Exercise with the best weight plates for home gym to gain the most muscle for your body. Here are top rated standard and Olympic weight plates and sets.
You’re ready to move on from training with dumbbells to training with weight plates in a set. A weight set is a pretty straightforward piece of equipment, but you still need to find the one that best suits you. You could buy the wrong set and end up with an overpriced paperweight!
Fortunately, making a decision requires knowing just a few good criteria. We review five of the best weight plates for home gym and show you the pros and cons of each. Each brand covers a certain category, both individual plates and weight sets. Whether you’re looking for the best value for money, or the most complete weight set, we’ve got you covered.
To help you find out which weight plates are the best for your situation, here are 5 choices of weight plates for sale that come in standard and Olympic sizes:
Best Weight Plates for Home Gym (2017 Update)
1 – CAP Barbell Olympic 2-Inch Grip Plate
The best overall weight plate. The CAP Barbell brand takes the top spot on our list. This 2-inch Olympic Grip Plate is the top rated on our list because it is one of the cheapest options available that has grips. The weight is made of solid cast iron and has cut outs that make it easy for you to grip and handle. The size options are as follows:
- 2.5 lbs
- 5 lbs
- 10 lbs
- 25 lbs
- 35 lbs
- 45 lbs
This plate doesn’t look pretty but it gets the job done. The price is very cheap and comparable to the CAP Barbell 300-Pound set. But the low price of this plate comes at the cost of quality control.
Many customers complain that quality control is loose on this product. There are some manufacturing inconsistencies, even among weights bought by the same person. Some weights are smooth, while others have rough edges. A customer even cut his hand from gripping the sharp edges of this weight.
Among the defects that you may encounter include holes that don’t fit onto an Olympic sized bar. You may need to sand or file the hole so it can fit onto your bar. The weights are sometimes inaccurate, up to almost 5 lbs overweight (for the 45 lbs plate) as measured by a buyer. For some people, the inaccuracies are less than this and they don’t mind about it; but for other people, accuracy of weight is important exercises such as deadlifts.
Though quality control could be better, it’s tough to find a solid weight that has a lower price than this CAP Barbell one. If you are looking for simple weights that get the job done at a good price, this one lands the top choice on our list.
2 – US Weight F0105E
The best value for money. The US Weight F0105E is a simple weight set that’s great for beginners or people needing a cheap set. The set consists of two 20 lbs, four 10 lbs, and four 5 lbs weight plates for a sum of 105 lbs. You also get six locking spring clips, one straight bar (4 lbs) and two dumbbell bars. The straight bar is made with nonslip grips and designed to reduce the stress from weight lifting. The weights are filled plastic, resistant towards rust, and not harmful to your floor.
This set is for lifters who don’t have a big budget to spend on expensive gear. It’s nothing fancy but it’s good enough to get basic workouts done. If you’re a seasoned lifter, this set can be a second set other than your main set that you use for quickly changing weights. This set is good for a certain weight limit, but once you start to lift weights more than 105 lbs, you may want to get a new set.
This set is good for a home gym. It doesn’t have as many weight combo options like a gym, but it’s good enough for most basic needs. The weight size that is missing from this set are 2.5 lbs plates. Several customers wish that this set came with 2.5 lbs plates so they can lift weights with smaller increments than 10 lbs (5 lbs on each side). You can always buy the 2.5 lbs separately if you need it.
The problem with this set is that many customers receive missing pieces in their shipment. Some customers report that they received only half of the advertised weights. The pieces that are often missing are the spring clips used to hold the plates. Without the clips, customers can’t use the set, at least not effectively and safely. Even when the clips are complete, many customers complain that they’re too tight on the bar – making it a hassle to open and change weights between sets.
One dangerous occurrence reported by a customer is that the bar broke in half. The good news is that the customer service is responsive towards customer complaints. You can report the missing pieces to receive replacements. Another option is to buy just the weights you need rather than a whole set. It could save you money and space in your home gym.
3 – Champion Olympic Grip Plate
The best affordable weight plate. The Champion Barbell Olympic Grip Plate is a sturdy plate that does what it does. It’s an Olympic sized plate with grips that make it easy for you to pick up and handle. The plates have a wide size option, ranging from 2.5 lbs to 100 lbs.
The 2.5 lbs allow you to add small weight increments if you find yourself hitting a weight plateau. The 100 lbs make it quick for you to load once you start using heavy weights for heavy workouts.
The downside to these plates is that you may get ones that have chips on them. But if you don’t care about how these weight plates look, then it’s not a problem. In short, this weight plate has a low cost that gives you Olympic plates at the price of standard ones.
4 – CAP Barbell 300-Pound Olympic Set
The best complete weight set. The CAP Barbell 300-pound Olympic set is a weight set made for people to want to start or expand their home gym without breaking their budget. The set includes several weight plates, spring clip collars, and a 7-ft Olympic bar. The weights are as follows:
- 2 x 45 lbs
- 2 x 35 lbs
- 2 x 25 lbs
- 2 x 10 lbs
- 4 x 5 lbs
- 2 x 2.5 lbs
The total weight is 255 lbs with a 45 lb bar. The weights are made of cast iron and grip design on the plates make it easy for you to pick them up. With the amount of weights you get, this set is good for advanced weight training exercises. You can always buy separate weights and add them to the set but be careful about how much weight you put on the bar.
If you’re a beginner, this set may be too much for you since you won’t be using the heavy weights for a while. But it’s still a good investment that allows you to grow into the set instead of growing out of it. This set is a more expensive than others on our list, but it is still a good value set for starters. Shipping weights this heavy can cost $100+, but you may qualify for free shipping from certain stores.
Similar to the US Weight F0105E, the bar that comes with the CAP set has many complaints. One buyer reported that his bar broke just two weeks after using it. Another customer says her bar broke after five months of using only the weights that come with the set. The bar scratches easily too so it leaves flakes on your hand and other places. You may want to buy a separate, more expensive bar to give you more safety than this one.
Though the bar may not be what you need for the long run, the weights do the job. Sometimes, the weights have excess rubber in the inner parts that make it difficult to slide it onto the bar. You can smooth out the excess rubber with a file. Some weights or parts could be missing in your shipment, depending from where you purchase them. Make sure to check that you have received all your packages, since weights like these are shipped in multiple shipments.
5 – 44SPORT Olympic Fractional Plates
The best fractional plates. The last rated weight set on our list fills a niche of its own. The 44SPORT Olympic Fractional Plates come in “micro” sizes to help you break through any weight lifting plateau. The weights come in the following pairs:
- 2 x 0.25 lbs
- 2 x 0.5 lbs
- 2 x 0.75 lbs
- 2 x 1 lbs
The total amount of weight is 5 lbs for this set. The weights are made for standard 2-inch diameter Olympic bars. They are color coded to make it easy for you to identify the weight sizes but many customers wish the weight labels are painted with black marker to make the numbers easier to read.
Fractional plates fill the niche where you need small increments of weight. Some people hit a plateau and can’t lift a set that is 5 lbs heavier than their max weight. When that happens, you can use these plates to “micro-load” and add as little as half a pound to your set, making the difference small and easy. Most people won’t notice the extra weight but they will make progress.
Some customers report that the paint thickness causes some of the weights to not fit on a bar. You can overcome this by having off the excess paint. You can also contact customer support, as 44SPORT has responsive support and are willing to send you replacements.
This set has a lower price compared to other brands of fractional plates. But compared to other weight sets, fractional plates cost more money per pound than other sets. If you are looking for a full weight set, then this set is definitely not for you. But if you are reaching plateaus and need to add very small weights, then this set is a great fit.
Weight Plates Buyer’s Guide
As mentioned before on this website, working out using free weights is an excellent choice. It trains multiple muscle groups at once, so you can get stronger with less exercise (than if you were to use machines which mainly train a certain muscle group). To do this type of routine, you need to have both weight lifting bars and weight plates to put on the bars.
When you already have a bar, you put on weights to the bar to start exercising. The amount of weight you put on depends on whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been working out for a long time. If you are just beginning, you’ll probably use lighter weights to find out first how much you can lift. If you have been lifting for some time, you can incrementally add heavier weights to strengthen your muscles.
With all the available choices of weight plates, what criteria are important to consider when it comes to choosing one? At first glance, these are only weight plates – surely they all do the same function? You may think so, but there are a few differences that may make you favor one brand over the other.
1. The Type of Weight Plate
There are two types of weight plates that we review here. One is the standard size one, and the other is the Olympic size one. The Olympic size plates are made to fit onto Olympic sized bars (2 inch) while the standard size fits onto a standard size bar. Depending on what equipment you have at home, you have to make sure that the weight plate you buy fits the size of your bar (you can also buy a complete weight set so you don’t have to be confused about different types of weights). Although it sounds easy, some customers still buy the wrong type weight – so be careful and make sure you get the right one.
2. The Weight of the Weight
You may want to buy small weights or heavy weights depending on your progress in weight lifting. There are fractional plates if you need very small weights when you hit a weight lifting plateau. You have the option of buying a full set of weights that give you a wide variety but at a high cost. Or you could buy weights one pair at a time to save money as you progress along your growth.
One thing to notice is that some brand of weights are inaccurate compared to others. The weights we review on this list are on the low price side, and they are not completely accurate. If you want very accurate weights, you can buy the high quality brands but they come at a much higher cost than the ones here that have a low cost. Though the weights on this list are inaccurate, they are still within an acceptable range of percentage. They won’t significantly affect your workout.
3. Iron Cast or Rubber Coated
Concerning the material of the weight plates, you can choose ones that are iron cast or ones that have rubber coating. The ones with rubber coating are less damaging to your floors than the iron cast ones when you drop your weights to the floor. But the rubber coated ones tend to have a higher price than the iron cast ones, for the same level of quality. Other than that, they have different aesthetic values: iron cast weights have a ‘rough’ look to them, while rubber coated ones have a ‘clean and neat’ look. Depending on your taste and whether how your gym looks is important or not, you may find that the rubber coated ones suit you better than the iron cast ones.
Other than the three criteria above, the last criteria to consider is your budget limit. Although a weight is just a weight, some brands cost significantly more than other brands. The good news is that most of the plates we review here have a budget friendly cost. Most of them cost around $1 per lb depending on where you purchase them (before adding shipping fees, if any). The fractional plates cost more than $1 per lb, but that is only if you need incremental gains on your sets. A path you can take is to first use the budget friendly weights, and then buy the higher quality ones when you feel the need.
Start Making Progress with Smaller Weights
A good weight plate is one that fits tightly on your bar (whether standard or Olympic sized), and has an accurate weight (meaning it weighs exactly as it is displayed). Sometimes though, manufacturing errors do occur, and you might get a plate that doesn’t fit tightly or weight a bit more or less.
Even so, using weight plates to do free weight exercises are a great way to slowly progress through your weight training. You can start using lighter weights and then use the smaller weights to add your load. Alternatively, you can use dumbbells with ready made weights to make things easier. It’s a good way to train your strength without adding too much weight and risk injuring yourself.