The Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Great Looking Yards & Gardens

best overall rating
  • Ideal for large gardens
  • Gasoline powered, 46-inch cutting width
  • Powerful 19HP, Hydrostatic transmission
premium choice rating
  • 61-inch cutting width
  • 24 HP Kawasaki engine
  • Roll-over protection system
great value rating
  • 30-inch cutting width
  • 18-inch cutting circle
  • Max speed 4.25mph, comfortable

So you’re looking to find the best riding lawn mower? It can sometimes be more confusing than buying a car, that’s why we’ve made it easy for you and have reviewed the top lawn tractors on the market today. Ride on lawn mowers can make cutting the lawns of large gardens a breeze and they’re perfect for those with trouble walking or pushing. We’ve completed a full review and taken into account various factors such as deck size and engine power, transmission type, turning radius, power and also the size and type of lawn to be mowed.

For instance, if you have a small area such as the backyard or the front yard, you will need a 16 HP riding mower that offers the least turning radius ( because you’ll often face sharp turns in a smaller area ). If you’re looking for zero turns, check out our other review article on zero turn radius lawn mowers. We hope you find our review and buying guide useful!

Know a little gardener in the making? Grab them one of these cute John Deere toys!

View the Best Riding Lawn Mowers & Tractors for the Money, Below.

Riding Lawnmowers Buying Guide Review

So you are considering investing in riding mowers for your home or business, yet you are not too sure where to start? You are not alone. Many businesses and households are investing in the best riding mowers particularly John Deere, and there are so many different types and styles of lawn mowers/tractors that it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. There are a few things you should consider when purchasing one and these are detailed below:-

Is it California compliant? If you live in California, you are required by law to make sure that you purchase a mower that is California compliant. It should be stated on the purchase page whether particular mowers are able to be purchased and used in California or not. This is simply due to California’s stringent anti-pollution standards which require that the fuel system and or exhaust meets the minimum standards.

Of course, if you live outside California, you can still benefit from a California compliant mower simply because they tend to be made to a higher standard and are better for the environment. These reviews will benefit you massively if you are in this predicament.

Durability and comfort – When determining which ride on grass tractor is best for you, you need to not only consider the durability and quality of the materials but the comfort level. You will notice that many different brands of mowers have different seats – some have bucket seats, some have high back seats and some are roomier and built for the larger users. There is no point in getting one if you are so uncomfortable that you will not want to use it. These mowers are supposed to make easy work of an otherwise laborious chore, so comfort is a must.

How large is the area you want to mow? – There are different types targeted at different sized yards, so you need to make sure you get the right one for your needs. If you have a small to medium size area (such as a backyard or front yard), then a lawn tractor for small yard such as standard mowers or lawn tractor will suffice. If there is a larger area to be mowed like a farm or business, then you will want to consider a garden tractor.

There are also different motors which are targeted to different sized areas. Smaller areas will require a motor of about 16 Horsepower or less, medium areas up to a hectare will require closer to a 20 Horsepower engine, and anything larger will benefit best from a 25 Horsepower engine or larger.

How Long Do Riding Lawn Mowers Last?

Preferred deck size:  Once you have determined the size of lawn or property that you wish to now, perhaps the second most important consideration in choosing a suitable lawn tractor or lawn mower is determining your preferred mowers deck size. There are various sizes that you could choose including 42 inches, 46 inches, 48 inches, 54 inches, 60 inches, 66 inches, etc. The deck size specifications vary from one brand to another.

For example, the deck size specs you would get from John Deere ride on grass mowers are different from those you will get from Cub Cadet, Raven or Husqvarna. For a small space of 0.5 to 1 acre, a 42-inch deck size would be ideal while for a yard or garden of 2 to 3 acres, you will be better off with a deck size of 48 inches, 54 inches or even 60 inches. The manufacturer will generally specify the most suitable deck specifications for your specific requirements. If they don’t, you can also make inquiries to determine this information.

What is your terrain like? – Mowers, in general, prefer a flat, even surface with thin grass. However, this is not always a reality. More than likely there will be a bit of a slope in the area you want to get mowed and there will be patches of thicker lawns. The rule of thumb is that for thicker or heavier grass, you will want to get mowers with at least 4 blades.

If your area is sloped, then you will need mowers with a smaller deck as this will allow for better maneuverability which will be less likely to dig into the ground. When buying a mower, specify whether your terrain is flat, sloping, hilly or challenging. Does the terrain have many small trees, for example?

Different Transmissions – Just like a car, these lawn mowers come with different transmissions. There are three main transmission systems – manual, automatic and hydrostatic. Manual and automatic transmissions are similar to that of a car – manual simply requires gears to be manually changed and automatic simply is controlled with a gas pedal.

Hydrostatic transmissions are a bit different and work more like an automatic in that there is no manual changing or gears, however, it uses fluid rather than a belt to transfer power between the engine and the wheels. Personal preference will determine which transmission is preferred, although generally automatic is better for lawn mowers that require extra movement and changing of speeds, and hydrostatic tends to provide a smoother ride.

What Kind of Riding Mowers Should I Purchase?

When you think of a lawn cutter, you would just think of your everyday walk behind mowers with a seat on top. In reality, many riding mowers these days are a lot more extravagant and advanced than many people may expect. There are many different sizes, types and styles depending on whether you want the mowers for use at home in your back yard, on your farm, or for your business (such as a hotel). Really anywhere that had a large expanse of grass can benefit from a riding mower. There are various types of riding grass mowers that you could choose. These include the following:-

Riding mowers – They have the same functionality that you will find with a standard push lawn mower, but you are able to sit and have better control and a more even mow.

Zero turn mowers – These models look like any other mowers from the outside, but they have a turning radius of zero, meaning they effectively turn on the spot. These mowers are excellent for places that require sharp turns or tight corners.

Lawn and garden tractors – These are mowers that double as tractors. Like the zero turn mowers, they may not look any different to an ordinary model, however, they are generally more powerful and able to accompany extra attachments to complete tasks that could normally only be done by a tractor.  A garden tractor is basically a larger version of a lawn tractor.

How Do Riding Lawn Mowers Work?

What Accessories can I Purchase with the Riding Lawnmower?

Thanks to the innovations by the companies that manufacture riding mowers, there is a plethora of attachments and accessories that can be added on. No longer is are mowers only used for cutting grass. The accessories that are available depend on the mower in question, and are also dependent on their size and power. Commonly found accessories include the following:

Twin baggers – These are used for catching the lawn clippings and stopping them from spreading all over your perfectly mowed lawn.

Sun shade and snow cab – This is a removable cabin to protect from the sun, snow and wind. Provides additional comfort and protection from the elements.

Mulch Lawn kits – Chops and re-chops the clippings effectively turning it into mulch, which breaks down easily and eliminates the need for bagging the clippings and mulching the lawn separately.

Tow-behind carts – Essentially a cart that attaches to the back of the mowers, meaning that you can tow up to 1000lbs with ease.

Rear sprayers and rear spreaders – Perfect for small farms, the sprayers and spreaders are used to apply chemicals, seeds and fertilizer evenly over the soil.

Snow throwers and snow blade –  Many of the mowers that are suitable for use in the snow will have useful attachments that turn the mowers into mini snow ploughs.

Do you Offer Warranty?

Never underestimate the importance of a good warranty with mowers like these, as they are not cheap and quite an investment, so you will want to get years of use. Look for lawn mowers with at last 3 years’ warranty, and make sure you take the time to properly understand the terms and conditions of the warranty to ensure that you do not inadvertently void it.

There are many different types of lawn mowers, and it is evident why they are so popular with anyone the requires a good mower for a quick backyard job. They are significantly easier and more fun than the traditional mower, and can be used by anyone from a family in the suburbs, to the farmer out on the paddock.

No matter who you are or what type of lawn you want to mow, there will be the perfect riding mowers for you. Whether you want smaller mowers for your backyard, or a decked out yard tractor to complete all of the chores and tasks you can think of, a riding lawn mower will be a perfect addition to your shed.

What is the Best Riding Lawn Mower?

To help you decide which are the best riding lawn mowers for you, we’ve shortlisted them into three different categories. Our Pick, Premium and Great Value.

Our Pick

Premium Choice

Great Value