If you have a garden hose, you’re going to want to buy some kind of reel or other storage unit where you can tuck it away.
Keeping a hose on a reel, as opposed to just coiling it up and leaving it on the wet, muddy ground, will protect it from dirt and stains, as well as other elements that can shorten its effective life span.
And, of course, it’s a lot easier to roll up when you have the right type of reel. A long, heavy hose absolutely cries out for something like a sturdy reel box, while a decorative storage pot will accommodate a smaller, more flexible one in your pretty little cottage garden.
There are an endless variety of reels, but we’ve rounded up seven of the best that will work for any space or size of hose – and fit in any budget, of course.
And don’t forget to take a look at our suggestions for the best garden hoses, so you can match up two perfect products.
Let’s take a look at our top choices!
You might think buying a reel or hose storage unit is pretty straightforward, but we have a few tips that will help you make the right choice:
The 7 Best Garden Hose Reels
1. Suncast Resin Swivel Hideaway: Best Reel Box
This sturdy storage box has some nice touches that make it very easy to use, even for longer hoses.
The base swivels 360 degrees, so you can move around while you’re unreeling up to 225 feet of 5/8-inch tubing, so that it in effect “moves” with you. Stakes are included to secure the base of the box, so you don’t have to worry about it tipping in the process.
Then, when you’re done, just turn the crank and an integrated guide evenly wraps it back up along the spindle.
There is some assembly required for this storage box, but putting it together is simple to do without tools, say owners.
The box is constructed of a sturdy resin composite and is made in the USA. It’s taupe with a mocha trim. It measures 21 by 26 by 23.8 inches (length, width, height). Suncast covers this box with a three-year warranty.
2. Suncast Aquawinder: Best with Automatic Rewind
If you want to make storage even simpler, the Suncast Aquawinder can provide the muscle.
With your water turned on, just flip the lever to “rewind” and it uses the force of the water to activate the automatic rewind. It discharges about 4 to 6 gallons of water during this process, which you can collect for other uses.
This box holds a 125-foot, 5/8-inch hose. The kit includes both leader and drain hoses.
It’s made of resin and comes in two colors, the taupe RSH125D, and the brown RSP125, which is molded to look like wicker. Other than color and molded design, both boxes are identical.
The box comes mostly assembled and attaching it to your spigot is easy to do.
Suncast products are manufactured in the USA and this product is covered by a three-year limited warranty. It measures 14.5 (w) by 23.25 (d) by 20.75 (h) inches.
3. Liberty Garden Wall Mounted Reel: Best Wall Mounted
Attractive and sturdy, the Liberty 704 Garden Wall Mounted Reel will securely hold up to 125 feet of 5/8-inch hose.
It’s made of heavy gauge, rust-resistant aluminum, but is made to look like ornate wrought iron. A shelf on top gives you a space to store nozzles or other garden accessories.
Because it’s wall mounted, you will need some tools to set this up.
Mounting hardware is not included, which some buyers grouse about. But since there are a variety of surfaces this can be attached to, it’s not really practical to try to include every possible type of hardware.
Once you have the hardware, mounting it to the wall is easy for all but the most DiY-challenged. The included instructions explain the procedure, or, if you’re more visual, Liberty has a YouTube video (above) showing that just about anyone can do the job quickly and easily.
It’s cleverly designed, with a brass swivel so it turns with you as you move around the yard. The crank handle can be mounted on either side.
The kit includes a leader hose. This product is made in China and includes a limited three-year warranty.
If you’d like to make reeling even easier, the Liberty Model 707 has a built-in guide, but looks otherwise identical to the 704.
4. Suncast Hose Hangout HH150: Best Value Wall Mounted
If you don’t need pretty, the Suncast Hose Hangout is a terrific value that will securely store a 5/8-inch, 150-foot hose for about the price of a venti Frappuccino.
In spite of its modest price, this hanger is molded in a way that creates a shelf inside, so you can store nozzles or other gardening necessities. It’s total size is 13 (w) by 6.5 (d) by 10.75 (h) inches.
Users say it’s easy to mount and that, as long as you don’t overload it, it’s very secure. Mounting hardware is not included, something buyers seem less upset about at this price point than they do when it involves opening their wallet a lot wider for a more decorative choice.
This hanger is made from molded resin and comes in one color, taupe. It’s made in the USA.
There is no specific warranty for this product, but rather, it’s covered under Suncast’s general limited warranty against failure resulting from defects in workmanship at the time of purchase.
5. Suncast Hosemobile: Best Portable Model
If you have a larger yard, a portable reel can save you from having to purchase two hoses. The Suncast Hosemobile is designed to hold up to a 175-foot, 5/8- inch hose, but keep in mind that users say that’s a tight fit, and 125 feet is easier to roll up.
But rolling is the point here, and this portable unit has two sturdy wheels and a handle, so you can pull it from spigot to spigot to complete your watering chores.
To wind it back up, simply pull out the handle holder from the crank and turn. A foot anchor helps to hold it steady. There are no integral guides, but owners say it’s easy to guide it with your free hand while you crank.
There are notches in the top of the handle where you can place the nozzle end, so it doesn’t just flop around as you pull it behind you. That also keeps things neat when you’re not using it.
It’s made from molded resin with a plastic handle and comes in light and dark taupe.
The Hosemobile comes fully assembled and includes the leader hose. There is a limited three-year warranty and Suncast makes its products in the USA.
6. Yard Tuff Cart: Best Heavy Duty Portable Unit
Most reels are made from plastic and hold up about as well as you can expect plastic to hold up in the elements.
However, the Yard Tuff Cart is made of sturdy metal, painted blue, and has the capacity to store up to 260 feet of 5/8-inch hose.
The pneumatic, 10-inch wheels make this unit very easy to push around, even on uneven ground, say owners. It’s also easy to crank with the sturdy, metal handle.
A basket on the handle lets you haul other gardening accessories around with you.
It includes a 6-foot leader hose. The Yard Tuff cart is made in China and carries a one-year limited parts warranty.
7. Birdrock Home Copper Holder: Best Storage Pot
Storage pots are an attractive, easy-to-use alternative to a traditional reel or holder for smaller, more flexible hoses, like our top recommended product for small yards, the Water Right 400 Series.
If that’s what you need, then the Birdrock storage pot will not disappoint. It’s almost a piece of art for your patio, made of embossed steel with copper accents. The metal is powder coated with a clear finish to protect againts rusting.
It includes a removable center post, which allows you to easily coil the hose. Many similar pots do not have a center post.
This pot can hold up to a 100-foot 5/8-inch hose. Holes in the bottom ensure that any excess water drains out. It measures 18 inches in diameter by 11 inches high. It’s made in China and has no manufacturer warranty.
Tips for Buying a Garden Hose Reel
The type of product you choose will largely depend upon a few factors: where you want to store the hose, your ability to wrangle it by yourself, and your available space.
Boxes with reels are probably among the easiest to use, especially for longer, heavier hoses. They usually have larger handles, to crank more easily, as well as guides to evenly place the tubing along the reel.
These reels can be as simple as sturdy, arched structures that you loop the hose over, or they may have handles that make it easier to wind up for storage.
These are best for smaller, more flexible hoses, and are sold in a wide variety of colors and decorative options.
Many reels include a leader hose so that you can place the reel farther from the spigot and use the full length for watering without it kinking.
They range from very short, 3-foot lengths to 10 feet or longer.
Also, keep in mind, if you want to drink from your hose, you need to be sure that both your leader and garden hoses are drinking water safe. We discuss this in more detail in our separate garden hose roundup.
All reels suggest an upper limit of the hose size they can accommodate. The smallest is usually 100 feet; larger, metal reels can sometimes hold up to 250 feet.
However, most people who buy reels say that these guidelines are often exaggerated, and that the maximum size a product states it can accommodate might be a tight fit.
You may want to keep that in mind and buy a slightly bigger reel than you think you’ll need, especially if you have any limitations on your arm strength that can make those last few feet a major effort to roll up.
Reel in Your Yard Clutter
A reel serves an important purpose in your yard: it keeps things neat, helps to protect your hose from the elements (as well as dirt and grime), and makes rolling up for storage easier when it’sthe hose is not in use.
If your reel is tucked away on the side of a house where no one can see it, a utilitarian choice is perfectly fine, and will likely save you some money. But if you want to keep it on a patio or other outdoor living area, there are plenty of decorative options that will add beauty as well as practicality to your space.
Whichever type you choose, selecting the right reel for you will contribute to your enjoyment of your garden, including the necessary chores that go along with your growing hobby.
Are there any great reels you know about that we didn’t cover here? Or maybe even a dud that you wouldn’t buy again? Tell us all about it in the comments below.
© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos via Suncast, Liberty Garden, Yard Tuff, and Birdrock. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.
About Kelly Burgess
Kelly Burgess is a product review specialist who loves food, kitchen gadgets, gardening, and writing. She was born and raised in Southern California, raised her kids in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and now lives in Spokane, Washington with her husband and three cats. When she’s not cooking, eating or writing, Kelly likes to read, hang out with friends, hike, and explore the great Northwest.