The Pros and Cons of Synthetic Grass

There’s a chance you’ve seen or even walked on synthetic grass recently without knowing it. That’s because nowadays, it looks just like the real thing. But before you tell your lawn mower goodbye, there are a few pros and cons to consider.


Our sprinkler systems expend a lot of water to keep our lawns green. Especially since the majority of us are guilty of overwatering our lawns. Synthetic grass eliminates the need for sprinklers, as well as fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides that pollute the groundwater. In fact, switching to synthetic grass saves, on average, 30% of residential water use. However, synthetic grass doesn’t absorb precipitation the way natural grass does. Besides potential drainage issues that can decrease the life expectancy of synthetic grass, the job of absorbing precipitation is important for filtering debris, replenishing groundwater supply, and maintaining healthy ecosystems. In neighbourhoods largely covered by impermeable surfaces, synthetic grass only adds to the problem of stormwater runoff. In short…

Pros: No watering

Cons: Drainage challenges


Arguably the greatest benefits of synthetic grass are no mowing, watering, or feeding. This not only frees up our time but eliminates the air pollution created by gas-powered lawn mowers. That being said, unlike natural grass, synthetic grass doesn’t renew itself which also means it doesn’t clean itself. If your furry friend poops on synthetic grass, remnants will remain until you remove them, whether with a cleaning solution or a hose. If not, synthetic grass can start to smell and become a breeding ground for bacteria. In short…

Pros: No mowing, watering, or feeding

Cons: Cleaning challenges


Synthetic grass has come a long way from where it started. Depending on budget, synthetic grass options can look and feel just like real grass for 15-20 years thanks to UV stabilization that protects colour against fading. You can also expect it to look great year-round since it won’t be affected by diseases, weather, dormancy, or gophers. In fact, it lets you spruce up places where shade or soil won’t let natural grass thrive. However, once installed, synthetic grass will remain the same for it’s 15-20 year lifespan meaning the shade of green, thickness and length of blades, and texture of materials have to accommodate your needs for years to come. In short…

Pros: Looks great year-round

Cons: No flexibility


We are not the only ones that love natural lawns. In fact, they make great habitats for insects, squirrels, gophers, and more. This is in part because natural grass retains water and remains cool throughout the summer. Synthetic materials don’t have these same cooling properties so in hot weather, it will be hot to the touch. In fact, on average, synthetic grass is 86.5 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than natural grass under identical conditions. On the other hand, natural lawns may become muddy in winter or sprout weeds in spring. Synthetic grass won’t. In short…

Pros: No mud or weeds

Cons: Hot to the touch in summer


With lots of proper care and attention, natural grass will grow strong and last indefinitely, but without it, heavy use by humans and critters alike will cause damage. Because synthetic grass is made from very durable materials such as recycled tires or plastic bottles, it can withstand heavy use throughout its 15- to 20-year lifespan. However, after 15-20 years, it will end up at a landfill.

Pros: Very durable for 15-20 years

Cons: It will end up at the landfill


While natural grass costs between $0.14 and $0.60 per square foot, synthetic grass costs anywhere from $5 to $20 per square foot. That’s an increase of over 3,000 percent. However, synthetic grass installers will remind you that you won’t be paying for any maintenance care, products, or equipment, so synthetic turf will in time pay for itself. In short…

Pros: Minimal cost after installation

Cons: Expensive to purchase


There is no right or wrong when it comes to synthetic grass. The decision depends on several factors such as where you want to install it and what you want to use it for. If you’re a senior who no longer wants to fight a lawn mower, synthetic surf might be a better choice. If you’re a dog mom whose lawn is more of a bathroom, natural grass makes more sense.

If you have a landscaping project in mind or want help creating one, remember to call Universal Landscaping. Our team of landscaping experts will work to ensure your landscape looks great.