Hydroponic systems with nutrient solution recycling provide more efficient water and fertilizer use, but over time it becomes difficult to sustain the nutritional balance and control diseases that attack plant roots, which eventually results in lower yield compared to systems where nutrient solution is not recycled. The aim of this study was to evaluate the yield and earliness of butter lettuce (Cortesana M1 variety) grown with different hydroponic systems and their efficiency in terms of water and nutrient use. A randomized block experimental design with four replicates and three treatments (T) was used: T1: tezontle substrate beds without recycling the drained nutrient solution; T2: tezontle substrate beds with recycling the drained nutrient solution; and T3: floating root system. Yield and earliness variables were measured and also the savings and efficiency in water and fertilizer use were estimated. Data were subjected to analysis of variance and Tukey's multiple comparisons of means test (P = 0.05). The best yield, earliness and efficiency in water and nutrient use occurred with the floating root system. There were no differences in yield or earliness between the substrate systems with or without nutrient solution recycling.