The best wheelbarrows can make light work of moving heavy materials, while the worst will be unstable, hard to manoeuvre and leave you with sore arms.
Use our expert advice to help you decide on the most suitable type, the features you should look out for and how much you need to pay.
These are the traditional type of wheelbarrow. Designed for manoeuvrability, they’re perfect for moving light garden debris across short distances.
However, they aren’t always the most stable and you’ll need upper-arm strength to keep heavy loads from tipping to one side.
This type of wheelbarrow (see below) is better suited for lifting more cumbersome loads. The two wheels ensure a lot more stability but it also makes it quite tricky to turn tight corners and negotiate small spaces.
A wheelbarrow with four wheels is technically a garden cart. These are worth considering if you want to be able to drag heavy loads behind you easily. They are more stable than a wheelbarrow, but can be tricky to turn.
Typically bigger than most wheelbarrows, you’d also need to make sure you have enough room in your garden, garage or shed for a cart.
Choosing between a plastic or metal wheelbarrow will ultimately come down to what you’re using it for and how much weight you can handle.
You can also buy fabric wheelbarrows that can be folded. These are great if you’re short of storage space, but they aren't able to handle heavy loads.
These tyres can be made with an internal tube that is filled with air – just like a bike - or can be tubeless. The air in both types acts like a cushion, making bumpy terrain feel a lot smoother. These tyres are prone to puncturing, though, and will also need pumping up regularly.
These solid rubber tyres have no air tube inside and cannot go flat. They don’t need to be pumped up, but without the air inside it will be a slightly bumpier ride.
The cheapest wheelbarrows are typically plastic with shallow tubs - you can get one for as little as £30. But be careful as buying one that's any cheaper could become a false economy.
If you’re just doing light gardening work and you have a garage to store the wheelbarrow in, a budget plastic model should suffice.
But for avid gardeners or those of you who’ll be using it on a building site, paying more for a durable steel model is worthwhile. These typically cost around £60-£80 for basic features, but can go all the way up to £200.
Both generalist retailers and dedicated garden shops offer a wide range of wheelbarrows. To make sure you're buying a wheelbarrow that's well built and safe to use, only shop with trusted sellers online or in-store.
Ideally, you'd get to see the wheelbarrow in-store before buying, but if this isn’t possible, find out as much information about it as possible before investing.
Popular shops that wheelbarrows include:
If want a wheelbarrow for lightweight tasks, such as moving flowers and garden debris, then you won't need a model with lots of features. But for anything more, the following additions could prove invaluable: