To protect your lawn mower from the elements in long term or winter storage: cover it with a water resistant, breathable lawn mower cover.
Last week we spent 4 hours researching the best lawn mower covers and then bought and tested the top 5 over 2 weeks.
After testing each cover we feel confident recommending the 3 best lawn mower covers below:
3 Best Lawn Mower Covers
Match your lawn mower to the best cover:
Best Cover for Your Walk-behind Mower (Gas or Electric)
Tough Cover Lawn Mower (600D Polyester)
The best push mower cover is this one by Tough Cover. It stood out because when it comes to covers the most annoying thing is one too tight, too snug that you are constantly fighting with it to fit around your lawn mower.
This one does not have that problem because it is oversized with almost 8 feet in length. It will suit all residential mowers but may not work great if you have a 30″ deck Toro or another commercial style lawn mower.
So what type of cover is it?
- Tough Cover has designed this cover with 600D type polyester. This is like the material your outdoor backpack is made of. It is thick and heavy. It is not a thin nylon like a cheap tent or sleeping bag case.
- The 600D refers to the weight of the yarn used to make the cover. 600D is almost 50% heavier than 420D (another popular nylon used for covers and backpacks).
- The cover will protect your lawn mower from: UV rays if stored outside, from debris if stored alongside woodworking equipment, from unwanted rodents chewing on cables and from rain if stored outside (as long as no rain is pooling).
2 small downsides:
- This cover is water-resistant which is better than water repelling but not 100% water proof. A water-resistant rating means water can not get through unless you have low point with water pooling from heavy rain. To get the full waterproof rating a cover would need a layer of plastic polyethylene coating which stops it being breathable.
- We love how big this cover is making it easy to get around your lawn mower. However, some may think it is not snug enough. If left outdoors in the wind it may need additional tie down.
All-in-all the Tough Cover push mower cover is best-in-class because it is made of the highest quality material 600D nylon and is a good size fit for many common residential lawn mowers.
Other covers were extremely hard to get entirely over the lawn mower and were made from a lighter, more cheap feeling material.
If you value ease of use and durability of cover this is your best option.
Best Cover for Your Lawn Tractor
The best cover for lawn tractors is this Eventronic brand 600D polyester cover.
It gives you the option to buy the 210D or 420D polyester model for cheaper but we recommend the thicker, more durable 600D option.
Given the varying sizes of lawn tractors you will need to buy based on your mower deck size. This one is suitable for models up to 54″ deck width.
So what makes this cover best?
- This is a fully 100% waterproof cover with a polyurethane interior coating, double stitched seams and air vents to prevent moisture build-up.
- We felt it was important to recommend a waterproof cover for riding mowers because they are bigger and more likely to be stored outside in the elements.
- The bottom of the cover has an elastic hem to ensure a snug fit around the tires of your garden tractor. This is great for outdoor storage when it gets windy and won’t blow up exposing the lawn mower.
A small complaint:
- Some extra clips or tie downs at each end of the cover would be better for ensuring it doesn’t fly off the mower in heavy wind conditions. Also the elastic is bound to lose spring over time requiring a rope or straps to properly tie down the cover.
If you’re worrying if this cover is the right fit for lawn mower then just know it has free returns. If it doesn’t fit just return it free of charge and get the next size up or down.
Best Cover for Your Zero Turn
Tough Cover Premium (600D Polyester)
The best zero turn riding mower cover is the Tough Cover brand.
It is the same brand as the recommended push mower cover (above) except this one comes with some extra benefits:
- This one is fully waterproof with an internal poly coating.
- This one has straps so you can properly tie down the cover to the riding mower. Permanently. Wind is no issue. In fact, you could load it into your trailer, cover it and tie it down with the cover tie downs and drive it to your destination with no issues.
There’s not much more to be said.
You can return the cover free of charge (and free return shipping) if it doesn’t fit or you are not happy with it.
These covers are affordable and worth the price to protect your mower.
Lawn Mower Cover Tips & Tricks
Should You Bother Covering Your Lawn Mower?
Yes it makes sense to cover your lawn mower after each use and for long periods of storage.
It only takes 20 seconds…
…You cover your outdoor grill, don’t you?
The simple reason to cover your lawn mower is to protect it from dust, debris, small animals/rodents, water ingress and UV (if stored outside).
- Electric motors: Dust can get into electric motor housing and cause overheating. Dust can interfere with the current supply.
- Small gas engines: Dust can get into air filter. Can get into other engine parts and increase wear during use.
- Debris – Same as dust debris can get into the moving components and cause increased friction and wear.
- Rats – Rats love getting into lawn mowers and eating the grass clippings and spark plug wire. Make sure to clean your mower before storing for long periods under a cover.
- Water – Water and steel like to make rust. Be sure to prevent this by covering your lawn mower when not stored inside.
- UV – Sun damage is real and will cause parts on the mower to wear quicker. A UV protection cover will stop premature UV damage.
When to cover?
The ease of covering makes it something to do after each use.
- After each use – Why not cover after each use since it only takes 30 seconds? Be sure to clean the deck of all grass clippings (because those can cause moisture buildup when covered) and make sure the engine has cooled down before covering for storage.
- Winter storage – For long term storage be sure to follow our lawn mower winterization tips and then cover and store it. Be sure to check on the cover on a regular basis to make sure it is in good shape and still securely fit down over your mower.
- Leaving outdoors – If leaving fully exposed outdoors be sure to get the recommended 600D polyester cover for maximum protection.
How to cover you lawn mower:
- Park your mower out of the way in your side yard or shed or garage.
- Take the lawn mower cover out of its storage bag and unroll it.
- Start by placing the cover over the high end of the mower. If it is a push mower start at the handle end. If it is a zero turn start at the roll cage or seat end.
- Pull the cover from the high end to the low end.
- Pull down the elastic over the wheels of the lawn mower.
- Go to the back side and pull it down over all the wheels.
- If the cover has a strap then pull the strap tight and secure the cover down.
Can You Leave The Mower Outside if You Cover it?
Yes (with the proper precautions).
If you are storing over the winter and you live in upstate New York you will need to perform a proper winterization of the lawn mower if you want any chance of it starting come spring.
Compared to a BBQ grill your lawn mower obviously has more moving parts. You will want to empty the fuel or add stabilizer. You will want to change the oil to one suitable for your expected winter temperatures. You will want to ensure the deck is clear of grass clipping that have moisture to rust the mower deck.
If I Store My Lawn Mower in My Garage Do I Need To Cover it?
A warm garage connected to your home is the best place to store your lawn mower for long periods. It makes it easy to keep an eye on and it is out of the weather.
So do you still need to cover it?
- Why wouldn’t you? A cover is cheap and easy and protects the mower from dust and debris.
Can I Store My Battery Lawn Mower Outside if I Cover it?
Yes, but make sure you do not leave the batteries in over winter. Store the batteries inside your house or somewhere room temperature.
- If you don’t want to worry about using a lawn mower cover or storing or winterizing then you can rent a lawn mower instead.
- The whole point of a lawn mower cover is to protect your lawn mower so it work proper the next time you need it. Another way to ensure your mower works perfect for years to come is to buy the best most durable lawn mower in the first place.
- For more lawn mowing tips check out our HOW TO LIBRARY.