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The best garden hose to buy in 2024: Our tried and tested favourites

A selection of three garden hoses

Keep your lawn and borders watered with the best garden hoses, kits and reels, all of which have been extensively tested

A good garden hose is an essential garden accessory. It’ll keep your plants healthy and your grass a luscious green during the summer and it’s a must-have if you have a pressure washer or need water for paddling pools or DIY projects.

However, all hoses are not made the same. Cheaper hoses may be prone to kinks or splitting, while even some more expensive hosepipes may not be durable or easy to handle. That’s why I’ve spent a considerable amount of time over the last four years testing hosepipes, reels and kits from some of the biggest (and not so big) brands, to find out which work well and are built to last, and which don’t make for grade.

Below you’ll find what I deem to be the best garden hoses of various types across a range of price points. And if you want more info before you make your choice, you’ll find it in the buying guide that follows.

Best garden hose kit: At a glance

Most versatile hose and reel set:Gardena Classic Wall-Fixed Hose Reel 50 Set (~£59)Check price at Amazon
Top-value hose cart for larger gardens:Hozelock Assembled Hose Cart (~£72)Check price at Amazon
Best super-sturdy hose and reel set:Gardena CleverRoll M Easy Metal Set (~£115)Check price at Amazon

Best garden hose: At a glance

Best everyday hose:Gardena Comfort Flex Hose (~£45)Check price at Screwfix
Fitt 30m Heavy Braided NTS WinTech Hose: Fitt 30m Heavy Braided NTS WinTech Hose (~£40)Check price at Screwfix
Sturdiest hose:Hozelock Tuffhoze 25m (~£47)Check price at Amazon

How we test garden hose reels and hosepipes

I test garden hose reels and hosepipes by assembling the pipe and reel, where necessary, then using the pipe to water in my small front garden and a larger rear plot. I connect the pipe to mains water and a spray nozzle and check how easily it unspools and runs around obstacles, and how resistant it is to kinking.

I also check how well the hosepipe handles being stood on or run over with a loaded wheelbarrow. Finally, I check how easily it reels in or coils away for storage, and what features there are to manage the pipe and hold it in place.

Editor’s picks

Best hose for smaller gardens | Hozelock Compact 2-in-1 Reel with 25m Hose

If you’re looking for cheap, convenient watering, you won’t do much better than this compact reel. It’s very neat, with an easy-to-turn handle, and the closed-in design keeps the quality multi-purpose hosepipe safe from wear and tear. You can fit it to the wall or use it free standing, and it comes with connectors and a nozzle.

Best hose for larger gardens | Gardena CleverRoll M Easy Metal Set

A bigger plot can use a more substantial hose and reel, and this Gardena set gives you both in the one package, with an impressively sturdy metal reel and cart along with 25m of high-quality Flex pipe. All the attachments you need come bundled in along with a powerful and versatile spray nozzle. If you need more range, look for the equally good CleverRoll L.

The best garden hose reels and kits you can buy in 2024

1. Gardena Classic Wall-Fixed Hose Reel 50 Set: The most versatile hose and reel set

Price when reviewed: £64 | Check price at Amazon

Great for: Wall-mounting or carrying around
Not so great for: Not much. It’s a robust and reliable kit

This Gardena hose and reel set is designed to be used in two ways: you can attach it to the wall using the bracket supplied, or you can remove the reel from the wall and carry it around for use around the garden. I found it reasonably light to lug around, even with 20m of Gardena Classic hose attached, but it’s also solidly built. The reel feels nice and stable even on the ground, unmounted, and will be even better attached to a wall. There’s also a good, rugged handle to hold while you’re winding the hosepipe back in.

The other reason to buy this kit over cheaper rivals is that the hose is more robust, combining strong plastics with textile reinforcement. It held up well in my kinking and flattening tests and comes backed up by a 12-year warranty. If you’ve got a small-ish garden, you couldn’t ask for a better reel set.

Key specs – Length: 20m; Weight: 4.58kg; Wall mount: Yes

2. Hozelock Assembled Hose Cart: The best hose kit for larger gardens

Price when reviewed: £75 | Check price at Amazon 

Great for: Keeping larger gardens watered
Not so great for: Avoiding kinks

Watering can be a drag when you’ve got a long garden, especially if all your taps are at the house end. A hose cart makes things a whole lot easier – you can wheel it out, unspool your hose, give everything a water, then reel the hosepipe in again for easy storage. The only downside is that you need to wind it back in using your muscle power.

This Hozelock reel is a solid, inexpensive option. It will take up to 60m of hosepipe, and you can buy it with 20m or 30m or, as in our test kit, 50m. The plastic cart isn’t as rugged as the Gardena CleverRoll M and it doesn’t do quite as good a job of holding the reel in place as you’re pulling on the pipe, but if I kept a foot on the kickstand while unwinding I didn’t have any problems.

As for the multi-purpose hose provided, it isn’t as tough or kink-resistant as Hozelock’s superior Tricoflex Ultramax; I found the odd kink creeping in when working with the pipe almost unwound. However, as long as you take a little care and wind the pipe in after watering, you’ll be fine, and it proved quite resistant to flattening. If your garden is bigger than your budget, this gives you a lot of cart and hosepipe for your money.

Key specs – Length: 50m; Weight: 4.58kg; Wall mount: Yes

3. Hozelock Compact 2-in-1 reel: The best-value hose reel kit

Price when reviewed: £55 | Check price at Amazon

Great for: Keeping your hosepipe safe and tidy when it’s not in use
Not so great for: Easy assembly

You’ll find Hozelock making several appearances on this list, and with good reason: it’s a top-quality brand with some superb hosepipes. This particular 2-in-1 reel is a good alternative to the cart model above, offering an affordable hose and reel combo that won’t take up more room than necessary. I liked the large and easy-to-turn handle on the reel, while the closed-in casing provides an extra level of protection against weather, wear and tear. The initial setup is a little tricky, as you have to unwind the hose and cut off a section to connect the reel to the intake and the tap, and the instructions could be clearer on this point.

It comes with 25m of the same yellow multi-purpose pipe as the Hozelock cart, and while my kink and crush tests showed a decent level of resistance, you’ll still want to reel it in after every use to avoid kinks and tangles. Overall, though, it’s going to be fine for the average town or suburban garden, and it’s a brilliant budget choice.

Key specs – Length: 25m; Weight: 5.2kg; Wall mount: Yes

4. Gardena CleverRoll M Easy Metal: The most sturdy hose and reel set

Price when reviewed: £115 | Check price at Amazon 

Great for: Larger gardens and more challenging layouts
Not so great for: Cramming into a small shed

Gardena’s hosepipes have a reputation for being particularly sturdy, with its Comfort Flex and SuperFlex hosepipes being frost-proof, UV-proof, and good for pressures up to 25 or 35 bar. Gardena even guarantees them for 20 and 30 years, respectively. Grab the AquaRoll M EasyMetal reel set and you get 25m of Flex pipe along with a hose reel cart that’s every bit as tough. It comes with all the connectors you need and a Gardena spray nozzle.

The reel disks are formed from pressed metal, and it’s held up on two beefy wheels and a sturdy metal kickstand. I found that, with the kickstand down, the reel doesn’t move or topple while you’re unspooling the hosepipe unless you really tug to the left or right. Meanwhile, the little red feeder reel at the top helps ensure that the hose spreads evenly across the larger reel when you use the fold-out crank to wind it in again.

While it’s out, the tough, kink-resistant hose manages to stay flexible without twisting all over the shop, and both in testing and in long-term use I’ve found the Flex pipe unusually tough and kink-resistant. On the downside, this kit is expensive, and it takes more room than most reels to store. Still, if you find your hosepipe keeps kinking or never lasts more than a year, this beefy set should sort you out.

Key specs – Length: 25m; Weight: 10kg; Wall mount: No

5. Hozelock Superhoze 15m kit: The best hose kit for small gardens

Price when reviewed: £37 | Check price at Amazon

Great for: Packing away in small spaces
Not so great for: Longer stretches

Looking for a quick and easy way to water a terrace or small garden? Preferably one that stores neatly away when not in use? Look no further than the Hozelock Superhoze, the firm’s take on the expandable fabric hose, supplied here in a compact cardboard box with everything you need to get watering. It’s hard to believe that what looks like a pile of wrinkled yellow cloth can transform into a 15m hosepipe, but it does.

In fact, both in testing and over a year of use, I found it surprisingly tough and resistant to kinking and pinching, particularly if you don’t lazily leave it lying on the ground after use. What’s more, it’s supplied with good-quality Hozelock connectors and a nozzle to keep the water flow nice and steady. Once you’re done, just leave it to empty and it will return to its normal shrunken state, at which point you can coil it around the tap or pile it back into a suitable box. Lightweight and convenient, this is the perfect starter hose. And if you find the length restrictive, you can always buy it in the larger 30m or 40m versions.

Key specs – Length: 15m; Weight: 0.98kg; Wall mount: No

6. Hozelock Auto Reel with Hose: The best wall-mounted hose kit

Price when reviewed: £118 | Check price at Screwfix

Great for: Easy watering without any hosepipe worries
Not so great for: Moving around, where a hose cart comes in handy

Wall-mounted hoses are ideal if you value convenience and don’t fancy a hose cart lying around, cluttering up your garden. Simply bolt it to the wall using the supplied screws and plugs, and away you go. Hozelock’s Auto Rewind Reel boasts more usability than most. At 30 metres, it’s long enough for most gardens, and its auto-rewind function makes packing it away really easy – simply tug at the hose and it’ll wind itself in. A slider inside the reel ensures the hose is coiled neatly, with no tangling. Just be sure to turn the water supply off before you start retracting.

The reel pivots 180 degrees, so you can angle the hose to where you need it, and is supplied with a feeder hose which can also be coiled around a hidden panel to keep things tidy. There’s even room for the included nozzle and fittings inside hidden cubbies or on mounts, to make sure they don’t get lost.  There’s a child lock to keep the pipe safe from prying fingers, and while the reel can be removed and sat on the ground, there’s a padlock slot to keep it securely locked in place. The icing on the cake is the inclusion of a premium Hoselock hose, which is tougher than the standard multi-purpose home. I found it did a great job of resisting kinks and was also very resilient when stood on. All in all, getting the hosepipe out and watering doesn’t get much easier than this.

Key specs – Length: 30m; Weight: 11.1kg; Wall mount: Yes

Check price at Screwfix

The best garden hosepipes you can buy in 2024

1. Wickes Garden Hosepipe: The best budget garden hose

Price when reviewed: £18 | Check price at Wickes

Great for: Decent hose at a bargain basement price
Not so great for: Heavy-duty use

Working out at just 50p per metre, this dark blue hose from Wickes is by some distance the cheapest on this list. Okay, it doesn’t come with fittings (Wickes supplies its own-brand fittings in a matching blue hue for £5), but it does come guaranteed for ten years against faulty workmanship and materials.

Despite its appealingly low price tag, I found this PVC pipe surprisingly resistant to kinking. It won’t take the same kind of punishment as the Hozelock Tuffhoze or Gardena HighFLEX, but it doesn’t turn into a twisted mess the moment it meets the slightest obstacle. What’s more, the 1.6mm wall thickness and polyester reinforcement meant the water flow was unaffected when stood on. Even if it doesn’t stand up to years of abuse, £15 is a tiny price to pay for a replacement.

Key specs – Length: 30m; Accessories supplied: None; Warranty: 10 years

Check price at Wickes

2. Fitt 30m Heavy Braided NTS WinTech Hose: The best-value hosepipe

Price when reviewed: £40 | Check price at Screwfix 

Great for: A tough and rugged hosepipe on the cheap
Not so great for: The warranty – just one year!

If you’re after something cheap, robust and functional, then this budget hosepipe from Screwfix is the best I’ve come across. It’s as tough as old boots, combining polyester and PVC with a knitted reinforcement that works to halt twisting and knotting. In tests, it held up against kinks and crushing just as well as more expensive hosepipes from well-known brands.

Meanwhile, anti-algae protection and an anti-UV treatment mean you don’t have to treat it with kid gloves. While the one-year warranty doesn’t inspire much confidence, don’t let that put you off – with some decent fittings or a reel to store it on, this hose could last you years.

Key specs – Length: 50m; Accessories supplied: None; Warranty: 1 year

Check price at Screwfix

3. Gardena HighFLEX Hose: The best everyday hosepipe

Price when reviewed: £49 (30m), £73 (50m) | Check price at Amazon

Great for: Everyday use and a rugged construction
Not so great for: Coiling up neatly or getting the connectors on

It’s not as cheap as Gardena and Hozelock’s entry-level hosepipes, but the HighFLEX is worth paying the extra for. The construction balances flexibility with a pressure- and kink-resistant spiral mesh that keeps the hose in shape. Meanwhile, the orange strips running along the surface have a special ‘powergrip’ texture that makes connectors a little tricky to get on, but a whole lot more difficult to get off, meaning your pipe won’t slip off the tap or two-way connector, even under strain.

Both in tests and over long-term use, I’ve found this hose particularly robust and reliable, holding up well when stretched across the garden and even when it’s being dragged around raised beds and intervening shrubbery. The only thing to be aware of is that it’s sometimes a bit resistant to being neatly coiled up again: a reel might be a good idea. With a 20-year warranty behind it, this is a superior hosepipe for everyday use.

Key specs – Length: 15m, 30m or 50m; Accessories supplied: None; Warranty: 20 years

4. Hozelock Tricoflex Ultramax: The best high-tech hosepipe

Price when reviewed: £55 (30m), £82 (50m) | Check price at Amazon

Great for: Surviving tough conditions without kinks or twists
Not so great for: Avoiding high purchase costs

This Hozelock hosepipe is a slight step up in terms of outlay compared to others on this list, but you can really feel the difference in quality. The five-layer construction feels light and flexible yet incredibly robust, with TNT anti-twist technology that stops it twisting under pressure. In tests, I noticed that it had impressive resistance to kinking, crushing and knotting, even when being dragged around the garden or dropped in a heap. Stepping on it had no perceptible impact on water pressure. If you’re a clumsy gardener or need a hosepipe you can leave in place around your plot, this one has you covered.

What’s more, the ribbing on the surface makes it easy to grip and more effective at holding connectors securely in place. Throw in anti-UV and anti-frost protection, plus a 25-year guarantee, and you’ve got a hosepipe that’s ideal for larger gardens, especially if you team it with a decent reel.

Key specs – Length: 30m or 50m; Accessories supplied: None; Warranty: 25 years

5. Hozelock Tuffhoze: The toughest, tangle-free expanding hosepipe

Price when reviewed:  £34 (12.5m), £47 (25m), £64 (35m) | Check price at Amazon 

Great for: Not needing too much looking after
Not so great for: Cutting down to length – you can’t

Tuff by name and tough by nature, this is effectively a rugged version of Hozelock’s expanding Superhoze. It’s a hybrid effort, combining a woven textile jacket with a more traditional PVC dura-tech core, and the result is a hosepipe that stays free of kinks as it’s pulled around the garden and that’s also incredibly strong – burst-resistant even with over 40 bar of pressure. In long-term use, I’ve found it incredibly resilient to any and every peril that doesn’t involve a sharp blade.

As a bonus, it packs away neatly in a box, on a reel, or over a hook. I also like that Hozelock provides it with its Aqua Stop metal connectors, which are just as robust as the pipe itself. The one downside to the Tuffhoze is that you can’t cut into it, so you’re limited to the ready-made lengths.

Needless to say, it’s one pricey hosepipe, but if you need something nearly indestructible, look no further.

Key specs – Length: 25m; Accessories supplied: 2 x Metal Aqua Stop connectors; Warranty: 30 years

How to choose the best garden hose for you

There are three main options when you’re choosing a garden hose.

You can buy a traditional O-shaped hosepipe on its own. These often represent the cheapest option, but you’ll need somewhere to store it or hang it out of the way to avoid it getting trampled and damaged.

Because of this, many buyers choose the second option: a reel or kit. These aren’t necessarily much more expensive than a bare hose, but they’ll ensure you can store your hose neatly away. Some are supplied in a reel, others in a cart (a reel with wheels and a handle), or with a bracket to be wall-mounted out of the way. Whichever version of these you choose, you’ll need an extra length of hose to connect the reel to your garden tap.

Finally, there’s the fabric-covered hose, which might be the best option for smaller gardens. These are designed to be used without a reel, and expand when water flows through them and contract when you turn off the tap.

What types of hosepipes are there?

For the most part, you get what you pay for with hosepipes. Usually, the more a hose costs, the more layers it’ll have, and that makes for a tougher hose that’ll last much longer. Cheaper hoses tend to use fewer layers and a higher vinyl content, while more expensive hoses tend to have a composite construction, blending vinyl with polyurethane and rubber, and often reinforced by a nylon or metal mesh. Despite their toughness, they’re generally more flexible, yet still resistant to kinking.

Unless you’re a commercial grower, you don’t need to go too high-end, but investing in a better-quality hose will get you something that lasts longer, and won’t leave you swearing every time you have to walk back from a distant border to find out why there’s no water coming through – while we’ve yet to see a fully kink-proof hose, we’ve seen plenty that will kink at the slightest opportunity.

There are a few other hose types worth looking out for. Rubber hoses tend to be kink-resistant and durable but are expensive and can perish and crack if left in heat and sunlight. Rubber is also used in some expandable hoses, which are designed to fit into a compact reel for storage, but stretch to allow you to move around the garden. We’re also seeing a new generation of fabric hoses, which usually combine rubber, vinyl and nylon with a tough, resilient fabric for extra strength and anti-kink protection.

Then there are fully steel hoses that are perhaps the strongest of them all. Durable and kink-resistant, these hoses make for a hardy investment, especially since they are generally weatherproof. They won’t freeze, nor will they heat up the water in the hose and damage its internals, like rubber hoses can do; however, this is mainly an issue for people living in more extreme climates.

Finally, there are soaker hoses, which work in a different way to a normal hose. These are meant to be laid permanently in a bed or border and have holes in them by design, allowing water to dribble out or sprinkle across the area. This is great for watering a thirsty rose bed, vegetable plot, or herbaceous border, as you only need to turn on the tap, but it does mean having multiple pipes ready for action, rather than just the one.

Pipes will usually have specs detailing their maximum, or “burst”, water pressure and boasting of their protection against weather, kinking and frost, but the one most worth paying attention to is the guarantee. If a pipe’s guaranteed for 15, 20, or 30 years, then that’s a good sign it’s built to last – as long as you take care of it, of course.

What length of hose should I buy?

Basically, buy enough to get the sprinkler in range of your furthest bed or border. Any less and you’ll need to get busy with the watering can. Any more and you’ll have excess hose to store, and you’ll also see a reduction in water pressure – the farther the water has to travel, the lower this will be.

READ NEXT: Best strimmers and grass trimmers  

Is there anything else worth looking out for?

We’re also seeing more manufacturers throwing in brass connectors, which are great if they’re well-engineered – they’re strong and last forever – but the cheap and nasty ones are a pain, and you’ll end up wasting your precious time trying to get a badly threaded brass connector onto your garden tap, or wondering why the click-in connector doesn’t fit the socket.

When you’re buying a hosepipe, remember to budget for any extras you’re going to need. Most kits come with a spray nozzle, which will be fine for watering most things, but you might also want a spray gun for watering the greenhouse, and one-way, two-way or threaded Hozelock connectors for joining two pipes together, or for attaching your hosepipe to the tap.

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