Buying Guide for the Best Above Ground Sprinkler System

Your lawn is alive and growing and just like any other living thing, it needs attention and care in order to flourish. One of the best ways you can show your greenery some love is to always keep it watered. And the best way to do that, especially if you have a midsize lawn, is with an Above Ground Sprinkler System.

Above ground lawn sprinklers provides precise control – better than you can get by walking around with a garden hose and manually watering your garden – but if used incorrectly, a sprinkler can do more harm than good. How much water should you utilize? When is the best time of day to water your yard? How exactly does a lawn sprinkler work?

We have put together this shopping guide for the Best above Ground Sprinkler System to answer your questions and help you know what to look for while you shop.

The top 4 best above ground sprinklers systems are:

  1. GrowGreen Garden Sprinkler 360 degrees
  2. Orbit 58257N Metal 3-arm with wheeled base
  3. NiceFit Lawn Sprinkler System
  4. Orbit 56186N Brass Impact Sprinkler

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Top 4 Best above ground sprinklers

GrowGreen Garden Sprinkler 360 degreesOrbit 58257N Metal 3-arm with wheeled baseNiceFit Lawn Sprinkler SystemOrbit 56186N Brass Impact Sprinkler
80 PSI water pressure

32.8 feet spray distance

360 degree rotation

ABS plastic and a rust proof polymer
360° water coverage

Distance adjustable up to 24 Foot diameter

For small to medium sized areas
80 PSI water pressure

100% Money back guarantee

Automatic constant 360 degrees rotating spray

26ft-32.8 ft coverage

For small to medium sized areas
Sprays up to 90 feet in diameter

Heavy duty brass construction

all-metal construction

Full 360° watering

For large areas
Stabilizer wings keep it from flipping

Easy setup

Very quiet
Very gentle, so perfect for grass and flowers

Easy to move because of the wheeled base

Good value for money

Very quiet

Different sprinkler modes for multi-purposes

Leak proof
High quality material

Also works with dirty or reclaimed water

Very durable

Easy to move because of wheeled base
Doesn't hit the grass directly around the sprinkler so you have to move it

Unsuitable for large lawns
Not the strongest material

Might expose you to chemicals (including lead)
You have to tighten the sprinkler head up before you hook the sprinkler up there or the head may get blown off.

Very tiny product
High price

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There are numerous factors that can cause your grass to receive an insufficient amount of water. No rain and high temperatures are the most obvious reasons, but low humidity and high winds can also keep your lawn from absorbing the water it requires.


Lawn watering 101

Just like people, gardens need water to survive. Since grass is highly efficient at collecting and using water, keeping your lawn hydrated is a rather simple task. There are merely two things you need to know to be a master lawn waterer: when and how much to water.

When to water

Believe it or not, when you water your lawn is very crucial. The best time is during the morning after the sun has come up but before it gets too hot. Why? The water needs time to soak into the soil in order for the grass to absorb it. If you water your garden in the afternoon, the heat of the sun will evaporate the water before it can be absorbed. Also, water pooling on the grass after the sun has set can form conditions that are ideal for diseases to take hold and spread.

How much to water

Your grass doesn’t need tons of water. About one inch of water each week is typically sufficient – and that includes rainwater. One inch of water is usually enough for the soil to become moist six to eight inches deep, and that’s the sweet spot for grass.


Types of lawn waterers

Before taking a closer look at lawn sprinklers, we’ll take a quick glance at other options, just to be certain that the above-ground sprinkler is the one best suited to your needs and requirements.

Soaker hose: This hose is made of a porous substance like a fine-crumb rubber that lets water seep slowly through to soak a long, narrow space. This alternative is better for garden rows than yards.

Stationary sprinkler: This sprinkler connects to your hose and sprays water in a singular pattern over a fairly small area. Although it’s easily moved, this type of sprinkler is great for small areas.

Oscillating sprinkler: This is a short tube that lies on the ground spraying water out through multiple holes as the tube rolls back and forth, creating a large, oscillating arc of water. This sprinkler works best for large, rectangular patches of grass.

Impulse sprinkler: You can recognize this sprinkler by the distinctive “click, click, click” sound it makes while rotating. This sprinkler squirts out a jet of water and is a great choice for larger areas that are subject to occasional wind. It’s also adjustable, so you can focus on specific areas that require a little more attention.

Traveling sprinkler: Picture a tractor with a hose. The traveling sprinkler rolls about in a preset pattern to cover large or oddly shaped spaces.

In-ground sprinkler system: This entire system is permanently installed in your lawn. It’s generally automated and will cover whatever area it’s designed to cover.


Above ground lawn sprinkler facts

An above-ground sprinkler system has a base that rests on the grass, so the sprinkler can simply be picked up and moved while other models have wheels, so the sprinkler can be dragged along when you pull the hose. Some models have a stake, so the sprinkler can be accurately positioned but later moved if desired. It generally has three arms, each containing one or more openings or adjustable nozzles for the water to spray out.

How a lawn sprinkler works

Remember Newton’s third law of motion? It says, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” That’s what makes a rotating sprinkler work so there’s no need for a motor or electricity. The water spraying forward out of the openings pushes the arms backward, making the sprinkler spin.

If your model features adjustable nozzles, you can position them at the angle you desire – the closer to 90° you get (the water spraying straight up), the smaller the coverage area will be.

  • Reducing the water pressure slows down the rotation and minimizes the distance that the water travels.
  • Increasing the water pressure accelerates the rotation and increases the distance that the water travels.

Seeing that you are in control of the size of the coverage area, a sprinkler is a versatile tool that works in a variety of situations. It works rapidly – most models deliver an inch of water in about an hour – and it provides smooth and even coverage, making it great for small to medium lawns or gardens. Because of its circular pattern, a rotating sprinkler is not the best selection if you want to water a long, narrow patch of ground.


Although your garden needs about an inch of water each week, it doesn’t have to be done in just one day. If you fancy the idea of running your rotating sprinkler for shorter periods of time, divide the watering into two or three times a week.


Above Ground Sprinkler factors to consider

Distance and coverage

Sprinklers vary considerably in the coverage area. If you have a large lawn, check to ensure your sprinkler can handle the job. It may be acceptable to move the sprinkler to two or three different places, but if you need to move the unit much more than that, you might want to consider stepping up to a model with greater coverage.

Plastic vs. metal

Plastic has a shorter lifespan than metal, and it may warp or be damaged by direct sunlight. Most rotating sprinklers tend to be created primarily of plastic, which makes them more affordable. If you prefer metal, you’ll typically pay a little more, but the sprinkler should last longer.

Adjustable nozzles

Adjustable nozzles allow you to direct and control where the water goes. This can make a rotary sprinkler the perfect choice in a number of different lawn-watering situations.

Quick connectors

A quick-connect feature makes it effortless to hook your sprinkler to your hose. If the sprinkler you’re considering doesn’t have this option available, you can buy it separately, but it will cost as much as – if not more than – the sprinkler itself.


Did you know? That a waste-free yard is not only environmentally safe but also reduces the risk of your family’s health issues. This is why we recommend investing in one of these In-Ground Pet Waste Disposal Systems.


For your Consideration.

The type of soil you have can affect how long you run your sprinkler. Sandy soil drains rapidly, so your yard will need to be watered more regularly. Clay holds water, making it possible to water your garden less frequently.


Above Ground Lawn Sprinkler prices

The overall price range for rotating sprinklers isn’t excessive, between $10 and $30 and up.

Inexpensive: Spend up to $10 and you’ll get a very basic and straightforward rotating sprinkler. Connect it and turn it on and you probably won’t have many options.

Mid-range: Your best prices are in the $10 to $20 range. These types of above-ground sprinklers in this price range have adjustable nozzles and are constructed relatively well. Spend a little more, $20 to $30, and you’ll find heavier-duty sprinklers that have all the flexibility you require.

Expensive: For more than $30, you’ll find kits that include quick connectors and potentially a tripod stand that helps keep the sprinkler from moving or tipping over.


A quick and effortless way to gauge the health of your grass is to walk across your yard. If your footprints vanish quickly, the grass is healthy. If your footprints linger, your yard is thirsty and dry!



Q. My sprinkler is making puddles. What should I do?

A. For some reason (dryness or maybe soil composition), the ground is not absorbing the water the way it should. The solution is to water more regularly but for a shorter time period. If puddles form after approximately 20 minutes, try watering for half that long.

Q. I think I killed my grass because I forgot to water it and it turned brown. What should I do?

A. Your lawn is stronger than you might think. Keep in mind, it can survive both fall and winter! If you’ve been taking good care of your grass and it turns brown, it has probably just gone dormant. Once you turn your rotating sprinkler back on and let the grass soak up some water, it will turn green again.

Q. How do I know when I’ve watered my lawn long enough?

A. If you’re unsure of how long it takes for an inch of water to come out of your rotating sprinkler, you can do the container test. Place several small containers around your yard, turn on the rotating sprinkler, and start timing. Once the containers have an inch of water in them, note the time, and then shut off the sprinkler. However long it took, that’s how long you should be leaving the water running. Alternatively, you can execute this test with a rain gauge.


I'm Wayne, owner of I'm a father of 2. I love reviewing products and showcasing the very best in my best of review lists. I want people to make an informative decision by going through these reviews before purchasing their selected products.

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