Best Lawn Aerators: Why You Need One For Your Garden
Last updated:January 1, 2022
Having a picture perfect lawn is no easy feat as there are lots of things that go on in the background that help the grass get so luscious.
Using a yard aerator is one of them, but many people don’t realize the value they hold or what to even look for if they’re going to start using one.
What does a lawn aerator do? A lawn aerator pokes holes in the ground, allowing the top layer of soil to loosen, and making it easier for nutrients, water, and air to get into.
There are a few different types including shoes, plugs, and manual spike aerators, so it all depends on what you and your lawn need.
A lawn aerator can be the missing ingredient to achieving the perfect patch of grass, as long as you choose the right one.
To help you out, we’ve compiled some lawn aerator reviews of our hand picked favorites so you know which ones are worth investing in.
Our Picks for the Best Lawn Aerators
Lawn aerators come in all shapes and sizes, including classic styles, shoes, and plugs, each offering pros and cons to consider.
Our carefully selected favorites cover every type, budget, and purpose, so you can walk away with an aerator to achieve the lusciously green lawn of your dreams.
Best Classic Lawn Aerator
The traditional method of using a manual aerator is still considered the best and if you have a small to medium-sized yard, it’s the way to go.
This category of aerators is easy to use and can be operated by hand, but require a bit of extra muscle to get deep into the ground.
Giading Hand Tiller
The hand tiller measures 15.75 x 6.89 x 38.98 inches and weighs just under 5lbs, made of durable steel that has been shaped like a gardening claw and with a wider and longer design than most on the market.
Giading has created our favorite lawn aerator with their Heigh Adjustable Hand Tiller.
This tiller features a longer and wider setting of curved tines with some of the sharpest points on the market, meaning you only have to put in a small amount of effort to get it into the ground.
The tiller stabs into the soil, twists, and then pulls, improving the airflow of your grass and ensuring it gets all of the nutrients possible.
For the price, the quality of this aerator from Giading is second to none, and it’s made with durable steel that will stand the test of time.
However, you do need to commit to half an hour of effort assembling it when it arrives. Once it’s set up and ready to go, you can do a quick hand adjustment to change the height between 35 inches and 39 inches, and this is possible even while you’re out in the garden.
The Giading Hand Tiller is ideal for smaller yards and it’s comfortable to use for hours, thanks to the padded longer handle and adjustable height.
With a weight of 4.58lbs, you don’t have to try very hard to get the tines into the ground, but the results will be obvious.
If you’re after an affordable and well-made lawn aerator and don’t mind putting in some effort, this Hand Tiller from Giading is our favorite find.
- Materials: Steel
- Type: Hand tiller
- Weight: 4.58lbs
Gardzen Spike Aerator
The aerator weighs a hefty 3.97lbs and measures 14.69 x 11.93 x 2.48 inches, and it includes a socket wrench to help you get it assembled.
For the simplest solution to lawn aeration, the Gardzen Spike Aerator is the way to go.
This device features four sharp spikes that you penetrate directly into the lawn to aerate the soil underneath so even beginners will know how to wield it.
Better still, aerators with this spiked design are regarded as one of the safest approaches you can take if you still want to protect your grass, so it’s vital in keeping your lawn looking its best.
The Gardzen Spike Aerator is made of heavy duty steel and weighs 3.97lbs, so it’s easy enough to pierce into the ground with minimal effort.
However, because you can’t adjust the height of it, taller people might find it uncomfortable to use for hours on end as they’ll have to bend over, so choosing an adjustable aerator might be best.
You can feel as soon as you assemble this aerator how well made it is and when you consider the cost, it’s exceptional value.
Previous customers recommend watering the grass before you aerate as the dry soil can become clogged in the core and has to be picked out, so it’s a job that requires some preparation to get it right.
Overall though, the Gardzen Spike Aerator is a simple and strong option for aerating your lawn, and a perfect choice for beginners too.
- Materials: Steel
- Type: Spike
- Weight: 3.97lbs
Best Lawn Aerator Shoes
One of the most enjoyable ways to aerate your lawn is with a pair of aerator shoes, designed with spikes on their soles for easy work.
If your idea of gardening is making it as simple as possible, and with minimal backache, a pair of lawn aerator shoes is the best approach.
Leweio Lawn Aerator Shoes
Each shoe features 13 2.2-inch stainless steel nails on the sole and they come with a Velcro and lace design that keeps the metal sole secured to your feet, and an overall weight of 2.64lbs for both shoes.
Leweio has found a way to make gardening fun with their Lawn Aerator Shoes.
The spiked metal base attaches to your regular gardening shoes so you can stomp your way around the yard and create holes in the soil, benefiting your plants, and saving your back from the usual pain that comes with this job.
There are 13 stainless steel nails found on the sole of each shoe, and with each nail measuring 2.2 inches in length and being made with corrosion-free materials.
Although they’re durable, customers recommend watering the lawn first and avoiding any large rocks and roots, otherwise the potential to bend the spikes is high, making your new shoes useless.
Leweio does sell replacement spikes should this happen though, which is good for your peace of mind.
Securing these Lawn Aerator Shoes is easy as well, and you can double the protection against them sliding off thanks to the Velcro and lace closures.
The shoes are designed as a one size fits all approach so they can be used by everyone, and together they weigh 2.64lbs so they’re easy enough to wear.
If you want to take the simpler approach to lawn aeration and have always wondered what spiked shoes felt like, Leweio is the entry level pair you need to try.
- Weight: 2.64lbs
- Materials: Stainless steel, aluminum alloy
- Number of spikes: 13
Best Plug Aerator
A plug aerator is used for a large scale approach and assists with pulling plugs or cores from the soil.
If you need something more serious for removing plugs of soil and want the best walk behind aerator to do it, we’ve found the only one worth bothering with.
Agri-Fab Plug Aerator
This groomer is capable of holding up to 140lbs and features 32 aerator knives separated into three sections, meaning it covers more ground in less time and self sharpens for consistent performance.
The Agri-Fab Plug Aerator is a piece of serious machinery designed for large lawns and jobs where major soil plugs are needed.
The knives on this aerator are capable of pulling three-inch plugs out which means your lawn will be healthier and more nutrient-rich than ever before, and without you ever having to break a sweat.
This pull behind aerator attaches to the back of your tractor using a universal hitch, so it works on all shapes and sizes.
As you pull, the 48 inches of 32 kinves get to work in the soil and because they’re self sharpening there’s very little ongoing maintenance required from you.
There were some issues, like the transport handle needing to be adjusted at times and a pretty length assembly process, but for the efficiency of the aerator it’s worth the effort.
As with any Agri-Fab product, this pull behind aerator is covered with a three year limited warranty, so you can tell right away just how well made it is. If you want a serious solution for aeration, the Agri-Fab 48” Plug Aerator is the only way to go.
- Dimensions: 35 x 60 x 36 inches
- Weight: 92.5lbs
- Depth: 3 inches.
- Number of Knives: 32
Best Push Aerator
A push aerator lets you walk behind it and push the spikes into the ground on a roller, so it’s a minimal effort way to improve your lawn’s health.
If this sounds like the approach you want to take, we’ve got the best push aerator on the market to consider.
GoPlus Rolling Lawn Aerator
Made with durable steel for the spikes and hard plastic on the wheel, it’s a lightweight alternative to heavier models on the market.
If you want to make light work of your gardening, a push aerator like the GoPlus is one of our favorite finds.
Measuring 50 inches in length and with a massive 18 inch rolling width, you’ll be able to easily cover a small to medium sized lawn and aerate the property, making your grass healthier than ever.
The overall weight of the aerator is under 8lbs but because it’s being rolled, you’ll hardly break a sweat.
The GoPlus Rolling Lawn Aerator takes less than half an hour to assemble and comes with all of the tools and a detailed guide to get the job done.
Each spike measures around one inch in height and should only be used on recently watered soil to avoid damage, and with the softened ground you’ll see how easy it is to roll your way to aeration.
On the downside, the plastic wheels and other small parts can make this feel a little flimsy, even if the spikes are made of steel.
The GoPlus Rolling Lawn Aerator is an effective and easy way to improve your lawn and with a lot less strain than traditional aerators require, so consider adding it to your gardening toolkit.
- Dimensions: 18 x 9 x 50 inches
- Weight: 7.98lbs
- Depth: 1 inch
- Number of Knives: NA
Lawn Aerator FAQs
A lawn aerator review can only take you so far on the journey to finding the perfect device, so learning all you can about the aerator process is the next logical step.
To ensure you know the basics, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions about lawn aerators that’ll ensure you choose the right fit.
Do You Really Need To Aerate Your Lawn?
While it’s not necessary to aerate your lawn for the grass to grow, you will find it grows more healthily and with better access to nutrients when you do.
Serious gardeners and those who take their lawn presentation seriously would be wise to invest in an aerator given the potential results.
What Is The Best Way To Aerate Your Lawn?
The best method for aerating your lawn will depend on the size of the lawn and how much effort the gardener is willing to put into the process.
Smaller yards can be done manually using methods like spiked shoes and larger areas could use a walk behind aerator to get the job done.
What Type Of Aerator Do You Need For A Small Lawn?
Small lawns and yards have the benefit of working with most types of aerators so it’s up to the gardener to decide what they prefer.
With smaller spaces, you can use manual aerators like spiked shoes and plugs to create the holes or larger walk behind devices that get the job done quickly.
Should I Aerate Or Dethatch First?
Experts recommend dethatching first, if required, as this removes any excess debris and helps with root health.
From there, you should aerate immediately after to provide better airflow to the soil underneath and give the grass access to more nutrients, improving its health as well.
Aerate Your Way to Awesome Grass
Aerating your lawn can deliver amazing results and make it easier for your grass and soil to get the nutrients it needs to flourish.
Using any of our recommendations for aerators will ensure you have one suited to your lawn and personal gardening style, so take the first step towards bettering your garden.