Hoop House vs Greenhouse vs High Tunnel (Choosing the Best)

Hey folks! Welcome back!

We are here for you to provide some information regarding the hoop house vs greenhouse vs high tunnel. Do you know the differences between them and their meaning? If yes, then you are going great but if not, then you need to know about them. 

In general, high tunnels, greenhouses, and hoop houses are the three primary alternatives available to farmers today who are interested in selecting from the large array of protected growing places available. But picking the best one for your farm or garden may need a deeper comprehension of how they differ and how each might provide certain advantages.

This article will clear all your doubts and you don’t have any confusion left in your mind. 

What are Hoop Houses?

Typically, the main framework for hoop homes is made of hoops or bows (Quonset style). The names of the constructions come from these hoops. For simpler snow-shedding, Hoop Houses can also have peaked bows (gothic design), however, most people refer to these buildings as High Tunnels. 

Hoop homes are unheated buildings with a focus on efficiency. These constructions frequently don’t need permits for assembly because they don’t require permanent utility hookups but check with your local building authority beforehand because every municipality is different. 

Hoop House features

Some of the features of Hoop Houses are:

  • End walls that are framed allow for the installation of doors and vents.
  • Roll-up sides for controlling heat in the summer.
  • Polyethylene cover, 6–12 mm.
  • No long-term utility connections, such as water or heating lines.

What are high tunnels?

Unlike their bigger, more permanent counterparts, high tunnels are specially made to be lighter, more movable, flexible, and more adaptable. This provides high tunnel gardeners with special benefits when it comes to creating a growing space perfect for crops like leafy greens and vegetables, among others. 

Simple constructions called high tunnels are employed to lengthen the growing season for horticultural products including cut flowers, tiny fruits, and vegetables. 

High Tunnel Features

Some of the features of High tunnels are:

  • To reduce extremes, all high tunnels incorporate systems that increase ventilation during the hotter parts of the day.
  • The side walls may often be rolled up manually or automatically using timers or temperature sensors.
  • Most flat-end walls also provide some form of ventilation.

Disadvantages of High Tunnels

There are various advantages of high tunnels, but they come with some downsides too. So, you need to know about them before installing high tunnels in your garden area.

If you do not install them with proper knowledge, then they will not grow proper plants and create damage rather than growth. Some of the disadvantages also include: 

  • If there will be strong winds, then the high tunnels will be blown away. 
  • There are fewer options for installing them. 
  • They can harm the plants, if you do not install them properly. 
  • It is important to replace its covers after every few years. 
  • They are harmful to the pets and birds. 

What is a Greenhouse?

A greenhouse is, to put it simply, a building where plants are cultivated. They often include walls and a roof made primarily of transparent materials, such as plastic or glass, which let light in and aid in the formation of a controlled environment perfect for growing a variety of plants.

Today, there are several types of greenhouses available in a variety of sizes, from modest personal greenhouses to huge industrial structures used to cultivate crops. 

Greenhouse features

  • Crop reliability rises when grown in a greenhouse.
  • Ideal for harvests of veggies and flowers.
  • Production of floricultural crops throughout the year.
  • Production of fruit and vegetable crops during the off-season.
  • It is possible to continually create transplants that are genetically better and disease-free.
  • Effective use of chemicals and pesticides to manage illness and pests.
  • Crop water needs are relatively small and simple to manage. 

Downsides to Greenhouses

Now that you have come to know about the benefits of greenhouses for choosing the best one for your garden area, you have to see its downside too. Isn’t it? Of course, it is. Though they are excellent there are always cons of everything. So below are they:

  • Choosing a location is a tricky task. 
  • It should be installed professionally. 
  • It is not economical to use. 
  • It is difficult to move it. 
  • Other accessories of greenhouses are expensive.

Why Were High Tunnels Invented?

Are you looking to use high tunnels in your garden? If yes, then go for it as it has various benefits. High tunnels are one of those tunnels used by the gardeners that are taller than that of greenhouses. They are used more as compared to that of greenhouses. 

Many years ago, high tunnels were used by various gardeners or farmers for storing heavy and giant pieces of machinery. So, it was used as a storage location for such material. But with this concept, they hold other various benefits that are explained wisely in this guide. 

You should know that high tunnels are also known as hoop houses or polytunnels. It depends on the location from where you are buying them.

Hoop House vs Greenhouse vs High Tunnel

Let us now make a comparison between these three methods based on some factors given below:

Light and Permeability

The most direct light enters greenhouses, which is fantastic for growing but should be considered since too much direct sunlight can cause sunscald on plants.

Since they employ translucent plastic, hoop houses and high tunnels admit around 70–80% of sunlight, making them ideal for most vegetables and crops.


The purpose of having a greenhouse construction in the first place is to accommodate the fact that most crops cannot grow in cold climates. However, not all of these can regulate temperature or ventilate the air as well as others.

Greenhouses may be heated and are these trees’ primary heat-absorbers. High tunnels and hoop houses are typically three-season structures since they cannot be heated. 


In comparison to greenhouses, hoop houses have better ventilation, which is beneficial during hot weather. Hoop homes are not ideal for cold weather since they are more susceptible to temperature changes as a result.


Naturally, the pricing may vary depending on the materials you choose, the size of your area, and whether you’re including a door, windows, and a floor. The greenhouse is the most expensive as compared to the other two methods. 

Is a High Tunnel Worth it?

Yes, it is worth it. Some of its benefits are:

  • Prolong the growing season.
  • Boost the soil and plant quality.
  • Reduce pollen and pesticide spread as well as nutrient utilization.
  • By offering consumers local food, you may reduce energy use and enhance air quality.

Concluding lines 

In this guide, you come to know that high tunnels, greenhouses, and hoop houses are the three primary alternatives available to farmers today who are interested in selecting from the large array of protected growing places available.

But picking the best one for your farm or garden may need a deeper comprehension of how they differ and how each might provide certain advantages. Read the guide properly so that you learn from this guide.

Thanks for reading! Happy Gardening!


Is a high tunnel considered a greenhouse?

High tunnels are tall greenhouses with a similar design to the short plastic tunnels that vegetable gardeners sometimes build over a row of tomatoes or other plants to give them a head start in the spring.

Is a high tunnel greenhouse right for You?

Yes, a high tunnel greenhouse is right for you.  

Are Polytunnels better than greenhouses?

Greenhouses are substantially more expensive than polytunnels. Additionally, the more money you’ll save by using a polytunnel, the larger the planting space. Of course, every rule has exceptions. In this case, the exception is if your space is limited.

Becky Decker

Becky Decker, our esteemed Editor-in-Chief, is a passionate gardener with years of experience in the world of horticulture. With her guidance, BonjourGreen.com aims to be your trusted companion on your gardening journey. Featured In   Becky Decker’s expertise and gardening wisdom have been recognized and featured in various prominent publications, including:   Homesandgardens.com Yahoo.com Urbansplatter.com Inkl.com Foliagefriend.com Yahoonews  Experience & Background   Becky Decker’s love for gardening has been a lifelong journey. She has honed her skills through countless seasons of planting, nurturing, and harvesting a wide variety of plants, flowers, and vegetables. Her deep-rooted knowledge is complemented by her Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the University of Green Valley.   Prior to leading BonjourGreen.com, Becky worked as a garden consultant, helping countless individuals turn their outdoor spaces into vibrant, thriving gardens. Her experience spans over a decade, making her a trusted authority in the gardening community.   The Birth of BonjourGreen.com   Inspired by her passion for gardening and her desire to share her expertise with a wider audience, Becky Decker launched BonjourGreen.com in 2021. This platform serves as a hub for gardening enthusiasts of all levels, from beginners to seasoned pros.   At BonjourGreen.com, we are committed to providing you with comprehensive guides, expert advice, and hands-on tips to help you achieve success in your gardening endeavors. Whether you have a small balcony garden or a sprawling backyard paradise, we have the information you need to make your garden flourish.   Our Mission   BonjourGreen.com is more than just a gardening website; it’s a community of gardeners who share a common love for nurturing the Earth. Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge and resources to create beautiful, sustainable gardens that bring joy and tranquility to your life.   Join Us on This Green Journey   We invite you to explore BonjourGreen.com and embark on your gardening journey with us. Whether you’re seeking advice on planting techniques, pest control, landscaping ideas, or the latest gardening trends, you’ll find it all right here.   Connect with us, ask questions, and share your gardening stories. Together, we’ll cultivate a thriving community of gardeners and help each other make the world a greener, more beautiful place.   Let’s dig in and grow together at BonjourGreen.com, where gardening dreams bloom!

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