What are rain chains and how do they compare to traditional downspouts?

A rain chain in a japanese garden with a bamboo shade in the background
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Originating from Japan, rain chains are an elegant alternative to traditional drainage systems. They are fast becoming popular in modern garden schemes thanks to their stylish designs and affordable price tag.

Often used for their ornamental value, rain chains can be attached to your house to channel rainwater down from your gutter, often replacing downspouts. They are particularly effective in light to moderate rain and come in numerous designs, from simple link chains to elaborate cup styles. 

Monarch Aluminium 3 Piece Rain Chain Installation Kit

Monarch Aluminium 3 Piece Rain Chain Installation Kit

Was: £38.25| Now £30.50 from Amazon

This 3 piece aluminium gutter installation kit allows for seamless installation of your rain chain and prevents gutter debris from flowing through your rain chain downspout.

Monarch 23805 Pure Copper Ring Rain Chain

Monarch 23805 Pure Copper Ring Rain Chain

Was £118.78 | Now £114.29 from Amazon Prime

Monarch's Pure Copper Ring Rain Chain adds a contemporary decorative element to your rain gutters. It's made from robust copper, designed to weather the elements in style. 

Gabriella Dyson
Assistant Editor

Gabriella is Homebuilding & Renovating's Assistant Editor. She is a DIY enthusiast and a lover of all things interior design. She’s spent the past decade crafting copy for regional publications, award-winning architects, and leading UK homeware brands. 

She has a particular passion for historic buildings and listed properties, and she is currently in the process of renovating a Grade II-listed Victorian coach house in the West Country. At Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine, Gabriella is responsible for curating the magazine's home case studies and regularly contributes to the Homebuilding website.