The 7 Best Hose Reels for Every Type of Yard, According to Our Tests

Our favorite is the Gorilla Mobile Hose Reel for its durability and range of features.

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.

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Hose reels provide storage for your hose and prevent tripping or falling from happening while tending to your yard. There are various types of hose reels out there that are suitable backyards of various sizes. We took the guesswork out by testing 26 hose reels in our Lab, assessing each one's overall value based on ease of use, design, portability, and durability.

Our top pick is the Gorilla 200-ft. Mobile Hose Reel for its weather-resistant materials, overall ease of use, comfort, and extra features, including a storage compartment. Read on to learn more about our top picks, as well as how to choose the best hose reel for your home.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Hose Reel: Gorilla Mobile Hose Reel

best hose reels
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Who it's for: People who want a portable, heavy duty hose reel.

Who it isn't for: People who have small backyards and don't need a big hose reel.

Out of all the hose reels we tested, this hose reel was our tester's "personal favorite." This was due to a variety of factors, including the sturdy materials, easy portability, and comfortable handle. The Gorilla Mobile Hose Reel is primarily made of aluminum, which is rust-resistant and light in weight. The wheels are made of rubber, which are water-resistant and flat-free, so no need to worry about the wheels going down because of a puncture. Our tester found that the wheels were "easy to move over any terrain," and appreciated the rubber grip on the handle, which made it easier for our tester to maneuver. To unravel your hose, simply use the crank on the side.

This machine comes with a six-foot-long leader hose, a seven-year warranty, and a storage compartment under the reel, which is a great place to store gardening tools. Plus, it has been tested to ensure that it can survive outside in extreme weather conditions, so you can rest easy knowing that it can handle rain or shine, as well as snow. All things considered, our tester found the price "appropriate for something that looks great and works great."

Product Details:

  • Hose Capacity: 200 feet
  • Material: Aluminum

Best Budget Hose Reel: Suncast Hosemobile Hose Reel Cart

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Also available at Lowe's and Home Depot.

Who it's for: People who want a hose reel with no assembly required.

Who it isn't for: People who are taller and want a handle that reaches their hands at a comfortable height.

Those new to hose reels might be surprised to find that many models are priced at over $100. If you're on a budget and want a hose reel to do the bare minimum, we recommend the Suncast Hosemobile Hose Reel Cart. This affordable pick is portable, features a compartment on the top of the reel where you can store gardening tools, and can hold a 175-foot hose. Our tester found this product to be "lightweight and very easy to move around," with a "no-frills reel that easily winds your hose."

The low price does come with some drawbacks though. First, our tester, who is 5'1", said they had no problem wheeling the reel around comfortably, but said taller people might have a tougher time. The second is that this product is made entirely of plastic, which will get damaged in direct sunlight overtime. As such, you can keep this hose reel outside but it must be kept in shade. The third is that since the wheels are plastic, our tester had a harder time moving it around on grass. Despite all of this, the price is "impressive" for what you get, and in the end "it gets the job done."

Product Details:

  • Hose Capacity: 175 feet
  • Material: Plastic

RELATED: The 6 Best Hose Nozzles, According to Our Tests

Best Splurge Hose Reel: Eley 4-Wheel Portable Garden Hose Reel Wagon

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Also available at Eley.

Who it's for: People who have a large backyard and/or front yard.

Who it isn't for: People who don't want to spend a lot on a hose reel.

This hose reel is great for people who have a large backyard and/or front yard and do landscaping tasks on a regular basis. Although some may gawk at the high price, our tester said they were "a huge fan of this hose reel" because it's "durable, stable, and feels like it will last a long time." The most noticeable part of this hose reel is large, rubber flat-free tires, which make it easy to move around, especially along uneven surfaces or rough terrain. Our tester said even with our heavy hose, it "wasn't tough to carry around."

The body of the hose reel is made of commercial-grade materials like rust-proof metal and stainless-steel hardware, which will protect it against all kinds of weather. There is also a powder-coated finish on the hose reel for extra protection against the elements. The Eley 4-Wheel Portable Garden Hose Reel Wagon is compatible with drinking-water-safe plumbing, comes with a feeder hose, and has a ten-year warranty. Although it comes with plenty of perks, our tester says: "It's a good splurge option, but only if you think you'll need every additional feature."

Product Details:

  • Hose Capacity: 125 feet
  • Materials: Metal, stainless steel, rubber

Best Box Hose Reel: Giraffe Tools Metal Hose Reel Box

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Who it's for: People who want a hose reel with a crank that is covered.

Who it isn't for: People who have a 3/4 inch garden hose.

If you're someone who prefers to have their hose completely concealed, check out this hose reel box from Giraffe, which can accommodate a 130-foot 5/8 inch garden hose or a 200-foot 1/2 inch garden hose. The box is quite sturdy and is able to hold up well outside thanks to its aluminum material, which has also been given a rust-resistant coating. Plus, the aluminum has been painted green, allowing it to blend in easier with your yard. It's also way less mechanical-looking in appearance compared to other hose reels we tested, making it a good option for people who are searching for gardening tools that are aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Our tester definitely agreed that this is "less of an eyesore" compared to other models, and thought it would "look quite nice in someone's yard or driveway." They also liked how "everything is kept under wraps inside the box" and found it pretty easy to wind up the hose once assembled. Although our tester personally prefers hose reels with wheels, they found this one easy to move around thanks to the handles on the side of the box. Should you purchase this, make sure to wear gardening gloves, as the un-padded handles made our tester's hands uncomfortable.

Product Details:

  • Hose Capacity: 130 feet for 5/8 inch hose or 200 feet for 1/2 inch hose
  • Material: Aluminum

RELATED: The 7 Best Garden Hoses, Tested in Our Lab

Best Hanger Hose Reel: Artigarden Freestanding Hose Holder

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Also available at Walmart.

Who it's for: People who are looking for a hose reel that isn't bulky.

Who it isn't for: People who want a hose reel with a crank.

One of the biggest problems that come with owning a hose reel is space. Many tend to be bulky and take up ground space that could otherwise be used for landscaping. This hose reel solves that problem by taking up vertical space instead. The Artigarden Freestanding Hose Holder can hold a 150-foot hose and is probably the simplest hose reel you will ever use: All you have to do is drive it into the ground and it stands up on its own. Its sturdy steel body will allow it to survive during inclement weather, while the lacquer finish helps prevent rust. Plus, it has a compartment dedicated to holding your hose nozzle (and is compatible with universal nozzles).

Our tester found this hose reel to be simple yet effective. They had no problem setting it up and found it pretty easy to store the hoses we used during testing. The hose reel remained "fairly stable" while in dry soil, although our tester wasn't sure whether or not it would stay upright in loosely packed or really wet soil. The biggest con with this hose reel is that you have to wind it up yourself. If that kind of labor is arduous for you, you're better off with a crank-style hose reel.

Product Details:

  • Hose Capacity: 150 feet
  • Material: Steel

Best Hose Reel Pot: Better Homes & Gardens Metal Hose Pot

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Who it's for: People looking for a lightweight hose pot.

Who it isn't for: People who want a hose pot with a lid.

Hose reel pots are a great, no-frills storage center, and as such, tend to be less expensive than traditional hose reels. This metal hose pot from Better Homes & Gardens' Walmart line not only provides a roomy safe haven for your hose but is also pretty to look at. Our tester "loved the design" of this metal pot, especially the pattern, and recommended it to people who are "looking for something aesthetically pleasing that won't call a lot of attention."

This metal pot is made of iron that is powder-coated, which helps with rusting. Based on our tester's examination of the product, they believe this metal hose pot is "durable and would last many seasons." Just keep in mind, however, that iron becomes hot to the touch if left out in direct sunlight. This hose pot weighs less than five pounds, so it'll be easy to move around if needed. One downside is that it doesn't come with a lid, which would add extra protection for your hose during inclement weather.

Product Details:

  • Hose Capacity: 100 feet
  • Material: Powder-coated iron

RELATED: The 6 Best Gardening Shoes, According to Our Testing

Best Stylish Hose Reel: Frontgate Beehive Hose Pot

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frontgate.com

Who it's for: People looking for an inconspicuous hose reel that will blend in with the rest of the outdoor decor.

Who it isn't for: People who want a hose reel that is lighter in weight.

For a product that is so utilitarian, it can be hard to find a hose reel that can also act as outdoor decor. Luckily, the people at Frontgate have taken on the challenge and created the super cute Beehive Hose Pot. Not only is this pot shaped like a hive, but it's also complete with little bees "flying" around its exterior. The Beehive Hose Pot can hold a 100-foot hose, has a hole for your hose to connect to your home's spigot, and comes with draining holes, a feature that our tester liked. These draining holes can help in the event of leakage, whether that's from the hose or wet weather conditions.

Because it's made of stone, keep in mind that it's heavier than your average hose reel. Our tester described it as "heavy duty and high-quality," and did note that it was a challenge to carry. However, considering the hose reel is made from terra cotta, they also felt like it would be susceptible to chipping if you bumped or dropped it. People with back or mobility issues may want to choose another hose reel, as it requires having to bend down and manually wind up the hose every time you use it.

Product Details:

  • Hose Capacity: 100 feet
  • Material: Stone

Final Verdict

Overall, we recommend the Gorilla Mobile Hose Reel for its easy portability, sturdy materials (which can survive outside with ease), and extra features, including a leader hose and storage compartment for garden tools.

Our Testing Process

We tested 26 hose reels in our Lab and assessed them based on a variety of criteria, including ease of setup, ease of use, design, portability, durability, and value. Our first test involved setting up each hose reel, which is when we examined the materials to evaluate their quality and then recorded how long it took to assemble (if assembly was required).

For the hose reels that had a wind-up system, we tested to see how easy it was to wind the hose onto the reel and vice versa. We took note if the reel smoothly winded and unwinded as well as if the reel stayed steady or tipped over while doing so. For portable hose reels, we attached our hose and transported it across our testing area to see if it glided smoothly across the ground. For hose pots, we winded up the hose, put it in the post, and gave it a good push to see if the hose fit securely and didn't move around. We took all this information and used it to come up with the best hose reels.

Hose Reel Testing
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How to Shop for Hose Reels

Type

There are a few types of hose reels out there, including hose pots, stationary wind-up hose reels, and portable hose reels. The type of hose reel you should get should be dependent on the size of your yard and your personal preferences. Hose pots are best for people on a budget or those who have small backyards, since you won't have to lug your hose very far. If you don't like the idea of lugging your hose around, which is something our testers complained about having to do during testing, get yourself a wind-up hose reel.

Portable wind-up hose reels are great for people who have large yards and need to travel with their hose to get their outdoor watering tasks done. They're also good for people who have mobility issues. Even if you don't plan to move your hose reel around very much, having wheels attached will make it a lot easier if you do need to move it around in the future. Stationary wind-up hose reels work for medium-sized yards or people who simply don't want to have to manually wind up their hose.

Hose Reel Testing
Real Simple / Dera Burreson

Material

For hose reels, you want to get a material that will withstand whatever weather usually comes your way. Luckily, many hose reels are made with weather-resistant materials, so your likelihood of getting something that won't hold up well in the elements is pretty slim. Metals are super sturdy and are usually rust-resistant, especially when applied with a coating, such as a powder-coating. Plastic also holds up well but doesn't age well when placed in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time. If you get something made entirely of plastic, keep it in the shade to ensure a longer lifespan. Do the same with iron, as it will get very hot to the touch while sitting in hot weather.

Capacity & Size

Always check how long your hose is as well as its width before you buy a hose reel. Hose reels can usually handle between 100- and 400-foot hoses. Width doesn't matter with all hose reels, but some aren't designed to be compatible with all hose sizes. Make sure you do this before you buy so you don't have to go through the hassle of returning a large piece of yard equipment.

Hose Reel Testing
Real Simple / Dera Burreson

More Hose Reels to Consider

GroundWork Hose Reel Cart: We were impressed with the amount of hose this hose reel cart can hold (400 feet!) and its durable construction, leading our tester to believe that it will last for many years.

Gardena CleverRoll Hose Trolley: This option is great for people who don't already have a hose. Although our tester found this to be "light to use" and "easy to move around on grass or rocks," we didn't like that you have to get an extra adaptor to connect the included hose to a traditional spigot (the hose was made abroad).

Questions You Might Have

Where should I store my hose reel?

You should place it closest to the spigot on the side of your house for easy access to your water line. However, the material of your hose reel may be affected by where you place it in your home. If you have a hose reel that is plastic, keep it out of direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure could cause it to break down over time. If you have a hose reel made of iron, know that it will get hot to the touch when placed in the same conditions. Either avoid buying a hose reel made with these materials or, if you can, store them in the shade outside.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Rachel Center, a product reviews home writer for Real Simple. We researched the best hose reels and tested 26 of the most popular options in our Lab, evaluating them on setup, ease of use, design, portability, durability, and value.

What Is Real Simple Selects?

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn't an option. If that's the case, we test the product just like we test anything we buy, but we also disclose that we received it for free to be as transparent with you as possible.

Love our recommendations? Check out more products that have earned the Real Simple Selects, from humidifiers to cordless vacuums.

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