Looking for the best small rain barrel?

Rainwater is a free and reoccurring natural resource that you can use as a supplemental water supply in your home. You can use the collected rainwater for gardening, cleaning, and even for drinking!

Only problem is: there are hundreds of good rain barrels for sale online and offline, and they vary in size, shape, color, use case among other things. If you just need a small rain barrel, which one should you choose?

Here’s a list of the five best small rain barrels, perfectly suited to small spaces:

Top Pick
Good Ideas RW40-OAK Rain Wizard Rain Barrel 40-Gallon, Oak

Good Ideas RW40-Oak Rain Wizard Barrel

Out of the five rain barrels in this list, Good Ideas’ RW40-Oak Rain Wizard Barrel is our top pick. Although it has a classic (aka archaic) oak barrel design, don’t be fooled! It has a tough and thick UV-treated plastic construction and a commendable 40 gallon capacity. Affordable, effective, natural, and looks great!

Reviews: 5 of The Best Rain Barrels

What is your reasoning for buying a rain barrel?

You might be a gardener, you may want some water for a natural disaster, or you could be focused on sustainable living at every turn. (If you are one of those sustainability gurus, you may also like our ultimate guide to non-toxic homemade cleaning products)

Reap the benefits of this purchase and get the right product for your space with our rain barrel buying guide.

1. Algreen Cascata 65 Gallon Rain Barrel

Algreen Products Cascata Rain Barrel 65-Gallon, Terra Cotta

Specifications

  • Water capacity: 65-gallon

  • Material: BPA-free plastic
  • Screen: Corrosion-proof
  • Spigot: Brass
  • Overflow valve: Yes
  • Planter top: Yes

Collect rainwater with a stylish barrel like the Algreen Cascata.

It has a unique shape, smooth curves, and pottery-like surface.  Plus, it doesn’t appear that it is made from plastic. The plastic exterior comes to your advantage because it doesn’t chip, fade, or crack.

Not only is this rain barrel beautiful, it is also highly efficient. Equipped with a high-quality spigot and dual water overflows you never experience an issue with functionality when collecting and accessing rainwater. It can even hold as much 65 gallon of liquid.

The top of the rain barrel comes with a convenient planter so your barrel looks beautiful with constant blooms as well.

Pros

  • Keep out debris without needing to clean it with the fitted screen over the barrel
  • The top planter holds bird food and water for a secondary purpose
  • Measures 24 x 46 inches which fits into yards with less space
  • Brass spigot does not rust or wear out

Cons

  • May need to purchase other accessories for your barrel
  • Some users replace the top planter because it wears out

2. Emergency Essentials Water Barrel

Emergency Essentials Water Barrel - 55 Gallon Drum

Specifications

  • Water capacity: 55-gallon

  • Material: FDA-approved resin
  • Screen: None
  • Spigot: None
  • Overflow valve: None
  • Planter: None

Do you want a no-frills solution to your emergency water needs?

The Emergency Essentials Water Barrel’s 55-gallon capacity provides enough water for cooking, drinking, and light personal sanitation for a family of four. With a full barrel, you get a minimum supply of emergency water for 14 days. If you get 10-inches of rain and have a roof with 1,300 square feet, you can get over 8,000 gallons. (1)

The blue pigment in polyethylene drums has a higher UV light resistance than natural and does not show dirt or residue as readily.

Thanks to the dark blue color of the rain barrel, algae and bacteria growth gets discouraged. 

Pros

  • Prepare for emergency situations
  • Works as an auto-watering system for barn animals
  • Does well with long-term potable water storage
  • Perfect for homes who only have water based when you have electricity

Cons

  • Affordable price but is not pretty
  • You need storage space for the barrel once it is filled with potable water

3. Koolscape RBSS-75 Rain Barrel With Sandstone Finish

Gardener's Supply Company 75-Gallon Rain Barrel

Specifications

  • Water capacity: 75-gallon

  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Spigot: Brass
  • Screen: Corrosion proof
  • Overflow valve: Yes
  • Planter top: None

Connect this rain barrel to a soaker hose or a garden hose if you want to irrigate your lawn.

The Koolscape RBSS-75 Rain Barrel has a capacity of 75 gallons which is more than most options on the market.

We love this product because it can provide you with a way to harness all of that rainwater and make it work for you.

Even though the material of the barrel is plastic, it has a heavy base that is balanced for keeping it stable.

This unit comes with a corrosion proof screen to trap leaves and tiny debris.

Pros

  • Overflow spout drains extra water to different areas of the yard
  • Sandstone finish is unlike any other product on the market
  • High capacity holds more gallons than other options on the list
  • Able to withstand high temperatures for homeowners in hot or desert climates

Cons

  • Brass tap may not be appealing to other homeowners
  • 75 gallon capacity may be too big

4. Good Ideas RW40-Oak Rain Wizard Barrel – Our Top Pick

Good Ideas RW40-OAK Rain Wizard Rain Barrel 40-Gallon, Oak

Specifications

  • Water capacity: 40-gallon

  • Material: 100% recycled resin
  • Screen: Plastic mesh
  • Spigot: Brass
  • Overflow valve: Yes
  • Planter top: None

Reap the advantages of plastic while enjoying the timeless traditional oak barrel design!  

The Good Ideas RW40-Oak Rain Wizard Barrel is made from UV resistant resin, preventing premature fading even when exposed to harsh sunlight.

With a 40-gallon capacity, this Good Ideas model serves the needs of a casual gardener.

You can get this rain barrel in black, green, khaki, oak, and terracotta. It’s flat-backed design lets you pull the barrel up to your house. 

Pros

  • Resistant to sun damage with plastic and an additional resin coating
  • Colored to blends in with most gardens and landscape designs for sophisticated homeowners
  • Water overflow prevents the barrel from flooding and pooling around your foundation
  • Rests against your house because of its flat back design

Cons

  • 40-gallon capacity is smaller than most products
  • Warranty is limited compared to other offerings

5. Good Ideas Nantucket Rain Saver Rain Barrel

Impressions 50 Gallon Nantucket Rain Saver Rain Barrel

Specifications

  • Water capacity: 50-gallon

  • Material: BPA-free polyethylene
  • Screen: Mesh
  • Spigot: Dual brass
  • Overflow valve: None
  • Planter top: Yes

Good Ideas Nantucket Rain Saver Rain Barrel comes with a wicker finish that looks classic and stylish, whether it is sitting around the pool or in your side yard.

The rain barrel has a 50-gallon capacity and is weather-resistant.

The two spigots on the barrel are easy to open up. They are also highly resistant to rust.

Pros

  • Get the look of wicker that does not fray like a real wicker product
  • Made in the United States for customers committed to US products
  • Dual spigots function for watering in two way

Cons

  • 50-gallon capacity may be too much

How to choose the right small rain barrel for your home

rain water barrel

You might be a gardener, you may want some water for a natural disaster, or you could be focused on sustainable living at every turn. (If you are one of those sustainability gurus, you may also like our ultimate guide to non-toxic homemade cleaning products)

Before you buy your barrel, you should pay attention to the material of the barrel, your size needs, and the appearance of the product.

Using a rain harvest calculator can give you an estimate of how much water you can collect.

Consider the material

Everyone knows the traditional material for barrels is wood. However, it is not ideal for long-term use because it is susceptible to mold. (2) 

Typically, a heavy-duty molded plastic gets manufactured to look like another material but is able to stand up to the elements. Look for:

  • Metals for more permanent rain storage solutions but not as moldable to residential style requirements.
  • Polyethylene or plastic is moldable in all shapes and colors without a high cost.
  • Stone is a traditional material which is best for small amounts of rain.

Consider the Size Needs For Your Home And Family

Before buying a rain barrel, make sure it can hold enough water for your needs.

“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.”

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.

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 able to collect rain faster than you realize!

Note: If you are going to be drinking straight from your water source, you may want to consider water purification prior to consuming – to ensure it is safe to drink!

Appearance Of The Rain Barrel: Is this important?

You don’t have to necessarily pick a beautiful rain barrel, but getting one that is stylish can make your backyard more appealing. 

Aside from the rain barrel material, you should also consider its appearance. For example, options on our list look like terracotta, stone, and even authentic rain barrels. You can also get a rain barrel in brown, black, blue, and grey to suit every preference. 

Benefits of Using A Rain Barrel 

No matter what option you purchase (and especially if you select one of our five best), you’ll reap the benefits of owning a rain barrel.

benefits of using rain barrels to harvest water graphic
  • Because the water isn’t treated, it is better for your soil
  • Contribute to erosion prevention
  • Keep your compost pile moist
  • Reduce your water bill especially during the summer with heavy watering needs
  • Rainwater in your garden dilutes the impact of inorganic compounds
  • Have a water source during times of drought
  • Reduce the amount of moisture around your home’s foundation

FAQs

Yes, you can put bleach in a rain barrel. Ideally, you should add ⅛ teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon.

You can keep algae from growing in your rain barrel by adding bleach. Add one to two capfuls directly to the water. Let it sit for a few days before using the collected rainwater to water your plants.

You can keep collected rainwater clean by installing a leaf catcher or a mesh filter. It is also highly recommended to thoroughly clean your rain barrel at least twice a month.

  1. Rain Barrel How-To. Retrieved from: https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/rain-barrel-for-rainwater-collection/5497.html
  2. History of the Blue Plastic Barrel. Retrieved from: https://www.bluebarrelsystems.com/blog/history-blue-plasticbarrel/#:~:text=The%20blue%20pigment%20in%20polyethylene,recycle%20and%20reuse%20the%20containers
Rain Barrel

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