5 Best Sprinkler Heads Of 2023 Reviewed

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Are you tired of pulling out the hose to water your lawn?

The solution is to install quality sprinkler heads. The problem is that choosing between sprinkler head features and models can be overwhelming.

If you want to save time, water, and money while increasing the beauty and health of your lawn, flowers, trees, and shrubs, you only need to use any of the best sprinkler heads I review in this buying guide.

Features I Look For In A Sprinkler Head:

MaterialsNeed To Be Durable And Rust Resistant
InstallationMust Be Easy To Install
NoiseQuiet Operation

Our List Of The Best Sprinkler Heads

Best Overall For Medium To Large Lawns

Rain-bird 5000 Series Rotor Sprinkler Head

5000 Series Rotor Sprinkler Head - 5004 PC Model, Adjustable 40-360 Degree Part-Circle, 4 Inch Pop-Up Lawn Sprayer Irrigation System - 25 to 50 Feet Water Spray Distance (Y54007) (20 Pack Case)

Reasons To Buy

  • 3/4″ inlet provides ample water pressure for superior spray
  • Very easy to install and offers easy-access adjustment using only a screwdriver
  • 40-360 degree arc rotation allows for a wide range of delivery patterns
  • 20-pack of heads provides good value for the price

Reasons To Avoid

  • Spray-pattern inserts on the head may come loose
  • Pulling up on the head for adjustments can be difficult for some

The Rain-bird 5004 PC Rotor Sprinkler Head offers Rain Curtain Nozzle Technology which sprays water evenly so no areas are left too wet or dry.

Each sprinkler head features a 3/4-inch inlet for more water volume, an adjustable 40 to 360-degree arc rotation, or a full-circle reversing rotation that sprays water between a 25 to 50-foot radius so that it reaches more plantings.

I like how easy it is to adjust the water arc with a screwdriver and that the nozzles are already in place, so there’s no assembly. The head also uses a heavy-duty retraction spring, so you don’t have to worry the head won’t pop back down.

The Rain-bird 5004 PC Rotor Sprinkler Head deserves to be a top pick because they are an industry leader for features and quality in lawn irrigation systems. This model sprinkler head is best for homeowners with medium to large-size lawns since the heads offer a wide-diameter spray range.

Best Pop-Up For Dirtier Water

Hunter PGP-adj Rotor Sprinkler Heads

HUNTER PGP-adj Rotor Sprinkler Heads - 4 Pack - Includes Adjustment Tool

Reasons To Buy

  • 3/4″ inlet provides ample water flow for spray pressure
  • Easy to install and comes with a tool for quick adjustments
  • Quiet operation
  • Improved gear tolerance for dirty water provides clog-free delivery
  • 4-inch pop-up height is suitable for most lawns

Reasons To Avoid

  • Lower-terrain heads may leak after shut-off without adding a thicker gasket
  • This item does not include any other size nozzles

The Hunter PGP-adj Rotor Sprinkler Heads come with the #7 nozzle already set in the head, so you don’t have to hassle with assembly.

The pop-up sprinkler heads feature 30-40 feet of spray distance and a full-circle adjustment with rotation between 50 to 360 degrees. Making adjustments is easy with the included tool, and each sprinkler saves water by delivering even water distribution while allowing you to keep the spray off walkways.

I like that they feature improvements for dirty water, so the sprinkler’s gears can deliver reliable results without jamming up. I also appreciate how quiet these heads operate, with little noise as they rotate and spray.

The Hunter PGP-adj Rotor Sprinkler Heads are deserving of their high ratings due to decades of experience in the irrigation industry and features that improve performance. This model is best for homeowners with medium-size lawns who want long-term, reliable operation along with easy installation and adjustability.

Best Fixed Head Sprinkler

Orbit Sprinkler System

Orbit 55032 1/2' BRS Sprinkler Head, Connection, Silver and Gold

Reasons To Buy

  • No-fuss brass construction for rust-free, reliable, long-term performance
  • Excellent adjustability, so you can set the 25-360 degree spray pattern with precision
  • Nozzle spray pattern is gentle and offers an anti-backsplash arm for better watering control
  • Head design is made to resist clogging for stress-free use, even with well water
  • Universal fit means you can use it to replace a 1/2-inch impact sprinkler head

Reasons To Avoid

  • Fixed head means it could be a trip hazard or look unsightly
  • Getting even water distribution is a bit harder to control with this style of head

The Orbit Sprinkler System 1/2-Inch Brass Impact Head is the solution when you want the durability of brass construction and an impact head that can replace the need to use several pop-up heads in one area of the lawn.

The fixed head uses a 1/2-inch inlet and offers a full or partial-circle spray pattern with a 25 to 360-degree arc. The sprinkler can cover any distance between 20 to 40 feet, which can water most lawns effectively. You can also attach it to a riser or tripod for use as a portable watering solution.

I like the solid brass and stainless steel construction that stays free of rust and won’t crack, so it can operate for years without the need for replacement. I also like the way the spray disperses the water, which is more like raindrops and not a harsh jet, so plant foliage doesn’t sustain damage.

The Orbit Sprinkler System 1/2-Inch Brass Impact Head makes the top five for its all-metal durability that delivers a lot of flexibility in water range, pattern, and portability. This sprinkler head is best for homeowners with any size lawn who don’t mind having fixed heads possibly interfering with the aesthetic of their landscaping.

Best Pop-Up For Tall Grass

Toro ProStream Pop-Up Rotor Sprinkler System Head

Toro ProStream XL 5-Inch Pop-Up Adjustable Pattern Rotor Sprinkler System Head 53823 (Pack of 2)

Reasons To Buy

  • 3/4″ inlet provides ample water pressure for superior spray
  • Easy to install and can work as a replacement head in many systems
  • 5-inch pop-up can spray without interference from taller grass
  • 40-360 degree arc rotation provides pattern flexibility
  • Comes with three slow-rate nozzles so you can water evenly and efficiency
  • Quiet operation keeps noise during operation to a minimum

Reasons To Avoid

  • Price is a bit high for a single sprinkler head
  • Instructions for installation are difficult to follow

The Toro ProStream XL Rotor Sprinkler Head comes in a single pack, which means you can purchase the exact amount of heads you need.

The pop-up head features a 3/4-inch inlet that delivers excellent water pressure behind the adjustable 25 to 46-foot spray distance and 40 to 360-degree arc rotation. This head can also work as a replacement part for most impact or geared rotor heads in an existing irrigation system.

I like that this model pops up five inches, which increases versatility when watering, especially if you want to keep your lawn long or you have groundcovers. I also like that it comes with three nozzles that feature slow-rate release so you can reduce water loss while keeping your yard and plants healthy.

The Toro ProStream XL Pop-Up Rotor Sprinkler Head makes our top picks because it’s an irrigation system workhorse that delivers even watering year after year. This model sprinkler head is best for homeowners with medium to large lawns who prefer having the option to grow their grass taller without interfering with the spray.

Best Budget For Larger Lawns

KORAM Pop-Up Sprinkler Heads

KORAM 4' Pop-up Sprinkler Heads Fully Adjustable Pattern 0° to 360° Spring-Loaded Sprinkler Nozzle for Irrigation Watering System Lawn Yard Garden Park Planter Flower Beds (4-Pack)

Reasons To Buy

  • Simple and quick twist-lock adjustment
  • Rain Curtain nozzle delivers a consistent spray pattern that saves water by reducing misting
  • 0-360 degree adjustability offers full water spray pattern versatility
  • Spring-loaded means pop-up head retracts fully when not in use, which reduces the chance of damage
  • Four-pack delivers a good value when covering a larger lawn

Reasons To Avoid

  • Spray distance is in relation to your home’s water pressure, so some may find it lacking
  • Tend to break off fairly easy if stepped on or hit by a mower while extended

The KORAM 4″ Pop-up Spring-Loaded Sprinkler Heads feature easy twist adjustments, so you can quickly set it to your grass line for ideal performance.

The sprinkler head construction starts with a 1/2″ insert, UV-resistant plastic to prevent cracks, and internal gear-driven rotors that withstand years of vigorous use.

I like the nozzle delivery that forms more significant water drops, so the wind doesn’t blow off the spray, which wastes water. I also like how fully-adjustable these heads are, with 0 to 360-degree adjustability, which makes it one of the most versatile sprinkler heads on the market.

The KORAM 4″ Pop-up Sprinkler Heads are a top pick because they combine great value with extensive spray distance and pattern options. This model sprinkler head is best for homeowners with any size or shape of lawns since the head pop-up will clear most yard heights and the adjustability for coverage is impressive.

Do You Really Need A Sprinkler Head?

If you don’t mind dragging out the hose and attaching a traditional lawn sprinkler that needs constant monitoring, then no, you don’t need a sprinkler head.

sprinkler head and oscillating sprinkler

For those who want to skip the nuisance of watering, especially in the hotter and drier months, then a sprinkler headset on a timer can:

  • Eliminate hours of hose-watering work
  • Avoid trip hazards by using pop-up heads
  • Improve savings in water expense and runoff or evaporation waste

In-ground sprinkler systems increase curb appeal by keeping your lawn lush and green, which adds to the value of your home.

Features Of The Best Sprinkler Head

These are the things you need to watch out for before buying a sprinkler head:

Type of sprinkler head

Different brands and models of sprinkler heads perform differently. Depending on the needs and size of your lawn or landscaping, you can select from:

  • Rotor head
  • Spray head
  • Pop-up style
  • Fixed style

Rotor Sprinkler Heads

rotor sprinkler head watering grass

Rotor heads work under a higher water pressure than spray sprinkler heads to disperse water in a circular motion. Rotor sprinkler heads are best for more extensive lawns since they cover a larger diameter of grass.

Spray Sprinkler Heads

Spray sprinkler heads also disperse water in a circular motion but run effectively on less water pressure. Spray heads are easy to adjust and are better for use on smaller lawns or confined areas of plants.

Pop-Up Style Sprinkler Heads

Pop-up style heads raise from below ground as water pressure is applied. This type of sprinkler reduces tripping, makes mowing easy, and is not visible when not in use, so your yard looks nicer.

Pop-up style sprinklers range in heights from two inches on up to 12 inches to suit the length of your grass or plantings.

Fixed Sprinkler Heads

fixed style sprinkler head watering lawn

Fixed sprinkler heads remain above ground, so they are always visible and can be a trip hazard. The best reason to use fixed sprinkler heads is to reach shrubs other plants that may be on an incline or behind other plants.

Critical Sprinkler Head Features

  • Spring Retraction – A metal spring will pull the pop-up head down after watering. Gravity-type retractable heads tend to get “stuck” in the upright position.
  • Body Style – “Bucket” styles allow debris to enter the riser while the head is up, which can prevent the head from retracting properly. Look for sprinkler heads with traps to avoid this issue.
  • Wiper Seal – Look for a wiper seal that prevents water leakage from the riser stem while the head is up.

Durable Construction

Sprinkler heads should be made of extremely durable ABS plastic with rust-resistant metal components. The construction must hold up under the continuous stress of having water pressure applied and released.

All-metal sprinkler heads should be made of corrosion-resistant brass or stainless steel.


Sprinkler heads not set correctly can waste a lot of water by catching the spray in the grass blades next to the unit or by spraying onto non-plant areas.

Sprinkler heads that offer the most adjustability in terms of pop-up height, arc, and spray distance will ensure you are only watering the foliage that needs it, without any wasteful runoff.

Sprinkler Head FAQs

What Are The Different Types Of Sprinkler Heads?

Spray heads are small and deliver a fan-shaped water pattern. They typically come with an array of nozzles that send out different spray patterns. Spray heads have a 30-foot radius average range and can work under lower water pressure. Rotor heads shoot water back and forth over your lawn. Some rotors are “impact,” which means they fire short bursts of water while gear-driven models spray more quietly and cover an area more evenly. Rotary nozzles or rotator heads are the size of smaller spray-type heads but incorporate a rotary action. Sellers often advertise the units in the “spray head” category. This type of head produces less misting and allows more space between units, so they are more efficient than traditional spray heads.

Can You Mix Sprinkler Heads?

Yes, you can mix sprinkler head types within your irrigation system as long as you are only using a single style of sprinkler head in a particular zone. Mixing up sprinkler heads within a zone will produce uneven water dispersement, which will lead to you having some areas that remain dry while other areas are soggy or muddy. Being able to mix sprinkler heads is a nice benefit that lets you water taller shrubs, sections of lawn, and even your vegetable garden all at the same time.

How Many Sprinklers Can You Put On One Line?

The amount of heads you can install on one line depends on the flow rate and pressure of your water source. Every sprinkler head should offer a chart with performance data and recommendations, so don’t assume one spray head is exactly like another. To figure your sprinkler head needs, divide the GPM (gallons per minute) flow through your water system by the GPM flow through the sprinklers at your available pressure. Round the final number down to the nearest whole number to determine the maximum number of sprinklers you can put on one line.

What Is The Best Brand Of Sprinkler Heads?

There are many quality brands of sprinkler heads that consider themselves the best on the market. Customers find that they get consistently reliable water delivery and long-lasting sprinkler head performance from these companies: Hunter, Orbit, and Rain-bird. The Hunter brand has been around for a very long time and has a reputation for being a leader when it comes to sprinkler head innovations.

How Often Should Sprinkler Heads Be Replaced?

With proper care and maintenance, a sprinkler head should last anywhere from two to 15 years. Expect a short lifespan when you purchase inexpensive models that are more prone to breakage. High-quality heads that you maintain on a regular schedule should last around 10-12 years on average. Avoiding damage from foot traffic or yard care equipment is another precaution that will reduce the time between sprinkler head replacements.

About Justin Micheal

Justin has always loved gardening and caring for the outdoor spaces in his grandmother's backyard. He believes everyone can enjoy the space available to them, no matter how big or small. On Backyard Digs, he shares everything he's learned about growing a successful garden and maintaining and improving the landscape of a backyard.