Cuts grass up to 3.6 inches tall. Mows up to 0.4 acre at 700 square feet per hour. Handles up to 17-degree slopes. Noise reduction motor for quieter operation. Connects to smartphone app. Sensors prevent collisions and avoid kids and pets. Waterproof shell resists rain.
Expensive. Doesn’t handle steeper grades.
Mows up to 2,700 square feet. Can handle slopes up to 35%. Quiet operation of less than 57 dbA. Connects to smartphone app. Sensors detect tilt, lift and obstructions. Weatherproof shell. Quick on-unit controls.
Not great for bigger yards.
Handles larger yards up to 3/4 acre with wide 22 inch cutting width. Works on up to 20 degree slopes. Connects to smart app. Works with Alexa. Rain sensor sends it to its base station in bad weather. Includes child lock and tilt sensors. Boasts power-saving eco mode.
Does not include a rain shelter.
Can mow up to 2,180 square feet with 7-inch cutting path for narrow passages. Handles up to 8.5 degree slopes. Smart app control. Alexa compatible. Quiet operation. Detects rain and returns to shelter for better weather. Edging mode for exact finish.
Doesn’t work in the rain. Narrow cut path.
Easily accessible on-unit controls including large stop button for safety. Physical cut height control knob. Mows up to 8,600 square feet. Quiet operation. Weather-resistant, works in the rain. Includes antitheft protection.
No app controls or automation.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Now that the world has fallen in love with robot vacuums, everyone is on the hunt for the next big thing in task automation – and with the advent of the robotic lawn mower, we think we’ve found it.
Robotic lawn mowers are essentially automated robots that can be set to trim grass on their own. With a robot lawn mower, you can schedule when your lawn gets mowed, decide how much grass is cut each time, and avoid the headache of using a traditional lawn mower.
If you’re interested in purchasing a robotic lawn mower, please jump to the top of this page to learn about our favorites.
If you’re curious about robotic lawn mowers and want to learn more, please continue reading this guide.
Robotic lawn mowers are downright convenient, but that’s not the only reason they’re so popular. In fact, many consumers note a few surprising benefits.
Reduced maintenance: While robotic lawn mowers do require a decent amount of first-time setup, once you establish the basics like the size of the yard, they become “set-it-and-forget-it” devices.
Environmentally friendly setup: Like all-electric vehicles, robotic lawn mowers don’t run on gas engines or require motor oil to run. That means zero emissions and a lot less hassle. (Keep in mind that all robotic lawn mowers require some level of maintenance, but never as much as a traditional gas-powered mower.)
Most robotic lawn mowers are meant to be controlled with an iOS or Android smartphone app. And while that’s pretty handy – especially considering you can make schedule adjustments at any time – the quality of the experience you have with a given mower will largely depend on how user-friendly the accompanying app is (or isn’t).
If you’re looking at a specific model of robot mower, we advise you to find out which app it uses before you buy it. Then, read app reviews in either Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store. Often times, a few key insights from others can make all the difference when it comes to picking the right robotic lawn mower.
Some apps offer significantly more functionality than others. For example, pricier robotic lawn mowers can often be manually steered by the app in instances where you need to take control of where it goes.
Also keep in mind that some robotic lawn mowers are compatible with digital assistants like Amazon’s Echo or Google Home. When properly set up, mowing your lawn becomes as easy as saying, “Alexa, tell my lawn mower to start mowing.” If your mower supports a digital assistant, you can worry less about the quality of the included app and focus on providing verbal instructions.
Many higher-end robotic lawn mowers can mulch in addition to cutting grass. If you’re in a situation where you need to be able to make mulch, be certain that your robot mower is up to the task. Keep in mind that, like mowers that can cut sloped lawns, additional features like mulching will drive up the price of a robotic lawn mower significantly.
Robotic lawn mowers have one other thing in common with Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners: they’re both quite expensive. With robotic lawn mowers, there are essentially two major price categories.
These generally cost between $600 and $1,000. Compared to their pricier counterparts, mowers in this category are usually either smaller in size (and therefore take longer to mow) or somewhat lacking in features or build quality. Lawn mowers in this price range are more appropriate for smaller lawns.
These are priced between $2,500 and $3,500. In most cases, the price jump is money well spent — more expensive robotic lawn mowers include “luxury” features like task scheduling, wider decks for cutting more grass at a time, and even rain sensors that cancel a job when it starts to rain.
Similar to electric cars, robotic lawn mowers rely on an internal battery, which means they can only go so far before needing to charge up. Thankfully, most robotic lawn mowers are “smart” enough to head home to their charging stations when they’re low on power. Nonetheless, consumers will need to take time to get used to a new paradigm of lawn-mowing, which forces similar changes. Consider the following.
If your robotic lawn mower gets stuck on yard debris while mowing, try using the mower’s smartphone app to resolve the issue before moving the mower itself.
Exercise caution when performing maintenance on your robotic lawn mower. All lawn mowers have blades, and if yours is battery-powered, be certain that it’s locked in the off position before attempting to touch any of the internals.
If you’re not sure how big your yard is, you may want to search your local property records. Most cities keep records of yard square footage for the purposes of property tax.
A. Many robotic lawn mowers include additional hardware so you can set up a virtual perimeter around your yard. Before buying a specific robotic lawn mower, check its user manual to learn about how it establishes yard boundaries.
A. If your mower works with a perimeter wire to help it determine where your yard boundaries are, you may want to buy extra wire as well as yard pegs for installing it.
A. Battery life will vary from model to model, but a good baseline expectation is an hour. If you have a yard larger than three-quarters of an acre, expect your mower to need a battery-charging break before it’s finished.
A. Many manufacturers recommend that you cut small amounts of grass (three-quarters of an inch or less) a few times a week. Your lawn-mowing method should take into account the size of your lawn, how short you want your grass to be, and how comfortable you are scheduling lawn-mowing sessions ahead of time.
A. Most robotic lawn mowers restrict access to the battery for safety reasons. If you need to buy a new battery, contact the manufacturer.