Looking for a lightweight, easy to use lawn mower that works on basically any type of lawn?
In this buyer’s guide, we’ve reviewed the 6 best hover mowers as of 2021.
Quick comparison table
Glider Compact 330AX
Turbo Lite 260
Turbo Lite 400
Best hover mowers
Time to begin our reviews.
In this section, we’ve reviewed the 6 best hover lawn mowers in the UK right now.
Flymo are the creators of the hover mower, which is why their products are still market-leading to this day.
The 330AX is one of their more expensive, top of the line hover mowers. It doesn’t cost that much compared to most mowers with wheels, but is still a bit expensive for a hover mower.
In return for the extra cost, you get a grass box included, to ensure you don’t leave clippings all over your lawn. The clipping box isn’t the biggest – it only has a capacity of 22 litres. However, because this hover mower creates incredibly fine clippings, you won’t have to empty the grass box often, which is great.
The other great thing about this hover mower is its size. With a 33cm cutting width, it’s a bit wider than most other hover mowers. This means you can cut more grass more quickly, and with less effort – including to the edges.
Despite being a bit wider, this lawn mower is still lightweight, and is easy to fold away when you want to store it during winter.
As you’d expect from Flymo, this mower is extremely easy to use, and hovers well. The only downside is, it’s not the best on sloping lawns – it hovers much better on flat ground. The 330AX is definitely worth considering though, especially if you have a flat, small to medium-sized lawn.
Overall value rating
If you have a small lawn, and don’t need to collect grass clippings, the Turbo Lite 260 might be what you need.
This mower is smaller than the 330AX we just reviewed. As a result, it costs less, and is even lighter and easier to use. However, it can’t collect grass clippings, and only has a 26cm cutting width. Meaning, it’s less efficient, especially for large lawns.
The motor in this mower is also less powerful. But that doesn’t make it any less effective – since the 260 is so light, it doesn’t need as much power to stay hovering above your grass. You still get a 10m power cable to ensure you have plenty of freedom of movement around your garden.
Despite being reasonably cheap, you still get Flymo’s standard 2-year warranty with this mower (upon registering the product on their website), which is nice.
Overall, if you want a simple hover mower for a small lawn, the Turbo Lite 260 is a great choice.
Overall value rating
If you’re not a huge fan of Flymo, Black+Decker also make a hover mower that’s worth checking out.
This product is actually a bundle. You get an electric grass strimmer included, which is very useful indeed. Although hover mowers are very nimble, they can’t get into nooks and crannies at the edge of your lawn quite like a strimmer can.
The hover mower itself is not too small, nor too big. It has a 30cm cutting width, which is slightly on the smaller side, but is bigger than the Turbo Lite 260 we just reviewed. It has decent manoeuvrability, and works well on slopes, which makes it very easy to use.
However, the mower isn’t all that powerful. It’s a 1200W motor, compared to 1400W for the smaller Flymo mower. This means it uses less electricity, but the air cushion it creates isn’t as strong.
For the price, this combo is a good deal. But if you need a more powerful hover mower, or don’t need a strimmer, there may be better products out there.
Overall value rating
This is a similar product to Fymo’s other “Lite” mower, the Turbo Lite 260.
The difference is, this mower has almost double the cutting width – at 40cm. Meaning, it’s much more efficient for big gardens. It also has a more powerful 1500W motor, and a longer 12m (instead of 10m) power cable.
In return for these benefits, you pay more – this is a reasonably expensive mower compared to other Flymo Lite models. It’s also a bit heavier due to the larger size. However, it’s not that heavy overall, because there’s no grass box.
Despite how efficient it is, and the power of the motor, this is actually a reasonably quiet mower. It’s easy to use, as you’d expect from Flymo, and the blades stay sharp for a really long time. On the whole, it’s a very durable mower, which is part of the reason why it costs more.
Essentially, this is probably the best large hover mower that Flymo currently makes. If you don’t need to collect grass clippings, or don’t mind raking them up, then the Turbo Lite 400 is a great pick.
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Challenge are another Flymo competitor that make great hover mowers.
This is essentially a mid-budget, smaller mower that’s extremely lightweight. It’s easy to use, is very nimble, and comes with a 10m power cable.
The other good thing about this mower is it’s designed specifically for mulching. Rather than just distributing your grass blades everywhere, this mower is designed specifically to mulch them into extremely fine pieces that act as compost for your grass.
However, there is an issue with this mower – the blades are made of plastic, rather than metal. This reduces their durability somewhat.
Also, the mower is only 900W. Although this makes for very quiet mowing, it does reduce the strength of the air cushion somewhat.
Ultimately, this mower is probably best for smaller, flat gardens, due to its simplicity and lightweight design.
Overall value rating
The Hover Vac 260 is very similar to the Turbo Lite 260. Both have the same cutting width, have the same cable length, and cost about the same.
However, the Hover Vac comes with a small 15L grass box. This clippings bag is extremely easy to empty, which means you don’t have to worry about going back and raking up all of your clippings after you finish mowing.
Despite the addition of the grass box, this is still a reasonably light lawn mower. It works extremely well on nearly any incline, as you’d expect from Flymow.
This hover mower comes with a 10m power cord, as is typical from Flymo. It has a small footprint, and is easy to put away during the winter months.
Do note though that this isn’t the most durable mower that Flymo makes. It can seem a little bit flimsy, in terms of the outer parts of the mower. It won’t break down easily though, and even if it did, you’re still backed by Flymo’s 2-year manufacturer warranty.
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Hover mower buyer’s guide
Now we’ll discuss some key things to consider when buying a hover mower.
What are the characteristics of hover mowers?
Rather than rolling around on wheels like most other lawn mowers, hover mowers hover over the grass as they cut.
They do this by creating a cushion of air between the ground and the inside of the mower. When the mower is on, a fan activates inside the cutting deck, sucking in air through inlets on the top of the mower. A high-pressure pocket of air is created, allowing the mower to hover as you push it.
As the mower floats on air, it has a circular cutting blade that trims the grass as you go.
Watch this video to see how hover mowers work:
Why buy a hover mower
There are a number of reasons why hover mowers are very popular in the UK and around the world.
- Manoeuvrability. Since hover mowers don’t have wheels, they’re extremely manoeuvrable. They work great on sloping lawns, and can get into hard to reach sections of grass – in large part because they’re smaller than a typical lawn mower.
- Works in any direction. With a hover mower, you’re not limited to moving forwards and backwards. You can go side-to-side as well.
- Light weight design. Because hover mowers don’t have a large grass box or petrol tank, they’re often extremely lightweight. This contributes to their manoeuvrability, but also makes them very easy to pick up and store.
- Low noise levels. Most hover mowers are very quiet in comparison to petrol-powered mowers.
- Affordability. Hover mowers are often relatively inexpensive, because they’re less complicated than most other lawn mowers, and often don’t come with a battery – which we’ll explain a bit below.
Why you might not buy a hover mower
However, there are also some disadvantages to hover mowers that you should be aware of:
- Small size. Hover mowers are normally quite small, and therefore don’t cut as much as grass on each pass compared to a bigger mower with a larger cutting width. Therefore, a hover mower might not be the best idea if you have a large lawn.
- Lack of features. Hover mowers don’t normally come with the same amount of advanced features as most petrol mowers. As an example, hover mowers typically leave grass clippings in place, spreading them over the lawn. They don’t normally have a mulching or side discharge setting, meaning your ability to manage your clippings is limited somewhat.
- Less effective on uneven lawns. Before using a hover mower, you’ll need to ensure that your lawn is fairly flat. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you have a lot of bumps, or extremely uneven grass growth, then a hover mower might not be able to glide across the surface smoothly.
Powering a hover mower
Hover mowers are nearly always electric, and are powered using a cable you plug directly into a power outlet.
This is because hover mowers need to be lightweight. With a petrol tank or battery included, most hover mowers would be too heavy to hover, which would be a problem.
Therefore you need to ensure that you have a power plug somewhere near the garden that your hover mower can reach. An extension lead is normally a wise investment when getting a hover mower.
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What do hover mowers do with grass clippings?
Most hover mowers do not have a grass box. Instead of collecting clippings, they will return the grass to your lawn. Typically, a hover mower will not actually mulch your grass like a mulching mower does.
However, some more modern hover mowers now include a grass box.
To ensure your hover mower collects as many clippings as possible in the grass box, you’ll need to mow in straight lines. Otherwise, the clippings will come out to the side as you mow.
Blades and cutting height
Most of the best hover mowers include a single, dual-edged blade that rotates in a circular motion. Like with other lawn mowers, this blade is normally made of metal and can use sharpening on occasion to ensure the best cut.
To adjust the height of hover mower blades, you normally have to do this manually. This means unplugging the mower, turning it over, undoing the locking bolt, and then adding/removing spacers to adjust how high the cutting blade rests.
Here is a video from Flymo explaining how to adjust cutting height on a hover mower:
Hover mower safety
Hover mowers don’t normally include many of the advanced safety features you’d expect to see on a more advanced mower. You might find safety switch for the throttle on a hover mower, but you won’t find other safety features such as a back flap to protect against flying objects such as small stones.
It’s always recommended to wear protective glasses when mowing, as well as enclosed shoes.
You need to ensure that the power cord is kept out of the way of the mower, because it will get cut if run over. Always use a safety circuit breaker in case this occurs.
Using a safety RCD adapter is also recommended. Essentially, this is a device that immediately cuts off the electrical connection in case something happens, such as the cable being damaged, to prevent the user from getting an electric shock.
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Are hover mowers better than other lawn mowers?
Hover mowers are not strictly better or worse than petrol mowers, or other battery-powered mowers.
If you want an easy way to mow your lawn, especially if it’s sloping, don’t need to mow long grass in the wet, and don’t mind not having the ability to mow perfect stripes, then hover mowers are definitely worth considering.
One of the best things about hover mowers is their price. Since they’re so simple, you can actually save a lot of money by buying a hover mower.
However, if you have a larger lawn, want to avoid having a corded mower, and don’t mind paying a bit more, then it might be better to look into a traditional petrol or battery-powered mower.