The Best Soaker Hoses for Your Yard and Garden

Who wants to spend summer at the end of a hose keeping the landscape alive? As plants move into survival mode, a simple soaker hose setup might be just what you need to keep plants and gardens happy all season long.

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The Best Soaker Hose Option

Photo: amazon.com

Whether you have a raised vegetable garden or a mixed border of trees, shrubs, and perennials, everything benefits from a regular drink of water during summer months. But once the July heat rolls in, a soaking weekly rainfall is about as likely as snow in August in many areas. That’s when a soaker hose comes in handy, relieving some of the pressure of watering often enough to keep your garden alive. If you include a timer, everyone wins with a “set it and forget it” watering system. Ideally, a garden requires about 1 inch of water weekly to thrive, and a soaker hose is a great way to ensure your plants have plenty to drink.

Soaker hoses are often made of recycled rubber that allows water from your garden spigot to weep through tiny perforations directly into the soil around your plants. Because soaker hoses don’t spray plant foliage, this method of watering significantly reduces the chance of plants developing fungal problems commonly caused by overhead watering. Instead, water soaks directly into the root zone, allowing plants to slowly absorb water. With the best soaker hose, setup also is a breeze. Snake the soaker hose through the garden, positioning it around plants. A quick turn of the faucet and your garden gets watered while you sit back and enjoy a cool drink of your own!

Our Top Picks

Even water dispersion is the most important quality to look for, and the best soaker hose will distribute water to all plants along its entire length. Buyers also should look for anti-kink technology, leak-free connections, and ensure proper hose length to determine the best soaker hose for a landscape.

Best Overall

The Best Soaker Hose Option: Water Right SKR-050-MU Soaker Garden Hose, 50 Foot
Photo: amazon.com

Unlike other soaker hoses that contain unsafe chemicals, the Water Right 25-Foot x 1/2″ Polyurethane Soaker Hose is made of FDA-grade polyurethane with no phthalates or BPA. The brass fittings are lead-free, so not only is this hose safe for vegetable gardens, but you can also feel free to take a sip from it yourself! The flexible design means gardeners can position the hose even in cold weather, while strain reliefs at both ends prevent kinking so water runs uninterrupted from the spigot. Even pressure throughout the entire length of the hose ensures consistent watering of plants. UV stabilization prevents the hose from degrading from direct sunlight exposure.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Soaker Hose Option: Gilmour Flat Weeper Soaker Hose
Photo: amazon.com

Whether the Gilmour Flat Weeper Soaker Hose lies above ground or beneath a thin layer of mulch, clog-resistant recycled vinyl ensures continuous water flow and protection from damaging ultraviolet light. The weeping watering method limits the amount of water lost to evaporation so that more water is delivered slowly and gently to plants’ root systems. This hose is lightweight for its size and stores flat, making it easy to position around plants in the growing season and store in the offseason. When in use, the hose fills with water that weeps slowly into the ground. For best results, use inexpensive 6-inch U-shaped landscape staples to keep the soaker hose in position around seedlings and other plants that could get damaged if the hose shifts. The Gilmour Flat Weeper also is available in 75- and 50-foot lengths.

Runner-Up

The Best Soaker Hose Option: Melnor 65062-AMZ 75' Flat Soaker Hose
Photo: amazon.com

The Melnor 75′ Flat Soaker Hose maintains equal pressure from beginning to end, a difficult thing for longer-length soaker hoses to do. A removable rust-resistant endcap makes it possible to connect additional lengths of soaker hose for larger spaces. The hose is pliable and soft, making it easy to place around plants, in lawns, or beneath a thin layer of mulch. Unlike traditional hoses that are cumbersome and difficult to store, this soaker hose flattens down and can rest in something as small as a shoe box, according to the company. Two washers come with the hose to ensure a leak-free seal. Tight turns are challenging for this hose, which tends to kink, stopping water flow when forced into sharp angles. Using gentle curves to position the hose in different directions gives the best results.

Most Durable

The Best Soaker Hose Option: Dramm 17050 50' ColorStorm 1/2" Standard Soaker Hose
Photo: amazon.com

Whether installed above ground or 6-inches below, the Dramm ColorStorm soaker hose is a great option for someone who’d rather not think about the hose once it’s installed. Not even a cold winter, in which many other soaker hoses would burst if frozen, should faze this Dramm soaker hose. Made of recycled rubber, the hose wall is 50 percent thicker than the competition to prevent the “geyser effect,” which occurs when pressure sprays water through the holes in jets instead of seeping water slowly into the soil. Nickel-plated brass couplings are crush-proof, so even running over the connectors shouldn’t cause serious damage. To minimize evaporation when used above ground, cover the kink-resistant hose with landscape rock or mulch. Gardeners with larger landscapes can connect several hoses, up to 500 feet. Longer lengths might result in less pressure toward the end of the line and less effective irrigation in that area, however.

Most Versatile

The Best Soaker Hose Option: Swan Products GIDS-2496287 Element Sprinkler Hose
Photo: amazon.com

The Swan Products Element Sprinkler Soaker Hose has six perforations per foot and a white stripe that runs the entire length meant to help you correctly position it based on the intended use. When the stripe is up, the hose becomes a sprinkler, ideal for watering the lawn. Stripe down, and you’ve got a drip system for landscape borders and vegetable gardens. Made of 65 percent recycled rubber, the soaker hose rolls out flat and won’t kink or twist. Consider using landscape staples to keep the hose in place around turns and at the base of trees and shrubs. Male and female brass fittings won’t corrode and plastic couplings make connecting multiple lengths fast and easy. Ultraviolet protection ensures that the hose won’t degrade with sun exposure.

Eco Pick

The Best Soaker Hose Option: One Stop Gardens FBA_97193 3/4 Inch Flat Soaker Hose
Photo: amazon.com

Unlike other hoses that twist and kink when snaked through tight spots, this 25-foot Gilmour soaker hose is ideal for those hard-to-reach areas where sharp turns are inevitable. Installed above or below ground, the flexible black vinyl hose blends in well, and brass fittings at the ends won’t rust or corrode. Available in 25-foot and 50-foot lengths, each hose has a male and female end so you can add length as your garden expands. Pairing it with a timer lets you set it and forget it. Unlike flat soaker hoses that store discreetly, this one retains its cylindrical shape when not in use and might be more difficult to store. Despite good weather resistance, it’s best stored indoors in climates where freezing is an issue.

Best for Large Gardens

The Best Soaker Hose Option: Teknor-Apex Company 1030-75 Thumb Soaker Hose
Photo: amazon.com

Many soaker hoses don’t give users control over how fast they emit water from the spigot and distribute it to plants, but the One Stop Gardens Flat Seeper Soaker Hose is an exception. Gardeners might want to slow the flow so that plants have more time to fully absorb every last drop. This 50-foot soaker hose comes with three water restrictor washers, each with a different diameter. The largest allows for the greatest amount of water to enter the hose as it leaves the spigot. The heavy-duty vinyl hose is great for winding around new and established beds and works best when anchored in place with landscape staples to avoid damaging young plants and seedlings if the hose shifts.