For any homeowner who enjoys playing in the dirt, manicuring their landscapes or just keeping the yard tidy, the importance of a reliable garden hose cannot be overstated. They come in many sizes, styles, types and colours, while boasting of features like microbial protection and kink resistance.
With so many diverse options and features to consider, it’s easy to choose the nearest, cheapest hose (especially since most have very few visible differences).
Ideally, a quality garden hose should last anywhere between 5 to 10 years, but poor choices by most homeowners often lead to the annual replacement of the hoses.
After talking to garden hose manufacturers, landscapers and lots of homeowners, I have done the hard yards to find out what makes a great garden hose as well as the top most recommended hoses for different uses. Here’s a detailed and informative guide on how to choose the best garden hose in the UK.
Top 8 Best Garden Hoses in the UK
1. Hozelock Auto Rewind 40 m Hose Reel with Connectors and Fittings
If you are looking for the most recent innovations in the garden hose sector, Hozelock has been doing amazing things. One of their best sellers comes with an Auto rewind 40 m Reel.
The reel allows you to easily and smoothly unwind your hose and then lock it in place for stress-free watering. Once you are done, the auto reel reels in the hose and neatly coils it with zero effort and no kinks at all.
This unit also features a robust wall bracket for mounting that also moves 140 degrees for more mobility. The auto reel can be easily removed for storage and comes with an integrated padlock function as a theft deterrent.
What I like about it:
- Includes a premium, three layered anti-kink garden hose
- Integrated child lock
- Automatic reel that retracts hose without any kinks
2. Hozelock 2-in-1 Compact Enclosed Hose Reel 25 m Hose
This handy 2 in 1 Compact Hose reel is another winner from Hozelock. It comes with 25 m of multipurpose hose that is enclosed in the casing for protection from the harsh elements.
Users can choose to either mount it on the wall or leave it free standing. One feature that really stands out and makes this unit very affordable has to be the manual layering system that allows the hose to be rewound and layered without any kinks or dirty hands.
What I like about it:
- Viewing window for more accurate rewind action
- Carry handle that ensures full portability
- Includes 25 m hose and related connectors
3. Hozelock 60 m Hose Cart and 30 meter Hose with Connectors
Boasting of a 30 m multi purpose hose, this large 60 m hose cart comes ready assembled so that you can get straight to work. With a small inner drum diameter and a long, easy wind handle at the side, reeling your hose in is a breeze.
The robust metal towing handle and soft patterned wheels allows for high levels of mobility and stability. The handle collars can also be adjusted to whatever height you prefer.
What I like about it:
- Wide stance and low centre of gravity for stability
- Zero chance of kinks and tangling
- One piece winding handle for quick rewinding
4. Hozelock Wall Mounted Compact Hose Reel with 15 m Hose
Yet another pioneering product from Hozelock that comes complete with 15 metres of starter hose. Made form high quality plastics, the wall mounted reel will stand the test of time.
This particular model features an open casing design and slim line that is ideal for summer gardening. The lightweight frame not only makes storage a breeze, but also allows for faster winding and rewinding with no kinks, tangling or trip hazards.
What I like about it:
- Ideal for storage of loose hoses
- Made from lightweight and high-quality plastics
- Comes with hose and tap connectors
5. Deluxe Expandable 100FT No Kink Garden Hose Pipe
If you are looking for something different, inexpensive yet fully functional, the Deluxe Expandable 100FT No Kink Garden Hose Pipe will do just fine.
This particular garden hose not only expands when required, but it also features triple layer construction that is far more durable than double layer. After use, the hose allows for easier storage since it shrinks back to its original size.
You won’t have to worry about kinks or tears with the superior outer webbing that also guarantees a longer lifespan.
What I like about it:
- Expands up to 100 feet
- Extremely light weight
- Easiest storage available
6. Kärcher CR3.110 Compact Hose Box
If you own a small garden or yard, the Kärcher CR3.110 Compact Hose Box is ideal for places where space is limited. This highly compact watering station allows for either mobile or stationary usage with a 10-meter hose that is free from phthalates. The design allows for quick and convenient uncoiling and rewinding as well as the choice between mounting it with the brackets or carrying it with a handle.
What I like about it:
- Quick click system to prevent dripping
- Convenient, onboard storage for all accessories
- Comes with connectors, adaptors and a nozzle
7. Kärcher HR4.525 Hose Reel With 25m PrinoFlex Hose
As many home owners will agree, Karcher’s watering range offers some of the best solutions for both occasional gardeners as well as professional landscapers. One of their notable innovations is the HR4.525 that incorporates a practical storage system.
Now, your hose can be attractively stored and unwound when required. With an option of mounting, this unit can also be used as a free standing model that comes complete with 25 meters of high quality, PrimoFlex garden hose. It comes fully assembled with an array of creative and useful accessories.
What I like about it:
- A practical, space saving solution
- Versatile operation for either mounting or free standing use
- Heavy duty construction that is built to last
8. Scott & Co UltraPro 100ft Triple Layer, Non Kink Expanding Garden Hose Pipe
Aptly termed as one of the most incredible and advanced hose pipes you will ever acquire, this bad boy from Scott and Co incorporates quite the extensive array of features and accessories. Lightweight and easy to use, it’s no wonder that most home owners prefer the expandable garden hose.
This particular hose is built with triple layer construction that gives it an extra tough exterior. To ensure that your hose won’t disconnect from the tap, the manufacturer incorporated a unique collar. There’s also the exciting addition of an ergonomic spray gun that can be configured to 8 different spray settings.
What I like about it:
- Requires only 29 Psi of water to expand fully
- Professional and durable triple layer construction
- Garden hose includes soft grip spray gun for versatile function
Types of Garden Hoses
Below are descriptions for some of the most popular types of garden hoses along with recommendations that should make your selection process easier.
1. Standard Hoses
These garden hoses are typically made from vinyl while often incorporating some form of reinforced mesh or several layers. Since they are the cheapest type of garden hose, they are a staple in most households offering some of the easiest handling.
However, they tend to kink more easily, have thinner diameters as well as plastic fittings. If you’re looking for a garden hose for some casual watering with low pressure and don’t need a necessarily long hose, light duty garden hoses are the type for you.
2. Flat Hoses
Very similar to a fireman’s hose, flat garden hoses are round and rigid when full of water, but flatten down when empty. Their characteristics generally include lightweight, easy to roll up since they’re flat as well as taking up very minimal storage space.
They can, however, prove a bit hard to store if you do not have a hose reel. Due to their flat and light nature, flat garden hoses tend to puncture and kink more easily. They also have one of the lowest burst pressure ratings of all types and won’t work well around corners.
Additionally, you have to unroll the entire length before turning the water on; otherwise, it won’t work. This type is ideal for homeowners with small garden sheds and storage issues and who intend to use it in a straight line.
3. Expandable Hoses
These are collapsible, light garden hoses that expand to over three times their length when filled with water. Most of these come in very bright colours and are usually only a half inch in diameter.
While their water flow can be compared to that of a regular hose, it’s not really the same in terms of pressure. The great thing about expandable hoses is that they expand to allow for more pressure and water flow.
However, they tend to lose elasticity with time, making storage quite difficult. They are also very prone to rupturing due to their thin, non-reinforced inner tube. Most homeowners prefer this type for their extremely lightweight and flexible characteristics.
4. Flexogen Hoses
If you are looking for a classy hose that is guaranteed to last a lifetime, then you might want to consider Flexogen hoses. Thanks to a patented design that uses foam on the inner layers, these hoses offer surprising flexibility and lightweight.
The outer layer incorporates a polished and abrasion resistant material for durability. These hoses are heavily reinforced with 6 ply construction and are a favourite for homeowners looking for the ultimate hose. If you use Flexogen hoses strictly for non-commercial uses, you will never have to replace it.
5. Soaker Hoses
Soaker hoses are another very popular type for farmers and gardeners. Made with recycled rubber and plastics with porous walls, Soaker hoses have thousands of small holes all through their length that allow water to seep out slowly.
These hoses can be laid on or above the ground and even buried deep under the surface. The large ones can be tricky to handle and may require garden stakes to hold in place. If you want hoses for irrigation purposes, soakers offer the most convenience.
Key Considerations to Make When Selecting the Best Garden Hose for You
As with any other purchase, there’s never a one size fits all solution. One kind of garden hose cannot really be a perfect fit for everyone. There are lots of factors you should look at, but there are four general considerations to make.
Typically, garden hoses come in length of between 20 to 100 feet. While it may be tempting to buy a longer hose and use it for all your needs, this is actually the most common mistake that homeowners make.
Not only are longer hoses more expensive, they are also harder to move around and take up a lot of storage space. They also result in diminished water pressure and are a nightmare to empty. Unless you own one heck of a ranch, you should never buy a longer hose than you actually need.
Similarly, buying a shorter hose that you need will cause it to stretch and get snags and leaks. Ensure you have your measurements in order.
The material you choose will have a huge impact on weight, flexibility, and durability. Here are the most common materials used to make garden hoses.
- Vinyl – This is the least expensive option that also offers the least weight. Unfortunately, they are also very prone to kinks, cracks, and splits. Vinyl hoses also degrade far quicker than other materials when left out in the sun or exposed to harsh elements. These hoses are well suited for budget conscious customers looking for something to help with light duty gardening tasks.
- Rubber – Hoses made out of rubber are generally the strongest of all and have a longer lifespan than all others. They are also very pricey and are quite heavy. However, their constructing makes them less prone to kinks, cracking, and deterioration. They are also able to carry hot water without any issues.
3. Strength/Burst Pressure
The strength of garden hoses is measured in terms of the burst pressure. Generally, rubber hoses have a higher burst pressure than the rest.
If you intend to use a sprinkler, nozzle, or any other attachment on your hose, look for one with a burst pressure above 300 psi. Any lower than that and your hose could be turned into a rudimentary soaker in all the wrong places.
No matter the purpose, you want a hose that is extremely flexible. Not only does this help with storage and manoeuvring around corners, but it also ensures that your hose is less likely to get kinks. Kinking leads to cracks and splits that will shorten the lifecycle of your garden hose. When shopping, try to bend the garden hose and give it a kink test to see just how flexible it is.
Garden Hose FAQs
Q: Are all hoses safe for drinking water?
Absolutely not! Most garden hoses are made with plasticizers and other similar materials. While these are great for flexibility, they also contain chemicals such as lead, BPA, and phthalates that will find their way to the water.
Although the chemicals won’t harm your plants and lawn, they are very toxic to humans. If either your family or pets will be drinking from hoses, make sure the garden hose is labelled drinking water safe or at least lead-free.
Q: How can I measure the pressure from my garden tap?
Knowing your water pressure will be very useful when looking for what type of hose to buy. To determine your tap’s water pressure, you will need to use a pressure gauge for water that are found in any hardware store. Some connect directly to the tap and turn it on to get a reading.
Q: Does the colour of a garden hose matter?
Not really. All manufacturers tend to have different colours to signify certain features. However, some hot water hoses come in red to signify hot water running through. Other hoses come in green to blend with your lawn. It’s really a matter of personal preference.
Q: How to connect garden hose to outdoor faucet?
Most hoses come with an attachment to secure them to an outside faucet – if yours does not come with one then they are easy to source from most garden stores, or you can find countless designs online, so you should be sure of finding one that suits your needs.
Q: How to fix garden hose spray nozzle?
First, check for damage to the washer inside the nozzle (you will need to remove it from the hose to check this). If the washer is corroded you can just buy a new washer and pop it in where the damaged one came out.
Cleaning inside the nozzle is another option, especially if you live in a hard water area where limescale can build up (check for dirt and debris inside at the same time, and clear it out thoroughly).
You can try covering the threads with Teflon tape – this is widely available at DIY stores, and can be a saving grace when dealing with a leaky nozzle.
Once you have tried all these things, screw the nozzle back on again – if it is still leaking then you may have to replace it.
Q: How to increase garden hose pressure?
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to water your plants when all you get is a tiny dribble from the end of the hose! To increase the pressure, first check for leaks.
If you have ruled out little holes, make sure there are no kinks or twists in the hose that could be preventing water coming out.
Make sure the connections are secure and tight so that you are not losing water before it even gets into the hose.
If all else fails, go for a larger diameter hose pipe that will deliver more gallons per minute.
Q: Can garden hose be recycled?
The short answer is no, not really. You can’t recycle them in a recycling facility, but you can repurpose them at home so they are not wasted:
- Turn them into a watering system. Instead of spending money on a “soaker hose” just use your old, holey hose.
- Use them to protect trees against swing ropes. Ropes can cut into tree branches and damage them, so keep them protected with your old hose pipe cut in half and put under the ropes.
- Turn them into plant supports. Hose pipes are quite sturdy, so they can be used to hold up plants that need a little help.
- Give them to kids for craft projects. Children have excellent imaginations, and can make most things into something fun. Your old hose pipe could become a dinosaur, or some tyres for a digger!
Q: How to store garden hose?
Garden hoses need to be stored out of direct sunlight, as this can weather the rubber and cause cracks and damage. Leaving it lying around can also be a trip hazard, so this should be avoided.
You can find any number of hose storage solutions, from a decorative pot which hides the hose as well as keeping it safe, to a hanger that keeps it off the ground and tidy. A hose reel is a good bet, as it keeps the hose neatly wound up so it won’t get damaged – you can get a hose reel that is wall mounted or free standing, depending on your space requirements.
If you are going to be putting your hose away and not using it for a long time, then you should stretch it out completely, shake it to make sure no water is sitting in the pipe, then coil it up and stash it somewhere that it won’t be exposed to the elements.