Regular watering will keep your garden looking spectacular all summer long. So why not invest in a soaker hose to do the hard work for you?
If you’re thinking about doing just that, check out our reviews of the best soaker hoses money can buy. Then look at our buying guide for help to pick the one that’s right for you.
Ready? Let’s go!
At a glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Soaker Hose
The Best soaker hose on the Market of 2019
1. Gilmour 100049288 Flat Weeper Soaker Hose, 25' (Our Top Recommended)
This soaker hose from Gilmour has a PVC liner that’s perforated with tiny pores all along its length. The liner is then covered in fabric to allow the water to seep through.
The result is gradual watering that’s great for delicate plants, delivering moisture right to their roots. And if your ground is hard after a dry spell, you won’t lose as much water to run-off or evaporation. For best results, you’ll need water pressure of 60 psi.
The fabric covering protects the hose from UV rays, so it won’t crack in hot sun. And if you want to bury it underground, it’s robust enough to cope. Just remember to drain it and bring it inside when the weather turns icy.
It’s lightweight enough to be moved around easily, and the flat design means it can be stored easily.
If you want it to snake around curves, soak it in water first. And although you’ll get a bit wet, it’s much easier to maneuver while water is running through it.
This hose comes with a 7-year limited warranty. Remember to keep your proof of purchase, as you’ll need it to make a claim.
2. Rocky Mountain Goods Soaker Hose
Rocky Mountain’s soaker hose comes in a range of lengths, with diameters of a half and five-eighths of an inch.
If you need it longer, you can attach additional hoses. It comes with reinforced fittings to do the job quickly and easily. Just bear in mind that you’ll lose water pressure the longer it gets.
It’s made of recycled rubber, giving it strong environmental credentials. And the design uses 70 percent less water than traditional irrigation systems.
The fittings at the end are made of metal rather than plastic, so they’re durable. You will, though, need to drain and protect this hose in freezing weather.
If you need to bend it around curves, you can. Laying it out in the sun before you do it will make it more malleable. The holes go right around the circumference, so you won’t need to worry about laying it at the right angle. And the watering pattern is nice and even as a result.
The one question mark over this hose is its durability. We’ve heard of several cases where it’s sprung a leak. On the plus side, it comes with a 7-year warranty and good reports of Rocky Mountain’s customer service.
3. Flexon Soaker Hose, Black, 1/2 In X 50 Ft (2 Pack)
Flexon’s soaker hose comes in a standard length of 50 feet and a half-inch diameter. It’s sold in a pack of two, and they can be fitted together easily if you need a longer reach.
You will, though, need to buy the fittings to do that yourself. The ends are standard male and female connections, just like an ordinary garden hose. Standard connectors will do the job just fine.
This is another hose made of recycled materials. It has a nice, even watering pattern, and it comes with filters to keep out larger debris. It’s competitively priced too. So is there anything not to like?
Well, it’s not as flexible as some hoses out there. If you want to curve it around corners, be prepared to let it sit in the sun for a while. And by “a while”, we mean days, rather than hours. For best results, use landscape staples to hold it in place.
Take care too to avoid kinks. These will lead to the water backing up. As well as giving you thirsty plants at the lower reaches of your hose, this can lead to damage.
All in all, though, this is a good hose at a keen price.
4. Taisia 1/2 Inch Soaker Hose 50ft
This half-inch diameter soaker hose from Taisia is made of 70 percent recycled rubber and 30 percent recycled polyurethane. It comes in a standard length of 50 feet, and is easy to connect to other hoses if you need a longer reach.
The real selling point with this one is its flexibility. Taisia say it has “zero memory”. In other words, no matter how long it’s been coiled up or placed in one position, it will lie flat when you move it somewhere else.
Even so, it will still benefit from being placed in the sun for an hour or so before you first lay it. It’s easy enough to lay around curves, and the holes go all the way around. The result is an even watering pattern whatever shape you need it to follow.
And if you live in areas with hard winters, this is a good option. It will cope with freezing weather without cracking.
We have heard of problems arising from time to time with leaking. Fortunately, this is another hose that comes with a 7-year warranty. And Taisia has proved themselves responsive to complaints, replacing defective hoses promptly.
5. Dramm 17020 ColorStorm Premium 25 Foot Soaker Garden Hose
This soaker hose from Dramm is available in either 25 or 50 feet lengths. It’s made from recycled materials and has a heavier duty construction than many other hoses. Dramm claims its thicker walls cut the water used by a staggering 90 percent over traditional irrigation systems.
The rubber construction is designed to resist abrasion and kinking. You’ll get a steady flow of water down the whole length of the hose. It’s robust enough to be buried underground if required, and will over-winter without needing to be brought inside.
The hose also copes well with higher water pressures. But beware of one issue… It comes with nickel-plated couplings to fix at the connection points. Although these look sturdy enough, we’ve heard of a number of cases where they’ve split.
Adding hose clamps covered with electrical tape will deal with the problem. But it’s the one weak point in an otherwise resilient hose.
The heavy-duty construction here comes at a price – you’ll pay more for the Dramm than other soaker hoses. Replace the couplings, though, and you’ll be left with a very robust hose. Its lifetime guarantee may mean this is an investment worth making.
6. Swan Products GIDS-2496287 Element Sprinkler Soaker Hose, 50 Ft
This hose from Element is designed for two-in-one capability. Turn it one way up and it acts as a sprinkler. Turn it the other way, and it’s a soaker hose.
The water is released in more of a spray pattern than you’ll get from other soaker hoses. It shoots between an inch and two inches into the air.
It’s designed to resist twisting and kinks, and the laser-cut holes will give good, even watering. The dual action means if you’re laying it around curves, though, it’s a bit of a pain. You’ll need to do some extra work to make sure it stays the right way up.
Stripes help make this easier. If they’re facing upwards, you’ll get the sprinkler mode. Downwards, and you’ll be watering the roots of your plants. Secure the hose in place with landscape staples for the best results.
The UV protection here is patented, and it’s a good choice for gardens which experience hotter temperatures. 65% of the materials used in the hose are recycled. And it comes with brass male and female connections and plastic couplings.
Overall, this is a good hose at a sensible price. But if you have lots of curves to maneuver around, there are better options out there.
7. Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose; 50 Ft, 2 Pack
If you’re looking for a soaker hose that’s easy to store, Melnor’s flat design might be the one for you. You’ll get two-fifty feet hoses in a pack, and both lie flat. Fold them up after use and each will take up only 0.05 cubic feet in your garden shed.
Its three-quarter of an inch fitting will fit a standard garden hose thread. The end cap is rust-resistant, and it’s easy to attach extra hoses to extend the length.
It can be laid either on the surface of the soil or under a thin layer of soil or mulch. If your garden sees very high temperatures, we’d recommend using mulch. Without it, you may find the hose is prone to splitting.
If you want to run your hose around corners, this is flexible enough to do so fairly easily. And it won’t kink as long as you position it carefully. Adding a few landscape staples to hold it in place will help.
This isn’t the most durable hose out there. While it comes with a warranty, it only covers a couple of years. But if you’re looking for an inexpensive, flexible hose that will last three or four years, it’s a good bet.
8. Water Right 25-Foot X 1/2" Polyurethane Lead Safe Soaker Hose
If you’re looking for a hose to water edible plants, Water Right’s offering may be right up your street.
Unlike other hoses made from recycled tires and suchlike, this one is BPA free. The polyurethane it’s made from is FDA approved, so you could drink straight from it if you were so inclined.
That polyurethane is also UV resistant, meaning the hose won’t split in the sunshine. And it’s designed to stay flexible, even in freezing temperatures. The fittings are made from brass coated in chrome, so they’ll never tarnish.
Both ends have specially designed strain relief gizmos to resist kinking. Even so, we’ve found this works best when laid in a straight line.
You can connect up more than one hose if you need longer lengths. If possible, use a Y-shaped connector in a central location. They can also be connected in a series – but the water pressure will suffer by the end.
One thing to bear in mind here is that water flows more freely through the holes than with other soaker hoses. You’ll get more of a sprinkler effect than a gentle weeping. If you’re concerned about splashing your plants, this won’t be the right choice. The high-spec materials mean it’s pretty expensive too.
9. Osmile Professional Series Soaker Hose - 100 Foot
If you’re looking to water a larger area, Osmile’s soaker hose should be on your list. At 100 feet, this is the longest option we’ve found. On even ground, it can water an area of up to 5,280 square feet.
The hose walls are a fifth of an inch thick, meaning it can carry water long distances with minimal leakage. They also mean that water is released slowly along with the hose, maintaining water pressure until the end. And if you have a high-pressure supply, it self-regulates effectively.
This is a heavy-duty hose that will last for years. The downside of that, though, is that it’s quite cumbersome to maneuver. If you want to position it around corners, be prepared for some hard work. And it’s best laid on the surface of the soil.
The one design flaw here is the end caps. These are made of plastic, and they’re nowhere near as sturdy as the hose itself. If you opt for this one, we’d strongly recommend replacing them with brass versions. They’re not expensive and they’re easy to find. It’s just a shame Osmile didn’t include them in the first place.
Set this to one side, though, and this is a quality hose that’s built to last.
10. Apex, 1030-50, Soil Soaker Hose, 50-Feet
If you’re looking for an economical option and are happy to spend time on preparation, consider the Apex 1030-50.
This soaker hose is fifty feet long and has a diameter of half an inch. It’s also available in 25, 75 and 100 feet lengths. It’s made from vinyl and has brass and plastic couplings.
It’s flexible enough to lay around corners if you need to – but you’ll have to wait to do it. Leaving it in the sunshine for a day or two will make it much easier to position.
According to Apex, you can connect up to 400 feet of hose and have it water your garden effectively. We’re not so sure. We’ve heard of plenty of cases where people have tried to do this without success. Even with low pressure, most of the water comes out of the first hose, leaving little for the rest.
You can reduce the risks of this happening by laying the hose carefully so there are no kinks. Make sure too that your tap is turned on low. Even so, be prepared for variable results.
But if you’re looking for a hose for a smaller area, this will do a fair job at a low price.
Still not sure which is the soaker hose for you? Check out our guide to the factors you need to consider.
Curves or straight lines?
If you want a hose to run in a straight line along with your garden, the world is your oyster. Any of the hoses on this list will do the job well.
But if you want it to curve around seedbeds or plants, you’ll need to be more discerning. Not all hoses are flexible enough to do this easily.
Lighter weight hoses work well here, although there’s often a trade-off with durability. And look for a hose where the watering holes go all the way around the circumference. It will make laying it out far easier.
Hot or cold temperatures?
If your garden experiences extreme cold or heat, make sure your hose will be able to cope. Some hoses are treated so they’re UV-resistant, meaning they won’t become brittle in hot sunshine.
If you have freezing winters, one option is to bring your hose indoors. If you plan to do that, a flat hose will take up less storage space. Alternatively, look for hoses specially designed to cope with cold weather. Those from Taisia, Dramm, and Water Right are good options here.
Flowers or fruit and veg?
If you’re going to be watering flowers, hoses made from recycled materials are a great option. They’ll do the job well, and you’ll be reducing the number of used tires that go into landfill.
But if you’re watering something you’re planning to eat, you may prefer something where there’s no risk of chemical leaching. Water Right is the only BPA-free hose on our list. It’s more expensive than others, but you can be confident it won’t release toxins into your plants.
Time to get watering!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our round-up of some of the best soaker hoses out there. Answer the questions in our buying guide, and you’ll have all the information you need to make the right choice.
Our favorite is Gilmour’s flat soaker hose. The flat design makes laying and storage easy, and you’ll get even watering along with the whole hose. Just check your water pressure is around 60 psi to get the best results.
Whichever option you choose, a soaker hose will make keeping your garden green a whole lot easier. And the water-efficient operation will help the environment too. That sounds like a win-win to us!