You can stop wasting valuable time when you invest in a soaker hose to do the job for you.
A soaker hose can help prevent water pooling above ground, avoid damaging plants like when moving above ground hoses around, and allows you to water your plants right at their roots.
Finding the best soaker hose is easy when you follow the tips in this buying guide. I begin by reviewing the top five best soaker hose options on the market.
I then explain if you need a soaker hose, what features to watch out for, and answer frequently asked questions, so you’ll have all the information you need to make a smart purchasing decision!
Best Soaker Hoses For Your Yard And Garden
Rocky Mountain Goods Soaker Hose
- Lays flat for easier placement
- Up to 30% water savings
- Made in the USA
The Rocky Mountain Goods soaker hose is made of heavy-duty recycled material that should perform efficiently for years.
The reinforced fittings on the hose make attaching extra lengths simple so that you can extend the reach of your watering system without annoying leaks. The water drips all the way evenly to the end of the hose so that you can avoid dry patches in your garden.
I like the flexibility of the hose, which makes it easy to wrap around plants without worrying about kinks. The water seeps from the hose in its entirety, not just from pre-set holes in the tubing, so the soil and nearby plants get an even water distribution.
- Hose material is thick and durable so it will last longer
- Even distribution of water seepage provides better supply to plants
- Easy to operate connections that reduce chance of leaks
- Some hoses may be kinked inside the package, which could form weak spots that leak after installation
- Can easily pop holes under too much water pressure
The Rocky Mountain Goods Soaker Hose is a good choice for homeowners looking for a short run of hose that can easily curve back and forth to evenly water thick beds of flowers or shrubs.
Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose
- Flattens for easy storage
- Extends to 75 feet
- 2 Extra filter washers included for a leak-free seal
- Limited 2 Year warranty
The Melnor Flat soaker hoses get top marks for its low profile that makes it easy to hide under mulch or plants, so the hose doesn’t have to be an eyesore in your garden.
The flexible construction delivers ample water to your plants with minimal run-off, so you use less water. Storage is stress-free, as the hose flattens out as you roll it up and forms into a compact coil that can fit nicely on a shed or garage shelf.
I appreciate the outer material that helps distribute the water that drips from holes in the inner tubing and also acts as a buffer that protects the hose from damage as you move it across the ground.
- Lays flat, so it’s easier to hide in the garden and to store when not in use
- Rust-resistant end caps connect quickly and easily
- Remains flexible so you can form it around plants or curve it back and forth
- Very affordable price for two hoses
- If left exposed to direct sun, the hose is more apt to form leaks
- Hose material has harmful chemicals that make it unsafe for drinking water
I give the Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose a spot on the top five for the impressive performance and long life if you treat the hose with care. I find that this hose is best for homeowners on a budget who have a large area they wish to water since this two-pack of 50-foot hoses will do the trick.
Water Right Polyurethane Lead Safe Soaker Hose
- Polyurethane hose with lead free fittings
- Contains no phthalates or BPA and is drinking water safe
- Flexible in all weather conditions, even freezing temperatures
- Manufactured in the United States
The Water Right 25-foot Polyurethane Lead-safe soaker hose features lead-free fittings and no phthalates or BPA, which makes it drinking water safe.
I appreciate the extra support given at both hose ends that reduce stress at connection points that are prone to kinks that could impede water flow.
The hose also has a UV stabilizer to protect against the sun and stays pliable in even freezing temperatures, so you never have to strain to make adjustments.
- Top-quality polyurethane material is kink-free, lead-free, and holds up against direct sunlight
- Chrome-plated brass fittings will not tarnish so connections stay tight
- Lead-free means it’s safe for use in vegetable gardens
- Water drips evenly from hose without spraying, which reduces water loss
- Pricey for this length of hose
The Water Right soaker hose is best for avid gardeners who want a safe watering hose to grow edible crops, which is also flexible and easy to run along planter rows.
Swan Products Miracle-GRO Soaker System Hose
- Releases a range of .5 to 1 gallon of water per foot while delivering water straight to the roots
- Uses 70% less water than standard sprinklers with water restrictor that controls water flow
- Meets the lead free standard under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act
The Swan Products Miracle-GRO soaker hose features push-on fittings so you can customize the length of this 100-foot length of 3/8-inch hose to suit your needs perfectly.
The hose is 65-percent recycled rubber, and also uses 70-percent less water than using a sprinkler system to keep your plants hydrated, which is excellent for the environment.
Once you have the hose set to your liking, the built-in water restrictor maintains a safe inner PSI, so your plants get a balanced amount of water each day. The hose also meets the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards for being lead-free.
- Environmentally-friendly: Contains recycled materials and meets lead-free standards
- Durable construction and fittings means less problems with leaks
- Allows customization with easy-to-install push-on fittings included
- Long length reduces need for additional hose connections
- Even weeping distribution ends frustration of dry sections of soil
- Needs time in the sun to soften up the coils from tight packaging
- Material may disintegrate or dry up with too much sun exposure
The Swan Products Miracle-GRO soaker hose provides consistent water delivery to garden plants but is best for homeowners with experience working with soaker hoses since it takes the correct layout and amount of pressure from the spigot to achieve optimal results.
Teknor Apex Soil Soaker Hose
- Up to 30% water savings
- Weeping pores allows for even soaking directly to roots
- More flexible for easier handling & winding
- Made in USA with 7 year guarantee
The Teknor Apex 100-foot soaker hose can provide up to 30-percent savings on water usage in your garden by delivering water directly to the roots of your plants.
The 1/2-inch diameter vinyl hose lays flat, which makes it easier to place it against the soil for optimal contact as the water seeps from the pores. The hose is also very pliable, which aids in making kink-free curves if you need to wind it back and forth in your garden beds.
The hose also features brass fittings with durable ABS plastic E-Z Tite couplings that you can hand-tighten for a secure connection that stops frustrating leaks.
- With proper water flow from the spigot, the hose drips the full length evenly
- Lightweight and easy to lay into position throughout planter beds
- Delivers consistent water drippage, even on inclines
- Quality hose material holds up better against the elements, so it lasts longer
- Affordable pricing-per-foot, so you can cover more area and stay in budget
- Poor drip performance past the first section of hose if you don’t prep it correctly
- Connections can leak over time
The Technor Apex soaker hose is best for homeowners looking for a long-lasting, affordable, single-run hose long enough to provide an ideal amount of water to most planter beds.
Do You Really Need A Soaker Hose?
You need a soaker hose if you want to:
- Conserve more water over what it takes when watering your plants using a standard hose or yard sprinkler. Some hoses can conserve up to 70-percent more water!
- Save time by turning on a spigot (or setting a timer) instead of spending hours every week watering plants manually.
- Encourage healthy plant growth by providing a continual and even water supply directly to the soil where plant roots are growing.
- Save money over the cost of installing a traditional drip irrigation system.
- Stop annoying water loss through evaporation or misting that often occurs with spray hoses or sprinkler systems.
- Keep plant foliage dry, to reduce mold and fungal growth.
Soaker hoses and their close cousin, the sprinkler hose, both distribute water under low pressure along the path where you lay out the hose.
The difference between the two hoses is a soaker hose is made entirely of a porous material that the water soaks through, and a sprinkler hose uses tiny holes to let the water drip out.
Both should deliver close to the same result when put to use properly.
Things To Watch Out For
Before you purchase any soaker hose, consider the things you need to watch out for, like these features below.
Soaker hose material needs to be porous but also durable.
Recycled rubber from tires should last longer than other hose materials under outdoor exposure to sun, mud, rain, rocks, and mulch.
NSF-certified polyurethane is safe for watering food crop gardens and can hold up better against UV rays.
Soaker hoses made of vinyl or plastic are inexpensive but disintegrate quickly under the sun’s intense rays.
Soaker hoses that are rubber or latex are thinner and flexible and need protection from harsh sunlight that causes damage.
The fewer connections you have in your soaker hose reduces the chances of leaks, so buying a hose of the proper length for your needs is helpful.
Soaker hoses typically come in 25, 50, 75, and 100-foot lengths. Connectors allow you to attach additional length if needed.
Tip: Keeping soaker hose length under 100 feet provides better overall performance. Instead of using one very long distance of hose, consider splitting the area up and using two hoses, both that run from a Y-fitting off your water spigot.
The bigger the diameter of a soaker hose, the longer the hose can be while still dispensing water to the end. The pressure inside the hose increases with diameter size, but sometimes you don’t need a wide hose to take care of your plants.
While most soaker hoses are 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch in diameter, there are 1/4-inch and 5/8-inch options available.
Small diameter soaker hoses are best for potted plants or container gardening, while larger diameters work best for long runs in big gardens.
Related | How To Measure Garden Hose Size
Most soaker hoses use either 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch fittings like connectors to attach more lengths of hose or end caps that stop the water from flowing out the end.
The most common fittings for soaker hoses are screw-in, but push-in quick-connect style fittings are becoming popular.
Look for brass fittings since they won’t crack as plastic fittings can, nor rust or corrode for a long time, so the hose stays useable season after season.
Look for soaker hoses that include necessary fittings in the package. Otherwise, you’ll have to buy them separately, which can really add to the cost.
Always take the time to verify the size and type (male or female) of your particular spigot so you can ensure you are buying the correct size hose and fittings.
Soaker hoses should have a PSI rating for pressure on the packaging for safe use.
The water that comes from the outdoor water spigot on most homes is at least 60 PSI, which is not safe for a soaker hose. Some hoses have a built-in pressure regulator, which is a fantastic feature that prevents accidental damage.
The biggest mistake people make is not to read the directions to learn the PSI recommendation and blast on the water.
A fully-open spigot can blow out the hose or create intense seepage in the first 20 or so feet, leaving the rest dry.
Soaker Hose FAQs
Does Soaker Hose Need Pressure?
Yes, the design of a soaker hose uses a low pressure to force water out of the perforations in the hose.
Always look at the pressure rating on each model of a soaker hose. Most hoses of this type need 10 PSI or less to work correctly. Never exceed 30 PSI for any soaker hose as you’ll cause damage.
If you think you cannot manually control the pressure coming from the spigot, install a pressure regulator so you can see you are not overburdening the soaker hose.
Should I Bury My Soaker Hose?
While you can bury some soaker hoses up to four inches deep without issues, it’s best to keep them near or on the surface so you can visually see any issues like leaks, kinks, or blockages and keep soil from compacting on the hose and clogging the pores.
The ideal way to use a soaker hose is to lay it underneath bushes or plants or cover it with a bit of mulch, so the hose doesn’t distract from the beauty of your garden or create a trip hazard.
Do Soaker Hoses Get Clogged?
Yes, soaker hoses can clog up from calcium build-up or soil. If you see a sudden dry patch along a section of your soaker hose, a clog is probably the culprit.
You can install an in-line filter or dip the hose in a vinegar and water solution to help clear out the debris. Amping up the water pressure inside the hose is not a smart way to clear clogs since you will more likely tear in the tubing.
Can You Connect Two Soaker Hoses Together?
Yes, you can connect soaker hoses with proper fittings. Remove the end cap from the hose you want to extend and attach the new length and finish with the end cap.
Be aware that the longer your hose is, the harder it will be to maintain enough pressure down the full length to create the seepage you need to water your plants. Soaker hoses work best when they are no longer than 100 feet in total length.
Remember that adding a new length to your soaker hose can require several hours for enough pressure to build to the end and see results, so be patient.
Can You Leave Soaker Hose Out Winter?
You can leave soaker hoses in place during winter if you like since the hose will not hold water and burst during freezes.
Take care to cover the hose during the winter season, to protect the material so it won’t deteriorate from exposure to harsh winds, cold, snow, and sun.
The easiest thing to do is spread a couple of inches of mulch over the top, which you can quickly push aside come springtime.
For those who love gardening but hate wasting water and would rather spend their time on more enjoyable tasks than hand watering, a soaker hose is for you.
By using what you learn in this buying guide to soaker hoses, you can spend your money wisely on the perfect hose for your needs.
If you don’t have time to shop around, I recommend the Water Right 25-Foot x 1/2″ Polyurethane Lead-Safe Soaker Hose for water safety, and overall quality and performance.
For those who find that model out of their budget range, the Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose is an affordable option.
No matter which one you choose from the top five best soaker hose review list, you’ll find all can provide many benefits to you, your garden, and the environment as well!