10 Best Mulching Lawn Mowers of 2022 [Reviews]

Mulching lawn tractor

Thinking of making the switch from a regular lawn mower to one that mulches your grass clippings as you mow? Our reviews of the best mulching lawn mowers of the year can help you shop. 

When a mulching lawn mower cuts your grass, it chops up the leftover clippings into tiny pieces and throws them back into the lawn. Over time, the mulched grass bits break down into the soil, adding organic matter and nutrients to boost grass health. 

Think a mulching lawn mower sounds right for you? Check out our top picks. We compared and ranked our Best Mulching Mowers on power level, cutting width, number of mulching blades, whether the mower is self-propelled, weight and price range.

Mulching lawn mowers range in price from under $200 to $400 or more, and our top picks are all either under $200, under $300, or under $400.

Top 10 Mulching Lawn Mowers – Reviews

1. Greenworks MO13B00 electric lawn mower
2. Sun Joe MJ403E electric lawn mower/mulcher
3. Greenworks 25012 electric lawn mower
4. American Lawn Mower Company 50514 electric lawn mower
5. PowerSmart DB8621PR gas lawn mower
6. Greenworks 25322 battery-powered lawn mower
7. BLACK+DECKER gas lawn mower 
8. Craftsman M105 gas lawn mower
9. PowerSmart DB9422SR gas self-propelled lawn mower
10. Worx WG779 battery-powered lawn mower

1. Greenworks MO13B00 electric lawn mower

Put the “green” back in your lawn care with this electric mower from Greenworks. This electric mulching mower doesn’t have the fumes and difficult pull-start of a gas mower, but it can still cut through thick grass with its 13-amp motor (one of the most powerful you’ll find in a corded electric model).

Even though right now we’re focused on the mower’s mulching capabilities, the MO13B00 is great because it also gives you the option to bag your grass clippings or discharge them without mulching them, should the need arise. 

The mowing deck on this model is 21 inches, wide enough to make quick work of mowing larger yards. The deck is also made of steel, which makes it more durable and harder to dent with stray rocks or twigs. You can adjust the deck to seven different cutting height positions for different times of the year and different grass types.

Specifications

  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Power level: 13 amps
  • Cutting width: 21 inches
  • Number of mulching blades: 1
  • Weight: 56 pounds
  • Price range: Under $300
ProsCons
Large cutting width for a corded electric mower
Powerful motor
Durable steel mower deck
Adjustable cutting height up to 3.75 inches
3-in-1 mulching, bagging, or discharging for grass clippings
Heavy for an electric mower
Parts of the casing made of less durable plastic
For some users, the mower stopped working after a few years

2. Sun Joe MJ403E electric lawn mower/mulcher

This corded electric lawn mower and mulcher from Sun Joe is our top pick’s smaller, more affordable counterpart. This mower comes in at well under $200, an attractive feature for homeowners on a budget. The slimmer 17-inch cutting width makes this mower a better choice for small yards than our top pick.

With the Sun Joe model, you can say goodbye to the hassle of a gas mower, although you’ll have to say hello to the hassle of working around a cord. If your yard is small enough and there aren’t too many trees or other obstacles, the cord shouldn’t be a problem. 

One of the best things about this mower is how lightweight it is at just 32 pounds. It’s easy to maneuver this small machine around the yard while you mow and mulch (or mow and bag, as this model comes with a 12-gallon grass collection bag for when you don’t want to mulch your clippings).

Specifications

  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Power level: 13 amps
  • Cutting width: 17 inches
  • Number of mulching blades: 1 
  • Weight: 32 lbs
  • Price range: Under $200 
ProsCons
Affordable
Powerful motor
Lightweight
Compact for small yards and tight storage
Adjustable cutting height with seven settings
Small size not ideal for large yards
Some users had trouble with the motor after a short period of use
Sun Joe’s customer service can be hard to reach if your mower does have an issue

3. Greenworks 25012 electric lawn mower

Greenworks specializes in electric lawn equipment, so it’s no surprise they have another corded mower on our list of the best mulching mowers. The 25012 model is smaller than our top pick from Greenworks, with an 18-inch cutting width and a 12-amp motor. It’s also about 10 pounds lighter and falls in the under $200 price range. 

If you want to go with Greenworks but have a small yard or a tight budget, this could be the right mower for you. Its biggest issue is that it doesn’t offer a bagging option as our top two picks do. With this mower, you can only mulch grass clippings or remove the mulching plug to discharge clippings regularly. 

Even though it’s a budget pick, the Greenworks 25012 offers a special feature typical of higher-end mowers: It has two mulching blades instead of just one. With dual blades, it chops your grass into even finer pieces that take less time to break down into the soil.  

Specifications

  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Power level: 12 amps
  • Cutting width: 18 inches
  • Number of mulching blades: 2 
  • Weight: 46 lbs
  • Price range: Under $200 
ProsCons
Dual mulching blades
Durable metal housing
Affordable
Compact size perfect for small yards and tight storage
Adjustable cutting height up to 3.75 inches
Can’t bag grass clippings
Too small for larger yards
Cord attaches to mower in an awkward spot where it tends to get in the way
A safety feature that shuts the mower off if the cord gets too hot can be a little too sensitive

4. American Lawn Mower Company 50514 electric lawn mower

Do you need a lightweight mower that’s easy to maneuver around a small yard? The 50514 model from American Lawn Mower Company might be for you. It weighs just 20 pounds, and it’s only 14 inches wide. Such a small cutting deck might make mowing a large yard take forever, but it makes turning the mower and working in tight spaces much easier. 

The ALMC 50514 is easy on your wallet, too. At the time of publication, it’s the cheapest mulching mower out of all our top picks. Even though it doesn’t cost much, the cutting deck is made of durable alloy steel, and there are even some special features.

If you don’t want to mulch your grass clippings all the time, this mower gives you the option to bag clippings in a 16-gallon collection bag with a hard top that won’t tear like fabric. Other special features include a cutting height adjustment with 5 height options and an adjustable handle for user comfort.

Specifications

  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Power level: 11 amps
  • Cutting width: 14 inches
  • Number of mulching blades:
  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Price: Under $200
ProsCons
Durable alloy steel cutting deck
Lightweight
Very easy to assemble and use
Affordable
Hard-top collection bag for grass clippings
Adjustable cutting height up to 2.5 inches
Not good for large yards 
Motor isn’t very powerful and has trouble cutting weeds and tall grass (6+ inches)
The carrying handle on the collection bag pops off easily 
Highest cutting height setting is too low for some grass types and may cause scalping on uneven lawns with bumps and ruts

5. PowerSmart DB8621PR gas lawn mower

If you need the power of a gas lawn mower to tackle thick grass and weeds and you want to mulch your grass clippings, the DB8621PR model from PowerSmart might be best for you. It features a 170 cc 4-stroke engine with a forced-air cooling system that helps the engine warm up quickly and work more efficiently. 

This mower’s wide 21-inch cutting deck lets you mow large yards quickly. With adjustable cutting heights ranging from 1 inch to 3 inches, it works well for uneven yards and many different grass types. 

All gas mowers are heavy, but this PowerSmart model is relatively lightweight at about 57 pounds. Just because it’s light doesn’t mean it’s flimsy. The alloy steel mowing deck resists dents and dings. However, the housing is made of plastic.

Specifications

  • Power source: Gas
  • Power level: 170 cc
  • Cutting width: 21 inches
  • Number of mulching blades: 1
  • Weight: 57 lbs
  • Price range: Under $300
ProsCons
3-in-1 side discharge chute, rear bag, and mulching capabilities for grass clippings
Large, durable steel mowing deck
Adjustable cutting height
Easy to assemble and maneuver (for a gas mower) 
Bolts connecting the handle to the body of the mower may come loose
Foam grip on the handle tears easily
Plastic housing isn’t as sturdy as metal

6. Greenworks 25322 battery-powered lawn mower

Battery-powered mowers offer the convenience of a push-button start and no fuel or emissions but without the hassle of a cord. And this model from Greenworks offers the option to mulch your grass clippings (along with a bagging option). 

In terms of its battery, this mower packs 40 volts of power, which has proven enough to tackle foot-high grass and weeds on occasion. The battery runs the mower for up to 45 minutes on one charge. Greenworks 40V batteries take about two hours to charge fully. 

The cutting width on this mower is 16 inches, which might make mowing the lawn take a little longer but is great for storage. You can raise or lower the cutting height as needed between 1.25 and 3.4 inches, which is great if you want to mow the lawn higher than usual in summer to prevent heat stress and improve grass health.

Specifications

  • Power source: Battery
  • Power level: 40 volts
  • Battery run time: Up to 45 minutes
  • Cutting width: 16 inches
  • Number of mulching blades: 1
  • Weight: 38 lbs
  • Price: Under $300
Pros Cons
Battery and charger included
Backed by 3-year warranty 
Compact for storage
Adjustable cutting height
Great at mulching fallen leaves in the lawn
Not good for large yards because of small size and limited battery run time
Battery drains faster when grass is thick, tall, or otherwise difficult
Many customers had negative experiences with Greenworks customer support

7. BLACK+DECKER gas lawn mower 

This gas mower is a little less powerful than the PowerSmart model we already highlighted, but it’s around the same price range. So, what do you get for the money with this model? The trusted BLACK+DECKER name and a 2-year warranty for peace of mind. 

There’s nothing too special about this mower compared to others in its class, but it has everything the average homeowner needs and gets the job done. You can adjust the mowing height to six different settings, and you can choose to mulch or discharge grass clippings. This mower doesn’t come with a collection bag. 

The 21-inch cutting width on this mower is nice because it lets you finish with the yard in fewer passes than with a smaller mower. The bar-treaded tires are designed for uneven terrain and loose soil are another plus. 

Specifications

  • Power source: Gas 
  • Power level: 140 cc
  • Cutting width: 21 inches
  • Number of mulching blades:
  • Weight: 63 lbs
  • Price range: Under $300
ProsCons
6 cutting height positions 
Wide mowing deck 
Maneuvers well on rough terrain
Comes with 2-year warranty
No bagger for grass clippings
Low power for a gas mower
The handle can get in the way of the blades and cause damage if you don’t unfold it properly, so be careful

8. Craftsman M105 gas lawn mower

This 3-in-1 discharging, bagging, and mulching mower from Craftsman is pretty standard for a gas model, both in price point and performance. Its 140 cc engine is a little on the weak side, but what it lacks in power it makes up for with an auto-choke feature to make pull-starting easier.

The cutting deck on this mower is 21 inches, which is plenty large enough to mow the typical yard in a snap. Like other mowers among our top picks, it has an adjustable deck so you can choose to cut the grass higher or shorter. This one has six cutting height options. 

If you want a large, gas-powered mulching mower but you’re worried about the difficulty of pulling a choke cord, this could be the best choice for you. Just remember that it weighs more than 60 pounds (also standard for a gas mower), and you have to be able to push it around your yard. 

Specifications

  • Power source: Gas
  • Power level: 140 cc
  • Cutting width: 21 inches
  • Number of mulching blades: 1
  • Weight: 65 lbs
  • Price range: Under $300
ProsCons
Easier auto-choke start
Easy assembly out of the box
Wide cutting deck 
Adjustable cutting height
Mulcher, bagger, and discharge chute for grass clippings 
Weak engine for a gas mower 
Some users reported the engine wouldn’t start after only a few uses
Many users had negative experiences with Craftsman customer support

9. PowerSmart DB9422SR gas self-propelled lawn mower

Is torque your main concern when shopping for a lawn mower? Do you anticipate the need to shave down tall grass and weeds on a regular basis? With a 200 cc 4-stroke engine, this gas-powered mulching mower from PowerSmart could be for you. 

Aside from being a monster when it comes to power, this mower is also huge. It has a 22-inch mowing deck that helps you mow and mulch large properties in less time, and the rear wheels are 11 inches high. The higher wheels give you great traction on uneven ground and hills.

Of course, because it’s so large, this mower is also heavy at over 100 pounds. To make up for that, it has self-propelled rear-wheel drive. That means the engine drives the mower forward for you, and all you have to do is point it in the right direction. Even though it isn’t all-wheel drive, the self-propelled feature on this mower is so powerful that you might have a hard time keeping up with it. 

Specifications

  • Power source: Gas
  • Power level: 200 cc
  • Cutting width: 22 inches
  • Number of mulching blades: 1
  • Weight: 103 lbs
  • Price range: Under $400
ProsCons
Self-propelled
Extra powerful engine
Extra-wide cutting deck
Good traction
3-in-1 options for mulching, bagging, or discharging grass clippings
Adjustable deck with 5 cutting heights
Heavy and hard to transport without self-propelled feature
Start cord is hard to pull even for a gas mower 
Cutting height options are on the low side
The belt on the self-propelled mechanism falls off sometimes during use

10. Worx WG779 battery-powered lawn mower

This cordless electric mulching mower from Worx is a good option for homeowners with smaller yards. The cutting deck is only 14 inches wide, so it’s great at getting into tight spaces but would make mowing a large lawn take a long time. Another plus of this mower’s small size is that it’s lightweight at under 30 pounds even with the battery.

The WG779 runs on 40 volts of power, and Worx batteries last for up to 45 minutes on one charge (depending on the conditions). In power and run time, this mower is comparable to our other battery-powered top pick from Greenworks.  

However, this mower has the added bonus of Worx’s Intellicut feature. Intellicut automatically controls how much torque powers the blades as you mow. When you’re going over thick or tall grass or up a hill, it outputs more power. When you’re working on flat ground, it cuts back the power to use only what you need. What this means: The battery can go longer without needing to recharge. 

Specifications

  • Power source: Battery
  • Power level: 40 volts
  • Battery run time: Up to 45 minutes
  • Cutting width: 14 inches
  • Number of mulching blades: 1
  • Weight: 29 lbs
  • Price range: Under $300
ProsCons
Lightweight and easy to maneuver
Intellicut torque control helps the battery last longer
Comes with a rear bag so you can choose to mulch or collect grass clippings
Adjustable cutting height with 6 options 
Very little assembly required out of the box
Not good for large yards
Takes multiple passes to cut tall grass
Doesn’t perform well on uneven terrain
Fully charging the battery can take up to 5 hours
Grass clippings can get stuck in the mulching mechanism, so you have to remove it and shake them out after each use

Buyers Guide for Mulching Lawn Mowers

Want to choose the best mulching lawn mower for you but don’t know what you’re looking for? This buyers guide will teach you everything you need to know about mulching mowers before picking one.

How mulching lawn mowers work

First of all, what makes a mulching lawn mower different from a regular one? In some cases, not much. Most mulching mowers are just “regular” mowers that come with a special mulching attachment. 

Mulching mowers (or “3-in-1” mowers that give you the option to mulch) have specialized blades, the shape of which creates a circular air stream that keeps grass swirling around inside the cutting area for longer. The blade’s three cutting edges slice up the grass clippings more and more as they continue to swirl around. 

For a visual on how this all works, check out this video from AS Motor International:

Types of mulching lawn mowers

There are as many different types of mulching lawn mowers as there are types of mowers in general. Again, many mowers can convert to mulching with the right part. 

The first thing you need to decide is what power source you want in your mower. You can choose between:

  • Gas: Gas-powered lawn mowers are typically the most powerful, which means they can spin the blade the fastest to take down thicker or taller grass. But gas mowers have many downsides: They’re high-maintenance, extremely loud, heavy, difficult to start, and bad for the environment because of the fumes they produce.
  • Corded: Some electric mowers connect to your home’s electricity through an extension cord. These mowers are super lightweight (since they don’t house a gas tank or battery), and they’re easier to use than gas mowers. The only problem is the cord itself. For one, your mower can only go as far as the extension cord reaches, so these aren’t great for large yards. For another, you constantly have to be careful not to run over the cord.
  • Battery: Other electric mowers run on rechargeable batteries (usually lithium-ion batteries). Battery-powered mowers are easy to use like a traditional corded electric mower but they offer the same mobility and maneuverability as a gas mower. Of course, there has to be a downside: Battery-powered mowers tend to be pretty weak in power compared to others, and the batteries usually hold a charge for only an hour at the most. Again, this causes problems for people with large yards.

Once you’ve chosen the best power source for your yard, the next decision is which drive system you want. Different drive systems in mulching lawn mowers include:

  • Manual push: With manual push lawn mowers, you walk around your yard and push using the handle. Manual push mowers usually are the cheapest option, but they’re also the most work to use. If you want a manual push mower, check the weight before purchasing and make sure it isn’t too heavy for you.
  • Self-propelled: Self-propelled lawn mowers are the same size and shape as manual push mowers, but they’re much easier on the user. In these mowers, the engine spins the wheels and propels the machine forward for you, so all you have to do is steer using the handle.

    Self-propelled mowers are either rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive (AWD mowers are typically quite high-end and expensive). Among our top picks, only the PowerSmart DB9422SR is self-propelled.
  • Riding: Riding lawn mowers are best for people who need to cut grass on an acre of land or more. With a riding lawn mower, you just sit and steer. They’re much larger than push or self-propelled mowers, and they cost several thousand dollars.

    At this time, almost all riding mowers are gas-powered, although there are a few battery-powered models on the market. There are lawn tractors and zero-turn lawn mowers that come with mulching features.

How we chose the best mulching lawn mowers

To find the best mulching lawn mowers on the market, we ranked several different models based on the following factors. You can use these same factors to determine which of our top picks is best for you. 

  • Power level: The power of a mower’s engine determines how much torque goes into spinning the blade. The more power, the faster the blade can spin, and the better it will hold up to resistance from thick and tall grass and weeds.

    In gas mowers, the power level is determined by the size of the engine in cubic centimeters (cc).

    In corded electric mowers, the determining factor is the amperage of the motor (amps).

    For battery-powered mowers, it’s the battery’s voltage (V). In our ranking, the power score for battery mowers also included the battery’s maximum run time. 
  • Cutting width: A mower’s cutting width is how wide the actual cutting area is. The wider the cutting area, the more grass you can cut in a single pass on your lawn. Mowers with larger cutting widths let you mow the lawn in less time and with less walking. They also take up more room in your garage or shed.
  • Number of mulching blades: Most mulching mowers have only one blade. However, some have a two-blade system to cut grass into even finer pieces. The finer pieces are easier for the microorganisms in your soil to break down, so they decompose and add nutrients to the soil faster.
  • Self-propelled: We explained above what self-propelled means in a lawn mower. Having a self-propelled mower is important if the mower is especially heavy, if you have limited upper body strength, or if you have a large yard that takes a long time to mow. Self-propelled mowers help users not to wear themselves out.
  • Weight: The heavier a mower is, the harder it’s going to be to push around the lawn. Gas lawn mowers tend to be the heaviest, and corded electric tend to be the lightest.
  • Price range: Mulching mowers (and lawn mowers in general) vary hugely in price depending on the type. The most expensive of our top picks falls in the $300 to $400 price range because we made affordability an important ranking factor, but some push mowers cost $500 or much more.

    Larger mowers, mowers with more power, self-propelled mowers, or mowers with other special features will usually be more expensive.

The table below shows the weights we used to rank the best mulching mowers. 

Ranking factorWeight
Power (including run time for battery-powered)20%
Cutting width 15%
Number of mulching blades10%
Self-propelled10%
Weight15%
Price range30%

FAQ About Mulching Lawn Mowers

1. What are the benefits of a mulching lawn mower?

Mulching lawn mowers have many benefits for your lawn, the environment, and you. Some of those benefits are that they:

— Create free, natural fertilizer for your soil
— Chop up fallen leaves in fall along with the grass
— Keep your grass clippings out of landfills
— Eliminate the need to collect and bag grass clippings after mowing 

2. Why should you mulch grass clippings instead of bagging them?

Mulching your grass clippings is better for your lawn’s health and the environment than bagging them. Mulching adds nutrients to your soil and reduces waste in landfills because it keeps you from throwing out garbage bags full of grass clippings every few weeks.

3. When should you not mulch your lawn?

When you should choose to bag instead of mulch:

— When the grass is wet
— When there are weeds in your lawn that have produced seeds
— When fallen leaves cover more than half the lawn (bag leaves before mulching grass)
— When the grass is so tall that you would have to cut off more than one-third of its height to bring it to the desired height
— When you’ve recently applied herbicides, pesticides, or other chemicals to the lawn

4. How do you take care of a mulching lawn mower?

You maintain a mulching lawn mower the same way you do any other mower. 

Basic lawn mower maintenance includes:

Clean out grass buildup from under the mower deck every few uses.
Sharpen the blade once or twice during the mowing season.
Winterize your mower by draining leftover gas or removing batteries before putting it away after the season.

How to tell if a mulching lawn mower is right for you

If you’re sick of grass collection bags getting in the way while you mow or large layers of thatch building up in your lawn from leaving full-size clippings in the yard, it might be time for a mulching mower. Use our top picks and buying guide to help you figure out which of the many models on the market is best for you. 

If, however, you decide you’d rather not mess with a mulching mower and your other yard work, hire one of Lawn Love’s local pros to mow and mulch your lawn for you. 

Lawn Love participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. Lawn Love may earn revenue from products promoted in this article.

Main Photo Credit: iStock photo with text overlay

Jordan Ardoin

Jordan Ardoin is a writer and indoor plant enthusiast hailing from Florida. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing her two cats around the house and trying to keep her houseplants alive.