The best lawn mowers for a small yard keep your lawn pristine so you can enjoy quality time outdoors, whether that’s hosting friends and family or simply relaxing. Choosing the ideal lawn mower can be overwhelming. Many guides focus on models for large plots, which may not be suited to a small space. Bigger isn’t always better. If you have a compact plot, a huge lawn tractor will be unwieldy and impractical, and that’s if you can squeeze it into your yard in the first place.
Instead, you’ll want to choose a model that’s right for your needs and will cope with the unique challenges of a compact plot. With a small yard, there’s no room to hide. It’s essential not to compromise on cut quality, as any straggly patches will be painfully visible. We recommend opting for a maneuverable model that can easily navigate flowerbeds and furniture, accessing all those tricky-to-reach spots. We’ll cover more of the features to look for in the buying advice section.
When choosing a lawn mower, one place to begin is the power source. Pick the best gas lawn mowers for maximum power, the best electric lawn mowers to minimize maintenance, and manual for a pared-back experience. If you want to take the chore out of mowing, why not consider one of the best robot lawn mowers to take care of the work for you?
We’ve rounded up the best lawn mowers for a small yard to give you an enviably immaculate lawn. We’ll also cover the key considerations when choosing a mower for a small yard. Need a model to cover a larger plot? Check out our guide to the best riding lawn mowers.
Best lawn mowers for a small yard
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We've rounded up the best lawn mowers for a small yard to help you keep your little patch of grass looking as beautiful and idyllic as possible. We've chosen these models based on their specs, features and their suitability for smaller yards.
Best lawn mowers for a small yard
Unconvinced about battery-powered mowers?
The Ryobi RY401017BTLVNM scores an impressive 4.6 out of 5 with 2063 reviews on Home Depot, and 92% of customers recommend this product. People love the customization, allowing you to adjust the handlebar height to get it just right. People are also pleasantly surprised by how quiet it is. The downsides? Of the very few negative reviews, a few mention it struggles with wet grass and can get bogged down. Battery life splits opinion, with some suggesting it goes the distance while others are disappointed. Depending on the size of your yard, it may not be an issue.
The Ryobi RY401017BTLVNM could be a game changer. It promises the power of gas but without the faff. Plus, it’s a greener option, with the bonus that you don’t have to worry about inhaling fumes.
Several features make this an excellent choice for a small yard. Thanks to the battery-powered operation, it’s pretty quiet, so you don’t have to worry about disturbing neighbors or people around you. Plus it’s lightweight and cordless, making it a breeze to get into hard-to-reach spots without getting in a tangle. It can even be stored vertically, perfect if storage space is at a premium.
At $379 Ryobi RY401017BTLVNM is affordable, though it doesn’t come with luxuries like self-propelled technology. That price doesn’t include a battery, which must be purchased separately. It boasts an impressive 5-year tool warranty to give you peace of mind.
Want a mower for a small yard without compromising on power?
The Honda HRN216VKA attracts decent reviews with a score of 4.6 out of 5 with 6337 reviews on Home Depot. Users are thrilled with the power of this machine, making it easy to keep the lawn neat. People are also impressed with the reliable starting, which is not always the case on a gas model. Not everyone is a fan of the self-propelled function, with some complaining it tends to leap forward.
Look no further than the Honda HRN216VKA. This model is perfect for compact spaces with challenging terrain where other mowers might let you down. With a 170 cc engine, this walk-behind mower can cope with the toughest jobs, including on slopes and even notoriously tricky Bermuda grass.
At $549, it is more pricy than others on the list, though it doesn’t scrimp on high-end features. The self-propelled function takes the work out of lawn maintenance, especially on hills.
As it’s a gas model, there’s more upkeep involved as you will need to refuel. Thoughtful features like the larger cap are designed to make it as hassle-free as possible. If we’re nitpicking, a hose attachment would have been a nice touch to make it easy to clean.
So, if you want a mower suitable for a small yard but don’t want to lose out on power, the Honda HRN216VKA may be worth shelling out for.
Up next we have the Toro 21466T, delivering top performance from one of the big brands.
The Toro 21466T scores 4.5 out of 5 with 543 reviews on Home Depot, with a reassuring 92% of customers saying they would recommend this product. A major plus for reviewers is that this model is a faff-free gas replacement. Customers praise the cutting performance and are impressed by how quiet it is. The downsides? A few reviews mention it’s slow to charge, so it can be a pain if you forget to do it. The Toro boasts a 60-volt lithium-ion battery, one of the best in its class, though the battery life draws mixed user reviews.
At $529, it is one of the more pricy models, though it sports several nifty features to enhance the mowing experience. Thanks to the personal pace auto-drive, it adjusts speed to suit you - no messing with levers.
If you’re on a small plot, a big draw is the SmartStow feature, enabling you to fold up the mower when the job is done. It reduces the machine’s footprint by 70%, perfect if room for storage is limited. Another clever feature is the airflow technology. It promotes circulation to prevent the battery from overheating and preserving energy, prolonging the time you can mow.
You’ll be pleased to know the Toro 21466T is blissfully quiet, so you don’t have to worry about waking the neighbors.
With impressive build quality, the Makita XML03Z makes for a trusty tool.
The Makita XML03Z scores a solid 4.5 out of 5 with 330 reviews on Home Depot. There are glowing reviews about the build quality, with several saying it exceeded expectations. Customers also compliment the cutting performance and the quiet operation. The main qualms relate to comfort. A few reviewers say pressing the bar is uncomfortable over prolonged periods, and one complained the handle was set too high. The cutting heights are on the low side, which is not to everyone’s taste.
Thanks to a steel deck and weather-resistant construction, this mower is durable and designed to last. The brushless motor maximizes the lifespan, aiming to give you a mower you can rely on for years to come.
The narrow cutting deck makes it a top choice for compact spaces. Combined with cordless technology, it allows you to glide around obstacles. Plus the mulching attachment sits on the back rather than the side, enabling you to trim edges with ease. The quiet mode is a real perk for urban gardens. You can choose to slow down the RPM and minimize noise, ideal for when you’re approaching neighbors.
At $494, it falls into the middle range of mowers on our list. The main snag is there is no side discharge chute, so you either have to use the mulching attachment or the bagger, limiting its versatility.
If you want to transform mowing from a chore into an experience to savor, The American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14-21 could be the one for you.
The American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14-21 scores 4.5 out of 5 with 337 reviews. An impressive 91% of customers recommend this product. People rave about the simplicity of this lawn mower, which turns mowing into an enjoyable and nostalgic experience. One reviewer even describes the gentle whirring as “almost therapeutic.” The main drawback is that the mower struggles with tall grass and weeds, and you may need to go over tougher sections.
This manual reel mower offers pared-back simplicity, stripping out the faff of maintenance and repairs. At $81.85, this mower offers incredible value, especially when you factor in the savings on fuel.
With its super-quiet operation, this lawn mower helps maintain a peaceful atmosphere in your yard, ideal if you’re concerned about disturbing neighbors. You also eliminate nasty fumes, making this mower pleasant to use while being kinder to the planet.
The scissor-like action of the American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14-21 delivers a precise cut without tearing the grass. This feature helps you maintain a healthier, greener lawn.
Of course, a reel mower is not for everyone. It demands more physical effort than other models and is limited to flat terrain. The narrow cutting deck means you’ll need to take more passes to cover the ground, so it will take longer to get the job done.
What to consider when buying a lawn mower for a small yard
What features should you look for in a lawn mower for a small yard?
“Unlike large ride-on models for big, open spaces you want a push mower that still comes equipped with important features,” says Adam Stally, Owner and Group Managing Director of Horace Fuller. If you want to upgrade your mowing experience, you may consider a self-propelled model to cut down on work.
Size matters if space is at a premium. Consider where you will store your lawn mower when it’s out of use. Keep an eye out for handy features like foldable handles and vertical storage, saving you precious room.
In a small plot, you’ll likely encounter more obstacles, whether that’s flowerbeds or furniture. “For small yards, mowers that are nimble and easy to maneuver make for great options,” advises Adam. Our pro tip is to check the weight to get an idea of how easy it will be to handle.
If you’re overlooked by neighbors or you’re mowing near buildings, don’t forget to consider the noise level. Typically, electric and battery models are quieter than their gas counterparts, and manual models are near-silent, allowing you to maintain peace and quiet.
Just because you’re mowing on a smaller scale doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice performance. Adam recommends looking for a cutting deck with adjustable height settings so you can choose the length of grass according to your taste.
“Lastly, when it comes to choosing between a gas, electric corded, and a cordless mower, a lot depends on the user’s yard. If there is a nearby power source, then an electric mower can be a good choice, but you will receive more power and higher torque from a gas lawn mower,” says Adam. Cordless models enable you to roam freely around the yard, but check the battery runtime is sufficient to cover the entire plot.