Buying Guide

Best Riding Lawn Mower for your Yard

Why Riding Lawn Mowers Make the Job Easier

Whether you are needing a multi-task workhorse tractor around the yard or a zero-turn radius mower for professional landscaping, they all offer a comfortable ride with less labor needed to operate. They cut, bag and mulch cleanly and mow closely around obstacles faster than traditional lawn mowers. Some models even include smart safety features. 

Choosing the Best Riding Lawn Mower

When choosing which riding mower is best for you, the first thing you should do is assess your yard and your mowing needs.

Consider the size of your yard, the type of transmission you prefer and convenient attachments to make sure you get a riding mower that’s a good fit for your needs.

Type of Riding Lawn Mowers
  • If your yard has slopes, hills and uneven ground, you may want to consider a riding mower with a more powerful engine.
  • Lawn tractors are meant to mow large lawns and pull lightweight attachments such as rear baggers and carts. They can also help you seed and fertilize your lawn.
  • Garden tractors are ideal for big yards and heavy-duty tasks as they offer more power with heavy-duty transmissions that can handle attachments like aerators and tillers.
  • Zero-turn mowers provide superior maneuverability, speed and control for large, flat lawns. Their dual-lever controls cut lawn maintenance time in half compared to standard tractors.
  • Rear engine mowers are more compact and are an option for those with limited storage space. They cut well on medium- to larger sized lawns.
  • Consider features such as high-backed, adjustable seats, rubber foot pads or floor mats, adjustable motion-control levers and padded steering wheels to increase your comfort.

Yard Size: 1/2 to 3+ Acres

Recommended Use: Riding mower, Lawn Tractor

Cutting Deck Size: 38" to 54"

Features to Consider:

  • Multiple speeds allow you to adjust for different sections of the yard
  • Lawn tractors mow and assist with other yard maintenance tasks
  • Mulching mowers eliminate the need to clean up grass clippings

Yard Size
: 1 to 3+ Acres

Recommended Use: Garden tractor

Cutting Deck Size: N/A

Features to Consider: 

  • Can be used to plow and cultivate gardens as well as remove snow
  • Have larger engines and stronger frames to take on heavy-duty work

Yard Size
: 1 to 3+ Acres

Recommended Use: Zero-turn

Cutting Deck Size: 34" and up

Features to Consider:

  • Zero turning radius riding mowers provide more control and increased efficiency on large, mostly flat lawns
Riding Mower Engines and Transmissions

Power and performance should be top of mind when considering the engine to power your mower.

Consider engines that offer twin cylinders, overhead valve design and precision governor controls to gain smoother operation, higher efficiency and quicker response in high load conditions.

Mowers offer different types of transmissions, including hydrostatic, automatic and manual.

Manuals require you to shift, while automatic and hydrostatic allow for continuously adjustable speed control without shifting. They also tend to cost less.

Automatic and hydrostatic models feature hand or foot operation via a pedal or lever.

Lawn Mower Delivery Options
riding mower

You might wonder how to get your new over-sized purchase home, it can be hassle-free with these convenient services.

Free White Glove Delivery – Have your equipment assembled and delivered to your home with a tutorial. For John Deere®, Toro® and select Ariens® brands.

Curbside delivery – Dropped off at the curb, or to the receiving area/dock for a business. The delivery carrier will contact you to provide a 4-hour delivery window once the items have arrived in your area.

Ramps & trailers – Bring it home yourself and haul it anywhere you need it with our large selection of products.

Mower Maintenance

DIY replacement parts are readily available and belts, blades, batteries, fluids and more can be found for most common brands. Or, for those who don't want to tackle seasonal maintenance themselves, Home Depot offers a protection plan that provides reimbursement on select mower preventative maintenance and replacement guarantee, plus a one day pick up and delivery.

Riding Mower Safety Considerations

Make sure you take the following precautions while operating your rider or tractor.

Look for mowers that automatically stop the blade from spinning as soon as you stand up to minimize the potential for accidents.

Wear ear plugs to protect your hearing while you mow.

Avoid wearing loose clothing or jewelry that may get tangled in moving parts.

Clear debris from your yard prior to mowing to avoid damaging the mower and blades and eliminate possible projectiles.

Consider a mower that provides safeguards that must be disengaged before you can mow in reverse, allowing you to pause and check behind you to make sure there are no kids or pets in your path.