The Best Lawn Mowers for Big Yards According to Consumer Reports

For small yards, push lawn mowers make for a solid pick. For yards between ¼ acre to about ½ acre, a self-propelled push lawn mower might make the most sense. But for a yard around ¾ acre? Consumer Reports says wide-deck self-propelled lawn mowers and rear-engine riders are among the best lawn mowers for big yards. 

What is the best type of lawn mower for big yards?

A person showing using a lawn mower to mow a big yard
Lawn mower | Philipp Schulze/picture alliance via Getty Images

Different types of lawn mowers are best suited for different types of yards. For those tackling yards ¾ acre or more, a riding lawn mower or a zero-turn radius model might seem like the best type of lawn mower for getting the job done.

But according to Consumer Reports? Both riding lawn mowers and zero-turn-radius models can be a challenge to store. They can also be much more expensive than other types of lawn mowers. Instead, Consumer Reports recommends choosing either a wide-deck self-propelled lawn mower or a rear-engine rider.

While a wide-deck self-propelled mower’s extra-wide cutting deck will save you about a quarter of the time cutting the lawn, Consumer Reports says rear-engine riders require less storage space than other types of lawn mowers.

“Wide-deck self-propelled mowers and rear-engine riders make up a small share of all the lawn mowers sold in the U.S.,” explained Courtney Pennicooke, a Consumer Reports lawn mower analyst. “But for people with larger-sized lawns, they really hit the sweet spot.”

RELATED: John Deere Topped Consumer Reports’ List of The Best Riding Lawn Mowers and Tractors

The best wide-deck self-propelled lawn mowers for big yards

According to Consumer Reports, the Troy-Bilt TB WC28 ($849) is the best wide-deck self-propelled lawn mower you can buy. It’s also one of the best lawn mowers for big yards. It earned an Excellent score in both bagging and cutting evenness. It also handles tasks like side discharging and mulching well. 

Consumer Reports added that this lawn mower comes with features like a blade-brake clutch, allowing users to stop the rotation of the mower’s blades without actually having to turn off the lawn mower’s engine.

The Toro Timemaster 21199 ($1,249) is another wide-deck self-propelled mower that’s one of the best lawn mowers for big yards. This self-propelled mower earned Excellent scores in bagging and cutting evenness. Consumer Reports also gave it Very Good scores in tasks like side discharging, mulching, and handling.

RELATED: Lawn Mower Maintenance You Probably Aren’t Doing But Should Be

The best rear-engine riding lawn mowers for big yards

Rear-engine riders are also among the best lawn mowers for big yards. Take, for example, the Cub Cadet CC30e ($2,799). This electric riding lawn mower boasts lawn mower features like a high-backed seat, cruise control, and the ability to cut grass while in reverse. Consumer Reports also gave it an Excellent mulching rating, along with Very Good ratings in handling, side discharging, cutting evenness, and run time. 

For a cheaper alternative to the Cub Cadet CC30e, Consumer Reports recommends the Cub Cadet CC30 H ($1,699). This lawn mower costs less than its electric counterpart and earned Very Good ratings in mulching and cutting in side-discharging mode. Consumer Reports also gave this lawn mower a Very Good predicted reliability rating along with an Excellent rating for owner satisfaction.

The battery-powered Ryobi R48110 ($2,813) is also one of the best rear-engine riding lawn mowers for big yards. What makes it one of the best lawn mowers for big yards are its Very Good ratings for mowing tasks like side-discharging and mulching. It also earned Excellent scores in cutting evenness. 

RELATED: Here’s Why Buying an Electric Lawn Mower Might Not Be Such a Bad Idea

How to choose the best lawn mower for your big yard

Shopping for the best lawn mower for big yards doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, there are several choices out there worth considering. These are just some of the lawn mowers that come recommended by Consumer Reports. When it comes to choosing the best lawn mower for your big yard, we recommend taking into consideration the types of lawn mower features you’re looking for, along with how much you’re willing to spend.