Updated May 2023
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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 all opinions about the products are our own. 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 all opinions about the products are our own. 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 
Bottom line
Best of the Best
FCMP Outdoor Rain Barrel, 50 Gallon,
Outdoor Rain Barrel, 50 Gallon,
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Customer Favorite
Bottom Line

This durable plastic choice is styled to look like rustic wood and is built to last year after year.


Fifty-gallon capacity, constructed of durable plastic that resists rot and insects. Molded design looks like authentic wood but without the pitfalls. Includes linking kit for other rain barrels. Flat back allows unit to sit nicely against a wall. Available in brown or black.


Some issues reported with manufacturing and missing pieces.

Best Bang for the Buck
LOSTRONAUT 53-Gallon Portable Rain Barrel Water Tank
53-Gallon Portable Rain Barrel Water Tank
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Most Travel-friendly
Bottom Line

A rain barrel that can be packed up for travel and has soft sides.


A 53-gallon rain barrel made of UV-resistant PVC with heavy-duty zippers. Features 2 spigots, an overflow spout, 6 legs, and an intake hole with filter. Has a mesh screen to keep out debris. Comes with 25 garden labels.


May be prone to leaking.

FreeGarden RAIN 55-Gallon Rain Barrel with Brass Spigot
FreeGarden RAIN
55-Gallon Rain Barrel with Brass Spigot
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

This sleek and large-capacity rain barrel is designed to withstand the elements and is available in 3 colors.


Capacity of 55 gallons. Constructed of easy-to-clean polyethylene. Compact and designed to comfortably fit in tight spaces. Equipped with a durable brass spigot that fits standard-size hoses. Features mosquito-proof stainless steel mesh screen.


Some users reported that the bottom cracked under heavy pressure of water.

EarthMinded 45 Gallons Gal. Plastic Drainable Planter Rain Barrel
45 Gallons Gal. Plastic Drainable Planter Rain Barrel
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Floral Favorite
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A solid rain barrel that boasts a reversible "plantar top" lid, which can act as a flower box for an attractive touch.


Drum-grade HDPE barrel with 45-gallon capacity. Sealed system is resilient to insects and algae. Flowers or plants can be stored inside plantar top for an added touch. Includes spigot, hose, and expansion kit. Available in terracotta or black.


It occasionally leaks and can be difficult to repair. Some say it resembles a trash can.

Mirainbarrel 58-Gallon Upcycled Rain Barrel
58-Gallon Upcycled Rain Barrel
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Largest Capacity
Bottom Line

This repurposed barrel is durable, well-made, and environmentally friendly.


Sustainably designed with an upcycled, food-grade barrel and solid brass fittings. Built with a strong plastic mesh screen and a waterproof silicone caulk seal. Spigot repair kits are available free of charge for the lifetime of the barrel.


A few users had issues with the overflow valve.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best rain barrels

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.

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If you regularly use a hose – or even a watering can – you might be surprised at how much water you use. About 40% of the average household's water supply is spent on lawns and gardens.

Why buy a rain barrel?

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.

  • Collecting rainwater helps protect rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water from pollution runoff.
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Did you know?
An average garden hose puts out 10 gallons of water – around 160 glasses of drinking water – per minute. With a rain barrel, you can do your bit to conserve water.



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.

Clay or stone

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.

"Unless you have a particular aversion to using a plastic rain barrel, we highly recommend this material, as it's light, durable, and long-lasting."


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.

Cover or screen

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.

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Expert Tip
"The pain of watching your garden die during a hosepipe ban is immense. To keep your garden green all year long, collect enough rainwater during the wetter months."

Rain barrel prices

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.

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Rain barrels come in all kinds of designs, so if you’re particular about the items that sit beside your home, choose one that you love. But be sure to pick one that's functional as well as attractive.


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.

Our Top Picks