How Much Do Bumper Plates Cost? (17 Plates Compared)


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If you’re going to be doing any kind of Olympic lifting in your garage gym, then bumper plates are a must. Not just for the obvious reasons of dropping them on the floor, but iron plates don’t rotate like bumper plates which is a nightmare to try to clean with.

Like many things for a home gym, bumper plates can be expensive. But, exactly how much do bumper plates cost?

Bumper plates cost between $1.69 and $7.09 per pound with the average cost of a quality set of 20kg plates being about $3.33. Brand and type of plate – urethane, crumb rubber, etc – are the two key factors in how much a set of bumper plates will cost.

Trying to navigate the market for buying bumper plates isn’t easy. You can’t just head into your local sporting goods store or log onto Amazon, because many of the best quality (and value) bumper plates can’t be found at either of those places.

In this article, I’m going to give you some examples of how much high quality bumpers cost along with some more budget-friendly plates. I’ll also explain the difference between virgin rubber, urethane and crumb rubber plates and how those affect price as well.

Let’s get started.

Different Types of Bumper Plate

Not only is there a massive difference between iron plates and bumper plates, there is also distinct differences between bumper plates themselves.

I’m going to give you some info on what makes each type unique so hopefully you can have a better understanding of which type may work best for you.

One note before we get started. For the price comparisons, I am using the cost of a pair of 20kg plates. Hopefully, this makes comparing brands and types easier.

The Cost of Color

When comparing costs and deciding what plates you want for your own garage gym, one of the decisions you’ll have to make is whether or not you want colored plates.

Most lifters prefer the look of colored plates, the beautiful reds and blues of 25kg and 20kg plates, but adding color to plates will increase the cost.

I’ve gone with black plates (with a hint of color) multiple times for my plate purchases and haven’t regretted it a bit.

Virgin Rubber Bumper Plates

Titan and Uesaka Bumper Plates Front View
Side by side of the Titan 25lb Bumper and the Uesaka 10kg Bumper. The Center hub is slightly bigger on the Titan, but not a big difference in appearance overall (minus the branding of course). One thing is for sure, it’s definitely a good-looking plate.

Virgin rubber means that the rubber hasn’t previously been used for something else, in other words, it’s hasn’t been recycled.

Because of this, virgin rubber is denser, smoother and overall looks better. Virgin rubber plates also tend to perform better as well. They mold to center caps better, spin more smoothly and are generally more durable.

However, this also means that virgin rubber bumper plates are going to be more expensive as well.

If you’re going to be doing a lot of Olympic lifts, and especially if you are going to be focusing on Olympic lifts, it’s worth it to spend the extra money to get something of higher quality that is going to perform much better and, more than likely, last you longer.

How Much Do Virgin Rubber Plates Cost?

Many of the brands we looked at were around $275 for a pair of high quality virgin rubber plates.

The Rogue Competition plates were a bit higher and the Uesakas were much, much higher.

There is a reason why Uesaka plates have been used at the Olympics 6 different times and that reason is not that they’re cheap. I added them here because I have the Pro Series Bumpers in my garage gym.

Virgin Rubber Plates Cost Comparison
Brand Plate Cost Available At
Titan Elite Black Olympic Bumper Plates 219.98 Titan
Titan Elite Color Olympic Bumper Plates 279.98 Titan
Bells of Steel Competition Bumper Plates 279.99 Bells of Steel
Rogue Competition Plates (color) $330.00 Rogue
Rogue Black Training Plates $275.00 Rogue
Uesaka Competition Bumpers (color) $638.00 Uesaka
Uesaka Pro Series Bumpers (black) $506.00 Uesaka
Rep Fitness Competition Bumper Plates (color)* ** Amazon

*These are 45lb plates, not available in kg from what I can tell.

**Amazon doesn’t allow prices to be listed. The Rep Fitness plates are very comparable in price to the Titan and Rogue plates.

Economy Virgin Rubber Plates

While there are technically 3 different types of bumper plate, economy virgin rubber plates are either a sub-category of virgin rubber plates or actually the 4th different kind of bumper plate.

These plates are made of virgin rubber like the group we just discussed, however the center caps and most often the overall width, of the plates are different.

Instead of having a full center cap (which balances the plate and holds the outer rubber area in place), these plates will have a minimal (very thin) center cap. This issue and I’ve witnessed this first hand, is these thinner center caps have a tendency to come loose and cause issues.

They also will not rotate nearly as smoothly or feel as well balanced when performing Olympic lifts.

Having said all that, they have one big thing going for them – price. Most economy virgin rubber plates look much better than the crumb rubber plates I’ll discuss in a second, but are still a fraction of the price of quality virgin rubber plates and the urethane plates I’ll discuss next.

How Much Do Economy Virgin Plates Cost?

The economy plates that I looked up all fell in the range of $200 to $250 dollars. So, you’re looking at about a 25% drop in price compared to the high quality sets above.

Personally, I think it’s well worth it to spend the extra money, but ultimately that really depends on your lifting needs.

Economy Virgin Rubber Plates Cost Comparison
Brand Plate Cost Available At
Griffin Fitness Black Bumper Plates* $199.99 Griffin Fitness
Rogue Rogue HG 2.0 Bumper Plates $210.00 Rogue
Rep Fitness Black Bumper Plates $229.99 Rep Fitness
BalanceFrom Everyday Essentials Plates (color)* ** Amazon

*These are 45lb plates, not available in kg from what I can tell.

**Amazon doesn’t allow prices to be listed. The Rep Fitness plates are very comparable in price to the Rep Fitness plates.

Urethane Bumper Plates

Urethane bumper plates are a strong alternative to virgin rubber plates. Urethane is a man-made material that is very similar to rubber, but is slightly harder.

Because of this, Urethane plates have a lot less bounce than rubber plates. When you lift with urethane plates for the first time, the lack of bounce is very noticeable. The bar hits the ground almost like dead weight.

Outside of that, you probably won’t notice a lot of differences between urethane and virgin rubber. Some people like the look of rubber plates more, but if you want custom engraving then urethane will hold logos and lettering much better (due to the hardness of the material).

Price-wise, the two are very similar, with urethane plates being just a touch more expensive than the virgin rubber plates as you’ll see in the chart below.

How Much Do Urethane Plates Cost?

There are much fewer companies that make urethane plates compared to rubber plates. I was only able to pull two sets of urethane plates, but they both ended up being almost the exact same price – just over $300.

Urethane Plates Cost Comparison
Brand Plate Cost Available At
Titan Color Urethane Bumper Plate $309.98 Titan
Rogue Urethane Plates* $315.00 Rogue

*These are 45lb plates, not available in kg from what I can tell.

Crumb Rubber Bumper Plates

Bumper Plate Leaning On Rack
Sorinex Recon Lite Plate. I avoid using them on lifts where the bar needs to rotate, but they work great for everything else.

Crumb Rubber Plates, also known as recycled rubber plates, are the third type of plate.

Whereas the differences between virgin rubber and urethane are relatively small, crumb rubber plates are very different.

They are made with recycled rubber. The small type of rubber that you’ll find on most turf fields now is essentially glued together and formed into plates.

They’re typically much larger than the other two types (specifically much wider) and most (but not all) will have a very high bounce when dropped. They’re often times built with much smaller center caps that have a tendency to come loose over time.

The appeal of recycled rubber plates is their cost. You can find crumb rubber plates for almost half the cost of some of the higher end rubber and urethane plates.

How Much Do Crumb Rubber Plates Cost?

A pair of 45-pound crumb rubber plates are going to cost you between $152 and $195. By far the cheapest out of the different types of plates.

But, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for and I strongly believe that saying applies here. However, if all you need are some bumpers for the occasional met-con or deadlifts then, by all means, save the money and use it elsewhere.

Crumb Rubber Plates Cost Comparison
Brand Plate Cost Available At
Bells of Steel Crumb Bumper Plates – Colour Fleck* $194.99 Bells of Steel
Rogue Bumper Plates by Hi-Temp* $165.00 Rogue
Sorinex Recon Lite Bumpers* $152.00 Sorinex

*These are 45lb plates, not available in kg from what I can tell.

Don’t Forget Shipping Costs

When you’re doing price comparisons for equipment, whether it’s bumper plates or squat racks, don’t forget about shipping costs.

Most gym equipment is pretty heavy and shipping can be quite costly depending on the company.

Some companies, like Titan and Bells of Steel, ship everything for free which can end up being a game changer when it comes to the final price. Other companies will have shipping deals like Rogue’s “3 Ships Free” program.

Which Type of Bumper Is Best?

Personally, I’m going to say spend the money and buy as high a quality of bumpers as you can.

I think there are two places where you should invest as much as you can in your garage gym – your barbell and your plates. You can get away with cheaper alternatives in a lot of other areas, but your barbell and your plates (two things you’ll use almost every single day) both demand quality.

Having said that, every person is different and every person’s needs from their equipment are different as well.

For instance, if you have no plans on ever doing an Olympic lift or dropping a bar with plates on it then you may not need bumper plates at all.

Aside from the urethane plates (which I’m just not a fan of), decide what style of plate fits best with the lifting you’re going to do as well as your budget.

 

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Ryan Horton

Horton Barbell was created by Ryan Horton who has served as a Sports Performance Coach for almost 20 years. My mission is to create a training resource to help as many coaches and athletes as possible maximize athletic potential.

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