Differences Between A Polytunnel And Greenhouse

buy a polytunnel kit

As a retailer, buyers often ask you which one to choose between a greenhouse garden and a polytunnel. Hence, it would be best if you were prepared with all the required information about the two types of structures to help them point out the details and simplify their choice. So here is a quick guide to help your buyers decide whether to buy a polytunnel kit or a greenhouse.


This is the basic difference to consider when buying a growing structure. Greenhouses come in various styles and designs, from simple structures to intricate statements. These differences are reflected in their prices. On the other hand, if you buy a polytunnel kit, it will offer function over aesthetics so that commercial growers can get more growing space for the same amount that they would get with a greenhouse. Polytunnels are almost two times cheaper than a greenhouse of the same size.  


Outdoor growing structures are subjected to extreme weather conditions like strong winds, storms, and rain, which is why they should be able to stand up to these elements. Greenhouses have more durable structures, due to which they are better options. However, they have to be able to endure high winds. However, polytunnels have also been created with excellent durability. The manufacturing industry has worked hard to bring the polytunnel strength up to the mark. You can provide the buyers polytunnels with steel hoops in two pieces rather than 3 or 4 pieces to enhance the structure’s power. Since polytunnels do not have any timber, their lifespan is increased. Some polytunnel structures also use aluminum for doors, base rails, and door frames, thus increasing its longevity and ensuring the product’s high quality due to the absence of knots and splits.


People would like to change the location of their structure due to many reasons like expanding their plots, repurposing the aspects of their garden, or adding more growing structures. So they may want to shuffle the frames over a few feet or relocate them completely. As a retailer, you should know that some polytunnels require no digging, thus making them easy to settle in new locations without leaving a mess behind. But greenhouses are extremely difficult to move. So if a customer plans to change their garden layout, polytunnel should be their choice. 


While greenhouses are dramatic and nostalgic, polytunnels have an industrial feel and are ideal for crops rather than only foreign flowers. If the buyers want to place the structure directly outside their kitchen window, aesthetics will make a huge difference. But a larger garden plot may not require much aesthetic look. Another element to remind your customers about is cleaning the outdoor structures. Cleaning a polytunnel depends on its size but is relatively easier due to its shape. 

Basic Differences

The greenhouse’s design and ability to transmit light make it better suited for exotic plants, flowers, and other tropical plants that need special growing conditions. Greenhouses usually sit on a foundation, while polytunnels are just simple frames covered with plastic that can be directly set up on the ground. Whereas polytunnels are suitable for large crops, fruits, and vegetables.


Polytunnels are easy to install and can be set up in a single day at a spot that keeps it sheltered from strong winds. Greenhouses are more elaborate structures that take much work to install. 

Heat Retention

Greenhouses and polytunnels are both excellent at climate control and provide the right temperature and humidity groups for the plants. Greenhouses are better at heat retention and allow more light inside the polytunnel. However, polytunnels have condensation issues and require thermal anti-fog covers.

Maintenance And Repairs

Since greenhouses are more complex, they require higher maintenance and repair work to keep them in good shape. They require relatively more time for their maintenance than polytunnels.


The outdoor structures need to work internally as well as externally and may require raised beds, hanging support, ventilation, and irrigation systems. Therefore, the buyers need to consider how they would like to use the structures in order to get further in their gardening journey and also consider how easy it is to adapt to the two structures as per their needs. Greenhouses tend to be very rigid when it comes to adaptability. But polytunnels can be a great option. They can be adapted with a small additional cost. 


Many plants dry out if there is any change in temperatures, for which polytunnels offer better control over their air circulation. On the contrary, greenhouses provide ventilation through an opening on the roof, door, and side vents. They have large doors with open ends that provide sufficient airflow throughout the tunnel. 

To Sum Up

Remember that the best structure for commercial growers depends on how they intend to use it. However, polytunnels seem to be the winners here due to their excellent flexibility, function, and adaptability. So ensure you get a clear idea of how your customers want to lay out the structures, where they will install them, etc.