Bumper Plates Vs Iron Plates

Bumper Plates Vs Iron Plates

Bumper Plates Vs Iron Plates

Talking about exercise and fitness, weights have been quite famous in the fitness industry for the last few decades. People from centuries ago used kettlebells, dumbbells, plummets, and weight plates for strength training, and honestly this fitness fad does not seem like fading.

Although body-weight, callisthenic and yoga-based exercises were practiced by the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Indians, and other cultures, the ancient Greeks are credited with developing the earliest forms of modern weight training equipment.

Source: The History of Exercise Equipment

Weightlifting champions and Olympic participants are using bumper plates more than ever before, to increase their fitness level. But if you look online, you'll come across two types of plates – bumper plates and iron plates. What's the difference between them? Let’s dig deep to understand.

It’s certainly difficult to pick the best among bumper plates and iron plates, since, both of them have characteristics of their own. You can go with bumper plates, as their rubberized coating will considerably reduce the noise along with assuring your floor safety, particularly, in the event of accidental drops. On the other hand, you stay with iron plates to feel that cringing sound iron makes that keeps the traditional gym-style ambiance alive. So, both stays even-steven till now as you can proceed with either of them. That’s where we felt to get into some details on explaining how they both are different and what stays the best option.

Lower chances of injury occurrence

Rubber upholstery of bumper plates not only helps in keeping the noise at a minimum during workouts but also prevents calluses or other palm injuries that normally occur to people using iron plates. What of the two will hurt your feet more, if the 20kg rubber weight plate falls on your feet vs a 20kg iron weight plate? Of course, the 20kg iron weight plate is going to hurt more, not because of the weight but due to the sturdiness of cast iron. Hence, if you are more concerned about your safety during the exercises, you got to go with bumper plates as relatively they are safer. This doesn’t mean you should disregard the importance of iron plates, read the next point to know why.


Iron weight plates without a doubt are long-lasting as you’ll see them get rusty or faded out of color, but they’ll stay the weights and for a very long time as well. Unlike, bumper plates that start to lose their shape after a period of use, say a year or two, particularly, if you give up on their maintenance. So, if you would like to bring your barbell some weights that would stay the weights for say like 5 or 10 years, then the iron weight plates are what you need to own.


If you are looking for weight plates, so you can connect them with barbells for some weight lifting drills, then saying anything on grip would be useless, as both of them will do the job. Grip jumps in when you are buying weight plates to perform other workouts as well, such as squats, push-ups, front shoulder raise, and more. So, what do you think will serve as a good grip on your hands? Bumper plates of course, because of the rubberized coating. The iron plates, on the other hand, will get slippery, especially when your hands get sweaty and you have to sweat buckets during workouts we believe, so your workout gets fruitful. Guess what, that will leave bumper plates as the best option available. Tada! We are 2 – 1 so far with the iron plates and bumper plates. Let’s try to level this up with the next point.

If you want to weigh in on the budget

If you are looking to go for a budgeted option of the two, you need to go with the iron weight plates, since they cost much lower than bumper plates. The reason bumper plates cost relatively higher is that they require extra efforts from the expert artisans that they need to put for upholstery and more. Longevity and lower cost are getting our bumper plates on the top, so where are you heading so far? Wait, don’t just decide now as we are getting a bit deeper in our discussion with the next point coming your way, just when you stop reading this and get to the next.

What about Aesthetics?

Both the iron plates and bumper plates look the same, aren’t they? From a distance, yes they'll appear the same, just the iron plate will look like the lower weight set of the bumper plate. But, if you put them together, you’ll see they are quite different. Yes, it’s a bit confusing, so let’s understand it with an example. Say you have two weight plates, one 10 kg iron and the other 10 kg bumper plate, now when you put them together, you can see they appear very different. 10 kg bumper plate, in particular, is a bit denser since it’s deeply coated with rubber, while the iron plate will appear slender. So, which of the two appear decent? Depends on your preference, but the bumper plate will get my vote because that normally is skillfully detailed, but you can say the iron plates look more delicate, and rightly so, since, it depends on the matter of choice.       

Which of the two will fit your barbell?

That's the right question to ask since you mostly need weight plates to connect to the gym rods for different strength training exercises. Fortunately, both of these weight plates arrive with holes of various diameters. So if you know what weight plate will suit your barbell, you quite certainly are going to find the desired fit in both the bumper and iron constructed.  

Which one is widely used?

If you are a gym-goer, you can find both the weight plate sets, as you have the option to go for either of the both. In general, people prefer bumper plates over iron plates, maybe they don't like the cringing iron sound or seeing that cast-iron getting rusty with time. But you don’t have to go with the majority as you are the one who will be training with it unless you are a gym owner who’s looking to add some new weights on the shelf.

Who’s winning?

I think both of them are good training accessories and choosing one over the other depends on your personal preferences. The idea was to enlighten you with some facts about both of these pieces of equipment, so you can easily decide which one to go for.

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