The 4 Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers for 2022

Our pick

rachio 3

This is the most flexible and easy-to-use smart controller for your yard or garden irrigation system.

Buy Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $174.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings

The Rachio 3 (available in versions for four, eight, or 16 zones, plus a 12-zone version exclusive to Costco) provides straightforward plug-and-play functionality for a beginner gardener, but it also offers enough fine-tuning and advanced settings to satisfy a master horticulturist. Its Weather Intelligence Plus feature allows for hyperlocal forecasting, which makes watering more efficient. We like the option to use the basic (if not comprehensive) onboard controls for a quick watering, and we appreciate that the controller works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant, among other smart-home platforms.

runner up

Rain Machine Touch HD

The touch screen provides complete control, so you don’t have to rely on the app, and the unit doesn’t require an internet connection. But its watering method and forecasting are less precise than those of the Rachio 3.

Buy Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $270.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant

The RainMachine Touch HD (available in 12- and 16-zone versions) offers control via an onboard touchscreen, a smartphone app, and a web interface. Unlike all of the other models we tested, this RainMachine controller doesn’t need to connect to the cloud to function, and it depends on the internet only to receive weather updates, so some owners could choose to use it without its smart features. RainMachine also offers a huge range of optional weather services and provides deep, granular control over your irrigation. RainMachine’s app is less intuitive than Rachio’s and doesn’t automatically create schedules, making it more daunting for novice gardeners to use.

So great

Orbit B-hyve XR

A rugged device with on-device and local control, the B-hyve XR can handle larger yards for less money than our picks, but its app isn’t as easy to use as others.

Buy Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $199.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Designed to be mounted outside without a separate case, the Orbit B-hyve XR uses its smart WeatherSense algorithms to maintain your yard effectively and has three small, full-color displays for extensive (though not comprehensive) on-device control. Its Bluetooth radio is long range and able to connect to, and act as a hub for, other B-hyve devices (such as hose timers and flood sensors); it also allows for control of the system with your phone, even if the internet is down. The B-hyve XR is WaterSense-certified and lets you choose your weather station, too, but it lacks some features we like, and its app isn’t as good as that of our pick, the Rachio 3.

Budget pick

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

The Orbit B-hyve Smart Indoor Irrigation Controller (available for four and eight zones) is the least expensive smart sprinkler controller you can buy, yet it offers many of the same features as our top picks do, including smart auto scheduling, a decent app , and an innovative, slim design. It’s also WaterSense-certified, and it has basic controls on the device and lets you choose your weather station. However, it doesn’t offer 5 GHz Wi-Fi (as all our other picks do), and it works with the same, not-so-easy-to-use app as the Orbit B-hyve XR.

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