Best garden hoses 2022 to make watering your plants easy (2022)

A

hose is a hose… or is it? We found that there are some major differences.

If it has been a while since you bought your last hose – or you’re new to the watering game entirely, you probably need to make a few decisions before you spend your money.

Some hoses come in what can best be described as a giant snail shell. Inside, the loops of hose are neatly wound around and out of sight, with just the nozzle and tap attachment ends on display when not in use. These dispensers – made out of durable hard plastic – are held to the side of your house on a plate that’s attached with screws. For one of these models you’re going to need an electric drill or someone to come and do the work for you.

Another innovation in hose-ery is the collapsible type. These are soft and squishy when not full of water, but round themselves up so it passes through. What sets them apart is that they’re made of incredibly lightweight soft materials, don’t develop the dreaded kinks, and are wonderfully bendy and durable so they can deal with both full sun and freezing temperatures.

Next up are the extraordinary shrinking hoses that stretch to their full length only when in use, then slither back to a smaller size, making them ideal for stashing away between soakings.

You can, of course, still buy an ordinary hose, add a tap fixture as well as your choice of nozzle and get going. Your final decision will come down to how much garden you have to water, where you plan to keep your hose and the type of watering you’ll need to do; delicate blooms, a thirsty lawn, needy vegetable patches or all three.

To make sure you get the right length, measure from the water tap to the farthest corner of your plot. If you have beds and borders, you won’t want the hose to drag through them, so measure round the edges of these to get a comprehensive length. Too long and a hose will add unnecessary heft, but too short and it will leave you straining to make the water reach.

30m VonHaus Garden Hose Reel

Best for: A sturdy workhorse of a garden hose at a sensible price from a trusted brand.

This beauty is straightforward and, once up, you can enjoy the 180° swivel action as you move about the garden. The hose pulls out easily and is automatically held in place when you stop pulling, so there’s no wrestling to keep it under control or trying to stop it spilling out. Just pull a bit more if you need to take it further and it will stop again. It comes fitted with an eight-function spray-gun so you can choose to sprinkle your delicate flowers, shower the veg patch or blast the base of the apple tree. When you’re done, it retracts satisfyingly back into its dispenser, which can be collapsed against the wall, so it’s all tidied away.

It comes with everything you need to mount it (except a drill!) and is easy to install. There’s also plenty of back hose, so it doesn’t need to be located right next to the tap. There’s also a 20m version with a spray nozzle and both garden hoses come with a two-year warranty.

35m Hozelock Tuffhoze

Best for: A great, long-lasting choice if you’re looking for a lighter option

Made of a high-tech combo of textile and PVC, you get a lot of garden hose for the heft with this one, as it is 50% lighter than the equivalent traditional one. The sides of the hose collapse in on itself when not in use, but as soon as the water comes through it springs up to its full 18mm diameter for a powerful flow. Its suitability for use with a pressure washer system means it also great for cleaning the car or your driveway.

For smaller gardens, it also comes in 12.5m and 25m lengths. The super-tough UV-resistant PVC and textile fabric withstands baking in the sun, freezing in the winter and magically remains kink-free no matter how we wound it round the garden. It also comes with a 30-year guarantee, which is why this one got the double thumbs up from this gardener. Hozelock also sells reels for keeping it tidied away.

25m UMI Wall Mounted Retractable Garden Hose Reel

Best for: Lots of spray options

Amazon’s own brand was always going to do what it says on the box and this wall-mounted garden hose is no exception. It offers 180° swivel action and the hose is strong and durable in a pleasing silver colour. It has nine spray options via two nozzles. The spray gun has seven exciting modes: shower, flat, centre, cone, full, fog and jet. The ordinary nozzle can do full or fog. To be fair, you’ll probably find, after cycling through the different effects, that you’ll land on a favourite one or two and stick to them. We found shower to be multi-purpose, but it’s nice to have the options. It also has automatic rewind and will stick at any length without pulling back or spilling out.

30m GARDENA Comfort HighFLEX Hose

Best for: The one to buy if you’re looking for a simple, high-quality garden hose that will last for years.

If you’ve had enough of all the extras and add-ons, you’ve come to the right place. If you’ve been asked ‘where can I just get a basic garden hose?’ Gardena has you covered. As well as supplying super-durable hoses that are UV- and frost-proof, it also makes them in a high-flex range, meaning you can twist and turn them all you like without the dreaded kinks appearing and jamming the water flow. This line also comes in 25m and 50m lengths and there are fixtures galore to choose from, meaning you can add more hoses to make it super-long, get an attachment for whatever water tap set-up you have and choose from their selection of nozzles, including a spray gun. Starting to get too complicated again? Just get the basic starter set (sold separately) and you’ll be fine. It comes with a reassuring 25-year warranty.

30m Garden Trading Garden Hose

Best for: Style and substance come together in this attractive piece of equipment

There’s something very grown-up and sophisticated about the understated grey, brass and black colours of this garden hose. If you were looking to prop a trendy shoot on a Shoreditch roof garden or a fine country house, this is the one you’d go for. It’s also brilliant when put to work, with an easy smooth spray action that won’t give your hands a workout and a simple operation for stronger or weaker flow – just release the trigger or give it a tighter squeeze. It’s a tidy thing too as it retracts to a mere 10m when not in use.

Garden Trading sells a choice of equally eye-pleasing hose hangers (sold separately) if you want to keep it beautifully draped when you’re not giving the Labradoodle a wash down. There’s also a 15m version.

20m Fitt Yoyo

Best for: A good choice for smaller gardens.

If you don’t have a huge outdoor space, but are lucky enough to own a terrace, patio or balcony, this small garden hose is just the ticket. It comes with a handy accessory kit that includes a tap adjuster to fit a wide range of water outlets, a multi-jet spray gun and a useful hose hanger that fits easily onto railings or over a tap. It’s also sturdy and upright so you can store it away neatly.

This is a retractable hose, so it reaches 20m when full of water but shrinks to a third of its length when it’s not, so it won’t take up much room and weighs just 1.14kgs. It’s also available in a 10m length and comes with a five-year guarantee.

High Grand 100ft 304 Stainless Steel Metal Garden Hose Pipe

Best for: For those who want a basic hose with a bit of pizazz in the looks department

For something completely different, here’s a stainless-steel covered hose with copper fittings. It comes in three more lengths – 25ft (approx 8m), 50ft (approx 15m) and 75ft (approx 23m) – to suit all sizes of garden and has a spray gun that offers eight modes of water delivery. There’s also a firefighter-style nozzle for when your garden needs rescuing from a drought. You might think the metal casing would make it stiff, but it’s actually very bendy and offers a kink-free life. It’s hard-wearing enough to be left outside and is fairly lightweight for the large size at just 5.56kg. The lightweight steel protects the inner hose from getting damaged.

30m Ohuhu Expanding Garden Hose Pipe

Best for: A well-priced buy with plenty of spray options

Available in black or green and measuring at 15m in length for a small garden, this is a good choice for a budget buy. Although the spray gun is plastic, which does add to the lightness of this expandable hose, it’s surprisingly robust and offers eight functions - including full flow, angle, flat, shower, mist and cone. It shrinks down to a third of its length when it’s empty of water and is wonderfully bendy without developing kinks. It also comes with a useful hook to hang it on. Did we mention how light it is? Just 1.4kg when empty.

This garden hose isn’t UV or frost-proof, so to prolong its life be sure to store it in your shed.

Homoze 50ft Expandable Garden Water Hose Pipe

Best for: The one to buy if weight and price are priorities

We’re all watching the pennies these days, so this sensibly priced expandable garden hose provides a lot of bang for your buck. It comes with a handy storage sack, in which you can keep the hose, its spray gun and the two tap fittings – 3/4” and 1/2”. Choose the flow from full blast to mist, with six variations in between – including one descriptively named ‘soak’. It’s wonderfully lightweight – just 790 grams – and in between use shrinks down to a mere 5m. There’s even a choice of colours: black, blue or green. It also comes in a 100ft (approx 30m) length.

The manufacturer recommends you keep it out of direct sunlight as much as possible and empty it if the temperature is going to drop in order to avoid frozen water damaging the inside.

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