Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Welcome to our big garden fountain test 2021. Here we present all the garden fountains that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best garden fountain for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a garden fountain.




Summary

  • Fountains are primarily distinguished between ornamental fountains and utility fountains. While the former are merely decorative, the latter are used for irrigation or drinking water production.
  • Garden fountains start with small indoor fountains and basically end with fully designed garden fountain systems. They all require a pump that has to be supplied with electricity.
  • Stone is by far the most popular material because it is easy to maintain and has a natural look. In winter, depending on the type of stone, it is advisable to store the fountain to avoid frost damage.

The Best Garden Fountain: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a garden fountain

What is the function of a garden fountain?

Basically, a distinction is made between 2 types of fountains: Ornamental fountains and utility fountains.

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A fountain gives your garden a special atmosphere (Image source: pexels.com / Mikes Photos)

As the name suggests, the purpose of an ornamental f ountain is to create a relaxing atmosphere through the leisurely splashing of the water and the appealing appearance. The style of the fountain depends primarily on your taste.

The utility f ountain is primarily used to pump water.

This allows you to water your garden in a sustainable and inexpensive way, which in the end is also reflected in your wallet.
But just because the water well fulfils practical requirements doesn't mean it has to be ugly. The design is up to you.

Whether with or without a water reservoir, fountains basically serve to decorate the garden and lend your green oasis something calming.

What materials are used for garden fountains?

You can choose from a wide variety of materials. The following are the most common:

  • Stone, source stone, granite, marble
  • Wood
  • Ceramic, stainless steel, glass, corten steel
  • Plastic mixtures
Material Description
Stone Natural, robust
Wood Easy to work with, maintenance required
Corten steel Weatherproof, colouring into reddish
Ceramics Mediterranean flair, high-maintenance

Below, we would like to briefly introduce you to the properties of the various materials:

Stone

By far the most popular material is stone in its different variations.

It looks very natural in almost any garden and is practically indestructible. Depending on the type of stone, it is not recommended to leave the fountain outside all year round due to frost heave and lichen infestation.

If you don't want to set up a new garden fountain every year, we recommend granite, for example. It is very weatherproof (even against frost) and easy to maintain.

Wood

Many garden fountains are made of wood. You often see the typical shape with pump and wooden basin in a square shape on footpaths or to water animals. Such a fountain also looks quite good in the garden.

Wood is a popular and natural material that is easy to work with. However, maintenance is not without its problems. Like all wooden objects, you have to regularly glaze and perhaps even sand a fountain.

This results in somewhat higher maintenance costs than would be the case for a stone or ceramic fountain, for example.

However, there is the option of purchasing plastic models in a wood look, which is significantly easier to handle in terms of maintenance.

Corten steel

Corten steel is the name for weatherproof structural steel, a special alloy containing nickel, chromium and copper. The name is derived from CORrosion-Resistance (rust protection) and TENsile-Strength (tensile strength). These properties also distinguish the steel.

It is extremely weather-resistant and, over time, forms a rust patina that varies in colour from rusty red to a brownish purple. Furthermore, it requires little maintenance.

This is how a fountain made of corten steel could look in your garden. Chic or?

Ceramic

If you are more in the mood for stelae or Mediterranean amphorae for your garden, the warm terracotta look of ceramic fountains might be a good choice. Be aware, however, that this material requires a lot of care and should be stored in winter to ensure long-lasting enjoyment.

How much does a garden fountain cost?

Basically, it depends on what your ideas are and how much space you want to spend on the fountain.

The cheapest garden fountains start at around 50 euros. They are usually so small that you can carry them around and therefore the place of use is very flexible. They often come with LED lighting and are very suitable for the bedroom, for example. The sound of the water is calming.

Design price range
Indoor fountains approx. 50 euros-approx. 150 euros depending on the model
Garden/patio fountains approx. 150 euros-approx. 450 euros depending on size/material
Built and designed fountains price unlimited

Of course, there are always more expensive models that vary greatly in their design and appearance. Here, the price range is basically from 100 euros upwards.

For models that are either very elaborate or very large, it is advisable to consult a gardener anyway. In terms of price, anything is possible from several thousand to several tens of thousands of euros.

Which pump is suitable for your fountain?

For garden ponds, decorative fountains and generally smaller water features, the so-called circulating pumps are primarily suitable. These simply generate a closed water circuit. You only need to change the water every now and then.

If, on the other hand, you want to install a utility fountain, the depth of your fountain should not be deeper than approx. 8 metres. Centrifugal pumps are recommended for this type of well. If, on the other hand, you want to go deeper (from about 15 metres), you should use a really powerful pump, such as a submersible pump.

For commercial wells, it is also advisable to use storage wells, in which you can store larger quantities of water. It is best to consult a professional for advice.

Do I need a permit to drill a well?

As soon as you want to drill down to the groundwater, you have to register with the local authorities. There you will be informed about the legal framework and the conditions of use, as well as being assisted in drilling. In general, it is advisable to consult an expert for larger construction measures.

How do I clean a garden fountain properly?

Regular maintenance is generally important for the garden. This also applies to garden fountains. While you should regularly glaze wood, stone fountains are susceptible to lichen or algae. You should also remove these regularly. In most cases, you can use a commercially available vinegar cleaner for this purpose.

Contamination
Lichens and algae Vinegar cleaner or high pressure
Mosses Flaming device or with a brush

You can get flaming devices at any DIY store. You can also get a high-pressure cleaner there, or you can borrow one from a neighbour.

Pump cleaning

You should clean the pumps once a year. To do this, detach the pump from the well and carefully dismantle it into its individual parts. Especially the cleaning of the filter is very important.

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Algae infestation can be remedied with little effort in most cases (Photo source: pixabay.com / markus53)

Most of the time it's no big deal. If you are unsure whether you should use chemicals, we recommend asking a professional for advice.

Decision: What types of garden fountains are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, we distinguish between these types of garden fountains:

  • Garden fountains made of wood
  • Garden fountains made of stone
  • Garden fountains made of metal

In the following, we explain the different types and their respective advantages and disadvantages. In this way, we want to help you find the best garden fountain for you.

What distinguishes a wooden garden fountain and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Wood generally blends in well with the garden and creates a natural atmosphere. Many people like that and in combination with a wooden garden house, the combination is definitely an eye-catcher.

Advantages
  • Natural design
  • Fits in well with any type of nature
  • Wood is quite inexpensive
Disadvantages
  • High maintenance
  • Fades over time
  • Depending on the design, very difficult

However, it requires relatively high maintenance. Regular glazing and possibly a general overhaul after a certain time are certainly part of it. Furthermore, the wood can discolour over time and the warm, natural colour disappears.

What distinguishes a stone garden fountain and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Stone is quite weatherproof and also has a convincing natural look. In combination with stainless steel, such a fountain does not look out of place even in modern gardens. Furthermore, stone fountains are also available in the popular version with the rotating stone ball. Among many others.

Advantages
  • Many designs
  • Natural look
  • Different types of stone
Disadvantages
  • Depending on the type of stone, not weatherproof
  • Moss and algae
  • High weight

However, most models are relatively heavy, so the choice of location should be well thought out. Now and then, algae and moss have to be removed, but generally the maintenance effort is relatively low. Lighting and LED technology can be installed with little effort.

What distinguishes a metal garden fountain and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Models made of stainless steel or corten steel are often found in natural ponds designed in rock gardens. The combination of modernity and nature appeals to many people and the water creates a special look in combination with the shiny metal.

Advantages
  • Modern
  • Inexpensive
  • Special look with water
  • Low maintenance
Disadvantages
  • A metal fountain may not fit into the existing garden

The maintenance effort is extremely low and the price of a metal fountain is usually affordable.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate garden fountains

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate garden fountains. This will make it easier for you to get an overview and decide on a suitable and effective device.

In summary, these are the following criteria:

  • Placement of the garden fountain
  • Material
  • Optics
  • Origin of the stream
  • Water source
  • Delivery and installation

In the following, you can read about the respective criteria and find out why it makes sense for you to purchase a device based on the criteria or not.

Placement of the garden fountain

Especially with heavy stone, wood or ceramic fountains, it is important that you think about where you want to place the fountain beforehand. Changing the location afterwards is usually quite time-consuming.

Material

The materials all have their different characteristics. Personal taste, weight and maintenance requirements are the points you should focus on in this regard.

Optics

Perhaps a classic-looking wooden fountain does not fit into your modern rock garden. Or metal looks out of place in your green oasis. Whatever your circumstances, appearance is very important to ensure that your garden and its components harmonise.

Origin of the stream

In order for the water to splash leisurely into the basin, the pump, no matter how small, must be supplied with electricity. A cable is usually used for this purpose.

In recent years, more and more models are being made with solar cells, which usually generate just enough electricity to power the pump sustainably. Otherwise, you can use a solar generator to supply the pump of the fountain with electricity. The small ones are already available from about 150 euros.

Water source

If you don't use groundwater for a domestic well, you have to connect your garden well to the house water supply. Small indoor fountains only need a water supply now and then.

Delivery and assembly

Especially with heavy stone fountains, delivery may have to be made by a transport company, which may cost more.

If the fountain is not assembled ready for use, you may have to do it yourself. Be sure to read the instructions for use.

Facts worth knowing about garden fountains

Famous fountains in Rome

The Romans already appreciated the calming effect of water. Not only in the thermal baths, but also in architecture. The world-famous aqueducts transported water from the surrounding Latium to Rome, where it was used in public baths or for general water supply.

In the Middle Ages, this abundance of water gave the church the opportunity to demonstrate its power and shape the city with fountain buildings.

Examples of this are, for example, the world-famous Four Rivers Fountain. This fountain depicts the four largest rivers of the then known continents: Danube, Ganges, Rio della Plata and the Nile.

Another famous example is the Trevi Fountain. In its centre rises Neptune, the god of the sea, who is being pulled away on a shell by two horses. Beside him he has the statues of Wholesomeness and Abundance.

Both fountains are great examples of the importance that water had and still has.

Quickly and easily build a fountain yourself

If you don't want to just buy a set, unpack it and plug it in, we have instructions for you on how to easily build a fountain yourself.

You will need:

  • 1 fountain pump - available in any DIY store
  • 1 large bucket with a capacity of at least 50 litres
  • approx. 40-50 kg gravel and some larger stones

First, find a suitable spot for your own fountain. This is entirely up to you.

Dig a hole so that the bucket doesn 't disappear completely into it, but just barely. It should protrude a little over the edge of the lawn. This is necessary so that no rubbish gets into the water feature.

Place the pump in the bucket and secure it, preferably with a stone. If you have a particularly beautiful stone, drill a hole in it and place it as prominently as possible in your fountain.

Now lead the hose of the pump through the hole and the power cable of the pump out of the bucket. Then just fill it up with stones and water at the end and your own fountain water feature is ready.

You can add the finishing touch to your fountain by planting plants all around it and integrating it beautifully into the garden. There are no limits to your imagination.

Image source: pexels.com / Pixabay

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