It takes a lot more than merely watering and mowing your lawn to keep the grass looking healthy and green. Depending on the type of soil and your location, it might be difficult to properly care for the lawn if you don’t aerate it. Aeration is simply the process of creating tiny holes around the yard to allow water and nutrients to seep deep into the roots. To get the job finished without poking holes with a stick, a lawn aerator is the tool you will want to look at.
This tool creates holes using... either spikes or plugs/cores. Spikes push dirt aside and are typical on budget options. Plugs actually remove dirt out from the grass and are usually preferred for maximizing the amount of water and nutrients your lawn absorbs. Lawn aerators comes in a few different shapes like rollers, rakes, and even shoes to create the holes in the soil. The best choice is usually a personal preference, but if your yard is large, you should consider a roller to save time.
Take a look at these eight best lawn aerators to get a sense of your options.
Since lawn aerators come in all shapes and sizes, it can be difficult to pin down what the absolute best choice looks like. For the average lawn owner, however, simpler is better. Why hassle with a large piece of equipment when aerating your lawn can be as easy as putting on your shoes?
The Punchau Lawn Shoes takes the top spot for this simple approach to aerating your lawn. Providing two, stable platforms you can slip over your existing shoes, these heavy duty spiked sandals allow you to march... around the lawn with little set up. The twelve 2” spikes dig just deep enough to expose the roots of your grass to the water and nutrients it needs to grow strong and green.
If you have a larger yard to tackle, you need to start thinking on a larger scale. For big, heavy duty jobs, the Agri-Fab 45-0299 aerator maximizes the amount of area you can cover in one go. Pulled from a riding lawn mower, using this aerator is practically effortless once you have everything hooked up.
The ten inch, flat proof tires will keep the platform stable even while going over rough, debris-filled terrain. The aerator also works as a detacher which removes the layer of dead organic... material that build up throughout the yard.
A coring or plug lawn aerator actually removes dirt from the soil instead of just driving a spike through. While this can be more time consuming, the results are often better since the roots of your grass have a clear, direct access line to the surface above. The Yard Butler ID-6C makes it simple to get this quality of work done using a straightforward handle/rake design.
A comfortable dual handle grip and stable foot platform allow you to drive the aerator deep into the ground without harming... your arms or back. The main frame uses a durable, all steel construction that can resist the abuse of driving the tool into the soil. The construction is even solid enough to handle dried, almost rock-like soils common in desert or dry areas.
Spiked lawn aerators are the secret for quick and effective aeration. While the results usually don’t match coring or plug aerators, a good spike can still get the job done when time or money is limited. The Ames Steel Spike is one of the most simple tools to use for small to medium yards. A multi-spike array at the end digs deep with each push of the aerator.
Everything about this straightforward tool is meant to extend use and comfort. The stirrup handle distributes the load evenly in your... hand, keeping it and your back comfortable when using it over a long period of time. The one-piece design also maximizes the durability of the tool while making it small and convenient to store in the garage or shed.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
Shoe aerators can be a surprisingly good choice to maintain your lawn’s health. The GoPPa Lawn Shoes uses several long spikes attached to the solid platform base. Since your feet carry the heavy load while working, these shoes eliminate some of the common pains and discomforts people can experience while using handle or push-type aerators around the yard.
GoPPa designed these shoes with extendability in mind. In addition to a solid, durable construction, the shoes come with several extra parts... should one of the spikes or buckles break. The three straps make it easy to fit a variety of shoe sizes so you don’t have to worry about finding the perfect fit. A fourth strap is also included if you need extra stability when working tough soil.
Shoe and handheld aerators can be time-consuming and difficult to use if you have a large yard to aerate. Since towed aerators might be overkill for your needs, a better option is a pusher aerator like the Goplus Rolling aerator. Similar to a lawnmower, this type of aerator creates a grid of holes in your yard as you push it along in rows.
This option includes an 18" wide roller with a diameter of 6". The width covers a decent amount of area while remaining small enough to maneuver around... corners or tricky spots in your yard. The sturdy wheels can handle many different types of terrain while the steel spikes are solid enough to dig into most common types of soil.
A towed lawn aerator is the only logical choice to consider if your yard is large enough to need a riding lawn mower. Anything smaller will just make the whole process take longer with more effort on your part. The Brinly-Hardy Tow-Behind aerator is one of the most simple and efficient options you can buy provided you have the necessary hitch and riding mower to move the aerator around.
At 40" wide, this aerator covers a lot of ground with each pass. The spikes penetrate the soil up to three... inches. Each individual spike is actually a heat-treated plugging spoon to maximize the size of each hole so more water and nutrients can be absorbed by the grass.
While electric lawn aerators aren’t as common as other power yard tools, the VonHaus two-in-one aerator stands out as an excellent option if you need to make the work go quickly. Using a powerful 12 amp electric motor, this aerator also detaches at the same time so you can clear debris/dead matter and poke holes into the soil all at once.
The aerator uses a reliable corded design to eliminate the need for gas or recharging batteries as you work. The included collection box will keep collected... debris contained while detaching. With four adjustable working depths, you can actually control how deep each spike digs for different types of grasses and soils.
At The Spruce, our Expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn more about our review process.