Horticulture Magazine

The Best Artificial Grass For A Low-Maintenance Lawn

close up of artificial lawn

Growing a lawn is a drawn-out, expensive, and high-maintenance undertaking.

Those on a modest budget and with time constraints can get a green lawn almost as good as the real thing for a fraction of the cost in both time and money: an Artificial Grass lawn!

Why Get Artificial Grass?

Watering, maintaining, weeding, mowing, spraying – ‘real’ grass lawns are high-maintenance and time-consuming. On top of that, natural lawns can get uneven, browned, infested, or start dying in patches. How about a lush green lawn that you don’t have to maintain yet will stay in perfect condition? In other words, an Artificial Grass Lawn?

If you think of artificial grass as an obviously synthetic product and a somewhat unrefined purchase, that may have been true way back when. Technological advances have resulted in artificial grass mimicking and virtually matching natural grass not only in look but also in feel. Furthermore, it has become a desirable product that is finding its way into well-heeled neighbourhoods.  

Just like a real lawn, artificial turf is a joy for the kids to play on or the dogs to roll on. But there are some other advantages of a ‘non-real’ lawn. Neither the kids nor the dog will track dirt and mud back into your squeaky-clean living room. Also, you can have a ‘grass’ lawn in spots that are sheltered from the sun or on stony ground on which you simply cannot grow grass. Finally, you don’t need to get the right soil, lay it, buy grass seeds, carefully sow them, and so on . . . and then keep your fingers crossed that the hoped-for green lawn will turn out well. With artificial grass, it’s Lush Lawn – Overnight!

Product Choices and Differences

Good artificial grass mimics real grass to the extent of the individual blades. They will vary just a bit in lengths, also vary a wee bit in thickness, some blades will be ramrod straight while others will be slanted and yet a smaller number will be bent, the grass blades will be in slightly different shades of green with a small number of browned blades intermixed with the green. Just like the real thing. All five of our chosen products resemble real grass to some or another extent.

You may find products that cost only half or even a third of our choices. You will also find products that cost three or four times as much. The cheap stuff looks and feels like peculiar green matting. As for the high-priced products, the mid-priced products reviewed underneath are nearly as good or virtually indistinguishable from them. For only a slight or indiscernible increase in quality, why pay thrice as much? In its price points Artificial Grass really is subject to the Law of Diminishing Returns.

As the prices of the selected items are quite tightly clustered, it is not the cost as much as the fine differences between the products that separate them. These fine differences include ‘look’ or realism, ‘feel’ or tactile impression, shade(s) of green, plushness, and durability. As marketing literature for Artificial Grass include a set of stock phrases, we take these into account and also inform you if the product in question is truly ‘Pet Friendly,’ whether it really offers ‘UV Protection,’ how ‘realistic’ it is, and more. 

Our #1 Top Pick
Luxury 30mm Pile Height Artificial Grass |...
Value Pick
simpa 1 x Quality Non Fade Artificial Grass...
Also Consider...
GardenKraft 26009 Green Roll 4m x 1m 20mm...
Pile Height
30mm
20mm
20mm
Widths
2M / 4M
4M
4M
Drainage
Pet / Child Friendly
UV Protection
Roll Price
£36.00
£39.99
£61.18
Our #1 Top Pick
Luxury 30mm Pile Height Artificial Grass |...
Pile Height
30mm
Widths
2M / 4M
Drainage
Pet / Child Friendly
UV Protection
Roll Price
£36.00
Value Pick
simpa 1 x Quality Non Fade Artificial Grass...
Pile Height
20mm
Widths
4M
Drainage
Pet / Child Friendly
UV Protection
Roll Price
£39.99
Also Consider...
GardenKraft 26009 Green Roll 4m x 1m 20mm...
Pile Height
20mm
Widths
4M
Drainage
Pet / Child Friendly
UV Protection
Roll Price
£61.18

Last update on 2021-04-12 / All Pricing & Imagery from Amazon Product Advertising API

See more on our favourite picks below:

Best Pick: Tuda Grass Luxury 30mm

Though the folks behind Tuda are not very responsive, their durable and quality ‘Luxury’ grass is visually a smash-bang imitation of the real thing.

Tuda Grass ‘Luxury’ has a pile height of 30 millimetres and is available in 47 sizes from 2 x 1 through 2 x 18 up to a huge 4 x 20 metres. Be aware that the average pile height is not really quite 30 millimetres. 

It is very easy to cut and lay.

The standout feature of this product is that it is incredibly realistic, even from up close. The variation in the grass ‘blades’ and their lengths, hues, and orientations closely mimic natural grass of a delightful green shade. Quality can vary a little from batch to batch but aesthetically this artificial turf ranks at the top.

Tuda’s Luxury grass’s backing has drainage holes and here too it is one of the best in class as water drains away without any pooling even after heavy showers.

Adding to its draws, the backing material is of high quality and the pile is quite thick and does not come off the backing at all.

While visual realism is this product’s chief merit, it is also very soft and pleasant to the touch.

Another draw is this product’s durability and is resistant to heat and snow. It is UV-protected has a ‘5-year guarantee against UV fading’ though you will probably not need to exercise it because it is very fade-resistant and retains its fresh appearance.

Tuda is not well reputed for after-sales support and service.

Excelling in aesthetics and realism and picking up other points along the way, all said Tuda Grass ‘Luxury’ is a clear Best Pick.

Pros

  • Very realistic visually, even from up close.
  • Aesthetically almost as appealing as a natural grass lawn.
  • Resists the elements and is very durable.

Cons

  • Average pile height is not really 30 millimetres.
  • Manufacturer does not provide good after-sales support.

Value Pick: Simpa Quality Non-Fade Artificial Grass

Variable in its hues of green but so nice to the touch and in ‘feel,’ Simpa’s ‘Quality’ grass is as pleasing to the kids as it is to your pocket.

Simpa Quality has a pile height of 20 millimetres. Unfortunately, it is available in only one size of 1 x 4 metres but is bundled in quantities of 1, 2, 4 and 8 rolls so that you can get the square footage you require in a single order. 

It is very quick and easy to cut and lay.

It is fairly realistic. The hue of green can and does vary from batch to batch and can vary even among a set of rolls purchased together. However, it is not at all unlikely that you may get a few rolls of Simpa’s grass that are of a lovely emerald shade of green.

The thickness is just right; it is neither overly lush nor straggly.

Simpa Quality Grass’s ranks high in ‘feel.’ It is quite natural, and soft and gentle to the touch. One of the best tactilely; it is excellent for playing on or sitting on. ‘Child Friendly’? Tick! ‘Pet Friendly’? Tick!

It is specified as fade-resistant. It drains rainwater quite well but is not the best in this respect.

The question that comes to mind is along the lines of, “How can such a solid product be as low priced as it is?” However, it is very affordable, and surprisingly so in view of its overall quality. As such, it nicks similarly-priced EverGrass Windsor as our Value Pick.

Pros

  • Very nice in feel and pleasant to the touch.
  • Quite often the green is of a lovely emerald hue.
  • One of the lowest priced, an excellent value for money.

Cons

  • Available only in pieces of 1 x 4 metres.
  • The hue of green can vary, even within a single batch of pieces.

GardenKraft 20mm Artificial Grass High Density

Susceptible to being subbed with a fake product, GardenKraft’s grass has no real defects, and rating well across the board, it’s a ‘top compromise.’

The variant of GardenKraft artificial grass we have selected has a pile height of 20 millimetres. Their turf is also available in pile heights of 15, 18, and 30 millimetres. It comes in pieces of 1 x 4 metres. 

Its pile height really is up to specs, and the pile is thick but not lush.

It is simple and quick to cut and lay. It has drainage holes which are up to the task.

GardenKraft’s claims of ‘the perfect mix of Emerald Green, Lime Green and Bi-colour to create a rich, realistic’ effect are not far off the mark as this grass is visually one of the prettiest and most realistic. Not only are the grass blades of slightly different sizes and orientations, the hues too display a naturalistic gradation.

On a down note, the hue of green sometimes varies from batch to batch. And on a cautionary note it appears that a few unscrupulous sellers pass on some other, inferior product with poor overall quality as that of GardenKraft.

It is very good in feel and touch. It can certainly be called ‘Child Friendly’ and ‘Pet Friendly.’

It is rated to have 5-year UV protection.

This product is an excellent choice for those who are not particularly desirous of one standout feature but who ‘want it all’ rolled up as a best compromise.

Pros

  • Visually very realistic and very pretty.
  • Tactilely and comfort-wise very good.
  • Though not top-ranked in any one quality, it is a ‘top compromise’ product.

Cons

  • Available only in pieces of 1 x 4 metres.
  • Sometimes bogus and inferior merchandise is sold in place of the genuine product.

EverGrass Windsor 20mm

Maybe a tad thinnish and not too realistic, EverGrass Windsor scores huge in feel and touch; this soft and comfortable grass is an amazing value.

EverGrass Windsor has a pile height of 20 millimetres. It is made of 100% Polypropylene. It is available in quite an array of sizes from 2 x 1 to 2 x 10 metres and 4 x 1 to 4 x 10 metres.

It is easy enough to cut and lay.

The manufacturer states that this grass is ‘a mix of 4 different colours including a light brown curled base.’ Though not incorrect, that may be stretching it. The grass certainly has a marginal differentiation in the hues but the arrangement of the differently-hued blades is not quite natural. As such, realism is not a strong suit but it is good enough.

On the plus side, the drainage holes are well placed and work perfectly.

Somewhat contradictorily, EverGrass’s Windsor is thinnish and probably the least plush among the products reviewed here; at the same time it is just lovely to the touch. In ‘feel’ it is soft, pleasant, and even rather natural.

It is UV-resistant and will not fade.

EverGrass Windsor is budget priced and is a wonderful value for money. There is very little to choose between this product and our Value Pick, Simpa Quality, it being a case of six of one, half-dozen of the other. As the two cost about the same, consider this one our Alternate Value Pick.

Pros

  • Soft and comfortable, it ranks very high in feel and touch.
  • Available in a very wide range of sizes for laying convenience.
  • Inexpensive product rates as an excellent value for money.

Cons

  • The pile is comparatively thinnish.
  • Visually, one of the less realistic products.

Tuda Grass Berlin 26mm

Though variability across batches is a concern, durable and fade-resistant Tuda Berlin is a soft and comfy ‘grass’ for kids and pets to play on.

Tuda Grass ‘Berlin’ has a pile height of 26 millimetres and is available in 47 sizes from 2 x 1 to 2 x 20 metres and 4 x 1 to 4 x 20 metres.

It is as easy to cut as it is to lay.

It has drainage holes and it drains very well even after rainstorms.

Though it is advertised as being ‘made up of 2 shades of green with a brown curly fibre,’ overall it comes across as a dullish and flattish but natural hue of green. Visually, it is of more than acceptable realism.

Where Tuda’s Berlin shines is in softness and comfort, and in the ‘Friendly’ columns. Children and pets both will take to this genuinely ‘user-friendly’ turf, as will you.

It is nice and thick without being lush but it is somewhat variable from batch to batch in thickness, ‘feel’ and comfort, and also realistic effect.

Like Tuda’s premium product, this is a very durable grass that resists the elements and is also fade-resistant.

Tuda is not well reputed for after-sales support and service.

Tuda Grass ‘Berlin’ may be a very good choice for families who want an artificial lawn in their backyard for the children and pets to play on.

Pros

  • Soft and comfortable, it is ‘Child Friendly’ and ‘Pet Friendly.’
  • Available in a very wide range of sizes for laying convenience.
  • Resists the elements and is very durable.

Cons

  • Different batches somewhat vary in any and all of the key attributes.
  • Manufacturer does not provide good after-sales support.

How To Lay Artificial Grass

Laying artificial grass is so easy that you do not need even beginner DIY skills. Here are some tips to help you ‘grow’ a natural-looking and trouble-free artificial lawn.

First, a few considerations need to be kept in mind:–

Joints and seams, if any, should not be visible.

Weeds should not sprout through the artificial grass.

Rainwater should not pool on the artifical grass or permeate its backing.

Measure the surface area you want to lay grass on and order the appropriate numbers and sizes of grass pieces, ordering the largest sizes to fit the surface area because you want to minimise joins. Use a craft knife or Stanley knife to cut the excess pieces to size. You can even use a big, sharp pair of scissors. 

Join two pieces by turning them over, putting them side by side, and taping them with (self-adhesive) artificial grass seam tape. Try your best to scrunch the two pieces together as you tape them so that the join won’t show. Another way to join pieces is to put the correct length of tape on the ground, stick one piece along its edge on the tape lengthwise, and then stick the other piece.

If your artificial grass’s pile has a grain or run, take care that the grain or run of a piece is in the same direction as the ones you are joining it to.

Artificial grass can be laid on most any horizontal surface but some surfaces need more prepping than others. Earth and soil outdoors need the most prepping.

If you are laying the turf on a hard surface, be it concrete in the front yard, a terrace on the upper storey, or a balcony on the fortieth floor, the procedure is as easy as pie. 

Unlike balconies, front yards – be they earth, soil, or concrete – are not sheltered from the rain, are susceptible to weeds sprouting through, and are also much bigger than balconies. Therefore, you will need to go to some additional cost and additional work to prep these surfaces, with earth and soil requiring more preparatory work than does concrete.

For earth or soil you need to take the following ‘pre-preparatory’ steps.

If the soil or earth is very loose, compact it. 

Make sure the ground is not too uneven, if not exactly level – many real grass lawns are undulating or sloping, and so can an artificial grass one. However, there should be no sudden rises or drops otherwise the artificial grass will not lay well.

Remove stones and rocks.

For any outdoor surface, take these steps.

Spray a weed killer on the surface – earth, soil, or concrete.

Spread a first base layer of crushed limestone or gravel on the area over which the artificial grass will go. This layer should be 25 to 30 millimetres. Spread a second base layer of silica sand over the first base layer. It should be about 15 millimetres deep. Now is the time to get your preferred lay of the land. If you want a flat, level lawn, run a heavy roller on the prepped surface. If you want gentle undulations and slopes, spread and shape the base layers accordingly.

To lay artificial grass on a balcony, you can spread special artificial grass glue or adhesive on the backing and stick it so that it is secure. Or you can just lay the grass and weigh it down on a couple of corners and an edge with flower pots and a lounging chair. Consider spreading a layer of silica sand (not just any sand) over the grass and brush it in.

To lay artificial grass on an outdoor prepped surface you need to take additional steps. 

Lay permeable black weed control membrane or fabric of the appropriate size on the prepped surface. Make sure that the membrane or fabric is permeable to allow rainwater to drain through and be absorbed by the earth.

To secure artificial grass to an external surface you can use adhesive/glue with silica sand or u-nails/pegs/staples with silica sand. You could use all three for a bang-up job.

Spread special artificial grass glue or adhesive on the weed control membrane or fabric and then carefully position and lay the artificial grass on it. You will need some number of persons for this step depending on the size of the artificial grass.

Hammer in green metal u-nails, pegs or landscape staples along the edges and corners of the artificial grass. 

Finally, pour a thin layer of silica sand (not just any sand) all over the artificial grass, and brush it in.

To keep the grass ‘blades’ looking natural and fresh, from time to time brush the grass with a garden broom or hard broom in various directions. Now and then, brush in some silica sand to liven up the ‘blades.’

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