Best garden hose: 7 options for watering and cleaning outdoors

Choose the best garden hose to water plants, clean your patio or even wash the car with our top picks

Included in this guide:

Best garden hose
(Image credit: Future)

The best garden hose will keep your plants healthy and happy, of course, but it also needs to suit the size of your garden, the storage space you have available, and be the weight and style that works for you. But a good hose isn't just for watering – you will need one for cleaning your car and patio and they are essential if you have just invested in the best pressure washer and need to connect it to a tap.

What you might not have realised before looking for a new hose is that there are quite a few types on offer. There are the simple yet durable rubber and plastic options that come on a reel. These are easy to pack away, but can be bulky if you need a very long hose. Modern expansion garden hoses expand with the pressure of the water in use, then retract when empty – great for tidying away but look for one with a strong outer that won't easily damage on grit and twigs. 

So, we’ve put together a top selection of hoses, from the lengthy for big gardens to compact versions that will suit a patio garden or small city plot. Scroll on to see our top picks for every budget, or if you want to know more about choosing the right hose for you, head to our extra buying advice at the end.

The best garden hose

GF 16 Metre Patio Hose Reel and Accessories

(Image credit: Argos)

1. GF 16-Metre Patio Hose Reel

Best hose you can buy: this hose is space-saving, practical and looks good to boot

Best for : Small gardens and patios
Length: 16 metres
Reasons to buy
+Three spray settings+Lightweight+Winds up
Reasons to avoid
-Won't suit bigger gardens

If you’re after a space-efficient hose for a small garden, or a patio, this compact little number is for you.

Easy to carry
Weighing just 2.8kg, this hose won’t prove a burden when you’re watering and the reel can also be set down in place.

Three spray settings
You can adjust the spray gun to suit the watering task from caring for seedlings to watering a parched lawn.

Compact design
This hose is just H34.5 x W20 x D35cm so it won’t fill precious storage space in a small garden – we like its fun colour, too.

Gardena wall mounted auto reel hose

(Image credit: Gardena)

2. Gardena Wall Mounted Roll Up Hose Box

Best auto-reel garden hose: unrolls and retracts with ease for speedy watering

Best for: Easy rolling an unrolling
Length: 30m
Reasons to buy
+Smooth auto-reel+Frost protection+Convenient wall mounted storage
Reasons to avoid
-Not a budget buy

If you have the budget to spend on a hose, this Gardena Wall Mounted Hose Box is well worth the money. The powerful hose has two spray jet options.

Never waste time winding and unwinding with the easy to use auto-reel function. It has a locking mechanism to stop at various increments, then retracts after use. This also means it is anti-kink and won't get tangled which can damage hoses and make them generally annoying. Our tester's dad has mobility issues and loves that it doesn't need porting about, and that it pretty much puts itself away.

Frost protection and durable
Gardena products have frost protection preventing winter damage to their hoses. They are made from UV-proof material too and show Gardena's longevity confidence with a five-year guarantee. 

Easy to stow away
As well as the auto-reel function, this hose features a handy wall mounted box. It can be swiveled 180 degrees for maximum movement and the box is strong, yet compact. If 30 metres isn't enough, there is an XL 35 metre version, and for smaller gardens you can choose a 15 or 20 metre version – though note these have a slightly different wall mounting. Finally there is a stake mounted version if you need a bit more range.

Verve Spiral Hose Pipe

(Image credit: B&Q)

3. Verve Spiral Hose Pipe

Best spiral hose: an easy-to-handle design that’s flexible and light, too

Best for: Compact gardens
Length: 10 metres
Reasons to buy
+8 function spray gun+Easy to manoeuvre+Weatherproof+Great price
Reasons to avoid
-Shorter length

A great value buy, this design is our pick when it comes to spiral hoses. It’s perfect for kids to use, too, so you can get them caring for what they’re growing. 

Small garden favourite
The hosepipe is 10m long, making it ideal for small gardens as you’re only manoeuvring the length of hose required for your plot.

Spray choice
With an eight function spray gun on offer, you can be sure of tackling every watering task you might have.

Durable model
You can leave this hose attached to the tap ready to use all summer long as it’s weatherproof, then simply stash away in winter.

TheFitLife Expandable Garden Hose Pipe

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. TheFitLife Expandable Garden Hose Pipe

Best heavy duty hose: made to be durable, this hose will keep your garden green, plus wash the car, and even the dog

Best for: Frequent use
Length: 7 metres
Reasons to buy
+Durable inner tube+Dense fabric+Doesn't kink
Reasons to avoid
-Looks practical, not pretty-Not the longest

Designed for long life and for cleaning tasks as well as watering the garden, this hose expands when the water’s on.

Material gains
The inner tube of this hose has a 13 layer structure to give the hose a long lifespan. The outer fabric is heavy duty to protect it from thorns and sharp corners.

Light in use
If you find many hoses awkward to move around this design’s 0.5kg weight will prove appealing.

Flexible number
It’s made to avoid kinks so you can get on with the watering without adjusting and it won’t have you untying knots, either.

Wickes Hozelock hosepipe

(Image credit: Wickes)

5. Hozelock 45m Eurocart with Hose Pipe & Spray Gun

Best hose for big gardens: this wheelable design is simple to move around to where you need it

Best for: Big gardens
Length: 40 metres
Reasons to buy
+Long hose+Simple to wheel around+Handle for rewinding+Avoids kinking
Reasons to avoid
-Sizeable design

If you want to zip around a sizeable garden to get all the watering done, this design won’t hold you back.

Big stretch
With 40m of braided hose on the cart, owners of bigger gardens can roam around as necessary to reach different areas.

Smooth mover
The cart has a long handle to make towing it around comfortable, as well as oversized patterned wheels. With a low centre of gravity, it’s a stable design, too.

Quick rewind
A long handle means winding up the hose once you’re done isn’t a struggle. The design will prevent the hose kinking and tangling as well.

XHOSE Expanding Garden Hose Pipe

(Image credit: Very)

6. XHOSE Expanding Garden Hose Pipe

Best expansion garden hose: compact enough to stash in a bucket, this design automatically expands and contracts

Best for : Small shed owners
Length: 22 metres
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight design+Expands to 3x length+Needs little storage space
Reasons to avoid
-Only hose and tap adapter included

Like the idea of the hose tidying itself rather than rewinding? This model will contract with no help needed from you once you’ve finished caring for your garden.

Kink free
Because it expands to three times its length when you turn on the garden tap, then returns to size when you’re done, you can avoid the hassle of kinks when you use this hose.

Light lift
It weighs 0.9kg, so you could get the kids helping with the watering, and it’ll work for those who don’t find heavy hoses practical.

Package deal
You’ll need to invest in a spray nozzle in addition because this hose doesn’t come with one. There’s an XHOSE version on offer.

Umi by Amazon 9-in-1 Wall Mounted Hose Reel

(Image credit: Amazonl)

7. Umi by Amazon 9-in-1 Wall Mounted Hose Reel

Best wall-mounted hose: keep your garden tidy with a design that fits to the wall and pivots by 180˚

Best for: Tidy gardeners
Coverage: 25 metres
Reasons to buy
+Stays tidy+9 spray modes+Auto rewind+Easy to install
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy to lift

You can keep your hose where it’s needed without tripping over it, if you opt for his wall-mountable option.

Spray choices
Choose between mist and full with the spray nozzle, and seven different options with the spray gun. Both come with the hose, so you’ll be set for all sorts of chores.

Wall mount
Once you’ve fixed the hose to the wall bracket that’s included it can be pivoted through 180° horizontally, allowing you to care for plants on the patio or in the garden.

Auto rewind
When you’ve finished, the hose reel can be automatically rolled up and takes just eight to 12 seconds.

How to buy the best garden hose

Consider the length of the hose pipe
Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to choosing the best hose. Of course if you have a big garden you want to be able to reach lawn, beds and shrubs that are at the greatest distance from the tap and you’ll need a longer hose. However, if your garden’s compact a long hose pipe can be awkward to use and demand the storage space you don’t have, so size to your needs when you’re buying.

Type of hose
A standard hose can be a value buy but, if it’s not on a reel, you’ll need to spend time winding it when you’ve used it, and it can be bulky to store. We’d advise you to opt for a design on a reel that will keep the hose tidy when you’re not using it. Think about whether you’d prefer a handle to wind the hose in, or an auto reel model.

Expandable hoses become full length under the pressure of the water, then return to their smaller size once the tap is turned off. They’re compact to store and light to water with, but you will need to put a design like this inside something else to avoid it hanging about on the shed floor.

Spiral hoses extend when you’re using them then recoil, so can be an easily tidied option. They suit small to medium gardens rather than huge plots.

What comes with the hose?
Your hose may attach directly to your tap, but you might require an adaptor to do so, and if this doesn’t come with your hose, you’ll need to budget for it.

Take a look, too, at whether you get a spray gun along with the hose, as these aren’t necessarily included. The option of different spray patterns is best.    

What is the best garden hose?

If you've got an average sized garden and want a hose that works well and looks great, we’d recommend the GF 16-Metre Patio Hose Reel as the best garden hose. It's lightweight, compact and easy to use. What more could you want?

However, if budget allows, do check out Gardena's wall mounted hose box. There are a few different lengths available, it self-retracts with a smooth-running auto reel and is frost/UV proof so worth the investment. It is over twice the price of our lead option though, so is a must for serious gardeners, but could be overspecced for the average plot.

How long should a garden hose last?

The best hose should easily last five to 10 years, but you need to do your part to make sure it does. Firstly, don't be tempted to buy a longer hose than you actually need. The longer it is, the harder it is to store and every twist, turn and kink is a potential weak spot – overspecify and there is a lot of wasted hose to ravel and unravel every use.

Next, don't leave it out. Sunlight can break down certain materials with rubber and plastic being particularly vulnerable. Again, if you get the smallest size you need, putting it away will be easier. Choose an option that retracts or can be wound onto a reel to keep it tidy.

When you use your hose unravel it fully and carry it looped over your arm to avoid dragging it on gravel or hard landscaping which is sure to cause damage. Avoid over-stretching it too and be sure to remove kinks or twists before turning the tap on to prevent pressure build up. If you need to turn it off for a longer than a minute or two, switch off at the tap rather than just shutting off the spout.

Finally, empty it of water after use. Open the spout, switch off and disconnect from the tap and let it drain from both ends. Leaving it extended and elevating one end will help. Only put it away once drained. Yes, when you reel it water will come out but you run the risk of standing water near the tap end so unless you use it every day, make sure to empty it before putting away.

Sarah Warwick
Sarah Warwick

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She's spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes and gardens – long enough to see interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement, both indoors and out, and it's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, so she's a serial house revamper.