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Best Rain Chains for Your Backyard

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We all have heard of gutters directing rain from your home so it doesn’t wash out your yard, but have you heard about rain chains? Rain chains are a great alternative to gutters and add aesthetics to your home.

There are many types of rain chains from copper, rock, or other metals, but the best rains provide durability and aesthetics to your home. Metal and rock rain chains provide just that, but in the end, it is all about preference.

There are many types and brands of rain chains you can choose from, but it may be difficult to find the best for you. Here are the options you can choose from based on what you want.

What Are the Best Rain Chains?

This chart will help you decide which rain chain is best for you based on your preference. You may be looking more for durability rather than aesthetics, or maybe you want something that is easily installed. 

Type of Rain ChainInstallationDurability
CopperEasyLong-lasting, changes color as it ages
AluminumEasyLong-lasting, light, but rusts and can be bent easily compared to other metals.
IronModerateLong-lasting, heavy, but rusts
SteelEasyLong-lasting but rusts
OtherThis is often with DIY material and will take longer to create to install.Depends on the material being used to make it.

The price can vary depending on the design you want for your home. This also goes with the installation. Depending on the specific rain chain, you may need to do extra work for one that you may not have to do with the other.

The wonderful thing about rain chains is that there are a wide variety of rain chains, not only from the material the product is made from, but it also allows you some individuality in style. Everyone loves to have a unique home.

You can choose from metal to even a do it yourself project to add a little more originality. Up next, we’ll uncover a little more about each of the different kinds of rain chains and the materials they’re made of. 


This is the most popular type of rain chain, whether it is aluminum or copper. Metal rain chains are long-lasting, durable, and are quite easy to install. The most common metal chains are:

  • Copper
copper rain chains
  • Iron
iron rain chains
  • Stainless Steel
stainless steel rain chains
  • Aluminum
aluminum rain chains


This is your best option for a rain chain. It doesn’t rust with age, and with the metal being exposed to rain for long periods, having a metal that doesn’t rust is probably the best. It changes merely changes color as it gets older.

Most copper rain chains are one color, copper, but some have a coating that may match your home better. There are always other options if this color is not for you.

Copper is the most expensive out of the metals. You could be paying quite a bit more for a copper rain chain than you would for an aluminum rain chain. This is more because of its durability and that it doesn’t rust.


Iron is the heaviest out of all the metals, and so it may need some refortification when installing, especially if where your home is located, high winds occur often. You don’t want the rain chain flying off your home.

Because of its weight, it is more durable against winds and weather. You won’t find these rain chains breaking easily in a storm.

Iron is not as popular as the other metals, and you won’t find rain chains as available. This is because iron is more prone to rust. With iron being exposed to water, the rate of rusting is higher than the other metals. 

If you find an iron rain chain and the design is perfect for you, make sure it has a copper coat. This helps the chain last longer and reduces the likelihood of rusting.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is second to iron in durability, but like iron, it can rust over time. These still great rain chains but are less popular because of the rust factor and that they aren’t as durable as iron. 


Aluminum is the cheapest out of all the metals. If you are looking for inexpensive, this is your best option (besides making the rain chain into a DIY project). This may be since it is the lightest and more available material.

This type of rain chain can rust over time, but it can be long lasting. You will find that aluminum is more available on websites and stores. It is almost as popular as copper rain chains.


This is more of a DIY rain chain but a great and durable way to make a beautiful addition to your home and garden.

Take smooth oval stones, drill a hole in them, and thread a chain through them. Do this until you have the length you need from your home’s eaves to the ground. Once you are completed, you may need to add extra support not only to the eaves but where you will make the base of the rain chain.

For the base, you may either need cement or a pot filled with large rocks so that the rain chain doesn’t come loose in the wind.

Pros and Cons of Rain Chains

Rain chains have a similar purpose to gutters to divert water to a specific location and allow the water to drain off your house. Instead of the water going down a drain, they run down a rain chain. Like gutters, though, it has its pros and cons.


Rain chains provide a unique style to your home. They are great for people who love to add their personality to their home and garden.

They are cheaper than installing gutters as well as easier to install. You don’t need to do too much, and it can be installed within an hour, depending on the specific instructions for that chain.

It also provides a tranquil atmosphere. You can order rain chains that will give off that soothing sounding of water flowing without it sounding harsh like a rain gutter.


Rain chains aren’t great for all types of weather. They are light, and so they are not great for high winds. They can be broken easier than gutters.

They also are not great if you have heavy amounts of rainfall. It’s not bad if you have heavy rainfall every once in a while, but consistently can cause the rain chains to deteriorate quicker.

Rain chains can also have water freeze on them, unlike gutters. This will cause weight to your eaves, which isn’t always good. With a little support, this issue can be resolved.

How Do You Install A Rain Chain?

Most rain chains will have instructions on how to install the product. It is pretty simple. You will need to install it in the outlet of the gutters where the drain spout would normally be. 

Then you will need to great a base. The base can be as simple as a pot with gravel or rocks in it to hold down the chain, or you can make it all fancy. It depends on what you want. Remember, rain chains allow you to have originality. You can also order a rain chain basin as well.

DIY Rain Chains

DIY rain chains are quite simple to make. You can make them out of household products like small pots, candle holders, rocks, or even pine cones. You will only need to buy a chain and attach those products to the chain. 

Final Thoughts

Rain chains are great if you want to add your personality to your home. It is cheaper, easy to install, and more appealing. The best rain chain is one that’s perfect for you. You can’t go wrong going with a rain chain.

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Jena Slocum Co-Founder

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