Read our comprehensive fountain buying guide and buy the best outdoor fountain for your space.

The right water fountain can create a grand and beautiful centerpiece for a courtyard or serve as a tranquil accent piece for your deck or desktop. These elegant pieces combine the soothing sounds of running water with quality craftsmanship.

Each fountain has a unique look, and they are available in a variety of sizes, materials and styles to complement any space.

But how do you choose the perfect fountain? This comprehensive fountain buying guide will help you choose the best water fountain for your home.

Information at a Glance

Fountain Type Material Power Source Location
Tabletop Fountains Ceramic, Slate, Resin Corded Electric Indoor
Rock Fountains Resin, Polystone, Fiberglass Corded Electric, Solar Power Indoor/Outdoor
Floor Fountains Ceramic, Slate, Metal, Resin, Fiberglass Corded Electric, Solar Power Indoor/Outdoor
Wall-Hanging Fountains Polystone, Resin Corded Electric, Solar Power Outdoor
Tiered Fountains Fiberglass, Polyresin, Polystone Corded Electric, Solar Power Outdoor

Fountain Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Fountain

Types of Fountains

Tabletop Fountain
An indoor tabletop fountain displayed on the countertop

The smallest fountains available are tabletop fountains.

These fountains are designed for indoor use and can be placed on an end table, desk, or coffee table. Like their outdoor counterparts, the running water produces relaxing sounds, and the volume of the water varies based on the design of the fountain.

Plus, select tabletop fountains have an adjustable flow feature that allows you to adjust the speed of the flow of the water. This can affect both the sound and appearance of the fountain.

In addition to providing decoration and atmosphere, tabletop fountains can also help improve your health. To learn more, check out the article, 4 Surprising Health Benefits of Indoor Fountains.

Floor Fountains

Cascading floor fountain displayed on the front porch.

Floor fountains are versatile water features with a wide selection of options available for either indoor or outdoor use. These fountains are freestanding and come in a variety of sizes, materials, and styles.

Select outdoor floor fountain models also include electric submersible pumps with an adjustable flow rate feature so you can control the speed of the water flow.

Floor fountains have sturdy freestanding designs so they can be placed nearly anywhere as accent decor pieces.

Rock Fountains

Outdoor rock fountain with cascading tiers in the backyard.

Rock fountains are a specific style of fountains designed to replicate the scenic waterfalls found in nature. These realistic fountains are typically made of weather-resistant materials such as polyresin or fiberglass for the look of rocks and logs without the extra weight.

Rock fountains are available in either indoor tabletop fountain or outdoor floor fountain styles.

Tiered Fountains

Beautiful pineapple tier fountain displayed in the backyard.

When most people think of water fountains, they picture an elegant tiered fountain. These freestanding fountains are larger in size than floor fountains and are commonly used as a dramatic focal point for a garden or courtyard.

Tiered fountains feature at least two tiers where water falls from one level to another. Most tiered fountains have multiple tiered bowl design

Wall-Hanging Fountains

Outdoor hanging wall fountain displayed in the garden.

Don’t have the space for a freestanding fountain? A wall-hanging fountain is the perfection option. These stylish fountains are light enough to be hung from any wall.

Like rock fountains, wall-hanging fountains are typically made from polyresin or polystone to give the appearance of stone.

Wall-hanging fountains are available in indoor and outdoor options.

Outdoor Water Fountain Materials


Resin is a lightweight urethane material that is often used to replicate the appearance of materials found in nature like stone or wood. Because of this, it is commonly used to create rock fountains.

Due to its durability, resin is also a dependable material for outdoor fountains and scratches can be easily removed.


Like resin, polystone is used to imitate a natural material, stone.

Polystone is a combination of urethane and powdered stone additives. This provides the look and feel of stone without the extra weight.

Polystone is typically used to create tiered fountains and outdoor floor fountains.


Slate is a heavy and durable type of stone with beautiful natural color variation.

Slate also has a unique rough texture for added visual interest. This material is sturdy enough for use outdoors, but is also a popular option for indoor tabletop fountains.


For a unique contemporary look, consider a metal fountain.

Metal fountains can be made from stainless steel, copper, or brass for a striking design. They feature a shiny, eye-catching finish in a variety of colors and lasting strength for use season after season.

Metal is primarily used for outdoor floor fountains.


Ceramic is a versatile material that can be used to achieve a variety of different looks.

Ceramic fountains are available in a variety of vibrant colors and unique textures. They can also be glazed for a sleek, shiny surface.

Ceramic is used to create both tabletop and outdoor floor options.


Fiberglass consists of a mixture of tiny glass fibers and epoxy. This material is the lightest available but it is also extremely durable.

Fiberglass can be easily molded into intricate shapes and designs for a beautifully designed look. This material is typically used for tiered fountains as well as outdoor floor fountains.

Solar-Powered Fountains vs. Electric-Powered Fountains

Solar Powered Fountains

Solar-powered fountains are environmentally friendly pieces that do not need batteries or electrical cords.

A small solar panel is connected to the fountain’s pump and placed in a well-lit area where it can collect sunlight. The solar power collected is then used to operate the fountain’s pump. In order for the fountain to work, the solar panel must receive direct sunlight.

If the weather is cloudy or the panel is in a place where it cannot receive enough sunlight, you will not be able to operate the fountain.

Many solar-powered fountains also feature a back-up battery that allows the fountain to store surplus power on sunny days. This allows you to run your fountain during the evening and overcast days.

Electric Powered Fountains

Electric fountains are simple to operate, and there is no complicated plumbing required either. Simply place the fountain’s electric submersible pump into the water and plug the fountain into a standard electrical outlet.

Electric fountains can be used in a variety of places both indoors or outdoors and during any weather conditions.

Enhance Your Outdoor Fountain with Accessories

Fountain Covers

Fountain cover used to protect an outdoor tiered fountain

The simplest way to prolong the product life of your fountain is to make sure that it is covered when not in use, especially if your fountain is too large to bring indoors to store during inclement weather.

Our fountain covers are available in a variety of sizes to accommodate any fountain. They are made of durable materials for dependable protection from the elements.

Fountain Pumps

Our fountains include the pump that you need to operate the fountain, but we also offer a selection of replacement pumps to update an existing fountain.

We offer pumps for both solar-powered and electric fountains and have options for both indoor and outdoor use as well as pumps with an adjustable flow feature to control how quickly the water flows through the water feature.

For additional information about how to choose the right pump for your fountain, consult our article, How to Find the Perfect Size Pump for Your Water Fountain.

Panel Kits

Save money on energy costs by using a convenient panel kit to convert an electric fountain into a solar-powered fountain.

Each kit includes a solar-powered pump and panel so you can harness the power of the sun no matter what type of fountain you own.

Choose the Best Fountain For Your Space

Whether you want to add a touch of serenity to the corners of your deck or patio or create a new centerpiece for your lawn or garden, a fountain is the perfect way to transform the look of your outdoor spaces. With so many materials, styles, and power options to choose from, you are sure to find the ideal fountain for any home.

For more information about choosing and caring for your fountain, check out our fountain articles on the Sunnydaze Bright Ideas blog.


About the Author

Alicia Bowe
Alicia Bowe
Alicia Bowe is a product specialist with a flair for interior design and outdoor decorating. By day, she actively researches, measures, and writes about all things Sunnydaze. By night, after her two kids are in bed, she spends time relaxing in the hammock swing on the patio with her water fountain running for a calming ambiance.

1 comment

Art Lupinacci

where can I find a replacement battery for my wall fountain? thanks.

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