You probably already have a hose you use for watering the grass and potted patio plants and for 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. For those in the market for a new garden hose, the following guide can assist in finding the best one for different watering needs and budgets.
Keep reading to find out more about the new materials that go into making today’s top hoses and to learn about other important factors and considerations when selecting the best garden hose. The following garden hoses are all among the top options for a variety of around-the-home watering tasks.
- BEST OVERALL: zero-G GARDEN HOSE 5/8″X100’BLK
- RUNNER-UP: Grace Green Garden Hose,Hybrid 5/8 in.x100FT
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: GrowGreen Expandable Garden Hose with High Pressure
- BEST STAINLESS STEEL: Re Cromtac Stainless steel 304 garden hose, no kink
- BEST EXPANDABLE: Zoflaro Garden Hose 50ft, Expandable Water Hose
- BEST DRINKING WATER–SAFE: Flexzilla Garden Hose with SwivelGrip
- BEST FLEXIBLE: YAMATIC Garden Hose 5/8 in x 30 ft Ultra Flexible
- BEST SOAKER HOSE: Rocky Mountain Goods Flat Soaker Hose – Heavy Duty
- BEST RUBBER HOSE: Briggs and Stratton 8BS75 75-Foot Premium Heavy-Duty
- BEST LONG HOSE: Giraffe Hybrid Garden Hose 5/8″ x 100ft, Heavy Duty
What to Consider When Choosing the Best 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, or you’re looking for a hose that seeps water at the base of landscape plantings, 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 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.
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, 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 above-ground watering system.
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, make sure there’s ample water pressure at the spigot. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 as “BPA-free,” “lead-free,” and “phthalate-free.”
Our Top Picks
To qualify as a top pick, the following garden hoses needed to be strong, flexible, durable, and come with easy-to-attach fittings. Watering needs vary, so the best garden hose for one may not be the best for another. The following hoses are all tops in their classes, and some can serve multiple purposes.
Those looking for exceptional durability, safety, and service from a standard ⅝-inch garden hose need look no further than this set of two 50-foot garden hoses from zero-G. Use the hoses individually, or connect them for 100 feet of length (other lengths and diameters might be available). The hoses come with a flexible inner vinyl core that’s drinking water–safe and is encased in a thick layer of high-density woven fibers that strengthen and protect the hose.
The zero-G hose comes with a high 600-psi burst rating, making it one of the most robust hoses around, and yet it remains flexible, even at 36 degrees Fahrenheit. The attachment fittings are made from rugged aluminum for strength, and they come with brass inserts for durability. Each hose weighs 10 pounds.
The flexible Grace Green Garden hose is kink resistant and remains supple in temps down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is suitable for use in colder climates. The hose is ⅝ inch in diameter and 100 feet long (other lengths may be available). It features a flexible vinyl inner core that’s 30 percent lighter in weight than rubber and an abrasion-resistant outer cover that’s resistant to UV, ozone, and cracking.
The Grace Green Garden Hose comes with crush-resistant attachment fittings. It also features padded, ergonomic grips located at both ends that reduce hand fatigue when using the hose with a wand or a nozzle. As a bonus, the hose comes with a zinc-alloy spray gun and an adjustable hanging strap that holds the hose securely in loops when not in use. The Grace Green Garden hose weighs 15.51 pounds.
A decent garden hose doesn’t have to stretch the budget. The GrowGreen Expandable Garden Hose grows to 50 feet long when fully pressured with water but reduces to a third of its length and weighs less than 3 pounds when the water is turned off. The GrowGreen features a latex inner tubing and an outer protective covering made from woven fibers. It comes with solid brass attachment fittings for tight, leak-free connections.
An expandable hose, the GrowGreen isn’t suitable for use with most lawn-type sprinklers because the hose is in retracted mode until it fills with water. But the hose comes with an 8-pattern, trigger-type spray nozzle that adjusts to a variety of spray patterns for all types of watering tasks.
No need to worry about Rover biting a hole in the Re Cromtac Garden Hose—it features a protective, stainless steel exterior cover that resists punctures and abrasions. The flexible inner tubing is ⅜ inch in diameter, which is narrower than most models. It suits both hand-watering and can attach to a stationary sprinkler.
The Cromtac is relatively lightweight at under 8 pounds, and it’s 50 feet long. Connect two of the hoses for additional length if desired, or check out additional hose lengths that might be available. The hose comes with durable brass attachment fittings, and it rolls up easily on a reel or by hand for storage.
For compact storage and expandable convenience, check out the Zoflaro Expandable Hose that grows from just 17 feet to 50 feet long when filled with water. Other sizes may be available. The inner tubing features four layers of high-density latex, and the Zoflaro comes with a rugged polyester woven cover for both abrasion and leak resistance. This expandable hose is designed for use with a wand sprayer or a hand sprayer rather than a stationary sprinkler.
The Zoflaro comes with a 10-function trigger-type spray nozzle that emits various water patterns such as jet, flat, and shower. It features solid brass attachment fittings for durability and leak-free connections. The hose weighs just 2.73 pounds.
Fill pets’ water bowls or stop and take a drink right from the hose with the Flexzilla Drinking Water Safe Hose, which will not leach harmful contaminants into the water. The Flexzilla hose is ⅝ inch in diameter and measures 50 feet in length, although a few other sizes may be available. It’s heavy duty yet lightweight at just 8 pounds, and it is easy to loop and store on a wall hook.
The Flexzilla hose features SwivelGrip action—so the user can untwist a coiled hose just by twisting the grip rather than the entire hose. The hose is made from a flexible hybrid polymer that’s designed to remain supple even in cold weather, and the innermost tubing is drinking water–safe. Fittings are in crush-resistant aluminum for durability.
Avoid annoying kinks with the YAMATIC Garden Hose that features exclusive No Permanent Kink Memory (NPKM), which keeps the hose from kinking and twisting on itself. No need to pull the hose out straight—just turn on the water and the pressure will straighten and remove any kinks, leaving you with a smooth hose that will withstand up to 600 psi of water pressure without bursting.
The YAMATIC hose is ⅝ inch in diameter and 30 feet long. It’s made from bright orange polyurethane that’s infused with UV protectants to keep the hose flexible and supple longer. It comes with solid brass connectors and weighs in at 8.21 pounds.
Deliver water directly to the roots of garden and landscaping plants with the Rocky Mountain Goods Flat Soaker Hose. The hose features a flexible PVC liner, covered with extra-strength fabric that’s designed to weep. This design provides a continuous but gradual supply of water where plants need it most—at their roots.
The hose lies flat, measuring 1½ inches wide when not in use, making it simple to roll and store. It weighs just 12 ounces and is 25 feet long. It comes with metal attachment fittings, and gardeners can conserve up to 70 percent more water by using this soaker hose instead of a stationary lawn sprinkler, which comes with a higher rate of evaporation and greater wasted water runoff.
For the durability and long-lasting service of a rubber hose, check out the Briggs & Stratton Premium Rubber Garden Hose that resists kinking and remains flexible even in temps as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit. This industrial-style hose is suitable for use with power washers, sprinklers, or handheld nozzles and wands. It will withstand up to 500 psi of water pressure without bursting.
The ⅝-inch Briggs & Stratton hose is 75 feet long and weighs 14.06 pounds. Other lengths may also be available. The hose comes with crush-resistant, nickel-plated brass attachment fittings, and it suits all general-purpose watering needs.
For watering large yards, consider the Giraffe Hybrid Garden Hose that’s flexible and designed for heavy-duty use. It measures 100 feet long, although shorter lengths may be available, and it comes in the standard ⅝-inch diameter. The hose features a 150 psi working water pressure rating (no burst rate is available). It features nickel-plated brass fittings and comes with ergonomic handgrips at each end to make connecting the hose easier.
The Giraffe hose is made from three layers of hybrid polymer—an inner layer that keeps it supple even in winter, a woven layer to prevent kinking, and a top layer for durability and abrasion resistance. The hose weighs 13.5 pounds.
FAQs About Garden Hoses
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 most watering tasks. Standard hoses come in 25- to 75-foot lengths, so consider the size of the yard when buying.
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 and hanging it on a large hook. Alternatively, a garden 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.