Duralife Lockers vs Metal Lockers

HDPE vs Metal on the Surface

One of the major benefits that Duralife lockers have over metal is literally on the surface. These HDPE lockers feature a homogenous color on its solid plastic construction. Metal, on the other hand, requires a paint job every once in a while.

When it comes to surface damage, the dents and scratches are more apparent on painted metal lockers. HDPE materials like Duralife lockers are scratch, dent, and graffiti resistant. When metal lockers are scratched, dented, or even spray painted on, you need to repaint the locker. Duralife lockers don’t require paint at all, and they’re easy to clean, resulting in very low maintenance, whereas metal lockers generally require a good deal of upkeep.

Moisture & Humidity

If there’s a locker room in your school or facility, there’s a good chance that moisture and humidity are going to be commonplace. There’s no way to avoid it, but it can be prepared for. The constant exposure to humidity and moisture can have a negative effect on metal lockers in two ways. The first is rust, which requires rigorous cleaning if the lockers are to be saved. The next negative consequence is mold growth, which thrives in damp environments. Duralife lockers don’t rust, and they can bask in humidity and moisture without the threat of mold popping up and becoming an issue.

Noise Reduction

The sound of metal lockers slamming is enough to transport you back to high school. However, no one ever said this sound was at all pleasurable. When it comes to locker noise, Duralife lockers are quieter by at least three times when compared to metal lockers. Duralife lockers aren’t silent, but their noise isn’t as loud and disrupting as metal lockers slamming shut.


One of the most important factors to consider if you’re designing a facility or choosing the right materials to fill it is sustainability. Duralife lockers, made with HDPE, not only last for a long time, but they’re also made from 100% post-consumer recycled content. They’re even GREENGUARD Certified due to the criteria that they meet with their lack of VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions while improving air quality.

Metal lockers, on the other hand, are on average made from 34% post-consumer recycled material. They’re not as durable as HDPE materials. And because they require repainting, they’re partly responsible for VOC emissions, which greatly reduces the air quality in the facility. When it comes to sustainability, Duralife lockers and HDPE plastic materials have a huge advantage.


Comparing the numerous laboratory test throughout this document Duralife HDPE Lockers outperformed traditional metal lockers in all categories.


Superior Aesthetics

Traditional Metal Lockers
Duralife HDPE Lockers

ISSUE: Traditional metal locker venting and handles protrude out from the locker surface. These protruding objects may increase the incidents of bumps and scrapes and become a safety concern for students and school personnel.

SOLUTION: Duralife Lockers™ venting is flush with the locker surface providing a clean look. Locker handles and padlock or built-in combination locks are recessed preventing unnecessary bumps and scrapes and improving student safety.

Impact Resistant

ISSUE: Traditional metal lockers are typically made from 16 gauge steel. That is less than 1/16” thick material, making them prone to denting and damage.

SOLUTION: Duralife Lockers™ are made of 1/2” thick rigid HDPE plastic making them 59 times greater in resistance to impacts when compared to traditional metal hallway lockers.

Scratch Resistant

Duralife HDPE locker


ISSUE: Scratches are a known problem for school lockers. Very light scratches are visibly seen on traditional metal lockers and deeper scratches expose the bare metal underneath leaving repainting or complete replacement as the only option to repair.

SOLUTION: Duralife Lockers™ are comprised of a color throughout formula making scratches more difficult to be seen at any depth. Scratches will never require painting.

Graffiti Resistant


ISSUE:Keeping school lockers free from graffiti can be a time consuming process when dealing with traditional metal lockers. Many markers or writing agents are not easily removable and can leave a ghosting mark.

SOLUTION: Most graffiti readily wipes off Duralife Lockers™ non-porous surface. Stickers and contact paper can also be easily be removed. When using Scranton Products® recommended environmentally friendly cleaning solution, all marking agents are easily removed and do not leave any ghosting marks.

Less Maintenance

ISSUE:Traditional metal student lockers have a lower initial cost than Duralife Lockers™, making them an economical choice for schools. However, there are hidden costs such as the additional expenses associated with cleaning, painting and the general maintenance of these lockers on an annual or semi-annual basis which may be overlooked.


SOLUTION:Compare the true cost of a traditional metal hallway locker to a Duralife HDPE Locker over a 20-year period. The above chart takes into account the initial cost, maintenance, dent and scratch repair, painting cost, graffiti removal and replacing damaged and corroded parts to create a cost of ownership model in years 1, 5, 10 and 20. Within 2 years, Duralife HDPE lockers are less expensive than metal. In 20 years, the accumulated savings are substantial.


Noise Reduction

ISSUE:Hallways are noisy by nature and the sound of traditional metal lockers can add to the noise and create a distracting environment.


SOLUTION:Duralife Lockers are 3 times quieter than metal lockers and provides substantial noise reductions in a hallway leading to a better learning environment.



ISSUE: Greenguard certified products meet the strictest standards for air quality and sustainability. Several major traditional metal locker brands (Penco, Lyons, Republic, Hadrian) are not Greenguard certified.*

SOLUTION: When you choose Duralife Lockers™, you are supporting a healthier environment and healthier kids. GREEENGUARD Children and Schools Certified, Duralife Lockers™ meet strict criteria for products intended for use in schools and other environments where children spend significant periods of time. In addition, because they never need painting, they do not contribute to VOC emissions, improving both indoor and outdoor air quality. They are also impermeable to moisture, resist mold and mildew and can be power-washed or steam cleaned, eliminating the need for harmful chemical cleaners.