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You are here: Home » News » The Best Garden Hoses Tested in 2023

The Best Garden Hoses Tested in 2023

Views: 23     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-04-26      Origin: Site

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The use of innovative new materials lends a whole new aspect to the traditional garden hose. 

Here's how to pick the best one for your watering needs.

You probably already have a 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.

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.

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, 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:

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.


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. 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 “BPA-free,” “lead-free,” and “phthalate-free.”


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 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.

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