Best Riding Mower For Small Yards

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Buying a suitable riding mower for your small yard will make mowing hassle-free and more fun for you.

But the question is, considering that there are a lot of brands to choose from, how do you pick a riding lawn mower that is sturdy, reliable, and efficient?

Not to worry, we got you covered.

In this article, we share the 6 top-rated riding mowers for small yards.

In a hurry? Check our top three recommendations below:

Best Riding Mowers for Small Yards: Top 3 Picks

Editor's choice
Ariens Edge 34 inch 20 HP (Briggs) Zero Turn Mower 915251
Ariens Edge 34 inch 20 HP (Briggs) Zero Turn Mower 915251
  • High back seat enhances maximum comfort while mowing.
  • Large tires provide excellent traction on lawns.
  • Its compact design makes it easy to navigate through tight spaces.
Best Budget
Ariens Edge 34 inch 19 HP (Kohler) Zero Turn Mower 915243
Ariens Edge 34 inch 19 HP (Kohler) Zero Turn Mower 915243
  • Its tires provide traction and a smoother ride on lawns.
  • High back seat for user comfort while mowing.
  • Its 34-inch cutting deck ensures superb grass-cutting performance on lawns.
Highest Rated
Husqvarna Z142 42 in. 17 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
Husqvarna Z142 42 in. 17 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
  • Air induction mowing technology delivers a superior cut on lawns.
  • The 17 HP Kohler engine provides a maximum speed of 6.5 mph.
  • Its removable foot plate provides easy access to the top of the cutting deck.

1. Ariens Edge 20 HP (Briggs) Riding Zero Turn Mower 915251

  • Power Source: Gas
  • Engine: 20 HP Briggs and Stratton Intek V-Twin Engine
  • Cutting Width: 34 inches
  • Cutting Height: 7 Positions, ranging from 1.5-4.5 inches
  • Capabilities: Side Discharge, Mulching and Bagging (Mulching Kit and bagger attachment sold separately)
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Weight: 554lbs
  • Number of Deck Positions: 7
  • Deck Thickness: 12 gauge
  • Cutting Blades: 2 in the deck
  • Rear Wheel Size: 18 inches
  • Front Wheel Size: 11 inches

Pros:

  • The Ariens Edge 915251 has large tires for excellent traction on lawns.
  • It runs on a versatile and efficient engine for a smooth lawn mowing experience
  • The adjustable high back seat enhances comfort while mowing.
  • The 915251’s foot-operated deck height feature offers great ease while mowing.

Cons

  • Accessories such as mulch and bag kits are sold separately.

The Ariens Edge 915251 is a versatile and efficient 34 inch zero turn mower suitable for smaller yards. It is capable of delivering superior cuts on lawns.

Design

The riding lawn mower comes with intuitive controls which enable users to maneuver on smaller yards with nice and precise cuts. The adjustable high back seat provides added comfort while mowing.

The Ariens Edge 915251 runs on a 20 HP Briggs & Stratton V-Twin engine for a smooth lawn mowing experience. Its compact design enables the mower to navigate through tight spaces with ease.

Its large tires enhance excellent traction on lawns and its foot-operated deck height feature offers great ease while mowing.

Cutting Power & Performance

The zero-turn mower has a 34-inch cutting deck for effective and efficient mowing on lawns. It has seven cutting positions which can be adjusted from 1.5-4.5 inches to suit users’ mowing needs.

It is also a great fit for flat terrain and it can also handle smaller gardens with a clean mowing experience.

Speed

The riding mower has a maximum forward speed of 6mph and a maximum reverse speed of 3mph to enable you to mow in a fast manner.

Accessories

The mower supports a host of accessories such as a mulching kit which re-cuts grass clippings into tiny pieces to restore nitrogen into the soil while the bagger collects grass clippings for easy disposal.

2. Ariens Edge 19 HP (Kohler) Zero Turn Riding Mower 915243

  • Power Source: Gas
  • Engine: 19 HP Kohler 6000 series V-Twin Engine
  • Cutting Width: 34 inches
  • Cutting Height: 7 Positions, ranging from 1.5-4.5 inches
  • Capabilities: Side Discharge, Mulching and Bagging (mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately)
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Weight: 464lbs
  • Number of Deck Positions: 7
  • Deck Thickness: 12 gauge
  • Cutting Blades: 2 in the deck
  • Rear Wheel Size: 18 inches
  • Front Wheel Size: 11 inches

Pros:

  • The Ariens Edge 915243 is equipped with large tires for excellent traction and a smoother ride on lawns.
  • The gas-powered mower has a high-back seat for added comfort and advanced airflow
  • The 34-inch cutting deck ensures superb grass-cutting performance on lawns.
  • Its compact design makes it easy to navigate through tight spaces.

Cons

  • The zero-turn mower does not have anti-scalp wheels.

The Ariens Edge 915251 is a sturdy zero-turn mower that operates efficiently on flat terrains and can navigate through tight spaces.

Design

The gas-powered mower is equipped with handy power brakes which are incorporated into the handlebars for easy accessibility to the operator. It runs on a 19 HP Kohler engine which delivers consistent cuts with smooth operation.

The 915243 model comes with a high back seat for added comfort and its tires provide traction and a smoother ride on lawns. Its foot-operated deck lift enables easy cutting height adjustment.

Cutting Power & Performance

The 34-inch cutting deck is coupled with a 4-point hanging system for superb grass-cutting performance on lawns.

Its cutting options range from 1.5-4.5 inches to enable users to cut the grass to the desired grass height. The riding lawn mower performs well on flat terrains and can easily navigate through tight spaces.

Speed

The zero-turn mower has a maximum forward speed of 6 mph and a maximum reverse speed of 3 mph.

Accessories

The Ariens Edge mower supports a host of accessories. The mulching kit recycles the grass clippings, spreading them back onto the yard to restore nutrients into the soil while the bagger collects grass clippings for easy cleanup.

3. Husqvarna Z142 42 in. 17 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

  • Power Source: Gas
  • Engine: 17 HP Kohler Engine
  • Cutting Width: 42 inches
  • Cutting Height: 6 Positions, ranging from 1.5-4 inches
  • Capabilities: Side Discharge, Mulching and Bagging (mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately)
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Weight: 474lbs
  • Number of Deck Positions: 6
  • Deck Thickness: 13 gauge
  • Cutting Blades: 2 in the deck
  • Rear Wheel Size: 18 inches
  • Front Wheel Size: 11 inches

Pros:

  • The Husqvarna Z142 comes with a high back seat for maximum comfort while mowing.
  • Its removable foot plate enhances easy access to the top of the cutting deck
  • The zero-turn mower comes with an air mowing induction technology which offers an improved grass lift and delivers a superior cut on lawns.
  • Its rear engine guard protects the engine from impact.

Cons

  • Not ideal for uneven grounds.
  • The riding mower does not have armrests.

The Husqvarna Z142 has several innovative features to ensure a well-manicured lawn appearance.

Design

The gas-powered mower has rubber bellows which prevent debris and moisture from entering the control system. Its rugged frame and casters enhance increased durability.

The high back seat offers superior comfort while mowing and its two anti-scalping wheels prevent lawn scalping. The rear engine guard protects the engine from impact as well as limits access to hot surfaces for safety.

The mower runs on a 17 HP engine for reliable startups and superb mowing performance. Its removable foot plate provides easy access to the top of the cutting deck.

Cutting Power & Performance

The 42-inch cutting deck offers superb grass-cutting performance on lawns. It has six cutting positions which can be adjusted from 1.5-4 inches to suit your varying needs.

The Z142 is equipped with a zero-turning radius which allows users to cut closely through flowerbeds, decorative rocks, boulders as well as other obstacles on the lawn. The air induction mowing technology improves grass lift and delivers superior cuts on lawns.

Speed

The gas mower has a maximum forward speed of 6.5 mph.

Accessories

The riding lawn mower supports a host of accessories. The mulching kit cuts the grass clippings into tiny pieces to restore nutrients in the soil while the bagger attachment catches grass clippings for easy disposal.

Other accessories include a mower cover, tow behind striping kit for improved mower performance.

4. Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

  • Power Source: Gas
  • Engine: 26 HP Kohler Engine
  • Cutting Width: 54 inches
  • Cutting Height: 6 Positions, ranging from 1.5-4 inches
  • Capabilities: Side Discharge, Mulching and Bagging (Mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately)
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Weight: 549lbs
  • Number of Deck Positions: 6
  • Deck Thickness: 11 gauge
  • Cutting Blades: 3 in the deck
  • Rear Wheel Size: 18 inches
  • Front Wheel Size: 11 inches

Pros:

  • Works for other engines
  • Can run vehicles and other power equipment
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Fairly expensive
  • Spark plug packaging may be poor

The Husqvarna Z254 is a durable zero-turn mower suitable for medium and large-sized yards. The mower features maintenance-free and innovative transmission for easy usage.

Design

The Z254 runs on a powerful 26HP Kohler engine for reliable startups and incredible mowing operation. It has a removable foot pan which gives easy access to the top of the cutting deck. Its rubber bellows prevent debris and moisture from entering the control system.

The riding mower comes with large cooling fans which keep the engine operating at an ideal temperature. The robust frame and casters ensure increased durability and its rear engine guard protects the engine from impact.

Cutting Power & Performance

The Husqvarna Z254 has a 54-inch cutting deck for efficient mowing on medium and large-sized yards. In addition, its three cutting blades perform incredibly well on thick grass.

The Z254 has six cutting heights which can be adjusted from 1.5-4 inches to suit homeowners’ mowing needs. Its air induction mowing technology enhances an improved grass lift and delivers superior cuts on lawns.

Speed

The mower has a maximum speed of 6.5 mph which makes you mow in a lesser time.

Accessories

The gas-powered mower supports a host of accessories such as LED headlights, a tow behind striping kit, a mulching kit and triple baggers to increase the mower’s performance.

Read Husqvarna Z254 Full Review

5. Craftsman Z525 Zero Turn Gas Powered Lawn Mower

  • Power Source: Gas
  • Engine: 24 HP Kohler Twin Cylinder Engine
  • Cutting Width: 50 inches
  • Cutting Height: 9 Positions, ranging from 1.25-3.75 inches
  • Capabilities: Side Discharge and Mulching (Mulching Kit sold separately)
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Weight: 656 Pounds
  • Number of Deck Positions: 9 
  • Cutting Blades: 2 in the deck
  • Rear Wheel Size: 20 inches
  • Front Wheel Size: 11 inches

Pros:

  • The Z525 model has 11-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels for easy and smooth mobility on lawns.
  • The robust steel frame ensures an enhanced lawn mowing experience.
  • The gas mower operates efficiently on tall and tough grass.
  • The riding mower comes with a high back seat for user comfort.

Cons

  • It is quite noisy.
  • The zero-turn mower has a slow speed.

The Craftsman Z525 is a durable zero turn mower perfect for commercial and residential lawn maintenance.

Design

The gas-powered mower has an 11-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels for smooth and easy mobility on lawns. Its foot pedal transmission enhances a smooth transmission in speed and direction and it has a high back seat for maximum comfort.

The Z525 model runs on a powerful and reliable 24 HP Kohler Twin-Cylinder Engine for superb mowing performance on lawns.

Its robust steel frame ensures an enhanced lawn mowing experience. The open deck gives easy access to the foot brakes and levers. The gas mower has a deck wash for quick underside cleaning.

Cutting Power & Performance

The 50-inch mowing deck enhances efficient and effective mowing on tall and thick grass. Its nine cutting positions can be adjusted from 1.25-3.75 inches for excellent cut quality.

The riding lawn mower can trim around objects like planters and trees with ease. Furthermore, it can also cut and clip in one sweep for quick cutting. It comes with a mow-in-reverse technology that enables you to chop off the greenery even in the opposite direction.

Speed

The zero-turn mower has a maximum forward speed of 5.5 mph and a maximum reverse speed of 3.5 mph.

Accessories

Its mulching kit cuts grass clippings into small pieces to restore nutrients to the soil for a healthy lawn.

6. Ariens Zoom 19hp Kohler Zero Turn Lawn Mower

  • Power Source: Gas
  • Engine: 19 hp Kohler Engine
  • Cutting Width: 34 inches
  • Cutting Height: 7 Positions, ranging from 1.5-4.5 inches
  • Capabilities: Side Discharge, Mulching and Bagging (mulch kit and bagger attachment sold separately)
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Weight: 443lbs
  • Number of Deck Positions: 7 Positions
  • Deck Thickness:  12 gauge
  • Cutting Blades: 2 in the deck
  • Rear Wheel Size: 18 inches
  • Front Wheel Size: 11 inches

Pros:

  • The gas-powered mower comes with a 34-inch cutting deck which offers exceptional cut quality on lawns.
  • Its hydrostatic transmission enables users to cut their grass at all speeds and in all dimensions.
  • The mid-back padded seat and adjustable control arms enhance maximum comfort while mowing.
  • The Ariens Zoom 34 has a Smart Choke design which enables simple and dependable starting.

Cons

  • Not ideal for wet grass.
  • It does not have anti-scalp tires.

The Ariens Zoom 34-inch is a durable and versatile zero turn mower capable of handling small to medium-sized yards with ease.

Design

The Ariens Zoom mower runs on a powerful 19hp Kohler engine which drives the mower quickly and efficiently.

Its mid-back padded seat and adjustable control arms enhance maximum comfort while mowing. Its small and compact design makes it easy to transport and store.  It has a Smart Choke design for a dependable and simple starting.

The gas mower comes with an overhead valve configuration which enables the mower to operate in a cool and smooth manner. The hydrostatic transmission enables users to cut their grass at all speeds and in all dimensions.

Cutting Power & Performance

The zero-turn mower is equipped with a 34-inch cutting deck which offers exceptional cut quality on lawns. It has seven cutting positions which can be adjusted from 1.5-4.5 inches to suit your mowing needs.

The riding mower can easily navigate through tighter spaces. Its 4-point deck hanging feature enhances smooth and accurate cuts on rough terrains. Got a large yard to mow? Read more about Best Commercial Zero Turn Mowers.

Speed

The Ariens Zoom 34-inch has a ground speed forward of 6 mph and a ground speed reverse of 3 mph.

Accessories

The riding mower supports accessories such as a rear bagger, mulch kit, trailer hitch to aid the versatility of the zero-turn mower.

Final Verdict

What’s our number #1 riding mower for small yards? When it comes to durability, innovation, and superb grass-cutting performance, the Ariens Edge 915251 is our top pick.

The gas-powered mower has an adjustable high back seat for comfort while mowing. Its large tires offer excellent traction on lawns while its foot-operated deck height feature provides great ease while mowing.

The riding mower is equipped with a 34-inch cutting deck which enhances efficient and effective mowing on lawns. It has seven cutting positions which can be adjusted from 1.5-4.5 inches to suit your mowing needs.

Editor's choice
Ariens Edge 34 inch 20 HP (Briggs) Zero Turn Mower 915251
  • High back seat enhances maximum comfort while mowing.
  • Large tires provide excellent traction on lawns.
  • Its compact design makes it easy to navigate through tight spaces.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Riding Mower for Small Yards

If you are in the market for a durable and efficient riding mower for your small yard, there are some factors to consider. Here are a few of them:

Speed

If you are planning to purchase a riding mower, ensure that you get the one that has over 5 mph. This is a good standard for this category of zero-turn mowers.

Height-of-cut adjustments

This is also another important factor to consider. You should consider picking one that has a minimum cutting height of 1.5 inches and a maximum of 3.5 inches.

Also Read: Best Riding Mower For Tall Grass

Mower Seat

It is advisable to get a riding zero-turn mower that has an ergonomic seat design (such as a high back seat) to support your back, thereby preventing fatigue or back pain while mowing.

Engine

The engine power is measured in HP or cc. It is important to purchase the one that has more than 400cc or 14 HP engine.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size mower do I need for a small yard?

If you want to mow with a riding mower, anything from 34 inches is fine. You don’t need much power and deck size to cover a small yard.