You want to have a beautiful green lawn. This means that you need to keep it watered and mowed. Often, it is too hard to water your grass with a hose or watering can.
Instead, you should look for the best sprinkler heads for small and large lawn. This way, it will do all of the watering for you. It is a time saver and can also help you save money.
We look at the top 10 sprinkler heads in this article. That way, you have many options from which to choose and can make the right decision.
Table of Contents
- Different Types of Lawn Sprinkler Heads
- The 10 Best Sprinkler Heads for Small & Large Lawn
- Best Lawn Sprinkler Head Reviews
- 1. Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler
- 2. Rain Bird 25PJDAC Brass Impact Sprinkler
- 3. Rain Bird P5R Plastic Impact Sprinkler
- 4. Rain Bird 1804VAN Professional Pop-Up Sprinkler
- 5. Orbit 55662 Voyager II Professional Sprinkler Spray Head
- 6. Toro 53814 Pop-Up Fixed-Spray
- 7. Orbit 55025 Impact Canister Sprinkler Spray Head
- 8. Gilmour 167H Pulsating Sprinkler Head
- 9. Hunter PGP Ultra Rotor Sprinkler Heads
- 10. Rain Bird CPRSDBEX Wired Rain Sensor
- How Does a Lawn Sprinkler Head Work?
- How to Replace a Lawn Sprinkler Head?
Different Types of Lawn Sprinkler Heads
There are four common types of lawn sprinkler heads to consider. These include concealed, rotary (impact or gear driven), and spot irrigation.
The concealed sprinkler head is also called a pop-up sprinkler. It’s often used in a permanent underground irrigation system. They feature a head that is spring-driven to pop out of the ground above the grass.
As the spray nozzle pops up, it will start moving in a circle. This can be a full, quarter, or half circle. When the water is turned on, the head comes up out of the ground and goes back into the ground when it’s turned off.
Often, you can adjust the sprinkler head’s spray pattern up to 45 feet wide. Generally, these systems output one to two-and-a-half inches of water each hour for the coverage area.
These types of sprinklers feature a mechanical nozzle to shoot a stream of water. You can usually adjust the spray pattern. Residential models often deliver water up to 40 feet away from the head and between 1/4- and 1/2-inch of water each hour over the coverage area.
There are two common rotary types, including gear- and impact-driven models. The impact version uses a spring-loaded arm, which turns the nozzle. Then, a stream of water will strike a metal plate, turning the head and diffusing the spray.
Gear-driven models use water pressure to turn a multitude of gears. This rotates the nozzle while it sprays water. Both options work similarly, though gear-driven options might be quieter.
Sometimes, micro-irrigation sprinklers are called mini-sprays, spinners, or bubblers. These heads offer direct irrigation to specific plants. They work well for rows of landscaped plants or gardens with small root systems.
Often, they are installed at the base of the plant. However, you can also space them at three to five feet apart. They’re usually placed on a drip line that’s unburied.
The 10 Best Sprinkler Heads for Small & Large Lawn
We understand that such a lengthy article can be a challenge to read at times. You may want to get quick facts from the table below. Now, you can get helpful tidbits of information quickly and read through the review later when you have time.
|Pictures||Lawn Sprinkler Heads||Spray Distance||Links|
|Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler||20' - 53'|
|Rain Bird 25PJDAC Brass Impact Sprinkler||20' - 41'|
23' - 50'
|Rain Bird P5R Plastic Impact Sprinkler||25' - 41'|
|Rain Bird 1804VAN Professional Pop-Up Sprinkler||8' - 15'|
|Orbit 55662 Voyager II Professional Sprinkler Spray Head||25' - 52'|
|Toro 53814 Pop-Up Fixed-Spray||15'|
|Orbit 55025 Impact Canister Sprinkler Spray Head||25' - 45'|
|Gilmour 167H Pulsating Sprinkler Head||43'|
|Hunter PGP Ultra Rotor Sprinkler Heads||17' - 47'|
|Rain Bird CPRSDBEX Wired Rain Sensor||---|
Best Lawn Sprinkler Head Reviews
1. Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler
If you’ve been struggling to keep your lawn looking its best, it might be time to get a sprinkler head. The Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler offers better adjustability with its control dial. This gives you more precision with water adjustments.
You’ll find that this product features 4,000 square feet of coverage. It’s possible to reduce the coverage range from 75 feet down to 15 feet, as well. All you have to do is slide the control levers on the sides.
Of course, you can also change the pattern to right, center, or left with the same control levers. Being able to adjust the width and length of the water pattern is helpful. This means people with large and small yards can benefit.
Plus, the flow control knob is integrated. This allows you to keep the overall pattern but tweak it just a bit. In a sense, it is like a Zoom or Shrink command.
Its 20 different precision nozzles allow you to customize the flow and pattern of the water exactly how you need it to be. That way, you can use it for flowers and more.
- Clog-resistant rubber nozzles
- Flow control built right in
- One-touch adjustments
- Made of plastic; can easily break
- Must disconnect and bring inside after using
2. Rain Bird 25PJDAC Brass Impact Sprinkler
Those who want something reliable and made to last will like the Rain Bird 25PJDAC Brass Impact Sprinkler. It is made of brass, stainless steel, and bronze. Therefore, it is bound to last longer than zinc products.
This item was designed after the original sprinkler made by Rain Bird in 1933. It has all the latest advancements in technology and modern engineering now.
You’ll find that it is quite easy to install. Adjustments are also quick. Plus, you can choose from a full 360-degree coverage or a part circle of about 20 to 340 degrees.
Its straight-through water flow design is ideal for dirty-water performance. If you get the water from ponds, irrigation canals, or anywhere with high-mineral content, it will not rust or get clogged.
Of course, you’ll find that the diffuser screw helps to break up the water into tiny droplets. This makes watering more uniform. It also reduces the radius by up to 25 percent.
Plus, the spray arm is designed not to splash walkways and buildings. Keep more of the water on your lawn.
- Long-lasting with brass, stainless steel, and bronze construction
- Easy to adjust
- Quick to install
- No directions for setting pattern and distance; trial and error
- Might not work well with low-pressure systems
3. Rain Bird P5R Plastic Impact Sprinkler
Homeowners who aren’t ready to move to a metal sprinkler head may like the Rain Bird P5R Plastic Impact Sprinkler. It’s designed to be durable and strong but made of plastic. Therefore, it might work with well water where a metal one may not.
It features a double brass weight arm. This allows for better water coverage and slower rotation. Plus, the diffuser screw creates smaller drops of water to give you more uniform coverage.
The product also has a Water Saver guide arm. It’s brass weighted to control the stream of the water. That way, it won’t splash the water onto walkways or buildings.
Of course, the bayonet nozzle is removable. That way, you can easily clean it.
You’ll find that the design features the straight-through-flow. This allows for better performance, even if the water is ‘dirty.’ Dirty can indicate water from a pond or another source that hasn’t been treated chemically.
Those who are looking for a variety of ways to customize are going to like this product. It has an infinite pattern adjustment with a part circle of up to 340 degrees or full circle.
- Easy to set up
- Plastic, but durable
- Good distance
- Only adjust pattern when sprinkler is off
- “Splashy” water distribution instead of flowing
4. Rain Bird 1804VAN Professional Pop-Up Sprinkler
If you’re interested in a sprinkler head that pops up and then retracts back into the ground, the Rain Bird 1804VAN Professional Pop-Up Sprinkler is right for you. It features a four-inch popped up height.
Plus, you can adjust it to a spray rotation of 0 degrees all the way up to 360 degrees. That means it can be stationary and won’t move, or it can go in a full circle. This allows you to water any area, even if it is oddly shaped.
The spray distance can also be adjusted from 8 feet away up to 15 feet. It includes a spring made of stainless steel. This is a heavy-duty material and won’t break, but it also ensures flush retraction each time.
Rain Bird has patented its pressure-activated wiper seals, which are co-molded. You’ll find that this can prevent water leakage and waste. Plus, it will last a long time.
With the tapered pop-up neck, you don’t have to worry about debris getting into the head and clogging it. This means that you will have the spray pattern you’ve chosen each time you use it.
- Adjustable spray distance
- Flush retraction each time
- Tapered neck to prevent debris buildup
- Doesn’t cover a lot of distance
- Finicky to adjust
5. Orbit 55662 Voyager II Professional Sprinkler Spray Head
Those who are looking to replace an outdated or inefficient sprinkler system will like the Orbit 55662 Voyager II Professional Sprinkler Spray Head. It is compatible with almost any failing or old system. Plus, it works with all major brands for gear-driven rotary sprinklers.
Whether you have a medium- or large-sized lawn, this product will work great and cover the entire area. The spray can adjust from 25 feet up to 52 feet.
You’ll also get a variety of nozzles from which to choose. You can customize each sprinkler in your yard to give you full saturation. It comes with a three-gallon-a-minute nozzle that’s pre-installed, but you can switch it out as necessary.
If you’d like to spray a partial area of your lawn or want full 360-degree watering, you can easily adjust for that. However, it does require the included key to do so.
- Longest spray distance in its class
- Compatible with other sprinkler systems
- Comes with bonus nozzles
- Requires a key to adjust; easy to lose
- Confusing to adjust; trial and error needed
6. Toro 53814 Pop-Up Fixed-Spray
If you’re looking for something that is easy to use and setup, then the Toro 53814 Pop-Up Fixed-Spray is ideal. It comes in either a three- or four-inch pop-up. This means that the part that raises out of the ground can be either height.
You will also find that this product features a 15-foot spray radius. That is ideal for medium-sized lawns. The fixed-spray option also works well for grass that is about medium length.
Though it’s a fixed-spray, it can go a full 360-degrees to spray everywhere you need it to go. You can’t change the size of the droplets or how it sprays, but it can stay in place or go in a full circle.
Of course, it’s also quite easy to clean. You can actually do it while the system is working. That allows the water pressure to be used to flush everything out.
The plug-and-play feature is perfect for those who don’t want to fiddle with hard-to-read instructions. Just dig the hole, insert the sprinkler, and make sure the spray will go where you need it.
- Full 360-degree range
- Fixed-spray system
- Two sizes available
- Not ideal for large lawns
- Can spray the sidewalks and driveway if not placed correctly
7. Orbit 55025 Impact Canister Sprinkler Spray Head
Are you interested in taking control of your lawn? If so, the Orbit 55025 Impact Canister Sprinkler Spray Head might be right for you. It features a diffuser pin that helps you adjust it from a distance of up to 45 feet.
All you have to do is lengthen or shorten the distance of your impact sprinkler. To do that, screw the diffuser pin out of or into the water stream.
The goal of this spray head is to tailor to your lawn’s needs. Therefore, you can adjust the pattern to a full or part circle. It will also sit flush with the grass, making it easier to mow without fear of damaging the product.
While it’s watering the lawn, it will stand three inches above the ground. This doesn’t necessarily mean three inches above the grass.
You can also adjust the spray pattern from between 20 degrees and 360 degrees. To do this, just slide the friction collars on the sprinkler to get the optimal spray.
- Easy to adjust and install
- Durable, heavy-duty canister
- Compatible with any brand
- Might not keep set spray pattern
- Needs at least 50 pounds of pressure
8. Gilmour 167H Pulsating Sprinkler Head
The Gilmour 167H Pulsating Sprinkler Head offers water coverage of up to 5,800 square feet with a 43-foot radius. You can get either partial or full coverage, depending on your needs.
This product is made using metal, so it is designed to withstand the elements. Of course, the impulse arm is an excellent addition. You can save water because you don’t have to deal with the side and backsplash issue.
Primarily, this sprinkler head comes with a diffuser screw. That allows you to easily adjust the water stream with your fingertips. This helps you have even coverage over the entire lawn.
With it being made of zinc and brass, you know it will last a long time. However, it will only fit sprinkler bases with a standard 1/2-inch connection.
You can also set it to reverse-full circle, which means it can spray water counterclockwise. In some situations, this is a better option.
- Full and partial coverage
- No back or side splash with the impulse arm
- Easy adjustments
- Only available in 1/2-inch thread connection
- Can stop working after one season
9. Hunter PGP Ultra Rotor Sprinkler Heads
Homeowners who want something different with added features will like the Hunter PGP Ultra Rotor Sprinkler Heads. It is a pop-up arc rotor product that raises out of the ground up to four inches.
This product has been around for a while, but it has been improved upon over the years. Now, it features an automatic arc return and a non-strippable drive.
These features are essential so that the turret can be turned without causing any damage. Plus, you can return to the original arc no matter how it has been set.
There are other advanced features, as well. For example, you have 34 different nozzle options and many radius choices, as well. You’ll also get a set screw and a headed slot.
The full-circle adjustment goes from 50 degrees up to 360 degrees. Therefore, you can have it turn slightly or all the way. You’ll also find that there is an improved tolerance for dirty water within the internal gear drive.
- Receive five heads
- Pre-installed nozzles for each head
- Adjustment tool included
- Adjusting spray can add coverage but decreases the range
- Only lasts a few years before needing to be replaced
10. Rain Bird CPRSDBEX Wired Rain Sensor
Are you tired of your sprinkler system coming on when it is raining? Most people hate wasting water and overwatering the lawn. With the Rain Bird CPRSDBEX Wired Rain Sensor, you don’t have to worry.
It will work with almost any irrigation system. Therefore, it can connect to a standard 24VAC timer that is sensor-ready.
You can easily adjust the rainfall settings, as well. All you have to do is twist the dial to between 1/8 inch up to 3/4 inches. Plus, you can increase and decrease delay times by turning the vent ring.
Likewise, you may need that adjustable side vent to help the sensor dry out. It is going to collect water at times because it is outside.
The body is made of UV-resistant material. You’ll find the aluminum brackets are designed to withstand almost any environment. Plus, it is less likely to rust over time.
To make it easy to set up, you get 25 feet of wire. This is also UV-resistant to withstand the elements.
- Automatic on/off to prevent overwater during rain
- Easy and fast to adjust settings
- Durable to withstand the environment
- No instructions; must go to the manufacturer’s website
- Might not automatically sense rain correctly
- Not a sprinkler head itself
How Does a Lawn Sprinkler Head Work?
A sprinkler head usually has two parts: the nozzle and body. Sometimes, they can be complex or simple.
Above-ground systems can be screwed into a garden hose and are straightforward. You’ve got the body with a platform, and the nozzle will distribute water when the hose is turned on.
Sometimes, in-ground systems can be just as easy, but they are usually more involved. The body shape will depend on the type of sprinkler head. Pop-up sprinklers often have a wider base so that the upper part can retract into it.
Therefore, it sits underground when it isn’t being used. The nozzles are often shaped based on the spray pattern and the amount of water streams it produces at one time.
How to Replace a Lawn Sprinkler Head?
To replace your broken lawn sprinkler head, you’ll need a small shovel, pair of pliers, and a replacement head. The first step is to clean around the sprinkler with the shovel, removing excess dirt.
Take your pliers and grab the head to loosen it from the riser. This can take some time, so be patient. Remove the old head from the riser, making sure that you get the canister and the head.
Now, take the new head and insert it into the riser. Before you do this, make sure no dirt or debris has gotten inside. Then, just tighten the new head into the system with your fingers.
Once it’s finger-tight, use the pliers to give it a few more turns. Just make sure that it isn’t overly tight.
When it comes to the best sprinkler head for lawn, there were many choices. We decided that the Rain Bird brand was one of the best options. Therefore, we have two winners.
The Rain Bird 25PJDAC Brass Impact Sprinkler was one of our favorites because it was made of metal and was easy to install. Plus, the spray distance could be adjusted in many ways.
However, we also liked the Rain Bird 1804VAN Professional Pop-Up Sprinkler a lot. If you’ve got a pop-up sprinkler system, this is ideal. Plus, it is made of stainless steel, as well.