different types of garden hoses

What is the best garden hose on the market? What is the best garden hose that won't kink? Is vinyl or rubber better for garden hoses? These are just a few of the many questions that bombard people's minds when they shop for hoses. It's easy to feel overwhelmed with so many options. This garden hose buying guide will help you better understand the types of hoses. When you understand the types of hoses for gardening, it's easier to pick the right one for your needs.

What to Know Before Buying a Garden Hose

Before you buy a garden hose, be sure to read this entire guide. It's important to understand types, features, sizes, and materials. Some also have special features beyond the basic features. Once you know what's out there, it's easier to find the right water hose.

Length

How long of a hose do I need? You'll need a hose long enough to reach from the water source to where you need it. If you have a measuring tape, you can measure the distance. For example, imagine you have a water source in front of your house. If you're building a garden in the backyard, you'll need to know the distance. You can either buy a long hose or use connectors to connect two. Be sure to read on about hose features and types before you select one based on length. Garden hoses usually come in sizes between 25 feet and 100 feet. However, there are shorter ones as well.

Diameter

What size is a standard garden hose? Are three-quarter-inch or five-eighths-inch garden hoses better? These are questions many people ask. The short answer is probably a five-eighths-inch hose. Most nozzles and attachments fit this size of hose, which makes it the standard size. Unless you're looking for commercial hoses for professional applications, look for a five-eighths-inch hose. They come in various lengths and types. You may also be wondering how to measure garden hose diameter. Since the package of a new hose includes diameter size, it usually isn't necessary to measure. However, if you're buying an unpackaged hose that's used, you can use a tape measure.

PSI

This is an acronym for pounds per square inch, which is the water pressure and speed the hose can handle. You'll see a PSI number on the packaging. Higher numbers indicate tougher hoses.

Material

Most garden hose types come in rubber, vinyl, or polyurethane. While polyurethane and vinyl weigh less, they don't usually last as long as rubber. Also, there are metal and polymer hoses. A polymer hose is considered safe for drinking water. This could be helpful if you have kids who may drink from the hose. They kink but don't tend to split easily.

Flexibility

You can often determine how flexible a hose is by its type and material. A hose should be flexible enough to coil. If a hose is extremely flexible, it's bound to kink easier. This can lead to splitting. Also, there are expandable hoses, which you'll learn about with hose types. They're alternatives to coiled hoses.

What Is the Most Durable Type of Garden Hose?

As a rule, rubber garden hoses are the most durable. People who are looking to buy the best garden hoses usually end up buying rubber ones. However, it's still important to consider types in addition to material.

Types of Garden Hoses

The right garden hose type depends on what you need it for. Do you need a light-duty garden hose? Perhaps you need one that is much tougher. These are common types you'll encounter when you shop and their uses.

Heavy Duty

This is one type of all-purpose hose. While many are made from rubber, you may also find some metal ones. Although metal hoses are pricier, they don't typically kink. Heavy-duty water hoses are thicker, sturdier, and have higher PSI numbers. Although these hoses are available in shorter lengths, most are longer. They do take up more space for storage. However, it's unlikely that you'll need to replace them as frequently as cheaper hoses.

Lightweight

This is the second type of all-purpose hose. Lightweight garden hoses come in several varieties. There are standard ones, which are ideal for smaller areas since they tend to kink. These are some other types of lightweight garden hoses.

Sprinkler or Soaker

You can find sprinkler or soaker hoses that have holes in the sides. Soaker hoses have more holes. You can lay these types of hoses in your garden to water larger areas.

Zero Gravity

This hose is about 50% lighter than most lightweight garden hoses, and reviews say it's more durable than many other hoses. It's one of the newer types of garden hoses for lighter or heavier uses. For example, many people use it for pressure washing. Many people say that this is one of the best light-duty garden hoses. There's also a pro version of the hose, which has a three-quarter-inch diameter instead of a five-eighths-inch diameter.

Expandable

How long of a hose do I need? If that's a top question of yours, this hose may be a good choice. An expandable hose looks small but may triple or double in size. It expands when it fills with water. Are expandable garden hoses worth it? That depends on how long you want yours to last and how you take care of it. A potential drawback is that they don't last as long as heavier ones. However, their compactness is ideal for smaller spaces.

Flat

Unlike an expandable hose, this type doesn't get longer. Instead, this garden hose is collapsible when it's empty. A flat hose is good for smaller spaces and easier coiling. Due to its design purpose, the materials used to make it don't tend to last a long time.

Coiled

If you want a lightweight hose that's more durable, a coiled one is better. It's easy to store but tends to come in shorter lengths. As a rule, if you need a longer hose, it's good to pick a heavy-duty garden hose.

Is a Vinyl or Rubber Hose Better?

As noted before, rubber is more durable. Does this mean all vinyl hoses aren't durable? No. If you live in a warmer climate, a vinyl hose may be fine. Vinyl tends to fare better in climates where it's not exposed to freezing temperatures. However, if you live in a cold climate, you can bring the hose inside during the winter. The right choice of material depends on your budget, hose length needs, and purpose.

What Is the Best Garden Hose on the Market?

What's the best garden hose of 2022? Many review sites test garden hoses and publish reviews. They usually categorize them based on type or features. For example, they may list the best collapsible garden hoses or best light-duty garden hoses. Some may include the best garden hoses for heavy-duty needs. So, what's the best garden hose? There's no universal answer. The best garden hose for you is the one that fits all your needs and budget. However, reviews can help you identify a list of favorable brands or specific products.

Now that you know more about picking a gardening hose for your needs, you can start shopping. To find a variety of high-quality garden hoses from trusted brands, visit your nearest True Value store.