Sod Comparison & Differences
Bermuda vs. Buffalo

Let's dive into a side-by-side comparison of these two grasses. We're looking at everything from cost and looks to how well they stand up to drought, shade, and foot traffic. Stick around to see which one comes out on top!

Close up photo of Bermuda sod
Bermuda
vs
Close up photo of Buffalo sod
Buffalo

Cost

Which grass is typically more expensive, Bermuda or Buffalo?

Between these two, Buffalo is typically on the pricier side with an average cost per square foot of $0.68. On a per pallet basis, which is usually how sod is sold, this comes out to roughly $337.50 per pallet.

Bermuda on the other hand, is a more moderately priced at $0.50 per square foot (on average). This comes out to around $250.00 per pallet.

BermudaBudget Friendly
from$0.35 / sq ft
to$0.65 / sq ft
Buffalo
from$0.55 / sq ft
to$0.80 / sq ft

Editor's note: It's important to remember that both of these are averages based on data from around the country so cost can vary depending on your location. Keep in mind this doesn't include other fees like delivery or installation.

See our sod calculator to get a comprehensive sod estimate.

Shade Tolerance

Which grass grows better in the shade?

Bermuda Grass needs abundant sunlight and generally requires at least 6 to 8 hours of full sun a day, struggling in shady conditions.

Bermuda
Shade Tolerance3 / 10
Buffalo
Shade Tolerance4 / 10

Similarly, Buffalo Grass, adapted to open plains, prefers full sun and requires at least 6 to 8 hours daily, underperforming in shady spaces.

Appearance

Which one looks better? You decide.

When choosing between sods like Bermuda (pictured top) and Buffalo (pictured bottom), personal preference plays a significant role, but understanding the nuances of each type's appearance can guide your decision. Here's what to consider:

Bermuda close up imageBuffalo close up image

Bermuda Grass shines in a brilliant green and has a fine, tight knit, offering a lawn that's both springy to the touch and tough enough for kids and pets.

Buffalo Grass rolls out a soft, blue-green carpet with thin blades, giving you a lawn that feels soft to walk on and adds a touch of the prairie to your backyard.

Drought Tolerance

Which one needs more water?

Bermuda Grass is highly drought-resistant, thriving in hot, dry climates and bouncing back robustly from water deficits.

Bermuda
Drought Tolerance9 / 10
Buffalo
Drought Tolerance9 / 10

On the other hand, Buffalo Grass is naturally adapted to arid conditions, requiring minimal watering to maintain its health and appearance.

Takeaway: If you're located in a somewhat dry and arid geographic region and are looking for a grass that can handle drought-like conditions, both options are pretty similar from a drought tolerance standpoint.

Grow Zones

Cold or warm weather - which do they prefer?

Bermuda is well-suited for growth in warm or moderate climates. The ideal temperature range for laying Bermuda sod is between 75°F and 90°F.

Bermuda
warm zones
transition zones
Buffalo
warm zones

Buffalo is well-suited for growth in warmer climates. When it comes to laying sod, the ideal range for Buffalo is between 70°F and 85°F. If you choose to lay outside of the ideal range, you can still have success, but it may take a longer time to esablish and require a bit more maintenance.

As you may have noticed, both Bermuda and Buffalo thrive under pretty similar climatic conditions!

Traffic Tolerance

Which sod handles heavy foot traffic better?

Bermuda Grass excels under high foot traffic, its dense growth and quick recovery rate making it a go-to choice for sports fields and active lawns.

Bermuda
Traffic Tolerance9 / 10
Buffalo
Traffic Tolerance4 / 10

On the other hand, Buffalo Grass has low to moderate traffic tolerance and is best for less-trodden areas, but it can endure gentle play and relaxation time.

Takeaway: If you're looking for a grass that can handle heavy foot traffic, Bermuda is the better option between Bermuda and Buffalo.

Establishment Rate

Which grass grows faster?

Bermuda grass is a fast-establishing, aggressive grower, known for its fine texture and resilience, thriving in hot, sunny environments.

Bermuda
Establishment Rate8 / 10
Buffalo
Establishment Rate5 / 10

Buffalograss, a true prairie grass, is slow to establish but eventually forms a low-maintenance turf that's ideal for the Great Plains and similar regions.

Net, net - if you're looking for a grass that establishes quickly, Bermuda is the way to go.

Pest & Disease Resistance

Which handles pests better?

Bermuda Grass shows good pest resistance, especially to grubs, but can be vulnerable to diseases such as dollar spot and spring dead spot without proper care.

Bermuda
Resistance7 / 10
Buffalo
Resistance6 / 10

Buffalo Grass generally resists pests well, though it can attract mealybugs and mites; it's also notably resistant to many diseases, thriving in varied environments.

TLDR - if you're looking for a grass that wards off pests and disease, Bermuda edges out the competition.

Let's Pick a Winner

Which sod is better, Bermuda or Buffalo?

Alright it's time to count the scores up.

Most blogs or articles are going to give you a wishy washy "it's up to you" speil. That is definitely true. You'll need to choose based on your geographic conditions and what you like most looks-wise.

That being said, if we just compare the scores based on the following measures. Higher is better in this case.

  • Average Cost: 7 for Bermuda, 5 for Buffalo
  • Shade Tolerance: 3 for Bermuda, 4 for Buffalo
  • Drought Tolerance: 9 for Bermuda, 9 for Buffalo
  • Traffic Tolerance: 9 for Bermuda, 4 for Buffalo
  • Establishment Rate: 8 for Bermuda, 5 for Buffalo
  • Pest & Disease Resistance: 7 for Bermuda, 6 for Buffalo

Drumroll please...

All in all, Bermuda comes out on top with a score of 43/60 versus 33/60 for Buffalo.

Thanks for reading! If you have any feedback or corrections for us, please email our editor at editor@sodcalculator.com.