Once the reserve of five-a-side football and hockey matches, artificial grass is making its way into the domestic realm. Appealing to those with balconies and small concrete courtyards or those who are unable to tend to natural lawns, artificial grass is available in a range of styles and pile lengths suitable for any budget. You can even bring some indoors if you’re feeling particularly kitsch.
There’s plenty of choice when it comes to the final look, too. To better emulate the real thing, many artificial grasses use a range of colours. This includes a variation on green, but also some low-down brown and sandy colour options to suggest thickness and growth. Artificial grass also comes in various widths and lengths. So if you have a few tricky corners and curves in your garden, you can trim the strips to size using strong scissors or a Stanley knife.
While artificial is more expensive than turf - and far more expensive than a kilogram of grass seed - its length of life means that, depending on your living situation, it could be a once-in-a-lifetime outlay.
The best artificial grasses incorporate UV protection to prevent bleaching and robust latex undersides that help drain off the water, keeping the grass pointing skywards and reinforced against wear and tear. Some options prioritise toughness, with a mind to those with young children and pets.
If you're wondering what the best artificial grass options are, here are our top picks you can buy online today.
Do you need to put anything underneath artificial grass?
Yes, when laying your artificial grass on top of the soil, you will require a strong sub-base, such as granite dust, with a recommended diameter of 0-6mm. You'll also require a weed membrane to prevent weeds from penetrating the artificial grass.
If you are installing the grass on a concrete surface, we recommend using an underlay for a better feel and easier maintenance.
What are the advantages of artificial grass?
Artificial grass will save you both money and time in the long run, given that you don't need to worry about mowing your lawn, hiring a gardener or watering your garden.
Artificial grass also looks great all year round, unlike real grass, which turns yellow and green during the hotter months.
The use of synthetic grass is also better for the environment, given that no pesticides or fertilisers are used.
The best artificial grass
1. Luxury 30mm Pile Height Artificial Grass
This rich, high-quality offering has rave reviews - and we can see why. At an attractive price, the Tuda Grass Direct grass will last you ages without any fading, is highly durable and looks fab. In addition, the grass is very easy to lay down and even easier to clean, and edges are easy to cut if need be.
Pros: Durable, easy to install, doesn't fade, free samples available, child and pet-friendly.
Cons: Different batches may vary in quality and length.
2. Prestige 35mm Pile Height Artificial Grass
Attractive, durable and affordable, Prestige's 35mm artificial grass is a nice option for those with small children or pets. It's soft to the touch and has some colour variation to help create a natural look. The grass is also UV protected, which helps fend off any bleaching caused by sunlight. No sand infilling is needed, as the durable latex backing takes care of drainage while also helping the grass spring back up after compression, so it always looks pristine. It's also easy to trim and comes in a range of sizes.
Pros: Affordable, no sand infilling, low maintenance.
Cons: Grass blades thicker than some options.
3. Berlin 26mm Pile Height Artificial Grass
Made up of two shades of green for the most natural look, this option is sure to transform your garden or patio area. The grass feels real to the touch and is very easy to install. The embedded draining holes make maintenance a breeze, and you won't be seeing any muddy footprints on this anytime soon. For cleaning, all you need is some water, and you're good to go.
Pros: Drainage holes embedded, easy to install, looks realistic, UV protection, highly affordable.
Cons: A little thin compared to pricier options in this list.
4. Tuda Grass Direct Lisbon 26mm Pile Height Artificial Grass
Another cheerfully affordable option, this 26mm artificial grass, will give your patio or balcony that extra something. This choice is both child and pet-friendly, owing to the soft and lead-free materials used. The fantastic UV protection also means that the rich green colour won't be fading anytime soon.
Pros: Easy to cut and shape, and straightforward to clean.
Cons: A bit thin.
5. Zaragoza 30mm Pile Height Artificial Grass
You'll have to do a double-take before you realise our next option is synthetic. The natural-looking multi-tone colour closely resembles the actual lawn, minus the hassle and maintenance that comes with the real thing. Made from UV resistant performance yarns, the grass is extremely durable and soft to touch, making it child and pet friendly.
Pros: Durable, drains fast, soft to touch.
Cons: A little patchy in places.
6. Quickgrass Luxury Artificial Grass
Quickgrass's Luxury Artificial Grass is luxurious indeed. The density of the grass provides it with a thick and lush appearance, while the colour variant offers a very natural finish. There's a real choice here, too, with the product coming in a number of sizes, pile lengths and finishes. Cheltenham is the longest at 40mm, Woburn is 35mm, Stratford 30mm, and Harvington is the shortest at 26mm. Over these four options, Quickgrass has modified the colour ratios slightly to give them distinct aesthetics. The plastic grass is soft to the touch and promises to live up to years of use and enjoyment. The latex backing provides drainage, with sand infill being optional.
Pros: Excellent quality available in a range of styles.
The membrane is an important part of laying artificial grass, providing a barrier between the ground and the latex underside of the lawn. They help to improve the grass's durability above and prevent weed growth from the soil below. Here are two of the best:
ANSIO Weed Membrane 2x20M, Weed Control Fabric
A versatile and UV resistant membrane, suitable for paving, patios and artificial lawns. Great for weed control, the material is water-permeable, allowing water and other nutrients into the soil.
Elixirgardensu00ae Ground Check Heavy Duty Ground Control Cover Membrane
A pricier option, but one that offers impressive durability. Even though itu's tough, it'll still drain off any water with ease. Carries an advertised 30-year lifespan.
How can you install fake grass yourself?
Below, we have outlined the steps you need to take to install your fake grass on to soil.
1. Before starting, make sure to plan out exactly what areas you intend to cover with your synthetic grass and calculate how much material you will need.
2. Next, remove any existing turf from your garden. We recommend digging out around two inches of your soil and removing any stones and roots that might get in the way.
3. Next, evenly lay a base of granite dust until you get the right level and spread.
4. Then, roll out your weed membrane on top of your granite dust base, to prevent any weeds from coming through your artificial grass.
5. Finally, lay your synthetic grass onto the prepared layers. Make sure to have a sharp knife at your disposal, to trim any excess lawn and achieve your desired shape.
If you're applying your synthetic grass to a concrete base, follow the instructions in the video below:
William Lobley is a Deputy Commercial Content Editor and reviewer for WhatsTheBest, specialising in technology, gaming, and outdoors. He also writes for Empire Online.
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