Best Outdoor Fountains: Splash Life Into The Garden
Finding the best outdoor fountain doesn't have to be a challenge. Our guide gives you insight into adding your water features!
A good water feature can make or break your landscaping. The best outdoor fountains can sometimes be elusive. There’s a lot of poorly-designed fountains that won’t last. Why opt for something low-quality when you can enjoy yours year after year?
We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite outdoor fountains for your perusal. Of course, there’s millions of designs to choose from. But ours are chosen due to their quality, good manufacture, and reliability.
So here’s some fountains to feast your eyes upon. We’re reviewing each on its own merits, and providing useful insight for new fountain owners. Let’s splash a little life into the garden with a new water feature you’ll love!
Best Tabletop Fountains:[amazon box=”B00U16VQ2Y,B001UFULUS,B008CFT57E,B001D5W6YY” grid=”4″]
Best Floor Fountains:[amazon box=”B001BZFJZO,B06X9V99K5,B00VEYRKH2,B0067PI5M2″ grid=”4″]
Best Wall Fountains:[amazon box=”B07BM9PC7S,B071DFD338,B00B3THEB0,B001BZH286″ grid=”4″]
Why An Outdoor Fountain?
The sound of flowing water is soothing and relaxing. It creates a wonderful atmospheric element. And as many of us use our garden space as our relaxation area, adding a good-quality fountain can be a no-brainer.
But let’s not just focus on the audible aspects. A fountain also produces visual stimuli. It adds movement and life to an otherwise calm space. Unless the wind is blowing, our plants don’t move very much – but water does.
It also provides us with the chance to stylize our garden with functional artwork. Like most other garden decor, the choice of fountain reflects our personal preferences. There are thousands of yard fountains to choose from. Small and delicate, large and dramatic, quirky or classical… it all exists.
Let’s focus in on some of the different types of fountains you might find on the market.
Types Of Outdoor Fountains
There are three basic categories of fountains. Mind you, there’s plenty of variables beyond this, too — but they all fit into one of these categories.
Table fountains are smaller-sized fountains. Typically, these need to be on a flat surface, but they’re easy to move around. These work well in patio settings or on porches. Many are intricately detailed, as they’re meant to be seen close-up.
Wall fountains can be large or small in size, but they must be placed on or against a wall. This includes styles that inset into walls as well as portable ones. Some are hanging, and others sit on the ground but require the wall’s stability to stay upright.
Floor fountains are larger fountains which sit directly on the ground. These typically hold more water than table fountains do, and may be difficult to move. Often used as landscape fountains, these can form a centerpiece or stimulus point in a garden.
Placement And Care
So you’ve decided you want a fountain. Great! Let’s go over a list of things to consider before you spend the money. That way, when your fountain arrives, you’ll be ready to set it up and enjoy it!
Plan For Electrical Needs
When planning your placement, there’s something serious you need to take into consideration. Many of us have very few outdoor electrical outlets, and those are generally not in the garden.
If you’re placing a feature fountain out in the yard, you’ll need to plan for a reliable way to power it. Solar-powered options do exist, but you’ll have a visible solar collector. And with larger fountains, you may need more power than a small collector will provide.
Selecting outdoor-rated extension cords is important. Indoor cords are not protected from heat, cold, or moisture as well as outdoor ones are. Many outdoor cords are green in color, so they’ll vanish into your foliage.
You’ll also want a moisture-resistant cord end cover. This ensures that water won’t seep between your extension cord and the fountain plug. Needless to say, avoiding electrical shocks is important!
Choosing The Right Spot
We all love those idyllic scenes of a fountain tucked amidst green leaves. This is doubly true of the fountains that are designed to blend into natural settings.
But the reality is that for long-term use, that can become a liability.
Avoid placing your fountain under plants that drip sap or drop pollen heavily. These things can clog your pump and make the fountain look unappealing. Small leaves or flowers can occasionally be a hazard as well.
If you’ve got kids or pets, you’ll know they tend to get into everything. That includes your new yard fountain. Make sure that it’s placed in an area where it can’t be knocked over!
Areas which have soft ground that turns to mud in the winter and spring have another challenge. A heavy fountain may need a stable base location where it can’t sink into the sludge. Take into consideration the weight of the fountain, but also the weight of the water you’ll fill it with.
A particularly heavy wall fountain may need extra support. Make sure the surface you’re hanging it on is able to support the weight!
Cleaning The Fountain & Pump
Each fountain will have slightly different care directions. Before you set up your new water feature, be sure you know what it requires. Most fountains must be kept level, for instance – an uneven surface can cause issues with the pump motor.
For cleaning the pump, follow manufacturer’s directions for best results. This ensures that you’re maintaining that model in the right way. Use of an algaecide may be recommended, as well. This will prevent algae from forming in and on your yard fountain.
All the water-catching surfaces of the fountain will eventually need to be cleaned. This removes any dust or debris buildup and ensures that there won’t be staining from the water. A weekly or biweekly cleaning should suffice for most outdoor fountains. Don’t let it go too much more than that!
If you live in an area where hard freezes occur, drain your fountain entirely before the cold sets in. This ensures that you don’t burst any of the hoses inside the fountain. Some people even opt to bring their fountains into the garage for the winter months.
There’s a few other considerations to plan for, too.
In some parts of the world, mosquitos will breed in any standing water. If you select a fountain that has still water in any part of the device, that’ll become a problem. Picking the right fountain for constant movement is key. Using mosquito preventatives is also necessary.
Some of the more elaborate fountains offer fire features as well as water. With these, it’s important to place them well away from trees or plants. The heat from the fire can scorch and dry leaves, or cause damage to more delicate plant life.
Live in deer country? Even if you don’t, you might find animals coming to drink from your fountain. Birds may decide it makes the perfect bird bath, squirrels may sip. And yes, deer can drain your tank very quickly. If you live around animals, pick a fountain that has a good-sized water capacity, and keep it full!
Hard water is a challenge for many people. It will be a challenge for any device that pumps water, too. Over time, hard water can cause buildup in the pumps and hoses for your fountain. It can also create unappealing stains on the fountain’s surface. Using distilled water in your fountain may be necessary if you’ve got hard water issues.
Best Outdoor Fountains By Category
Let’s break down some of the best ones by category. These fountains are selected because they function well outdoors. Generally easy to maintain, and made of good materials, they should hold up well for you.
But don’t limit yourself to these! While all these are excellent choices and we encourage you to try them, feel free to do your own research. Finding the best outdoor fountains for your personal aesthetic and style is important.
Best Table Fountains
Nature’s Garden Cascade Cups Metal Tabletop Fountain[amazon box=”B00U16VQ2Y”]
Small garden fountains like this are meant to live on a table or other flat surface. This particular backyard fountain is made of metal, and echoes the natural landscape. Metal leaf and vine shapes support the cups which spill into one another.
What I like about this fountain is that the pebble base discourages mosquitos. They breed on the surface of still water, and the pebbles keep them away from the water entirely.
Sizewise, it’s between normal table fountain and floor fountain. It’s a smidge too tall to be a centerpiece of a patio table, but would work well as a side display on a patio. I would consider this to be a great side table fountain in an outdoor seating area!
Alpine 4-Tier Cascading Tabletop Fountain[amazon box=”B001UFULUS”]
If your landscaping features stone, there’s a small option for you. This fiberglass and resin fountain has a natural shale appearance, mimicking a waterfall. It’s a beautiful centerpiece for a decorative table. But it’d be equally at home tucked into the side of a planter.
At night, its LED lights enhance the water cascade, illuminating it well. It has a three liter capacity, which is pretty sizeable for a fountain of this type. And the resin and fiberglass holds up well for outdoor conditions.
I do recommend that if you incorporate this into a planter setting, you place it on top of a piece of level board. The pump performs best if it’s level and well-supported. But it’s a nice, small addition to your patio or deck.
Smart Solar Cascading Fountain[amazon box=”B008CFT57E”]
Daytime garden lovers rejoice – there’s a solar option for you! This glazed ceramic bowl structure spills water from surface to surface beautifully. It’s powered by a small solar panel on a 10 foot cord, enabling you to keep the fountain in the shade if you prefer.
Ceramic surfaces like this are extremely easy to keep clean. This outdoor fountain does need a flat surface for best use, and its weight requires some support.
My only real complaint with this fountain is that its solar charger has no battery storage. As night falls, the fountain will lose power. But it’s simple to pick up an electric pump if you’d like to convert it for nighttime use!
Bamboo Accents Traditional Japanese Rocking Water Fountain[amazon box=”B001D5W6YY”]
I have loved Japanese shishi-odoshi fountains since I was a little kid. A staple of a zen garden, this bamboo fountain has a small spout from which trickles water. The water collects in another joint of bamboo, which fills and then tilts to spill the water out below. When it tilts, it clicks softly against other wood to produce a soft sound.
Sometimes called “deer scarers”, these fountains discourage wildlife from lingering. For a more resounding clack sound, you can add a heavier stone to the base of the bamboo to emulate that effect.
This style of fountain can be set into a small bowl on a table to create a little patch of zen. I love this little 12″ model’s diminutive size, and could easily find space for this in the garden!
Best Floor Fountains
John Timberland High Cascading Cut-Away Waterfall[amazon box=”B001BZFJZO”]
Looking for water fountains with a bit of character? This one may fit the bill. More modern in style, this cast resin fountain features a cutaway surface. Cascading bowls inside the fountain pour water between them, zig-zagging downward. A catchbasin allows for the water to be collected and pumped back up again.
Soft lights provide nighttime illumination to the water. While it’s not bright, it creates a meditative appearance which looks great. The ovoid form helps to repel falling leaves nearby from the sides of the fountain. Alas, it doesn’t repel ones falling directly in the top.
People seeking a modernistic art influence will find this to be a perfect addition. Even those who have a more natural style may see this as a great showpiece.
Sunnydaze Large 4-Tier Outdoor Water Fountain[amazon box=”B06X9V99K5″]
A lawn fountain makes for a great centerpoint for landscaping. This stunner is circular in shape, and can be used as a central point in formal gardens or large lawns.
With a classic style about it, it livens up the outdoors environment. The upscale appearance would be appropriate for wine tastings or social gatherings. It is not imposing, but there’s no mistaking this fountain. At nearly six feet in height, it’s definitely present in every view!
If my yard were a smidge larger, I would assuredly consider this piece. So if you’ve got a large space to fill, take a look. It’s well worth the money spent.
Alpine Hanging 6-Cup Tiered Floor Fountain[amazon box=”B00VEYRKH2″]
This garden fountain is inspired by the concept of a water chain. In rainy weather, a water chain is often used instead of a downspout to drain water from the roof. Here, we find it used to make a softly-spilling fountain… and it’s lovely!
With elements of the garden in which it resides incorporated, it’s truly a great way to add to your decor. The water that spills from the “faucet” trickles through each of the hanging bowls, then falls into a bowl. From there, it pumps back to the faucet again, creating a neverending stream.
This is a lightweight fountain, and requires a flat surface to sit on. An uneven surface may cause it to tip over. But if you’ve got a large, level paving stone it can sit upon, you’ll have a wonderful element in the garden.
Glenville Water Pump Cascading Water Fountain[amazon box=”B0067PI5M2″]
Along the same lines as the last fountain, this takes inspiration from an old style of water pump. The water flows from the pump spout through two wooden buckets to fall into the catchbasin.
Constructed of durable resin and fiberglass, it’s built to be weatherproof. For this style, adding some river rock to the catchbasin can help mosquito-proof the water a bit. It’s easy to clean and maintain, too.
This brings a homey aesthetic to the garden, or maybe a hint of bygone times. A country gardener may find this to be the perfect water feature in their space!
Best Wall Fountains
Kenroy Home San Pablo Wall Fountain[amazon box=”B07BM9PC7S”]
Trying to instill that Italian villa vibe into your outdoor space? Here’s the perfect choice for you. This outdoor fountain is constructed of scratch-resistant resin. A dark bronze finish gives it the appearance of being old metal.
Hung on the wall, this fountain can really lend some classical inspiration to your garden. At night, the LED lighting in the catchbasin provides a soft, relaxing glow. And during the daytime, the fountain’s classic features stand out.
Be sure to secure this fountain well, as it’s not a light piece. It weighs close to 17 pounds when empty, and water weight adds more to that. When properly hung, it adds a perfect touch of Italian-inspired architecture. And who doesn’t want to bring their vacation destination home to enjoy it year-round?
Sunnydaze Ancient Wall Mounted Waterfall Fountain[amazon box=”B071DFD338″]
A professionally-installed water wall is a desire for many. But you can install this smaller water wall yourself and enjoy it right away!
This polyresin outdoor fountain is sure to be a hit. Once hung and leveled, it’s simply a matter of adding water. You’ll have a peaceful trickle of water dampening the faux-stone surface in no time.
Mesmerizing to watch, there’s a reason that so many people love this style of fountain. And you will too. That constant flow undulating over the stonework is extremely relaxing to see!
Tiered Colorful Pots Wall Fountain[amazon box=”B00B3THEB0″]
A little whimsy never hurt anyone, and that’s what you’ll get with this garden fountain. The fiberglass and resin create the shape of many terracotta pots. Water flows in a neverending stream, providing a peaceful sound.
The muted colors of the pots lend themselves well to many decor styles. From country gardens to formal spaces, it easily fits in as a simple water feature. You can enjoy its playful splashing no matter the location.
It’s also extremely reasonable in price, which is a benefit. Brighten your balcony or enhance your wall with this fun little fountain, and you’ll be glad you did.
John Timberland Ibizi Rustic Outdoor Wall Fountain[amazon box=”B001BZH286″]
Garden fountains like this provide a hint of the rustic. Faux slate and cast iron meld together to create a piece which is uniquely different. The finish has hints of false rust, hinting at age which does not actually exist.
I love pieces like this because they can tell a story where one would otherwise not exist. This adds a mysterious allure to your garden, a hint that perhaps it’s been there for decades. And yet the style is new enough that it would blend into a modernistic garden too.
Unusual styles like this are hard to find. This one is constructed well and can be used both indoors and out. Add a special something to your decor with this unique and different wall fountain!
Whether small or large, wall-mounted or free-standing, adding a water feature is worthwhile. The best outdoor fountain is well within your reach. So consider that little added splash of unique decor for your garden space! It’s an investment that you will find is well spent.