Indoor Water Fountains: The Honest Pros and Cons

Last update:

Sharing is caring!

Indoor fountains are super cool, even if they can be expensive. It can be a big decision to set one up in your home, so it’s important to know the effects that a fountain will have on your space.

Water fountains are great for mental health, as they can provide a smooth and relaxing presence. They can also improve keep the air in your home appropriately moist. However, fountains, especially those with pools at the base, can be potential hazards for children and pets.

But there’s actually quite a bit that a fountain will do to your living space. Even a small fountain can have a big effect on the way that you feel in your home, and for some people, this effect might not be a positive one.

Fountain Pros

Let’s start with the benefits. There’s certainly a lot that a fountain can do for you if you install one in your home. Even without getting into any medical uses, a fountain can improve your quality of life just by being nice to look at and to listen to.

None of these health benefits are a replacement for medicine or therapy, although they may be useful as a supplement to treatment with professional advice.

Better Sleep

Like an ASMR video, the quiet sounds of a water fountain can have a psychologically relaxing effect on people. Especially if the fountain is near where you sleep, it can help you get into that calm relaxed state that is necessary for facilitating good sleep.

They can also drown out noise from outside that may make it more difficult to sleep, like a busy highway near your home or an owl living in your backyard.

Decrease Stress

For many of the same reasons that a fountain can help you sleep, It can also help you unwind after a hard day at work or school. The repetitive, natural noises can help bring us to a place that just feels nice.

There’s also a visual component to the stress reduction that a fountain can bring. Having something nice to look at that you don’t need to do any work for can be a nice way to put yourself in a calm and relaxed place from a tense and difficult one.

Increase Humidity

There are all sorts of health risks attached to being too dry, and having a fountain in your home can prevent all of them. Fountains are even better than humidifiers at putting water into the air, meaning that in some situations a strategically placed fountain can do the job of multiple expensive humidifiers.

A fountain can also help offset the problems caused by moisture sucking heaters and furnaces by putting that water back into the air in the cold winter months of the year.

Having the extra moisture can help with exema, tiredness, and it can even give a slight boost to your immune system. It is one of the most valuable things that a water fountain can contribute.

Fountain Health Myths: Negative Ions

Now it’s time to talk about an interesting myth that I came across as I was researching this article: That fountains can help with depression or respiratory problems because of the negative ions they produce.

Negative ions are real things, and fountains do produce them. A negative ion is essentially just any negatively charged particle that floats around in the air. Negative ions can be produced by running water as well as by moving air, meaning that fans can produce them.

However, many of the health benefits that are attributed to negative ions are considered to be pseudoscientific by medical professionals, and they are certainly not appaerant in the amounts produced by a water fountain.

It is true that exposure to negative ions for many hours can help reduce the symptoms of depression. However, fountains, like other negative ion producing devices, don’t produce them in an amount that could actually produce this effect.

This is also true of the respiratory effects that have been linked to negative ions. In fact, negative ions can exhasperate the respiratory problems caused by asthma and pneumonia.

As for claims that negative ions neutralize positive ion pollution in the air, while they are technically true, the dangers of positive ion pollution have been greatly exaggerated by snake oil salesmen and hacks. There is no reason to take any kind of ions into account when deciding whether or not to buy a fountain.

A better way to get the help benefits from negative ions is to go on a hike. The outdoors tend to have plenty of negative ions floating around in it, and spending time in nature has additional health benefits that can be incredibly valuable.

Fountain Cons

Aside from the whole negative ions thing, there are other potential dangers that a fountain can bring into your home.

Safety Hazard

If you have young children or stupid pets, your fountain could quickly become more dangerous than it’s worth. If you have a tabletop fountain, it could easily end up getting knocked off of its perch and onto the head of some poor unsuspecting creature.

A fountain that hasn’t been properly prepared can also end up spilling water all over the ground, which could cause a nasty slip for somebody walking past it.

A fountain with a pool at the bottom could also potentially be fallen into, and if an infant doesn’t know any better they could potentially end up drowning.

Another long term danger associated with indoor fountains is leakage, which can end up in the structure of your home causing structural damage. Mold, concrete spalling, or erosion could all be caused by a leaking indoor fountain if it isn’t properly taken care of.

Static Electricity

Remember negative ions? It turns out I wasn’t quite done with those yet. If a fountain is placed in a small room, the constant production of negative ions will end up producing a ton of static electricity, which can mean trouble if you don’t like tiny electric shocks. It can also cause problems with eloctronics in whatever room has the static problem.

All of this, mind you, in combination with the fact that you will not be getting any health benefits from these ions. Don’t be a fool!

Regional Problems

Depending on where you live, there can be problems with your water that can make a fountain a lot less useful. For instance, if you live in a part of the world where water needs a lot of treatment, your fountain will either need constant maintenance or you will need to find some purified water to run through it, as the chlorine that is sometimes used to treat tap water can be damaging to fountains even if it is mostly safe for humans.

While this isn’t necessarily a health problem, worrying about it can certainly cause undo stress and that it a health problem. To prevent this problem, do some research to find out about the water quality in your home.

Are Fountains Healthy?

As I wrote this article, I realized how much time I was spending on the myths and bad effects of indoor fountains, which could give the impression that fountains are more dangerous than they’re worth.

That isn’t true. The psychological effects of having a nice fountain in your home are actually quite valuable. Like having a piece of art or nice furniture, just having something beautiful in your home can have big benefits for the way that you feel.

Not only that, but the dangers that a fountain can pose are very surmountable with planning and care. Most of the problems they can cause are easily solved with just a little bit of planning and effort. As long as your fountain is in a large enough room and you’ve made it sufficiently child-proof, it should be fine.

This, combined with the healthy dose of humidity that a good fountain can bring into your home means that a fountain can in fact be a great addition to your home if it is something that you want. Especially if your home doesn’t have children in it, I think that the benefits outweigh the potential risks.

But ultimately, this is your choice. The real question is whether you think that the health benefits are enough for you to want one or not. If you want a fountain, then it is worth it to buy one regardless of the amount of effort it will take to make it totally safe.

The other take away that I got from this article was that it’s important to stay on the look out when studying health related topics. I wasn’t able to find any other writers who had done their research on negative ions, which led to a large amount of misinformation that was difficult to find the truth though.

My suggestion is to trust your instincts when something looks hokey, and do more research as the situation merits. Trusted sources like Healthline and the CDC are good sources for this kind of research, and sometimes sites like WebMD or Wikipedia can have well written articles as well.

Photo of author


We always wanted a fountain of some kind at our house, but professional installation was just too pricey. So, we decided to make our own little fountain and after learning how, we thought we should share our experiences to help people in our same situation.

Leave a Comment