Rain Barrel
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

The Best Rain Barrels to Harvest Rainwater at Home

Our top choice is the Algreen Weather Resistant Drainable Dual Overflow Planter Rain Barrel for its stylish looks and 65-gallon capacity.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Collecting water runoff in a rain barrel is an environmentally friendly and simple way to keep a home garden or lawn watered all season long. And, in areas where water shortages run rampant and the cost of water is steep, it can also be an effective option to keep water bills low during the hot months. The good news is that rain water barrels are relatively inexpensive to buy, easy to set up, and come in a range of styles that can complement any backyard look. 

When it comes to setting up a home rainwater harvesting system, there are many types of rain barrels to consider. To help you decide the best rain barrel for your home, we researched a variety of picks, keeping in mind their capacity, size, and material. We also consulted Chris Maxwell-Gaines, owner of Watercache.com.   

Maxwell-Gaines says rain barrels can do more than just collect water. "In addition, rainwater harvesting can reduce stormwater runoff from a property," Maxwell-Gaines says. "The elimination of runoff can reduce contamination of surface water with pesticides, sediment, metals, and fertilizers."

Our choice for the overall best rain barrel is the Algreen Weather Resistant Drainable Dual Overflow Planter Rain Barrel. We like its stylish, shapely looks as well as its 65-gallon capacity, which is plenty of water for large gardens. It's also made of a material that can handle temperature fluctuations.

Here are the best rain barrels. 

What We Recommend

Rain Barrel
Credit: Courtesy of Wayfair

Algreen Weather Resistant Drainable Dual Overflow Planter Rain Barrel

View at Wayfair ($217)

Why You Should Get It: This rain barrel has a tasteful look that will blend in with other planters and backyard accessories. It also has a higher capacity than some other options. 

Keep in Mind: The spigot is short, which may be hard for some to turn. 

This aesthetically pleasing rain barrel offers the durability of plastic in the style of a ceramic planter, making it blend in well with your general design. It comes in three colors­–charcoal, terra cotta, and brownstone–offering further options for complementing home exteriors.

The barrel holds 65 gallons, which is on the higher end for a rain barrel, making it a good pick for those with a larger garden to water. The barrel is made from rotomolded plastic, which is a process that allows for strong construction that's resistant to leaks and cracking, even when exposed to varying temperatures.

It's worth noting that the spigot attachment is quite short, so some users may find it difficult to turn the handle to dispense water. However, you can purchase a longer spigot to fit the barrel.

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 23 x 23 x 47 inches
  • Capacity: 65 gallons
Rain Barrel
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

RTS Home Accents Rainwater Collection Barrel

View at Amazon (From $126)

Also available at Lowe's

Why You Should Get It: An easy setup and traditional barrel style make this a good all-around pick.

Keep in Mind: The barrel doesn't include a stand, so you'll have to purchase one separately. 

This 50-gallon rain barrel features a molded oak texture to look like an old wine barrel, lending an elegant look to your home garden. Unlike a wine barrel, though, this plastic barrel won't rot, fade, or crack.

The rain barrel features a useful aluminum screen to keep dirt, insects, and other debris out of the water, and it has a durable brass spigot. Plus, installation is fairly simple, so it's ideal for pros and beginners alike. 

One convenient feature of this model is that the overflow is placed at the front of the barrel to prevent the overflowing water from flooding the wall that the barrel is against. Just keep in mind that you'll want to avoid installing the unit completely flush against a wall or post as the barrel bows out about 3 inches when completely full. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 19 x 24 x 34 inches
  • Capacity: 50 gallons
Rain Barrel
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Vingli Collapsible Rain Barrel

View at Amazon (From $43)

Why You Should Get It: The collapsible design makes this rain barrel easy to store. 

Keep in Mind: The spigot does not attach to a garden hose.

If you are short on storage space, this collapsible 50-barrel rain barrel is a great option. The lightweight, 4.4-pound PVC frame and mesh tank folds up so that you can easily stow it away when it's not in use in the colder months. 

The tank is available in three sizes: 50, 66, or 100 gallons. It also has an inlet filter to keep out debris and an outflow valve that can also be used to connect multiple barrels together. It's worth noting the spigot is plastic and does not connect to a garden hose, so you must dispense the water directly into another container for use or unzip the top of the barrel and fill a bucket or watering can directly.

The green color of this rain barrel makes it a fairly unobtrusive addition to a backyard. Given the soft, tarp-like material of this barrel, it must be on level ground so that it doesn't tip over or rip once it fills with water.

Product Details:

  • Material: PVC
  • Dimensions: 23.6 x 23.6 x 27.6 inches
  • Capacity: From 50 gallons
Rain Barrel
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Good Ideas Rain Wizard Resin Drainable Rain Barrel

View at Amazon (From $150)

Also available at Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: It's offered in multiple colors, so you can choose the one that best suits your outdoor space. 

Keep in Mind: The lid can't be removed for cleaning.

This standard 50-gallon water barrel stands out for its range of color options. With five choices–black, green, khaki, oak, and terracotta–you have the freedom to choose a barrel that fits in with your overall vibe and matches your other backyard accessories. 

The model includes many of the features you would expect in a home rain barrel, including a debris screen, brass spigot for hose hookup, and a durable plastic body. The lid, however, can't be removed, which could make cleaning the inside of the barrel more challenging.

If you want to be able to pour directly into a watering can or other container, the brand also sells a stand to raise the barrel off the ground 12 inches. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Resin
  • Dimensions: 23 x 31 x 22 inches
  • Capacity: 50 gallons
Rain Barrel
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

FCMP Outdoor Rain Catcher

View at Amazon (From $190)

Why You Should Get It: A cutout underneath the barrel lets excess water flow under the barrel and away from your foundation. 

Keep in Mind: The screen on top isn't super fine.

For a classic rain barrel, you can't go wrong with the FCMP Outdoor Rain Catcher. This 50-gallon rain barrel includes multiple spigots on the side to connect to other rain barrels, a garden hose for easy dispensing, and a hanging hose clip to keep that hose neat and tidy when not in use. Plus, a cutout on the bottom of the barrel directs overflow underneath the barrel and away from your foundation. 

The opening on the top of this barrel is wider than some other models, which is helpful for installing the downspout. There are also three bars across the top to prevent children or pets from falling in.

There is a screen that covers the opening to protect it from debris; however, the mesh isn't super fine, which could lead to a breeding ground for mosquitos in areas with a lot of insect activity. You can always replace the screen with a finer mesh, though, if you find it to be a problem for you. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 24 x 24 x 32 inches
  • Capacity: 50 gallons

Related: The 13 Best Potting Soils for Indoor and Outdoor Plants

Rain Barrel
Credit: Courtesy of Wayfair

Good Ideas Impressions Plastic Drainable Rain Barrel

View at Wayfair ($210)

Why You Should Get It: The stylish design can blend in with a home's stone exterior.

Keep in Mind: You can't completely drain water from this barrel without tipping it on its side. 

If you'd like your rain barrel to blend in seamlessly with your stone exterior, this Good Ideas Impressions Plastic Rain Barrel is right up your alley. The rain barrel is offered in three colors and is made of durable and weather-resistant polyethylene plastic with brass spigots on both the downspout and overflow spigot. 

The output spigot is located near the bottom of the barrel but not all the way at the bottom. This is helpful for filling containers from the barrel, but it also doesn't allow the water to completely drain unless you tip the barrel slightly on its side to get the extra water out. Luckily, at 21 pounds the unit is not terribly heavy to maneuver. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 36 x 22.25 x 22.25 inches
  • Capacity: 50 gallons
Rain Barrel
Credit: Courtesy of The Home Depot

FreeGarden Rain Barrel

View at Home Depot ($109)

Why You Should Get It: The square design makes it a good fit for corner installation

Keep in Mind: The design isn't as decorative as some other models.

While most rain barrels have a round design, this barrel from FreeGarden Rain Barrel features a square shape that makes it as equally suited for installation against a wall as in a corner. The 55-gallon design is made of durable materials and would make a great addition to any backyard.

The high-density plastic barrel comes in three colors (white, black and green), all with a steel screen on top and two-sided overflow spouts. The placement of the spigot higher up on the barrel eliminates the need for a stand, but it does mean that you will need to tip the barrel to get all the water out as you get towards the bottom.

Keep in mind this style has a more utilitarian look than some of the other picks on this list, so it's not ideal if you prefer a more stylish option. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 34 x 23.88 x 23 inches
  • Capacity: 55 gallons
Rain Barrel
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Outsunny Rainwater Harvesting System Collection Tank

View at Amazon ($60)

Also available at Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: It has a high capacity and a lower price than other options on this list. 

Keep in Mind: You have to purchase a spigot separately to hook up a hose.

For a high-capacity rain barrel be sure to consider the Outsunny Rainwater Harvesting System Collection Tank. This highly functional rain barrel is less expensive than similar models and is sure to get the job done.

The round, soft PVC barrel is supported by a six-pole frame for sturdy construction and folds down into a compact size for easy storage when it's not in use. The base is not weighted and the whole unit weighs less than 6 pounds, so keep in mind that if you live in a very windy area, the barrel could blow away if it's not filled with water.

While the rain barrel does include a spigot for dispensing water, it is not threaded for a hose hookup; you'll need to purchase a different spigot if you want to connect a hose to it. 

Product Details:

  • Material: PVC
  • Dimensions: 31.5 x 23.5 x 23.5 inches
  • Capacity: 60 gallons
Rain Barrel
Credit: Courtesy of Wayfair

FCMP Plastic Rain Barrel and Hose

View at Wayfair ($127)

Why You Should Get It: The slim design and flat back is ideal for smaller outdoor spaces as it'll fit easily against a wall. 

Keep in Mind: The rain barrel has a smaller capacity than other models. 

Not everyone has a ton of extra space for rainwater collection, but this rain barrel will fit in almost any small yard. The 45-gallon barrel has a slim, rectangular design and a flattened back for easy setup up against a house or in a corner. 

The rain barrel has spigots on each side for additional barrels or overflow as well as a threaded outflow spigot at the bottom of the barrel. The included hose eliminates the need to put the barrel on a stand for dispensing, and the debris screen will keep out leaves and insects. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 22 x 17 x 32 inches
  • Capacity: 45 gallons
Rain Barrel
Credit: Courtesy of Wayfair

Good Ideas Savannah Rain Saver

View at Wayfair ($209)

Why You Should Get It: The attractive column shape and planter top make this a stylish addition to your backyard.

Keep in Mind: It has a lower capacity than other similar styles. 

The Savannah series from Good Ideas is styled to resemble a planter, as evidenced by its strong lines and trim. The rain barrel, which is offered in an array of color choices, has a 45-gallon capacity.

Whether you choose black, light granite, oak, terracotta, or green, this polyethylene rain barrel will serve as an accent to your outdoor decor. The rain barrel features a spigot, debris screen, and valve. Plus, the self-draining top can double as a planter for flowers or other plants. The model's flattened back also makes it easy to place this rain barrel against a wall so it won't take up too much space in your yard.  

Product Details:

  • Material: Polyethylene plastic
  • Dimensions: 21 x 21 x 41 inches
  • Capacity: 45 gallons
Rain Barrel
Credit: Courtesy of The Home Depot

EarthMinded Rain Station with Diverter

View at Home Depot ($139)

Why You Should Get It: It features a sealed system that's resistant to mosquitoes, insects, and algae. The top can also double as a planter so you can make it a more decorative piece. 

Keep in Mind: The rounded style means it can't be placed flat against a wall.

Whether you have a small outdoor space or just prefer versatile products, EarthMinded's Rain Station with Diverter is worth considering. The 45-gallon model differentiates itself with a reversible top that can serve as a planter, so you'll be able to plant herbs or flowers on top of your rain barrel. The other side of the lid is flat.  

The barrel's sealed system is resistant to mosquitos, insects, and algae, giving you one less thing to worry about. It features a diverter system that is easy to install and will move water away from the house, eliminating the risk of flooding as well as any damage to foundations. The brass spigot is ready to be hooked up to any garden hose as well, making the water easy to access when you need it. 

Product Details:

  • Material: High density polyethylene plastic
  • Dimensions: 23.5 x 23.5 x 35.5 inches
  • Capacity: 45 gallons

Related: The Best Fertilizers for Your Grass Are Actually Organic—And These 8 Are Our Favorites

Rain Barrel
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Good Ideas SV-ERS Savannah Elevated Garden Rain Saver Barrel

View at Amazon ($181)

Also available at Target 

Why You Should Get It: The rectangular shape can fit in hard-to-reach areas. The top can also double as a planter. 

Keep in Mind: It's only offered in one color, which may not match the look of every outdoor space. 

Most rain barrels, whether flat-sided or round, are taller than they are wide. However, this rectangular 50-gallon rain barrel from Good Ideas has a low design, making it an excellent pick for those spaces that are hard to fit, such as under a lip or low-hanging gutter. 

The side and front spigots allow for easy draining and hose hookups. The top overflow panel slot features a mesh screen for protection and has a planter portion as well. Plus, the top design has a routed channel to divert overflow to the front of the unit and away from your foundation. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Polyethylene plastic
  • Dimensions: 31.5 x 19.5 x 24.25 inches
  • Capacity: 50 gallons
Rain Barrel
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Lostronaut Portable Rain Barrel Water Tank

View at Amazon ($73)

Also available at Walmart

Why You Should Get It: The collapsible style is easy to store between uses. 

Keep in Mind: This may not be as sturdy as non-collapsible rain barrels. 

Whether you need a rain barrel to take along on an RV trip or you just want an option that packs away easily, this 53-gallon collapsible rain barrel is a great choice. The tank is made from UV- and heat-resistant PVC and has soft sides, six legs, and heavy-duty zippers. 

The entire unit weighs in at just over 6 pounds, so it won't be too heavy to add to your camping gear or move in and out of garage storage when you need it. It also has two spigots, a filtered intake hole, overflow spout, and 25 garden tags for labeling the rows of your garden. 

Keep in mind that while this rain barrel is collapsible for easy storage, it also won't offer as much stability as non-collapsible models.

Product Details:

  • Material: PVC
  • Dimensions: 23.6 x 23.6 x 29.5 inches
  • Capacity: 53 gallons
Rain Barrel
Credit: Courtesy of Wayfair

Good Ideas Impressions 90 Gallon Rain Barrel

View at Wayfair ($499)

Why You Should Get It: It has a significantly larger capacity in comparison to other models. 

Keep in Mind: It's more expensive than other similar styles.

If you have a larger outdoor space and are looking to maximize your rainwater collection, this barrel has a 90-gallon capacity, making it one of the largest models out there for home use. The barrel is constructed from high-quality polyethylene and won't crack or peel in cold weather. 

You can choose between nine natural colors, like terracotta and sandstone, for a look that matches your outdoor decor. The distressed, tree-bark-like finish adds a stylish texture to the functional barrel. Plus, the deep-welled top can be used to plant flowers, herbs, and vegetables, and the barrel has two offset brass spigots for filling watering cans and a mesh screen to keep out bugs and leaves. 

It's worth noting, however, that this barrel costs significantly more than smaller rain barrels, so consider if all of these features are necessary for your space. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Polyethylene plastic
  • Dimensions: 28.5 x 28.5 x 43.5 inches 
  • Capacity: 90 gallons

Related: The 8 Best Gutter Guards to Prevent Leaves and Other Debris from Blocking Your Gutters

Rain Barrel
Credit: Courtesy of The Home Depot

Bosmere Slim Rain Barrel with Stand

View at Home Depot ($80)

Why You Should Get It: This barrel lets you collect rainwater even if you are short on space.

Keep in Mind: The downspout can be tricky to install. 

For a smaller option, consider the Bosmere Slim Rain Barrel with Stand. The 26-gallon model has a lower capacity than most other picks yet is sure to get the job done in your outdoor space. Plus, it's even less expensive than many other styles. 

At 13 inches in diameter, the slim shape is good for narrow spaces or if you don't have a need for much water. It has a spigot at the bottom and comes with a stand, so it will be easy to fill watering cans directly from the barrel without a hose.

It's also designed to work with a variety of downspout types. Plus, the lid is also lockable, which is great for families with young children or pets.

Just keep in mind that it may be trickier to attach your downspout to this rain barrel's slender design, so allow extra time for setup.

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 38 x 13 x 13 inches
  • Capacity: 26 gallons

The Bottom Line

For the average home gardener, the Algreen Weather Resistant Drainable Dual Overflow Planter Rain Barrel is one of the best rain barrels you can buy. The rain barrel holds 65 gallons, is easy to set up, and has a stylish look. 

What to Know About Rain Barrels Before Shopping

Size

Depending on how much water you are hoping to collect and what the average rainfall is in your area, the capacity of your barrel is something you will need to consider when shopping. The average size of a home rain barrel is about 50 gallons, but there are models that range from 26 to 90 gallons on this list, depending on your needs.

If you like a smaller model but anticipate more water, many options allow you to connect multiple barrels to collect the overflow. If you anticipate your rain barrel will regularly overflow, make sure the barrel's overflow feature will move water away from your home's foundation.

Material

According to Maxwell-Gaines, the best rain barrels are manufactured in high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic, which is very durable and should last for many years without cracking, chipping, or splitting. Some rain barrels are made with galvanized metal, but Maxwell-Gaines says to be careful when buying these to ensure that the barrel has an inner epoxy liner to prevent rust. 

Style

Rain barrels come in a wide array of styles, from utilitarian to elegant. It's important to consider where the barrel will be placed when deciding on the best rain barrel for your space. If it will be tucked away where no one will see it, then perhaps having a basic model is the way to go. But if the rain barrel needs to be placed in a central location in your garden, patio, or backyard, you might want to consider choosing a model that matches your backyard decor or other exterior accents.

Some even have planters in the rain barrel lid for growing flowers and herbs. You can also choose a collapsible model if you plan on storing your rain barrel for parts of the year and want something that tucks away easily. 

Your Questions, Answered

How do you set up a rain barrel? 

Every rain barrel requires a slightly different installation, whether you make your own rain barrel or you purchase one, but the basic premise remains the same among most models. You will install the barrel underneath a downspout that collects water off a roof or other surface.

You do not need to elevate the rain barrel, but doing so might improve the flow rate of the water as you dispense it from the barrel or make it easier to fit a watering can or container directly underneath the barrel. You can also purchase a diverter to direct the runoff into the barrel opening. 

If you are setting the rain barrel up against a house or wall, models with a flat back are usually easier to maneuver directly under the downspout than those with a rounded back. You will also need to set up the debris screen that comes with the barrel as well as any additional accessories such as hoses, planter tops, or safety lids to keep pets and children from falling in. 

Generally, rain water barrels that are sold for home use are pretty simple to set up and should include all the materials you need.

How big of a rain barrel do I need?

Consider how much space you have, how much water you need, and how much rain your area typically gets. Keep in mind that if you do not use the rainwater in your barrel, you will not have the ability to collect from the next rainfall unless you have additional overflow barrels set up. Maxwell-Gaines recommends choosing the largest barrel that makes sense for your space. 

"You will harvest so much more rainwater over the life of the rain barrel which will translate into way more harvested rainwater being available to offset municipal water use, thus providing a better payback for the investment in the rain barrel," he says. 

Can fish live in a rain barrel?

It is not recommended to put fish in a rain barrel, according to Maxwell-Gaines. The fish would need a food source to keep them alive. While fish in rain barrels could feed on mosquito larvae and other insects, if the rain barrel screen is doing what it's supposed to do, you shouldn't have insect larvae in the barrel and the fish would starve. 

Who We Are

This story was written by Laura Fisher, a freelance writer for Better Homes & Gardens. She has been writing about home projects and cooking for four years, and also served as a community organizer in NYC's network of community gardens where she was involved with many rainwater harvesting systems installations.

For this story, she researched the best rain water barrels for home use, taking into account capacity, material, and style. She also consulted Chris Maxwell-Gaines, owner of Watercache.com, who has been harvesting rain, conserving water, and managing stormwater in Texas since 2004.