The 8 Best Hose Reels for Simplifying Garden Chores, According to Testing

With the Gorilla 200 ft. Aluminum Zero Rust Premium Mobile Hose Reel, you’ll never wrestle with a garden hose again.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Hose Reels Tout

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson

Getting the hose out to water the garden can feel like a workout. After unreeling a long garden hose, lugging it around your landscape to your flower beds, containers, and raised-bed garden, and then winding it back up by hand, you will have worked up a sweat. Luckily, using a hose reel or hose cart can make tending to your garden an easier task. 

To find the best hose reels, we put 26 picks to the test at our lab in Des Moines, Iowa. There, our testers used a pre-determined methodology to evaluate each pick based on six categories: setup, design, ease of use, portability, durability, and value. They were not aware of each pick’s price beforehand. We also consulted with Warren Eley, vice president of sales and marketing of Eley Hose Reels, to learn more about what consumers should look for when shopping for a hose reel.  

Overall, the best hose reel is the Gorilla Aluminum Zero Rust Premium Mobile Hose Reel because it’s easy to maneuver and can hold hoses that are up to 200 feet. 

Here are the best hose reels. 

Best Overall: Gorilla 200 ft. Aluminum Zero Rust Premium Mobile Hose Reel

4.8
Gorilla Aluminum Zero Rust Premium Mobile Hose Reel

The Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: Big rubber wheels make the hose reel easy to maneuver through the yard.
Keep in Mind: One tester noted that the screws were a little tough to install, so it may be difficult for some to assemble the reel alone. They also noted that some people may have to stoop down to maneuver it as it’s on the shorter side. 

Overall, the best Gorilla Aluminum Zero Rust Premium Mobile Hose Reel. The reel can hold up to 200 feet of hose and has 7-inch rubber wheels, so you’ll be able to easily transport it around your outdoor space. 

The hose reel is made of an anodized aluminum frame, which one tester said felt solid. They also appreciated the rubber grips on the reel, which made it easier to handle as they maneuvered it around the grass. Overall, one tester felt they’d be comfortable leaving this durable option out in the open between uses. 

Part of what makes this design the best hose reel is that according to one tester, it’s lightweight and easy to use. Forged brass fittings on the side of the reel allow you to connect your hose to this unit. Plus, there is a sliding hose guide on the front that keeps the hose organized and kink-free while reeling and unreeling. 

It’s worth noting that the reel is on the shorter side, so some may have to stoop to maneuver it around the garden. One tester also found that while the assembly was fairly easy, the screws were a little tough to install, so it could be difficult for some to assemble the reel alone. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: Not listed
  • Dimensions: 22.5 x 27.5 x 32 inches
  • Hose Capacity: 200 feet
Gorilla Aluminum Zero Rust Premium Mobile Hose Reel

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson

Best Budget: Better Homes & Gardens Metal Hose Pot

Why You Should Get It: The pot doesn’t require any assembly and is a decorative way to store a hose when not in use.

Keep In Mind: Since it’s not a mobile hose reel, it’s ideal for more lightweight hoses.

The Better Homes & Gardens Metal Hose Pot is the best hose reel if you want to outfit your backyard on a budget. At first glance, this hose reel looks like another stylish container in the garden. However, thanks to a black powder-coated finish on an iron pot with a mandala pattern punched out of the side, this hose reel brings subtle pattern and style to your yard. 

The powder-coated finish offers superior rust protection, so you’ll be able to leave it outside in the elements. There is a hole in the bottom for the hose to discreetly connect to the faucet and stay out of the way. Plus, there are also drainage holes in the bottom of the bowl so that it easily drains out any extra moisture. 

One detail that makes this pick one of the best hose reels worth considering is that, unlike some other options, this one doesn’t require any assembly. However, since the design isn’t a mobile option, it’s best suited for a lightweight or expandable hose in a smaller space. Otherwise, you’d be doing a lot of heavy lifting with the hose. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Iron
  • Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 10 inches 
  • Hose Capacity: Not listed
Better Homes & Gardens Metal Hose Pot

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson

Best Plastic: KLZ 150 ft. Hose Reel Cart and Hideaway

4.2
KLZ Hose Reel Cart and Hideaway

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: There is no assembly required and it’s less expensive than other options on the market. There's also a small storage compartment, so you can keep gloves and gardening tools handy. 
Keep in Mind: Testers found that the wheels are not easy to maneuver on grass.

For those who prefer a simple, plastic option, the best hose reel is KLZ’s Hose Reel Cart and Hideaway. 

The unit comes fully assembled, so all you have to do is attach your hose and start watering. Plus, testers found that it was lightweight and easy to use. 

The simple design is made of a plastic material and has a two-tone design that’ll blend in with your yard.  Testers found that the hose reel was fairly lightweight, so you may want to consider storing it in a shed or garage between seasons. 

Part of what makes this pick one of the best hose reels to consider is the 5-inch plastic wheels that make it easier to move the hose cart around the yard. While testers found that it worked easily on hard surfaces, keep in mind that it was more difficult to maneuver on grass. 

Unlike some other picks, this hose reel features a storage area near the handle. There is enough space to set your gardening gloves or a pair of clippers, so you’ll have them on hand while you tend to your yard. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Weight: Not listed 
  • Dimensions: Not listed 
  • Hose Capacity: 150 feet
KLZ Hose Reel Cart and Hideaway

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson

Best Metal: Liberty Garden 880-2 Industrial 2-Wheel Pneumatic Tires Garden Hose Reel Cart

Liberty Garden 880-2 Industrial 2-Wheel Pneumatic Tires Garden Hose Reel Cart

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: The tall pneumatic tires make it easy to cover any terrain. 
Keep in Mind: It took testers about half an hour to assemble the hose reel, as opposed to some other picks that come assembled. 

If you need a heavy-duty hose reel cart to maneuver long hoses around the yard, this Liberty Garden is the best hose reel to consider. The frame is made of durable steel and it has brass fittings for a leak-free connection. Plus, the 16-inch spoked pneumatic tires on this hose reel easily travel over grass or an uneven landscape. 

When evaluating this hose reel, one tester appreciated the wire basket that could fit a water bottle, hose nozzles, or gardening gloves and tools while you work. They also appreciated that the handle was easy and comfortable to use. 

Although testers felt this was a quality reel overall, it’s worth noting that the assembly for this one took 33 minutes, unlike other picks that either arrived assembled or were easier to put together. One tester also felt that one hose was difficult to put on and off the reel, and the placement to attach the hose was in an awkward spot overall. Overall, it’s recommended you use this reel with a more flexible hose design. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 36 pounds
  • Dimensions: 22 x 38 x 39 inches 
  • Hose Capacity: 300 feet
Liberty Garden 880-2 Industrial 2-Wheel Pneumatic Tires Garden Hose Reel Cart

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson

Best Hose Cart: Eley Portable Garden Hose Reel Cart

4.7
Eley Portable Garden Hose Reel Cart

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: Testers said it was durable and stable and felt like it would last a long time. There’s also the option to add two more wheels for additional mobility. 
Keep in Mind: It’s more expensive than other similar styles.

Eley’s Portable Garden Hose Reel Cart is the best hose reel to consider for those who may have a few faucets around their yard. The wheeled style is made of durable aluminum and makes it easy to transport a heavy-duty hose around your garden. 

The reel features 10-inch rubber tires that make it easy to maneuver this hose cart across any landscape. One tester was impressed by the performance of just the two tires, however you could add on two more wheels if you go with the option that includes the quad-wheel kit. 

Set up took 35 minutes, which is longer than some other assembly times during testing. Once assembled, however, testers appreciated the look of the reel and liked that it was a taller style, and found that it rolled smoothly. 

The hose reel features brass and copper fittings that make it easy to attach the hose to the cart and inlet hose. Though it has a 125-foot hose capacity, you can opt for the extra capacity kit option if you have a longer hose. Just keep in mind that like the quad-wheel kit, the extra capacity option will be a bit more expensive. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 33 pounds
  • Dimensions: 22.5 x 25 x 36.6 inches 
  • Hose Capacity: 125 feet
Eley Portable Garden Hose Reel Cart

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson

Best Hanger Hose Holder: Artigarden Freestanding Garden Hose Holder Hanger

4.5
Artigarden Freestanding Garden Hose Holder Hanger

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It’s easy to install and is less expensive than other options. 
Keep in Mind: You have to wind the hose yourself, which will take extra time after each use. 

If you’re looking for a way to keep your hose tidy without winding it, this Artigarden style is the best hose reel worth considering. This black lacquer-coated steel frame can hold up to 150 feet of hose. Plus, with three 7-inch tines that dig into the ground, this hose holder is sturdy and easy to install. 

Unlike other styles, there’s no need to secure it to your house or attach a leader hose—all you have to do is dig it into the ground near the faucet and you’re ready to start using it. Overall, testers appreciated the simplicity of it. 

Unlike a typical hose reel that has a handle to help wind up the hose after use, this hose holder offers storage only. Testers noted that while it was easy to drop the hose onto the stand, you do have to wind it up yourself so it’s worth considering using lightweight hoses with this pick. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Weight: 4.27 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12 x 5 x 45 inches 
  • Hose Capacity: 150 feet
Artigarden Freestanding Garden Hose Holder Hanger

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson

Best Decorative: Frontgate Beehive Hose Pot

4.7
Frontgate Beehive Hose Pot

Frontgate

Why You Should Get It: It has a lid that further protects the hose between uses. 
Keep in Mind: You have to manually wind the hose back into the pot. Plus, it’s heavier than other options, so it may be hard to move around the garden if you need. 

For a nontraditional style, the best hose reel is this pick from Frontfate. This hose pot is made of crushed stone composite and has a dry brush terra cotta finish that’ll make for a decorative piece in your outdoor space. 

This hose pot can hold up to 100 feet of hose, which is shorter than some other reel options. However, testers found that the style is easy to use and appreciated that there are drainage holes in the bottom of the pot to remove excess moisture. At the base of the hose pot there is a hole to run one end of the hose to the spigot. Plus, it does have a lid to keep rain and debris out of the hose pot. 

This 21-pound hose pot is heavier than other picks so while you’ll be able to move it in and out of place between seasons, it isn’t the most suitable pick for someone who may need to move the reel around their garden often. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Crushed stone composite
  • Weight: 21 pounds
  • Dimensions: 22.25 x 14 inches 
  • Hose Capacity: 100 feet
Frontgate Beehive Hose Pot

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson

Best Industrial: GroundWork Hose Reel Cart

4.6
GroundWork Hose Reel Cart

Walmart

Why You Should Get It: It has the highest hose capacity of all the hose reels on this list.
Keep In Mind: It’s heavier and more expensive than some other picks. 

If you need a hose reel that can traverse a wide variety of terrain and hold a large hose, the GroundWork Hose Reel cart is the best hose reel worth considering. Whether you have a large piece of land or just have a lot of plants to water, this heavy-duty steel cart will make your garden chores a little easier. 

This hose reel cart can hold up to 400 feet of hose, making it the reel with the highest hose capacity on our list. The cart is sturdy and our tester reported that reeling a hose in and out was seamless. Though it’s heavier than other picks, one tester found that it was easy to maneuver over grass and uneven ground, due in part to the four rubber wheels. The style also features a wire basket that’s a great place to store garden tools while you work. 

Overall, testers liked the solid construction of the reel and felt that even though it’s more expensive than some other picks, it’s worth the investment. Just keep in mind that it’s a bit larger than some other pick, so you’ll want to be sure it’ll fit in your space. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 46.24 pounds
  • Dimensions: 42.5 x 19.69 x  38.19 inches 
  • Hose Capacity: 400 feet
GroundWork Hose Reel Cart

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson

The Bottom Line

Overall, the best hose reel is the Gorilla Aluminum Zero Rust Premium Mobile Hose Reel because the wheels and sturdy aluminum frame make it a solid portable hose reel. For a less expensive option, the best hose reel is the Better Homes & Gardens Metal Hose Pot. The design is a more decorative option yet still has functional details, like drainage holes.

Our Testing Process

To find the best hose reels, we put 26 picks to the test at our lab in Des Moines, Iowa. There, testers used a pre-determined methodology to rank each pick based on six categories: setup, design, ease of use, portability, durability, and value. They were not aware of each pick’s price beforehand. 

When it came to setup, testers timed themselves assembling each pick and kept in mind any difficulties that may have occurred. For design, they took into consideration details like color and finishes, and how it might look in someone’s yard. 

In terms of ease of use, testers were considering how easy it was to connect and manage a garden hose while using the reel. During this portion of the testing, they kept in mind how smoothly you could wind and unwind the hose, as well as whether or not you had to steady the reel yourself while using it. 

For portability, designs with wheels were evaluated based on how smoothly they could be maneuvered over different surfaces, like grass, pavement, and small rocks. It was also noted whether or not the design had wheels or handles to begin with. The durability of each hose reel was determined by each pick’s connections, and whether or not they seemed sturdy. Testers also had to note if there was any leakage when the hose was connected to a water spigot. 

To determine value, testers learned the price of each pick and considered if their findings warranted the price point. They were also asked to keep in mind if they’d recommend it to family and friends, and how they felt while using it. 

What to Know about Hose Reels Before Shopping

Type

There are two basic types of hose reels: stationary and portable. Stationary hose holders are usually wall-mounted or staked into the ground. While hose pots can be moved, they are considered a stationary hose holder and are best when brought in and out seasonally.  

“Portable models are either wheeled or hand-carried,” Eley says. “Wheeled models are available with either two or four wheels.”

Material

Hose reels are available in a wide variety of materials, such as plastic, metals, and stone composites, each of which has its own benefits. 

“Non-corrosive metal material will provide the most durable and reliable performance,” Eley says. “Most people don’t realize how much stress the weight of a garden hose, full of water, can exert on the frame of a hose reel. Light-duty crank handles and frames will twist, bend, bind, and eventually break under the weight of the garden hose.”

Hose Capacity

Hose reels have a range of capacities, with some being 100 feet and others going as high as 400 feet. According to Eley, you typically won’t need a hose reel for a hose that’s 50 feet or less. 

“Hose lengths of 75 feet or more is when a hose reel becomes your friend and makes outdoor watering activities less frustrating and more efficient and enjoyable,” he says. 

Additional Features

Although there are simple hose reels that certainly get the job done, there are some more advanced options that have helpful features worth considering. For example, pneumatic wheels improve portability and make it easy to navigate uneven terrain. Some styles even have baskets attached, which offer convenience for garden tools and accessories. 

Other Hose Reels We Tested

TomCare Garden Hose Holder Detachable Metal Water Hose Holder

The TomCare Garden Hose Holder is less expensive than some other picks and it only took 8 minutes for one tester to assemble, which was less time than some other options. Although there were not many pieces to put together, testers noted that during set up the screws seemed very loose and even after tightening, the top felt wobbly. One tester felt it might work for an expandable hose however it’s worth noting she found it difficult to wind her lightweight garden hose on this hose holder because it kept flopping from side to side. 

Yard Butler Hose Reel Handy Reel - Portable Hose Hanger

Testers found that the Yard Butler Hose Reel was easy to assemble and felt like durable, sturdy construction. However, due to the low profile design, one tester noted that they had to squat and stoop over the unit to wind the hose, as opposed to other options that allow you to stand. It was also noted that during assembly, one tester’s hands got dirty from some oil on the reel. 

Costway Garden Hose Reel Cart

Our testers felt that the Costway Garden Hose Reel Cart was not durable enough for the price. The wheels got stuck when moving over gravel, and our tester had to bend uncomfortably low to reel in the hose. They also felt that some of the plastic parts could break easily under the weight of a heavy hose. They did appreciate that it was lightweight, however, and liked that the reel placement is adjustable. 

Your Questions, Answered

Can you put an expandable hose on a hose reel?

In general, it is not recommended to put an expandable hose on a hose reel that you wind up. Instead, it’s worth considering a stationary hose holder or hose pot is a better choice for storing an expandable hose. 

How do you put a hose on a hose reel?

Most hose reels will have a leader hose that you will connect directly to your outside faucet. There will be a spigot attached to the hose reel where you will attach your garden hose. This is an important place to check for quality. 

“Few things are more aggravating to a consumer than a leaking hose reel. Not only does it affect water pressure and flow, but it makes a huge mess. The plumbing of a hose reel will consist of the inlet hose, the swivel (or rotary union), and possibly some internal piping,” Eley says. “A consumer should ensure that these items are made of quality material and are rebuildable or replaceable in case of failure.”

Once you have your hose attached to the reel, you slowly crank the handle to wind the hose onto the reel. You may want to use a hand to guide the hose evenly onto the hose reel. 

Can you use a hose reel without a leader hose?

According to Eley, you can use a hose reel without a leader hose but only as a storage device for the hose. 

“The inlet hose and swivel are the essential components required for a hose reel to have water flow through it while in use. Without either of those components, the reel would only serve as a storage device for the hose,” he says. To use the hose, the consumer would have to pull the entire length off the reel before attaching it to the faucet. Likewise, they would have to first detach the hose from the faucet before rolling it back on the hose reel.”

How can I determine how much hose I need?

When determining the best hose length for your outdoor space, there are a few factors to keep in mind, according to Eley. 

“Since water pressure and flow rate will decrease the more distance the water travels through a hose, we tell our customers not to buy more hose than is needed to reach the furthest watering point from the faucet,” he says. 

For a quick calculation, you can count paces from your faucet to the furthest distance you’ll want the hose to reach. Then, multiply it by three for the ideal length. 

Who We Are

Megan Boettcher is a freelance writer for Better Homes and Gardens, writing about a variety of topics including home design, holiday crafts, and more. To find the best hose reels, she considered insights from testers, who tested each pick at our lab in Des Moines, Iowa. She also consulted, Warren Eley, vice president of sales and marketing for Eley Hose Reels, for additional insight.

What is BHG Recommends?

Next to all of the products on this list, you may have noticed our BHG Recommends seal of approval. Products that earn the seal have been put through rigorous testing to make sure they're worth a spot in your home. We buy most of the products we test ourselves, but occasionally we are provided samples by companies if buying isn't an option. In these cases, we use the same testing criteria we use to test the purchased products and we let you know that we got it for free to remain as transparent as possible about our picks. 

Looking for more products that have earned our BHG Recommends seal of approval? Check out our picks for everything from picnic blankets to humidifiers.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles