Best lawn mowers 2020 – the top models for cutting the lawn and clearing leaves

Our best-buy lawnmowers will make cutting the grass a pleasure again
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  • Cutting the grass can be a meditative experience that leaves you feeling a great sense of achievement. It can be a ritual you look forward to. But, if you have the wrong lawnmower, the job can turn into one monumental hassle. 

    From moving cable each time you turn, to mixing messy and smelly fuel, some mowers are not people friendly.

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    But nowadays battery tech has reached a new level. More mobile mowers than ever are as effective as mains-powered and fuel options. In fact there are even robot mowers that’ll do the work for you.  So, which is the best option for you?

    You’ll need to ask yourself some questions about the area you need to cover and the rate you want to cut. Also consider how you deal with mess and more.

    We’ve laid out everything you need to think about below. And we’ve weeded out (oh yes, pun intended) the bad options, and come up with a shortlist of lawn mower that will make cutting the grass a genuine pleasure.

    Why do I need a lawn mower?


    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    If you want to look out at your garden and see a neat and tidy lawn, you’ll need a decent mower. The better the mower the faster the job can be done which means you may do it more often for a better kept garden. Like getting a regular haircut, it pays to keep on top of the lawn.

    Regular cuts spell less physical effort, and less grass mess to clear away.

    Another reason to get mowing is to clear leaves. Many mowers will chew up leaves and either bag them for you as you go or cut and spread them onto the lawn to work back into the soil. Either way you end up with a tidier lawn without the need to use a leaf blower or do all that rake work.

    Best lawn mowers, updated for 2020

    1. Bosch AdvancedRotak 750 – best lawn mower overall


    This isn’t just a mains-powered lawnmower that looks like a stealth fighter plane. It sounds stealth,  too. Thanks to new ProSilence tech, as Bosch calls it, this 1,700 watt mower is 75 per cent quieter than previous models at a meagre 89 dB.

    This isn’t just subtle when it comes to noise though. Even changing the height has been made a simple pleasure with a one-touch system that takes you between 20 and 80mm across seven steps.

    The ErgoSlide control system is a welcome wonder that makes finding the right height and angle simple. There are a few triggers to activate the lawnmower so you can change hand positions as you need. The collection grass bag holds a hefty 50 litres and there is also a LeafCollect system.

    This makes collecting leaves – even in large amounts – a simple process. The 10 metre cable is long but most people will still need an extension cord for true freedom of movement. But with a super-smooth action working around the garden is a really easy task making this perfect for larger and smaller gardens alike.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Buy now: Bosch AdvancedRotak 750, £237, Amazon

    2. Hyundai HYM530SPER – best petrol lawn mower


    The latest large-based self-propelled petrol lawn mower from Hyundai takes all the years of experience and quality of previous models and makes it even better. It replaces the previous Ideal Home Approved HYM510SPE.

    Gone are the pull cable starts that leave you panting for air, in favour of an electric push button start that’s backed by a recoil. Once up and running that 3.6kW 4-stroke 196cc engine will purr along efficiently keeping fuel and oil costs low.

    This efficiency is at no cost to power though as you get a huge 525mm cutting area, self-propelled rear wheel drive and a sizable 38cm ribbed roller to leave a professional looking lined finish to your now-striped lawn.  

    If that lawn has got out of control, don’t worry, this mower has five height settings from as high as a shaggy 75mm right down to a trim 25mm. Thanks to a rear discharge and collection tank, which holds 70 litres, you can keep going without emptying for a good long while.

    Then, when finished, the handles fold down for easy storage and there’s even a hose attachment for quick and easy cleaning. All that’s backed by a three-year warranty making this one of the best petrol mowers you can buy right now.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

    Buy now: Hyundai HYM530SPER petrol lawn mower, £489.99, Amazon

    3. Stihl RMA 443 TC – best lawn mower for easy use


    Stihl make lawnmowers – who knew? The company well known for its garden gadgetry prowess also creates its own impressive lawnmowers. The RMA 443 TC is a prime example of battery-powered brilliance. The lithium-ion powered mower offers enough juice to cut medium sized lawns.

    There is also an eco mode that’ll get more life out of this mower before needing a charge.

    But with a 41cm wide cutting area, six height adjustments and an easy-to-use mono handlebar this will make short work of most lawn cutting jobs put in front of it. This model also comes with a catcher box that can be easily removed thanks to that mono handlebar that stays conveniently out of the way.

    A useful grab handle makes moving this about easy, which is great for storage and recharging. There is also a drive system in place to help pull you along. This helps make this model a really easy lawnmower to use where that battery weight is barely noticeable when in use.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Buy now: Stihl RMA 443 TC, £449 , Stihl

    4. Bosch Rotak 43 LI – best cordless lawn mower

    When it comes to battery powered lawn mowers this is one of the best out there. As the name suggests you get a hefty 43cm cut width out of this mower. A 36 volt battery means plenty of power even on that large cutting head and high torque power constantly too.

    The handles are really comfortable and the 50 litre cuttings box means you rarely need to stop. This powers along smoothly, collecting leaves and grass as it goes.

    This will even comb the grass so that the edges are effective for cutting grass so you can get into any area you need to with ease. The battery keeps going for a good hour before needing a charge.

    You also get between 20 and 70mm cutting depth options, all while weighing in at just 13.9 kg for a really comfortable and capable cut.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Buy now: Bosch Rotak 43 LI, £435, Amazon

    5. Husqvarna Automower 450X – best robot lawn mower


    Husqvarna is the name made famous for its robot lawn mowers, so the latest Automower 450X is really ahead of the game. This little beauty will quietly (58 dB) pop out to your garden, mow up the lawn and head back to its charging dock.

    All while you do whatever else you want with your time. The only downside with these mowers is that they don’t collect the grass but spray it back onto the lawn. That said, the grass is so finely cut you’ll barely notice it and that helps feed the lawn for the future too.

    This model has an excellent battery life at around 260 minutes on a 75 minute charge. This means it’ll cover a good 5,000 metres square with that 24cm mowing width with height settings ranging from 20 to 60mm.

    This really can take over the job for you even in a larger garden. Just expect to pay the premium for this privilege. This lawnmower even comes with an app so you can see the status of the cutting job from your phone. This is also useful in case of theft where its built-in GPS will let you track its every movement.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Buy now: Husqvarna Automower 450X, £2,510, Lawnmowers Direct 

    6. Flymo Electric Glider 330 – best lawn mower for small gardens

    best-lawn-mowers-Flymo Electric Glider 330

    If the idea of wheels and working in a uniform line is a bit much then a Flymo might be more your speed. These seemingly magical mowers glide above the grass as if as light as a feather. This is great for gardens that have obstacles and require a lot of turning. It’s handy for steep or awkwardly-shaped gardens too.

    This electric mower means you can cut from 12 to 32mm. It weighs in at just 10 kg and comes with a decent 12 metre cable and 26 litre cuttings box for grass and leaf collection. All that and it folds down small for storage. This is great for smaller gardens and sheds.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Buy now: Flymo Electric Glider 330, £98, Amazon

    7. Ryobi 37cm cordless brushless One+ mower – best battery mower for interchangeable batteries


    Ryobi has expanded in leaps and bounds in recent years from power tools into garden kit. Much like it did with power tools, Ryobi’s managed to straddle the line between offering top end performance and affordable prices.

    This battery-powered mower uses the company’s One+ system, meaning the power pack can be used with other tools in that range – including strimmers and hedge trimmers, for example.

    This mower uses a brushless 18V motor for steady power and long life. That gives enough juice to work the mighty 37cm cutting area and fire cuttings out into the rear mounted 45 litre grass bag.

    It runs relatively quietly too at 89dB, making this a genuine option for use even at night – ideal if it’s still dry and due to rain the next day and you don’t want to annoy the neighbours with a quick late cut.

    If you’ve left the cut a while, this adapts with a range from 25 to 70mm across six positions, easily varied with a single-point adjuster. The EasyEdge grass combs helps to get even the edges cut for a clean finish.

    Then, when done, the 15KG unit folds down for easy storage. All that and this comes with a three year warranty too.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

    Buy now: Bosch Indego 400 Connect, £920, Amazon

    8. Robomow RS 635 Pro SX – best robot lawn mower for large gardens


    While Robomow does make many different levels of robot mower, this is the best of the best. As such it’s the most capable even in larger gardens, so you can just let it go and do all the work while you don’t need to do a thing. The unit will even take itself off to recharge so it can keep going day or night.

    With an ability to cut up to 5,000 metres square you can set this loss on even a huge garden and be confident it’ll take care of business. That said the wire you use to mark out the area this can work in tops out at 800 metres in length. Probably enough for most jobs then.

    It’s the details that we love with this model, like the ability to use Alexa to voice control the mower so you can simply tell it to mow the lawn and it’s as good as done.

    There’s also anti-theft functionality built in and an ability to find your mower using the app, if it ever came to that. It’s nice to have that in place for peace of mind when you’re spending this kind of money.

    The DC brushless motor keeps noise to a minimum while the 400 watts of power can propel this beast on slopes of up to 36 percent incline. You can also select cutting heights from 80mm all the way down to 20mm.

    The blades, which are super sharp, cover a hefty 56cm width which is more than most full-sized mowers so you really don’t have to sacrifice anything when you trade in the effort of mowing.

    Average run time is around 80 minutes with a recharge time of up to 110 minutes, but since you can just leave this running none of that should matter unless you’re in a rush.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

    Buy now: Robomow RS 635 Pro SX robotic lawn mower, £2,799, John Lewis

    9. Flymo EasiMow 300R– best budget lawn mower


    Flymo has a new mower leading the charge on the budget friendly electric lawn maintenance market, the EasiMow 300. As the name suggests this friendly looking orange garden buddy has a 30cm cut area.

    It also sticks to that number theme by offering a 30 litre grass box for collecting. So not massive, but for smaller gardens and for the price it’s just nice to have the collection option on a wheeled Flymo mower.

    The 1,000W motor should make light work of most grass even if you’ve let it grow a little longer than usual. The varied cutting heights should help here with between 20 and 60mm levels.

    Close edge cutting is a nice feature that means you can keep edges looking tidy even without the need for a strimmer, in most cases. There’s also a roller to enhance that look with a striped finish to your lawn – albeit with some pretty slender lines.

    The 10 metre cable is easily stored and the entire unit folds down for easy storage. It’s also easy to move about at just 8.5kg in weight, making it ideal for older users or those with an injury that don’t want to lift or push about too much weight. A really impressive all rounder for the price.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 3 out of 5 stars 

    Buy now: Flymo EasiMow 300R electric lawn mower, £74.99, Flymo

    10. Hayter Harrier 41 Push – best lawn mower for overgrown grass

    best-lawnmowers-hayter harrier 41

    Hayter is one of the best brands when it comes to making lawnmowers. This lawnmower is a great choice if you’re going to opt for a classic petrol powered model. These last for years and years with super blades that stay sharp for longer than most.

    Plus, you get a lifetime guarantee against engine crankshaft bending, so you don’t need to worry about hitting a rock. In the case of this new Harrier 41 Push you get a ribbed rear roller for great lines that give a perfect finish.

    Another factor here is the trim side which allows you to cut right up to the edge, in spite of the size of this beast. This might be a little heavy for some which is why a more expensive option is available with self drive, too. This lawnmower has an impressively powerful motor and pitch variation setting. It also has a cut and collect system designed with aerospace tech.

    That means that this mower will even cut longer grass so you don’t have to use it too often. It can handle a garden clear out if an area has grown a bit wild. With height settings between 13 and 60mm, there are options for any garden.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Buy now: Hayter Harrier 41 Push, £599, Hayter

    How to buy the best lawn mower for you


    Image credit: David Giles

    We all love the smell of a freshly cut lawn, but getting to that state can be a varied task. So to make that transition as smooth as possible you need to work out what is the exact job you need your mower to deal with.

    The most obvious point to think about is the size of the area that needs to be mowed. Based on that you can work out the best type of mower to suit your needs. Here are the basic variations to consider.

    Types of lawnmower

    Petrol lawn mower

    This classic offers a lot of power for cutting longer grass as well as wetter lawns while having a large range and long life. The downside is buying and mixing fuel, noise and vibration.

    Main electric lawn mower

    these offer lots of power like a fuel mower but without the smell or hassle. You are limited by a cable which oftens means the need for an extension lead, external socket and a whole lot of cable moving.

    Battery lawn mower

    This offers a truly mobile mower for hassle-free mobility. These can limit you on power and life before needing a charge.

    Robot lawn mower

    These battery powered mowers will do the cutting for you. They are best on large open areas only, don’t get into edges and spread rather than collect the grass waste.

    You can also get rotary mowers but for the purposes of this guide we are focusing on cutting-edge (yes, pun intended, again) tech only.

    How much should I spend on a lawn mower?

    The short answer is that you spend based on your needs – the higher you go, the bigger the mower, which will save you time. But in reality, spending more can get you features you might not need. For a medium-sized lawn, you might not need a mower that drives itself along, for example.

    However, you might want to splash out a bit more to get a larger blade size that cuts a wider area, meaning fewer laps up and down the garden.

    Another factor is if you want a roller, this will cost more but means you get those brilliant lines left in the lawn to give the cut a really professional finish.

    You can save more money by going for a wired mower over battery, for example, but you just need to decide if that cable constantly being moved is going to be worth the saving.

    One consideration is brand. You can get more affordable brands that claim to offer everything more established names do. In reality you’re often going to get a longer lifetime from an established brand and, especially in the petrol mowers, better performance.

    What other key questions do I need to ask?

    best-lawn-mowers-Bosch AdvancedRotak 750 LIFE

    Image credit: Bosch

    How big is the bag?

    This is a factor since a larger collection bag means fewer stops with trips to empty it out. Bag size also affects the weight of the mower. So if you’re not going for a self-drive model, this may also be a factor based on how much physical effort you’re willing to put in.

    What’s the diameter of the blades?

    The diameter measurement of the blades is another factor since that determines the width of the cut. The wider you go the faster you can mow the lawn. However if you go too large it might affect getting in tighter spaces, between trees for example, as well as storage.

    How often will you use a lawnmower?

    The frequency of use is another issue. If you like to cut regularly, the idea of rolling out an extension cord each time might seem painful. Equally refuelling can also be a chore. That said, if your garden is not too large, a full tank of fuel could last you a good few cuts, where a battery powered option may only manage the one pass before needing a charge.

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