13 Best Weight Plates For 2024: Iron, Steel, and Rubber

Written by Daniel Mesa
Last Updated On

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best weight plates

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We picked the Rogue Echo Bumper Plates as the best overall plates for most people thanks to their affordable price, high quality, and versatility. Furthermore, they have a tight +/- 1% weight tolerance and several color options.

Best Rubber Weight Plates
Best Budget Weight Plates
Best Color Bumper Plates
4.9
4.7
5.0
Best Rubber Weight Plates
Best Budget Weight Plates

Weight plates are one of the most essential pieces of home equipment for anyone looking to build serious strength or muscle. With just a squat rack, barbell, weight bench, and quality weight plates, you already have a decked-out home gym.

The problem is that weight plates can vary drastically in terms of price, material, features, quality, etc. So it can be hard to shut out all the noise and narrow down the options to find the best weight plate for your needs.

In this guide. we will break down all of the best weight plates to buy in 2023 for both iron, steel, rubber, and urethane plates. No matter if you are looking for calibrated competition plates or simple iron plates, this guide will have the best weight plates for you and your home gym.

Best Weight Plates (2023)

The FitDominium team of personal trainers and athletes has personally tested every weight plate on this list. The team did hands-on tests and compared specs, customer reviews, and prices to come up with this list.

Rogue Echo Bumper Plates: Best Rubber Weight Plates

Best Rubber Weight Plates
Rogue Echo Bumper Plates
4.9

The Rogue Echo Bumper Plates are a staple in the home gym community for a reason, They are well priced and offer great performance and specs.

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Specs

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

Summary

The Rogue Echo Bumper Plates have been at the top of my weight plate recommendation list for what seems like years at this point. These plates have great build quality, are durable, and are surprisingly affordable.

The biggest reason we are such big fans of these plates is the material choice from Rogue. These plates are constructed with virgin and a stainless steel center ring. A large issue for years now with rubber plates has been that since most rubber plates use recycled rubber, the plates will come with n undesirable smell that takes a long time to wear off.

Since Rogue used virgin rubber, the smell will be drastically reduced. Granted, there have still been some minor complaints from users but nothing compared to what you can expect from plates made with recycled rubber.

best rubber weight plates

Another huge benefit of these plates is the tight +/- 1% weight tolerance. With such a tight tolerance and an International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) spec center ring, you can feel confident for using these plates to train for a competition.

With a durometer rating of 88, you can rest assured that these plates can withstand being dropped overhead. Not only can they take the drop, but they also have a minimal bounce. Something you really do not see too often on more economically priced weight plates.

Overall, the Rogue Echo Bumper Plates continue to be one of the staples when it comes to home gym weight plates. With such great quality at an affordable price, they offer tremendous value for the money. If you are looking for a simple rubber plate, it is hard to go wrong with these.

Pros

  • Several set and pair options available
  • Very thin allowing for higher loading capacity
  • Tight tolerance of +/- 10 grams
  • Available in pounds and kilograms
  • Up to IPF standards

Cons

  • Coating is prone to chipping
  • Hard to pick up when lying flat

Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates: Best Heavy-Duty Bumper Plates

Best Heavy-Duty Bumper Plates
Vulcan Strength Alpha Bumper Plates
5.0

The Vulcan Alpha Bumper plates are some of the most durable on the market being designed for both indoor and outdoor use.

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Specs

  • Price: $214.99 (45lb Pair)
  • Material: Virgin Rubber w/ Stainless Insert
  • Weight Units: Pounds
  • Weight Options: 10lb-55lb (available in 160lb or 1000lb sets)
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 1%
  • Collar Opening: 50.6mm (1.99″)
  • Durometer Rating: 89 (Minimal Bounce)
  • Warranty:  4 Years on 35lb+, 3 Years on 25lb, & 1 Year on 10-15lb

Summary

The Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates are some of the coolest-looking and most durable bumper plates on the market. Unlike other bumper plates, these plates were specifically designed to be dropped and used on any surface whether that be indoors or outdoors.

One of the main reasons that you can trust these plates will truly live up to the task is the anchored steel hub. Unlike other plates which just have the center insert pressed in, these Vulcan plates have their center hub embedded within the rubber itself. As a result, these center stainless inserts are more likely to stay put rather than slowly fall out as you see with so many other bumper plates.

These plates have a durometer rating of 89 which is pretty great for a non-competition spec plate. Therefore, you can confidently drop these from overhead and expect minimal levels of bounce.

best durable weight plates

Another claim made by Vulcan is that these Alpha Bumpers offer a 25% reduction in noise compared to regular bumper plates. Personally, I did not notice a dramatic reduction in noise. Perhaps they were comparing to some lower quality plates, but I found the noise level to be out the same from plates by Rogue.

Another area where these plates really shine is their look. The fleck design is really cool to look at and are one of the reasons why many people opt for these plates in their home gym. While others plates on the market offer similar cool patterns, none have quite the same durability and versatility as the Vulcan plates.

What really gives me confidence in recommending these plates aside from personal use and experience, is the warranty offered by Vulcan. It is simply the best warranty on weight plates I have ever seen. The 10- and 15-pound plates are warrantied for one year; the 25-pound plates are warrantied for three years; and the 35-, 45-, and 55-pound plates are warrantied for four years.

Since these warranties cover both indoor and outdoor use, there is not really any case where you will see a claim being denied by Vulcan.

Overall, these Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates are simply the most durable plates on the market. This a statement that Vulcan is willing to back up with their industry-leading warranty. If you are in the market for long-lasting plates, you cannot beat the Alpha Bumpers.

Pros

  • Can be used for both indoor and outdoor lifting
  • High durometer rating for minimal bounce
  • Very durable plates with anchored steel hub
  • Best warranty for weight plates
  • Fleck design is very cool to look at

Cons

  • One of the wider bumper plates
  • Collar not as tight as other plates

Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates: Best Color Rubber Weight Plates

Best Color Bumper Plates
Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates
5.0

The Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates are highly affordable bumper plates with a strong track record of being some of the best value plates on the market.

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Specs

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

Summary

The Fringe Sport Bumper Plates have been a really popular option in the home gym community for years now thanks to their colorful options and affordable pricing. As far as color plates go, these are easily the ones that provide the best overall value.

These plates from Fringe Sport are made with a stainless steel hooked insert and virgin rubber. For quality bumper plates, this is exactly what you want to see. The virgin rubber will minimize any rubber smell while the hooked insert will increase overall durability. Since these plates have been on the market for close to 10 years now, they have a long proven track record of being durable based on customer feedback.

These plates have a durometer rating of 85 on the 25+ plates and 90 on 10-15 lb plates. With this relatively high durometer rating, you can easily drop these from overhead and expect a minimal bounce. The weight tolerance is also great at +/- 1%. As far as fit goes, I noticed that these Fringe plates had a bit of a tighter fit than competitors, due to the 50.4 mm diameter. This is not a bad thing, as the plates will be kept nice and snug on the bar.

best color bumper plates

One of the major benefits that these plates are known for is their ultra-durable 10 lb plates. A common issue with 10lb bumper plates is that tend to bend or distort over time as they are dropped more and more. Of course, this is more prevalent among plates made with recycled rubber as opposed to higher-quality options.

What Fringe did to combat this issue is making their 10lb plates slightly smaller with 445mm diameter as opposed to 450mm as their other plates are. This way, the heavier, stronger plates could absorb more of the force. On top of this, Fringe Sport also offers one of the better warranties on their smaller plates with 1-year coverage on their 10s and 15s.

The only real downside to these plates is that they are a bit on the thicker side in comparison to some other bumper plates like the Rogue Echo’s. That being said, it should not really be an issue unless you are a very strong lifter lifting 500+ on the regular.

Overall, the Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates are the obvious choice if you are looking for colored bumper plates. They are trusted, durable, and very well-priced.

Pros

  • Great value at an affordable price with free shipping
  • Stainless steel inner ring
  • Tight weight accuracy +/- 1%
  • Great warranty

Cons

  • Plates are on the thicker side compared to other bumper plates
  • Durometer rating on large plates is not as high as smaller plates

REP Fitness Old School Iron Plates: Best Budget Weight Plates

Best Budget Weight Plates
REP Old School Iron Plates
4.7

The REP Old School Iron Plates offer some of the best value on the market. With a tight weigh tolerance and free shipping, these classic plates are hard to beat.

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Specs

  • Price: $159 (45lb Pair) (Free Shipping)
  • Material: Iron
  • Weight Units: Pounds
  • Weight Options: 2.5lb-45lb (also available in 175-425lb sets)
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 3%
  • Collar Opening: 2″
  • Warranty:  1-year

Summary

The REP Fitness Old School Iron Plates provide a similar look and feel to the Rogue Deep Dish plates at a more affordable price. These REP plates are solid cast iron coated with a matte finish and raised silver letting to give off that classic vintage look and feel.

At first glance, these may not seem like a “budget” option, but you have to consider the whole cost. Since REP offers free shipping, these plates are about as good as it is going to get for getting a solid set of budget weight plates.

At the end of the day, since these are budget plates, do not expect anything spectacular. These do not have any kind of special feature, but they will get the job done and do it at a great price.

best budget weight plates

One of the compromises you will have to make though is that at +/- 3%, the weight tolerance on these is high. This is to be expected with cast iron plates and I do not think it should be a meaningful difference for most people, but it is still worth mentioning.

Lastly, the warranty on these is not great at 1 year. That is just parred for the course though when you are dealing with cast iron weight plates.

Overall, the REP Old School Iron Plates are nothing special, but they do provide great value. On top of that, they also give you back that classic vintage look that so many of us love about older weight plates.

Pros

  • Large number of pairs and set options
  • Classic vintage look
  • Great value at an affordable price
  • Single sided with deep lip for easy use

Cons

  • +/- 3% tolerance
  • 1 year warranty

Titan Urethane Weight Plates: Best Urethane Weight Plates

Best Urethane Weight Plates
Titan Urethane Bumper Plates
5.0

The Titan Urethane Bumper are the best priced urethane bumpers on the market. These look great and will easily last a lifetime.

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Specs

  • Price: $339 (45lb Pair) (Free Shipping)
  • Material: Urethane Rubber w/ Chrome Steel Disc
  • Weight Units: Pounds
  • Weight Options: 10lb-45lb (also available in 175-425lb sets)
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 1%
  • Collar Opening: 50.6 mm(1.99″)

Summary

Urethane weights tend to be some of the more expensive weight plates on the market due to their extreme durability and color options. The Titan Urethane Weight Plates offer the best prices on the market and are just as good in terms of quality.

The build quality on these plates is incredible, especially coming from Titan. They have a tight weight tolerance of +/- 1%, a solid cast iron core, and a hard chrome center hub. All of these features make it a guarantee that these plates will last for decades in any gym setting.

best urethane weight plates

The only downside with these plates is that it is hard to pick up these plates if they are lying flat on the ground. An annoyance that is only made worse by that urethane is a slippery material.

In terms of aesthetics, these plates look great. They are some of the most vibrantly colored plates on the market and will bring a pop of color to any gym.

Overall, if you are looking for urethane plates, look no further than the Titan Urethane Weight Plates. Despite costing a fraction of the price of some other urethane plates, they are just as durable and well-built.

Pros

  • Vibrant colors for great look
  • Minimal bounce
  • Chrome plate inserts for increased durability
  • Tight weight tolerance
  • Most affordable urethane plates

Cons

  • Hard to pick up
  • Can be slippery in your hands

Rogue Calibrated Steel Weight Plates: Best Calibrated Steel Weight Plates

Best Calibrated Steel Weight Plates
Rogue Calibrated Steel Weight Plates
5.0

The Rogue Calibrated Steel Plates are extremely accurate, IWF approvedn and offer a ultra-thin profile for maximum weight capacity.

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Specs

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

Summary

The Rogue Calibrated Steel Weight Plates are some of the most precise, and highest quality calibrated plates on the market. In our experience, these are the best steel plates on the home gym market, by far.

A common issue with weight plates is that their actual weight will vary. Chances are that the weight plates you have used are actually a few pounds lighter or heavier than what they are supposed to way. The genius of these Rogue plates is that they are machined to +/- 10 grams of their actual weight.

Both the metric (kg) and imperial (lb) versions of these plates are up to IPF standards. With a collar opening of 504 mm, the fit on the bar is very tight and snug. You may even find it slightly hard to fit these plates on your bar if the bar has grooved sleeves or is on the cheaper side.

best calibrated steel weight plates

Aside from the fact that these plates are up to IPF standards, the biggest benefit is how thin they are. If the largest 55lb plates are barely over an inch in thickness. This means that you can easily load 1,000 lbs+ plus on the barbell with these plates. For that reason, these are by far and away the best weight plates for powerlifters on this list.

In terms of downsides, there are not many. The coating on these is not the best so you can expect some signs of chipping to eventually show. Also, since these are machined and have no lip, it can be very hard to pick these off the ground when they are lying flat.

Pros

  • Several set and pair options available
  • Very thin allowing for higher loading capacity
  • Tight tolerance of +/- 10 grams
  • Available in pounds and kilograms
  • Up to IPF standards

Cons

  • Coating is prone to chipping
  • Hard to pick up when lying flat

Rogue Competition Bumper Plates: Best Competition Bumper Plates

Best Competition Bumper Plates
Rogue Competition Bumper Plates
5.0

The Rogue Competition Bumper Plates are highly accurate, durable, capable, and gorgeous looking bumper plates. Among the best of the best.

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Specs

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

Summary

While the Echo Bumper Plates offered by Rogue are already great, these Rogue Competition Bumper Plates take things to a whole other level. With a chrome center plate, thinner profile, and tighter weight tolerance, they are a major upgrade.

These plates were built to IWF specs and come in both kilograms and pounds. In line with IWF standards, these have a tight weight tolerance of +/- 15 grams and a collar opening of 50.4mm. As a result, these plates offer a very snug fit on the bar and may not even fit some cheaper bars that are not up to spec.

The biggest upgrades these Rogue Competition Bumpers provide include a smaller profile, higher durometer rating, and strengthened center hub. With a durometer rating of 94, these plates are up there with the very best and will produce close to no bounce when dropped overhead. In contrast to standard bumpers which can limit your total weight with their large size, these Rogue Comp plates have a thinner profile allowing you to load up the bar more. Lastly, with a chrome center plate instead of a regular inserted ring, you can expect these plates to withstand years of overhead drops and use.

best competition bumper plates

Thanks to IWF spec colors and elevated white lettering, these plates offer an incredible look and feel. The only cause for concern is that the hard chrome plate has potential to scuff. Thankfully, Rogue included raised flanges to limit the metal-on-metal contact when using these plates.

Overall, these Rogue Competition Bumper Plates are up there with the very best weight plates on the market and the price reflects it. While these may be overkill for most people, if you can afford them and want the best of the best, you can feel confident that these plates will fit the bill.

Pros

  • Very tight weight tolerance of +/- 15 grams
  • High durometer rating for minimal bounce
  • Various set and pair options
  • Available in pounds and kilograms
  • Great warranty

Cons

  • Expensive option for most home gym owners
  • No free shipping

REP Fitness Equalizer Plates: Best Weight Plates With Handles

Best Weight Plates With Handles
REP Urethane Coated Equalizer Plates
5.0

The REP Urethane Coated Equalizer plates offer long term durability and a tight weight tolerance. The functional cutouts make these plates look cool and easy to handle.

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Specs

  • Price: $279.99 (45lb Pair) w/ Free Shipping
  • Material: Urethane-Coated Cast Iron
  • Weight Units: Pounds
  • Weight Options: 2.5lb-45lb (Sets available from 175lb-425lb)
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 2%
  • Collar Opening: 51mm (2.0″)
  • Warranty: Lifetime for 10lb+ & 5 Years for 2.5-5lb

Summary

The REP Urethane Coated Equalizer Plates are highly durable weight plates that offer a cool look and functionality with their cutout design.

These are the types that you usually find in big commercial gyms. Primarily due to the cast iron and coating being both highly durable and affordable even in a commercial setting. Moreover, the cutouts provide an easy handle for lifters to move the plates across the gym or to load them on the bar easily. All of these are benefits, that home gym owners can benefit from as well.

These Equalizer plates have a stated weight tolerance of +/- 2% which is right in line with other cast iron weight plates. However, I will say that based on customer reviews and the own plates that we purchased ourselves, these plates were very accurate.

These Olympic weight plates have a collar opening of 2 inches. This large opening combined with the low-friction steel inserts, make these plates very easy to load onto the bar. While nice, it also means that these plates are likely to slide on the bar during use. If you use these plates, I would certainly recommend using collars with these plates.

best weight plates with handles

In terms of overall size, these Equalizers fall right in the middle of the pack at 1.83″. While thicker than some other urethane plates, you can still load up to 8 plates on each side of the bar with no problem.

Overall, these REP Equalizer Plates provide the best value on the market if you are looking for easy to use plates with handles. They will last forever and are much cheaper than other shooter-style plates offered by the competition.

Pros

  • Easy to handle and move around the gym
  • Urethane coating increased overall durability and limits sound
  • Great look with unique cutout shapes
  • More affordably priced than other shooter-style plates

Cons

  • Thicker than other urethane plates cutouts
  • Looser fit makes collars needed

Rogue Deep Dish Plates: Best Cast Iron Plates

Best Cast Iron Plates
Rogue Deep Dish Plates
3.5

The Rogue Deep Dish Plates offer a classic vintage look and feel with modern specs. With the e-coat finish and precise maching, these plates will look and perform well for a long time.

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Specs

  • Price: $180 (45lb Pair)
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Weight Units: Pounds
  • Weight Options: 5lb-45lb (Sets available from 230lb-1000lb)
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 2%
  • Collar Opening: 50mm (1.97″)

Summary

The Rogue Deep Dish Plates are some of the best looking vintage plates on the market. Rogue specifically designed these by drawing inspiration from the older plates before them, and it shows. The gunmetal e-coat finish, cast iron, and deep lip all contribute to a classic look and feel.

The main difference between these plates and Rogue’s standard iron plates is the thicker profile and single-sided deeper lip. Apart from just looking cool, Rogue mentions that these design choices are callbacks to the older plates that came before them. In the earlier days of lifting, thicker iron plates like these were required to withstand the drops that came with Olympic lifting.

Nowadays. iron weight plates are not the best choice for Olympic lifts with so many bumper plates on the market. That being said, you can still take advantage of the thicker profile and deep lip for other purposes. Since you can easily grip these plates, you can do farmer’s walks, halos, and other exercises in addition to your regular barbell work.

best cast iron plates

The only downside to these plates is that they limit how much weight you can load onto the bar due to their thickness. You can only fit five 45s on each side, which really is not ideal if you lift very heavy weights. Granted, for most home gym owners this will be more than enough but it is something to keep in mind if you are a powerlifter.

Overall, the Rogue Deep Dish Plates offer an incredible user experience and look. If you want some classic deep dish plates, Rogue is the place you should be looking first.

Pros

  • Tight weight tolerance at +/- 2%
  • Durable with e-coat coating
  • Offer great vintage look and feel
  • Great value at an affordable price

Cons

  • Very thick plates that will limit loading potential
  • No 2.5lb plates available

CAP Olympic Grip Plates: Best Weight Plates On Amazon

Best Weight Plates On Amazon
CAP Olympic Grip Weight Plates
4.8

The CAP Olympic Grip Weight Plates are a great basic plate option. At such an affordable price and available with Prime, they are not a bad option.

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Specs

  • Price: $120 (45lb Pair)
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Weight Units: Pounds
  • Weight Options: 2.5lb-45lb
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 5%
  • Collar Opening: 50.8mm (2.0″)
  • Warranty: 30 Days

Summary

For many, we understand that Amazon is their one-stop shop for everything including fitness equipment. While the options are limited, the best weight plates that we tried on Amazon were the CAP Olympic Grip Plates.

Now, these plates are good for what they are. They are budget-friendly weight plates that will get the job done, but not do much else. They have quite a high weight tolerance at +/- 5% and since these are cast, you can expect some minor imperfections across the plates you get.

If you go online and look at the reviews, you will see that they are generally mixed. However, as long as you go into these plates knowing that they will not be of the best quality, you should have no problems.

best weight plates on amazon

In terms of goods things that I can, the cut-out grips make these plates easy to use and move around the gym. Also the enamel coating means that these plates at least be somewhat durable in the long run.

Overall, if you just want some basic plates that you can lift with, the CAP Olympic Grip Plates are a nice option.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Easy returns and shipping on Amazon
  • Angle cut-outs make these plates easy to grip
  • Black or grey options

Cons

  • High weight tolerance at +/- 5%
  • Coating can chip overtime
  • Limited warranty

Fringe Sport Savage Bumper Plates: Best Looking Weight Plates

Best Looking Weight Plates
Fringe Sport Savage Bumper Plates
3.5

The Fringe Sport Savage Bumper Plates are the coolest looking plates on the market while still offering tight tolerances and overall great performance.

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Specs

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

Summary

The Fringe Sport Savage Bumper Plates are without a doubt the coolest-looking weight plates on the market. They feature a unique tiger-striped pattern that helps the already brightly-colored plates stand out even more.

coolest looking weight plates

These Savage Bumpers are essentially the same as the Fringe Sport Color Bumper Plates we have already discussed in terms of specs. In short, these plates are some of the most durable on the market, have a higher durometer rating for minimal bounce, and offer a great warranty.

Overall, if you want some cool-looking plates for your gym, there is really nothing else like Fringe Sport Savage Bumper Plates.

Pros

  • Good value at the price
  • Best looking plates on the market
  • Tight weight tolerance of +/- 1%
  • Great warranty
  • Lots of pair and set options

Cons

  • Plates are on the thicker side
  • Durometer rating for larger plates is less than 10-15 lb plates

Rogue Change Plates: Best Change Plates

Best Change Plates
Rogue Change Plates
5.0

The Rogue Change plates are a set of highly durable rubber-coated plates ranging from 1.25lb-10lb. Perfect for getting stronger every session.

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Specs

  • Price: $211 (37.5lb Set)
  • Material: Rubber-Coated Cast Iron
  • Weight Units: Pounds & Kilograms
  • Weight Options: 1.25lb-10lb & 0.5kg-5kg (also available in sets)
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 10 grams
  • Collar Opening: 50.4mm (1.98″)
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Summary

If you are implementing progressive overload correctly in your training, you are going to need some type of change plates to bridge the gap between the larger plates as you get stronger. The Rogue Change Plates are our pick for the best change plates on the market thanks to their IWF specs, kilogram and pound options, and tight weight tolerances.

Out of the box, these plates look great with their bright colors. However, you and expect that new-plate shine to wear away over time and show signs of use.

Looks aside, these plates are excellent to lift with. With such a tight weight tolerance, you can be confident that you are actually getting stronger. The collar opening can be a little tight, especially since it is lined with rubber. So while the plates stay snug on the bar, you can’t just easily slide these off the bar like you can with some other plates.

best change plates

Overall, the Rogue Change Plates are the best weight plates available if you are looking for some smaller weight plates to incrementally increase your lifts. Not to mention, change plates can sometimes be hard to find even as we move out of the pandemic. Rogue usually always has some stock available.

Pros

  • Very durable rubber coating
  • Tight weight tolerance of +/- 10 grams
  • Snug fit on bar

Cons

  • Will shows sings of use and grime fairly quickly

Bells Of Steel Fractional Plates: Best Fractional Plates

Summary

If change plates are still not small enough for you, the Bells Of Steel Fractional Plates are an affordable weight to get even more micro-loading in your training.

Once you start getting strong, it can be hard to add 5 lbs at a time to your upper body movements. Thinking logically, it makes sense that you would make smaller weight jumps for your biceps, triceps, and shoulders since these are smaller muscle groups overall. That is where these Bells Of Steel Fractional Plates come in with their 0.5lb weight increments.

best fractional plates

Overall if you are looking to really make progress during every session, the Bells Of Steel Fractional Plates offer one of the best deals on the market. They look cool, are durable, and are affordable as well.

Pros

  • Allows for micro loading
  • Cool look
  • Durable cast iron material
  • Great value at low price

Cons

  • Will cause some metal on metal contact

Why Your Home Gym Needs Weight Plates

As far as home gym equipment goes, none is more versatile than the combination of a barbell and weight plates. Within just a basic pair of 45s, you can already work your entire body effectively. Here are just some of the hundreds of exercises you can do:

If you buy correctly and choose a good barbell and weight plates, you will have some great fitness equipment that will last you a lifetime. You will have a better home gym and be healthier, stronger, and happier as a result.

Bumper Plates vs. Metal Plates

bumper plates vs metal plates

A common debate in the fitness community is the choice between metal and bumper plates. Here is how you can know which option is best for you:

Bumper Plates

Bumper plates are the better choice if you train in Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, or any other dynamic training style that requires the barbell to be dropped. These plates are very durable and designed to be dropped over and over.

To withstand the constant drops, these plates are built with steel or iron that is coated in a thick layer of either rubber or urethane. Thanks to the coating and center plate, bumper plates and withstand and absorb the shock of being dropped from higher elevations.

While these plates are designed for more dynamic training styles, they can still be used for any training style such as bodybuilding or powerlifting. For that reason, these are the more versatile options compared to regular metal plates. The only limitation is that bumper plates tend to be thicker so powerlifters may have trouble loading very heavy loads onto the bar.

Another benefit to bumper plates is that the urethane or rubber comes in colored options usually in line with the official IWF color scheme. Some brands have even taken it a step up like Vulcan Fitness or Fringe Sport and released some unique designs of their for an even cooler-looking plate.

Bumper plates are generally more expensive than metal plates. But of course, it depends on the style of plates you are comparing. Some competition spec metal plates are going to go cost more than low-end budget bumpers.

Metal Plates

Metal plates are constructed using cast iron or steel. While you can technically still drop metal weight plates, it is not what they were designed for. You may end up damaging your barbell, floor, and plates. Not to mention, many metal weight plates come with warranties that specifically state that they do not cover damage due to being dropped. As a result, these plates are better for powerlifting, bodybuilding, or more general strength training.

The style of these plates can also vary drastically. You can get competition plates that are very thin or some classic deep dish plates that are very thick. Depending on the ones you get, they may or not include a finish to protect against corrosion and create a color scheme.

Metal plates are as a whole thinner than bumper plates, but there are some exceptions like the Rogue Deep Dish plates for example. These metal plates also tend to be louder. Something that is especially noticeable during deadlifts or when you load/unload the bar.

It used to be the case that metal weight plates cost much less than bumper plates. While this is still generally true, the gap has closed significantly and the pricing for budget-friendly metal and bumper plates is more comparable.

Weight Plates Materials Explained

common weight plate materials explained

Here are the common materials that a weight plate is made with:

Rubber Weight Plates

You will most commonly see rubber used on bumper plates. The main kinds of rubber that you should be aware of are recycled rubber and virgin rubber.

Plates made with recycled rubber is generally cheaper but they are not as durable and do not look as new and shiny out of the box. Furthermore, a common issue with recycled rubber is that it tends to smell. This smell will fade over time but is still a minor issue that you should be aware of.

On the other hand, plates made with virgin rubber will be shinier, more durable, and not come with as strong of a smell out of the box.

While you will most likely see rubber on a bumper plate, rubber may also be applied in a thin layer around cast iron or steel plates. This is primarily to provide a protective coating and noise reduction, it should not be confused with a bumper plate.

Urethane Weight Plates

As far as weight plate coatings go, Urethane is the best of the best. It is more durable, does not smell, and offers the most options when it comes to colors and logos on a weight plate.

Similar to rubber, you may see urethane used to create a thin coating around a metal weight plate. Again while the urethan will make these plates more durable in the long run, these should not be confused with bumper plates.

Cast Iron Weight Plates

Cast iron plates come in two forms: machined or simple cast iron. The machined plates will be more accurate and have fewer imperfections while the simple cast iron plates will tend to have looser weight tolerances and more imperfections across their surface.

Another distinct feature of cast iron plates is that the smaller plates will usually have a smaller diameter as opposed to bumper plates where all the plates are the same height.

How We Ranked And Compared These Weight Plates

weight plate ranking factors

With so many weight plates all claiming to be the best, the team here at FitDominium had to lay out some clear criteria that we would use to rank these weight plates as we reviewed them one by one.

Here are the key factors that we used to pick the best weight plate:

Materials and Build Quality

Among weight plates, we were looking for those that were built with the best material. Higher-quality materials like virgin rubber, steel, and urethane were preferable.

Also, we took into consideration the overall build quality of the plates. Plates that had minimal imperfections due to being machined down were ranked higher. Also, small details that add to durability like having an embedded steel inset were also taken into consideration.

Training Style

While ranking these plates, we kept in the mind the type of training styles that they would likely be used for. For Olympic lifting or CrossFit, bumper plates would be the better choice.

In contrast, if you are just doing some basic strength training at home, then the cheaper metal Olympic plates will likely be the better option.

Hub Style

With bumper plates, there are different hub styles to take into consideration. The cheapest bumper plates will have a steel insert that has just been stuck into the center of the plate. Over time, this type of hub is likely to move and fall out with enough use.

A step above that is an embedded insert that is hooked into the rubber itself to prevent any sort of movement.

Lastly, the high-quality bumper plates will have hard chrome zinc-plated hubs. These center plates are the most durable.

Bounce and Shock Absorption

If you purchasing a set of bumper plates, bounce is an important factor to consider, especially if you plan on dropping these plates from overhead.

The easiest way to measure bounce is by looking at a plate’s durometer rating. Measured from 0-100, this metric tracks the hardness of the material, The higher the number, the lower the bounce.

Competition level bumper plates will have duromter rating in the 90s for a dead bounce. Meanwhile, cheaper bumper plates made with recycled rubber will have a rating in the 70s and a much higher bounce as a result.

If you do not want to chase your bar around the gym, consider getting some bumper plates with a durometer rating of 85+.

Size and Thickness

How thick a plate is will determine how much weight you can load onto the bar. For that reason, thinner plates like calibrated steel plates are generally considered better in this regard.

With that being said, you can still easily get 400+ pounds on the bar with the thickest plates on the market, Therefore, this should really only be a consideration if you lift very heavy or are a powerlifter.

Weight Tolerance

Weight tolerance refers to the amount of weight that the manufacturer is guaranteeing that the plate will actually weigh. The most accurate weight plates will be those that are calibrated and built to competition specs.

Past that, you will usually see that higher quality plates have weight tolerances of 1%-2% and cheaper plates will have tolerances between 3%-5%. For most people, this should not make too big of a difference but if you want the most accurate weight plates it is something to keep in mind.

Collar Opening

The term Olympic weight plates refer to plates that are designed to fit onto an Olympic barbell which has a sleeve diameter of about 1.96 inches.

However, there will still be some variation in collar opening size. Competition plates will tend to have a smaller diameter of around 1.97″ to produce and snug, tight fit on the bar. Meanwhile, more basic bumper plates will have 2-inch collar opening that will fit looser on the bar.

Look And Feel

This is a factor that is more determined or preference, but the look and feel of plates was something that we took into consideration. Some plates like REP Old School Iron Weight Plates or Rogue Deep Dish Plates have a great classic vintage look that many people love.

On the other hand, some bumper plates like the Vulcan Alpha Bumpers or Fringe Sport Savage Bumper have unique designs that bring some customization to your gym,

Warranty

High-quality bumper plates will have warranties of 3-5 years for their larger plates and 1 year of warranty for the smaller 10-15lb plates.

You will also want to pay attention to what these warranties cover. Vulcan for example is unique in that they cover both indoor and outside use.

Regardless, most weight plates will far outlive their warranties.

Price

When we were looking at price, we were just looking for plates that provided the best value in any given segment.

That is to say that more expensive cheaper plates were not necessarily better, we instead looked for a combination of value and versatility.

FAQs

Are expensive plates worth it?

Some of the more expensive weight plates on the market tend to be either bumper plates or those that are built to competition specifications. Unless you are competing or just need the best of the best, you would be better off going with some basic bumpers or iron plates for better value.

What are plates are best for deadlift?

Bumper plates are the ideal choice for deadlifting as they are quieter and better designed to absorb the shock of being dropped on the floor over and over again. A solid set of bumpers will protect your floor as well.

Which is better for home gym steel or bumper plates?

Bumper tends to offer more versatility as they can be used for any lifting style. They also have the added benefit of protecting your floor as well. However, if you want a cheaper options, metal weight plates can usually be found for cheaper.

Which material is best for weight plates?

Urethane is the best material for weight plates as it is highly durable and odorless. In many ways, it takes the best qualities of both plastic and rubber to produce a durable and long lasting material.

Final Verdict

In our opinion, the Rogue Echo Bumper Plates are the best weight plates for most people. They are highly accurate, durable, versatile, and very affordable.

If you want a metal plate for the classic look and feel, the REP Fitness Old School Iron Plates are a set of durable and high-value iron weight plates.

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