Best garden sprinklers 2022: The easy way to keep your lawn and borders watered


Keep your lawn green and your beds and borders damp with the top garden sprinklers from £10

It’s easy enough keeping your garden watered during the British spring and autumn, but once late spring hits and the rain (sometimes) stops coming, it’s a different story. In a hot summer, it doesn’t take long before your lawn dries out and yellows and the plants in your borders look tired and thirsty. With an extended dry period, some might even give up the ghost altogether.

So, what are you going to do about it? If you’ve only got a tiny garden or a lot of drought-resistant plants, you can get away with a watering can, but for a lot of us that’s just not practical. And while a hosepipe is a must-have for getting water to the more remote parts of your garden, it takes time and effort to give the lawn a refresh and get your beds and borders watered. However, if you have a lawn, beds or a small-ish garden that needs regular, consistent watering, a garden sprinkler can do the job while you get on with something else – or just put up your feet and relax.

Best garden sprinkler: At a glance

How to choose the best garden sprinkler for you

Garden sprinklers come in several different forms, and often several different sizes. Which you go for depends on the area you’re looking to keep watered.

Fixed sprinklers stick into the ground, usually on a spike, and spray water upwards and outwards to cover a circular area around the sprinkler. They’re particularly good for getting water to a small, sun-baked area of lawn or a bed or border where you’re growing flowers, shrubs or veg that need plenty of water.

Rotary sprinklers either stick into the ground or sit on a base, and spray water from one or more heads or nozzles. These rotate under water pressure, ensuring that everything within range of the sprinkler gets some water. They either work in a 360-degree circle, or you can sometimes set an arc so that the sprinkler will spray back and forth through a 180° or 270° arc.

Oscillating sprinklers sit on a base on the ground and drench an area to the left and right of the sprinkler, which oscillates one way, then the next, under water pressure. These give you a bit more control over where the water goes, so you’re not wasting it on areas that don’t need watering, and cover a squarer area than a rotary sprinkler, which makes them particularly handy for watering the average square lawn.

Beyond the type of sprinkler, the other key thing is the range. This will always vary according to the water pressure at your property, but you’ll find that some have a maximum range, or radius, of as little as 3m to 4m, while others will throw water up to 20m or more away. However, sprinklers with a longer range might not necessarily water so well at close range, as tuning the spray pattern for a bigger radius can mean more water landing at the edge and less landing near the centre.

Manufacturers will also talk about the size of the area covered in square metres. This gives you a good idea of how much of your garden will get watered, but keep in mind that the spray pattern will have an impact. What’s more, if your sprinkler can’t water the whole lawn or garden, you can always move it around (you might want to turn it off first).

Is there anything else worth looking out for?

Keep an eye on the connectors. Most sprinklers use the standard 1/2in hozelock-style connector, but some just have a threaded inlet, meaning you’ll either have to attach your own connector or screw the hose onto the sprinkler with a threaded brass or plastic connector. A few also have an outlet, allowing you to connect two or three to the same hose and use them at the same time, as long as there’s enough water pressure.

More expensive sprinklers may also have sliders or settings that enable you to adjust the range or switch between several spray patterns, which can be great if you want a finer, close-range mist or to focus most of your water away from the lawn and onto your borders.

READ NEXT: The best garden hosepipes, kits and reels

The best garden sprinklers to buy

1. Silverline 868552 Impulse: The best budget sprinkler for coverage

Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

This Silverline sprinkler is definitely old-school. Stick it in the ground on its spike and it uses a spring-powered mechanism to keep a jet of water moving in a circular pattern. Just watch out when you first set it running, as instead of rotating clockwise continuously, it does one full circle then doubles back in the other direction, which caught our testers unawares.

What’s more, they got a bit of a drenching, because the Impulse is more powerful than you might expect. It’ll cheerfully send water flying a good 7m or 8m away and, despite sitting at near-ground height, clear any fences or hedges in the way. Luckily, you can move clips on the sprinkler to change the arc of spray. Don’t let its diminutive size fool you; this one will easily water a medium-sized lawn or garden, and you can daisy-chain a second to the outlet provided if it won’t quite reach.

Key specs – Type: Rotating sprinkler; Range: Not specified; Area covered: Not specified; Adjustments: 90 to 360-degree spray arc; Connectors: 1/2in Hozelock, daisy-chain out; Dimensions: 32 x 140 x 350mm

2. Kärcher Rotating Sprinkler RS130/3: The best sprinkler for small lawns and gardens

Price: £15 | Buy now from Kärcher

It’s just as small and light as all the bargain-basement sprinklers, but this Kärcher effort is in a different league. Its tough plastic body and metal arms feel like they’re built to last, and the latter seem to turn without a whisper. With a good working pressure, Kärcher claims there’s enough power to cover a 133m2 garden, and in our tests the high spray pattern covered a good, wide area of over 10m in diameter. In fact, it does so nicely and consistently, with some of the water heading skywards to make sure the centre gets as much attention as the edge. If you’ve got a small to medium-sized garden, this little beauty may be all you need.

Key specs – Type: Rotating sprinkler; Range: Not specified; Area covered: 133m2; Adjustments: None; Connectors: 1/2in Hozelock; Dimensions: 200 x 248 x 100mm

3. Hozelock Rectangular Sprinkler Plus 2972: The best value lawn and border sprinkler

Price: £25 | Buy now from Robert Dyas

Hozelock’s basic oscillating sprinkler keeps things simple, with just a curved metal bar with 15 tiny holes to let the water out and two sliders to set how far it can move back and forth. All the same, it’s thoroughly effective, sweeping backwards and forwards to cover an area of up to 180m2 on the smaller version tested. Larger versions with 17 or 20 holes are available to cover up to 260m2. The sled-shaped base keeps it stable, even on rough ground, and there’s a standard Hozelock fitting for attaching the hose. You don’t get the bells and whistles of the more expensive oscillating models, but this is a great and very affordable way to give your lawns or borders a decent soaking.

Key specs – Type: Oscillating sprinkler; Range: 14m; Area covered: 180m2; Adjustments: Spray width; Connectors: 1/2in Hozelock; Dimensions: 142 x 450 x 110mm

Buy now from Robert Dyas

4. Kärcher Oscillating Sprinkler OS 5.320: The best sprinkler for range and control

Price: £40 | Buy now from Amazon

It’s twice the price of some oscillating sprinklers, but this Kärcher model justifies the premium by being so adjustable. Little click-in buttons on the body allow you to turn the different banks of nozzles on or off, so that you can set it to water a narrow area or the widest area your water pressure allows. What’s more, you can turn the water on or adjust the pressure on the unit itself, as well as adjust how far back and forth it can shift while oscillating. Plus, while the solid-feeling plastic base helps keep it grounded, flip-out ground spikes ensure it’s not going anywhere, which is a real plus if you have an uneven or sloping garden.

If you’ve got enough pressure this sprinkler will reach a range of 20m, either side, and even at a relatively lowly two bar of pressure you should reach up to 16m away. With a maximum coverage of 320m, it’s a great choice for keeping larger gardens watered.

Key specs – Type: Oscillating sprinkler; Range: 20m; Area covered: 190m2 to 320m2; Adjustments: Nozzle on/off, width, pressure; Connectors: threaded inlet with 1/2in Hozelock adaptor; Dimensions: 546 x 160 x 88mm

5. Hozelock Rectangular Sprinkler Pro 200m: The best sprinkler for consistent watering

Price: £50 | Buy now from Amazon

Hozelock’s Pro rectangular sprinkler brings you extras like a metal hoze connector, sliders to control the oscillation range and a dial that switches the outer nozzles off for a tighter fan of water. However, its real strength is its consistency. Hozelock claims that it’s designed to give 100% even water coverage regardless of water pressure, and we found that even with a slightly kink-prone hosepipe and turning down the tap, you still got steady streams of water erupting from its 20 nozzles, though the Kärcher and Gardena sprinklers had it beaten on range with everything maxed out. The slightly heavier sled base keeps it nice and stable, and everything works like a dream. If you live in an area where water pressure comes and goes, especially in the summer, then this is the sprinkler to buy.

Key specs – Type: Oscillating sprinkler; Range: 15m; Area covered: 200m2; Adjustments: Spray width, oscillation range; Connectors: 1/2in Hozelock; Dimensions: 160 x 100 x 80mm

6. Gardena AquaZoom M: The best all-round sprinkler

Price: From £43 | Buy now from Currys

The mid-sized sprinkler in Gardena’s AquaZoom line, the AquaZoom M, is a fantastic device for watering, with easy adjustments for spray range, spray width and water flow, and the kind of build quality cheaper models just can’t match – all backed up by a four-year warranty. Provided there’s adequate water pressure, it can fire its fan of jets out up to 18m away, and cover an area of 250m2.. And if that’s not enough for your palatial garden, the AquaZoom L ups the range to 21m to cover up to 350m2 for another £10 or so.

The adjustments make it easy to water larger or smaller areas, and we found the watering very consistent, with no pools or dry spots to be found. The wide feet also stop it moving around on sloping or uneven lawns. The Kärcher and Hozelock Pro sprinklers represent tough competition, but the Gardena is a superb all-rounder.

Key specs – Type: Oscillating sprinkler; Range: 18m; Area covered: 250m2; Adjustments: range, spray width, water flow; Connectors: 1/2in Hozelock; Dimensions: 530 x 168 x 100mm

Buy now from Currys

7. Amlion 3 Nozzle Lawn Sprinkler: The best budget sprinkler

Price: £12 | Buy now from Amazon

The Amlion 3 Nozzle Lawn Sprinkler follows the same design as a number of cheap import sprinklers, and the incredibly lightweight ABS plastic construction doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence. Yet, in practice, it’s surprisingly effective, spraying consistently over an area of around 10m in diameter in a garden where the water pressure isn’t spectacularly high. It’s very quiet with it, and you can adjust the nozzles to give a slightly narrower or wider spray. We suspect it won’t last as long as some of our contenders, but it’s a decent, budget sprinkler that’s fine for a small lawn or garden.

Key specs – Type: Rotating sprinkler; Max Range: 10m; Area covered: Not specified; Adjustments: Nozzle angle; Connectors: Removable 1/2in Hozelock; Dimensions: 205 x 205 x 90mm

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