Best robot lawn mower: enjoy lush green lawns without lifting a finger

Take away the strain come growing season with the best robot lawn mower. We put the top automated grass chompers to the test

Stihl robot lawn mower
(Image credit: Husqvarna)

The best robot mower is like a decent dishwasher. Once you’ve experienced the time and effort savings, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without one in your life. Even those with tiny gardens spend an hour or so a week in peak season pushing a mower back and forth, or at least they should. More often, lawn mowing gets pushed to the end of our chore list until the job requires a bushwhacker and an entire day’s toil.    

Sound familiar? Unless you actively enjoy mowing the lawn, a really good robot mower can be truly game-changing. Think of it as an investment in your leisure time; you get to sit and enjoy your garden, and spend more time gathered around the barbecue or hosting impromptu gatherings, safe in the knowledge your lawn will already be looking its best.

When shopping for a robot mower, you should start by measuring your lawn size in square metres to narrow down the options according to coverage. Most robot mowers for domestic gardens are similar in their set up process and require a boundary cable to be laid and home base installed. Be prepared to dedicate an afternoon to installation. Of course, you can pay for professional installation but each mower on our hitlist is designed for easy DIY set up. And don’t forget, once you’re done, it will be the last few hours you’ll have to spend on your lawn until it’s time to pack your robot mower away for winter.

Best robot lawn mower 2022

Husqvarna Automower 415x best robot lawn mowerLivingetc badge – tried, loved

(Image credit: Husqvarna)

1. Husqvarna Automower 415x

Best mower overall: this powerful mower is our top choice for an easy life

Specifications
Mowing width: 41cm
Mowing height: 20–50mm
Max lawn area: 1,500sqm
Mowing time: 50 mins
Dimensions: 61 x 45 x 24cm
Weight: 9.7kg
Warranty: Two years
Reasons to buy
+GPS navigation+Weatherproof+Quiet+Multiple cutting heights+App control
Reasons to avoid
-Takes a while to fine tune-Edges could be neater

Perfect for medium-to-large lawns with slopes up to 40 per cent, the Husqvarna Automower 415x delivers hands-free mowing, controllable from anywhere in the world. The results are hugely impressive; once it is set up, you won’t need to get your manual mower out for the rest of the summer.

Admittedly, the Husqvarna Automower 415x isn’t the least expensive on our list, but it’s absolutely packed with top-tech and robustly built. It is ideal for more complicated lawns, and includes systematic passage mowing, which makes light work of narrow strips of lawn and passageways between gardens. 

A top selling point is the excellent onboard GPS-assisted navigation. As well as helping you catch thieves red-handed, this creates a viewable map of the garden, which the mower then uses to track where it has been and adjust mowing patterns to prevent any errant patches of longer grass. If it does detect longer grass Spiral Cutting automatically kicks in and the mower starts spiralling instead of zig-zagging until the troublesome growth is dealt with. 

We loved Husqvarna’s Automower Connect App for its intuitive display panels that let you stop and start, check and adjust height settings and view where the mower is in real time. This clever mower also uses sensors to increase or decrease cutting to suit the weather and has a frost guard function that prevents it cutting frosty grass and potentially damaging the blades and your grass. In short, the Husqvarna Automower 415x is one of the most fully automated mowers currently available and highly rated on the gardening scene.

Worx Landroid M500

(Image credit: Worx)

2. Worx Landroid M500

Best mower for neat edges: the precision mower that keeps borders trim

Specifications
Mowing width: 18cm
Mowing height: 30–60cm
Max lawn area: 500sqm
Mowing time: 60 mins
Dimensions: 55.8 x 40.4 x 20.5cm
Weight: 8.2kg
Warranty: Three years
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use app+Cuts close to edges+Quiet
Reasons to avoid
-Complicated set up-Added extras bump up costs

Thanks to its offset blade and open bumper grill, this German-built mower gets impressively close to borders and edges, minimising, if not fully eliminating, strimming time. Its large wheels and chunky construction ensure easy travel over bumpier terrain, and it can tackle grass growth up to six centimetres tall, as well as slopes up to 35 per cent. 

Besides controlling and monitoring the mower, the Worx’s App has a clever lawn size calculation facility, plus loads of great advice and videos to guide you through set-up. Built-in artificial intelligence (AI technology) means this smart mower can tackle more complex lawns, remote sections and narrow passages without getting lost or stuck. It is constantly learning on the job, adapting mowing patterns according to the weather and grass growth so, after set-up, your input is minimal. 

The Automatic Collision Sensor, Voice Control, GPS tracking (in case of theft) and the Off Limits virtual boundary system are all optional extras, which can bump up the overall cost. However, the basic configuration is very competitively priced, and it does mean you only need to pay for the features you actually want! 

Stihl RMI 422 iMow lawn mower

(Image credit: Stihl)

3. Stihl RMI 422 iMow

Best mower for easy set up: the compact mower that’s technophobe-friendly

Specifications
Mowing width: 20cm
Mowing height: 20–60mm
Max lawn area: 800sqm
Mowing time: 30 mins
Dimensions: 60 x 43 x 27cm
Weight: 9kg
Warranty: Five years
Reasons to buy
+Simple to use+Multiple cutting heights+Neat results+Avoids obstacles
Reasons to avoid
-No app control option

If syncing to wi-fi and downloading apps fills you with dread, this simple but solidly built robot mower is for you. While it lacks a few techy bells and whistles (which you can get on the higher spec RMI 422 PC version), in all other respects the RMI 422 iMow is a great little mower that is more than capable of maintaining small to medium lawns. 

By accessing the bright LCD display panel under the hood, you can do all the important stuff, like set a grass-cutting schedule, change the cutting height and control the rain sensor. For a compact machine, this mower really impresses on slopes (max incline 35 per cent) and uneven ground, thanks to its large, grippy wheels. There’s no need to lay perimeter wire around solid obstacles, like trees or outdoor furniture. If this mower’s resilient bumper comes into contact, it simply pulls back and changes direction.

But the biggest selling point of the RMI 422 iMow, and the reason we rate it so highly, is its speediness. Adaptive charging means it will charge faster to get the job done in your preferred timeframe. It will also remember how much lawn has been cut and where to restart mowing to prevent any time-wasting. 

Ambrogio L250i Elite robot lawn mower

(Image credit: Ambrogio)

4. Ambrogio L250i Elite

Best mower for large lawns: the stylish mower that goes on and on

Specifications
Mowing width: 29cm
Mowing height: 25–70mm
Max lawn area: 3,200sqm
Mowing time: 3.5 hours
Dimensions: 58 x 50 x 29cm
Weight: 15.3kg
Warranty: Two years
Reasons to buy
+Voice control compatible+Spiral cutting+Very long battery life+Top robotic tech
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy

Be still our beating hearts, this Italian-made mower knocks the competition out of the park, and not just on looks. If you have more than half an acre to tame, this pint-sized tractor has got it covered. The powerful 7.5Ah lithium-ion battery lasts an impressively long time and the razor sharp four-point star blade cuts with clean precision. 

Large lawns are rarely arranged into one, large football pitch-style format but, fear not, this clever mower can automatically accommodate up to eight lawned areas, memorising where it’s been and where to go next. And if your garden really is the size of a football stadium, you can add another mower to your fleet and, via the +Infinity cutting system, programme the dream duo to work in tandem. 

This mower is built to last by Zucchetti Centro Sistemi, one of the first manufacturers of robotic lawn care, and spare parts are readily available. As well as all the usual remote-control functionality, the user-friendly ZCS Connect App supports system updates. No built in obsoletion here. 

Honda Miimo HRM 40 Live

(Image credit: Honda)

5. Honda Miimo HRM 40 Live

Best mower for urban gardens: the small but mighty mower that’s whisper quiet

Specifications
Mowing width: 19cm
Mowing height: 30–50mm
Max lawn area: 400sqm
Mowing time: 45 mins
Dimensions: 44.5 x 36.4 x 20.2cm
Weight: 8kg
Warranty: Five years
Reasons to buy
+Super quiet+Self-sufficient+Voice control+Excellent results
Reasons to avoid
-Glitchy app-Needs an even lawn

If you have a fairly flat lawn up to 400m2, Honda’s reasonably priced Miimo HRM 40 Live is well worth considering. Grass is cut with impressive precision, and clever features like voice control and smart scheduling really leave you to put your feet up. We’d also recommend this mower for gardens with limited shed space as it packs away neatly in winter and could potentially be stored in the house if you don’t have a shed at all.

The Miimo HRM 40 Live’s App is easy to use if a little glitchy connection-wise, and will send alerts if the mower ever gets in a pickle so mowing downtime is limited. You can also ask the app to adjust the schedule according to grass growth, so it keeps on top of fast-growing periods and chills out when the cutting season is coming to an end. Don’t forget to add ‘do not mow’ periods for times when you know you’ll be in the garden – nobody needs a tiny chomper disturbing their barbecue.

We love how quietly this mower goes about its business, automatically returning to the charging dock after 45 minutes of toil. Miimo’s maximum recommended incline is 27 per cent and it is easily thwarted by lumpy lawns and will often register a bump as an obstacle to work around rather than powering over the top. But if your garden isn’t too hilly or humpy, it will produce excellent cutting results come rain or shine. You can also call out instructions from your sofa via Alexa speakers – what’s not to love?!

Bosch Indego 350 Connect

(Image credit: Bosch)

6. Bosch Indego 350 Connect

Best mower for even cutting: the compact mower that trims with military precision

Specifications
Mowing width: 19cm
Mowing height: 25–70mm
Max lawn area: 350sqm
Mowing time: 30 mins
Dimensions: 60 x 40 x 33cm
Weight: 7.5kg
Warranty: Two years
Reasons to buy
+Parallel mowing+Quiet+Multi zones+Automatic scheduling
Reasons to avoid
-For small gardens only

Randomised cutting is the standard for most robot mowers, but the results can look a little patchy and zig-zaggy at times, particularly if a rainy spell has promoted a grassy growth-spurt. If you prefer your lawn cut in neat, parallel lines, Bosch’s Indego 350 Connect will deliver. 

This compact model is aimed at smaller yards and while it may be lightweight – making it a good choice for the less abled – it’s surprisingly robust, or perhaps not surprising given its German heritage. Connected to the Alexa compatible Bosch App, you can control your mower remotely, plan cutting schedules, set up multi-area mowing maps and download the latest firmware.

Other useful features include SpotMow, which is great for tackling growth under garden furniture or play equipment, and SmartMowing, which uses the real time weather forecasts to swerve unfavourable mowing conditions.

How to choose the best robot lawn mower

To choose the best robot mower for you, garden size is a good place to start. Most manufacturers create robot mower ranges with models increasing in price according to the size of lawn they are designed to tackle. 

Next work out how to calculate the slope of your lawn, especially if you home is built on the side of a hill. Most robot mowers can manage slopes between 15 per cent and 45 per cent (8.5–24 degrees), and if you have a slope or two, you should look for a model with enough power and traction to handle them. There are lots of handy videos online to help you measure the gradient of your garden using a few wooden stakes, tape measure and some string. 

Blade width is important for larger lawns, and if you have lots of borders and paths, you should look for a model that supports ‘close to edge’ cutting. If you want to control the mower from your smartphone or device, it should have GPS built-in. 

Do check whether the price you are paying includes the installation kit, as they are often sold separately to suit the size of your garden. One optional extra worth considering is a robot mower ‘garage’ that protects your investment from the elements and provides a safe haven for your mower to charge.  

Linda Clayton

Linda is a freelance journalist who has specialised in homes and interiors for the past 19 years, beginning on a trade rag for the Daily Mail Group and now writing full-time for the likes of Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors, Ideal Home and Real Homes. Linda is our resident mattress reviewer. She spends a couple of weeks on every mattress she tests for us, as does her ever-patient husband. In reviewing mattresses for us for more than two years, she has become something of a very opinionated expert. She lives in Devon with her cabinetmaker husband, two daughters and many pets, and is locked in an on-going battle to drag their red brick Victorian home out of 1970s swirly-carpet hell...