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Stay in control in 2020



Whether you have a tiny lawn or a sprawling estate, dock one of these Roomba-esque robots outside and let them do the work while you sit inside.

For some, mowing the lawn is a pleasant experience. For others, it absolutely sucks.

If you’re an enthusiastic member of the latter category, a robot lawn mower may be an investment to consider. Once set up, they’ll allow you to step back from lawn maintenance pretty much entirely. Think of robot mowers as Roombas for lawns, just way more expensive and definitely for outdoor use only.

How do robot lawn mowers work?

Robot mowers are battery-powered and, for the most part, run automatically based on a schedule, which the user sets using a companion app. When they’re not running, they sit safely docked in a charging port plugged into an outdoor outlet. 

When it’s time to mow, they head out into the world, cutting the grass to a predetermined height and generating grass clippings so fine that they essentially become mulch. “Unlike traditional mowers that you use when the grass starts getting tall, a robotic mower typically will run daily or nightly cutting off just the tips of the grass to keep it at a set level,” says Gary Pitts, a customer service expert at the tech insurance company Asurion. The range of cut heights a mower is capable of varies by product. 

How does it know where to mow?

Robot mowers learn where to mow based on a perimeter wire, which you’ll lay around the edges of your lawn to form a boundary. Pitts compares it to an Invisible Fence for dogs. “The mower detects the signal from the boundary wire and knows to turn around,” he explains.

Setting up your perimeter wire can be a bit of a headache. In fact, the majority of negative user reviews we read for this story involved the perimeter wire in some way. The companies featured in this roundup offer fairly comprehensive installation guides on YouTube in addition to the instructions in the package.

How should you choose a mower?

When selecting a robot mower, you’ll want to consider at least three basic categories: garden size, hills, and budget. 

The mowers on this list are generally better suited to gardens under one acre. Each mower also lists the maximum slope it’s able to climb while still achieving a successful cut. In general, you’ll pay more if you want more ground covered and higher hills climbed, though there are exceptions. A few other things to keep in mind include integrated rain sensors, companion app quality, weather resistance, and GPS, which are addressed in the recommendations below.

Robot mowers are an example of fairly new technology in the grand scheme of things, so the category still has a few kinks to work out. It’s possible, for instance, that the mower will miss a spot or two and you’ll need to go back over it with some clippers.

Make no mistake, though: These little robots are still extremely cool. If you are interested in purchasing a device of your own, we recommend checking out this selection of impressive models from top brands like Flymo and Bosch.

These are the best robot lawn mowers in 2020.

Easy-to-use app • Quiet • Smooth mowing experience • Smart automatically scheduling

No remote control • Pricey

This pick mows well and is easy to program with its accompanying app.


This easy-to-use robot mower works well with most lawns and is packed full of helpful features.

  • Recommended lawn size:
    1,500 square metres
  • Cutting height:
    0.3-0.6 centimetres
  • Maximum incline:
    20 degrees
  • Weight:
    20.7 kilograms
As you’ll notice as you read, this mower is very similar to the WR142E also featured on this list. The WR153E, however, is a better choice for people who want WORX features but have larger gardens. 
This robot lawn mower is controlled by a smartphone app, on which you can program its mowing schedule. It mows in a “random algorithm,” which means that it doesn’t mow in pre-programmed rows. Instead, it detects un-mowed patches periodically, then heads out to take care of them.
A few things set the Landroid apart from its competitors. For one thing, it’s relatively affordable considering its performance, ease of use, quietness, and number of features. A few Amazon reviewers did report that they had to get it un-stuck from obstacles a few times — particularly objects close to the perimeter wire — but that’s par for the course for many robot mowers.  

Highly sensitive collision sensor • Automatic charging • Easy to install

Reviews suggest that customer support is lacking

This affordable mower comes packed with plenty of features you would expect to find in a more expensive model.

Flymo 1200 R

This Flymo mower cuts your grass effectively, reliably, and without wheel ruts.

  • Recommended lawn size:
    400 square metres
  • Cutting height:
    0.2-0.5 centimetres
  • Maximum incline:
    14 degrees
  • Weight:
    15 kilograms
The Flymo 1200 R robot lawn mower is one of the cheapest options on the market, but that doesn’t mean it comes up short where it counts.
It’s designed to cut lawns up to 400 square metres, and automatically cuts any garden shape of slope gradients up to 25%. It cuts the grass effectively and reliably and without wheel ruts, and comes with a charging station, boundary wires, connectors, and security features such as an alarm, lift sensor, and PIN code. 
Grass clippings are so small that they will disappear back into your lawn and act as a natural fertiliser, so you can continue to sit back and relax.

Easy-to-use app • Compact • Intelligent navigation system • Avoids rain

Some reviewers say it gets stuck

Logical and systematic lawn mower that gets the job done with a straightforward app.

Bosch Indego S+ 350

The Indego lawn mower considers local weather conditions and avoids rain, creating the best possible schedule for your lawn.

  • Recommended lawn size:
    350 square metres
  • Cutting height:
    0.3-0.5 centimetres
  • Maximum incline:
    15 degrees
  • Weight:
    7.6 kilograms
The Bosch Indego S+ 350 robot mower is an easy and convenient device that works on areas of up to 350 square metres using the Bosch Smart Gardening app. It can also be controlled through Amazon Alexa.
The Indego S+ 350 navigates around obstacles and returns automatically to charge, all on its own. It calculates an efficient route through the garden and mows in systematic lanes. The average mowing time is just 45 minutes.
This mower will also receive free over-the-air software updates throughout the year, making sure that performance stays strong.

Fully programmable • Loud audible security alarm and security PIN code • Easy installation

Charging station requires level surface

Easy to install and programmable lawn mower that helps to create a healthier lawn.

Mcculloch ROB 1000

Fully programmable lawn mower that works day or night, rain or shine.

  • Recommended lawn size:
    1,000 square metres
  • Cutting height:
    0.2-0.5 centimetres
  • Maximum incline:
    14 degrees
  • Weight:
    7 kilograms
The Mcculloch ROB 1000 lawn mower cuts little and often, helping to ensure you get a green lawn all year round with very little effort on your part. 
Small clippings are so fine that they quickly break down and add nutrients back into the soil, helping to create a thicker, stronger, healthier, and greener lawn.
It’s also easy to install, and all you need to do is lay a boundary wire around the edges of your lawn. The boundary wire can be pegged on top of the lawn or below the surface to suit your personal preference. 

LCD display with settings menu • Powerful rear-wheel drive • Sensors automatically control the water supply

This expensive robot lawn mower is one of the best and smartest devices around.

Gardena 19060-60

The powerful rear-wheel drive helps this mower cope with uneven ground.

  • Recommended lawn size:
    1,000 square metres
  • Cutting height:
    0.2-0.6 centimetres
  • Maximum incline:
    19 degrees
  • Weight:
    9.8 kilograms
The Gardena 19060-60 robot lawn mower accurately cuts your grass so you can relax. 
The SensorCut System ensures that you don’t get lawn stripes, and it runs so quietly that you probably won’t hear it working before it returns automatically to the charging station. The mowing time can be adjusted via the smart app and aligned with the irrigation times of the smart water control. 
It’s suitable for lawn areas of up to 1,000 square metres and can cope with uneven ground and inclines of up to 35% thanks to its powerful rear-wheel drive.

Quiet • Affordable • Agile and efficient

For small gardens, this WORX Landroid model is hard to beat.


For smaller gardens, this robot mower from WORX provides plenty of bang for your buck.

  • Recommended lawn size:
    700 square metres
  • Cutting height:
    0.3-0.6 centimetres
  • Maximum incline:
    20 degrees
  • Weight:
    17.4 kilograms
If you have a small garden, a smaller robot mower like the WORX WR142E Landroid M700 — basically a less expensive version of the Landroid L1500 —  might be for you. This one performs beautifully and runs smoothly and quietly. 
It’s also controlled by an app that reviewers largely find streamlined and easy-to-use: you can program, schedule, and observe your mower from indoors, peering through the blinds as you relax.
One thing to watch out for: a few reviewers pointed out that this mower’s wheels tend to slip on flat, dry grass.

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