If you're looking for good quality, affordable bumper plates which are quieter than most then these Fringe Sport bumpers are a good choice:
Made from slightly softer rubber than most bumper plates they will help dampen noise - read our review of them here.
Other quiet options include:
Bumper plates encase the iron in rubber which dampens noise while also protecting your floor and equipment from damage.
Bumper plates are obviously far quieter than the cast iron alternatives. Cast iron weights make a lot of impact sound due to the lack of dampening between the weight and the floor.
A big factor in the quietness of a bumper plate is the durometer of the rubber it uses.
Durometer is an international standard for measuring how hard rubber is.
While durometers will vary from one manufacturer to another as a general rule lighter plates will use higher durometers (harder rubber), up to a rating of 90, in order to give them more rigidity and durability, whereas heavier plates can use lower durometers (softer rubber), as low as a rating of 70, because they don’t need to be as rigid.
Lower durometer plates use softer rubber which is less rigid, more bouncy and better at dampening impact sound.
Lower durometer bumper plates are often made from recycled tire rubber which is vulcanized.
Vulcanization is a process which makes rubber stronger and improves its flexibility - perfect for bumper plates!
This means that if you are lifting 100kg then it is far quieter (and more practical) to use 4 x 20kg plates on your bar than it is to use 16 x 5kg plates as the 5kg plates have higher durometer and are therefore more rigid and will consequently make more impact sound.
So if you’re looking to make your bumper plates as quiet as possible always use the smallest number of plates you can for the weight you are lifting.
This also reduces impact noise between the plates as less weights plates cause less plate to plate impact noise and makes your gym quieter.
So lets get down to it, which bumper plates are the quietest?
If you’re training in your garage and you’ve got kids sleeping in the room above then the last thing you want is to wake them up with the noise of dropped weights.
Let's be clear though, even the softest of bumper plates will still make a good bit of noise, so if you are dropping weights from overhead we strongly recommend that you use some weightlifting drop pads (these are like giant cushions for your weights to land on) to reduce the noise.
Below are three of the best quiet bumper plates we found:
Primal Strength Hi-Temp bumper plate range is made using rubber with a durometer rating between 65-75, the lowest ratings of any featured on this page.
The smaller plates (10lb/4.5kg) are made of 75 durometer rubber as they require more rigidity due to how thin they are. Broader heavier plates use lower durometers down to a rating of 65 (the lowest we've seen anywhere) on the 44lb+ plates.
Durometer Rating: 65-75 (depending on plate size)The lower the durometer the softer, more bouncy and better at dampening sound the rubber is.
Primal use grain rubber which allows them to achieve lower durometers without compromising the durability of the plates.
Be aware that the bar may bounce a bit more than you are used to if you drop this directly onto a hard floor (we recommend you use a drop pad for maximum quietness).
They are much cheaper than Rogue plates (below) so deservedly occupy our top spot for being the best quiet bumper plates available.
Rogue are known for their quality gym products, and while they are pricer than most if you are looking for high-quality bumper plates which are extra quiet then these are the best choice.
They have a durometer rating of 75 which is about as low a durometer rating you would get on a bumper plate (with the exception of the Primal Strength Hi-Temp bumpers above), this means that the rubber used is as soft as possible.
On many cheaper plates this could be an issue as soft rubber is more prone to splitting.
Durometer Rating: 75The lower the durometer the softer, more bouncy and better at dampening sound the rubber is.
Rogue Hi-Temp bumper plates are built to a very high standard (they are rated best all-round plates in the U.S) from an almost indestructible composition of recycled vulcanized rubber and 2" stainless steel inserts. So you can be confident that they will last long and perform well while being quieter than many alternatives.
One thing to be aware of with these bumper plates is that because they are made from softer rubber, when dropped they tend to bounce slightly higher than cheaper bumper plates would.
Fringe Sport bumper plates are made using rubber with a durometer rating of 85 (for any plate that weighs more than 15lb - these are made with durometer ratings of 90 due to the need for extra rigidity on thinner plates).
Durometer Rating: 85The lower the durometer the softer, more bouncy and better at dampening sound the rubber is.
This is more rigid than the Rogue plates above however it is less than most other competitors which typically use durometer 90 rubber on their products.
Fun fact: Fringe Sport tested these plates by dropping them from 4 stories high and they didnt split (we’re pretty sure they made a lot of noise being dropped from that height though!).
These use marginally softer than average rubber making them slightly quieter than most plates, they are significantly cheaper than Rogue and due to their higher durometer are likely to be longer-lasting than both the Rogue and Primal Strength Hi-Temp bumpers so may be a good option for anyone looking for quiet(er) bumper plates on a budget that will last.