This work aimed to select materials capable of favouring biofouling build-up in order to develop plain coupons as alternative to expensive commercial biofouling mesh coupons. Plain coupons of copper, stainless steel (SS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) were dipped and tested in a cooling water from a food industry. PVC and HDPE coupons showed promising responses and appear to be preferable since they are corrosion-free. Moreover, an experimental vibration sensor monitored biofilm adhesion on SS and PVC tubular coupons (simulators of the respective sensor tubes), inside which flowed the water aforementioned. The SS sensor tube and tubular coupons displayed the most satisfactory results, i.e. the highest vibration amplitude and the highest adhered biofilm mass, respectively. Biofilm adhesion onto the materials tested depended on their surface shear stress, effective roughness and hydrophobicity, as determined by scanning electron microscopy and goniometry.