Garden vegetables, potted or bedding plants, and grass need frequent watering, especially in hot and dry weather, sometimes even twice or three times a day. Garden hoses allow you to maintain the beauty of your landscape and lawn’s color easily. Although they may appear similar at first glance, each garden hose has a specific function. You can actually find many different types of hoses at your local garden & lawn store and online retailers.
We have compiled a list of the top garden hoses to suit your needs after extensive research. And in the shopping guide, we will discuss the various features of garden hoses that allow for quick, efficient work in the yard. This will help you find the right product the first time.
Best Garden Hoses
- The hose can be extended after the water get in and returns to its original length when the water runs out.
- It is lightweight to carry.
- It has a triple latex inner and interwoven elasticated fabric.
- Occasional product longevity and leakage issues after several months.
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- This hose is made of double elastic latex, and is lightweight and durable enough to use without twists, kinks, or tangles.
- It comes with a 3/4″ brass connector and has an on/off valve at the end.
- The hosepipe can expand with water in and return to its original length when water runs out.
- Space-saving storage
- The expandable feature does not last a long time.
- Durable and resistant to various weather
- Easy to lay flat and coil
- No water leaking
- Drinking water safe
- Not resistant to mold if not stored properly.
- This set has a casing for protecting the hose from wear and tear.
- It can be wall-mounted or used as a free-standing reel.
- The large winding handle allows for easy manual rewinding.
- It’s fairly easy to assemble and transport.
- Assembling can be a bit hard for some people. It’s better to watch videos before installing.
- Occasional issue of rewinding
- This garden hose has crush-proof heavy duty couplings.
- Its material is industrial-style reinforced for high burst strength.
- The male and female coupling is made from nickel-plated brass.
- A bit heavy to pull through garden plants
- The hose has solid brass connector, latex interior tube and fabric exterior.
- Its nozzle has 9 functions.
- The expandable hose is lightweight to use and space-saving for storage.
- Not built to last a lifetime
What to Consider When Buying Garden Hoses?
Garden Hose Types
There are three types of garden hoses: soaker, sprinkler, and spray.
Garden soaker hose
Garden irrigation is usually done with soaker hoses. These hoses are made of recycled rubber and plastics and have porous walls. When the water is turned on it oozes through the thousands of tiny holes in the hose allowing water to seep into the soil or onto the soil.
Soaker hoses can be laid directly on the ground (it is better to lay it below a layer mulch), buried slightly beneath the surface, or buried a little deeper (often done in large vegetable gardens).
There are many sizes and lengths of soaker hoses available. They range from 1/4-inch (which is usually part of a drip irrigation system) to 3/4-inch (these are large black hoses that you often see in garden centers). Because they are not flexible, larger hoses can be difficult to manage. To hold them in place, use garden stakes and let them dry in the sun for a few minutes to soften before placing them in your garden.
Soaker hoses work best on relatively flat sites and are shorter in length (although 1/4 soaker can be used for over 100 feet). You will need to ensure that the water seeps along the entire length of the soaker hose if you are using large diameter soaker hoses.
They are great for planters or vegetable gardens that have rows of plants, who prefer to water deeply than to sprinkle. For example, roses prefer deep watering, if spraying and wetting their leaves can make them vulnerable to many diseases.
A spray hose with a low flow at root is sufficient if you only have a few rose bushes. However, a dedicated soaker will be necessary if you have several rows.
Expandable garden hose
Expandable hoses look like a scrunch-like shape. They can expand three times when filled with water. You may have seen them advertised on television. These hoses are lightweight at around 1 lb and come in bright colors. They are approximately 1/2 inch in diameter with adequate water flow to match a non-expandable garden hose. However, they do not have the same water flow as a regular hose.
Expandable hoses are loved by many because they are lightweight. However, these hoses can burst or lose the ability of coiling if there is high water pressure or if the hose is exposed to the sun over time. This is because the flexible inner tube is not reinforced.
It’s best to keep them away from the sun and to treat them gently. They can be used for hand watering rather than being connected to a sprinkler or soaker hose. Be prepared to change your hose often.
Self-coiling garden hose
Self-coiling hoses are designed as a tight spiral that can be pulled out for use, can automatically pull together for storage. They are suitable for hand watering in small areas like patios and balconies.
These hoses are not able to stretch to their full length due to the coils. A 25-foot hose might only stretch 15 to 20 feet, make sure you consider this when you buy one.
It is a bit tricky to store self-coiling hoses. Because they may get tangled if storing them on the reel or container. Hanging them on the wall-mounted hangers can reduce the chance of tangling.
Drinking water safe hose
You should ensure that the garden hose does not contain harmful chemicals if your pets or you are going to drink from it.
Garden hoses made from plasticizers, which give the hose its flexibility, can also contain chemicals like lead and BPA that get into the water. These chemicals are safe for your plants but can be toxic for you.
Look out for hoses marked “drinking water safe” or “lead-free”. These hoses can be found for recreational use such as in boats and RVs. They are made with FDA-approved inner cores, which don’t release harmful chemicals.
Let the water run through your hose until it cools down before you water your vegetables or other edibles. Chemicals can leach from the hose and are concentrated in the water.
Flat garden hoses look almost like a fireman’s hose. They are round once they have been filled with water but flatten when empty. Flat garden hoses are lightweight and easy to roll up with the included reel (they drain themselves). They take up less space than standard hoses and work best when storage space is limited.
Flat hoses are usually made of vinyl that are very flexible to flatten out and have a lower burst pressure.
You’ll need to unroll the whole hose before you turn on the water. The hose should be used straight across a surface with no snags. These may not be the best choice for garden use.
Garden Hose Materials
Hoses can be made from various materials. The material used to make a hose will affect its durability, weight, and lifetime. The price of a particular type of hose is also determined by the material used.
Here are the most popular materials in garden hoses.
Nylon / collapsible: Also known as an expandable garden hose. It collapses when there is no water in it. It expands approximately three times its original size when it is filled with water. This hose has an outer layer made of nylon to maintain its flexibility. Elastic rubber is used to make the inner tube that carries water.
Vinyl: Vinyl hoses are typically lighter and more affordable than other types of hoses, but are not as durable as other types of hoses and tend to crack or kink more than other materials. To strengthen the interior, some manufacturers use radial cords.
Rubber: Rubber hoses are heavier than other types of hoses. This hose is a tough-duty one that can withstand harsh environments, such as high pressure and hot water. Rubber garden hoses are the best if you need a long-lasting hose and want to transport hot water via a garden hose.
Vinyl/rubber: A vinyl/rubber combination hose is a great compromise option at a reasonable price. This hose is designed to handle an average workload.
Polyurethane: It is rare to find hoses made from polyurethane. This type of hose is often advertised as safe for water. Vinyl hoses should not be used to provide water for pets or humans, which can leach plasticizers or lead into the water.
Garden Hose Diameters
The diameter of your garden hose is crucial if you want to control water pressure during outdoor work. It is determined by the size of the opening inside. It also determines how much water it can hold.
A smaller diameter hose is lighter than one with a larger diameter and therefore easier to transport and move. However, it may not be able to handle large quantities of water quickly.
These are the sizes available for garden hoses:
7/16 inch: They are ideal for smaller gardens because they are lightweight and easy to move.
3/8 inch: These hoses don’t often come in common. If they are made, they may be labeled as “coiled garden hose” by the manufacturer. They are designed for light-duty tasks and are only available in shorter lengths than 50 feet.
1/2 inch: These hoses are perfect for light-duty tasks such as watering small gardens or flowers. Half-inch hoses should not be purchased with lengths greater than 50 feet. A hose with a small diameter will not produce enough water pressure to work well at a longer length.
5/8 inch: This is the most common residential hose diameter. It can be used for many different tasks and has a lot of flexibility to adapt to different uses.
3/4 inch: This garden hose is large in diameter and can handle heavy-duty tasks that require high water pressure. This hose can be used for commercial applications, it can handle up to 100 feet in length. You can power wash your barn with this. However, it is heavy and can be difficult to carry.
Garden Hose Lengths
There are many length options available, from small, 3 feet long leader hoses to long 100 feet options for a large garden.
Buying the longest garden hose is not always the best choice. Longer hoses will cost you more than shorter hoses. You could end up spending more money on a longer hose than you really need.
A longer hose is more difficult to transport and requires more space for storage. A longer hose may result in lower water pressure.
These are some available standard hose lengths:
25 feet: This is the ideal length for areas around a deck, or in small gardens near the water spigot. It tends to have higher water pressure than other lengths.
50 feet: This would be a good length for a large garden close to the water spigot, or a medium-sized backyard.
75 feet: This length is recommended if you have a lot of yards and need to move sprinklers to different locations.
100 feet: This length is recommended for large yards or areas with only one spigot. This length of hose can only be used if you have enough water pressure.
Expandable hoses uncoil themselves as they fill with water and collapse when it is dry.
No matter how much and how often you water your garden or lawn, a quality garden hose with enough length that can reach your yard is the best. It will make your watering easier and more enjoyable.
Garden Hose Couplings
All hoses have couplings (also called fittings), which are metal or plastic connectors attached to the hose ends, water spigot, sprinkler, nozzle, or another hose. You can make your hose work better by changing the type of couplings you use.
You could waste a lot of water if you select a hose with a cheap coupling. If the coupling that connects to your house’s spigot leaks, your foundation may sustain costly water damage.
Let’s take a look at the different types of couplings.
Plastic: Plastic couplings will be the most affordable for a garden hose. Because they are difficult to tighten properly, they can leak during lawn watering, also they may crack due to temperature fluctuations. A plastic coupling is a great way to save money if you only use the hose for a few minutes each day.
Brass: Brass is the most commonly used metal for couplings. It can be chrome-plated or true brass and is thick and durable enough to last for years. A brass coupling is easily identified by its hexagonal or octagonal exterior. However, not all brass couplings have this shape. Some are round.
Aluminum and stainless steel: An aluminum coupling is stronger than a plastic one. It tends to bend due to its thin metal. Some garden hoses also have stainless couplings.
Octagon-shaped couplings are easier to hold and tighten. A pair of pliers can help you grip the coupling if it gets stuck. It is much more difficult to grip round couplings.
If you plan to drink from the hose, make sure that the couplings have been certified lead-free. You can also carry a water bottle if you are working in the garden.
How Much Do Garden Hoses Cost?
The price of garden hoses depends on the materials, length, diameter. It can range from $10 to $200.
Inexpensive garden hoses can be purchased at as low as $20 to $60. They are made of vinyl, latex, or rubber, which are lightweight to move in the garden and grass, also can withstand somewhat water pressure. However, because their material is usually thin and hardly resistant to weather. They may be burst over time. They may come with plastic or brass fittings. This makes them not last long and not drinking water safe.
High-end garden hoses are made of reinforced rubber, that can be resistant to abrasion, tangle, and all weather conditions. They are usually large and long for use in commercial applications, larger gardens, and other outdoor tasks. The attached brass couplings are heavy-duty, durable, and perform well for high working pressure. Some food-grade models are safe for humans and pets drinking water. Some high-quality garden hoses can last for a lifetime.
How to Safely Use and Properly Store Garden Hoses?
Drinking water-safe. If you and your family members or pets will drink from the hose. It is important to only purchase FDA and NSF-certified food-grade products. These products are guaranteed to be free of lead, BPA, or phthalate. Food grade water means that the water will not have any flavor changes, so it will taste just like it did when it was poured from the tap.
Do not allow pets or humans to drink from vinyl or rubber hoses. Dangerous chemicals could leach into the water supply.
Never drink water that has been left in the hot sun. Do not drink gray water if it is possible to use outside.
If water is left to stagnate between uses, it can create a breeding ground for various bacteria, which can be made with droplets less than 10mm by using a spray nozzle. These droplets are easily inhaled by animals and people. This water can potentially cause disease transmission if it stagnates or contains FLA or Legionella.
After using a garden hose, drain it and let it run for a while before you use potable water.
Manufacturers of hoses will often list the product’s burst pressure. For most home uses, a pressure greater than 300 psi is sufficient. High water pressure can be handled by a garden hose with mesh lining.
Before storing your hose, drain it completely. High water pressure can be handled by a garden hose with mesh lining.