5 Best Garden Hoses of 2021 [Reviews]

Garden hose hung up next to plants

A good water hose should last 5 to 10 years with proper care, but many homeowners make the mistake of buying a cheap water hose without understanding that hoses vary in quality.

In other words, finding the proper hose for your garden is more complicated than it seems. But don’t worry –– our list of the 5 best garden hoses should make this shopping trip an easy one. 

We did the hard work for you. We searched the market and rounded up five of the best garden hoses we think should be on your watchlist. From our favorite heavy-duty hose to the lightweight expandable hose, one of these garden hoses is sure to be what you need. 

Keep in mind that the best hose for you will come down to your needs and preferences. That’s why we’ve also included a buyers guide at the end of our top picks so you can make the best decision for you and your green friends. 

5 Best Garden Hoses

1. Best Heavy-Duty Garden Hose: Bionic steel PRO garden hose 

Bionic Steel PRO Garden Hose - 304 Stainless Steel Metal 50 Foot Garden Hose – Heavy Duty Lightweight, Kink-Free, and Stronger Than Ever with Brass Fittings and On/Off Valve – 2021 Model

Durable, rust-resistant, and leak-free –– the Bionic Steel PRO Garden Hose is made of commercial-grade 304 stainless steel. It features brass fittings, a comfortable grip handle, 500 PSI burst pressure, and kink resistance. 

Many heavy-duty garden hoses are rubber, but the drawback with a rubber hose is the weight. With the Bionic Steel PRO, you don’t have to sacrifice performance to relish a lightweight, heavy-duty water hose. This garden hose weighs in at only 2 pounds and is easy to carry and store for nearly everyone. 

Little can stop this resilient hose from spewing water (except for its convenient on/off valve). Whether it freezes in a block of ice or sits in the sun for days, you’ll still have a high-performing garden hose. 

Specifications: 

  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Burst Strength: 500 PSI
  • Hose Material: Stainless Steel
  • Coupling Material: Brass
  • Diameter: 5/8 inch

Pros: 

✓ Made of stainless steel
✓ Crush-proof brass couplings
✓ Lightweight
✓ Convenient on/off valve
✓ Leak-resistant
✓ Kink-resistant
✓ Handles extreme hot and cold temperatures
✓ Comfort grip handle
✓ Withstands rough surfaces (such as gravel or concrete)
✓ Designed to maneuver easily around tight corners
✓ 304 stainless steel is UV-resistant

Cons: 

✗ Expensive
✗ Some Bionic Steel PRO users report leakage issues with this hose

How we ranked the heavy-duty garden hoses

We ranked each heavy-duty, 50-foot hose in 11 categories and took a weighted average of their scores.

  • Weight: 5%
  • Cost: 5%
  • PSI burst strength: 15%
  • Hose material: 20%
  • Coupling material: 10%
  • Hose diameter: 5%
  • UV-resistant? (Yes or No): 5%
  • Advertised to handle freezing temperatures? ( Yes or No): 5%
  • Advertised to handle hot temperatures? (Yes or No): 5%
  • Advertised to resist kinks? (Yes or No): 20%
  • Advertised to have crush-resistant couplings? (Yes or No): 5%

2. Runner-Up Heavy-Duty Garden Hose: Bionic steel garden hose

Bionic Steel 50 Foot Garden Hose 304 Stainless Steel Metal Water Hose – Super Tough & Flexible, Lightweight, Crush Resistant Aluminum Fittings, Kink & Tangle Free, Rust Proof, Easy to Use & Store

The Bionic Steel Garden Hose (different from the Bionic Steel PRO Garden Hose) takes home the silver medal as our heavy-duty runner-up. This 304 stainless steel hose is similar to the Bionic Steel PRO Garden Hose, though there are some minor differences between the two. 

Like the PRO Garden Hose, the Bionic Steel Garden Hose has a 500 PSI burst strength, handles rough surfaces, withstands extreme temperatures, and it resists leaks and rust. This garden hose provides optimal strength and durability without sacrificing flexibility. 

Differences between the two Bionic Steel hoses include cost, weight, and the material of the fittings. The Bionic Steel Garden Hose will keep a bit more cash in your pocket than the PRO Garden Hose (though remember prices are subject to change). 

This metal hose is also 1 pound heavier than the PRO, and it comes equipped with aluminum fittings instead of brass. Aluminum fittings are durable and much better than plastic. But brass fittings have a leg up on aluminum, as brass is corrosion resistant (unlike aluminum) and won’t fuse to brass spigots like aluminum fittings will if left on the faucet for too long.

The fittings also do not feature an on/off valve, unlike the PRO Garden Hose. 

Specifications

  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Burst Strength: 500 PSI
  • Hose Material: Stainless steel
  • Coupling Material: Aluminum
  • Diameter: 5/8 inch

Pros: 

✓ Over 6,800 five-star Amazon ratings
✓ 500 PSI burst pressure
✓ Affordable
✓ Made of stainless steel
✓ 304 stainless steel is UV-resistant
✓ Withstands rough surfaces (such as gravel or concrete)
✓ Designed to maneuver easily around tight corners
✓ 5/8-inch diameter
✓ Lightweight
✓ Crush-proof aluminum couplings
✓ Leak-resistant
✓ Kink-resistant
✓ Handles extreme hot and cold temperatures

Cons: 

✗ Does not have brass fittings 
✗ 1 lb heavier than the Bionic Steel PRO Garden Hose
✗ Does not have an on/off valve like the PRO Garden Hose

3. Best Drinking-Water-Safe Garden Hose: Flexzilla HFZG550YW garden lead-in hose

Flexzilla HFZG550YW Garden Lead-In Hose 5/8 In. x 50 ft, Heavy Duty, Lightweight, Drinking Water Safe

The hot sun is bound to have you craving a cool drink of water. Maybe you have even taken a sip from your garden hose while watering the plants. But not all garden hoses are drinking water safe, as they leach harmful chemicals. 

With the Flexzilla HFZG550YW Garden Lead-In Hose, the safety of your hose’s drinking water isn’t something to worry about. Flexzilla advertises this hybrid polymer hose as entirely safe to drink from (as long as the water you’re drinking is safe, too). 

This Flexzilla garden hose is also highly flexible, making it easy to maneuver around trees, bushes, and fences. It even stays flexible in extreme temperatures, withstanding freezing weather down to -40 degrees and hot temperatures up to 140 degrees. 

The Flexzilla HFZG550YW boasts a 150 PSI working pressure, crush-proof aluminum fittings, abrasion-resistant outer cover, and over 24,000 five-star ratings on Amazon. You’ll also rarely need to remedy kinking or twisting due to its memoryless design. 

Specifications: 

  • Weight: 8 lbs
  • Maximum Working Pressure: 150 PSI
  • Hose Material: Hybrid Polymer
  • Coupling Material: Aluminum
  • Diameter: 5/8 inch

Pros: 

✓ Over 24,000 five-star ratings on Amazon
✓ Advertised as drinking water safe
✓ Lead-free
✓ Affordable
✓ Flexible, memoryless design
✓ Can withstand cold temperatures down to -40 degrees
✓ Can withstand hot temperatures up to 140 degrees
✓ 150 PSI working pressure
✓ Crush-resistant aluminum fittings
✓ Abrasion-resistant outer covers
✓ Kink-resistant

Cons: 

✗ May be too heavy for some users
✗ Not as durable as a rubber hose
✗ Some reviewers report mold growing on their Flexzilla hose. Others note that you can avoid this problem by keeping the hose clean and storing it in a dry place. 

How we measured the best drinking-water-safe hoses

We ranked each 50-foot drinking-water-safe garden hose in 10 categories and took a weighted average of their scores. 

  • Weight: 5%
  • Cost: 5%
  • PSI working pressure: 20%
  • Coupling material: 10%
  • Hose diameter: 10%
  • UV-resistant? (Yes or No): 10%
  • Advertised to handle freezing temperatures? (Yes or No): 5%
  • Advertised to handle hot temperatures? (Yes or No): 5%
  • Advertised to resist kinks? (Yes or No): 20%
  • Advertised to have crush-resistant couplings? (Yes or No): 10%

4. Best Expandable Garden Hose: TheFitLife flexible and expandable garden hose

TheFitLife Flexible and Expandable Garden Hose - Triple Latex Core with 3/4" Solid Brass Fittings and 8 Function Spray Nozzle, Easy Storage Kink Free Water Hose (50 FT)

Expandable hoses are a smart choice for homeowners who need a lightweight garden hose that’s easy to store. TheFitLife Flexible and Expandable Garden Hose expands to three times its original length under pressure and shrinks back to its original size when the water is off. 

TheFitLife store advertises its popular expanding hose as having a 1.2 mpa (megapascals) maximum pressure. It can also withstand freezing temperatures down to 23 degrees and scorching temperatures up to 208.4 degrees. So if you mistakenly leave your expandable hose outside in the sun or on a cold winter night, it should still deliver a refreshing shower for your flowers. 

TheFitLife Flexible and Expandable Garden Hose also boasts a triple-layer latex core for extra strength and durability, brass couplings, and a spray nozzle with eight functions. 

Specifications: 

  • Weight: 2.7 lbs
  • Maximum Pressure: 174 PSI (1.2 mpa)
  • Hose Material: Latex
  • Coupling Material: Brass
  • Diameter: 3/4 inches

Pros: 

✓ Lightweight
✓ Easy to store
✓ Expands to three times its original length
✓ Brass couplings
✓ Triple-layer latex core
✓ Affordable
✓ Advertised as kink-resistant and leak-free
✓ Can withstand cold temperatures down to 23 degrees
✓ Can withstand hot temperatures up to 208.4 degrees
✓ Comes with an 8-function sprayer

Cons:

✗ Not suitable for heavy-duty work
✗ Latex hoses are more susceptible to bursting than rubber or metal hoses
✗ Latex expandable hoses won’t last as long as heavy-duty hoses

How we measured the best expandable garden hoses

We ranked each 50-foot expandable garden hose in 7 categories and took a weighted average of the scores. 

  • Weight: 10%
  • Cost: 5%
  • Maximum pressure: 20%
  • Number of core layers: 25%
  • Advertised to handle freezing temperatures? (Yes or No): 10%
  • Advertised to handle hot temperatures? (Yes or No): 10%
  • Advertised to resist kinks? (Yes or No): 20%

5. Best Soaker Garden Hose: Melnor 65061-AMZ 50′ flat soaker hose

Melnor 65061-AMZ 50' Flat Soaker Hose with 2 Washers Set, Amazon Bundle

Looking for an easy way to water your garden? Consider a soaker hose. The Melnor Soaker Hose’s porous design will release water slowly and evenly into your garden beds. Simply place the flexible hose in the garden where it can access the plants’ roots and let the hose do the watering for you. 

The most convenient soaker hoses are flat, as they are easy to store and can be covered by a light layer of soil or mulch. The flat Melnor Soaker Hose can fit snugly in a small basket without hogging space in the shed, as large rubber hoses can do. 

This soaker hose also comes with two extra washers so you can ensure a leak-free seal. Need your soaker hose to stretch just a bit longer? Buy a second one and conveniently connect the two hoses. 

Specifications: 

  • Weight: 2.2 lbs
  • Hose Material: Plastic
  • Coupling Material: Plastic

Pros: 

✓ Convenient watering option for gardeners 
✓ Flat design makes for easy storage
✓ Lightweight
✓ Affordable
✓ Comes with two extra washers
✓ You can connect multiple Melnor Soaker Hoses to make one long soaker hose
✓ Advertised as leak-free

Cons: 

✗ Fittings are plastic
✗ Some users report excessive leaks and kinks

How we measured the best soaker hoses

We ranked each 75-foot, flat soaker hose in 7 categories and took a weighted average of their scores. 

  • Weight: 5%
  • Cost: 10%
  • Lengths available: 5%
  • Advertised to handle freezing temperatures? (Yes or No): 20%
  • Advertised to handle hot temperatures? (Yes or No): 20%
  • Advertised as leak-free? (Yes or No): 20%
  • Advertised as UV-resistant? (Yes or No): 20%

Buyers Guide

Remember, the best garden hose comes down to what you’re looking for. The best hose for you might not be the best garden hose for your neighbor. You might prefer a hose that’s lightweight and easy to store, while your neighbor might need one that can handle high pressure and rough surfaces. 

Let’s take a closer look at how garden hoses vary across the board and how these different features compare. 

Working pressure vs. burst pressure

PSI (pounds per square inch) measures water pressure. Most home faucets have a 40 to 60 PSI, though some can have water pressure as high as 80 PSI. So, if you’re running a hose at 60 PSI, that means 60 pounds of pressure per square inch is applied to the surface you’re cleaning. 

When you’re shopping for your garden hose, you’ll notice that there are two types of PSI measurement listed: working pressure and burst pressure. 

Working pressure 

The working pressure is the highest amount of pressure your hose is designed to handle without risking your safety or the structural integrity of the hose. Keep in mind that the working pressure can decrease due to severe weather conditions. Do not operate a water hose over its working pressure. 

Burst pressure 

Burst pressure is a safety measure. It ensures that, if you do operate at the working pressure, the hose will not suddenly burst if you happen to exceed the working pressure. Most water hoses have a 3:1 safety factor, which means the burst pressure is at least three times the working pressure. 

For example, if a garden hose with an 80 PSI working pressure has a 3:1 safety factor, it will burst under pressure at 240 PSI. If the same garden hose has a 4:1 safety factor, it will burst at 320 PSI. 

Pro Tip: If you need to clean a surface with exceptional high PSI, you may be more interested in a pressure washer than a garden hose.

A note about maximum pressures

You might notice that some garden hoses, especially expandable hoses, list the PSI as “maximum pressure” and not as “working pressure” or “burst pressure.” We noticed this, too. 

In a case like this, contact the manufacturer about the appropriate working pressure and burst pressure. It’s not safe to assume the maximum pressure is the working pressure; otherwise, you risk harming yourself and bursting the hose. 

Hose diameter

Garden hoses typically come in one of three diameters: 1/2 inch, 5/8 inch, and 3/4 inch. The diameter of the hose will affect the water pressure. Most homeowners prefer 5/8-inch diameter hoses as they provide an adequate amount of both pressure and water flow. 

Hose length 

A 100-foot hose that can reach every corner of your property might be tempting to buy, but longer isn’t always better. The longer the hose, the heavier and more difficult it is to maneuver. For example, you may expect spend more time coiling and untangling your 100-foot hose than watering your plants. 

It’s best to own a hose that extends from the nearest spigot to the farthest point you need to water, plus a few more feet (you don’t want to stretch your hose). If you have more than one faucet around your home, you might find it more ideal to buy multiple short hoses vs. one long hose. 

Pro Tip: A hose reel can make storing and maneuvering a long garden hose more manageable.

Hose material 

Garden hoses are often made of rubber, vinyl, or a mixture of both. Garden hoses can be made of many other materials, such as metal or Polyurethane, but rubber and vinyl are the most common garden hose materials you’ll see. 

Rubber

Heavy-duty hoses are typically made of rubber. Rubber is a long-lasting, durable material that can withstand temperature spikes and rough surfaces.

The downside to rubber is the weight, which is why some homeowners prefer vinyl hoses. Vinyl hoses may not be as high quality as rubber garden hoses, but they are much easier to maneuver. 

Metal 

Metal is another heavy-duty material choice for garden hoses. Metal is lightweight and durable, making it a smart choice for homeowners who need a powerful hose. Many metal hoses are UV-resistant and won’t break down like rubber hoses. 

The drawback to metal hoses is that they are prone to breaking when stretched or twisted. 

Note: When we rated the best heavy-duty hoses, we ranked rubber hoses ahead of metal hoses. 

Vinyl 

Vinyl is another common garden hose material, and it’s the least durable. Vinyl hoses just don’t last as long as hoses made of heavy-duty rubber.

Latex and PVC are also lower quality than rubber and metal. Latex, vinyl, and PVC materials are typically reserved for lightweight, more affordable, or expandable hoses. These materials are great options for gardeners who don’t want a heavy hose to lug around, have limited storage space, or are shopping on a budget. 

Pro Tip: Latex hoses with multi-layered cores are typically stronger than latex hoses with single-layered cores. 

Drinking-water safety

Many garden hoses leach harmful chemicals and lead into the water, making them unsafe for drinking water. Drinking-water-safe hoses are made of FDA-approved materials and are labeled drinking-water safe. 

Coupling material

Garden hose couplings, also known as fittings or connectors, are typically made of brass, aluminum, or plastic. 

Plastic fittings are not durable and are the lowest quality fitting. Aluminum fittings are more durable than plastic, but they are susceptible to corrosion and fusing to brass spigots. 

Solid brass couplings are typically the best choice. They are the most durable of the three materials and corrosion-resistant. And since most faucets are brass, you won’t need to worry about your brass coupling and brass faucet fusing. 

Temperature threshold

Some garden hoses are more resistant to weather and water temperatures than others. If you live in an area with extreme winters or scorching summers, you will want a hose that can take the heat (or cold). 

If you plan to use hot water in your hose, remember to check the garden hose’s temperature specifications before you buy, as not all hoses are suitable for hot water. 

Kink-resistance

Several hoses are advertised as “never kink” or “kink proof,” but what does this mean? A hose may be designed to kink less frequently, but even the most expensive hose will kink now and then.

Note: While many high-quality hoses on the market do have minimal kinking, it’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a completely “kink-free” hose. 

Need a visual guide? Check out this hose buyers guide by BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine:

When to Call a Professional

Watering the garden can be a meditative pastime, but sometimes watering is too much to bear on a relaxing weekend. Maybe investing in an irrigation system or automatic sprinklers makes sense? 

Or maybe you would rather someone else do the watering. Call a local lawn care professional near you to take the job off your hands. A lawn care professional can even take care of other chores around the garden, including mulching, weeding, and fertilizing. 

A brand new hose is an excellent tool to have on your wish list, but a relaxing Saturday with friends and family is even better. 

Main Photo Credit: Rusty Clark 100k Photos / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

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Jane Purnell

Jane Purnell

Jane Purnell is a freelance writer and actor in New York City. She earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia and enjoys a warm cup of French press coffee.