A water butt is a great way to take advantage of wet weather and be more conscious of the water you’re using in your garden. By collecting rainwater in a water butt, you can conserve water while keeping your garden well-maintained and healthy.
Water butts come in a range of materials and sizes and are designed to capture and hold rainwater. With capacities up to 350 litres, they can be a great tool for saving water and providing a reliable source in the height of summer.
In this guide, we give advice on how to choose the best water butt, outline the types available and provide suggestions for the best water butts to buy right now.
If you’re interested in more watering tools, browse our selection of the best watering cans and self-watering planters. And for more storage solutions, try our guides to the best log storage and garden storage ideas.
How to choose the best water butt
There should be three main considerations when it comes to choosing the best water butt for your garden. These are: size, material and budget.
The size of your garden will influence the size and water capacity you’ll need. If space is limited, consider a smaller water butt with a capacity of under 200 litres. Those with small gardens may also benefit from having a water butt that mounts on the wall to reduce how much patio space it takes up. For a large garden, a capacity of 200 litres or more is suitable.
When it comes to materials, water butts are typically made from plastic or steel. Both are extremely durable but plastic water butts are often cheaper and there are recycled plastic water butts for an environmentally-friendly option.
Types of water butts
Most water butts are supplied with a stand and can be placed on the ground in the corner of the garden. However, some water butts can be mounted on an external wall, a good option for smaller gardens where ground space is precious.
Mounted Water Butts
Mounted water butts, like the Pure Raindrop Water Butt, are lightweight and designed to sit on external walls in the garden. Because of this, they take up very little room. This style also provides more flexibility on the height of the tap because you have full control over where, and how high, it’s fixed to the wall.
Plastic Water Butts
Plastic is the most common water butt material and a number of recycled plastic options are available. Cheaper than their steel counterparts, plastic water butts come in both the mounted style or the traditional barrel with a stand such as the Cloudburst Water Butt.
Steel Water Butts
Steel water butts are durable and long-lasting. Typically heavier and more expensive than plastic, these water butts are designed to stand on the ground. Traditional barrel water butts also vary a lot more in capacity.
10 of the best water butts
From galvanised steel to recycled plastic, here is our pick of the best water butts.
Garden Trading Galvanised Steel Water Butt
With the capacity to hold 126 litres, this water butt has a lid and mesh top to filter out any leaves or other debris. A watering can will fit neatly under the brass tap.
Bamboo Water Butt
This water butt has a bamboo-effect finish and holds up to 110 litres of water. Made from UV stabilised materials, it’s supplied with a matching stand, lid, rain diverter and tap.
Cloudburst Water Butt
Made from recycled plastic, the Cloudburst Water Butt has a child-safe lid, a tap and a diverter kit to attach to a down pipe. It has a capacity of 200 litres and comes with a stand.
Galvanised Steel Water Butt
Finished in a Georgian style complete with Tudor roses, this water butt is made from galvanised steel. It has a decent capacity of 185 litres and there’s a hose-ready, brushed chrome tap set into the side of the water butt at watering can height.
Pure Raindrop Water Butt
This award-winning water butt has a built-in five litre jug that’s automatically filled ready for use, when it rains. Any additional water will then fill the 75 litre teardrop container below it. It’s supplied with a five year guarantee and can be fitted directly onto your drainpipe.
Rainwater Terrace Water Butt
This water butt comes supplied with a diverter for the down pipe, a stand and has integrated planters. With a capacity of 134 litres, it’s a good, mid-size option and each water storage box has a transparent drain tube to show the water level.
Green Basics Rain Barrel
Made from recycled plastic in a wind-powered factory, this water butt is a good option for the eco-conscious gardener. The frost-proof water butt can hold up to 200 litres and has an integrated planter for extra growing space for plants or flowers.
Garantia Stone 2-in-1 Water Butt
This water butt from Garantia doubles up as a planter. With a capacity of 350 litres, it can collect a huge amount of rainwater and has a smooth, natural stone look.
Harcostar Water Butt
The Harcostar Water Butt is another water butt made in the UK from recycled plastic. It comes in the traditional barrel shape with a diverter, a child-safe lid and a hose connector tap.
Rain Catcher Wall Mounted Water Butt
A mounted water butt is a good option for small gardens with limited patio space. This recycled plastic water butt has three outlet connections at the bottom that can be used for the tap supplied or for connecting to another water butt.