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The 5 Best Garden Sprinklers for Your Garden

Keeping your lawn and garden watered is an important task, especially during the spring and hot summer months! You want the best pick of garden sprinklers to ensure everything is properly cared for-and we’re here to help.

A lawn and garden sprinkler that makes designs and patterns with the water stream.

Read on to learn our top picks for lawn and garden sprinklers, as well as information on sprinkler use and care, frequently asked questions, and more!

Why Water Conservation Is Important

Every gardener and lawn-conscious homeowner is invested in having terrain that’s well-watered and healthy from the soil up! But regular watering can consume quite a bit of water, which raises your water bill and strains the environment in certain drought-prone areas.

A young boy playing in a sprinkler.  The best garden sprinkler might be the one that's the most fun!
Watering your lawn and garden doesn’t have to be serious business ALL the time!

Making the best choice of lawn and garden sprinklers for your specific situation will help maintain tenable water usage. Many garden sprinklers boast features such as scheduled watering through apps, auto-shutoff, flow timers, and even remote-controlled Wi-Fi-all of which will help ensure healthy conservation of water while still keeping your lawn and garden pristine.

The Best Garden Sprinklers


Best Overall Sprinkler

The Melnor XT4200M

Melnor XT4200M XT Metal Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler, Black

Sitting at an average of 4 out of 5 stars with over 3,000 ratings, it’s clear that the Melnor XT4200M is a popular pick among garden sprinklers for a very good reason! Not only does it come from a highly reliable brand, the Melnor XT4200M has several features going for it: it’s praised for being extremely durable, with a metal base and sturdy design ranking it above competitive plastic garden sprinklers. It also has a fantastic range as an oscillating sprinkler, and it’s easy to use as well, requiring no adaptors for hooking up your garden hose.

Best of all, these features withstand the test of time, ensuring you won’t need to keep purchasing garden sprinklers year after year; when you invest in the Melnor XT4200M, you’re set for at least a few seasons, saving lots of money in the long run. And should anything happen to go wrong, Melnor offers a lifetime limited warranty on this garden sprinkler!

A standout among garden sprinklers for all these reasons and more, the Melnor X4200M has more than earned its place as the best overall garden and lawn sprinkler on our list!

Pros: 

  • This is a sturdy, long-lasting, far-reaching, and well-made garden and lawn sprinkler that comes highly ranked among its peers.

Cons: 

  • Some consumers have found that the plastic parts Melnor X4200M can warp when left under the sunlight too long, causing breakage. Others have noted that the oscillator may struggle to reach the edges of yards that are oddly shaped.

Best Sprinkler on a Budget

The Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16

Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 Indestructible Metal Base Oscillating Sprinkler with Adjustable Spray, 3600-Square Foot Coverage

If you’re searching for a garden and lawn sprinkler that works within your budget, look no further than the Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16! This is a gem among garden sprinklers, holding over 17,000 reviews, many of which are quite positive! With this cost-effective garden and lawn sprinkler option, you’ll have over 3,500 square feet of coverage with a sturdy, metal-based product that resists clogs and has a customizable pattern layout.

Not only is this a great, reliable choice among garden sprinklers for those looking to save money, but the Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 also invites folks who purchase their lawn and garden sprinklers to text directly with an Aqua Joe expert should they run into any issues with their sprinklers, making this a customer-friendly choice as well.

Pros: 

  • This garden and lawn sprinkler is praised for its performance and design, sacrificing none of its quality while still being affordable for most budgets.

Cons: 

  • Some consumers have noted a loose end piece that allows water to gush out of the sprinkler if not sealed properly. Others have seen excessive wear and tear if the Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 is used on a heavy, daily basis.

Best Portable Sprinkler

The Orbit Port-A-Rain Above-Ground Sprinkler System

Port-A-Rain Above-Ground Sprinkler System

Whether you have a larger yard or garden, or a complex terrain shape that has stumped other garden sprinklers, that’s not a worry with the Orbit Port-A-Rain Above-Ground Sprinkler System! This portable garden and lawn sprinkler includes a pair of hoses and three different attachable sprinkler heads that allow you to easily maneuver around and cover every inch of even the oddest-shaped yards.

Unique among garden sprinklers for its wide range and multiple configuration patterns, the Orbit Port-A-Rain Above-Ground Sprinkler System is a fantastic pick for folks who need a unique garden or lawn sprinkler solution!

Pros: 

  • This sprinkler offers a great solution for folks with unusual lawn and garden dimensions and sizes, and it’s noted for behaving just like a more expensive inground sprinkler system without the cost or commitment to install in the lawn.

Cons: 

  • Some customers have experienced issues with water pressure when using two or three of the sprinkler heads at once.

Best Oscillating Sprinkler

The Melnor MiniMax Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler

Melnor 65003-AMZ MiniMax Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler with QuickConnect Product Adapter Watering Set, On Base, Black, Yellow

Small in size but highly powerful, the Melnor MiniMax Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler is a tiny giant among oscillating garden sprinklers! With its smaller and slimmer design as compared to many oscillating garden sprinklers on the market today, the Melnor MiniMax is particularly useful for watering flowerbeds, gardens, narrow portions of lawns, and yard edges. Among its high reviews, this garden and lawn sprinkler has been praised for being particularly water conservative while living up to its full-sized coverage area of up to 4,000 square feet!

Pros: 

  • This small but powerful standout among garden sprinklers offers succinct watering with adjustable patterns, great coverage, and a fantastic brand backing it up.

Cons: 

  • Some consumers have difficulty setting up and operating their Melnor MiniMax, as it does not come with an instruction manual.

Best Automatic Sprinkler

The Melnor Traveling Sprinkler

Melnor 4501 Traveling Sprinkler Lawn Rescue-13,500 sq. ft. Coverage Variable Speed Control with Adjustable Spray Arms, 10 x 17.63 x 8 inches

If you’re on the lookout for garden sprinklers that can cover lots of areas and move around without you having to go shift the sprinklers manually every so often, look no further than the Melnor Traveling Sprinkler-a tractor-shaped garden and lawn sprinkler with a rotary sprinkler mounted on the back, which will go wherever you need your lawn and garden watered.

This is among the most efficient and cutest options for garden sprinklers! This tractor-shaped sprinkler travels where you lay out your hose line and will then shut itself off after completing the preset pattern. Not only is this one of those garden sprinklers that helps conserve water by using precisely enough to get the job done, it’s also sure to be a hit with any little ones in your family who will love watching this garden and lawn sprinkler chug along and do its work!

Pros: 

  • This clever and efficient garden and lawn sprinkler also serves a great cause. For every purchase of a traveling sprinkler, Melnor donates a portion of the proceeds to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Cons: 

  • Some customers have noted that the Melnor Traveling Sprinkler can move slowly. Others have run into issues where their sprinkler has worn down quickly with heavy, frequent use.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Lawn Sprinkler

When making your choice among all the lawn and garden sprinklers out there, you want to be sure to choose one that best fits your needs. Here are a few things to consider!

Type

There are several varieties of lawn and garden sprinklers to choose from.

Immobile

Immobile garden sprinklers, which connect directly to a garden hose, may be the best garden sprinklers if you’re looking to cover a small yard or garden with a radius of up to 15 feet. Be mindful of how much you use these at a time since water from an immobile garden and lawn sprinkler will fall on the same patch until manually moved.

An immobile garden sprinkler spraying in a half-circle pattern.

Sprinkler Hoses

Sprinkler hoses are somewhat similar to immobile garden sprinklers in that the delicate spray they emit will fall over the same areas until the sprinkler hose is adjusted. However, sprinkler hoses can reach far more area than immobile garden sprinklers, which makes them ideal for watering long and narrow stretches of garden or grass.

Rotating Sprinklers

Rotating garden sprinklers come in two subvarieties-rotary and impact. These garden sprinklers rotate a full 360 degrees while releasing water, which allows for much more coverage than most other garden sprinklers. The distinction among rotating garden sprinklers lies in that the rotary variety has a minimum of two spinning arms, while the impact variety has a single jet that sprays as it turns a full rotation (and typically has farther reach).

A rotating sprinkler spraying water.

Traveling Sprinklers

Traveling garden sprinklers, sometimes called “lawn tractors”, attach to a hose and move along a preprogrammed pattern to water their assigned area. Because of the motion involved with traveling garden sprinklers, these are generally not the best fit for small gardens unless you can keep an eye on them and ensure their movement does not damage anything growing in the garden patch.

Oscillating Sprinklers

Oscillating garden sprinklers are some of the most well-known and popular garden sprinklers on the market. These bridge the gap between immobile garden sprinklers and rotating or traveling garden sprinklers, in that their sprinkler heads fan from side to side, spraying a wider radius and offering greater coverage than an immobile garden sprinkler.

An oscillating sprinkler on a lawn.

Inground Sprinklers

Finally, inground garden sprinklers are the most technologically savvy of all garden sprinklers. These take a lot of up-front work to install, as they need to be mapped to your specific needs; these garden sprinklers also require laying down water trenches and lines, and the installation of the system itself, hooked up to the water main. However, once you’ve taken the time to set up this sprinkler system, watering your terrain is as easy as pressing a button on your smartphone or setting a schedule. These are particularly attractive to folks who travel frequently and will not be able to water their lawn or garden manually during the summer months.

An inground sprinkler head spraying water.

Coverage Area

When considering the coverage area of lawn and garden sprinklers, you should also bear in mind that the adjustable patterns and distance sprays advertised on most garden sprinklers depend greatly on the water pressure of your hose. Be sure to assess the pounds of water per square inch (PSI) that your hose is capable of to ensure you aren’t paying more for a sprinkler to maximize your coverage area than your hose can support.

Rotating sprinklers watering a very large yard.

Material

Typically, most lawn and garden sprinklers are made of either plastic or metal, though occasionally manufacturers will use rubber or silicone. Each of these has its own pros and cons, based on performance, durability, fading, thinning, rusting, and more. When choosing the best lawn and garden sprinklers for your needs, it’s important to be mindful of the quality and durability of any of these materials to ensure you get the most out of your purchase.

How to Use Your Sprinkler Efficiently

While watering with lawn and garden sprinklers can be a very straightforward task, it’s important to be mindful of how to maximize the use of these tools!

Because sprinklers spray water into the air rather than drenching the ground, it can be difficult for the water to actually reach the roots of grass and plants; worse still, if water from the sprinkler sits too long on the leaves, it can lead to fungal growth and blights on your plants.

In order to make the best use of your sprinkler, it’s recommended to water around dawn, when the air is cool and the sun is rising. This cooler time of day will reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation, while the rising sun will evaporate the water off the leaves to minimize the risk of fungal growth and blight. Be sure to turn off your sprinkler as the day rolls on, or set it to an automatic timer to ensure you don’t overwater your lawn or garden.

Lastly, the type of soil in your lawn and garden will affect just how much water is needed to properly water your plants. Take time to learn the type of soil on your property and research its watering needs to ensure you’re using your sprinkler optimally.

Closeup of an oscillating sprinkler.

How to Care for Your Sprinkler

Like any lawn and garden tool, you’ll get out of your sprinkler the care you put into it! For this reason, it’s important not to expose your sprinkler excessively to the elements. For sprinkler units or sprinkler hose nozzles, be sure to let all water drain from the interior and let the sprinkler itself dry out; then store these in a garage, shed, or basement. It’s also important to avoid running over sprinklers and hoses with a lawnmower, as this will rapidly deteriorate their integrity.

If you care for your lawn and garden sprinklers well, keep them clear of the elements as much as possible, and clean them as needed, they’ll be great tools that serve your home care needs for a long time!

Which is the Right Sprinkler for Your Garden?

Feeling excited about choosing the best of these great lawn and garden sprinklers for your lawn care needs? Don’t forget to check out The Melnor XT4200M!

Fur kids also have fun with water!

Of course, sprinklers are just one way of meeting your garden’s watering needs. Visit our Garden Watering page and learn more about the best practices and products for all types of garden watering methods and systems.