Along with frequent mowing and taming, lawns require regular watering. It can be hard to figure out when to water and how much water is needed. Not to mention, it can be tiresome and time-consuming to water a whole lawn by hand.
A sprinkler system halves the amount of time needed to keep your grass moist and does all the work for you.
The lawn sprinklers we’ve reviewed have been tested according to how well they perform, ease of setup, durability, and maintenance needed.
The Best Sprinkler Right Now
Based on our expertise, we’ve chosen the most reliable and innovative sprinklers for your lawn. All 7 sprinklers that we’ve reviewed are from reputable brands and are reliable and trusted.
Best Overall Sprinkler: Blisstime Lawn Sprinkler
The Blisstime Lawn Sprinkler rotating spray comes with a circular pattern, ideal for most medium-sized lawns. Of course, it’ll need to be adjusted according to the dimensions of your lawn.
It features 12 spray nozzles on three rotating arms, and you can easily adjust the arms to change the spraying angle, so you’re given complete control over your lawn, no matter what shape. Rotating arms also have the advantage of getting wider coverage and even distribution.
12 spray nozzles
Rotating arms give better coverage and adjustability
Suitable for small to medium-sized lawns
Runner-Up: Nelson Raintrain Traveling Sprinkler
This cast-iron sprinkler by Nelson Raintrain has a durable body that’s perfect for large lawns, thanks to its versatile sprinkler pump that lets you set it to the spray pattern you like. Its spray distance is up to 200 feet and covers an impressive 15 to 55 feet diameter!
It comes with 3 speeds, so the faster speed would be ideal for light misting while the slow would be better for heavier watering. It also has a handy auto shut-off to prevent wastage.
Durable cast iron body
Sprays up to 200 feet
Adjustable watering patterns
3 variable speeds
Expensive for a lot of people
Best Budget: Gilmour Spot Sprinkler
Despite its modest price, this spot sprinkler by Gilmour is made of durable metal and sprays in a circular pattern up to 30 feet. It also conveniently lets you position and adjust the spray distance.
It’s ideal for small lawns and has a sturdy construction that won’t tip over in windy conditions. It also caters well to rectangular lawns and works well if you have low water pressure.
Ideal for small lawns
Smaller sized lawns
Won’t be as effective on circular and uneven-shaped lawns
Best Pulsating Sprinkler: Melnor 9550C
When you require variable range coverage, pulsating sprinklers are ideal. This pulsating sprinkler by Melnor uses a paddle mechanism to launch water at lengths of 85 feet.
It rotates on a highly durable zinc metal pole that’s easily posted into the ground for reliable stability without the need to ruin any landscaping.
Moreover, Its circular water pattern lets you change the rotation to cover a narrow range as well as a wide 360-degree wide range.
Pulsating paddle mechanism
Durable which comes in handy
Adjustable rotation from narrow to wide
Inconsistent water coverage due to circular watering pattern
Best Oscillating Sprinkler: Melnor 4000 Deluxe
If you have a square or rectangular lawn, then a traditional rotating, circular pattern sprinkler won’t be the most efficient choice as it creates a lot of overlap and wastage. With this Melnor 4000 Deluxe oscillating sprinkler, you have the choice of angled spray patterns.
It has 18 spray nozzles that evenly distribute water without wastage. In addition, it’s constructed from materials that prevent mineral build-up.
Angled spray patterns
18 nozzles with back and forth motion
Reduces water usage
Smart material construction
Utilizes low pressure that could reduce coverage range
Best Stationary Sprinkler: Gilmour 8-Pattern Stationary Sprinkler
This Gilmour 8-pattern stationary sprinkler comes with 8 spray patterns that you select by twisting the nozzle’s base, which gives you the flexibility to adjust watering styles according to what you need to be watered. It’s also designed to operate at a low pressure to reduce water consumption.
8 spray patterns give flexibility
Reduces water usage
May not sit level on the ground
Stationary spray reduces coverage
Best Smart Sprinkler: Rachio 3 – 8ZULW-C Smart Controller
This Rachio 3 smart sprinkler controller connects to your Wi-Fi or smartphone, so there’s no need to go out into your yard when you want to switch the settings.
It lets you divide your lawn into 8 or 16 zones that need more or less watering, so a zone constantly in the sun can be set to receive more watering than the zones in shaded areas.
The smartness doesn’t stop there; the sprinkler controller also connects to forecasted weather reports through the EPA’s WaterSense program.
Waters according to weather
Integrates with smart platforms
Installation is easy
Lets you control your watering from anywhere
Pricey for most folks
Only compatible with an existing in-ground sprinkler system
How to Choose a Sprinkler System
When it comes to choosing a sprinkler, you need to consider a few essential factors, including your lawn size, the weather, and water usage. Having these factors in mind will make choosing a sprinkler easier. Continue reading so we can explain these factors in more detail.
Types of Sprinklers
There are about 6 types of sprinklers that vary between static, rotating, and traveling!
Fixed vs. Stationary
Both of these will connect to your hose or water faucet and spray water in the same pattern over the area you require. Stationary sprinklers spray water in a circular spray pattern, but they can also come in other patterns that can work for specific areas.
Fixed sprinklers can only cast water at a specific area in a specific pattern. The fixed sprinkler is ideal for placing in a hard-to-reach area of your lawn.
These sprinklers have rows of openings to emit water in a semicircular pattern. The sprinkler head itself will move side to side, and the fan spray pattern will support the movement of water to spread across either side of your lawn.
Rotating/Rotary and Impact Sprinklers
Rotating sprinklers will have two arms or more that’ll spin around and release water. On the other hand, a pulsating or impact sprinkler emits water from one jet and spins 360 degrees to cover an extensive range.
Travelers or Traveling Sprinklers
These will roll around your yard attached to your garden hose in a program pattern that you set. These robotic devices cover a wide range of areas.
Sprinkler hoses are regular rubber hoses but with small holes on the top that will release sprays of water. Because they’re hoses, their lengthy, curved body gives the flexibility of covering uneven areas as they stretch out, curving around your lawn.
In-Ground Sprinkler Systems
In-Ground sprinkler systems operate on a set schedule, and you don’t have to worry about setting reminders for yourself for switching on your sprinklers – ever!
The only drawback is the initial fees and effort required to dig around your lawn and place the sprinkler heads where you would like. They can then be programmed to automatically come out of the ground and water at preset timings.
Smart Sprinklers function through smart controllers instead of traditional timers, so they use an existing system such as your Wi-Fi. They also operate according to weather patterns, decreasing water usage and allowing you to run them from anywhere.
A good lawn sprinkler will have features that help conserve water and use it with efficiency.
In-ground sprinkler systems have the advantage of automatic timers so you can set schedules in advance for when, how much water, and where watering is required.
On the other hand, above-ground sprinklers have the benefit of integrating flow timers, which will monitor and limit water usage to only how much is needed. They also have automatic shut-offs.
For smaller lawn sizes, it’s recommended that you opt for static sprinklers that will adequately cover the areas needed for watering.
However, for larger lawns, it’s recommended that you opt for oscillating or traveling lawn sprinklers as these operate with a broader range and also water evenly.
Finally, look out for sprinkler models with good durable metal spray nozzle connections that will prevent leakages, clogged heads and help them stay in good condition for longer.
Are Rotary Sprinklers Better?
A rotary sprinkler is a good choice for larger lawns as it’ll cover a wider area and operate for long periods. Rotary sprinklers also work well on sloping surfaces.
What Is the Best Sprinkler for a Small Lawn?
For a small lawn, rotating/pulsating or stationary sprinklers would be the best choice. You can easily move stationary sprinklers around a small lawn, and the pulsating type would avoid overwatering your lawn as it rotates gradually to distribute water in all directions evenly.
Is It Better to Water Grass Daily?
Overwatering can damage grass, so aim to only water about 3 times a week.
How Many Minutes Should You Water Your Lawn?
You should water for about 20-30 minutes.
How Do I Choose Sprinkler Heads?
Identify which areas are unevenly shaped and have curving borders and opt for oscillating heads. For areas that may need less water, such as trees and shrubs, opt for stationary heads.
How Many Sprinklers Can I Put in a Zone?
Identify your home’s water capacity and sprinkler head of choice, and then use a sprinkler layout calculator.
Can You Just Sprinkle Grass Seed on a Lawn?
Yes, you can, but make sure to sprinkle evenly.
Is It Better to Water Your Lawn in the Morning or at Night?
The best time is in the morning. That’s when your lawn will retain the most moisture and won’t evaporate. You can also use a watering schedule to plan out your watering frequency.
Depending on your lawn size, shape and vegetation, you can choose between a stationary or rotating sprinkler that’d be ideal for a smaller lawn of either rectangular or polygon shape.
On the other hand, if you have a larger lawn, a traveling or oscillating sprinkler would be perfect, ensuring a wide coverage range. The garden sprinkler reviews above should help you decide which ones are suitable for your irrigation needs and meet your budget requirements.