Your lawn needs a lot of tender loving care, but mostly it needs water and sun. You can’t control Mother Nature, so you can’t just leave it up to the weather to feed your grass. And when you have an expansive lawn, you need the best sprinkler for large areas.
Walk into a hardware store, a big-box store, or hop online and you’re bound to be inundated with a ton of choices. Where do you start? What type is the right one for your lawn? Do you need a specific kind of sprinkler for the type of grass you have?
Before you give up, overwhelmed, and just reach for a hose and a nozzle, read this guide. Here you’ll find out which types are best for the biggest yards, which ones are the longest-lasting, and which one is simply the best sprinkler for large areas.
Backyard Boss Top 5 Lawn Sprinklers for Large Areas in 2021
|Melnor 65074-AMZ XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler||Check The Price!|
|Orbit 56667N Zinc Impact Sprinkler on Tripod||Check The Price!|
|Rain Train Traveling Sprinkler||Check The Price!|
|Rain Bird 1804VAN 4-Inch Professional Pop-up Sprinkler||Check The Price!|
|Signature Garden Three-Arm Sprinkler||Check The Price!|
Why You Can Trust Us
We, the Backyard Boss team, love power tools and automating chores almost as much as we love our gardens. We’re proud of our lush green lawns, but we’re not keen on hand-watering. After investing in lawn fertilizer, we’ve outfitted our own lawns with sprinklers and WiFi sprinkler controllers.
Once you’ve had a system like that in place, you can never go back because it’s one less chore to worry about. What’s more, you can take off for weekends or weeklong vacations without your garden drying up in the meantime. So be sure to pair your lawn sprinkler with a controller, but let’s look at the sprinklers first.
Best Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler
One of the best ways to water an oddly shaped large lawn is to use an oscillating sprinkler like this one from Melnor. The Melnor XT Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler with Width & Range Control does an excellent job of getting water to all corners of your yard without you having to move the sprinkler every hour. You can adjust the flow of water and the width, which means you’ll be able to water your grass only, and not your sidewalk or driveway.
This is a hose-connected sprinkler head, so you won’t have to worry about installing an irrigation system. And it’s affordable when you consider the lifetime warranty it offers. It’s a good thing it has that warranty, too, as there have been several reports of leaky connectors, and it seems to break easily. With all that said, though, it’s also a solid sprinkler that waters more effectively than many other types.
Best Impact Lawn Sprinkler
Several people who have purchased this Orbit Zinc Impact Sprinkler on Tripod say they’d buy it again and again for one reason: the tripod base. The sprinkler itself, when working as intended, does a good job of covering a large area with water. And you can adjust the spray so that it covers a full 360 degrees, or a smaller arc if you need. But even better than the sprinkler is the base. It elevates the sprinkler, which helps with coverage, and it’s a sturdy device. Plus, you just need to screw in a hose to get it to work.
The issue with the sprinkler head itself is that it’s kind of a crapshoot as to when or how it’ll work. The adjustment clip seems flimsy, and sometimes the pulsating feature just doesn’t work. The hose connection can also be an issue, as it could leak. Some reviewers have mentioned that the sprinkler has a short lifespan, and the one-year warranty isn’t quite long enough to cover. Still, you can probably buy a new sprinkler head and use it with this tripod.
Best Traveling Lawn Sprinkler
When it comes to one of the more ingenious designs for sprinklers, the Nelson Traveling Sprinkler Rain Train is definitely at the top of the list. The sprinkler is equipped with aluminum arms that you can adjust for watering small areas or large areas. And the sprinkler has wheels, but these aren’t just for moving it easily. It also comes with a track that allows this sprinkler to propel itself across your yard. It’s a great way to water a large lawn, or even two yards at once, in theory, at least.
The thing is, this does give excellent coverage if you have a perfectly trimmed, level lawn. Otherwise, you might find that your sprinkler gets stuck in bald spots on your lawn, or it could tip over. And you’ll end up wasting water and flooding one area of your lawn. You do get three-speed options, though, including neutral, fast, and slow. On fast, this sprinkler uses the hose’s water pressure to speed along, but it won’t water a ton at a time, and on slow, you get more water to your lawn at a slower pace.
Best Pop-Up Lawn Sprinkler
If you need an in-ground sprinkler solution to cover a large area, this might be a good pick for you.
You’ll have to do your research on how to install and adjust these Rain Bird pop-up sprinklers. They’re in-ground sprinklers, and so you’ll need to install an irrigation kit. This five-pack of four-inch pop-ups provide an even spray of water that should reach about 60 feet in diameter (so, a 30-foot radius). That’s decent when you consider you get five sprinklers in a kit. Make sure there’s some overlap, though, because it may not spray as far as it’s advertised.
Although these are made of plastic, they seem durable. Still, these are likely to sit out in the sun and start chipping eventually. The good news is that these come with a five-year warranty, and you may need to use it. Again, do your research, or you may find it frustrating when you install or adjust these. And they are adjustable, so you don’t have to settle for watering a 360-degree area.
Best Rotary Lawn Sprinkler
The durable materials of this rotating sprinkler are one of its primary selling points. The lifetime warranty doesn’t hurt, either. If you’re looking for an adjustable angle, both for spray and for rotation, as well as a sprinkler that can be repositioned easily and quickly, this is a good option. The 36-foot radius overs a large swath of any lawn, but if you need additional coverage, multiple sprinklers can be attached to one another to extend the range.
As far as drawbacks are concerned, there are two primary complaints. One, the plug affixed to the hose connector when the product ships is very snug and can be difficult to remove—so much so that some reviewers believed their hose had no attachment port and returned the sprinkler. The other issue is that higher water pressure may blow the sprinkler head from the base. Again, the lifetime warranty covers this, but it is something to be aware of if you have a high PSI.
Types of Sprinklers for Lawns
Who would’ve thought there would be so many sprinklers from which to choose? And which is the best water sprinkler for large areas? From in-ground to above-ground to just screwing a device onto your garden hose, you have lots of choices when it comes to irrigating your lawn. For ease of use, choose an above-ground method.
If you’re looking for a more permanent method of watering your lawn, then in-ground is your best bet. The most affordable choice is above-ground because you won’t need to buy an irrigation kit. It’s pretty much a plug-and-play system. However, getting an in-ground system will be less work for you daily because you won’t have to move anything. Get a timer and you won’t even have to remember to water your lawn.
An in-ground irrigation system offers a variety of sprinkler heads and they all water areas a little differently. Typically, they are considered as one of the best sprinklers for large lawns.
This might be the most popular in-ground sprinkler type. They do exactly what they sound like: Sprinkler heads pop up above the grass when turned on, and they spray water low to the ground. When you shut them off, they go back underground. These work well on any lawn, but they might not be worth installing for postage-stamp-sized lawns.
Fixed Spray Sprinklers
These are also popular for in-ground watering. You’ve probably seen these sprinkler heads that just constantly spray water in a circular fan. They don’t have different patterns at all. Generally, each head will effectively water a radius of about five to 15 feet. These are better for smaller yards.
One of the best types of sprinklers for planters and trees is the flood type. These water in a similar way to just set your hose out. It’ll saturate the soil and get the water deep into roots. But, they’re not suitable for lawns.
The gear-driven sprinkler works well for lawns that are medium to large in size, and they’re quieter than rotating and impact sprinklers. These produce an arc of water that’ll create a fine mist to water your lawn, but they also have adjustable patterns, so you can effectively water all your grass, and not your sidewalk or driveway.
Specifically, this type of sprinkler is best for shrubs, obviously, but it also works well for planters and trees. The shrub sprinkler looks a lot like a pop-up or fixed spray sprinkler, but they are usually a bit smaller. You can adjust the spray pattern, so it gives you a 360-degree fan of water, or 180-degree arc, and many other pattern options.
Multiple Stream Sprinklers
If you have an uneven lawn with hills and whatnot, you might want to consider a multiple stream sprinkler. It shoots out thin streams of water from different holes on the head, and it usually rotates, which means you can get even coverage over a large piece of lawn.
Technically, a fixed head sprinkler is above ground, but for the purpose of categorizing here, these are going to be the sprinklers you attach to a garden hose. There’s no need to install irrigation systems with these sprinklers.
You’ve probably seen rotary sprinklers if you’ve ever been to a park or golf course. These heads rotate in a circle, spraying water in a long, powerful stream that has incredible reach, making it a good choice for extra-large lawns. It’ll take longer to water the grass to the point that it gets all the water it needs, but it is good coverage.
These sprinklers are typically on a spike and have a connector for your hose. They are good for large lawns that need big droplets of water, which prevents wind from carrying the water away. You can usually adjust the arc and distance of the spray.
Impact or Pulsating Sprinklers
The classic pulsating or impact sprinkler has that familiar tick-tick-tick-whoosh sound, and it’s good for large yard coverage. They can be a bit loud, though.
This is one of the most popular sprinkler heads for your hose, and especially for summer fun. These are usually long devices with lots of holes where water sprays from, and the head oscillates back and forth to cover small, medium, and large lawns. They’re also perfect for running through.
The problem with most hose-connected sprinkler heads is that they’re stationary, and usually you only have the one connected. Traveling style sprinklers will move along a track while watering your lawn, which helps with coverage of a large lawn.
Multiple Stream Sprinklers
You can find hose-connected sprinklers that have several holes for streams of water. Some are full circles, while others are just half-circles. Put the full circle ones in the center of a large lawn and you shouldn’t have much water loss. Half-circles can sit at the edge of a lawn to water the grass only, and not the sidewalk.
Choosing the Best Sprinkler for a Large Area
Your large lawn needs at least an inch of water every week – that’s a thirsty lawn. And the last thing you want to do is stand there with a hose for an hour to soak your soil. That’s why we rely on sprinklers to do the job that Mother Nature might be slacking on. Whether you prefer an in-ground solution, or you want a simple setup that requires you to just attach a hose, there are some great sprinklers out there, and these are some of the best sprinklers for big yards. There’s one in particular that stands out, though.
The Melnor XT Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler with Width & Range Control could be the best sprinkler for a large area, thanks to its wide base, 20 nozzles, or its adjustable width and flow. It can cover up to 4,200 square feet, which is a huge space. And there’s little water wasted because you can choose how narrow or wide the coverage should be. Plus, this doubles as a fun summer toy for children (or you) – who doesn’t love running through the sprinklers when it gets blazing hot out? And as a bonus, you should be running through thick, green grass with a well-watered soil base.