Some people love to mow their lawns. I’m not one of them, which is why I love robot lawnmowers so much. Robot lawnmowers combine two of my favourite things: robots, and me not mowing the lawn. If there’s a better way to spend a sunny day than chilling outdoors while a robot takes care of the turf I don’t know what it is. Here’s our guide to the best robot lawn mowers.
The days when mow-bots were the size of a wheelie bin, cost more than your house and needed recharged after five minutes are long gone. Whether you’re looking for a little model to handle a small lawn or a rugged robot to mow massive areas, there are some real gems out there – and they cost less than you might expect.
What to look for in a robot lawnmower
Money is important, of course, but it’s not the only factor here. You’ll need to know the size of your lawn so you can get a mower with sufficient stamina. You can do that very quickly with a measuring app in your phone. You also need to know how much of a slope, if any, your lawn has: if it has more than a mild slope you may need a mower with more propulsion and more driven wheels.
If your lawn surface is quite lumpy, it’s a good idea to look for a mower that can adjust its cutting height automatically. That way you won’t give the lumpy bits of your lawn too much of a haircut.
Last but definitely not least, how complicated is your lawn’s layout? Any robo-mower will happily mow a big rectangle, but if you’ve got lots of curves, cut-out flower beds or on-lawn ornaments you’ll want a mower that’s small enough to get into the tighter spaces and clever enough to mow around any obstacles.
Unless specified otherwise, the mowers here require you to fit a boundary wire (which comes in the box) to prevent your mower from leaving your lawn.
Our guide to the best robot lawn mowers to buy today
WORX Landroid S300
WORX makes several different Landroids for different kinds of lawns, and you can tell which one from the model number: they’re badged S, M and L followed by how many square metres they’re made to cut, so the S300 is for small gardens up to 300m2 and the L2000 is for really large lawns up to 2,000m2. Whichever model you go for you’re getting a safe, quiet and clever robot that’ll make light work of your lawn thanks to its intelligent navigation, and you can use the auto-scheduling feature to ensure your lawn is looked after even when you’re not home.
Husqvarna Automower 105
Husqvarna beat most mower firms to market with its robotic mowers, and while the earlier models were eye-waveringly expensive this more modestly priced model, fresh for 2022, delivers the same sterling performance for a lot less money. It’s designed for up to 600m2 and cuts very differently from rival robots: instead of doing the same sort of pattern you’d do yourself, it looks as if it’s moving around randomly and slowly but it’s designed to ensure that it doesn’t miss a single blade of grass. Like the WORX you can program it to cut the lawn at specified times.
It’s worth keeping an eye on the deals pages if you fancy one of these: at the time of writing several retailers are offering springtime discounts of up to 50%, which of course makes a huge difference to the price. The Flymo 1200R is designed for gardens up to 400m2 and like the Husqvarna it uses a random mowing pattern to ensure the whole garden is covered; Flymo says a typical garden takes just over an hour to mow. The 1200R also includes very sensitive collision sensors to ensure it doesn’t try to mow anything it shouldn’t.
Stihl iMow RMI 422P
The Stihl is considerably more expensive than the other mowers we’ve listed so far, but it’s a very well made mower with serious power: it can handle gradients of up to 40% and lawns of up to 1,500m2. It moves quickly and its steel blade does a great job of turning grass into mulch, and the intelligent cutting programme automatically adjusts to the undulations of your garden. At 9kg it’s heavier than many, though, and that weight means it can sometimes get a bit bogged down in damp grass that lighter models skip over.
Husqvarna Automower 315X
This is further up the range than the Automaker 105, with three blades and a GPS smart mowing system that maps the lawn up to 1,500m2 and remembers where everything is. You can programme it on the device or via smartphone app, and it can cope with narrow passages and relatively steep slopes of up to 40%. The LED headlights are a nice touch and if you have items such as trampolines in your garden you’ll appreciate the spiral cutting option, which is ideal for cutting denser grass and weeds. The built-in weather sensor adjusts mowing according to the season, cutting less aggressively in dry weather. It’s quite expensive but it’s very, very clever.
Honda Miimo 520
Honda knows a thing or two about robots, and the Miimo mowers are exceptionally efficient mowing machines that mulch as they mow, helping to fertilise your lawn while it scans constantly for obstacles and unusual motion: if the Honda realises it’s being lifted, it’ll shut the blades off immediately to protect your kids or pets. Obstacle detection means it won’t bump into them either, and because it’s exceptionally quiet it’s ideal for nighttime mowing too. Honda’s sensor navigation is very good, making this an excellent mower for complex or busy lawns.
Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD
If you want a mower that’ll turn your green-fingered neighbours green with envy, this is it: it’s the Range Rover of the robot mowing world, with all-wheel drive, GPS – including theft tracking – and the ability to create different zones for different bits of your garden. It’s a beast of a thing, with enough power to mow lawns of up to 3,500m2 with slopes of up to 70%. The 435X looks like a small Bentley and costs much the same as a second-hand car, but if you’re looking for the ultimate robot mower you’ll grin every time you see it and every time you look at your lawn.