Soaker Hose vs Sprinkler

Soaker Hose vs Sprinkler Hose

Choosing the best types of the hose is essential for the growth of plants. You also need to consider the options when selecting one for your lawns. Most garden and lawn owners prefer soaker or sprinkler hose. But which one is more efficient?

We have done a detailed comparison for soaker hose vs sprinkler hose. The key difference between a soaker hose and a sprinkler hose is how they release water. A soaker hose allows water to drip on the ground. On the other hand, a sprinkler hose sprays water around the surface, similar to a sprinkler system.

Both of these have their own benefits. A detailed comparison can help you to decide which hose you should buy. This article explains everything about these hoses and their differences. 

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What is Soaker Hose?

Soaker hoses are flexible hoses with numerous tiny pores. The pores drip water on the soil with low pressure and slower speed.

Soaker hoses have gained mass popularity over time. That is due to their efficient watering system. You may ask, how do soaker hoses work?

How a Soaker Hose Works

Soaker hoses consist of tiny pores all over their length. When water flows through the hose, these pores allow water to escape and drip on the ground. Placing the hose around the plants is pretty efficient. It enables the hose to water on the base of the plant, and the water can get into the root system.

Type of Soaker Hose

Soaker hoses are two types:

  • Flat: These soaker hoses have a flat design. They have holes on one side only. When the holes are facing the ground, the water drops on the soil only. But if you keep them facing up, they will work like sprinklers.
  • Round: Round soaker hoses are more flexible and versatile. They use porous materials. These hoses have pores all over the length. You can snake them around the plants and bushes conveniently.

What is Sprinkler Hose?

Sprinkler hoses have small holes that allow water to spray around the surface. These hoses are a combination of soaker hose and sprinkler system. They include holes like soaker hoses. But spray water similar to a sprinkler. 

How a Sprinkler System Works

The sprinkler system works with a pressurized water source. When the valve of the sprinkler opens, the pressure enables the sprinkler to spray water around.

The sprinkler system in the sprinkler hose also works similarly. When water flows through a sprinkler hose, there is a certain amount of pressure. The pressure allows the hose to spray water like a sprinkler system.

Type of Sprinkler Hose

Sprinkler hoses are one of the best types of sprinkler systems. Other than that, sprinklers have several other types: pop-up sprinklers, traveling sprinklers, rotary sprinklers, oscillating lawn sprinklers, and misting sprinklers.

Soaker Hose vs Sprinkler: Quick Comparison Chart

Basis of ComparisonSoaker HoseSprinkler Hose
Watering systemDrippingSpraying
PressureLowMedium to high
Water usageLowHigh
FlexibilityFlexible in tighter spacesLess flexible
Best applicationWatering plants or gardensWatering lawns

Soaker Hose vs Sprinkler: Key Differences Explained

In the past, traditional garden hoses were popular for watering. They are good for certain usages but not so efficient for watering plants. That’s because those hoses can place moisture on leaves. But not reach the root system efficiently.

That is why people have started to use soaker hoses. But many like the sprinkler hoses too. These are alternatives to traditional sprinkler systems. So, which one is best for you?

The key differences between a soaker hose and a sprinkler hose are: 

Watering system

The watering system is the major factor that separates soaker hoses from sprinkler hoses. They both have identical designs. But their method of releasing water is not the same.

A soaker hose drips water through the pores it has. You can call a sprinkler hose a hybrid of both a soaker hose and a sprinkler system. Even though sprinkler hoses have pores or holes like soaker hoses, they do not drip water. Instead, sprinkler hoses spray water like any traditional sprinkler.


Soaker hoses use low pressure. The water drips slowly on the ground from a soaker hose. But the sprinkler hose requires a good amount of pressure. The pressure helps the hose to spray water at a good speed.

Water Usage

Soaker hoses use way less water than sprinkler hoses. Usually, sprinkler hoses spray water on the air. So, some water evaporates and blows away. Then the water also drops on top of leaves. 

But you do not need to use that much water with a soaker hose. That’s because the soaker hose usually travels around the plants and drips water only on the soil.


Though slow, soaker hoses are more efficient in watering plants. You know that it is crucial for the water to reach the root system. But sprinkler hoses drop most of the water on leaves. So, you need to use more water to reach the soil, and it still may not be good enough to penetrate the soil.

Placing the soaker hose around the plant base is the best solution here. It will drop water around the base that can easily soak through the soil. However, if you need to water your lawn, sprinkler hoses are more efficient.


Soaker hoses offer more flexibility compared to sprinkler hoses. Most sprinkler hoses have flat shapes that can easily kink. But round soaker hoses do not have that problem.

Sprinkler hoses are also not good enough to water in tight shrubs and perennials. They can leave some spaces dry. But the flexibility of the soaker hose enables it to reach every square inch of the soil.

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Best Application

Both soaker hoses and sprinkler hoses are best for different applications. Soaker hoses are best for watering plants and reach the root system efficiently. Sprinkler hoses are superior for lawns to cover a lot of ground quickly.

Is a Soaker Hose Good for Watering Lawn?

Soaker hoses are not a good choice for watering the lawn. That’s because they drop water only where the hose goes through. But lawns require covering a lot of ground. Sprinkler system hoses are suitable for watering lawns.

Are Soaker Hoses Better Than Sprinklers?

Soaker hoses are better than sprinklers for watering flower beds, vegetable gardens, and fruit trees. Watering in the soil is essential for these conditions. Soaker hoses are more efficient for water to reach the soil and the root. That’s why they are better than sprinklers.

Why Soaker Hoses Are Better for Your Lawn

Soaker hoses are better in the case of saving water. Sprinklers use a lot of water compared to soaker hoses. Soaker hoses can also reach the root more efficiently.

But sprinkler hoses are better for watering lawns considering they can cover a lot of grounds pretty quickly.

Top 2 Best Soaker Hose:

Are you planning to buy a soaker hose? Then you will encounter numerous options in the market. How do you know which one is good? Here are our top picks for soaker hoses that offer superior performance:

1. Rocky Mountain Goods Soaker Hose Flat

Highlighted Features:

  • Flat design
  • Double-layer design
  • Perforated PVC material
  • Offers lifetime warranty

Rocky Mountain Radar is a well-known brand for offering quality hoses. This Flat Soaker Hose from the brand is an excellent option for watering gardens and vegetable plants.

Rocky Mountain Soaker Hose Review:

The flat soaker hose from the Rocky Mountain Radar is a heavy-duty hose with excellent durability. Regular vinyl hoses break easily. But this one uses high-quality perforated PVC material. Additionally, there is a cover of stretch fabric too.

It has three length options: 25, 50, and 75 feet. The color black is the only option you get. The best thing about the soaker hose is that it comes with a lifetime warranty. 

2. Melnor 65062-AMZ Flat Soaker Hose 

Highlighted Features:

  • Flat design for easy storage
  • Lengths: 25, 50, and 75 feet
  • It comes with two extra washers
  • Working temperature range: 40° to 115° Fahrenheit

Melnor has been producing high-quality garden equipment for more than 70 years. Their Flat Soaker Hose offers amazing efficiency.

Melnor Flat Soaker Hose Review:

This one has a flexible design, and you can put it around the base of plants in any shape. The porous drops water slowly and efficiently. You can place it on the ground or through the mulch.

The soaker hose has a leak-free seal. But even if it leaks, there is nothing to worry about as you get two extra washers with the package. Overall, a good option to water your plants.

Read More: Discharge vs Suction Hose

Are Sprinkler Hoses Good?

Sprinkler hoses are good for watering narrow lawn areas. They spray water like a sprinkler system. If you properly spread the hose around the lawn, you can get excellent results.

Top 2 Best Sprinkler Hose:

Sprinkler hoses also have various options available in the market. Here are our top choices for you:

1. Swan Hos wan Eltecv025 Element Sprinkler Hose

Highlighted Features:

  • 50% recycled rubber material
  • Lightweight design
  • 25 feet in length
  • Color: green

The element sprinkler hose from Swan Hos uses recycled rubber and offers maximum efficiency. If you buy this, you will not be disappointed.

Swan Hos Element Sprinkler Hose Review:

This sprinkler hose is an excellent option if you want to water your lawn. It uses 65 percent recycled tire rubber. Though rubber sounds prone to leak, it is quite sturdy and durable.

If you want water to soak through the soil, place it downward. Or you can place it facing up for sprinkling water. 

2. Flexon Three Tube Sprinkler Hose FS50

Highlighted Features:

  • 3-Tube configuration
  • Length: 25 feet and 50 feet
  • Materials: Rubber and vinyl
  • Removable cap for adding length

Flexon usually makes great quality hoses. This Three Tube Sprinkler Hose is also a good option. 

Flexon Sprinkler Hose Review:

It uses three tube configuration that allows a 40 feet wide spray pattern. The materials are rubber and vinyl. Usually, vinyl is less durable. So, it would have been great if they used only rubber.

Still, the Flexon Sprinkler Hose offers satisfactory performance. You can make a wide circle around the lawn to cover all the grounds.


To conclude the soaker hose vs sprinkler hose debate, you can say both are excellent options. But when you are watering flower beds or vegetable gardens, soaker hoses are preferable. And sprinkler hoses are better for lawns.

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