Like robotic vacuum cleaners, robotic lawn mowers are becoming an increasingly popular way for homeowners to keep their yard tidy and presentable. However, choosing the perfect robotic lawn mower for you is not always so simple. We made this guide to showcase the best robotic lawn mowers on the market so that you can find the perfect assistant caretaker for your lawn.
Why buy a robotic lawn mower?
There are several reasons one might prefer a robotic lawn mower to traditional methods of mowing their lawn. For one, robotic lawn mowers are great for the elderly and those who lack mobility since they can easily take care of a task that many people struggle to do. They’re also ideal for those who live busy lives and lack the time to consistently mow their lawn so that it looks amazing all year. Finally, while robotic lawn mowers may appear to be pretty expensive, they will likely save you money in the long run when compared to hiring someone to mow your lawn on a weekly basis.
What should you look for in a robotic lawn mower?
- Lawn Size: Most robotic lawn mowers are made to operate in small to medium yards. Before settling on a product, be sure that your yard’s acreage is suitable for a robotic lawn mower. If it is, you can then start looking for a product that’s designed to operate in a yard like yours. Keep in mind that robotic lawn mowers designed for larger yards are often much more expensive than models designed for small yards.
- Lawn Slope: If your yard is comprised of steep hills and other obstacles, a robotic lawn mower might not be an ideal way to mow your lawn. However, some robotic lawn mowers are more capable of navigating slopes than others. Be sure to closely note the degree of slopes that particular robotic lawn mowers are rated for and compare this to your lawn’s slope. For optimal results, finding a model that can maintain traction in trying conditions is another important consideration.
- Special Features: While most robotic lawn mowers are fairly similar in terms of operation, they tend to differ based on the features they offer. For instance, some robotic lawn mowers are adept at mowing in wet or rainy conditions, while others are not. Advanced robotic lawn mowers often come with GPS functionality that will allow you to locate it if it becomes lost or stolen. Also, various models differ in terms of operating noise and their ability to work their way through narrow passages. Closely consider your unique needs to help you find the right product for you.
Are robotic lawn mowers really safe?
Robotic lawn mowers are an incredibly safe alternative to traditional lawn mowers, even for families with children and pets that like to play in the yard. This is thanks to the safety-first design that most if not all robotic lawn mowers employ. For instance, robotic lawn mowers include lift and tilt sensors that cause their blades to immediately stop whenever they are lifted off the lawn. They’re also programmed to avoid obstacles whenever they bump into one, usually by traveling in the opposite direction. That being said, safety features tend to differ between various robotic lawn mower models, so closely considering a product’s safety features is a good idea before you buy.
Husqvarna Automower 115H Connect
This robotic lawn mower's connectivity makes it simple to schedule your mowing jobs.
Pros: The Husqvarna Automower 115H Connect sports large, coarse-tread wheels that help it maintain excellent traction, even in slippery conditions. This is especially important since it operates rain or shine. It also features 4G connectivity, which is a huge upgrade over comparable Bluetooth-compatible robotic lawn mowers in terms of easily connecting with your mower via smartphone. It also features some next-level features, such as a PIN-protected alarm to help prevent theft.
Cons: While this mower sports a sizable operation radius, its ability to navigate slopes effectively leaves something to be desired. As such, if your yard sits on a hill, it might be a good idea to check out other robotic lawn mowers that perform better on slopes. On the bright side, when the Automower does falter, it’s simple to get it back up and running.
Bottom Line: If your yard is less than half an acre large and fairly flat, this is definitely the product to consider. While it’s certainly on the pricey side, it includes enough advanced functionality such as 4G connectivity and anti-theft protection to make it worth the investment. Also, it’s one of the easiest robotic lawn mowers to set up and maintain as long as your yard doesn’t throw too many curveballs at it.
Gardena Sileno Minimo
Ideal for small yards, this robotic lawn mower impresses in terms of ease of use.
Pros: Thanks to an intuitive app, the Bluetooth-compatible Sileno Minimo makes it incredibly simple to schedule and optimize your mowing schedule. It also handles wet conditions well but is smart enough to head back home when it detects frost, thanks to its built-in frost sensor. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly and quiet robotic lawn mower that flourishes in small, flat yards, this one is an ideal choice.
Cons: This mower is only suitable for yards up to 2,700 square feet, so many will find themselves having to invest a little more in a robotic lawn mower if their yard is larger than that. Also, while this product handles itself pretty well on wet terrain, slopes are a different matter. That being said, on flat land, you’ll be impressed by how well it handles for the price.
Bottom Line: Due to this product’s limited application size, it’s definitely not going to be an ideal choice for every yard. However, its quality and ease of use really set it apart from comparable budget-friendly robotic lawn mowers. Thus, if your yard is fairly flat and small, you might be better off with this product as opposed to a mower at twice the cost.
WORX WR147 Landroid M
This Wi-Fi-connected robotic lawn mower is adept at avoiding lawn obstacles and navigating narrow passageways.
Pros: If your yard is typically littered with children’s toys and features narrow passages and other obstacles, the Landroid M is the mower for you. Unlike many budget models, this robotic lawn mower is unlikely to get trapped when navigating narrow passages. However, when it does get stuck on less-than-ideal terrain, it’s pretty good at working its way out on its own before needing to call for assistance. This mower’s ability to avoid obstacles is another key selling point, especially for lawns with large roots that can damage robotic lawn mowers.
Cons: The Landroid M utilizes a Wi-Fi connection that allows you to communicate with it via the mobile app. While this works fairly well, it’s not as reliable as a Bluetooth or 4G connection, especially for those who have spotty or weak Wi-Fi signals. Also, unlike other robotic lawn mowers, this product will avoid mowing wet grass.
Bottom Line: Ideally, robotic lawn mowers should be used on fairly flat, simple yards. However, every yard has its quirks, and this mower will likely handle them better than most other products on the market. While its lack of connectivity options might be a deal-breaker to some, those with a robust Wi-Fi signal and trickier yards will find this device to be a great investment.
Husqvarna Automower 430XH
This robotic lawn mower stands out due to its long-lasting battery, 4G connectivity, and ability to mow large yards.
Pros: Since this robotic lawn mower is designed to tackle larger yards, its 4G connectivity is a welcome feature that allows you to check up on your mower even when it’s on the other side of your property. It also maintains traction well enough to tackle slopes that most other robotic lawn mowers will struggle with. Thankfully, its battery is sized appropriately for the application, so it gets almost twice the run time off a single charge when compared to budget-priced robotic lawn mowers designed for smaller yards.
Cons: While this product does pack in a lot of features that set it apart from more affordable robotic lawn mowers, its price tag is bound to turn many potential buyers away. Also, keep in mind that installing the guide and boundary wires can be quite a job when working on a yard that’s nearly an acre large.
Bottom Line: While some people opt to purchase multiple budget-friendly robotic lawn mowers in order to mow larger yards, investing in the Automower 430XH is likely less expensive in the short term and will simplify your lawn mowing routine moving forward. Aside from its larger operating distance, this product includes enough premium features to make it well worth its elevated price tag.
Realistically, robotic lawn mowers aren’t a solution for every yard due to their technological and practical limitations. However, the technology has improved enough over the years to ensure more people than ever before can benefit from a robotic lawn mower. If you love having a well-maintained lawn but hate mowing it yourself, this is an innovation to invest in!