Artificial Grass Vs. Real Grass

Weigh the differences in cost, maintenance and environmental impact in this guide!
Renee Lewis
Renee Lewis
Last Update:
January 27, 2023

More and more homeowners are choosing artificial grass instead of a traditional real grass lawn. That is due to a few different reasons. One is that artificial turf is building a reputation for being environmentally friendly due to the fact that it does not need water, fertilizers or pesticides. Another reason is that new types of artificial grass are so high-quality that a lot of times it looks so good you would not notice it is not real grass!

Let’s go over the pros and cons of artificial grass versus natural lawns so you can make an informed decision when it comes time to decide which type of grass to have at your home!

Artificial grass pros

Artificial grass has some important advantages over natural grass. Synthetic turf is cheaper over time, has lower maintenance costs, has a long lifespan, is available in high quality materials, and can be environmentally friendly!


Artificial grass can save you money over time compared to natural grass. All of the things you will not have to do to care for your lawn when it is made from artificial turn will add up in savings. You will save money on water, as well as fertilizers and pesticides. If you do not already have one, you will not have to buy a lawnmower for mowing or lawn edger to care for this lawn! You will not have to have a sprinkler system installed or repaired or replaced. Also, you will not have to pay for landscaping services to keep your yard looking its best.


Synthetic grass requires very little maintenance. Many people install artificial grass because it is low maintenance compared to a natural grass lawn. You will not need to water, cut, apply pesticides or apply fertilizers with artificial grass. You will not need a sprinkler system or to spend time watering it by hand with a hose. It may even lower your water bill! Although fake grass is definitely lower maintenance than natural grass, it does require some maintenance to look its best and last its longest. Synthetic grass does need to be hosed off or vacuumed from time to time to keep dirt and debris from building up.


Artificial grass has a long lifespan. High-quality synthetic grass can last decades with very little lawn care. You will not have to worry about dry years or hot weather frying your yard either. A nice green lawn can increase your home’s curb appeal and having an attractive landscape design can contribute to increasing your home value. Artificial grass can last twenty to thirty years before it needs to be replaced.


Synthetic grass is available in high quality versions these days. A natural grass lawn these days can pass for the real thing to all but the most interested of passersby. It no longer means a neon green lawn that stands out like a sore thumb next to your neighbor’s natural looking grass. A high-quality artificial lawn would likely not be distinguishable from real grass to most people just passing by.

There are different levels of quality for synthetic lawns these days and a lot of it has to do with the materials the grass is made from, the density of the grass, and the pile height – or how high each blade of grass will be. The denser the grass the more durable it will be and taller blades of grass will look more lush. Your choice of infill materials can also increase the overall quality of your artificial lawn. Infill materials are what goes between the artificial grass and the ground. Getting quality turf and infill materials may cost a bit more per square foot but it can save you money in the long run because it will look better for longer.


Artificial grass can actually help protect the environment as compared to natural grass. Most people assume artificial grass would be bad for the planet because it is made from plastic. But these days, artificial turf is made from many different types of materials – including recycled materials. One kind of fake grass is made from plant-based soy beans. Depending on what it is made of, the entire lawn can be recycled when you choose to have it removed so it does not end up in the landfill!

Fake grass does not require water or harmful chemicals like pesticides, or fertilizers, to look its best. About one-third of the water use of the average American goes to outdoor uses – and much of that is because of natural grass. So artificial grass will be beneficial to the environment because it does not require so much water as well! When you decide to get an artificial lawn, you will not have to worry about its environmental impact.

Artificial grass cons

While there are a lot of benefits and advantages to getting an artificial lawn instead of natural grass, there are some drawbacks. It is smart to be aware of both the pros and the cons. So among the cons of artificial grass are that it costs more up front and that it can get pretty hot in the summer sun depending on what material you choose for your artificial turf.

More Upfront Cost

Turf installation for artificial grass will cost you more upfront than it would to install sod. Sod costs less than a dollar per square foot for the typical lawn, whereas artificial grass costs up to twelve dollars per square foot. That is a pretty significant difference, so if you were planning based on the average cost to install grass, it can be a little shocking. The thing to keep in mind as far as long term planning is that the artificial grass installation will be the main cost and then it will be free afterwards while natural grass will cost money to care for and maintain.

Potential for Heat

Artificial grass can get really hot in the summer sun. Spritzing the lawn with water can keep the temperature down if it does get too hot. In some cases, in playing fields or play areas for example, there have been reports of the turf getting so heated up that it actually melted shoes. It also raises the temperature of the air above the lawn. So that is something to factor in to your decision on whether or not this is the right choice for your lawn. Although all synthetic grass will be hotter than natural grass in the summer, there are some artificial turf products that are better at deflecting heat than other materials.

Real grass pros

A natural lawn has some important pros compared to artificial turf that are worth considering. For one, real grass will cost you less up front as the cost of grass seed or sod is much less than artificial grass installation. Secondly, a lawn of real, lush grass just looks and feels great!

Real grass is cheap compared to artificial grass as far as installation costs go. While getting a new artificial grass yard could cost around $5,000, installing sod costs about $1,000 on average. If you are planning your yard and thinking artificial turf but you need to keep the initial costs down, you may want to consider a natural lawn instead.

A lush green grass lawn definitely has value to people who love being surrounded by nature and plants. Walking around barefoot in a natural lawn in summer is something that cannot be replaced by artificial turf.

Real Grass Cons

Even though a natural grass lawn in the summer is a beautiful thing, real grass has some cons. It is very high maintenance compared to synthetic lawns. It can also be costlier in the long run as compared to fake grass. Finally, real grass is thirsty and consumes a lot of water during the summer months which contributes to

High Maintenance

Natural grass requires a higher level of maintenance than artificial turf does. You will spend many more hours and dollars related to maintaining your natural lawn than you would on turf. Real grass grows, unlike the fake stuff, so you will have to mow your lawn every week. Many people also use a lawn edger to edge their lawns, so that’s additional maintenance required by a natural lawn.

Living grass requires food, so you will need to fertilize your lawn at least a couple of times a year. You will need to have a sprinkler system installed to water your grass, or do it yourself with a hose. Finally, with grass that is alive come other living things – namely, pests. You will likely need to apply pesticides to your lawn to keep those insects in check.

Costlier Long-Term

Real grass may be cheaper up front than artificial grass, but in the long run it could cost you more! Once you have your artificial turf installed, it is effectively free. However, a natural lawn will require maintenance and caring for – which costs you money. As far as maintenance, you will need a lawnmower. If you have not got one, then you will need to buy one. If you do have one, then it will probably require maintenance or replacing over time. A lawn edger is another tool you will want to have on hand.

You will also need to install and maintain a sprinkler system and pay for all that water real grass requires over the years. Pesticides and fertilizers are other costs you will need to factor in. Finally, you may need to pay for landscaping services to keep your lawn maintained.

Environmental Impact

Real grass requires a lot of water to keep it looking lush and green. That has an impact on the environment, especially in drought-prone areas. In some places in California, water use is restricted sometimes and homeowners do not have enough beyond their basic uses to water the lawn. Some towns even restrict the amount of square feet of real lawn each resident can have.

Ready to Get Started? Over 11,000 happy customers are enjoying their outdoor spaces thanks to projects completed by Ergeon. We specialize in artificial grass installation and offer a variety of packages- all backed by warranty!

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