Making sure your lawn gets enough water is key to keeping it lush and green. You can’t always trust Mother Nature to provide enough rain, though, and using your garden hose can be tedious.
That’s where a lawn sprinkler comes in. These simple gadgets make it easy to water your entire lawn with minimal effort. Plus, the best lawn sprinklers adjust to the size and shape of your lawn so you get the perfect amount of coverage.
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Types of Lawn Sprinklers That You Need to Know
There are multiple types of lawn sprinklers to consider, and which one is best for you depends on where and how you want to use it. Here are seven types of sprinklers to consider:
- Oscillating Sprinklers
Oscillating sprinklers are the type of sprinkler that you probably played within the yard as a kid. They have a simple frame and a bar that moves back and forth. These sprinkles are a good choice for small to medium yards. They work best in flat areas.
- Impact Sprinklers
With impact sprinklers, water pressure builds up in the nozzles, and the sprinkler’s spring loaded arm rotates. They cover large areas and make a lot of noise. Impact sprinklers are very durable, but they require a lot of maintenance. They are best suited for commercial properties.
- Traveling Sprinklers
Traveling sprinklers are self-propelled and move through the lawn, following the path set by the hose. These are a good choice for large yards because they cover a lot of area without having to manually move them from place to place.
- Rotating Sprinklers
Rotating sprinklers spin while spraying over specific areas. They’re powerful and a great choice for large lawns because they cover a large area. They also have a lower rate of precipitation which makes it easier to prevent pooling or wasting water.
- In-ground Sprinklers
In-ground sprinklers are buried in the ground and pop-up to water the lawn. When not in use, they’re invisible and you can mow right over them. In-ground sprinklers are best for small to medium lawns, though you can use more than one for larger areas.
- Spot Sprinklers
As the name suggests, spot sprinklers are small and ideal for trouble spots. If you replanted an area of your lawn or if there are shaded spots that need some extra help, a spot sprinkler is ideal. This is also a good choice if you have low water pressure.
- Smart Sprinklers
Smart sprinklers use Bluetooth and connect to smart home devices. You can set them to automatically water the lawn on a schedule. They’re expensive, though, and usually require a previously installed sprinkler system.
The 12 Best Lawn Sprinklers For Small or Large Areas
No matter how big your lawn is, there’s a lawn sprinkler for you. Here are 12 of the best designs out there.
|Pictures||Lawn Sprinklers||Coverage Area||Links|
|Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 Indestructible Metal Base Oscillating Sprinkler||3600 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|GrowGreen Rotating Lawn Sprinkler||3600 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Melnor 65003-AMZ MiniMax Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler||4000 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Kadaon 360 Degree Rotating Lawn Sprinkler||3000 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Orbit 58322 Traveling Sprinkler||13500 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Orbit 58308Z Brass Impact Sprinkler||6360 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Melnor 65055-AMZ XT Metal Turbo Oscillator||4500 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Orbit 58573N H2O-6 Gear Drive Sprinkler||5026 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Dramm ColorStorm Turret 9-Pattern Sprinkler||575 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Gilmour 808763-1001 Circle Pattern Spot Sprinkler||900 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Rain Bird LG3HE In-Ground Impact Sprinkler||5200 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Orbit 55662 Voyager II Professional Pop-Up Sprinkler||25-52 ft||Buy on Amazon|
Lawn Sprinkler Reviewed
1. Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 Indestructible Metal Base Oscillating Sprinkler
With the Aqua Joe oscillating sprinkler, you can customize the width and range of the spray with 16 clog-resistant nozzles. It can cover up to 3600 square feet and has a leak-free connection to prevent waste.
This design features a durable turbo gear-driven unit that’s sealed to prevent damage. It also features an extra-large solid metal base so it stays right where you put it in your garden or yard.
The Aqua Joe oscillating sprinkler is compatible with standard garden hoses, and setup is quick and easy. Select the appropriate nozzle and turn the dial to set the coverage area. Then, attach the sprinkler to the hose, place it where you need it, and turn on the hose.
This sprinkler comes with a built-in clean-out tool that helps ensure reliable and continuous operation, year after year. Plus, it’s covered by a two-year warranty.
2. GrowGreen Rotating Lawn Sprinkler
GrowGreen’s rotating lawn sprinkler has a spray distance of 32.8 feet with a pressure of 80 PSI. The 360-degree rotation and adjustable nozzles spray in any direction, so you can customize the sprinkle to cover exactly what you need.
Setup takes seconds. The sprinkler easily connects to any standard garden hose, and all you have to do is twist the nozzles to adjust the spray, and the wide, sturdy base makes sure the unit stays where you put it.
Water conservation technology provides even coverage without over-spraying or wasting water, but that doesn’t mean the spray isn’t really powerful. The durable ABS plastic and rust-proof polymer construction are made to last for years. This product is so reliable that GrowGreen backs it with a lifetime warranty.
3. Melnor 65003-AMZ MiniMax Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler
Don’t let the name fool you. This MiniMax oscillating sprinkler may look small, but it covers up to 4000 square feet, which is more than enough for most yards.
Setup is easy. Use the quick connect adapter to attach the sprinkler to a standard garden hose, then toggle the four-way adjustment to aim the water right where you need it. It even has a unique zoom feature for when you want to water smaller areas, like flower beds or gardens.
A wide, steady sled base keeps the sprinkler in place, and with 360-degree rotation, you can place the sprinkler just about anywhere. This model has an infinity turbo-drive motor that is exceptionally durable, and it’s covered by a limited lifetime guarantee.
4. Kadaon 360 Degree Rotating Lawn Sprinkler
The 360-degree rotating lawn sprinkler from Kadaon has a patented design that lets you adjust the size, scope, and density of the spray. That means you can aim the water right where you need it, eliminating waste.
This sprinkler is made of premium quality ABS plastic and features three nozzles with vertical and multi-directional spray. All you have to do is turn the end nozzles to adjust the direction of the flow.
One sprinkler covers 3000 square feet, but you can link them to cover a larger area if needed, all you need are adapters and extension hoses. If you’re not satisfied with this product for any reason, email the company for a full refund, no questions asked.
5. Orbit 58322 Traveling Sprinkler
If you have a really big lawn to cover or are looking for something a little different, take a look at this traveling sprinkler from Orbit. You can create a custom path for your sprinkler to follow using only a standard ⅝-inch garden hose.
Depending on the length of your garden hose, this sprinkler can cover up to 13,500 square feet. There are three speeds to choose from, and you can adjust the spray’s coverage area from 15 to 55 feet.
The spiked rear wheel and durable gears move the sprinkler smoothly across your lawn, and an automatic shut-off ramp can be placed anywhere along the route to prevent waste and over-saturation.
This sprinkler is made from weatherproof, durable materials and designed to last for years. Plus, it’s covered by a limited one-year warranty.
6. Orbit 58308Z Brass Impact Sprinkler
The Orbit impact sprayer is one of the best options for large lawns. It has a spray as wide as 90-feet in diameter and can cover up to 6360 square feet, and the tripod base adjusts up to 48 inches tall so you can accommodate any growing plants.
This sprinkler uses heavy-duty brass construction that can withstand high water pressure and won’t break, corrode, or rust. You can adjust the spray coverage area between 25 and 360-degrees, depending on the size of your yard.
The deflector shield and diffuser change the stream and distance of the spray, and an anti-backsplash arm helps maintain a consistent pattern. It uses a gooseneck connector to hook up to a standard hose, and the flow-through design resists clogging.
This sprinkler is made using high-quality materials that are designed to last a long time, and it’s covered by a limited one-year warranty.
7. Melnor 65055-AMZ XT Metal Turbo Oscillator
This lawn sprinkler from Melnor is a good choice if you want something that gives you a lot of options. If you want a sprinkler that can water your whole lawn or just a small area, this might be the one for you.
The 20-nozzle design adjusts to cover an area as large as 4500 square feet, and the twin touch controls are easy to adjust. Just change the width and range to alter the water pattern. If you want to focus on a small area, like a vegetable garden or flower bed, use the zoom feature to shrink the coverage area.
Melnor’s quick connect system makes setup easy. All you have to do is attach it to your garden house, make the necessary adjustments, and you’re ready to go. It also features a dependable Infinity turbo drive that works smoothly, reducing wear and tear and extending the life of the sprinkler.
8. Orbit 58573N H2O-6 Gear Drive Sprinkler
Here’s another great option capable of covering large areas. This sprinkler’s spray has a coverage area of 80 feet in diameter and covers up to 5026 square feet when rotating 360-degrees.
Multiple spray patterns give you exceptional control over the amount of water you’re using. Choose from shower, vertical, flat, and more, and use the four-position diffuser to change the spray from small jets to large drops.
This one is ready to go right out of the box. Attach the sprayer to your garden hose, then use the spike to anchor it into the ground. You don’t need any tools to make adjustments, just rotate the head for different spray patterns, and slide the collar tabs to adjust the coverage area from 25 to 360 degrees.
The strong, durable plastic is designed to last without having to worry about corrosion or rust, and it’s covered with a one-year limited warranty.
9. Dramm ColorStorm Turret 9-Pattern Sprinkler
This sprinkler from Dramm has nine water patterns to choose from, and setting it up is simple. Simply attach the hose, twist the dial to the preferred pattern, and you’re ready to place it in your yard.
The patterns make it easy to water only the area you want without wasting water. Choose from square, circle, narrow rectangle, half-circle, and more. When you’re done watering, a simple hole in the frame lets you hang it from a hook in the garage for easy storage when you’re done.
You can trust this sprinkler to last for a long time. The tough metal base is extremely durable. It has reinforced ribs that are tough enough for years of use, even if it gets stood on. The frame comes in six bright colors, and the product is covered by a lifetime guarantee.
10. Gilmour 808763-1001 Circle Pattern Spot Sprinkler
For anyone with a smaller lawn, the Gilmour spot sprinkler is a good fit. The circle spray pattern has a 30-feet diameter, and it even works well with low water pressure. It uses a gentle spray that resembles a fountain to give your small lawn just what it needs without wasting water.
The frame’s durable metal construction is built for stability and lasts a long time. It has a small hole where you can anchor it into the ground. You can also use it to hang the sprinkler from a hook in the garage when you’re done on the lawn.
If you have a sloped yard that makes it difficult to place an oscillating sprinkler or only want to cover a small area, this sprinkler is a great alternative to larger options.
11. Rain Bird LG3HE In-Ground Impact Sprinkler
If you’re interested in something semi-permanent, check out this in-ground sprinkler from Rain Bird. When you install this one in your yard, you don’t have to worry about getting the sprinkler out every time you want to water your lawn.
Unlike permanent sprinkler systems, this sprinkler installs in a single hole with no extensive digging or ditches required. It pops up to water the lawn and retracts when the water is turned off so you can mow right over it.
The spray adjusts to cover areas as large as 5200 square feet, and you can choose between 20 and 360 degrees of spray. The three-inch pop-up height clears tall grass, and the spray distance covers 26 to 41 inches.
The rolled lip design helps you get the installation height right and prevents grass and weeds from getting into the sprinkler head. This product is a simple and affordable alternative to an inground sprinkler system.
12. Orbit 55662 Voyager II Professional Pop-Up Sprinkler
These pop-up sprinkler heads from Orbit are meant to replace the heads of a pre-existing inground sprinkler system. If you have one in your yard and are unhappy with its performance, they might be just what you need.
The spray distance adjusts from 25 to 52 feet and you can adjust the coverage area from 40 to 360 degrees using a simple adjustment key. Each sprinkler head has a filter to keep out debris, and they’re easily removed for cleaning. The enclosed body design also prevents debris from getting in and causing clogs.
These sprinkler heads are compatible with the most popular sprinkler system brands and are easy to install. They come with a three-gallon per minute nozzle, but you can easily switch them out as needed.
How to Install a Lawn Sprinkler System?
Most of these products do not require a very involved installation. In fact, one of the reasons they’re so popular and effective is because they’re so easy to set up.
Every product is different, so make sure you read the instructions that are included with the sprinkler you choose. Here’s a basic outline of how to get started.
First, you need to attach the hose. Most sprinklers are designed for use with a standard garden hose, though you may need an adapter. Once you get the hose attached, place the sprinkler in the yard in the center of the area you want to water.
Next, adjust the settings. Each sprinkler is designed a little differently, so look in the manual to determine the setting for the pattern and coverage area that works best for you.
This is optional, but you might want to consider anchoring the sprinkler to the ground, especially if it’s small and lightweight and you’re using a lot of water pressure. This ensures that you have good control of the spray at all times.
Turn the hose on. If you’re happy with the coverage, let it run. If not, turn the hose off and make adjustments until you get the type of spray you need.
How Long Should Sprinklers Run in Each Zone?
There is no set answer for how long to water your lawn according to the zone, but that doesn’t mean the zone doesn’t matter.
A good rule of thumb is that your lawn needs one to two inches of water per week. This depends on the type of grass you have, but generally, one to two inches is a good goal.
The trick is determining how much you need to water your lawn to meet this goal and whether your lawn sits closer to needing one inch or two. These things heavily depend on what climate you live in and what area of your lawn you’re dealing with.
In hot weather, some types of grass need more water, but some don’t. Warm-season grasses have deeper root systems and don’t need as much water, which is why they can thrive in warm weather. Cold weather grasses have shallow root systems and need more water in hot weather.
The best way to tell when your lawn needs more water is to look at it. Can you see footprints or a trail when you walk through the grass? Is the soil under the grass cracking? Is it hard to stick a screwdriver or a finger into the dirt?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, it’s time to water your lawn.
To determine how long you should water your lawn, you need to know how long it takes your sprinkler to put out an inch of water. The best way to do this is to test your sprinkler.
Place a few empty cans around your lawn and time how long it takes the sprinkler to fill them with one inch of water. Then, you have to determine if it’s better to water your lawn all at once or if you should divide up the watering sessions. This is determined by your soil.
In this case, the best thing to do is to start your sprinkler and check on the soil every 15 minutes. If after 15 minutes, the soil is still soaking up water, let the sprinkler continue to rub.
If at any time you check on the sprinkler and the water is pooling on top of the soil, stop the sprinkler and give the water time to soak in. You should avoid pooling as much as possible as it’s wasteful and too much water can damage your grass.
Once you get a feel for how your lawn responds, you can put together a watering schedule. For example, if you know your lawn needs two 30 minute watering sessions in a week, you can plan to run the sprinkler every three or four days for half an hour.
Always water your grass in the morning so it has the benefit of a day of sunshine to help it dry. If you water closer to nighttime, the roots might get too much water which can cause fungal growth.
Smart and Effective Lawn Watering Tips
In hot, dry climates, it can take quite a bit of water to make sure your lawn thrive throughout the summer, which can mean you’re facing large water bills. If this is a concern, there are a few things you can do to be more efficient.
One of the reasons that lawn sprinklers are such an effective way to water your lawn is that you can adjust the water flow and coverage. Make sure the settings are such that excess water isn’t getting onto the street or driveway and running into the sewers.
You can also let your lawn grow a little taller. Taller grass shades the soil, which reduces the need for water. A bonus to this approach is that it can also prevent weeds from sprouting up since most weeds need a lot of sunlight to germinate.
If you’re willing to let your grass go dormant, you can underwater your lawn. By giving it only a half-inch or so every week, you can prevent it from getting too dry or dying while cutting your water usage in half. When it rains, your grass will green up again.
Our pick for the best lawn sprinkler is the Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 Indestructible Metal Base Oscillating Sprinkler. It’s a great choice for a medium-sized yard, and you can customize the 16 nozzles by adjusting the width and range of the spray.
Not only is setup easy, but it also has a built-in clean-out tool to keep it running reliably. It’s sealed to prevent damage and is covered by a two-year warranty.
If the Aqua Joe sprinkler doesn’t suit your lawn, we included plenty of other options. There’s a high-quality sprinkler here for yards of all shapes and sizes.
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