The Best Hose Reels for Lawn Care

Neaten up an unruly garden hose with a hose reel suited to the size of your property and the way you care for your grounds.

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The Best Hose Reel Option

Photo: amazon.com

The bushes are pruned, the lawn is mowed, and the planting beds are weeded. Your yard and garden are looking great—except for that pile of twisted hose. To put it in its place, consider a garden hose reel: a cylindrical spindle made of metal, fiberglass, or plastic on which to wind and neatly store your hose.

There are various types of hose reels available. Which is the right one for you? That depends on the size of your property, gardening style, and personal budget. Below, find a list of top picks and some pointers for choosing the best hose reel.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Liberty Garden Multi-Directional Garden Hose Reel
  2. RUNNER UP: Liberty Garden 707 Wall Mount Garden Guide Hose Reel
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Yard Butler Deluxe Heavy Duty Wall Mount Hose Hanger
  4. BEST STAND: Sorbus Manger Garden Hose Holder Stand
  5. BEST CART: Liberty Garden Industrial 2-Wheel Hose Reel Cart
  6. BEST RETRACTABLE: Giraffe Retractable Garden Hose Reel 1/2″ x 130 ft
  7. BEST DECORATIVE:  BIRDROCK HOME Water Hose Holder
  8. BEST FOR SMALL YARDS: Giraffe Hose Reel with 5/8 in. x 65 ft Water Hose
  9. BEST FOR LARGE YARDS: GARDENA Hose Cart + Hose Guide + Connection Hose
The Best Hose Reel Option

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Hose Reel

Various factors go into choosing the best garden hose reel for watering your lawn. Some of those considerations are the size of the yard and the length and diameter of the hose. You can also consider your ability to manually crank the hose and any additional features you might want—like a place to store some gardening tools.

Hose Capacity

The primary consideration for a hose reel is the length of the hose you’ll be using. To determine the right length, measure from the spigot to the areas you’ll be watering. A 200-foot hose on a reel with a 150-foot capacity will result in the excess spilling off, preventing the reel from winding properly, or both.

To ensure that the hose length and reel capacity are suitably matched, check packaging information on both if buying new, or measure your existing hose.

Leader Hose

Most garden hose reels include a leader hose to attach the hose reel to the spigot. Whether you’ll be connecting an existing hose or buying a new one, check the packaging information to verify that the diameters match or you won’t be able to thread them together. For example, a 5/8-inch garden hose won’t fit on a leader hose with a 3/4-inch diameter.

The proper leader hose length depends on where the hose will be stored and its proximity to the water source. If the hose reel comes with a 6-foot leader and you’re installing it 4 feet from the spigot, the leader hose will be long enough.

Portable vs. Stationary

Hose reels can be attached to a permanent location, such as the side of your house, or on wheels or stakes for portability. To decide what will work best for you, consider the size of your landscape. Is it a fairly large area, or a patch of grass and a smattering of bushes planted close to the foundation?

If you’ve got a big yard, you may benefit from the mobility of a metal hose reel cart. Hoses are heavy and lugging one around is hard work; hose reel carts make the job easier. A garden hose stand that you can relocate around the yard might be ideal for a medium yard.

Alternatively, smaller backyards where the hose easily reaches everything in need of water should be fine with a wall-mounted unit like a hose hanger or a storage box that remains in place.

Manual vs. Automatic

How much work are you willing to put into winding your hose? Manual hose reels have a crank that you turn by hand to wind the hose. Automatic models have a button on the side of the reel that, when pressed, winds the hose for you. They’re usually powered by lithium-ion batteries.

Longer hoses can be troublesome for automatic reels, which may have difficulty winding in the entire length of the hose. Automatic hose reels are more convenient, though priced higher than basic manual models.

Closed vs. Open Storage

Folks who prefer to stow the garden hose out of sight should opt for a closed (hideaway) storage hose reel. With these, the hose is enclosed in a container that houses the reel; a lid on top provides access to the hose.

In addition to concealment, closed storage protects the hose from the elements, which can increase its longevity. The alternative is an open storage reel where the hose is exposed and visible but still tidy and contained on the reel.

Material

The most common hose reels are generally made of plastic, fiberglass, aluminum, steel, or resin.

  • Plastic hose reels are lightweight compared to the different metals, making them a good pick for portability and ideal for residential use. But they are not as durable as a metal reel. For those looking for variety in color, plastic hose reels come in different colors.
  • Fiberglass reels are also lightweight and make a good choice for at-home use.
  • Aluminum reels are lighter than steel but heavier than plastic and fiberglass. Aluminum makes a good metal choice when looking for something resistant to rust. And, aluminum reels can accommodate longer hoses over plastic reels. They make a good selection for heavy-duty jobs in any weather.
  • Steel reels are less expensive than aluminum, albeit heavier to pick up. These reels are also rust resistant and can hold longer hoses than plastic reels. For example, you can find a Liberty hose reel that can house a hose up to 300 feet long.
  • Resin hose reels are strong and durable and they won’t rust. They are also lightweight. Most hideaway reels are made of resin and protect a hose over a long period. Resin hose reels will weaken over time in the sunlight, but they last longer than other materials.

Additional Features

Though they’re generally simple devices, hose reels may come with a few bells and whistles.

  • Some wall-mounted hose reels include a convenient storage bin for small, frequently used garden tools like additional hose nozzles, gloves, and hand cultivators. Bins are preferable to baskets, since exposure to the elements is likely to shorten the lifespan of these tools.
  • Stationary hose reels may feature a swivel base that allows for multidirectional movement. Swiveling saves you from having to adjust the direction of the hose as it unwinds when pulled in different directions. The unit stays in place but spins as it changes direction.
  • Garden hose reels may also include a hose guide that prevents kinking when winding and unwinding—a nice option since hoses have a tendency to bunch up, particularly while being wound, which prevents the reel from turning.

Our Top Picks

These top picks are based on the criteria detailed above. They include products in a variety of categories to suit a variety of needs. Read on to discover some of the best hose reels on the market today.

Best Overall

The Best Hose Reel Option: Liberty GARDEN 712 Single Arm Navigator Hose Reel
Photo: amazon.com

Strong steel construction and a weather-resistant coating make this Liberty Garden hose reel a rugged, traditional-style mounted reel well worthy of consideration. The reel holds 125 feet of 5/8-inch hose and includes a 5-foot leader hose and a storage tray for additional nozzles and tools.

A pull-up handle on top allows for 360-degree rotation, and the reel can also be locked into eight different secure positions so that excess hose doesn’t spill off the reel. This hose reel comes fully assembled; all the user has to do is attach the handle.

Runner Up

The Best Hose Reel Option: Liberty Garden 707 Wall Mount Garden Guide Hose Reel
Photo: amazon.com

From Liberty Garden, this wall-mounted hose reel has an aluminum body with a durable powder coat finish for added rust resistance. The brass/galvanized connections add to the appeal. The reel has a 5-foot leader hose. Users can easily pull out the hose for use and then use the hand crank to reel it in for storage. The hose guide ushers the hose along to avoid kinks when winding and unwinding.

The hose reel holds a hose up to 125 feet long and 5/8-inch in diameter. The hose reel comes fully assembled and has a convenient top tray for storing garden tools and nozzles. The mounting hardware is not included.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Hose Reel Option: Yard Butler Deluxe Heavy Duty Wall Mount Hose Hanger
Photo: amazon.com

This reasonably priced hose hanger from Yard Butler holds 100 feet of 5/8-inch hose. Users can mount it at a regular height or a little higher and use big long loops to hang a longer hose. The 12-gauge powder-coated steel has extra bracing and a patented design that prevents sagging; eliminates crimps, kinks, and tangles; and extends the life of the hose.

The hose hanger comes in a weathered verdigris finish in purple, green, or blue. And it also comes in a floral and spiral design to add a little style to the yard.

Best Stand

The Best Hose Reel Option: Sorbus Manger Garden Hose Holder Stand
Photo: amazon.com

Move around the yard, farm, and garden with ease. This hose reel boasts two 16-inch pneumatic tires that can easily roll over most terrain. It can hold a 5/8-inch hose up to 300 feet long, and it comes with a 5-foot leader hose and brass/galvanized fixtures.

The basket on the back of the portable hose reel is great for carting around tools and supplies. And the durable 13-gauge steel construction with a powder-coated finish will last a while and will resist rust. The cart has a low center of gravity to keep it from tipping.

Best Cart

The Best Hose Reel Option: Liberty Garden Industrial 2-Wheel Hose Reel Cart
Photo: amazon.com

Standing 34.75 inches high and able to hold 125 feet of 5/8-inch garden hose, this budget-friendly stand features a curved platform and powder-coated, heavy-gauge steel construction for long-lasting weather resistance.

Install this hose stand in the ground, but avoid sandy or loose soil, where it won’t be able to stand securely. Then, attach the hose directly to the spigot—no leader required. The three long anchor points at the bottom hold the stand firmly in place.

Best Retractable

The Best Hose Reel Option: Giraffe Retractable Garden Hose Wall Mounted
Photo: amazon.com

Water the lawn or the garden from different angles and positions in the yard. This wall-mounted hose reel comes with a 180-degree rotation bracket that provides extensive coverage for the lawn.

The built-in 124-foot garden hose can lock at any length for convenient watering and to avoid tripping over the excess hose. The automatic hose guide prevents kinking while retracting, and the hose comes with nine adjustable spray modes.

To retract the hose, the user simply needs to tug on the hose lightly and rewind it into the polypropylene casing. The casing won’t deform or fade in the sun or the rain. It can be easily removed from the wall-mount bracket by lifting the handle upward for those who want to store the reel in colder months.

Best Decorative

The Best Hose Reel Option: BirdRock Home Water Hose Holder - Copper
Photo: amazon.com

This water hose holder provides a charming way to store a garden hose so that it’s out of the way, orderly, and untangled. The center pole offers the user a way to guide the hose into the pot by allowing the user to wrap the hose around it in a circle. Once stored, the user can remove the pole and store other tools on top of the hose.

The solid steel construction makes the pot lightweight and sturdy, and the copper color gives it added charm. It’s a lovely addition to a backyard, a deck, or a porch. The drainage hole at the bottom removes rainwater and prevents it from overflowing with water.

Best for Small Yards

The Best Hose Reel Option: Giraffe Retractable Garden Hose Reel with 65 ft Hose
Photo: amazon.com

This hose reel comes with a built-in 60-foot hose and a 5-foot hose lead. To use the hose, the user simply needs to pull it out of the casing and when it’s time to store the hose for the day, give it a slight tug, and the hose retracts slowly until stored. The automatic guide prevents tangling, and the plastic stopper will stop the hose at the desired length.

When mounting the reel to the bracket on the wall, the bracket boasts a 180-degree swivel, so users have a better reach around the yard. The nozzle has nine different water patterns for various uses. Users can remove the casing from the wall-mount bracket during colder months and store the hose reel in the garage and out of the elements.

Best for Large Yards

The Best Hose Reel Option: GARDENA Frost Proof - ''M'' Hose Cart + Hose Guide
Photo: amazon.com

Able to hold up to 330 feet of garden hose, GARDENA’s wheeled cart is a great choice for reaching the corners of a large yard. Once the cart is in place, you can fold out its kickstand to keep the cart stationary. The cart also comes with a hose guide to help with rolling up the hose, ensuring that it is done evenly and without any hassle. The angled hose connection on the inside of the reel prevents the hose from bending—this helps with continued water flow—while the anti-drip design helps prevent leaking.

FAQs About Hose Reels

For more information about the best hose reel, check out these answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If additional concerns arise, contact the manufacturer.

Q. How do I choose a hose reel?

When choosing a garden hose reel, consider the length and diameter of the hose you want to connect to ensure compatibility. The size of your yard will help you choose between portable and stationary. If you have a large yard, you may want to find the best hose reel cart.

Then you need to make decisions regarding your willingness to manually reel, the material you want, how much you want to spend, and any additional features you may wish to have.

Q. Are brass hose fittings better than plastic?

Brass hose fittings are more durable than plastic fittings; they are more robust and will last longer. Brass is also more expensive than plastic.

Q. Which type of hose reel material lasts the longest?

Resin hose reels last the longest.

Q. What kind of hose reel is best for small yards?

The best garden hose reel for a small yard is the Giraffe Hose Reel with 5/8 in. x 65 ft Water Hose.

Q. Where do you mount a hose reel?

You mount a garden hose reel close to a water spout. Hose reels come with a leader hose that could be 5 to 6 feet long. You can mount the reel 5 to 6 feet away from the water spout.

Final Thoughts

You’re meticulous about your lawn and garden, and all is in its place. And then you remember the hose is balled up and forgotten, killing the grass it lies on. You’ve decided enough is enough, and that’s why you’re looking to buy the best garden hose reel for you and your yard. Consider the factors outlined in this guide and the best reels to choose from to put that last finishing touch on that carefully detailed landscape you put so much work into.