Real Grass vs. Artificial Turf: A Comparison of Benefits and Considerations

Posted by Razy Garcia-Sanchez on

Real Grass vs. Artificial Turf

Sod or Turf, what is best for me?

When it comes to choosing the best option for your lawn, there are two main choices: real grass or artificial turf. Both real grass and artificial turf have their own set of benefits and considerations to make, and it's important to weigh these factors carefully before making a decision. In this comparison, we'll take a closer look at the pros and cons of both real grass and artificial turf to help you decide which option may be best for your needs.

Real Grass

Real grass, also known as sod, is a living plant that provides a natural space for socializing, relaxing, play, or as a decorative area to a property. Sod also provides a natural habitat for insects and other wildlife, helps to purify the air, and can reduce soil erosion or runoff.

sod lawn

Artificial Turf

Artificial turf, also known as fake grass, turf, or synthetic turf, is made from synthetic materials and does not require regular watering maintenance but may benefits from being washed periodically. Artificial turf or synthetic turf require less maintenance than real grass because it doesn't require other maintenance like mowing or trimming. 

Real Grass Benefits

Sod is a living, breathing plant that has many health and environmental benefits. First, grass or sod grass purifies the air around it by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing clean oxygen. Real grass also provides a natural habitat for beneficial insects and other wildlife, which supports your immediate biome and general biodiversity. Natural grass supports a diverse range of species and can provide a valuable resource for pollinators, too. Real grass also helps to cool its surrounding areas, helping maintain your home cool in warm weather. In addition to this, real grass can help reduce soil erosion and runoff by holding soil in place with its roots. 

Studies have also shown physical and mental health benefits of meditative connection with nature or general human connection with nature. So, having a real grass lawn can help you get the time with nature needed without having to make a long trip. Lastly, real grass lawns require regular lawn care such as watering, mowing, reseeding, trimming, edging, etc. Engaging in lawn care can help to promote a sense of responsibility and routine as well as a regular connection to nature.

Artificial Turf Benefits

Artificial turf, also known as fake grass, turf or synthetic turf, is a man-made surface or material (ground cover) made to mimic the appearance and function of natural grass. Artificial turf is often used in landscaping, sports fields, and other areas where a grassy surface is desired, but natural grass is not practical or feasible. Artificial turf is made from a variety of synthetic materials, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, or nylon, and is typically installed over a base of compacted soil or a drainage layer.

artificial turf

One of the main benefits of artificial turf is its low maintenance requirements. Synthetic turf does not need to be watered regularly, mowed, or fertilized, and can be used year-round without the need for special care such as reseeding. It is also resistant to pests and diseases, which can be a problem for natural grass. Artificial turf is also more durable than natural grass, and can withstand heavy use and weather conditions without becoming worn or damaged.

Real Grass Considerations

Having a real grass lawn can have it's drawbacks. One long-standing consideration to make with a real grass lawn is lawn care or maintenance. Lawn care and maintenance can require a substantial amount of water (though where does this put water parks?). Another consideration is that a real grass lawn will likely need to be mowed and maintained, which usually implies a gas powered lawn mower and in turn contributes to carbon emissions. 

sod stype

However, with alternative ground covers like Kurapia, Native Lippia, and Native Grass, your lawn will require up to 60% less water than traditional sod lawns and requires less mowing for the Mow Free sod and NO mowing at all with Kurapia ground cover and the Native Lippia. 





Artificial Turf Considerations

Like real grass, there are also some drawbacks to artificial turf. Artificial turf can be more expensive to install and maintain than natural grass, and may require the use of chemicals to keep it clean and free of pests and weeds. Some people also find that artificial turf lacks the natural beauty and aesthetic appeal of real grass. Additionally, some studies have raised concerns about the potential health and environmental risks of artificial turf, such as the release of potentially harmful chemicals and the lack of a natural habitat for insects and other wildlife.

real grass sod

There are several potential health and environmental risks associated with artificial turf compared to real grass. Here are a few examples:

Artificial Turf Materials

Artificial turf is made from synthetic materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, or nylon, which may contain chemicals that could be harmful to the environment or to human health. Some studies have suggested that artificial turf may release chemicals such as lead, cadmium, and phthalates into the air or water, although more research is needed to fully understand the risks and impacts of these chemicals.

synthetic turf

Artificial Turf and the Environment

Artificial turf does not provide a natural habitat for insects and other wildlife, and may disrupt local ecosystems. 

Artificial Turf and Health

Artificial turf does not help to purify the air or cool the surrounding air, as natural grass does through the process of photosynthesis. 

Artificial Turf Maintenance

Artificial turf requires the use of chemicals to keep it clean and free of pests and weeds, which can pose risks to human health and the environment. Yes, synthetic turf can grow weeds, too. 

Overall, while artificial turf may offer some convenience and durability benefits, it is important to carefully consider the potential health and environmental risks when deciding whether it is the right choice for your needs.

synthetic turf with weeds


There is some evidence to suggest that the type of surface (turf versus grass) can affect the risk of sports injuries. Here are a few points to consider:

Artificial Turf and Sports

Turf surfaces may be more consistent and less affected by weather conditions than natural grass, which can be beneficial for sports play. However, some studies have found that turf surfaces may be harder and less forgiving than natural grass, which can increase the risk of impact-related injuries such as concussions and abrasions.

Artificial Turf and Sports Injuries

Some research has also suggested that the use of artificial turf may be associated with a higher risk of lower extremity injuries, such as ankle sprains, knee injuries, and foot injuries. This may be due to the harder and less forgiving nature of the surface, as well as the presence of small rubber particles (known as "crumb rubber") used in some types of artificial turf.

synthetic sports turf

Artificial Turf and Sports Injuries (continued)

Artificial turf can house a wide range of chemicals, bacteria, disease, and germs. So, falling during sports games (or general play) that leads to an open wound makes you more susceptible to these chemicals, bacteria, disease and germs getting on your skin and entering your blood stream through open wounds. 

However, the risk of sports injuries is likely influenced by a number of factors beyond just the type of surface, such as the level of play, the type of sport, and the physical condition of the players. It is important for athletes and coaches to consider all of these factors and take appropriate precautions to minimize the risk of injuries.

Thank you for visiting Sod and Seed, inc. at We hope this blog has been helpful and you found some sense clarity and guidance. As always, please leave any questions or comments below or give us a call at 1-800-381-8163. We hope to hear from you soon!


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