Best small lawn mower: 6 compact mowers for small gardens (and budgets)

A small lawn still needs a good mower. Make the job of garden maintenance as easy as can be with these neat buys that won't take up much room in your shed either

Flymo EasiLife 200 Robotic Lawn Mower
(Image credit: Flymo)

Finding the best small lawn mower can feel like a challenge, as size is often thought to be synonymous with power when it comes to tools. However, modern tool tech means that lawn mower brands are managing to pack so much more into small packages – be it optimising the cutting power, or making use of every inch for a good blade.

If you only have a small plot, or only have a small shed for storage, you will still be after the best lawn mower, but likely in a more compact form.

On our list, we have included a selection of mowers that are perfect for smaller plots. They all have enough power (or battery life) to handle a lawn up to around 200m2 – our top pick actually covers 350m2 with ease – and we have looked for lighter models where possible. Most of our picks happen to be cordless lawn mowers, but we have a push model which may be a bit more work, but at least it is power-free (and costs much less to run).

Then, we have considered how easy they are to store away – a must when space is at a premium. Finally we have thought about what is a reasonable budget to spend on a mower for a small space. Most of our picks are £200 or less, though we have thrown in a slightly pricier robot mower, because even those with a small garden might relish the idea of having it taken care of for them. They are great for getting on with the mowing while you are busy, meaning you can spend your time outside doing things you really want to.

See our choices below, then if you are still undecided, you can read our buying advice at the end to aid your decision.

The best small lawn mowers

Worx 40V cordless lawn mowerReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Worx)
The best cordless lawn mower for small gardens

Specifications

Best for: Any size plot and easy storage
Power: Two 20V rechargeable 2.0Ah or 4.0Ah Li-ion batteries
Cutting width: 34cm
Grass box?: 30ltrs
Weight: 11kg
Size: 72 x 42 x 33.5cm

Reasons to buy

+
Generous battery life
+
Affordable
+
Neat edge-to-edge cut and handles longer grass well

Reasons to avoid

-
Might not cut short enough for some
-
Instructions can be confusing
-
Heavier than some of the choices below

The Worx 40V cordless lawn mower might seem larger than the other models on this list, but thanks to an easy fold handle, it packs down taking up barely any space in a small shed making it a great choice for those with low storage room. On top of that, you won't be missing out on power as it takes two 20V batteries to make light of overgrown lawns. I find it handles slightly longer grass well, as long as you don't throw damp turf into the equation.

The ample 30 litre grass box has soft sides that means it collapses so this really is a powerful mower that has been designed with space saving in mind. A folding handle means you get a neat little package when you put it all away.

What is more, the battery won't disappoint – you get a good 40 minutes of life, more than enough for a small plot. And the battery has an indicator so you can check juice as you go. It will work with one battery or two, so you can always have one on charge in the interim. Should you move somewhere with a bigger lawn, you can buy spare batteries to give yourself double the run time. 

Yes, it is pricier than some of the other mowers on the list, but we consider it an investment that will suit your small space now, but not need replacing should you need to size up. The only drawback for us is some bad design around the cable on the folding handle. You have to be careful not to trap it leaving to damage. But overall it is a good mower that has served me well for a couple of years now.

EINHELL GE-CM 18/33 LI CORDLESS LAWN MOWERReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Einhell)

2. Einhell GE-CM 18/33 Li Cordless Lawn Mower

The best beginner's lawn mower for small gardens

Specifications

Best for: Hassle-free mowing
Power: 18v rechargeable battery
Cutting width: 33cm
Grass Box?: 30ltrs
Weight: 10kg

Reasons to buy

+
Basic assembly
+
Reasonable
+
Quite light
+
Great for long grass
+
You can use the battery with other Einhell Power X-Change products

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't feature a roller
-
No mulching function

For something with all the functionality but none of the stress, this option is your go-to. Perfect for those new to gardening (or reluctant gardeners like our reviewer), it is best suited to patches no larger than 200m². Easy to transport and store, it has a brushless motor and runs on a rechargeable battery. With a long, foldable handle, this is an efficiently designed model that will save you space in the garage. Plus, it features an integrated carry handle for the utmost mobility. Our 5ft5 tester found it much easier to move around than their current mower, and only marginally less powerful.

Fitted with a central cutting height adjustment, this design allows you to choose your desired grass length. So, with five settings to pick from, you get a real custom cutting experience. Oh, and as well as that, its handle can also be adjusted in height, with three different levels. 

Now, everyone knows that a patchy lawn is an absolute no-no. So, act accordingly and invest in a mower with a lawn-friendly running surface, like this one, for example. Its wide, grass-protecting wheels are forgiving, ideal for rusty beginners. And while it may be lacking a roller for stripes, it does a neat and convenient job for a small budget. It is suited to regular mows, so if you want a simple mower that doesn't have quite as much power or finesse as the Worx above, the cost saving makes it a highly recommended buy.

Best robot lawn mower: Flymo EasyLife200Real Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Flymo EasiLife 200 Robotic Lawn Mower

Best robot lawn mower for small gardens

Specifications

Best for: Automatic mowing
Power: 18V rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Cutting width: N/A
Grass Box: N/A
Weight: 7.3kg
Size: 55 x 38 x 23

Reasons to buy

+
Cuts the grass for you
+
Automatic charging
+
Avoids obstacles

Reasons to avoid

-
Not one for those on a budget
-
Some prefer to do the job themselves
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No grass box to collect the trimmings

Even if you have a very small lawn, mowing it is one of those jobs you might want to delete from your week – especially in summer when there is so much more you could be doing instead. So, if you have the budget, take a look at the Flymo EasiLife 200. It is the perfect robot mower for small plots of up to 200m2 and could actually improve the quality of your lawn with more regular cuts. It leaves the clippings as mulch for your lawn!

The Flymo EasiLife can even cut wet grass which is a rarity with mowers, meaning you can have the lawn mowed at times when you wouldn't be able to do it yourself. Our tester highly rated the cutting schedule, so if you are busy it would save you hours through spring and summer. The Flymo Easilife 200 adapts this cutting schedule according to your lawn regrowth, too. 

Finally, if you thought you needed the most basic of square lawns for a robot mower, think again. While you may need to neaten some edges with a strimmer, it can handle whatever shape you set with the boundary wire, and isn't deterred by slopes up to 35 per cent. One of the best electric lawn mowers there is.

Bosch Citymower small lawn mowerReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Bosch)

4. Bosch CityMower 18 cordless lawn mower

Best lightweight cordless mower

Specifications

Best for: Lightweight
Power: One 18V 4.0Ah battery
Cutting width: 32cm
Grass box: 31ltrs
Weight: 9.9kg
Size:: 60.9 x 40.3 x 37.1 cm

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Powerful for the size 
+
Good battery even on boost

Reasons to avoid

-
So lightweight some parts don't feel that sturdy
-
Short blade

If you want a mower that is small, mobile and easy to store – all while being powerful enough for rough grass – the Bosch CityMower is for you.  The name is apt, as while this mower might be outweighed in a large rural garden (which is where we tested it), it is perfect for a small urban plot with a simple lawn up to around 300m2. It has ample grass box capacity, battery life and cutting width to make light work of the job. Being cordless it is quick and easy to set up for regular mows. It is quiet too so your neighbours will be pleased.

The 32cm cutting width does make it narrower than most of the mowers on this list (spare the robot), but it is not a noticeable difference, and still perfectly useable. 

The only thing our reviewer didn't like was that she felt some of the parts were so lightweight they felt a bit flimsy. However, this was no indicator of performance and it packed enough punch for the job. The battery easily did 25 minutes and it is part of the Power For All Alliance so the battery can be shared with other Bosch power tools.

Flymo Easistore 340R Li Battery Cordless lawn mowerReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Flymo)

5. Flymo Easistore 340R Li Battery Mower

Best mower for easy and compact storage

Specifications

Best for: Storage
Power: 2x 20V Li batteries
Grass box: 35ltrs
Cutting width: 34cm
Weight: 11.2kg
Size:: 121 x 35 x 95 cm

Reasons to buy

+
Folds down super easily for storing
+
Easy to use
+
Both left and right handed operation
+
Ample grass box
+
Rear roller for pleasing stripes

Reasons to avoid

-
Some parts could feel better quality
-
Hates long grass

As the name suggests, something that the Flymo Easistore 340R Li Battery Mower really excels at, is being so easy to store away. While all the mowers on our list are compact, our reviewer Steve was impressed with just how neat this mower is in use and storage. It can be stored vertically on its nose to take up even less space. And, while others have fold-down handles, we had issues getting them to offer quite as neat a package. That said, the cogs to adjust the bar do not bite together quite as well as they should, and this is one mark of questionable build quality that has us rating this mower four stars and not five.

However, it is a very capable mower for its size, owing to two 20 volt batteries and a 34cm cutting width. While it doesn't like long grass, it has the most generously sized grass box of our small mower list and we like having the roller to give us that neat lined look.

Bosch AHM 38 G Manual Garden Lawn MowerReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

6. Bosch AHM 38 G Manual Garden Lawn Mower

Best small push lawn mower

Specifications

Best for: Push
Power: N/A
Cutting width: 38cm
Grass box: 25ltr
Weight: 10kg
Size: 54 x 49 x 38 cm

Reasons to buy

+
Uses no power at all! (apart from person power) 
+
Very neat cut and heights of 15–43mm
+
Rear roller
+
25 litre box capacity 
+
Very small footprint in storage (can be hung if needed)

Reasons to avoid

-
Manual push is hard work for some
-
Fingers feel a bit vulnerable when you are making adjustments

If you have a small lawn a push mower might be perfect for the job – especially if you want no long-term running costs. This Bosch option has a good range of cut heights and a back roller to give that pristine striped finish. It also has an impressively neat cut, as the cylinder blades work like a pair of shears, cropping each blade for a clean trim. The grass box will hold 25 litres of clippings and is very easy to empty as you go, though being open, you do have to watch for stuff tumbling out. 

What's more, though a push mower can admittedly be a bit of a workout (and it did not like parts of my bumpy lawn) it is great to have an option that requires no electricity or petrol. Power points aren't an issue and arguably, this model made predominantly of metal is a pretty sustainable choice as far as lawn mowers go. 

I have a small outbuilding and really appreciate how compact this push mower is to stow away – it could even be hung from a strong hook if your shed has limited floorspace. It is wider than the others with a 38cm cutting width, but still light and manageable.

The key drawback for me is that while building it and adjusting the height is easy, you fingers feel dangerously close to the blades when you are working on it. Long grass is prone to getting caught on the cyclinders so require careful removal with a stick (or old wooden spoon in my case), but it really is best suited to the little and often school of mowing.

What is the best small lawn mower?

We think the Worx 40V Cordless Lawn Mower offers everything you need if you have a small garden. The battery life is generous as it is, but you can buy spare batteries to keep on charge so you never run out of juice. It folds down easily and has a collapsable grass box, meaning storage isn't a problem. And it has all the power and cutting width you need to tackle even an unruly lawn in no time.

With that said, you might be after something a little easier to get started with. With a simple set-up process and user-friendly design, the Einhell GE-CM 18/33 Li Cordless Lawn Mower is a novice's best bet. Kind on the lawn and the user, it's ergonomic and an absolute breeze to store away, too.

How to buy the best small lawn mower?

Battery powered lawn mowers are a great option for small to medium gardens, but look for one that is as powerful as a mains powered lawn mower with a good battery life to give you time to trim your plot. Some batteries are very heavy so consider the weight if you want something compact and easy to move (though note that as they are usually removable, this shouldn't be too much fuss). 

For small patches of grass, consider a manual mower – modern manual lawn mowers will even have a grass collection basket to save you the effort of picking up the cut grass after you’ve finished mowing. Many leave a lovely striped finish too and we love that you can just get them out of the shed, whizz round and be done without the faff of batteries, cords or petrol.

Don't rule out a robot lawn mower either. You might thing they aren't worth the expense for a small garden, but our robot option is cheaper than many and will save you hours and hours of lawn mowing time. Sometimes convenience is worth every penny.

Small lawn or small lawn mower?
Our list looks at the best compact mower offerings meaning you have something small and easy to manage, that won't take up much storage space. However, this also means they are generally better suited to small lawns as they have a narrower cutting width – if you have a very big lawn you want something over 40cm wide or it will take a while to cover and cut the space.

Most of the mowers on this list are great on lawns up to 300m2 and the Worx claims to cover up to 350m2 with ease. The battery is generous enough to do so, but you might be after a wider cutting width than 34cm to get the job done faster.

How do we test the best small lawn mower?

All of the mowers on this list have been tested in person either by me, or one of our freelance reviewers. They were all tested over a couple of weeks, giving them chance to have a few outings.

Where possible we matched the mower to the user, so for example, we asked a tech expert to try the robot mower, and I tested the push mower as my garden has no reachable power points. They are put to work against long and short grass but we do note any incliment conditions such as damp grass that is hard to mow and grass that may have been left a little bit too long (*guilty*).

Most of the mowers were loaned, or gifted by PRs. Where we couldn't get hold of them, we bought them ourselves. We are never paid to review, but may be allowed to keep the product at the end, enabling us to update the review with our thoughts on longevity and continued use.

Find out more about how we test on Real Homes.

Can I use a trimmer instead of a lawn mower?

If you want to follow the 'small, won't take up any room' route to its logical conclusion, it may be tempting to just use your trimmer instead of a lawn mower. After all, if it's just a small lawn, how hard can it be? Trust us: very hard work, and you won't get an even trim no matter how hard you try. Even tiny lawns needs lawn mowers, although if yours is really very small, a hand push one will probably suffice. 

If you really don't want to mow though, don't! We love the look of a wildflower meadow – as do any garden visitors like bees and small creatures.

Lindsey is Editor of Realhomes.com and Editor in Chief for Home Ecommerce at Future. She is here to give you aspirational, yet attainable ideas for your home and works with her team to help you get the best buys, too. She has written about homes and interiors for the best part of a decade for brands including Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home and Gardeningetc and isn't afraid to take the inspiration she finds at work into her own space – a Victorian terrace which she has been (slowly) remodelling for the last eight years. She is happiest sipping a cup of tea with a cat on her lap (if only she had a cat).

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