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Gardyn vs Lettuce Grow: Which Hydroponic Garden System Is Better?

Trying to decide between Gardyn and Lettuce Grow? We're breaking down both hydroponic gardens in terms of cost, sustainability, and more.

Written by
Brenna Marshall
Published
I find myself daydreaming awkwardly often about grocery shopping from
hydroponic gardens
in the
comfort of my own home
. Come on, close your eyes and be there with me...
It's nearly dinnertime. You meander into your kitchen after a productive, uninterrupted workday (your kids would never bother you while you're working, of course). You grab your handwoven
farmer's market tote
and your artisan garden sheers and head to your lush, fully-grown hydroponic garden.
There you find everything you need to make a home-grown, fresh, filling dinner salad—and not a single family member complains that it's not
chicken nuggets
. And after you wash up for the evening, you sit back and admire your garden once more. You can't help but smile at your teeny-tiny carbon footprint.
Well, that was fun. But earth to all of us: Reality is a little more bitter. Yes, a beautiful dinner made from the
veggies you grew
in your hydroponic garden is possible, but where do you even start? If you've done any Googling on the subject, you probably ran into two huge factors.
First, the cost of investing in one of these systems isn't cheap. It will take more than a chunk of change to get going. Second, which system should you even go with? There are several on the market, and you need to trust the one you choose since it will cost you a down payment on a new house (jokes, kinda).
Never fear, Brightly is here! We're going to break down everything you need to know about the two buzziest hydroponic systems on the market—
Gardyn
and
Lettuce Grow
—so you don't have to.

Gardyn vs Lettuce Grow

Sustainability

gardyn vs lettuce grow
Both are sustainable options, as hydroponic gardening consumes 95% less water than traditional agriculture, uses minimal power, contributes to the accessibility of unprocessed foods, doesn't add to pesticide and herbicide runoff, and doesn’t add to CO2 emissions.
Both companies use recycled materials to make their products. Gardyn uses corn-based, BPA-free, compostable plastic, and Lettuce Grow uses recycled ocean-bound plastic.

Summary

Price:

Gardyn has 2 options. The
Gardyn 2.0
is on sale for $849, regularly $999. The
Gardyn 1.0
is on sale for $699, regularly $899.
Lettuce Grow
has five options ranging in price from $399-$699. Here's the kicker: If you're planning on growing indoors, you'll need to add
Glow Rings
for an additional $200-$500. (You might be able to MacGyver a
grow light
of your own for cheaper.)
An additional pro to the Lettuce Grow system is that it's modular. That means at-home growers have the flexibility of starting with a smaller farmstand and adding more if there's a lifestyle change.

Size:

Both Gardyn options are 5'4" tall. Lettuce Grow ranges from 3'8" to 6'1" depending on which Farmstand you choose.

Amount of Plants:

Both Gardyn options come with and grow 30 plants. Lettuce Grow can grow anywhere from 12-36 plants depending on the size of the Farmstand.

Membership:

Gardyn offers a smartphone-assisted membership
that costs $39 per month and includes 10 plants. The membership also comes with AI plant care.
Lettuce Grow does not have an ongoing subscription cost associated with the Farmstand
, but the company says the monthly price can range from about $20-$40. Those prices are estimates based on how often someone might buy new seedlings and nutrients for their plants

Do I Need to Use Their Plants?

Gardyn
plants come in special yPods, so yes. But you can
purchase empty yPods
and reuse them over and over again with your own soil and seeds.
Lettuce Grow
really doesn't require the use of their seedlings. You could find a way to use your own plants and soil. The plants they sell, however, are ready to harvest in 3-4 weeks and make the entire process super simple. When purchasing the seedlings prepared by Lettuce Grow, they're more likely to grow into mature plants which can be harvested sooner than if non-farmers had to grow them at home from seeds.

Is There a Clear Winner?

gardyn vs lettuce grow
Yes and no. No, in the sense that the two are pretty different and are seemingly intended for different kinds of people. Yes, in the sense that once you understand your personal hydroponic garden goals, there's likely a clear winner for you.
Planning on keeping your garden outside? Lettuce Grow is for you. Planning on feeding more than one or two people? Gardyn is for you. More of an advanced gardener with less need of help maintaining? Lettuce Grow is for you. More novice and could benefit from a robot giving you daily step-by-step instructions? Gardyn is for you.
Brightly team members have tested both Gardyn and Lettuce Grow systems. If you'd like our two cents, here it is:
  • Lettuce Grow is great for outside. That way, there's no need to purchase the pricey Glow Lights and it grows a bit more wild than Gardyn.
  • Gardyn functions nicely as indoor art. The app is a bit buggy and you're locked into the yPod system.
  • Both systems are extremely easy to set up and grow in, and we highly recommend both!
If we want to look at it in black and white, let's base it on cost alone. Both Gardyn options include the grow lights and your first 30 plants in the initial cost of $699-$849. The 30 plant option of Lettuce Grow costs $624, plus $425 for Glow Lights, plus $75 for your first 30 plants for a grand total of $1,124.
Based on just initial costs, Gardyn will get you going on an indoor hydroponic garden for 30-60% less than a Lettuce Grow. But what do you say? Which is the clear winner for you?