The Best Sprinkler Heads – Complete Buying Guide & Reviews

​Keeping your yard, lawn or flowerbeds at their best isn’t always easy, especially during the scorching summer months where rainfall is at its lowest and the ground dries up. Using a hosepipe with a spray nozzle can be a very inefficient and time-consuming way to keep your garden green, particularly when you could be busy getting on with other things.

​Quick Overview: Our Top 5 Best Sprinkler Heads

The ever-increasing ease of installing home-irrigation systems is great news for the nation, and if you’re reading this article then there’s no doubt that you are considering purchasing sprinkler heads to keep your yard healthy and green. But which is the best sprinkler head, and how do you know which one you need?

There are a number of things to consider before making your purchase. Firstly, you will need to know the area that you would like each sprinkler head to cover. You may only be looking to buy one, or you may want several but for best results, you should ensure that all patches of your yard will be covered. Each sprinkler head product comes with an adjustable range and a top distance that it can throw water, some quick math should help you be sure that you’re making the right choice.

Another notable difference between certain products is the material that they are made from. Most popular sprinkler heads will either be made from heavy-duty plastic or a metal such as brass. Low-quality products can be easily broken due to water pressure, or an accident with the lawnmower. The sturdier the construction, the longer your sprinkler head should last so keep this in mind when considering your options.

The performance of a poor quality sprinkler head may be drastically affected by the source of your water. Secondary sources such as a pond can have high levels of sediment and cause a build-up of dirt in the irrigation system, causing blockages. However, a good sprinkler head will be able to cope with different types of water and be resistant to clogging.

With varying levels of water pressure across the states, we recommend considering the suitability of each product for your home. If you have particularly low water pressure, then you will need to look for a product that is able to function properly with low pressure, whereas some more powerful products work best with high water pressure.

Whatever your needs, it’s certain that there’s a sprinkler head on the market that will make your life easier. Here’s a quick recap of the main things to consider when making your purchase:

1. What distance needs covering?2. Do you want a long-lasting product?3. Does your water source contain sediment?4. Do you have particularly low or high water pressure?

The Best Sprinkler Heads:Rated 1 to 5

#1 Best Sprinkler Head – Overall

Rain Bird 25PJDAC Brass Impact Sprinkler

  • BRASS, BRONZE AND STAINLESS STEEL CONSTRUCTION – Long lasting, durable performance
  • COVERS UP TO 5200SQ. FT. – 20ft. to 40ft.  adjustable spray distance
  • HIGH GALLONAGE OUTPUT – Provides quick, effective coverage

This high-quality product from Rain Bird is, in our opinion, one of the best sprinkler heads available to homeowners. Its solid construction from brass, bronze and stainless steel ensure that it is durable and reliable, lasting for years to come and allowing you to relax without the stress of repairing or replacing broken sprinkler heads.

With an adjustable detector flap, you can adjust this products spray distance from 20ft. to 41ft. radius as well as being able to set the spray in a full (360⁰), or a part circle (20⁰ to 340⁰), depending on your requirements. These features make it an ideal product for a variety of lawns and gardens and facilitate consistent growing results all around.

The Rain Bird 25PJDAC has a controlled stream of water, which prevents side splash onto your house, walkway or drive and efficiently keeping the water flow on the desired areas. Its high gallonage output also means that this product will get the job done quickly and efficiently, bringing even the driest of gardens back to life again.

Facts and Features:

  • Long lasting metal construction
  • Adjustable to a full or part circle
  • Adjustable distance from 20ft. to 41ft.
  • High gallonage output
  • 1/2” male pipe thread connection
  • Controlled stream prevents side splash
  • Covers up to 5200sq. ft.

#2 Orbit Sprinkler System 1/2-Inch Brass Impact Head

  • 20FT. TO 40FT. RADIUS – Great coverage suited to most lawns
  • ANTI-BACKSPLASH ARM – Uses water efficiently and saves wastage
  • RESISTANT TO CLOGGING – Suitable for use with secondary water sources

Coming in at under $15, we’re really impressed with the performance and quality of the Orbit Sprinkler System 1/2-Inch Brass Impact Head. Adjustable to spray in either a full or part-circle and with an adjustable radius ranging from 20ft. to 40ft., this product is a strong contender for your home.

Unlike other more wallet-friendly sprinkler heads, this affordable option is made from brass and stainless steel, meaning that it will not only be durable and long-lasting but will also stay rust free.

To get the best performance from your sprinkler head, you can adjust this product’s spray pattern from a 25⁰ to a 360⁰ arc, and it is also designed to mimic the way that rain falls, keeping your plants healthy and happy instead of drenching them with a heavy jet spray. Its anti-backsplash arm also ensures that your water is used efficiently and you can protect areas such as your home or the walkway from waste-water.

The Orbit Sprinkler System 1/2-Inch Brass Impact Head is also designed to function using water with high sediment and debris levels, helping you avoid clogging and damage that could impact its overall performance.

It’s safe to say that this product ticks most of the boxes when it comes to the best sprinkler heads, and coming in for just $14.78, it takes the place of our best overall value product.

Facts and Features:

  • Covers 20ft to a 40ft radius
  • Adjustable to full or part circle
  • Anti-backsplash arm
  • Works with most 1/2 inch or impulse heads
  • Resistant to clogging
  • Durable design and material
  • Easily adjust patterns from 25⁰ -360⁰ arc
  • Brass and stainless steel construction
  • Mimics the way that rain falls.

#3 Rain Bird 2045A Maxi-Paw Full or Part Circle Impact Rotor Pop-Up Sprinkler

  • STRAIGHT THROUGH FLOW – Helps the product function using a secondary water source
  • HEAVY DUTY PLASTIC CONSTRUCTION – Prevents damage and breakage
  • DOUBLE-WEIGHTED ARM – Provides a slower rotation and increases the range of water throw

Also strongly deserving a place in our five best sprinkler heads, is the Rain Bird 2045A Maxi-Paw, which is a pop-up impact sprinkler head that provides great performance.

Unlike the previous two products, this item is not made from metal, however, its heavy-duty plastic case is sturdy and reinforced with a ribbed design to make it tough, durable and long-lasting.

Full lawn coverage shouldn’t be an issue, as this product can throw water in a full or part-circle, with an arc of 20⁰ to 340⁰; its double-weight arm also allows for a slower and steadier rotation and increases the distance of the throw at the same time.

What’s more, its straight-through flow allows dirty water to pass through with ease, avoiding clogging or build-ups of sediment, dirt, and debris.

  • Pop-up sprinkler head design
  • Straight-through flow
  • No tools required to change nozzles
  • Heavy-duty plastic case
  • Double-weighted arm
  • Full or part-circle arc

#4 Orbit 55200 Super Jet Pulse Pop-Up Impact Sprinkler Spray Head

  • ADJUSTABLE SPRAY PATTERN – Can be set to a full or part circle pattern
  • FLOW-THRU DESIGN – Works with dirty water
  • 3 INCH POP-UP HEIGHT – Pop up design for minimum visual impact

Coming in at just over $10, the Orbit 55200 is the cheapest product in our top five picks, but is it worth a place in your lawn? We think so. Although it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as some of our other products if you’re looking for an affordable, instant solution to provide your yard with some much-needed watering then this is sure to do the job.

This product provides a fixed 35ft. coverage with its spray, which is enough to cover a fair amount of ground. Its spray pattern is fully adjustable and can be set to spray on a full or part-arc, depending on your requirements.

The sprinkler head is designed to be used even with dirty water and thanks to its flow-thru design, clogging or build-up will not be an issue. When fully extended, this pop-up sprinkler head sits at 3 inches above ground height, for a subtle yet effective performance.

Facts and Features:​​​​​

  • 35ft. coverage
  • Fully adjustable spray pattern
  • Flow-thru design
  • 1/2” threaded side or bottom inlet
  • 3-inch pop-up height
  • Universal design for use with most products

#5 Orbit 55016 Sprinkler System 3/4 – Inch Brass Impact Spray Head

  • HEAVY DUTY DESIGN – Made of strong metal for long-lasting quality
  • UP TO 48FT. COVERAGE – The furthest coverage of our top five products
  • FULL OR PART-CIRCLE SPRAY PATTERN – Adjustable to cover the required area

At the highest end of our price scale sits the Orbit 55016 sprinkler head, which is suitable for you if you’re after something a little more heavy-duty than the previous products.

With an adjustable spray coverage of between 25ft. and 48ft., this product eclipses many others on the market and offers a solution to greater irrigation needs, such as particularly large lawns, grass courts or fields.

However, in order to get the most of out of this product, you will need high water pressure as its powerful spray is not suited to low to mid pressure areas. For this reason, it may only be suitable for a small number of homeowners.

Facts and Features:

  • 25ft. – 48ft. coverage
  • Heavy duty design
  • Requires high water pressure
  • Anti-backsplash tube
  • Full or part circle adjustable spray

Features of the Best Sprinkler Heads

To help you compare the best sprinkler heads on the market, we’ve put together a breakdown guide to the key features to look for, and what this means for you.

Spray Distance

Many sprinkler heads have an adjustable spray distance, and the range that is covered should be in line with the area that you would like to be irrigated. If no products are available to cover your entire lawn then you may need to purchase two or more products.

Spray Pattern

You may not want a sprinkler head that sprays in one fixed location, as this provides limited coverage and may overflow a certain area. Likewise, you may not want a sprinkler head that sprays only in a full circle, as this may spray water on undesired areas such as a building, footpath, or more delicate foliage. The most convenient products offer an adjustable spray pattern that can either be set to a full or part-circle.


Certain sprinkler heads may look like a bargain, but if they’re not robust then you may find yourself replacing them more frequently and ultimately spending more money. Thin plastic products can become damaged through debris in the water pipe, being run over by a lawnmower, or become worn down after consistent use. To avoid this, you should look for a durable product made from heavy duty plastic or metal.

Anti-Clogging Systems

If your water source is not entirely clean and may contain dirt, sand or other sediments then this may affect your sprinkler head and its performance through clogging. If this is the case, then you should look for a system that is designed to cope with secondary water sources.

Final Thoughts

It is clear to see that there are some great products on the market and understanding your needs will help you make the right choice and avoid disappointment. For this reason, you should be sure to carefully consider the size of your lawn, as well as factors such as water source and pressure. Once you have your list of criteria, one of the above five products is sure to tick every box.

About Gus Donaldson

I built houses for over 30 years and recently retired. I've made lots of mistakes and hopefully teach you not to make the same ones. I still love to build and have a garage workshop that I use for hobby projects like the walnut bookshelf I made for my wife. I like to write and let people know that working with your hands and tools does not need to be intimidating.

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