How to Choose the Best Lawnmower for a Small Garden

Some lawnmowers will work better for small gardens than others, and it’s important to know which before you make a purchase. If you’re looking for the best ways to keep your small garden lawn trim and tidy, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Here’s what we’ll cover in our guide to lawnmowers for small gardens:

  • Understanding your garden’s needs
  • Types of lawnmowers suitable for small gardens
  • Key features to look for in lawnmowers for small gardens.
  • Budget considerations
  • Top recommendations for small garden lawnmowers

Understanding Your Garden’s Needs

Alongside garden size, there are a few factors that will determine which type and model of lawnmower is most suitable for your outdoor space. These include layout, grass type, and any terrain features.

Let’s take a quick look at each:

  • Garden size: in a small garden you need a mower with manoeuvrability, something that can navigate tight spaces and tricky layouts. This rules out huge lawnmowers with big turning circles, but opens up lots of nimble, efficient options. You also need to consider whether a power cable can reach all areas of the garden, or whether a cordless mower would be better.
  • Garden layout: the most suitable lawnmower for a plain rectangle lawn will differ from the one best suited to a small garden with beds, paths, and other features.
  • Grass type: the type(s) of grass in your garden will determine which type of mower works best. Thick, coarse grasses require powerful mowers, while a lower power robot mower might be better for fast-growing grasses.
  • Terrain features: terrain makes a difference, too: some mowers are designed for hilly, uneven terrain, while others may be at risk of tipping over. Determine whether your garden is flat, sloped, or uneven before setting out to buy a mower.

Now you’ve got an idea of what factors influence the most suitable lawnmower for a small garden, let’s look at some of the different types.

Types of Lawnmowers Suitable for Small Gardens

Nowadays there are many types of lawnmowers to choose from, and if you’re unfamiliar the choice can be overwhelming. In this section we briefly introduce a few types and explain why they’re well suited to a small garden.

Petrol Lawnmowers

These lawnmowers are powered by petrol (shocker!) which gives them good power and helps them to handle tricky mowing tasks. The petrol-powered motor drives the blades and, in some models, propels the mower.

Why petrol lawnmowers are good for small gardens:

  • High level of power for their size: great for cutting through tough grass types, or dense grass if it’s been a while since you last mowed.
  • Mobility: there’s no cable connecting the mower to a plug socket, meaning you have full range of movement to access the corners and tucked away areas of your garden.
  • Versatility: petrol mowers often have adjustable cutting heights and other features that let you tailor their functionality to the needs of your garden.

Electric Lawnmowers

These mowers are powered with electricity, either through a power cord plugged into a socket, or by a battery. Both options lead to quieter, gentler mowers than their petrol-powered brethren. Oh, and they’re more environmentally friendly, too!

Why electric lawnmowers are good for small gardens:

  • Lightweight with good manoeuvrability: their lightweight design makes it easier to push them around your garden, particularly in tight areas or on uneven terrain.
  • Quieter to operate: if you live in a busy residential area, you’re likely to be more popular with a quiet electric mower than a roaring petrol one.
  • Fewer maintenance requirements: you never need to change oil, replace a spark plug, or do the various other maintenance that petrol mowers sometimes require.

Battery-Powered Lawnmowers

These fall into the electric category, but we’ve decided to spotlight them separately as well because they carry some distinct benefits.

Why battery-powered lawnmowers are good for small gardens:

  • No cable! Even in a small garden, having to rely on your mower being plugged in somewhere indoors can be a faff. A battery-powered mower means no cord hanging out of a window or trailing around your garden.
  • Easy to operate: just push a button and you’re ready to go, no hassle.
  • Quiet, low maintenance: see above

Robot Lawnmowers

For gardeners who want to take full advantage of futuristic tech, why not consider a robot lawnmower. These outdoor Roomba equivalents are fully autonomous and make their way around your garden mowing the lawn to a high standard and on a strict schedule.

Why robot lawnmowers are good for small gardens:

  • You don’t need to do anything: excepting programming the mower and turning it on, you don’t need to do anything. Thanks to sensors and subroutines, your robot mower will happily keep on top of your lawn.
  • Consistent maintenance: remembering to mow the lawn (and finding time to do it) is surprisingly tricky. With a robot mower you needn’t worry: it’ll do the job whenever its program tells it to. This means a consistently pristine lawn in your small garden.
  • Nimble: small and svelte, robot mowers can navigate features and uneven terrain with ease. If you’ve got lots of obstacles, you can feel confident that your lawn will be cut to perfection.

Cordless Lawnmowers

This category includes any mower that doesn’t rely on a cord for power: the petrol and battery-powered models outlined above, for instance.

We’ve addressed the benefits of cordless lawnmowers for small gardens in previous sections, but to recap:

  • Better mobility
  • Easy to use

Key Features to Look for in Lawnmowers for Small Gardens

With a small garden, there are a handful of lawnmower features you want to be aware of.

Cutting Width and Height Adjustment

A smaller cutting width makes a mower more manoeuvrable and precise, which is great in a small garden. In a larger garden it can increase the time spent mowing.

Height adjustment gives you the option to cut different types of grass to the most suitable heights - think of it like choosing the number cut to use on a shaver.

Weight and Manoeuvrability

A mower for a small garden ideally needs to be manoeuvrable, so that you can easily access all areas of your garden. You may be forced to do some quite tight turns as well or require access to awkwardly shaped areas.

Smaller mowers are often more lightweight as well. If you’re concerned about weight, consider an electric or battery-powered model.

Noise Levels

In a small garden surrounded by other small gardens, you’re not going to win many friends with an incredibly loud mower that would be more at home in a large country garden. Going for an electric or battery-powered model will keep the noise output to a minimum while achieving a clean, consistent cut.

Storage and Space Considerations

A small garden suggests a small shed, if you have one at all. Don’t forget that when you’re not using your mower, you’ll need to store it somewhere. Choosing as small a model as possible will make this easier: robot lawnmowers are the smallest choice!

Top Recommendations for Small Garden Lawnmowers

Finding the right lawnmower for your small garden involves building an understanding of the space - including size, layout, grass type(s), and terrain features - and figuring out which criteria the mower needs to meet.

For a dense lawn of thick grass, a small petrol mower might be the best choice. But for a lawn that’s fairly regularly mowed with a few landscape features (maybe a path or a flower bed) something electric or battery-powered might be a better fit. And if you’d rather just press a button and forget about it, a robot lawnmower might be the best option!