What Makes Stress Balls Different from One Another? About Density and Durometer
We sell nearly 2,000 different stress relievers on Qualitylogoproducts.com. That means customer questions are both welcomed and inevitable!
However, two similar questions consistently pop up, which I’d like to take on in today’s blog post:
What’s the difference between these stress balls?
Which stress ball is firmer or softer?
We completely understand how stress balls can be confusing, especially when you’re trying to decide between two or more versions that look 99.9% similar! The answer to both of the above questions can be answered with the help of two little words: DENSITY and DUROMETER.
What do “density” and “durometer” mean, and how do they affect stress balls?
Density refers to the mass of a material; so, in the case of a stress ball, density would apply to the hardness or softness.
A durometer measures a material’s density and its resistance to permanent indentation. This unit of measurement is used to evaluate all kinds of plastics and synthetic materials, like rubbers (on the softer side of the hardness scale) or acrylic plastics (on the firmer side of the hardness scale).
Durometer measures density on a hardness scale, with the highest numbers correlating to the hardest materials. As you can see in the image below, rubbers and polyurethanes are on the lower side of the spectrum, which means they’re more flexible to the touch:
Most stress balls are made of polyurethane, a foam-like substance, which is why they have a soft and resilient consistency when squeezed. But even though they’re made from essentially the same materials, polyurethane consistency can still vary on the hardness scale! That’s why no two stress relievers will feel exactly the same.
Now, let’s take a look at this newfound knowledge from a promotional-product-specific standpoint!
As I mentioned earlier, we’re often asked about the difference between similar stress reliever shapes on our website. For example, there are at least 10 different round stress balls on Qualitylogoproducts.com, and they all vary in price.
What’s up with that?!?
Here’s your answer: Even though all of our round stress balls may look exactly the same, they’re not! Every factory manufactures their own versions of these stress balls. That means the materials vary from place to place, and therefore the density and price vary from place to place.
Still confused? No problem. I’m here to help!
I ordered samples of 4 of our top-selling round stress balls and compared their density (by hand, of course…I don’t have the means to scientifically measure it via durometer) to help clear up some customer confusion.
Here are the contenders:
Custom Stress Balls (Q653): Soft and squishy
Round Stress Relievers (Q17459): Medium firmness
Round Stress Balls Economy (Q9173): Soft and squishy
Round Stress Balls (Q13452): Firm density
I tested each stress ball for resistance and overall feel, and I also asked my fellow QLP Blog Squad members for their input on each.
What was the verdict? Nearly everyone favored the Custom Stress Balls (pictured in the upper left). If you like a stress reliever that’s easy to squeeze, then this one’s a good choice. It’s squishy and it almost has a gel feel to it, even though it’s made entirely of polyurethane. The Round Economy Stress Balls (pictured in the lower left) are of a strikingly similar consistency, and they cost a bit less.
If lightweight, slightly-firm stress balls are your cup of tea, then you’ll love the Round Stress Relievers (pictured in the top right). They’re not tough to squeeze by any means, but they provide more resistance than the two I mentioned above. And last but not least, the Round Stress Balls (pictured in the bottom right) are the way to go if you prefer firmer stress relievers. These puppies definitely have the highest density of the four you see here!
Please note, however, that stress ball density can vary even within the same shipment. It won’t be a drastic difference, but no two stress balls are created equal!
If you’re concerned about stress ball flexibility or density, then I’d strongly suggest ordering a sample prior to placing your order. There’s only one true way to determine satisfactory stress relief levels: by giving them a good squeeze for yourself. Some people like harder stress balls (more resistance – good for hand-strengthening exercises) and others prefer softer stress balls (less resistance – good for the occasional stress relief throughout the day). You’ll want to get the best one for your needs!
Which stress ball would you buy? Based on the information in this post, are you more likely to favor one stress ball over another? Do you prefer softer or firmer stress relievers?
Image credit to QualityLogoProducts.com, Clipart.com, and PlasticsINTL.com.