s not good at all.
You may want to try lifting these plates and dropping them, but if the plates you’ve bought bend, they can easily crack or break.
You don’t really need to purchase high-end bumper plates for their durability, just buying one with the right material and density is enough. There are a lot of bumper plates that don't bend at all even if they’re 10-15 lbs.
Bumper plates with thicker rubber are the safe choice, but that can limit how many plates you can stack on your bar too.
You don’t want your bumper plates bouncing aggressively.
They can bounce back and hurt you or destroy some of your equipment and furniture.
Sadly, there are bumpers that bounce excessively.
It's best to buy plates with a higher durometer rating. A plate that has a 95 durometer rating will barely bounce and this is ideal if you have a small amount of space to train in.
Yet a plate bouncing a little bit isn’t bad at all, they’re normal since bumper plates are made of rubber.
Durability is probably the most important factor if you plan on dropping your plates a lot.
Bumpers often crack and have small chips, they can even bend or have cracks around the center hole which can result in them not being safe for use anymore.
It’s best to know what material of bumper plates you need and want beforehand, rather than to learn it out of regret.
Bumper plates made of pure virgin rubber tend to be expensive, but definitely worth the price.
These plates are hard wearing and can survive being dropped repeatedly for YEARS!
Virgin rubber makes the bumper plates very dense. This results in a lower bounce. The plates are also durable due to a good construction of thick vulcanized virgin rubber.
This material also allows the plates to be thinner. Virgin rubber plates become heavy not because they’re thick, but because they’re dense; which is good for situations where you’d like to stack a lot of plates and test your limits.
And since it's VIRGIN rubber, the plates have no traces of polymers or any bonding agents at all.
Crumb Rubber Or Recycled Rubber
Some recycled bumper plates come with colored flecks instead of being color-coded, the color of the flecks on the bumpers still depends on their weight for easy identification.
This material is a good option because it undergoes multiple precise testings and has been dropped probably a thousand times in order to test its durability.
If you’re concerned with the noise you make when lifting, then recycled bumper plates are your best option since they have a damper and softer bounce. Crumb rubber tends to absorb the impact well.
Their soft bounce is possible because of the recycled rubber shavings and bonding agents mixed with it.
Urethane plates are the best bumper plates for the money! They can be two to four times more expensive than a set of virgin rubber bumper plates, but what they offer makes the price reasonable.
The biggest difference that urethane plates have from virgin or recycled rubber plates is that they are oozing with durability.
These plates are nearly indestructible!
Yes, that does mean you can drop a bar loaded with the thinnest bumper plates and not damage them at all. Urethane rubber helps the plates avoid getting scratched or cracked easily.
Aside from durability, all urethane rubber bumper plates have low odor.
This doesn’t mean they have no odor, but they’ll save you from having to soak them and leave them in sunlight for a long time and the “low odor” dissipates very quickly.
Besides, the urethane rubber’s scent isn’t that bad and smells nothing like that chemical rubber scent that virgin rubber gives.
And there’s more...
Urethane rubber bumper plates are thinner than any other virgin or crumb plates. They are extremely dense which lets you load your barbell with more weight.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does The Color On The Bumper Plates Mean?
Since you already know that color bumpers make it easy to quickly calculate the weight on your bar, figure out how much more you need, and check what plates are available in a glance.
Now, you may be wondering…
Do I need to memorize the color and its weight per bumper plate brand?
The answer is no.
Luckily aside from the plates’ standard 450 mm diameter, the International Weightlifting Federation also assigned standard plate colors to its corresponding weight.
All you need to remember is that Red plates are 25 kg (55 lb), Blue plates are 20 kg (45 lb), Yellow plates are 15 kg (35 lb) and that green plates are 10 kg (25 lb) and you’re good to go!
What Does A Durometer Or A Shore Rating Mean?
Basically, they tell us how hard an object is.
A durometer and a shore rating are the same thing. They are a rating measure of a material’s hardness, so the higher the rating, the harder the object is.
While a marshmallow may have a shore rating of 10, a leather belt has a rating of 80.
Usually, bumper plates range from 70 to 95 in the durometer rating. The harder the plate, the lesser it’ll bounce. And the lesser it’ll bounce, the louder it’ll drop.
The best bumper plates for your home gym are the ones that provide quieter drops. Choose a plate on the medium-hard to hard scale which is a durometer of 70-80.
But if you don’t really mind how loud it can get, you can choose a plate with a 90-100 durometer rating for a serious dead bounce.
Remember that the harder the plate is, the more durability it has. So if your 10-15 lb plates bend, then they won't really last a ong while.
How Can I Remove The Bumper Plates’ Rubber Smell?
Bumper plates are made of rubber.
So basically, we can’t expect them to smell like roses, they will really reek of that chemical rubber smell for a few days or weeks.
Some plates may be labeled as low-odor or no-odor but that doesn’t mean that when you use them your hands won't smell of rubber.
However the smell often becomes irritating, it can stick to your walls and spread all over your house if you leave them indoors.
So no matter how normal it is, you just have to get rid of them.
The most usual way of dissipating the scent is to expose the plates to sunlight.
You can do this for a few hours, several times a week, but you need to be sure to expose both sides of the plates and not leave them in direct sunlight for too long since too much UV can make the plates harden.
The sun’s UV rays will speed up your bumper’s off-gassing process.
Most of the time, this method is enough, but if your plates still smell of rubber you can soak them in a solution.
Submerging your plates to a solution of water, vinegar and baking soda for an hour or less may help. After soaking them, you should rinse them thoroughly with clean water.
There are really some plates that will still smell of rubber after these methods. If you want, you can repeat these methods until there’s no smell left at all.
So now, let's go se some warm up ribbons and rotations before we end this up:
Fringe Sport’s bumper plates have that matte finish which clearly means that it is made from high-quality rubber since shiny coating means that cheap rubber was used.
They are also thinner and denser than the other plates and it only takes 2-6 days for the rubber smell to dissipate.
The only downside of our best overall is that it’s all black which can give difficulty in identifying them; however, you can simply put tape to its sides in order to differentiate them at a glance.
They pass all the standards from sliding, bending, bouncing, and material.
These bumper plates may not be made of urethane rubber which is the best option. However, even though they are made with virgin rubber, they remain to be cheap. Even the thinnest plates don’t bend!
They also have a dead bounce and will fit your bar’s sleeves perfectly.
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