Hydrogels of crosslinked poly(2-vinylpyridine-1-oxide), PVNO, and poly(2-vinylpyridine-1-oxide)-poly(N-vinyl-pyrrolidone), PNVO-PVP, were synthesized. PVNO hydrogels were found to be degradable in a pseudo-biological medium and their stability could be increased by increasing the relative concentration of the crosslinking agent. PVNO-PVP hydrogels were also degradable and their stability could be increased by increasing the relative concentration of crosslinking agent and/or poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone). Swelling ratio and percent solvent content for both types of gels were determined. In addition, for PVNO-PVP gels, swelling properties in solvents with different dielectric constants, at different temperatures and ionic strengths were determined. Antibiotic releasing and water vapour behaviour were also investigated. From the data obtained, the free energy change involved in water vapour adsorption was calculated.