Flat Artificial Grass | does all artificial grass go flat?

In short – with complete honesty – yes.   With consistent use all artificial grass will flatten to an extent.  At the end of the day artificial grass is made from lots of thin extrusions of plastic which under consistent use will start to wear beyond their plastic memory and soften resulting in individual blades having less ability to support themselves.  It’s just a fact – in the same way that a cyclist’s leg continually rubbing against a metal crank arm or frame will eventually wear through any protective coatings into the metal – and that’s metal!

How does plastic quality and product structure affect the flattening effect? 

  • The extent to which a product will ‘wear in’ or flatten.  A poor quality synthetic turf product will flatten to the extent of beginning to mat together whereas a good quality product will retain as much of its natural looking and functional characteristics as possible even when it has been fully worn in.
  • The amount of time and use it takes to wear the grass in.  A poor quality product will flatten much quicker under less use than a high quality product.  Lower quality and less dense plastics degrade quicker – in artificial grass terms this means flattening and fading.
  • How good the product looks when it has worn in.  Good quality products can look more realistic after being worn-in as the very uniform aesthetic of an artificial lawn is replaced with a more natural, less uniform and more realistic appearance.  Poor quality and/or less dense or badly structured products flatten to a greater degree often to the extent of matting which creates a very poor and unrealistic aesthetic matched with very poor functionality.

In the picture below you can see an example of poor quality artificial grass flattening and even matting together in the high footfall areas.

a picture of some poor quality artificial grass that has flattened with use

There are a number of things buyers can do to avoid the negative aspects of artificial grass flattening:

  • Be wary of products marketed as ‘soft’.  There seems to be a trend amongst manufacturers for producing and marketing ‘softest product ever’ ranges and we can see the attraction for homeowners having a lovely soft artificial lawn.  The reality is that soft products tend to be made from thinner extrusions of yarn which have less ability to support themselves from day one.  Remember a good quality artificial lawn when installed correctly should have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years which tallies up to a lot of use.  A good quality artificial grass will not be stiff but it will be firmer in comparison to poor quality products.   Low quality products often feel more like shredded plastic bag material and this is because many low quality artificial grasses are often made from a very similar low grade plastic.  It’s also worth mentioning – if an installer recommends that you need to keep sweeping the grass to make it ‘stand up’ then product in question is not good quality.
  • Buy artificial grass with a structured blade profile i.e. rather than individual flat blades a product should have shaped blades e.g. our own products have a ‘propeller’ or a ‘y’ profile meaning the blade is shaped like a lazy ‘s’ or a ‘y’ down its’ entire length.  This gives each blade a much greater ability to supports itself than a flat blade.  We have a post specifically about this in the Turf King Blog.
  • Buy quality.  Again there is a blog post about this in the Turf King Blog but in short better quality plastic takes longer to break down.  Ask manufacturers what their products are made from because it’s the most fundamental aspect of what makes an artificial grass product good at doing its job.  If a manufacturer or installer can’t tell you what the product they are recommending is made from – it’s most likely to be poor quality.  The extra effort and investment it takes to produce high quality products means that manufacturers have to make a conscious decision to break away from the norm and they’d be keen to promote that.  Over 90% of the polyethylene artificial grass available in the UK is made from c2 & c4 grade polyethylene (the same material used in poor quality cling film).  We recommend c6 & c8 grade polyethylene as a raw ingredient.  (We recommend polyethylene over other plastics for artificial grass.  For more info click here.)
  • Sand infill.  Not only does sand support artificial grass fibres in the bottom of the pile it also protects the backing of the grass from the heat and UV damage that can be generated by direct sunlight which can over time assist the breaking down of the latex backing.  Silica sand should be used as the angular edges of each grain in most other types of sand will actually speed up the breaking down of the blades of grass. Silica sand has rounded edges.
  • Scheduled maintenance.  Artificial lawns are low maintenance not no maintenance.  Planned maintenance procedure will be different for every lawn and will take into account factors including surrounding foliage, exposure, lawn use, pets and the presence of local wildlife.   A good installer will recommend a scheduled maintenance plan for your lawn.  Good maintenance will prolong the aesthetic and functional lifespan of a fake lawn.


In summary all artificial grass flattens to an extent but high-quality, properly installed and well maintained artificial grass will continue to look realistic and have all the functionality of a new artificial lawn for many years.  Poor quality badly installed artificial grass will flatten quickly, mat together and have all the functionality and appeal of a wet carpet in your garden…

Remember – poor quality badly installed artificial lawns are a cost and a constant disappointment. High quality properly installed artificial lawns are an investment and will bring many years of use and enjoyment.

A picture of the Turf King warehouse
About Turf King

Turf King is a Bristol based supplier and installer of artificial grass across the domestic, sports and education markets.  We are an independent family business dedicated to excellence in artificial grass.  Through our blog we aim to give buyers of artificial grass all the tools they need to make good purchasing decisions when buying artificial grass product and services. Follow the Turf King blog for regular updates.

Top Turfing Tip | how to test fake grass

A good method we use to test artificial grass products is to put the grass in a high footfall area and see how it performs.  Our most common test is to put the product in the footwell of one of the vans and use it as a mat.

In the pictures below taken in 2015 we tested a mid-quality product in this way for a client of ours.  The first picture is the product as we received it.

a picture of an artificial grass sample tested by Turf King

The second picture shows the sample in the foot well of a van having been there for over four months.

a picture of an artificial grass product being tested by Turf King

The third picture shows the same sample after a rinse under the tap.

a picture of artificial grass being tested by Turf King

It’s easy to see that this product which is a mid-quality product and has structured blade profiles has performed well in the test.  It’s difficult to say how much use four months of six days per week heel pressure translates into actual garden usage but this product actually looks more natural and realistic from being worn in.

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