The Best Garden Hoses for Yard Maintenance

Today’s garden hoses are made from innovative new materials, but how well do they perform in real-life watering situations? Find out which top hoses on the market survived my hands-on testing.

Best Overall

Box of Zero-G Garden Hose on a white background

Zero-G ⅝-Inch by 50-Foot Black Aluminum Garden Hose

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Runner-up

Grace Green Hybrid ⅝-Inch by 100-Foot Garden Hose on a white background

Grace Green Hybrid ⅝-Inch by 100-Foot Garden Hose

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Best Bang for the Buck

GrowGreen Expandable Garden Hose and nozzle on a white background

GrowGreen Expandable Garden Hose

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You probably already have a garden hose for watering the grass and potted patio plants and washing down the sidewalk. Still, if you’re like many, that hose might have hardened over the years, developed kinks that won’t straighten out, or even sprung a few leaks. If so, don’t buy another garden hose before finding out which hoses scored the highest in my hands-on tests. I didn’t go easy on the hoses—I put them through real-world watering (and life) situations. Spoiler: Not all of them made it through.

We spoke with Rafi Friedman, president of Coastal Luxury Outdoors, a pool and outdoor living area company in Jacksonville, Florida, to get his expert opinion on specific aspects shoppers will want to look out for. Keep reading to learn about the new materials that go into making today’s top hoses and to find out both the pros and cons of each hose I tested. Discover the strengths and weaknesses of different types of hoses—before you invest in a new one—and learn how the following hoses earned their way onto our list of the best garden hoses.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Zero-G ⅝-Inch by 50-Foot Black Aluminum Garden Hose
  2. RUNNER-UP: Grace Green Hybrid ⅝-Inch by 100-Foot Garden Hose
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: GrowGreen Expandable Garden Hose 
  4. BEST STAINLESS STEEL: Bionic Steel 100-Foot Rustproof Garden Hose 
  5. BEST EXPANDABLE: HydroTech 100-Foot Expandable Burst-Proof Garden Hose
  6. BEST DRINKING WATER–SAFE: Flexzilla ⅝-Inch by 25-Foot SwivelGrip Garden Hose
  7. BEST FLEXIBLE: Yamatic ⅝-Inch by 30-Foot Super Flexible Garden Hose
  8. BEST RUBBER HOSE: Briggs & Stratton 75-Foot Heavy-Duty Garden Hose
  9. BEST LONG HOSE: Giraffe ⅝-Inch by 100-Foot Hybrid Garden Hose 
The Best Garden Hose Options
Photo: Glenda Taylor

How We Tested the Best Garden Hoses

Friedman shines some interesting light on what might otherwise be seen as a simple garden tool. He suggests looking closely at the hose diameter when shopping: “For most homeowners, a ½-inch diameter hose will be plenty. While you can get hoses in ⅝-inch and even ¾-inch diameter, this will mostly just make your hose heavier and harder to move around, and could even lead to insufficient water pressure if your home water pressure is not very good.”

Friedman also highlights the importance of getting a multiple layer hose, adding, “You want an outer layer that is easy to grip and also UV-resistant, along with at least one braided or reinforced inner layer for strength.” We made sure to take this expert advice on board as we researched, picked, and tested all of our recommended hoses.

While garden hoses are far from complicated products, getting a substandard one can be frustrating. I wanted to test the most popular hoses on the market and see if they lived up to the manufacturers’ hype. To that end, I tested them for flexibility, durability, and whether they could withstand a normal-to-high amount of water pressure without damage. I also carefully examined the quality of their fittings. I used a rubric and awarded each hose points based on its performance in each category.

The tests included driving over a filled hose, tying the hose in a knot and turning the water on to see if it formed a fatal kink, and pulling the hose forcefully around planters, bushes, and curbs.

At the end of the testing, the hoses that didn’t make it were eliminated, and the scores for surviving hoses were tallied and used to help determine the award categories.

I’m not sure what I thought when I started the tests, but in the end, I was amazed at how much better the quality of today’s garden hoses are over those I’ve used in the past. The ones that made this lineup genuinely deserve to be in it.

Testing Stats

  • Products tested: 10
  • Time spent testing: 10+ hours
  • Tests performed: 3
  • Average price: $25

Our Top Picks

To qualify as a top pick, the following garden hoses had to be strong, flexible, and durable and come with easy-to-attach (leak-free) fittings. I tested each of the following hoses at 55 pounds per square inch (psi) water pressure, which is standard to a little on the strong side for the average outdoor spigot.

I wound the hoses in tight configurations, pulled them about the yard—and then backed over them with a car (because that happens). I put them through their paces—and the ones that survived truly earned their spot in this lineup. I feel confident that any of the following hoses will be a beneficial addition to this year’s lawn and gardening arsenal of tools and supplies, including retractable reels, spray heads, and hose splitters.

Best Overall

Zero-G ⅝-Inch by 50-Foot Black Aluminum Garden Hose

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Our Ratings: Durability 5/5; Quality 5/5; Couplings 5/5

Product Specs

  • Length: 50 feet
  • Diameter: ⅝ inch
  • Material: Vinyl core with high-density fiber sheath
  • Shutoff valve: No

Pros

  • Comes with a high 600 psi burst rating with the help of the inner vinyl core and high-density woven fibers
  • Flexible and nonkinking construction works in both warm and cool conditions
  • No-leak fittings provide reliability when in use

Cons

  • Challenging to untangle it initially; packaging can be tough to work with

Out of the box, the Zero-G hose was plain looking and unimpressive—just a wrinkly gray hose that was problematic to untangle. Wow, are first impressions ever deceiving! Despite its initial drab debut, this hose ended up taking the top spot in the lineup. Once I got the hose untangled—note to manufacturer:a different packaging configuration might help—I attached the hose to the spigot, put a closed nozzle on the other end, and turned the water pressure up to full force. The wrinkly Zero-G hose transformed into a super-resilient hose that refused to kink, even when I looped it into a knot and pulled on the end. Impressive.

The Zero-G hose also stood up to being stretched across the driveway and then backed over without any sign of damage. The hose comes with a flexible inner vinyl core and is encased in a thick layer of high-density woven fibers that reinforce and protect the hose. The Zero-G hose comes with a high 600-psi burst rating and is one of the most robust hoses around. Yet it remains flexible—I found that its flexibility didn’t depend on the outdoor temps; it maintained uniform flexibility in both warm and cool weather.

The attachment fittings are made from rugged aluminum for strength, and they come with brass inserts for durability. I had no problems with leaks, either at the fixture or where I connected a nozzle.

Get the Zero-G garden hose at Amazon, Lowe’s, Tractor Supply Co., or Ace Hardware.

Runner-up

Grace Green Hybrid ⅝-Inch by 100-Foot Garden Hose

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Our Ratings: Durability 5/5; Quality 4/5; Couplings 4/5

Product Specs

  • Length: 10 feet
  • Diameter: ⅝ inch
  • Material: Multilayer latex core and polyester sheath
  • Shutoff valve: No

Pros

  • Flexible even in cool temps of up to -40 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Nonslip end grips provide control while in use while adding comfort
  • Included hanging strap for keeping the hose safe and rolled up

Cons

  • Advertised as “sprayer included” but didn’t receive one

The flexible Grace Green garden hose is kink-resistant and remains supple in cooler temperatures. I tested that premise outdoors when the temperature was just 43 degrees Fahrenheit, and it’s true—Grace Green was flexible enough to easily loop around the base of a flagpole without kinking. The hose is ⅝ inch in diameter but just 10 feet long (though other lengths may be available), so it’s best suited as an extension to connect another hose or for watering a small area, such as potted plants on a balcony.

The Grace Green Garden Hose comes with crush-resistant attachment fittings, but the nonslip, ergonomic grips located at both ends were my favorite feature. Who hasn’t struggled to loosen (or tighten) metal hose fittings and come away with sore fingers? That’s a thing of the past with the Grace Green hose fittings that allowed me to attach the hose using my entire hand to turn the comfortable grips.

The hose withstood the full force of the water pressure, even when backed over with the car—no leaks and no tears. I did experience a spurt out of the fitting when I connected the hose to a spray nozzle (not included), but upon inspection, that was the fault of the rubber washer having fallen out of the nozzle—it wasn’t a hose issue. Once I replaced the washer, there were no leaks. A nice bonus is the hanging hose holder that allows users to stow the hose on a fence post or even a large hook.

Get the Grace Green garden hose at Amazon.

Best Bang for the Buck

GrowGreen Expandable Garden Hose

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Our Ratings: Durability 4/5;  Quality 4/5; Couplings 3/5

Product Specs

  • Length: 50 feet
  • Diameter: ⅝ inch
  • Material: High-pressure latex core, woven nylon sheath
  • Shutoff valve: Yes

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to store at 3.4 pounds; contracts into a small unit when not in use
  • Durable construction; made with solid brass, molded plastic, inner latex tubing, and an outer cover
  • Shut-off valve on end fitting allows for easy control without adjusting the spigot

Cons

  • Dribbly spray nozzle may leak from time to time during use

A decent garden hose doesn’t have to stretch the budget. The first thing I noticed about the GrowGreen Expandable Garden Hose was how soft and floppy it was—my first impression was that it might not be strong enough to withstand average outdoor spigot water pressure. I need not have worried. The hose expanded to 50 feet long when filled with water, and the floppiness was gone. I was hesitant to back over this hose with my car, but it survived without damage.

The GrowGreen 3.4-pound hose features a latex inner tubing and an outer protective covering made from woven fibers. It comes with solid brass attachment fittings that didn’t leak when connected to the spigot or the included spray nozzle. The spray nozzle itself is just okay. It’s made from molded plastic and features eight spray patterns, which all served their purpose, but a small amount of water trickled from the head of the nozzle no matter which pattern I chose. I ended up with a wet shirtsleeve, but I didn’t subtract points because I was testing hoses after all, not nozzles.

Be aware that the GrowGreen isn’t suitable for use with lawn-type sprinklers because the hose is in retracted mode until it fills with water. To supply water to a sprinkler, one of the other hoses in this lineup would work better.

Get the GrowGreen garden hose at Walmart, The Home Depot, or Bed Bath & Beyond.

Best Stainless Steel

Bionic Steel 100-Foot Rustproof Garden Hose

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Our Ratings: Durability 4/5; Quality 4/5; Couplings 5/5

Product Specs

  • Length: 100 feet
  • Diameter: ⅝ inch
  • Material: Reinforced vinyl core, stainless steel sheath
  • Shutoff valve: Yes

Pros

  • Stainless steel construction won’t kink or tangle when in use or when being stored
  • Strong and durable construction did not bend or break when run over
  • Nonslip grips at ends provide control and comfort while in use
  • Lightweight and flexible construction will not cause a lot of strain on the arms or a hose reel/holder

Cons

  • Slippery to carry—slides right out of the arms

Shiny, slinky, and excellent grips were my first impressions of the Bionic Steel garden hose, and I didn’t change my mind about it even after extensive testing. I’d never used a stainless steel hose before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the Bionic Steel hose came through with flying colors. It comes with brass fittings and ribbed rubber sleeves at each end that provide a sturdy, nonslip hold while attaching the hose to the spigot or nozzle.

Without water, the Bionic Steel hose is rather limp and slippery, and just carrying it was interesting since it wanted to slip out of my arms. Once it was filled with water, I understood what the hype was all about. The Bionic Steel hose remained flexible enough to pull it around corners, and it didn’t kink, although I tried to loop it into a knot. I thought about skipping the test where I backed over it with a car—after all, steel bends—but I knew I had to do it. I stretched the Bionic Steel hose across the driveway and drove over it. Surprisingly, it didn’t bend at all. I did the drive-over test with a compact car, so I can’t say what would happen with a full-size pickup, but I was pretty impressed. I expected some compression, at least.

This is a powerful 100-foot garden hose, but it’s not heavy despite having a protective sheath made from stainless steel. When empty, the hose weighs just 3 pounds. It winds nicely around hose reels and keeps its shape.

Get the Bionic Steel garden hose at Amazon.

Best Expandable

HydroTech 100-Foot Expandable Burst-Proof Garden Hose

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Our Ratings: Durability 4/5; Quality 4/5; Couplings 4/5

Product Specs

  • Length: 100 feet
  • Diameter: ⅝ inch
  • Material: Latex liner with polyester sheath
  • Shutoff valve: Yes

Pros

  • Lightweight—just 5.4 pounds when empty—to be easy to carry where needed
  • Thick latex core and reinforced nylon exterior resists rips and bursts
  • Oversize ergonomic connector makes attaching the hose to the spigot a snap

Cons

  • This expandable hose does not come with a spray nozzle

The first thing we noticed when unboxing the HydroTech expandable hose was the high quality of its connectors. The spigot-end connector is made from heavy-duty molded plastic. The end section twists independently of the rest of the connector, so we could quickly attach the HydroTech to the outdoor spigot. The other connector features heavy-duty brass, and it comes with a shut-off valve that makes it easy to connect a nozzle or sprinkler without needing to turn off the water to the hose before doing so.

To see how long the hose was when filled with water, we shut the valve and turned the spigot on—the HydroTech immediately went from a soft, floppy hose to one that felt smooth and firm to the touch. We laid the hose straight and measured it—it came to a few inches over 100 feet. We pulled the hose around the corner of concrete steps and through some bushes, but it didn’t snag or rupture. Likewise, backing over it with our car didn’t faze it. We left the hose filled with water (about 40 psi) for 24 hours, and it didn’t leak.

This lightweight hose is 5.4 pounds when empty. While it did tangle when empty in its loose and floppy state, when filled with water, it resisted kinking and tangling. Note that it doesn’t come with a spray nozzle.

Get the HydroTech garden hose at Ace Hardware, Target, or Do It Best.

Best Drinking Water–Safe

Flexzilla ⅝-Inch by 25-Foot SwivelGrip Garden Hose

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Our Ratings: Durability 4/5; Quality 5/5; Couplings 4/5

Product Specs

  • Length: 50 feet
  • Diameter: ⅝ inch
  • Material: Hybrid polymer core with reinforced sheath
  • Shutoff valve: No

Pros

  • Flexible hybrid polymer material is lightweight and maneuverable
  • Inner tubing material is drinking water–safe; suitable for homes with children and pets
  • Comfort swivel grips naturally release coils for easy connecting or uncoiling

Cons

  • Neon green color that stands out like a sore thumb

Hose-testing can work up a thirst, so I was more than happy to take a drink out of the end of the Flexzilla garden hose. However, keep in mind that drinking water hoses are only as safe as the water they’re carrying. In addition, a hose left outdoors can become contaminated with bacteria over time, so consider that before taking a sip.

The Flexzilla hose is ⅝ inch in diameter and measures 50 feet long, although a few other sizes may be available. It’s heavy-duty yet lightweight at just 8 pounds, and I found it easy to loop and store on a wall hook in the garage. The Flexzilla remained flexible in cool temps in the lower 40s, and it resisted kinking, although it finally formed a kink after I knotted the hose and pulled on it. However, it took some effort on my part to make it kink. My favorite part was the hose’s SwivelGrip action, which allowed me to attach and detach the fittings from the spigot and the nozzle with ease.

The hose is made from a flexible hybrid polymer designed to remain supple even in cold weather, and it didn’t suffer from being driven over by my car. This is an all-around top garden hose with a chemical-free inner core that makes it preferable for watering pets and allowing children to enjoy playing in the sprinkler.

Get the Flexzilla garden hose at Amazon or Ace Hardware.

Best Flexible

Yamatic ⅝-Inch by 30-Foot Super Flexible Garden Hose

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Our Ratings: Durability 4/5; Quality 4/5; Couplings 4/5

Product Specs

  • Length: 30 feet
  • Diameter: ⅝ inch
  • Material: Flexible hybrid material throughout
  • Shutoff valve: No

Pros

  • Made with a No Permanent Kink Memory (NPKM) construction, which prevents kinking and twisting
  • Durable construction does not break or bend when run over; also comes with UV protection
  • Made with nonslip grips on either end of the hose for comfort and control
  • Remains flexible even in chilly temperatures

Cons

  • Neon orange colorway is very bright (although some may like this)

The manufacturer claims the Yamatic garden hose comes with exclusive NPKM, which keeps the hose from kinking and twisting on itself. I tend to agree. Just by turning on the water, the pressure straightened out the hose, but it was still flexible enough to curl around the base of a tree. It was just as flexible at 40 degrees Fahrenheit as it was at 60 degrees.

Initially, the connection to the spigot was leaky, and either the washer fell out of the fitting, or it was never in the fitting. Still, by borrowing a washer from another hose, I could attach the Yamatic hose without leaks. The hose easily withstood being backed over by the car, and it didn’t kink when I looped it into a knot and pulled the end. Both ends of the hose have nonslip grips that make attaching the hose to the spigot and nozzles easier.

The Yamatic hose is ⅝ inch in diameter and 30 feet long. It’s made from bright orange polyurethane infused with UV protectants to keep the hose flexible and supple longer. The color is a little bright for my taste, but it won’t get lost in the garden. It comes with solid brass connectors and weighs in at 8.21 pounds.

Get the Yamatic garden hose at Amazon.

Best Rubber Hose

Briggs u0026 Stratton 75-Foot Heavy-Duty Garden Hose

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Our Ratings: Durability 5/5; Quality 3/5; Couplings 4/5

Product Specs

  • Length: 75 feet
  • Diameter: ⅝ inch
  • Material: Rubber
  • Shutoff valve: No

Pros

  • Very durable, industrial-style hose can be used with sprinklers, handheld nozzles, power washers, and wands
  • High-quality fittings are made with nickel-plated brass for long-term reliability
  • Can withstand over 500 psi of pressure without bursting or malfunctioning

Cons

  • Slightly stiffer when the temperature gets cold enough
  • Does not have any grips for control when in use

I’m sold on the Briggs & Stratton rubber garden hose for durability and sheer strength. What a hose! I twisted it, looped it into a knot, and pulled hard, but it resisted kinking and was still flexible at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, though not quite as flexible as it was at 60 degrees. This is an industrial-style hose, and it’s suitable for use with power washers, sprinklers, handheld nozzles, and wands. The manufacturer claims it will withstand up to 500 psi of water pressure without bursting, and it indeed withstood being driven over without any visible damage.

It’s not the lightest-weight hose I tested. The ⅝-inch Briggs & Stratton hose is 75 feet long and weighs 14.06 pounds. I was able to wind it up around a hose reel, but if you’re looking for an easy-to-stow hose, this isn’t the one. It comes with crush-resistant, nickel-plated brass attachment fittings, and while it doesn’t feature any additional grips, the fittings are high quality, and I had no problem attaching or detaching them.

I found no leaking at either the spigot or the nozzle end, and when the hose was filled with water, I could still curl it around the base of a tree. It’s a little stiffer than the other hoses in this lineup, but that’s likely due to its thick rubber nature. All in all, this is an industrial-strength hose that I’d trust for the most challenging watering situations.

Get the Briggs & Stratton garden hose at Amazon.

Best Long Hose

Giraffe ⅝-Inch by 100-Foot Hybrid Garden Hose

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Our Ratings: Durability 4/5; Quality 4/5; Couplings 4/5

Product Specs

  • Length: 100 feet
  • Diameter: ⅝ inch (more like ½ inch)
  • Material: Flexible polymer, reinforced polyester inner layer
  • Shutoff valve: No

Pros

  • Kink-resistant construction, even when trying to tie it in a knot
  • Strong and durable; brass fittings and nonslip hand grips for reliable use and control
  • Made with 3 layers of hybrid polymer for premium durability and long-term use

Cons

  • Not as wide as advertised; may not meet the needs of some users

For watering large yards, consider the Giraffe Hybrid garden hose, which is flexible and designed for heavy-duty use. It measures 100 feet long, although shorter lengths may be available, and comes in the standard ⅝-inch diameter, although the one I tested is noticeably smaller in diameter than other ⅝-inch hoses. It came out to be just a hair more than ½ inch in diameter when I measured. I don’t know if this holds true for all Giraffe Hybrid hoses or if I just got one on the narrower side.

Not that it mattered in testing; this hose still performed exceptionally well. At 100 feet, this hose is pretty long, but its smooth, flexible nature seems to help keep it from tangling. It’s kink-resistant; even after I looped a knot in it and pulled, it didn’t kink. It features nickel-plated brass fittings and ergonomic hand grips at each end, making it simple to attach the hose to the spigot and to various nozzles. I was able to attach it to both without any leaks.

The Giraffe hose is made from three layers of hybrid polymer—an inner layer that keeps it supple, a woven layer to prevent kinking, and a top layer for durability and abrasion resistance. Being backed over with my car didn’t seem to faze this hose. After use, I was able to wind it around my hose reel, but like the other large hoses, it’s not a space saver—it takes up some room.

Get the Giraffe garden hose at Amazon.

ALSO TESTED

Rocky Mountain Goods Flat Soaker Hose

I really wanted to like the Rocky Mountain Goods flat soaker hose. Having used and tested soaker hoses in the past, I knew not to turn up the water pressure all the way—soaker hoses have perforations that create weak spots. But, alas, I hadn’t turned up the pressure more than just a tiny bit when the seam on the hose blew out completely—water just ran everywhere.

After turning off the water and checking the hose, I’m not sure if that seam area was ever sewed completely shut—it didn’t look like it. I’m putting the failure down to a factory defect this time. Soaker hoses serve to deliver water right to the roots of a plant where the water isn’t wasted by evaporation. I’ve used many, and they’re an eco-friendly way of watering plants and gardens.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Garden Hose

Garden hoses come in all lengths, and some are better suited than others to particular types of watering or washing. Whether you want to connect multiple sprinklers to create a watering system that covers an entire yard, slowly soak the ground around a plant, or spray off driveways and patios, the right garden hose is out there. Here’s how to find it.

Types of Garden Hoses

In the past decade, the types of garden hoses available have grown to include lightweight, inexpensive hoses for limited watering chores and heavy-duty models for frequent or high-pressure water needs. Buyers can even find expandable garden hoses that stretch to full length when the water is on but retract to a third of that size for storage. Typical watering tasks will determine the best type of hose to choose.

  • Light duty: For small yards or patios with just a few potted plants or raised beds to water, a light-duty hose may be sufficient. These hoses are typically reasonably light in weight (around 2 to 4 pounds), making them simple to coil and store on a hook in the garage.
  • Standard: Also labeled as “medium duty,” these garden hoses are made for general around-the-yard lawn-watering needs. They weigh more than light-duty hoses (about 4 to 10 pounds) and, depending on length, might be better suited to storing on a hose reel rather than hanging on a hook.
  • Heavy-duty: Best suited for weathering the elements and to use with pressure washers, heavy-duty garden hoses feature thicker materials and are more kink-resistant. They can cost up to twice what standard and light-duty hoses cost.
  • Expandable: The new kids on the block, expandable hoses are made of supple materials that shrink when not in use, and they are very lightweight—around 2 pounds or so. When filled with water, however, the hoses expand to their full length, usually 25 to 50 feet. They’re best suited for attaching to wands and sprinklers for watering pots and raised beds.
  • Soaker: This hose conserves more water than any other type. Rather than spraying out water, where some will evaporate before reaching the plants, a soaker hose delivers water slowly and directly to plant roots. A soaker hose is a top option for landscaping beds, raised beds, and along rows of vegetables.
  • Flat: Tubular when filled with water, a flat hose returns to a completely flat shape when empty, making it easy to roll up and store. It’s suitable for basic watering and sprinkling use, and some flat hoses are designed to work as soakers.

Length

Many garden hoses are 25 to 75 feet long, with 50 feet being the most common length. This makes them suitable for reaching most areas of an average yard. Longer hoses that are 100 feet or more in length, can be heavy, cumbersome, and challenging to roll up and store. If moving hoses around is an issue, it might be better to purchase multiple hoses in shorter lengths and then connect them when necessary to reach farther. In addition, water flow rate drops the longer the hose measures.

For those with low water pressure at the spigot, a shorter hose is often a better choice. Shorter connecting hoses range from around 6 to 10 feet long and are designed for connecting a series of sprinklers to create an aboveground watering system.

Hose Diameter

The most common hose diameter is ⅝ inch, and it works well with most outdoor water supply sources. Wider hoses—up to 1 inch in diameter—will deliver more water volume-wise, but the pressure of the water as it exits the hose will drop. When choosing a wide hose, ensure there’s ample water pressure at the spigot. Lightweight and narrow hoses, less than ½ inch, are well suited to spigots with low water pressure.

Keep in mind that the hose attachment fittings might differ in size from the hose diameter—most attachments are designed to fit standard ⅝-inch connectors, but a few will fit ¾-inch connectors. Some manufacturers include a fitting adjuster that allows connections to both sizes of fittings. If not, adjusters are readily available in hardware and home improvement centers.

Material

Being waterproof and flexible are the two most important aspects when it comes to selecting hose materials.

  • Rubber: Among the most durable choices for a garden hose, rubber is optimal, but it tends to be heavier than other materials and can cost more. Premium hoses often contain rubber.
  • Vinyl: Flexible and lighter in weight than rubber, vinyl is a popular choice of hose manufacturers. It may come with embedded mesh to give it added strength and durability.
  • Latex: Similar to vinyl, latex is flexible and waterproof. It is often used in garden hoses that feature a protective cover of some type.
  • Polyurethane: When paired with flexible additives, polyurethane creates a waterproof hose that resists leaks and kinks.
  • Reinforced: Often paired with vinyl hose material, reinforcing can be attained by encasing the inner hose with solid rings or covering it with rugged woven fibers for added strength.
  • Stainless steel: Coils of stainless steel surround a waterproof membrane to create a rugged, durable hose that’s still flexible. A stainless steel hose is most often used for hand-watering, but it can also work with sprinklers.
  • Drinking water–safe: Those who want to get a quick drink from the hose on a hot day of landscaping or working on projects might want to consider a drinking water–safe hose that will neither leach contaminants into the water nor affect its taste.

Strength 

Some garden hoses (not all) come with a pressure rating, called “burst pressure,” which denotes how much internal water pressure the hose will handle before bursting. Water pressure at the spigot for most residential homes is between 45 and 80 pounds per square inch (psi), but the actual water pressure in the hose can reach much higher if the spigot is left on and the hose is filled with water.

Most residential hoses should have a burst pressure rating of at least 350 psi if they’re going to be used frequently. Inexpensive hoses may feature burst pressure ratings of as low as 200 psi, while top-of-the-line hoses can come with burst pressure ratings up to 600 psi.

A few hoses list working pressures rather than burst pressures, and these are substantially lower, from about 50 to 150 psi. They only indicate the average amount of pressure the hose is designed to hold while water is flowing in and out. A working pressure of 80 psi or higher is recommended.

Couplings

Brass, aluminum, and stainless steel couplings, or fittings, will last the longest and are available on many medium- and heavy-duty hoses. Light-duty hoses might come with plastic fittings, and they typically do not last as long as higher-quality fittings. In addition to screw-type fittings, some hoses come with quick-connect push-type fittings that make it simple to attach and disconnect the hose from the spigot or other hoses.

Pro tip: Friedman provides his advice on fittings and connectors: “In my experience, the best connectors come with free-spinning threads to make it easy to connect and disconnect your hose or attachments without getting the whole thing twisted up. While breakaway connectors do exist and can be convenient, I generally advise against them since they tend to leak or break, especially when they’re made of plastic.”

When buying hoses, keep in mind whether you’ll need to connect two or more hoses together. Many hoses feature couplings on both ends, but some soaker-type hoses have only one fitting—the one that connects to the water source. If you need to connect a series of soaker hoses, be sure to look for models that have couplings on both ends.

Safety

In general, hoses are one of the safest yard and garden tools around, but for those who fill pets’ watering bowls or drink from the end of the hose, a drinking water–safe hose is the way to go. A growing number of manufacturers are making drinking water–safe hoses that do not contain any chemicals that might leach into the water, so the water is just as safe when it leaves the end of the hose as when it enters. These hoses are often labeled “BPA-free,” “lead-free,” and “phthalate-free.”

FAQs

A few questions are to be expected for those looking to buy a quality garden hose that suits their needs. The type of anticipated watering chores will help determine the type and size of the hose.

Q. What size hose should I buy?

For most residences, a hose that’s ⅝ inch in diameter is sufficient for watering tasks. Standard hoses come in 25- to 75-foot lengths, so consider the size of the yard when buying. Naturally, a longer hose takes up more space for storage and is heavier to lug around, so factor that in as well.

Q. How do I reduce and get rid of kinks in my hose? 

A high-quality hose is less likely to kink than an inexpensive model, but all hoses will benefit from stretching the hose out straight after use and then looping it in large 2- to 3-foot loops before hanging it on a large hook. Alternatively, a garden hose reel that winds and stores the hose will also help reduce kinks.

Q. Do I need a garden hose nozzle for my hose? 

If you want to water potted plants and other areas of the garden by hand, a nozzle is the best option. You can adjust the flow right at the plant and close it when pulling it around the yard or patio.

Q. What’s the best way to store my hose and extend its longevity? 

Even the most durable hoses will last longer if they’re not left out in the elements. To get the most use out of a hose, store it either in a garage, storage shed, or basement when not in use.

Why Trust Bob Vila 

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.

Meet the Tester 

Glenda Taylor is a product tester and writer specializing in the construction, remodeling, and real estate industries. She and her husband own a general contracting company, and Taylor is experienced in both residential and commercial building applications. She tests a wide range of power tools as well as other home improvement, household, and lawn-and-garden products.

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Glenda Taylor

Staff Writer

Glenda Taylor is a BobVila.com staff writer with a background in the residential remodeling, home building, and home improvement industries. She started writing for BobVila.com in 2016 and covers a range of topics, including construction methods, code compliance, tool use, and the latest news in the housing and real estate industries. 

WHY YOU CAN TRUST BOB VILA