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The best riding mowers you can buy

The best riding mowers not only offer a balance between cost, performance, and features, but also have ergonomic designs to tackle almost any size property.
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer
Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP | Best riding mower overall
A Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP riding mower on a grey background
Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP
Best riding mower overall
View now View at Troy-Bilt
Ryobi 80V electric riding lawn tractor | Best electric riding mower
A Ryobi 80V electric mower on a grey background. The hood is up to show front storage compartment.
Ryobi 80V electric riding lawn tractor
Best electric riding mower
View now View at Home Depot
Toro Titan Max | Best zero-turn riding mower
A Toro Titan Max zero-turn riding mower on a grey background
Toro Titan Max
Best zero-turn riding mower
View now View at The Home Depot
Cub Cadet CC30E | Best compact riding mower
A Cub Cadet CC30E compact riding mower on a grey background
Cub Cadet CC30E
Best compact riding mower
View now View at Cub Cadet
DeWalt Z160 Commercial | Best riding mower for large properties
A DeWalt Z160 zero-turn riding mower on a grey background
DeWalt Z160 Commercial
Best riding mower for large properties
View now View now

Spring is in full bloom, which means it's time to start prepping your lawn for new growth and landscaping projects. Riding mowers are popular for homeowners with big properties to maintain. They have cutting decks measuring from 42 inches to 72 inches, allowing you to quickly mow everything from traditional lawns to large properties, such as sports complexes or golf courses. 

Also: The best lawnmowers 

Unlike their push mower counterparts, riding mowers have more features to consider when searching for the right fit for your greenery. You can choose between a manual or hydrostatic transmission to "set and forget" your speed or operate your mower like a car. You can even get riding mowers with cruise control or all-wheel drive for better traction.

What is the best riding mower right now?

While gas engines are far more common among riding mowers, there is a wide selection of battery-powered models if you're looking for an eco-friendly solution. My pick for the best overall riding mower is the Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP for its 24HP engine, 54-inch cutting deck, and ability to mow up to four acres with a full gas tank. Keep reading to find out more about the Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP as well as our other top picks.

The best riding mowers of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • 24HP engine
  • 54-inch cutting deck
  • Automatic transmission
  • Attachments and accessories available
  • Pricey
  • 3-blade deck means more maintenance
More Details

The Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP riding mower is an excellent choice for different lawn types. It's built with a 24HP Kohler engine and a 54-inch cutting deck to handle inclines and rough terrain or haul tools, mulch, and potting soil around your property. The hydrostatic, automatic transmission makes operation similar to a typical car, so you can spend more time actually cutting your grass and less time learning how to drive your mower. With a 3-gallon tank, you'll be able to mow up to 4 acres at a time.

Also: The best robot lawnmowers

Verified customer reviews from The Home Depot and Troy-Bilt's website call out the Super Bronco XP's ability to handle larger lawns and landscaping with the wide cutting deck and 16-inch turn radius. They also note that the deck is made of both a stamped steel upper piece and fabricated steel underside for better durability and airflow.

Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP tech specs: Engine: 24HP Kohler | Cutting width: 54 inches | Transmission: Hydrostatic/Automatic | Max yard size: 4 acres

Pros & Cons
  • 2.5 acre max range
  • Quick-charge batteries
  • LCD heads-up display
  • USB charging ports
  • Very expensive
  • Four deck blades mean more maintenance
More Details

Electric riding mowers have become more popular in recent years as homeowners and landscaping professionals look for ways to make lawn care more eco-friendly. The Ryobi 80V electric lawn tractor features a 46-inch cutting deck and enough power to let you mow up to 2.5 acres on a single charge, and you can recharge your mower batteries in as little as 2.5 hours.

Also: The best electric mowers

This means you can take care of other tasks, like weeding or landscaping, while you're waiting for your mower to recharge. An LCD screen gives you a heads-up display of run time, battery levels, and reminders to inspect and sharpen your mower blades. It even has two USB ports for charging your phone while you mow. Verified customer reviews from The Home Depot call out how quiet the mower is due to the electric motor as well as its ability to handle rougher terrain and larger lawns. However, some do call out that the Ryobi 80V mower has trouble with wetter areas and patches of taller grass.

Ryobi 80V electric lawn tractor tech specs: Engine: 80V brushless electric | Cutting width: 46 inches | Transmission: Hydrostatic/Automatic | Max yard size: 2.5 acres

Pros & Cons
  • Mows up to 7 acres at once
  • Highly maneuverable
  • 10-gauge steel construction
  • Tool-free air filters
  • Expensive
  • Twin-stick steering has a learning curve
  • Needs large storage area
More Details

Zero-turn riding mowers are popular with homeowners with larger properties or lots of obstacles like trees or specialized landscaping. The Toro Titan Max's exceptional maneuverability and larger cutting decks make quick work of yards up to 7 acres in size, while the 26HP Kohler 7000 engine uses a dual hydrostatic drive for smooth, intuitive operation. 

Also: The best zero-turn mowers

Toro also made regular maintenance a bit more streamlined with tool-free air filters. The deck and mower body are made from tough, 10-gauge steel to stand up to dings, rocks, run-ins, and anything else your lawn can throw at it. Verified customer reviews from The Home Depot, Tractor Supply Co., and Toro's website all agree that the Titan Max is a great choice for large lawns with its 60-inch deck, while the zero-degree turn radius makes handling complex landscaping easier.

Toro Titan Max tech specs: Engine: 26HP Kohler 7000 | Cutting width: 60 inches | Transmission: Dual hydrostatic/automatic | Max yard size: 7 acres

Pros & Cons
  • Battery-powered
  • Great for yards up to 1 acre
  • Compact design great for small storage areas and narrow spaces
  • Push-button cruise control
  • Expensive
  • Requires service from Cub Cadet dealers
More Details

Compact riding mowers like the Cub Caded CC30E are great for suburban lawns on the smaller side. The CC30E features a smaller design perfect for storing in multi-use sheds and garages or maneuvering through gates and narrow spaces. The 30-inch cutting deck and 56V battery let you mow up to 1 acre (or one hour) at once. It uses a hydrostatic drive for smooth, intuitive driving, while the 18-inch turning radius lets you easily mow around trees and other obstacles. 

Also: The best push mowers

It even features a push-button cruise control, so you can "set and forget" your forward speed, concentrate on mowing around obstacles, and stay aware of your surroundings. Verified reviews from The Home Depot and Cub Cadet call out the compact size of the mower being great for smaller lawns (half-acre or less), and that the mulching blade makes it easy to re-feed your lawn each time you mow. 

Cub Cadet CC30E tech specs: Engine: 56V electric | Cutting width: 30 inches | Transmission: Hydrostatic/Automatic | Max yard size: 1 acre

Pros & Cons
  • Mow up to 10 acres
  • 5.5 gallon gas tank
  • Dual hydrostatic drive
  • Great for hills and inclines
  • Very expensive
  • Twin-stick steering takes some getting used to
  • Very large
More Details

The DeWalt Z160 Commercial zero-turn riding mower is designed from the ground up to handle large properties. The 60-inch cutting deck and 24HP Kawasaki V-Twin engine let you mow up to 10 acres at once, making it an almost perfect choice for rural properties or landscaping professionals. The dual hydrostatic drive makes operation smoother, though the twin-stick steering does take some getting used to. 

With 22-inch rear wheels, you can easily take on inclines and rolling hills that may be on your property. A 5.5-gallon fuel tank means you'll spend more time mowing and less time refueling. And if you opt for the bagger attachment, you'll be able to gather up to 11 bushels of clippings before you need to empty. Verified customer reviews from DeWalt highlight the Z160's versatility in both commercial operation and home use on large (5+ acre) properties. They call out the rear tires for their deep treads, which help keep the mower from getting bogged down in wet and muddy areas.

DeWalt Z160 Commercial tech specs: Engine: 24HP Kawasaki V-Twin | Cutting width: 60 inches | Transmission: Dual hydrostatic/automatic | Max yard size: 10 acres

What is the best riding mower?

I chose the Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP as the best riding mower you can buy since it features a 54-inch cutting deck and a 3-gallon fuel tank, letting you mow up to 4 acres in a single go. The 24-horsepower engine also lets you take on steeper inclines and rough terrain or haul tools and gardening supplies around your property. The hydrostatic drive makes operation similar to a typical car, while an LED display gives you accurate usage hours for streamlined maintenance.

Best riding mower


Cutting width

Transmission type

Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP


54 inches


Ryobi 80V electric riding lawn tractor


46 inches


Toro Titan Max


60 inches

Dual hydrostatic

Cub Cadet CC30E


30 inches


DeWalt Z160


60 inches

Dual hydrostatic

 *Lowest price at the time of writing. Please note that prices may vary based on retailer and available promotions, sales, or discounts.

Which is the right riding mower for you?

Other than your budget, there are a lot of features and scenarios you have to consider while shopping for a new riding mower. The size of your yard will determine how wide the cutting deck should be, though either a 42 or 46-inch version will be more than enough for most yards. 

You can choose either a manual or hydrostatic transmission. A manual model lets you "set and forget" your speed so you can focus, while hydrostatic models operate more like cars, going faster the harder you press the pedal. This makes them more intuitive to operate but also more expensive. 

Zero-turn mowers are designed for mowing in oddly shaped areas or around lots of obstacles like trees, lamp posts, and lawn ornaments. They're called "zero-turn" because they have a zero-inch turn radius; you pivot around either rear wheel for ultra-tight turning.

If you need a more in-depth guide, you can check out my how-to, which walks you through mower types, maintenance, and how to budget.

Buy this best riding mower...

If you need...

Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP

A well-rounded riding mower. The 54-inch cutting deck and 24HP engine let you mow up to 4 acres at a time.

Ryobi 80V electric riding lawn tractor

An all-electric riding mower. The electric engine requires less maintenance than gas models, making your lawn-care routine more eco-friendly.

Toro Titan Max

An excellent zero-turn riding mower. Precision maneuvering lets you mow around trees, landscaping, and other obstacles with ease.

Cub Cadet CC30E

A compact riding mower. The 30-inch deck and smaller build make this riding mower perfect for smaller suburban lawns.

DeWalt Z160

A riding mower that can handle larger properties. This commercial-grade, zero-turn riding mower lets you cut up to 10 acres at once.

Factors to consider when choosing the best riding mower:

Whether you're looking to buy your first-ever lawn mower, or upgrade from a push or self-propelled, there are a few things to keep in mind when shopping:

  • Motor size: You'll want a riding mower with at least a 10HP engine to give you enough power to handle minor inclines and lawns up to half an acre. Larger riding mowers like the John Deere Z530M have more powerful engines, often topping out over 20HP to let you tackle rough terrain and even haul equipment.

  • Cutting width: Many riding mowers have either a 42 or 46-inch cutting deck, which is great for lawns between .5 and 1.5 acres. However, if you have a large, multi-acre property, you'll want to choose a larger cutting deck. Many brands have options between 50 and 72-inch cutting decks.

  • Transmission type: The less expensive riding mowers will have either a 6 or 7-speed manual transmission. This means you will use a dedicated lever to set your engine's forward and reverse speeds, with a single brake pedal for stop control. The more expensive models feature a hydrostatic drive, which operates similarly to an automatic transmission in a typical car or truck.

  • Accessories: Lawn care goes beyond regular mowing. I chose riding mowers that can hitch small trailers or wagons for hauling tools, mulch, or potting soil. I also chose mowers from brands that make after-market add-ons, like rear bagging units for collecting grass clippings, mulching kits for re-feeding lawns, and snow plows for year-round use.

How did we choose these riding mowers?

I used to work for MTD Products (now owned by Black+Decker), which assembles a variety of lawn mowers, snow blowers, and other powered lawn equipment. Using the expertise and knowledge I gained during my time there, I looked for riding mowers with these qualities:

  • Run time: Whether you choose a traditional gas engine or electric riding mower, it's important to choose a model with a long enough run time to mow your lawn within a reasonable amount of time. For most suburban lawns, a 1-gallon gas tank or 60-minute battery life should be plenty to mow your lawn in a single day.

  • Durability: Your lawn mower is going to take a beating. From being exposed to the elements, to running over roots and debris and just normal wear and tear. Choose a riding mower that is made from durable parts like stamped steel or heavy-duty plastic, and also take advantage of any product warranties to replace defective or worn out parts.

  • Comfort and safety: You don't want mowing your lawn to be a literal pain in the ass. Make sure the seat provides enough cushioning to be comfortable to sit on for at least an hour, as well as an ergonomic design to help prevent back pain and strain from insufficient support. And make sure all operation controls are within easy reach and can be quickly used in an emergency to kill the blades or engine.

How do you decide which riding mower to buy?

Assuming you have a budget in mind, you first need to find out how big your lawn is. You can either find your lot size on your memorandum deeds if you've bought your house, or you can check your city's website to see if you can request lot measurements if you're renting. If your lot measures about an acre, you can use a 30 or 42-inch cutting deck without any issues. For lawns up to two acres, a 42 or 46-inch deck is ideal. And if your lot is over two acres, you can get a mower with up to a 72-inch cutting deck to handle larger areas.

The transmission type is also important. Many newer models have what is known as a hydrostatic drive, which means that they operate similarly to how a car drives: You push the pedal to move forward or backward, and the harder you push, the faster you go. This makes it easier to learn how to drive, but that also makes the mower more expensive. More stripped-back models have variable-speed manual transmissions, which allow you to "set and forget" your speed so you can focus on paying attention to obstacles and people who may be nearby. 

And finally, you'll want to consider the power source for your new riding mower. Gasoline engines are far more common, but there is now a wider variety of battery-powered models to choose from. The perks of a gas engine are that you'll get near-infinite run times (as long as you have enough fuel to keep the engine going) and a bit more power for handling steep inclines and rough terrain. The downsides are dealing with exhaust emissions and maintenance that can be a time and money sink. Electric models don't need engine maintenance, so you save a bit of money in the long run. But they usually have a maximum run time of about an hour, which means that you may have to plan your mowing over several days if you have a larger yard.

How big of a yard do I need for a riding mower?

Riding mowers are best suited for yards measuring one acre or larger. A model with a 42-inch cutting deck is great for mowing up to two acres, so if you have more land than that, you'll want to spring for a 46, 54, 60, or 72-inch cutting deck. 

If you're right on the threshold, you can get what's known as a "mini rider." They usually have compact bodies for easier storage and 30-inch cutting decks to make short work of lawns that are just a touch too large for a push mower.

How long should a riding mower last?

No matter if you choose a gas or battery-powered riding mower, proper maintenance is key to extending the life of your mower. For gas engines, you should change the oil and filters, clean the spark plugs, and sharpen the blades before you mow for the first time in the spring. You should also use fuel treatments like STA-BIL to prevent gas in the tank or extra jerry cans from going bad from moisture contamination. This prevents the buildup of gunk that can ruin your engine, improves engine performance, and gives you a cleaner cut for a healthier lawn. 

Electric mowers don't need engine maintenance, but you should perform thorough inspections at the start of the mowing season to check for battery damage, corrosion on battery contacts, damage to the battery housing, and also to sharpen the blades. If you do regular maintenance, not only will you save money by avoiding big repairs from worn-out parts, but you can also expect your riding mower to last 10 years or more -- which is great news since they can be an expensive investment.

What is the cheapest riding mower?

Unfortunately, riding mowers aren't ever really what we consider "budget-friendly." However, there are models like the Murray MT100 that retail for less than $2000 without sacrificing power or cutting width.

More riding mowers to consider:

View at Home DepotView at Tractor SupplyView at Home Depot
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