In a perfect world, you would let nature water your lawn. Perfectly timed rains would deliver the right amount of moisture to keep your grass green and thriving.
In the real world, however, nature isn’t always so cooperative. Dry spells and droughts can leave grass shriveled and brown. The blazing sun of summer can leave your yard begging for water. Vegetable gardens in particular may suffer if they are not watered regularly.
That is where the lawn sprinkler comes in. With the right one, you can keep your lawn and garden happy and healthy no matter how little it happens to rain. Here is a look at the best lawn sprinklers for 2020, and some advice about how to identify the best ones for you.
Top 8 Lawn Sprinklers of 2020
|Orbit Yard Enforcer||
|Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating||
|Sun Joe Adjustable Oscillating||
|Gilmour Rectangular Pattern Spot||
|Rain Bird Brass Impact||
There are many lawn sprinklers on the market from which you can choose. We have narrowed down the choices for you by identifying 8 of the best ones currently available.
1. Orbit Yard Enforcer – Best Premium Product
Individuals who need to keep animals away from their yards and gardens might enjoy the Orbit Yard Enforcer. This lawn sprinkler comes with a heat and motion activated sensor to detect pests like deer, cats, dogs, and birds that might damage your vegetation.
The sprinkler responds to intrusions by turning on. The sound, motion, and water quickly deter any animals from coming closer.
This lawn sprinkler comes with impressive coverage capabilities. It can detect motion from 40 feet away, and can spray 70 feet at a time in a complete circle. As a result, it delivers 3,840 square feet of coverage.
This sprinkler, however, is also versatile. You can adjust the spray to a narrower range to avoid walkways and other areas where people may be present. Thanks to its design as a two-step heavy-duty metal spike, you may place it anywhere in your yard.
The Orbit Yard Enforcer also comes with three detection modes from which to choose: Night Only, Day Only, and Night and Day. You may also set the sprinkler to a 30-minute watering pattern, or set it to use less than 2 cups of water per activation. You can also select run time (3-10 seconds) and angle (up for larger animals and down for smaller animals).
You can extend the coverage this unit provides by purchasing additional Enforcers or other sprinklers and connecting them to the Enforcer. This system allows you to cover as much area as you need relatively simply.
You do need to be aware that this sprinkler only detects motion from the front and is much pricier than other sprinklers. It also only runs for 3-10 seconds, which may not be enough to deter some animals.
- Extremely customizable
- Motion and heat activated
- Wide coverage area
- Can be connected to other sprinklers
- Only detects motion in one direction
- Short run time
2. Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler – Best Overall Product
The most impressive feature of the turbo oscillating sprinkler from Melnor is its 3-way adjustment of the water. You can adjust the range, width, and overall square footage covered by the sprinkler.
This feature means that you can more precisely target the area that needs watering, whether that be a yard or a single garden bed. Its capacities are as follows:
- Range: 15-75 feet
- Width: 20-53 feet
- Total area: Up to 4,200 square feet
This lawn sprinkler also allows you to adjust the direction of water flow right, left, or center. While tabs control the range adjustment, a single button controls the width adjustment for added convenience.
In addition to its 3-way adjustment, this Melnor lawn sprinkler uses a large volume tube, which fills during sprinkling, to maintain stability. It delivers water at a variable pressure ranging from 60 PSI to 20 PSI depending upon distance. It boasts a clog resistant design and 18 nozzles.
You do need to be aware that these units sometimes break early. They should not be left outdoors when not in use in order to extend their lives.
- 3-way adjustable water flow
- Large volume hose
- Clog resistant design
- Low price
- Prone to break early
- Cannot be stored outside
3. Sun Joe Adjustable Oscillating Sprinkler – Best for Budget
This oscillating lawn sprinkler from Sun Joe offers adjustable coverage to suit a wide variety of yards. Its capabilities include the following:
- Total coverage up to 4,250 square feet
- Maximum range of 36.1 feet
- 360-degree coverage
- Spray width from 29.5 to 59 feet
Thanks to its high level of customizability, this lawn sprinkler is a good choice for lawns of all sizes. It also prevents wasted water by allowing you to tailor the spray exactly to your needs.
This lawn sprinkler comes with 20 rubber nozzles that are clog resistant. The result is a more even dispersal of the water. It fits any ⅝ inch hose.
This sprinkler offers a good value because it is durable, inexpensive, and versatile. The only downside to this lawn sprinkler is the fact that it is constructed entirely out of plastic.
- Good value
- Adjustable for a wide variety of jobs
- Large coverage
- Constructed of plastic
For budget-conscious consumers, or those who only need small areas of their yard or gardens watered, the Gilmour Rectangular Pattern Spot Sprinkler is a good choice. This little, lightweight plastic sprinkler delivers a coverage area of about 12 x 24 feet. It handles low pressure water areas with ease, while delivering even coverage of the desired area.
This sprinkler works well for small jobs with low water pressure. It is not intended for bigger jobs. You should be aware that while its lightweight, compact design make very easy to transport and store, it also makes it easy to tip over in the grass. Many consumers have had to jury rig solutions to hold it securely in place.
This sprinkler is very cost-effective, durable, and gentle. It can serve well for small areas, newly seeded patches of lawn, and very small yards.
- Small and lightweight
- Even coverage
- Prone to tipping over
- Not suitable for large jobs
The GrowGreen sprinkler is a reasonably-priced, high-pressure, plastic lawn sprinkler. Even though it is made of plastic, it receives high praise from customers for its durability. In fact, it touts itself as a kid-friendly lawn sprinkler with an impact-resistant design. As a result, it can tolerate the usual bumps and wear and tear caused by children enjoying the sprinkler on a summer day.
This lawn sprinkler is not purely recreational, however. It delivers water to the yard at 80 PSI. This is enough pressure to spray the water in a radius of just over 32 feet.
In addition, you can adjust this sprinkler to spray in a variety of directions, depending upon the size of your yard or area that requires watering. This sprinkler rotates 360 degrees for full area coverage and includes weights to help it stay in place.
You do need to be aware that this sprinkler releases water at the top of acceptable pressure for pipes. Its range is also more limited than other types of lawn sprinklers, especially considering the power with which the spray comes out.
- Adjustable nozzles
- Low price
- High pressure
- Relatively limited range
For very large watering jobs, the Nelson Traveling Sprinkler (also called the Rain Train) provides exceptional coverage with a minimum of effort. This cast-iron sprinkler is designed to be heavy duty and comes with a 2-year warranty. That durability combines with a whopping 13,500 square feet of potential coverage.
This coverage is possible because the Rain Train use the water pressure from the hose to travel along the hose through the yard. You simply lay out the hose in the path you want this lawn sprinkler to travel, and turn the sprinkler on. The sprinkler will follow the hose path throughout the yard. To avoid wasted water, the sprinkler auto shuts off when it reaches the Nelson platform.
This sprinkler comes with some customization options. For example, you can choose from three speeds to achieve the water saturation level you want from your yard. You can also adjust the arms of the sprinkler to achieve a spray distance of between 15 and 55 feet, as well as adjust the arms to work in windy weather. The sprinkler will travel up to 200 feet on a hose.
The downsides to this sprinkler of which you should be aware include the fact that it uses a lot of water (about 3.4 gallons per minute). As a result, some consumers have seen an increase in their water bills as a result of this sprinkler. It may also get stuck in bare patches in the lawn because of moisture that makes the ground muddy. It is a bit pricier than other sprinklers so budget-conscious consumers should be aware of the price.
- Huge coverage area
- Heavy water usage
- Potential to get stuck
The Rain Bird brass impact sprinkler may be a good choice for consumers who are looking for a wide coverage, customizable, and durable lawn sprinkler. Based on the first impact sprinkler designed in 1933, this lawn sprinkler is made of high quality brass, bronze, and stainless steel. As a result, it is designed to be long-lasting.
This lawn sprinkler delivers up to 5,200 square feet of coverage for very large yards. At the same time, it is very customizable. You may choose any spray pattern you desire, and can adjust the radius of the spray from 20 feet to 41 feet. You can also set the spray to cover anywhere from 20 degrees to 340 degrees, or choose a full circle coverage.
This lawn sprinkler provides a directed spray. As a result, the spray splashes less than other models, allowing you to water where you need without getting anyone or anything unnecessarily wet.
You do need to be aware that this lawn sprinkler can be difficult to figure out how to use, because it does not come with instructions. Some consumers have also experienced leaking from their units.
- Large coverage area
- No instructions for use
- Occasional leaking
The traveling sprinkler from Orbit is similar in many ways to the traveling sprinkler from Nelson. It differs in two important ways.
First, it can be used as a stationary sprinkler. All you have to do is put it in the neutral setting. This gives this lawn sprinkler an added layer of versatility. Second, it is less expensive than the Nelson Rain Train, making it an appealing option for budget-conscious consumers.
Besides these differences, this lawn sprinkler’s capabilities are about the same as the Nelson Rain Train. It boasts the following capabilities:
- Coverage up to 13,500 feet
- Ability to travel a hose path
- Three speed settings to achieve different saturation levels
- Auto turn off when the sprinkler reaches the platform
- Adjustable watering diameter between 15 and 55 feet
- Travel capabilities up to 200 feet
- Cast iron construction
- Compatible with ⅝ inch hose
- Spiked wheels for better traction
- Variable speed
- Auto turn off
- Exceptional coverage
- Plastic in gearbox
- Does not always follow hose path accurately
How to Choose the Best Lawn Sprinklers
The list above should give you a good start in selecting the best lawn sprinklers for your yard. Before you run out to buy one, however, you should make sure you understand some important factors relating to lawn sprinklers. The following features should be part of your search for the best lawn sprinklers.
1. Water Pressure
Water pressure is what sends the spray from the sprinkler into the yard. You want a lawn sprinkler with enough pressure to get the job done, but not enough to damage your hose or the unit. As a result, look for a lawn sprinkler whose PSI (pounds per square inch) does not exceed 80. Excellent sprinklers can achieve excellent coverage without excessive water pressure.
Most sprinklers can cover a total area expressed in square feet. This total coverage can give you an idea of whether the sprinkler can handle your job. Traveling sprinklers can achieve coverage of more than 13,000 square feet, while stationary sprinklers can get up to more than 5,000 square feet.
Every watering job is different. To get the most precise coverage of your lawn or garden, look for a lawn sprinkler that is versatile. In particular, look for one that allows you yo adjust the following features:
- Width of spray
- Direction of spray
- Radius of spray
- Total coverage area
- Speed (if using a traveling sprinkler)
- Rotation (i.e. how many degrees does it turn?)
The more precisely you can adjust the flow of water, the more useful you will find the sprinkler to be, and the less water you will waste.
Naturally, you want your lawn sprinkler to last. As a result, look for one that possesses proven durability. For example, metal sprinklers will generally be pretty durable. However, plastic models can also serve you well over the long term. Check reviews to find out each model’s track record.
In addition, for peace of mind, embrace sprinklers that have strong warranties and a reputation for good customer service. Being able to replace your sprinkler if it does break can save you time and stress.
Here are the answers to some of the most common questions consumers have about lawn sprinklers.
1. Does it matter what type of lawn sprinkler I buy?
There are a number of different types of lawn sprinkler. Oscillating and traveling are two of the most popular. However, the type itself does not matter so much as does whether or not the sprinkler meets your needs. For one consumer, an oscillating sprinkler allows them to water their medium-sized yard just fine, while for another consumer, a traveling sprinkler is necessary to keep a sweeping estate lawn looking beautiful. Always examine the features of the sprinkler to make sure it will suit your needs.
2. How often should I use my lawn sprinkler?
The frequency with which you use your lawn sprinkler depends upon the weather and your lawn. However, a good rule of thumb is to water 2 or 3 times a week in order to give your lawn at least an inch to an inch and a half of water total on a weekly basis. Try to run your sprinkler in 20 or 30 minute intervals to achieve the kind of deep watering your lawn needs without overwatering it.
3. Do lawn sprinklers waste water?
Consumers are, naturally, often concerned about how much water their sprinklers use. The reality, however, is that the right lawn sprinkler can use less water than using a hose. The reason? You can tailor a lawn sprinkler’s flow to hit exactly the area you need. It distributes water evenly across the lawn, and it achieves a saturation level that is adequate but not excessive. Auto turn off features can also conserve water by relieving you of the need to remember to turn off the sprinkler yourself.
Lawn sprinklers give you the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful, thriving lawn without needing to water it by hand. If you want to put less time into your lawn, with better results, consider one of the 8 best lawn sprinklers in our list. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the most important features of these sprinklers, and buy the one that best suits your specific needs.