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Expert Shopper Sports & Fitness

Best weight plates

Which weight plates are best?

If you’re building a home gym, then weight plates are an essential addition. Weight plates give you the flexibility to increase the difficulty of practically any exercise. As you slam out reps and challenge your body, you want durable weight plates that will cause minimal damage to your home gym if dropped. 

Depending on your workout goals and personal preferences, you may be drawn to different types of weight plates. If you want some easily accessible weight plates considered by many to be the top choice, then perhaps try Rep Bumper Plates for Strength and Conditioning Workouts

What to know before you buy weight plates

Bumper vs. metal plates

The argument between rubber bumper plates or metal plates is ongoing. Keep in mind that neither is inherently superior to the other, but they each have certain benefits. If you plan on doing a lot of Olympic lifting or functional fitness training, you may prefer bumper plates. They are mostly rubber, so they can withstand dropping and slamming far better than metal plates. If you don’t plan on dropping anything and simply want a durable weight plate set, then metal weight plates can suit all your needs. 

Training goals

The style of your training and your fitness goals may make certain weights more suitable for your home gym. Rubber bumper plates are ideal for Olympic-style weight training, but metal plates are often preferred by powerlifters. If you’re just starting your fitness journey, choosing weight plates that are lighter in weight may serve you better. 

Gym setup

If you’re building a home gym, then you want to consider your setup. Is your floor concrete or wood? Do you have a gym mat to reduce the impact of dropped weights? Is there any reason you need to reduce the amount of noise from your workouts, out of consideration for neighbors or nearby napping children? The location of your home gym and the current setup can influence what weight sets are best for you. If you need something that will cause the least amount of damage and noise, rubber weight plates are ideal.

What to look for in quality weight plates


The best weight plates are either rubber or metal. You also have the option of sand or plastic, but these aren’t ideal if you’re looking for durability and consistency. Once you determine if you need bumper plates or if metal plates will suffice, you should consider each material more in-depth. For example, will recycled rubber plates work for you, or do you need weight plates that have less “bounce” and more density? If you’re going with metal plates, you should consider if you want iron or steel. If you’re a competitive powerlifter, search for weight plates that have been accurately calibrated so your weightlifting sessions are precise.


Examine the center ring of a weight plate in particular. Weight plates with the most longevity will have a stainless steel center ring. If it’s made of another material such as brass, it can scuff or dent easily. It also might rust if not properly cared for or stored in a poorly controlled environment such as a garage or unfinished basement.


Durability is essential when it comes to weight plates. While you’re not necessarily going to be dropping your weights, you want them to last as long as possible and hold up to the occasional drop. Durable weight plates tend to be more expensive. For example, urethane rubber weight plates cost more than crumb rubber plates, but they will last longer and hold up to your workouts better. For metal plates, typically, it’s worth paying extra for the rubber-coated metal plate to protect it from dents, rust and other damage.

How much you can expect to spend on weight plates

Weight plates usually cost between $1 and $4 per pound, so you can spend somewhere between $250 and $1,000 or more for a full set of weight plates.

Weight plates FAQ

What’s the best material for weight plates?

The best material for weight plates is debated among athletes and gym rats. Rubber bumper plates or either iron or steel plates tend to be the favorites. 

Can you mix and match weight plates?

Yes. If you’re working with matched pairs and calibrated plates, you can mix and match. Just make sure whatever weight you put on one side of the bar is equal on the other.

What are the best weight plates to buy?

Top weight plates

Rep Bumper Plates for Strength and Conditioning Workouts

What you need to know: Build your collection of durable weight plate sets with these reliable Rep bumper plates.

What you’ll love: With steel inserts, these low-bounce weight plates can last over 15,000 drops. They’re perfect for home gyms since their rubber material will keep your floors protected and noise dampened. 

What you should consider: These weights are best kept in locations with climate control, so they may not be ideal for garage gyms.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top weight plates for the money

CAP Barbell Olympic Grip Weight Plate

What you need to know: If you’re on the hunt for some affordable weight plates to build your home gym, these solid cast iron plates might help.

What you’ll love: Complete powerful strength-building exercises as you grow your weight plate connection. Available in 2.5, 5, 10, 25 and 45 pounds, you can put together a customized gym on a budget. Secure grips and black enamel coating make these weights convenient and durable.

What you should consider: Many users complain about quality control, specifically in terms of calibrated weights, accurate delivery and weight durability.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Fitness Gear Olympic Cast Plate

What you need to know: Intensify your workouts with these trustworthy Fitness Gear Olympic weight plates. 

What you’ll love: A heavy-duty cast iron construction guarantees years of use out of these weight plates. Ergonomic handles make adding and removing weights from your bar convenient. Pick and choose from six weight options to put together your ideal home gym.

What you should consider: Since they are cast iron, these weight plates may cause greater damage to your floors if dropped.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods


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Abbey Ryan writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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