Sod Comparison & Differences
Bermuda vs. Centipede

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 Centipede sod
Centipede

Cost

Which grass is typically more expensive, Bermuda or Centipede?

Between these two, Centipede is typically on the pricier side with an average cost per square foot of $0.73. On a per pallet basis, which is usually how sod is sold, this comes out to roughly $362.50 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
Centipede
from$0.50 / sq ft
to$0.95 / 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
Centipede
Shade Tolerance5 / 10

On the other hand, Centipede Grass requires about 4 to 6 hours of sunlight but can handle light shade, surviving with slightly less sun if needed.

Appearance

Which one looks better? You decide.

When choosing between sods like Bermuda (pictured top) and Centipede (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 imageCentipede 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.

Centipede Grass, with its unique light green shade and soft leaves, creates a laid-back, low-growing lawn that feels easy underfoot and is fuss-free to maintain.

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
Centipede
Drought Tolerance6 / 10

On the other hand, Centipede Grass offers above average but not great drought tolerance, often bouncing back from dry conditions once regular watering is resumed.

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, Bermuda is the better option between Bermuda and Centipede.

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
Centipede
warm zones

Centipede is well-suited for growth in warmer climates. When it comes to laying sod, the ideal range for Centipede 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 Centipede 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
Centipede
Traffic Tolerance4 / 10

On the other hand, Centipede Grass has moderate foot traffic tolerance and is best for lower-use areas, but it can handle occasional gatherings and games in the yard.

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

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
Centipede
Establishment Rate5 / 10

Centipede grass is a slow-growing, low-fertility requirement grass that gradually establishes to form a low-maintenance, dense carpet ideal for acidic soils in warm climates.

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
Centipede
Resistance6 / 10

Centipede Grass has moderate resistance to pests and some fungal diseases, but it can be susceptible to nematodes and needs care to prevent issues.

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 Centipede?

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

Drumroll please...

All in all, Bermuda comes out on top with a score of 43/60 versus 30/60 for Centipede.

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