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Best lawn mowers 2022: Which? Best Buys and expert buying advice

Corded, cordless or petrol? Rotary or cylinder? Robotic or ride-on? This expert guide will help you select the best lawn mower for you.
Rebecca Jakeman

Our rigorous lab tests have uncovered big differences in quality across lawn mowers available on the market. In our expert buying guide, we explain which features to look out for and share our Best Buy recommendations.

Whether you’re mowing a postage-stamp-sized lawn or an acre of grass, we’ll help you choose the best mower for you. In the past, we’ve found Don’t Buy models costing over £600 and Best Buys available for less than £150. We've also seen that sometimes, older lawn mowers will outperform newly launched ones, so new doesn't always mean improved.

Read on to find out which lawn mowers impressed us in our tests, along with all the advice you need to help you decide which one is right for your garden.

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Best Buy lawn mowers for 2022

All of the lawn mowers in the tables below have been put through our rigorous field testing, so you can be sure they’re the best of the bunch for cutting grass while also being easy to use.

Join Which? to get access to all our Best Buys and lawn mower reviews. We’ve tested lawn mowers from brands including Bosch, Flymo and Mountfield, but only the very best make a Best Buy.

Best budget lawn mower

    • best buy
    • Grass cutting ability
    • Grass collection
    • Ease of use

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Best high-end lawn mower

    • best buy
    • Grass cutting ability
    • Grass collection
    • Ease of use

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Best budget petrol lawn mower

    • best buy
    • Grass cutting ability
    • Grass collection
    • Ease of use

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Best corded electric lawn mower

    • best buy
    • Grass cutting ability
    • Grass collection
    • Ease of use

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Best lawn mowers for large gardens

    • best buy
    • Grass cutting ability
    • Grass collection
    • Ease of use

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Best lawn mowers for small gardens

    • best buy
    • Grass cutting ability
    • Grass collection
    • Ease of use

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Best hand push lawn mower

    • best buy
    • Grass collection
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Video: avoid an expensive mistake when buying a lawn mower

Our video below offers up some expert tips on how to choose the best lawn mower for your needs and budget.

Types of lawn mowers

Corded electric lawn mowers

Corded electric mowers are a good choice for a family lawn and typically cost between £120 and £150. These mowers are often the cheapest option and many will do a good job of cutting grass.

Corded electric lawn mowers will cut for as long as you need them to with no need to charge or buy fuel.

Corded electric lawn mower
Pros of corded electric lawn mowers:
  • Lighter than other types of mower.
  • Models with lawn combs and inset front wheels can mow right up to the lawn edge.

Cons of corded electric lawn mowers:

  • You’ll be limited by the length of the power cable and may need to use an extension lead to reach the bottom of your lawn.
  • Always use a residual current device (RCD) and be careful to keep moving the cable out of the way as you mow as it’s very easy to cut through it.

View and compare our corded electric lawn mower reviews.

Hover lawn mowers

Hover mowers are corded machines that glide over the grass on a cushion of air, but many don't pick up the clippings so you'll have to rake them up.

A basic hover lawn mower will cost you around £75. For a larger machine with a collection box that can tackle damp or long grass, expect to pay around £150.

Hover lawn mowers
Pros of hover lawn mowers:
  • Light and simple to use.
  • Models without a grass box are very compact and can be hung up on a wall.

Cons of hover lawn mowers:

  • You need to be careful with the cable and use an extension lead if the power cable isn’t long enough to reach the end of your lawn. Always use a residual current device (RCD).
  • Hover lawn mowers don't leave a very smart finish on the lawn.

Cordless lawn mowers

There are now cordless electric mowers that are as powerful as petrol models, typically costing between £350 and £500. Unlike corded electric lawn mowers, they’re not limited by a cable, so you can cut anywhere you want.

The battery running time will limit how long you can mow for. Some cordless mowers have a cutting time of more than 30 minutes, while others will run out of charge within 20 minutes. 

The battery often makes these lawn mowers heavier than corded electric mowers, but they’re usually lighter than petrol mowers.

Cordless lawn mower
Pros of cordless lawn mowers:
  • Easy to start.
  • Batteries and chargers can sometimes be shared with other tools in the same brand’s range.

Cons of cordless lawn mowers:

  • Battery charging times vary. A good charging time is around one hour, but some mowers can take more than six hours to fully charge.
  • The cost of the battery and charger is sometimes not included in the price of the mower.
  • Disposing of old batteries can be tricky (in most cases you'll need to take them to your local Recycling Centre) and buying replacements can get expensive.

View and compare our cordless lawn mower reviews.

Petrol lawn mowers

Petrol lawn mowers are powerful enough to tackle large lawns and suitable for bumpy or sloping ground.

You can get a good one between £350 and £550, but note that you'll need to have them serviced annually. Prices vary, but you can expect to pay around £75-£90 for a full service. 

These lawn mowers tend to be heavy machines, weighing more than 30kg. To reduce the amount of effort involved, look for a self-propelled model as these have an extra drive which will push the mower along.

It's generally recommended that the ethanol content in the unleaded fuel used for lawn mowers isn't higher than 10%, as ethanol attracts water which can cause corrosion if fuel is left in the mower for long periods. E10 fuel is fine to use, but super unleaded with an ethanol content of 5% is better and what we'd recommend.

It's good practice to empty the fuel tank as much as possible – and completely if your mower won't be used over winter. Petrol is better stored in a bespoke container rather than in the machine.

Petrol lawn mower
Pros of petrol lawn mowers:
  • They’re not limited by a power cable, so can be used anywhere.
  • Many offer the ability to mulch the clippings.

Cons of petrol lawn mowers:

  • Can be difficult to start; a push-button or key start is usually easiest.
  • Some produce smelly fumes which raise your carbon footprint and are damaging for the environment.

View and compare our petrol lawn mower reviews.

Ride-on lawn mowers

Ride-on mowers are powered by petrol and allow you to attach accessories such as trailers, broadening their range of use.

These hefty mowers can tackle large lawns with ease, but be prepared to spend anything from £1,200 to more than £5,000. You'll also need to get your ride-on lawn mower serviced annually.

Ride-on lawn mower
Pros of ride-on lawn mowers:
  • A zero-turning model will make it easier to mow around obstacles such as trees.
  • Choose between models that collect the clippings, discharge them on to the lawn and/or mulch them.

Cons of ride-on lawn mowers:

  • You’ll need fuel to hand to refill them when they run out.
  • You’ll need somewhere that’s large and secure enough to store them

For more details, see our in-depth guide on how to buy the best ride-on mower.

Robot lawn mowers

A robot mower isn't cheap, but it makes mowing hassle free. Once installed, these cordless electric models will mow your lawn with little input from you, cutting regularly and mulching clippings back into the lawn so there are no clippings to deal with. We suggest you use your robot mower during daylight to reduce the risk to wildlife.

Some models are capable of cutting lawns that are 5,500sq m and more, making them a great alternative to a ride-on or petrol lawn mower. 

Robot lawn mowers usually start at around £600 and can go well into the thousands. Pricier robots will usually have more advanced features, like smartphone compatibility, weather monitoring and mapping.

Robot lawn mower
Pros of robot lawn mowers:
  • You can set the mower to your specifications, such as how tall the grass should be.
  • Guide lines stop the mower going where you don’t want it to cut. These can be moved to suit you during the year.

Cons of robot lawn mowers:

  • Installing the guide lines to set the boundaries of where to cut can be tricky, so it’s easiest to get someone to install the mower for you.
  • Can be at risk from garden thieves.

Read our guide on the best robot lawn mowers and find out if automated mowing is for you. Alternatively, view and compare our robot lawn mower reviews.

How much do I need to pay for a good lawn mower?

The price you pay for a new lawn mower ultimately depends on what type it is. Some of the cheapest we've seen come from Lidl, such as the £40 Lidl Parkside Electric lawnmower. At the other end of the scale are models costing closer over £1,000, including the Hayter Harrier 41.

Often, if you spend more on a lawn mower, you're paying for certain features rather than guaranteed better performance. These can include wider cutting widths, self-propelled functions and longer battery life.

Our expert tests prove you don't need to spend big to get your hands on a Best Buy lawn mower. In fact, we've uncovered several Best Buy models under £250. Price is very rarely an indication of how 'good' your lawn mower actually is. There's no way of definitely knowing how well it will cut your grass until you put it to the test in your garden.

If you're trying to stick to a budget, don't feel like you need to fork out money you don't have to land yourself a reliable model.

Where to buy a lawn mower

Whether you're shopping for a mower online or in-store, pay attention to the shop's returns policy in case you're unhappy with the purchase.

Popular online retailers that stock lawn mowers include:

  • Argos stocks a selection of electric, cordless, petrol and manual mowers. Brands include Bosch, Flymo and Spear & Jackson.
  • B&Q sells a selection of lawn mowers. Prices start at around £45 and rise to over £2,000 for ride-on mowers from Mountfield. The retailer also sells robot lawn mowers from Bosch, Mac Allister and Worx.
  • Screwfix sells petrol mowers and cordless mowers. The majority of its models are made by Mountfield. 
  • Wickes offers lawn mowers covering a wide range of budgets. The cheapest is a hand-push lawn mower from Einhell at around £60. At the other end of the scale are £600+ robot mowers from Bosch, Fymo and Greenworks.

Find out which retailers are rated highly by Which? members with our expert guide on the best and worst shops.

Shopping for a lawn mower

Lawn mower features to look for

Cutting height adjustment

At the start of the year and during dry weather, it’s a good idea to leave grass longer so it doesn’t get stressed. In summer, you’ll want to cut it shorter so it stays looking neat for longer. 

Most lawn mowers let you adjust the height of the cut between a set range of heights (see the orange handle in the picture below). Make sure that the mower can cut the heights you require and check how easy it is to change the height. Some can be changed by simply moving a lever, while others require you to change the height of each individual wheel, or to add or remove spacers under the cutting blade.

Lawn mower height adjustment

Cutting width

Cutting width is the size of the lawn mower blade. The larger the blade, the more grass it will cut on each pass. It's important to choose a mower with the right cutting width for the size of your lawn.

  • Small lawns, less than 50 square metres need a cutting width between 30cm and 34cm.
  • Medium lawns, between 50 and 150 square metres need a cutting width between 35cm and 40cm.
  • Large lawns, more than 150 square metres need a cutting width bigger than 40cm.

Too large a cutting width on a small lawn and you'll struggle to maneuver it in tight corners, while too small a cutting width on a large lawn, and you'll find it takes much longer to cut all the grass.

Lawn mower blades

Starting mechanism

This is mainly an issue for petrol lawn mowers, as electric mowers are easy to start. Some petrol mowers start by giving a sharp tug to a pull cord. This can require a fair bit of strength and isn’t easy for everyone.

For simpler starting, look for models we recommend; these usually have a push button or key start.

Handle adjustment

Some lawn mowers have a fixed-length handle, while others let you adjust it between a range of heights. Check that the mower height will be comfortable for you, especially if you’re taller or shorter than average. Some mowers can be hung up or stored vertically to reduce the amount of space they occupy.

Lawn edges

Some mowers are easier than others to get close up to lawn edges and around obstacles. Features such as grass combs can help them achieve this. Being able to get close to edges reduces the amount of time you’ll spend afterwards trimming missed grass with a grass trimmer or shears.

Lawn mower cutting edge of lawn

Lawn mower repair

Replacement parts for lawn mowers

One thing to consider before buying any type of lawn mower is how easy it will be to get replacement parts if you encounter any issues.

You can expect most mowers to last a decent amount of time (at least seven years or more) but that doesn't mean you'll never need spare blades, springs, or perhaps a replacement mower belt.

Most major mower retailers such as Bosch, Cobra, Flymo, Ryobi and Stihl offer spare parts for their lawn mowers, either directly from their website or through a third-party seller.

It's always worth checking on the availability of spare parts before you commit to a purchase, as you don't want a minor fault to end up in you replacing your entire mower because you can't get hold of a certain part.

With cordless mowers specifically, you should check to make sure it's possible to buy replacement batteries separately. We don't give Best Buys to models where the batteries can't be replaced, so will never recommend a mower that's destined to have an unusually short lifespan.

How to service a mower

A local-garden machinery specialist should be able to service and repair your mower, especially petrol models, so always check before you discard a mower that seems to be broken. A lawn mower service will cover various components including spark plugs, air filters, blades and oil.

How to sharpen mower blades

If you're planning on sharpening your mower blades yourself, take extreme care – you'll need protective eyewear, earplugs and gloves.

Make sure your mower is powered off before you proceed. Note that, if the blade is extremely damaged, it will need replacing entirely.

Using an angle grinder, work along the blade slowly. Your mower blade has a natural angle to it, so make sure to follow that with your angle grinder closely as you don't want to dramatically change the shape of the blade.

What’s the difference between a rotary mower and a cylinder mower?

rotary mower vs a cylinder mower
Most lawn mowers have a rotary blade (see above, left) which spins around on a central point under the mower, cutting the grass as it turns.

Cylinder mowers (see above, right) cut the grass like scissors, so leave a very good finish, which makes them ideal for manicured show lawns. They don't cope very well with long grass or bumpy lawns, though, and very few of the hand-push models collect the grass well. They're really designed to keep regularly cut, short grass looking very neat.

How do I get a striped finish on my lawn?

Most lawn mowers won’t leave a striped finish. If you’re after this, you’ll need to look for a mower that has a roller, which will flatten the grass as you mow. Heavier mowers tend to leave the best stripes.

Striped lawn

How we test lawn mowers

Unlike many other reviewers, we buy every lawn mower that we test. In other words, you can be sure our in-depth, expert reviews are honest and impartial.

For every lawn mower we test, we pay attention to the features that are important for your garden. We take a look at how well the mower will cut your grass and whether or not it leaves grass clippings behind.

We also measure lawn mowers on ease of use, which means checking their weight, how easy they are to assemble and disassemble, plus how convenient the controls are. 

Find out more about the lengths we go to in our test lab by visiting how we test lawn mowers.