As the weather heats up and spring transitions into summer, it’s time to start thinking about watering systems for your garden. While sprinklers and specialized nozzles are always an option for keeping your garden properly hydrated, the best method is to use a soaker hose.
This is a hose you lay directly in your garden bed with intermittent holes so the water is delivered directly to the roots, thereby reducing water loss due to evaporation and limiting your plants' exposure to moisture-related fungi diseased like powdery mildew.
That said, here are my top picks for my favorite soaker hoses on the market.
Best Soaker Hose on the market 2019
1. Taisia 1/2 Inch Soaker Hose 50ft
There are so many expenses you can incur while gardening, so it’s nice when you’re able to save a couple of bucks here and there without skimping on quality. This 50ft length of soaker hose is cheap.
Thankfully, the lower price doesn’t mean it is complete garbage, however; this hose does a fine job delivering the water all the way down the length of the hose.
Another bonus the Taisia hose can boast of is its hoses being environmentally friendly. They’re made with 100% recycled materials! 70% is from recycled rubber, and 30% is recycled polyethylene.
As a gardener and someone who cares about the environment, it’s important to me that I not be further contributing to climate change and the destruction of the natural world with the products I buy to help me in my garden. I’m a lot more comfortable using this product since I learned it’s so environmentally friendly.
Unfortunately, one of the perils of using a soaker hose is that because of the unique pressure the hose is under, usually for long stretches of time, they tend to spring leaks. This hose is no exception.
Especially if you don’t use this hose as intended (for example, by not stretching it out before use, not letting it soften in the sunshine, or if you crank up the pressure to high immediately instead of slowly turning it up), it has a tendency to split along the seam.
Thankfully, Taisia has a money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. If it breaks due to quality issues, they’ll either send you a brand new one or refund your total purchase!
- 100% recycled
- $ back guarantee
2. Gilmour Flat Weeper Soaker Hose (My Top Recommended)
Here is another option for a flat soaker hose! Unlike the others I’ve reviewed here, however, this is made of both an inner PVC liner and a UV light blocking outer fabric wrap.
The PVC liner lends strength and durability to the hose (so it has the ability to handle the water pressure without kinking and spraying everywhere), and the fabric helps the whole hose last longer.
This is especially important if you’re gardening somewhere that gets a lot of hot suns, such as the American Southwest, and need to buy a product that can stand up to the heat year after year.
Another fabulous perk to the Gilmour soaker hose is how flexible it is. Like I’ve mentioned, some hoses are perfect if you need to water plants in a straight line, but sometimes you need a little maneuverability.
This hose is perfect for winding around bushes or trees, or snaking through the rows in a garden bed. This would also be a good idea if you are a gardener with irregularly spaced plants and don’t want to water everything in between.
Finally, this hose is great because you can attach a hose timer to it! I don’t know about you, but I’m notoriously bad at remembering to water my plants, even if I have twelve posts it notes, an alarm on my phone, and my husband to remind me.
Having the ability to have a timer on my hose makes a world of a difference for me. Also, it would be useful if you ever needed to go on a vacation and didn’t want to pay someone to come over and water your plants for you, or if your garden was a distance away from your house and you don’t tend to visit it every day.
Unfortunately for the Gilmour soaker hose, its flexibility ends with its bendiness. Unlike other hoses I’ve reviewed here, it doesn’t offer the ability to cut it to any length you choose and attach a coupler to have a shorter length, or attach a Y connection and split the one hose into two.
You need to carefully choose whether you want the 25’, 50’, or 75’ hose, and you must either use all of it or none of it in your garden, because you can’t shorten them. You can, however, connect multiple hoses together if you need something LONGER.
- fabric wrapped PVC for UV light blocking = longevity
- easily maneuverable
- has timer attachment availability
- not customizable
3. Melnor 50' Flat Soaker Hose With 2 Washers And QuickConnect Product Adapter Set
It’s no secret that gardening can be hard on a person’s body, with all the squatting, kneeling, and lifting you have to do to get your plants, flowers, and bushes looking their best.
That’s why it’s so nice that the Melnor soaker hose is compact and lightweight, making the strain on a body much less than a rugged, heavy hose. Weighing in a mere one and a half pounds, this soaker hose is easy to lift and move around.
If you’re concerned about all the physicality involved in gardening, this hose might be part of a solution to your problems.
Another benefit to the Melnor soaker hose is that it folds flat. There are two kinds of soaker hoses, after all: flat and circular. Flat hoses like this one are great because they wrap up so much smaller and tighter for storage in the winter, or whenever you don’t need them.
In fact, when fully wrapped up, this hose will only take up about six cubic inches of space wherever you store your unused gardening tools.
My favorite part about the Melnor soaker hose, however, is its versatility. Sometimes, depending on what you’re growing, you need to be able to move your hose around frequently, even a few times over the course of a growing season.
Other times, you need something that will stay in place and continue to be dependable even without much oversight. This hose is designed to go either above the soil (which is great if you need to keep moving it around; no need to dig it up every time to move!) or under a layer of mulch (perfect for big, sturdy plants that need consistent watering in the same place all season).
The one thing I wish I could change about the Melnor soaker hose, however, is its tendency to kink. It’s not surprising that a hose so flat is more susceptible to bending to the pressure of the water coursing through it, but it is somewhat frustrating.
- Folds flat
- under or over mulch
4. Miracle-GRO Soaker System Customizable Hose, 75'
Is there a brand on the home gardener’s market more well-known than Miracle-GRO? Many gardeners looking for a new soaker hose might find peace of mind in buying a product distributed by such a reputable brand.
Miracle-GRO delivers a quality product unique in that it’s able to be almost infinitely customizable.
It comes with 2 male connectors with caps, 2 female connectors, and 1 feeder piece so that if you have a need for a soaker hose that’s something other than a straight line, you can cut pieces of the 75’ length off, have them branch out from the original, and go in as many different directions as you please.
Also, thanks to the prevalence of the Miracle-GRO brand, they sell additional couplers in a variety of locations, from local hardware stores to Amazon itself.
Another great benefit to getting the Miracle-GRO soaker system hose is the built-in water restrictor it comes with, which is designed to help regulate the PSI (pressure per square inch) inside the hose.
Especially when you’re dealing with hoses longer than 50’ like this one, it’s important to have good internal water pressure, otherwise you’ll have a ton of water coming out the porous slits in the first few feet of the hose, and a mere trickle (if anything) coming out the final few feet.
Having an internal water restrictor helps even out the water flowing to the entirety of the hose and gives a more even soaking to your plants.
The one thing I don’t like about this hose is that it specifically says it’s built for use under mulch or dirt.
Now, if you are a gardener who only needs to lay a line of soaker hoses down once and doesn’t need to change it throughout the season or remove it come to fall for winter storage, then this won’t be a problem for you.
However, if you do need the flexibility to move it around, constantly burying it under mulch and then digging it back out to move it somewhere else, that might get frustrating for you.
- Well-known brand
- very customizable
- built-in water restrictor regulates the inner PSI
- Under mulch or dirt only
5. Rocky Mountain Goods Soaker Hose
This soaker hose is made of extremely durable, heavy-duty rubber. I wish I had one of these in my garden when I first started, five years ago. Back then, I had a very flimsy soaker hose that kinked and bent like crazy, and I was constantly fighting with stakes to keep it in one place.
I also ripped a few when pulling the hose over rocks and gravel. A soaker hose like this won’t rip when pulled over rough ground, and though it may require some staking for very tight corners and snake around individual plants, if you just need it to stay in a single line as I did, this is likely a dream hose.
Another wonderful thing about this soaker hose is Rocky Mountain Goods’ seven-year warranty. Seven years is a long time in the life of a piece of gardening equipment, especially compared to how often we have to replace flimsy plastic pots, splintering wooden trellises, and cheap, brittle trowels.
I know I am especially hard on my garden tools, so it’s the peace of mind for me to know that even if something should happen between now and 2026, Rocky Mountain Goods will cover me.
In keeping with its quality hose, the Rocky Mountain Goods set also comes with brass fittings you can use to connect hoses together for an even longer stretch.
Some soaker hoses come with easily destroyed plastic couplings, but with this one, I won’t have to worry about my water leaking out at the connection point. If you’re concerned with having a quality product that will last, this is a very good bet.
Of course, with quality comes cost. This soaker hose is a expensive option when compared to the others I’m reviewing.
If you are the kind of person who wants to have the top of the line products for everything, (I’m looking at you, luxury car owners and people who inexplicably have two stoves in their kitchen) then this is likely your pick.
However, if paying up to (or more than) double the price of some other brands is too much for your wallet to handle, don’t be alarmed! There are plenty of other decent options out there.
- Heavy-duty rubber
- 7-year warranty
- brass fittings
6. Apex, Soil Soaker Hose, 50-Feet
For my sixth hose in this review, I found the Teknor a very interesting contender. It had a number of qualities that none of the other hoses could boast, including the fact that it can soak up to 400ft of the hose.
Most soaker hoses can only handle a low pressure and after maybe 50’ will start having trouble pushing water all the way out to the end.
Not so for this hose! If you have a large garden or don’t have an easily accessible water spout (and so need to travel a large distance to get to your garden) this hose might be exactly what you need.
In the same vein, it’s amazing that this hose has the ability to continue working even uphill. Due to the nature of the soaker hose, most need to be laid flat on the non-graded ground or else they will not have the internal PSI necessary to evenly water the whole length of hose.
If you have any gradation in your garden, this is the only hose with the ability to water up to the whole thing!
Finally, this hose comes in four different lengths- 25’, 50’, 75’, and 100’. This is perfect for a gardener who needs a little more customization than just a standard length.
The one downside to the Teknor Apex Apex hose is that it only claims to save you 30% more water compared to traditional watering (such as with a hose attachment you hand-spray or a sprinkler).
The rest of the soaker hoses reviewed here all claim to save you 70% more water. If you weren’t worried about the amount of water you were using before, then this claim probably wouldn’t particularly bother you, however.
- can work uphill
- connects up to 400ft
- comes in four lengths
- only boasts 30% more water saving
- compared to 70%
7. Swan Black Element SoakerPro Landscaping Soaker Hose
The final hose I’ve reviewed in this roundup is the Swan Black Element soaker hose. This hose is a great choice for those of you who, like me, want to use a soaker hose in a vegetable garden or to water any kind of plant you plan on eating from.
Some soaker hoses contain lead in them, and as such should not be used to water edible plants. This soaker hose, however, meets the lead-free standard under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
Another great thing about this hose is that it’s actually made in the USA! I know how much many gardeners care about using locally sourced tools and eating locally sourced food, so if that’s a concern of yours, this might be an excellent choice for you.
Finally, this hose can connect with not only another Swan Black Element soaker hose, but also with any other hose that uses a ⅝” coupling!
This means you could attach it to a length of standard, non-porous hose to only have the soaking done in the garden and not the entire length of the hose from the spigot to garden, or if you already owned some soaker hoses and only needed to buy a replacement hose, this one would do the trick.
The only downside of this hose is that it, like the Taisia, tends to leak quite a bit.
- meets lead-free standards
- made in the USA
- can connect with other soaker hose systems of ⅝”
- lots of water lost
Don’t want to use pesticides?
If you’re trying to go organic, and thereby not use any pesticides on your plants to fight disease, or if you’re just trying to cut costs by purchasing as few pesticides as possible, then this soaker hose might be a great option for you.
Delivering water straight to the roots of the plant (which is where they soak up the water anyway) reduces the amount of moisture on your leaves. This means your plants are less likely to get fungal infections and other diseases that thrive in wet places, and if your plants are less diseased, you’ll reduce your need for any kind of pesticides.
Some of the hoses with a tendency to kink or leak, like the Taisia and Melnor, might lead to water squirting out onto the leaves of your plants, however, which might lead to the infections you’re trying to avoid.
Need something very versatile?
If you need to be able to wind your soaker hose around plants or snake it through a vegetable plot, you should go with either the Melnor or the Gilmour.
Both are flat soakers, lightweight, and made of very flexible material (vinyl for Melnor and fabric-wrapped PVC for Gilmour). Either would be able to do the job.
Need something rugged and heavy duty?
If you are very hard on your gardening tools and need something that can withstand a lot of use and abuse, the Teknor or Rocky Mountain would be your best bet.
Both are made of durable materials and can withstand multiple years of wear.
If I had to choose my favorite of the six hoses, I’d be going with the Gilmour Soaker Hose! Not only does it have the flexibility inherent to flat soaker hoses, but it also has the durability of a much sturdier hose due to the unique PVC pipe and fabric wrap combo.
I’d be happy to put this one in my garden and would expect it to water my flowers, vegetables, trees, and bushes for years to come.
My name is Peter Weeks, Writer of The Daily Gardener. Gardening has always been my passion, nothing gives me quite the satisfaction that feeling the soil sift through my fingers does. Give me a spade, a shovel, and a rake, and I can happily while away the day transforming a patch of land into a beautiful oasis. To me, gardening is life. It’s not a career. It’s not a job. It’s something that I truly love doing. It’s a way of life, a passion that I’ve no intention of ever giving up.