Subepithelial connective tissue grafts (CTGs) and free gingival grafts (FGGs) are common periodontal procedures with similar indications; however, they may differ regarding patient outcomes. Reports on postoperative periodontal patient outcomes are limited. The aim of this observational trial was to compare patient-based outcomes for CTGs and FGGs. Patients who received CTG or FGG completed postoperative questionnaires at 3 days and 3 weeks to assess pain, number of analgesic pills taken, and number of days pills were taken. Postoperative pain was assessed using a visual analog scale (VAS). Twenty-three subjects (12 CTGs and 11 FGGs) completed the study. Differences between CTG and FGG groups in VAS pain scores at 3 days did not reach statistical significance. The proportion of subjects reporting pain in the palate at 3 days was significantly greater for FGG (P <0.05). There were no significant intergroup differences at 3 weeks. For the FGG group, 3-week VAS pain scores were less than the 3-day ones (P <0.01). For the entire study population, the number of days analgesic pills were taken, total number of analgesic pills taken, and number of pills taken from day 3 to the end of the study correlated with the 3-week pain scores. FGG is associated with a greater incidence of donor site pain compared to CTG at the early postoperative period. Longer-term pain after soft tissue grafting is associated with greater analgesic usage. There is an opportunity to improve the postoperative protocols of soft tissue grafting, particularly for FGG.