Having a lush, green lawn and colorful garden beds that turn the head of passersby is the goal of every yard enthusiast. But to have the yard of your dreams, you’ll need an efficient watering system to help your plants thrive.
Sure, you can spend hours watering your flowers one-by-one, or hosing down your lawn, but in the end, the best way to keep your foliage watered is by sprinklers. That said, not all sprinklers are created equal, which is why we’ll be reviewing 10 of the best sprinkler heads for effective watering!
The 10 Best Sprinkler Heads:
1. Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler
The first sprinkler in our sprinkler head reviews, the Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler features 3-way adjustments to personalize the water flow to the size of your unique yard or garden bed. With the easy-to-use pedal adjusters, you’ll be able to control the range of the water, the width, and the intensity of the flow.
This elongated sprinkler head sits flat on the ground and connects to your water hose. There’s also no need for stakes to hold the sprinkler in place, making this a great option for those who don’t want their grass punctured.
The Melnor Oscillating Sprinkler has 20 individual nozzles that have the potential to cover up to 4,200 square feet. The large volume of the tube produces a maximum pressure of 100 PSI, giving the sprinkler the power it needs to water a bigger portion of land.
Finally, the Melnor lawn sprinkler head is constructed with a patented, clog-resistant design that will keep water flowing efficiently, even at high pressure, without interruption.
- It doesn’t need to be staked into the grass
- 3 ways to adjust the sprinkler to your lawn
- Easy-to-use pedal water adjusters
- Can cover up to 2,400 square feet of grass or garden
- 20 nozzles for optimal watering
- Clog-resistant design
- Great for both large and small properties
- Be sure to slowly increase the water flow. A quick burst of water may cause the sprinkler head to fall to its side
2. Rain Bird Brass Impact Sprinkler
From the makers of Rain Bird, an agricultural company trusted since 1933, this brass Impact Sprinkler is a classic and powerful sprinkler head.
Unlike many sprinklers on the market today, the Rain Bird Impact is made of brass, bronze, and stainless steel. This heavy-duty construction increases the life of this sprinkler head, far outlasting the lifespan of its plastic and zinc-constructed counterparts.
This Impact Sprinkler has the capacity to cover up to 5,200 square feet of lawn or garden with a consistent stream of water. The stream intensity is also adjustable, and with a simple twist of the diffuser screw, you can increase or decrease the size of the water droplets depending on the delicateness of your plants.
The spray distance of this sprinkler can be adjusted as well, giving you a spray length range of anywhere between a 20-foot to 41-foot radius. You can limit the pattern of the water by adjusting the sprinkler to its full-circle setting or part circle setting (which has the ability for a 20-degree all the way up to a 340-degree part circle of coverage).
- Easy to install. Screws into your water hose and stakes into the ground
- Made of long-lasting, heavy-duty metal materials
- Has a long, 5,200 square foot range
- Steam intensity can be adjusted
- Stream pattern can be customized
- Made by a company trusted since 1933
- Not ideal for those not wanting to penetrate their lawn
- Doesn’t run as quietly as other options on our list
3. Rain Bird Professional Pop-Up Sprinkler
If you plan on installing an underground irrigation system in your yard, or simply need to replace the existing sprinkler heads, these Rain Bird Pop-Up Sprinklers are sure to do the trick.
This is an affordable 5 pack of pop-up sprinkler heads, and each head has a 4-inch pop-up height. They have a spray distance of 8 to 15 feet and can be adjusted to any of the lengths between the two limits.
The spray pattern is also adjustable and can be altered to spray at 0 degrees up to 360 degrees. This makes these irrigation pop-up sprinklers ideal for both small or large garden beds, angled beds, or lawns.
The Rain Bird 5-piece set of Pop-Up Sprinklers are made with a stainless steel design to increase the quality and life of the product. Along with the stainless steel design, is Rain Bird’s patented wiper seal to prevent wasteful water leakage.
- The spray pattern can be set to 0 up to 360 degrees and personalized to your lawn or garden’s shape
- Spray distance of up to 15 feet in all directions
- Pack of 5 at an affordable price
- Made of a durable construction
- Patented wiper seal prevents water waste
- Only for irrigation systems
4. Orbit Voyager II Professional Adjustable Pop-Up Sprinkler Spray Head
Another sprinkler head option for underground irrigation, the Orbit Voyager Pop-Up Sprinkler head has the longest distance range out of its sprinkler class. The sprays can be adjusted between a 25-foot and a 52-foot radius, making this an ideal sprinkler head for larger yards.
The pattern of the water flow can be adjusted to as low as a 40-degree arc or as high as a 360-degree arc. Which means you could place this pop-up sprinkler head at the edge of a large lawn, or in a narrow garden bed and it will accommodate both easily.
A great feature of this pop-up sprinkler head is its quiet functionality. In contrast with the impact sprinklers, this sprinkler is pleasantly quiet and doesn’t make the clicking impact sound of sprinklers of old.
The exterior of the Orbit Voyager is made of a quality, enclosed design to last you years of use and prevent debris from entering the sprinkler. If dust or dirt does get inside of the sprinkler, the Orbit’s filter sifts the debris to prevent clogging.
- Great for irrigation systems
- Longest distance out of all pop-up sprinklers
- 25 to a 52-foot radius
- Arc can be adjusted between 40 and 360 degrees for personalized yard coverage
- Ideal for big yards or garden beds
- Runs quietly
- Enclosed design and internal debris filter to prevent clogs
- Comes with an adjustment key to make adjusting the sprinkler head a breeze
- Only for use in irrigation systems. Not ideal for above-ground watering
5. Rain Bird Plastic Impact Sprinkler
Making our list of the best sprinkler heads, this Rain Bird Plastic Impact Sprinkler is yet another quality impact sprinkler. It’s both efficient in covering a large amount of ground with water and prevents side splash onto buildings, walkways, or yard decor with its spray guiding arm.
The pattern of the spray can be a full 360-degree pattern or adjusted into a part-circle pattern. Pattern adjustment is infinite and can be set at a 20-degree pattern up to a 340-degree half-circle.
The spray distance is also adjustable and is especially convenient for medium to large lawns and garden beds. Set this impact sprinkler to throw water anywhere between 25 and 51 feet.
To break up the harshness of the water flow, you can screw the diffuser screw closer into the stream to break up the water for a softer flow. This feature is best used on leafy plants and flower beds, or on delicate grasses.
- Guiding arm keeps the water stream steady and off of unwanted objects
- The spray pattern can be adjusted from 20-degrees up to 360-degrees
- Spray distance can be adjusted to throw between 25 and 51 feet — ideal for medium or large lawns
- Diffuser screw breaks up harsh water flow for delicate areas
- Not the best option for those not wanting to stake their grass
- Doesn’t run quietly — has the clicking sound of all impact sprinklers
- Made with plastic components, unlike most impact sprinklers
6. Toro 4-Inch Pop-Up Fixed-Spray Sprinkler
Highly affordable and ideal for small flower beds and medium-sized lawns, the Toro Pop-Up Fixed-Spray Sprinkler has a 360-degree flow pattern and misting streams.
The spray radius is up to 15 feet, making this an ideal option for covering a good bit of ground. Its flow pattern can be adjusted from 0 to 360 degrees so that you can water a concentrated area or a broader patch of lawn or garden.
When installed in the ground in an irrigation system, this sprinkler head will be ground-level. When it’s time to water, the pop-up portion of the sprinkler head will stand 4.5 inches out of the ground.
- Great for small garden beds or medium-sized lawns
- 15-foot spray radius
- Ideal for irrigation systems
- Light, misting stream
- The adjustable 360-degree flow pattern
- More prone to clogging than most pop-up sprinkler heads or other types of lawn sprinkler heads
7. Hunter PGP Ultra Rotor Sprinkler Heads
Available in a set of 5 lawn sprinkler heads, the Hunter PGP Rotor Sprinkler heads are the ideal choice for a large yard. These are rotor sprinkler heads, meaning the heads rotate to apply water evenly among garden beds or lawns.
The arc settings of these lawn sprinkler heads are adjustable, giving you the option to choose between a 50-degree arc, all the way up to a 360-degree arc.
The range radius, or distance the water can shoot, can also be adjusted. The Hunter Sprinkler Heads can adjust between a 17 and 47-foot range to accommodate medium and larger areas of vegetation.
An adjuster tool is also included with your purchase to make customizing your sprinkler heads effortless and quick.
- Purchase includes an easy-to-use adjuster tool
- Pack of 5 sprinkler heads
- Great for irrigation systems
- Ideal for medium or large yards and garden beds
- Arc is adjustable between 50 and 360 degrees
- The range radius is adjustable between 17 and 47 feet
- Heads rotate to evenly distribute water
- May only be of use through a few summers due to mostly plastic construction
8. Gilmour Pulsating Sprinkler Head
The final impact sprinkler in our Best Sprinkler Heads review, the Gilmour Pulsating Sprinkler Head is durable and best for large lawns. It’s constructed with metal materials, including brass and zinc for a long-lasting product.
It can cover up to 5,800 square feet of lawn at up to a 43-foot radius. The Gilmour’s sprinkler head rotation can be adjusted to the water part of your lawn or your full lawn with its 360-degree spray pattern.
This sprinkler head is exceedingly simple to adjust and features a graphic dial on the head to set the spraying distance. To adjust the spraying pattern, you simply move the collars on the neck of the sprinkler head until you have your preferred position.
This is an above-ground sprinkler, so you won’t need an irrigation system to install it in your yard. However, it will need to be staked in the ground, which is a potential downside for some.
- Made with metal materials such as brass and zinc for a long-lasting sprinkler head
- Able to cover nearly 6,000 square feet of lawn
- Coverage can be up to a 43-foot radius and adjusted
- The spray pattern is also adjustable and can spray at 0 degrees up to 360 degrees
- Ideal for large lawns
- No need for an irrigation system
- Sprinkler head will need to be staked in the ground, which may not be ideal for some homeowners
9. Rain Bird 5000 Series Rotor Sprinkler Heads Bundle
Closing in on our final product is the Rain Bird Rotor Sprinkler Heads Bundle. This set of 6 rotor sprinkler heads is a perfect choice for those with large yards, hilly property, or gardens of thick vegetation.
This set is ideal for pre-existing irrigation systems, or for new irrigation systems. The total height of the heads is a little over 7 inches, giving you a 4-inch above-ground pop-up height.
These sprinkler heads are able to evenly distribute water anywhere from 25 to 50 feet and can be adjusted to accommodate your lawn’s specific footage. The spray pattern of the Rain Bird Bundle can be easily adjusted with the included flat-blade screwdriver.
The pattern of these sprinkler heads can be adjusted from as narrow as a 40-degree arc, or as broad as a 360-degree arc. A wiper seal on the inside of the heads prevents debris build-up and ensures proper popping up and retreating into the lawn.
- Comes in a set of 6 rotor sprinkler heads
- Great for an irrigation system
- Perfect for large lawns, hillsides, or thick vegetation
- 4-inch pop-up height
- The spray pattern can be adjusted between 40 and 360 degrees
- Spray distance can be adjusted between 25 and 50 feet
- The internal wiper seal prevents debris clogs and allows for efficient water flow
- Not ideal for small garden beds or lawns
10. Tomky Automatic 360 Rotating Adjustable Garden Sprinkler
Finishing up our best sprinkler heads list is the Tomky Rotating Adjustable Garden Sprinkler. It’s an above-ground option, ideal for those who don’t want a permanent watering system (such as irrigation) or a sprinkler head that penetrates the ground.
Unlike the other above-ground sprinkler on our list (the Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler), the Tomky throws water in a spinning fashion, distributing water 360 degrees. It features 3 rotating arms with 4 nozzles in each, giving you a total of 12 water streams for evenly watering your lawn.
This is an extremely simple sprinkler head to use and hooks up directly to your garden hose. Once the hose is attached, the water pressure builds and immediately begins watering the lawn.
The Tomky won’t cover much ground, so it’s best for small, circular yards or patches of grass. It’s also made of all plastic materials, resulting in quality that unfortunately isn’t as great as some of the other options in our review.
All-in-all, this oscillating garden sprinkler is a good choice for those who don’t need a high-end sprinkler and are only looking to water a small portion of the lawn.
- Great for small lawns
- The oscillating feature ensures even water coverage
- 3 rotating arms with 4 nozzles each for multiple water streams
- 360-degree pattern
- Won’t penetrate your lawn
- No need for an irrigation system
- Made of plastic materials — not as long-lasting or permanent as other choices
Best Sprinkler Head Buying Guide
In this section, we’ll be providing you with an in-depth buying guide of what you should consider in a sprinkler to help you choose the right product for you.
The first thing that you should consider when deciding on a sprinkler head is the range you need to cover your lawn or garden bed. Consider the size of the ground you need to be watered, the narrowness or broadness of it, and whether or not you have objects surrounding the lawn or bed that you don’t want to get wet.
Sprinklers all have varied ranges at which they are able to shoot water, with some shooting water at lengths as short as 8 feet, and others at lengths as far as 52 feet.
Sprinkler Head Type
While all sprinklers generally serve the same purpose, the method with which they shoot water differs, as well as the intensity of the flow, and direction of the water stream. Sprinkler heads may also differ in how many water streams flow at once.
- Impact sprinklers have one single direct stream of water that can be used to water a specific area or used to “tick”, or rotate, in a 360-degree circle or half-circle of various degrees. These sprinklers are best for large lawns or garden beds, as they’re meant to shoot water further.
- Above ground sprinkler heads, such as the Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler reviewed above, often have multiple nozzles and streams of water to cover more square footage of lawn. Their streams are also generally lighter than that of impact sprinklers, making them good options for delicate plants or grass.
- Pop-up sprinkler heads, or irrigation sprinklers, also have fine streams and aren’t as forceful with sprinkling. Like other sprinkler head types, they can cover a good bit of ground and can often spray in 360 degrees. What’s unique about these sprinkler heads is that they aren’t as noticeable and hide themselves in the lawn until you’re ready for them to water.
- Fixed Spray sprinklers are generally used for small garden beds and typically have a spaying distance of 8 to 20 feet. Their water flow is an unadjustable 360-degree pattern and is light, as to not trod flowers or delicate plants.
- Rotor sprinkler heads have a stationary exterior (meaning they won’t visually rotate like an impact sprinkler or above-ground sprinkler) and an internal rotating head. They’re often constructed in a pop-up fashion and rotate to distribute water evenly in all directions.
Spray Pattern Adjustability
Though most, if not all, sprinkler head types feature adjustable patterns, some are more adjustable than others.
If you have a lot of ground to cover, you’ll want to consider a sprinkler head that can water in a broad spray pattern, such as a sprinkler with a 360-degree pattern.
On the other hand, if your garden bed is narrow, or you have a small lawn, you should consider buying a sprinkler head whose pattern is limited.
When it comes to the best sprinkler heads on the market today, you can’t go wrong with the Orbit Voyager II Professional Adjustable Pop-Up Sprinkler Spray Head. Overall, it’s a universal option and a great choice for owners of both large and small lawns or garden beds.
However, if you’re looking for a sprinkler head for just your lawn, we recommend that you go with the Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler. It doesn’t stake into the grass, so you won’t puncture your lawn, and it covers lots of square footage, making it ideal for nearly all lawn sizes.
Lastly, if you’re only interested in the best sprinkler heads for garden beds, we suggest that you go with the Rain Bird Professional Pop-Up Sprinkler. This is 5-piece irrigation set with a 15-foot radius and 360-degree water pattern, perfect for garden beds of all sizes.