A range of well-defined hydrophobic hydroxy-functional methacrylate-based gels has been synthesized by free-radical crosslinking copolymerization of the monomers Hydroxypropyl methacrylate (HPMA) and Glycidyl methacrylate (GMA). Particularly, the effect of the hydrophobic functional groups of the comonomer GMA on the elasticity and swelling properties was investigated in order to understand the exact interactions and the consequent changes in the physical characteristics of poly(Hydroxypropyl methacrylate-co-glycidyl methacrylate) P(HPMA-co-GMA) hydrogels as well as cryogels. In addition, measuring and understanding how to control the mechanical response of the resulting gels which usually refers to the resistance to failure by fracture or excessive deformation can help the targeted design of specific applications with extended functionality. In the light of the experimental findings, it was suggested that the studied system with the monomers HPMA and GMA containing both acrylic and epoxy groups provides the design and performance versatility required for the most demanding coating and resin applications. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.