The Best Artificial Grass Options in 2021

Tired of watering, mowing, and fertilizing your lawn? Maybe artificial grass is the way to go for the green without the hassle.

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The Best Artificial Grass Options

Photo: amazon.com

Tired of the grind of mowing and watering the yard? Got a shady spot where you cannot get grass to grow? Maybe it’s time to replace your real grass with artificial grass. As a synthetic replacement, it requires less maintenance and stays green.

The best artificial grass lets you enjoy most of the benefits of a lush lawn, including appearance. The right turf for you depends on where you want to install it, how you want it to look, who will use the grass (like pets), and the amount of foot traffic.

Keep reading for tips on finding the right fake turf for your outdoor space, and explore the quality picks below.

  1. BEST OVERALL: PET GROW PG1-4 Artificial Grass Rug
  2. BEST BUDGET: Petgrow Deluxe Realistic Artificial Grass Turf
  3. MOST REALISTIC: Goasis Lawn Realistic Thick Artificial Grass Turf
  4. BEST FOR GARDEN: SunVilla Realistic Indoor/Outdoor Artificial Grass
  5. BEST FOR HIGH TRAFFIC: LITA Realistic Deluxe Artificial Grass
  6. BEST FOR FOOTBALL: Artificial Grass Wholesalers 15′ Foot Roll
  7. BEST FOR KIDS: iCustomRug Indoor/Outdoor Artificial Grass Shag
  8. BEST FOR BALCONY: Petgrow Synthetic Artificial Grass Turf
The Best Artificial Grass Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Artificial Turf

Ensure that you find the best artificial grass for your yard, patio, or personal putting greens by taking the time to learn more about the various factors that can influence the appearance and durability of synthetic turf products. Fake grass comes in several different types with varying pile heights. Some synthetic grass can even be made with treated turf fibers to help stand up to direct sunlight or the wear and tear typically associated with sports turf.

Type and Foot Traffic

There are three general types of artificial grass, each based on the type of yarn that goes into making them: nylon, polyethylene, or polypropylene. The amount and frequency of human use on synthetic turf is known as foot traffic. When choosing artificial grass options, consider how many footsteps the fake grass will face every day. If your yard will have a high volume of foot traffic—say, lots of kids and dogs romping daily—you need to pick a material that can stand up to wear.

  • Nylon synthetic turf feels most like natural grass, and it looks pleasing to the eye because its soft texture and subtle hues better mimic the look and coloring of grass. This makes it a great option for artificial landscape grass. However, nylon is less durable than the other materials used to make artificial grass. It doesn’t stand up to lots of foot traffic and can be damaged by plant debris that falls naturally from trees and shrubs.
  • Polypropylene artificial grass is an ideal option for a lawn that must stand up to heavy foot traffic—like kids romping on it daily. It has a much higher durability rating, so it lasts a long time and is even a popular choice for manufacturers to make artificial grass for dogs. The trade-off is it doesn’t look as good as nylon; polypropylene artificial grass can look manufactured or plastic.
  • Polyethylene artificial grass combines the realistic look of nylon with the durability of polypropylene. Polyethylene artificial grass is a suitable option for backyards or gardens where appearance is as important as durability. Polyethylene is easy to clean and deodorize, so it’s a good choice for yards that will be frequented by pets.

Pile Height

The pile height of fake grass refers to the length of the grass blades, typically measured in inches or millimeters. The longer the pile height, the more durable the turf will be. Professional athletic fields have artificial grass with a pile height of up to 3 inches so that it can withstand wear and tear.

High-traffic areas like playgrounds or amateur athletic fields need a pile height of 1.5 inches to 2 inches. Medium-traffic areas like your backyard need a pile height of 1 inch to 1.5 inches. For low-traffic locations like an apartment balcony, 0.5 inch to 1 inch of pile height is suitable.

Maintenance and UV Protection

Once you lay artificial grass, one of the good things about it is how easy it is to maintain. There’s no watering or fertilizing with artificial grass, nor is there any need for pesticides or fertilizer. To maintain artificial grass, be sure to rake up twigs, leaves, and other yard debris, and hose it down periodically to keep it clean and smelling fresh (especially if you have pets).

Some artificial grasses have built-in resistance to the sun’s damaging rays, called ultraviolet (UV) protection. UV protection keeps artificial grass from fading in the sun and prevents its backing from breaking down and allowing grass fibers to come out. If you live in an area with intense sun exposure, you may want artificial grass with built-in UV resistance to make it last longer.

Aesthetic

Infill is sand or sandlike material placed on top of the artificial grass to hold up the blades, weigh down the turf, and mimic the absorption quality of the soil. It helps an artificial lawn feel and look more realistic. It’s not included with all artificial grass products, but adding it protects your turf from heavy foot traffic and UV damage.

Additionally, artificial grass typically comes in a range of green hues. Most artificial grass products use a blend of hues to produce a more realistic appearance. High-quality artificial grass has blades with soft edges and firm tips that don’t look fake. Some artificial grasses even have a thatch layer that helps make a yard look less perfect and more realistic.

Our Top Picks

We evaluated some top-performing artificial grasses, measured them against our buying considerations, and picked favorites for a variety of user needs.

Best Overall

The Best Artificial Grass Options: PET GROW PG1-4 Artificial Grass Rug
Photo: amazon.com

The PET GROW artificial grass rug can stand up to moderate foot traffic and has a water-resistant backing, making it a good choice for a wide range of locations. This polypropylene artificial grass will work in gardens, backyards, and front yards. With built-in drainage holes and water-resistant rubber backing, this grass can handle pet urine.

This artificial grass has a pile of 1.37 inches, with a random pattern of blade shapes and four natural tones for a realistic look. PET GROW is both heat- and fade-resistant, with a multilayer backing for superior durability.

Product Specs

  • Type: Polypropylene
  • Pile: 1.37 inches
  • Foot traffic: Moderate

Pros

  • Resists heat
  • Resists fading
  • Multilayered backing to improve durability
  • Built-in drainage holes

Cons

  • Not made for high-traffic areas


Best Budget

The Best Artificial Grass Option: Petgrow Deluxe Realistic Artificial Grass Turf
Photo: amazon.com

Petgrow’s artificial turf packs in a lot of features at a thrifty price. It’s made of polypropylene and has 1.37-inch blades that look realistic and can stand up to moderate foot traffic. It feels soft and blends four green tones into the yarn for a realistic turfgrass appearance.

The artificial turf has drainage holes and a rubber backing that makes it easy to clean and durable for long-lasting use. Those holes are pet-friendly as well because they drain away urine.

Product Specs

  • Type: Polypropylene
  • Pile: 1.37 inches
  • Foot traffic: Moderate

Pros

  • Budget-friendly option
  • Soft to the touch
  • Blended green appearance closely mimics real lawn
  • Thick, durable rubber backing
  • Built-in drainage holes

Cons

  • Stronger chemical smell when first used


Most Realistic

The Best Artificial Grass Option: Goasis Lawn Realistic Thick Artificial Grass Turf
Photo: amazon.com

While many users can appreciate the look and feel of artificial grass, the goal for most manufacturers is to create a product that closely resembles the appearance and texture of natural grass. This product by Goasis Lawn uses a blend of green color hues and soft, polyethylene fibers to mimic real grass and allow users to install this impressive alternative without a shocking difference in the look and feel of the yard.

The fake grass turf comes in a wide range of sizes and has a pile height of 1.38 inches, which is a good height for moderate foot traffic, like kids and pets playing in the yard. This product has a thick, durable polypropylene backing that helps to improve the durability of the grass without diminishing its appearance. Additionally, this UV-resistant artificial grass has a fake thatch woven into the design to mimic the authenticity of turf.

Product Specs

  • Type: Polyethylene and polypropylene
  • Pile: 1.38 inches
  • Foot traffic: Moderate

Pros

  • Realistic color tones and fake thatch
  • Resists fading and UV damage
  • Nontoxic
  • Water permeable

Cons

  • Comes folded instead of rolled, which may result in creases


Best for Garden

The Best Artificial Grass Option: SunVilla Realistic Indoor Outdoor Artificial Grass
Photo: amazon.com

SunVilla is our pick for covering the places between the beds of flowers, shrubs, and veggies because it doesn’t need any infill to stand up to foot traffic. Users can spend their energy and time tending the garden instead of the artificial grass. It’s made of polyethylene and polypropylene yarn with a tough polypropylene backing, with a pile of 1.38 inches.

Users can walk all around their garden beds working, watering, and weeding them, and SunVilla artificial grass can take it. Its grass blades are made in four colors of yarn to give the artificial lawn a realistic look because blades that are all one color look fake. It’s made of nontoxic lead-free materials, so harmful chemicals won’t leach into the garden. It’s UV resistant, too.

Product Specs

  • Type: Polyethylene and polypropylene
  • Pile: 1.38 inches
  • Foot traffic: Moderate

Pros

  • Realistic blended color
  • Resists UV damage
  • Nontoxic and safe for gardens

Cons

  • May accumulate water in heavy rain


Best for High Traffic

The Best Artificial Grass Options: LITA Realistic Deluxe Artificial Grass
Photo: amazon.com

LITA’s artificial grass balances good looks with durability, making it a good pick for backyards where there will be lots of activity. Its blades are made of soft, durable polyethylene and polypropylene yarn that looks and feels like real grass. Four color tones mimic the shades of natural turf.

Built-in UV resistance keeps this artificial turf colorfast for years, while a polypropylene backing and 1.38-inch pile make it durable to foot traffic. The product has a perforated backing to allow fast drainage, so it dries out quickly after rain. The manufacturer recommends adding infill (sold separately) to extend the life of the product.

Product Specs

  • Type: Polyethylene and polypropylene
  • Pile: 1.38 inches
  • Foot traffic: High

Pros

  • Durable polyethylene handles high-traffic use
  • Resists fading and UV damage
  • Four color tones to mimic real grass

Cons

  • Needs infill for improved durability and lifespan


Best for Football

The Best Artificial Grass Option: Artificial Grass Wholesalers 15' Foot Roll
Photo: amazon.com

If you have kids who spend fall days playing pickup games of football in the yard or you just want to add super-durable artificial grass to your landscape, this artificial grass is a good option. It has a pile of 1.6 inches woven through a polyurethane backing with drainage holes to prevent standing water and make cleaning easier.

This artificial grass uses slight variations of color, dimension, and texture to make the blades look more realistic. It even has imitation thatch at the base of the blades so it looks as imperfect as a real lawn. It’s made to stand up to the twists, turns, and jumps that come with football and other high-energy activities.

Product Specs

  • Type: Polyurethane
  • Pile: 1.6 inches
  • Foot traffic: High

Pros

  • Imitation thatch offers a realistic appearance
  • Thick pile, ideal for sports
  • Built-in drainage holes

Cons

  • Color matching more than one roll can be difficult


Best for Kids

The Best Artificial Grass Options: iCustomRug Thick Turf Rugs and Runners
Photo: amazon.com

This artificial turf rug provides a soft, safe surface for kids to play on. It’s made of medium-density polypropylene that resists stains and UV damage. The rug has 1.25-inch-long blades that are soft under the feet but not so thick that kids can’t get a sure footing.

iCustomRug artificial grass has perforations in its backing to allow rain and hose water to drain away, taking dirt and grime with it, while the binding tape on the edges keeps the artificial grass from unraveling over time. Just keep in mind that some of the grass strands can come loose and become a choking hazard to young children, so it’s important to keep an eye on the kids when they play on this fake grass.

Product Specs

  • Type: Nylon
  • Pile: 1.25 inches
  • Foot traffic: Moderate

Pros

  • Binding tape secures the edges of the artificial turf
  • Multilayered backing to improve durability
  • Built-in drainage holes
  • Soft surface for kids to play on

Cons

  • Grass strands can come loose


Best for Balcony

The Best Artificial Grass Options: Petgrow Synthetic Artificial Grass Turf
Photo: amazon.com

If you find yourself living in the city but missing the feel and look of a yard, cover your balcony floor in artificial turf. This Pet Grow artificial grass has a low 0.5-inch pile that can stand up to regular foot traffic for adding a patch of green in a small urban setting.

The fake turf has medium-density polypropylene grass blades and drainage holes that let rainwater drain away so no mold grows. The artificial grass has a rubber backing that can lie directly on the concrete floor of the balcony, so it’s easy to install.

Product Specs

  • Type: Polypropylene
  • Pile: 0.5 inch
  • Foot traffic: Low

Pros

  • Low pile height is ideal for a balcony
  • Resists fading
  • Durable rubber backing with built-in drainage holes

Cons

  • Artificial grass is vulnerable to damage in high-traffic locations


Our Verdict

Improve the appearance of the yard with this high-quality, durable PET GROW PG1-4 artificial grass. Alternatively, the inexpensive Petgrow Deluxe artificial turf has a soft texture ideal for kids and pets.

How We Chose the Best Artificial Grass

Extensive research into each product, including a thorough examination of the durability, style, color, texture, backing, and overall construction, was necessary to select the top artificial grass products. Durability was one of the most important factors because artificial turf is regularly subjected to human and animal foot traffic, which can quickly destroy substandard artificial grass.

Additionally, the appearance and texture of the artificial grass were key components in the selection process because most users are looking for an artificial product that closely mimics natural grass. The material and style of the artificial grass were considered for both the appearance and durability of the product, while the pile height and product material also were necessary for determining foot traffic suitability. Artificial grass products that had built-in drainage holes or a multilayered backing to improve durability were typically considered superior to similar products that lacked these features.

FAQs

Q: Can dogs pee on artificial grass?

Dog and other animals’ urine may damage live grass, but it drains through the backing of artificial grass, leaving the surface undamaged.

Q: Can you put artificial grass on top of real grass?

You can, but you shouldn’t. Doing so can cause long-term problems like grass or weeds growing through the artificial grass backing as well as poor drainage that can shorten the lifespan of your artificial grass.

Q: What thickness of artificial grass is best?

The thickness or pile height depends on the preference of the user. Choose taller pile heights for high-traffic areas, like sports fields, to cushion the impact on the ground. Go with a short pile height for low-traffic landscape lawns or balconies that are rarely used.

In general, artificial grass should have a pile height between 0.5 and 1 inch for low-traffic areas, 1 and 1.5 inches for moderate-traffic areas, and 1.5 and 2 inches for high-traffic areas.

Q: What is best to put under artificial grass?

Silica sand is one of the best options to put under artificial grass, but you can also use crushed granite, gravel, and limestone chippings. Just make sure that you do not lay the artificial grass directly on soil as this can lead to weeds, natural grass, and other plants growing up through the turf.

Q: How do you maintain artificial grass?

Artificial grass takes less work to maintain than a live lawn, but it’s not maintenance-free like some other lawn alternatives. To keep it looking great and prolong its lifespan, follow these maintenance tips:

  • Brush the lawn with a stiff-bristled broom to remove any leaves or twigs when necessary. You can also use a leaf blower to make the job easier.
  • Regularly trim hedges, trees, and other plants nearby to reduce the amount of lawn debris falling on the artificial grass.
  • Apply weed killer twice a year to keep weeds from growing through the backing.
  • If you have a pet, clean and deodorize the artificial grass with a special enzymatic cleaning spray, or use natural cleaners like baking soda or a water-and-vinegar solution.

Q: How long will artificial grass last?

On average, artificial grass lasts 15 to 20 years. The amount of maintenance and traffic volume affects the life span of artificial grass.