(Updated September 6, 2017)
How Do I Choose the Best Rain Barrel?
Do you want to save some money? Rain barrels are a great way to save on your water bills. Even though rain water is not safe to drink, you can still use it for multiple other purposes such as watering your lawn or washing your car. Rain barrels look like large tanks and collect the rainwater from your roof's downspout. In order for them to be more practical, they also feature a spigot and a hose attached at the bottom.
Did you know that, according to the United States Environmental and Protection Agency, about 40% of the total water used in each household is for watering the lawn? You will save a lot by just investing in a rain barrel and trust us, they are not as expensive as you would expect.
With these gallons of water that you won't have to pay for, you will be able to water the plants and the vegetables without thinking about the cost. If you love gardening, you should also consider a portable green house
that will allow you to become self-sufficient in a couple of years. Moreover, if you are an avid gardener you should also get an indoor herb garden
that will allow you to grow your favorite herbs indoors or a garden trellis
if you want your garden to be aesthetically appealing to your guests.
Do you want to know more about rain barrels? Continue reading!
How much are you able to spend on a rain barrel? Usually, basic models come at prices that range from $70 to $200. Although, more interesting models that have various decorations can reach upwards of $500. The prices vary as a result of capacity, design, and materials.
We advise you not to consider cheap rain barrels as they are usually made from poor quality materials and won’t last for long. It is good to pay a little more at the beginning for a good quality rain barrel, because as we told you, in the end, it will pay for itself before you know it.
Using a rain barrel has multiple benefits. Apart from allowing you to water your lawn without any cost, you will be able to store the collected water and use it whenever there are water restrictions in your area. In conclusion, you’ll be able to save money and maintain your plants all season long.
Rain barrels are a great addition to your home. Let’s take a look at the main things you need to consider when shopping for one:
- Capacity - This is one of the most important features you should consider. Most rain barrels can hold 50 gallons of water or even more. Also, this is a matter of personal taste and space. If you have a larger space, you can go for a larger capacity rain barrel. Always make sure that the tank cannot be accessed easily by children or pets.
- Material - You will be able to find rain barrels in all sorts of materials: stainless steel, rote molded plastic, polyethylene or even fiberglass. In this case, you can be guided by your personal preferences. Polyethylene is one of the most popular options and can be found in various shapes and colors.
- Accessories - Good quality rain barrels come with a range of accessories such as an overflow valve, a fine-mesh screen to keep the water clean, an expanding capacity and more.
- Color - No matter what color dominates your garden; you’ll be able to find a rain barrel to match it. These products come in multiple colors: oak, black, green, brown, wood grain, terra cotta, and red among others.
Construction and Design
You should choose a rain barrel that matches your garden’s style. Most rain barrels are opaque to keep the water from being exposed to sunlight. But, to be sure, you should place it where the sunlight doesn’t have much access so algae won’t grow inside the barrel. Rain barrels come in multiple shapes and materials, thus, when it comes to the construction, make sure you choose good quality materials.
Here is a list of the main materials rain barrels are made of and their advantages:
- Polyethylene - As we said, polyethylene is the most common material used in rain barrels. This material is lightweight and has a convenient price. The only disadvantage would be that, usually, plastic is affected by the sunlight, so you have to put it in a place where it is protected from UV rays.
- Ceramic Clay or Stone - This kind of rain barrel comes in a smaller size than standard barrels. They have a great aesthetic effect and can enhance the whole appearance of your garden. However, such rain barrels are a bit difficult to install if you’ve never had one before.
- Wood - If your garden has a rustic appearance, a wood rain barrel would fit perfectly. In such a rain barrel, water cannot be contaminated by BPA. This kind of barrel is a bit more expensive than plastic ones.
- Stainless Steel or Metal - If you want to collect large quantities of water, you should go for a stainless steel or metal rain barrel. Usually, these types of rain barrels are used for permanent rain water storage, but they don’t have such a pleasant appearance for home use.
The screen that protects insects from getting inside the water can be made of plastic or aluminum. Most rain barrels don’t have large openings in order to be safe for both children and pets, so you can place them in your garden without being worried. Another important aspect you should pay attention to when it comes to the construction of rain barrels is the material of the spigot, which should always be corrosion proof for long-lasting use.
Performance and Ease of Use
Rain barrels occupy a small portion of your garden and are easy to install and to use. You should always place them on a level surface, and if they have a flat back design then they can be placed against any exterior wall. If you don’t have a level surface to place them on, use leveling blocks underneath so it can be placed on a sturdy, even surface.
You should always make sure that the rain barrel is covered to keep insects and larvae out of the water and to ensure that children and pets cannot access it. The downspout should be covered also, so debris or insects won’t get into it. Another thing you can do in order to minimize debris in your collected water is to clean your roof at least once or twice a year.
Mosquitos breed in 10 days, so you should drain your rain barrel on a regular basis and clean it, as a precautionary measure. When you want to use the rain water you’ve collected, you just have to hook up a hose to the spigot and turn it on. You will be able to water your garden with ease. When you’ve finished the water, clean the barrel and wait for the rain to come again!
What is the Best Rain Barrel?
Before getting a rain barrel, the first things you should consider are the capacity and shape, depending on the space you want to place it in. Similarly, if you have a decorated garden, you should opt for a colorful barrel that will improve the appearance of your backyard. With this in mind, let’s have a look at our top picks!
Our Top Choice
The Good Ideas Rain Wizard Barrel is available in 5 colors and has a classic whiskey barrel look. It also comes with a flat back design and is currently a bestseller. Do you prefer an urn-shaped rain barrel? Check out the Good Ideas Urn Rain Barrel
which is available in 8 colors and sits tightly against any wall.
Good Ideas Rain Wizard Rain Barrel – 50 Gallons Capacity, Made from Ultra-Tough Polyethylene, Available in 5 Colors
Good Ideas Rain Barrel RW50-OAK
Good Ideas is a manufacturer based in the US with extensive experience in manufacturing and developing durable products for lawns, gardens, pets, and storage options. In its manufacturing process, it uses rotational molding technology to make its products strong and durable for years to come. Apart from rain barrels, Good Ideas also has a large selection of garden beds, composters, planters, and more, all of which have pleasant designs and affordable prices.
You can choose between oak, black, green, khaki, and terra cotta color options when getting the Good Ideas Rain Wizard Barrel. This model also has a brass-plated hose bibb that keeps the water flowing. In order to keep bugs and other insects away from the water, it’s screened for protection with a soft mesh. The flat back is innovative as it allows you to place it right up against any exterior wall.
Further, it can be linked to any other barrels for a larger capacity, and is easily cleaned and maintained. The materials it’s made with are durable and strong. The barrel includes a brass spigot, Teflon tape, and instructions in 3 different languages. With dimensions of 22 x 31 x 23 inches, a weight of 22 pounds, and a convenient capacity of 50 gallons, you’re sure to love this rain barrel!
The RTS Companies Inc Rain Barrel has an oak barrel texture and a flat back. It also incorporates a brass spigot shut-off valve and a front side overflow. If this isn’t your favorite color, check out the RTS Companies Inc Rain Water Barrel
that’s available in brown, green, and gold. This one features an aluminum screen and a brass spigot!
RTS Companies Inc Rain Water Collection Barrel – 50 Gallons Capacity, Brass Spigot, Child and Pet Safe
RTS Companies Inc Rain Barrel 55100006005681 – Wood Grain
RTS Companies, Inc., has extensive experience on the market - more than 140 years’ worth! It manufactures and designs quality wood stave barrels that are designated for storing and shipping whisky and other dry goods. In 2000, RTS Companies, Inc., started expanding and has grown its small plastics division, also manufacturing custom and proprietary molded plastic products. Apart from rain barrels, this brand also sells different related products for home and garden.
If you’re thinking about collecting rainwater, we advise you to consider getting the RTS Companies Inc Rain Barrel as it has a large capacity of 50 gallons and a pleasant design. When there’s drought and no rain, this rain barrel might provide the water you need for your garden. The oak barrel texture is molded into the barrel and doesn’t fade or rot. Its flat back design allows you to place it against the exterior wall of your house. It has a large size (34.7 x 24.2 x 19.4 inches and 23 pounds) and a rustic aesthetic so it will give a nice look to your backyard.
The Algreen Cascata Rain Barrel is available in 3 colors and features an authentic pottery-like texture. The top is also completely removable. If you have a smaller budget, check out the Algreen Rain Barrel Sandalwood
that has an elegant design and a corrosion-resistant screen. This model has a capacity of approximately 50 gallons of water.
Algreen Castilla Rain Barrel – 65 Gallons Capacity, Brass Spigot, Made from Roto-Molded Plastic, Available in 3 Colors
Algreen Rain Barrel ALG81001 – Terra Cotta
Algreen has been on the market for more than 20 years and it manufactures innovative and environmentally-conscious products for the homes and gardens of its customers. A wide array of its products is made of quality and recycled materials in order to preserve the environment. Its products bring the experience of gardening to a new level and make it more enjoyable. Apart from rain barrels, Algreen also sells planters, composters, fountains, water gardening products, and different home accessories.
The Algreen Cascata Rain Barrel combines pottery-like texture with the longevity of modern plastics. It’s available in dark brown, grey, and terra cotta colors, and allows its users 100% access to the water it contains. It features two water overflows in order for the water to escape the rain barrel when it’s full. This barrel has dimensions of 24 x 24 x 46 inches, weighs 23 pounds, and can hold up to 65 gallons of water!
It has a completely removable top and a screen guard between the top and the base, which is also removable. Its size and colors fit with any garden and the water it collects helps you water your plants or wash your car without spending any extra money.
The Achla Brown Rain Barrel has a removable debris screen and is available in brown color. It’s made of an UV-stable material and can be linked to other rain barrels. If you’re looking for a rain barrel with a larger capacity, check out the Achla Green Rain Barrel
which holds 54 gallons of water and also features a removable debris screen!
Achla Brown Rain Catcher – 50 Gallons Capacity, Built-In 4 Foot Hose, Made from Durable Polyethylene
Achla Rain Barrel RB-03
Achla started more than 40 years ago as a family-owned company which manufactured accessories for fire places and woodstoves. In 1994 it introduced fine wrought-iron pieces for the homes and gardens of its customers. In creating its products, it uses multiple manufacturing techniques and materials in order to have the results its customers are looking for. Apart from rain barrels, this brand also sells garden furniture, arbors, pavilions, plant stands, statuary, and different garden ornaments and lights.
The Achla Brown Rain Barrel can help you save on your water bills when you water your plants or wash your car. It can be easily assembled, used, and cleaned. In order to get a good flow, it’s advisable you elevate it off the ground. As it has a different shape, it allows you to place it in areas with limited space. It features a child and pet-proof design as it has a safety grid and removable screen. It even includes a foolproof linking kit so you can increase the capacity whenever you desire, and its capacity is 50 gallons. With dimensions of 16 x 23 x 32 inches and a weight of 18.9 pounds, this barrel is relatively easy to move when empty.
The Upcycle Terra-Cotta Rain Barrel is made of recycled plastic and can be linked to any other barrels. It comes available in a bold red color. Additionally, if you prefer a color that doesn’t stand out so much, check out the Upcycle Gray Rain Barrel
that’s made of recycled materials and can be linked to any other barrel!
Upcycle Terra Cotta Rain Catcher – 55 Gallons Capacity, Made from Durable Polyethylene
Upcycle Rain Barrel 55 Gallon Terra Cotta
Founded in 2000, Upcycle’s founders lived in a town with an undersized well-water system. When they started losing their fruit trees and vegetables because of the lack of water, they created their first rain barrel. Since then, Upcycle’s founders have used only rain water and have not used a drop of the city water. The rain barrels and tumbling composters it sells are all made of pre-used materials or from recycled plastic, as it believes that nothing should be thrown away, and any material can be used for a second or third time.
The Upcycle Terra-Cotta Rain Barrel is entirely made of recycled materials and was previously used to transport olives in Greece. It blends in well with red brick homes as it’s red. It also has an overflow fitting to allow the excess water to be diverted away. Its linking hose fitting allows the user to link two or more barrels to increase the capacity and collect more water. Even better, it’s completely paintable, so you can turn it into any color you like! This barrel is a neat 38 x 23 x 23 inches, weighs 23 pounds, and can hold a whopping 55 gallons!
Get the Best Rain Barrel of 2017!
As you can see, some rain barrels have a round shape, others are rectangular. The capacity should also be an important factor in the purchasing decision. It’s important to get the right one because it’ll pay for itself before you know it.
Our Top Choice
Good Ideas Rain Wizard Barrel
RTS Companies Inc Rain Barrel
Algreen Cascata Rain Barrel
Upcycle Terra-Cotta Rain Barrel