Discover the benefits of fabric resistance bands vs rubber bands…

When investing in a pair of the best resistance bands, there are a number of things to consider. They include whether you opt for bands with handles. if you need an individual band rather than a set, and the level of resistance that you need. Fabric resistance bands vs rubber bands can be added to that list, and there are a number of pros and cons to both materials. Here’s all you need to know when making your decision.

Benefits of fabric resistance bands

Fabric resistance bands, like the Eono range, are generally made from cotton blends that include a small amount of latex. That combination provides the stretch required for the resistance band to function as designed.

This cotton core makes them much stronger than a rubber alternative, and they’re therefore much less likely to break under load. Their material also makes fabric resistance bands easier to grip. And they’re less likely to slip from the muscles you’re actually targetting compared to a rubber alternative.

Most fabric resistance bands are machine washable – which is handy if you get a sweat on when working out – while their durability makes them a much more environmentally friendly purchase.

Disadvantages of fabric resistance bands

One of the big selling points of resistance bands vs free weights is that they’re relatively cheap, but this is only really true for rubber bands. A single fabric band can often cost the same as a whole set of rubber ones. That means it can often be the case of weighing up whether you’re after something low-cost and potentially short-lived or are happy to pay a premium for longevity.

Also, while they do offer enough stretch for lower-body-targetted activation and strengthening, they’re not as effective for upper-body exercises.

Try the TRX Bandit Resistance Band Kit


$49.95 / £69.95 /

Man in blue long sleeve top using a resistance band for a warm-up exercise
Rubber bands are cheaper and easier to find, but aren’t as environmentally friendly

Benefits of rubber resistance bands

As the name suggests, rubber resistance bands are made 100% from latex. This gives them a lot more stretch than a fabric alternative, and they’re therefore a lot more adaptable.

Their low-cost material also means you can often pick up a pack of five different resistance options for under £20. That makes them an affordable and cheap way to add the best resistance band exercises to your workouts, or an easy way to supplement your gym work with home equipment.

Try the Amazon Basics TPE Resistance Band Set


£8.84 / (not available in the US)

Disadvantages of rubber resistance bands

The biggest downside to rubber resistance bands is that over time they wear down and will eventually snap. That is potentially dangerous if it occurs when combining resistance bands with free weights. But the best way to minimise this risk is by checking rubber resistance bands for tears or warping before each use.

If you’re using two simultaneously (for example, to add a stability element to a squat or bench press), you should make sure that the load is shared equally between bands.

Another downside to rubber resistance bands is that they can be prone to slipping. They can start to dig into your skin if pulled tightly, too, and shouldn’t be used if you have a latex allergy.