Bumper plates are a specific type of weight plate that are used with Olympic barbells. The plates are encased in a dense rubber that surrounds a steel collar or “insert” in the middle of the weight.
Bumpers plates can be made with virgin rubber or recycled rubber, with the former being a more expensive and usually more dependable option thanks to a more dead bounce and a longer-lasting rubber.
These products are often used to protect flooring since they don’t produce the same impact as traditional metal plates. They are also often considered a safer and more practical option.
You can usually find black bumper plates and color bumper plates, with the latter offering the same build factor with the advantage of a standardized color-coded weight system.
How we determine the top-rated bumper plates:
- We look at the durometer rating from 1-100. A score of 100 features the lowest possible bounce.
- We examine the steel insert design. Newer hook-based designs tend to be more durable.
- The look of the products also plays a small part even though it’s superficial.
- The materials used also matter. This includes stainless steel inserts, virgin rubber, etc.
- Warranties also matter because they speak to the company’s belief that their bumper plates are super durable.
- Finally, we look at the price of bumper pairs. Just because an item is an entry-level bumper plate it doesn’t mean we won’t rank it high. If you’re shopping based on price, you’ll find a few decent options in our top 10.
Not all options are created equal and not every person needs the most expensive plates on the market. We actually believe a decent middle-of-the-road plate is good enough for most garage gym owners. Whether you’re seeking a budget-friendly option or a competition-rated selection, we’ve got something for everyone and our list is always changing as we review more products.
When buying weight plates be sure to check if they are being sold in pairs. Typically these plates are sold this way or as a set, which can save you money because of a bulk buy.
Do you have a high-quality bumper plate you want to see reviewed? Drop us a note in our “submit a product” section.