Let’s face it, mowing lawns is a tiresome thing to do: no sooner have you done it than the grass grows back and you have to do it all over again. But there is an answer and it’s cheaper in the long run than employing a full-time gardener. We’re talking a robot lawn mower – like this merry band of autonomous sward swallowers we have lined up here for your perusal.
While a robot mower does invariably involve installing a perimeter wire around your lawn – which is something you could do yourself – once it’s all set up you can just leave it to its own devices. While you go about living your life, your autonomous lawn slave will leave its charging station and, without arguing about it, head off onto the turf, snipping here and snipping there until the whole lawn looks immaculate. And it will perform this thankless task everyday of its working life so that you never ever have to visit the shed again.
Unlike the best lawn mowers and best petrol lawn mowers, a robot mower isn’t the cheapest garden machine you’ll ever buy, but it will repay the investment over time with a sward that is the envy of the neighbourhood. Better still, while your robot keeps the lawn at optimum length, you can get on with fun stuff like getting stuck in to food cooked on one of the best barbecues or best pizza ovens and whiling away the evening hours admiring your lawn from the comfort of the best hot tub while surrounded by the best in outdoor solar lighting.
These are the robot lawn mowers that can make that dream a reality.
The best robot lawn mowers you can buy in 2023
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Worx’s sleek orange-coloured Landroid M500 Plus is not only Europe’s biggest selling robot mower, it’s also one of the most keenly-priced models on the market. Uneven lawns are no bother for this bot because it uses advanced inertia sensing technology to gauge inclination (up to 35˚), wheel drift, speed and torque. It’s fully waterproof too though it will cleverly refuse to venture onto the lawn if it’s been raining and the lawn is too wet. It’ll even avoid going out at night in case nocturnal hedgehogs are rummaging about on the lawn, though this function can be disabled in the accompanying wi-fi app. Just be sure you have a decent wi-fi signal in the garden because a handful of users have reported the odd connection issue.
Once the perimeter wire and near-invisible charging station is installed, the Landroid M500 Plus can be left to its own devices. As is the case with all robot mowers, it’ll take several cutting sessions for the lawn to start looking swanky, but from thereon in it’ll remain in tip top condition every day of the year.
The Landroid M500 Plus is equipped with three offset pivoting razor blades for edge cutting and it has a mowing width of 18cm, so it’s good for lawns up to around 500 square metres with slopes not exceeding 35%.
If you’re planning on jumping onto the robot mowing bandwagon, then this mid-sized model in an absolute kingpin that not only performs well but looks the business, too. However, if you have a smaller lawn, perhaps consider the Worx Landroid S300 instead.
The Worx Landroid M500 Plus has won the Best Robot Lawnmower award at the T3 Awards 2022. These are the reasons the judges selected it.
Most people have medium-size or small gardens, and that is who this smart, compact robot lawn mower from Flymo is targeted at. It cuts lawns up to 250 square metres in size, with its intelligent guide wire allowing its owner to specify cutting areas (multiple ones, even).
Cutting width is a modest 16cm, which isn't huge, but again this mower isn't designed to cover really large areas. The Flymo EasiLife 250 Go does come with a pivoting three razor blade cutting system, though, and that operates at a very ear friendly 58 decibels, so you're definitely not going to annoy your neighbours.
A key selling point to this model is how easy it is to use, with a small selection of top-mounted buttons making it easy to stop and start. The beauty, though, is that the EasiLife 250 also has its own Bluetooth-connecting app, which unlocks the mower's full menu system, offering access to scheduling, trouble shooting and extended settings.
The Flymo EasiLife 250 Go also comes with a charging base that has been designed to sit anywhere around a lawn's edge, including corners. It also features LawnSense and FrostSense sensors, which allow the mower to automatically adapt its mowing schedule according to the weather.
The EasiLife 250 can cut slopes up to 14 degrees, which again is not really high and beaten by other mowers in this guide. Nevertheless, providing your lawn is marginally flat, this shouldn’t be an issue.
If you're looking for maximum bang for your buck, the Lawnmaster L10 is a great, affordable choice for lawns up to 400m sq. It chimes in for hundreds less than some of the other mowers in this guide and delivers strong performance for small and medium sized lawns.
Caveats to an instant purchase include its small 18cm cutting width, which is beaten elsewhere, as well as the fact that its base station cannot be placed in a corner, which restricts placement options. There's also no smart connectivity features or smartphone app. However, everything else about the L10 points to a budget bargain.
The L10 can run for 40 minutes on a single charge and, once it automatically returns to its base station, it only needs 45 minutes to recharge back to full power. This means it is more than capable of multiple cutting runs over a half-day period.
This model offers cutting heights of between 20-60mm, with a pivoting three-blade cutting system slicing the sward while outputting only 62dB in noise. The L10 is also IPX5 rated, which means it is fully waterproof – it even features an automatic return to base function if heavy rain is detected. Also, unlike some cheaper robot lawn mowers, the L10 can deal with gradients of up to 35 per cent, so even if your lawn isn't perfectly flat it can deal with it without getting stuck.
Overall, the Lawnmaster L10 delivers a lot of performance for such a low price point, so unless you need a bigger, more heavy duty robot lawn mower, or smart functionality, it's a very strong choice.
Sweden’s trusty Husqvarna brand enters the robomow fray with a sterling model that’s a cut above the rest in terms of features and, of course, price. This is one of Husky’s smaller models so its 22cm cutting deck and 50-minute running time make it ideal for complex lawn designs of up to 600m².
In terms on on-board tech, this model is truly well endowed. Aside from its ability to cut narrow passages and handle slopes with inclines of up to 40 per cent, it also features electric cutting height adjustment (from 20-50mm), a TargetHeight function which lowers the cutting height automatically if necessary, and a weather timer which monitors the lawn’s growth rate so that the mower doesn’t make too many unnecessary cuts. It has LED headlights, too, presumably so the owner can look out from his man-study and watch its silhouette trundle across his modest sward while sipping on a G&T.
Unlike its much more expensive stablemate, the Automower 320 NERA, this model still requires a perimeter wire to be installed. Nevertheless, it does at least feature onboard GPS and sensors to help create a virtual map of your lawn and even create no-go zones by using the Automower Connect app.
In the pantheon of robot mowers, this is an excellent high-end option that boasts impressive performance and a price to match.
This brushless motor model from the house of Bosch is another ideal option for small urban lawns. Once set up, its intelligent LogiCut navigation system calculates the most efficient mowing pattern before setting off on its first cut.
Unlike many robotic mowers that adopt a zigzag pattern, this one is said to cut lawns using a diagonal up-and-down method. This means that the patterns on your lawn during the first few cuts won’t look quite so irregular. SpotMo is another cool feature that enables the Indego to mow small patches of growth under tables and other garden furniture (obviously you’ll need to move the furniture to the side first).
As is the case with many robotic lawn mowers, this one monitors weather forecasts and only ventures out when it’s mostly dry – a good thing because wet grass rarely cuts well. It can also be controlled via the Bosch Smart Garden app and Amazon Alexa.
The Indego M+700 has one of the smallest cutting decks here (just 19cm) so make sure your lawn isn’t larger than the stated 700 square metres. That said, if your patch does meet the correct dimensions and it doesn’t have inclines steeper than 27%, then the Indego is definitely worth a punt.
To see how this model stacks up against our number one choice, be sure to take a read of our Robomow RC 308u vs Bosch Indego M+ 700 comparison feature.
For average sized gardens, the Kress Mission Nano 600 is a cool compact robot lawnmower that can easily get stuck into tricky shaped spaces and gardens. It's able to cover areas right up to 600 m² and there’s no hassle factor in it getting ready to go. As Kress points out, it’s a plug ‘n’ play machine, and can be mowing in seconds, thanks to its one-touch button.
The Kress Mission Nano 600 intelligent navigation technology inbound variable angle means it's able to get around your lawn using smart tech, which means more efficient mowing. The blades need a lot of care and replacing regularly, but it's one of the best robot lawn mowers you can buy today.
There’s a good argument for getting a Honda robotic mower. After all, the company has been at the forefront of the robotics industry for many years and we all know about Honda’s excellent reliability record in all matters mechanical.
The Honda Miimo 40 Live is designed for small urban gardens up to 400m2 and has a cutting width of 19cm and an 18v lithium battery that provides up to 45 minutes of cutting time per 45-minute charge. Some of its features include the ability to handle inclines of up to 27%, monitor the weather via MeteoGroup before heading out on a cutting session, and even be controlled using the Mii-Monitor 40 app and Amazon’s Alexa.
As with all robotic mowers, it’ll take about a week or so before you’ll see the fruits of its labours but, before long, your lawn will look spick and span without you so much as having lifted a finger. For best results – and fewer back problems – get Honda’s installation team to set it all up for you. Top dollar cutting from a highly reliable brand.
Ideal for small to medium size lawns of up to 1,000 square metres, the McCulloch ROB 1000 isn’t particularly flashy or feature-packed, but it performs all the usual robot lawn mower duties – automatically mowing the lawn within its boundary wire, according to the times and dates you've programmed into it, and returning to its docking station to recharge when its battery gets low. It also includes an audible alarm and PIN protection to help protect it against theft. And it can handle inclines of up to 25% – handy for sloping gardens.
The McCulloch ROB R1000's biggest catch? It can only mow within a single zone (that is a front or back lawn). Many of its rivals can handle multiple zones, enabling the whole garden to be mowed.
If you’re a busy city-dwelling bod with a small garden up to 250 metres square, this affordable 16cm ‘city’ model could just be the answer to your overgrowing sward conundrum. The Sileno City’s Lithium battery provides a continuous cutting time of 65 minutes before the mower heads back to its base station for a nifty 60-minute top-up. It’s quiet, too, and water resistant against both heavy rain and blasts with a hosepipe.
As is the case with most robot mowers, you’re advised to remove any raised garden borders or the mower will stop an inch or two from the flowerbed, leaving an unsightly strip of overgrown grass, to which you’ll then have to take a strimmer. Also, make sure your garden isn’t too hilly because this mower’s maximum inclination is a not especially impressive 25%.
The Sileno City cuts very well, albeit slowly, and is very adept at negotiating tight turns in confined areas. The bubble-type keypad interface is relatively easy to use too (it comes with its own onboard programming assistant), but those with poorer eyesight might have trouble reading the LCD screen in bright sunlight.
Of course, there is a good argument against having an expensive robot mower that cuts such a small area – after all, it wouldn’t be that much of an inconvenience to get off one’s posterior and have a quick 10-minute whizz with a cheap cordless or electric model. But that’s your prerogative.
The Smart Sileno+ is part of Gardena’s smart system range, which includes things like electronic timers and automatic garden sprinklers. That’s handy because the devices not only talk to each other when connected to a gateway via your home router, they also have internet access as well – and that means you can control them remotely using the free Gardena smart system app for iOS and Android. Clever.
In practice this means that the Gardena Smart Sileno+ robot mower knows only to mow the garden when the garden sprinkler isn’t working. This model also includes Gardena’s SensorCut System, which effectively measures the height of the grass so it only cuts your lawn when necessary. Anything else? Unlike less capable mowers, Gardena Smart Sileno+ can handle complex, sloping lawns with inclines of up to 35% and can navigate even narrow areas with ease.
How to choose the best robot lawn mower
Getting every piece of grass an even length, making sure that every area is covered, and so on can be annoying, and that's not to mention inclement weather conditions. As the name suggests, robotic lawn mowers are just that. They happily move around a garden, cutting grass to an equal length and navigating most tricky terrain while you kick back and relax.
Depending on your garden type, different mowers can work better than others – for example, if you have a MASSIVE garden you'll want a large lawn mower with plenty of battery life, and if you have a small-but-hilly garden you'll need a mower with grippy wheels and plenty of power to negotiate inclines. Blade width is important, as are other features, such as the ability to remote control the mower with your smartphone.
However, you can't just buy a robotic mower, unbox it, stick it on the lawn and expect it to start cutting immediately because it needs a perimeter wire inserted around the entire lawn (preferably under it) and any obstacles like trees, benches, gazebos and arbours. The perimeter wire is a vital component that tells the mower when it's reached the edge so it doesn't run riot through the roses or tumble into a void. Instead, it'll turn around and mow somewhere else.
You might also need to be mindful of natural obstacles like pine cones, beech nuts and dropped fruit. Most robot mowers will happily run slipshod over these types of small obstacles but to help prevent wear on the cutting mechanism, it’s advisable to clear most obstacles of this nature when possible.
Another more pressing concern is dog poop because most robot mowers will simply ride over it, their blades cutting it into little bits which will naturally be spread around. If you don’t fancy the idea of your robot mower’s underside looking like a cess pit, then remove dog poop where possible or don’t get a robot mower. The good news is it will eventually decomposes naturally leaving no signs behind so it shouldn't be an issue after a while. Out of sight, out of mind.
Another thing worth noting is that robotic mowers tend to travel in a haphazard fashion that may make you wonder if you've bought a duffer. You haven't, it knows exactly where it's been and where it's going. So, bear with the zigzag patterns on your lawn for the first few days and eventually the whole sward will look evenly mowed and as smooth as a billiard table.
- Fancy a more traditional mower? Check out our guides to the Best Cordless Lawn Mowers and Best Petrol Lawn Mowers
- These are the best garden sprinklers
- And these are the best garden watering systems