Their eye-catching appearance and the soothing sound of trickling water make outdoor water fountains a welcome addition to any outdoor space. Designs vary widely in style, color, size, and price, and there’s a fountain to fit any space or budget.
The best outdoor water fountains are visually appealing and durable to improve the atmosphere of your outdoor space for years to come. Narrowing down the best pick for your space can be overwhelming, so read on for some tips for choosing the right outdoor fountain and learn more about the top picks ahead.
- BEST OVERALL: John Timberland Mason Outdoor Floor Water Fountain
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Alpine Corporation TEC106 Tiered Classic Fountain
- BEST TABLETOP: Alpine Corporation Tiered Log Tabletop Fountain
- BEST FREESTANDING: Alpine Corporation 4-Tiered Rock Fountain
- BEST LIGHTED: Peaktop 4 Tiered Stacked Stone Waterfall Fountain
- BEST MODERN: John Timberland Modern Sphere Zen Outdoor Fountain
- BEST RUSTIC: Alpine Corporation 2-Tier Rustic Pump Barrel Fountain
- BEST BAMBOO: Bamboo Accents Water Fountain
- BEST METAL: Alpine Corporation Tiered Bronze Water Fountain
- ALSO CONSIDER: Universal Lighting and Decor Outdoor Water Fountain
What to Consider When Choosing Outdoor Water Fountains
Outdoor water fountains come in a huge range of designs, from small tabletop fixtures to tall floor fountains, and are available in a variety of finishes from synthetic resins to natural stone or bamboo. When browsing for the best outdoor water fountain for your space, take into account the water fountain type, size, installation requirements, material, and style.
Although outdoor water fountains come in thousands of different designs, they can all be narrowed down to three main types: tabletop, wall-mounted, and freestanding fountains.
- Tabletop fountains are small and designed to sit on a flat surface, like a patio table. They’re simple to set up, and their smaller size and lighter weight makes them easy to move around.
- Wall-mounted fountains attach to a wall or the side of a house and don’t take up any table or floor space. They are an excellent choice if you want to add a water fixture to a tight space. These fountains require a mounting step, but once installed, they double as a pretty piece of outdoor wall art.
- Freestanding fountains stand on their own, directly on the floor. They can function as a statement piece or as a way to fill a patio corner, and all they require is an even surface and a nearby power source.
Outdoor water fountains range from compact patio-table models to tall and regal statement pieces. Small fountains are a better pick for tight outdoor spaces, while large fountains can be the decorative centerpiece of a garden or yard. The fountain size also affects water capacity, with small fountains requiring less water, and large fountains using more.
Depending on their size and material, outdoor fountains can be very heavy, especially once they’re filled with water. They can weigh anywhere from a few pounds to well over a thousand pounds, so make sure that the surface can handle the weight. For permanent, freestanding structures, a heavier fountain may be a suitable pick, and these will be quite sturdy to stand up to bad weather. A lightweight build is better for tabletop or wall-mounted fountains.
Style and Design
Outdoor water fountains come in a range of designs to suit any home decor style, from modern or minimalist to bohemian or rustic. Look for a fountain design that suits your outdoor decor, and consider matching the fountain style and color theme to your landscaping, outdoor fixtures, or existing furniture.
Beyond the overall look, also consider the water fixture style and water flow pattern. Water fixture styles can seem endless, with shapes ranging from trickling spheres to winding bamboo pathways to cascading stone or ceramic bowls. The number of levels, distance between fixtures, and fixture shape all contribute to the fountain design and water flow pattern.
Outdoor features are exposed to direct sunlight and bad weather, so choosing a durable fountain material is a smart pick. Look for sturdy materials and easy-to-clean designs that will withstand outdoor conditions.
Resin, fiberglass, ceramic, bamboo, metal, stone, and concrete are common materials that hold up well to outdoor conditions. Polyresin is popular for its excellent durability and ability to be shaped and styled into a range of textures that can mimic stone or wood.
Since most fountains are made with water-resistant or waterproof materials, they are also weather resistant. But keep in mind that fountains can still get dirty, mildewed, or experience algae growth from a combination of moisture, water sediments, and being outdoors. Regardless of the material, outdoor fountains will need occasional cleaning.
Extra features like lighting, rolling-ball features, and built-in foggers can make an outdoor water fountain more aesthetically pleasing.
Built-in lights create soothing illumination during evening hours, making a lovely backdrop for relaxing or entertaining. These fountains often use energy-saving LED lights for a calming glow.
To add even more visual interest, some fountains feature a rolling-ball feature that floats on top of the water and rotates with the current. Others include a fogger or mister feature, which creates a pretty mist that settles over the water.
Installation and Location
One of the first steps to choosing an outdoor water fountain is choosing a location. This decision will help you determine whether a table top, wall-mounted, or freestanding fountain is right for you. Keep in mind that water fountains need a power source to run their pump.
Most outdoor water fountains will need an AC outlet, except for fountains that have a solar-powered pump. Make sure to consider outlet location and power cord length for regular pumps and the amount of direct sunlight the location receives for solar-powered pumps.
Most water fountains from online retailers will be easy to install; models like tabletop and freestanding fountains most often just need to be plugged in and filled. Wall-mounted fountains will need mounting, but instructions and mounting hardware are often included with the fountain.
Our Top Picks
Add a cozy or striking design element and serene tranquility to your outdoor space with one of the best outdoor water fountains. These pieces are an affordable way to add elegance to your outdoor decor. The following picks are durable and beautiful to bring a new degree of relaxation to your garden or patio.
This faux stone fountain from John Timberland adds a rustic charm and a warm glow to outdoor spaces. The freestanding fountain features a waterfall design that trickles water down three tiers of large bronzed bowls. A stone finish adds to the rustic look, and warm lighting gives this fountain a soft and romantic feel.
The fountain measures 15 inches wide, 16.5 inches deep, and 35 inches tall, making it a great size to tuck into a garden or place in a patio corner. Although tall, it’s made from lightweight polyresin and weighs just 26 pounds, making it easy to move and install.
Chirping birds can add to the charming atmosphere of a home garden. If you want a pretty fountain that will attract feathered friends, consider this birdbath fountain from Alpine Corporation.
The tall bird bath features a sturdy stand and a classic three-tier birdbath design anchored by a wide and shallow bowl. The flowing water creates a soothing sound and is deep enough for multiple small birds to drink from and bathe in. Plus, the fountain has a lovely patina finish and a scrollwork base to add a vintage feel to your patio or garden.
This fountain measures 20 inches wide and 35 inches tall. It’s made from a light, weatherproof resin plastic and weighs less than 6 pounds.
Bring a natural element to your porch or patio with this forest-inspired tabletop fountain. Made by Alpine Corporation, this fountain has a realistic log tower design fashioned from durable resin, stone powder, and fiberglass. The waterfall design pours down three basins to create a calming trickling sound. Three cool white LED lights brighten up the fountain at night, so you can enjoy its ambiance into the evening.
Measuring 10 inches wide, 7 inches deep, and 14 inches high, it’s an excellent centerpiece to an outdoor dining table or side table. Although it looks like wood, this fountain is much more durable and won’t rust, rot, or corrode.
With a realistic stone finish and a four-tier water flow, this freestanding fountain from Alpine Corporation mimics a natural waterfall. The fountain is made from a resin and fiberglass mix, shaped into realistic-looking rocks. The faux stones are stacked to create a four-tier waterfall fountain. The water trickles from tier to tier to mimic the calming sounds of a real waterfall and add a peaceful, nature-inspired ambiance to your porch or garden.
This standing fountain measures 23 inches deep, 18 inches wide, and 40 inches tall. Weighing in at 48 pounds, it’s a great choice as a permanent decor fixture on your patio or in your backyard.
A lit-up outdoor fountain can help brighten a dim corner of a garden or patio. This water fountain from Peaktop features four tiered bowls, three of which feature warm LED lighting. The lighting sets the water aglow to create a cozy atmosphere.
Each bowl is nestled against straight, stacked stone-like columns, which gives the fountain a medieval-inspired look. The realistic gray stone finish is made of lightweight resin to offer the look of stone without the weight. This freestanding fountain measures 16.5 inches wide, 15.5 inch deep, and 33 inches tall to add a calming fountain and gentle light to your outdoor space.
With clean lines, simple shapes, and a commanding presence, this water fountain from John Timberland suits modern and contemporary aesthetics. The fountain features a sleek spherical ball on top, over which the water runs into two cascading bowls. Each bowl has a submerged white light, which creates a subtle, warm glow at night. The unique design celebrates cosmopolitan decor, while the faux stone finish introduces a relaxed, natural element to soften the modern style.
This fountain measures 16.5 inches wide by 18 inches deep by 39.5 inches tall. Since it’s made from lightweight resin, it’s weatherproof and lightweight, weighing in at 32 pounds.
With a bronzed finish and a pump head design, this small fountain from Alpine Corporation is ideal for rustic outdoor spaces. The barrel-style fountain features a pump spout that trickles water into two tiers, adding a peaceful and homey rustic element to your backyard. The fountain is made from lightweight plastic, but it has a realistic faux wood finish to add to the aesthetic.
The fountain measures 16 by 18 inches across and 27 inches tall. Since it’s made from durable plastic, it weighs only 6 pounds, making it easy to move. The in-between size is ideal as a freestanding garden fixture or a large centerpiece for a patio table.
Bamboo fountains offer a lovely minimalist look and zen feel. This bamboo fountain from Bamboo Accents is an effortlessly stylish pick for a simple garden. The low-lying and basic three-arm design creates a soothing and resonant flow. Crafted from supple and durable bamboo, the fountain is great for indoors or outdoors and resists splitting and cracking.
This set only includes the water pump and decorative holder; it doesn’t include a bowl, so you can customize your fountain by adding it to your own bowl, planter, or ceramic pot. The holder measures 12 inches across and 2.5 inches tall to fit bowls 10 to 20 inches in diameter.
With its 100 percent iron construction, whimsical design, and bronzed finish, this fountain has an industrial and rustic look. Made by Alpine Corporation, this fountain features a six-tier design, with six small hanging cups that trickle the water down from a faux faucet. A decorative climbing vine accent adds a playful element to this simple freestanding fountain.
Measuring 10 inches across and 38 inches tall, it’s a quaint pick for a garden or porch. The rustic design and gentle water flow provide a subtle art piece and soft background noise. Plus, this durable fountain is both rust- and weather-resistant to handle the elements season after season.
This attractive faux ceramic fountain from Universal Lighting adds a cozy modern touch to outdoor spaces. The tall freestanding fountain features a faux-ceramic finish made of lightweight resin. Seven levels of cascading water bowls create a constant flow into a hidden basin, lit up by a warm LED light. Behind the spouted basins, water also creates a calming flow along the backdrop of the fountain.
Measuring 12 inches across and 35 inches tall, this fountain is a lovely addition to a modern, rustic, or Mediterranean-style porch or terrace. The simple design, textured faux ceramic, and earth-toned finish gives this fountain a contemporary but homey look.
FAQs About Outdoor Water Fountains
Adding a calming water fountain is a relatively low-effort way to transform your outdoor space. These pretty fixtures can bring calm to a backyard or garden, adding to both the look and atmosphere. Once you’ve chosen your ideal outdoor water fountain, consider the frequently asked questions and answers below.
Q. Should I run my fountain pump 24 hours a day?
It is not required, but there are advantages to leaving the pump on. Water fountains are designed to run 24/7, and leaving the pump on prevents stagnant water and mineral buildup in the fountain and pump.
Q. How do I clean my outdoor water fountain?
The recommended cleaning process will be different for different material types, so it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s directions. For many outdoor fountains, a gentle scrub brush, hot water, mild soak, and vinegar can remove most grime and buildup.
Q. How can I make my water fountain sound better?
Experiment with adjusting the water level to find your ideal trickling sound.
Q. Do fountains attract mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are attracted to stagnant water. It is possible for fountains to attract mosquitoes, especially if any water is left sitting. You can deter these pests by leaving the water pump turned on to keep the water flowing.
Their eye-catching appearance and the soothing sound of trickling water make outdoor water fountains a welcome addition to any outdoor space. Designs vary widely in style, color, size, and price, and there’s a fountain to fit any space or budget. The best outdoor water fountains are visually appealing and durable to improve the atmosphere of your outdoor space for years to come.