Best Self-Contained Water Feature Buyers Guide (2022)

We really hope that you love the products that we recommend. Just so you know, ToolsReview may collect a share of sales or be compensated through the links on this page, but we think it’s a fair trade for the long hours of research that we put in.

Choosing to add a self-contained water feature to our garden was one of the best things we ever did! Not only do they create a fantastic feature, but they offer such a sense of relaxation too. A self contained water feature will make a perfect addition to your garden because they require little to no preparation before being placed in your garden – making them really easy to install and then sit back and enjoy!

It doesn’t matter if you have a small balcony or a huge outdoor space – there will be a self contained water feature that will look amazing in the space. Not only do they come in all different shapes and sizes, but you will also find a range of different styles from traditional looking water feature to beautiful, modern designs!

We found some of our favourites and put them all together, including what makes the best self contained water feature to help you choose!

Best Pick – Blagdon Affinity Living Water Feature Pool

Blagdon Affinity Grand Half-Moon Living Water Feature Patio Pool Pond, with Inpond 5-in-1 3000 Filter Pump & UV Clarifier, LED Sotlight, 3 Fountain Feature Heads, 1 Planting Basket - Large
  • COMPLETE PATIO POND KIT - durable aluminium rails and finish (does not breakdown like plastic), polymer wool underlay prevents damage to the liner, 1mm fibre reinforced box welded liner for strength and longevity, unique shatterproof viewing windows, 3 attractive fountain heads, filter pump, LED light and filter included
  • STYLISH AND UNIQUE - raised living water feature pool introducing a fresh dimension to any garden, patio or deck
  • EASY TO SET UP - everything is included in the kit so you will be up and running in just a couple of hours, the pool is very simple to build
  • BLAGDON INPOND FILTER PUMP INCLUDED - this complete low-voltage in-pond solution includes a pump, filter, UV clarifier, LED spotlight and 3 attractive fountain feature heads - perfect for keeping your water clear and healthy
  • ASSEMBLED DIMENSIONS - 52 cm (H) x 147 cm (W) x104 cm (D), pool capacity 480 litres

Last update on 2024-04-24 / 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…


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!  


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

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 2024-04-24 / 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

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 2024-04-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

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 - Satisafction is a promise we make to every customer! Broken parts can be replaced free of charge!

Last update on 2024-04-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

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 2024-04-24 / 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.

Where should I position a self-contained water feature?

Ideally, you want to place your water feature at a point in your garden where it will be able to be seen from many areas of the garden and heard too! It is generally a good idea to avoid placing the water feature too close to trees and large bushes if you can or they can quickly become full of dirt and debris. Make sure to opt for a solid foundation for your water feature that is not going to turn to sludge should water splash over the sides!

  • Performance
  • Features
  • Ergonomics
  • Value
About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.