How do you choose the best garden fountains?
In some ways, picking the best garden fountain is all a matter of taste. You get to decide which fountain best suits your personal aesthetic and makes you happiest in your garden. But there are other factors to consider as well.
We've taken a look at some of our top picks for the best affordable garden fountains, along with some quick guidance for how to choose the right fountain for your needs.
The 5 Best Garden Fountains
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This fountain is our top pick if you're looking for an affordable, solar-powered option to place in your garden or yard. In addition to being a beautiful aesthetic piece, it also functions as a birdbath that can attract wildlife and pollinators to your garden.
This product also performs better when compared to other solar designs on the market. Most other solar fountains use a 1.4W design, but the panels in this fountain are 3W, which means they generate more than twice as much energy.
They also have a 1200mAh battery that lasts longer than the average battery, the ability to spray high into the air, and a filtration system for the water. Most competing solar fountains spray at heights of 30 to 50 centimeters, while this one sprays jets of 50 to 70 centimeters in height.
The solar power and the battery combine to provide consistent use in all types of weather. When the sun is out, the panels harvest energy to keep the fountain going. On cloudy days, the mechanism switches to long-lasting battery power.
You don't need to worry about replacing the battery or hooking it up to electricity, which has a positive impact on both your electric bill and environmental footprint. Up to three of the four installed panels can be covered with debris, and the fountain will still continue to work.
The design is built for use in existing birdbaths. If you have an outdoor birdbath that's often ignored because of stagnant, scummy water, this fountain is a perfect way to refresh it.
The fountain pump floats in the water. All you have to do is fill your bird bath with water and then place the product on the surface so that it floats. After the solar panel is exposed to a beam of sunlight, the pump will automatically begin to spray water after just a few seconds.
The stronger and more direct the sunlight, the better the fountain will work. You'll see the highest spray when the sun is directly overhead in a cloudless sky. Since the product is solar-powered, it will work best for those who live in environments that are frequently sunny or partly cloudy.
The pump can also be fixed in place so that it doesn't float haphazardly around the surface of the birdbath. There are three small suction cups on the underside that can be affixed to the bottom of the fountain.
Though initially built for birdbaths, you can also use the pump in a variety of different outdoor locations. It's ideal for use in garden fountains, small ponds, pools, and fish tanks. In addition to offering an aesthetic appeal, it can help water circulate so there's better oxygenation for any fish living in your garden.
The entire fountain is 7.48 inches in total diameter, just a little over half a foot long. Since it's so small and compact, it can be used with even small birdbaths and basins.
As long as the pump is allowed to float on the surface in direct sunlight, it will work. The item also comes with a whopping six different nozzles, which allow you to customize your fountain experience.
For example, you can shoot a highly pressurized jet of water straight into the air. You can have an arcing fountain of water. You can have a thicker, lower jet. The different streams let you choose how high the water goes and how much it splashes, which is especially ideal for those who want to attract birds.
The upgraded filtration system blocks dust, dirt, and leaves from entering the water. This is especially ideal for use in outdoor fountains that often become filled with pollen. It's also good if you want to use the system to clean a pool or pond of algae.
Each product comes with a one year replacement warranty, so you can get a new one if you have any issues. In addition, there's a 30 day refund policy should you be unsatisfied with the purchase. There is some assembly required, but the item comes with an instruction manual.
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If you're looking for a small, soothing fountain for your garden, this is a great place to start. Unlike the previous option on the list, you don't have to have a basin or birdbath already, although you do need to have a container for the water.
This fountain can be used both indoors and outdoors. If you want a garden fountain that you can bring inside during the colder months, this is a great place to start. It's small enough to fit on the corner of your desk, with an adjustable 7-inch base.
The fountain may attract birds and other wildlife, although it is a little too small to serve as a proper birdbath. It's one of the best options for people who want a zen garden effect. You can sit outside and listen to the trickle of running water as you read a book or plant your flowers.
Another great aspect of this fountain is that you can customize the sounds by adjusting the base and the arms. The arms can adjust so that the water splashes loudly, which is ideal if you're using it on a patio or a garden with a lot of ambient noise. You can also adjust the arms downward to get a low trickle when using the fountain indoors.
You can even customize the sounds by adding pebbles, small stones, and seashells. These can divert the flow of water so that you get unique ripple and splash effects that can't be achieved by the arms alone.
This kit comes with everything you need to get started, aside from the container. Since you provide the container yourself, you have total aesthetic control. You might choose a brightly-colored stone square option or a round basin or a customized pottery piece. The freedom is completely up to you.
If you live in a dry climate and grow plants that need humidity and moisture, this fountain is another great choice. You can refill it each day, place it beside the plants, and let it work as a humidifier. The leaves will stay moist as the water evaporates, just like they're in a tropical environment.
Every kit comes with the bamboo fountain, tubing, and submersible pump. There is a little installation required, but you can have the fountain up and running in just five minutes. It will balance on the edge of any container with a diameter of 6 to 15 inches.
All you need to do is pick your container, fill it with water, and set the fountain on the edge of the piece. You'll make sure that the pump is submerged and then adjust the arms to get the splash sounds you prefer.
Another selling point is that you can use the fountain with shallow containers. That's part of why it's so popular for use indoors on people's desks. You can also place it outside near your flowers or a bench in your garden. The container doesn't need to be more than four inches deep.
Every spout is crafted by hand and made out of bamboo. There aren't any imitation plastics used - this is the real thing. Tam Vong bamboo has been shown to perform with more strength than steel when measured by weight. The construction is durable enough to last for years, unlike many plastic fountains.
The materials are resistant to cracking and splitting when compared to other strains of bamboo. In addition, the fountain absorbs noise so that you only hear the sounds of the running water.
The craftsmanship is unmatched. Each of the fountains is constructed using techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. The charm of the water fountain kit is that it can turn any average round or square container into a fountain. Do you have a beautiful bowl you'd love to use as an outdoor decoration? With this fountain, you can.
The construction also comes with an electric pump. Each purchase has a US-standardized 110-volt pump. If you need a European-standardized pump, the manufacturer has an alternate version of the fountain available.
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This water fountain is a gorgeous piece that can work as a decoration in any garden. It's a great choice for people who want a fountain that includes both the basin and the pump, rather than needing to choose a container yourself. The glazed pot design is available in green, red, or royal blue configurations.
The pot can be placed on a patio, deck, balcony, garden, or in your yard. It's a very versatile piece that can suit a variety of different landscaping needs. If you're fond of redecorating your outdoor space, you'll be pleased by the number of different areas that you can place the fountain.
The design features a built-in recirculating water pump. This allows the water to smoothly flow throughout the pot without getting clogged, so you can constantly watch the fountain move. It's a beautiful and soothing addition to any garden party or outdoor gathering.
Also included are vibrant LED lights, so you can see what the pump is doing even at night. The pump runs on electricity, which means that it will need to connect to an outdoor power outlet. It comes with a 6-foot electric cord to meet these needs, but you might need a larger extender if your garden is far from your porch.
The pot is built using glazed polyresin. Polyresin is a highly durable material that is more lightweight than a lot of competing materials. The item is then finished with a glossy glaze that catches the light, whether it's reflecting sunshine or the glow from your porch. It's a very reliable and durable choice.
Some assembly is required, but the package's instructions are easy to follow. They allow for step-by-step installation of the fountain, and it shouldn't take more than a few minutes to get everything in place.
The waterfall effect trickles down the fountain, so you get a sense of ongoing water flow throughout the cycle. The water that falls into the bottom of the basin is then pumped back to the top, so the waterfall never runs out of liquid.
Thanks to the lightweight polyresin material, you can easily move the fountain from place to place. It looks a lot heavier than it actually is. If you want to redecorate your garden or place the fountain on the patio, you can do so without any hassle.
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This is another indoor and outdoor fountain option provided by Bamboo Accents. As such, it's another good option for those who want a fountain that can be used indoors during the winter months. This low-profile fountain has the same soothing aesthetic and gorgeous design as the previous option on our list, but it meets slightly different needs.
Fans of DIY projects will appreciate the customization options of this zen fountain. You can control the appearance of the fountain by choosing your own container. You might fill a pot with water, use a piece of pottery, or even use an old planter.
If you have plants that need humidity like succulents, you can place them around the fountain to enjoy indoor humidifying help. The design uses traditional Japanese craftsmanship that has been passed down for generations. It allows you to add a touch of peace to your garden whether you live in an urban or rural area.
This fountain is larger than the other bamboo option on our list. In fact, the arms are 18 inches across. This means that you can use it with a much larger basin, since the arms are easy to stabilize on the sides. If you want a large outdoor fountain built with the pot or container of your choice, this is a great option.
The low-lying design also helps to prevent splash issues. This ensures that the water flow continues to be serene without causing messy cleanup needs. Since you can use a larger basin, this is a great fountain to attract hummingbirds and other small birds who want to bathe.
Like the prior option from this company, this fountain is made using Tam Vong bamboo. This is some of the strongest bamboo in the world, outperforming other bamboo strains that are often used to make furniture and decorations. As such, the materials are very resistant to splitting and weathering. They can last for long periods of time.
The fountain kit comes with the bamboo construction, inner tubing for the mechanism, and a submersible pump. All you need to do is set the fountain up on the edge of the basin, make sure it's stabilized, and submerge the pump in the water. Setup can take just five minutes.
This product is great for those who liked the other Bamboo Accents option but want to use a larger basin. It can be balanced on containers with a diameter of 15 to 30 inches, and the water doesn't need to be more than 4 inches deep. It's great for use as an outdoor birdbath.
A 110-volt pump is used for purchasers in the US. There is an alternative option available with a 220-volt pump for individuals who need to use European outlets.
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This is the priciest fountain on our list, but it's also the most impressive. If you're looking for a gorgeous fountain with a modern design that will draw all eyes to your garden, this is a great place to start. Standing a little over three feet tall, this zen fountain includes an LED light and can be mounted on the lawn, garden, or porch.
Though it reflects many of the charms of modern art, it's important to note that this fountain still has a zen and tranquil vibe. It allows for soothing sounds that can help you get in touch with nature even when you're living in the suburbs or an urban area.
Another great note is that the fountain can be installed indoors as well. If you get the winter blues, you can bring the design in from your garden and set it up in the corner of your office. You'll get the low sounds of a bubbling brook while you work.
The product does need an outlet to plug into. It includes a 6-foot electrical cord, but this might not be long enough if your garden is far from electricity. You might need to run an extension cord across your lawn instead, which may be frustrating.
The design comes with its own water pump, so you don't need to worry about making the mechanism work. Also included with the product are two halogen bulbs. These are affixed to the pools of water to create a natural glow, even during nighttime. You might be surprised by how relaxing and ethereal the vibes are.
The product is also built with polyresin. Though it looks like a solid stone fountain, it's actually much more lightweight than stone tends to be. The entire sculpture weighs less than 40 pounds, which makes it easy to install and to move from place to place. Meanwhile, the faux stone finish adds a level of durability.
The manufacturer recommends using either the provided halogen bulbs or your own LED bulbs when making lighting choices. You shouldn't use your bare skin to touch halogen bulbs, though, as this can lead to premature failure of the bulb.
John Timberland is a modern designer who creates outdoor sculptures and fixtures that celebrate nature in a relaxed way. This is one of his most affordable and unique designs, featuring a two-tier fountain of water that cascades into pools along the side of a sculpted cliff.
The right fountain for you will depend on a variety of factors: your budget, your personal taste, the reason you want the item, and the size you're looking for.
If you're a fan of traditional bamboo construction, we recommend one of the Bamboo Accents fountains. The low profile fountain is perfect for larger basins, while the adjustable one is great for those who want to customize their water sounds with a smaller container.
For a solar-powered option that provides refreshing fountain jets for your birdbath, we recommend the SIYIBAEBY fountain. You will need to have an outdoor birdbath or basin already, but once you do, the floating pump can get to work within seconds of being exposed to direct sunlight.
Solar options are a great choice because they don't require a connection to electric power. We're particularly fond of the SIYIBAEBY design because it also uses a battery for when the skies are cloudy. This means that you get more than 10,000 hours of total fountain life without needing to lift a finger.
If you want a relaxed and zen fountain at an inexpensive price, we recommend the Peaktop fountain. This glazed piece of pottery is available in three different vibrant colors. It features a waterfall with the soothing sounds of a trickling brook. The pump recirculates the water to keep the flow going without clogging with debris.
For a slightly more ambitious choice, the John Timberland fountain is a good investment. It's still an affordable fountain, but it stands more than three feet tall and can be mounted in both your garden and indoor space. The modern aesthetic includes two pools of water that are illuminated with halogen lights. It's a gorgeous piece whether you're viewing it at night or in broad sunshine.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a number of different power options that might be used for an outdoor fountain. Outdoor garden fountains are often powered with solar energy, which is ideal if you have a garden that gets a lot of direct sunlight. However, a solar-powered fountain won't be able to be used indoors.
Fountains may also be hardwired. These models use an electrical connection, so they need to be connected to an outlet with a power cord. You may be able to attach them to an extension cord if your garden is far away from any power outlets. Keep in mind that American and European outlets use different voltages.
Garden fountains have a variety of different designs, but they all come with the same base components.
Every fountain will have at least one basin, which is where the water is stored. There will also be a pump and an internal tubing mechanism that causes the fountain effect. This may be through bringing water to the top of the item and creating a waterfall, or by shooting water in jets from the top of the pump.
In addition, you'll need to be mindful of the water. Different fountains use different sources of water. Many recirculate water, but the supply may evaporate throughout a hot day.
One of the first considerations is size. Some people will want a large fountain that can function as a centerpiece for their garden display. Others might want a much smaller model that creates low burbling sounds.
You'll also need to consider your budget. Larger models tend to be more expensive, as one might expect.
The source of the water will make a difference. Is the fountain connected to your plumbing system, or does it need to be refilled by hand? Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. Plumbing-connected fountains tend to be permanent fixtures, while refillable ones are more portable but require more maintenance.
It's also important to consider how the fountain is powered. A solar-powered fountain can be placed anywhere that gets direct sunlight outdoors. An electric fountain will need to connect to an electrical outlet. A battery-powered fountain may be placed anywhere, but you'll also need to replace the battery when it runs out.
Also keep in mind the components that come with your purchase. Not every fountain kit includes the basin. This is great for those who like a DIY project, as it allows you to convert any bowl or pot into a fountain. But if you want your container to be shipped with your pump and tubing, be certain that the kit you choose includes that.
This all depends on your personal preference. There are fountains on the market that range from tiny Tupperware-sized basins to giant stone columns.
You can expect a larger fountain to need more intensive upkeep. It will also be more expensive both to purchase and to maintain over time. However, it can be an eye-catching piece in your garden.
If you just want some natural water sounds in your garden, a smaller fountain might suit you better. Many small fountains have pieces that can be moved so you can customize the splash sounds to suit your specific tastes.
Some fountains are graded for use both indoors and outdoors. The majority of these fountains meet the following criteria:
- They are compact and portable.
- They can be placed on a desk or in the corner of a room.
- They run on electric power.
- They do not need to be connected to your home plumbing.
You can use an outdoor-indoor fountain throughout the year if you live in a place with seasonal weather. During the winter months, you can bring it inside.
The portability of these fountains also means that you can easily move them from place to place outside if you want to rearrange your space.
Garden fountains will often be turned off during the winter months. Some of this depends on the climate where you live. If the temperatures don't drop below freezing in your area, you don't need to worry much about maintenance.
But for those who do live in an area with freezing temperatures, you'll need to take care of the fountain to make sure that the water doesn't freeze and cause cracking. Some portable fountains can be brought indoors. If your fountain is permanently installed outside, you should make sure that you drain it prior to the first freeze.
Draining the fountain can be done by using the shutoff valve if the model is connected to your plumbing. If you have a portable model that cannot be brought indoors, you'll want to make sure that the basin and interior tubing system are both completely free of water.
Ice and snow might also damage the fountain in the winter, depending on the material it's made from. Storms are prone to knocking off accent pieces and degrading stone. Because of this, many people choose to cover their outdoor fountains with a strong tarp during the colder months.
The different fountain finishes affect the appearance of the fountain and the amount of maintenance it needs. Different fountains are made of different materials. Stone fountains are a common option, although these are very heavy.
Many more portable fountains are constructed using lightweight polyresin materials and other artificial materials. These can be engineered to resemble a variety of different finishes while remaining lightweight and durable.
Fountains made of stone and concrete often don't require a great deal of maintenance. Another pro of a stone fountain is that it tends to blend well into a garden environment. Copper and bronze fountains look more obviously manmade and tend to draw the eye, which is ideal if you want a natural contrast in the garden.
Metals like copper and bronze do tend to need more care. They also might not be weatherproofed as well.
The biggest concern with your finish is picking one that matches your natural aesthetic. There are plenty of artificial materials and coatings that can resemble natural finishes with a fraction of the required maintenance.
There are a number of different options for lighting an outdoor fountain. Some depend on the effect you want to achieve. How often will you be looking at the fountain at night? How much electricity do you want the model to use?
Some fountains already come with lightbulbs and places to mount your lighting setup. Others require a more customized touch. It helps to understand the different available lighting schemes when picking a fountain.
Submersibles are lights that are installed underneath the water. They're often used in pools and larger fountains, as they can dramatically illuminate the basin. Some smaller fountains may also have small submerged lights that offer an ambient glow underneath the water.
Submersible lights might be white or colored. In addition to having an effect on the fountain, powerful lighting setups can cause water reflections on the surrounding area.
Externals are lights that are installed outside the fountain. They may surround the edge of the basin or illuminate the figurehead of a fountain. There are a variety of different lights that might be used in an external setup, including:
- Hanging lights
- Path lights
Spotlights are a good option to illuminate the fountain. They create a dramatic focal point when lighting your garden in the evening and the night. In addition, you can use these lights to highlight any unusual landscaping you've done surrounding the fountain.
Path lights tend to be more practical. They allow you to illuminate walking paths and to keep people aware of the edge of the fountain. That way, no one accidentally bangs their foot or twists an ankle.
Meanwhile, hanging lights tend to have a softer appeal. They work best for people who want to create a magical or romantic ambiance in their garden.
Solars are lights that run on solar power rather than needing an electrical installation. They are very easy to install and ideal for places that aren't close to a power outlet. They do provide the best performance when in areas that have direct sunlight.
Solar lights will charge during the day. Then they'll light up during the night. Floating lights are a popular choice for solar lights. As the name implies, these lights float in the water, often in a variety of soft rainbow colors.
Different fountains will have different maintenance requirements depending on their materials, water source, and power source.
As a general rule, though, you can follow these steps:
- Make sure the water level is maintained and that the pump is free from debris.
- When the water gets dirty, unplug the fountain and drain the machine.
- Soak the pump in diluted white vinegar to remove mineral stains.
- Take any debris out of the pump cover with your hands, then use a toothbrush for the smaller pieces of grit.
- Scrub the fountain's interior with a stiff brush.