Best bird baths to keep your garden friends hydrated

Make sure your garden visitors can have a drink and splash around with our pick of the best bird baths


by Hannah Mellin |
Updated on

Having birds visit our garden is one of life's smallest pleasures. Even though we all live busy lives, there's something relaxing about spotting a robin or sparrow grabbing some food from a bird feeder or bird table, and having a little splash around in a bird bath. While bird feeders are common in gardens, bird baths are a lot less common, but are just as important.

You may be used to bird baths being big structures made of stone, they now come in all different forms - from the more traditional pedestal baths to small copper baths that sit high amongst your flowers.

What is a bird bath?

A bird bath is a sloped object or small shallow pond, which is filled with water where birds may drink, bathe, and cool themselves.

Bird baths are a brilliant way of providing birds with a regular supply of clean water for both drinking and bathing. They become even more essential in the colder months when natural sources may be frozen or in the height of summer when water can be hard to come by.

To allow small birds to bathe, the water can't be too deep. TheRSPB suggests the water should be between 2.5cm and 10cm deep so that a variety of birds can use the bird bath safely. Adding rocks or pebbles to the bath will allow birds to have something to stand on.

Different types of bird baths

Traditional: These are also called pedestal bird baths that have a column base with a bowl on top. They are easy for birds to access but can be bulky and hard to clean.

Low to the ground: The simplest type of bird bath is a ground bird bath which is simply a large bowl that you place on the ground.

Hanging or mounted: If you lack outdoor space, hanging or mounted bird baths can be attached to walls, fences and buildings.

Solar-powered: A solar-powered bird bath has built-in solar panels that either heat the water or power a fountain.

Heated: Heated bird baths are particularly useful during the winter months and come with a system that prevents the water from freezing. You can also buy heaters for them.

Best-buy bird baths

As seen in the August 2023 issue of Modern Gardens magazine, compiled by Angela Kenny.

Stand and deliver

With rust-proof sturdy metal stand and frost-resist ceramic bowl, this 30cm x 30cm bird bath was made to stand the test of time and weather.

Bird on the side

Complete with a cute bird ornament to show your garden guests the way, this bird bath, H10cm x D17cm, will get better and better with age.

Pride of place

leaf design bird bath
Price: £39.99

Designed to look like beautiful leaves and roots, with ground spikes for securing, place this bird bath, H33cm, where it can be appreciated.

Hang about

This is one bath they’re sure to want to spend some time in. It’s made from weather-resistant ceramic and nylon for year-round and easy hanging. Dia25cm.

The gleam of the crop

copper bird baths on stakes in flowerbed
Price: from 29.95 or £109/3

These Copper Chalice Garden Bird Bath Sculptures quickly flew to the top of our list when we saw how they catch they light.

Going cheap

black hanging bird bath on chain
Price: £14.99

Ornate in design, this bird bath, H50cm (height including the chain), ages beautifully over time and looks way more expensive than it is.

Happy bird-day

gold bird bath on black tripod
Price: £29.99

A gift for you and your garden, as well as the birds, this bird bath, H38.5cm, is super sleek and modern, with its tripod stand and gold metallic finish.

Im-peck-able taste

Add a touch of Scandi-style to your plot with this stainless-steel and rubber stake-in-the-ground-or-a-pot bird bath, H60cm.

Water you waiting for?

colourful peacock bird bath
Price: £15.99

It’s fun, colourful and durable plus it’s lightweight and easy to move around. What’s not to love? H80cm.

Just marbleous!

If you’re willing to splash the cash, this handmade heavyweight has a smooth silky satin finish. Dia30.5cm.

Best bird baths

Best value bird bath

This is an excellent bird bath for beginners, made from lightweight weatherproof resin that is super easy to clean. You don't have to build it either and it is supplied with ground pegs to keep it sturdy in the wind.

Customer review: "Item as described cast in resin, imitating Victorian cast iron stand, of good appearance. Doves drink and bathe in it, and other birds were seen mainly drinking from it. Easy to put together, the item stands firmly on even ground. After reading other reviews I found it a good idea to place large cobblestones on base, for winter wind stability, just in case."


  • Easy to move
  • Great value


  • Is lightweight so keep an eye on it in bad weather

Unique bird bath

If you're looking for something you've never really seen before, this copper chalice sculpture that can be used as a birdbath, birdfeeder or contemporary garden sculpture. Designed to be displayed as a set of three, but you have to buy them as single items that range in different sizes.

Customer review: "Lovely product and looks great in the garden. The Goldfinches found it very quickly and it is now a destination for them."


  • Well built
  • Looks beautiful


  • May take a while for birds to use
  • Have to buy each separately

If you've got room for a larger bird bath, this one is fully equipped with a large bird bath, solar-powered light and large planter. Adding planting at the base attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies.Customer review: "I like how there are different layers and a space at the bottom to plant flowers. It looks really lovely in my garden and the birds have started coming to feed on it :)"


  • Great value, looks more expensive than it is
  • Solar light
  • Sturdy


  • Large

Pretty bird bath
Aged Ceramic Bird Bath with Bird Detail
Price: £39.99 (was £44.99)

This small bird bath will be a hit with anyone with a garden full of different prints and textures. We love the Victorian aged look of this one. The dish is small and shallow so that small birds can drink and bathe safely.


  • Pretty
  • Great for smaller garden areas


  • Ceramic can break so be careful when handling

Best stone bird bath

This stone bird bath from Gardenesque has an ancient-style finish that blends in beautifully with the outdoors and makes for a stunning garden centrepiece. Made from durable clay that is sturdy and frostproof, suitable for all seasons. The top dish is also detachable making it much easier to move around if you want to.

Customer review: "Very attractive bird bath - substantial and looks great in my garden near the bird table. I’ve added some pebbles so smaller birds can drink from it as well as the larger ones. Really delighted with this purchase."


  • Can be left outside all year
  • Will fit in any garden design


  • Expensive
  • Some reviews say the dish is a little deep for birds to bathe in

Best bird bath with stake
26 Inch Height Glass Bird Baths Birdfeeders with Metal Stake for Garden Lawn Yard Peacock
Price: $83.65

Made with handmade glass, this striking bird bath will be an elegant addition to any garden as it shimmers in the sunlight. Made with durable stainless steel with a rust-resistant design and features a three-pronged bottom that gives stability to the bird bath.

Customer review: "The birds are very happy they have water. It only took them a few days to find it and they're enjoying it immensely so much so they sometimes have a bath in it. Very pleased with it and it looks good too."


  • Different colours available
  • Rust and weather resistant
  • Pretty


  • Delicate compared to others on the list

Sustainable bird bath
Wildlife World Nature Oasis Bird Bath Sustainable Outdoor Design for Birds

Rrp: $50.00

Price: $40.00

Another bird bath that attracts not just birds, but wildlife species to cool off, drink, and bathe. The stepped design provides a vital source for birds, bees, butterflies, and small mammals. Made from Polyboo, an innovative mix of 100 per cent recycled plastic and natural bamboo fibres, making it much more environmentally friendly.

Customer review: "Brilliant bird bath. Looks and feels like ceramic but is entirely recycled plastic. Really like it."


  • Light to pick up
  • Environmentally friendly


  • None

Small bird bath

A classic aged stone effect bird bath from Waitrose Garden that is made from light and extremely durable recycled plastic and clay.


  • Traditional looking
  • Low on the ground


  • A little deep, adding stones will help attract smaller birds

Large bird bath

This traditional shaped bird bath sits tall and will attract a whole load of wild birds into your garden and will look great in larger gardens if you have the space.

Customer review: "I purchased this terracotta bird bath for my partner and I’m glad I did it looks lovely and good quality great for the birds to drink and bathe."


  • Tall
  • Frostproof
  • Large dish


  • None

Bird bath for walls

This cast iron birth bath, complete with two decoration birds, comes with a wall bracket that you can attach to a wall or your home. A great option if you don't have room in your garden for a bird bath or no garden at all.

Customer review: "Beautiful bird bath, I love it. I am slightly disappointed that it tilts a bit. Be careful when you screw the bird bath to the bracket not to over-tighten it otherwise it seems to tilt a lot and mine isn’t level.
Overall very pretty and easy to put up on my wooden beam in the garden. I like the fact it’s mountable because we have a small garden."


  • Great option for those with no space
  • Sturdy and weather proof


  • Bowl itself isn't deep

Bird bath with fountain

Birds like moving water and find it more tempting to visit. This bird bath has a low-voltage solar pump to constantly re-circulate water from the main bowl reservoir that doesn't need any mains wiring. Frost will cause damage so store the whole product inside during cold weather.


  • Provides clean and moving water


  • Needs to be protected from frost


How to build a DIY bird bath

If you can't afford a bird bath just yet or don't want to make a splurge, you can improvise and make your own DIY bird bath from what you find in your cupbaords.

Shallow dishes and bowls and a terracotta pot will do the job. Simply find a shaded space, fill a shallow dish with fresh water, turn your terracotta pot upside down and place it on top. To make it more sturdy, you can glue the dish to the pot before filling it with water. You can add stones or rocks to the dish afterwards so birds can perch to drink fresh, clean water. The stones will also enable thirsty bees to drink from the bath, without the danger of drowning.

When do birds use bird baths?

You'll be able to spot birds in your garden at all times of the year, but especially during the winter months as water can be tricky to find.

It is also important to bear in mind that birds are using your bird bath not only to clean themselves off but also to cool off, so keeping it in the shade keeps the water cooler. A spot near trees or bushes will help them feel safe from predators.

How do I clean my bird bath?

To keep your birdbath fresh, just rinse and scrub it with nine parts water, and one part vinegar once every few weeks. If you want to use normal household cleaners, make sure to rinse them all away as they may contain chemicals that harm the bird's feathers.

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