A garden sprinkler can make your life a lot easier. They’re particularly useful if you’ve got a newly planted lawn or your grass is suffering in dry weather. However, problems with leakage, uneven coverage and water pressure mean it’s important to choose the right model for your garden. I’ve researched the best sprinklers and put them to the test so you don’t have to. Here’s what I discovered…
What is the Best Garden Sprinkler For You?
- Best all-round garden sprinkler: Kärcher Premium Oscillating Sprinkler
- Best sprinkler for small gardens: Hozelock Rectangular Garden Sprinkler
- Best budget option: Gardena Classic Oscillating Sprinkler
- Best sprinkler for large gardens: Costwise Oscillating Bar Lawn Sprinkler
- Best for low pressure: Claber Idrojet 2000 Sprinkler
Comparing The Best Garden Sprinklers
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In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Garden Sprinklers
Kärcher Premium Oscillating Sprinkler review
- Area Coverage: 320m²
- Weight: 0.86kg
Getting a sprinkler that is easy to adjust can mean the difference between perfectly watering the lawn, and sending water wildly shooting into the neighbour’s garden.
Fortunately, Kärcher have created this Premium Oscillating Sprinkler with an abundance of controls to help keep water wastage (and bills!) to a minimum. It’s one of the most expensive sprinklers featured, but it comes the high quality we’ve come to expect from the Kärcher brand.
Water flow can be adjusted from the sprinkler itself, removing the necessity to dash back and forth to the tap to get the right pressure. Another benefit of this is that the sprinkler can be momentarily turned off as you change the settings, so you don’t have to get soaked each time.
Oscillation can also be adjusted, and the spray width is customisable by choosing which jets to turn off. Overall, in terms of control and adjustability, Kärcher have created a product which is up there with the best garden sprinklers available to date.
Whereas other sprinklers may need to be weighted or secured down, this Kärcher sprinkler comes with ground spikes that push into soft ground and keep the unit in place.
There are just a couple of things to bear in mind: as with many sprinklers, coverage will vary depending on the available water pressure – when some jets are closed off, the water pressure from the open jets is higher than when they’re all open.
Also, a jet un-blocker is included, but it can be difficult to dislodge – using a coin can help get it loose.
- You can customise how wide the spray is by shutting off jets.
- Shut-off valve allows you to adjust water flow from the unit so it's easy to move around.
- Two foot-spikes push into the ground and hold it in place.
- Comes with splashguard to protect you - you can change settings whilst the sprinkler is still on.
- It seems very robust and sturdy unit, especially compared to some other models.
- Coverage may vary depending on your water pressure.
- Hole cleaner is difficult to dislodge - using a coin helps get it loose.
- When all jets are open, the coverage is lower than when some are closed.
- No instructions included which would be useful - just pictures printed on packaging instead.
- If water pressure is high, the jets can spray in a tall arc and be carried in the wind.
Hozelock Rectangular Garden Sprinkler review
- Area Coverage: 200m²
- Weight: 0.4kg
For those with relatively decent water pressure and a rectangular garden, the Hozelock Rectangular Garden Sprinkler offers good coverage and can be adjusted depending on which areas of the garden require watering.
“But what if my water pressure isn’t high?”, you ask. Well, the Hozelock will still be able to water the garden, but you may have to re-position it several times to get the coverage you’re after.
Water pressure is important to mention, because varying pressure can alter the Hozelock’s performance quite dramatically. With around 1 bar of pressure, the reach of the sprinkler is dramatically reduced, with at least 4 bars required to get coverage closer to the advertised 200 m².
Even so, even with limited pressure, this rectangular sprinkler can reach further than some competitors because it has smaller holes which drive up the pressure inside the unit.
There are 17 jets in total, which can be adjusted easily to water on only one side of the sprinkler, or both sides in a relatively even rectangle.
The biggest drawback to be aware of is how low water pressure can affect this sprinkler’s ability to oscillate. Without enough pressure, it can get stuck more often, leading to uneven coverage. Sticking can be a general problem with this sprinkler, but it can sometimes be solved by liberally applying WD40, or soaking the unit in vinegar and water to remove limescale.
- Generally offers consistent coverage.
- Quiet in operation.
- Easy to set up and get going.
- Sprinkler distance is adjustable.
- Users feel this is a reasonably priced product.
- Relatively high pressure required to keep sprinkler oscillating.
- Depending on water pressure, may cover less than stated area.
- Needs to be stored out of the sun to stop it suffering UV damage.
- Some users find they need to weigh down one end of the sprinkler.
- May stick and require adjusting to find a setting that works consistently.
Gardena Classic Oscillating Sprinkler review
- Area Coverage: 220m²
- Weight: 0.3kg
Now, we all love a tool with adjustable settings – but isn’t it great when you’re not limited by the 3 or 4 gradient settings provided by the manufacturer?
Gardena seem to agree, and their Classic Oscillating Sprinkler has fully customisable oscillation, anywhere up to 180°. This means oscillation can be adjusted exactly depending on the demands of your watering task.
As a result, its range can extend anywhere from 7 – 17 m (water pressure permitting), and its width covers around 8 – 13 m.
The spread is quite wide, doing a relatively good job of evenly covering a rectangular space. It is also possible to reduce the water pressure by using a dial on the unit. This may be helpful for people with small gardens or very high water pressure.
The usual comments apply: the strength of your water pressure will affect maximum coverage. Make sure that your tap doesn’t have a pressure-limiting attachment fitted, as removing this can sometimes make all the difference.
This is a relatively inexpensive, basic sprinkler, which doesn’t have all the features of competitors such as the Kärcher model, but it also comes without the higher price tag.
- Allows you full control of the oscillating rotation, anywhere up to 180° - not limited to only a few settings.
- Achieves an evenly-shaped rectangular spread.
- Wider spread than other similar models.
- Works extremely well in small gardens.
- Compatible with standard hose connectors so you shouldn't need to buy any extra fittings.
- If other household appliances are using the water, water pressure to sprinkler drops.
- Optimum coverage may vary depending on the general water pressure available at your home.
- Takes some trial and error with adjusting the settings to get it working how you want.
- Lightweight and may need to be secured.
Costwise Oscillating Bar Lawn Sprinkler review
- Area Coverage: 375m²
- Weight: 1.12kg
One issue that comes up time and again with sprinklers is their stability, or lack thereof. Due to the force of their spraying power, they often need weighing down or securing in place.
Costwise have come up with a simple solution in their Oscillating Bar Lawn Sprinkler by including a metal base, rather than using the more-commonly-found plastic alternative. This adds more weight to the sprinkler, making it less likely to jump around.
The good news is a more stable sprinkler equals more consistent watering!
Costwise advertise a huge coverage area of 385 m² with their sprinkler, which can probably only be achieved with substantial water pressure; however, it does have the potential to be a powerful sprinkler nonetheless, even with less pressure available.
Like several of the best garden sprinklers, you can adjust the oscillation and water flow of this Costwise sprinkler. In fact, it’s possible to separately adjust the left and right nozzles to get the exact spray pattern for your space. Fed up with watering your paths and wasting water? No more!
For gardeners who like to play around with settings and get them just right, it’s worth nothing that this sprinkler can’t be switched off from the unit itself.
Water flow can only be adjusted from the tap, or the attached hose if it has a stop valve. This can lead to a bit of a soaking if you need to stand in the splash-zone for a while making adjustments!
- Great coverage with good water pressure.
- Connects easily to standard hose fittings.
- Wide metal base keeps the sprinkler steady and the spray even.
- Extremely versatile with several different settings to alter pressure and spray coverage.
- Limits water wastage by allowing you to use only as much as necessary.
- Some users have found that the coverage is not entirely even around the edges of the sprinkler's reach.
- Coverage may be less than advertised area size, depending on available water pressure.
- Does not come with instructions, only basic diagrams on box.
- Setting adjusters can be stiff and are made from plastic so care must be taken.
- You may need to move the sprinkler several times to properly cover your garden.
Claber Idrojet 2000 Sprinkler review
- Area Coverage: 113m²
- Weight: 0.24kg
For gardener’s who struggle with the constant battle of sprinkler vs. water pressure, Claber’s rotating Idrojet 2000 is one of the most reliable and best garden sprinklers to use in low-pressure areas.
Making lacklustre spraying and uneven coverage a thing of the past, this 3-arm Idrojet 2000 can achieve a coverage of around 8 – 10 m even with just 1 bar of pressure. Sure, it might not sound like much for big gardens, but in a small/medium space, or where pressure is low, you won’t find yourself having to reposition this sprinkler nearly as frequently as with other brands.
Offering impressive control over flow and coverage, and an even spray regardless of available pressure, this sprinkler can be adjusted to work in any area of the garden. If you’re nervous about watering your neighbour’s garden by mistake, you can even bring down the height of the spray by reducing the available pressure. A great way to keep water bills under control – you’ll only be paying to water your own garden!
There is a certain amount of ‘trial and error’ required to find the right sprinkler setting for the job, but overall the joy of finding a sprinkler to work effectively with low pressure is worth the extra time!
- Can cover 8-10 m diameter even with low 1 bar pressure.
- Offers much better performance than other models when working with low pressure.
- By altering the water pressure you can easily manage the flow and spread coverage.
- Distributes an even spray regardless of pressure.
- Can water small to medium gardens whilst only needing to move unit 1 - 2 times.
- No 'off' valve on unit or anti-shower guard - needs to be turned off at tap in order to move it without getting wet!
- May require a bit of initial 'trial and error' to find the right settings for your garden.
- Lightweight and may have to be pinned down if your hosepipe tries to pull against it.
- Due to circular sprinkle pattern may not reach garden corners, or may need to place closer to corners and waste some water.
Things to Know Before Buying a Garden Sprinkler
A garden sprinkler can save you time and effort, as well as water and money. However, it’s important to find the best garden sprinkler to suit your specific lawn or garden.
If you’re thinking about buying a sprinkler, take a look at the following tips to help you make an informed purchase.
The Benefits of Using a Garden Sprinkler
If you have a lawn, using a garden sprinkler will make your life much easier; it can be extremely difficult to water a lawn evenly by hand – not to mention tiring and time consuming! Watering by hand can lead to dry spots and puddles, neither of which are good for your lawn’s health. It is particularly important to water a newly planted lawn regularly, especially in dry weather.
Using a garden sprinkler will take away the labour-intensive task of hand-watering the lawn, leaving you free to do other things safe in the knowledge that your garden is being taken care of.
Not all sprinklers are created equal. It’s important to choose the best garden sprinkler to ensure that you get an even spray without leaks or water wastage causing problems.
A good quality product will give you years of use, whereas a cheap version may cause you nothing but hassle and need replacing after a short time.
Properties of a Good-Quality Sprinkler:
- A stable base which will give strong support to the sprinkler.
- Even oscillation – some cheaper sprinklers slow down at the end of each oscillation creating puddles close to the unit!
- A high number of jets – the more jets the garden sprinkler has, the more evenly it will water your lawn and garden.
- Adjustable settings – buying a sprinkler with plenty of adjustable settings will save you money in the long run. You can customise the settings for your garden to avoid wasting water.
Rectangular Vs. Round Spray Area
When people think of sprinklers their minds often go to the spiralling jets so frequently seen watering football pitches. However, these round sprinklers aren’t the only ones available. You can also buy sprinklers which cover a rectangular area, and these may well be more appropriate for your garden.
Many of us have rectangular lawns and gardens which means that round sprinklers are not ideal. You can often end up watering your fences or neighbour’s garden more than your own. Round sprinklers will likely cause you to pay for water which ultimately didn’t even end up benefiting your garden. For this reason, my list has stuck to reviewing rectangular models which are ideally suited to most gardens.
Size of Coverage
Check the coverage of the sprinkler you want to buy and compare it with the size of your garden. Do bear in mind that the coverage may be reduced if your water pressure is lower than 4 bars.
Choose a sprinkler that is adjustable so that you do not waste water. Ones that have separately adjustable jets on each side are particularly useful. This means you can avoid spraying paths, driveways, patios, and passing pedestrians when watering your front garden!
How to Tell if it’s Durable Enough
When choosing the best garden sprinkler, it is wise to buy one that is durable and well made. Cheap products are often unstable and prone to leaks.
Check user reviews to make sure that other customers haven’t complained of the sprinkler breaking or working less effectively.
Make sure the sprinkler has a firm and supportive base to avoid it tipping over and damaging itself (and/or your lawn!).
The best garden sprinklers will feature a metal filter in the hose connector. This will reduce the likelihood of the jets getting clogged and becoming ineffective.
Garden Sprinkler FAQs
Will the Kärcher sprinkler work with Hozelock attachments?
Yes, all of the products in this review will work with Hozelock fittings.
I use a sprinkler, but I still get puddles on my lawn. Why is this?
Assuming you are using a good-quality sprinkler, with around 16 jets, I would say you may be getting puddles either because you have clay soil or are on a slope.
If you have clay soil, you may notice puddles forming even when using a good quality sprinkler. This is because it takes a while for the water to soak into clay, so it will run off and form puddles in any dips. To prevent this, water in short cycles rather than one long spell.
If your lawn is on a slope it is also advisable to water in short spells to prevent all the water from running down leaving the higher sections dry.
When is the best time to use my sprinkler to water my lawn?
If you are using your sprinkler to water your lawn it is best to do this in the morning. There are two reasons for this: it will reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation, and it will prevent diseases that could arise from your lawn being left too damp overnight.