Gym Equipment Reviews
The 10 Best Bumper Plates
What are the best bumper plates on the market?
Dream this up: you just crushed a new PR lift. It’s securely locked out overhead.
Your muscles are tensed to their maximum, the adrenaline is still coursing through your veins, and everyone is crowded around to congratulate you.
With a roar of overwhelming triumph, you tighten your grip and begin to pull the bar down and in front of you.
The momentum builds, and you force it as hard as you can onto the floor once it passes your waist level.
Suddenly, the room went silent. Something is off. You look down and find that the metal plates on your bar have pitted the floor wide open – splitting lengthy cracks through the surface in all directions.
It turns out that PR wasn’t a dream – it was a nightmare. You should’ve gone with bumper plates.
Bumpers are built for those big moments – that bar thrashing, weight-tossing madness.
It doesn’t take much for a metal plate to cause some serious damage. 5 lbs is enough to break pavement or plastic lining if dropped from eye level.
Thankfully, we don’t have to lift like that. If you’re here, you’re probably looking for some advice.
We’ve researched handfuls of options to compile the 10 best bumper plates money can buy.
The Best Bumper Plates Compared
Our equipment lists are created by researching the best-reviewed products from the most reputable companies and web sources.
Here’s our list of the 10 best bumper plates:
In A Rush? Here’s Our Top Pick:
Number one on the list is HulkFit’s Olympic bumper plates. The body of each plate is built from high-density rubber, centered by a solid stainless steel hub.
The metal serves to stabilize the weight and dampen the bounce after impacts.
Designed to Olympic specifications, each plate is fitted with a 2” diameter ring compatible with any and all Olympic barbells and most dumbbells.
The plates are color-coded in Olympic fashion – identical to competition plates.
HulkFit’s bumpers are positively reviewed across the board and represent an extremely affordable price point relative to competing brands.
10. Lifeline Bumper Plate
Lifeline’s black bumper plates start our list off in an impressively economical fashion.
Anyone who has been hunting for fitness equipment deals for a length of time knows the rapid fluctuations in weight plate price.
The Lifelines are nearly half the price of plates on the upper end of the market. Value? Each plate is built using a high-density rubber – durometer rated to 90.
Further, these rubber bumper plates are designed to meet the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) dimensional requirements for competition.
- Most affordable option on our list
- International Weightlifting Federation standard design based on diameter, weight, and length
- High-density rubber specifically crafted for minimized bounce
- A number of reviews express concern with the durability of each plate, especially lighter variants (10 lbs – 15 lbs)
- Arrives in an oil lacquer that can be inconvenient to remove or wipe off
- Weight values are not calibrated – reviews have noted discrepancies as high as 5 lbs (+ or -)
9. Synergee Bumper Plates
Synergee’s bumper plates are smooth and sleek in design. Measuring 17.5” in diameter and built with a 2” sleeve, these black bumper plates accommodate any Olympic bar.
Synergee is well regarded for its customer service and product guarantees – including a free replacement process should you run into any defects with your plates.
- Extremely positive customer review history
- Mid-range price point
- Close to competition plate widths, low-bounce factor, and durable high-density rubber build
- A highly smooth surface can make gripping and moving the plates around difficult
- Some reviews have noted separation of the rubber from its metal core after moderate use
8. CAP Barbell Bumper Plate
CAP Barbell offers the first break from flat-back designs with a multi-color set – imitating competition plates.
CAP’s plates are built with virgin and recycled high-density rubber for minimal bounce, reduced odor, and high-grade durability.
The weight is professionally calibrated at the labeled values to within 5 grams. Every plate is perfectly compatible with Olympic-grade equipment.
- Virgin and recycled rubber construction
- Odorless – delivered without a chemical scent or oily film
- Calibrated weight values to within 5 grams
- Higher-end with regard to price point – and only sold in single units
- Some reviews noted issues with the uniformity of the rubber (e.g., air pockets or mildly unlevel surfaces)
7. Steelbody Bumper Plate
Steelbody comes in at the second most affordable option in our rankings.
Flat black and minimalist by design, the dense rubber make of these plates is intended to dampen the rebound after dropping the weight from above waist level.
The central ring suits all Olympic-graded equipment and a wide variety of fitness-related loading implements.
The Steelbody design promises a high tier of “disintegration resistance” even in the most brutal of gym environments – cutting back on deformations, cracks, and collateral damage.
- Dense, solid rubber construction for elasticity and water-proofing
- Stainless steel center ring – Olympic design and compatible with all Olympic lifting bars and equipment
- Damage-resistant via Steelbody rubber design
- Lighter plates have been reported to be very weak – unable to support the bar on their own
- Strong chemical odor at delivery
6. PINROYAL Bumper Plate
PINROYAL showcases an understated black bumper model including 10 lb, 15 lb, 25 lb, 35 lb, 45 lb, and 55 lb plate variants.
Each plate is built with recycled natural rubber according to environmentally-conscious practices.
PINROYAL’s plates are designed to be thinner than traditional rubber bumper plates, enabling lifters to load more weight onto a bar during max lifts.
The craftsmanship is held to a high standard – eliminating unlevel surfaces, air pockets, and jagged edges.
- High density, recycled rubber material build
- Weight options extend up to 55 lbs
- Relatively high price point for single plate options
- Some reviews have noted inconsistencies with the center ring fit for standard 2” bars
5. BalanceFrom Bumper Plates
BalanceFrom’s rubber bumper plates might be the most aesthetically pleasing on our top 10 list.
The minimalist, smooth design and color palette should be familiar to anyone who has spent time around Olympic weightlifting gyms.
Unsurprisingly, every plate is designed to IWF and Olympic specifications – including a 25 kg / 55 lb variant.
Per the expected industry standard, BalanceFrom’s plates use a high-density rubber construction to minimize bounce and improve equipment longevity.
- Modeled after Olympic competition plates – consistent sizing and color coding
- Offered in amounts up to 55 lbs or complete sets
- Reviews have noted instances of damage or apparent wear on arrival
4. Day 1 Fitness Bumper Plates
Day 1 Fitness’ bumper plates are designed with quality and ergonomics as top priorities.
The top-grade rubber blend is engineered for minimal impact damage and bounce, high durability, and gentleness during skin contact.
The stainless steel central ring is bonded to the rubber body to ensure stability in the face of repeated thrashings.
The specific material competition dulls most noise emitted through collisions, making these plates great for aerobic or core movements where surface contact is common.
- High-grade rubber, solid stainless steel construction for a low bounce factor
- Crafted according to Olympic competition specifications – diameter, thickness, length, and weight
- Very expensive single plate options relative to competing brands
- Lower weight variants (25 lbs and under) are highly fragile – should not be loaded onto the bar alone
- Limited weight options (25lbs and 45lbs)
3. Papababe Bumper Plate
It’s not often you hear about a proprietary material blend for weight plates – but that’s exactly what Papababe has implemented with their all-black bumper plates.
Every plate is specially designed to meet a durometer rating of 90 for minimal bounce and the highest tier of durability.
Papababe’s plates are built to Olympic dimensions and suit lifters of all experience levels. Each purchase is accompanied by a 2-year equipment warranty.
- High-density natural rubber material construction that is low-bounce and odorless – proprietary formula developed by Papababe
- Fits all standard Olympic equipment
- 2-year equipment warranty on all bumper plates
- Reviews have rarely noted some sizing inconsistencies for the 2” center ring (e.g., 10 lb plates not matching a bar insert)
2. AMGYM Bumper Plates
AMGYM’s bumper weight plates are engineered in the form of standard Olympic and IWF equipment.
With dimensions consistent with competition guidance, these plates are perfect for executing Olympic lifts, deadlifts, and squats.
The rubber formula guarantees a minimized bounce and long-term durability.
Weight options are offered up to 55 lbs in doubles or as a complete set.
AMGYM extends a 3-year warranty on all bumper plates sold – virtually guaranteeing lifetime satisfaction.
- AMGYM provides a 3-year warranty on all their bumper plates
- High-density natural rubber for maximal durability and minimized bounce
- IWF standard dimensions and quality construction – offered up to 55 lbs
- Mid-range price point – excellent value for the level of quality
- Plate set and center ring sizing discrepancies have been criticized in a small number of reviews (warranty covered)
1. HulkFit Bumper Plate
HullkFit is a Jacked Gorilla favorite for their consistent, reliable products across a range of fitness sectors.
The HF Olympic 2” bumper is built with industry-standard high-density rubber and solid stainless steel inserts.
The 2” central ring accommodates all Olympic equipment and most dumbbell fixtures.
Each plate is designed to mimic competition plate color coding and sizings. On dependability, customer reviews, and price point, HulkFit’s bumper weight plates top our list.
- High-density rubber, solid stainless steel center ring construction – very high durability and modest bounce
- Modeled after Olympic plates – color-coded and sized appropriately
- Weight options offered up to 55 lbs
- 2-year warranty offered on all plates on behalf of HulkFit – additional protection plan is available
- Lighter plates (25 lbs and under) seem disproportionately fragile with intensive use
FAQs About Bumper Plates
Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about bumper plates:
Q: What is the point of bumper plates?
Bumper plates are made of rubber materials that are softer than standard metal plates.
Using bumper plates, lifters can safely drop the bar from nearly any height without worrying about damage to the floor (or the weights themselves).
Rubber bumper plates are often used in CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting training.
Q: What is the difference between bumper plates and weight plates?
The differences between bumper and weight plates are pretty clear cut.
Bumper plates are made of rubber, meaning they’ll be more durable, softer, and bouncier than standard metal options.
Most bumpers tend to be a bit thicker than metal options, which may limit the amount of weight a bar can be loaded with – but this is not always the case.
Q: When should I use bumper plates?
Bumper plates should be used when you are performing highly dynamic or overhead movements.
Any exercise where dropping weight is encouraged or expected should utilize bumper plates.
Rubber weights will ensure you’re protecting your floors and the equipment itself.
Q: Are competition bumper plates worth it?
When it comes to competitive athletics, practicing how you play is often recommended.
If you intend to compete regularly, it may be worth your while to invest in competition plates.
Competition bumper plates are weight-calibrated, built to a standard thickness, and will provide the same feel in the gym as on the competitive platform.
Q: Can I mix bumper plates with regular plates?
There is no reason you cannot mix plate types. If you have access to a bumper plate set larger than your metal plates, you can load it first to protect your floors.
The bumper will keep your metal weights from touching the floor, absorbing the contact force when lowered or dropped.
Q: Can I use bumper plates for bench press?
Yes, bumper plates can be loaded and used for any lift involving a barbell.
There may be subtle differences in the weight’s center of gravity or the flex of the bar – but these will have minimal impact on the exercise.
Q: Do bumper plates smell?
New bumper plates regularly come layered in a thin protective coating that might smell out of the box.
As the lacquer wears off with use, the smell will dissipate.
Many reviews criticize the scent for being “chemical-like,” but there is nothing about the coating that is dangerous or irregular.
Q: Are bumper plates better than other weight options?
Bumper plates are great for dynamic exercises that involve a lot of movement, throwing, tossing, dropping, or slamming.
For most people, bumper plates are probably the best option.
They’re durable, cause less damage, and will last longer under heavy use than their metal counterparts.
Q: Do bumper plates weigh less?
Ideally, all plates would weigh whatever amount is labeled.
Unless plates are officially calibrated (e.g. competition plates), there is always room for error in plate weights.
However, that applies to both bumpers and metal plates.
Q: Do bumper plates feel lighter?
Some lifters claim that a bar loaded with bumper plates moves more easily than metal weights.
There are a few potential reasons why bumpers might make a lift feel lighter.
First, bumpers tend to be wider than metal plates.
The wider the plates are, the further the weight will be distributed away from the center of gravity.
The thicker bumper plates will cause the bar to flex more, reducing the range of motion in lifts like the deadlift.
The extra flex will also contribute to a whipping motion of the bar, which can benefit bar reversal in the bench press or squat.
Q: How long do bumper plates last?
Bumper plates can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.
Q: Are bumper plates harder to lift than alternative weight plates?
Since bumper plates are often thicker and not fitted with grip holes, they can be more difficult to grip and carry around than metal plates.
However, there is nothing about bumper plates that would make any particular lift harder.
Q: Are thicker bumper plates better than thinner plates?
Thicker bumper plates are able to endure harder impacts. Lighter bumper plates (ex. 10lbs – 25lbs) can flex significantly when dropped.
A thin bumper plate can be bent, deformed, or snapped when enough force is applied.
Q: What is bad about bumper plates?
There aren’t many downsides to using bumper plates, and plenty of advantages.
However, bumper plates do come with a few caveats.
Foremost: price. Bumpers tend to be much more expensive per pound than alternative weight types – in many cases, two times over or more.
Secondly, bumper plates can certainly arrive with an undesirable scent.
The protective lacquer can leave small home gym spaces smelling a bit unsavory.
The smell won’t last forever, but it can be enough to turn people off at first.
Q: Can bumper plates be left outside?
Bumpers can be left outside, but it is not recommended.
The rubber material used by bumpers is fairly resilient to environmental conditions, but there’s nothing that nature can’t wear down with enough time.
If you do intend to leave your bumpers outside, try to keep them out of intense heat or heavy rain.
The metallic hub is susceptible to corrosion, and the rubber may degrade with elemental exposure.
Q: Can bumper plates be dropped?
Yes! Essentially, bumper plates are designed to be dropped.
Any lift that calls for dropping the weight from above waist level, the front-rack position, or from overhead should involve bumpers to minimize impact damage.
However, very few plate manufacturers recommend dropping lighter-weight bumpers on their own.
The thinner the plate is (e.g. 25 lb plates or under), the more deformation it will experience during impacts.
Many lifters have taken to reviewing 10 lb weight options poorly because they broke during a high-intensity Olympic weightlifting session.
While equipment failures are disappointing, we should understand there are reasonable limitations and handle our gear appropriately.
Q: Can you drop bumper plates on concrete?
Bumper plates can be dropped on any surface. For longevity’s sake, it is best to use a rubber matted floor when dropping bumpers.
While rubber plates absorb force much better than metal, concrete will still chip away at the material and put significant stress on the plates (especially thinner variants).
A rubber floor will provide some extra cushion to double up on the protective characteristics of bumpers.
Q: How to choose a bumper plate set?
When it comes to bumpers, what you see is typically what you get. Bouncy. Durable.
Competitive lifters should consider plates that are modeled after competition equipment.
Advanced lifters – lifting over 500lbs – might want to look at thinner bumper options to ensure they can fit enough weight on the bar.
Home gym owners should probably prioritize what’s best for their wallets.
Premium plate options are fantastic but are unnecessary for individuals looking to build a more casual weight set for non-competitive purposes.
For those desiring more straightforward metrics, evaluate the weight options (e.g. 2.5 lb to 55 lb or more), the width of each plate, and the bounce factor noted by reviews.
Depending on your gym’s aesthetic particulars, you may want to take heed of the color palette available.
Bumpers are optimal for weightlifters, CrossFitters, and anyone who has a penchant for throwing their weights around.
The rubber construction will keep your floors protected even from the most aggressive bar slammers.
When it comes to performance and preventing impact damage, there is no substitute for a good set of bumpers.
Our list has been balanced around price, performance, and a careful look at customer reviews. Take your pick and bounce with confidence.
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best bumper plates:
- HulkFit Bumper Plates (Best Bumper Plate Overall)
- AMGYM Bumper Plates
- Papababe Bumper Plate (Most Durable Bumper Plate)
- Day 1 Fitness Bumper Plates (Best Black Bumper Plates)
- BalanceFrom Bumper Plates
- PINROYAL Bumper Plates
- Steelbody Bumper Plates
- CAP Barbell Bumper Plates (Best Bumper Plate For Odor)
- Synergee Bumper Plates
- Lifeline Bumper Plates (Best Bumper Plate For Affordability)
What are your favorite bumper plates? Leave a comment below.
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