Handsome, stone-like looks, spacious 55-gallon capacity, and durable build. Flat back saves space. Lightweight enough for easy maneuverability.
Spigot is made of plastic and is a bit flimsy, but this doesn't seem to affect looks or functionality.
No-frills design with generous 55-gallon capacity. Made of recycled plastic which appeals to eco-conscious shoppers. Build feels solid. Cover fits well and keeps out bugs and debris.
Finish is prone to developing scratches, plus some barrels have been reported to arrive scratched.
50-gallon rain barrel with sandstone-look finish and texture. Durable exterior withstands all types of weather without fading or cracking. Has a durable brass spigot that's in a convenient location. Easy to put together.
Top doesn't close securely, consequently attracting mosquitoes. Water flows quite slowly through the drain.
Attractive oak barrel finish and durable plastic build exudes a traditional look. Flat back allows it to sit flush against the wall.
Some owners say the quality isn't quite what they expected for the price. The included stand can't hold the full weight of the barrel when filled with water.
Stands out for the collapsible design that makes it simple to store when you aren't using it. Very easy to set up and use. Budget-friendly price. Available in 60 and 80-gallon models.
Made of flexible PVC that is reasonably strong, but not as sturdy as other options. Prone to leaks.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Our planetary resources aren't unlimited, so buying a rain barrel is one of the many little steps you can take to help conserve water and protect the environment.
Rain barrels collect rainwater that runs off your roof and through your gutters. You can use this water to saturate your garden, wash your car, and so on. Some states even permit the use of rain barrel water for greywater purposes.
Choosing to collect rainwater might be an easy decision, but finding the right rain barrel for your needs isn't so straightforward. The market is saturated with hundreds of rain barrels of various shapes, sizes, and materials. At BestReviews, we're here to help you wade through the choices.
The product list above contains our top five rain barrel picks. If you need more information about rain barrels and how to find the right one for you, please check out the rest of this shopping guide.
If you're not quite convinced yet, here are some more reasons why you might want to buy a rain barrel.
A rain barrel prevents water from entering storm drains, thereby decreasing the risk of flooding.
Collecting rainwater benefits the environment, as our earthly resources are limited.
Rain barrels allow you to direct overflow where you want it to go. And let’s face it, nobody wants rainwater seeping into their home’s foundation.
Since you'll be using less water from your taps, a rain barrel should save you money on your water bills.
Rainwater is oxygenated and unchlorinated, which is ideal for plants.
Today, plastic is by far the most popular rain barrel material. Why is plastic so popular? It’s incredibly strong, durable, and lightweight. At the same time, it costs less to make a plastic rain barrel, and manufacturers can easily mold plastic into a number of shapes. This creates some interesting rain barrel designs.
Traditional wooden rain barrels look quaint and attractive, but unless properly treated, they will eventually rot. If you want the classic look of a wooden barrel with the longevity and convenience of plastic, consider a molded rain barrel that is made to look like real wood.
You can find rain barrels made of stone or clay, but these tend to serve a decorative purpose more than a functional one. That’s not to say you couldn’t collect water in a clay or stone barrel, of course.
Because of their weight, clay and stone barrels are often smaller than rain barrels made of other materials. Another consequence of their weight is that they're harder to move from one location to another. Therefore, once in place, a clay or stone rain barrel is likely to remain there for years to come.
The average rain barrel for home use has a capacity of somewhere between 40 and 80 gallons. Consider how much water you’d like to collect at one time and how often/how much it rains in your area.
Some people don’t care what their rain barrel looks like; others have a particular aesthetic in mind. As you peruse your choices, you'll find everything from plain-looking rain barrels to highly decorated rain barrels which may even sport a planter on top.
The spigot is another word for the tap at the bottom of the barrel where you get the water out. In most cases, it's possible to attach a garden hose to the spigot.
If it rains a lot, your rain barrel may completely fill and begin to overflow.
This is where an overflow hose comes in handy. If you don't have an overflow hose to direct the water to an appropriate location, the excess spills out over the top. Since most people keep their rain barrels against an outer wall of their house (to collect water from the drainpipe), this overflow could seep into your foundation and cause damage. It could even flood your basement, if you have one.
A rain barrel screen prevents debris and other contaminants, like insect larvae, from infiltrating your water.
Some rain barrels are completely covered, apart from a hole where you can attach your drain pipe. Others have a fine mesh screen that keeps out all but the tiniest insects and bits of dust and detritus.
Rain barrels vary in price depending on size, design, and appearance.
You're unlikely to find a quality rain barrel for less than around $80. Products that hover at this price point perform their job well, but they often look quite basic.
For roughly $100 to $150, you can get a rain barrel that's a step above the most basic level. Many of these products are attractive options that consumers are proud to display.
Q. What if I need a rain barrel of a larger capacity?
A. If you do a lot of gardening or have other uses for large amounts of rainwater, you might find even the largest of our top picks are insufficient to meet your needs.
Those who need a larger capacity can either look for an industrial-sized rain barrel or chain several average-sized rain barrels together with linking hoses. For most consumers, this is the most practical solution.
Q. Is rain barrel water safe to drink?
A. No. The water collected in a rain barrel contains a variety of bacteria, debris, and pollutants. It’s not safe to drink as is.
Mind you, it could be made safe to drink with some pretty intensive treating and filtering. However, we don’t recommend this unless you know exactly what you are doing.
Q. How long will it take to fill a rain barrel?
A. If placed under a drainpipe so it gets the runoff from your roof, a 60-gallon rain barrel can fill up over the course of an average rainstorm. So, if you live in a wet area, you could easily make use of multiple rain barrels.
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