Wind chimes aren’t just decorations. They elevate an outdoor space. The best wind chimes are part artwork and part percussive instrument, but they don’t all sound alike. Their melodies can be tranquil and calm or playful and lively. Either way, wind chimes add a mood-lifting touch to your patio, backyard, garden, balcony, or porch.
The best wind chimes have a pleasant sound, an appealing design, and can stand up to the elements. Start your search for this outdoor accessory with the following shopping advice and recommendations.
- BEST OVERALL: Woodstock Chimes Musically Tuned Amazing Grace Chime
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Kearui Solar Wind Chimes Light
- BEST DECORATIVE: Kooalo Wind Chime Agate Slices
- BEST SEASHELL: Bellaa 22890 Rainbow Wind Chimes
- BEST WOODEN: Nalulu Classic Bamboo Wind Chime
- BEST FENG SHUI: ASTARIN 48” Large Wind Chimes
What to Consider When Choosing Wind Chimes
Wind chimes make a great finishing touch to your perfect outdoor space. They produce a wide range of sounds and come in a variety of styles, sizes, designs, and materials. The best wind chimes for you will be durable, sound pleasant to your ear, look attractive, and suit your style.
The type of wind chime and the materials that go into it affect the way it looks and sounds. Some popular wind chime types include:
- Tubular chimes: These are the most common type of wind chimes. The chimes themselves are shaped like tubes or rods and come in a range of materials, including metal and bamboo.
- Bell chimes: As the name suggests, they include bells in their design. Some bell chimes incorporate a mix of chimes and bells. Others are exclusively composed of bells. Either way, they make a lovely, light tinkling sound.
- Decorative chimes: These are as much about decoration as they are about sound. Examples include glass and seashell chimes, which both reflect light and sound pleasant.
- Celebration and memorial chimes: This type often includes personalized engraving options and provides a meaningful way to honor a loved one or commemorate an important day.
- Gong chimes: These are distinct in both their look and sound. They feature a metal (often brass) gong with a wooden clapper. When struck, they sound like a gong.
The design, shape, size, and material of wind chimes contribute to their tone. The material is the main factor that affects a wind chime’s sound.
Common materials include metal, wood, bamboo, glass, earthenware, seashells, stone, and porcelain. Each wind chime material has a unique tone.
- Metal: Metal wind chimes make a clear, piercing sound. A unique feature of tubular metal chimes is that they can be tuned to musical notes. Metal chimes can run the range from low and calming notes to bright higher notes.
- Wood and bamboo: Wood and bamboo wind chimes make a hollow, clunky sound. Their mellow tone sounds more like an echo than a chime.
- Glass: Glass chimes make a lighter, tinkling sound. Their tone is more delicate and does not carry as far as that of metal chimes.
Volume and Clarity
A wind chime’s material and size can also affect its sound clarity and volume.
Metal produces a sharp, crisp tone. Some metal wind chimes may also play specific musical notes. Wood, bamboo, and glass, on the other hand, create subtler tones. Bamboo and wood, in particular, make a dull sound.
Hollow chimes produce a sound that carries further than that of solid chimes. That’s because hollow tubing allows for more vibration, which emits a louder and longer sound. Metal or bamboo tubes are often louder than styles that use flat shapes.
Chime duration depends on both the material and design of the wind chimes. The longer the material vibrates, the longer the sound will last. Wooden and bamboo wind chimes often make a brief noise. Metal chimes, especially hollow metal chimes, vibrate easily and create a longer sound.
The weight of the sail, the piece that hangs from the chime’s center cord, can also affect chime duration. Sensitive wind chimes with a light sail will jingle in the slightest breeze. It only takes a little movement in the air to get these chimes going…and going. A heavier sail makes for less sensitive wind chimes. Because these wind chimes take more wind to get moving, they will be quieter on calm days.
Metal wind chimes can produce specific musical notes. Some are tuned to play known songs.
The more tubes on a wind chime, the more notes it can play. More tubes also provide more spots for the clapper (the piece that hits the chimes) to strike. That results in greater variation in sounds. Tube size also affects the note and the tone of the wind chimes. Longer tubes have a lower pitch and fuller tones. Shorter tubes have a higher pitch and sharper tones.
Wind chimes are decorative. You can find a variety of creative and unique designs to match your garden and patio decor. You can also find chimes made from recycled materials like wine bottles, which have a unique look and sound. Glass and crystal chimes are popular decorations because they reflect sunlight.
Celebration and memorial wind chimes can often be customized with engravings. This adds a meaningful, personal touch to your wind chime.
Wind chimes are made to withstand the weather. Of course, they will still deteriorate over time, so it’s important to choose durable materials. Some are available in rust- and rot-proof metal and wood. Monofilament, nylon, and braided strings can withstand some heavy weather too.
Placement is also key to protecting your wind chimes from the elements. A covered porch will offer protection from rain or possible color fading from direct sunlight, but it’s best to take your chimes inside during heavy storms and below-freezing winters.
Properly-treated metal, bamboo, and wooden chimes can last a long time. Chimes made from glass or seashells may be more fragile; they can break in extreme winds but won’t rust or rot.
Our Top Picks
Wind chimes can transform your outdoor space with their lovely melody. They contribute both a design and sound element to your decor. The best wind chimes are aesthetically pleasing, lovely to listen to, and durable enough to withstand the outdoors.
Woodstock Chimes creates high-quality, musically tuned wind chimes. This wind chime has a classic look. The top is made of ash wood with a cherry finish. The six silver aluminum tubes are hand tuned to the opening notes of “Amazing Grace.” This wind chime produces a clear and light sound that is uplifting and pleasant.
Woodstock Chimes are made from weather- and rust-resistant materials. This wind chime hangs 24 inches. A unique feature is the wooden sail, which you can remove to engrave or customize.
You can enjoy the Kearui Solar Wind Chimes day and night. This unique chime has eight tubes: four made of aluminum and four made of durable plastic. Solar-powered LED lights inside the plastic tubes alternate between red, green, blue, orange, purple, and yellow.
The solar panel charges during the day, and the lights come on automatically at dark. They last 12 to 15 hours on a full charge. This rain- and moisture-proof wind chime is strung with durable nylon string. It hangs 28 inches long.
This wind chime is made in Brazil from hand-crafted slices of blue agate stone. Even a gentle breeze will get these lightweight chimes moving. They make a soft, tinkling sound.
The stone pieces, suspended with durable semi-transparent fishing lines, appear to float. Because the inside of an agate stone has a unique pattern, each wind chime is a one-of-a-kind piece that brings a beautiful slice of nature to your home. These chimes hang 26 inches.
The rainbow-colored capiz seashells in this chime sound as delicate as they look. Each Bellaa Rainbow wind chime is handmade with eco-friendly seashells and a bamboo base. This chime makes a light, tinkling sound that is quieter than most metal or bamboo chimes. The tone is relaxing and airy. Each seashell is held with a thin string to create the illusion of floating.
The rainbow colors and subtle look make it a pretty decoration for indoor and outdoor spaces. It hangs 27 inches.
Nalulu’s classic wind chime is handcrafted from sustainable bamboo. Its classic wind chime styling and dark wood color make it a subtle choice that can fit in with many different types of decor. This chime has a soothing and gentle tone that is ideal for relaxing.
At 48 inches long, these larger chimes sound deeper, richer, and more resonant than shorter chimes. This chime is tuned to the E pentatonic scale for a gentle melodic sound. The weather-resistant finish will stand up to the elements in your outdoor space.
The metal five-tube design makes this wind chime an option for cultivating good feng shui. You can use wind chimes for feng shui adjustments to shift energy and bring the metal element into the home. Five-tube wind chimes can represent the five elements that are important to feng shui: earth, metal, wood, fire, and water.
FAQs About Wind Chimes
The best wind chimes are a simple and unique decoration, easy to install and use. The most difficult part may be choosing one. Below are some questions to consider when choosing a wind chime.
Q. How do I choose a wind chime?
The most important factor to consider when choosing wind chimes is that they sound pleasant to you. Next, consider the style and durability.
Q. Do wind chimes scare birds?
Wind chimes can scare birds away. But over time, birds may become used to the chimes and return to your garden.
Q. How many chimes should a wind chime have?
The number of chimes can vary. Fewer chimes can result in a simple melody, while more chimes create a more complex sound.
Q. Where should you hang wind chimes?
Hang wind chimes wherever there is a gentle breeze. Experiment with different areas to find a spot that’s not too still but not too windy.