Novel statistical features are proposed for the design of fiber optic statistical mode sensors. The statistical features are radial pth order moments, more precisely first and second order moments. These new features are compared with correlation and image difference features which were reported in the literature earlier. The fiber optic statistical mode sensor experiments are conducted for different applied loads and the corresponding images are captured using the CCD camera. Different statistical features such as image differencing, correlation, first moment and second moment are extracted from the captured images. These features are compared with each other in terms of different characteristics such as precision error, non-linearity, and hysteresis. It is shown that the first and second order moment statistical features are better alternatives for the design of statistical mode sensors, when precision and linearity characteristics are more important than the hysteresis characteristic. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.