Whether you’re an avid outdoor gardener or simply need to wash your car, a quality garden hose can be a great tool for the warmer weather. But with so many options on the market — along with various features and accessories — finding a hose that fits your specific outdoor needs may require a little more research.
They can be an investment, too: A good quality hose, nozzle and reel combined can cost upwards of $150, said Bailey Carson, a home care expert at online directory and review forum Angi with over seven years of lawn care experience. “Less expensive options don’t last quite as long, but if you take good care of them — like storing them in the winter and rolling them up between use — you can still get a lot of use out of them,” Carson said.
To simplify your search, we consulted home and gardening experts about how to shop for the best hose and rounded up their picks, as well as some quality nozzles and reels to pair with your hose.
LEARN MORE How we picked the best garden hoses | Best garden hoses | Best hose nozzles | Best hose reels | How to shop for a garden hose
Our top picks
- Best standard garden hose: Flexzilla 100-Foot Garden Hose ($65)
- Best soaker garden hose: Gilmour 75-foot Flat Soaker Hose ($27)
- Best coiled garden hose: Gardener’s Supply Company 50-foot Featherweight Coil Hose ($60)
How we picked the best garden hoses
Nikki Flickinger, a seasonal and outdoor living merchant at Lowe’s, said there are various types of hoses that can be used for different outdoor tasks and needs. To help you find the right hose for you, experts recommended each of the below highly rated options that fall into three major categories:
- Standard hoses are typically made of vinyl or rubber. If you expect to use your hose for typical outdoor tasks like watering your lawn or hosing down your car, experts recommended an all-purpose standard vinyl hose, which is the most affordable option. A more durable standard rubber hose — which can be a little pricier — may be a better option if you store your hose outside or often use hot water.
- Coiled hoses form a spring shape when not in use and are light-duty enough to water small areas.
- Soaker hoses have tiny punctures that allow for slow-drip irrigation into your garden to keep it healthy, especially when paired with a timer. A soaker hose can be a great choice if you’re more of a hands-off gardener.
Our experts also offered guidance on how to shop for accessories like hose nozzles and hose reels below.
Best garden hoses to shop
Below, we highlighted expert-recommended standard, soaker and coiled hoses in line with our experts’ guidance.
Best standard garden hose: Flexzilla
Flexzilla 100-foot Garden Hose
This highly rated garden hose from Flexzilla is made from a flexible vinyl and rubber hybrid material, which experts told us offers varying levels of flexibility and durability. The Flexzilla hose is durable in weather conditions as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit and resists abrasion, UV and mold, according to the brand. The hose is the most versatile on this list — you can choose from seven different lengths ranging from 3 feet long up to 100 feet long. It also comes in a bright green color so it’s easy to spot while you’re working outdoors and includes durable aluminum metal couplings. It has a 4.6-star average rating from more than 64,500 reviews on Amazon.
Best soaker garden hose: Gilmour
Gilmour 75-foot Flat Soaker Hose
With small pores all over the hose that can slowly release water, a soaker hose can be a good investment for watering garden beds, flowers and other landscaping projects, according to our experts. This option by Gilmour is made from 100% recycled vinyl, which is flexible and lightweight enough to be woven through your plants and gardens and can be folded flat for easy storage. It’s also covered in a clog-resistant fabric that can protect the hose against UV rays and wear, Gilmour says. You can purchase the hose in a 75-foot or 50-foot version, and it has a 4.2-star average rating from more than 8,400 Amazon reviews.
Best coiled garden hose: Gardener’s Supply Company
Gardener’s Supply Company 50-foot Featherweight Coil Hose
Julie Bawden-Davis, the master gardener behind the site Healthy Houseplants, said this coiled hose has lasted her over eight years in Southern California, “where the sun can do a lot of damage to plastics." She also noted that it fits well into tight spaces, yet can stretch up to 50 feet in length. The hose has a 4.3-star average rating from more than 100 reviews at Gardener’s Supply Company, and the brand also offers a 25-foot version.
Best heavy-duty vinyl hose: Teknor Apex
Teknor Apex NeverKink XP 100-foot Garden Hose
Lacy Lange, a gardener and farmer at Homestead Farms, said she uses this NeverKink XP heavy-duty hose from Teknor Apex. “It’s heavy to drag around, but it can stand up to wear and tear,” she said, adding that the hose also has crush-resistant brass couplings that can be useful “in case they get run over by trucks or machinery” around her farm. The vinyl outer is abrasion-, puncture- and UV-resistant, according to the brand. It has a 4.1-star average rating from over 70 reviews at Lowe’s.
Best heavy-duty rubber hose: Dramm
Dramm ColorStorm 50-foot Garden Hose
This 50-foot rubber hose can be a good option for large outdoor projects, like watering a larger chunk of your lawn or cleaning off your car, according to our experts. Bawden-Davis called this a “durable” option — the hose is kink-resistant and can withstand hot water up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the brand. You can also get this hose in a 25-foot or 50-foot length and it comes in a variety of bright colors, including Blue, Red, Orange and Yellow. It has a 4.4-star average rating from more than 100 reviews on Amazon.
Best lightweight garden hose: zero-G
zero-G 50-foot Garden Hose
Lange recommended this vinyl garden hose from zero-G as a lightweight option — the brand says it weighs less than five pounds. The hose itself doesn’t expand or retract, which means it stays consistently at the same length and “doesn’t seem to take away your water pressure,” Lange said. The hose includes ergonomic metal couplings that are crush-proof up to 900 pounds, according to the brand. It has a 4.6-star average rating from more than 6,200 reviews on Amazon.
Best all-in-one garden hose: Hoselink
Hoselink 82-foot Retractable Garden Hose Reel
If you’re looking to save time and money with an all-in-one hose, nozzle and reel, Lange recommended this 50-foot option from Hoselink. It comes with an all-season hose, an eight-pattern thumb-control spray nozzle and a hose reel that can pivot 180 degrees for easy maneuverability. The reel also integrates carry handles for easy transport, and the set includes hardware so you can install the reel on your wall. This hose has a 4.9-star average rating from more than 1,600 reviews at Hoselink.
Best expandable garden hose: FITT FLOW
FITT Flow Expandable Patio Garden Hose
Carmen Devito, founder of garden and landscape design company Garden Cult, recommended this rubber garden hose from FITT FLOW, which can expand from half an inch up to 60 feet long. The hose is light-duty and features metal couplings with kink-resistant collars for durability, according to FITT Flow. The hose also comes with a four-pattern thumb control spray nozzle, as well as a portable storage bag that is water- and mold-resistant, the brand says. It has a 4.8-star average rating from 100 reviews at Walmart.
Best hose nozzles to shop
Below, we compiled expert-recommended and highly rated garden hose nozzles that include pistol grip, watering wand and thumb-control nozzles. The nozzles also offer various spray patterns, including single-pattern and multi-pattern.
Best pistol grip nozzle: Melnor
Melnor 5-Pattern Watering Nozzle
This metal hose nozzle from Melnor offers five water spray patterns — shower, stream, mist, flat and full — that can accommodate most basic gardening activities. It’s made from a combination of metal, plastic and rubber, so it’s lightweight, though not as durable as a nozzle made fully from metal. Lange said she uses this nozzle “mostly for cleaning purposes due to the different spray patterns.” It has a 4.3-star average rating from more than 800 reviews at Home Depot.
Best watering wand: Dramm
Dramm 30-inch Rain Wand Nozzle
Bawden-Davis recommended this 30-inch watering wand from Dramm, which can easily reach areas in your garden or lawn that may be harder to access. While it doesn’t have adjustable spray patterns, it produces a gentle rain shower that won’t damage plants, according to the brand. The watering wand, which has a 4.4-star average rating from over 800 reviews on Amazon, is offered in a 16-inch size and features a thumb-control valve for ease of use.
Best single-pattern nozzle: Gilmour
Gilmour Full Size Zinc Pistol Grip Nozzle
With a full metal construction, this single-pattern nozzle is durable and easy to use — you can simply push down on the trigger and adjust water flow as needed, according to the brand. It has a hold-open clip to keep water streaming continuously, and the small dial at the top allows you to control the force and flow of the water that comes out, Gilmour says. This nozzle has a 4.4-star average rating from more than 1,100 reviews on Amazon.
Best multi-pattern nozzle: Dramm
Dramm 14505 Revolution 9-Pattern Spray Gun
For a more comfortable option, Devito recommended Dramm's spray nozzles. This thumb-control one has a one-touch valve that can be quickly adjusted to control water flow without squeezing a trigger. It features nine spray patterns — from cone and shower to mist and fan — that can be selected using a quick-change dial. This nozzle has a 4.5-star average rating from more than 900 reviews on Amazon. If you prefer a pistol grip nozzle, Bawden-Davis recommended this nine-pattern option from the brand.
Best hose reels to shop
Below, we compiled expert-recommended and highly rated hose reels across price points and functionality, including wall-mounted and portable options. In line with expert guidance, each of the following reels are open for easier storage and less bulk.
Best affordable hose reel: Yard Butler
Yard Butler Wall Mount Hose Hanger
For a simple and affordable storage option, Lange recommended this hose hanger that can be mounted. It’s crafted from durable steel and features a curved design that can prevent your hose from sagging or getting tangled, the brand says. It’s also sturdy enough to hold 100 feet of a standard, 5/8-inch diameter garden hose, according to Yard Butler. It also comes in four colors — Green, Blue, Purple and Verdigris — and has a 4.7-star average rating from more than 4,600 reviews on Amazon.
Best wall-mounted hose reel: Liberty Garden
Liberty Garden 707 Wall Mount Hose Reel
Lange also called this decorative, wall-mounted hose reel from Liberty Garden a great option if you don’t want to sacrifice style for utility. It’s constructed from non-rust cast aluminum with a nickel powder-coated finish that can help prevent water damage, according to the brand. Liberty Garden says it can hold up to 125 feet of a standard hose and features a shelf at the top to hold any outdoor gardening tools. It also includes a hose guide that lets you roll and unroll your hose without it getting bunched or tangled. This reel has a 4.7-star average rating from more than 2,800 reviews on Amazon.
Best portable hose reel: AMES
AMES 2385580 ReelEasy Folding Cart Reel
If you’re planning on frequently moving your hose across your yard, Lange suggested this reel cart from AMES as a portable option. It conveniently folds down for easy storage, and the handle sports hose and nozzle notches to hold them in place and prevent a tripping hazard. The reel, which the brand says can hold hoses up to 175 feet long, has a 4.2-star average rating from more than 3,500 reviews on Amazon.
How to shop for a garden hose
Choosing the best garden hose depends on several factors, including the type (which we mention above), length and material of the hose to fit your specific needs. Other factors to consider include how often you use your hose, the climate you’re in and your budget. Experts told us the length, diameter and fittings on a hose determine its water flow capacity.
What material is the hose made out of?
Experts told us the material of the hose typically determines its flexibility and durability. According to Flickinger, hoses are usually made from one of three materials:
- Vinyl is the most popular, affordable and lightweight choice.
- Polyurethane is lightweight, kink-resistant and typically found in coiled and air hoses.
- Rubber is the tougher, heavier and more flexible option that can be used for heavy duty job sites or hot water.
Experts said that a hose's kink resistance — an important factor — depends on the material. Polyurethane and rubber are fairly kink-resistent, while vinyl is more prone to kinking.
How strong is the hose?
Hoses are labeled as light-, medium- or heavy-duty — each has its own specific uses and outdoor needs.
Light-duty hoses are the most affordable option and can be good for small gardens and plant care since they’re typically lightweight and easier to maneuver, wind up and store. However, they’re best for infrequent gardening since they’re more susceptible to damage from the elements, bursts or punctures, according to Flickinger.
Medium-duty hoses (also called standard hoses) can be a decent option for residential lawn and landscape maintenance, such as general gardening work. These offer a “better value than light-duty when watering more frequently” since they are more durable, explained Flickinger.
Heavy-duty hoses have thicker walls and are usually the most durable and sturdy option. “These hoses will most likely contain key features such as kink resistance, flexibility and durability” that let you leave them outside and exposed to the elements without risking damage, according to Flickinger. These hoses can be used for some pressure washer tasks, like washing outdoor walls and sidewalks.
How long is the hose?
The experts we spoke to noted length is among the most important considerations when buying a hose.
“The length of the hose is determined by the project requiring water or the size of your yard, patio or area that would be supported by the garden hose,” said Flickinger. She said popular lengths are 50 and 100 feet, with the latter being a better option if you have a larger yard or rely on just one water spigot (the device used to turn water on and off).
What type of couplings does the hose have?
It’s important to pay attention to the couplings (also called fittings), which are the end pieces that connect the ends of the hose with water supplies like spigots, sprinklers and nozzles. According to Carson, they can be made of plastic or metal (typically brass, but also sometimes zinc and aluminum) — the latter is usually the more durable option. However, metal couplings can be harder to tighten on the spigot, while plastic fittings attach more easily due to their nylon or thermoplastic materials.
Ultimately, Carson said both metal and plastic couplings have their individual benefits. High-quality metal couplings “can withstand frequent use without breaking,” she said. Plastic couplings, on the other hand, “are less expensive than metal couplings and stay cooler, so they can be a good option for really hot climates.”
What to consider when buying a hose nozzle
A nozzle, which attaches to one end of your hose, can be a convenient way to control the flow and distribution of the water stream. Nozzles are usually either single-pattern or multi-pattern. Single-pattern nozzles have a set stream of water that you can adjust using the trigger, from a light spray to solid stream. Multi-pattern nozzles give you the added value of multiple spray settings like mist, jet and shower to fit whatever project you are working on.
Single- and multi-pattern nozzles can come in a variety of styles and with specialized attachments, according to Flickinger.
- Pistol grip nozzles, also called spray gun nozzles, have a trigger that allows you to maintain or change the pressure as you squeeze. They can feature either a back trigger — which is the most common — or a front trigger, and they usually have a lock feature to maintain a certain flow, according to Flickinger.
- Watering wand nozzles can be good for watering areas that are tough to reach since they can extend to various lengths.
- Fireman or thumb-control nozzles can be ideal for big watering jobs. These nozzles “allow you to select your water flow and don't require you to keep pressure on the trigger to continue the flow,” said Flickinger.
The material of the nozzle can also be an important consideration when it comes to durability. “Standard nozzles are usually metal or plastic, [though] some are both,” said Carson. Metal is the most durable option, but if you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, you can opt for a nozzle made of a combination of metal and plastic. Flickinger added that an all-metal construction will “last longer and hold up to more use,” while nozzles that contain more plastic will be “lighter and less expensive.”
What to look for in a hose reel
When it comes to storage, a hose reel can prevent a tangled heap on the floor and extend the life of your hose. It can also help you save time — without a reel, it can be difficult to untwist a hose and have it lay flat when you’re ready to use it.
Carson suggested thinking about how you want your setup to look. “There are options that mount to the side of your home, which are less visually imposing but also require you to manually wrap up the hose each time you finish with it,” she said. Some hose reels have handles or cranks that’ll help wrap up the hose, making it easier to use and store it, Carson added. While some reels are enclosed boxes that keep the hose away from the elements, Lange said they typically feed the hose through the mechanism incorrectly and “end up getting too bulky” — she recommended an open hose reel instead.
Meet our experts
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Bailey Carson is a home care expert at Angi with over seven years of experience with lawn care.
- Nikki Flickinger is a seasonal and outdoor living merchant at Lowe’s.
- Julie Bawden-Davis is the master gardener behind the site Healthy Houseplants and author of “Southern California Vegetable Gardening.”
- Lacy Lange is a gardener and farmer. She runs the gardening resource blog Homestead Farms.
- Carmen Devito is the founder of garden and landscape design company Garden Cult.
Why trust Select?
Mili Godio is an updates editor at Select and covers a wide range of gardening and outdoors topics, including pruning shears, indoor gardening kits and sunscreen for kids. For this story, Godio spoke to five gardening and lawn care experts to get their recommendations on how to shop for garden hoses, hose nozzles and hose reels, and gathered highly rated ones they recommended.
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