Best watering cans that will last a lifetime

Check out our watering can buyer’s guide with expert advice.

Single water droplet falling from watering can on the grass

by Piper Huxley |
Updated on

Enjoy pottering around the garden with the best watering can. It's the most convenient way of watering outdoor plants. But, you do have to weigh up whether to go for a traditional metal watering can that will last a lifetime, or a considerably lighter plastic version that won't have the same longevity.

The key benefit of a watering can over a hose pipe is that it offers more precise and measured watering. It prevents overwatering and minimises damage to delicate plants and hanging baskets. Although there's manual effort involved, it's an effective way of rationing watering during heat waves and hose pipe bans.

Best watering cans at a glance:

Best overall watering can: Ward Watering Can - View on Argos
Best eco-friendly watering can: Elho Green Basics Watering Can - View on Amazon UK
Best premium watering can: Haws Deluxe Outdoor Watering Can - View on Amazon UK

When you need to water your outdoor plants, “you can’t beat a trusty watering can”, says Garden Answers contributor, Geoff Hodge. The best watering can comes in handy when you need to apply liquid feeds to your plants and weedkiller to the ones you want to see the back of. Geoff recommends buying a second watering can specifically for your weedkiller. After all, you don’t want to have any mix-ups. Historically, water cans have been made from galvanised steel, but plastic has taken over as it's lighter and less expensive.

We’ve rounded up a wide range of the best watering cans for every requirement. We’ve given our thoughts on the best plastic and best metal watering cans for your plants. Scroll to the FAQ section where Geoff gives further guidance on on the features and benefits of outdoor watering cans and how best to store them.

Best watering cans for your garden

Best watering can overall

Ideal for those with a larger outdoor space, this 10L plastic, green watering can is perfect for watering your garden and keeping your favourite plants healthy. Coming with a rose, this watering can is perfect for year-round use. Your plants and seedlings are going to be looked after, for sure. With an impressive 4.7 stars on Argos, this is a favourite of ours.

Customer Review: “I bought this last month. Excellent value. Robust and lovely deep green.”


  • Great value
  • Lightweight
  • Weather resistant


  • Fast flow from the rose

Best eco-friendly watering can

Price: £24.99

Made with recycled plastic and with wind energy, this Elho Green Basics Watering Can is 100 per cent recyclable. Plus, it’s generous with a 10-litre capacity. It’s built for outdoor use, so you don’t constantly have to walk to the tap. It comes with a convenient sprinkler head for watering mature plants.

Customer Review: “It does the job. I found it slightly heavier empty than expected and the handle is slightly too big for me, but still managed to carry it when full. It pours well with no leaks, but probably too much for seedlings. The hardest part was getting the rose out of the can it was slightly bigger than the opening.”


  • Made from recycled plastic
  • Has good grip
  • Large fill hole


  • Slightly heavy
  • Not for seedlings

Best premium watering can

Price: $84.06

From Haws, we recommend this deluxe can from Haws. It’s good, sturdy and has a large capacity. Plus, it’s made from tough, injection-moulded plastic. And – it comes complete with an all-brass rose and a downspout. Not only that, but it’s well-balanced and spill-proof – with a cross arm for support. With a seven-litre holding capacity, this Haws can give you many years of fine watering.

Customer Review: “I am delighted to see the style has not changed as I have had another one for more than 41 years. It has only just lost the plastic end, where the nozzle fits in - the new one is reinforced with a brass end. A great product obviously and very sturdy. I look forward to using it.”


  • Sturdy and well-balanced
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with an all-brass rose and downspout


  • Rose sprinkler head is hard to clean

Best budget watering can

From Strata, we have this sturdy watering can. It’s good value for money and comes with a short spout for ease, requiring less effort to pour. Plus, the rose provides a gentle sprinkle suitable for general-purpose use, better suited for younger plants and seedlings.

Customer Review: “I gave this overall 4 stars. It was reasonably priced and is lightweight, unless filled with water, if you have arthritis it does jar on the wrists, so when full harder - to hold, but otherwise an okay water can.”


  • Easy to fill
  • Great budget option
  • Fine, gentle rose included


  • A bit thin
  • A little sharp around the edges

Best metal watering can

Price: £51.89

Next, we have this Burgon & Ball Waterfall Watering Can made from galvanized coated steel. This watering can is perfect for the gardener looking for a long-lasting, high-performance and stylish full-size watering can. We love the ergonomic single-handed design that eliminates back twisting and is cleverly weighted to the spout for ‘automatic’ pouring. Plus, its comfortable roll-edged handle slides gently through the fingers with minimal effort from the gardener. The removable screw-on rose gives a choice of fine or rapid watering. This is the ultimate metal watering can.

Customer Review: “Lovely little watering can. It’s beautiful to look at and great for getting between the foliage. Be gentle when pouring from full as it can overtop if you are impatient and tip too much.”


  • Long-lasting, high-performance
  • Super stylish
  • Ergonomic, single-handed design


  • Customers advise gentle pouring

Best medium-sized metal watering can

Stylish, strong and coming with a folding handle, this Moulton Mill watering can is perfect for outdoor use. Not only is it great value for money, but it’s a beautiful colour and looks very elegant. This attractive watering can has a 4.5-litre capacity.

Customer Review: “This is a really pretty and good quality watering can - too nice to keep outdoors. I needed a watering can with roses for watering my rockery and garden. It’s just perfect (I will bring it in to use for decor in the winter though). Very happy with my purchase.”


  • Includes rose
  • Strong with folding handle
  • Attractive design


  • Heavy compared to plastic versions

Best watering can for innovative design

Flopro Can-Can 7.5L Watering CanAmazon/Flopro
Price: $18.02

The innovative design of the Flopro Can-Can 7.5L Watering Can means you can connect a hose pipe connector directly to the back of the watering can in order to fill it. For larger gardens it takes the strain out of having to go back and forth for refilling at the sink or water butt. You can literally refill as you go. In addition, this watering can is made of strong and UV-resistant plastic and is designed to give you leak-free watering.


  • Connects to a hose pipe fixture for easy filling
  • Super drench rose for effective watering
  • Long spout for reaching areas set further back


  • No written customer reviews

Best watering can for style

Burgon & Ball Flora and Fauna Indoor Watering CanAmazon/Burgon & Ball
Price: £20.89 (was £21.99)

Perfect for a conservatory this Burgon & Ball Flora and Fauna Indoor Watering Can is both functional and a stylish piece of garden décor. It has a long and curved spout that can reach right into pots and wall-mounted planters. Plus, it's balanced so that pouring is controlled. It's small and lightweight so ideal for watering houseplants and could be a thoughtful gift idea for loved ones who have difficultly lifting.

Customer review: "The watering can is a fantastic product, perfect for indoor plants with its ideal size and effortless watering capabilities."


  • Wonderfully decorative design
  • Lovely gift idea
  • Smaller and lighter so good for mobility issues


  • Customer comments that the balance is off

Best plastic watering can

KADAX Lightweight Watering CanAmazon/KADAX
Price: £13.99

The KADAX Lightweight Watering Can has a comfortable handle and is made of light plastic so it's a comfortable option, especially if you're watering daily. The long spout can reach into hanging baskets and the rose evenly drenches flowers with a gentle soaking so it doesn't damage them. Available in two sizes this is a reliable watering can that's great value for money.

Customer review: "I am a disabled gardener, and this is the perfect size watering can for me to use."


  • Comfortable handle to grip
  • Long watering spout for hard-to-reach places
  • Sunlight resistant and durable


  • Some customers comment that the plastic is thin and can break

Best watering can for large capacity

Geli Big Watering CanAmazon/Geli
Price: $9.99 (was £12.99)

Whether you're watering tomato plants in the greenhouse or watering cement (moist curing) having a large watering can is a versatile piece of outdoor equipment. This Geli Big Watering Can is an Amazon best seller that's made of strong plastic that can withstand regular use. Cut down on trips to refill your can and benefit from a comfortable to grip and easy to pour Geli watering can.

Customer review: "I bought this watering can to use in my garden, and I have been mostly satisfied with it. It has a good capacity of 10 litres, which means I don’t have to refill it too often. It is also easy to carry and pour, thanks to the ergonomic handle and the long spout. The rose attachment works well for spreading the water as it comes out."


  • Best selling watering can
  • Make less trips to refill when watering
  • Strong and durable plastic
  • Good value for money


  • Customer comments the connection between the rose and spout leaks

How we choose the best watering cans

All of these watering cans have been hand-selected by our team of Modern Gardens shopping experts. We carefully considered the material, capacity, and usability in our selection of the best. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching watering cans to make it easier for you to find the very best, and we'd never recommend a product we don't believe in.

Where possible, we also test and share the latest and best products you should know about. And, with help from Modern Gardens Magazine, Garden News and Garden Answers, we share expert gardening knowledge to help you get the most from your product.


What do I look for in a watering can?

Weight – A lighter can is easier to carry around when you’ve filled it up to the brim.

Balance – This is important as it can affect all aspects of utilising your new can: holding, carrying and pouring. Modern Gardens recommends reading reviews before you buy – or go into a store. Geoff advises, “If it feels awkward when empty, it’ll only feel worse when full".

Handle – A handle should be strong, solid and comfortable. If a handle has been poorly designed, it’s going to be uncomfortable to use for longer lengths of time.

Mouth  - With a wider opening, you can easily fill a can from a water source. However, you’ll notice that a narrow-er opening prevents spilling. So, finding a balance here should help.

Cross Bar – To make your watering can much easier to carry and use, most designs will feature a cross bar (or second handle) at the top, making the experience well-balanced and not front-heavy.

Rose – Believe it or not, a watering can’s sprinkling spout is often referred to as a 'rose'. Cans with a one-piece spout and rose tend to be cheaper and less efficient. Watch out for a quality rose.

Plastic watering cans used to water spider plants and tomatoes in the greenhouse
©Modern Gardens/Natalie Knowles

How do I store my plastic watering cans?

Though cheaper and full of colour, thinner plastic watering cans won’t last forever outside. Geoff explains that “Cold, frost and high UV levels damage and degrade them”. However, he advises that a good-quality, thick plastic watering can “should last as long as metal ones do”.

To avoid distortion:

• Empty it between uses
• Store it upside down
• Don’t leave it outside during cold weather – especially with water inside

What is a watering can rose?

Geoff has given us some expert advice on each type of rose.

Metal Roses – These usually come with metal watering cans and are generally made of brass or copper. Whereas, plastic cans are kitted out with roses of plastic, metal or both. Geoff says, “As long as the rose has been constructed and welded correctly, metal roses are less likely to leak.”

Plastic Roses – You’re faced with a few advantages and disadvantages with a plastic rose. Though you can remove the front easily to clean out any clogs in holes, they do often leak or dribble. "The best watering cans have a built-in water filter, which prevents the rose blocking,” adds Geoff.

Removable Roses – Whether screw-in or push, roses need to be easy to remove. However, they shouldn’t be so loose that they can’t take the weight of water when pouring and falling off, “especially when watering seedlings and young plants".

Hole Size – Hole size will differ between roses. Large holes deliver the water faster, so watering gets ticked off the list a little quicker. However, the larger droplets could damage seedlings. Geoff advises using a rose with smaller holes, as this will be better suited to young plants.

Downspout – Some watering cans have a downspout, which Geoff says makes watering pots and containers easier because water can be directed at the soil or compost exactly where it’s needed.

Up or Down?  - Oval-shaped roses can be swivelled to face up or down. Facing up, the water comes gentler and finer – “better for seedlings and young plants”. This way, it won’t disturb the compost. On the other hand, facing down, the water is delivered faster, and cans with a round rose simply water forwards, with no change in speed or flow.

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Piper Huxley is a Homes, Garden and Wellness Product Writer for Modern Gardens Magazine, an all-rounder. When she’s not writing about houseplants, she’s tending to her own growing collection…

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