The Best Garden Hoses, Tested by HGTV Editors
Learn the basics of garden hoses, and choose the right one for your yard and garden with HGTV editors' top recommendations, from long-lasting rubber to lightweight, expandable hoses perfect for small spaces.
Our Top Garden Hose Picks
- Best Overall Garden Hose: Dramm ColorStorm Rubber Garden Hose
- Best Runner-Up Garden Hose: Craftsman Rubber Garden Hose
- Best Expandable Garden Hose: Flexi Hose Lightweight Garden Hose With Nozzle
- Best Coil Garden Hose: Water Right Coil Garden Hose
- Best Soaker Garden Hose: Rocky Mountain Soaker Hose
- Best Budget-Friendly Garden Hose: Flexzilla Lightweight Garden Hose
- Best Stainless-Steel Garden Hose: Bionic Steel Pro Heavy-Duty Stainless-Steel Garden Hose
Gear up for gardening by purchasing the best hose you can afford — and one that fits your garden needs. Investing in a quality garden hose transforms the everyday chore of watering into a pleasant experience. The right one eliminates the daily headaches of wrestling with a kink-prone, leaky hose. Garden hoses have three distinguishing features: length, diameter and material. Master these basics to take the guesswork out of choosing the right hose.
What to Consider When Shopping for a Quality Garden Hose
- Start with length. Hoses usually come in 25-foot increments, most often topping out at 100 feet. The right hose length is the one that makes the most sense for your setting. Use a flexible tape measure to determine the right length for your use. A 50-foot hose is usually sufficient for most suburban yards and tasks like watering garden beds and pots, washing cars and spraying down decks.
While you can purchase hoses 75 or 100 feet long, they'll be that much more expensive to replace and are harder to finagle; instead, we recommend starting with a 50-foot hose and then connecting on additional hoses as needed, such as a shorter coil hose, to add length. This way, if part of the hose wears down and springs a leak eventually, you can simply replace that one section instead of the entire hose.
- Hose diameter usually varies from 1/2 to 3/4 inches. A larger diameter moves more water per minute. A 3/4-inch hose delivers roughly three times as much water as a 1/2-inch hose in the same amount of time.
- Garden hoses come in a variety of materials. Rubber garden hoses are generally the most durable and versatile but can cost more, such as $50+ for a 50-foot hose. A rubber hose resists kinking and cracking, but it’s also a bit heavier, especially when filled with water. A hose reel can help simplify storage. Pro tip: Store rubber hoses out of direct sunlight because they’re prone to UV-light damage. Stainless steel is another durable material that minimizes kinks and leaks but is not as flexible and needs to be handled with care around surfaces like car exteriors to prevent damage. The cheapest hoses are typically synthetic materials like vinyl. A cheaper synthetic hose can be a decent choice in a warm-weather climate (no freezing winters) where water needs are limited to a small space. Plus, they're typically lighter, making them a better fit for people with limited lifting mobility.
The material of the fittings is also important for durability. Hose fittings made from metal like brass are much more crush-resistant than plastic. A hexagonal-shaped fitting is also a nice feature to look for since it means you can use a wrench if you need to loosen a too-tight seal.
Experts don’t typically recommend drinking from a garden hose, so we didn't prioritize this product claim, but if you’re concerned that your hose delivers water to vegetables or herbs and want one that's safe enough to drink, look for one that’s labeled “drinking water safe.”
Like most garden tools, you get what you pay for when selecting a garden hose. Cheaper hoses usually feature thinner construction materials that have a tendency to kink. The kinks lead to cracks and holes, which lead to leaks. In short, cheap hoses spring leaks and fail sooner than their pricier counterparts. We considered all of these factors when researching and testing our recommended garden hoses below.
The Dramm ColorStorm Rubber Hose checks all the boxes for a good quality hose and more. Made of durable EPDM rubber, this 5/8-inch hose is 50 feet long (also available in 25 feet and 75 feet) and features nickel-plated brass couplings and a hexagonal design. Kelly Smith Trimble, master gardener and editorial director of HGTV.com, says, "I love Dramm hoses for their durability and less likelihood of kinking, which is in part because of the hexagonal design. They also come in a great range of colors for brightening up the garden and the chore of watering. I also love that these hoses are made in the U.S.A." The only downside to this hose is that it's a bit pricey, and, thanks to its popularity, the stock has been hit or miss recently.
A Craftsman rubber hose is another solid choice for a versatile garden hose. Like the Dramm hose, it features hexagonal, crush-resistant, nickel-plated brass fittings and is made in the U.S.A. Made of premium rubber, this durable hose is kink- and abrasion-resistant. The only downside is that this one has also been hard to find in stock consistently. Depending on your location, you may be able to order online and pick it up in-store at Ace Hardware as well.
For a compact and lightweight option that's more versatile, this expandable hose with nozzle from Flexi Hose is a great choice. It weighs just about three pounds, is made of an elastic outer fabric with four layers of latex that allows it to expand when filled with water and features brass fittings. This hose also comes with an adjustable nozzle, which saves you from buying one separately, but our tester did note that the nozzle felt a bit cheap and didn't have a "jet" feature strong enough to remove tough dirt and grime like other nozzles she's owned. Overall, she loves how lightweight the hose is compared to her old hose and that it takes up less space by the spigot. Plus, she thinks the fabric actually feels and looks more durable and long-lasting than an old rubber hose that’s prone to cracking and kinking up all over the yard.
Coil hoses aren't as versatile as a traditional rubber hose, but they can work great for small yards, decks and patios where a heavier 50-foot hose is a bit overkill. Available in 25-, 50- and 75-foot lengths, this coil hose from Water Right features brass fittings and 5/8-inch diameter. For a 25-foot hose, you can realistically expect it to comfortably reach about 20 feet. A 25-foot hose was perfect for potted plants on our tester's deck, and it even worked great as an attachment on the end of a rubber hose that didn't quite reach some raised beds. Compared to other coil hoses we tried, we like that this one better rebounded to its original compact shape after use, making it easy to store and keep untangled. Plus, it comes in a few different colors.
Long Water Hose Solution 01:09
If you have a thirsty vegetable garden that requires daily watering, consider a soaker hose. Instead of lugging a rubber hose back and forth from storage to your garden, you can simply leave these hoses in gardens and landscaping beds and just turn on the spigot (or just it on a timer) to turn on when it needs water. Another perk of using soaker hoses for vegetable gardens is that they water at the root level and avoid getting water on the leaves, which can cause mildew and other plant problems. Our tester loved this option from Rocky Mountain Goods that's made of PVC liner with extra strength fabric because it was super easy to install and soaked the ground around her veggies in just a few minutes. "I like that it is lightweight and easily maneuverable," says Jackie McGilvray, HGTV.com editor and master gardener. "It just laid flat out of the box, so I didn’t have to pin it down to stay in place."
This Flexzilla hose is super popular and well-rated for its lightweight polymer material. It's 50 feet long, features aluminum fittings and a durable outer cover that resists abrasion, UV damage and mold. When testing, we liked that it was lighter than the rubber and stainless steel hoses, but it wasn’t as kink-resistant. We’re skeptical that it would hold up as well over time, but it’s a great option if you want something cheaper and/or only have infrequent watering needs versus a demanding summer vegetable garden.
While our tester liked the more flexible Craftsman rubber hose better than this stainless steel one, she did like the Bionic Steel Pro the best for a stainless steel option. It’s kink-resistant and very sturdy — it even survived a car running over the couplings! It's resistant to rust, and tears and features brass fittings and an on/off valve. A stainless steel hose may be a good choice for someone who moves a lot of machinery and tools around their yard that might potentially run over the hose.
Garden Hose Maintenance + Storage
While our hose recommendations are kink-resistant and durable, no hose is 100-percent immune from kinks or damage. Properly storing a hose after each use to prevent it from getting run over, stepped on or damaged by the sun is one way to extend its life. Hose reels and stands can make storage easier, too, while also preventing the likelihood of kinks. If you store a hose on a hook, avoid storing on a single hook and instead distribute the coiled hose across two hooks or an arched hanger to prevent a crease from developing, which could lead to a premature leak.
Knowing how to make simple repairs to a hose will also ensure it lasts as long as possible. For example, a leak at the end of a hose may just mean you need to replace the gasket, which only costs a few cents to replace. If you run over a hose with a lawnmower and it gets a hole, you can even cut the hose below the hole and install your own couplings to keep using it. Watch the video below to learn how to repair a garden hose.