The 6 Best Rated Rain Barrel Systems and Kits For Your Home
The bad news: with the overwhelming combination of materials, sizes, features, and styles, it’s hard to know which is the best rain barrel for your situation.
The good news: We’ve already done the research. There are lots of great options available. Our top choice offers a great balance of quality and value, but will it meet your needs? Do you even know your needs? We’ll hold your hand until you can confidently say “yes”.
Best Rain Barrel Reviews
Short on time? Here’s a shorter version of our best rain barrel review and what makes each one special.
Having trouble deciding which rain barrel is the best for your home? Continue reading for our in-depth review of each of the best rain barrels in the market today.
The FCMP Outdoor RC4000-BRN Catcher 4000 Rain Barrel has a wooden barrel’s classic appearance while being made with durable, high-quality BPA-free UV Resistant Plastic for longevity.
The deep brown color of the rain barrel will blend into the existing scenery of your yard. Its spoke and wheel pattern on the top not only completes the look but makes this rain barrel a safe option for those with young children or pets.
Limited yard space? This rain barrel has a flat back design so that you can place it against the wall of your home. Its clever design also allows you to easily route the water from your spout into the large opening on the top.
Don’t worry about debris falling into the barrel. Your collected water will stay crystal clear thanks to its top aluminum mesh screen.
Even with the barrel flush against your house, its overflow system directs excess water away from the foundation of your home.
Even though this is the smallest rain barrel on our list, overflow shouldn’t be an issue, as the barrel has a capacity of 179 liters (47.28 gallons of water). Need more room? You can connect it with multiple barrels from the same series to expand your rainwater collection capacity as needed.
Though you can link it with others of the same series, this is the smallest rain barrel on our list. Its high-quality, no-frills design makes it a great option for anyone just starting out.
This Good Ideas model is just a smaller version of the 65-gallon variant. You’ll get the same flat back design, routed overflow channel, and corrosion-proof brass spigot.
This 50-gallon rain barrel also includes a meshed filter screen guard to keep out debris, yard waste, bugs, and other unwanted substances. It can also link up to additional rain barrels from the same brand, allowing you to harvest more rainwater even with the smaller capacity.
The top of this rain barrel also doubles as a planter and diverts excess water to prevent mold growth and root rot on your plants.
So, why would you pick this model over the larger counterpart?
Well, for three reasons – you have limited yard space, you don’t need to collect as much water, and of course, your budget is limited.
Looking for something that will look great, collect rainwater, and fit into a smaller space? You’ve found it! The Good Ideas 50-Gallon Rain Barrel Urn is our budget pick for the best rain barrels.
Collect rainwater in style with the Good Ideas 65-Gallon Rain Barrel Urn. It features a tapered Grecian urn design with plastic detailing. There’s even a variety of attractive neutral colors to fit the look of your yard.
The top of the rain barrel allows you to make the most of your space while also adding beauty to your yard by functioning as a planter suitable for flowers and other shallow-rooted plants. No need to worry about root rot, any extra water that accumulates will simply runoff.
Using rainwater on your plants can help them thrive due to the absence of chemicals.
Without compromising on its aesthetics, this barrel has a flat back design so you can place the barrel flush with the outer wall of your home to collect rainwater without a struggle. You can also link this barrel to others of the same brand to store more water without compromising the rain barrel’s look or performance.
The appeal of this rain barrel goes far beyond its looks. It is made with high-quality BPA Free plastic and includes a removable fine mesh screen to keep your water supply free from debris, bugs, and other contaminants.
At the front of the barrel, you’ll also find a ¾ inch brass spigot that allows you to drain your collected rainwater easily, the standard sizing makes it easy to link up with a garden hose, and its angled installation will help you prevent kinks in your hose.
If you want a unique rain barrel that doesn’t compromise on capacity and durability, this is the one for you. Between the color options, unique design, and top planter, it’ll fit right into any space.
The RTS Home Accents Rain Barrel offers the same classic wooden barrel appearance as the FCMP Outdoor 4000 Rain Barrel, with a beautiful oak barrel texture.
The barrel has no large openings making it safe for use around children and pets. There’s a removable aluminum screen at the top, so your water stays free from yard waste, debris, insects, and other unwanted visitors.
You can even put it directly against the wall of your home for easier water collection thanks to its flat back design. There’s an overflow on the front of the barrel that prevents excess water from pooling around the outer walls of your home.
While it can only collect water up to 50-gallon, you can connect more barrels (from the same brand) and increase your water collection capacity, and ultimately, lower your water bill. When you’re ready to make use of your harvested water, use the attached brass spigot to empty the barrel or attach a hose.
It has no large openings and includes an aluminum screen over the area where you collect water, so you can feel comfortable using this around your family.
This Mirainbarrel Rain Barrel is much more in line with what you might picture when you think of a rain barrel. It doesn’t have the “wow” factor of other barrels, but what it lacks in style makes up for its eco-friendliness and quality.
Made from upcycled food-grade plastic, it is a durable, long-lasting rainwater storage solution without adding to your environmental footprint.
Despite being made with upcycled plastic, you don’t need to worry about the quality of the water stored in this rain barrel. It is completely safe to use. It’s also very user-friendly, with a lid that twists on and off for ease of use and maintenance.
The barrel also has a corrosion-proof brass spigot that you can attach a hose to so you can easily water your plants.
If you are gathering rainwater to reduce your environmental impact, this is the rain barrel for you!
Learn more: Making changes to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle? We got the best sustainable living tips!
The Goplus Portable Rain Barrel has many unique features that make it stand out from the rest, starting with its foldable PVC frame.
If you’re harvesting rainwater full time, you’ll enjoy the convenience of being able to collapse and store this rain barrel. It’s also very easy to move when it’s not full of water.
The flexible corrosion-proof PVC mesh cloth also helps this rain barrel withstand extreme temperature changes with little maintenance or weatherproof. While hard plastic barrels may get brittle or crack, this material is durable enough to stand up to the worst seasons.
Since you can easily disassemble the barrel, it’s also very easy to clean. You won’t have to struggle with getting into all the cracks and crevices through a limited opening.
The top also includes a removable meshed screen guard to keep your rainwater clean.
If you are dealing with unpredictable temperatures or harsh weather and don’t want to worry about constantly weatherproofing your barrel, this is a great option for you. It’s also well suited to anyone looking to collect rainwater seasonally as it can be easily stored when not in use.
A Buyer’s Guide To Rain Barrels: How to Choose the Best Rain Barrel for Your Home
Rain barrels come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, and while there are plenty of great rain barrels on the market, they won’t do you any good if they don’t meet your individual needs.
Here’s how you can find the right rain barrel for you and your family’s needs.
1. Determine Your Use
Knowing why you’re looking for the best rain barrel is a fool-proof way to help you make the right choice. Are you an avid gardener looking to water your garden and reduce your environmental impact? Are you looking to save water for emergencies or for use during water restrictions?
Depending on where you live, you may also be required to follow a set of appearance and size guidelines to meet local bylaws.
If sustainability is your biggest concern, something like the Mirainbarrel Rain Barrel is a perfect choice.
Not sure what you might use your rainwater for? Check out this helpful video guide:
Tip: If you’re looking to collect water for emergencies, you might be interested in learning to preserve your food. Check out our guide on canning apples.
2. Understand the Material
While barrels are traditionally made with wood, plastic rain barrels like the RTS Home Accents Rain Barrel are the most popular choice because they are more portable, durable, and affordable. You can even get one in a unique urn design like the Good Ideas 50-Gallon Rain Barrel Urn.
While plastic rain barrels are the most common and widely accepted option in residential neighborhoods, they aren’t your only choice.
If you are looking to collect small amounts of rainwater, go for traditional stone barrels. For permanent storage, you can get a metal tank.
3. Consider the Size
Before buying a rain barrel, make sure it can hold enough water for your needs, or you can connect it to other rain barrels to increase your water storage capacity.
If you aren’t sure of your needs, you can use a rainfall harvest calculator to see how many gallons of water you can collect based on factors like your roof size, sections that drain into your barrel, and the average rainfall in your area (1).
“A general rule of thumb to utilize in the sizing of rain barrels is that 1 inch of rainfall on a 1000 square foot roof will yield approximately 600 gallons.”
Consider factors like: the amount of water your plants need, the average temperature in your area, planned uses for your water tank, and your price limit. You might find yourself collecting rain faster than you realize!
Note: If you are drinking straight from your water source, check out our guide on how to purify your water to ensure it is safe to drink!
4. Understand The Features
There are as many features as varieties of rain barrels out there. Knowing which will benefit you is a great way to find your perfect solution.
Perhaps you need more storage capacity than you can get with a single plastic rain barrel, or you’re looking for an easy way to use the water you harvest in your gardens.
For example, if you need to harvest a lot of water, you might opt for a larger rain barrel or multiple smaller barrels that you can link together.
Depending on what you’re using your water for, you may want to consider a rain barrel with a filter or other method to keep water as clean as possible (2).
“Consider purchasing a barrel with a first-flush device which prevents the first several gallons—typically the dirtiest water—from reaching the barrel.”
Using your rainwater for drinking or watering your garden are the perfect reasons to consider filtration.
For watering your plants, get a rain barrel with brass spigot so you can attach your garden hose. Rain barrels like the Good Ideas 65-Gallon Rain Barrel Urn has a handy spout.
Continue building a sustainable home by using solar power. What’s the easiest way to start? Solar power banks. Check out our unbiased review of the best ones here.
Yes, rain barrels should be food grade, especially if you plan on using a rain barrel to collect water for drinking or tending to your food garden. Never recycle a barrel or drum container into a rainwater barrel as you can’t be sure that it is free from chemicals or safe to use for gathering rain.
Yes, you can leave your rain barrels out in winter, provided you prepare them for the temperature change. You’ll need to drain the water out of your rain barrel. Water expands as it freezes, which can lead to cracks and damage in your rain barrel, potentially rendering it unusable.
Next, if you have a multi-functional rain barrel, you’ll want to be certain that it is set to divert any collected moisture rather than the collection mode it usually operates in. Finally, you’ll need to clear out the filter. Your rain barrel should now be all set to withstand winter temperatures.
Yes, it is safe to use rain barrel water to water vegetables. Rain barrel water is generally considered to be safe for use on vegetables and fruits in your garden. The only concern is contaminants coming from your roof or the rain barrel itself. If you would like to be on the safe side, you can test the water for contaminants yourself. Apply the harvested water from your rain barrel to the soil itself rather than directly to the plants.
You should empty your rain barrel between storms, even if it doesn’t get full. Allowing water to sit in the rain barrel for longer than a few days increases the risk of algae growth and other unpleasant side effects, like attracting mosquitos and other pests. You also run the risk of damaging your barrel should the temperature drop unexpectedly overnight.
If your rain barrel is not large enough to gather all of the rainfall from storms, consider buying additional rain barrels from the same series to be linked together.
To properly disinfect your rain barrel, you’ll want to use a bit of bleach and elbow grease and thoroughly scrub the inside of your emptied rain barrel about once per week. The bleach effectively eliminates bacteria and microbes that can make you sick. Still, you’ll need to be sure to rinse your barrel out very well, preferably more than once, to ensure you flush out all of the chemicals before you begin collecting rainwater again.
If your rain barrel has a debris screen, be sure to remove it and clean it out before bleaching it as well.
- Rain Barrels and Cisterns. Retrieved from https://www.lid-stormwater.net/raincist_sizing.htm
- Best Practices In Sustainability Residential Rain Barrels. Retrieved from: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/DEHS_Sust_RainBarrel2017.pdf
Hannah Gregorio has been active in the writing industry since 2010. She holds a BA Journalism degree from the Manila Times College.