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Published Sep. 29, 2021

Whether you’re watering the lawn, washing the car or filling a kiddie pool, a garden hose is an essential piece of outdoor maintenance equipment.  There are different varieties available, such as expandable hoses, soaker hoses and hoses that are drinking-water safe. They may be made with several different materials, including vinyl, latex and steel, and are designed to roll or coil for easy compact storage; some may even come with a hook or a bag.

The best garden hose is durable and flexible, and won’t leak along its length or at the nozzle. The ideal model for you should also be long enough to accomplish the tasks you’ll use it for most, whether that be watering your garden or hosing down the sidewalk. Read on for descriptions of some of the best garden hoses on the market, as well as details on the factors and features to look for when shopping. You’re likely to find the perfect product to keep your garden looking great.

How We Picked the Best Garden Hose

Methodology

Extensive product research into more than 40 different garden hoses, as well as significant experience from years of yard and garden maintenance, went into the selection of these top products. The primary criteria we considered when looking at each type of hose included length, material and any extra features, like a no-kink design or an included spray nozzle. 

Length is a key consideration, since a too-short hose might not allow you to water the entire yard; therefore, products available in multiple hose lengths were preferred to similar ones that come in one size only. Hoses with special features were deemed superior to more basic models. Categorizing by hose type allowed us to choose unique products with specific purposes, while the material of the hose and the couplings also factored in, as products with more durable construction were preferred over cheaply made versions.

Best Garden Hose Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Flexzilla HFZG5100YW Garden Lead-in Hose

No Kinks, Lots of Length

The durable, kink-free design of this garden hose makes it ideal for washing the car, watering the garden, or setting up a sprinkler for the grass. Flexzilla

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Why It Made the Cut: This lead-free hose is drinking-water safe, available in various lengths up to 100 feet and boasts a quality O-ring that ensures there’s no leakage.  

Specs:

  • Type: Standard garden hose
  • Material: Hybrid polymer
  • Length: 3-, 5-, 10-, 25-, 50-, 75- and 100-foot lengths available

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Kink-free hybrid polymer material
  • Drinking-water safe

Cons:

  • Larger sizes take up a lot of storage space

Home gardeners who keep up with watering are likely to appreciate the kink-free design of the Flexzilla Garden Hose. It’s available in convenient sizes for garden use, including 25, 50, 75 and 100 feet. Its flexible hybrid polymer is drinking-water safe, so users can feel free to take a refreshing sip while tackling outdoor chores.  

This standard garden hose is lightweight and easy to maneuver, with corrosion-resistant aluminum couplings for a secure, leak-free fit. The only shortcoming is that larger sizes take up a good deal of space when fully coiled. But as long as one has room to store it, the Flexzilla is a versatile, dependable and durable choice. 

Best Value: TheFitLife Flexible and Expandable Garden Hose

Lightweight and Portable

Water the entire yard, then let this expandable garden hose shrink back to a third of its length for convenient and compact storage. TheFitLife

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Why It Made the Cut: This affordable expandable garden hose triples in length when it’s filled with water and boasts a durable, dense polyester fabric covering.

Specs:

  • Type: Expandable garden hose
  • Material: Latex and polyester fabric
  • Length: 25-, 50-, 75- and 100-foot lengths available

Pros:

  • Comes with a spray nozzle
  • Compact storage after use
  • Rapidly expands up to three times the length

Cons:

  • May lose flexibility, resulting in reduced length

This expandable garden hose by TheFitLife won’t stretch your budget to the limit. The flexible latex hose is wrapped in durable polyester fabric to protect it from sharp or abrasive objects, like rocks, thorns, nails and bricks. It comes with a compatible spray nozzle and is available in multiple lengths of 25, 50, 75 and 100 feet when full of water. 

After watering work is done, the hose will decrease to about a third of the length for compact storage. The only caveat: Expandable hoses tend to lose flexibility over time, which would permanently reduce the length of the hose.

Best Expandable: Flexi Hose with 8 Function Nozzle

Grows and Stows

This product shrinks in size when not in use, making it well suited for homes with small deck boxes or cramped storage sheds. Flexi Hose

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Why It Made the Cut: Designed for kink-free use and convenient storage, this expandable garden hose is also equipped with a spray nozzle.

Specs:

  • Type: Expandable garden hose
  • Material: Latex and polyester fabric
  • Length: 25-, 50-, 75- and 100-foot lengths available

Pros:

  • Spray nozzle included
  • Durable polyester exterior and solid brass fittings
  • Suitable for small storage spaces

Cons:

  • Latex may lose flexibility with repeated exposure to direct sunlight

Folks short on storage space are likely to have enough room for this Flexi Hose. Its convenient lengths (including 25, 50, 75 and 100 feet) when full of water shrink down considerably when empty. At about a third of its size, the hose can typically fit in tight quarters.  

The Flexi Hose is made of latex and is wrapped in durable polyester fabric to prevent damage from sharp objects. It’s equipped with brass couplings to help reduce the likelihood of leaks and comes with a compatible spray nozzle that has eight different spray modes. Keep in mind, however, that exposure to sunlight, as well as continued use, can reduce flexibility, so store it in a shaded or enclosed spot to slow degradation.

Best Heavy Duty: Bionic Steel 100 Foot Garden Hose

Weatherproof and Durable

Users needn’t worry about rust, kinks, or even temperature extremes with this impressive stainless steel garden hose. BIONIC STEEL

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Why It Made the Cut: You can leave this rust-proof Bionic Steel garden hose out in freezing temperatures or let it lay in the hot sun without any ill effects.

Specs:

  • Type: Standard garden hose
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Length: 25-, 50-, 75- and 100-foot lengths available

Pros:

  • Impressive weather resistance
  • Crush-resistant aluminum couplings
  • Kink-free and rust-proof

Cons:

  • Reduced flexibility

Durability in all sorts of conditions is the main benefit of the Bionic Steel Garden Hose. It’s made of interwoven stainless steel to resist the effects of such extreme weather as sub-zero temperatures and hot, sunny days. The hose also features rugged, crush-resistant aluminum couplings that can be trampled without damage.

This workhorse of a hose is available in 25-, 50-, 75- and 100-foot lengths and it’s easy to coil for storage. The stainless steel material is rust-proof and resistant to kinks, though this benefit may result in reduced flexibility. 

Best Soaker: Melnor 65062-AMZ 75′ Flat Soaker Hose

Hands-Free Watering

Delicate plants won’t suffer damage thanks to this vinyl soaker hose that releases water gradually. Melnor

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Why It Made the Cut: Hobbyist gardeners will appreciate the simple set-it-and-forget-it design of this soaker hose that can be left to water the garden as long as necessary.

Specs:

  • Type: Soaker hose
  • Material: Vinyl
  • Length: 25-, 50- and 75-foot lengths available

Pros:

  • Water seeps through the entire length of the hose
  • Gentle water release won’t damage plants
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Plastic coupling is vulnerable to cracking and leaking

Safely hydrate delicate plants with the Melnor Soaker Hose. It’s capped at the end to create the necessary internal pressure for water to seep through its porous vinyl sides.  Whereas powerful bursts of water from a standard hose can damage plants, this soaker option gently gives flowerbeds, vegetables, fruits and other plants the water they need to thrive.

This lightweight garden hose is available in 25-, 50- and 75-foot lengths and when not in use, it lays completely flat, making it easy to fold and store. The only issue with this Melnor model is that its two couplings are made of plastic, which may be susceptible to cracking and leaking. 

Things to Consider Before Buying a Garden Hose

Besides length and material, it’s important to understand the various types of garden hoses available. Keep all the following factors and features in mind while shopping for the best garden hose for your needs. 

Type

The most common garden hoses include standard, soaker, sprinkler, flat, coiled, and expandable. Different garden hoses may be uniquely suited to specific outdoor duties.

  • Standard garden hoses run straight, which makes them vulnerable to kinking. They are round in shape and typically use metal or plastic couplings at each end to connect to a faucet or spray nozzle.
  • Soaker garden hoses slowly release water into the garden, thanks to thousands of pinholes along the length of the hose. 
  • Sprinkler garden hoses may seem like soakers at first glance, but they have fewer holes, allowing them to function more like a horizontal sprinkler system.
  • Flat garden hoses are intended to reduce kinking. They lay flat when empty, but will take on a rounded shape when filled with water. The flat shape also makes them easier to roll and store.
  • Coiled garden hoses have a design that allows them to rapidly return to a more compact, coiled shape after use. This makes it easier to prep the hose for storage.
  • Expandable garden hoses combine the compact storage capabilities of a coiled option with the length and kink-free design of a flat model. It can expand up to three times its length when filled with water and after use shrink to its original size for compact storage. The expandable material won’t kink but over time may lose flexibility and become unable to expand fully.

Length

While the most common garden hose length is 50 feet, there are hoses that range from just 10 feet to 150 feet. Take some basic measurements from your outdoor faucet to the perimeter of your yard to determine the best length for the hose. 

Keep in mind that the longer the hose, the less water pressure it will have, due to friction and drag caused by water flowing through it. So balance the length with optimal water pressure and, if necessary, consider a hose with a larger diameter, which may help you achieve the desired length without losing substantial water pressure.

Material

Garden hoses are made from a range of different materials intended to allow for flexibility while protecting the hose from damage. Common materials include vinyl, latex, rubber, plastic, and various metals.

  • Vinyl is commonly used for the hose itself. It’s a lightweight, flexible material, though not as durable as other options. These products may also be labeled polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
  • Latex is regularly used to make expandable hoses. It may have a polyester fabric exterior to improve durability and protect the hose from punctures. 
  • Rubber is a tough, durable, temperature-resistant material ideal for standard, coiled and flat garden hoses. However, it is typically more expensive than vinyl.
  • Plastic, commonly used for hose couplings, are more vulnerable to cracking and breaking than metal couplings.
  • Metals like, brass, aluminum, and stainless steel, are regularly used to make strong, reliable hose couplings. Stainless steel may also be used to form the exterior of heavy-duty hoses.

FAQs

Q: Does garden hose length affect water pressure?

Yes, hose length does affect water pressure. In general, the longer the garden hose, the lower the water pressure, because as water passes through the interior of the hose, the contact causes resistance, reducing water pressure.

Q: How long do garden hoses last?

If a garden hose is properly maintained and stored when not in use then it can last between five to 10 years. However, if the hose isn’t appropriately stored, especially in winter weather, it can quickly degrade and become susceptible to leaking, breaking or bursting during use.

Q: What’s the best way to store an expandable hose?

To properly store an expandable hose, turn off the water, disconnect the hose, and allow it to shrink and dry fully. Then simply roll the hose up and place it in a garden box or a shed, to protect it from direct sunlight and, to a degree, extreme temperature changes. Some products come with a storage bag or hook to keep the hose neat when not in use.

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

A garden hose nozzle isn’t necessary when it comes to watering the lawn. Users can simply position a thumb partially over the hose opening to direct water over a broad area. However, a nozzle makes watering much easier to control, a benefit when it comes to fragile plants that could be damaged by anything more than a light misting.

Final Thoughts

A good garden hose is a backyard essential. Even if you’re not much of a gardener, you’ll likely rely on it for a host of tasks, from washing patio furniture to filling the kids’ blow-up pool.  Made with drinking water-safe materials, the Flexzilla Garden Hose is lightweight, anti-kink and available in multiple lengths, so you can choose the right size for your yard. If you haven’t the space to store a long hose, TheFitLife Expandable Garden Hose is an excellent and affordable option.

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