The exceptional hydration of sulfobetaine polymer brushes and their resistance toward nonspecific protein absorption allows for the construction of thin films with excellent antibiofouling properties. In this work, swollen sulfobetaine brushes, prepared by surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization of two monomers, differentiated by the nature of the polymerizable group, are studied and compared by a liquid-cell atomic force microscopy technique and spectroscopic ellipsometry. Colloidal AFM-based force spectroscopy is employed to estimate brush grafting density and characterize nanomechanical properties in salt water. When the ionic strength-induced swelling behaviors of the two systems are compared, the differences observed on the antipolyelectrolyte response can be correlated with the stiffness variation on brush compression, likely to be promoted by solvation differences. The higher solvation of amide groups is proposed to be responsible for the lower adhesion force of the barnacle cyprid's temporary adhesive proteins. The adhesion results provide further insights into the antibiofouling activity against barnacle cyprid settlement attributed to polysulfobetaine brushes.