When it comes to watering the garden and the lawn, nothing beats a good-quality hose pipe for making the task a millions times easier. Whether it’s attached it to the best sprinkler (opens in new tab), the best garden watering system (opens in new tab) or a spray gun, a hose pipe is the gardener’s best friend. And it’s not just gardens that benefit because a hose is also handy for washing the car, filling the hot tub (opens in new tab), cleaning the driveway with the best pressure washer (opens in new tab) and squirting your mates.
We’ve sourced a variety of hoses for this guide, including standard pressure-resistant vinyl/textile models, collapsible hoses that expand to up to three times their stored length and automatic hose dispensers.
All the hoses below are ideal for day-to-day garden use and, in most instances, pressure washer applications. Most hoses are available in lengths from 10 metres to over 30 metres so you should have no trouble finding a model to suit your needs. Luckily for you, we’ve found what we think are the best hoses and hose reels to suit your needs so do dip in right away.
Whichever hose you opt for, rest assured that your watering days will be a much easier than carting around a heavy, inefficient watering can. Now go forth and spray.
The best garden hoses you can buy in 2023
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If you have a large garden and require a hose between 20m - 35m in length, you might not find a better operator than this snazzy auto hose winder from the house of Gardena (a subsidiary of Husqvarna). Automatic hose feeders are de rigueur for anyone who uses a hose on a regular basis, whether it’s for hand-held or automatic sprinkling, washing the car or giving the driveway or patio a whizz. They all work in much the same way.
To use, simply pull the hose to your required length and when you stop, a mechanism locks it in position (the whole unit swivels 180˚ depending on the direction you’re using it). When finished, pull the hose out a few inches and the mechanism releases it. If you let go of the hose in unlocked mode, it’ll scuttle off on its own and wind itself up in readiness for the next time. However, we would advise holding on to the hose and walking back with it or it will drag along whatever spray nozzle is fitted to the end and possible damage it. The hose may also become snagged on outdoor furniture and plant pots while making its way home.
This heavyweight 25m model is easy to fit against an outside wall though you will need to site it within close proximity of an outdoor tap as the inlet hose is about 1.5 metres in length. The Gardena’s mechanism is superbly slick and so easy to engage and disengage, while the quality and suppleness of the classy-looking 13mm hose itself should ensure an extremely long life with almost zero chance of it ever being punctured (the whole shebang comes with a five-year warranty). The cheap twist spray nozzle it comes with can be considered a small bonus.
Gardena has some of the most dependable and best looking garden products on the market. Fit this keenly-priced model to your outside wall and your hosing life will be totally transformed.
To get even more information about this top-rated garden hose be sure to check out our Gardena Wall-Mounted Hose Box RollUp 25m guide (opens in new tab).
Fancy a hugely popular alternative to the Gardena above? This model is available in 20m and 30m lengths and comprises Hozelock’s premium Ultramax hose with Soft & Flex technology to keep it supple and kink free even in cooler weather.
The simply named Hozelock Auto Reel works in exactly the same way as the Gardena – the box itself swivels 180˚ so you can use it from any angle. And, like all automatic hose boxes, to use it you simply pull on the hose until you reach the length you want and then ease off slowly so it locks into position. To retract it, just pull the hose out a few inches until the mechanism releases it before it slowly drags the hose back into its housing. The 30m model on review weighs around 12 kilos so make sure it’s mounted to a masonry wall using the supplied bolts and heavy-duty Rawl plugs.
This model is easy to remove from its wall mounting if storage is necessary – there’s a nice big handle on top for this purpose – or you can fit a padlock to the base of it to lock it in place. Another nice touch is that the feeder pipe – the short piece of hosing that connects to the tap – can be wrapped around the protruding disc and the supplied hose stop attached to a mount to keep it from dangling about if moving it to storage. This model also comes with a cheap and cheerful adjustable spray nozzle.
If you have an especially large lawn and need plenty of hose reach, this 30m model is a sterling option that really will make watering all areas of the garden a veritable cinch.
For a hose that stretches from seven metres to around 15 metres when under pressure, this Italian-made concertina model is almost miraculously light (just 1.2kgs). The YoYo doesn’t shrink and expand by a massive degree but it’s a doddle to use and it doesn’t pull back nearly as much as its fabric-coated competitors do when under pressure.
Without getting too fetishistic, this bright red hose’s Technopolymer structure has a wondrously soft rubbery texture that feels great in the hand. Its lightness when empty is a massive bonus when it comes time to wrap it up and this reviewer experienced no tangles or twisting when using it. The YoYo measures 9mm in diameter which is smaller than others but it accept all standard hose fittings.
This hose also comes with a brilliant, lightweight plastic spray gun with a multitude of spray formations, including a slim water pistol-type jet that would be perfect for long range water fights between tackling the out-of-reach rhododendrons at the bottom of the garden. The YoYo is also fitted with an Aquastop fitting that shuts off the water when you remove the spray gun.
Rather like the Hozelock Superhoze reviewed below, when you shut off the water at the tap and squeeze the hose gun trigger to purge remaining water from the hose, the spray carries on at full pelt for a few seconds before slowly becoming a dribble. Once empty, simply roll it up and store it away.
If you’re after an efficient hose for your garden, yard, driveway or boat that isn’t a faff to roll up then stop right here.
For even more information about the YoYo Self-Extending Hose Pipe be sure to check out our YoYo Self-Extending Hose Pipe guide. (opens in new tab)
This expandable 15m hose is extremely light and easy to store – its inner latex tube expands up to three times its length when under pressure. However, because the water pressure produces a constant backwards tug towards the direction of the tap when water is being dispensed, this model is not the best type of hose to use with a lightweight oscillating sprinkler since it will just drag it back towards the tap for several feet. Filling a paddling pool is a no-go for the same reason unless you have a way of securing the hose end. But it’s perfect for hand-held spraying and a boon for boaters with little space on deck.
Like the admittedly better YoYo hose reviewed above, when you turn off the tap and hold the spray gun in the open position, the water continues to spray at full pelt for about 10 seconds before gradually subsiding. After about 20 seconds the whole hose shrinks back to its original form for easy storage.
The Superhoze comes with a cheap twist nozzle and is ideal for smaller gardens, boats and anyone who hates winding up hoses manually. It’s pretty tough, too, though yellow does seem a questionable colour to choose given that its nylon sheath will get filthy and unsightly after the very first use.
We’d always advise some kind of hose winding mechanism when shopping for a hose, even it’s it a manual model like this mini model from Gardena. The compact Classic Hose Reel 10 Set comes with 10 metres of 13mm hose which should easily outlive its five-year warranty.
Naturally, this model is much easier to unwind than it is to wind – simply pull it out slowly so you don’t pull the whole assembly with it. However, unlike its much more expensive stablemate reviewed above, the Classic Hose Reel 10 does require some elbow grease – and a bent posture – when winding it in, but it’s a relative painless activity, especially on hot days when the hose is more supple.
Manual and auto reels really do take the hassle out of storing hoses which are notoriously difficult to roll up neatly, especially when it’s a bit chilly. This model is nice and compact, extremely robust and equipped with a smooth-rolling mechanism for easy hose storage.
As the moniker suggests, this hose is tough as nails and perfect for anyone who treats their garden gear with little respect. The Tuffhoze is said to be 50% lighter than a normal hose, is kink free, easy to manoeuvre and equipped with crimped-on high-end connectors for zero leaking.
Made from a combination of Dura-Tech PVC for high-pressure burst resistance up to a magnificent 40 bar and woven textile outer sheath for flexibility and long-lasting durability, the Tuffhoze is available in four lengths – 12.5m, 25m and 35m – and has a diameter of 18mm. However, we’ve read some reports that suggest the hose is not suitable for use with pressure washers (opens in new tab) because the fitted Aquastop adaptors restrict the flow of water. Perhaps opt for the new uprated version with chunky plastic connectors instead of the more readily available model with metal connectors.
How to choose the best garden hose for your needs
Length is usually the buyer’s main concern. If you have a very small patio with a few scattered flowerpots, then consider a length of around five metres. But if you have a substantial lawn to water then go for one in excess of 20 metres. Obviously, the longer the hose the more hassle it will be to roll it up and store it. Unless, of course, you invest in an automatic hose box feeder – something we wholeheartedly recommend – which winds the hose up on its own.
For a popular alternative to a bog-standard rubber- and PVC-based hosepipe, perhaps try an expandable hose. These models look like a shedded snake skin when empty of water but turn on the pressure and they expand to up to three times their length and then shrink back to normal once the water pressure is off. These are great options for those who haven’t got the space to store a normal hose or anyone who can’t be bothered with winding up a mile of hosepipe.
Finally, when it comes to choosing a hose, stick to the big name brands for reliability – Gardena, Hozelock, Kärcher and YoYo – and avoid anything that seems too cheap because it’ll likely be made from poor-quality materials and more liable to kinking and spouting holes like Swiss cheese.