If you’re tired of standing around on scorching hot evenings hosing your lawn, containers, and flower beds, you need to find a piece of kit that can take care of things whilst you relax. That’s why we wanted to find the best soaker hose for every occasion.
We have reviewed a selection of the most popular soaker hoses on the market and hand-picked the 5 best soaker hoses for you to choose from.
The best thing about this equipment is that it can do all the hard work for you, making gardening stress-free and enjoyable…like it’s supposed to be!
5 Best Soaker Hoses
Let’s get straight to the results of our best 5 products reviewed. Then we can look at how to install a soaker hose and what’s the main advantages over a drip irrigation system.
Overall Best Soaker Hose
Water Right’s SKR-050-MU Soaker Garden Hose is our Top Pick product for some pretty compelling reasons.
Coated in soft microcellular polyurethane foam which the manufacturer claims offer improved weeping performance. There’s no doubt this product is highlight durable and is arguably the most premium soaker hose on the market.
Available in 25’, 50’, and 100’ feet lengths it will cover almost all garden sizes. The materials used to make this hose allow for super snaking capabilities to lay it through any landscape twists or turns kink-free.
Due to the materials used to make this hose, it comes with all-weather performance and will not deteriorate in direct sunlight, backed by a 5 Year Manufacturer Guarantee.
The connectors are machined brass with chrome plating for long life, and split free performance.
The only downside is the premium price. However, if you want the best soaker hose I guess you have to pay for the best!
- Premium Polyurethane Hose, Made in the USA
- Chrome Plated Brass Fittings
- 12’, 50’ and 100’ feet lengths
- None other than the premium price
Runner Up Round Soaker Hose
If you’re looking for a fully customizable and flexible half-inch hose, the Taisia 1/2-Inch Soaker Hose might be right up your alley and comes in second place of our best soaker hose review. Available in 25 feet, 50 feet, and 75 feet sizes, this soaker hose has options for every garden.
The hose is made with 100% recycled material using a combination of 70% recycled rubber and 30% recycled polyethylene.
Taisia has incorporated UV inhibitors into the tube that extends the lifespan of this hose. As a result, you can use it in any weather conditions, with minimal risk of cracks or bulges.
Another great quality of the Taisia 1/2-Inch Soaker Hose is its durable and lightweight structure. It features a small, half-inch diameter that is reinforced with higher tensile strength material, making it incredibly easy for you to arrange the hose around the plants. This can be especially useful if you plan to lay it around vegetable beds, flower beds, or hard landscaping.
Long round soaker hoses tend to be heavier and more rigid, leading to accidental damage to plants, if they are moved around frequently.
You’re assured of uniform distribution of water around your plants, allowing you to enjoy a lush, green garden with little to no water wastage.
The hose comes with a bronze and plastic connector, but our personal recommendation would be to opt for the former for higher durability.
We would have preferred the addition of a pressure regulator, though. The hose is also slightly bulky if you choose the 75-feet size. Keeping this in mind, the 50-feet length would be a better option if you don’t have an overly large backyard.
- Easy to set up and use
- Higher durability
- Lies flat on the ground
- Comes with a 7-year warranty
- Frequent kinking problems
- Doesn’t come with a pressure regulator
- Longer length models are a little bulky
Best Flat Soaker Hose
Melnor is a very reputable brand that has established a loyal fan base when it comes to soaker hoses and other gardening equipment. The brand has been going strong for more than six decades now, so you know that when you buy anything from Melnor, it’s nothing but the best.
Most of the time, customers search for hoses that are easy to store. Flat hoses are your best option here.
Although the one that we’ve chosen is 50 feet long, you have two other options, 25-feet and 75-feet in length.
The Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose is made with highly durable vinyl, and when folded, take up only 0.05 ft.³ in your garden shed. The end cap is rust-resistant and allows you to attach extra hoses, in case you want to extend the length.
You can place the soaker hose on the surface of the soil, or bury it under a thin layer of soil or mulch.
We particularly like the flexible construction that enables you to run the hose around corners with minimal effort. You still have to position it carefully to prevent kinks. You can also hold it in place by adding a few landscape staples or pegs.
Similar to other flat hoses, the Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose isn’t the most durable hose on the market. Instead, its qualities come in the shape of a lightweight, easy to store product that has a 2-year warranty, but you can expect to get a good 4 years+ of good use out of.
- Provides value for money
- Can be flattened for easy storage
- Features rust-free end caps
- Has a relatively short warranty
- Past customers have complained of frequent kinking problems
- Not the most durable option available on the market
Runner Up Flat Soaker Hose
It’s not essential to spend a lot of money to get a high-quality, long-lasting soaker hose. This Gilmour Flat Weeper Soaker Hose is a fair price and represents really good value for the money.
It uses a PVC liner, which is perforated with several tiny holes all across its entire length. Then, the liner is covered in fabric to make way for water seepage.
This creates the gradual watering action you’re looking for, that’s great for delicate plants and boosting the moisture content to their roots. Additionally, if there is ever a case where your ground is hard after a dry spell, you won’t have to worry about losing too much water to run off or evaporation with this design.
For best results, it’s recommended to maintain a water pressure of 60 psi.
The Gilmour Flat Weeper Soaker Hose is made out of 100% recycled and environmentally-friendly vinyl, which makes it safe for your plants and great eco-friendly product. You have the option to choose between three lengths: 25, 50, and 75 feet.
The fabric covering protects the soaker hose from UV rays, preventing cracks due to sun exposure. You can easily bury the Gilmour underground because of its robust construction – just remember to drain all the water and bring the hose inside whenever the weather turns icy or too cold to avoid splitting or bursting.
The Gilmour Flat Weeper Soaker Hose is extremely lightweight, allowing you to move it around with very little effort. Plus, the flat design means that storage is convenient too.
In case you want to snake the hose around curves, don’t forget to soak it in water before. You may get a little wet, but maneuvering the hose would be much easier with the water running through it. Do this on a sunny day, it’s quite refreshing!
One disadvantage of this very lightweight hose is it’s slightly more prone to rupture. It’s more delicate compared to other options on the list. But considering the affordability of this product, this isn’t a big deal-breaker for us. We love the performance and convenience.
Fortunately, you get a seven-year limited warranty, ensuring the safety of your investment.
- Uses clog-resistant fabric cover
- Affordable and durable
- Lightweight and portable
- Comes with a seven-year warranty
- More prone to rupturing
- Drip can be a bit inconsistent at times
Best Sprinkler / Soaker Combined Hose
This garden hose from Element has a unique two-in-one design. In addition to using the product as a soaking hose, it can also double as a sprinkler – all you need to do is adjust the design.
Moreover, you don’t have to worry about twisting and kinks, while the laser-cut holes ensure a consistent and even watering. The water released from the hose is similar to that of a spray, and generally, shoots between an inch to two into the air.
It’s UV-protected (patented), making it a good choice for gardens that are prone to higher temperatures. Nearly 65% of the materials used to create the hose are recycled, which is a huge plus point if you care about the environment.
You get brass male and female connections, along with plastic couplings.
The dual action of the Swan Products Element Sprinkler Soaker Hose can be tricky to lay out. Depending on it’s intended use, you either get a short spray upwards that acts as the sprinkler or the spray shoot downwards as a soaker.
The hose is marked with lines to show which way up to lay the hose. The manufacture recommends securing the hose in place with landscape staples or pegs for the best results.
- Easy to use and handle
- Does a great job of spreading the water evenly
- Minimal to no leakage problems
- Inconsistent water distribution
- Needs careful placement to get the desired soak or sprinkle effect
- A little stiff
The Benefits of Using a Soaker Hose
Before we discuss the best soaker hose models, let’s find out how you can benefit after purchasing one:
Easy to Use
Every soaker hose has a pressure rating, which helps determine whether or not you have to use the pressure regulator. You can use the regulator to adjust the amount of water via the tap if needed.
Prevents Soil Erosion
The main idea behind installing a soaker hose is that it releases the water gradually into the soil. This can be useful for reducing water usage, preventing any topsoil erosion.
Topsoil erosion is a common problem when high water pressure is used, which is why the gradual approach of a soaker hose is preferable.
Facilitates Weed Control
You have a very concentrated water area when using a soaker hose. This can restrict the water supply to weeds and other undesirable plants in your garden.
Eventually, all the weeds will die without the need to physically pull them out from the garden or using any harmful weed killer or chemicals.
Lower Upfront Cost
Since soaker hoses don’t have any complex moving parts, they’re very simple to use. Meaning the overall cost to install and run is low. In addition, you can use them in conjunction with a timer to release water flow for set periods of time. This is perfect for saving water and getting the optimum level of hydration down into your plant’s roots.
Prevents Plant Fungal Growth
Soaker hoses supply water directly at the ground level, protecting the plant from getting overly soaked and reduces the chance of any fungal growth on leaves or other vegetation.
Higher Soil Moisture Retention
This style of soaking irrigation system permits water to seep directly into the soil, boosting the overall moisture content. It also stops excessive evaporation, allowing you to enjoy better and healthier plant growth.
Soaker Hose vs. Drip Irrigation: What’s the Difference?
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of a soaker hose, let’s understand the difference between it and drip irrigation.
A drip irrigation system is a set-up of long tubes or pipework, fitted with emitters. Secondary tubes are attached to the main water line, which is connected to a tap that is fitted with a filter, pressure regulator, or backflow valve.
The two most common types of drip irrigation systems include drip tape and drip line.
In this case, the water is delivered directly to the base of your plants. You can set up the system to target specific areas of your garden, making it an excellent choice for larger properties. A soaker hose, on the contrary, isn’t quite as versatile in terms of the branching pipe network of a drip irrigation system.
However, the emitters on drip systems have a tendency to become clogged over time. Hence, they require periodic inspection and up-to-date maintenance. Clogging, however, isn’t an issue with soaker hoses due to their simple construction.
All in all, you should use a soaker hose if you have a smaller garden based on level ground, while drip irrigation is a better option for people with bigger gardens configured in long, straight rows. The latter works well with a sloped ground too.
How to Install Soaker Hose Kits
Despite the ongoing debate between using a kit or DIY, there is no doubt that the former is the more convenient option because of its easy to assemble or pre-assembled components. Still, it’s mostly a matter of personal preference.
How to Set-Up a Soaker Hose System
Installing a soaker hose for your garden is actually quite simple, if you take the following steps:
- Step 1: If you’re using a brand-new soaker hose, leave it out in the open for about an hour or so after unwinding it. This will help loosen the tight coils of the hose, allowing you to lay it, without too much effort.
- Step 2: Gently remove the end cap from the soaker hose and hook it to your tap or water source. Proceed to run water for a couple of minutes to flush the hose. We highly recommend flushing new hoses before actually using them once or twice throughout the year to remove any debris contained inside the hose. Once done, replace the end cap.
- Step 3: You can connect the soaker hose directly to a spout where your garden is close to a faucet. Or you can attach a regular garden hose between the soaker and mains water supply instead.
- Step 4: Stretch the hose out before turning on the water. You can adjust the pressure until you get a slow, steady drip. I like to peg my hose down using steel hockey stick-shaped tent pegs.
Flat Soaker Hose vs. Round Soaker Hose
A flat soaker hose has holes on one side and is generally made of a nylon-coated mesh material.
This enables the water to go exactly where you want it, directly into the ground. Because of its design, it is best used in straight lines or gentle curves, to avoid taking the soaking surfaces. If you need to take sharp bends in the hose layout we suggest using a round hose.
Float soaker hoses are easier to bury under a layer of mulch, up to 3 inches is fine. Try not to bury it in soil though, as the hose may not perform as well due to the compact nature of the soil in comparison to mulch.
On the other hand, a round soaker hose, also known as a weeping hose, has several tiny holes dotted all around its circumference for even water distribution. This hose can also be buried under mulch, as copes well under soil too.
Rubber hoses are commonly made with vinyl or rubber, which gives them more flexibility and durability compared to flat hoses.
Best Soaker Hose Accessories
Soaker Hose Connectors
Connectors are crucial if you want to connect your hose pipe to your tap. Otherwise, you’ll have water seeping out right away before it even reaches the plants.
Okay, so know we know what soaker hoses are about, let’s take a look at out top picks and best buys:
Soaker Hose Pegs
Pegs can help limit the haphazard movement of soaker hoses, which can be troublesome at times. Also, these are very cheap and easily available online.