What's the Difference? Rubber vs Silicone Wristbands

Some people think that “rubber bracelets”* and “silicone wristbands” are the same — but the terms are not interchangeable. Take a look at our guide to find out why.

Jump ahead to these sections:

What Are Rubber Bracelets Called?

Rubber bracelets started back in 2004 with the Livestrong wristband craze. They have since become a popular item for events, fundraisers, memorials, awareness, and gifts.

Commonly called rubber bracelets or silicone wristbands, these are usually made as customizable bracelets with an engraved message. Another common name for a rubber bracelet is a Reminderband.

Why Silicone Wristbands?

Silicone is stronger and longer-lasting than rubber, meaning that silicone bracelets are stronger and last longer than rubber wristbands or rubber bracelets of comparable size and thickness.

Rubber bracelets wear out quickly and break much more easily. Silicone is also recyclable at certain recycling centers.

At Reminderband, we make wristbands out of 100% industrial-strength polished silicone.

Silicone wristbands are:

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Safe and comfortable to wear
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Washable
  • Odorless
  • Recyclable (where available)

How Are Silicone Bracelets Made?

Silicone bracelets are made by shaping silicone into a bracelet mold. The rubber wristbands are then laser-engraved, or debossed, with a custom message.

Silicone bracelets can be created in almost any color, and the imprint can be filled in with a second, contrasting color.

You can create your own silicone bracelet in minutes online.

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Customized silicone bracelets in just a few of many colors available

Are Silicone Bracelets Safe?

Using quality materials like 100% silicone means Reminderband silicone bracelets are safe to wear. Often referred to as rubber bracelets, they are latex-free and are even used as medical alert bracelets for kids and adults.

Silicone bracelets can also be washed with soap and water for easy cleaning and long-term use.

How Do You Print On A Silicone Wristband?

Silicone wristbands, or rubber bracelets, can be printed with screen printing ink. This allows for multiple colors in a wristband design but does not last as long as debossed or laser-engraved silicone wristbands.

For the most durable imprint on a silicone wristband, it is recommended to deboss with a color-fill.

Try designing a classic silicone wristband for this effect.

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Printed wristbands can be done with various color combinations, special fonts, and clipart

Can You Write On Silicone Wristbands?

Silicone Wristbands don't take well to pen ink or marker, and will eventually smudge. Custom wristbands with engraved messaging or printing are the best method for writing on silicone wristbands.

Silicone wristbands can also be customized with font and clipart options for extra personalization.

How Much Does A Wristband Cost?

Silicone wristbands can be ordered in any quantity. Even just one. The price per wristband gets better the more you buy. You can view pricing for each wristband style before ordering.

Can You Shower With Silicone Bracelets?

Yes, silicone bracelets are easy to clean with water and don't need to be removed to shower. However, please note that a lot of exposure to scrubbing may wear off a printed wristband faster than a debossed or engraved wristband. This can also be the case with some lotions and hand sanitizers, however, depending on the style of silicone bracelet, it can often be worn for years before needing to be replaced.

Silicone Luxe Wristbands

Silicone wristbands are waterproof, making them easy to wear while being active and a cinch to clean

What Can You Do With Silicone Wristbands?

There are some great ways to recycle--or upcycle--silicone wristbands. Some will be disposed of after an event is over, but for many, a silicone wristband is a great reminder of a loved one, a memorable event, a cause, or a personal affirmation. Sometimes that's hard to let go of.

Here are some of the best ways to repurpose a silicone wristband that may just surprise you:

  • Display it - Try hanging your wristband somewhere you can enjoy seeing it, like on your rearview mirror, atop a dresser, hanging over a picture frame, or somewhere in your room. Even if you're not wearing it, you can still make it a nice display item
  • Decorate your water bottle - In today's world, having a water bottle wherever you go has become incredibly popular. People have taken to tricking out their water bottles with stickers and wristbands. Simply fit a wristband, or several, around the base of your water bottle and coordinate those colors? Don't worry, they are made to stretch and will usually fit around most standard-sized water bottles. It's a great way to add some extra bling and personality to that boring container of water
  • Wear it around your ankle - Tired of having a wristband on your wrist? Try fitting it around your ankle. This has become quite a hit with kids and teenagers, especially around summertime. Maybe it's a form of rebellion against the term "wristband", but who's to say?
  • Turn your wristband into a keychain - If you're ready to move on from your wrist, but not ready to let go of that awesome wristband you designed, consider tricking out your keys. Just slip a keyring around the silicone and, voila! An instant upgrade for your keyring
  • Use it as a cable tie - As much as we're going wireless wherever possible these days, there are still a ton of cords around our homes and offices. Thankfully, a silicone wristband is a pretty nifty way to tame those messy cords and cables. Just gather up your cords and plugs and slide a wristband over them to keep those pesky cords a little more organized
  • Use wristbands to open jars - Everybody wants to be the hero who can open the pickle jar. For this clever lifehack, you'll want silicone wristbands, not tyvek or fabric ones. Grab that mason jar of your dear old granny's canned peaches and fit a wristband over the lid. The silicone makes for a nice grip so you can open that jar of goodness. What's more, if you find yourself with an abundance of leftover wristbands, it can be a great way to color-code your food storage
  • Regift it - Have a motivational wristband that got you through some tough times? Pass it on to someone who could use a helpful phrase to carry them through a rough patch. Kids are also pretty hip to the idea of adding, not one, but multiple wristbands to their collection. You're sure to find someone who will greatly appreciate it

While the Livestrong wristband brought silicone wristbands to new heights, custom silicone wristbands are still incredibly popular due to the fact that they can be customized and used for almost any event or occasion.

From awareness causes and marketing and promotion to parties and gifts, silicone wristbands have proved they're here to stay.

Reminderband has produced industry-leading silicone wristbands since 2004 and continues to grow as a trusted source.

Some of the top uses for silicone wristbands are:

Need more inspiration? Check out our post on the best ideas for silicone wristbands.

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Reminderband, Inc.

Since 2004 we've created millions of custom wristbands and we continue to grow. Our team has helped thousands around the world design wristbands that have deep meaning to our customers. Because our wristbands often carry an important message, whether it's for a company brand or a powerful cause, we don't believe in skimping on quality. 100% silicone bracelets as seen on: CBS, Fox News, NBC, and USA Today.