Collecting rainwater is an excellent way to water your lawn and garden without needing to rely on your city water supply. We found the best decorative rain barrels that will look great next to your home AND save you money in the process!
Did you know 40% of total household water is used to water our lawn and gardens during the summer? A rain barrel is an excellent solution for watering your garden since it also aids in water conservation.
Most people water their gardens using their hose which is better suited for drinking water. A rainwater barrel is an excellent choice to conserve water and keep your garden healthy at the same time.
Table of Contents
- 7 of the Best Rain Barrel Designs to Compliment Your Home
- 1. Good Ideas IMP-C50-DAR Impressions Bark Rain Saver, 50-Gallon, Dark Granite
- 2. Good Ideas Rain Wizard Rain Barrel Urn, 50 Gallon
- 3. Good Ideas Savannah Elevated Garden Rain Saver Barrel
- 4. Gardener’s Supply Company 75-Gallon Rain Barrel
- 5. RTS Home Accents 50-Gallon Flat Back Rain Barrel
- 6. Algreen Cascata Rain Water and Storage System (65 Gallons)
- 7. Emsco 2297 80-Gallon Waterstone Rain Barrel with Downspout Diverter
- How do Rainwater Barrels Work?
- Buying a Rain Barrel – Important Features to Consider
- How to Setup a Rainwater Collection System
- Benefits of Watering your Garden with Rainwater
- How to Make a Rain Barrel (Video)
- Which Rain Barrel is Best for You?
7 of the Best Rain Barrel Designs to Compliment Your Home
If you are looking for the best rain barrels on the market, we selected 7 of our favorites. All are designed to blend in with your decor and look great in your yard. Have a look at some of the more interesting decorative rain barrels for sale.
|Gallons||Lid Type||# Spigots||Size||Weight||Recommendation|
|Good Ideas Bark Rain Saver||50||Planter||2 Brass||23 x 23 x 34 inches||20.3 pounds||Best rain barrel for garden lovers|
|Good Ideas Rain Wizard Rain Barrel Urn||50||Planter||2 Brass||22 x 23 x 30 inches||17 pounds|
|Good Ideas Savannah Elevated Garden Rain Saver Barrel||50||Planter||2 Brass||31.5 x 19.5 x 24.2 inches||29 pounds||Best rain barrel for colonial houses|
|Gardener's Supply Company Rain Barrel||75||Child proof lid||1 Brass||23 x 23 x 45.5 inches||17.5 pounds||Best brand|
|RTS Home Accents Rain Water Collection Barrel||50||Flat Top||1 Brass||19 x 24 x 34 inches||18 pounds||Best classic style rain barrel|
|Algreen Products Cascata Rain Barrel in Terra Cotta||65||Planter||1 Brass + hose attachment||24 x 24 x 46 inches||23 pounds||Best Terra Cotta rain barrel|
|Rescue Waterstones Rain Barrel||80||Rock (Resin)||Hose attachment||28.25 x 27.875 x 38.875 inches||18 pounds||Best camoflaged rain barrel|
1. Good Ideas IMP-C50-DAR Impressions Bark Rain Saver, 50-Gallon, Dark Granite
The best rain barrel for garden lovers.
Good Ideas carries some of the best rain barrels on our list that look great next to your home while conserving water.
The first one was made to resemble the bark of a tree. With the addition of a planter top, this decorative rain barrel will blend right in with your home’s landscaping. It has a 50-gallon capacity, a mesh screen to prevent clogging and a flat back to sit flush with your house.
The Bark Rain Saver also has 2 brass spigots. One about half the way up the barrel to fill buckets or water cans and a second spigot at the bottom to connect to your hose. In the front of the barrel is a cupped channel diverter to ensure any excess water flows away from your house.
This is probably my favorite design since it so closely resembles nature and is beautifully camouflaged.
2. Good Ideas Rain Wizard Rain Barrel Urn, 50 Gallon
The second Good Ideas rain barrel comes in a pretty urn shape and is well suited to either the traditional or cottage style home. With a flat back, it fits nicely against your house and also features the 2 spigot placement as our previous rain barrel.
The top of this rain barrel is unique in that it has both a planter and a curved routed diverter channel to direct excess water away from the foundation. A mesh leaf protection screen completes the functional design. Made from lightweight polyethylene resin, this rain barrel will hold up to the harshest elements while looking great.
3. Good Ideas Savannah Elevated Garden Rain Saver Barrel
The best colonial style rain barrel
The last in our list of Rain Savers is the Elated Garden Rain Barrel. Shaped to look just like a raised planter. This pretty water storage system would look great with colonial-style homes. It has all the important features such as a 50-gallon capacity, a mesh screen that keeps out falling debris and 2 brass spigots for flexible watering.
What’s really nice about the elevated garden rain barrel is that the planter is self-draining. So your plants will always be well watered. It holds 50 gallons of rainwater and is made from long-lasting polyethylene resin.
If you don’t like the look of traditional rain barrels, this planter style may be your best choice.
4. Gardener’s Supply Company 75-Gallon Rain Barrel
This pretty rainwater barrel has the look of molded stone to blend in with the contemporary home. It includes a childproof screen guard to keep out leaves and bugs, a brass spigot at the base to attach your garden hose and an overflow spout that can be hooked up to another rain barrel.
Although it has the look of sandstone, it is made with UV resistant material plastic so it is easy to move. It also has wider legs at the base to keep it upright.
I am a big fan of the Gardener’s Supply brand and buy a range of items from their stores from plant stakes to garden shoes. It’s no wonder they also stock some of the best rain barrels around. Holding a whopping 75-gallons this is a high capacity water storage system.
5. RTS Home Accents 50-Gallon Flat Back Rain Barrel
The best classic style rain barrel
Created to simulate the look of an oak barrel, this rainwater collection barrel by RTS Home Accents has a classic design suited for almost any decor. It is made from high-quality Grade Polyethylene which will hold up to the elements, but the etched wood grain is so well done it is hard to tell the difference from a wood oak barrel unless you look very closely.
An aluminum screen to keep out insects and leaves, a brass spigot at the base and a flat back which will sit flush against your home are just some of the popular design features. A raised stand can be purchased separately to make it easier to fill your watering cans right from the water spout.
6. Algreen Cascata Rain Water and Storage System (65 Gallons)
The best terracotta rain barrel
Don’t like the look of the plastic rain barrels? Disguise your rainwater collection system with this planter. The planter is double lined so it will hold up well. It also has a brass spigot at the base, and easy access hose in case your watering can or pots don’t fit under the one at the bottom.
A 65-gallon capacity is also 10 additional gallons than most other plastic rain collection barrel. This is a nice way to combine form and function.
7. Emsco 2297 80-Gallon Waterstone Rain Barrel with Downspout Diverter
The best hidden rain barrel
This design was created to blend with your garden and looks like a large boulder. It is made from molded plastic and holds a whopping 80 gallons of water which is the highest capacity of the decorative rain barrels in our list. Attach the Waterstone barrel to a soaker hose and gradually water your garden.
Also included is a gutter diverter system that can be installed in any downspout. This means when the barrel is full, the water will be automatically diverted back through the downspout. The Emsco Waterstone is also available in 40 or 60-gallon sizes.
How do Rainwater Barrels Work?
Rain barrels work by collecting rain into a sealed container. There is a spout or nozzle at the bottom of the container that attaches to your garden hose. A secondary spout may be positioned at the top to direct any overflow away from the house or into a second container
Once the barrel is full, you open the bottom spout to release the water, and gravity does the rest. This is especially effective when attaching the hose to a drip irrigation system. Drip systems ensure your garden is watered slowly and evenly.
Buying a Rain Barrel – Important Features to Consider
When you compare the different types of rain barrels on the market, be sure to consider these 8 features.
Capacity. Rain barrels are available in a range of sizes, typically from 40 to 80 gallons with the most popular products designed to hold 50 gallons of water.
To make the right selection for your home, consider the average rainfall in your area, the size of your roof and the size of your garden. If you have a smaller home, a 40-gallon system may be all you need. But if you have a very large roof and a ton of rain during the year, you may need to upgrade to the larger capacity rain barrels.
Mesh Screen. A good rain barrel should come with a mesh screen to keep out falling leaves, sticks and other objects that could fall into the barrel and clog the spigots.
The mesh screens also serve to keep out any breeding mosquitoes that are attracted to standing water. Unless you are feeding a family of frogs, no one likes having more mosquitoes in their yard.
Spigots. Take a look at where the spigots are positioned on the rain barrel.
In my opinion, the best rain barrel designs include 2 spigot placements since I like to use the higher one to quickly fill up my water cans. The bottom one is better for a hose connection as the gravity will help add pressure and push the water into your drip irrigation system.
Overflow Protection. Make sure there is some type of overflow system. This protects the base of your house from getting flooded with water when your rain barrel is full.
Typical designs include a routed channel on the top which diverts the water to the front of your rain barrel. Some have more than one way to divert the water. For example, the Algreen 60 gallon rain barrel which includes an overflow valve in the back as well as a rain diverter kit where you can hook up a second rain barrel
Lid. The lid should lock in place so it doesn’t get knocked off by bad wind or weather. Some models include a latched lid system so you can easily lift off the top to fill watering cans quickly.
Materials. The majority of the rain barrels you see on the market today are made with Polyethylene plastic material which is light and durable. The lighter weight makes your rain barrel easier to move and clean when necessary.
Other options include different types of stone, wood, and metal. Stone looks great but can be unwieldy for even the strongest of men. Wood also is nice & natural-looking but will eventually rot if not treated and can be pricey. In our opinion, plastic makes the best rain barrel material since it is both economical and flexible in terms of design.
How to Setup a Rainwater Collection System
There are two basic ways to set up a rainwater collection system for watering your garden.
1. Rain Gutter Setup
The easiest way to set up a rain barrel is to position it under your gutter system. The gutter is shortened to the height of the barrel.
A connector piece can be reattached at the higher position and directed into the barrel. The water will flow from your roof, through the gutter downspout directly into your barrel.
2. The Free Catch Method
The second option is to place the barrel adjacent to your garden. Allow the rain to collect naturally in the barrel. This is good for homes where you cannot fit a rain collection barrel next to the house due to other landscaping or other obstacles. It is also ideally suited for renters who do not have permission to alter the downspout.
Additional Design Considerations
- A screen or fine mesh layer is attached to the top of the rain barrel to prevent debris from clogging the system. This also prevents bugs like mosquitoes from breeding in your barrel.
- Setup your rain barrel on a flat surface, so it does not tip over when full. A layer of concrete or bricks can be used to ensure an evenly flat surface.
- Install an overflow pipe a few inches from the top of the barrel. PVC pipe is commonly used to create an overflow drainage route away from the house or into a second barrel.
Benefits of Watering your Garden with Rainwater
- Rainwater is healthier for your garden. Most sources of drinking water are treated with chlorine and other minerals that make it better for people. This makes it worse for our plants. Rain is a much more natural source of water for our gardens.
- Conserve water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average gardener could save up to 1300 gallons of water over the course of the summer by using a rainwater collection system. This calculation assumes a replenishment schedule of once per week from mid-April to mid-October. (55-gallon barrel x 24 weeks).
- Reduce flooding or water collection around the house. Most often the reason we experience basement flooding in the wet months is when the rain gutters do not divert the water far enough from the base of our house. This is mainly a problem when the ground slopes to one side causing the runoff to pool on one side of the house.
How to Make a Rain Barrel (Video)
Want to create your own rainwater collection system? Watch this video for step by step instructions on how to make a rain barrel. This video will walk you through the DIY version with materials that cost under $30 (providing you have the saw).
Required Materials for the DIY Rain Barrel
- 55 Gallon Drum (purchase from car wash, coco-cola bottler or warehouse
- Heavy-duty Drill (or Jigsaw)
- 4 inch Hole saw (for Overflow)
- 1-1/2 inch hole saw (for spigot)
- Bung (for tap/spigot)
- 3/4 inch threaded ball valve (for spigot)
- Hose adapter (for runoff)
- Hose Clamp (to attach the screen to PVC adapter)
- PVC adapter 4 to 3 inch (for main rain opening)
- Sharpie/marking utensil (for measuring)
- Scissors (to cut screen)
- Window Screen (to keep out debris)
- Tape Measure (to measure the placement of holes)
- Screw Driver (for tightening hose clamp)
- Hacksaw (to cut downspout)
Optional Rain Barrel Parts:
- 1 – 1/2 inch trap adapter (for the overflow valve) & 2-inch hole saw
- PVC pipe/90 degree elbow & length of PVC pipe OR female bushing & hose adapter with hose (for overflow)
- Duct Tape & Yardstick (for placing the bung on the inside of the barrel)
- 12-inch flex hose (to help direct downspout into the barrel, in case you don’t have an exact cut)
If you’d rather not start from scratch, you can still create a homemade system using a rain barrel kit.
Which Rain Barrel is Best for You?
Whether you decide to make your own rain barrel or purchase a ready-made system, collecting rainwater is an ideal way to water your lawn and gardens. You will have healthier plants and feel good about doing your part in water conservation.