Perfect for shifting soil and moving heavy DIY materials, a wheelbarrow is a fantastic tool to have in your garden shed if you're an avid gardener or have a particularly large outdoor space. Not only can having one to hand save you time and effort from trawling heavy loads around your garden, most likely having to take multiple trips, but it can also make sure you're not putting unnecessary strain on your back.
You may be surprised to hear that wheelbarrows come in a range of shapes and sizes, so finding the right one for you might require a little more research than just buying the first wheelbarrow you spot at your local gardening centre.
We've done the heavy lifting for you and shared the best wheelbarrows for a range of requirements and outlined exactly what you should be looking for.
1. Walsall 85L Easiload Wheelbarrow
With over 60 years in the business, Walsall has a whole range of wheelbarrows well suited for gardening. Made of alloy steel, this 85 litre wheelbarrow can carry up to 120kgs which should be more than enough for gardening chores. It has comfortable anti-slip handles and a pneumatic wheel so you can move it easily across your outdoor terrain.
Pros: It has a large capacity but is still lightweight and sturdy.
Cons: Not considered the most suitable for heavy lifting work.
Review: "Love this type of wheelbarrow. Sturdy design, but lightweight enough for any task. The nose is essential for tipping the content out, which slide out with ease, whether it be soil, stones, sand, concrete, etc. Can take a lot of abuse too."
2. Walsall Multi-Purpose Wheelbarrow
Best for rough-terrain gardens
Another top pick from Walsall, this sturdy green barrow is ideal for everyday garden use with a light and durable polypropylene pan to reduce the overall weight and a tough 30mm tubular steel frame. With a capacity of 90 litres and a max. load of 125kg, we love that it has a heavy-duty, puncture-proof 250mm tire wheel for traversing rough and stony ground.
Pros: We love that the heavy-duty tires are puncture-proof.
Cons: Reviewers found it a bit of a struggle to assemble.
Review: "This wheelbarrow is perfect for all garden work. Being made of tough plastic it does not rust and is light to use. It is also very good value for money."
3. Folding Wheelbarrow
Best for compact storage
If you're limited on shed space, this wheelbarrow can be folded down compactly, great for storage or fitting in the car. Made of a tough PVC-backed polyester bag, a strong metal frame, and a solid wheel, it's quick and simple to put up with two locking stays for easy tipping. With a maximum load of 20kg, this wheelbarrow is suited to lighter gardening tasks.
Pros: This wheelbarrow is foldable, and great for compact storage.
Cons: It can only move loads of up to 20kg.
Why we love it: It's perfect for beginner gardeners looking to move soil, small plants, and leaves and a wheelbarrow they can have neatly tucked away should the need arise.
4. Oypla Heavy Duty 70L Garden Wheelbarrow
Best two-wheeled wheelbarrow
Unlike most wheelbarrows available, this pick from Oypla has two wheels, making it particularly great and stable for traversing flat ground. It has a 70 litre capacity, 150kg weight limit, and soft foam handles that make handling all the more comfortable. Made with a heavy-duty steel frame and strong plastic hopper, this wheelbarrow should be durable and fair well against weather.
Pros: It has comfortable soft foam handles and two wheels for better stability on flat ground.
Cons: Reviewers found it quite difficult to assemble with the instructions not being the clearest.
Review: "This is a great product, very stable and easy to manoeuvre. It has been used by my wife, who is slightly built, to move logs along a rough-surfaced path in woodland while I use the chainsaw. Easy for her on the level, more difficult to go up slopes. Very impressive. Also easy to assemble although instructions could have been clearer, you have to interpret a diagram but it's not that difficult. Top tip, assemble with bolts left loose, don't tighten up until all in place."
5. Gardebruk Wheelbarrow 100L
Best large-capacity wheelbarrow
Perfect for keen gardeners, DIYers, or landscaping enthusiasts, the Gardebruk Wheelbarrow has a whopping 100L capacity and the ability to move 200kg at once. The powder-coated metal frame and galvanised deep, steel tub are rust and weather resistant, whilst the plastic grips make for easy handling of the massive load.
Pros: The lightweight alloy bucket has a large 100L capacity.
Cons: Described as heavy duty but best suited for lighter tasks.
Review: "The wheelbarrow arrived promptly and was quite a large package. If you like the challenge of putting things together you'll have no problem assembling this. I was impressed to find that the wheel runs on ball bearings, though they are pretty cheap and cheerful - I can see that these will need replacing in a year or two. I packed them with grease before assembly.
"I've been using this for over a month in the garden now and it is more than adequate for moving logs, etc. My only quibble - and why I have awarded four stars and not five - is the reference in the description to 'heavy duty' - I don't think it would survive for long on a building site. A tip - I always drill large holes in the bottom of the barrow so water doesn't collect if left outside. So, overall, good value for a large garden wheelbarrow."
6. Draper 78643 Expert Garden Caddy
Best lightweight wheelbarrow
While this is technically called a garden caddy, this is a great alternative to the wheelbarrow if you're looking for something that's lightweight, easy to move, affordable, and able to do the same job. Suitable for a variety of tasks in the garden, this plastic caddy has a deep bucket that can carry up to 40kg in weight, and even a clip for attaching your garden tools. Due to the smaller wheels, this would be best recommended for everyday, landscaped gardens.
Pros: Affordable and lightweight.
Cons: Not designed like a traditional wheelbarrow - maximum 40kg capacity.
Review: "This is marvelous. Well-made and great to use. Instead of dragging a heavy trug or wheelbarrow, this requires only one hand and is light enough to wheel around the garden even for my elderly Mum. It is also light enough to lift to tip out easily.
"I use to primarily for pruning and later on, deadheading roses and it is my best ever companion for this.
I would like is a plugged drain in the base, which could be turned to drain out as it will fill with rain if left outside. Another reviewer suggests putting a bag over the top to stop rain, but the wind here would blow a bag away over the hills. Maybe a removable clip-on watertight lid? This is one of the best things for the garden I have ever bought. Highly recommended."
7. Neo® Wheelbarrow
This robust wheelbarrow from Neo Direct makes handling heavy garden tasks a breeze. Made with soft handles to enable a better grip, and galvanised steel for additional strength and resilience, this wheelbarrow makes heavy lifting jobs fast and easy. The load capacity is 150kg and the pneumatic tyres mean that it can be used on the roughest terrain.
Pros: Made from galvanised steel for added strength and resilience.
Cons: Assembly instructions a little tricky to understand.
Review: "I wasn't expecting much as it was amazingly cheap - however it a decent product for the price. Not up to builders heavy-duty use but for general gardening and transporting items around its surprisingly capable. I found assembly easy (you need a few spanners or sockets - but I guess pliers would do at a push). Much much better than the price would have you expect."
8. B&Q Sovereign Orange Wheelbarrow 90L
Best value wheelbarrow
For a wheelbarrow that combines a large volume, heavy-load capacity, and affordable price, look no further than this wheelbarrow from B&Q. Arriving ready-assembled, this heavy duty wheelbarrow can easily transport garden and building materials with pneumatic wheels for handling rough ground, a 200kg max. load, and 90 litre barrow. Made of metal and polypropylene, it's surprisingly lightweight at 11kg with a soft grip for comfortable handling.
Pros: Described as heavy-duty with a huge max. load of 200kg and zero assembly required.
Cons: We couldn't think of any!
Why we love it: Not only will this wheelbarrow stand up to the test of all your garden tasks, it's designed to easily transport your garden debris and comes in a fun orange colour. Bit of a change from the green!
9. Little Roots Kids Wheelbarrow
Best wheelbarrow for kids
Want to get your little ones involved in the gardening? This bright and fun wheelbarrow from Little Roots features easy-to-hold durable rubber hand grips designed specifically for children ages three and over. Made of a durable, metal construction, kids can enjoy hours of fun using it to play or help mum or dad with gardening. It's designed just like an adult wheelbarrow so they'll enjoy copying along.
Pros: Bright, fun, and colourful - great for getting the kids involved!
Cons: Reviewers found it a little fiddly to put together.
Review: "Oh, how adorable is this little barrow! This is the ideal size for younger children and definitely makes them feel part of helping in the garden, and I am all for that. The barrow comes in a box and requires putting together, you will need screwdriver and spanners. I found this a bit fiddly to do. The instructions were fairly clear and easy to follow.
It is a great wheelbarrow to get younger children wanting to help out in the garden. It's small and easy to use, quite sturdy as there is a good size solid front wheel to add to the stability. And I love the colour and everything about it."
What is the best material for a wheelbarrow?
There are two main materials used in wheelbarrows; those with a steel or plastic bucket. The best material for your wheelbarrow depends on the work you'll be carrying out with each type having different benefits.
Wheelbarrows with a steel bucket can bear more weight so they're best for heavy-duty tasks such as moving large rocks, plants, and stone slabs. However, steel can rust and it will inevitably be heavier to move about too.
Wheelbarrows with a plastic bucket on the other hand tend to be lighter, more affordable, and a good choice if you're just looking for a way to transport compost, mix fertiliser, and smaller plants. The downfall with this type of wheelbarrow however is that you need to be careful not to overload the bucket as the plastic could crack under excessive weight.
Is a one- or two-wheel wheelbarrow better?
A two-wheel wheelbarrow is more stable on level ground, but a one-wheel wheelbarrow is universally the best choice for maneuverability. Positioned in the central point of the wheelbarrow, a one-wheel provides greater control for movement and unloading, with the ability to wheel in small spaces, over planks, in water, and over uneven ground - great for gardens!
How long should a wheelbarrow last?
Wheelbarrows can last for years, making them a great investment, but if you want your wheelbarrow to go the distance, you'll need to care for them. Here are some tips for keeping your wheelbarrow in good nick:
• Clean the bucket regularly
• Store in a dry place to prevent rust and warping, and make sure to dry your wheelbarrow before putting it away
• Maintain the wheels by applying grease to the axle
• Reinflate your wheelbarrow wheel with a bicycle pump if looking flat
• Clean the handles regularly and sand wooden handles if becoming a bit rough