Best Olympic Weight Plates For Home and Garage Gyms

Without weight plates, your barbell is pretty useless. The way to bigger and stronger muscles is progressive overload and if you don’t have a good set of plates, that’s going to be very hard to accomplish. There are tons of sets out there and not all of them are good. To make it easier, we’ve selected the three best sets of weight plates for your home or garage gym.

The best weight plates for a home or garage gym:

Why are those your best options? And which one should you choose? In the rest of this article, we’ll go into why this is.

How We Picked These Plates

Let’s see how we picked these plates first. That way you can see how these picks line up with your own requirements.

  • Olympic Style: These are all Olympic-style weight plates with 50mm/2” diameter holes that fit on Olympic barbells. 
  • Quality: Good weight plates can last for many decades with minimal care. 
  • Value For Money: While we’re picking the best options, these aren’t just the most expensive. They need to have the quality and features to back up their price. 
  • Features: We’ve looked at things like; Grip holes, metal inserts, rubber casing, etc. 

If you don’t have a barbell yet, check out the best Olympic barbells that fit these plates here.

Best Olympic Garage Gym Weight Plates

Best Overall Garage Gym Plates: XMark Texas Star

The best general-purpose gym weight plates come from XMark. Their Texas Star plates are high-quality and comfortable to use. These will last forever and look good while doing so. 

These plates are made from cast iron and then covered with rubber. Cast iron plates can last a very long time as long as you don’t abuse them. The rubber casing helps to protect them but also makes them more comfortable to handle. The rubber casing also helps to reduce the noise in your gym.

The downside of this rubber casing is that it will emit a chemical odor for a while after unpacking. This wears off over time and ventilating your gym well is recommended.

The plates have stainless steel inserts around the holes. This makes it much easier to slide the plates on and off the bar and protects the plates at the same time. The large grip holes also help make handling these plates easier.

What I don’t like about these plates is the weight indicator. It’s embossed in the rubber casing and not that hard to see but I’d like the numbers to be in a contrasting color to make it a bit easier to see the weight. All in all, a great weight plate that will last a long time, looks good, and is comfortable to use.

They are available in different sets. For people who don’t lift very heavy (yet), the 185-pound set is the best. It contains exactly the needed amount of plates to progress linearly without big jumps in weight. If you need more weight, go for the 365-pound set or add more 45s to the 185-pound set.


  • High Quality
  • Long-lasting
  • Rubber Casing protects your floor and equipment
  • Quiet
  • Stainless steel inserts
  • Large grip holes for easy handling


  • On the pricey side
  • Odor
  • Small weight indicator

Best Cheap Weight Plates: Cap Barbell Grip Plates

Just want weights for a low price per pound? You’re going to have to give up some features and quality but you can save a good chunk of money with these Cap weight plates.

They are cast iron plates, like the XMark ones but these aren’t covered in rubber. That means you’re just touching the metal exterior when grabbing these. The downsides of this are that they’re less comfortable to use, get damaged sooner, damage your floor or equipment a little easier, and are noisy.

The upside? They are a lot cheaper at a roughly 40% lower price than the XMark plates. You’re getting a lot of weight for your money and while there are some downsides, if you’re on a budget, these are a great choice. They will still last a long time but just be a bit less comfy to use.

They still have grip holes to make handling a bit easier. The exterior is enameled so the plates won’t rust although it is possible to chip off this coat. Using these plates in combination with a good rubber gym floor is recommended. As a nice bonus, the weight indicators are large and very easy to read.

They don’t come in complete sets so you’ll have to build your own set. You can find the perfect amount of weight plates you need here.


  • Very affordable
  • Easy-to-read weight indicators
  • Grip holes
  • Enameled exterior


  • No rubber casing = noisier, easier to get damaged
  • No metal inserts

Best Bumper Plates: REP FITNESS Bumper Plates

Are you an Olympic lifter, CrossFitter, or just like to drop weights from chest height or higher? You’ll need bumper plates instead of cast iron plates.

Not sure if you need bumper plates? Click here to find out. 

You might think all bumper plates are pretty much the same since they’re all made from rubber. That’s not correct and there are large differences between bumpers although they’re not always easily visible. The exact material and composition can impact; durability, bounce, smell, dimensions, and price.

REP Fitness bumper plates are very durable, high quality, have little bounce and barely smell. These are a great investment for your home gym.

REP Fitness isn’t the most well-known brand in the fitness space but they’re growing and for good reason. They make quality products for a decent price and their customer service is excellent.

Their bumper plates in particular are very high quality and stand up to a lot of abuse without problems. The 10-pound plates are made thicker than usual to protect them from folding when dropped which is a nice touch. These plates have been tested by dropping them 12,000+ times from 8′ high, which they survived!

The stainless steel inserts are molded into the low-odor rubber to make sure they can’t pop out. The low-odor rubber is a bigger deal than you might think because many plates can leave a chemical smell in your gym for up to weeks. That’s not an issue with these.

REP sells these plates in sets and that’s a great place to start. That saves you from buying all the plates separately. The 230 lbs. set is a great place to start since it comes with pairs of 10s, 25s, 35s, and 45s. So you got all the different weights you need right there and you can just add more 45s when needed.


  • Very Durable
  • Low odor
  • Great starter sets to choose from
  • Stainless steel inserts
  • From a great brand


  • Low odor but still smells bad for a while, just less than other types
  • Not the cheapest

What To Look For In Weight Plates

  • Plate Type: Weight plates are available in various types, including standard plates and Olympic plates. Standard plates have a 1-inch diameter hole and are designed for use with standard bars, while Olympic plates have a 2-inch diameter hole and are compatible with Olympic-sized bars. Ensure your plates match the bar you intend to use.
  • Material: Weight plates are typically made from cast iron, rubber-coated cast iron, or bumper plates made from rubber. Cast iron plates are durable and cost-effective but may be noisier and prone to chipping. Rubber-coated plates are quieter, protect your floor, and reduce the risk of chipping. Bumper plates are primarily designed for Olympic lifting and can survive when dropped, making them a must for Olympic-style lifts.
  • Accuracy: The actual weight of plates can differ quite a bit from the weight stated on them. Cheaper plates have bigger tolerances. For general fitness, this isn’t a big deal, if you’re training for a competition, it’s important.
  • Grip Design: Some weight plates feature ergonomic grip handles, making them easier to handle and load on the bar. Plates with this feature are called ‘grip plates’ and all that means there is a hole in the plate that makes it easier to grab. 
  • Price: Weight plates come in a wide price range. Consider your budget and the number of plates you need. It’s often more cost-effective to buy weight plates in sets rather than individually. Looking at the price per pound can give you a clearer idea of the price.
  • Aesthetics: While not a primary concern, weight plates come in various colors and designs. If aesthetics matter to you, choose plates that match your preference.
  • Warranty: Check if the manufacturer offers a warranty on the weight plates. A warranty can provide peace of mind in case of any defects or issues. 

What Kind Of Weight Plates To Avoid

When shopping for weight plates for your home gym, there are certain types of plates that you may want to avoid or be cautious about, depending on your specific needs and preferences. Here are some types of weight plates to consider avoiding or using with caution:

  • Standard Plates: Standard weight plates have a 1” inner hole. These don’t fit on Olympic barbells which are pretty much the new standard nowadays. There are some big benefits to using Olympic (2”) bars and plates so avoid the standard ones if you can. 
  • Plastic Plates: Plates made entirely of plastic are generally not recommended for serious weightlifting. They are less durable and may not withstand the stress of heavy lifting over time. Plastic plates are often seen as entry-level or for lighter fitness routines.
  • Sand-Filled Plates: Plates filled with sand are less dense and can be bulky. They are often less accurate in terms of weight. They also wear out faster. And when they break, you’ve got sand everywhere.
  • Plates with Sharp Edges: Inspect weight plates for sharp edges or rough surfaces that could cause injury or damage to your equipment. High-quality plates have smooth edges and surfaces.
  • Unbranded or Poorly Reviewed Plates: While there are reputable brands known for producing quality weight plates, unbranded or poorly reviewed plates may be of questionable quality. Stick to brands with a good reputation and read reviews from other users to gauge the quality of the plates.
  • Plates Without Weight Indicators: Weight plates should clearly indicate their weight, either through markings, embossing, or color-coding. Plates without proper weight indicators can be frustrating to work with, especially if you have multiple plates of different weights.
  • Plates Without a Warranty: Consider the warranty offered by the manufacturer. Plates without a warranty or with limited coverage may not provide adequate protection in case of defects or damage.