Rubber Vs Vinyl: What’s the Better Type of Garden Hose?

Rolling out the garden hose to water the lawn, your flowers and landscaping is somewhat of a rite of spring. But do you know what type of hose is best for you? Yes, even the most seemingly simple gardening tools have a variety of options for homeowners to choose from. In terms of garden hoses, there are things like thickness, length and material that should be considered. The latter factor is one of the most important to consider and typically boils down to whether a rubber or vinyl/plastic garden hose is best for your situation.

So what will it be for you – plastic or rubber? Here’s a look at the pros and cons of each.


Generally speaking, plastic or vinyl garden hoses are the cheaper of the two aforementioned hose options. They’re also better for more basic gardening needs, as these hoses tend to be lighter in weight and easier to handle, yet less durable than their rubber counterparts. Here’s a look at more pros and cons of plastic or vinyl hoses:

PRO: Good for mild climates. Plastic has a tendency to warp when exposed to prolonged hot temperatures. Typically, the more mild climates are ideal for this hose type. While it can still be used in more extreme conditions, homeowners are often advised to store it when not using it to avoid warping and premature wear in such conditions.

CON: Kinks. Plastic or vinyl hoses kink much easier than rubber ones.

CON: Damage easier. Plastic/vinyl hoses don’t roll up as easy as rubber ones and are more likely to crack and develop leaks in cold weather.


Rubber hoses are a more expensive option than plastic/vinyl hoses and therefore come with a greater up-front cost. But they are also more durable and ideal for more intensive gardening operations. Here’s a closer look at some pros and cons of rubber hoses:

PRO: Long lasting. Rubber hoses are better quality than plastic/vinyl, meaning they last longer, are easier to store and more resistant to kinks. They are also better able to endure more extreme weather conditions than plastic or vinyl hoses. They can also be purchased with a reinforced lining which makes them more resistant to kinking and cracking.

CON: Heavy. Rubber hoses are more durable than vinyl hoses – that’s good. But they’re also heavier and more labor intensive to maneuver, which can be off-putting for many. If you’re still not sold on either of the aforementioned options, why not consider a hose that’s the best of both worlds? That’s right, rubber/vinyl hose combinations are available that combine the lightweight of plastic hoses with the durability of rubber hoses. However, one con to this type of hybrid hose is that they are often priced more than standard rubber hoses, which are the more expensive option in the rubber vs. plastic garden hose arena. So a rubber/vinyl hose will likely be the most expensive option you can acquire.

So what will it be for you and your gardening needs – plastic, rubber or hybrid?