A pond liner is an essential part of any garden pond, to keep the water in and at a consistent level, and stop it seeping out into the surrounding soil.
Pond liners are usually made from PVC or similar material, and resemble a tarpaulin. You can install them by placing the liner on top of an underlay which covers the bottom and sides of your (empty) pond, and securing the edges of the liner around the edges of your pond.
You are then able to fill the pond with water, safe in the knowledge that your durable and leak-proof liner will retain it. Once you know your pond is watertight, you can proceed to add your plants, fish and any pond decorations.
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To help you ‘wade’ through the options and choose your new pond liner, we’ve put together this list of what we think are 5 of the best pond liners on the market today. This is based on their size, durability and value for money – your fish will thank you.
Our favourite pond liner is large, durable and comes with an impressive 25-year guarantee
Cost: Price not available
Topping our list of the best pond liners is this Polyex 5 x 4m Liner. The polyethylene material of this high-quality liner is strong and durable, whilst also being flexible enough to contour to the shape of your pond.
A woven inner core lies between the two outer layers of material, which is UV-resistant, to protect against sun damage, and has a rot-resistant coating, to make it last longer. The liner is black on one side and brown on the other, offering you a choice of looks.
The large 5 x 4m size means it’s suitable for most average-sized garden ponds (see below for how to measure your pond for a liner), and should offer plenty of excess for anchoring the liner. If it’s too large, you can easily trim it to size using scissors.
If you still need reassurance that you’re making the right decision, this pond liner comes with an impressive manufacturer’s guarantee of 25 years (providing the liner is used in combination with an underlay), so you can rest assured your liner will last.
Although this is our most expensive pond liner, when you consider the size, quality and durability on offer, not to mention the long guarantee, it really is incredibly good value. This top-rated pond liner will not disappoint.
- Strong, durable polyethylene pond liner.
- Rot resistant coating.
- UV stabilised to protect against sun damage.
- Reversible black/brown colour offers a choice of 2 looks.
- Large size is perfect for most ponds.
- Guaranteed for 25 years.
- Requires underlay for the guarantee, which must be purchased separately.
- Our priciest pond liner (but also the largest).
Our best value pond liner is available in an incredible 59 sizes, and includes FREE underlay in a matching size
This PondHero pond liner is the option we believe offers you the best bang for your buck. This particular one measures 2.5 x 2.5m, but the same model is available in a choice of 59 sizes, all of which are durable, and very competitively priced.
The amount of sizes on offer means it’s easy to find the right fit for your pond – whether you’ve got a small water feature or a large pond filled with fish and plants. Being able to purchase the correct size also means you won’t need to do much trimming of your liner – although it is easy to cut if necessary.
The liner is made from a durable LDPE fabric, which is laminated on each side with a UV-resistant coating, to prevent it breaking down in the sun. The resulting product feels strong and robust.
Perhaps the best thing about this pond liner, and what earns it the title of our value pick, is the fact that it includes a matching amount of underlay, for free – saving you the hassle and cost of purchasing this separately. However, be aware that the underlay is quite thin, so we recommend lining your pond with sand first, to prevent damage from sharp stones.
If you thought the 25-year guarantee on the Polyex liner was good (we did), you’ll be even more impressed by the 40-year guarantee offered by PondHero. This pond liner is a clear winner.
- Made from LDPE fabric.
- Laminated on both sides with UV-resistant coating.
- Available in a choice of 59 sizes.
- Includes free underlay, to protect the liner from punctures.
- Impressive 40-year guarantee.
- Competitively priced.
- Underlay provided is thin, and might not stand up to sharp stones.
This heavy duty pond liner is made from thick PVC and will resist UV, frost and rot damage, as well as tearing
Our next pond liner is this super sturdy and robust PVC Rot Resistant Liner by Apollo Gardening Ltd.
Not only is the thick PVC material of this one rot-resistant, it’s also UV and frost resistant, so you have total peace of mind that it will withstand the elements, and not need to be replaced any time soon.
It comes in a size of 2 x 3m, and has a thickness of 0.5mm. The material feels high-quality and heavy duty – in fact, this is one of the thickest and toughest pond liners on our list. Overlapping welded seams further help to make the liner stronger and prevent tearing, which in turn leads to leaking.
As with all pond liners, it is recommended to use this one in conjunction with an underlay, to help prevent punctures from sharp objects. Unlike with our previous option, this is not included, and must be purchased separately – the manufacturer recommends their Geotex Security Underlay.
Overall, this is another excellent quality pond liner, and the robust PVC construction and overlapping seams mean it’s likely to last for many years to come.
- Made from robust, heavy duty PVC.
- Overlapping welded seams for extra durability.
- UV resistant to prevent sun damage.
- Rot and frost resistant.
- Underlay must be purchased separately.
- Not the most affordable option.
- Little feedback available on the long term durability of the product.
A deluxe HDPE pond liner with an included repair kit, and a 25-year guarantee – but only against UV damage
This 3 x 2.5m Pond Liner by SwellUK is made from durable high density polyethylene (HDPE), which has a thickness of 0.35mm, which makes it thinner than the PVC Apollo liner. This is reflected in the price, which is considerably cheaper.
However, the liner is still robust and durable, with good tensile strength. It comes with a UV resistant coating, to protect it from breaking down in the sun, which can be a problem with some inferior products. It’s not too difficult to mold to the shape of your pond, although you can expect a few creases, as the material is a little stiff.
If you do experience any damage, this liner comes with a handy repair kit, for patching up minor tears, before they get out of hand. For larger issues, a 25-year guarantee from the manufacturer ensures your liner will be replaced – however, this only applies to damage caused by the sun, not stones or other hazards, so it isn’t as good a guarantee as on other products.
If 3 x 2.5m isn’t the right size for your pond, other sizes are available – although you will pay more. The liner comes with instructions on how to fit it in your pond, which might come in handy for the inexperienced pond builder.
Ultimately, this is another solid option for any gardener looking for a strong, long-lasting and reasonably-priced pond liner.
- Made from polyethylene HDPE.
- UV resistant coating to protect it from the sun.
- Reasonably priced, compared to competitors.
- Includes instructions and damage repair kit.
- Comes with a 25-year guarantee for UV damage.
- Inferior guarantee to competitors, as it only applies to sun damage.
- No underlay included.
- Material is a little stiff.
This small but mighty pond liner is perfect for ornamental ponds – and it’s very reasonably priced
The final product to make it onto our list of the best pond liners is this 2 x 2m option from All Pond Solutions, which is made from durable LDPE, and has a thickness of 0.3mm.
This comparatively small and thin pond liner is ideal for ornamental ponds of limited size (remember that you’ll need to allow for an overlap of approx. 0.5m on either side, to secure the liner around the edge of the pond). If you have a larger pond, the liner is available in a range of bigger sizes, for an increased price.
The material on this liner is strong and robust, yet still relatively easy to trim down to the required size. It is, however, a little stiff, and might not be the easiest option to mold to the shape of your pond.
It also comes with a 25-year guarantee, which seems pretty standard across the market for these liners. However, this is another one where the guarantee only applies if the liner is installed on top of an underlay, so bear this in mind when constructing your pond.
This small-yet-mighty pond liner will not only do the job of lining your pond and retaining water, but if you have any left over, this multi-functional tarpaulin can also be used for a variety of other garden applications.
- Made from robust and durable LDPE.
- Includes pond building advice sheet.
- Comes with a 25-year guarantee from the manufacturer.
- Affordable against competitors.
- Guarantee only applies when installed with an underlay, which is not included and must be purchased separately.
- Small size might not be suitable for many ponds.
- Not the most pliable option, can be difficult to bend to the contours of your pond.
How Much Pond Liner Do I Need?
To determine how much pond liner you need for your pond, you first need to take a few measurements. Measure the length, width and depth of your pond, all at the maximum points.
Next, work out how much pond liner you need, by putting your measurements into this equation:
(Length + (2 x Depth)) by (Width + (2 x Depth)) = Size of pond liner
This will give you the approximate size of the pond liner you need to order. It is always a good idea to add an extra 1m to the length and width of the pond liner, to allow for any errors, and for securing the liner in place.
Pond liners are usually sold in pre-cut sizes, so choose the closest size up from your measurements. If you still don’t feel confident, there are calculators you can use online to help you work out how much pond liner you need.
How To Find A Leak In Your Liner
If the water level in your pond has gone down and you suspect you have a leak, the first step is to turn the pump for the pond off. Observe the water level – is it still dropping? If so, you can rule out the pump as the cause of the problem, and assume there is a leak in the liner.
If the water level drops considerably, you may need to remove any fish from your pond and place them safely in a holding container, while you identify and fix the leak.
When the water level ceases to drop, you can assume the leak in the pond liner is located somewhere at that level. Carefully study the condition of the pond liner around the water’s edge, until you locate the rip or damage that is causing the leak. Bear in mind that this could be a tiny hole, and difficult to see.
Once located, you can then repair the tear using a specialist repair kit and underwater sealant. If your pond liner is more than a few years old, it may be time to consider replacing it.
April is a freelance writer who specialises in writing about home and garden design and the environment. She is an avid wildlife-enthusiast and adventure-seeker, and feels happiest when in the Great Outdoors.