Best Lawn Aerator for a Healthy and Beautiful Lawn - Backyard Boss
We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.

Best Lawn Aerator for a Healthy and Beautiful Lawn

Your first step in gardening should always be to make sure your soil is healthy. Excessive thatching, puddling, and dry patches are all signs that your soil needs some TLC and specifically, aeration.

Aerating your soil helps it absorb key nutrients better for much more vibrant grass and plant growth. All it takes is a little effort, commitment, and the right tools, and you’ll have the best lawn on the block! To help you out, read on for some lawn aerator recommendations.

Backyard Boss Top 5 Best Lawn Aerators in 2021

Covington Liquid Aerator - Best Lawn Aerator for a Healthy and Beautiful LawnCovington Liquid Aerator
  • Type: Liquid
  • Weight: 2.5 Pounds
  • Warranty: 90 Days Money-Back
Check The Price!
Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator - Best Lawn Aerator for a Healthy and Beautiful LawnYard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator
  • Type: Manual
  • Weight: 3.72 Pounds
  • Warranty: Limited
Check The Price!
VonHaus Corded Electric 2-in-1 Lawn Dethatcher and Aerator - Best Lawn Aerator for a Healthy and Beautiful LawnVonHaus Corded Electric 2-in-1 Lawn Dethatcher and Aerator
  • Type: Electric
  • Weight: 32.3 Pounds
  • Warranty: 1 Year (Extendable)
Check The Price!
Agri-Fab Tow Plug Aerator - Best Lawn Aerator for a Healthy and Beautiful LawnAgri-Fab Tow Plug Aerator
  • Type: Tow Plug
  • Weight: 92.5 Pounds
  • Warranty: 3 Years Limited
Check The Price!
AMES 4-Spike Lawn Aerator with Stirrup Handle - Best Lawn Aerator for a Healthy and Beautiful LawnAMES 4-Spike Lawn Aerator with Stirrup Handle
  • Type: Manual
  • Weight: 2 Pounds
  • Warranty: 15 Years
Check The Price!

Why You Can Trust Us

While it’s not necessary to aerate your lawn every year if the grass is healthy, it’s recommended if your lawn’s soil quality is poor and/or your lawn continues to be exposed to heavy equipment and foot traffic. We aerated our lawn because it had clay-like heavy and compacted soil that required aeration to encourage healthy grass growth. To ease your mind, you can be confident that the aerators we’ve included are truly the cream of the crop.

We’ve conducted thorough research to find five of the best lawn aerators despite the incredible market saturation. Not only have we looked into product quality, but we’ve also relied on our personal experiences and listened closely to what the consumers have to say about these tools. To give you the clearest picture of how each item works, we also made sure to mention all their strengths and weaknesses for full transparency. Although nothing is perfect, one of these might be perfect for you.

Best Liquid Lawn Aerator

Covington Liquid Aerator
    This is a low-effort aerator with long-term effects for optimum soil health.



Why We Like It: While this is a change from the standard lawn aerator, it’s no less effective. This OMRI listed concentrate has an innovative formula packed with enzymes, essential nutrients, humic and amino acids, microbes, carbohydrates, and minerals that work together to boost soil health. All anyone needs to do is mix the correct water to formula ratio before saturating the lawn. This penetrates deep below ground and is fantastic for most unhealthy soil types.

Who Should Buy It: This is great for those with out-of-shape lawns that don’t have the time or skill for traditional aeration.

Best Manual Lawn Aerator

Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator
    Made with a simple design that’s long-lasting, easy to use, and efficient for small lawns.



Why We Like It: First off is a manual coring aerator that can also de-thatch your yard. It’s built with two 3.5” hollow tines that dig holes out from the soil to create air, water, and fertilizer tunnels. This handheld lawn aerator is 37” tall with cushioned handles and a sturdy foot bar to help you work efficiently and comfortably. This is sure to last a long time with you, especially since it’s built with strong steel.

Who Should Buy It: This is great for those who plan to work on their garden in small sections.

Best Electric Lawn Aerator

VonHaus Corded Electric 2-in-1 Lawn Dethatcher and Aerator
    Efficient multi-functional gardening tool for easy lawn maintenance.



Why We Like It: This is an electric dethatching and aerating tool that helps you efficiently tend to your yard. It comes with two removable drums, one with sprung prongs to dethatch and another with slicing blades to scarify and aerate the ground. These can be attached to the 15” wide motor at five different operational heights, which is great for year-round use. It also has a 45L dethatcher collection box and a long cord, though you might still need an extension wire to use it.

Who Should Buy It: This is great for those with a prominent thatching problem in their mid-sized gardens.

Best Pull-Behind Lawn Aerator

Agri-Fab Tow Plug Aerator
    This is great for aerating large spaces and is compatible with very dry, compact soil.



Why We Like It: This heavy-duty aerator is fantastic for dealing with large yards. It’s built with 32 self-sharpening galvanized knives with a plug design attached to three independently rotating sections for optimum coverage. It’s built with two flat-free tires, a universal hitch compatible with any tractor, a transport handle for raising and lowering it as needed, and a 48” wide steel deck that can carry up to 175 lbs for deeper soil penetration.

Who Should Buy It: Anyone with a tractor will love driving it with this aerator attached, keeping their garden healthy.

Best Spike Lawn Aerator

AMES 4-Spike Lawn Aerator with Stirrup Handle
    This is great for targeting specific areas that need a little more aeration than the rest of the lawn.



Why We Like It: This handheld aerator is 36” tall and built with a stirrup handle, a sturdy foot bar, and four 3” spikes in a simple design for easy usage. It’s made with strong steel and has durable spikes that effortlessly pierce through hard and compacted soil. It’s long-lasting and can be used right out of the box before easily being stored.

Who Should Buy It: Anyone with rough garden patches or are tending to flower and vegetable beds in their yard would fall in love with this.

What is a Lawn Aerator Used For?

For lawns to be healthy and vibrant, their soil needs a healthy amount of nutrients from air and water. With a well-maintained lawn, grass will be greener on your side. As the name implies, lawn aerators loosens compacted and dry soil material. This process helps it absorb important nutrients much better, leading to a livelier lawn.

In general, aerators are used to combat any hardened soil material by digging holes into the ground and separating them for air, water, fertilizer, and other key elements to penetrate deeper. That said, countless innovations have come in that tackle this in a different manner.

Who Should Aerate Their Lawns?

People underestimate how easy it is to turn healthy and thriving greenery into compacted soil, often believing their gardens are healthy enough to skip this step. Luckily, signs of unhealthy soil are easy to spot. Ask yourself— does your lawn have puddles, bald spots, excessive thatches, or regularly experience foot and machine traffic?

If you’ve answered yes to any of those, you need an aerator. Even if you didn’t say yes, aeration is a good gardening practice that should be done at least once a year to keep your yard happy.

Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator Manual Lawn Aerator

What to Consider When Picking a Lawn Aerator?

It’s time to figure out how to choose one. Before anything, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the four basic lawn aerator types.

Types of Lawn Aerators

Spike aerators are built with long tines that poke holes into the ground. These can be in the form of handheld tools, shoes, and even rotating motors. While they’re the easiest to use, it’s not the best for serious soil compactions since it could worsen its condition through the spikes.

Plug aerators, also known as coring aerators, look similar to spike aerators but use hollow tines instead. When these pierce the soil, the tines pull out soil plugs and create bigger holes for air, water, and nutrients to travel through. Although these are incredibly effective, the hollow core makes it incompatible with dry, hard ground.

Slicing aerators can also work as a dethatcher and are usually built with rotating sharp knives that cut deep lines into the ground. These are great for quick surface work but aren’t recommended if soil compaction runs deep.

Liquid aerators are good for deep nutrient penetration and are good for long-term usage and maintenance. Effects take longer to show but the nutrition runs much deeper compared to other aerator types. It’s great for large yards and heavily compacted soil but you’ll need much more patience.

You’ll also need to consider the time and effort you can dedicate to your yard, the size you’ll be working on, and the different soil and garden problems you’ll be tackling.

Time and Effort

Aeration can be time-consuming, especially if your lawn aerator only covers small areas. Manual aerators are known to require more time and effort from the gardener while electric and liquid aerators work faster and more efficiently.

Yard Size

The size of land you’ll be working on is another huge factor. If you have a large lawn, liquid and electric aerators would be more efficient. If you plan to work on small patches, manual aerators should be more helpful.

Issues to Tackle

You should also know the general condition of your lawn, including the kind of soil it has, the problems present, and your future plans for it. Dry patches, compacted soil, or thick thatches can be dealt with easier if you choose an aerator that can address it too.

Agri-Fab Tow Plug Lawn Aerator

How We Picked

We went through a strict process to help us form an unbiased conclusion on all products encountered to complete this list. Our first step was researching the vast array of lawn aerators on the market. We looked into the materials used, the different applications, and what experts had to say about them.

We then shortlisted products based on what real consumers of each item had to say in their reviews, comments, and recommendations. We also considered the skill level needed to use them and stuck to those good for all skill levels. In the end, we finalized our top five through personal testing and first-hand experience of each item. This strict process makes us confident that whatever you end up choosing from this list will serve you well.

Our Top Pick of the Best Lawn Aerator

It wasn’t easy to choose but after careful thought, our favorite from the five lawn aerators has to be the Covington Liquid Aerator. It’s hard to beat the low-effort application and long-term benefits this product has for your yard. Not only does it work residentially, but it’s also trusted by commercial spaces.

This is an ingenious gardening innovation that helps save so much time and effort, allowing home gardeners to work on other areas of their life without sacrificing their garden’s health. That said, finding the correct ratio can be tricky and it doesn’t show immediate effects. Even so, we’re still confident that you can find an aerator on this list that’s perfect for you.