If you have a large garden, a petrol lawn mower with a cutting width of at least 40 cm will be most suitable. It doesn’t need to be excessively powerful – a 125 cc motor will be enough for most big, domestic gardens.
However, if you prefer electric machines, or have a smaller garden, you might like to consider a mains-powered electric mower. These can work on large lawns, but are best suited to small and medium gardens. For medium-size spaces, a cutting width of 30 – 40 cm is ideal. Stick to a narrower model if you’re working around a lot of obstacles!
Alternatively, the convenience of a battery-powered cordless mower is worth considering if you have a small/medium lawn.
A 40 L grass box should be enough for smaller gardens. Larger lawns require a grass collection box of at least 60 L – you’ll be forever emptying it otherwise. Also, a mulching feature is a great choice if you’re keen to forget collecting grass altogether – you can deposit the clippings back onto your lawn to improve the health of your grass.
On top of all this, there are still more factors to consider. For example, you’ll want a few variable cutting heights. Mowers that cut to a height of around 25 mm are perfect for UK lawns – you won’t want to go any lower. If your grass is especially long, damp or slightly damaged, make sure there are higher heights available too (in the range of 40 – 50 mm).
For most people, a lawn mower that weighs up to 30 kg is manageable without being too heavy. If you choose a model that weighs more than this, you should ensure that it’s self-propelled. Self-propelled lawn mowers are especially useful in hilly or uneven gardens.
Finally, if you’re keen to avoid mowing altogether, you could always get a robot lawn mower to do it for you!
Below you’ll find all of our top recommendations, covering a variety of different lawn mowers.
See the best Lawn Mowers below
Compare Lawn Mowers Here
Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.
For small to medium gardens, the Bosch Rotak 34R Electric Lawn Mower is a functional, affordable option. It’s easy to manoeuvre and has a narrow cutting width of 34 cm. It’s also good for close edge cutting against obstacles like fences, borders and flowerbeds.
Despite having a lot of features, the Bosch Rotak 34R is still one of the best lawn mowers to buy on a budget. Somehow, Bosch have created a powerful, high-quality mower that remains extremely affordable – it’s almost a shame that it’s only suitable for small gardens!
On top of its 34 cm cutting width, it has adjustable cutting heights between 20 – 70 mm, a 40 L grass box and – most surprisingly for a mower in this price range – a rear roller that actually works.
The only real downside when it comes to design is that there are lots of plastic parts. However, this is surely one of the ways that Bosch has kept the price down, and it’s a factor that keeps the weight down too.
Weighing 11 kg, the Bosch Rotak 34R is as light as you would expect for an electric, mains-powered mower. It’s easy to move in and out of storage, and doesn’t require a lot of exertion to push around the garden either. It’s both lightweight and compact, with a double folding handle and stackable grass box that allow it to be stored neatly.
Performance-wise, this electric mower holds its own against even some of the pricier models. It offers 1300 W of power which is enough for cutting through medium growth. It can tackle slopes and different terrains with ease, and the cutting height is easy to adjust, using a single lever, allowing you to cut your lawn according to the conditions.
Although it cuts close to lawn edges, you will probably still need to go round with a strimmer after mowing if you want to ensure that all of the grass is perfectly uniform. However, if you’re not worried about a few stragglers, you’ll find it does a good job the first time. With inset wheels and side grass combs it gets a lot closer to edges than many mowers.
It takes around 25 minutes to assemble, and is one of the best lawn mowers for small lawns. Although it’s an all-round excellent lawn mower, its size would make it challenging to use on bigger gardens.
With an appearance that’s immediately recognisable as Hyundai, this battery-powered cordless mower has a sleek, almost futuristic design – it even looks like an electric mower (if you know what I mean?).
It has a 42 cm cutting width that is perfect for medium lawns, and six adjustable cutting heights – these range from 25 – 75 mm. Only one other mower on this page has an equally high maximum cutting height – the Hyundai’s 196 cc petrol lawn mower.
As a result, this HYM40LI420P is the best option if you specifically want an electric or cordless mower but don’t want to miss out on high cutting features. It’s ideal for uneven lawns or rough grass that hasn’t been mown for some time.
In terms of power, this cordless lawn mower comes with a powerful 40v lithium-ion 2.5Ah battery. Although the advertised run time is 15 minutes – which doesn’t sound much – many gardeners report that it lasts longer than this. In fact, you should be able to mow most medium-sized lawns on just one charge.
Cutting time may also depend on the type of grass. When tackling long grass, or grass that’s slightly damp, the battery runs for around 14 minutes. However, if you’re giving standard grass a light trim (which will probably be what you’ll use it for most), the battery can last closer to 30 minutes. The fast charger (included) allows the battery to recharge in approximately 80 minutes from flat to full.
Although many cordless lawn mowers are made from plastic, Hyundai has brought their typical quality to proceedings by giving the HYM40LI420P a metal body. As a result, this lawn mower feels a lot more durable – but of course it does slightly increase the weight. At 19.9 kg, it’s fairly heavy for an electric lawn mower.
If you want a battery-powered cordless lawn mower because you’d like something lightweight, there are less lighter options on the market; however, they’re unlikely to match this Hyundai for power.
The 45 L grass box has a hard plastic lid for durability, and mesh sides that help with storage. Also, there is a mulching option so you can also do away with the grass bag altogether if you’d prefer!
Overall, this is a powerful cordless lawn mower that seems to be one of the best on the current market. Whilst many cordless mowers struggle in thick grass, this Hyundai is certainly better equipped to deal with tougher lawn conditions. Plus, for any standard mowing jobs, the battery is sufficient to last for the whole lawn in a medium-size garden.
For larger gardens, the Hyundai HYM510SP 4-Stroke Petrol Lawn Mower is a great choice. It has a large 51 cm cutting width, making it the biggest mower featured on this page. If you want to get your mowing done fast, this is one of the best lawn mowers to consider.
With a 196 cc 4-stroke engine, this is a good lawn mower if you’re after something powerful. It has a lot of force behind it and excels in large, open spaces. The 51 cm cutting width, combined with the 70 L grass bag, means you can cover a lot of area, relatively quickly, without stopping.
This is the largest grass bag featured on this page as well, so this is a particularly ‘jumbo’ machine in all areas. Of course, given that it is such a big mower, you may struggle to get it in and out of narrower areas or around trees and flower beds.
There are six cutting heights to choose from, ranging from 25 – 75 mm. 75 mm is highest cutting height featured on this page, shared only by the battery-powered Hyundai HYM40LI420P. The higher settings can be used for long or wet grass, which this powerful petrol lawn mower is also able to tackle.
You’ve also got a few options when it comes to the grass clippings. If you don’t fancy collecting them in the grass box (which has a plastic top and mesh sides), there’s a mulching plug included. This shreds and deposits the clippings back onto your lawn, helping to improve lawn health over time. Other options include rear or side discharge.
As a large, petrol lawn mower, this HYM510SP is naturally heavier than electrical models of the same size. It weighs 38.7 kg. Being self propelled, this isn’t a huge issue when mowing, but it can make manoeuvring the mower in and out of storage quite difficult, especially if the shed is some distance from the lawn. Although relatively bulky, the handles do at least fold down to allow storage to be slightly more compact.
In moments when you don’t want to use the self propulsion, it’s possible to push this lawn mower by hand. As you might expect though, this is pretty heavy to do for long periods of time, but it may help around obstacles.
Overall, this is one of the best lawn mowers for large gardens. It’s powerful and speedy, and covers a large amount of area in very little time. You’ll find it’s particularly useful if you have a big lawn with limited obstacles, as the job will get done extremely quickly!
With a name like ‘Turbo Lite’, there are no prizes for guessing the main selling point of the Flymo Turbo Lite 250 Electric Hover Lawn Mower. At just 5.1 kg, it’s the lightest lawn mower featured here. As a result, it’s a great choice for gardeners of all ages, as well as anyone who finds heavy mowers too taxing on the wrists or back.
Weighing the same as a standard housecat (although arguably somewhat easier to hold!), this is certainly a very manageable lawn mower. Measuring 79 x 39 x 80 cm, it’s compact and can be stored easily – in fact, due to its light weight, it can even be hung from a hook for storage.
In terms of performance, this mains-powered hover mower provides 1,400 W of power, gliding over the lawn using Flymo’s famous hover technology. It hovers well, resulting in limited resistance when cutting (especially if the grass is already short), and can tackle some longer grass too.
Its cutting height can be altered from 11 – 31 mm depending on the type of grass you’re cutting as well as the desired finish. With longer grass it may be necessary to stop and clean the vents relatively frequently, which is easily done. Blocked vents will stop the mower from hovering.
The cutting width is 25 cm, which is the smallest size featured on this list (not including the Flymo Robotic Lawn Mower). This might be a blessing or a curse, depending on your space, but smaller gardens will benefit from the easy manoeuvrability offered by such a unit.
This lawn mower is better suited to a small garden in any case, as the 10 m mains cable is a good length to work in small areas without the need to use an extension cord.
One thing to be aware of: like most hover mowers, this model does not have a grass box. Instead, it leaves the grass cuttings on the lawn. For some gardeners, this isn’t a problem, as the shredded grass can act as a fertiliser for the lawn; however, if you like to collect your grass trimmings, you will have to follow up your mowing by raking the area.
This robot lawn mower weighs just 7.3 kg and has an incredibly compact build. It can be left out, rain or shine, and its charging station is streamlined and discreet. It’s intended for a small or medium garden (up to 500 m²) and makes use of a range of cutting heights, from 20 mm – 50 mm. The overall cutting width is 16 cm.
Although robot lawn mowers generally need to run for longer periods than standard mowers, the Flymo EasiLife 500 only produces 58 dB so it won’t disturb your neighbours, and can even be used overnight.
This robot mower has tilt, lift and collision sensors that ensure you won’t need to keep a constant eye on it as works either. It can even mow on sloped and bumpy lawns, capable of tackling a 25% incline.
The Flymo Easilife 500 GO mulches as it goes, leaving fine grass shavings on the ground. When the mower detects grass growth, it automatically adjusts its schedule to suit the conditions, leading to an even cut every time.
If it’s all sounding a little complicated, there’s no need to worry. Whilst robot lawn mowers do require more in terms of initial set up than regular mowers, once installed it’ll save you hours. You’ll have total control of this robot lawn mower using a Bluetooth app – allowing you to see the schedule, park, start/stop and a lot more. There’s also a frost sensor that helps protect the lawn; this robot mower will stay at its base and leave grass alone when it’s too cold.
The trickiest part is setting up the boundary wire. Whilst the boundary wire allows this mower to cut awkward shaped gardens, it’s best to bury it as opposed to simply lay it down, which can be time consuming. The wire also needs to be placed 30 cm away from fences or lawns, which may mean some of your grass is left uncut!
Another thing to bear in mind is the position of the charging station. The robotic lawn mower will automatically head back to charge when it needs to, but you’ll need to ensure that the station is positioned both near a socket and out of direct sunlight.
Despite there being some nuances involved with setting up robot mowers, they can save a lot of time overall. The Flymo EasiLife 500 GO is a great robotic mower due to its app compatibility and smart approach to different terrains/conditions. Also, thanks to this robot mower’s automatic sensors, there are very few things that you’ll be required to control yourself – great news for hands-off lawn maintenance!
Without a hint of electricity or petrol in sight, this is a great hand push mower for approaching small gardens.
This manual cordless lawn mower is compact and lightweight, yet it’s also robust and durable. Made predominantly from alloy steel, with some plastic components, it’ll likely become a staple in the shed for many years to come.
There are six super sharp blades and four cutting heights, ranging from 10 – 40 mm. The heights can be adjusted easily with no tools required, and there is a plastic rear roller which leaves a gentle striped effect after mowing. It’s not as pronounced a stripe as with some heavier, larger mowers/rollers, but it’s visible nonetheless!
Generally speaking, this lawn mower will struggle to tackle grass that is over 8 cm tall. For most well-kempt lawns, this shouldn’t pose a problem, but if you need to do the first cut after some time away, you might need an electric mower.
Unlike a lot of manual push mowers, the Webb WEH30 comes fitted with a lightweight 17 L grass box. This means you’ve got two options when it comes to your grass clippings. They can either be left on the lawn to help restore nutrients, or collected. The grass box is mounted at the front of the mower, so you can easily see when it needs emptying.
As mentioned, this mower is most suitable for smaller lawns. It has a 30 cm cutting width that gives it great manoeuvrability around trees and flower beds. The tight turning circle ensures you can get into even the smallest of areas, but it’s also fairly efficient across wide stretches of lawn.
When it comes to storage, the handlebars can be removed and the whole unit becomes relatively compact. If you haven’t got much space for storage, and you’ve only got a small lawn to stay on top of, this is one of the best lawn mowers to consider. Although manual mowers might seem old fashioned, there are some benefits to choosing one. This model is capable and robust; plus, there are very few components to go wrong – anything for a simple life!
This lawn mower is perfect for professional landscapers, with a 4-stroke 196 cc engine that will create a neat cut in very little time. It has a solid durable construction, with a cast-aluminium cutter deck, and a built-in muffler to reduce noise and vibration. This feature, combined with the fact it is a 4-stroke instead of a 2-stroke engine, helps keep the volume down and improve comfort whilst mowing.
In terms of performance, this lawn mower is both powerful and easy to use. It starts easily, using a pull cord (there’s no electric start) and cuts reasonably close to boundaries.
Unlike many self-propelled petrol lawn mowers, this Hayter Harrier 41 375A offers variable speeds, making it a lot more manageable. They’re adjustable from 2.2 to 3.4 mph, making it possible to comfortably match your walking pace instead of feeling it’s running away with you. The self-propelled motor also makes this one of the best lawn mowers for larger gardens and sloping lawns.
The 41 cm cutting width strikes the right balance of manoeuvrability and efficiency. Getting around trees and flowerbeds is relatively easy, whilst it’s still efficient across wide stretches of lawn. Plus, this mower also comes equipped with a two-piece ribbed rear roller designed to produce those enviable stripes without marking the turf when turning.
There are seven cutting heights available, from 13 mm to 60 mm. As a result, this model cuts a lot shorter than most lawn mowers featured here, and it also has the most options to choose from. The tallest cutting height, however, is not as high as the Hyundai mowers.
Practical features include a 60 L grass collector bag and a 0.8 L fuel tank. Additionally, the handles fold to save space
At 37 kg, this lawn mower certainly isn’t the lightest on the market. In fact, getting it in and out of storage may be tricky, especially if you need to carry it anywhere. However, once the lawn mower is switched on and in motion, the self propelled feature ensures it feels extremely lightweight.
These are your good old-fashioned push mowers! As you drive the mower forward, the cylinder and blades rotate and it cuts the grass.
Pros: Cheap to buy and free to run. These lawn mowers are simple to use, lightweight, and easy to store. They’re a great alternative to your traditional lawn mower. If you have a small garden, a hand push mower could well be the best option for you.
Cons: Can’t always cut through thicker grass and may require a couple of passes. Plus, all the power has to come entirely from your pushing force!
Corded electric lawn mowers are perfectly capable of dealing with small-to-medium size lawns. They are available in all different styles (rotary, cylinder, hover) and are the best solution for the majority of British gardens.
Pros: Quiet to use and can be powerful enough to cut long grass. No charging or fuel, simply plug in and mow without interruption until finished!
Cons: Even the best electric lawn mower will generally require an extension cable. The power cords of these mowers are normally only 10 – 12 m long. Using extension cables can get in the way and cause a hazard.
These are the next generation of lawn mower. Cordless mowers can be useful in small, medium and large gardens, although their battery life may make them less practical in large spaces. Buying an extra battery can help increase run time.
Pros: No cables, no petrol, no pollution. Simply plug in, charge up, and away you go.
Cons: A battery-powered cordless lawn mower is only really good for about half an hour’s work (if you don’t have a spare battery). That being said, for the majority of gardens this is more than enough time.
As a general rule, cordless mowers will be the best lawn mower style for a small garden because of how easy they are to use.
On the other hand, if you have a large garden, the best lawn mower for you might be a petrol model…
If you thought battery-powered mowers were a neat idea, you ain’t seen nothing yet!
If you’ve got the money, the future is at your fingertips with robot lawn mowers.
Pros: A robot lawn mower will travel your pre-programmed cutting area, cutting and mulching as it goes. You can be sitting on the patio enjoying a BBQ, while this little fella does the donkey-work!
Cons: As with most technology, these robot lawn mowers work great until they don’t, and then they can be more complicated to fix (certainly compared to a manual push lawn mower!). It can also take a while to set up the parameter wire, and work out all the functions.
Choosing the Best Lawn Mower for Your Garden Size
In the handy table below, I’ve highlighted which lawn mowers are appropriate for different sized gardens. This should help you choose the best lawn mower for your garden.
Approximate Measurements for Reference:
Small garden: < 250 m²
Medium-sized garden: 250 – 1000 m²
Large garden: 1000 – 3000 m²
Why Lawn Mower Weight is Important
Lawn mower weight is certainly something to consider before buying one of these machines. There’s actually quite a lot of variation when it comes down to it.
A standard weight for a manual push or hover mower is between 7 – 9 kg. Meanwhile electric mowers generally weigh between 12 -15 kg. Be aware that a beastly petrol mower the may weigh close to 40 kg.
Be sure to check the product specifications carefully as weight can vary dramatically, and you don’t want to be accidentally stuck with something that you can barely manage.
Ultimately, the best lawn mower for you will be of a weight that you’ll feel comfortable manoeuvring around the garden.
Remember: even if your lawn mower is self propelled, this feature won’t work when the engine is off. So you’ll have to lug the full weight of the machine from the garage to the garden.
Self Propelled vs Manual Push Lawn Mowers
Self-propelled lawn mowers are best suited for big lawns, uneven ground or steep inclines. Basically, they do the hard work for you.
If you’ve got a small or medium garden, that’s generally flat, you don’t really need a self-propelled lawn mower, and manual push will be sufficient. Of course, no-one is going to stop you if you’ve got your heart set on self propelled!
What’s Mulching, and is it Worth Paying Extra For?
Mulching lawn mowers are fantastic, especially if you have a compost heap. However if you already own a garden shredder, it might not be necessary.
Here’s How Mulching Works:
After the initial blades of grass are cut, they are transported into the mower. Once inside they are finely cut down into very small particles of grass. These particles are then distributed back to the lawn where they can quickly decompose, and feed the soil with valuable nutrients.
It makes your soil richer, which in turn makes your grass healthier.
You’ll save a lot of time not having to empty the grass collection box
You’re helping the environment by not having to throw away tons of grass every year.
You may not have to bother with harmful pesticides and weed killers, because you’re treating your lawn the natural way.
Of course, you may not want to use this option. In which case you can choose a mower without it, which may be cheaper. Lawn mowers with a mulching option also allow you to collect the grass too, if you’d prefer.
Grass Box Capacity
If choose to collect the grass cuttings, and the lawn mower’s grass box capacity it too small, you’ll find that you’re forever having to stop and empty the collector.
For small gardens (less than 250 m²), a grass box capacity of 20 L may be sufficient. If you want to avoid emptying it at all, opt for a 40 L grass box.
For a medium sized lawn (250 – 1000 m²) you’ll want a grass box capacity of at least 40 L. Consider a grass box of around 60 L if you’re keen to avoid emptying it, but be aware that the larger the grass box, the heavier the mower will be to push.
If you have a larger lawn (1000 – 3000 m²), look for a grass box with a capacity over 60 L. When working with a grass box of this size, you’ll want to consider a self-propelled mower. 60 L of grass isn’t light!
The Importance of Lawn Cutting Height
Interestingly (well, depending on your point of view…!), cutting your grass to different lengths can affect its health differently.
A beautiful, thick green lawn can look amazing, whilst a really short one is great for playing football on. If you want a variety of options, make sure the lawn mower you’re buying offers plenty of range.
Typically, the better lawn mowers have more cutting height options.
Most cheap lawn mowers will have 3 options, mid-range mowers have about 5 or 6, and high-end models can have 7+.
Petrol lawn mower positives: petrol mowers are powerful and generally a good choice for bigger gardens. Most petrol lawn mowers have enough power to tackle longer grass and damp lawns. Petrol lawn mower negatives: petrol mowers are noisy, cause pollution and require a fair amount of maintenance. They can also be very heavy.
Mains-powered lawn mower positives: generally lightweight and require little maintenance. Some electric corded models can match the power of low-range petrol mowers. Mains-powered lawn mower negatives: limited movement due to cable length.
Cordless lawn mower positives: cordless mowers are lightweight and have no restrictions on movement. Cordless lawn mower negatives: best for small to medium gardens only. Cordless mowers generally have 15 – 30 minute battery life.
How long will my lawn mower last?
With proper care and maintenance, there’s almost no limit to how long your mower will last. Some are cited to have a ‘life expectancy’ of around 8 – 10 years, but certainly manual and petrol lawn mowers can last a lot longer if they are cared for properly.
What size grass box do I need for my lawn mower?
As you’d expect, the ideal grass box capacity will depend on the size of your garden. Grass boxes/bags range from about 20 L to 80 L. For a medium/large garden, look for a grass box that is 60 L +.
As you are probably aware, grass collectors come in two formats; grass collector bags and grass collector boxes. The bags are typically made of canvas, while the boxes are made from plastic.
With the plastic grass boxes, look out for plenty of air holes as good ventilation helps evenly distribute the grass. Canvas bags obviously do this well already.
What are the best lawn mower brands on the UK market?
Flymo and Bosch are two excellent brands that tend to dominate my top best lawn mower lists. They’ve both perfected their models for the mass market, and understand the average consumer wants and easy to use, reliable lawn mower at an affordable price.
Flymo has been around since 1964, and incredibly Bosch is over 130 years old!
Looking at the other manufacturers on our list, Einhell have been making garden tools for 50 years, VonHaus are a massive brand, and Evopower are making waves in the lawn mower market thanks to their modern technologies.
Is it better to collect grass clippings or mulch the grass?
When mulching, the grass clippings are finely chopped (or ‘mulched’) and spread back onto the lawn. This helps conserve the moisture in the soil, prevent weed growth and maintain an even soil temperature. Long term, this can help improve the health of your lawn.
Mulching also saves time, as you don’t need to keep stopping to empty the grass bag, nor dispose of grass clippings.
However, if you don’t mow your lawn frequently enough, clumps of lawn clippings left from mulching may damage your lawn. You should ensure you mow once a week, or even more during peak growing times, to keep your lawn in good condition. If not, the clippings can suffocate the grass. If you don’t have the time to mow this often, I recommend bagging your grass clippings instead.
Additionally, not all lawn mowers will have a mulching function. Although the best lawn mowers tend to provide a range of options when it comes to disposing of grass clippings, you may find that a mulching function makes the mower more expensive.
Can a self propelled lawn mower go backwards?
Self propelled lawn mowers are undoubtedly easier to use than push lawn mowers. They propel themselves forward as you press on the throttle, meaning you can push them along without getting tired.
For this reason, self propelled mowers don’t tend to go backwards – certainly not with the throttle engaged. They can generally be pulled backwards, but there’s no mechanism to propel them in reverse! Instead, you’ll need to pull a self propelled mower back manually by disengaging the blade and tipping it upwards.
What is the difference between a rotary mower and a cylinder mower?
Lawn mowers will use one of two methods to cut the grass.
Rotary mowers have blades that spin on the Y-axis; the blade cuts across the grass horizontally.
By contrast, cylinder mowers have blades that spin on the X-axis. This cuts grass top-down. Cylinder mowers cut like scissors – there is a stationary blade that the rotating blade cuts down against. They are generally useful for achieving a very short cut.
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Clive Harris is the creator of DIY Garden and a professional landscape gardening consultant with over 6 years experience. In his spare time he enjoys testing the latest gardening equipment and sharing his experiences here on the site. And of course, he absolutely loves his garden and spends many happy hours outside each week growing, mowing, and having fun with his three kids.
Rachel Brown is a senior writer at DIY Garden reporting on all things from gardening to fun with the kids. Her expertise stems from a passion to teach her children about the benefits of outdoor play and how to protect the environment.
Derek Smith has been farming all of his life, and is an professional landscape gardener with over 22 years experience. He owns a 25-acre farm in Aberdeenshire with a focus on self-sufficiency, living off the land, and working with nature.