What is Artificial Grass Made Of?

Considering artificial grass? Understand the amazing synthetic turf products that exist on the market today and choose what's right for your property!
Renee Lewis
Renee Lewis
Last Update:
May 11, 2023

What is artificial grass? To the untrained eye, all synthetic grass is created equal.

Fake grass can be rolled out like carpet to cover your lawn, or entire sports stadiums, and can be made out of different types of materials.

There are three main types of materials for artificial grass. These are made from different synthetic and petroleum-based materials. In addition to the different synthetic fibers to choose from for your artificial grass, it can also be made in slightly different shapes and pile heights.

These varieties contribute to artificial turf that can be soft or stiff, and more life like or more hardy. You should make your choice on materials for artificial turf depending on what use you have in mind for your lawn, how much maintenance you want to do, and what your budget is.

Polyethylene artificial grass

Polyethylene is a high quality option and one of the most commonly used materials for artificial turf today. Artificial turf made from polyethylene is known for its life-like appearance and to the untrained eye would be nearly indistinguishable from natural grass. This is a great choice for you if you do not want it to be obvious that you have opted for artificial grass instead of real grass.

You can sit in this grass and it will not feel as poky and stiff as other types of artificial turf. Turf made from polyethylene is softer and is closer to the feel of natural grass than other types of synthetic grass.

Another pro for polyethylene is that it is durable. This type of artificial turf is used in sports arenas and stadiums so it can stand up to intensive use! You will not have to worry about the kids playing too hard on this grass if football players can tackle on it without a problem.

It also requires less maintenance than other types of artificial turf. Just a quick brush to remove any debris that has accumulated on it and to make the blades of grass stand up more evenly in high traffic areas is all you will need to do.

Because of all these advantages, this is one of the more expensive types of artificial grass. So it is not the most budget friendly option. However, if you are looking for a natural looking, durable option for artificial turf, this is a great choice!

Polypropylene artificial grass

Polypropylene is a budget friendly option for you if you do not need your synthetic turf to stand up to intense use or weather conditions. This is the material of artificial grass that is commonly used for putting greens. This type of artificial turf has a fine textured, light material for its grass blades.

This would be a great option for a residential yard that does not intensive use. Too much traffic on this material and it will start to show wear on the fine blades of grass. You would not want to have your kid’s soccer team practicing in your yard every week with this type of artificial turf.

It is also important that this type of synthetic grass is not exposed to intensive sun or heat. Excessive heat could melt artificial grass made from polypropylene. So making sure there is some shade to protect it is crucial if you want your artificial lawn to last as long as possible.

Polypropylene would be a good option if your main concern is budget rather than durability.

Nylon artificial grass

Artificial turf made from nylon is largely considered the workhorse of artificial grass options. These blades of grass will be stiffer and better able to stand up to heavy use.

This material is also great for outdoor uses. Unlike polypropylene, it will not get deformed or melt in the sun at high temperatures. While this kind of synthetic turf does look natural, the blades of grass are actually a lot thicker than the other types. It does not have the natural, soft feel that some other kinds of artificial grass does. This may not be the best option for a child’s playground, as the blades of grass are stiff enough that they could cause abrasions during more rambunctious play.

Finally, as far as price, this material is among the most expensive types of astroturf. But as we said, it will stand up to heavy use, foot traffic, and high heat better than many materials.

Other thing to keep in mind

There are a few things to look for when you are choosing the material you want for your artificial grass. One of the most important, especially if you are looking to have synthetic turf installed outdoors and in direct sunlight, is to check to make sure the artificial grass has a UV-resistant coating. This will help to protect your lawn from the sunlight and prevent any color fading. Sometimes, fake grass can turn from green to blue or white in the sun if it is not a good quality turf.

Another thing you might want to look into is what the backing material is made from. Artificial grass is sewn into backing material so it can be rolled up almost like sod for a natural lawn. The type of backing material you choose depends largely on how big your drainage concerns are. There are backing materials that are better for drainage than others.

The final layer in your fake grass carpet is the infill layer. Your infill is what will give artificial grass its cushioning, so choosing that material and height is an important decision as well. For playing fields and playgrounds, having more bounce may be important to avoid injuries.

Eco-friendly artificial grass

Artificial turf has come a long way since it was first invented. Back then it was named “chemgrass” and introduced to the world in the Houston Astrodome. That name did not stick for obvious reasons! Some types of artificial grass are becoming more eco-friendly.

Companies that manufacture synthetic grass realize that potential consumers are becoming more environmentally-conscious. As a result, they have made some changes to the way artificial grass is produced and the materials used to make it.

While the top three most popular materials for artificial turf are synthetic and petroleum-based, there are companies out there making eco-friendly alternatives to the usual synthetic turf brands. Some companies in areas like California where more and more homeowners are switching to artificial grass because of water shortages and drought sell artificial turf that is plant-based and made from recyclable materials. The petroleum-based materials are replaced with soybean oil and sugarcane.

Choosing artificial grass

Artificial turf is no longer just for sports fields, playgrounds, putting greens, and stadiums. From being low maintenance and requiring no landscaping or mowing like real grass, to not requiring watering, artificial grass has become more and more popular with homeowners. This is especially true in drought affected areas like California where water is rationed.

Synthetic grass looks great, stays green all year unlike a real grass lawn, and can actually be environmentally friendly depending on the materials and the manufacturing process of the company you choose to buy from.

There are many advantages to choosing artificial turf. But make sure that you understand the pros and cons of each type of material that is available so you get the artificial turf that will work best for your needs!

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