Best ride-on mowers for summer 2023: 9 top choices for a perfect lawn. Sit down lawn mower

Six Things to Consider When Buying a Riding Lawn Mower

Whether you’re a first-time homeowner wanting to invest in lawn care gear or a seasoned pro looking to expand your power equipment arsenal, you’ll need a lawnmower to make landscaping a faster and easier process. You’ll be able to trim the grass in your yard in less time and with more accuracy if you have a good lawnmower in your shed, saving your money on a professional landscaper. Find the best riding lawn mower for sale using professional assistance.

If you have a tiny yard, a riding lawn mower is ideal. If your yard is more than a quarter of an acre or you want to spend less time mowing it, you might consider upgrading to a riding lawnmower. This article will assist you in selecting the best one by looking at aspects like the size of your lawn, the kind of terrain, and particular features to look for.

If you’re thinking about buying a riding lawn mower shortly. Here are some of the factors you need to consider before buying:

Understand the Different Types of Riding Mowers

There are two main types of riding lawn mowers. The tractor-style riding mower is the most popular, with either an automatic or manual gearbox steering wheel and pads. Compact variants of tractor-style riding mowers are more agile and easy to maneuver in tight spaces. For larger operations, there are larger models that are more powerful and offer broader cutting widths.

A zero-turn riding mower, on the other hand, has left-right steer-drive handlebars for more versatility. Zero-turn lawn mowers are better suited to backyards with a lot of obstacles, trees, or oddly shaped garden beds. Also, it has an extremely tight turning radius thanks to a rear-mounted engine and rear-wheel-brake steering.

Consider Your Budget

Looking at secondhand riding lawn mowers, if you have a limited budget, may be a good idea. When properly maintained, a used mower will last for many years and will likely cost less than half as much as a new model. If you are unfamiliar with mowers, it is a good idea to bring someone who is.

If you decide to explore any older riding lawn mowers, it is a good idea to bring someone who is an expert in identifying the quality of the tractor. This will make it easy to assess the mower’s overall condition and establish whether the asking price is reasonable.

Ensure Mulching Feasibility

If you own a mower, chances are you have had to deal with mowing your lawn and dealing with the time this takes. While there are many different types of mowers, whether riding or pushing, of course, one common problem that most people faced in the past was how to best handle the clippings.

A number of lawn mower models offer mulching options. Front-discharge and side-discharge models work well with medium or long grass. Models with larger cutting decks (61 cm/24 in.) can mulch longer grass than those with smaller cutting decks (50 cm or 20 in.).

If you have a short-cut lawn, rear-rear discharge works best. Rear-catcher mowers collect the clippings as they cut them, making it perfect for lighter cutting conditions. Some walk-behinds may be converted to rear discharge by installing a special mulch plug into their mowing deck.

Inspect the Weight of the Riding Lawn Mower

Ride-on lawnmowers are very heavy, weighing approximately 150kg. The center of gravity is raised when the rider’s weight is on top of the lawnmower, especially with tractor-style versions. While side-mowing is possible and convenient, you will find that steep slopes over 10 degrees are not doable on a ride-on lawnmower.

If you’re planning to use your ride-on for areas of steeper grades than this, it may be better to invest in a walk-behind lawnmower – though if you need something versatile that can both side-mow and go up embankments (making it very useful as part of a gardening business) then getting a pair of either standard or high capacity rear wheels might just be the answer!

Explore Mower’s Transmission Type

When shopping for a new lawnmower, it’s important to consider how quickly you need to mow your lawn. For larger jobs or uneven terrain where ramps are needed, try a self-propelled mower with variable speeds and high wheels that can better maneuver around objects.

You may also want to incorporate various add-ons to get the kind of results you need. For example, if you want your lawn mowed evenly, think about a model that includes height controls so you have precision when choosing how tall of a blade you wish to use for your yard.

Some models even include advanced settings for each wheel, so there’s no guesswork when attempting different types of terrain. It would be wise to pick one that allows speed adjustments on each wheel independently so that one side doesn’t creep ahead as the other drags (this is especially useful if you are ever having problems with traction).

Consider Size of the Your Lawn Engine Power

The size of your lawn will play a huge part in deciding which tractor will suit your needs. Depending on the sizes of your lawn, different sized tractors with varying Horse Power are needed to meet the varying demands.

So, make sure you obtain the correct tractor for the size of your lawn.

  • 1/2 acre to 1 acre: You’ll need a riding lawn mower with a cutting width of up to 42″ and a 14 HP engine for a lawn this size.
  • 1 – 2 acres: A riding lawn mower with a 42″ or 46″ deck and a 14 – 16 HP engine is required for yards in this size range.
  • 3 Acres or : You’ll need a garden tractor with a 46″ – 54″ deck and an 18 – 24 HP engine for this size lawn.

Find the Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Sale in Texas

Knowing what you need, how much you can spend, and what sort of protection you can get against breakdowns and system malfunctions are all important considerations when purchasing a riding lawnmower.

Take your time and look at a number of models that are within your budget and have the features you need to make lawn care easy. By weighing all of your options, you’ll have a better chance of finding a mower that you’ll like for many years to come.

Are you looking for the best Mahindra Tractor Dealers and Mahindra tractor parts in Texas? Get in touch with us to get the best deals possible on your new ride!

Best ride-on mowers for summer 2023: 9 top choices for a perfect lawn

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.

Looking for more options? Check out our roundup of the best cordless lawn mowers in 2023.

Best ride on lawn mowers at a glance:

  • Best for serviceability: Lawn King RG145 Ride-On Lawnmower
  • Best for reliability: Honda HF 2417 HM Premium Garden Tractor
  • Best for quality: John Deere X350 Lawn Tractor (with 42″ Accel Deep Mower Deck)
  • Best for budget: Mountfield MTF 84M Petrol Ride-On Lawn Tractor 352cc
  • Best for cuttings capacity: Snapper RPX310 Garden Tractor
  • Best electric mower: Weibang iON 81 RC Battery Ride On Lawn Mower
  • Best for large areas: AL-KO T23-125 HD V2 Premium Twin-Cylinder Rear Collect Lawn Tractor
  • Best front-cut mower: Stiga Park 500 WX 4WD Front-Cut Ride-On Lawnmower (Excluding Deck)
  • Best mid-range mower: Alpina AT4 84 A 352cc STIGA Engine 84cm Rear Discharge Lawn Tractor

Best ride-on mowers for a perfect lawn

Best for serviceability

  • Turning circle radius: 46cm
  • Gears/speed: 6 forward, 6 back
  • Cutting deck width: 107cm
  • Number of cutting heights: 5
  • Engine: MTD 547cc electric start engine
  • Cuttings bag: No
  • Mulching system: No
  • Special features: N/a

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 RG145 uses an MTD 547cc electric start engine and features gearless ‘shift on the go’ transmission, which boasts 6 forward and 6 reverse settings that allow you to change gear easily whilst on the move. With a cutting deck that’s 107cm wide, there’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.

Looking for more ways to keep your garden healthy? Check out the best lawn aerators for lush green grass in 2023.

Best for reliability

  • Turning circle radius: Not specified
  • Gears/speed: 4
  • Cutting deck width: 102cm
  • Number of cutting heights: 7
  • Engine: 4-stroke OHC V-twin Honda GCV530, 530cc, 17 HP engine
  • Cuttings bag: 300L
  • Mulching system: No
  • Special features: Full bag indicator, variable hydrostatic transmission

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, with an indicator to tell you when it’s time to empty it. It also offers a selective mulching system, which enables you to select whether you want to collect the cuttings into the bag, or finely shred them and to act as a natural fertiliser. 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.

Not sure if a ride-on mower is for you? Check out the best mulching mowers in 2023.

Best for quality

  • Turning circle radius: 40.6cm
  • Gears/speed: Up to 8.2km/h
  • Cutting deck width: 107cm
  • Number of cutting heights: Not specified
  • Engine: V-twin OHV
  • Cuttings bag: No
  • Mulching system: Yes
  • Special features: 13.2L petrol tank, adjustable wheels, luxury seat, cruise control, backlit display

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.

Best for budget

  • Turning circle radius: 160cm
  • Gears/speed: 5 forward, 1 back
  • Cutting deck width: 84cm
  • Number of cutting heights: 7
  • Engine: 352cc OHV single cylinder electric key-start engine
  • Cuttings bag: 200L
  • Mulching system: No
  • Special features: Safety seat

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.

If you’d rather let the mower do the work, check out the best robotic mowers in 2023 for a hassle-free lawn.

Best for cuttings capacity

  • Turning circle radius: 36cm
  • Gears/speed: 9km/h
  • Cutting deck width: 107cm
  • Number of cutting heights:
  • Engine: 724cc Briggs Stratton Intek 8270 Professional Series motor
  • Cuttings bag: 350L
  • Mulching system: Yes
  • Special features: anti-vibration system, fully-adjustable seat, tool storage, cruise control

A robust and hardwearing mower, this Snapper model features a welded steel frame, cast-iron front axle and steel mower deck. Not only is it made to last, but it can also handle tricky terrains.

You won’t have to compromise on comfort either, as an anti-vibration system supports the fully-adjustable seat, which 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.

It has a 36cm turning-circle and you can opt to collect, mulch, or discard your clippings as you go, and make use of the handy from-the-seat grass-dumping feature.

If you’re looking to save water as well as keep your grass looking great, read our list of the best water butts.

Best electric mower

  • Turning circle radius: Not specified
  • Gears/speed: 6.5km/h
  • Cutting deck width: 81cm
  • Number of cutting heights: 10
  • Engine: 72V/31Ah battery
  • Cuttings bag: 190L
  • Mulching system: Yes
  • Special features: Electric

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.

Keep your lawn looking pristine with the best lawn scarifiers in 2023.

Best for large areas

  • Turning circle radius: Not specified
  • Gears/speed: Not specified
  • Cutting deck width: 125cm
  • Number of cutting heights:
  • Engine: 727cc 14.4KW Briggs Stratton Intek engine
  • Cuttings bag: 310L
  • Mulching system: Yes
  • Special features: Integral tow hitch

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.

Not sure how or when to mow? Check out how to mow for a happy lawn and happy wildlife.

Best front-cut mower

  • Turning circle radius: 246cm
  • Gears/speed: 10km/h
  • Cutting deck width: 95cm-125cm
  • Number of cutting heights: 10
  • Engine: 530cc Honda GCV530 engine
  • Cuttings bag: No
  • Mulching system: Yes
  • Special features: Front-cut design, hydrostatic transmission, all-wheel drive

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 530cc Honda GCV530 engine, 12L fuel tank, a foot-operated deck lift, and electric key start.

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.

Best mid-range mower

  • Turning circle radius: Not specified
  • Gears/speed: 5 forwards, 1 back
  • Cutting deck width: 84cm
  • Number of cutting heights: 7
  • Engine: 352cc STIGA ST350 single-cylinder engine
  • Cuttings bag: 200L
  • Mulching system: Yes
  • Special features: Electromagnetic clutch

The Alpina AT4 84 A is a manual-drive lawn tractor that comes with a STIGA single-cylinder engine, capable of handling gardens up to 3000 m2. Its 84cm cutting deck with seven possible cutting height settings and a 200-litre collector make grass cutting a breeze. The mower can collect up to 200L of grass clippings, while the optional mulch-kit adds more versatility to the product. Its easy blade engagement through an electromagnetic clutch makes the Alpina AT4 84 A a user-friendly lawn tractor, perfect for maintaining your lawn with ease.

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.

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.


Drawing on a love of gardening and countryside walks, Alice works across Countryfile and Gardens Illustrated magazines to find and review the very best products for life in the great outdoors.

Maddi writes for a range of special interest brands under Our Media, with a particular emphasis on Your Home Style. Her keen eye for art and interior design, combined with her enthusiasm for exploring the natural world on foot or by bike, enables her to cover all bases when finding the best deals online.

The 5 Best Riding Mowers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Rachel has written for Dotdash Meredith’s Ecommerce team since 2020, covering home goods, tech, fashion, beauty, and more. She’s interviewed dozens of experts and is always on top of the latest trends and product releases.

In This Article

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

Keeping your home’s lawn looking neat and tidy takes a whole lot of hard work, especially if you have a traditional lawn mower that requires you to spend serious time and effort pushing it across the grass. But with a riding lawn mower, you can achieve the same great results with far less hassle, provided you have the right yard for one.

“A riding lawn mower is a great option for those who have yards that are 3/4-acre or larger,” says Gary McCoy, store manager at a Charlotte-area Lowe’s. “In contrast, a push mower or a robotic mower would be more suited for a smaller lawn of an acre or less.”

If a riding mower sounds right for you, good news—we tested out many of the best options on the market, evaluating them on performance, design, value, and more factors. We also received expert advice from McCoy on what to look for when shopping for riding mowers and tips on how to maintain them.

Best Electric Riding Mower

Ryobi 80V HP Brushless 42 in. Battery Electric Cordless Zero Turn Riding Mower

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

For a top-quality electric riding mower that you’ll use year after year, look no further than this option from Ryobi. It’s a battery-operated, zero-turn mower with serious power, and it comes with four brushless mowers, a sensitive steering system, a helpful LCD screen, and much more.

Setup was simple, and although it took a bit of time to get comfortable using the joystick, it wasn’t long before we were operating it smoothly (and sitting comfortably in the seat). As far as performance goes, this mower cut even paths through damp grass effortlessly (and quietly!), and overall felt extremely intuitive and easy to operate. The LCD screen kept us aware of the mower’s battery life and run time, and we could pick both the machine’s speed and cutting height from a wide variety of options. We also liked that the mower comes with headlights that illuminate the path when you start to lose daylight.

Additionally, the mower has a long-lasting battery life, so you don’t have to waste time constantly recharging it before every mow. Plus, it comes with fun features like USB ports, storage compartments, and Bluetooth, so you can monitor the mower via an app. On the downside, it’s quite pricey, and the amount of torque means that you have to accelerate carefully, at least until you get a better feel for the joystick. Still, there’s a lot to love about this excellent mower.

Price at time of publish: 5,999

Type: Zero turn | Deck Width: 42 inches | Fuel Type: Battery | Max Cutting Height: 4.5 inches

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

Best Gas Riding Mower

Toro TimeCutter 50 inch 24.5 HP Zero-Turn Riding Mower

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

If you prefer a gas mower to an electric one, make sure to consider this fantastic pick from Toro. It’s a zero-turn mower with consistent speed and a strong suspension system, among other features, so you can take the mower over rough terrain without worry.

Getting used to this mower can take a bit of time, as there are no pedals like you might expect, just a joystick that lets you control speed, braking, and direction. But once you’ve settled in, you’ll be in for a great ride. We found the mower easy to control, especially when it came to adjusting the speed, cutting height, and the seat’s firmness (you can choose how bouncy you want it to be). It cut grass evenly and neatly, and discharged the clippings far away from the mowing area, which was quite helpful.

Maneuvering the mower around the lawn was easy, no matter the terrain or number of turns, and even when it was going fast, the mower didn’t feel like it was unstable. As far as negatives go, we wish the mower came with a bagging option, as well as headlights for nighttime work, but really, those are small quibbles considering how solid an option this mower is overall.

Price at time of publish: 4,599

Type: Zero turn | Deck Width: 50 inches | Fuel Type: Gas | Max Cutting Height: 4.5 inches

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

Best Zero-Turn Riding Mower

Cub Cadet Ultima Series ZT1 42 in. 22HP Zero-Turn Mower

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

Zero-turn mowers can be great options as they can maneuver more quickly and smoothly than many other types of mowers, and we love this pick from Cub Cadet. It’s a powerful machine that runs on a twin-cylinder gas engine, and features an ultra-comfortable seat with adjustable lap bars, hand grips, a rubber mat, and plenty of legroom.

This mower did take some time to set up, but once we got it ready, it started up quickly and moved smoothly. It mows and makes turns faster than many other models we’ve tried, and it doesn’t take long to get used to the different speeds and start feeling in control as you go. Additionally, you can adjust the mower’s seat and arms to make sure it’s a comfortable fit, and we also liked that the side discharge leaves the grass clippings far away from the mower itself. It also features headlights, as a helpful bonus, and you can choose from several cutting heights and other settings.

We would’ve liked it if the mower’s handles were able to be lined up equally, as it can be a bit tricky to ensure that you’re turning at the same speed on both sides. All in all, though, we had few complaints about this zero-turn mower.

Price at time of publish: 3,499

Type: Zero turn | Deck Width: 42 inches | Fuel Type: Gas | Max Cutting Height: 4.5 inches

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

Easiest to Maneuver

John Deere S100 42 Inch 17.5 HP Gas Hydrostatic Riding Lawn Tractor

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

We can’t say enough good things about this gas-operated riding mower from John Deere, especially in terms of how well it maneuvers. When we tested it out, we were amazed by how effortlessly it made its way around trees and other impediments, thanks to the responsive pedal and above-average turning radius (as well as the mower’s notably small size).

We discovered that this mower operates smoothly on rocky terrain, too, and its size makes it easier than many other mowers to store in a shed or garage when not in use. Setting it up is a quick, simple process, and you can change the cutting heights via a helpful lever, while you can switch up the speeds through a pedal.

We also love this mower’s side discharge, which is strong enough to blow leaves out of the way (almost doubling as a leaf blower), as well as its convenient headlights. Plus, it comes with a large and easy-to-empty bagger, and we found that the mower’s seat is both comfortable and adjustable.

It would be nice if this mower had a wider deck, as John Deere only recommends it for yards up to 1 acre, but if you’re looking for a small yet highly effective mower, you’ll surely be happy with this top-tier choice–especially considering that it’s the least expensive mower on our list.

Price at time of publish: 2,399

Type: Lawn tractor | Deck Width: 42 inches | Fuel Type: Gas | Max Cutting Height: 4 inches

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

Best for Thick Grass

Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT 46-Inch Hydrostatic Drive Gas Riding Lawn Tractor

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

If you want a riding mower that can easily handle even the thickest grass, then take a look at this powerful option from Cub Cadet. It’s a gas-operated mower that cuts evenly through areas with long, thick grass without any issue and in a much quicker time period than other mowers we’ve tried.

This mower takes a good amount of time to set up and get started, due to an unfortunate lack of user-friendly instructions. But once you figure it out the first time, you’ll be good for all future mows, and the actual controls, such as for changing the cutting height, are much more intuitive. Additionally, we’re big fans of this mower’s adjustable, comfortable, and shock-absorbing seat, as well as the big, thick tires that make for a smooth ride.

The maneuverability of this mower is top-notch, too, allowing it to move easily around trees and other objects, and we were impressed by how fast the mower goes at its top speed. The discharge chute spread the grass clippings far enough away, and the mower’s headlights are a helpful added bonus.

Although this mower’s turning abilities don’t quite compare to zero-turn mowers, and it doesn’t come with fancier features like an LED screen or Bluetooth, we were still highly satisfied with its performance and think you will be, too.

Price at time of publish: 2,574

Type: Lawn tractor | Deck Width: 46 inches | Fuel Type: Gas | Max Cutting Height: 4 inches

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a great electric mower, the Ryobi 80V HP Brushless 42-Inch Lithium Electric Zero-Turn Riding Mower is our top pick. It’s fast, effective, quiet, and has multiple handy features. For an equally strong gas-powered option, we recommend the Toro 50-Inch TimeCutter MyRIDE Zero-Turn Mower, due to its consistent speed, smooth ride, and easy maneuverability.

Our Testing Process

To determine the best riding lawn mowers, we tested models from reputable brands in our own yards (spanning four cities and two states) over three weeks. To begin, we timed how long it took to unbox and assemble each lawn mower (for battery-powered models, we took note of how long it took to charge, but we did not include this in our setup time). During the testing period, we used each lawn mower a minimum of three times, taking into account weather conditions, how much grass was cut off, and how much surface area was being mowed. While mowing, we considered things like comfortability, adjustability, battery life (when applicable) maneuverability, how evenly the mower cuts, and more. We also tested any additional features, including side discharge, bagging, mulching, various cutting height options, headlights, various speeds, and cup holders. We are still testing riding mowers and will continue to update this piece with the fresh insights as we have them.

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

How to Shop for Riding Mowers Like a Pro


There are multiple types of riding mowers, including zero-turn mowers, lawn tractors, and rear-engine mowers.

Zero-turn mowers have a zero-inch turning radius and a mowing deck in front, rather than underneath, the machine. This causes them to turn quickly and easily, and have greater maneuverability and speed than other types of mowers. They tend to be pricey, though, and relatively small.

Lawn tractors, meanwhile, have their cutting decks in the middle, rather than underneath the front, and tend to be pretty large. They’re less maneuverable than other types of riding mowers due to their size, but they’re quite powerful and particularly good for large lawns.

Then there are rear-engine mowers, which are usually very small and less powerful than other options. They’re best used on tiny lawns, and they aren’t great at going up hills and rocky terrain. Still, they’re often less expensive than the other types.

Deck Width

Deck width refers to the amount of acreage the mower can cut in one go, and it ranges from about 30 to 60 inches. “A mower’s cutting deck determines how many passes it’ll take to mow the grass, so you should match the deck size to your acreage for a speedier cut,” says Gary McCoy, store manager at a Charlotte-area Lowe’s. “If you’re working with smaller yards up to two acres, look for options in the 30-inch to 52-inch deck range,” he adds. “Two to four-acre yards will benefit from 50-inch decks to 54-inch decks, and anything over five acres will need 60 inches or more.”

Fuel Type

Riding mowers run on either gasoline or electricity. Gas-powered mowers “feature the traditional riding design we’re familiar with and operate similarly to a car, using a steering wheel and foot pedal,” says McCoy. If you opt for a gas mower, make sure to “check the level of ethanol your equipment can safely use, and never buy more than you can use in 30 days, as older gasoline can lead to corrosion in your engine,” he adds.

Electric riding mowers, on the other hand, “are battery-powered machines that offer a similar performance to gas models without the fuel requirements,” says McCoy. “They run a bit quieter than gas mowers with less vibration.” They do require some time to charge up before use, which can be frustrating, but they get rid of the smell and hassle of gasoline.

Yard Size

When determining which riding mower is right for you, it’s important to think about the size of your yard. Yards on the very small size, under 3/4 of an acre, might be better off with traditional push mowers, says McCoy. Otherwise, follow this guide from Lowe’s:

best, ride-on, mowers, summer, 2023

  • 3/4- to 1-Acre Lawns: Look for a mower with a 30-42-inch cut width.
  • 1- to 2-Acre Lawns: Look for a mower with a 42-52-inch cut width.
  • 2- to 3-Acre Lawns: Look for a mower with a 50-54-inch cut width.
  • 3- to 5-Acre Lawn:s Look for a mower with a 54-62-inch cut width.
  • 5-Acre Lawns or Larger: Look for a mower with a 60-inch or greater cut width.


Riding mowers can come with some seriously helpful features, including:

  • Zero-turn radius: This can “allow the mower to pivot at sharper angles than lawn or garden tractors,” says McCoy.
  • Cruise control: So you can “lock in on one speed and mow long, straight stretches more easily,” he notes.
  • Mulch kits, dump carts, and lawn sweepers to “help you maintain your landscape not only during mowing season but year-round,” McCoy says.

Other less essential, but still beneficial, features include cup holders, USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, armrests, headlights, and extended leg room. The more features a mower has, the more expensive it’ll likely be, though, so be sure you’re prioritizing your top picks.

Riding Mowers to Consider

Ryobi 80V HP Brushless 42-Inch Cordless Electric Riding Lawn Tractor: This battery-operated mower is a quiet, fast-charging machine that cuts grass evenly, and has a helpful digital display menu so you can adjust the speed easily. Still, it has some frustrating features, like a beep every time you back up or get off the seat, as well as a jerky accelerator pedal.

Questions You Might Ask

Are stand-up or sit-down riding mowers better?

That depends on your specific needs, says McCoy. “Stand-up mowers work well in smaller yards and on uneven terrain, whereas riding mowers can handle larger surface areas and are generally more powerful,” he explains. Additionally, stand-up mowers can be better for your back (albeit less comfortable to use). Stand-up mowers also offer better visibility than sit-down riding mowers, but on the downside, they usually don’t have bagging systems.

How much should you expect to spend on a riding mower?

The price of a riding mower can “range from 2,000 up to 8,000, depending on the type of mower and attachments included,” says McCoy. If you’re looking to save costs, opt for basic models that don’t have features like LED screens, Bluetooth capability, zero-turn radius, and more. But if those features and others matter greatly to you, then prepare to shell out a pretty penny.

What kind of maintenance does a riding mower need?

The type of maintenance a riding mower needs depends on the specific model, says McCoy. However, for most mowers, he suggests that you regularly “inspect the mower’s shield and deflectors, check its tire pressure, remove dirt from the machine, check the oil and fuel, and reconnect the battery or spark plug” for day-to-day maintenance.

Throughout the mowing season McCoy suggests lubricating the mower, checking the air filter and mower blades, and changing the engine oil and filter. “At the end of the season, you’ll want to prepare your mower for the next spring. That entails doing a general inspection of the machine, replacing the fuel filter, and maintaining the mower blades,” says McCoy.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Rachel Simon, a writer for Real Simple, Better Homes Gardens, The New York Times, and many other publications. To write this article, we tested riding mowers over a span of several weeks and evaluated them on performance, value, design, and more. For expert insight, we spoke to Gary McCoy, store manager at a Charlotte-area Lowe’s.

What Is Real Simple Selects?

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn’t an option. All products go through the same rigorous process, whether they are purchased or sent by the company.

Love our recommendations? Check out more products that have earned the Real Simple Selects, from humidifiers to cordless vacuums.

Z-Mower-52” 25HP Rental

Subject to availability. Call (803) 909-2400 for inventory.

Z-Mower-52” 25HP


  • Commercial duty Z Mower for large area cutting and production
  • Twin stick- Zero turn style controls
  • Premium after cut appearance

Quick Specs

  • 25Hp Kohler Command engine
  • 52” deck- 3 Blade design
  • 5 mph max ground speed
  • 1”-5.5” adjustable cutting height

Also carried at the following locations near: Rock Hill, SC 29730

Equipment subject to availability. Call (803) 909-2400 for inventory.

Pineville, NC 28134-8822

Store #HD3601 | (704) 541-4350 | 9.5 Mi. 10210 Centrum PkwyPineville, NC 28134-8822

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Charlotte, NC 28211-1129

Store #HD3608 | (704) 367-9404 | 17.8 Mi. 1220 N Wendover RdCharlotte, NC 28211-1129

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Matthews, NC 28105

Store #HD3602 | (704) 841-7410 | 18.5 Mi. 1837 Matthews Twnsp PkwyMatthews, NC 28105

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