10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (2024)

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10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (1)

ByTyler Graham

Updated: Jun. 14, 2024

    I recently bought a mower for my parents' tiny yard. Here is my list of mowers that fit perfectly on their small lawn.

    Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.Learn more.

    10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (2)ALEX K. FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN

    Whether you like it or not, lawn mowers are a must-have item for every yard. Many folks move to homes that purposefully only require a little lawn work. Much to their chagrin, they still have to buy a small, inexpensive mower for a small portion of their yard.

    My parents were in this situation after moving into their townhome a few years ago. As their favorite lawn mower reviewer, I was instantly called into action. Their lawn had a nice patch out front that was about 10 feet by 10 feet, with another area in the back that was similarly sized. I explored their options, including where they might store it, the fuel source they wanted, and their budget. Here is what we found.

    • 10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (3)

      Best Overall
      Greenworks Pro 80V 21-inch

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    • 10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (4)

      Best Budget
      Earthwise 18-inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower

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    • 10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (5)

      Best Narrow Cordless
      Makita 18-inch 18V LXT Cordless Self Propelled Lawn Mower

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    • 10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (6)

      Best Robot
      Husqvarna Automower 115H Robot Lawn Mower

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    • 10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (7)

      Best Gas-Powered
      Murray MNA152506 Lawn Mower

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    • 10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (8)

      Best Compact
      Craftsman 20V Max Cordless Electric Lawn Mower

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    • 10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (9)

      Best Corded
      Sun Joe MJ401E Electric Lawn Mower

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    Pros:

    • Versatile battery system
    • Self-propelled function
    • Durable metal cutting deck
    • Brushless motor

    Cons:

    • On the larger side when it comes to small mowers

    I love the Greenworks Pro 80V 21″ cordless mower because it provides serious power and reliability and is a great price. I tested this Greenworks mower in a YouTube video, comparing it to four other popular electric mowers. To my surprise, this mower won the battle. I picked this one as a top pick for the average American yard, but it is also highly compatible with small yards.

    This one has all the elements of an excellent mower for small yards. The Greenworks 80V is not too big to be used in a small yard; it has a great battery system, folds easily for storage, and is relatively light—the best part—no maintenance, obnoxious noises, or smelling like gas.

    10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (11)

    ALEX K. FOR FAMILY HANDYMANALEX K. FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN

    Best Budget

    Earthwise 18-inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower

    Pros:

    • Lightweight
    • Inexpensive
    • Minimal maintenance
    • Wide cutting area

    Cons:

    • Requires some upper body strength to operate

    It is hard to beat the classic reel mower for a small lawn and a small budget. When I lived in a small house after college with some friends, we had a reel mower that we used on the lawn to save money on our rent (a deal we negotiated with the landlord). While it took some getting used to, it ended up providing a decent cut. Yes—I know it is the 21st century, but small lawns don’t need an overbearing, powerful machine to cut them quickly.

    Earthwise has a tremendous 18-inch reel mower, one of the widest manual reel mowers in production. It has four wheels and is easy to stabilize and push along your lawn. At under 25 pounds, it can be picked up and transported just about anywhere by most people.

    10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (12)

    ALEX K. FOR FAMILY HANDYMANALEX K. FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN

    Best Narrow Cordless

    Makita 18-inch 18V LXT Cordless Self Propelled Lawn Mower

    Pros:

    • Battery compatibility with all Makita 18V tools
    • Quiet mode
    • Perfectly sized deck

    Hand tool lovers, eat your heart out. Makita is one of the leading manufacturers of hand power tools, and they also have a great lawn mower designed for smaller lawns. The Makita LXT 18-inch 18V mower comes in at the perfect cutting width for a smaller lawn and an excellent size for storage. Makita makes great lawn equipment and has batteries that can be used across any Makita 18V tool—lawn or otherwise.

    I tested this one out personally and while I think it is a bit small for my lawn, it has many exciting features for a smaller mower. One that struck me was the Quiet Mode feature, which keeps the RPMs at a consistent lower speed, providing an even cut and making the mower much quieter. In addition to this feature, the mower also comes with a great dashboard with a self-propelled function, the ability to check battery life, and an excellent molded grip.

    10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (13)

    ALEX K. FOR FAMILY HANDYMANALEX K. FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN

    Best Robot

    Husqvarna Automower 115H Robot Lawn Mower

    Pros:

    • Self-charging
    • Works on its own timetable
    • Requires no maintenance
    • Inexpensive for a robot mower

    Cons:

    • Initial setup is complicated

    Robot mowers may sound like a wild idea, but hear me out. Most people downsize to a smaller piece of property to avoid doing lawn work. If you still have to go outside and mow every week, then doesn’t that ruin it? A robot mower is a great “set it and forget it” strategy for someone with a small lawn who doesn’t want to mow every week in the warm months.

    The Husqvarna Automower 115H is one of the least expensive robot mowers and, frankly, one of the best performers. It is the perfect robot mower for small yards because what it lacks in bells and whistles, it makes up for in functionality. I tested it against two other inexpensive robot mowers, and it was faster, provided a cleaner cut, and easily overcame obstacles.

    10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (14)

    VIA MERCHANTVIA MERCHANT

    Best Gas-Powered

    Murray MNA152506 Lawn Mower

    Pros:

    • Inexpensive
    • Easy to start
    • A reliable Briggs and Stratton engine

    Cons:

    • Requires yearly maintenance

    Gas-powered lawn mowers often have wider cutting decks and self-propelled drives, features that aren’t as valuable in a smaller yard. The Murray MNA152506 Lawn Mower features a 20-inch deck, about as narrow as a gas-powered push mower gets. It comes with a Briggs and Stratton engine and Murray’s proprietary “Prime ‘N Pull Start” to make getting going a little easier. Admittedly, it’s not as convenient as a true press-button start.

    This model has a side discharge and a mulching option but doesn’t accept a bagger, so it’s better for those who mow frequently. It has a two-year limited warranty.

    10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (15)

    ALEX K. FOR FAMILY HANDYMANALEX K. FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN

    Best Compact

    Craftsman 20V Max Cordless Electric Lawn Mower

    Pros:

    • Compatible battery system with other Craftsman 20V batteries
    • Low profile
    • Easy to store

    Cons:

    • Odd appearance

    If you’re tight on storage space, look for a mower with vertical storage, like the Craftsman Double 20-volt Max Cordless Electric Lawn Mower.

    This mower folds up and hangs on the wall, freeing up valuable floor space in a garage, shed or basem*nt. It only weighs 35 pounds, almost one-third lighter than some of its competitors. Given its low-profile appearance, I had low expectations. To my surprise, this mower did a bang-up job in my yard and even knocked out some Crepe Myrtle sprouts that have plagued me and my mower for years.

    This 20-in. Craftsman features two 20-volt batteries, which are compatible with more than 100 other 20-volt Craftsman tools. Unlike many other small yard mowers, it comes with a clippings collection bag and offers a three-year warranty.

    10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (16)

    VIA MERCHANTVIA MERCHANT

    Best Corded

    Sun Joe MJ401E Electric Lawn Mower

    Pros:

    • Lightweight
    • No battery or gas
    • Inexpensive

    Cons:

    • Needs extension cord

    This corded model is one of the most affordable electric mowers. The Sun Joe MJ401E Electric Lawn Mower features a 14-inch cutting deck to navigate the tight corners and narrow turns that come with smaller yards. The MJ401E has a 10.6-gallon clipping collection bag and a two-year warranty.

    The Sun Joe MJ401E can pack some serious power despite its turtle-like appearance. It is super lightweight, extremely portable, and requires virtually no maintenance. Not to mention, it comes in at a fantastic price. If you have an extension cord long enough to reach your small yard, this mower is the best value you can have.

    What to Look for When Buying a Lawn Mower for a Small Yard

    When my parents and I sat down to review the criteria for buying a lawn mower, there were some key points I advised them to look at while shopping:

    Fuel source: Gas, corded electric and battery are the primary options for a new lawn mower. My parents preferred battery-powered or corded electric mowers to avoid dealing with maintenance or buying gas.

    Storage: My parents had a small one-car garage in their townhome that barely fit a car. They needed a mower that could be folded in half and stood on its side to fit inside the garage.

    Cutting deck width: Look for a cutting deck under 22 inches, agile enough for small lawns.

    Weight: Because my parents’ lawn was separated, they had to carry the mower through the house to get to the backyard, and they needed a lighter mower to do that.

    Why You Should Trust Us

    We have personally tested dozens, if not hundreds, of lawn mowers. From multiple robot mowers, push mowers, lawn tractors, and zero-turn mowers, we have put just about every mower on the market to the test.

    As a former landscaper, I developed a unique love for lawn mowers after using them daily for years. With my deep love for lawn mowers, I became an absolute snob. Now, we spend our days testing lawn mowers, string trimmers, leaf blowers and more. Much of our time is spent using new mowers and comparing them to see which reigns supreme.

    Sound like a crazy job? It is.

    Finding the Right Mower for My Parents’ Small Lawn: My Testing Process

    As ridiculous as it may have looked, I tested many of these mowers before letting my parents purchase one.

    I recently completed an extensive test that includes some of the mowers from this article. I walked battery-powered lawn mowers with the self-propelled function on until they died. I also tested the smoothness and evenness of their cut quality, ran them in tall brush until they cut out, and tested their charge times.

    I further tested my parents’ mowers’ weight and usability, how easily they can collapse for storage, and how much force it takes to knock one over once stored in the upright position.

    If it seems like overkill—you’re right.

    FAQ

    What size lawn mower do I need for a small yard?

    Look for a mower with a cutting deck between 14 and 20 inches for a small yard.

    What size is considered a small lawn?

    Small lawns are generally less than ¼ of an acre.

    Originally Published: March 21, 2022

    Author

    Tyler Graham

    Alex is a lawn care and lawn tool enthusiast who is the primary editor of The Lawn Review. Alex has been featured in the Washington Post among hundreds of other national publications.

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    10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (17)

    10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards (2024)

    FAQs

    What brand of lawn mower is the most reliable? ›

    The Lifestory Research 2024 America's Most Trusted® Mower ranking is based on 6,263 opinions of people surveyed in the United States over the last 12 months. The most trusted mower brands, in order, were John Deere, Honda, Toro, Husqvarna, Craftsman, Troy-Bilt, Snapper, Cub Cadet, Black+Decker, Ryobi, Swisher, and Ego.

    What size lawn mower do I need for a small yard? ›

    The smaller your yard, the smaller the mower deck can be - the actual width the mower will cut in a single pass. A 20-inch walk-behind mower may be perfect for a small yard, but you will probably want a 21-22 inch mower for a larger yard to cut down on mowing time.

    What type of lawn mower is easiest to use? ›

    A self-propelled, or manual lawn mower, is a good option if you have a lawn larger than a 1/2 acre or have hilly terrain, but these mowers can also handle smaller, level lawns. Benefits of self-propelled lawn mowers: Require less effort to mow.

    What lawn mower makes yard work feel like a breeze? ›

    Zero turn lawn mowers provide expert movement, making them the ideal choice for cutting medium to large lawns. When you're looking for an upgraded machine to make lawn care a breeze, a zero turn lawn mower is the best choice.

    How much should I pay for a good lawn mower? ›

    Above $400 you could be paying for gimmicks, but under $200 and you're missing out on mowers that mow right to the edge of a lawn, or mowers with mulching plugs. All in all, the experts recommend spending around $200 for a good mower. Whenever someone asks for a lawnmower recommendation, this is my choice.

    What is the best month to buy a lawn mower? ›

    New Models are Hitting Showrooms — One of the reasons that March and April are the best months to buy a riding mower is that you can shop the new models. This is the most popular time of year for manufacturers to release their latest and greatest.

    How to choose a lawnmower? ›

    There are a number of things to look out for when buying a lawnmower, but the most important factors to consider are whether they're corded or cordless, the price, cutting widths and cutting height.

    Is zero-turn better than riding mower? ›

    Zero turns outrank riding lawn mowers in terms of maneuverability by far. Obstacles like gardens, patios, and trees are easy to work around for this equipment. That's because zero turn mowers have a tight turning radius of 180 degrees, meaning they can make quick, sharp turns within their own traveling path.

    What is a good width lawn mower? ›

    Put simply, the wider the cutting width the less time it will take to cut your lawn. For example, if your lawn is 20 meters wide you would have to make 49 turns up and down it with a 41cm cutting width lawnmower compared to just 38 turns with a 53cm mower – making the wider mower 30% quicker at cutting your grass.

    What is the best no mow lawn? ›

    5 No-Mow Lawn Alternatives
    1. Fescue. Fescue takes center stage in the world of no-mow lawns. ...
    2. Wildflower Meadow. A wildflower meadow is a vibrant tapestry of wildflowers replacing the traditional manicured lawn. ...
    3. Moss. ...
    4. Creeping Thyme. ...
    5. Clover.
    Jun 13, 2024

    What mower do professionals use? ›

    Recommended Commercial Push Mowers: The 30-inch Toro TurfMaster HDX and Exmark Commercial 30 X Series are reliable and competitively priced mowers that will save you a LOT of mow time. For smaller yards or yards with access/obstruction issues, Toro and Exmark also offer commercial 21-inch models.

    What horsepower mower do I need? ›

    For a yard measuring 1 to 2 acres, an engine with 14 to 16 HP is best for your riding mower. For a yard that's 3 acres or larger, you'll need a riding mower with an 18 to 24 HP engine.

    What is the best lawn mower for bumpy ground? ›

    Lawns with Rough or Uneven Terrain

    They can be dangerous on slopes, for example, where they might be susceptible to rollover. Instead, we recommend a self-propelled walk-behind mower. These mowers have their own driveline, so they can handle steep hills and rough terrain a lot more easily than push mowers.

    Can you mow wet grass with a zero turn mower? ›

    While zero-turn mowers CAN mow wet grass if necessary, it's just not the prime condition for mowing. Not only will you not get the cut that you desire, but you could really do some damage to your yard, and it's just not as safe. If there is a chance that drier conditions are on the way, then wait it out if you can.

    Who makes the longest lasting riding lawn mower? ›

    Kubota is the only brand to earn top scores across the board in Consumer Reports' new riding-mower predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings for 2024. The brand receives stellar marks in those key attributes for both its gas lawn tractors and zero-turn-radius mowers in CR's survey-based ratings.

    Who makes the most dependable zero turn lawn mower? ›

    More
    • Best Overall: Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 50 Ultima Series ZT Riding Mower » ...
    • Best Budget: Troy-Bilt Mustang Z42 Zero-Turn Rider » ...
    • Best Gas-Powered: John Deere Z530R ZTrak Mower » ...
    • Best Electric: EGO Power+ Z6 Zero-Turn Mower » ...
    • Best for Large Yards: Cub Cadet Ultima ZTS2 50 Ultima Series ZTS Riding Mower »

    Are Toro and Craftsman the same company? ›

    Toro makes Toro and Lawn Boy. MTD makes all of the store brands (i.e., a mower that might have the Home Depot name on it), along with MTD, Dynamark, YardPro, Weed Eater, Noma, and Sears Craftsman. Murray makes MTD. MTD makes the low end (non-commercial) John Deere tractors.

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