Best Solar Fountains

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

48 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
302 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best solar fountains

Last Updated November 2019

A fountain or similar water feature is a great addition to any yard, whether compact or expansive, but installation can be a pain. However, solar fountains don't need an electricity hookup for power or plumbing connected to the main water supply, making them the simplest choice for anyone who wants a garden fountain. You can find all kinds of solar fountains, from simple pumps to large decorative stone extravaganzas, and everything in between.

Once you've decided to buy a solar fountain, there's still plenty to think about. You'll need to decide what you want your fountain to look like and what type of material it should be made of. Beyond aesthetics, you also want to consider the wattage of the solar panel and whether it can charge a backup battery for those times when there is no sunshine. Read on to learn more about solar fountains and what features are worth the money. Check out our favorite solar fountains, too.

Since your solar fountain is best placed in full sun, there will be some degree of water evaporation, so you'll need to top it up regularly.

Key considerations

Solar fountain pump vs. solar fountain

Solar fountain pump: A large number of the solar fountains on the market are simply pumps with an integrated solar panel. These aren't freestanding models; they need to be placed in a container of water to work. People often put them into birdbaths, but you can also use them in ponds, pools, or any decorative item that can hold at least a few inches of water, such as a large urn.

Solar fountain: Solar fountains include the whole body of the fountain, in addition to the solar pump. These are usually quite decorative and designed to be garden focal points, although some models are smaller and simpler than others.

Materials

If you're opting for a full solar fountain, what material is best? While you can find stone and ceramic models, those made from resin are more common and significantly cheaper, too.

  • Ceramic solar fountains, including terracotta, look great and aren’t too costly, but they're not the most durable.
  • Stone solar fountains are extremely solid and aesthetically pleasing. However, they’re expensive, heavy, and difficult to move.
  • Resin solar fountains are affordable options designed to stand up to all weather conditions without cracking. They're often made to look like stone or ceramic, but some are more convincing than others.

Power

Watts: The power of a solar panel is measured in watts (W). Because the pumps that run solar fountains don't use a huge amount of power, the solar panels on these fountains are usually fairly low wattage because that's all they need. Expect basic solar pumps to have solar panels of between 1 and 3 watts, and full solar fountains to have 5 to 15 watts. The greater the wattage, the more electricity it can produce when exposed to the same conditions.

Battery backup: No place is sunny 24/7, which is why a large number of solar fountains have a battery backup. The solar panel charges the battery with the power it harnesses from the sun, in addition to running the fountain. When the sun goes down or is hidden by clouds, the battery kicks in so your fountain can keep running. A fully charged backup battery can last anywhere from a couple hours to half a day. Most solar fountains indicate the battery life in the product specifications.

EXPERT TIP

Although solar fountains run automatically when the sun is shining, most give you the option of switching them off.


Staff  | BestReviews

Solar fountain features

Spray type: Some solar fountains allow you to choose from a number of different spray types, from a sprinkler style with plenty of height to a slow trickle. Occasionally, you'll find a fountain with a switch or dial to change from one spray to another, but often you need to change the nozzle to change the spray. You can find fountains that include three or four nozzles to give you a variety of spray types to choose from.

Style: Solar fountains range from simple and contemporary with clean lines to classic, ornate styles, not unlike what you might find in a historic Italian garden. The style of solar fountain you choose comes down to your personal preferences, in addition to the style of your yard. For instance, an extremely modern solar fountain might appear out of place in a traditional cottage garden.

LED lights: You can find solar fountains that also have LED lights that turn on when the sun goes down. While it isn't an essential feature, it does look attractive and adds another element to your fountain.

EXPERT TIP

Some solar fountains can double as birdbaths.


Staff  | BestReviews

Solar fountain prices

The price you pay for a solar fountain depends on the type, size, and quality.

Inexpensive: Basic solar pumps cost around $15 to $30, but you need to place them in some kind of vessel.

Mid-range: Resin solar fountains cost roughly $100 to $200.

Expensive: High-end resin, stone, or ceramic models are priced in the region of $300 to $500.

EXPERT TIP

Not only do solar fountains have an attractive appearance, but the sound of running water is relaxing and can add a peaceful quality to your yard or garden.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Pick a style. You can find a range of solar fountain styles, including tiered and cascading.
  • Consider a timer. You can use a timer to run your fountain for a set number of hours each day or ten minutes each hour, for example, which is handy at those times when sunlight is scarce.
  • Choose movable solar panels. Some solar fountains have movable rather than fixed solar panels. This is great for areas with less light because you can move the solar panels to the sunniest spot or follow the trajectory of the sun.

Other products we considered

We've listed our top five solar fountains above, but you can find more that are worth closer examination. The YONSIEO Solar Birdbath Fountain Pump is another simple solar fountain pump you can add to a birdbath, pond, or water-filled statue. Its 2.5-watt solar panel is plenty powerful to run a basic pump and is more powerful than many similar options. It also features an 800 mAh battery backup to store power for use when the sun goes down. The Sunnydaze Solar On-Demand Water Fountain is made from stone-like resin and fiberglass, which is affordable yet durable and attractive. The cascading design flows water between bowls on three different levels. The movable solar panel can be positioned in a sunny spot, and the backup battery can store enough power to run for four hours without sunlight. The Kenroy Home Tiered Solar Fountain is an excellent option in a classic style with a gorgeous sandstone finish. Measuring 44 inches high, it's large enough to be a notable centerpiece in your garden. The solar panel is easy to position in a convenient, brightly lit spot.

Make sure pets and kids don't drink from your solar fountain. The water is recycled indefinitely and won't be particularly fresh or clean.

FAQ

Q. Where should I position my solar fountain?
A.
If your solar fountain has fixed solar panels built into the body of the unit, you must place it in a spot that gets sun for as much of the day as possible. If the solar panel is movable, you can be more flexible about where you position the fountain. As long as the cable is long enough to set the solar panel up somewhere sunny, the fountain itself can be in full shade if you prefer.

Q. Will a solar fountain work all year?
A.
That depends on the amount of sun you get throughout the year. If you barely see the sun from October to March, it's likely that your solar fountain won't work in the winter or will only occasionally work if you have an unseasonably sunny day. However, if you have plenty of bright days in late fall and winter, even when it's cold, your solar panel should work for the majority of the time.

Q. Is it difficult to install a solar fountain?
A.
No, solar fountains are extremely easy to install, if you can even call it that! There's no need to hook it up to a water or power supply. Simply place the fountain in your desired spot, position the solar panel (if it’s separate), fill it with water, switch it on, and you're done.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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