Polystyrene and Styrofoam

What are the differences between the two, and which is the ideal product for your next project?

Polystyrene or EPS

Most common "foam" products, like coolers, wine shippers, molded end caps and corners, box packaging and even cups at the office water cooler are actually polystyrene foam. It is sometimes referred to as smooth foam.

Polystyrene is a little easier to paint due to its smoother surface. It will require less paint and less effort.

Polystyrene has less grip than Styrofoam. Although you can still insert things like dowels, and sticks into them, they hold a little less tightly.

Polystyrene is a more generic method of producing foam, so its price point is lower.


Styrofoam is a trademark brand of polystyrene. It is shinier, and has a glassier less smooth look. 

Styrofoam is a little more difficult to paint due to its course bumpier texture. You can still do so, but it will require more paint and effort.

Due to is grainy course texture, Styrofoam is great to insert things like flowers, dowels and sticks and will hold very well. 

Styrofoam is a more specific trademark brand of foam, so its price point is higher. 


Still have questions? Contact us for more help. 


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