The 7 Best Watering Cans, According to Our Testing

We love the versatility of the Bloem Easy Pour Watering Can.

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Photo: Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Using a watering can to water your plants saves you from having to take multiple trips back to the sink or spigot. The best watering cans are made of a durable material, are comfortable to hold (even when full), and boast a big enough capacity to water several types of plants in one trip. To help you decide which type of watering can works best for your plant collection, we tested 32 watering cans in our Lab and assessed them based on their design, effectiveness, ease of use, durability, and overall value.

Our top pick is the Bloem Easy Pour Watering Can for its large capacity, weather-resistant plastic material, and convenient features that aren't commonly found in other watering cans, including double handles, a two-in-one spout, and a fill hole that's located on the side of the can.

Read on to learn more about our top picks as well as how to choose the best watering can for your needs.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Watering Can: Bloem Easy Pour Watering Can

Best Watering Cans
amazon.com

Also available at Walmart and Lowe's.

Who it's for: People looking for a versatile watering can that can hold more than two gallons.

Who it isn't for: People who have a good amount of hanging plants.

The versatile Bloem Easy Pour Watering Can comes with convenient features not often seen in other watering cans. This includes two handles, one of which is adjustable and allows for greater control over your pour, and a two-in-one spout. Rose spouts on watering cans are typically removable, but with this can, you can switch from a traditional pour to a rose pour by simply turning the nozzle on the spout around. Lastly, the location of the hole is not obstructed by the handles (a common issue with watering cans), so you can easily fill up your can without having to hold it at an awkward, oftentimes uncomfortable angle.

This watering can scored very well during our testing, getting high marks in design, effectiveness, ease of use, and durability. In fact, it survived both of our drop tests (one with and without water) without a dent, crack, or scratch. The reason for this has to do with the plastic material, which is one of the most durable materials you can use for watering cans. Plus, this plastic has been treated with a coating that makes it UV-stabilized, meaning that prolonged exposure to the sun won't cause it to wear down as much overtime, in comparison to a non-treated plastic. One thing our tester found difficult was using it with hanging plants, noting that "you really have to tip it to get a full pour," so this can is best for ground-level gardening.

Product Details:

  • Spout: Traditional and rose
  • Material: UV-stabilized polypropylene plastic
  • Capacity: 2.6 gallons
  • Best Watering Cans
    REAL SIMPLE / RACHEL MAREK

Best Budget Watering Can: Room Essentials Novelty Watering Can

Best Watering Cans
target.com

Who it's for: People who want to spend as little money as possible on a watering can.

Who it isn't for: People who want a watering can with additional features.

If all you care about is your watering can being able to pour water into your plants, get this super affordable option from Target. Our tester called the design of this watering can to be "simple, but effective" and overall was "incredibly impressed" with how well it worked considering how affordable it is.

This watering can was easy to carry around while heavy, didn't leak once, and filled up quickly in the sink without needing to keep it at an awkward angle. Not only that, but it did better than other higher-priced models during our drop test. The watering can bent just a little bit when dropped on concrete, but our tester called the damage "minor" and found that it was still "perfectly usable." This no-frills watering can is made of a weather-resistant plastic, so it's suitable to use both indoors and out.

Product Details:

  • Spout: Traditional
  • Material: Plastic
  • Capacity: 1 gallon

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Best Watering Cans
REAL SIMPLE / RACHEL MAREK

Best Watering Can for Indoors: Ansel & Ivy Sierra Watering Can

Best Watering Cans
anselandivy.com

Who it's for: People who have hanging plants and need to water indoor plants in hard-to-reach places.

Who it isn't for: People who have a large collection of indoor plants that require a lot of water.

This sleek silver watering can effectively water all of your plants and can also act as an eye-catching piece of home decor. The Ansel & Ivy Sierra Watering Can manages to be both modern and classic with its long, elegant spout and unconventional circular handle, so watering your plants will feel more like an experience instead of a chore. The can is able to hold one liter of water, making it ideal for people with a small to moderate plant collection that includes small and medium plants. The long spout is super helpful for those who have hanging plants, or those who keep their indoor plants in harder-to-reach places.

One of the things that our tester liked most about this watering can was how lightweight it felt, even when it was filled to the brim with water. The can also fared well in both of our drop tests, boasting no scuffs whatsoever. This is likely attributed to the stainless steel material, which is known for its durability. Stainless steel does, however, scratch, so make sure to handle the watering can with a little more care than you'd give to something made of plastic. One thing our tester was a little bothered by was how the handle "got in the way" while trying to fill up in the sink. This may prove annoying for people who have to do multiple refills to adequately water large indoor plants. Not only that, but watering large indoor plants will take longer due to the watering can's long, narrow spout.

Product Details:

  • Spout: Traditional
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Capacity: 1 liter
  • Best Watering Cans
    REAL SIMPLE / RACHEL MAREK

Best Lightweight Watering Can: Fasmov Plastic Watering Can

Best Watering Cans
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who struggle to carry around gallon-sized watering cans.

Who it isn't for: People who want a more versatile watering can.

Our tester liked "everything about this can," noting that it was "easy to carry," had "perfect accuracy in pouring," and "was stable without a hint of flimsiness." This watering can is easy to carry thanks to its two handles, both of which are ribbed, providing a greater means for gripping the handle. This helped make carrying a full gallon of water, which weighs more than 8 pounds, "very easy" and "comfortable" for our tester. So much so that they would recommend this watering can for older people or those with less arm and wrist strength.

Due to its material, you can safely store this watering can outside. Just know that prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause plastic to wear down and crack overtime. So, if you do decide to buy this watering can, keep it out of the sun's rays. The Fasmov Plastic Watering Can did well during our drop tests, both on grass and concrete surfaces. Although the concrete drop test did cause the can to buckle in the front and produce a couple of bulge marks, our tester said it was "still very functional and almost the same as new." Despite this drawback, our tester still found this watering can to be "a good investment" that "will last a long time."

Product Details:

  • Spout: Traditional
  • Material: Plastic
  • Capacity: 1 gallon

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Best Watering Cans
REAL SIMPLE / RACHEL MAREK

Best Multipurpose Watering Can: Yummy Sam Watering Can

Best Watering Cans
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who are growing seedlings or have flowers to attend to in their garden.

Who it isn't for: People looking for a metal watering can.

Having a removable rose spout is super helpful for the committed gardener. Not only does it allow for a more controlled pour, but it covers greater surface area with just one pour. Rose spouts are great for garden flowers, which generally don't need more than an inch of water per week, or seedlings, which are sensitive and may not react well to the strong force of water that comes from traditional spouts. Our tester found that the Yummy Sam Watering Can "watered plants nicely" and found the added feature of the removable rose spout to be "a nice benefit" that they would "definitely pay for."

Our testing also revealed that this watering can is easy to carry and, when filled up to the brim, didn't leak while watering plants. Our tester also liked the handle, saying its location on the body of the watering can made it easy to get to plants located at different heights. The Yummy Sam Watering Can is made of plastic, but unfortunately, after the fall test on the concrete, it suffered a few dents. However, our tester said it was still "perfectly usable."

Product Details:

  • Spout: Traditional with removable rose attachment
  • Material: Plastic
  • Capacity: 1 gallon
  • Best Watering Cans
    REAL SIMPLE / RACHEL MAREK

Best Large Watering Can: XXXFlower Watering Can

Best Watering Cans
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who have lots of outdoor plants or a garden to tend to.

Who it isn't for: People who want a watering can made of a drop-proof material.

Despite its large size (the length of the entire watering can is more than two feet), our tester was delighted that the watering can managed to fit in their normal-sized kitchen sink. However, the size is still too big for indoor gardens, so much so that our tester found it to be "too aggressive of a size for just houseplant use." The XXXFlower Watering Can is able to hold 1.6 liters of water and features a long spout that is adjustable, so you can turn the included rose attachment in multiple different directions for watering. Our tester did note that upon first use, "the water stream was difficult to control when full", though when full "the rain shower-like stream was more manageable."

In addition to an adjustable spout, another unique feature of this watering can is the opening design. Unlike other watering cans, the opening is located at the top of the can, is small, and has a cover, so you don't have to deal with leakage while carrying it around at full capacity. Our tester said this was "comfortable for both carrying and also lifting for hanging flower baskets" but said it's still heavy enough to where "muscles are somewhat required." One con with this watering can is that it did not do as well during our drop test as other cans did. After dropping it filled with water, the impact resulted in a large dent in the corner.

Product Details:

  • Spout: Traditional with removable rose attachment
  • Material: Plastic
  • Capacity: 1.6 gallons

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Best Watering Cans
REAL SIMPLE / RACHEL MAREK

Best Stylish Watering Can: Terrain Beech Wood Handle Watering Can

Best Watering Cans
shopterrain.com

Who it's for: People who want a watering can for indoor use that doubles as home decor.

Who it isn't for: People who want a watering can that can hold a gallon of water.

This stylish Terrain watering can is a great option for people who have a collection of small indoor plants. The reason for this has to do with the capacity—it's one of the smallest watering cans we tested, only able to hold about 18 ounces of water. Using this to water a larger indoor plant collection, or even larger indoor plants, will likely yield multiple trips back and forth to your sink, which will eventually become cumbersome.

This watering can is made of steel and wood. Our tester found the wood handle to be comfortable and was efficient enough that it had "a steady pour, no matter how full it was." There were also no spills throughout, including when pouring and walking around. Keep in mind that although this is marked as being safe for outdoor use, we would reconsider. Although the power-coated steel will hold up come rain or shine, wood won't. Luckily, this watering can is small and cute enough to be displayed indoors. It's also important to note that it did not do well during our concrete drop test, resulting in a slight dent and paint coming off at the bottom.

Product Details:

  • Spout: Traditional
  • Material: Steel and wood
  • Capacity: 18 ounces
Best Watering Cans
REAL SIMPLE / RACHEL MAREK

Final Verdict

Overall, we recommend the Bloem Easy Pour Watering Can for its large capacity, weather-resistant material, and convenient features, including the two-in-one spout and doubles handles. Our tester also found it easy to use and pretty durable, as it survived two of our drop tests without any signs of damage.

Our Testing Process

We tested 32 watering cans and assessed them based on design, effectiveness, ease of use, durability, and overall value. We first measured whether or not the watering can could easily be filled up in a standard-sized sink, then noted if we had to angle it awkwardly to fill or if we had to move it to a larger sink or a spigot. We then carried the full watering can about 30 feet away to see how hard it was to carry while full, noting the comfort of the handle, and if water stayed inside while doing so. After that, we watered small, medium, large, and hanging plants to measure the flow of the water, how easy it was to control and aim, and if any water spilled out while watering.

After we finished watering the plants, we conducted two drop tests: one while the can was empty and another while full. These were done on both concrete and grass surfaces at a height of four feet. After dropping, we examined the cans for any damage, including scratches, scuffs, dents, and cracks. We compiled all of this data and used it to come up with the best watering cans.

How to Shop for Watering Cans

Size

Watering cans come in all kinds of sizes, big and small. The right size for you depends on how big your plant collection is and how willing you are to go back to your sink or hose for a refill. If you have a small to medium-sized indoor plant collection, a watering can that's one gallon or less should do. For those with a small garden, a large indoor plant collection, or a medium-sized indoor plant collection that includes a handful of big plants, look for a watering can with at least one gallon capacity. People who are going to use their watering cans on indoor and outdoor plants, and especially those who have an outdoor garden, will benefit from a can that can hold two gallons or more.

Comfort

Anyone who has ever had to lug a full watering can around knows how much of an uncomfortable workout it can be for your arms. Even if you have a lot of plants or a full-fledged garden that needs watering, you shouldn't get a watering can that you struggle to carry. Keep in mind that a gallon weighs more than eight pounds, so our top pick, which is 2.6 pounds, means that you will be carrying more than 20 pounds of water around with you.

Along with looking at capacity, you should also look at the handles. Thick, long handles that have enough room for two hands allow for a more comfortable and controlled pour. Meanwhile, thinner handles that have only room for one hand are a better option for smaller watering cans that can hold about a liter or less.

Spout

Spout type is important when you are watering sensitive plants such as seedlings, hanging plants, or indoor plants that are in hard-to-reach places. Hanging plants and those in harder-to-reach places, such plants located atop kitchen cabinets, benefit from a watering can that has a long spout. Meanwhile, seedlings, vegetables, and some flowers benefit from a rose spout, which resembles a rainfall shower head. It not only allows for a more controlled pour but also covers more surface area in one pour. This is best for more sensitive plants that may not react well to the force of water you'd normally get with a traditional spout head.

More Watering Cans to Consider

Bosmere Haws Handy Watering Can: This old-fashioned watering can is a delightful, albeit tiny, vessel. Although it performed well in our testing, it's really only suitable for a small plant collection, unless you are willing to do multiple refills.

Williams Sonoma Tall Copper Watering Can: This watering can was "extremely easy to fill in the sink," boasted a "beautiful pour," and can easily "double as decor." However, the high price, maintenance that copper requires, and poor performance during our concrete drop test is why it didn't make it into our top picks list.

Questions You Might Ask

Should I use a different type of watering can for different plant types?

This depends on the size of your plant collection and the type of plants you have. If you have a large plant collection that includes indoor plants, outdoor plants, and/or a garden, lugging around one giant watering can will just be uncomfortable and taxing on your body. If this is the case, get different size watering cans, with the bigger one dedicated to the larger plant collection you have. If you dabble in gardening, and grow either flowers or seedlings, make sure at least one of them has a rose spout.

Can I leave my watering can outside?

It depends on the material. Plastic watering cans can be left outside, but should be left out of direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time. Doing so might result in them wearing and cracking overtime. Sometimes, however, plastic is treated to be weather-resistant. If you find that to be the case (your manufacturer will note it in the product description or instruction manual), then you can leave it outside in the sun. Most metal watering cans can be left outside too, so long as they are made from rust-resistant materials such as steel, including stainless, and aluminum.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Rachel Center, a product reviews home writer for Real Simple. We researched the best watering cans and tested 32 of the most popular options in our Lab, evaluating them on design, effectiveness, ease of use, durability, and overall value.

What Is Real Simple Selects?

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn't an option. If that's the case, we test the product just like we test anything we buy, but we also disclose that we received it for free to be as transparent with you as possible.

Love our recommendations? Check out more products that have earned the Real Simple Selects, from humidifiers to cordless vacuums.

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