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Gardeners' World Garden hoses 2048-1365

Ten of the best garden hoses on test

Need a new hose? See which models our experts scored best.

A hose can be an essential bit of kit for a gardener, making the task of watering your garden much easier than heaving a heavy watering can back and forth from the tap. Choosing the right hose will depend on the size of your garden, how much time you spend watering and, of course, your budget. We researched the most popular garden hoses on the market and rigorously tested them to bring you our list of the 10 best garden hoses, including bare hoses, expandable hoses and garden hose reels.

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Each model has a detailed list of pros and cons for clarity and has been rated according to preparation and storage, handling and performance, quality and features and value for money. Every hose in the list below has scored a minimum of four out of five stars or above, so you can be assured of their quality and performance.

Need an attachment for your hose? Discover which of the garden hose spray guns we tested, came out on top. Or if a watering can is all you’re after, we’ve chosen 10 different designs to suit your gardening needs.

If you’re looking for a hose to help clean the patio, you may also be interested in our guide to buying the best pressure washer.

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Hoses – Buyer’s Guide video


Many thanks to Rosie Yeomans and Sparsholt College for their help in making this video.


How to choose the best garden hose

The best garden hoses to buy are anti-kink, anti-twist and crush-proof – there’s nothing worse than having to unravel a tangled garden hose and it will eventually cause the rubber to split and leak. It’s also worth considering the jobs you’ll be using it for. If it’s just watering, you won’t need a super-strong hose with a high max burst pressure (measured in bars), but if you’re connecting it to a power washer, durability and strength are important – and steer clear of expandable hoses as they’re not recommended for use with pressure washers.

To work out the length you need, there’s really no better way than getting out the tape measure. Start from the tap and measure the maximum distance you need to reach the bottom of your garden, and then add a bit on, so the hose won’t be at full stretch. Tempting as it may be, avoid going for a longer garden hose than needed, because in addition to being more expensive, it adds unnecessary extra weight and is more bulky to store. Some expandable hoses can be connected together to gain extra length – you’ll need to buy special adaptors – and similarly, smooth rubber hoses can be cut to length if required.

Lastly, while colour might seem an aesthetic choice, if you have your garden hose on display on a patio, you might want to choose the colour that best works with your scheme. Alternatively, a brightly coloured hose is more visible and so less likely to be run over by a car or machinery.


What accessories are available?

While a nozzle or spray gun isn’t essential – using your finger on the tip of the hose to adjust the water flow works well – they are practical. Some hoses come with these accessories included, which often makes them good value for money. However, there are plenty of attachments available to buy separately. It’s also worth checking if the connectors that come with your hose are ‘universal’, which means they’ll fit on any hose or with any accessory – a benefit, if you change the hose but don’t want to have to buy a new spray gun for example. Connectors are usually made in either plastic or brass and while there are different grades of plastic, it’s fair to say that the brass connectors will be the most long-lasting. In general, a textured outer layer will attach more securely to the tap connector than smooth alternatives, and will be less likely to burst off the nozzle or tap connector while it’s in use.


How much should I spend on a garden hose?

Garden hoses come in a range of prices to suit all budgets, and while they might look similar, finding one that doesn’t kink or split so you can use it season after season, sets some hoses apart from the rest. While you can pay anywhere between £15 to £500 for a garden hose and spray gun; and over a thousand pounds for a hose reel kit, if you’re happy to spend somewhere in the region of £25 to £60, you can pick up a good quality garden hose.

It’s worth noting that cheaper hoses need to be replaced more often, which is ultimately bad news for your pocket and the environment. Spending a little more means you’ll get a tough, durable hose that will last for years, and with better technology behind the bigger price tag, watering the plants is more enjoyable too. Garden hose reel kits are more expensive, but they’re great if storage is an issue and the reel prevents hoses from getting tangled up or trodden on. However, they can be a pain when it comes to reeling-in the hose, especially with free-standing types. Expandable hoses dispense with storage problems, as they contract to a manageable size when they’re not in use, but they can also leak and split more readily than tougher rubber alternatives. It’s also worth checking if a hose comes with a guarantee, and if so, how long for . While hoses come with recommended maximum water pressure, kink and frost protection, if a long warranty is offered, it’s a good sign it’s built to last, assuming of course, you look after it.


What are the different types of garden hose?

There’s a huge range of garden hoses available to buy:

  • Bare hoses, which are available without connectors and accessories
  • Hose kits, which include spray guns and connectors.
  • Expandable hoses, which offer a lightweight alternative to traditional rubber hoses, and shrink to an easy-to-store size when not in use.
  • Hoses with reels, which can be either free-standing or mounted on a wall and can be retracted at the pull of the hose or wound by hand with a handle.

In general, hosepipes are constructed with layers of vinyl, polyurethane and rubber, often reinforced with nylon or metal mesh. Expandable hoses come with a tough woven fabric outer layer that allows them to expand and contract. On the whole, cheaper hoses have less layers, which affects their strength and durability over time. Rubber hoses kink easily and can even get in a tangle, whereas expandable hoses, with their fabric outer layers, are designed to be anti-kink and anti-knot.


Best bare hoses, expandable hoses and hose reels at a glance

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Three of the best expandable hoses on test

Browse our best expandable hoses below:

1

Hozelock Superhoze Expandable 30m Hose

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

2048x1365-Hozelock-Superhoze
Hozelock Superhoze 30m expandable hose

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Expands three times its length, up to 30m
  • Tangle-free
  • Five year guarantee
  • Guaranteed leak-free fittings for a water-tight connection
  • Nozzle included

Cons:

  • Hooks or reels for storage aren’t included
  • Expensive

Lightweight, tough and coming with a five-year warranty, our experts awarded this as a Gardeners’ World magazine Best Buy for its durability. their expandable hose is easy to use in a small-sized garden, and as it expands up to three times in length, is convenient to store when it shrinks back to its original size.

Read the full review of the Hozelock Superhoze expandable 30m hose

Buy the Hozelock Superhoze expandable 30m hose on Amazon


2

Robert Dyas Extendable 30m hose

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

2048x1365-RobertDyas-Expandable-hose
Robert Dyas Extendable 30m hose

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Expands from 10m to 30m
  • Spray gun included
  • Tangle-free

Cons:

  • No storage features included

Winner of a Gardeners’ World Best Buy award for its performance, this lightweight, extendable hose comes with connectors as well as a seven dial spray gun, which are both accessories you have to buy separately with many of the other hoses that we tested. When the hose is filled with water it fully expands up to 30m, or three times its length, retracting back to its original size in next to no time when you turn the tap off.

Read the full review of the Robert Dyas Extendable 30m hose

Buy the Robert Dyas Extendable 30m hose from Robert Dyas


3

Sarah Raven Self-Extendable Hose

Our rating: 4.75 out of 5

Sarah Raven Self-Extendable Hose - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Sarah Raven Self-Extendable Hose

Pros:

  • Comes with its own hanger
  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Grey hose hard to spot in grass or on stonework

This expanding hose from Sarah Raven is a joy to use. A Gardeners’ World Best Buy, it quickly expands from 5 to 15 metres, and has a smooth twist nozzle, which can make both gentle mists or a single powerful jet of water. We especially like the inclusion of a plastic hanger, which slots over the tap for easy storage.

Buy now from Sarah Raven


Four of the best garden hose reels on test

Browse our best garden hose reels below:

4

Hozelock Pico Reel

Our rating: 4.75 out of 5

Hozelock Pico hose reel review - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Hozelock Pico hose reel review – BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine

Pros:

  • Fully assembled
  • Versatile, connects both ends
  • Comfortable, easy to use, excellent spray gun
  • Long warranty

Cons:

  • Feeder hose fiddly to tuck away

Our experts judged this a Best Buy in the mini reel category as it was compact, lightweight and good value. The hose is easy to rewind and has handy features such as drip-free storage with a parking port. There’s also an easy to use and adjustable spray gun with five spray pattern options. Plus, this hose comes with a five-year warranty.

Read the full review of the Hozelock Pico hose reel


5

Kärcher Compact Hose Box

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Karcher Compact Hose Reel review - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Kärcher Compact Hose Reel review – BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine

Pros:

  • Sturdy, enclosed, with non-drip storage
  • Versatile connection, additional feeder hose
  • Can be used with Kärcher pressure washer

Cons:

  • Feeder needs tucking under bracket

This sturdy and compact hose is supplied fully assembled and is enclosed in a smart square box. The nozzle and handle are detachable and there’s an additional two metre feeder hose as well as wall-mounting bracket, so you can store it out of the way. Although it’s slightly awkward to rewind, we awarded this hose Best Buy status and judged it to be the best for storage. It is guaranteed for one year.

Read the full review of the Kärcher Compact Hose Box


6

Hozelock Fast Reel

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Hozelock Fast Reel Review - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Hozelock Fast Reel Review – BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine

Pros:

  • Completely assembled, enclosed reel
  • Sturdy, stable, exceptionally easy to rewind
  • Neat non-drip storage
  • Long warranty

Cons:

  • Largest, heaviest and dearest

The automatic self-layering feature on this hose made it extremely quick to wind and unwind, despite being the longest we tested. The casing fully encloses the hose and feels both sturdy and stable. This was the heaviest and priciest hose on our expert test, but it does come with a five year guarantee. Overall we were impressed and awarded it Best Buy status as the easiest large hose to use.

Read the full review of the Hozelock Fast Reel


7

Gardena Hose Reel 30m

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Buy now from Tooled Up (£33.95)

Gardena Hose Reel 30 reviews - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Gardena Hose Reel 30 reviews – BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine

Pros:

  • Lightweight yet very stable frame
  • Very easy to carry
  • Good twist-grip nozzle
  • Long warranty

Cons:

  • Lowest capacity reel
  • Not ‘ready to use’ as described

Our expert testers found this hose comfortable to use and carry as it remained stable while unwinding. The hose is lightweight but still felt sturdy and we liked the angled connector which reduces the chance of kinking. There’s also five-year warranty and we awarded it Best Buy status, as the best lightweight larger reel.

Read the full review of the Gardena Hose Reel 30


Three of the best bare hoses on test

Browse our best bare hoses below:

8

Flopro+ Hose

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

FloPro-hose-2048-1365
Flopro+ garden hose

Pros:

  • Flexible yet strong, with four layers
  • Light and comfortable
  • Easy to coil and resistant to kinking
  • Long guarantee

Cons:

  • Higher price than most

A BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy, this tough hose is light, but is durable thanks to a four-layered reinforced construction. Less likely to crush, twist or kink, it’s also comfortable to use and makes watering a joy. Comes with a lengthy 20-year guarantee.

Read the full review of the Flopro+ Garden hose

Buy the Flopro+ Garden hose on Amazon


9

RHS Everflow hose pipe

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

RHS Everflow Garden hose 2048-1365
RHS Everflow hose pipe

Pros:

  • Flexible yet didn’t block
  • Long guarantee
  • Only hose available in 100m option
  • Connectors and spray head included

Cons:

  • Hard to re-coil

A BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy award winner this flexible hose never stops running. Made with a resilient blend of PVC and has ‘Everflow technology’, it has a central core throughout the hose that keeps the water flowing even when it’s twisted, crushed or knotted. Well made and easy to use, it also comes with a lengthy 30 year guarantee.

Read the full review of the RHS Everflow hose 

Buy the RHS Everflow hose from OnBuy


10

Hozelock Ultimate hose

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

Hozelock-ultimate-hose-2048-1365
Hozelock Ultimate hose

Pros:

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Anti-kink design
  • Crush proof
  • Long guarantee
  • Lowest price per metre (in category)

Cons:

  • Slightly tricky to re-coil

A Gardeners’ World Best Buy winner this premium hose is very light and easy to water and clean with. Constructed from five layers, including a reinforced material the Hozelock Ultimate also has a smooth inner layer to enhance water flow. Kink-free and flexible it comes with a 30 year guarantee.

Read the full review of the Hozelock Ultimate hose

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Buy the Hozelock Ultimate hose on Amazon