Best Watering Cans

Updated December 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.

41 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
393 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Shopping guide for best water cans

Last Updated December 2019

If you love gardening, then you need a good watering can. Whether you want something for watering a few indoor plants, or you plan to tend to an expansive outdoor garden, a watering can is an essential tool of the trade for anyone with a green thumb. If you want to care for your plants in the way that they deserve, check out our five best watering cans above. If you’re still not sure how to choose between them, follow our handy shopping guide and you’ll have all the tools you need to find the best option for your gardening needs.

Watering cans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you need to be thorough in learning as much as you can about the different types available to you. Some people think that a simple bucket is good enough for watering all of your plants, but a quality watering can provides many more benefits to whatever it is you like to grow.

Try not to wet leaves when watering, as damp leaves can breed bacteria and plant-borne diseases.

Key considerations

There are a few major factors you’ll need to consider when choosing a new watering can. Your personal aesthetic preferences are important, but not the only thing to take into consideration. You’ll also want to assess the needs of your indoor plants or outdoor garden. Whether you need a can to care for basic houseplants, large outdoor stretches, or both, will determine what style and size of watering can you select.

Your own physical limitations may also impact your choice. If you have wrist pain or any other ailments that impact the weight you can comfortably carry, you’ll want to take them into account when assessing which watering cans may work best for you. The last thing you want is to be in pain when you’re trying to tend to your garden. Consider the following additional factors when making your choice.

Material

Most watering cans are made out of either plastic or galvanized steel. Naturally, steel will last longer than plastic, but it’s also heavier. You need to think about whether weight or longevity means more to you when choosing between a plastic and a metal. Steel watering cans also tend to serve a dual purpose as a decoration as well, so if that’s something that’s important to you, consider a vintage style steel watering can that will look great inside or outdoors.

Capacity

Most watering cans can hold up to just over three gallons of water. If you want a watering can that will require minimal refills during a gardening session, then opt for a large-capacity watering can. Just remember that larger capacity makes the watering can heavier and more difficult to wield when full.

Spout style

Watering cans generally have either a rainmaker style spout or a straight spout. Rainmaker spouts have many small holes and are good for spreading water around the area evenly, while a straight spout provides a direct stream of water to your target. So ask yourself if your plants require targeted watering or a wider spray.

Ergonomics

Modern watering cans have every possible ergonomic setup for handles. Some old-fashioned steel watering cans are intended for use with both hands. They have a top bucket-handle and a rear standard handle, to make watering a smooth motion that uses both arms. Other cans are meant to be held by the rear handle only for easy pouring. Think about how you like to work in your own garden or around your houseplants to determine what type of ergonomic design works best for you.

EXPERT TIP

Over time, some of the less expensive metal cans can rust if kept outside in the elements. Try to protect them when not in use.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Watering cans offer more features than one might expect from such a simple tool. From pressurized containers to specially engineered spouts, there’s no reason to settle for the first watering can that you come across. Review the following features available to you, and decide if any of them will take your gardening to the next level.

Pressure spray

Although most watering cans work exclusively on gravity alone, some have a pressure spray feature. These watering cans are pressurized and have a release trigger that sprays water out, rather than using a pouring method. The advantage to a pressure spray feature is that you can cover a larger area with just one can of water.

Additional spray top

If you like the traditional pour spout style of watering can, but want more versatility, you can now get one that has an additional spray nozzle on top. The spray nozzle works like any other spray can would, allowing you to spray the top soil to keep it moist.

Extra-long spout

A convenient feature available on some watering cans is an extra-long pour spout. Some of these spouts are over a foot in length. This style of spout is perfect for reaching far away plants and potters where there may be other obstacles present. They are sometimes a bit awkward to handle, but well worth it when you need to reach a faraway spot.

Mister

Some watering cans come with additional free misters, which serve the same function as the above-mentioned spray nozzle. A mister is a nice accessory to go with your watering can because it gives you another option for watering the surface soil.

EXPERT TIP

Spread your watering evenly on the soil surrounding the base of your plant. It’s important that the entire root system gets the water it needs.


Staff  | BestReviews

Watering can prices

Inexpensive: From $3 to $75 you can find most of the basic sizes and styles of watering can. The majority of these will be made of plastic and steel. If you want more valuable metals, you’ll have to spend a bit more.

Mid-range: Between $75 and $125 are the mid-range options of watering cans. These cans include more high-end options, such as high grade stainless steel cans and pressurized cans.

Expensive: If you are looking to spend in the $125 to $200 range, you can find more luxurious options, such as beautiful, copper-plated watering cans that will add class to your home or yard.

EXPERT TIP

Be sure to only fill your watering can with what you need. Overfilling can lead to water waste.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Every type of plant has different watering needs. You can easily kill many plants by watering them too often or not enough. Carefully research the needs of each plant before watering.
  • Don’t neglect outdoor plants because you think they will get the water they need from the rain. Many plants suffer in the dry months and can be made healthier by regular watering.
  • Water late in the evening or early in the morning. At those times the soil is cooler and you’ll lose less water to evaporation.
  • Never use your watering can for pesticides or other chemicals that may harm your plants. Chemical residue can remain inside long after the contents have been removed.
  • Always fill your watering can to at least 3/4 capacity before watering your plants. Otherwise you may have to make more trips than necessary back to your water source.
  • It’s better to water less often than more frequently, but to ensure a robust amount of watering during those sessions.

Other products we considered

With all of the well-designed watering cans currently on the market, we thought we’d give you a few more options to choose from beyond our five best. An inexpensive watering can worth considering is the Rainmaker 3.2 Gallon Watering Can. With one of the largest holding capacities on the market, this watering can will take care of all of your watering needs in a single session. In the mid-range category, an efficient and aesthetically pleasing option is the Haws Traditional Watering Can. This can has a tall elegant neck to prevent spillage and a beautiful brass rose on the front. One of the best watering cans in the expensive range is the Blomus Stainless 5-Liter Watering Can. Its brushed stainless steel and its classic design is perfect for indoor or outdoor use.

Don’t wash the inside of your watering can with soaps or detergents. These items can harm your plants.

FAQ

Q. Is it possible to over water my plants?
A.
Yes. You have to be moderate when watering your plants because they can become waterlogged.

Q. Should I water my plant’s leaves or the soil?
A
.You should always focus your watering on the soil above your plant’s root system. That is where the plant gets its nutrients.

Q. Couldn’t I just use a drinking pitcher to water my plants instead of spending on a watering can?
A.
You could, but then you wouldn’t be giving your plants the proper care they need. Watering cans are designed to deliver water to your plant’s root system in a way that no other container can. It’s important to spread your watering evenly on the soil and a watering can is the best way to achieve this result.

Q. Does the temperature of the water in my watering can matter?
A
. No. Variations between warm and cold water, so long as they are not extreme, should make no difference as to the impact on your plants.

The team that worked on this review
  • Adam
    Adam
    Writer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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