The 10 Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards According to Consumer Reports

While some might think a small yard doesn’t require as much upkeep as a larger one, that’s not necessarily true. Fortunately, for those shopping for the best lawn mower for small yards, Consumer Reports has the inside scoop on which mowers are best suited for mowing up to a quarter-acre of land. 

What is the best type of lawn mower for a small yard?

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Before jumping in, let’s start with what the best type of lawn mower is for a small yard. According to Misha Kollontai, who oversees Consumer Reports’ lawn mower testing, push mowers are the best option for small yards. 

Kollontai added that if it’s a struggle for you to push a lawn mower for long periods or if your yard is hilly, you may want to choose a self-propelled lawn mower. For a self-propelled lawn mower that’s even easier to use, seek out a lightweight model, Kollontai suggests.

You might also consider an electric lawn mower for your small yard. Such mowers are often quieter than gas-powered lawn mowers. According to CNET, electric lawn mowers also require less maintenance and are often easier to use than gas-powered mowers.

The best battery push mowers for small lawns

A man mowing a small yard.
Mowing lawn. | Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

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Say you want to go the route of an electric or battery-powered push mower. If that’s the case, of all the battery push mowers you could buy, Consumer Reports says that the Ryobi RY401200 Battery Mower is the absolute best electric lawn mower for small yards. It retails for under $500 and earned high marks across the board.

“It’s superb at side-discharging and mulching. It’s also the only battery push mower we’ve tested so far that excels at cutting evenly,” Consumer Reports added.

A man mowing a small yard with a push mower
Man mowing lawn. | Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Ryobi RY401200 Battery Mower isn’t the only battery push mower for small lawns worth considering either. Consumer Reports recommends the DR Power Equipment CE75021XEN0 ($600), the Ego LM2101 ($399), and the DeWalt DCMWP233U2 ($499) too.

For the best affordable push mower for small yards, Consumer Reports recommends the Hart HLPM011 ($248). It’s a great value for the price and, according to the organization, delivers “superb mulching and handling, and a nice run time of 70 minutes.” It also earned a Very Good rating for cutting evenness, which is pretty hard to beat.

The best gas push mowers for small yards

A lineup of red Toro push lawn mowers, a brand recommended by Consumer Reports for mowing small yards
Toro Co. lawn mowers. | Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

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And if you’d prefer a gas push mower for your small yard? Consumer Reports tapped the Honda HRN216PKA ($400) as the best gas push mower for small yards. Not only did they give it an Excellent rating for evenness of cutting, but this small yard mower also earned high marks in every other category too: mulching, bagging, side-discharging, and handling. Perhaps the only drawback of this mower is the price, says Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports recommends the Cub Cadet SC100 HW ($300) as well. This model is one of the best gas push mowers for small yards based on its Excellent rating for evenness, Very Good rating for mulching and handling, and its Good rating for bagging.

If you’re shopping for a gas push mower for your small yard, the Toro Recycler 21332 ($269), Toro Recycler SmartStow 21329 ($300), and the Troy-Bilt TB 115 ($230) are also recommended by Consumer Reports. Of the three push mowers, the organization tapped the Troy-Bilt TB 115 as a Best Buy. However, it lacks features like a washout port and a swing-up handlebar because of its low price.

In the end, shopping for the best lawn mower for small yards doesn’t have to be complicated. To find the best lawn mower for your small yard, start by considering one of the many lawn mowers that Consumer Reports recommends.