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.
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.
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.
Made from durable PVC with a reliable yet easy-to-open zippered top. Stands out for its collapsible design that makes it simple to store when not in use. Very easy to set up and operate. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.