6 Best Snow Machines for Your Backyard
No snow in the forecast? Don't worry. You can create a wintry effect this season with these top backyard snow machines.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
Family Handyman, VIA SNOWATHOME.COM, VIA WALMART.COM, VIA BACKYARDSNOWSTORM.COM
Buying a Snow Machine
Planning a holiday party, or want to surprise your little ones with a faux winter wonderland? With a snow machine, you can spray fluffy white stuff everywhere!
Fake snow machines work by heating snow-making liquid (usually distilled water, soap and rubbing alcohol) and expelling it via a pressurized pump, creating a snow-like effect of fast-drying foam. Nearly all snow-making liquids are non-toxic, bio-degradable and non-staining, so they won’t leave residue behind. After a few minutes, the fake snow evaporates.
Machines that produce artificial snow combine water and compressed air and need cold outdoor temperatures to function.
Factors to look for when purchasing a snow machine:
- Power source: Most are wired but some come with wireless remotes.
- Output: The volume of snow expelled.
- Weight: Lighter versions are easy to use, mount and store.
- Fluid tank capacity: The bigger the tank, the more area you can cover per fill.
- Cost: From $90 to $1,000 or more. Low-priced models are ideal for once-a-year DIY backyard snow-making, while more expensive ones are recommended for commercial use.
Here are the best machines to make fun and fake snow at home.
Best All-Around Fake Snow Machine
Offering high-output in a user-friendly package, the Chauvet DJ Snow Machine lets you recreate a blizzard in your yard without a degree in mechanical engineering. Simply flip the Hi/Low blower switch to shoot fake snow near or far, using the volume adjustment on the wired timer remote (with digital display).
The five-liter tank dispenses the non-toxic, non-flammable and unscented Snow Fluid (sold separately) that’s safe for all environments. You can put on a show with snow! It makes a great outdoor holiday decoration.
Best Indoor/Outdoor Fake Snowflake Machine
Bring the holiday cheer safely to kid parties, school events or family photoshoots with Froggy’s Snow Flake Effects. The 650 watts of power pumps out incredibly realistic flurries at any temperature, any time of year, outdoors or indoors. When the party’s over, a brush or vacuum picks up the snow while it’s hydrated or dry.
One Amazon reviewer writes, “If you’re considering a fake snow machine, buy this one! It’s been an amazing value for the money. We purchased this for my son’s 5th birthday party and ended up using it every day of our California winter.”
Best Low-Noise Fake Snow Machine
Did you know many evaporative fake snow machines on the market are super loud? Not the Blizzard Wizard Silent Artificial Snow Maker by Snow at Home. It produces small flakes at 50 decibels (dB), quieter than the industry average of 65 dB.
Other features include a wireless remote that works up to 150 feet away; an on-screen digital display to access a programmable timer; and an adjustable bracket to hang or mount the unit. It also comes with an eight-ounce starter bottle of Blizzard Wizard Concentrate to make one gallon of fluid.
Best Fake Snow Machine For Less Than $100
Let it snow for less. The Seasonal Visions Snow Machine is an affordable fake snow machine that sprays eight feet in the air. It has a one-liter tank and comes with a six-foot power cord.
One Walmart five-star reviewer writes, “We set this up in a window on the second floor and had a beautiful white Christmas looking out the windows on the first floor. This thing makes it look like a blizzard. Very easy to use. Works great.”
Best Fake Snow Machine for Big Yards
The Backyard Snowstorm 1,200-Watt Artificial Snow Machine is great for big yards and large venues. It’s commercial grade, yet lightweight and easy to use. Variable high and low output settings let you control how “heavy” or “light” your snowflakes are, depending on the mix of water-to-snow fluid you use.
Its snowmaking fluid, sold separately, evaporates quickly and doesn’t leave behind messy residue or stains. The downside? It’s noisy (69.2 dB), similar to a typical hairdryer.
Best Snow-Making Machine
For those who want commercial-grade manmade snow and are willing to pay for it, the Backyard Snowstorm Forecaster Snow Gun produces realistic snow that sticks to the ground. It produces the same kind of snow crystals turned out by snowmaking equipment at ski resorts.
The Forecaster comes with a stand (assembly required), a nozzle pack, blow out tool, garden hose water filter and instruction manual. Bonus: With each purchase, you can access Backyard Snowstorm’s YouTube Video Course.
Renting a Snow Machine
Renting a snow machine instead of purchasing one makes a lot of sense. You can usually find snow machines for rent at event and party rental companies.
Be sure to ask what the rental fee includes (delivery, pickup, power cords, etc.) and if they have used machines available for purchase.
- You can opt for a top-of-the-line machine that makes realistic-looking snow;
- No long-term commitment;
- No maintenance problems;
- No need to store it.
- Expensive ($100 to $500 a day);
- May need to book the machine ahead of time;
- Snow fluid for fake snow machines is usually not included in the price.