Almost everyone has a pleasant memory of running through a sprinkler as a kid. If you never quite grew up, maybe that memory is a recent one. Either way, lawn sprinklers are a staple of a great lawn: they make lawn care easier while providing a great time for kids and adults alike. These days, there is even a greater variety of sprinklers available to consider. From pulsating to oscillating sprinklers, finding the right one is a matter of knowing your needs.
All of the sprinklers on this list have one thing in common: a simple garden hose hookup that doesn’t require digging up the yard. While sprinklers have different spray patterns like rotating or stationary shapes, all of them can be placed anywhere your hose can reach. The biggest decision you will have to make is what kind of water coverage you need. Stationary sprinklers are a good place to start, but if you need extra range or coverage, something that pulsates, rotates or oscillates might be a better choice.
01 of 08
Best Overall Sprinkler: Webram Lawn
Lawns come in all shapes and sizes. For the best overall pick, this sprinkler needs to be able to adapt to changing curves and dimensions that exist between different front and backyards. The Webram Lawn sprinkler is a budget friendly option that uses the standard circular, rotating spray pattern that is effective for small to medium lawns.
The sprinkler features twelve individual nozzles mounted on three rotating arms. You can individually adjust the nozzles and arms to change the spray angle, giving you an almost infinite amount of fine control over the pattern. Larger angles will let you cover more area without creating any dead spots in the pattern. The rotating nozzles will also make sure water is distributed evenly within the coverage area.
02 of 08
Best Value Sprinkler: MyGarden Lawn Sprinkler Automatic
A simple, budget sprinkler is the perfect option for people looking to water a small lawn or wanting multiple sprinklers for something larger. This sprinkler from MyGarden can cover 3,600 square feet of grass to ensure your whole lawn is properly nourished.
You can choose from two types of sprays for either slower irrigation or quicker irrigation. Each spray type has a different diameter it reaches as well. This budget-friendly sprinkler is made from a rust-proof ABS plastic so you just need to lightly clean the product to keep it in running condition for years to come.
What's more, if you aren't in love with the sprinkler, the company will fully refund your purchase.
03 of 08
Best Pulsating Sprinkler: Melnor 9550C
Pulsating or impact sprinklers are the type of sprinkler you need when range is important. To toss water extra far, sprinklers like the Melnor 9550C use a small, paddle mechanism to project the water as it exits the nozzle. Rotating on a sturdy, metal spike, the nozzle can launch water up to 85 feet in a circular pattern.
The rotation of the nozzle is adjustable from a narrow 30 degrees all the way to a full 360 degree circle. The spike cuts into the ground for extra stability without tearing up your yard as you move the sprinkler around to cover different areas. The spike is made of die-cast zinc so you can drive it into hard soils without much effort.
04 of 08
Best Oscillating Sprinkler: Melnor 4000 Deluxe
For traditional rectangular or square yards, rotating sprinklers aren’t as efficient to cover all of the grass without wasting a lot of water. Circular patterns create a lot of overlap as you move the sprinkler around, meaning you will probably end up watering the sidewalk, driveway, or patio along the way. Oscillating sprinklers like Melnor’s 4000 Deluxe prevent this from happening by creating an efficient angular spray pattern.
In total, 18 clog-resistant nozzles spray water back and forth to cover up to 4000 square feet. The back and forth motion of the sprinkler distributes water evenly over a large surface area without wasting additional water. Internally, the sprinkler is also designed to separate the water from the turbo drive motor so small parts aren’t damaged from impurities.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best Stationary Sprinkler: Gilmour 1-225
A stationary sprinkler is one of the most reliable and flexible options you can buy, especially if you don’t have a larger yard to cover. Without any rotating, moving parts, a stationary sprinkler directs water without the risk of something breaking. The Gilmour 1-225 takes the top spot in this category for the plethora of spray options it provides.
Much like a showerhead, the sprinkler comes with 8 pre-set spray patterns you can select with a simple twist of the nozzle base. Each pattern creates a different shape so you can fine tune the coverage area while moving the sprinkler around. The sprinkler is designed to operate at low pressures as well to reduce the amount of water you need to cover the whole lawn.
06 of 08
Best Garden Sprinkler: Noodlehead N111C
Gardens present unique challenges compared to lawns when watering. While many people do fine with a standard hose and nozzle head, a dedicated garden sprinkler can uniformly water your plants while reducing the amount of effort required on your part. The Noodlehead N111C is one of the most flexible sprinklers that is uniquely suited for this challenging task.
Made up of 12 individually flexible noodles, each nozzle can bend in any direction. This will allow you to customize the watering pattern to your exact liking. Avoid overwatering or hitting buildings, cars, and sidewalks by adjusting each nozzle to the direction you want to cover. The flexible noodles can also hit multiple plants at once without drenching any of the surrounding grass, ornaments or furniture.
07 of 08
Best Kids Sprinkler: Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Blossom
Kids are meant to be outside when the weather is warm. Since they are naturally attracted to the sight of water springing out over a lawn, it can be nice to have a sprinkler meant for them. The Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Blossom amps up the summer with a colorful, playful floral design. Several streams of water spring out of each flower, creating a large spray area that kids can run through or stand in to cool off during the heat.
Durable plastic nozzles and a base will handle the typical amount of force children can dish out during regular play. The body and hose connector are also strong enough to survive bites and scratches from small wildlife or family pets.
08 of 08
Best Motion Activated Sprinkler: Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer
Adding some smarts to the typical lawn sprinkler can help you maximize your water conservation during hot and dry summers. The motion activated Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer comes with a 120-degree motion sensor that can also detect night and day changes. Using this sensor, the sprinkler can turn on or off during the optimal times of day, minimizing the amount of water lost due to evaporation.
The motion sensing technology is also the perfect pest deterrent if you battle local wildlife on a regular basis. Cats, dogs, skunks, squirrels, and even deer will all get a nice, unexpected shower if they stray onto your lawn. The sensor is sensitive enough to detect the differences between animals and leaves or tumble weeds so you won’t have to worry about the sprinkler triggering unexpectedly.
What to Look for in a Sprinkler
Lawn size For lawns up to 4,000 square feet, a model suited for small yards—like a fixed sprinkler—will be sufficient. For lawns up to 10,000 square feet, select something a little more powerful, like an oscillating or rotating sprinkler.
Connection Look for models with a sturdy metal connection to prevent clogs, leaks, and protect against everyday wear and tear.
Features If your area has water restrictions or if you travel frequently, look for models with automatic timers. Flow timers and automatic shutoff valves earn extra points for convenience.