How to Choose a Riding Lawn Mower

Acquiring the best riding mowers from the market can be challenging.

  • I’ve put up a post to help you navigate through different sizes, transmissions, and accessories. 

When choosing the best riding lawn mower, you definitely have to consider the following:

  • The size of your lawn the rider will handle. The terrain of your garden. 
  • The type of the mowing job-collection, mulch, or side discharge. Transmission that best caters to the above.

How to Choose a Riding Lawn Mower (Step By Step)

1. Determine the Size of Your Lawn

Whatever your lawn size is, you need to trade up to something that is best suited to your size.


  • For half, ¾ to 1-acre lawn get a riding mower with 30”-42” cut width.
  • 1 to 2-acre lawn, grab a 42-54” cutting width mower.
  • For 2 to 3 acres of lawn, look for 50”-54” cutting width riding mower
  • 3 to 5 acres of lawn, go for 54”-62” cut width
  • Over 5 acres looking for a mower with a 60” cutting width

On the flip side, if your lawn features trees, shrubs, and gates, then you’d better choose a compact riding mower that will make it easy for you to navigate through the sharp turns, tight passes, and curves.

2. Check the Terrain of Your Garden

Secondly, you need to consider the terrain of your lawn.  Is your terrain relatively flat?

  • Then anything from zero-turn-radius (ZTR) model to a huge riding yard tractor will serve you best.
  • In case your yard resembles mine, uneven and sloppy, a yard tractor is the best option.

It has a wide stance, impressive traction, lower COG- (center of gravity), and impressive traction making it hard to slip when mowing uphill or downhill.

  • For example, my 52” cutting deck GTH52XLS Yard Tractor looks sturdy and features a rear differential which improves traction.

It has never disappointed me when working on my sloppy lawn and wet grass. Related: Best Riding Lawn Mower for Tall Grass

3. What type of Mowing Job? Collection, Mulch, or Side Discharge

Do you want to mulch, collect, side discharge, or both?

My Husqvarna riding tractor allows me to choose my preferred cutting method. I am glad that I can bag, side discharge, or mulch at the same.

If you want a tidier job then you need a mower with a collection option. This option saves me from grass allergies as well as avoids spreading weed seeds also.

On the other hand, if you are dealing with taller, tough, and wilder grass, be sure to opt for a machine with a side discharge option.

  • For mulching needs, which makes your lawn more fertile and drought resistant, go for a mower that offers the mulching option.

The good thing with my lawnmower, luckily, is that it combines all three options at the same time. If you get one combining the three options the better.

4. Consider Transmission That Best Caters For The Above

Unlike the past where you could only get gear-driven or manual transmission mowers, today consumers can choose from a wide selection of automatic and hydrostatic transmission versions.

  • I have found it easier to ride a lawnmower with hydrostatic transmission than a manual transmission lawn tractor.

One downside of manual transmissions is you have to stop the tractor when shifting gears. I love the seamless adjustment that comes with hydrostatic transmission!

  • The hydrostatic transmission version comes in two formats—the pedal and lever-operated hydrostats.

For utmost ease, opt for a pedal-operated tractor—you be in charge of the speed and can make frequent turns and changes of speed.

  • I don’t discredit manual transmissions at all.
  • They still offer the best option for budget-conscious consumers and the most experienced riders.

They are ideal for tackling huge yards which are relatively flat with little to no obstacles. 

Purchasing Your Riding Lawn Mower

Now you know how to choose the best riding lawn mower for your garden.

  • You are definitely ready and certain with the type which addresses your gardening needs, right?

But, you still need to know how to make the best purchase by considering a few other aspects.


Before purchasing your new mower, be sure to find out what accessories are included. For instance, my yard tractor is equipped with lots of accessories to make it useful.

  • It can haul yard debris, spread seed or fertilizer or blow snow to clear my way during winter seasons.
  • Others out there are compatible with dump carts, rakes, lawn aerators, lawn rollers, and more.

On top of accessories, see that your purchase comes with warranties to cover accessories that may break or go wrong within a specified period.

Related: Best Riding Lawn Mower for Zoysia Grass

Engine Power – HP and Air Induction Technology

Another aspect to check is the engine horsepower and its air induction aspect.  For riding lawn mowers, the best HP ranges between 13 to 30 horsepower engines.

  • Air induction technology is an important aspect of horsepower production.
  • A model that allows more air intake means it will be effective in achieving a little more power output.

Also, check the position of your mower’s engine, whether front or back.

Usually, rear engines are preferred as they offer more power and provide improved visibility than front engines. But always base your decision on what appeals to you more.

Back Seat and Wheels

While some mowers come with uncomfortable seats, your machine needs to promise you comfort while riding.

So be sure to check your back seat and wheels as well. A high-back seat with an extra-large base helps maximize your comfort, especially when riding for several hours.

See to it that your seat is also adjustable and that your steering wheel comes with a grip cushion to help ease hand fatigue.

Oftentimes, mower s’ front and rear wheels come in different sizes. That’s why they will wear out at different times and places, and according to your terrain.

Always find the sizing that will be well-suited for your terrain. Moreover, choose wheels that will not kill your grass—go for the tread that will be kinder to your grass!


The above remarks show you how easy it is to navigate through the market and grab a perfect machine for your garden.

  • This can be the best experience, particularly when armed with the right information.

Get up and grab that lawnmower that will transform your home or garden into a beautiful dwelling, with a touch of safety, comfort, and definitely effectiveness.

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