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Best garden sprinklers 2023: Now with Prime Day deals

Keep your lawn looking lush and your flower beds and borders watered with the best garden sprinklers, from £10 upwards

As the summers are getting hotter and drier, it’s more important than ever to keep your garden watered. With sustained temperatures in excess of 30 degrees and reduced summer rainfall, it doesn’t take long for grass to dry out and yellow, and for plants and trees to wilt through thirst.

That’s where a garden sprinkler comes into its own. They allow you to water large areas of your garden in one go, dripping water rather than saturating and giving a similar effect to a watering can, but without the need to head back to your tap to fill up and go again. However, unlike a watering can, a good sprinkler will be able to get to those hard to reach spots.

And as an added bonus, especially during those hot, sunny periods, you can leave your sprinkler out to do its thing, while you sit back and relax. Indeed, use a sprinkler in conjunction with a timer, and you can have your garden thoroughly watered while you sleep.

There are a number of different types of sprinklers on the market, each offering different ranges or shapes of coverage. Following our garden sprinkler buying guide, we’ve rounded up the best of breed to help you on your way.

Save a cool £8 on this Karcher sprinkler for Prime Day

During Amazon Prime Day, the Karcher Premium Oscillating Sprinkler is available for just £31, a tidy £8 less than its average price on the website. This limited-time offer concludes on Wednesday 11 October, offering a short window to get our favourite sprinkler for range and control.

While there are plenty of great offers available during this Prime Day sale, most of the offers are exclusive to Prime Members. If you don’t won’t want to sign up to a full membership straight away, you can access a 30-day free trial via the link just below.

Best garden sprinkler: At a glance

How to choose the best garden sprinkler for you

There are three main types of garden sprinkler, each available in a range of different sizes. Your choice will usually be governed by the area you want to cover.

Fixed sprinklers spray water upwards and outwards, and are particularly effective for getting water to small, dry areas where you are growing flowers, shrubs or other plants which need plenty of water. Fixed sprinklers usually stick into the ground using a spike.

Rotary sprinklers spray water from one or more heads or nozzles. They usually have a stick pushed into the ground or they sit on a base and they rotate under water pressure, meaning everything within the range of the sprinkler can get some water. They either spin in a 360-degree circle, or spray back and forth through 180 or 270 degrees.

Oscillating sprinklers are the kind you might see on a cricket pitch. Using water pressure they oscillate back and forth giving you a bit more control over where the water goes, so you’re not wasting it. They also cover a square area which makes them particularly handy for the average square lawn.

READ NEXT: The best garden hoses to buy

How far can sprinklers reach?

Beside the type of sprinkler, the other key thing to consider 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. Sprinklers with a longer range might not necessarily w

ater so well at close range though, as tuning the spray pattern for a larger radius can mean more landing at the edge and less landing near the centre.

Manufacturers will also talk about the size of the area the sprinkler covers 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. Remember: if your sprinkler can’t water the whole lawn or garden, you can always move it around (though 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 adaptor 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.

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How we test garden sprinklers

We test garden sprinklers by connecting them to a hosepipe and putting them to work on a flat garden lawn for a period of 20 minutes. We measure the range covered by the spray and look at the density and coverage of the spray pattern, to see if it leaves obvious gaps – or throws more water out in some places than in others.

We also consider how easy it is to change the range or the spray pattern, the robustness of the pipe fittings, and evaluate the stability of the sprinkler in operation – after all, nobody wants a sprinkler that won’t sit still while it waters!

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The best garden sprinklers to buy in 2023

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

Price when reviewed: £15 | Check price at 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 when reviewed: £15 | Check price at 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

Check price at Kärcher

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

Price when reviewed: £28 | Check price at 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

Check price at Robert Dyas

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

Price when reviewed: £39 | Check price at 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 when reviewed: £45 | Check price at Amazon

Hozelock’s Pro rectangular sprinkler brings you extras like a metal hose 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 when reviewed: From £36 | Check price at Amazon

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

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

Price when reviewed: £12 | Check price at 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