Different Types of Sprinkler Heads for Your Lawn Sprinkler System

For those who have a large beautiful lawn, installing a sprinkler system can considerably reduce the daily lawn care workload. Your plants will receive the much-needed water during the dry season without any manual effort.

There are different types of sprinkler systems designed to meet specific wagering requirements. However, choosing the right one depends on several factors such as as- the size of your yard, water pressure, landscape features, installation, etc.

What is the best sprinkler head for your garden?

How to find the right lawn sprinkler head?

If these are some questions on your mind too, read this guide on the different types of sprinkler heads for lawns.

Types of Lawn Sprinkler Heads

01. Fixed Spray

fixed spray head


These sprinklers are designed for small to medium grounds with less water throwing distance. However, the advantage of using these sprinkler systems is that they can do a good job at an extremely low water pressure of just 20-30psi. They can disperse water to various patterns as per adjustment- quarter, half, or full circle. Some advanced models can spread water to an angle of 40 degrees.

Spray Range

These sprinkler heads fan out water in a span of 5-15 inches- sufficient for watering up to 3-16ft.

Suitable For

Small yards, straight-edged lawns, ground covers, and small plants.

02. Pop Up

pop up sprinkler heads
Image Source: Amazon

For those who do not want to compromise the look and feel of the yard can opt for pop up sprinkler heads. They rise above when in function and sink into the ground after use. With these sprinklers, you do not have to worry about kids stumbling upon messy installations while playing.

These sprinklers are available in various heights ranging from 2-20 inches. For flat grounds, you can do well with a smaller sprinkler. Conversely, the land with slopes and uneven rocky pattern require higher pop-ups to ensure the water reaches everywhere.

03. Rotary

rotary sprinkler heads

As the name suggests, these sprinkler heads rotate to disperse water in circular droplets. They are made for medium to large lawns with the capability to throw water evenly at the greatest distance than any other type of sprinkler.

These sprinklers have a very slow precipitation rate. Hence the water stays on the ground for a longer period instead of draining away. This is good for gardens with soils that take more time to absorb the moisture evenly. This means every part of the ground receives the same amount of water.

These sprinklers are suitable for properties receiving 40-50psi water pressure. If the water pressure is lower than this, you may consider using stream rotary sprinklers that work well in low water pressure.

There are mainly three types of rotary sprinklers:

  • Impact Rotary Sprinklers: First introduced in the market by the Rain Bird brand, these are the most popular of all the rotary sprinklers. These durable and hardwearing sprinklers are made of bronze or brass producing a loud sound when dispersing water. Made of several convoluted parts, these sprinklers need regular maintenance.
  • Gear Driven Rotors: These rotary sprinklers with a series of gears scatter water all over the ground in a continuous turning pattern. These rotors can produce wide streams throwing water to a range of 18-60ft depending on the chosen model. All parts in these sprinklers are housed in a plastic casing for noise-free operation. They are more affordable than the impact sprinklers and require less maintenance.
  • Stream Rotor Sprinklers: Also called multi-stream sprinklers, they spread the water in rotating streams in all directions much like a fountain. They also function silently much like the gear-driven rotary sprinklers. These sprinklers are best suited for watering ground covers, medium lawns, and particularly sloping uneven landscape.

The only problem with the stream sprinklers is that these heads get clogged very easily if the water is dirty. You need to use a filtration system to ensure the sprinkler unit receives clean water.

Spray Range

Some advanced models can throw water up to 90ft away covering a diameter of 180ft.

Suitable for

Medium to large yards and side lawns with compact and clay soil.

04. Bubbler/Flood

bubbler sprinkler heads

These systems are mainly used to flood the entire landscape with water as required for ground covers and shrubs. They can spread water over a small area. Most standard size bubbler nozzles fit any standard sprinkler system.

Spray Range

Varies according to the size of the bubbler.

Suitable for

Planter, shrubs, and tree wells.

05. Misting Spray Head

micro sprayer head

Some plants especially flower beds are too delicate to bear the water pressure exerted by strong lawn sprinklers. The misting spray heads or micro-spray systems release the water at a lower rate. These sprinklers are best suited for small yards at home. These are low-cost automatic watering solutions largely preferred for slow draining and compact soils that take greater time to absorb the moisture.

Spray Range

Less than 15ft.

Suitable for

Small lawns and flower beds.

06. Oscillating Sprinklers

oscillating sprinklers

They are inexpensive lawn watering systems installed above the ground. The sprinkler unit has a series of holes in a straight line that keep moving to disperse water in the form of a moving curtain. Some advanced models allow the user to adjust the throw distance.

Spray Range

Up to 20ft.

Suitable for

Small to medium lawns.