Have you got a large lawn? Or perhaps you struggle to push a standard mower back and forth in the summer heat? A sit-on lawn mower could be the ideal solution.
Many people love the convenience of ride-on lawn mowers, as they offer an easy and fun way to trim your grass. You don’t have to battle with an engine pull-start cord or push a heavy machine out in front of you.
Read on for our selection of the best ride-on mowers currently available.
How to choose the best ride-on mower for your garden
There are several factors you’ll need to consider when finding the best ride-on mower for your space:
- Size – Not only should you think about the dimensions of your garden and storage area, but also the size of the gates your mower will need to fit through. Look out for ‘cutting width’ when comparing sit-on lawn mowers; the larger the number, the bigger the machine.
- Turning circle – Does your garden have a lot of trees or winding paths? If so, you may want to look for a sit-on lawn mower with a ‘zero turning circle’, so it can achieve a close cut.
- Mulching function – Some ride-on lawn mowers collect grass clippings in a large bag, while ‘mulching’ ones cut them into tiny pieces and spray them back out onto the ground. Most people prefer mowers with a ‘mulching’ function, as they involve less work and fertilise the grass. Don't miss our round up of specifically mulching mowers.
- Transmission – Ride-on lawn mowers with hydrostatic transmission tend to be more expensive than those with manual systems, but they offer better control and are generally simpler to use.
- Battery or petrol power – Nowadays, you can get battery-powered sit-on lawn mowers and, if you buy one, you can avoid the expense and hassle of regularly topping up your petrol mower. Plus, it’ll probably be quieter than a petrol-powered model. Don’t forget to check how long the battery lasts after charging and make sure you have somewhere to plug it in.
- Cutting heights – Many sit-on lawn mowers have several cutting heights, allowing the user to adjust the elevation of the blades to suit the grass they’ll be trimming. Unless you mow your garden regularly, you’ll probably want to invest in a mower with lots of options.
- Two/four-wheel drive - The best ride-on mower for you will depend on the type of garden you have. If it has uneven ground or steep slopes, it’s a good idea to invest in one with four-wheel drive.
Best ride-on mowers for a perfect lawn
Lawn King RC125 Cut Ride-On Lawnmower
Lawn King mowers are a worthy purchase thanks to a network of dealers across the country that can offer servicing and repairs.
Suitable for gardens up to an acre in size, this mower from Lawn King has a tight turning circle radius of 46cm that allows for easier treatment around bushes and flowerbeds.
The RC125 uses a single cylinder 382cc electric start engine, with a cutting blade that's 76cm wide. That's more than enough width to cut grass in good time, without being too large to allow for more focused mowing. Plus, there are five adjustable cutting heights between 30mm and 95mm.
Honda HF 2417 HM Premium Garden Tractor
Honda vehicles are known for their reliability. So, putting your money towards one of the brand’s sit-on lawn mowers could be a wise move if you want to avoid swapping parts over the years.
Although Honda is famous for its cars, it has a broad range of lawn-care products, from everyday mowers to robotic models, and even brushcutters and tillers.
This ride-on lawn mower is a great option for anyone with a lot of grass to trim. It collects the clippings in a huge 300L bag, so there’s no mulching system, but there's an indicator to tell you when it's time to empty it. This model has variable hydrostatic transmission and seven cutting heights between 30mm and 90mm, so it’s fairly easy to adapt to your specific needs.
John Deere X350 Lawn Tractor (with 42" Accel Deep Mower Deck)
No list of ride-on lawn mowers would be complete without a John Deere. While models from this brand do sit at the higher end of the scale when it comes to price, they’re widely considered to be some of the best mowers around.
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This one comes with hydrostatic, two-wheel drive with ‘Twin Touch’ foot controls. There’s a 107cm cutting width, and the cutting heights increase in 6mm steps between 2.5cm and 10.2cm.
A 13.2L petrol tank, adjustable wheels and a luxury seat are also included as part of the package. Plus, there are a few special additions, including cruise control and a backlit, car-style display.
Mountfield MTF 84M Petrol Ride-On Lawn Tractor 352cc
The Mountfield MTF 84M mower is a compact choice - small enough to fit through most standard garden gates, large enough to cover a garden up to an acre and a half in size.
The ride-on lawn mower is more than capable of giving your grass the treatment you're after, with seven cutting heights from 25mm to 80mm, and an 84cm cutting width. Plus, it has manual transmission with five forward gears and one reverse gear.
Snapper ZTX250 Zero Turn Ride-On Mower
A robust and hardwearing mower, this Snapper model features a welded steel frame, thick-walled front axle and steel mower deck. Not only is it made to last, but it can also handle tricky terrains.
Happily, you won’t have to compromise on comfort either, as the seat is fully adjustable and comes with ergonomic armrests. You can also control the deck lift function with your feet, and store any extra tools or equipment in the rear cargo bed.
Perhaps this model’s most exciting detail is its zero turning circle, making it one of the best ride-on mowers for gardens with trees or tricky shapes to negotiate.
If you're looking to save water as well as keep your grass looking great, read our list of the best water butts.
Weibang iON 81 RC Battery Ride On Lawn Mower
We couldn’t end this list without giving a nod to the various battery-powered models available nowadays. If you want to avoid the hassle of buying petrol and regularly filling up a tank, an electric mower is the solution for you.
This one from Weibang has a 72V/31Ah battery, which runs for 150 minutes after charging, with e-drive forward and reverse functions. It takes 12 hours to charge, so you just need to remember to plug it in overnight to top up the battery to full capacity.
Once you get going, you’ll be able to make use of the mower’s 81cm cutting width and 10 cutting heights, ranging from 2.5cm to 13cm. Supplied with both a 190L waste collector and mulching kit, this mower offers two options, so you can choose whether to gather clippings or use them to fertilise your lawn.
AL-KO T23-125 HD V2 Premium Twin-Cylinder Rear Collect Lawn Tractor
Standing out against many other choices, this mower from AL-KO can be used as both a mower collector and a mower mulcher. Not many ride-on mowers allow you to do both, so it can be a good solution for gardens that need variable treatments. You can even discharge clippings from the rear to cover your garden.
The T23-125 HD V2 lawn mower has two cylinders and two blades, creating an extra-wide 125cm mower deck that can sort your grass out in no time. This can be adjusted to heights ranging between 30mm and 90mm.
Stiga Park 540 PX 4WD Front Cut Ride-On Lawnmower
Most ride-on lawn mowers have blades underneath the seating area, but opting for one with a ‘front-cut’ design allows you a better view of the ground you’re trimming. If you invest in this model, you’ll get all-wheel drive with foot-operated hydrostatic transmission, as well as a mulching system, which deposits cut grass at the back of the mower.
This piece of kit also includes a towbar, 12L fuel tank and high-beam LED headlights, and the top speed is 10km/h.
One of the biggest benefits of buying a Stiga product is the chance to use its accompanying app, which notifies you about ongoing maintenance tasks. In short, there are lots of features to help you do a thorough job and achieve a smart finish.
MTD Optima LG 165 H 13IN79KG678 Ride-On Lawnmower
This lawnmower from MTD can work as a multi-purpose driver for your garden and outdoor areas. With the rear hitch, you can attach a trailer, sprayer or any useful equipment and the mower can make it all a bit more straightforward.
The Optima Lawnmower itself has a dual function, allowing you to either mulch mow or pick up the grass trimmings. Five height settings between 30-95mm, 107cm hydrostatic transmission and an included battery charger - this is a solid choice. Plus, you can't beat a two year warranty with home assistance.
Another way to protect your lawn is to use the right tools for other jobs in the garden, take a look at our garden trolley recommendations to avoid messing up the grass when moving garden waste around.
Alice is a digital writer with a knack for tracking down the most innovative and exciting products to hit the market. Working across several of Our Media's special interest brands, she's written for publications including Countryfile, Gardens Illustrated and Science Focus. Outside of work - and lusting over homeware and gardening products - you’ll find her rambling in the great outdoors or watching an old film.