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8 Best Lawn Mowers for Any Yard of 2022

The top-tested riding and self-propelled picks to keep your lawn pristine.

best lawnmowers

We updated this guide in March 2022 to ensure all products previously vetted by the Good Housekeeping Institute and Popular Mechanics experts to replace discontinued items. We also added additional features to consider and more details on how we choose the best lawn mowers.

If you want to keep your yard pristine, in addition to landscaping and buying lawn care items like weed killers and leaf vacuums, you’ll need a lawn mower. Buying a new lawn mower or tractor can be a serious investment, so you want to be sure you're buying the right one for your lawn.

That's why the experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute teamed up with Roy Berendsohn, Senior Home Editor at Popular Mechanics, to give you the best recommendations on the market right now. Our engineering pros have also evaluated lawn mowers for ease of use and performance capabilities, and based upon brand experience, industry expertise and consideration of specifications and engines, these are our top picks for the best lawn mowers to buy in 2022:

Our top picks

Best Overall Lawn Mower
Nexite Deck 4-in-1 Select Drive Gas Walk Behind Self Propelled Lawn Mower Honda Read More
Best Value Gas Lawn Mower
TB130 Gas Walk Behind Push Mower Troy-Bilt Read More
Best Value Electric Lawn Mower
40V Cordless Lawn Mower Greenworks Read More
Best Riding Lawn Mower
Hydrostatic 42-Inch Riding Lawn Mower Husqvarna Read More
Best Walk-Behind Gas Lawn Mower
Super Recycler Gas Walk Behind Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Toro Read More
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      Best Overall Lawn Mower
      Nexite Deck 4-in-1 Select Drive Gas Walk Behind Self Propelled Lawn Mower

      • Self-propelled
      • No tools/attachments needed for mulching or shredding leaves
      • 5 year warranty

      • Pull-start

      This self-propelled gas mower offers a convenient and comfortable experience thanks to Honda's Select Drive (intuitive variable speed dial) and Versamow systems designed to mulch, bag, discharge and shred leaves without any additional tools needed. It features a powerful 200 cc engine and rear wheel drive designed to help make things easier on high grass or hilly land.

      It allows for an even cutting experience at seven levels, though you have to individually adjust the lever on each wheel. Its large capacity discharge bag is well-positioned, meaning less frequent emptying. Bonus: We found its limited five-year warranty to be impressive given the typical two to three-year industry standard.

      • Cutting width: 21 inches
      • Max cutting height: 4 inches
      • Type: Walk-Behind Self-Propelled
      • Power source: Corded electric
      • Wheel size: 9 inches (rear and front)
      Best Value Gas Lawn Mower
      TB130 Gas Walk Behind Push Mower

      • No oil changes necessary
      • Mulch kit included
      • Easy to push and steer

      • Not self-propelled

      This budget-friendly walk-behind gas mower is easy to push and steer and the 11-inch wheels make it easier to go over rough spots and up hills. The six cutting positions give you more options to properly care for your lawn and it features a three-in-one cutting system capable of side discharge, mulching or rear bagging of grass and includes a mulching kit designed to help return nutrients into the soil.

      TriAction in the name refers to the combination of the rake bumper (used to lift grass upright), a specially designed blade for mulching and a symmetrical deck for reducing clumping. Maintenance is easy – oil changes are eliminated by checking oil before each use and simply topping it off. This is a friendly-on-the-wallet option for those looking for a reliable gas mower for lawns up to 1/4 acre. It is a reliable pick that comes fully assembled in the box minus the handlebar, making initial setup a breeze.

      • Cutting width: 21 inches
      • Max cutting height: 3.75 inches
      • Type: Walk-Behind PushPower source: Gas
      • Wheel size: 11 inches (rear), 8 inches (front)
      Best Value Electric Lawn Mower
      40V Cordless Lawn Mower

      • Lightweight and quiet
      • Lots of bells and whistles at a nice price

      • Smaller cutting width

      Large 10-inch rear wheels and seven-inch front wheels make it easy to control and maneuver this Greenworks mower over small to mid-size yards (up to 1/3 acre). A little smaller than other options, but nicely designed with a steel deck, this cordless electric mower has many features you usually only see in a higher end model, including the three-in-one feature which offers mulching, side-discharge and rear bagging.

      An easy push-button start gets you going without breaking a sweat, and a single spring-loaded lift mechanism provides seven cutting height positions. The mower comes with a 2Ah and 4Ah battery, both with battery life indicators, and a three-year warranty.

      • Cutting width: 19 inches
      • Max cutting height: 3 inches
      • Type: Walk-behind push
      • Power source: Cordless electric
      • Wheel size: 10 inches (rear), 7 inches (front)
      Best Riding Lawn Mower
      Hydrostatic 42-Inch Riding Lawn Mower

      • Powerful operation and smooth ride
      • Can mow in reverse
      • Foot-operated pedals for speed and direction

      • Bagger and mulching kit sold separately

      Riding lawn mowers are a pricey investment, and we consider the Husqvarna 42-inch riding lawn mower to be a very good tractor for the money. It is outfitted with an 18.5hp Briggs and Stratton Intek engine, enabling it to be a powerful enough vehicle for tall grass and slopes, yet compact for easy storage. Its hydrostatic transmission allows for a smooth ride and offers cruise control for easily maintaining a set speed.

      Speed and direction are controlled by foot-operated pedals, so you can keep both hands on the wheel for steering. Slip into reverse, if you need, with a simple turn of a switch, and the tight 16-inch turning radius helps you easily navigate around obstacles and mow in tight spaces. As the name implies, it has a 42-inch cutting deck, which allows for a uniform even cut on your yard. You can bag grass clippings, as well as mulch (both kits are sold separately)

      • Cutting width: 42 inches
      • Max cutting height: 4 inches
      • Type: Riding mower
      • Power source: Gas
      • Wheel size: 20 inches (rear), 15 inches (front)
          Best Walk-Behind Gas Lawn Mower
          Super Recycler Gas Walk Behind Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

          • Customizable speed settings
          • Push button electric start
          • Stores vertically

          • Not ideal for steep hills

          This self-propelled walk-behind mower lets you customize its speed to match your pace at will. It has four cutting height options and eight-inch wheels that make it easy to maneuver and since it's self-propelled with a flex handle suspension, it helps reduce physical fatigue when doing larger or sloped lawns. It features a robust Briggs and Stratton engine for easy riding and powerful mowing – and easy maintenance with no oil changes required.

          The 21-inch heavy-duty rust-proof aluminum cutting deck is well constructed and durable to ensure it lasts a long time – Toro’s five-year warranty gives additional peace of mind. It's an all-terrain workhorse that allows for versatility with its three-in-one cutting offering of rear bagging collection (great for a tidy lawn), side discharge (ejection for less frequently cut areas) or recycler mulching (clipping accelerators shave clippings to a fine mulch, good for lawn fertilization).

          • Cutting width: 21 inches
          • Max cutting height: 4.25 inches
          • Type: Walk-behind self-propelled
          • Power source: Gas
          • Wheel size: 8 inches (rear and front)
          Best Walk-Behind Electric Lawn Mower
          Cordless Electric Walk-Behind Self-Propelled Mower

          • Mulching blade is included
          • Stores vertically
          • Easy to clean

          • Battery is bulky and can be tricky to remove

          EGO's self-propelled quiet cordless walk-behind mower uses a simple push-button to start and a single lever for six different cutting heights. The angle of the handle is adjustable, so that mowing is a comfortable experience, no matter how tall you are. The battery gives up to 60 minutes cut time on a single charge, and can recharge in an hour. Weather-resistant construction and bright LED headlights let you mow at dawn or dusk.

          The sloping nose reaches under low bushes more easily, and cuttings can be bagged at the rear, discharged to the side, or mulched. Maintenance is simple and require no oil changes – once you're finished mowing, give it a quick wipe with a damp cloth. The EGO folds easily for compact vertical storage, and has a five-year warranty (three-year battery warranty).

          • Cutting width: 21 inches
          • Max cutting height: 4 inches
          • Type: Walk-Behind self-propelled
          • Power source: Cordless electric
          • Wheel size: 9 inches (rear), 7 inches (front)
          Best Robotic Lawn Mower
          Husqvarna Automower 430X Robotic Lawn Mower

          • Hands-off mowing
          • Easy-to-use app

          • Pricey

          A relatively new entrant to the market, robot lawn mowers operate using a wired perimeter (easy enough for a DIYer to set up, or get it professionally installed), so the mower can cut the lawn without any intervention, even on hills. Husqvarna pioneered this category, and this robotic mower is great for medium to large yards up to 0.8 acre (for smaller yards, the Automower 315X would be a more prudent choice). With built-in Bluetooth and cellular and voice control compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, our pros liked how easy it was to use the app to conveniently start, stop and park the machine remotely, set up a schedule for mowing and track its progress. Adjusting the cutting height is also quick and easy via the app. For theft-prevention, GPS tracks the position of the mower and sends alarms and notifications to your connected devices.

          Three pivoting razor-sharp blades cut finely from all directions, even in the rain, working like a mulching mower – clippings are never bagged. The weather timer ensures the mower cuts more often in a strong grass growth period, and less often when growth slows. When it's getting tired, we love that it knows to find its way back to the charging station. Thanks to its LED lights and super-quiet operation, it can operate in the dark. Be mindful though that some conditions (i.e. big hardwood leaves) may overwhelm this tiny bot!

          • Cutting width: 8.7 inches
          • Max cutting height: 2.4 inches
          • Type: Robot
          • Power source: Rechargeable battery
          • Wheel size: N/A
          Best Compact Riding Lawn Mower
          Electric Riding Mower

          • Ideal for small- to medium-sized lawns
          • Fits through a standard 42-inch fence
          • Does not require as much storage space

          • Charge does not last more than an hour

          At 41-inches wide, this six-speed compact ride-on mower is slim enough to fit through a standard 42-inch fence and needs less storage space. Plus the 16-inch turning radius makes it easier to maneuver and the engine at the back gives you an unobstructed view.

          This mower has features like LED Headlights, a battery level indicator, and a cup holder to make mowing comfortable and convenient. It’s battery-powered and a single charge lasts up to an acre or one hour. This mower has nearly 650 reviews at Home Depot and a 4.5 rating, one reviewer stated they have no regrets purchasing this Ryobi mower, and they prefer this over dealing with oil and broken belts on gas mowers.

          • Cutting width: 30 inches
          • Max cutting height: 4.5 inches
          • Type: Riding mower
          • Power source: Electric
          • Wheel size: 16 inches (rear), 13 inches (front)
          How we choose the best lawn mowers

          When we test lawn mowers our engineering experts look at how easy it is to operate each lawn mower and assess how well it cuts the lawn. We also evaluate specifications and the engines based on our industry expertise and experience with each brand. Finally, we team up with Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics’ Senior Home Editor to give his insight and best recommendations of what’s on the market right now.

          What is the best type of lawn mower?

          The two main classifications are walk-behind or riding mowers and the size and slope of your yard will be the main factors for choosing the right option. As a simple rule of thumb, you should get a walk-behind mower if you have less than ½ an acre or 10,000 square feet of grass space. (Pro tip: Berendsohn says instead of considering the overall lot acreage, it’s better to look specifically at how much cutting space you have.) Anything more and you’ll want to opt for a riding option.

          ✔️ Walk-behinds come in three basic types:

          • Manual lawn mowers require you to do all the work without any assist from a motor or engine
          • Push lawn mowers have an engine or motor to power the blades
          • Self-propelled lawn mowers have an engine or motor powers the wheels and the blades.

          ✔️ Riding mowers are available in both manual and automatic transmissions (much like how you control a car) as well as hydrostatic, which uses fluid instead of belts for power transfer.

          • Zero turn tractors are essentially suped-up riding mowers and enable better handling and higher speeds than traditional tractors, as you control rotation with a pair of levers as opposed to a wheel (i.e., turning one will move you in a circle).

          For a more detailed breakdown of the types of mowers, check out Popular Mechanics' lawn mower buying guide.

          What to look for when shopping for the best lawn mowers

          Once you determine the type of mower or tractor you’ll want, there are a slew of other considerations you should be mindful of:

          Wheel size: You’ll want to consider both the front and rear wheels for ease of use: Taller rear wheels are a must if you’re going over rougher surfaces.

          Cutting options: Mowers can mulch, discharge (either to the side or rear), or bag clippings. Some mowers can only support one type of cutting option, some two, some all three. Depending upon what you are trying to accomplish and how frequently you cut your lawn will determine what's ideal for you.

          Features: For riding mowers, extras like an ergonomic seat and cup holder may not be lead determinants, but sure are nice to have! Cruise control is another nice-to-have, as is automatic drive for adjusting speeds. Some tractors have the ability to switch mowing modes without a manual blade change required. For cordless electric walk-behind machines, some have removable batteries which makes storage and charging simpler.

          Warranty: This is a product category where you want to look for a robust warranty to ensure if something goes wrong you’ll be covered.

          Storage space: Most electric push models can be placed vertically to save storage space, but only specific gas models can handle vertical storage, as it requires special engine seals to ensure gas won’t leak out.

          Budget: Lawn mower models start at a few hundred dollars, but prices can climb well into the thousands. In the end, you'll have to weigh performance, comfort and durability with cost.

          Why trust Good Housekeeping?

          Rachel Rothman, Chief Technologist and head engineer, has a B.S.E. in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics with a mathematics minor from the University of Pennsylvania and has been at GH for 14 years. She leads efforts for the constant evolution of GH’s technical and testing protocols, responding both to market drivers and growth opportunities.

          Lynn Redmile is a Testing and Product Review Analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she's been evaluating products since 2012.

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