Rain Gauges Buying Guide

Do you know how much your last rainfall amounted to? Few people can accurately guess the amount of moisture those clouds deposit. Leave it to a rain gauge to do that for you.

Types of Rain Gauges

Types of Rain Gauges

Do you hear the pitter-patter of raindrops on your rooftop? What does that translate to in terms of moisture for your lawn, flowers, trees, shrubs, and garden? The amount of rainfall is an important number to consider for every homeowner. It can affect not only how your plants do but the amount of work you have to put into your yard to keep it in prime condition. The easy, inexpensive way to record rainfall is with a rain gauge -- wedge, digital, cylindrical, or rain/sprinkler combo.


Rain gauges are typically differentiated by the openings at the top of the gauge, which determine how water is captured. Wedge rain gauges are wider at the top than at the base; these rain gauges must be read manually.


Digital rain gauges collect water outside and use an interior sensor to provide accurate readings of moisture accumulation. Some are able to track rainfall weekly, monthly, or yearly.


As with wedge rain gauges, cylindrical rain gauges must be read manually. However, these are shaped like a cylinder -- the same width at the top and bottom.

Rain/Sprinkler Combo

If you regularly water your lawn or flowerbeds and use irrigation to supplement rainfall, then a rain/sprinkler combo may be worthwhile. A small cylinder collects totals from the sprinkler system, while a larger cylinder measures natural rainfall.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

A rain gauge isn't that complicated -- it's simply a container that measures water. But still, some factors can affect how this very small purchase works, how long it lasts, and how easy it is for you to take note of what it records. Those purchase considerations include mounting hardware/stem, outdoor durability, capacity, visibility, replacement pieces, and decorative elements. This quick overview should help you make the right purchase.

Mounting Hardware/Stem

Many rain gauges stay upright with a pointed stem at the bottom that can be pushed into the ground. Others have a mounting bracket that attaches to a frame or pole.

Outdoor Durability

Many rain gauges are made of inexpensive plastic, which may not be suitable for colder climates. If you intend to leave yours outside in all temperatures, you may want to invest in a version that's more weather-hardy.


Most rain gauges can measure several inches at once, which helps if your region regularly receives deluges. Make sure the capacity is adequate for your rainfall.


Rain gauges can be found in a variety of sizes; if you want to read yours from inside the house, you will need to find one with measurements large enough to be visible.

Replacement Pieces

Accidents, weather, human nature: All of these factors sometimes result in broken rain gauges. If you have a glass gauge element, make sure it can be easily replaced.

Decorative Elements

Some rain gauges have decorative pieces -- leaves, frogs, etcetera -- that add pretty, naturalistic accents to the garden. Others are designed more as sculpture than simple tools.

Garden & Outdoor Living on sale

$88.00 $55.99

HensonMetalWorks NACC Logo Rain Gauge School spirit meets style with the collegiate logo rain gauge. This unique product makes a p...erfect gift for the avid gardener and will enhance any outdoor space. Holds up to five inches rain. This licensed... read more

Ancient Graffiti
$53.99 $50.99

Ancient Graffiti Hummingbird Rain Gauge Features: -Flamed copper.-Measure the day's rain fall.-Gauge material: Glass.-Collection: ...Hummingbird.-Product Type: Rain gauge and rain chain.-Color: Brown.-Distressed: No.-Powder Coated Finish: No.-Gloss... read more

Taylor Precision
$2.79 $1.64

This 2-in-1 rain gauge has easy-to-read bold black graphics with 5-inch capacity and 1-inch sprinkler capacityIt has weather-resis...tant construction read more

$30.36 $21.26

Pack of 12This gauge is easy to read with 5 accurate measurementIt is ideal for home or acreageRugged bracket easily mounts on fen...ce, post or in ground read more

$9.99 $3.94

The AcuRite E-Z Read rain gauge measures up to 5 inches of rain water and is designed to magnify rainfall readings by over 35 perc...ent, making it easy for you to read. The rainfall measuring instrument is made of durable, weather-resistant acrylic,... read more

Michael Carr Designs
$25.56 $17.61

Part of the Toad collection from Michael Carr Designs- These cute and lifelike creatures will add personality and charm to any yar...d or garden- Each critter is hand-made from durable high-quality polyresin and then hand painted- The durable polyresin... read more

SPI Home
$51.00 $38.00

Bird and Nest Rain Gauge on Stand 5-1/2" Wide x 2" Deep x 26-1/2" Tall (with stake) Brushed Gold-Toned Bird Sits on Branches Which... Hold a Glass Rain Gauge on a Stake Priced and sold individually. Designed and manufactured by SPI Home. read more

$70.24 $70.18

Weather resistant finish. 1-Year warranty. Made in USA. Made of pecan shell resin. 8.50 in. W x 8.25 in. D x 5.50 in. H (2 lbs.). ...The finishes are applied by hand, enhancing every detail, and resulting in the uniqueness of no two pieces being exactly... read more

$33.98 $24.58

The Springfield Wireless Digital Rain Gauge with Thermometer is a unique item that informs you of the indoor and outdoor temperatu...re, as well as displays the hourly, daily, weekly and monthly rainfall history. This Springfield rain gauge features a... read more

SPI Home
$45.00 $33.00

Dragonfly Rain Gauge Garden Stake 5-1/2" Wide x 5" Deep x 25-1/2" Tall A Dragonfly Perches on an Aluminum Stake Which Holds a Glas...s Rain Gauge Priced and sold individually. Designed and manufactured by SPI Home. read more

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