Comparison between PU, EPE and EVA foam for Gun Cases

Posted by Cici Tim on Sep 30th 2022

The purpose of using custom foam inserts in gun cases is for protection. Choosing the right gun case foam will increase its longevity and make storage stress free.

PU (Polyurethane) foam, EPE (Expanded Polyethylene) foam, and EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) foam are some of the choices that every gun owner faces. The properties of each foam vary and choosing one can be a challenging task. We will compare the PU, EPE, and EVA foams since these are the top three choices for most people.

Choosing the right foam:

The main aspects to keep in mind while choosing from the above-mentioned foams are:

Guitar Case

Duration of storage:

Each foam provides different utility for different amounts of time. If you are looking to store your weapon or equipment for long periods, EPE foam would be the best option for you due to its strength, resilience, and non-deformable characteristics.


If the storage area is humid or there is general humidity in your area, choosing a moisture-repelling foam would go a long way in keeping the gun rust-free and in usable condition. Again, EPE foam is a cheaper and more durable choice for these circumstances.

Display purposes:

Though it's the personal preference of the store owner regarding the choice of foam to use for displays, EVA foam, under its rubbery and matte finish, proves to be an impeccable display foam and enhances the object placed onto it.

Disposable conditions:

If you are looking for a disposable foam that can be changed frequently, then PU foam should be your go-to choice as it is cheap, disposable, and can be easily replaced. It comes in pick and pluck variants too.

A custom insert for your case is a must if you want to keep your equipment in clean usable condition at all times. Having done thorough research on the matter will save you from spending extra money trying to find the perfect fit. However, if still unsure, we go over all the detail below:

PU foam:

PU foam also known as Polyurethane foam, is a charcoal-colored, hydrophilic foam (water absorbing) mostly utilized in the packaging industry by being cheap to manufacture and lightweight. In comparison to normal styrofoam, PU foam is the far better option. However, when compared with EPE foams, PU foams fall short in many aspects, as mentioned below:

PU Foam

  • PU foams are the traditional foams. Being fragile and flimsy, they don't have a long life span and start to come apart at the edges, deform under weight, and eventually become unusable.
  • The PU foam has an open cell matrix that contains air spaces, which provides a lightweight characteristic to it, but also makes it deformable and gives it a spongy look.
  • Due to decreased density because of the open cell matrix, the PU foam absorbs water like a sponge. The water travels through the foam and will rust the weapon completely if placed wet in the PU foam case.
  • The anti-abrasive property is very poor on the PU foam. Constant contact with a hard abrasive material like the edges of a gun will cause the foam to come apart and destroy its smooth look.
  • The foam needs to be handled with care if it is to be used for a long time, and this adds another thing to worry about while storing your weapon.

EPE foam:

EPE foam, also known as Expanded Polyethylene foam, is a hydrophobic (Water repelling) foam. It is a newer kind of foam, it has a better construction than PU foam, and is usually cross-linked. It has been regarded as the best foam for most gun owners due to its properties. It has the following remarkable characteristics:


  • EPE foam is sturdier than the traditional PU foam having a longer life and durability. It is less fragile, rigid in construction, less deformable, and more manageable.
  • The closed cell matrix gives the EPE foam the benefit of being water resistant. The water doesn't penetrate inside, and the little bit left on the surface usually runs off. In addition to being water resistant, it doesn't absorb grease, oil, or grime.
  • Long-term storage is stress-free due to the moisture-repelling property of this foam.
  • This foam is denser, fits snug in the gun case, and doesn't move around.
  • EPE foam has good anti-abrasive properties. There are little to no abrasions with rough use, which means that the foam will last the test of time and shall have the same look over the years.

The EPE foam provided by is a Pick and Pluck grid, giving you the convenience of customizing the foam as per your requirements and not having to go through the hassle of cutting or adjusting the foam using blades and razors, which almost always ends in an uneven cut. Choosing this foam for your gun case will add life to your equipment.

EVA foam:

EVA foam is also known as Ethylene-vinyl acetate foam which has a rubber texture due to its closed cell matrix. In addition to being an expensive option, it looks smooth and high-priced. Even though it can be used by anyone for storing sensitive equipment, it is usually used for in-store displays and storage of highly sensitive or expensive equipment.


  • EVA foam is rigid but smooth. It has a long lifespan and good resistance to deformity.
  • A closed cell matrix makes it resilient, flexible, and water-resistant. Just like the EPE foam, water doesn't run through the foam. It can withstand oil spills and moderately potent chemicals with minimal to no visible damage.
  • It has good shock absorption properties making sure the equipment stays protected if it is unfortunately dropped.
  • The main benefit of EVA foam is the finish of the material, making it visually appealing and perfect for items on display.
  • It has the property of staying strong even at low temperatures and is a perfect fit for people living in cold areas.
  • It is buoyant, and if there's enough foam used, it can make the case float if placed in water.
  • It fits snugly in the case like the EPE foam and doesn't move around.
  • Anti-abrasive properties are at par with EPE foam, if not better.

Though EVA foam sounds better than EPE foam in all aspects. If compared with the cost-to-benefit ratio, EPE foam stands as the winner. Polyethylene has almost the same properties as EVA at a fraction of the cost. Unless you are a store owner looking to display equipment or trying to store expensive equipment for an extended period, it's better to choose the Pick and Pluck EPE foam available at our store. This is the ideal case foam for you if you have a large number of guns and want to keep them safe with as little chance as possible that they'll get damaged. It's also perfect for those who wish to store their guns in an extremely organized manner, ensuring that they have the best gun storage solution available.