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10 May 2021

Best garden hoses

We put 10 garden hoses, plus an expandable hose, to the test to see which is the easiest to use and the most durable
Matthew Knight

Trying to choose the best garden hose can feel overcomplicated, as every manufacturer makes a plethora of claims about their hose's flexibility, manoeuverability, durability and more. Add in anti-kink, anti-twist, anti-crush and anti-algae claims and it's hard to know where to start. 

But which garden hoses are actually the easiest to use and will last longer than a year or two before they need replacing? 

We put 10 garden hoses from leading brands such as Hozelock, Gardena, B&Q and Wickes to the test, so that we can tell you which ones will last and be a pleasure to use. 

The best garden hoses

Only logged-in Which? members can view the garden hose test results below. If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetical list of the hoses we tested. Join Which? now to get instant access to our test scores and Best Buy recommendations below.

B&Q 3-Layer Braided Hose Pipe 15m

Cheapest price: £5 exclusive to B&Q.

Guarantee: 5 years

Weight per metre: 81g

Lengths available: 15 metres

This super-cheap garden hose promises to be easy to install and it has a tempting five-year guarantee. But how well do cheap hoses fare against those costing almost 10 times the price? 

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Faithfull Garden Hose 15m

Cheapest price: £8.58 available at Amazon.

Guarantee: Not stated

Weight per metre: 99g

Lengths available: 15 metres, 30 metres, 50 metres

This Amazon's Choice hose is one of the cheapest we tested and it promises to be kink resistant and easy to clean. But how resistant is this hose to bending and crushing? And how many times did it kink in our tests? 

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results. 

Fitt Heavy Braided NTS Wintech Hose 15m

Cheapest price: £19.99 available at Screwfix.

Guarantee: 1 year

Weight per metre: 148g

Lengths available: 15 metres, 20 metres, 30 metres, 50 metres

Fitt says this hose has technology that prevents common problems like kinks, twists and folds. But is this what we experienced in our tests?

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Flopro+ Hose 15m

Cheapest price: £24.99 available at Amazon.

Guarantee: 20 years

Weight per metre: 146g

Lengths available: 15 metres, 30 metres

This attractive hose has a lengthy guarantee, it's made of four flexible layers of materials and it promises to be resistant to kinks and twists. But how well did it stand up to our  durability tests? 

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Gardena Hose Premium Superflex 20m

Cheapest price: £44.17 available at Amazon, also available from Gardena.

Guarantee: 30 years

Weight per metre: 146g

Lengths available: 20 metres, 25 metres, 50 metres

This expensive hose has a whopping 30-year guarantee. But even though Gardena is confident in its durability, how did it do in our rough crushing, twisting and stretching tests? And can it ever be worth paying this much for a garden hose? 

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Hozelock Starter Hose 15m

Cheapest price: £18.50 available at Wickes, also available at Amazon.

Guarantee: 10 years

Weight per metre: 106g

Lengths available: 15 metres, 30 metres, 50 metres

Hozelock says this hose's hard-wearing braided structure guarantees quality and durability. But how did it deal with our tough durability tests?

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results. 

Hozelock Tricoflex Ultramax Hose Pipe 15m

Cheapest price: £16 available at B&Q.

Guarantee: 25 years

Weight per metre: 121g

Lengths available: 15 metres, 25 metres, 50 metres

The Hozelock Ultramax has a longer guarantee than Hozelock's starter hose, but does the claimed extra durability compromise on the flexibility of the hose and how easy it is to use? 

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results. 

Silverline Reinforced PVC Hose 15m

Cheapest price: £9.47 available at Amazon

Guarantee: Not stated. 

Weight per metre: 91g

Lengths available: 15 metres, 30 metres

Silverline says this hose is kink resistant, durable and easy to use. We put this relatively cheap hose to the test to see how it stacks up compared with more expensive hoses. 

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Verve Hose Pipe 15m

Cheapest price: £13 available at B&Q.

Guarantee: 20 years

Weight per metre: 130g

Lengths available: 15 metres, 25 metres

This vibrant green garden hose certainly feels sturdy, and it has a lengthy guarantee. But how did it stand up to some serious rough treatment in our durability tests, and does it kink easily? 

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results. 

Wickes Garden Hose Pipe 15m

Cheapest price: £7 exclusive to Wickes.

Guarantee: 10 years

Weight per metre: 115g

Lengths available: 15 metres

This is one of the cheapest hoses we tested, bit it still promises to be kink resistant and it has a 10-year guarantee. We put this hose through a range of ease-of-use and durability tests to see if it really is a bargain. 

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results. 

What's the best type of garden hose?

You might be surprised to learn there are various types of hose. Here's a quick summary of what they're most suitable for:

  • Regular garden hose: Like those tested above, regular garden hoses are often textured, braided or reinforced to make them more durable and less likely to kink. In general, these types of hoses tend to be more durable than spiral or expandable hoses. Although, as our test results show, this isn't always the case, and many of these hoses are notorious for developing kinks. 
  • Spiral hose: These are coiled hoses that retract for easy storage. They're often marketed for city gardening or for use on terraces. 
  • Soaker hose: Soaker hoses are porous and seep water along their full length. They're often used for watering borders, vegetable patches and greenhouses. 
  • Sprinkler hose: Sprinkler hoses are perforated flat hoses that produce a fine spray to water plants in beds and along borders. 
  • Expandable hose: Expandable hoses are increasingly popular. Generally they have two layers: an elastic rubber core that expands when it's filled with water, and a fabric outer layer. Some doubt their long-term durability - read the next section to learn more about our test of a Hozelock expandable hose. 

Are expandable hoses any good?

While we were testing regular garden hoses, we also tried out an expandable hose from Hozelock.

Which? members can log in to read our thoughts on these types of hoses below. If you're not a member, sign up now. 

How to look after your hose

You've just splashed out on a new Best Buy hose and you want to look after it. Here are a few tips to get you started: 

  • Try to drain the hose of water after each use so it isn't constantly under water pressure. You can do this easily by turning off the tap off disconnecting the attachment to the hose reel. If you do this, the water will be drained from your hose as you reel it in. 
  • It's doubly important to make sure your hose is drained over the winter. Many hoses split during a hard freeze, as the water inside the hose expands and bursts the hose pipe. 
  • As far as possible, make sure there are no kinks when you reel in the hose. It's not a good idea to store a hose with a kink in it, as this could cause permanent damage over time. 
  • While this isn't always practical, attaching your hose reel to a wall that doesn't get mid-afternoon sun is a sensible precaution. This will protect your hose from harmful UV rays that will degrade the hose over time. 

How we tested these garden hoses

The best garden hoses should be easy to install, reel up and drag around your garden. 

But the challenge for a decent hose is to be flexible enough to be easy to use, but also tough enough that it can withstand many years of rough treatment. 

We designed our tests to find the easiest-to-use and most durable hoses. 

Hose setup

We rated each hose on how easy it is to set up and attach to a standard reel, Including attaching a spray gun to the end of it and attaching the hose securely to the reel. 

Reeling in the hose

We also rated each hose on how easy it rolls onto the reel from straight in front and also from a 90-degree angle. Each hose was rolled onto a reel 10 times in total from various angles. 

Manoeuverability

We dragged each hose from the reel at the back garden of a house around to the front to wash a car. 

The hoses were then manoeuvered around an extensive obstacle course that included stretching the hose up and over a raised bed, in between two wheelie bins, around a child's swing and eventually ending with a quick spray of a tree at the bottom of the garden. 

All of these manoeuverability tests were completed five times and we noted how many times, if at all, each hose kinked during these tests. 

Durability

Each hose was bent backwards and forwards 15 times in quick succession and inspected for damage, twisted 15 times and inspected, and then twisted and stretched 15 times in quick succession and again inspected.

Finally, each hose was left to  be crushed under a heavy cricket pitch roller for 24 hours. Afterwards, each hose was inspected for damage and rated for how quickly, if at all, it returned to its previous form. 

After each of the durability tests, the hose was reconnected to the water supply and inspected for any leaks.

How we chose the garden hoses

We picked 15-metre or 20-metre hoses from the biggest brands, as well as cheaper alternatives. Prices ranged from £5 to almost £50.

We bought all of the products we tested. 

Prices correct as of 29 April 2021.