What Size Mower Do I Need?

In Brief: What Size Mower Do I Need

For less than 3/4 acre, choose a push mower with a 30 inch mowing deck or smaller. For 3/4 acre to 2 acres, look for a mowing riding lawn mower with a 30 – 52 inch mowing deck. For anything more than 2 acres, look for a 50+ inch mowing deck.

No matter what you’re doing, you always need to use the right tools for the job. When you’re looking at buying a lawn mower, you need to pay close attention to the size of the mower you get.

If you get a mower that’s too small for your lawn, it will take you a lot longer to mow each time. But, a mower that’s too large will be difficult to move around in a small lawn space. Find the sweet spot that gives you the power and size you need to mow your lawn efficiently.

What Size Mower Do I Need?

Mower size can refer to two different things. The main way this measurement is used is to talk about the size of the mowing deck. This is the area where the blade spins.

Larger decks mean longer blades and a larger cutting surface. With a larger mowing deck, you don’t need to make as many passes on the lawn. However, larger mowing decks can also be harder to maneuver.

The other way mower size is referred to is the engine size. This is often measured in horsepower (HP). HP is a less consistent way to refer to mower size because it may not directly affect how well you can mow the lawn. HP is most relevant in the context of the terrain and grass type on a lawn.

It’s not useful to recommend a mower based on its HP alone. Mower deck size is the better measurement, which is why this article will refer to that as the main way to measure mower size.

Lawn SizeBlade SizeRecommended Mower Type
3/4 acre or less30 inches or lessPush Mower, regular or self-propelled
3/4 acre – 2 acres30 – 52 inches Riding lawn mower
2 acres or more50+ inchesRiding lawn mower, zero-turn mower

Lawn Size

The size of the lawn you mow regularly will be the single largest determinant of the mower size you need. Larger mowers make it quicker and easier to maintain a larger lawn.

There are a few generalizations you can make. For the average person, you can break down mower size to three categories.

Walking mowers with decks that are 30 inches or smaller are appropriate for lawns of 3/4 acre or less. From 3/4 acre to 2 acres, a mowing deck of 30 – 52 inches is appropriate. For lawns larger than 2 acres, mowing decks of 50 inches or above may be appropriate.


Different types of terrain may necessitate adjustments to the generalized size recommendations. In hilly terrain, larger zero turn mowers may not be safe to use. Smaller mowers may be more useful for navigating difficult terrain, but they will make the mowing slower on flat areas.

Mowing deck size recommendations vary depending on the type of mower you purchase and where you’ll be using it. Push mowers with mowing decks of 20 – 24 inches are standard and usually suffice for smaller lawns.

These smaller mowers can be either electric or gas-powered. As the size increases, there are more gas-powered mowers available rather than electric mowers.

Electric mowers often have less engine power. Although some brushless electric lawn mowers may be powerful enough to handle tough terrain, gas mowers are generally better suited for hilly or rough lawns.

Grass Type

Depending on the type of greenery you’re cutting, the size of your mower can be more or less efficient. If you regularly cut dense grasses and weeds, a mower with a stronger engine and smaller mowing deck is better. Larger mowing decks may force you to mow slowly to avoid stalling.

Higher HP is generally helpful for cutting through thick grass or weeds. With higher HP, the mower can cut through grass without slowing down, allowing you to mow at a normal speed. This is true no matter what type of mower you have.


Larger mowers tend to be more expensive. More powerful engines, larger mowing decks, and the type of mower you purchase all play into the price. If the mower is for personal use, an expensive mower may not be practical. A medium-sized mower is usually versatile enough for personal lawns.

Mower Features

Some mowers are equipped with features that will affect the speed and efficiency of mowing. Most notably, self-propelled push mowers can be used for larger yards than regular push mowers.

The other notable feature to pay attention to is the way your mower discharges grass. Side discharge or bag discharge mowers will operate regularly. However, mulching lawn mowers may require more engine power or a larger mowing deck to efficiently manage the same size lawn as a regular mower. Otherwise, they may run more slowly and take more time for the same job.


Lawn mowers come in a variety of sizes to help you get the best tool for the job. Choose the appropriate size for your lawn based on the area you mow, the terrain, the type of grass you normally mow.

Do you have questions about what size lawn mower you need? Leave a comment below.

About Stephanie Hall

Stephanie is a DIYer and expert in using power tools. She is an architect and also provides design services. A yoga lover, she meditates to keep herself fit.

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