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Concrete Sleepers: What They Are & How To Use Them

So you’ve discovered the world of concrete sleepers and haven’t had the chance to figure out what they are or what they can be used for? We have you covered! This guide is aimed at providing you with basic knowledge of what concrete sleepers are and how you can use them to elevate your outdoor space. Whether you want to spruce up your garden, create a sturdy support structure for your raised beds or simply upgrade your landscaping in general, concrete sleepers are a top choice for many landscaping professionals and homeowners. Keep on reading to find out all you need to know about these practical and incredibly solid sleepers.

What are Concrete Sleepers?

Concrete sleepers have been used by landscapers and DIY professionals for many years to create retaining walls to stabilise earth. Known for their strength, concrete sleepers won't wilt or bow under the pressure of heavy loads. They are also incredibly easy to work with and install since many modular units can be connected. Concrete sleeper retaining walls are a popular choice when it comes to construction projects, they offer many advantages compared to traditional timber sleepers as they are durable, require minimal maintenance, and can be designed in various shapes and sizes to suit your needs.



Although concrete sleepers are generally considered more expensive than the traditional wooden or steel sleepers, there are a number of advantages that make them worth considering for a variety of purposes. Concrete sleepers offer higher strength and stability than wooden or steel sleepers because they are made from a mix of cement, sand and aggregate. This combination provides durability and long-term strength which makes them ideal for use in demanding weather conditions where reliability is important as well as when safety requirements need to be met. In addition, their ability to reduce noise pollution is invaluable when constructing near busy roads or motorways. Their lifespan exceeds those of wooden and steel sleepers so they often require less maintenance overall.

Concrete sleepers provide a cost-effective option that offers consistent performance and longevity. On the other hand, wooden and steel sleepers may still offer attractive prices for certain applications but may not be as reliable and long-lasting as compared to concrete sleepers.

No matter which type of sleeper you choose, it’s important that careful consideration is given to ensure safety and durability in the long term; taking into account factors such as loading requirements, ground conditions and cost constraints when making any decision. With this understanding in mind, let’s now look at some of the key benefits that concrete sleepers bring to the table.

Benefits of Concrete Sleepers

Concrete sleepers offer several benefits over other types of sleepers. Firstly, concrete has a longer life span. Studies have shown that properly reinforced and installed concrete sleepers are likely to last for more than 100 years unlike the shorter life span of steel or timber sleepers which can corrode and need replacing in a reduced timeframe.

Concrete sleepers require less maintenance throughout their life cycle compared to others. They are generally cheaper to form due to the cost of manufacturing them as opposed to steel sleepers which must be individually machined according to its exact specification. They can also handle greater landscape changes such as inclines or rough terrain which is not always possible with alternative sleepers due to their design and strength limitations.

Another benefit of concrete sleepers is their ability to be aesthetically pleasing whilst still retaining a good level of strength and their low-maintenance requirements. With concrete, it is possible to create unique shapes, textures and colours adding an element of creativity and allowing for a personalised look that fits in with the surrounding environment. 

Though there are different grades of concrete sleeper, even the lowest grade has impressive strength capabilities and can last over 50 years when properly looked after. This makes concrete sleepers an ideal choice for a variety of purposes, including those which require a high amount of load capacity or will be frequently exposed to the elements.

Finally, unlike steel sleepers which are limited by thermal expansion, concrete has excellent thermal properties meaning it maintains its structure with temperature shifts or changing conditions, increasing its sustainability when placed in outdoor environments.

In summary: 

  • Concrete sleepers are durable and have an estimated lifespan of up to 50 years.
  • Concrete sleepers offer excellent resistance against fire, moisture and rot, making them suitable for any environment.
  • The installation process of concrete sleepers is less complex as they do not require bolts or screws, allowing for a faster set-up time compared to other options. 


Concrete sleepers not only have impressive longevity and strength, but also contain reinforcement layers which help them evenly absorb and withstand loads with minimal damage or cracking. Compared to wooden sleepers, concrete sleepers can more effectively stand up to harsh weather conditions and are less likely to be damaged by mould and rot. They also provide increased noise reduction properties, making them an ideal choice near residential areas.

Structures that use Concrete Sleepers

Concrete sleepers can be used for several different construction projects. They are particularly useful for creating strong and durable structures, and for this reason, many types of typical structures use concrete sleepers.

Retaining Walls: Retaining walls are one type of structure that often uses concrete sleepers. Retaining walls are designed to hold back earth or water, making them essential components of many residential and commercial developments. Due to their strength and durability, concrete sleepers typically provide a more adjustable and reliable result when producing retaining walls than traditional methods such as timber posts.

Boundary Fences: Concrete sleepers can also be used to create boundary fences between properties. They provide a strong structure that is both aesthetically pleasing and hardy enough to support the weight of fence panels or slats. Some people may argue that wooden posts offer a more visually appealing aesthetic, however, the lifespan of a wooden post is limited compared to that of a concrete sleeper.

Garden Beds: Concrete sleepers don't warp or buckle like timber sleepers do, this helps you get a nice straight line when you build one, not to mention that it looks great and doesn't fade over time and split.

Whether you're replacing timber sleepers on existing structures or constructing something entirely new; choosing concrete sleepers will help ensure a reliable and sustainable result every time. With this in mind, check out How to Install Concrete Sleepers blog. 



Concrete Sleeper Common Questions 

What materials are used to make concrete sleepers?

Concrete sleepers are most commonly made from reinforced cement and aggregate. This includes sand, gravel, and crushed stone such as limestone, crushed granite or quartzite. The combination of these materials is mixed with a small amount of water and then poured or moulded to create the desired shape of the sleeper. This is what gives it strength and stability that can withstand the weight of railroad tracks, roads and other heavy loads placed on top. Rebar may also be added for extra reinforcement if required.

What are the most common uses for concrete sleepers?

Concrete sleepers are most commonly used in landscaping and hardscaping projects. In landscaping, they can be used to build retaining walls or raised flowerbeds, while in hardscaping, they can be used to create patio spaces or entryways. Concrete sleepers are also widely used in the railway industry for track support, switch crossover areas, and barricades between tracks. They provide an effective and durable alternative to traditional timber sleepers due to their low maintenance and long-term durability.

What are the benefits of using concrete sleepers?

Concrete sleepers offer a variety of different benefits when used as part of landscaping or construction projects. These include:

1. Durability: Concrete sleepers are highly durable and can withstand all kinds of weather conditions. Unlike wood or metal, concrete does not rot, corrode or warp over time, making it the perfect material for outdoor use.

2. Versatility: Concrete sleepers can be used in a variety of different ways. They are often used as retaining walls and garden edges, but their practical uses extend to building steps, embankment stabilisation and more.

3. Affordability: Concrete sleepers are one of the most economical building materials available on the market today. Not only is it cost effective upfront but its long-term durability also makes it a smart choice when comparing costs over time.

4. Low Maintenance: Maintenance requirements for concrete sleepers are minimal, which leads to significant cost savings over other types of materials that require frequent repairs in order to remain functional. Further, due to the inherent strength and stability of concrete, fittings can be applied that require no routine maintenance after installation.

Concrete sleepers are an excellent choice for landscaping or construction projects due to their durability, affordability and low-maintenance requirements. Looking for concrete sleeper retaining wall experts? Look no further than Australian Landscape Supplies. Shop our range online or visit our Warehouse in Eagle Farm and chat to the experts!