Shopping for weight plates can be a little bit confusing. What price should you expect to be paying for weight plates? I’ve put a lot of numbers together and here are the results.
The average price for weight plates is $1.83 per pound. Heavier plates are cheaper per pound than lighter plates. Coated plates cost the most with an average price of $2.14/lbs., closely followed by bumper plates at $1.95 per pound. Cast iron plates are significantly cheaper and cost $1.42 per lbs. on average.
If you want more detailed information about what you should expect to pay for weight plates, keep reading. Or you can click here to find which plates I recommend.
Weight plates prices
Before we get into the numbers, here are a few things you should know to understand them better.
- I’ve looked at 24 different sets of weight plates. While that’s far from every option that’s out there, it should provide a decently accurate picture of what’s out there.
- There is a mix of brands, types and qualities.
- The plate weights looked at are consistent between all sets. For every model, I’ve looked at 45, 35, 25, and 10 lbs. plates.
- Most models are available in more weights but the chosen weights are available in every model. This makes comparison easier.
- The “set” price is the price for 2×45, 2×35, 2×25 and 2×10. Your set might look different but it’s a good way to see the price differences between models overall.
- The prices are current MSRP prices without shipping & handling or accessories. It’s certainly possible to get pretty deep discounts on some of these models if you shop around at the right time.
- I’ve taken out the brand and model names since they don’t really matter that much and most brands and retailers don’t particularly like prices being advertised in a place where they aren’t updated hourly.
With all that out of the way, let’s take a look at the numbers.
|Type||Price set||$ per lbs.|
As you can see, the average price per pound for a set of weight plates is $1.83. That’s average of all the plates. Something to note is that bigger/heavier plates are more expensive in total but cheaper per pound.
But we can also take a look at the different weights.
- The average 45 lbs. plate costs almost $75 for a whole plate or $1.68 per lbs.
- The average 35 lbs. plate costs $60.81 for a whole plate or $1.77 per pound.
- The average 25 lbs. plate can be bought for $45 or $1.83 per pound.
- The average 10 lbs. plate will set you back a little more than $23 which is $2.39 per lbs.
As you can see the price per pound goes up quite dramatically the smaller the plate gets. Because a manufacturer still has the fixed cost for casting, designing, testing, etc. and there are fewer pounds to divide those costs over, the price goes up.
On the plus side, smaller plates are a lot cheaper overall so it doesn’t feel too bad when you have to pay.
Those numbers don’t tell the whole story though. There are three different types of plate and they all come at different price points. The three different types are;
- Bumper plates
- Cast iron plates
- Coated plates
Bumper plates are completely made out of rubber. Cast iron plates are iron inside and out while coated plates are steel with a rubber or urethane. Let’s see what the differences are.
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How expensive are bumper plates?
First let’s take a look at bumper plates.
|Type||Price set||$ per lbs.|
Bumper plates are a bit more expensive than average. And there is also quite a wide variety of prices.
The average price per pound for bumper plates is $1.95. That’s a bit higher than general but not too bad although it adds up when buying hundreds of pounds.
The prices range from about $1.50 to $2.84. That’s a pretty wide range although most models are pretty close to the $2 mark.
Again we can see the plates getting more expensive per pound the lighter they get.
- Average 45 lbs. bumper plate: $82.09 per plate which means $1.82 per pound.
- Average 35 lbs. bumper plate: $65.32 for the whole plate/ 1.87 per pound.
- Average 25 lbs. bumper plate costs $49.06 which is 1.96 per pound.
- Average 10 lbs. bumper plate: $27.82 which is 2.78 per pound.
So you can see that the smaller plates are quite a lot more expensive per pound. Because bumper plates of all weights have the same diameter, they have to become thinner to get lighter. 10 lbs. bumper plates are quite thin with a large diameter with makes them a bit more difficult to make strong enough.
How expensive are rubber coated plates?
Next up, coated plates.
|Type||Price set||$ per lbs.|
These are surprisingly enough a bit more expensive than bumper plates. Probably because they require more actions to be finished since there is an iron plate on the inside and the rubber layer has to be put on top of this.
The average price for coated plates is $2.14 per pound. With prices ranging between $1.78 and $.2.46 per pound, it’s still possible to get coated plates that are reasonably cheap.
- The average 45 lbs. coated plate costs a little more than $90. This means $2 per pound.
- 35 lbs. coated plates cost $75.96 on average. That makes the average price per pound $2.17.
- 25 lbs. coated plates cost $53.18 on average which means that for some reason the average per pound is only $2.13 which doesn’t fit the trend of smaller plates being more expensive per pound.
- 10 lbs. coated plates are $25.90 per plate which is $2.59 per pound.
Surprisingly the brands that you would expect to be cheaper are actually asking more money for these plates so there is no reason to not get plates from some of the highly regarded brands.
How expensive are cast iron plates?
Finally, let’s look at the simple but effective cast iron plates.
|Type||Price set||$ per lbs.|
Cast iron plates are by far the cheapest option. On average a set of cast iron plates will only cost you $1.42 per pound. That’s $0.39 less than the total average and a whopping $0.72 per pound cheaper than the coated plates. If you’re buying 300 pounds or more, that really adds up.
- Cast iron 45 lbs. plates cost $59.72 for the whole plate on average. That is $1.33 per pound.
- 35 pound cast iron plates cost $49.59 which is $1.42 per pound.
- 25 lbs. cast iron plates are $36.20 a piece which is $1.45 per pound
- 10 lbs. cast iron plates cost an average $16.59 which is $1.66 per pound.
As you can see cast iron plates are the cheapest option and you’ll get the most amount of weight for your dollars.
Which type of plate is best for your home gym?
Which type of weight plate should you get for a home gym?
For people that are into Olympic style lifting where you lift the weights above your head and then proceed to drop them to the floor, bumper plates are the only viable option. Other types of plates won’t last long if you treat them like that, even if you’ve got a good gym flooring or weightlifting platform.
If dropping weights isn’t something you regularly do, bumper plates are not necessary although you can still get them if you like. Cast iron plates or coated plates are probably a better option since they just take up a lot less space.
Cast iron plates are by far the cheapest although they have a few drawbacks. If you’re using cast iron plates, you’ll need good gym flooring to dampen the noise. Cast iron plates can create quite a bit of noise from banging on the floor but also from banging together.
Coated plates fix that problem and are just nicer to handle and stub your toe against. They are quite a bit more expensive however.
If you can afford it, coated plates are the best option for most home gyms. If your budget is limited, go for cast iron plates and make sure you get decent gym flooring or a weightlifting platform. The money you save is probably best spent in getting a better barbell.
Can weight plates break? Yes, metal and rubber weight plates can break although it isn’t common. The biggest reason plates break is a sharp impact. To prevent damage it’s good to lower your weights in a controlled manner and have good gym flooring.
Can you make cast iron plates quieter? The best way to quiet down your cast iron plates is to put thick rubber or PVC tape all around the outer rim of theweight plates. This way there won’t be any metal on metal contact. To help quiet down your gym even more putting down good gym flooring helps a lot.
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