Nowadays, a great number of people choose resistance bands for exercise and physical therapy, which are usually used for total body workouts, particularly for strength training. They are also used for training injured muscles so that they can go back to performing healthily.
However, there are quite a few choices of these bands in the market, such as different materials, colors, sizes, kits, etc. Among them, the most concern by everyone is the difference in the materials of these products.
So today, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the two resistance band materials, specifically latex and TPE. Now, let’s get for it.
Latex resistance bands:
Latex refers to the natural rubber extracted from natural trees that solidify in the air. Typically, it is composed of about fifty-five percent water and around forty percent rubber material.
Latex can be used in many different ways, such as balloons, gloves, etc. but today, we will focus on resistance bands.
- Eco-friendly And Biodegradable:
What is latex made of? The simplest answer: latex is rubber. And the truth is, natural rubber latex does, in fact, come from nature. It’s completely pure, so it breaks down easily and understandably helps the environment because it’s completely biodegradable.
- Soft, Better Elasticity:
Latex is known for its ability for stretching, and it has more elasticity. This makes it a great material for resistance bands. In addition, latex can be stretched by many times and still retain its original shape and keep from tearing.
- Washable, Long Service Life:
Natural latex rubber is a durable elastomer that resists tears and abrasions. It has a long service life as it has low internal friction and consistent elongation. When you have sweat on the tape after using the product, you can wash it. What should be noted is that latex resistance bands should be washed in warm water, without soap or detergent. Carefully wipe off excess moisture with a soft towel and allow to dry.
Several people are allergic to latex, and if they use resistance bands consisting of it, the reactions can be quite harsh. They can cause itching, rashes, tightening of the chest, etc. and these usually happen within a few moments of contact. However, scientific statistics show that less than 1% of people are allergic to latex.
- Drying Up:
Latex resistance bands may start to become brittle for improper preservation, as the moisture in them tends to dry up. To prevent this or keep it from happening for as long as possible, please protect your bands from direct sunlight and lubricate them regularly.
- A little expensive:
Because latex comes from a natural resource, it is rare. And the cost of manual collection is higher, so the price will be a little bit expensive than other kinds of rubber.
TPE resistance bands:
TPEs are a family of rubber, like materials that combine the characteristics of rubber with the recyclability and processing advantages of plastics. Like thermoplastics, when heated, TPEs become free-flowing and when cooled regain their original structure and stability, and this makes it possible to re-use all production waste, and end of life products can be easily reprocessed.
TPE is made artificially, regardless of the number of natural resources, and the technology is now developed, so its cost has come down.
It is known that TPE resistance bands are an alternative to latex resistance bands, for these bands are great for people with latex allergies. They are safe to use on their bodies and do not cause any harsh reactions or breakouts.
Unlike other natural rubber, resistance bands made of TPE do not tend to go brittle and dry out over time. And in fact, they are better at resisting the effects of ozone and ultraviolet or UV radiation, which is great as that makes them very durable.
- Less Elasticity
When it comes to the elasticity scale, TPE would be at a comparative disadvantage. Unlike latex, TPE resistance bands are made of artificial plastic. It is actually easy to lose their ability to retain their shape and even break and injure their users.
TPEs aren’t practically biodegradable in the greenest terms and some of the constituents have been created using high energy.
To sum up, there is a table summarizing the advantages and disadvantages of both materials as follow:
|Soft, Better Elasticity||Non-Allergic|
|Washable, long service life||UV-Resistant|
|Cons||a little expensive||Less Elasticity|
From what we have discussed above, we can conclude that both of them have their own advantages and disadvantages. We may find that latex will be more popular than TPE in our market nowadays. Of course, we don’t mean that the TPE ones are bad because, for people who are allergic to latex, latex-free products are a good choice.
We hope that this article will help you to understand the difference between latex and TPE, and you can make a wise decision when choosing the material of your resistance bands.