The best soaker hoses to save time and water in your garden.ByStacy Tornio Stacy TornioWriterStacy Tornio has authored more than 15 books about nature and gardening. She is a master gardener and master naturalist.Learn about our editorial processPublished September 22, 2021Home & Garden
We independently research, test, review, and recommend the bestproducts—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Why water your garden more than you need? Not only do many areas of the country have water restrictions, but it’s also just a good conservation practice to use less water when and where you can. Often when we water our plants, there’s a lot of runoff that happens because the roots can only soak up so much water at a time. However, you probably don’t want to stand outside slowly watering for half an hour or more. So instead, consider trying soaker hoses. (Combine this with hose timers to save even more!)
By using a soaker hose, your plants have time to get a really thorough drink. Plus, the soil around them will also benefit. Best of all, you’re likely using less water overall because you can set it up to have a slow and steady drip. Essentially, less really is more when you’re using a soaker hose.
As you look to invest in a good hose and do your part for water conservation, here are the best soaker hose options to check out.The RundownBest Overall:WATERHOOP Portable Water Sprinkler System at AmazonBest Budget:Gilmour Flat Weeper Soaker Hose at WalmartBest Splurge:Orbit Watering Hose Sprinkler Kit at AmazonBest for Large Gardens:Soaker Hose at AmazonBest Heavy Duty:LINEX Garden Soaker Hose at WalmartBest Flat:Rocky Mountain Goods Flat Soaker Hose at AmazonBest Sprinkler:Swan Element Sprinkler at Walmart
Best Overall:WATERHOOP Portable Water Sprinkler SystemView On Amazon
This soaker has been reimagined in the best way possible. It’s not exactly a hose, but this hoop system makes it easy to water flower beds, trees, shrubs, and just about any other garden area you need. If you don’t like hauling long hoses around, then you’ll love this option because it’s really lightweight and easy to move around. It has a water flow system that you can set from a 0 to a 5 (based on gallons per minute), so you can really make it work for your gardens' needs. Connect it to any regular hose, and then you’re good to go.
Best Budget:Gilmour Flat Weeper Soaker Hose 870251-1001View On WalmartView On AmazonView On EBay
This weeper hose is a great option for those on a budget. If you’re curious about the difference between a soaker and a weeper, they are very similar. A weeper has a technique where it weeps (aka drips) water, whereas a soaker can be a little more like a sprinkler with its water flow. You control the amount of water that goes through at any given time. Test it out as you go to find the right strength for your garden—which will probably vary from one area to the next.
This weeper hose is available in 25-, 50-, and 75-foot lengths and weighs considerably less than a conventional rubber garden hose.
Best Splurge:Orbit 61014 Watering Hose Sprinkler KitView On Amazon
If you’re the type of person who likes to create their own unique and efficient system, then you’re going to love this watering kit. It includes everything you need to customize the right solution for your garden, including regular tubing, soaker tubing, couplings, drip-lock elbows, and a faucet timer. Set the watering cycle to match your specific needs. You can also bypass the automated area so you can do manual watering. Create exactly what you need while saving water at the same time.An Array of Organic Fertilizer Options for Your Plants
Best for Large Gardens:Soaker HoseView On Amazon
There are a lot of great soaker hoses out there, but many are only 25 or 50 feet in length. For gardeners who have a bigger area to cover, this one is perfect. It’s available as a 100-foot hose, which will water a lot of plants. Weave this in and out of your gardens to get all your plants at once. It’s made from 100 percent recycled rubber, and manufacturers estimate it’ll save about 70 percent water compared to a traditional system. It does come in smaller sizes too (including 25, 50, and 75 feet), so it’s the perfect all-around soaking hose for most gardens.
Best Heavy Duty:LINEX Garden Soaker HoseView On WalmartView On Amazon
This hose is one of the most sturdy on the market. Yet, it’s also easy to store because it goes flat when not in use. It’s set up to leak water around 2 gallons every two minutes, making it a great fit for most backyard gardens. You can thread this hose under leaves or place it out in the hot sun—either way it’ll definitely stand up to the elements. It's 25 feet long, and you can easily add a connector to add more length.
Best Flat:Rocky Mountain Goods Flat Soaker HoseView On Amazon
This hose is both a heavy-duty and a space-saving soaker. It’s made from a perforated PVC liner and is coated with extra-strength fabric. It's available in 25-, 50-, and 75-foot options at an affordable price. This company really stands behind its products and offers a lifetime warranty. If you need to save space and still want a hose that will hold up season after season, this is the one for you.10 Deck Boxes to Maximize Your Garden Space
Best Sprinkler:Swan Element SprinklerView On WalmartView On Amazon
This hose doubles as a sprinkler and a soaker. If you want to use it as a sprinkler, you’ll put the stripes up. And if you want to use it as a soaker, you’ll put the stripes down. It has roughly six openings for each foot of hose, so you’ll get a nice, even distribution of water. This hose comes in a 50-foot length, but there are smaller options as well. If you have any issues, it comes with a seven-year warranty.Final Verdict
For a soaker made from recycled rubber the Soaker Hose 100 FT (view at Amazon) is a great option and comes in many different lengths. To reinvent the way you see soaker hoses, try the WATERHOOP Portable Sprinkler (view at Amazon) which will change the way you water your garden and yard.
What to Look for in a Soaker Hose
Look at what the soaker is made from. Recycled rubber is always a strong and sustainable option. Even if the hose isn’t made from recycled materials, using a soaker hose can still be eco-friendly if you're in a particularly water-scarce region. Also look for descriptions from the manufacturers of other ways they have green practices.
The best size is the one that works for your needs. How much garden area are you looking to cover, and are your gardens all in the same spot? You might be better off getting two smaller soakers instead of one bigger one. This will allow you to save even more water to help focus on the area you need watered most.
Some soakers will have a single flow for how quickly the water comes out. Others allow you to adjust the flow as needed. This can be a really nice feature to have, especially as you adjust water flow based on overall weather and outside temps.
Look for additional connectors or bonus items to help you customize the soaker for your exact needs. Also, make sure the soaker is going to be compatible with your faucet set up. Most should be fine, but it’s just something to be aware of.
What is the best way to install a soaker hose?
Most soaker hoses won’t require anything special to install. You’ll just hook it up to your outdoor faucet, and then you’ll snake it through the area you want to water. Other hoses might need certain tubes or adapters to get best results. Look at the descriptions before you buy.
Do soaker hoses save money?
Yes, they do! Most soaker hoses are estimated to save you about 70 percent in water. This might not translate to big dollars in a single season, but long term, it will definitely save you on your water bill.
Do soaker hoses get clogged or kinked?
Both can happen with soaker hoses. For kinks, try to notice the kink right away and carefully unwind it, so you don’t damage the hose. For clogs, soak the area in a one-to-one solution of vinegar and water to help break it up. Then run water through it to clear it out.
Will soaker hoses last from season to season?
Many soaker hoses come with a warranty and will last for several years. To make them last longer, roll up your hose when your season is coming to an end. This way you won’t leave water or debris in the hose over winter, which would damage it long-term.
Why Trust Treehugger?
Wants to help our readers find products that help conserve resources. To make this list, we looked for hoses made with recycled materials, durable construction, and long warranties. We found that few soaker hoses are made with the sustainably-minded materials, however we hope that if you do buy a soaker hose, you'll be able to put it to good use for many years.
The author, Stacy Tornio, has been using soaker hoses since she was a kid — they really helped in her family garden during the hot Oklahoma summers.The Best Hose Timers to Save You Time and Water in the Garden