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Whether it’s a narrow lawn or a large garden, garden sprinklers are a great way to stay on top of your irrigation. The best garden sprinklers will keep your grass, flower beds, and borders perfectly nourished and lush throughout the hottest summer months.

There are many different types of garden sprinklers, and finding the best garden sprinkler will make a great difference in the health and appearance of your garden. In this ultimate guide to garden sprinklers, we’ll go over the main types of garden sprinklers, how garden sprinklers work, and how to choose the best sprinkler for you.


  1. How do lawn sprinklers work
  2. Types of garden sprinklers
  3. Different types of sprinkler mounts/stands
  4. Top garden sprinkler brands
  5. What to consider when buying a garden sprinkler
  6. Garden sprinkler FAQ

How do garden sprinklers work?

Garden sprinklers are one of the most simple and intuitive ways to water your lawn and plants. In simple terms, a garden sprinkler works by distributing water over your garden or lawn in a controlled and even manner. The aim of a garden sprinkler is to replicate rainfall. It's connected to a water source, like your home's water supply. When you turn it on, water flows through the sprinkler system and is pushed out through the sprinkler heads. Depending on the type of sprinkler, the water can spray in a fixed pattern, rotate, oscillate, or even travel across the lawn. This allows the sprinkler to cover a specific area of your garden, ensuring that your plants and grass receive the water they need to grow and stay healthy.

You often see garden sprinklers in properties with large lawns, but even those with smaller areas of grass are inclined to use them. The sprinkler reduces the effort of the watering process, making it convenient and efficient to maintain a well-watered garden. They can also be used in conjunction with water controllers and timers - saving you loads of time and money in the long run, and are especially useful for watering your garden whilst away from home.

See our guide to automatic watering here for a look into hassle-free garden irrigation utilising water timers.

What types of garden sprinklers are there?

The main types of garden sprinklers include oscillating sprinklers, impact sprinklers, rotary sprinklers, and travelling sprinklers. Each type of garden sprinkler has its own benefits, depending on the size and shape of your garden, and it’s important to find the right sprinkler for you in order to keep your garden properly hydrated.

Oscillating sprinklers

Oscillating sprinklers

These classic domestic sprinklers consist of a long barrel with nozzles along its length, shooting small streams of water in a back-and-forth motion across the lawn. This distributes water in a large, rectangular, waterfall-like pattern. With their adjustable settings, oscillating sprinklers are ideal for fine-tuning coverage, making them an excellent choice for efficiently watering narrow lawns or larger areas without wasting water.


  • Expect good and consistent water coverage that can be easily adjusted with the settings on the sprinkler.
  • Easily gets into corners with its rectangular pattern without over-spraying.
  • Drops large amounts of water - mimicking heavy rain.


  • The gear drive mechanism and nozzles on cheaper oscillating sprinklers can clog and degrade, causing the oscillating action to fail over time.
  • The streams of water are easily impacted by windy conditions as it sprays high in the air.
Impact sprinklers

Impact sprinklers

Impact sprinklers, known for their distinctive "clicking" sound, rotate in a circular pattern and shoot water out in a long stream. They offer several adjustable settings to suit various watering needs, making them ideal for professional and domestic use. They feature rotation control, allowing adjustments of the arc from a partial circle to full 360-degree coverage, catering to a wide variety of lawn shapes and sizes. Most models also include a deflector shield and diffuser pin, which modify the spray's height, range, and gentleness, enhancing the sprinkler's adaptability to various garden requirements. Some models also feature a flow control, allowing you to precisely determine how much water is being used, which is great for saving water.


  • Excellent water coverage for large areas and control for off shaped areas.
  • The lower spray trajectory and heavier stream of water is better protected from windy conditions.
  • Easy to maintain, offering long-life and performance.


  • The circular spray pattern doesn't reach the corners of square or rectangular areas efficiently.
  • Requires higher than average water pressure to operate correctly.
Rotary Sprinklers

Rotary Sprinklers

A rotary sprinkler (AKA round sprinkler), often used for small to medium-sized lawns and gardens, operates by rotating streams of water from multiple arms or gears. This type of sprinkler is known for its slow and even application of water, making it highly efficient for deep watering. The rotating mechanism allows it to cover a wide area with a gentle spray, minimising water wastage and ensuring thorough irrigation, which is especially beneficial for lawns and large planting areas.


  • Even water distribution, reducing dry spots or overwatering.
  • Efficient water use thanks to slow and steady spray patterns.
  • Perfect for tender plants as the water droplets will be smaller than with oscillating sprinklers.
  • Low maintenance with fewer moving parts compared to other sprinkler types.


  • Not the best choice for rectangular or square areas.
  • Less customisation making them unsuitable for small or narrow areas.
  • Windy conditions can impact the distribution of water.
Travelling sprinklers

Travelling sprinklers

Travelling sprinklers move through your garden on their own, either following the hose as a track, or being pulled by a draw-cord, watering the grass as it goes. This sprinkler is perfect for large or irregularly shaped areas because it can cover much more ground than a stationary sprinkler. You set it up, turn it on, and it slowly travels along its set path, ensuring that all parts of your lawn get evenly watered without the need for you to move it manually. When it reaches the end of its path, it automatically shuts off. It's especially useful for those who have bigger gardens and is commonly used for watering sports fields.


  • Moves on its own, providing even water coverage across large or irregularly shaped lawns without manual intervention.
  • With some models, you can set the path using your garden hose, allowing you to precisely target the areas that need watering.


  • Its effectiveness is dependent on how well you lay out the hose.
  • Draw cord models can only travel in a straight line.
  • Traveling sprinklers are generally more expensive than stationary ones.

Garden sprinkler stands; tripod, skid and spike sprinkler mounts

Skid-mounted Sprinklers

Skid-mounted Sprinklers

Skid sprinklers are a top pick for landscapers and turf professionals. The skid base, also called a sled base, is specifically designed to glide effortlessly across the ground and remain stable during operation. The skid base acts just like a sledge, allowing the sprinkler to be easily moved simply by pulling on the connected hose. My usual recommendation is to set up the skid sprinkler at the far end of the garden, turn it on for the desired amount of time, and then move it closer by pulling on the connected hose; no need to turn it off, walk up to the sprinkler and relocate it.

The construction of skid sprinklers varies, offering options from basic plastic to more robust heavy-duty steel. The steel-based skid sprinklers are highly recommended due to their enhanced stability and durability, ensuring a longer lifespan and consistent performance.

This combination of ease of movement, material variety, and professional preference makes skid sprinklers an excellent choice for efficient and flexible garden watering solutions.

Tripod Sprinklers

Tripod Sprinklers

Tripod sprinklers excel with their elevated sprinkler head design, enabling wider area coverage and the ability to water over taller plants and shrubs. This elevation ensures thorough watering for both low and high vegetation in your garden. The tripod's three-legged structure offers notable stability on varied terrains, ensuring consistent performance and reducing the risk of tipping.

These sprinklers are also user-friendly: easy to set up, move, and ideal for space-saving storage, thanks to models with folding legs and adjustable height. This combination of wide coverage, stability, and convenience makes tripod sprinklers a practical choice for efficient and effective watering in larger gardens and sports fields.

Spike Sprinklers

Spike Sprinklers

Spike sprinkler mounts offer simplicity for garden watering. As the name suggests, spike sprinklers have a stake that easily penetrates the ground, providing a secure and straightforward installation. This design ensures the sprinkler stays firmly in place during use, making them ideal for use in various soil types, from soft loam to harder clay.

One of the key advantages of spike sprinklers is their portability. Due to their compact size and easy-to-install nature, they can be quickly relocated around the garden, allowing for targeted watering in specific areas or reconfiguration of your watering setup as your garden grows and changes. This flexibility is particularly useful in dynamic garden environments where plant needs vary seasonally.

Additionally, spike sprinkler mounts are known for their durability. Typically constructed from robust materials like metal or heavy-duty plastic, they withstand frequent use and exposure to outdoor elements, ensuring long-lasting performance in your garden. Their straightforward design and robust construction make spike sprinklers a reliable and convenient choice for gardeners seeking an effective and adaptable watering solution.

Top garden sprinkler brands

Garden sprinklers don't have to be expensive, but investing in a good sprinkler system is a sure way to a vibrant lawn and healthy garden. There are a number of garden irrigation brands that offer diverse ranges of high-quality sprinklers. At Easy Garden Irrigation, we only stock the best garden sprinklers. These are easy to use and incredibly reliable. Our top garden sprinkler brands include:

Professional sprinkler range: These sprinklers are made to meet a high standard and are compatible with QuickClick connections. For a more professional setup, these sprinklers can upgrade to Geka couplings. We would suggest the super versatile Garden Skid with Impact Sprinkler.

Claber sprinklers

Made from high-grade materials, Claber’s range of sprinklers is incredibly durable, reliable, and fully adjustable. They also connect to hosepipes through QuickClick connections, making them completely compatible with all other brands.

Shop for Claber Sprinklers

Hozelock Sprinklers

Hozelock often offers the best value for money. Find sprinklers with coverage of up to 320m2 and with prices starting below £20. We would recommend the Hozelock Rectangular Sprinkler Pro, a tough, adjustable sprinkler that offers a large coverage of water.

Shop for Hozelock Sprinklers

Gardena Sprinklers

Use Gardena sprinklers to keep your lawn green and lush in the driest and hottest weather. They specialise in precise, even watering for gardens of all sizes and shapes, with quiet and easy-to-use sprinklers that feature multifarious settings. 

Shop for Gardena Sprinklers

What to consider when buying a garden sprinkler

As garden sprinklers come in many different brands and types, what you get should depend on a number of factors - such as what you are watering, your water pressure, your climate, and the size and shape of your garden.

What needs watering?

The kind of sprinkler you get should greatly depend on what you plan to water. For example, garden sprinklers for flower beds will need to reach over any tall plants and flowers. If your plants require frequent watering, find a garden sprinkler with convenient features to make the watering task as easy as possible.

Remember to choose a sprinkler that will thoroughly irrigate your plants. A large garden sprinkler should reach all your plants and borders, and a small garden sprinkler will contain water to only the desired space.

What is the shape of your garden?

Depending on the shape of your garden, the best sprinkler may release its water in a round, pie-shaped, square, or even rectangle shape. A lawn sprinkler for narrow areas will be able to perfectly irrigate your garden while avoiding any nearby structures or areas that shouldn't get wet. You can also find highly adjustable sprinklers to easily direct the water where it should go.

Water pressure

The water pressure from your garden tap will affect how well your sprinkler works, and most sprinklers won't function well with low pressure. Luckily, there are some specifically designed sprinklers that are tested to work well with low water pressure, such as fixed or spiked sprinklers.


Do you live in a hot, windy, or dry location? If that's the case, you should avoid sprinklers that spray high in the air (such as oscillating sprinklers) as water could be easily lost due to evaporation. You may also want to consider how much rainfall you normally get and how much you will need to use your sprinkler.

Garden sprinklers FAQ

Garden sprinklers can efficiently water your garden, but if not used correctly or not properly monitored, they may use as much as 1,000 litres an hour. For the most water-efficient approach, we would recommend automatic irrigation systems.

You can easily install and set up a sprinkler irrigation system, but if you would like some expert help with the design and planning - find free irrigation design advice here.

Although sprinklers are often associated with large lawns, there are small garden sprinklers that are the perfect solution for watering tight or narrow spaces.

Find the best garden sprinkler for you by considering your budget, garden size, garden shape, and climate.

Explore our full range of Garden Sprinklers today, featuring top brands and professional-grade sprinklers. For more insights and guides on garden irrigation, see our Help & Advice page, and feel free to contact us with any questions.

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