Best Spike Aerator and How To Aerate Your Lawn (2022)

Keeping your lawn long, lush, and luxurious can take a lot of maintenance, but when they look out at that expanse of green, most gardeners will feel a sense of satisfaction.

Not only does your grass need watering, trimming, and the occasional fertilizing, but you can also prevent bare patches by adding aeration into your landscaping routine. Aerating your lawn involves punching little holes into the sod, which allows the ground underneath to breathe and avoid compaction.

This is especially important for lawns that have clay-based soils, as becoming compacted is very common and will prevent water or fertilizer from being completely absorbed and reaching the turf’s roots.

This can lead to poor grass growth, damage to the turf, and overall bad lawn health. And if your yard also has a lot of thatch covering the grass, it only intensifies the issue, as that mix of dead leaves and grass clippings tends to smother the sod and grass.

However, aeration is a great solution to this issue. By punching holes into the sod, aeration solves compaction and absorption problems by creating space for any fertilizer, water, and other nutrients to get to the roots.

Best Spike Aerators

So, for any gardener, having a trusty aerator is essential to keeping your lawn healthy and well-fed. The next step is choosing what kind of spike aerator will work best for your needs and landscape considerations.


  • 35-pound weight tray capacity
  • Easy to use, walk-behind design
  • Good for use before overseeding
  • Aerates your lawn and collects debris
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • Will not bend or break during use
  • Easily adjustable to any size of shoe
  • Made with corrosion-resistant alloy
  • Pre-assembled to save time and effort

But first, how do you aerate your lawn properly? If you do a cursory search for aeration tools, you will be met with a plethora of options, making it hard to choose. From aerators that you push across the lawn to attachments that you strap onto your shoes, there are many ways to aerate your yard.

To help you decide, we have rounded up the best spike aerators on the market for your convenience. Read on for a variety of aerators that will be perfect for all types of lawns, and let us help you achieve the bright green and healthy yard that you’ve always wanted.

1. Ergomind Replacement Spikes for Lawn Aerator Shoes — Top Pick

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Style: Spike aerator attachments for shoes

Application: Strap onto footwear

Size: Universal size

Treatment Area: Reusable for the entire lawn

Remove the worry of bending or breaking your aerator spikes with these shoe attachments. Made of top-quality stainless steel, you can trust Ergomind’s lawn aerator shoe spikes to last for many uses and resist damage from dirt-bound stones or hard clay.

Acidic soil or corrosive substances will also not affect your shoe spike aerators, as they are coated with a protective substance that also resists rusting. And with the easy-attach method, you can easily strap on your aerator shoes and go for a walk in the park—or at least, on your lawn!


  • Aerates your lawn and collects debris
  • Rust-proof and resistant to corrosive products or acidic soil
  • Premium stainless steel composition
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • Will not bend or break during use
  • Adjustable attachments and universal sizing for both women’s and men’s shoes


  • Spikes can get stuck in some kinds of clay soil
  • Plastic attachments can feel flimsy
  • Not enough straps to attach securely to every type of shoe

2. Agri-Fab Push Spike Aerator — Runner Up

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Style: Wheeled spike aerator

Application: Manual, walk-behind machine

Size: 16 inches wide; 5 wheels with 7-inch aeration spikes

Treatment Area: Reusable for the entire lawn

A great option for your walk-behind spike aerator needs, this wheeled machine is great for all types of lawns. With handy push-and-go operation, each spike is designed to sink to an ideal depth of 2.5 inches to expose your grass to necessary air, water, fertilizer, and nutrients.

You can rely on the Agri-Fab Push Spike Aerator for loosening soil and refreshing the sod after winter, during spring growth, and for fall maintenance. By using this year-round spike aerator, you can achieve a professionally groomed lawn.

And for harder-to-reach areas of your yard, the 16-inch aerator width is perfect for getting into the corners. Add a ballast weight to the 35-pound capacity tray to alter puncture depths and fully customize your lawn care.


  • Durable construction with galvanized steel
  • Perfect spike length for aeration depth
  • 35-pound weight tray capacity
  • Easy to use, walk-behind design
  • Good for use before overseeding


  • Some assembly required
  • Added weight for deeper pressure makes it harder to push
  • Some users find the handle height dimensions problematic

3. Leweio Lawn Aerator Shoes — Great User Reviews

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Style: Spike aerator attachments for shoes

Application: Strap onto footwear

Size: Adjustable straps with 11.8-inch long foot pads

Treatment Area: Reusable for the entire lawn

For lawns that require aerating, strap on easy-to-use and durable Leweio Lawn Aerator Shoes and avoid renting any expensive aeration equipment. With the shoe attachments coming pre-assembled and ready for use, you can save time and effort on lawn care.

With heavy-duty metal alloy being used to make each spike and the soles of the shoes, these footwear spike aerators are sturdy and durable. And, with the completely adjustable design of the leather velcro, laces, and elastic ankle strap, you can attach these spike aerators to virtually any shoe size, be they men’s or women’s.


  • Easily adjustable to any size of shoe
  • Made with corrosion-resistant alloy
  • Heavy-duty metal composition for long-lasting use
  • Pre-assembled to save time and effort
  • Replacement spike sets are available
  • 24/7 customer service online assistance


  • 2.2-inch spike length can be a bit short for some lawn aeration depths
  • Some shoes cannot be easily strapped to spike attachments
  • Aluminum build can be quite heavy after long uses

4. Walensee Lawn Spike Aerator — Best Portability

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Style: T-handle aerating tool

Application: Manual, hand-and-foot equipment

Size: 35.5 inches tall with 3.5-inch aeration spikes

Treatment Area: Reusable for the entire lawn

If you are looking for a handy, hardy spike aerator for all types of yards, this could be the one for you. Designed with a lightweight yet heavy-duty alloy composition, this manual spike aerator weighs about 3.5 pounds and is easily portable.

With four spikes that feature integrated steel tube designs, the Walensee Lawn Spike Aerator will easily dig into your compacted soil and remove clay-based matter and thatch alike, giving your grass the necessary space to breathe and absorb. This unit has comfort grips and thickened steel that are great for repeated seasonal use.


  • T-handle design with foot bar leverage for high levels of control
  • Lightweight but sturdy material for easy portability
  • Comes with a two-year quality assurance guarantee
  • Leverage control allows variance in aeration spike depth


  • Fully manual tool with no movement aids
  • Steel tube spike design tends to clog
  • Aeration plugs are not self-extracting

Spike Aerator shoes


Now that we have covered some of the best spike aerators on the market, it’s time to address some of the most common questions and concerns that go hand-in-hand with the idea of aeration. Read on for all the dirt on de-compacting your soil with spike aerators!

What Is A Spike Aerator Used For?

Gardeners use spike aerators to alleviate compacted soil and help your lawn absorb water, fertilizer, and other nutrients fully.

Spike aeration punctures small holes into the sod, creating space in compacted earth, particularly clay-based soils, to allow room for absorption and direct root access to nutrients. This form of aeration promotes healthy sod and root systems, and above all, a healthy lawn.

By using spike aeration, you also disrupt the coverage of any thatch that has spread across your lawn, which can make it difficult for the grass to get the full benefits of watering and sunlight.

Plus, by puncturing holes directly into the sod with spike aeration, you can avoid the clods of dirt created by the core aeration method, and as such, have less to clean up afterward!

How Deep Should My Aerator Be?

The depth of aeration holes depends on the lawn itself, but there are a few general guidelines that you can follow when using a spike aerator. The ideal depth for aeration is between 2 – 3 inches, or just enough to aerate through the layers of thatch and soil compaction.

To break it down, you should account for half an inch of depth for thatch, 2 inches for the soil compaction itself, and half an inch more to create room for root growth. The typical home lawn does not suffer from massive amounts of compaction, so aeration doesn’t have to be too deep.

What Month Should I Aerate My Lawn?

The best month for aerating your lawn depends on the type of grass you have in your yard, but most aeration should be done in the spring or the fall.

Because aeration promotes better grass growth, it’s best to be done just before your grass is expected to have a heightened growing period, such as overseeding or using an easy patch grass seed to supplement it. And this timing depends on what kind of grass you have as well.

For cool-season grasses, aerate during its growth in mid-spring and mid-fall.

If you have warm-season grasses, you should aerate during warm temperatures, primarily between late spring and early autumn.

Should I Mow Before I Aerate?

Yes, you should mow your lawn before you aerate it. It is a good idea to mow the grass thoroughly before using a spike aerator on your sod, as you will be able to get the tool as deep into the thatch and compacted soil as it needs to go, without dealing with excessive grass length.

Most experts recommend that you set your lawnmower settings quite low for the pre-aeration mow—around 1.5 – 2 inches above the ground. Just ensure the setting is not low enough for the mower to harm the crown of the grass, as that will hinder its healthy growth after aeration.

How Do I Know If My Lawn Needs Aeration?

There are a variety of signs that will let you know that your lawn needs aeration, but the following are a few of the most common ones.

Your lawn needs aeration if you suspect soil compaction, shown by water pooling or the grass appearing patchy and dry. Additionally, if a thick layer of thatch is present, aeration is likely needed.

The rest of your yard will also give you clues for when it’s time to aerate the lawn. If you notice difficulty digging in the garden dirt or by walkways, it’s another sign of soil compaction. Or, if your trees are beginning to have poor health, clay-based soil might be present in the yard that doesn’t allow them to access water properly, and you should aerate.

Gardener’s Guide: How To Aerate Your Lawn

Products have been covered and questions have been answered, but how exactly do you aerate your lawn again? The process is quite simple once you have the proper tools and methods, so here is a quick gardener’s guide to aerating a yard.

How To Aerate Your Lawn

What Kind Of Aerator?

Gardeners can choose between spike aerators and plug aerators, but the main difference lies in the compaction of your soil. Most homes and gardens only have light soil compaction to deal with, caused by foot traffic and general daily use. In these cases, a spike aerator is perfect for helping with residential lawns, and is likely to be what you need for your situation.

Plug aerators meanwhile are good for more high-traffic, commercial landscapes that suffer major soil compaction, caused by mass amounts of people or even vehicles. Areas such as golf courses or grassy common courtyards will benefit from the plug extraction method.

When To Aerate?

Pull out the spike aerator during the spring or fall for best results. However, this also depends on the type of grass that makes up your yard. The following specifications will help you determine when to aerate your lawn, based on the yard’s composition.

  • If Your Lawn Has Cool-Season Grasses—Aerate your yard during the spring or mid-fall months for grasses that include fescue types, Kentucky bluegrass, and ryegrasses.
  • If Your Lawn Has Warm-Season Grasses—Aerate your yard between late-spring and early fall for grasses like Bermuda grass, buffalo grass, St. Augustine grass, and zoysia grass.

Another key consideration for when to aerate your lawn is grass growth periods. When aerating in the spring, make sure a few mows have been completed first. All risk of frost should also have passed by the time you aerate. For fall, ensure you aerate early enough to allow the grass to recover before it becomes dormant for the winter season.

What To Do Before Aerating?

Make sure to mow the lawn and water it deeply before aerating. Not only will shorter grass help you determine proper aeration spike depth, but you will find it easier to puncture the soil if it is moist. Set your mower to about 1.5 – 2 inches above the ground and water the yard about two days before aeration so that the dirt is not too soggy.

Additionally, mark any in-ground sprinkler heads, pipes, or cables that might be problematic to aerating and could be harmed by the recommended depth of 2 – 3 inches below the surface.

How Do You Aerate?

The aeration process is fairly straightforward, but can be time-consuming depending on the size of your yard.

With your spike aerator, firmly press the spikes into the ground at a depth of about 2 – 3 inches. Luckily, most aerators have pre-measured spike lengths that don’t require any math from you. Remove the tool from the sod if it is a manual or footwear-based spike aerator, or simply roll it forward if it’s a push model.

Then, simply continue across your entire yard in a methodical manner, such as zig-zagging or utilizing a grid pattern. Pay particular attention to any areas that are patchy, or that have high amounts of foot traffic, as they could be especially compacted.

How To Aerate lawn

Final Thoughts

Using a spike aerator on your lawn is a great way to remove soil compaction and disrupt thatch coverage that otherwise deters your grass from growing healthily.

By using spike aerators, whether it be a shoe attachment, walk-behind model, or portable aerator, you can easily create space within the soil for turf roots to have better access to nutrients, fertilizer, and water absorption.

And with a healthier, happier lawn, your landscaping will be the envy of the neighborhood—emerald green and soft to the touch, perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities and gatherings!

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