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How to Choose the Best Garden Hose

A close up image of a hand holding a gray garden hose while watering a green lawn

A garden hose is a vital piece of lawn and garden equipment. When you choose the right garden hose, you can water your grass, irrigate your flowerbeds, wash the car, and even give the kids a way to cool off in the hot summer sun.

But what is the best garden hose on the market? How do you choose the right hose for your home and yard? Do some garden hoses last longer than others? In this guide, we'll share how to choose the best garden hose for your outdoor spaces.

Buying a Garden Hose

When spring rolls around, the first step is to pull out your lawn and garden equipment and take stock of your supplies. Test items to ensure they're in good condition after winter slumber—including your garden hose.

If garden hoses aren't stored properly, they can freeze and crack. Winter weather will eventually damage and degrade your garden hose, so it's essential to remove it from the spigot and bring it into a garage or storage shed when the weather gets cold.

Of course, there are other ways to damage a garden hose too. They can get chewed by pets and other animals; you might accidentally run over your hose with a lawn mower or drive over it with the car too many times. Garden hoses can get bent, kinked, and otherwise unusable. They can also develop leaks.

After a few years, most hoses will wear out. Because they’re made from rubber, plastic, and other soft, flexible material, they will typically degrade over time. If you test out your garden hose this spring and decide it’s time to update, you might be wondering how to choose the best garden hose.

Below, we’ll explore the different types of garden hoses and help you find the best garden hose for your home.

Types of Garden Hoses

First of all, there’s no universally “best” garden hose. The right hose for your yard might be a little different than the best garden hose for your neighbor. It depends upon the application, yard size, and watering requirements.

Choosing a Light or Medium Duty Garden Hose

Choosing a Heavy-Duty Garden Hose

Choosing a Sprinkler or Soaker Garden Hose

Selecting a Commercial, Professional, or Contractor Garden Hose

Choosing Garden Hose Lengths

A green garden hose on a residentail garden wheel connected to a tan brick wall

We’ve all struggled with a garden hose that’s too short to reach a plant in the far corner of the yard. Prevent the frustration of a too-short garden hose by measuring your yard before you buy. Get a tape measure and walk from the water supply or spigot to the furthest point on your property.

Once you’ve determined the minimum length of garden hose you need, it’s best practice to get at least 10 feet longer than necessary. The extra length helps ensure that the hose will still be useable, even if you have to maneuver around objects in the yard. However, it’s important only to purchase as much hose as you need, as water pressure decreases with length.

Most garden hoses are available up to 100 feet in length, in increments of 25 feet. If necessary, you can attach two hoses together, but you may get leaks if they don’t form a tight seal. Manage your garden hose with a hose storage container or hose hanger.

Choosing a Garden Hose Diameter

A light green garden hose sitting on a well manicured lawn in front of light gray siding

When considering what size garden hose to purchase, you will also need to look at the diameter. The diameter of a garden hose will impact the amount of water that the hose can deliver. The larger the diameter, the greater the water volume the hose can deliver.

Garden hose diameters range from 3/8” to 1”. Most homeowners choose a standard 5/8" hose, but larger diameter garden hoses are available too. These larger hoses are especially suited for industrial and commercial applications.

What is a PSI Rating?

A close up image of a garden hose on a green lawn with water spraying out of the connecting end.

When buying a garden hose, you'll probably read a number of things on the packaging and garden hose description. PSI (or pounds per square inch) ratings describe the pressure a hose can safely handle.

Light-duty hoses may have a rating of around 200 PSI. Heavier-duty garden hoses can feature ratings up to 600 PSI. A lower rating is suitable for most use around the home and yard. Typical residential water pressure is around 45 to 80 PSI. So 350 PSI is often more than enough. However, if you’re using your hose with a pressure washer, check the washer’s manual to ensure that your hose will work.

Using a Garden Hose for Drinking

An elderly lady wearing a sun hat and white shirt using a garden hose with a sprayer nozzle watering her tomatoe plants in the summer afternoon

If you plan to use a garden hose for drinking water or for transporting hot water (such as connecting to a water heater or utility sink), you’ll need to buy a hose that's rated for your application. Unfortunately, not all hoses are made to withstand hot water, and many garden hoses are not safe for running drinking water.

If you plan to use a garden hose for drinking, cooking, or other domestic purposes, it’s important to purchase a hose that is rated for this type of use.

Do I need a drinking water safe garden hose?