STYROFOAM™ vs Polystyrene - What's the difference?

Polystyrene cups and sheets

A common question we hear all the time is, "What’s the difference between Expanded Polystyrene Foam and STYROFOAM Brand Foam?" Some times, people are looking for expanded polystyrene foam products, but mistakenly refer to them as STYROFOAM, even though the materials are completely different.

Expanded Polystyrene (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. Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is the generic industry name for the white rigid material made by expanding polystyrene beads with steam and pressure to bond the beads together to form blocks or to shape molds. EPS is also used in the construction industry for insulation and void fill.

STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam for Construction

Dow Blue Board Insulation Sheets

STYROFOAM is a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company ("Dow") or an affiliated company of Dow. This trademark covers a full range of extruded polystyrene building products used primarily in construction for wall insulation, floor insulation, and roof insulation systems. These insulation panels are commonly referred to as "blue board" in the construction industry. Most often the word "Styrofoam" is generically used to describe expanded polystyrene foam products like disposable coffee cups, cooler and other foam packaging materials, none of which are actually STYROFOAM.

STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam for Floral & Crafts

Dow STYROFOAM blocks

Dow Chemical’s STYROFOAM Brand Foam also covers a full range of foam products for the floral, craft and special events industries. These premium products the best known extruded polystyrene insulation on the market today are available in sheets, blocks, balls, spheres, cones and many other shapes. They are available to the consumer from major craft and floral retailers throughout the country, or at

So, which one do I need, STYROFOAM or EPS!?

At Universal Foam Products, we are experts and suppliers of EPS and STYROFOAM Brand Foam products, so the only question is, "Which one is right for your project?" Dow STYROFOAM Brand Foam products are most commonly used in construction applications where specific R-values and compression strength is critical.