Best Lawn Sprinklers UK 2023 – The Key to a Golf Course Lawn 

By   | Last Updated :   July 4, 2023 | Filed In :   Product Recommendations & Advice

It’s an iconic image: the guy in a dressing gown, shorts and Crocs, out on the front lawn on a Sunday morning, beer in one hand, hosepipe in the other. But there are very good reasons why you don’t want to be (and shouldn’t be) that guy.

The person you want to be (and should be) is the one sitting in their front room reading the newspaper while outside a sprinkler is watering the lawn for them. Here’s our guide to the best lawn sprinklers on the market.

Our Garden Sprinklers Top Picks

Best Rotary for Large Gardens
Best Oscillating for Medium Gardens
Best Oscillating for Large Gardens
Best Rotary for Small to Medium Gardens
Best Rotary for Medium Gardens
Best Bar for Large Gardens
Best Rotary for Small Gardens
Best Travelling for Very Large Gardens
Best Impact for Medium Gardens
Best Impact for Large Gardens
Best Rotary for Large Gardens
Best Oscillating for Medium Gardens
Best Rotary for Small to Medium Gardens
Best Rotary for Medium Gardens
Best Rotary for Small Gardens
Best Travelling for Very Large Gardens
Best Impact for Medium Gardens
12/18/2023 02:20 pm GMT Lasso Brag

3 reasons why you shouldn’t be watering the lawn yourself

I can’t be sure but I suspect somewhere along the line everyone got the idea that the people with sprinklers were just too lazy to water the lawn themselves. In fact, the opposite is true: setting up a lawn sprinkler takes a little time and effort but it’s well worth it.

Here are 3 very good reasons why you shouldn’t be watering the lawn yourself:

Hosepipes waste water

There’s no way you can tell how much water you’re using or whether it’s too much or too little. Chances are, by the time you’re done, some parts of your garden are going to be waterlogged while others are just barely moist.

Hosepipes are inefficient 

Not only are hosepipes wasteful of water, a limited resource, but they’re also grossly inefficient. Sprinklers, on the other hand, spray water evenly across a wide area in fine droplets that are easily absorbed into the soil.

Hosepipes can be a waste of time 

Watering the garden by hand is time-consuming and stepping in puddles is not nearly as relaxing as it sounds. You’d be better off taking a nap or re-watching an episode of the Great British Bake-Off.

That being said, there are times when a hosepipe is the best solution, so they are still needed. You might need to clean paving, water pot plants, or target specific areas. You will also need a quality hosepipe to get the water to your sprinkler. 

The Best Sprinklers to Buy in 2023

Keep reading to discover our pick of the best lawn sprinklers and make that lush golf-course-looking turf a reality.

best lawn sprinklers uk 2023

Hozelock Rotating Pro Garden Sprinkler

Best Rotary Sprinkler for Large Gardens
Hozelock Rotating Pro Garden Sprinkler
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Key Features:

The Hozelock Pro has two spray patterns, a 360° rotating head and a hydraulic motor for even watering. Its coverage area of 314m² makes it suitable for lawns, flower beds and vegetable gardens. 

The sprinkler head is fitted atop a solid metal spike that, once driven into the lawn, provides a secure, stable platform that won’t tilt or move out of position.

To accommodate irregularly-shaped gardens, the pattern can be adjusted so it only sprays a triangular segment of the full circle.

Pro tip: If the earth is dry, the spike can be hard to drive home. Rather than pushing down too hard on the sprinkler head and possibly damaging it, soak the ground until it’s soft enough to receive the spike.

 Pros:

Cons: 

Gardena Aqua S Rectangular Garden Sprinkler 

Best Oscillating Sprinkler for Medium Gardens
Gardena Aqua S Rectangular Garden Sprinkler
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Key Features:

This sprinkler is made from UV and frost-resistant plastic. A rust-resistant, easily removable, tap-washable metal filter keeps dirt out of the mechanism. Limescale build-up in the nozzles can be removed with a handy pin on the underside of the sprinkler screw cap. You can adjust the angle of the nozzles with the sliders on each end of the sprinkler head.

By combining the sliders (the 2 orange sliders that control the width of the spray) and the little knob that sets the rate of flow, it’s possible to water a specific area.

 Pros:

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Kärcher Premium Garden Sprinkler

Best Oscillating Sprinkler for Large Gardens
Kärcher Premium Oscillating Sprinkler - OS 5.320SV
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Key Features:

With the Premium sprinkler, Kärcher has indeed reinvented rain. It is well-built, highly configurable and well worth the extra few pounds. 

It comes with built-in metal prongs that anchor it in place, an internal filter to keep the mechanism dirt-free and a cleaning pin to remove limescale. It has a protection lever that lets you adjust the settings without getting drenched or you can just switch it off at the tap.

Pro tip: Watching a couple of YouTube videos before setting it up will save you from having to decipher a user manual that is as much a hindrance as it is a help.

 Pros:

Cons: 

Wisdomwell Rotary Garden Sprinkler

Best Rotary Sprinkler for Small to Medium Gardens
Wisdomwell Rotary Garden Sprinkler
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Key Features:

The Wisdomwell is made of plastic and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), the same material as Lego. It’s an extremely tough plastic polymer that’s highly resistant to water, temperature differentials and ultraviolet light. It was specifically designed to keep its shape regardless of circumstances.

Each of the three swivel arms has 4 nozzles; one vertical and 3 adjustable. The nozzle angles (15-45°) are used to control the swivel speed.

Pro Tip: The Wisdomwell doesn’t come with the pin accessory used to remove limescale build-up from the nozzles but a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and water in a squirt bottle will do the trick. Spray it on then come back in 30 minutes and scrub clean.

 Pros:

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Madeking Garden Sprinkler

Best Rotary Sprinkler for Medium Gardens
Madeking Garden Sprinkler
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Key Features:

 The Madeking is identical to the Wisdomwell, apart from the design of the base, the cost and one key feature…

The Madeking can accommodate two hosepipes at the same time while Wisdomwell needs a two-way adapter (a European double-pass, included in the package).

The nozzle-cleaning tip outlined above applies here as well. Bear in mind that limescale must be removed regularly. If allowed to build up, it goes rock hard.

 Pros:

Cons: 

Cost Wise Lawn Bar Garden Sprinkler

Best Bar Sprinkler for Large Gardens
Cost Wise Lawn Bar Garden Sprinkler
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Key Features:

Oscillating sprinklers wave to and fro. The Cost Wise is a rectangular bar oscillating sprinkler with a single row of nozzles that can be adjusted independently. The length of the spray is contingent on the water pressure which is also adjustable. Orange sliders limit the spray zone.

There is a nozzle-cleaning pin embedded in the case, just press and twist to release it.

This sprinkler was not meant to live outdoors. You’ll need to bring it in over winter and when not in use.

 Pros:

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HTLY SPR Rotary Garden Sprinkler

Best Rotary Sprinkler for Small Gardens
Htly Spr Rotary Garden Sprinkler
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Key Features:

To clear up any confusion, I should point out that rotary sprinklers are not the same as impact sprinklers.

Impact sprinklers employ a spring to turn in a circle. The swivel head advances by degrees. Rotary sprinklers use water pressure to advance continuously. The motion of an impact sprinkler is jerky while a rotary’s action is smooth. Impact sprinklers tend to be noisy and require more maintenance. 

While still affordable, the HTLY SPR costs a bit more than other sprinklers but it’s made of ABS which is a lot more durable than other plastics.

The setup controls can produce a circular pattern, a fan pattern or a straight stream.

 Pros:

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Nelson RainTrain Travelling Sprinkler

Best Travelling Sprinkler for Very Large Gardens
Nelson RainTrain Travelling Sprinkler
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Key Features:

Travelling sprinklers are a bit like having a model railway in your backyard. A sprinkler head on wheels uses water pressure and an ingenious system of plastic gears to drive itself along the length of a hose. 

Travelling sprinklers are great for watering long, unbroken stretches of lawn. The Nelson RainTrain covers a distance of 61m. If you want to contain the spray within a narrow margin, you angle the spray arms slightly downward. For a wider spray, you angle them up.

Would it have killed them to include an engineer in a little cab and a woot-woot whistle every 10m? Seriously, I can’t find a single negative comment about the RainTrain. Everyone who bought one loves it to bits and praises it to the skies.

 Pros:

Cons: 

Orbit 55200 Pulse Pop-Up Impact Sprinkler

Best Impact Sprinkler for Medium Gardens
Orbit 55200 Pulse Pop-Up Impact Sprinkler
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Key Features:

Impact sprinklers are the most versatile and use the least water. They can be used for dust suppression and fire protection as well as irrigation. This sprinkler sits in a cup under the lawn and pops up when triggered.

Impact sprinklers need regular maintenance. Because there are more moving parts than other sprinklers, there’s more to go wrong. The sprinkler head and the water line have to be buried under the lawn so they’re also harder to set up.

That said, they’re also the most aesthetically pleasing because everything is hidden from view. 

Pros:

Cons: 

Wisdomwell Pulsating Long-Range Impact Sprinkler

Best Impact Sprinkler for Large Gardens
Wisdomwell Pulsating Long-Range Impact Sprinkler
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Key Features:

This is a solid, workmanlike piece of no-frills kit that gets the job done.

While the Orbit lives under the lawn, the Wisdomwell lives on top of it. As such, you can move it around to different parts of the garden. The Wisdomwell has a built-in timer so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn it off.

 Pros:

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How to Buy the Best Garden Sprinklers 

When it comes to selecting sprinklers, we’re spoiled for choice. There are a lot of really good sprinklers out there and they’re all reasonably priced. To choose between them we have to satisfy the following conditions:

Water pressure

If your water pressure is good, all you have to do is pick a sprinkler compatible with the size of your garden. If it’s poor, if opening one tap causes another to slow to a dribble, you need a sprinkler that’s designed to make the most of low pressure.

The type of sprinkler

There are oscillating, rotating, and impact sprinklers. Each type has its pros and cons. All of them offer the choice between spray, which is gentler and slower but takes longer, and stream, which is quicker.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How often should I water my lawn?

You can drive yourself nuts figuring out how much rain has fallen, how much water various kinds of plants need, the consistency of the soil and how well it retains moisture, etc.

Rather than trying to establish a schedule, skip all that and get your hands on a nice, big screwdriver. Make a hole in the soil with it, then stick your finger in the hole.

At a depth of 5-6cm, if the soil feels dry, run the sprinkler for a while, watering slowly so that it has time to soak in, then test again. Keep doing that until the soil is damp to a depth of 15cm. This is called bringing the root zone up to field capacity.

The golden rule is to water deeply and infrequently. This way, your plants grow deep roots, making them drought-resistant.

When should I water?

Water early in the morning before the sun gets too hot so you don’t lose too much to evaporation.

How much water does a garden sprinkler use?

Watering with a typical sprinkler using a standard 1.5cm garden hose for one hour uses nearly 4000 litres of water; if you water twice a week, that’s about 32,000 litres a month.

Conclusion

Sprinklers are essential to that lush, smooth golf course look and healthy, properly-watered lawns will be able to resist weeds and pests. Evenly-applied watering loosens soil that has become compacted and improves drainage. By encouraging the growth of deep roots, the lawn is more resistant to drought.

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By Charl Jooste

Charl is a full-time writer with a range of passions and expertise in lawn mowers and other garden power tools. After many years in the corporate rat race, he decided to follow these passions. When not writing, Charl can be found in his garden, tending to or propagating plants, keeping the lawn near perfect, and enjoying the outdoors with his dogs. He is also fascinated by emerging technology and tries to squeeze in a round of golf as often as possible.

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