Smart Irrigation Controllers: The Definitive Comparison Guide

If you want to see the top rated smart irrigation controllers in one place, then you’ll LOVE this definitive guide.

I've personally done the heavy lifting by sifting through over 165+ different controllers we have in the market and came up with only the best.

And you can comfortably read through as you compare the top smart sprinkler systems for your lawn and garden.

This is extremely important if you're looking to save on your water bill while retaining control remotely.

Check it out:


Rachio WiFi Smart Lawn Sprinkler Controller (2nd Generation)

smart irrigation controllers


Take the guesswork out of watering with a Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller. The easy-to-use mobile app lets you manage your sprinklers without running back and forth to the controller, while automatic weather adjustments mean no more watering in the rain. Get peace of mind - Rachio knows just how much water your yard needs. Control your sprinklers using a smartphone or with category-leading smart home integrations, including Amazon Alexa and more.

4.6/5.0 of 2,516 Reviews

Price: $149.99

  • Product information
  • CONS

A couple of current users have reported software glitches.

Rachio smart sprinkler controller does periodical weather checks as opposed to frequent checks.

And in most cases it does this before irrigation starts.

This has one major problem in that one minute it might be clear while the next it's raining making it run the sprinklers while it rains! 


Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller, WiFi, Weather aware, Remote access

smart irrigation controllers


Netro is designed for effortless use in residential irrigation. It helps to reduce unnecessary water usage and keeps your garden healthy. Unlike the existing smart watering systems which require users to manually setup or tune their systems, Netro schedules itself completely. Netro knows how much water your plants need and the best way to water them. You can completely rely on Netro and enjoy your saved time. Netro Sprite works with all sprinkler systems. Netro is fully compatible with Google Home voice assistant.

4.7/5.0 of 118 Reviews

Price: $119.99

  • Product information
  • CONS

Once watering begins, it continues non-stop without delays between zones.

This is a huge problem if you are using a well as the source of water. Because wells need time to recharge.

To solve this you have to set the controller manually.

However, for some users this isn't a problem.

RainMachine Touch HD-12, Cloud Independent, The Forecast Sprinkler, Wi-Fi Irrigation Controller

smart irrigation controller


The RainMachine sprinkler controller automatically adjusts your watering amount by lowering it on rainy or colder days and increasing it on hot summer days. The system not only saves water but it also protects your plants. The versatility of each program is unprecedented: select individual weekdays, Even/Odd day mode, Cycle and Soak, or Station Delay. Run the programs one-at-a-time, sequentially or even in parallel! The RainMachine WIFI sprinkler timer is designed to handle possible conflicts, like simultaneous commands to the same valve or overlapping schedules. NOAA. A weather-ready nation. Your RainMachine sprinkler controller connects via WIFI and gets the best weather data available on earth. When no forecast data is available the RainMachine will automatically switch to historical weather statistics. This way the RainMachine conserves water even if the Internet goes down.

4.4/5.0 of 780 Reviews

Price: $225.57

  • Product information
  • CONS

Comparing to other smart sprinkler controllers, a few users have reported any software or hardware issues with the RainMachine.

Those who have, say that you can't view statistical data remotely.

Which isn't such a big issue especially bearing in mind that this is one of the few controllers that are cloud independent.

Orbit B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 12-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Controller

smart irrigation controllers


The Orbit B-hyve Smart WiFi Sprinkler Controller is made in the USA with global materials. The perfect timer for new installations or for replacement, it is available in both 6 and 12 station models with indoor/outdoor-rated locking cabinet. Control it with an Android or iOS device, computer, or at the timer with the super-intuitive interface millions of customers know and love. WaterSense and SWAT labeling provide assurance that B-hyve uses advanced weather data to deliver just the right amount of water to plants and turf, and postpones watering whenever rain is in the forecast. The Orbit B-hyve Smart WiFi Sprinkler Controller makes saving water, time and money easier than ever.

4.3/5.0 of 1,050 Reviews

Price: $109.00

  • Product information
  • CONS

Irritrol Rain Dial RD600-EXT-R 6 Station Outdoor Irrigation Controller

smart irrigation controller


6, 9 and 12 Stations Residential Outdoor/Indoor. In addition to the numerous upgrades built into this popular, long-standing controller, the optional CLIMATE LOGIC Wireless Weather Sensing System makes the Rain Dial-R a "smart" controller on the cutting edge of water management. When governed by Climate Logic, the Rain Dial-R will automatically water more on warm or hot days and less on cooler days. Applying the right amount of water to maintain a healthy landscape, the Rain Dial-R and weather-based Climate Logic Weather System seriously reduce overwatering and its expense.

4.5/5.0 of 1,050 Reviews

Price: $143.13

  • Product information
  • CONS

Rain Bird ST8I-WIFI Smart Indoor WiFi Sprinkler System Controller, WaterSense Certified, 8-Zone

smart irrigation controller


Rain Bird ST8I-WIFI Smart Indoor WiFi Sprinkler/Irrigation System Timer/Controller, WaterSense Certified, 8-Zone/Station. The Rain Bird Smart Irrigation WiFi Timer places control of your sprinkler system in the palm of your hand while saving time, water, and money. EPA WaterSense certified to provide at least a 20% water-savings over non-certified timers. The Rain Bird app allows control of multiple timers located anywhere in the world; install app on multiple devices, or securely share control with family members and landscapers. Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple iOS 8 or greater, and Android 4.4 (KitKat) or later.

4.2/5.0 of 183 Reviews

Price: $115.94

  • Product information
  • CONS

The manual interface is very counter intuitive; also the app is very slow to fetch the details on your controller and won't work over the internet (unless perhaps you set up a VPN).

Also when setting a manual watering on something like an iPhone, the time slider is very sensitive and it won't just let you type the number of minutes in.

Smart Irrigation Controllers - Comparison Table

As earlier mentioned, I sifted through a huge database of smart sprinkler controllers and came up with just under 10 controllers as you've read.

And I've made a summary comparing the most basic information in the table below.

You can comfortably filter through as you compare the top smart sprinkler systems so that you can start making smart gardening decisions.

ControllerPriceReviewsScore ( 5.0)ZonesAlexaCloud Independent
Rachio$148.99 2,516 4.68 & 16YesNo
Netro$119.991184.76 & 12YesNo
RainMachine$225.577804.48, 12 & 16YesYes
Orbit$109.00 1,050 4.36 & 12YesNo
Rain Bird$115.941834.28YesNo
RainDial$143.131114.56, 9 & 12NoNo

Editor’s Choice

So, what is the best smart irrigation controller?

And the winner is….drum roll……..

Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller!

smart irrigation controllers

Ensure a beautiful landscape, a lower water bill and intuitive watering.

I guess that was a little bit more obvious. Based on our own analysis of the available data, it had to be Rachio smart sprinkler controller.

No wonder this gadget is Amazon’s best seller, voted the most intuitive, as well as one of the most connected smart irrigation controller - Integrating with other top tier home automation systems for expanded functionality such as alexa, Xfinity, IFTTT, Nexia, Control4 and iControl.

But what makes Rachio the number one choice for many gardeners and homeowners is the ability to use proven cycle-and-soak watering methods to promote healthier plants. Ensuring a beautiful landscape and a lower water bill.

But why did we narrow down on Rachio smart, wifi, sprinkler controller?

We started with over 165 smart irrigation controllers, checked through different features, independently researched on what other users were saying and narrowed down to just under 10 sprinkler controllers as listed above.

However, we didn’t stop there:

We wanted to choose the best of the best and so, we dug further.

Why Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller?

  • The device is the next generation of the highly rated and most reviewed smart sprinkler controller in the market.
  • Rachio uses limited space since it’s smaller and easier-to-install design than ever before.
  • Easier Wi-Fi setup – ‘No blinkup’ protocol – Set up and forget
  • Run zones installed directly from the controller
  • Additional sensor ports for future improvements
  • Easier diagnostic and troubleshooting
  • New custom outdoor enclosure option that is easier to mount outside. This is uber important in case the local water authority needs to carry out routine inspections. They do so without disturbing your peace.
  • Enhanced integration especially with amazon echo
  • This gadget is our choice but it doesn’t have to be yours. Your situation and needs might be different. Carry out your own due diligence and make a sober decision based on your own needs.

Get more information and buy on Amazon [disclosure: we will get a small commission at no extra cost on your part if you buy any product using the link(s) on this post].


You’ve just read the the definitive guide about smart irrigation controllers.

It’s my sincere hope that I’ve given you all the necessary information to help you finally choose your next smart irrigation controller.

I’d also wish to make this a go to smart controllers guide available online. If you have a way to help me make it better or have more gadgets that I’ve missed out, I’d love to hear about them.

As always let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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