Especially if you have a garden, it quickly becomes exhausting to water all your plants with a watering can. A few balcony plants or flower pots can still be watered well with a watering can, but at the latest when you have a flower bed, a water hose has advantages.
Whether you walk through your garden with the water hose and thus water your plants or connect a lawn sprinkler to your water hose, gardening becomes easier and more efficient. Would you like to have more fun gardening in the future and at the same time have to work less hard? Or would you like to use a timer to water your lawn?
Maybe you want to wash your car in your yard. A garden hose is suitable for all that. So that you know what is important when it comes to garden hoses, we present you with different garden hoses and quality criteria in our large garden hose test 2021.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Garden Hose: Our Picks
- 4 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a garden hose
- 5 Decision: What types of garden hoses are there and which is the right one for you?
- 5.1 How does a normal garden hose work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.2 How does a flat hose work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.3 How does a spiral garden hose work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.4 How does a soakaway or drip hose work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.5 How does a flexible garden hose work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 6 Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate garden hoses
- 7 Trivia: Interesting facts about garden hoses
- Garden hoses are one of our most important helpers in the garden, after all our greenery needs water regularly. It is a very efficient alternative to a full water bucket or huge, filled watering cans.
- Basically, garden hoses differ in the material they are made of, in their flexibility and their inner diameter, but also in their handiness or with regard to their maximum pressure.
- The garden hose should preferably be made of a high-quality material and its properties (length, maximum pressure, internal diameter) should be suitable for your project. The hose's flexibility / resistance to kinking makes your work easier and contributes to its durability.
The Best Garden Hose: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a garden hose
How long should your garden hose be?
There are garden hoses with different lengths on the market. But is less more or should you be as generous as possible?
After all, you don't want to be dragging around a long hose unnecessarily, nor do you want to get stuck after a short time. In the following, we will explain how to determine the right length for your garden hose.
The first step is to measure: To get the most accurate result, it is best to use a tape measure or metre rule. Then measure the length and width of the property to be watered. The second step is the calculation: Let's take a plot of land with a length of 20 m and a width of 15 m as an example. True to the motto "We don't learn for school, we learn for life", we now put our mathematical skills to the test. Do you still remember the Pythagorean theorem?
Calculation #1: 20² + 15² = x² x = √ 400 + 225 x = √ 625 x = 25
Intermediate result: According to this calculation, the length of the hose should be 25 m. However, according to a rule of thumb, you should add about 10 % to the length. However, according to a rule of thumb, you should add about 10 to 20 % of the length.
This is because the tapping point is rarely directly on the ground and the height at which you hold the hose should also be added. Uneven terrain and similar factors must also be taken into account.
Calculation #2: 25 + 20*(25/100) = 30
Final result: The garden hose should be 30 m long (in our example). Typical lengths are these:
- 15 metres
- 20 metres
- 25 metres
- 30 metres
- 50 metres
How many inches and how many bar does your garden hose need?
The units "inch" and "bar" are crucial in connection with the connection of your garden hose to the water tap, sprinkler, deep well pump or other tap.
These have a pressure connection that is indicated in inches ("). The water hose is mounted at this point. In the case of a garden hose, it is the inner diameter that is indicated by an inch. Of course, the connection of the hose and that of the water tap or the deep well pump or similar must match.
This means that the inner diameter of the hose must correspond to the outer diameter of the pressure connection. The following internal diameters are common for garden hoses:
- ½ " (12 mm)
- ⅝ " (15 mm)
- ¾ " (19 mm)
- 1 " (25 mm)
If your tap has a different connection size, you can simply buy an additional adapter. With this adapter, the garden hose can then be mounted without any problems. Now we come to the second point: the unit "bar". This indicates the maximum pressure that the garden hose can handle.
If your tap or deep well pump delivers a pressure of 6 bar, for example, then you must of course buy a hose that can withstand this. Of course, it is better if it can withstand more than the existing pressure. By the way, in some cases a "minimum pressure" is specified that the garden hose needs to expand completely.
What materials are garden hoses made of?
The topic of "materials" is mostly about the robustness and thus the durability of products, but also about how health-friendly and sustainable they are.
For example, there are water hoses that are made of a food-safe material, are suitable for drinking water, are free of pollutants or are particularly environmentally friendly. You should read the manufacturer's specifications carefully. The following materials are usually used:
- Plastic (PVC)
- Plastic with textile fabric
- Natural rubber
Since PVC hoses would be too hard and brittle, plasticisers are sometimes used, which are very harmful to health. In the meantime, there are alternative materials such as DINCH and DEHT. It is therefore advisable to spend a little more money and buy a high-quality water hose that has been manufactured without plasticisers or other harmful substances such as cadmium, lead or barium.
Your body, but also your garden and all the living creatures in it will thank you.
What accessories are available for your garden hose?
There are practical accessories to make everyday life with your garden hose and gardening easier. Here we briefly present the most important ones.
Whether it's a simple water jet, shower, spray, flat spray, sprinkling or pressure jet: different plants and areas of use place different demands on the quality of the water jet. There is a wide range of nozzles or sprays that you can buy individually or in sets. With some garden hoses, they are even included in the delivery.
In addition to these practical aids, there is something else that counts as "standard equipment": To prevent your garden hose from getting kinks and cracks over time, you can use hose holders, hose reels or hose reels. With their help you can store your garden hose safely and with care and, in the case of the hose reel, also transport it easily. The automatic rewind of some of these products saves you work and is an added bonus.
When buying, you should only make sure that the storage aid is designed for the length of your water hose. Some manufacturers are very precise about this. Connectors such as quick couplings, tap adapters, screw connections and the like are also important.
Decision: What types of garden hoses are there and which is the right one for you?
Currently, you can find these types of garden hoses on the market:
- Normal garden hoses
- Flat hoses
- Spiral garden hoses
- Soak / drip hoses / pearl sprinklers
- Flexible garden hoses
The different, sometimes very special, designs of these garden hoses result in advantages and disadvantages.
To make it easier for you to find out which is the right garden hose for you, we have summarised these advantages and disadvantages, as well as further information on the different types of garden hose, in the following article.
How does a normal garden hose work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
A garden hose is a pressure hose. This means that water is passed through it under pressure. This makes a garden hose the flexible and portable extension of your water pipe. A normal garden hose consists of three layers as standard: A fabric is usually inserted between a protective outer sheath and the inner hose.
If you want to buy a normal garden hose, you have a wide choice of lengths, materials, inner diameters and extra features. We will go into these points in more detail in our guide. Another advantage is the wide price range, which starts with very low prices.
This means that a suitable garden hose can be found for every budget. However, you should still be careful with cheap hoses from no-name manufacturers, also when it comes to harmful substances and the like. But more on that later. Since there is a large selection of normal garden hoses, the accessories are also extensive.
Depending on your needs, you can upgrade at any time and thus cover many areas of application. The material of these water hoses can be a disadvantage: If they are made of cheap plastic, the hoses quickly become hard and inflexible.
This makes them not only heavier and unwieldy, but also brittle and cracked over time. In addition, the material can be contaminated with toxic plasticisers and heavy metals. So always look for high-quality material and flexibility in a garden hose.
How does a flat hose work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
A flat hose works in the same way as a normal garden hose. The difference lies in the construction: a flat hose is, as its name suggests, flat. Only when the hose fills with water does it acquire its round shape.
Due to its shape, a flat hose takes up much less space, which can be a great advantage in small gardens or on a balcony. Of course, the material and workmanship are also decisive for the quality and durability of the water hose, but this is the case with all garden hoses. The only disadvantage is the smaller selection of flat hoses.
Here you have to check whether your required length, the maximum pressure and the desired inner diameter are available.
How does a spiral garden hose work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
The following applies here: A spiral garden hose works like any other garden hose. The special feature is its shape, which resembles a long spring that can expand and contract again.
Because a spiral garden hose contracts again after it has been expanded, it does not need to be rolled up after use, which is of course very practical. It is particularly suitable for small gardens, balconies but also for connecting to a fountain.
The small selection of spiral hoses can be a disadvantage if you are looking for a certain maximum pressure (bursting pressure), a certain length or similar. Here you have to check whether the range meets your requirements or whether there is a possibility to compensate for what is missing with accessories.
You should also pay attention to the quality of the material, this is one of the most important selection criteria, about which we will inform you in more detail a little later.
How does a soakaway or drip hose work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Soaker hoses, drip hoses and pearl sprinklers are special types of garden hoses. What you want to avoid with a normal garden hose is deliberately provided for here: The hose has many small holes through which the water can drip out over the entire length. This type of irrigation is also called drip irrigation.
Thanks to its unique design and the drip irrigation it enables, a soaker or drip hose has a clear advantage when it comes to watering vegetable beds or tender plants. These plants do not tolerate a hard and wide water jet.
Of course, this specialisation also means that the soaker hose and its relatives are not suitable for every form of garden irrigation or, for example, for filling up the pool. In addition, the water pressure must not be too high. You should follow the manufacturer's instructions.
How does a flexible garden hose work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Flexible garden hoses are still comparatively new on the market, but they are seen as a trend. They also work like a normal garden hose, but can expand and contract again, although they do not have a spiral shape. This is also often referred to as the "expander effect".
Flexible garden hoses not only look innovative, but are also very popular because they are so easy to handle. An expandable garden hose is inherently very flexible and its pliability also makes it kink-free. This also contributes to its durability. In addition, its light weight is naturally pleasant when gardening and the hose can be easily cleaned afterwards.
One disadvantage, as with all special garden hoses, is the small selection. Since you should decide in advance what you want from your future garden hose (length, maximum pressure, material, etc.), we have put together a few tips and explanations for you in our guide.
Then you can check whether you have the right flexible garden hose for you. By the way, flexible garden hoses are somewhat more expensive than other garden hoses. However, only you can decide whether this investment is worth it.
Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate garden hoses
We have already established that there are many different garden hoses on the market at very different prices. So that you know how to evaluate garden hoses and it is easier for you to find the right hose for you, we will show you here what is important. You can use these buying criteria to evaluate a garden hose:
- Kink resistance / Flexibility / Anti-Twist
- Maximum pressure (burst pressure)
- Inner diameter
- Extra features
In the following, we have summarised the most important things about these buying criteria.
In our guide, we have already explained how you can determine the right length of your future garden hose. It is important that the hose is long enough to reach all the areas to be watered, but that it is not oversized.
Otherwise you will not only have to contend with an unnecessarily long hose. Since the water pressure decreases with the length of the garden hose, the water jet may not have enough pressure at the end.
It is not only important for you, but also for your plants and the animals that roam your garden, that your garden hose is as free as possible from harmful substances. Pay attention (especially with PVC hoses) to the manufacturer's specifications and be very careful with "cheap hoses".
Plasticisers, lead, barium and cadmium have no place in your garden hose. High-quality materials also contribute to a longer service life of your garden hose. So invest a little more - for your sake and for the sake of the environment.
Resistance to kinking / flexibility / anti-twist
On the one hand, this is about being able to roll up and store the garden hose, but on the other hand it is also about durability:
If a garden hose kinks, cracks can develop in the long run, and of course we want to avoid that. When buying a hose, make sure that it is flexible and kink-proof. Many garden hoses are also sold with an "anti-twist" feature. This means that these water hoses should not get knotted or twisted and are therefore easier to handle and also protect the material.
Maximum pressure (burst pressure)
Since you certainly want your garden hose to survive more than just its first use, be sure to check the maximum pressure it can withstand.
This must be at least equal to the pressure at which the water comes out of the tap, whether this is a tap or your deep well pump. It is better to be a little more generous and choose a garden hose with a higher burst pressure.
To decide on the right inner diameter, you should know what the outer diameter of your tap or deep well pump is (or the connection to which the garden hose is to be fitted).
The inner diameter of the water hose must correspond to the outer diameter of the tap. This criterion is secondary to the others, however, as you can simply buy an adapter of the appropriate size and then easily fit your garden hose.
Some garden hoses come with helpful accessories such as various nozzles or sprays or adapters for the connection. If you need them, you can save time and money this way.
Extra equipment can also include hose trolleys or reels or hose boxes with automatic rewinding, with the help of which you can not only transport your garden hose easily, but also store it gently and without kinks.
However, the most important thing should always be the garden hose itself and that it meets your requirements. After all, you can always buy accessories yourself if you need them.
Trivia: Interesting facts about garden hoses
What is the best way to store my garden hose?
A garden hose is rarely in constant use, and even if it is, at some point even it has a break. But how do you store it during this time? Here are a few tips on how to store your garden hose so that it lasts as long as possible:
A reel, hose holder or hose trolley will protect your garden hose from kinks and tears. Store your garden hose in a shady place and do not leave it in the sun (UV radiation can cause the hose to become brittle and crack). Always store your garden hose in a frost-proof place. Make sure that there is no more water in your garden hose if you want to store it in the winter, e.g. in the cellar.
How can I extend the life of my garden hose?
Here are a few important "life lessons" on how to use your garden hose:
- Give your garden hose a little time: Even if you have to do it quickly, always unroll your hose carefully before turning on the tap.
- Don't overuse your garden hose: Your faithful helper does a lot for you, so treat it with care and don't drag it carelessly across the ground or along the front of your house.
- Don't let your hose get under the wheels: If you park your garden hose in the garage, it should be placed in such a way that you cannot drive over it with your car. The same applies to your driveway, etc.
- Don't put your garden hose under unnecessary pressure: If you don't need your hose any more, it's best to turn off the tap and release the remaining pressure.
- Small gifts keep the friendship alive: You can give your water hose a treat from time to time with a little rubber care product. If you also remove its adapters and let it dry, the "feel-good" programme is complete
When was the garden hose invented?
This question cannot be answered exactly. However, it is known that the first "hose-like" devices were already used in antiquity.
These were still made of animal skins that were sewn together. The first sewn or riveted leather hoses date back to 1558. They were used as fire hoses in Augsburg. Over the centuries, the hose has been continuously developed, not only in terms of its construction, but also in terms of the materials used.
Today, there are handy and lightweight garden hoses and new, innovative products are constantly coming onto the market. Especially in the area of "sustainable materials", there will certainly be a lot more to come in the future.
Picture credits: Pixabay.com / RyanMcGuire