As stretch wristbands become more and more popular, many people wonder if there is any difference in the materials used as far as performance, longevity and potential health implications. Wristbands today may be marketed as silicone, rubber, or vinyl. What’s the difference?

Even though they are quite different materials, often the terms “silicone” and “rubber” are used interchangeably. In fact, you will be hard pressed to find any wristbands today made of actual rubber. While silicone is more expensive than rubber, the durability factor of silicone makes the slight extra cost well worth it. Also, silicone bracelets have an amazing propensity to return to its original size when stretched excessively, whereas rubber stretched too far may never be the same.

How does vinyl impact the conversation? While it is a bit less expensive than silicone, it also has a distinct odor. Also, silicone is much more elastic and will last far longer than vinyl. Vinyl makes sense for temporary use only. If you want your wristband to last, go with silicone.

Some wonder about the possibility that you might develop an allergic reaction to silicone. It turns out that very few people are actually allergic to silicone. Which is another reason so many bracelets use it. Most often other substances mixed in such as latex, a common allergen, cause the reaction.

The only difference between the terms “wristband” and “bracelet” are in the form of perception and marketing. When it comes to Reminderband.com products for example, the terms are used interchangeably just like silicone and rubber. Consequently, as people usually search for these items on a search engine, companies like Reminderband will use both terms as those searching might use any combination of the words.

In the end, most people prefer silicone to rubber and vinyl. It lasts longer, keeps its shape better and seldom causes any skin irritation.