A pilot study was carried out to investigate the performance of ultrasound stiffness imaging methods namely Ultrasound Elastography Imaging (UEI) and Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) Imaging. Specifically their potential for characterizing different classes of solid mass lesions was analyzed using agar based tissue mimicking phantoms. Composite tissue mimicking phantom was prepared with embedded inclusions of varying stiffness from 50 kPa to 450 kPa to represent different stages of cancer. Acoustic properties such as sound speed, attenuation coefficient and acoustic impedance were characterized by pulse echo ultrasound test at 5 MHz frequency and they are ranged from (1564 ± 88 to 1671 ± 124 m/s), (0.6915 ± 0.123 to 0.8268 ± 0.755 db cm-1 MHz-1) and (1.61×106 ± 0.127 to 1.76 × 106 ± 0.045 kg m-2 s-1) respectively. The elastic property Young's Modulus of the prepared samples was measured by conducting quasi static uni axial compression test under a strain rate of 0.5 mm/min upto 10 % strain, and the values are from 50 kPa to 450 kPa for a variation of agar concentration from 1.7% to 6.6% by weight. The composite phantoms were imaged by Siemens Acuson S2000 (Siemens, Erlangen, Germany) machine using linear array transducer 9L4 at 8 MHz frequency; strain and displacement images were collected by UEI and ARFI. Shear wave velocity 4.43 ± 0.35 m/s was also measured for high modulus contrast (18 dB) inclusion and X.XX m/s was found for all other inclusions. The images were pre processed and parameters such as Contrast Transfer Efficiency and lateral image profile were computed and reported. The results indicate that both ARFI and UEI represent the abnormalities better than conventional US B mode imaging whereas UEI enhances the underlying modulus contrast into improved strain contrast. The results are corroborated with literature and also with clinical patient images. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.