Six different types of garden hoses with different colours and duty level

How to Choose a Garden Hose – Short Guide

Watering is a crucial activity for all the plants we are growing in our backyard. No matter if these are leafy greens, vegetables, decorative plants, or trees, water is an essential life-supporting element. We can’t simply rely on nature to provide it, especially now, with all the climate changes on our planet. This is why it is essential to have at least one garden hose and water the garden easily and effectively.

As mentioned before, when it comes to watering, the most important tool that you will definitely need is some type of garden hose. We did a lot of thinking and research before purchasing our garden hoses, as there were very important variables to consider in order to be sure we would make the right choice.

In this post, we detail the main features that garden hoses have and the different variants of hoses available, depending on a specific characteristic. Additionally, we make out own recommendations on how to choose the one you need, depending on the type of tasks you need it to fulfill. Continue reading to find out more!

Decide which tasks the hose will be used for. This determines the type of garden hose that you will need, as follows:

  • Use a soaker hose for watering the vegetable garden or greens garden. This is the recommended watering method for seedlings and baby plants in general. 
  • Use a drip irrigation tubing system in the vegetable or plant garden, for the adult plants. Drip irrigation directs water near the roots of the plants and eliminates the risk of watering the plant foliage.
  • Use a multipurpose garden hose for general lawn or garden watering, with a sprinkler system, or for cleaning different outdoor areas of your home. 

We initially started with a couple of multipurpose garden hoses, just until we better understood our garden needs and decided on our personal preferences when it comes to garden watering. 

Top Features You Should Know About to Choose the Best Garden Hose

When we moved to our country house, we did a plan on how to organize all the outdoor space and mostly the garden area.
We created a property design to have an overview of the available outdoor space, before starting any project. This action helped us obtain maximum efficiency in using each square foot of our outdoor area. This is how we decided where each type of plant would receive most of the necessary support that nature can provide. Therefore, we took into account the sunlight hours, where to set up the vegetable garden, which decorative plants to place where, and where to install the outdoor hose bibs.

Related to watering, we started with a single multi-purpose garden hose. Before choosing it, we considered the below details and characteristics. We think these are very important in the hose selection process. Maybe it will also help you make a quick and correct decision too.  

  • Hose Overall Quality 
  • Material type what is a hose made of
  • Weight
  • Strength 
  • Diameter 
  • Length
  • Kink-free, abrasion and crush resistance
  • Pressure resistance 
  • UV protection
  • Ease of use – flexibility
  • Couplings and connectors

Hose Overall Quality

The hose quality somehow incorporates all the other factors detailed below. Quality over price, this was the main sentence in our minds when trying to understand how to choose our first garden water hose. The most difficult step was to restrain ourselves from the instinct of first trying a cheaper garden hose until we would understand which model, length, brand, etc., we would like most.
We initially thought that buying a cheaper, random model, just for testing, would save us some money in the future but it is actually the other way around. We could find hoses from all price ranges on the market, but we quickly understood that making the proper research first, understanding what the main properties of a good quality hose are, and which are the brands with the most expertise in making garden hoses, would help us make the correct purchase decision from the beginning. This is why we recommend taking the time to research more, so you will not need to waste money on testing cheaper hoses that would not last probably more than one season. Make the smarter choice yourself and buy a quality water hose from the beginning. 

Below are the properties that best indicate the premium quality of the hose. 
Premium quality garden hoses are lighter but made from resistant materials, free of harmful plasticizers such as phthalates, which are substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, durability, and longevity. 
These hoses are made of several layers of material, from three layers and up to five or six layers of material for increased strength, and they are anti-kink, anti-twist, and crushproof. They are pressure-resistant and can be used in high or low temperatures. They also have a UV protection layer that extends the garden hose life and prevents algae to form inside the hose. 
Their functionality is usually guaranteed by the manufacturers, who often offer an extended warranty that can start from up to 10 or 12 years and, in some cases, a lifetime warranty is offered. 
All these properties are mentioned on the hose label or packaging, make sure you carefully read all the descriptions before making the actual purchase.

Material type – what is a garden hose made of?

The most popular materials that hoses are made of are polyurethane, vinyl, rubber, and a combination of these materials for the different layers which form a water hose. 
The hybrid material hoses are multi-layer hoses, such as vinyl-reinforced and hoses reinforced with rubber, for example. The multiple layers ensure the higher durability, strength, pressure resistance, and flexibility of the hose. 
In short, every garden hose has a minimum of three layers, each can be made of different materials:

Core Layer (Inner layer) – this is the tube that transports the water, usually made of industrial rubber, synthetic rubber, or similar hybrid materials which are safe for the water flow and do not affect the water quality. 

Reinforcement layer (Middle layer) – this covers the core layer, and it adds mechanical strength, flexibility, and overall resilience to the hose. It protects the hose from bursting due to either internal water pressure or external pressure for example if it is run over by different garden machinery. It is usually made of braided synthetic wires or knitting textile fibers.  

The cover layer (Outer layer) – this layer protects the middle layer from extreme temperatures, UV radiation, humidity, dust, and other accidents that might happen when the hose is left uncoiled in the garden. It helps extend the garden hose lifespan due to the additional protection that is added to the hose. It can be made of flexible polyester, nylon, synthetic rubber, flexible hybrid polymer, or other hybrid materials. 

The Garden Hose Weight

The hose weight depends especially on the material that is made of, the hose length, and the hose diameter. 
Some materials weigh more than others, for example, rubber hoses. These are more resistant in time but are far heavier than the hoses made from a combination of hybrid materials, such as reinforced hoses made of vinyl and synthetic rubber.
As intuition dictates, the longer the length of the hose the heavier the hose. 
Regarding the hose diameter, hoses that have the same length, same duty but different diameters will have a different weight depending on the diameter. The bigger the diameter, the higher the weight. 
A heavier hose may become more difficult to use, coil and uncoil, or drag across the garden, making the watering process an unwanted and exhausting burden. Therefore, depending on the tasks that your hose needs to perform, you should consider the hose weight as an important criterion before selecting the hose model which is right for you.

The Garden Hose Strength

The strength of the hose is measured in duty tiers, and the duty level of the hose is normally mentioned on the label or packaging. 
There are several garden hose duty levels, such as light, medium, heavy, super, and industrial duty. The duty level determines the garden hose’s sturdiness, strength, thickness, durability, and overall resistance. 
Light and medium-duty hoses are the most adequate hose types for residential use. Some homeowners also choose heavy-duty hoses for home use, especially in cases where the hose is dragged over the concrete sidewalks or rocky grounds, as these water hoses are more robust and resistant compared to the light and medium-duty ones. 
The super and industrial/professional duty garden hoses are most of the time used in professional farms and agricultural businesses.

The Hose Diameter

Nowadays garden hoses come in a variety of diameters. But we can use special hose bib connectors for adapting the hose bib pipe diameter to whatever diameter hose that we purchase. The important aspect of the hose diameter is that the volume of the water that flows through the hose is different depending on the diameter.
Although it might be tempting to buy a larger diameter hose, remember the diameter of the hose impacts the hose’s weight and flexibility. This will also impact the easiness of the watering process in the long run. 
Keep the watering process as simple and easy as possible, and select a hose with a diameter as wide as your hose bib pipe. This way you will most likely select a lighter garden hose, while still obtaining the perfect water flow that your hose bib can deliver. 

The Garden Hose Length

As mentioned previously a longer garden hose will mean a heavier hose. And this requires increased physical work while watering the garden.
To select the correct length of the hose, measure the foot distance between the hose bib and the farther distance in the garden area that needs watering. Then buy that specific length. 
If you have a larger garden and several outdoor faucets, it is recommended to buy two shorter hoses, than a longer length one. If you have a single outdoor hose bib and a large garden space to water, consider buying more hoses of a smaller length and connecting them using special quick hose connectors, whenever you need the longer length. 

Kink-free, abrasion and crush resistance hose properties

Usually, all premium quality hoses are labeled as kink resistant and sometimes twist and crush resistant. The anti-kink properties are determined by the reinforcement layer or layers of the hose. A hose that is kinking is more likely to break or burst in time. At the same time, you need your garden hose to be strong enough to hold during an accidental crush over by a car, or any other garden machinery. 
The abrasion resistance is determined by the cover layer of the hose. This layer has sometimes more plies and a textured finish to increase the durability and overall resistance of the hose. 
Ideally, we should choose the garden hose which has all these characteristics: anti-kink, anti-crush, and anti-abrasion. All these hose pipe properties translate into an increased hose life expectancy.

Pressure resistance

Pressure resistance or burst resistance is normally mentioned on the label or packaging of the hose, and it is measured either in PSI or BAR. Higher pressure means the garden hose can handle water pressure spikes, or that it can be used with a pressure washer or a sprinkler system. A higher-pressure resistance is also an indicator of an increased lifespan for the hose.

UV protection

UV radiation can affect the hose materials and produce significant damage to the garden hose, especially when the hose is left uncoiled, in direct sunlight, after use. 
Usually, the anti-UV protection also ensures anti-algae formation within the inner layer of the hose, as algae need light to develop and the anti-UV hoses will prevent light from reaching the inner layer of the hose, where the algae can form. 
We recommend considering that anti-UV protection is ensured by the manufacturer and mentioned on the packaging when selecting a garden hose.

Hose Flexibility

The hose flexibility has a direct impact on the ease of use while watering. Flexible hoses are easier to handle and maneuver around the garden. They are easier to coil and uncoil, and they are lighter than the sturdier types of hoses. 
A more flexible garden hose does not mean a less resistant hose, as with the new technologies, more and more brands have found the winning formula for increasing the hose flexibility while keeping a high product quality, resistance, and functionality. Make sure the garden hose that you want to buy has medium-high flexibility.

Couplings or connectors

There are hoses that come with the couplings already attached and hoses that need the couplings to be separately purchased. The couplings are used to attach the garden hose to the hose bib. They can be made either from plastic or from metal (brass in most cases). 
There are also quick connectors, made of high-quality plastic, which can adjust to any hose diameter size by simply sliding the hose into the connector. You can attach this type of coupling to both ends of the hose. On one end it will connect to the hose bib, and on the other end to the hose sprayer. 
Some hoses have an additional reinforced section near the coupling, to prevent the hose from kinking at the faucet.


Choosing the best garden hose is not a simple task. But if you have all the main hose features in mind and if you decided how the hose will be used, everything simplifies. In this post, you will find all the information you need about the main characteristics of garden hoses.
Hose overall quality, strength, resistance, and weight are the essential features to consider when doing your market research. The brand is also important, as manufacturers with a known history of producing garden hoses are more likely to deliver high-quality products.