An outdoor water fountain brings a touch of elegance and tranquility to any home's landscaping. We researched dozens of water fountains, evaluating them on ease of setup, durability, and value.
Our top overall pick is the 40-inch-Tall Outdoor 4-Tier Rock Water Fountain from Alpine Corporation, which sets up easily and brings your outdoor space the look of real stone and the sound of a mountain stream for season after season.
Here are our selections for the best water fountains.
Alpine Corporation 40 in. Tall Outdoor 4-Tier Rock Water Fountain with LED Lights
Alpine Corporation's 40-inch-tall outdoor water fountain brings the sight and sound of a mountain waterfall to your home, and combines the look of carefully carved stone with the durability of resin, stone powder, and fiberglass. We liked that the included LED lights illuminate each of the fountain's four tiers, and that the compact footprint perfectly fits a garden, patio, deck, porch, or yard.
The user manual outlines eight setup steps, which include initially filling the fountain, which needs refilling every two to five days, depending on the temperature. (The manufacturer recommends using distilled water to prevent scale buildup.) You clean the outside with soap and water. Also, every month or so, remove built-up algae from the pump's pre-filter cage by running it under warm water and scrubbing with an old toothbrush. Despite the needed TLC, we were impressed with the Alpine's ease of setup, and its durability to earn it our Best Overall pick.
Price at time of publish: $234
Peaktop Outdoor Glazed Pot Floor Fountain with LED Light
Looking for something more budget-friendly? Check out the Peaktop Glazed Pot Fountain. Made of a combination of polyresin, fiberglass, and metal and finished with a colored glaze, it's durable, weather-resistant, and visually pleasing—not to mention affordable.
Designed for outdoor use, this fountain is about 15.5-inches round and 17-inches high, with a water capacity of just over 2 gallons. It comes with all the necessary hardware, plus a pump for easy installation. Plus, the soft LED lights make for a whimsical display after the sun goes down.
Price at time of publish: $157
Campania Girona Outdoor Fountain
Open to splurging on the perfect piece for your outdoor space? You'll love the eye-catching Girona Fountain. Crafted from ultra-dense cast concrete that's hand-etched with tactile bands and finished with a natural stone color, this stand-alone water fountain has a chic yet rustic aesthetic.
The artisanal-inspired piece weighs 318 pounds, measures 30 inches wide and 15 inches high, and boasts a 12-gallon capacity. It'll add fluid beauty to your garden, patio, or porch, but if you've got the space, you can even place it inside your home.
Price at time of publish: $1,300
John Timberland Tivoli Grey Ornate 33" High Wall Fountain
With a charming two-tiered design featuring sculpted acanthus leaves, the Tivoli Wall Fountain is reminiscent of 19th-century European gardens. Unlike heavier fountains of the past, though, this one is made of lightweight resin and finished with a deep, smoke-gray hue. Water flows from the upper spout, catches in the center shell-shaped crest, then runs down into the lower basin.
This fountain is 33 inches tall, 17.5 inches wide, and weighs just 20 pounds. It can be hung indoors or out and comes with everything you need for installation, including a pump that plugs into a standard outlet.
Price at time of publish: $180
Gracie Oaks Imen Resin Relaxation 3-Step Little Water Fountain with Light
If you're looking for something to keep on your bathroom counter, credenza, end table, desk, or other elevated surface in your home, look no further than the Imen Fountain. This small tabletop water fountain is made of lightweight yet durable polyresin and has a deep grayish-black stonelike finish.
At 8 inches tall, 8 inches wide, and weighing just 3 pounds, it's perfectly compact. The included recirculating pump keeps the water flowing continuously, and you can add your own pebbles to enhance the soothing trickling sound. Plus, this fountain has a crystal ball at the top that illuminates with a built-in LED light for the ultimate sensory experience.
Price at time of publish: $39
Luxen Home Resin Gray Pedestal Outdoor Patio Fountain
Looking to add a modern touch to your outdoor space? You might consider the Luxen Home Pedestal Patio Fountain. Featuring a rectangular design with a cutout in the middle, it has the clean lines, modish silhouette, and commanding aesthetic that makes contemporary architecture so good.
It's about 22 inches tall, 18 inches wide, and 14 inches deep, with a capacity of 9 gallons. Made of sturdy polyresin, this fixture resists weather damage year-round. It comes with an electric pump, which circulates water for a continuous bubbling sound. As if this fountain weren't serene enough, it also has a built-in LED light, creating a warm, soothing twilight glow.
Price at time of publish: $238
Peaktop Outdoor Stacked Stone Tiered Bowls Fountain with LED Light
If your vibe is more rustic, the Peaktop Tiered Bowls Fountain might be right up your alley. As the name suggests, it features four bowls placed throughout a realistic-looking stacked stone structure. Relax and unwind as you listen to the soothing sounds of water flowing from the top bowl and trickling down to the lower levels.
The bowls each have LED lights, creating a warm and tranquil ambiance. This cascading outdoor fixture is made of resilient, weatherproof resin, making it the perfect addition to your outdoor space. It's about 33 inches tall, 16 inches wide, and easy to install thanks to the built-in pump.
Price at time of publish: $142
Smart Solar River Stone Brown 2-Tier Solar-On-Demand Fountain
The Smart Solar River Stone Fountain is an elegant option with a timeless design. It's made out of glass-reinforced concrete and features a stone-inspired exterior and a classic textured pebble finish on the interior of the bowls. Measuring 34.5 inches tall and 21 inches in diameter, it's the ideal size for a porch, patio, deck, or garden.
While this fountain may look charmingly old-fashioned, it actually has a cutting-edge solar-powered pump. The battery charges in the sunlight, usually taking a day or two in bright light to gain a full charge. After that, you'll get about six hours of run time.
Price at time of publish: $227
Bamboo Accents Low-Profile Water Fountain
Like flowing water, bamboo has an inherently tranquil appeal. The Low-Profile Water Fountain kit comes with a submersible pump, sturdy tubing, and a strong bamboo spout. While it doesn't come with a basin, any shallow bowl or container between 15 to 30 inches in diameter will work. Place it in your garden or on your patio to create a zen outdoor oasis, or set it up inside to enhance your decor and make your space feel more relaxing.
Wrought Studio Marta Ceramic Fountain with Light
If you're looking for something unique and lighted, you can't go wrong with this ceramic fountain found on Wayfair. With a curved silhouette, fluid features, and an illuminated sphere at the center, it's modern, tasteful, and oh-so-stylish.
This sculptural fountain measures 31.5 inches high and 19 inches wide with a 4-gallon capacity. It's just the thing for adding a finishing touch to your garden, patio, or landscaping—and thanks to the 132-inch power cord, you can plug it in almost anywhere.
Price at time of publish: $628
Our top overall pick for the best water fountain for your outdoor space is the Alpine Corporation Alpine Corporation 40-inch-Tall Outdoor 4-Tier Rock Water Fountain with LED Lights. For a Best Budget alternative, we like the Peaktop Outdoor Glazed Pot Floor Fountain because it is durable, weather-resistant, and easy to install.
What to Look for in a Water Fountain
Decorative water fountains come in a range of styles, including modern, contemporary, rustic, minimalist, and traditional. Before buying a fixture, consider the existing decor of your space. If you're planning to place it outside, make sure it'll complement your landscaping, pavers, and outdoor furniture. When placing a fountain indoors, look for an option that won't overwhelm your space and will go with your furniture, decorative accents, and color scheme.
A majority of the water fountains you'll find on the market today are made of polyresin, a supremely durable substance made of polyester and resin. The sturdy material is resistant to weather damage, rust, and fading, making it ideal for outdoor use. Other popular materials are ceramic, fiberglass, and concrete, which are also resilient and designed to hold up outdoors, although they can be more expensive depending on the size and style.
If you're placing your fountain outdoors, you probably have more space to work with, but make sure you have enough room to fit it in your garden or on your porch, patio, or deck. Tabletop fixtures tend to be smaller, but the surface needs to be large enough that it won't fall off. Mounted fountains don't take up any floor or counter space, but you'll need to ensure you've got an open wall that's sturdy enough to hold it. And of course, make sure you have an easily accessible outlet, as most modern fountains are electric.
How does a water fountain work?
A submersible pump pushes water through a pipe and a nozzle to create a particular effect. The water comes from the basin of the fountain or, in more sophisticated water fountains, from a separate tank that automatically refills and is connected to a water outlet. The faster the desired speed of the water flow and height of the spray, the higher the pressure needs to be. Most pumps run on electrical power, but there is an increasing number of solar-powered fountains available.
How do you keep a water fountain clean?
Regularly draining the water fountain, keeping out debris such as leaves and twigs, and wiping it out, or using a bristled dish brush, keeps it clean. Stone fountains might need an abrasive cleaner from time to time. The green slime that can build up are algae that you can remove with a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. Make sure to follow the directions for the safe use of bleach. For a less abrasive alternative that also works to remove mineral deposits, use a solution of equal parts water and distilled vinegar. Before cleaning the fountain, drain it completely and thoroughly rinse it out with fresh water after cleaning. Don’t forget to clean the tank once a year, too.
How do you decorate around a fountain?
For outdoor fountains, choose plants that are lower in height than the fountain, not only because they obstruct the view of the fountain but also to prevent leaves, petals, and other plant debris from blowing into the basin. Avoid messy plants that shed. Allow easy access to the fountain, for example by placing stepping stones in a garden bed. Indoors, don’t decorate with materials that could suffer damage from water spills or spray.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland has been contributing to The Spruce since 2019. She has several years of experience writing about home goods, decor, and outdoor design. You can find more of her home-related content on MyDomaine.