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.
- 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
Honda HF1211HE Petrol Ride-On Lawnmower
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 mid-range option for anyone with a lot of grass to trim. It collects the clippings in a 170L bag, so there’s no mulching system. But this model has hydrostatic transmission and several cutting heights between 3cm and 8cm, so it’s fairly easy to adapt to your specific needs.
Buy the Honda HF1211HE ride-on lawnmower from Just Lawnmowers (RRP:
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.
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 T38M SD Petrol Ride-On Lawnmower
The Mountfield T38M is a solid model for those in need of a practical yet relatively affordable ride-on lawn mower. It’s the cheapest option on this list with a mulching function, and it has a side-discharge system for cutting longer grass effectively.
Key to this Mountfield model is the five-speed manual transmission and seven cutting heights between 2.5cm and 8cm.
But the stand-out features of this sit-on lawn mower include a tow hitch for connecting accessories, and a deck wash port, which cleans the underside of the vehicle for you. Plus, there’s a safety switch to cut the engine if you dismount while the blades are spinning.
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.
Webb WE1742SD Petrol Ride-On Lawnmower
For a relatively low-priced, good all-round option, you can’t really go wrong with this sit-on lawn mower from Webb. The Wiltshire-based brand has been around for more than eight decades and sells everything from leaf blowers to shredders.
Invest in this mower and you’ll get hydrostatic transmission, a side discharge chute and a 100cm cutting width. Plus, there are six cutting heights from 1.2cm to 8.9cm, which allows for a good deal of customisation.
Also, it’s the only mower on our list with an attractive, dark green paint job, so if understated aesthetics are important to you, it’s worth considering.
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 R7-63.8 A Compact Ride-On Lawn mower
If you’re after a small, reasonably priced sit-on lawn mower, this model from AL-KO is a great choice. At just 190cm in length and 77cm across, it’s a compact option, ideal for gardens with narrow access or limited storage space.
The compromise? Manual transmission with four forward and one reverse gear, and a top speed of 4.5km/h. Also, there’s no mulching function. Instead, you’ll find a 130L storage compartment at the back, which you can empty from the driver’s seat.
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.
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.
FIX YOUR PRICE FOR THE YEAR- HALF PRICE SALE!
Special offer to celebrate RHS Chelsea Flower Show! Get a whole year of Gardens Illustrated magazine for just £30 and FIX YOUR PRICE!- saving over 50%. Subscribe today and enjoy beautiful places, top planting ideas and expert advice for your garden. *Offer ends 1st July 2022. This offer is only available to UK residents paying by Direct Debit
Container Gardening Special Edition
The Gardens Illustrated Guide to Container Gardening. In this special edition, discover colourful flower combinations and seasonal planting schemes for pots designed by leading plantspeople, and essential know-how for container gardening success. Just £9.99 inc UK p&p
Gardens of the Globe
Discover some of the most glorious gardens from around the world.Find out more