We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
A reliable watering can is a must-have item when caring for plants inside your home and in your garden. We researched the best watering cans, and we recommend this collection based on their design, durability, ease of use, capacity, and style. We love when a watering can can double as a decoration!
Our best overall pick is the WhaleLife Indoor Watering Can because it is affordable, has a relatively large water capacity, and comes in fun colors. It’s easy to use and works well with most plants.
Here are the best watering cans for at-home gardening.
Best Overall: WhaleLife Indoor Watering Can
Great value for the money
Easy to use
Durable, long-lasting material
Lots of color options
Hard to use on small plants
The WhaleLife Indoor Watering Can earned our best overall spot for its perfect size, ease of use, and overall value. Made of thickened plastic resin, the pot body has a large water storage capacity of 1.4 liters (1/3 gallon). With its long-stem spout and ergonomic handle, it makes watering hard-to-reach plants easy.
The wide-top opening makes it simple to fill with water, and the transparent pot body design makes the water level easy to see and control the water flow. Whether you use this product indoors or outdoors, it has everything you need and should hold up for years. Although it has a large capacity, one downside is if you fill it to the top, the water spills out of the spout as you move around.
Best for Houseplants: IKEA Bittergurka Watering Can
Easy to hold
The Ikea BITTERGURKA Watering Can is a good-looking indoor watering can you can display. Its white stainless steel body and bamboo handle are stylish and slim, making it easy to store, whether you leave it out on the counter or hide away in the cupboards.
This indoor watering can has good capacity; on average you should be able to water your houseplants without refilling. This watering can seems heavier than its plastic counterparts, but the added weight makes it durable. At nearly 12 inches high, it’s functional and decorative.
Best for Kids: Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Giddy Buggy Watering Can
Easy for little hands to hold
As with most Melissa and Doug products, this product encourages kids and families to explore together. Kids love to mimic what adults do, and the Sunny Patch Giddy Buggy Watering Can can make them proud to assist in the garden. It has a fun, multi-colored character design, with a flower-shaped spout.
Made of plastic with a built-in handle, it’s lightweight and holds about 4 to 5 cups of water at a functional level, making it easier for toddlers to carry and use. One thing to note is the handle is curved over the opening and can be difficult for the littlest ones to fill on their own.
Best Budget: Qilebi Watering Can
Two spout-type options
Good color options
Hard to store indoors
If you are looking for a watering can with an affordable price tag, you can’t go wrong with the Qilebi Watering Can. It comes in four different neutral colors—green, gray, white, and "alpinegreen." The best feature is its detachable nozzle, which you can choose between a steady stream or gentle shower.
Optimized for outdoor use, its long spout can get to those hard-to-reach areas (although the spout makes it difficult to store under the sink). But you can use it to water indoor plants as well. It can hold about half a gallon of water, and its large opening makes it easy to fill up. At 10 ounces, it’s lightweight and easy to hold.
Best for Outdoors: Best Choice Products 1 Gal. Watering Can
On the expensive side
When looking for an outdoor watering can, consider something that is durable, withstands the elements, and holds up well in the dirt. The rustic-decor Best Choice Watering Can is made of galvanized steel that resists rust. It can hold up to 1 gallon of water and gives your plants a gentle shower with the rose spout. (You can remove the spout if you prefer a straight flow.)
It is conveniently sized, as 16.5 inches, and has two handles: on top, to carry, or on a side, which makes pouring easy. The deep-green color with copper accents adds a nice country charm to your porch or patio.
Best Mister: Bloomscape Mossify Mister
Continuous steady stream
The Mossify Mister is the product you didn’t know you needed. Step into the future with this mister, which increases humidity for your plants with the click of one button. It's fully rechargeable, using a micro-USB charging cable, and it provides a continuous fine mist, which makes it easy to use.
Lucas Picciolo, the founder of Mossify, set out to create a more sustainable future in creating all products with 100 percent recycled wood or sustainably sourced materials. They also focus on giving back by partnering with the One Tree Planted to plant trees with each purchase.
Best Galvanized: Bloomscape Large Watering Can
Made of durable steel
Doubles as decor
Takes a long time to pour
This watering can, which holds almost 1 gallon of water, is ideal for larger indoor plants, and you can control your pour with its thinner spout. It weighs about 1 pound, but the wooden handle makes it eminently controllable.
Made from galvanized steel and finished with a shiny white color, this watering can also doubles as a stunning decoration that doesn't rust over time.
Best Decorative: Sierra Watering Can
Good size opening
Easy to hold
At first glance, this futuristic Sierra Watering Can's long, slender spout and large, circular handle would make it feel at home with the Jetsons. The stainless steel watering can holds a quarter gallon of water. The opening on the top is a good size, which makes refilling easy and keeps the water from splashing as you move around the house.
As with any stainless steel product, this watering can shows fingerprints easily, but it is easy to wipe down.
Our top pick for watering cans is the WhaleLife Indoor Watering Can. It’s perfect for houseplants, has a chic aesthetic, and is budget-friendly. If you’re looking for something best for outdoor plants, we recommend the Best Choice Products Watering Can. It has a traditional design, a diffusing spout, and is made of highly durable premium-quality steel.
What to Look For in a Watering Can
A watering can's holding capacity depends on the number, type, and size of your plants. A large collection of succulents requires less water than a couple of large ferns that must be kept evenly moist. Also, indoor plants' watering requirements are lower than outdoor plants' because of less evaporation, so a smaller watering can might be sufficient for houseplants.
Keep in mind that 1 gallon of water weighs more than 8 pounds. Watering plants at ground level with a large watering can might not be a problem. But if plants are at waist level or above your head, such as in a hanging basket on a porch, lifting a fully filled watering can may be cumbersome. In those cases, a smaller watering can requiring more frequent refills works better than one with a large capacity.
Another factor to consider is the distance of the plants from the water source. Determine how much weight you are willing to carry. Instead of lugging a fully filled large-capacity watering can up a stairwell or across a patio, you might be better off with a small watering can you refill more often.
Balance and Grip
In watering cans, attractive design, good balance, and grip do not always go hand in hand. A watering can needs good balance, so it doesn't easily topple over. Generally, the longer the spout, the poorer the balance.
From looks alone, you cannot always tell how a watering can feels in your hand. A watering can with an elegant, thin handle might feel awkward when you carry the can fully filled. Check the reviews to find out what users have to say about the ergonomics.
Watering cans have two basic types of spouts: free-flow and rose. Free-flow spouts water with a strong flow, whereas a rose waters a larger area but with a gentle sprinkle, like a rain shower. Most rose watering cans are for outdoor use. The rose can be fixed or removable.
For established houseplants and container plants, watering cans with free-flow spouts are best because the water is directed right into the container with minimal spills. The longer the spout, the more precisely you can aim the water. That's especially important for plants in hard-to-reach locations, as well as plants whose lush foliage obstructs the soil.
For seedlings and other delicate plants, a watering can with a rose is best. Its gentle flow also prevents the soil from becoming washed out.
Outdoor watering cans are more utilitarian, and looks generally don’t matter as much as for indoor watering cans that are in plain view on a windowsill or kitchen counter. Outdoors, the watering can's weight and durability are important considerations.
Plastic is lighter than galvanized steel or copper. When opting for a plastic watering can, check whether the material is shatterproof, as well as UV-resistant. If you plan to use it year-round, it also should be frost-resistant. Ceramic watering cans are heavy and prone to chipping and breaking, so they are not suitable for outdoor use. Regardless of where you use it, a metal watering can should resist rusting.
Ease of Filling
A watering can should be convenient to fill. For most outdoor watering cans, that’s usually not an issue because they have plain designs: You just fill them with a hose. But for stylish indoor watering cans, the handle can get in the way of the faucet, which makes filling awkward.
How do you clean a watering can?
Usually, swishing around water and rinsing regularly keeps a watering can clean. But if mineral deposits have built up in the watering can from hard water or fertilizer, fill the watering can with a 1:1 solution of distilled white vinegar and warm water and let it sit at least 20 minutes. Pour out the liquid and scrub the watering can with a brush, then rinse it thoroughly with fresh water. Use the same method to clean the rose attachment. If it is heavily clogged, you might have to let the watering can soak overnight in the vinegar solution before removing any loosened deposits.
What kind of watering can is best for indoor plants?
A watering can with a smaller capacity, from 30 to 40 fluid ounces, works well for most houseplants. Choose one with a long spout. This lets you target the pots and water your plants without spilling, even if they are located above your head such as on a bookshelf. If you have a lot of plants to water and need to frequently refill the watering can, plastic might be the best material because it’s lightweight. Choose a design that allows easy refiling from your kitchen or bathroom faucet.
How do you pick a watering can?
Determine whether you use the watering can indoors or outdoors, as well as which type of plants you water and how many. For outdoor use, a one- or two-gallon watering can with a rose gives you the most flexibility to water container plants and established plants in garden beds, as well as tender young plants and seedlings. For outdoors, choose a break-proof lightweight material. For indoors, you can pick a watering can with a smaller capacity and a design you like. But make sure it has a long spout, so you can water plants without spilling.
Why Trust The Spruce
This roundup was written by Deanna McCormack, a freelance product writer and tester for The Spruce, who covers multiple home beats across our domain, specializing in home, family, and outdoor reviews and lists. To make her selections for best watering cans, she pored over reviews and product lists to find the kinds of watering cans that look good and perform well. She has personally tested a few of these options to care for her container plants.