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Best robot lawn mower 2024: Bag a huge discount during Amazon’s sale

We’ve tried and reviewed robot lawn mowers to find the best for your garden

Robot lawn mowers are one of the best garden tools to emerge in the last few years and they’re perfect for people who want to spend less time on tedious chores. However, choosing one is tricky, with prices ranging from hundreds to thousands of pounds. I’ve reviewed a good selection of mowers over the last few years, so have the knowledge and expertise to know what to look for when choosing one of these trundling automatons.

How intelligently these devices perform the job varies from one model to the next. Unlike robot vacuum cleaners, you can’t leave many models to find their own boundaries and bounce off your herbaceous borders on their own. Most need their boundaries set, whether by a physical wire or, in more expensive models, using an app and accurate satellite positioning to draw them a map. I’ve put all the models listed here – and more – through rigorous testing on my own lawn, to come up with this definitive list of our favourites.

For a quick guide, see my top picks in the at-a-glance list below. After that you’ll find short reviews of my recommended models and a buying guide with information on what you should know before purchasing.

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Best robot lawn mowers: At a glance

Best budget robot lawn mowerYard Force EasyMow 260B (~£335)Check price at Amazon
Best all-round robot lawn mowerBosch Indego S+ 500 (~£898)Check price at Amazon
Best high-end robot lawn mowerHonda Miimo 70 Live (~£1259)Check price at Just Lawnmowers

How we test robot lawn mowers

Every robot lawnmower I review has gone through the same series of Expert Reviews tests. I mark out an area of test lawn, lay down the boundary wire if necessary and connect the charging station to the mains supply.

Testing a robot lawn mower

I then test the control panel and app to see how much control each mower provides. I set the mowers off on their schedules and note how well they manage the lawn it’s caring for. I look at the evenness and comprehensiveness of the trim and the number of times, if any, I need to intercede to get the mower to complete the task.

READ NEXT: Best cordless lawn mowers

The best robot lawn mowers you can buy in 2024

1. LawnMaster VBRM16: Easiest to use robot lawn mower

Price when reviewed: £300 | Check price at B&Q

  • Great for: Affordability and ease of set up
  • Not so great for: Patchy lawns, neat edges and object avoidance

Robot lawn mowers are traditionally fiddly to set up, requiring an outdoor power supply and a boundary wire laid around the edge of the lawn. I found the LawnMaster VBRM16 to be very different, though, with no wire to install and no requirement for outdoor power.

It was ready to start mowing as soon as I had charged its battery, which can be done from any wall socket thanks to the removable battery and supplied battery dock. Instead of being guided by a wire, the mower uses a camera mounted on the front of the device to scan the lawn in front of it. If it sees a surface that isn’t grass, it turns round and heads off in a different direction.

This has its pros and cons. In my tests, I found it was very good at detecting the edge of the lawn and turning around when it reached it. However, without an edging mode it doesn’t leave a neat cut edge because it noses into the sides and turns away, rather than cutting a straight line around the perimeter. I also found that it works best on lawns with a healthy covering of grass. If your lawn gets patchy, it may mistake the bare earth for a flowerbed and turn away.

Read our full LawnMaster VBRM16 review

Key specs – Size: 425 x 350 x 220mm (WDH); Weight: 6.6kg; Cutting height: 20-60mm; Maximum lawn size: 100m²; Maximum incline: 35%; Replaceable battery: Yes

2. Yard Force EasyMow 260B: Best budget robot lawn mower

Price when reviewed: £335 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for: Affordability and programmable scheduled
  • Not so great for: Larger lawns and remote control away from home

Competition between robot lawn mowers is fierce, with manufacturers battling to keep prices down without cutting too many corners. I found the Yard Force EasyMow 260B is a good case in point. From the outside, it looks like a simple set and mow model that can work for either three or six hours daily, depending on the size of your lawn.

However, it’s possible to take greater control over this mower using the smartphone app. This let me start and stop it remotely, though it only supports Bluetooth, so I still had to be in the vicinity. More crucially, it lets me perform some basic scheduling controls, with two programmable mowing slots available for each day of the week, so I was able to fine-tune when it headed out.

I found the robot to be perfectly competent at mowing my lawn, sticking happily within its wired boundaries and scheduled time slots. Its rotating disc cutter with sharp blades is slightly small but it’s still rated to cover a lawn of 260m².

Read our full Yard Force EasyMow 260B review

Key specs – Size: 370 x 450 x 220mm (WDH); Weight: 11.8kg; Cutting height: 20-55mm; Maximum lawn size: 260m²; Maximum incline: 30%; Replaceable battery: No

3. Bosch Indego S+ 500: The most efficient robot lawn mower

Price when reviewed: £898 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for: More efficient mowing and less wear on the grass
  • Not so great for: Anyone on a budget

Most of the robot lawn mowers we’ve tested still bumble their way around a lawn randomly, changing direction when they reach the border wire and setting off in a new random direction. The Bosch Indego S+ 500 left me impressed with the vastly more intelligent way that it approaches the task.

As with most robot lawn mowers, there’s a fair bit of setup, as it requires a wire to be laid around the perimeter of the lawn. After this is done, the robot traces the wire around the garden on its first time out, creating a map of the area as it goes.

Now here’s the clever bit: on subsequent mows it covers the area inside the wire in a methodical manner, one stripe at a time, moving a little bit further down each time it turns. That means no random mowing and it knows exactly when it’s finished. In testing, I found my lawn was mowed in record time and there was less wear and tear on regularly visited sections of my grass.

Read our full Bosch Indego S+ 500 review 

Key specs – Size: 445 x 364 x 202mm (WDH); Weight: 7.7kg; Cutting height: 30-50mm; Maximum lawn size: 500m²; Maximum incline: 27%; Replaceable battery: Yes

4. EcoFlow Blade: Best robot lawn mower with GPS navigation

Price when reviewed: £2,759 | Check price at Amazon

best robot lawn mower - EcoFlow Blade

  • Great for: Large lawns and installation without a perimeter wire
  • Not so great for: Your bank balance

The unique design of the EcoFlow Blade is a real head-turner, but it isn’t the most interesting thing about this robot lawn mower. I was more impressed with its ability to summon the navigational power of satellites to help eliminate the need to lay down a perimeter wire.

It still requires a bit of setting up, with a base station and an additional antenna that you have to locate somewhere in your garden with a clear view of the sky. Then you walk the robot around the perimeter of your lawn, using a software remote control in the smartphone app and the robot’s ready to go.

It cuts the lawn well, with a broad range of blade heights from 20mm to 70mm. It uses a methodical stripe pattern that stays within the area I’d mapped out and minimises the length of time it needs to spend mowing.

Read our full EcoFlow Blade review 

Key specs – Size: 440 x 640 x 310mm (WDH); Weight: 16kg; Cutting height: 20-76mm; Maximum lawn size: 3,000m²; Maximum incline: 51%; Replaceable battery: Yes

5. Gardena Sileno City: Best robot lawn mower for difficult-shaped gardens

Price when reviewed: £681 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for: Complex garden shapes and simple scheduling
  • Not so great for: Those after a simple installation experience

When I installed the Gardena Sileno City, I quietly cursed the robot for requiring even more wire to be laid than any other robot lawn mower I’ve reviewed. That’s because this model requires an additional guide wire, as well as the perimeter wire, which goes from the middle of the base station to the far end of your garden.

Anyone with an unusually shaped lawn can rejoice, however. That’s because, even though this robot moves randomly, it can use the guide wire to get to a garden’s troublesome or far-flung reaches.

The app also provides additional control, such as carving your garden into sections, so you can set it to mow some areas more than others. It also includes CorridorCut, which reduces the intensity of the mow in small, narrow areas that don’t need as much repetitive mowing.

Read our full Gardena Sileno City review 

Key specs – Size: 550 x 380 x 230mm (WDH); Weight: 7.3kg; Cutting height: 20-50mm; Maximum lawn size: 300m²; Maximum incline: 35%; Replaceable battery: Yes

6. YardForce Compact 400Ri: Best robot lawn mower for avoiding obstacles

Price when reviewed: £515 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for: Avoiding obstacles
  • Not so great for: Tidiness around obstacles

On the surface, the ​​YardForce Compact 400Ri looks and behaves like most other robot mowers, with a perimeter wire to keep it on your grass and a random mowing pattern to cover the area inside it.

However, I was impressed by its hidden trick: a sonar collision detection system that stops it bumping into a range of objects, from trees to garden furniture. This worked really well in my tests, avoiding things such as plant pots and passing humans, however it can’t detect low-lying objects such as frisbees or dropped clothes pegs.

It errs on the side of caution, though, stopping a minimum of 30cm away from any detected obstruction. While this is a good safety feature, it leaves more grass growing around your obstacles than a bump and turn mower would.

Read our full YardForce Compact 400Ri review 

Key specs – Size: 440 x 384 x 206mm (WDH); Weight: 7.4kg; Cutting height: 20-55mm; Maximum lawn size: 400m²; Maximum incline: 30%; Replaceable battery: Yes

7. Worx Landroid M500 Plus WR165E: Best robot lawn mower for edge cutting

Price when reviewed: £949 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for: Maximising the area of your lawn that gets cut
  • Not so great for: Efficiency as it mows randomly

Because most robot mowers have their blades centred in the middle of the chassis, they often aren’t particularly good at cutting up to the edge of a lawn. The ​​Worx Landroid M500 Plus WR165E offsets its blade to the right, which is designed to let the robot cut closer to its edge.

In my tests, it worked supremely well, getting much closer to edges that are on the same level as the lawn, such as sunken paving. While you can also cut closer to boundaries such as flowerbeds, I found that it still couldn’t get right to the edge, as the M500 needs some leeway left to eliminate the risk of it falling off the lawn.

Read our full Worx Landroid M500 Plus WR165E review

Key specs – Size: 580 x 403 x 208mm (WDH); Weight: 9.5kg; Cutting height: 30-60mm; Maximum lawn size: 500m²; Maximum incline: 35%; Replaceable battery: Yes

8. Honda Miimo 70 Live: The most advanced robot lawn mower

Price when reviewed: £1,259 | Check price at Just Lawnmowers

  • Great for: Large gardens with weak Wi-Fi and a low tech setup
  • Not so great for: Price

In testing, I found the Honda Miimo 70 Live had a lot of features to make life easier. It’s one of the few robot lawn mowers I’ve tested that doesn’t need connecting to Wi-Fi, as it comes pre-installed with a mobile internet connection that skips your router and connects straight to the mobile network. That means you can operate the mower using its app, even if your garden is large and your Wi-Fi can’t get to its furthest reaches.

In my tests, mowing proved to be fast and efficient. The Honda Miimo creates a map of your boundary wire when it first goes out, then cuts the lawn in perpendicular lines, covering the area inside the boundary in a very efficient manner. This means the risk of it missing a bit is significantly lower than with mowers that move around your lawn randomly. There’s a lot less wear and tear on the grass, too.

Read our full Honda Miimo 70 Live review

Key specs – Size: 445 x 364 x 202mm (WDH); Weight: 7.6kg; Cutting height: 30-50mm; Maximum lawn size: 700m²; Maximum incline: 27%; Replaceable battery: Yes

Check price at Just Lawnmowers

How to choose the best robot lawn mower for you

Mechanically, most robot lawn mowers are surprisingly similar. In your garden, they’re about the same size as an upturned washing-up bowl and look a bit like a tiny car, with two large wheels to control movement and one or two coasters to add stability. They tend to cut the grass with sharp steel blades that closely resemble razor blades. These are attached to a spinning disc on the underside of the mower’s chassis. We’ve got a full guide on how robot lawn mowers work if you’re after more information.

Are they difficult to set up?

Alas, you can’t just plonk a robot mower down in the middle of your lawn and expect it to know where to mow. Most robot lawn mowers need a docking station, which they return to in order to recharge their battery. This sits on the edge of your lawn and needs to be within reach of an outdoor power supply that’s always switched on and ready to charge your mower. The mowers that don’t have a charging station will probably need their battery removed, so it can be refreshed in an indoor charging cradle instead.

You usually need to lay a boundary wire around the edge of the area you want your robot to mow. This is supplied on a reel, is connected to the charging station at both ends and carries a low voltage. The mower uses this to detect when to stop and turn around. You can bury this wire, or peg it down and eventually it will bed down into the grass.

Most robot lawn mowers can then be set to run to a schedule or set off whenever it’s convenient. This is usually done using controls on the mower itself, or remotely through a smartphone app.

How much should I spend?

With the basic design essentially the same, the differences in price usually indicate whether mowers come with extra features and the size of lawn they can cover.

At the cheaper end of the scale – around £400 – the simplest mowers are programmed using a control panel on the back. From here you can set a simple schedule, usually based on mowing for a certain number of hours per day.

When in operation, they mow in a straight line until they reach their boundary wire, then they will perform a turn so they can head off in another direction. The boundary wire is the only guidance they have, and they will move around your garden for a set period or until they need to return to their base station for a recharge.

The sky’s the limit at the upper end of the scale but for a top-of-the-range mower with the smartest sensors, the most sophisticated control apps and enough equipment to mow a large lawn, you can expect to pay thousands of pounds.

What other features should I look out for?

Object avoidance: A feature that’s rarely seen on robot mowers, certainly at the lower end of the price spectrum. A good safety feature, though we wouldn’t recommend relying on it when small children or pets are around.

Maximum incline: If you have a particularly steep slope in your garden, then be sure to check out the maximum incline a robot is capable of climbing.

Adjustable cutting height: You can choose the grass height on most robot lawn mowers, but if you prefer your grass ultra short or left quite long, check it’s within your mower’s range.

Maximum lawn size: Larger lawns tend to need a smarter and more expensive mower, so measure your garden before you buy, to the nearest 100 square metres.

Replaceable battery: With regular recharging and a life outdoors, you can’t expect your robot lawn mower’s battery to last forever. Check that it can be replaced and that a dead battery won’t turn your mower into a useless garden ornament.

Edge cutting: No robot mower can edge your lawn as well as you can but some can trim closer to your flower beds than others. To reduce secondary mowing, look out for models with offset blades.

Rain detection: It’s better to let your grass soak up excess moisture before mowing it. A rain sensor will send your robot home if it starts to rain, and can delay mowing until it’s dry again.

Security features: Robot lawn mowers aren’t cheap, so some come with additional security features, from PIN number locks and movement alarms, through to tracking devices that can help trace a stolen mower.

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