A small lawn places particular demands on a lawn mower. First and foremost, you’ll want something that’s easy to manoeuvre. But it also needs enough power to get the job done. And if you don’t have a lot of storage space, your mower needs to be compact too.
If you’re about to begin your search – or if you’ve started and found the choice baffling! – we’re here to help.
We’re going to take a look at seven of the best small lawn mowers out there. We’ll discuss their pros and cons. And we’ll consider what features to look for to get the right fit for your lawn.
So step this way to find out more!
Quick Pick: The Best small lawn mower
The Best small lawn mower on UK Market 2021
1. Hyundai HYM3200E small lawn mower
If you’re looking for a corded electric mower that will suit smaller lawns, Hyundai’s HYM3200E is a good bet.
It’s powered by a 1,000-watt Hyundai motor, and because it’s electric, that motor requires zero maintenance.
Despite being a substantial machine, it weighs just 8.8 kilograms, making it easy to manoeuvre. It’s a great choice for all gardeners, including anyone with impaired mobility.
The light weight is partly because the housing here is plastic. It might not look as good as metal mowers, but it means you’ll never have to worry about rust. It comes with a three-year warranty too.
There’s a standard UK plug and a 10-metre power cable, which can be detached for storage. That will give you plenty of reach to cover smaller lawns. And you’ll also get a 25-litre collection bag. The quick-release design makes it easy to dispose of your grass cuttings when you’ve finished mowing.
It’s very easy to use. Just push the safety button and pull a lever, and you’re off. There’s a choice of three different cutting heights – 24, 45 and 65 millimetres – which are selected by pushing a bar.
It isn’t, however, particularly easy to change the setting. The bar to do so sits underneath the mower, which makes it rather fiddly.
Once you’re moving, though, it’s a joy to use, travelling smoothly even over bumpy surfaces. And the cutting width is 32 centimetres, so it’s pretty nippy.
When you’ve finished using it, the handles fold down over the motor. That makes it easy to carry, as well as requiring less storage space in your shed. If you need to take it elsewhere, it’s also compact enough to fit easily into the boot of most cars.
You will need to do a little assembly before the first use. Most people will find it a quick and easy job – expect it to take about 15 minutes. But it does require nuts and bolts to be tightened, so it may take longer for anyone with arthritic fingers.
- Lightweight and easy to manoeuvre
- Quick-release 25-litre collection box
- Handles fold down for easy transportation and storage
- It’s a bit of a faff to change the cutting heights
- Some simple assembly required.
2. Flymo Hover Vac 250 small lawn mower
Flymo’s Hover Vac 250 is specially designed for smaller lawns. It’s compact, lightweight and very easy to manoeuvre.
It weighs just 6.9 kilograms, so it will be light enough for any gardener to use in comfort. And when you’ve finished, the handle folds flat for easy storage. You can even hang it on the wall of your shed.
The motor is pretty powerful. It generates 1,400 watts, so it will cope with bumpier surfaces or gentle slopes without overheating. And the name “Hover Vac” actually describes how it works. It generates a cushion of air, keeping it moving smoothly over the grass.
The metal cutting blade cuts to a width of 25 centimetres, so this will suit even the narrowest lawn. It also makes it a good choice for cutting grass verges – though note it won’t cut right to the edge.
There’s a choice of four different cutting heights, from 31 millimetres down to a bowling green-like 11 millimetres. It comes with a 15-litre collection bag to keep your grass cuttings. And because it compacts the grass as it cuts, you’ll need to empty it less often.
There are, however, some issues with grass collection. Some people have found that the grass is sprayed over their lawn, rather than collected in the bag. This seems to be a particular problem if the grass is longer.
And note that because this is a hover mower, there are no wheels. When you turn it off, you’ll need to pick it up and carry it to wherever you’re storing it. At less than 7 kilograms, it’s not heavy for a lawnmower. But if your shed or garage is some distance from your lawn, you may feel the burn.
- Light and compact – can even be folded flat to hang on the wall of your shed
- Comes with a 15-litre collection bag, and compacts the grass so more will fit in
- Choice of four different cutting heights
- Has a tendency to spray some grass cuttings, especially if the grass is longer
- No wheels, so you’ll need to carry it between your lawn and shed.
3. Flymo Turbo Lite 250 small lawn mower
The Turbo Lite 250 is another lawnmower from Flymo with a 25-centimetre cutting width. It’s the smallest of the Turbo Lite range, and it shares many similarities with the Hover Vac 250. They’re about the same price too.
But where the Hover Vac 250 is relatively tall, the Turbo Light is squat. This also means the Turbo Light – as you’d expect from the name – is exceptionally lightweight. It weighs just 5.1 kilograms.
Like the Hover Vac, it generates a cushion of air on which it hovers as the blade sweeps around. That means that no weight is being put on your grass as you mow. And that’s good for the health of your lawn.
But that air does mean the cuttings have a tendency to fly around. And that height difference we mentioned earlier? That’s a result of the Turbo Lite dispensing with a grass collection box. So you’ll either have to rake up the cuttings, or get them all over you when you next use the lawn.
On the plus side, you’ll know what you’re dealing with. As we’ve seen, the Hover Vac’s ability to get the cuttings into its collection bag is rather hit-and-miss. And for smaller lawns, a bit of raking may not be too much of a hardship.
The motor here is 1,400 watts, so it generates a decent amount of power. Note though, that all the work here is done by a single blade. While it will last a fair time, you’ll need to replace it eventually. The good news is that it comes with a two-year warranty.
As with the Hover Vac, you can choose from four different cutting heights. There’s a 10-metre power cord and UK plug, and the handles fold down flat for easy storage. Just remember that you’ll need to carry it when it’s switched off, as there are no wheels.
- One of the lightest lawnmowers on our list, and very easy to use
- Folds down flat for easy storage
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- There’s no grass collection box – so prepare yourself for some raking
- One blade does all the work, so it will need to be replaced eventually.
4. Gardena Comfort Reel 400C for Small Lawn
If you’re looking for the peaceful operation of a manual mower, check out the Comfort Reel 400C from Gardena. There’s no power cord to worry about this one, so it’s perfect for locations away from electricity supplies.
The design is very simple. When you push the mower, a cutting blade moves up against a stationary counter blade. The action is like a pair of scissors, slicing cleanly through the grass for a neat finish.
The blades here are made of steel, so they’re very strong. And because the lower blade never touches the cylinder, there’s no resistance as you push the mower along. It also means that mowing your lawn is an exceptionally peaceful job.
It’s suitable for lawns up to 250 square metres, and has a 40 centimetre cutting width. There’s no grass collection box, although a deflector helps avoid the cuttings spraying too wildly.
if you want to save yourself some raking, though, you can buy a collection box separately. Note, though, that it will add almost a third to the price.
You can choose from four different cutting heights, from a minimum of 12 to a maximum of 42 millimetres.
A well-designed handle is comfortable to hold, with plenty of padding to prevent blisters. And when you’ve finished mowing, a quick release button means you can fold it in half. The mower takes up very little storage space as a result.
There is, however, a fair amount of metal in the construction of this mower. While that makes it very robust, it also means that it’s relatively heavy, weighing 9.4 kilograms.
And don’t be tempted to try to cut the grass when its wet. The blades will slip against the moist grass and will end up bending rather than cutting them.
- No power cord, so you can mow where you like without worrying about running over one
- Quiet operation
- Easily foldable handle, so it requires minimal storage space
- If you want a grass collection box, you’ll need to buy one separately – and it will add about a third to the price
- Relatively heavy in comparison to the Flymos.
5. Bosch Rotak 32R small lawn mower (Our Top Pick)
This mower from Bosch has a compact 32-centimetre cutting width and a modest price tag. If you’re looking for a reliable electric lawn mower for small gardens, it’s well worth considering.
It’s bulkier than some of the options on our list, thanks mainly to its large grass box. This has an impressive capacity of 31 litres.
But the mower still weighs only 6.8 kilograms. It’s easy to move and to manoeuvre around obstacles. It also features a grass comb, helping to get a neat cut right to the edge. That means you shouldn’t need to strim along borders, fences or the edges of paths.
You’ll be able to choose from no fewer than five different cutting heights, from 20 to 60 millimetres. But note that, as with many of these smaller mowers, it’s not particularly easy to change the height. You’ll need to turn the machine on its side to see what you’re doing.
But when you’ve set the correct cutting height, using this is a breeze. The 1200-watt motor and steel blade will slice cleanly through the grass. And it has enough power to get good results, even if you’ve left it a while between cuts.
You will need to do a bit of assembly before you use it for the first time. There are half a dozen or so pieces to put together, but it’s all pretty straightforward. Expect it to take about 15 minutes.
One thing that’s not ideal is the design of the handle. It’s supposed to be foldable, enabling you to store it in smaller spaces. But actually folding it down is very fiddly.
- Grass comb for a neat cut right to the edge of obstacles
- 31-litre collection box means you won’t need to rake up grass cuttings
- Performs effectively, even on longer grass
- The design means that changing the height settings is a bit of a pain
- Folding down the handle is possible, but rather fiddly.
6. Flymo EasiLife 200 small lawn mower
Flymo’s EasiLife 200 is the ultimate lawn mower for those who want good results with minimal effort. This is less a mower than it is a robot, which beetles about the garden cutting your grass for you.
The hardest thing you’ll have to do is pay for it. This is roughly nine times the cost of most of the other lawn mowers on our list. But if that doesn’t put you off, you’ll get a clever little machine that will also be a great talking point.
The EasiLife comes in a range of sizes, depending on how big your lawn is. The EasiLife 200 will cope with lawns up to 200 square metres. Different models are suitable for other sizes, from a maximum of 150 to 800 square metres.
It runs on an 18-volt battery, so you won’t need to worry about connecting it to a power supply. And there won’t be any trailing cables to get in the way as it works.
It has a teeny cutting width of 16 centimetres, so it will be able to squeeze into the smallest nooks and crannies. And while that might mean it takes longer to cover the lawn – who cares?! You can be getting on with whatever you want to while it beavers away.
It comes with a boundary wire, which you’ll need to install around your lawn first. This defines the cutting area. The EasiLife will cut using an irregular pattern to prevent track marks. If you yearn for stripes on your lawn, though, you won’t get them here.
It’s a sturdy little thing, and will cope with gradients of up to 35 per cent. And you can control it from an app on your smartphone.
If you’re wondering whether it will take the grass cuttings to your composter for you, the answer is sadly no. There’s no collection box here – the mower will simply leave them where they fall.
- Cuts your lawn with zero effort
- Can handle bumps and gradients up to 35 per cent
- Agile enough to get into the smallest spaces
- Mows in an irregular pattern – fun to watch, but there’s no chance of a striped lawn
- Leaves the grass cuttings where they fall.
7. Bosch AHM 38G
At the other end of the price spectrum is the AHM 38G from Bosch. This mechanical cylinder mower is simple and it’s by far the cheapest option on our list. But it delivers excellent results.
It’s a similar design to the Gardena: one rotating and one fixed blade slice through the grass. The shear-like action gives a smart finish and ensures there are no jagged ends to admit pests or disease.
But unlike the Gardena, this one comes with its own grass box, with a 25-liltre capacity. You can buy a spare separately if you ever need one.
The cutting width is slightly narrower than the Gardena’s at 38 centimetres. If you’ve got any narrow strips of grass to deal with, that will be a bonus. You can choose from cutting heights between 15 and 43 millimetres.
There are high wheels at each side to keep it stable as you mow. There’s a rear roller too. That will both give you stripes on your grass, and add extra stability right up to the edges of your lawn.
Because the power required comes from you pushing it, you’ll never have to worry about running over a cable. And at just 7 kilograms, it’s light enough to manoeuvre easily.
You’ll need to do a bit of assembly, but it’s a simple matter. Attach the handle with a few bolts and mount the collection box. If it takes you more than 15 minutes, you’ve gone badly wrong.
You will, though, need to adjust the blades to get the right results. This is simply a matter of turning a couple of knobs. But you do need to judge that properly. If you’ve never done it before, it may take a bit of trial and error.
- Quiet operation and no electricity required
- Easy to manoeuvre
- The rear roller produces smart stripes on your lawn
- Some assembly required, although this is simple to do
- You may need to spend a bit of time adjusting the blades before the first use.
Still not sure which is the best mower for your small lawn? Here are some questions to help you decide!
Electric or manual?
To start with, decide whether you’d prefer an electric or a manual mower.
An electric mower will mean you expend less effort on pushing. You’re really just guiding the mower along. In most cases, though, it will mean that you’ll need somewhere to plug it in. And you’ll need to watch out for the cable to avoid slicing through it as you mow.
The exception to that is robot lawnmowers like the EasiLife range from Flymo. In this case, the power comes from an 18-volt battery. You will, though, still need to run a cable to the mower’s charging station.
With a cylinder mower, on the other hand, you generate the power yourself. The action of pushing the mower turns the blade and cuts the grass. That means you’ll need to make a little more effort. But with no motor in the equation, cutting your lawn is a very quiet job.
Collect the grass or leave it as mulch?
Next, consider whether you want your mower to collect the grass it cuts.
If your mower doesn’t have a grass collection box, you can rake up the cuttings afterwards. But that’s a lot more work.
Alternatively, you can leave them on the lawn as mulch. But that means they’ll get onto your shoes when you use the lawn. And they will in any case need to be collected in spring. If you leave them on your lawn then, they’ll prevent light and air getting to your grass, damaging its health.
The lack of a collection box is, for us, the main drawback to the otherwise excellent Easilife robot mower. Leaving cuttings as mulch will only work for so long. And eventually having to rake them up negates many of the benefits of an effortless robot mower!
Most other mowers either come with a collection box or have one that can be bought separately. But they’re not all equally good at getting the grass into the box. Hover mowers can be particularly challenging. The cushion of air they generate can blow the cuttings all over the place.
Will it work with the shape of your lawn?
Finally, consider whether the mower will suit the shape of your lawn.
If you have any narrow strips of grass to contend with, check the cutting width isn’t too big to fit. And if your lawn is an irregular shape, check how light the mower will be to lift and manoeuvre.
It’s also a good idea to consider how you’ll cut the edges of the lawn.
Cylinder mowers will cut to the edge if the lawn edges are higher than what’s around them. But if you have raised borders, you can be left with a strip of uncut grass that you’ll need to attack with shears. And some electric mowers will cut closer to the edge than others.
If your lawn has slopes or bumps, check the reviews to see how well the mower will cope. If it bounces over bumpy bits, it will leave you with annoying tufts of longer grass.
Ready to mow?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to seven of the best small mowers out there. Whether you want hi- or lo-tech, electric or manual, there are some great models to choose from.
Out top pick is the Rotak 32R from Bosch. It performs brilliantly even in tougher conditions, has a generous grass collection box, and cuts right to the edge. And you’ll get all that for a very modest price tag.
But whichever option you choose, we’re sure your lawn will be looking great in no time. Happy mowing!