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 Gardens And Yards
- Do You Really Need A Soaker Hose?
- Things To Watch Out For
- Soaker Hose Buyer FAQs
- In Summary
Best Soaker Hoses For Gardens And Yards
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 Buyer FAQs
To learn more about soaker hoses, I answer some common questions people ask while shopping for the right hose for their needs.
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!