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best-automatic-retractable-garden-hose-reels-uk-review

The UK's bestGarden Hose Reels2022 Review

What To Look For in an Automatic Retractable Hose Reel

Retractable hose reels help stop kinks from forming in the hose pipe, this is something that can lead to blockages and damage over time.

Instead of having to wrestle with long garden hoses, retractable garden hose reels present an easy solution. They’re suitable for all garden sizes. Compact units, holding 15 m hoses, are available for small gardens. In medium gardens, a hose of 20 – 30 m should work well. Larger gardens will benefit from a 30 – 40 m hose. You can always attach an additional extension to the hose whilst working.

When the hose is retracted, it will disappear inside a neat unit. When not in use, most wall units protrude a maximum of 30 cm from the wall. This is a good size as it stops them from being hazardous or encroaching on your garden space. You should also  look for a casing that is made from frost-resistant plastic to help protect the hose if it’s left outside during cold weather.

It’s good practise to pack the hose reel away during winter, to protect it from weather damage. Therefore, the unit’s weight is worth considering. Wall-mounted reels can be quite heavy, especially if they contain a long hose. A hose reel that weighs in the region of 10 kg will be manageable for most gardeners. If the unit is heavier than this, make sure that you will be able to lift it off its bracket easily. 

When it comes to the best garden hose reel, the dream scenario is a reel that retracts smoothly, is highly durable and supports a hose size that suits your needs. I’ve gone for the Hozelock Auto Reel Hose as my top recommendation – it’s a great option for a large garden and comes with 40 m (130 ft) hose. The hose automatically locks as you pull it out and doesn’t kink easily. For more details about this reel, as well as some other great alternatives, see the reviews below. 

See the best Garden Hose Reels below

Compare Garden Hose Reels Here

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Our score
  • Best For
  • Type
  • Retraction
  • Hose Length
  • Weight

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Read Our Garden Hose Reel Reviews

B078ZSZTTB
5010646976114,5010646059541
Best for larger gardens
Hozelock Auto Reel Hose
Top Pick

Best for larger gardens

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Assembly Ease
    Design
    Practicality
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 4.25
  • Type
    Wall Mounted
  • Retraction
    Automatic
  • Hose Length
    20m
  • Weight
    16.4kg
  • Our Review

    Anything that helps a gardener save time is a valuable asset in the garden, and the Hozelock Auto Reel Hose certainly makes light work of what can otherwise be a frustrating and time-consuming task.

    Automatically reeling in 20 m of hose, and winding it on to the wall unit without tangling or kinking, this popular auto-reel saves time and effort. The result: a neatly stored hose in minutes.

    It also has a hose stopper that automatically locks as you pull the hose out, meaning you can extend as much or as little as required.

    When positioned on the side of the house, the long Hozelock Ultramax hose is well equipped to reach both the back garden and front driveway. Perfectly suited to both watering plants and washing the car.

    The quality hose pipe is a three-layer, anti-kink hose that comes with a spraying nozzle. It has a variety of adjustable spray settings, making it easy to change between jobs

    It’s worth noting that this is a large hose reel that does take up quite a bit of space – certainly something to bear in mind when considering if it’s the right product for your garden. The reel casing measures 27 x 66 x 55.5 cm, which is bigger than some other models.

    Installation can also be a bit of a challenge; at 16.4 kg it’s not the lightest of units and it needs to be fixed to a very hard wall to make sure it stays in securely.

    Overall though, it’s one of the best garden hose reels on the market. The hose pipe and casing are robust and high quality, and the mechanism works as you would expect. It makes managing a 40 m hose as simple as possible and comes in at a reasonable price.

    Pros

    • Compared with the fragile expanding hoses I’ve had in the past, the Hozelock hose is built tough. It’s made from three hardy layers that should stand the test of time.
    • The hose reel swings through 180° on a wall bracket. It means you can reel out the hose in any direction without putting unnecessary strain on the fixings.
    • If you’re worried that someone will take a fancy to your new hose, you can lock it to the wall bracket. There’s a clasp underneath the reel that takes a padlock for extra security.
    • If you’re worried about your kids getting hold of the hose and hurting themselves, there’s a child lock on the hose reel. Simply turn the dial and the hose is locked in place.
    • Automatically locks as you pull it out - can be used at any length.
    • Neat and tidy appearance storing 40 m hose out of sight.
    • Unit can easily detach from wall bracket for easy storage in winter.

    Cons

    • Installation can be tricky and require a long screwdriver.
    • Screws provided may not be long enough, replacing with longer screws may secure the unit better.
    • Installation may require two people as it's quite heavy.

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B06XPKL9F3
5056115701467
Best for smaller gardens
VonHaus Auto Rewind Wall-Mounted Hose Reel
  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Assembly Ease
    Design
    Practicality
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 4.125
  • Type
    Wall Mounted
  • Retraction
    Automatic
  • Hose Length
    20m
  • Weight
    8.1kg
  • Our Review

    If you’re working with limited space, you might be wondering if there are more compact units available. The VonHaus Auto Rewind Wall-Mounted Hose Reel measures 41 x 40 x 20 cm which is significantly smaller than some other models.

    It also doesn’t cost as much, possessing many of the same features as some of the best garden hose reels on this list, without the eyewatering price tag.

    The hose is 20 m long, which accounts for the smaller unit, yet still offers sufficient reach for small gardens and medium spaces. Less force is required to pull out the hose than with longer models, and it extends smoothly. It retracts neatly into the drum after use, although you may need to coax the hose slightly as it begins to fill up the casing.

    Turning off the water flow and emptying the hose fully helps encourage it back into the drum. The small unit size works wonders for being discreet in the garden, but can be a snug fit for the hose! That said, it’s more than capable of winding up neatly and fairly evenly with no twists or kinks.

    Weighing 8.1 kg, installation is relatively straight forward; however, the included pieces of mounting hardware are only just up to the job. To avoid any future disasters, it might be an idea to use stronger bolts.

    By way of conclusion, this is one of the best garden hose reels for smaller spaces. A longer hose pipe may be required for some jobs, but 20 m is still sufficient for a lot of gardens. The wall unit is a compact size and this is also one of the cheaper hoses featured here.

    Pros

    • Smoothly pulls out and retracts with limited assistance required.
    • Folds neatly flat against the wall.
    • Re-winding guide does a good job to avoid tangling.
    • Good value compared to more expensive brands - offers very similar quality product.
    • Unit can be removed from bracket to store and protect it over winter.

    Cons

    • May require some persuasion to get the final metres reeled into the casing.
    • Basic spray head only without changeable settings (but can be swapped out for a different one).
    • May get jammed in the casing unless water flow is turned off when reeling in.
    • Some users found they needed to provide stronger mounting hardware to affix unit.
    • Feeder hose that runs from outside tap to unit isn't very long.

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B00ASF698E
4056352282188,4078500802406
Best quality hose reel
Gardena Wall-Mounted Hose Reel

Best quality hose reel

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Assembly Ease
    Design
    Practicality
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 4.125
  • Type
    Wall Mounted
  • Retraction
    Automatic
  • Hose Length
    35m
  • Weight
    9.07kg
  • Our Review

    The Gardena Wall-Mounted Hose Reel is a lighter unit than some other models, making for slightly easier installation. It weighs just over 9 kg which, for reference, is significantly lighter than Hozelock’s 16 kg hose reel. It still measures roughly the same, at 55.9 x 68.6 x 27.9 cm, and contains a marginally shorter 35 m hose.

    Seeing as these garden hoses should be stored away in winter to prevent damage from freezing, a lighter unit like this may appeal to some, making the notion of the bi-annual job a bit less daunting.

    Where the Gardena hose reel really comes into its own is with its premium quality fixings. These hold the bracket on the wall safely and firmly, easily supporting the reel. This attention to detail perhaps explains why it’s one of the more expensive hoses on this list.

    Like most auto-reel hoses, it swivels through 180° which helps prevent kinking and damage to the hose. It also means the unit can be folded back against the wall neatly to save space.

    The included Gardena hose features a spray nozzle and an on/off valve. This makes it infinitely easier to connect the hose to a sprinkler system, as well as adjust the water pressure from the hose itself rather than just the garden tap.

    A final thing to note: unlike some other garden hose reels, this Gardena model has pre-set intervals where the hose will lock. This means that as you are extending the hose, you need to pull it out to one of these intervals before it will lock in place. You may occasionally, therefore, have to pull out more than the desired length.

    Pros

    • Users have been impressed with how infrequently it leaks.
    • The supplied pieces of mounting hardware are very good quality.
    • Anti kink hose is not prone to twisting or blockages.
    • Recoils back smoothly into drum.
    • Stop valve allows you to change attachments without turning off hose at faucet.

    Cons

    • The hose may be heavy to pull out for some people.
    • There are set locking points - you may need to pull more hose than you want before it will lock.
    • Installation instructions may be a bit too basic, but the process is not too complicated.
    • May need to occasionally assist the reeling-in mechanism.

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B07XDTV956
0820909759256
Best newcomer
Umi Auto Rewind Garden Hose Reel
  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Assembly Ease
    Design
    Practicality
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 3.75
  • Type
    Wall Mounted
  • Retraction
    Automatic
  • Hose Length
    25m
  • Weight
    10.37kg
  • Our Review

    The Umi Auto Rewind Garden Hose Reel comes from a lesser known brand, yet it’s a reliable hose with a surprising number of attachments included for such a reasonably priced item.

    It comes with both a spray nozzle and spray gun, leaving you with plenty of options. Whether you’re washing the car, watering the plants, or even cleaning your dog,  there’s a spray setting for the job. In fact, there are 9 to choose from, including flat, centre, cone, full, fog and jet.

    When it comes to the hose itself, the manufacturing is of noticeably good quality; the 25 m hose pipe consists of 3 wear-resistant layers which help protect it from the elements and high water pressure.

    The automatic rewind system works well, neatly storing the hose in black, understated casing. Occasionally, there may be some resistance when pulling the hose pipe out, but a little bit of coaxing easily does the trick.

    Whereas many garden hoses have more durable metal fittings, the Umi has plastic connectors. The tap connector, and fittings for the hose, nozzle and spray gun are all plastic . However, overall, the price-to-quality ratio for this wall mounted reel seems well balanced.

    Pros

    • Compatible with all standard attachments - can be used with a sprinkler, different head, etc.
    • Easy to remove from the wall bracket for storage.
    • Multiple spray patterns make it suitable for a range of different jobs.
    • Installation is straight forward and quick.
    • Neat looking casing which easily stores hose.

    Cons

    • Some users have commented that the hose diameter is a little small.
    • There can be some resistance when unrolling the hose.
    • The plastic spray head connectors may be weaker than metal alternatives.
    • Plastic tap connector may not last as long as metal.
    • Large unit needs to be positioned somewhere with enough space.

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B07SSCH4YR
Best for easy setup
Tresko Auto Garden Hose Reel

Best for easy setup

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Assembly Ease
    Design
    Practicality
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 3.875
  • Type
    Wall Mounted
  • Retraction
    Automatic
  • Hose Length
    30m
  • Weight
    12.94kg
  • Our Review

    Whilst some people love the bright colours of gardening equipment, there are others who cry out for something a little more understated. If you find yourself in the latter category, you’ll be pleased to know the TRESKO Auto Garden Hose Reel has got you covered.

    It’s a 30 m black hose pipe that’s tastefully stored in modern, light grey casing. Whether you have light garden furniture, white-painted walls, or just a desire to keep things more contemporary, this hose reel has a refreshing design that will do the trick.

    With a strong reel mechanism, the 30 m hose retracts easily and is quickly stored out of sight. The integrated hose guide helps keep things tidy as the hose rewinds and it’s best to keep hold of the hose to walk it in – the reel is powerful! There is some resistance when extending the hose, so the only thing is to make sure that you’re prepared for a bit of an upper-body workout.

    Also handy for those who want something hassle-free to assemble, this is one of the best garden hose reels to get up and running in mere minutes. Although the instructions could be clearer, the process is straight forward. It comes with wall brackets and an adjustable spray nozzle included so you can get watering straight away.

    Pros

    • Fittings are compatible with standard hose connectors for sprinklers etc.
    • Guide on the reel works well to retract hose evenly.
    • Assembly is easy and simple, taking only a few minutes.
    • Light colour is aesthetically modern and blends well with pale walls.
    • Robust casing stands up to weather well.

    Cons

    • Resistance of mechanism can make it quite heavy to pull the hose out.
    • Some people do not find the instruction manual to be sufficiently informative.
    • Retraction is fast and needs to be walked in slowly.
    • Some users have found that the hose is thinner than standard.
    • Two people may be required for installation as the unit is heavy.

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B086N3BM25
5010353142291
Best small hose reel
Alfresia Auto Hose Reel

Best small hose reel

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Assembly Ease
    Design
    Practicality
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 3.75
  • Type
    Wall Mounted
  • Retraction
    Automatic
  • Hose Length
    15m
  • Weight
    7kg
  • Our Review

    With a 15 m and 30 m option, Alfresia’s Auto Hose Reel is a great option for smaller gardens.

    The reel has a reliable, and fairly powerful, winding mechanism, making it well suited to use in small spaces and on terraces; it cleanly stores the garden hose away in a neat casing that measures approximately 55 cm in diameter.

    Of course, non-drip connectors are a must-have when it comes to garden hoses – keeping water bills down and generally making watering jobs easier. The Alfresia hose reel and hose have all brass fitting; on the spray gun, hose end and tap connector. These are robust and durable, much like the spray gun itself which is also made from metal.

    Storing the reel away over winter is as simple as lifting it from the wall bracket, and both size options are relatively light, with the 15 m design weighing around 7 kg.

    This is one of the cheapest reels on the list, and as a result it may not be quite as smooth in operation as some of the more expensive models. The hose can sometimes require a bit of persuasion to unravel, and to avoid damaging the unit or surrounding objects the hose should be walked in as the reel winds when putting it away.

    One further thing to note: the feeder hose provided, to connect the reel unit to the tap, is a little short – measuring only around 2 m instead of the advertised 3 m. Just something to bear in mind whilst considering where to place your garden reel.

    Pros

    • Comes with brass connectors which are stronger and more durable than plastic.
    • The metal spray gun is tough and won't crack easily.
    • Can be easily taken off bracket for easy storage over winter.
    • Reliable rewinding mechanism.
    • Comes with clear assembly instructions and is simple to install.

    Cons

    • Feeder hose which connects reel to tap may be a little short.
    • The recoil is very powerful and needs to be walked in carefully to avoid damage.
    • The colour is not as subtle as some other models.
    • Some users find it a little difficult to extend due to resistance.
    • You may need to learn the 'knack' of persuading it to wind in, but works well once mastered.

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How to Choose The Best Garden Hose Reel

We all know that a hose is an essential piece of kit for anyone wanting to water their garden.

But did you know that using a hose reel will make this job so much simpler? Gone are the days of having the hose trailing behind, getting frustratingly tangled and kinked every five minutes!

If you’re thinking about buying an automatic hose reel, here are a few tips to help you find the right hose and reel.

Auto-Rewind Technology

The latest generation of hose reels make the watering process even easier by using auto-rewind technology.

Simply pull the hose out to the desired length and it will automatically lock in place.

When you want to extend the hose further, or wind it in a little, a simple tug unlocks it. This makes it much easier to move on to the next section of the garden. Once you have finished, simply tug again, unlocking it, and allow it to rewind evenly back into its casing with no kinks or tangles.

To auto-wind, or not to auto-wind?

Of course, it’s up to you whether you choose a garden reel with auto-wind technology or not.

Non-automatic reels use a manual hand crank to wind in the hose. They are often cheaper and lighter than their automated equivalents, making them easier to install and pack away. However, without the automatic mechanism to help you, the task of hand-rolling your hose back on to the reel can be tedious.

Auto-wind reels make it easy to release exactly the right amount of hose you want for a job. No need to fuss about holding it taut while you use it! Packing the hose away is hassle free, and the auto-wind system generally ensures the hose is evenly distributed onto the reel. This can be harder to achieve when doing it manually.

Hose Reels or Expandable Hoses

You might be torn between hose reels or expandable hoses – both options are space-saving ways to get a longer hose in the garden.

We’ve covered expandable garden hoses extensively on DIY Garden, and there are some great options on the market. One of the main advantages of expandable hoses is that they can be longer than hoses in reels, whilst taking up less storage space.

Whether you’ll benefit more from an expandable hose or a hose reel comes down to how often you use the hose, and if you can be bothered to get it out of storage each time. Expandable hoses should be packed away and stored in the shed after each use to avoid damage.

Naturally, unlike expandable hoses, a hose in a reel can naturally be left out for most of the year inside the casing.

Choosing the Best Size Hose Reel

You want a hose that will reach the end of your garden without stretching. However, you also don’t want to spend extra money on a hose which is much longer than you need. Measure your garden to find out what length of hose will best suit your needs.

Another thing to consider is the size of the reel unit itself. You should make sure you have enough wall space to mount the hose reel that you want to buy, as some of them are quite large.

If the space where you choose to mount your reel is some way from the outdoor tap, you may need to acquire an extra ‘leader hose’ to connect the reel to the water supply. Also referred to as a ‘feeder hose’, sometimes you will have to create this yourself by cutting a piece of the hose pipe.

Factors That Represent Quality

Garden hoses need to be looked after to prevent damage, but some are better made than others.

If you will be using your garden hose reel regularly, and plan to leave it outside, it is worth spending a bit more money on a good-quality reel to ensure it last for years.

Look for quality casing which has UV protection and is made from durable materials.

That said, you should still position your reel out of direct sunlight. High-quality casing will protect the hose from UV damage, but it will last longer if it is in a position where the temperature is more stable.

Garden hoses should be stored in a frost-free environment over winter, so look out for a unit where the reel can be easily removed from the wall bracket.

In addition, the better quality the hose, the easier it will be to use and less likely to kink or fail to rewind. Superior garden hoses also come with better tap fittings meaning they are less likely to leak.

Protecting Your Hose Reel From Theft

If you are mounting your garden hose reel somewhere that other people might be able to reach it, such as a front garden, make sure you secure the reel casing to the wall bracket. Whilst it might not seem like the most desirable item to steal, detachable hose reels can be a temptation to some. Better to be safe than sorry and secure your reel to prevent theft.

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Garden Hose Reel FAQs

Most hose reels come with a simple spray nozzle. Can I change this to a spray gun?

Yes, most reels can be used with a variety of fittings including a spray gun.

However, garden hoses come in a range of diameters so check that the spray nozzle is suitable for the size of your hose pipe.

Can I leave my hose reel out all year round?

You can leave garden hoses out all year round as long as they are housed in a reel with a protective casing; however, storing them away when possible is the best idea.

Most casings protect the hose pipe from UV damage and offer frost protection. However, garden hoses may well last longer if stored in a frost-free environment over winter.

You might want to consider buying a reel that can be removed from the wall bracket, allowing you to store it in winter or when you are away from home during hot spells. Many garden hose reels allow you to do this simply and easily.

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Garden Hose Reels Price Comparison

Every day DIY Garden scans thousands of products to help you find the cheapest prices. Not only do we want to help you find the best products through our in-depth testing, but we also want to help you find the best places to buy them too. We’re working hard to expand our network of retailers, and will be continually adding in new options.

The Cheapest Garden Hose Reel Prices Found Today

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