This $3 Rain Gauge Is The Key To Keeping Your Lawn & Garden Happy (Plus 3 Other Great Ones)

by Tiana Crump

If you want to ensure your garden and lawn stay well-watered and healthy, or just want to keep tabs on the weather, you need to have one of the best rain gauges. These handy devices take the guesswork out of watering since they measure the depth of precipitation. This can help you decide if you need to turn on the sprinklers, or let you know when your yard is receiving too much water so you can take precautionary measures like adding drainage to prevent puddles.

Rain gauges come in a variety of sizes and features. For the casual gardener or weather observer, a standard rain gauge is the easiest to use and most cost-effective. These usually come in a simple cylinder shape and you check them the same as you would a measuring cup. Some of them also come with decorative accents like a cute gnome to spruce up your garden.

There are more advanced rain gauges that are digital, and feature sensors that provide alerts when it rains or potential flooding might occur. Some of them even self-empty, which is a nice bonus.

To help you choose the perfect gauge for your yard, here’s my list of the best rain gauges on Amazon to consider. All of these top picks for monitoring rainfall can help you keep your lawn and garden healthy and happy.


The Best Overall: A Super-Precise Gauge That Works In Snow & Sleet, Too

If you’re looking for a more durable and precise option, the Stratus rain gauge works in all weather conditions with the ability to measure snow, hail, and sleet. It’s made of heavy-duty UV-resistant polycarbonate to last years outside without fading, and you don't have to worry about it freezing or breaking on you. It's both heat and frost resistant and can measure up to 11-inches of rainfall. The specially designed bracket on the gauge allows for easy emptying. There’s also an included mounting bracket so you can attach it to a post or any other area in your garden. It's even impressively accurate to a 0.01 of an inch.

What fans say: “This is a great rain gauge. It also will collect snow and ice by taking the measuring tube and funnel out. This is the most accurate gauge I know about.”


The Best Budget Rain Gauge

With over 1,700 five-star reviews on Amazon, the AcuRite Easy-Read Magnifying Rain Gauge is a great budget-friendly pick. “I love this rain gauge, wish I had gotten it many years ago,” raved one reviewer. This one measures up to 5 inches of rain at a time. You have the option to stick it in the ground, or a raised flower bed, or to use the built-in hanging hole.

With numbers magnified over 35%, it’s super easy to read. However, it’s a good idea to bring this inside during the colder months because the plastic can become brittle and break when faced with freezing temperatures, according to some customers. Also, you need to empty the gauge yourself.

What fans say: “It's accurate, easy to read, no maintenance (except to empty), convenient, inexpensive, durable, no need to rely on unreliable weather reports. Place it anywhere you want to measure rainfall. Move it anytime. Lawn, garden, etc. Made of pretty strong plastic. Make a cool gift to friends.”


The Best Wireless Rain Gauge

The AcuRite wireless rain gauge is a great automatic option that can empty itself. This weather-resistant wireless rain gauge connects to a unit you keep inside, and it keeps track of precipitation history and provides alerts during rainfall and flooding. You can monitor per day or weekly. Data from this gauge is transmitted every 16 seconds to the indoor wireless base station from up to 100 feet away, so you don’t have to go out and manually check it. Plus, there’s a self-emptying feature that’s automatically activated when the rain collection cup becomes full. However, this gauge requires five AA batteries to operate, and customers noted that they have to be replaced somewhat regularly.

What fans say: “I love the self-emptying feature. The LCD display is easy to read, and seems to have a really good range. I know the sending unit is at about 100' away at present, and I have good signal strength. Quite ingenious method of emptying- a tipping scale inside that alternately empties as one side fills.”


The Best Decorative Rain Gauge

If you’re looking for a decorative rain gauge, the Bits And Pieces garden gnome rain gauge is a cute pick that'd look great in a garden. The sculpture is weather resistant and made from polyresin, so you don’t have to worry about it rusting or fading over time. This standard-style gauge measures up to 5 inches of rainfall before requiring emptying (by hand). It’s 8 inches tall and 3.24 inches wide, and customers have given it a 4.4-star rating.

What fans say: “Absolutely adorable and a great addition to my Gnome Garden! Thinking of buying more for gifts!”

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