Sod Comparison & Differences
Bermuda vs. Zoysia

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 Zoysia sod
Zoysia

Cost

Which grass is typically more expensive, Bermuda or Zoysia?

Between these two, Zoysia 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
Zoysia
from$0.55 / sq ft
to$0.90 / 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
Zoysia
Shade Tolerance6 / 10

On the other hand, Zoysia Grass is versatile, withstanding shaded areas quite well; it stays healthy with about 4 to 5 hours of sun but prefers a bit more light when possible.

Appearance

Which one looks better? You decide.

When choosing between sods like Bermuda (pictured top) and Zoysia (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 imageZoysia 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.

Zoysia Grass is thick and lush, sporting a deep green color and finer blades that cushion your steps, making for a plush, inviting lawn to walk and play on.

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
Zoysia
Drought Tolerance8 / 10

Similarly, Zoysia Grass is quite drought tolerant, able to stay green with less water and recover well when conditions improve.

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 Zoysia.

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
Zoysia
warm zones
transition zones

Zoysia is well-suited for growth in warm or moderate climates. When it comes to laying sod, the ideal range for Zoysia is between 70°F and 90°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 Zoysia 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
Zoysia
Traffic Tolerance8 / 10

Similarly, Zoysia Grass is a champion of foot traffic tolerance, withstanding heavy use and bouncing back well from wear, making it ideal for busy yards and public spaces.

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

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
Zoysia
Establishment Rate4 / 10

Zoysia grass, characterized by its fine texture and high drought tolerance, establishes slowly but creates a dense, wear-resistant turf ideal for warm, temperate areas.

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
Zoysia
Resistance7 / 10

Zoysia Grass is well-regarded for its pest resistance, particularly to chinch bugs and grubs, but can occasionally suffer from diseases like brown patch in humid conditions.

TLDR - if you're looking for a grass that wards off pests and disease, they are pretty similar in this respect, so feel free to go with either one!

Let's Pick a Winner

Which sod is better, Bermuda or Zoysia?

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

Drumroll please...

All in all, Bermuda comes out on top with a score of 43/60 versus 37/60 for Zoysia.

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