Metal vs Rubber, and the various other options: Pretty simple this: If you're going to have the weights overhead at any time or are likely to drop the bar at any time then you need rubber bumper plates. They bounce, won't destroy your floor or other equipment if they bump into it and are quiet. Good quality bumpers will last decades, but you get what you pay for, and not all bumpers are created equal. If you go cheap, some will mark, some fall apart and the metal insert in the centre may deform. On the other hand, go for quality, and you'll probably never have to replace them.