Best Self-Contained Water Feature Buyers Guide (2021)

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There is nothing quite as peaceful as listening to water flowing in your garden. It can be so relaxing when you are trying to enjoy your garden and helps to add that real natural feel to your outdoor space. Not only this, but the sound of water trickling down a water feature can also help to disguise the noise of any traffic or disruption from outside your garden, so if you are close to a main road then a self-contained water feature can be a fantastic way to distract from this. 

If you are considering adding a water feature to your garden, then chances are the best option for you is going to be a self-contained water feature. The benefits of these is that they are easy to install, come in various designs and require very little adjustment (or none at all!) to your garden landscape. This means that they can be added to any garden – whether you have a small courtyard or rambling acres there will be a self-contained water feature that will add to the ambiance and finish of your garden. 

We have compiled some of the best self-contained water features to purchase at the moment, as well as a buyers guide with some of the main considerations that you need to make. Keep reading for all that you need to know. 

Best Pick – Blagdon Affinity Living Water Feature Pool

Sale
Blagdon Affinity Grand Half-Moon Living Water Feature Pool, Mocha Weave/Black Aluminium
459 Reviews
Blagdon Affinity Grand Half-Moon Living Water Feature Pool, Mocha Weave/Black Aluminium
  • Easy to set up and maintain, includes complete life support system for fish and plants
  • Assembled dimensions 52 cm (H) x 147 cm (W) x104 cm (D), pool capacity 480 litres
  • Blagdon In-Pond 5-in-1 3000 low voltage pump and filter included
  • 5 watt UV water clarifier included for crystal clear water
  • 3 fountain heads and an LED light included

Last update on 2021-07-21 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

What is a Self-Contained Water Feature?

A self-contained water feature is basically a water feature that has the basin to hold the water, the pump and various levels that create the main “feature” all included in one. This means that you don’t have to change the landscape of the garden as the raises that are needed to create the actually moving part of the water feature are all included in the purchase that you make. Another benefit of this is that your water feature can then be moved around the garden (or even indoors) to suit whatever you are wanting for your garden at a particular time. Not only this, but your water feature won’t need to be connected to a water supply as it will just cycle the water that is already there. 

In A Hurry?

If you are in the process of redesigning your outdoor space, or maybe you are sick of trying to relax in your garden whilst listening to your neighbours arguing – whatever your reason for being in a hurry to purchase the best self-contained water feature you can find, this is where you need to be. All the essential information is right here so get reading…

Size

The first thing that you need to think about is the size of your self-contained water feature. Obviously a large part of this is going to depend on the size of your garden and whether you want the water feature to be the focal point of your garden or a more discreet feature. Some are going to be as small as around 20-30cm in diameter and around 30cm in height, so these would probably be best suited for on a table or raised area of your garden so that you can fully appreciate the water feature. However larger models can be nearly a metre in diameter and similar in height – these are going to create a much more central feature to your garden and will probably need to be positioned directly on the ground in your garden. 

TOP TIP: Remember that the size of your water feature is also going to determine the amount of water that they are going to hold. A larger water feature will need more water to fill the basin, which is going to need more cleaning and often need more power to pump around the water feature. This also means that it is going to be harder to move around or empty over winter months. 

Build Materials 

It is worth looking at the materials that your water feature is made from as this is going to impact both the durability and the weight. Polyresin or heavy-duty plastic is going to be a much lighter option so perfect for if you are wanting to move your water feature around the garden at ease. These materials are also going to be relatively weather resistant – providing you opt for models with UV protection to avoid any discolouration from persistent exposure to the sunlight. 

Your other option will be models that are made from wood and metal. These are going to be considerably heavier and more sturdy options. Metal obviously has the advantage of being completely water resistant so will need very little maintenance but this is going to be a heavier option and not have as much of a natural appearance. Over time, many types of metal models will begin to change colour and “weather” but in a positive way that will help your water feature to blend in with the garden. Wooden barrel or bucket style self-contained water features are going to look incredibly natural but it’s pretty obvious that water and wood is going to lead to rotting, so you need to look for models that have protected/shielded the wood as much as possible (and you will need to keep up with this protection). 

TOP TIP: Although rarer, there are some water features that use glass as part of the design. These make a fantastic feature as they allow you to still see aspects of the greenery of the garden around them. Although not a “natural” look they really stand out!  

Design

The design that you opt for really comes down to personal preference, but there are some aspects that are worth considering when trying to choose between different designs. The first thing that you really need to think about is the style of water feature you want – your first option is a natural looking water feature, such as the designs with water flowing from a faucet, or rustic bowls that feed the water gently through the sides. Your other option is going to be a modern design, many of which incorporate metal, glass and more abstract shapes to create a dynamic water feature that will really catch the eye. 

When looking at the design of your water feature consider the amount of falls and the journey that the water is going to take. The higher/more frequent drops in gradient, the more you are going to benefit with that lovely, relaxing sound of flowing water. Whereas a water feature with just one small drop is going to be quieter and more discreet in your garden. 

It is also worth looking to see whether there is any lighting included in your self-contained water feature. We really like models that have LED lights in the basins of the feature as this allows your water feature to draw attention day and night. Not only this, but the way in which it changes the colour of the water really adds a new level to the ambiance your water feature offers. 

TOP TIP: Some of the best self-contained water features have lighting that can change colour. This allows you to choose a colour tone that you like and that is going to be right for your garden. For example, a greener colour of light is going to change the colour of the water and allow your water feature to blend in more naturally in a garden, whereas a yellow or white light is going to look more dramatic and make your water feature stand out! 

The Mechanics

Most self-contained water features are going to be powered by electricity. There are some models that are solar powered but these tend to have to be smaller to make up for the reduced power. You also need to accept with solar powered models that there are going to be times of the year when they just aren’t able to function – so electric models are going to give you much more reliability. 

Make sure to check HOW your self-contained water feature needs to be connected to this mains power. Most are going to come with a standard plug socket, which can seem simple enough but this will then need locating somewhere close enough to your home if you are going to be using an internal socket. The best option would probably be to have an external plug socket fitted, but this is obviously going to be an extra initial expense. Look at the voltage/watts that your water feature is going to need as this will give an indication of how costly it is going to be to run. 

Once you have done this, look at the pump that comes as part of your self-contained water feature. Check that this is good quality but also “usable” and easy to take apart should you need to clean the filters or carry out any repairs. Look at the flow rate of your pump as this will determine how quickly the water is going to circulate through the water feature. 

Best Budget – GardenKraft 20890 2-Tier Barrel Water Fountain

Sale
GardenKraft 20890 2-Tier Barrel Water Fountain With Pump / Traditional Rustic Wood Effect / Self Contained Water Pump / 67cm x 41cm
1,318 Reviews
GardenKraft 20890 2-Tier Barrel Water Fountain With Pump / Traditional Rustic Wood Effect / Self Contained Water Pump / 67cm x 41cm
  • GARDEN WATER FOUNTAIN – This exquisite 67cm x 41cm outdoor water feature has a rustic look, and the cascading water from barrel to barrel helps create a peaceful atmosphere in your outdoor spaces.
  • HIGH PRESSURE WATER PUMP – The high-pressure water pump enables the water to freely flow around the water feature and create a magical ambience in the process.
  • WEATHERPROOF DESIGN – The traditional rustic wood effect etched onto the barrels has been manufactured from ultra-durable plastic that will stand up to the rigours of every season.
  • EASY TO INSTALL – The beauty of this garden water feature is that it is extremely easy to assemble. The water fountain is powered from a 2.5 metre cable, and once full of water the bowls will attract lots of new wildlife to your garden.
  • GARDENKRAFT - GardenKraft is the leading supplier of cutting-edge outdoor accessories. From fake turf to outdoor lighting and garden furniture, view the whole range on the GardenKraft page on Amazon.

Last update on 2021-07-21 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

The Best Self-Contained Water Features 

Now that you know the main things to consider when purchasing a self-contained water feature, here are some of the features we found on the best models. 

  • Adjustable flow rate – An adjustable flow rate on your water feature is going to allow you to adapt the flow of the water depending on the circumstances….a quiet trickle for when you are pottering around the garden and a louder flowing water when you are relaxing and enjoying the water feature or at times when external noise is louder. 
  • Noise reduction pump – Some water features actually have quite loud pumps, which ruins the overall relaxing feel of the water feature in the first place. Look out for water features that offer noise reduction features. 
  • Remote controlled – We love self-contained water features that are remote controlled! What could be better than adjusting your water feature from your garden chair? Or knowing that you don’t need to go back outside if you leave your water feature on by mistake?
  • Indoor compatible – We found some self-contained water features that can actually be used indoors. This is going to offer the advantage of still being able to be used through those winter months, which will make it much better value for money! 
  • Long cables – Unless you have already planned out where your power source is going to be, make sure to purchase a water feature with a long power cable length so that you have the flexibility to maneuver your water feature around the garden. Some have up to a 20m cable length! 
  • Easy to assemble – Some self-contained water features really are as simple as plugging them in and filling with water, but otherwise require more effort than this. Check whether you are going to need tools or an extra pair of hands to get the job done.

Best of the Rest

Sale
Serenity Animal Water Feature, Light Up LED, Self Contained for Garden, Decking & Patio, Outdoor, Weatherproof, Height 55cm (Playing Otters)
7 Reviews
Serenity Animal Water Feature, Light Up LED, Self Contained for Garden, Decking & Patio, Outdoor, Weatherproof, Height 55cm (Playing Otters)
  • Playing otters water feature; These endearing otters playing in a bucket will add a touch of fun to any outside space
  • Self-contained; No need to connect to a water supply, just add water to the basin and switch it on
  • Tranquil; Enjoy the relaxing sound of cascading water and watch as the LED lights illuminate the feature day or night
  • Durable; This water feature is constructed from a durable yet lightweight polyresin that helps prevent frost damage and cracks
  • Dimensions; L35.5 x W31.5 x H55cm

Last update on 2021-07-21 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Sale
Transcendence Solar-Powered Garden Water Feature Walnut Log Indoor/Outdoor Solar-Powered, Self Containing Feature For Garden or Home: Electricic LED Light Cascading Waterfall Beautiful Water Fountain
139 Reviews
Transcendence Solar-Powered Garden Water Feature Walnut Log Indoor/Outdoor Solar-Powered, Self Containing Feature For Garden or Home: Electricic LED Light Cascading Waterfall Beautiful Water Fountain
  • PERFECT ADDITION TO YOUR HOME OR GARDEN - Your beautiful Transcendence Water Feature will blend in perfectly with your surroundings and prove a beautiful addition or centrepiece to any home or garden.
  • SELF CONTAINING - No external water supply needs to be connected. Simply place in a location of choice, fill the feature with water and enjoy!
  • SOLAR POWERED WITH MINIMAL SET UP REQUIRED – No need to spend all day trying to fit lights or, waste time with complicated set up instructions. The feature arrives with the lights fitted for you! Simply find a nice place in the sun for the solar panel connect it to the pump and it is ready to use!
  • ENVIRONMENTALY FRIENDLY TRANQUILITY- Add the calming presence of running water to your garden or home and relax in a more peaceful environment.
  • 100% CUSTOMER SATISFACTION OR YOUR MONEY BACK- Satisfied or refunded! This is our promise. We bring a product with fantastic value to the market, why spend thousands of pounds on a new water feature and have the stress of organizing the installation? When you can buy your garden waterfall today at an excellent price and it will be delivered to you the next day without problems. Minimal

Last update on 2021-07-21 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Sale
Blumfeldt Watergate Garden Fountain - Ornamental Fountain , Water Feature , Indoor/Outdoor Fountain , Low Consumption with 15 watts , Economical Pump , 10m Cable , Weather Resistant , Galvanized
50 Reviews
Blumfeldt Watergate Garden Fountain - Ornamental Fountain , Water Feature , Indoor/Outdoor Fountain , Low Consumption with 15 watts , Economical Pump , 10m Cable , Weather Resistant , Galvanized
  • IMPRESSIVE: The Blumfeldt Watergate is an ornamental fountain suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, featuring an atmospheric water display ? an eye-catcher in the garden or the home: a charming combination of rolling streams and clear shapes.
  • IMPRESSIVE: The Blumfeldt Watergate is an ornamental fountain suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, featuring an atmospheric water display ? an eye-catcher in the garden or the home: a charming combination of rolling streams and clear shapes.
  • REFRESHING FOR EYES AND EARS: The large cascading water feature of the Watergate has a wall in a brick look, completely made of galvanized steel. The wide cascade pours into the fountain basin in a constant stream, ensuring calming relaxation.
  • GATEWAY TO CONTEMPLATIVE STREAMS: The mystical water world of the fountain transforms the garden, terrace, living room or conservatory into a recreational area for the eyes and ears - a charming combination of rolling streams and clear shapes.
  • ECONOMICAL PUMP: The Blumfeldt Watergate garden fountain is suitable for continuous operation thanks to its economical 15-watt pump. The energy-saving operation allows for the continuous circulation of water, for ongoing meditative relaxation.

Last update on 2021-07-21 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions 

What warranty will I get with a self-contained water feature? 

Normally warranties for self-contained water features are between 1 and 3 years. This often depends massively on the materials that are used and the quality of pump that comes with the water feature. It is worth checking what is covered under the warranty as some will be invalid if the pump has not been serviced and maintained. 

How should I maintain my self-contained water feature? 

It is important to maintain your water feature if you are wanting to get the best from it and make sure that it lasts. One of the best things that you can do to maintain your water feature is to add a cleaning solution to it every few months. This will then cycle through the water feature cleaning the pipes and the pump as it goes. You will also need to replace and clean the filters in the pump occasionally. Other than that, it is as simple as wiping down your water feature to avoid any build up of algae and dirt.

  • Performance
  • Features
  • Ergonomics
  • Value

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