In this side-by-side product review Outside Pursuits leads you through everything you need to know in order to pick the best hygrometer or the best humidity moisture meter for your specific needs.
We’ll take a look at who makes the best measurement device for reading humidity levels and what to avoid. Also see How To Choose A Hygrometer later in the article. So, what is the best hygrometer or humidity moisture meter?
The 5 Best Hygrometers and Humidity Moisture Meters
- General Tools MMD7NP Moisture Meter
- ERAY Professional Psychrometer Hygrometer Thermometer Digital
- SensorPush Wireless Thermometer/Hygrometer for iPhone/Android
- ThermoPro TP50 Digital Hygrometer Indoor Thermometer Humidity Monitor with Temperature Humidity Gauge
- AcuRite 00613 Humidity Monitor with Indoor Thermometer, Digital Hygrometer, and Humidity Gauge Indicator
Best Hygrometers and Humidity Moisture Meters
|General Tools MMD7NP Moisture Meter||ERAY Professional Psychrometer Hygrometer Thermometer Digital||SensorPush Wireless Thermometer/Hygrometer for iPhone/Android|
|Style||Pinless style hygrometer||Combination hygrometer and thermometer||Combination hygrometer and thermometer
|Measurement||¾ inch maximum sensing depth||range of -4 to 140 degrees F and 0 to 100% humidity||range of -40 to 140 degrees F and 0 to 100% humidity|
|Special Features||Separate settings for drywall, masonry, softwoods, and hardwoods||32000 data point record capacity, Compatible with Windows only, not Apple iOS||Up to 325-foot range with no obstructions, Compatible with Apple iOS and Android
|Customer Ratings||4.3 Stars||4.1 Stars||4.3 Stars|
Best Hygrometers and Humidity Moisture Meters Reviews
- Pinless style hygrometer
- Separate settings for drywall, masonry, softwoods, and hardwoods
- ¾ inch maximum sensing depth
- Accuracy within plus or minus 4% on wood
This instrument can test moisture levels up to three quarters of an inch deep, and has an accuracy range of plus or minus 4% with wood. This model is a pinless hygrometer, which means it won’t leave holes in your wood or drywall when you are taking readings, and it allows you to scan large areas quickly and efficiently.
It uses electromagnetic waves to assess the moisture level, which we’ll explain more later in this article. It has a wide range of applicable uses, such as testing the dryness of fire wood, assessing water damage, preventing mold, diagnosing leaks, and more.
- Combination hygrometer and thermometer
- Measurement range of -4 to 140 degrees F and 0 to 100% humidity
- 32000 data point record capacity
- Up to 2 times per second sampling rate
- Compatible with Windows only, not Apple iOS
So, unlike the General Tools model, this humidity reader is mainly designed for testing the air, not solid substances. It stores the maximum and minimum as well for all readings, and will automatically power off after 20 minutes of no use.
This device can store 99 data groups and 32,000 individual data points. It samples at a rate of up to twice per second. You can connect the hygrometer to your computer with a data cable and then use their software to view and analyze your data.
However, be aware that this software only works on Windows 2000 and newer, and is not compatible at all with Apple iOS.
Some reviews feel that 32,000 data points isn’t enough, because even sampling at once per second, you can only collect less than nine hours worth of data before having to plug in the device, dump the data, and start over.
- Combination hygrometer and thermometer
- Measurement range of -40 to 140 degrees F and 0 to 100% humidity
- Up to 325-foot range with no obstructions
- Compatible with Apple iOS and Android
- Free downloadable app lets you easily read and analyze data
There are no readouts on the device itself, rather you place the device in the area that you’d like to monitor and then read the results comfortably on your smartphone.
It has a range of up to 325 feet in optimal conditions, or you can purchase separately the SensorPush G1 WiFi Gateway, which will enable you to receive alerts and data from any range over the internet.
The SensorPush will show you the data in graph format on the app, or you can easily export it to CSV so you can analyze it further using software like Microsoft Excel.
Or, if you’d rather not worry about the data unless there’s a problem, you can just set up the SensorPush and forget it, and you will be alerted to any issues immediately, or, if you’re out of range, as soon as you connect back to Bluetooth.
The sensor will keep the recorded data from the last 20 days so you can get a wide data set if you aren’t able to monitor constantly, and the in-app data storage is unlimited.
Have multiple mobile devices and/or want to monitor multiple sensors? No problem, you can monitor as many sensors as you want with one mobile decive, or monitor one sensor with as many mobile devices as you want.
This unit has a wide range of measurement for both temperature (-40 to 140 degrees F) and humidity (0 to 100%). Between 32 and 140 degrees F, the thermometer is accurate within plus or minus 0.5 degrees, and for the full range of temperature, it is accurate within plus or minus 2.2 degrees.
When the relative humidity is between 20 to 80%, the humidity sensor is accurate typically within plus or minus 3%, and at the full range of humidity, it is accurate typically within plus or minus 4.5%.
While the sensor is not waterproof, it can be used outside when proper precautions are taken to avoid the vent hole getting wet.
This sensor can be easily used in many settings, including in the home to maintain safe air conditions, and to monitor your expensive and delicate possesions like musical instruments, cigar humidors, art pieces, and family heirlooms.
#4 – ThermoPro TP50 Digital Hygrometer Indoor Thermometer Humidity Monitor with Temperature Humidity Gauge
- Combination hygrometer and thermometer
- Measurement range of -58 to 158 degrees F and 10 to 99% humidity
- Small and portable
- Attach with magnet or use kickstand to display
Since this hygrometer thermometer is totally wireless and runs off AAA batteries, you can display it anywhere in your home. It includes a convenient magnet on the back for mounting to a refrigerator or another magnetic surface, and also has a kickstand so it can be displayed on a flat surface such as a table or countertokp.
The ThermoPro has a wide range of temperature, from -58 to 158 degrees F, and a humidity range from 10 to 99%. It is accurate within plus or minus 1 degree for temperature and within plus or minus 3% for relative humidity.
This device is super simple to use and understand, and for casual measurements will more than do the job for the price point. There is not an option to export or compare data from this device, other than viewing the all-time high and low for both temperature and humidity.
#5 – AcuRite 00613 Humidity Monitor with Indoor Thermometer, Digital Hygrometer, and Humidity Gauge Indicator
- Combination hygrometer and thermometer
- Indoor use only
- Measurement range of 32 to 122 degrees F and 16 to 98% humidity
- Small and portable
- Attach with clip, magnet, or use kickstand to display
This device takes a reading every 15 seconds and shows the high and low records for both temperature and humidity for the last 24 hours.
Like the ThermoPro, it has a magnetic mounting system and a fold-out stand, and it also features a mounting clip as well. It’s super simple to use, and also gives you an indication of whether the indoor humidity is too high, too low, or just right.
Hygrometer And Humidity Moisture Meters Comparison Table
|Best Hygrometers and Humidity Moisture Meters||Price||Style||Measurement||Special Features||Customer Ratings|
|General Tools MMD7NP Moisture Meter||$45.48||Pinless style hygrometer||¾ inch maximum sensing depth||Separate settings for drywall, masonry, softwoods, and hardwoods||4.3 Stars|
|ERAY Professional Psychrometer Hygrometer Thermometer Digital||from $15.97||Combination hygrometer and thermometer||range of -4 to 140 degrees F and 0 to 100% humidity||32000 data point record capacity, Compatible with Windows only, not Apple iOS||4.1 Stars|
|SensorPush Wireless Thermometer/Hygrometer for iPhone/Android||$49.99||Combination hygrometer and thermometer||range of -40 to 140 degrees F and 0 to 100% humidity||Up to 325-foot range with no obstructions, Compatible with Apple iOS and Android||4.3 Stars
|ThermoPro TP50 Digital Hygrometer Indoor Thermometer Humidity Monitor||$10.99||Combination hygrometer and thermometer||range of -58 to 158 degrees F and 10 to 99% humidity||Small and portable, Attach with magnet or use kickstand to display||4.5 Stars
|AcuRite 00613 Humidity Monitor||$11.99||Combination hygrometer and thermometer||range of 32 to 122 degrees F and 16 to 98% humidity||Indoor use only, Small and portable|
, Attach with clip, magnet
How to Choose a Hygrometer
Hygrometers, or moisture meters, have many practical applications in the home or business. These tools enable you to test the moisture content in hard surfaces like wood, drywall, and sheetrock, as well as to test humidity in the air around you.
One of the major causes of mold is untreated moisture, which can lead to health problems and destroy valuable belongings and is hard to detect without a hygrometer. We’ll share our top picks for the best hygrometer below.
Choosing the right hygrometer for your needs can seem overwhelming, so let’s break it down. First, think about what you will be using the hygrometer for.
If you are a contractor, construction worker, or DIY afficionado and plan to use the hygrometer to test solid surfaces like wood, sheetrock, or drywall for their moisture content, the General Tools hygrometer (#1 on our list) would be the best option for you.
If you just plan to casually monitor the temperature and humidity in your home, the ThermoPro or AcuRite hygrometers (#4 and #5 on our list) will be the most useful and also the most cost effective. Need to monitor a space remotely? The SensorPush unit (#3) combined with their WiFi Gateway will be your best bet.
Next, consider how accurate you need and want the readings to be. If you plan to use it as a cigar hygrometer or to monitor other expensive items like musical instruments or exotic plants, you want the most accurate hygrometer that money can buy. If you just have a casual interest in the weather, a less expensive and less intensely calibrated hygrometer will do the trick.
Finally, consider how you want to be able to access the data. As we mentioned in the reviews above, some hygrometers connect only to Windows computers via data cable, some only connect to smartphones via Bluetooth or internet, and some offer no external data analyses at all.
Think about how frequently you want to the data to be sampled, and how often you will be able to dump data from the sensor onto your computer or mobile device.
FAQs About Hygrometers
- What is a hygrometer?
- What does a hygrometer look like?
- How does a hygrometer work?
- What’s the difference between pin and pinless hygrometers?
What is a hygrometer?
A hygrometer is a humidity measuring device. These instruments measure the amount of humidity and water vapor in the air or solid materials like wood. They are used in greenhouses, industrial spaces, incubators, saunas, homes, humidors, museums, wine cellars, and where wooden instruments are stored.
Hygrometers often come in tandem with thermometers, since humidity is affected by temperature and vice versa. This gives you a more complete understanding of the environment around you as well.
What does a hygrometer look like?
Hygrometers look different depending on what they are designed for. Units that are meant for testing the moisture level in wood and other hard surfaces are often hand held devices that look similar to a walkie talkie. Some of these devices have prongs or pins that are inserted into the surface being tested, and others are pinless.
Hygrometers that are designed for indoor use are typically also thermometers, and are generally small square screens with readouts on them.
However, the SensorPush unit that we mentioned above is not like either of these descriptions — rather it is a small square sensing device with no screen or readout, that is placed in the desired testing area, and then the data is sent to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
So, hygrometers can look quite different, but most will fall into the first two categories.
How does a hygrometer work?
There are four different types of modern hygrometers: capacitive, resistive, thermal, and gravimetric. They all work in slightly different ways.
Capacitive hygrometers work by measuring the effect of humidity on a dielectric constant material like a polymer or metal oxide. When they are properly calibrated, they have an accuracy range of plus or minus 2% relative humidity within the range of 5-95%. Capacitive sensors are not susceptible to the effects of condensation or temporary high temperatures, but they can be negatively affected by contamination, drift, and aging effects.
Resistive hygrometers measure humidity by testing the change of electrical resistance in a material like salt or a conductive polymer. They are generally less sensitive than capacitive hygrometers and they require more complex circuitry. They also must be used in combination with a thermometer to get an accurate reading. The best resistive hygrometers are accurate within plus or minus 3% relative humidity.
Thermal hygrometers measure the change in the thermal conductivity of the air due to humidity. This type of thermo hygrometer measures absolute humidity as opposed to relative humidity.
Gravimetric hygrometers measure the mass of an air sample and compare it to the same volume of dry air. While this is the most accurate way to meaure humidity, it is time consuming and inconvenient, so it is primarily used only to calibrate other easier to use instruments for accuracy.
What’s the difference between pin and pinless hygrometers?
There is a distinct difference between pin and pinless style hygrometers. As we outlined in the last question, there are several different ways to test humidity. Pin style meters use resistance technology, where two pins are inserted into the wood or other surface, and then a small electrical current is passed between the pins.
Since water is a good conductor of electricity, the moisture level can be determined by assessing the amount of resistance the electricity faced between the pins.
Since this is based on electrical resistance, the method is susceptible to variances caused by differing chemical composition of various wood types, but it is not affected by the density of the wood, as the pinless type is.
Pinless meters use electromagnetic wave technology to measure moisture levels. These types of meters send out electrical waves of a certain frequency which creates an electromagnetic field under the sensor pad. Based on the signal the device reads back, it can determine the moisture content.
Since it is creating a field rather than only testing the material between two pins, it can be used to quickly scan much larger areas than pin meters, and can be used to more accurately gauge the overall water content of a large piece of wood or drywall.
Read all the product descriptions and customer reviews that you can. You might be able to ascertain information that isn’t immediately apparent in the product title but that could make a huge difference in whether this is the best hygrometer for your needs.
Sometimes it takes reading the fine print to determine that certain hygrometers only work with Windows, and so forth.
Shop around to find the best deal. Amazon is usually our go-to because it’s so easy to use and often has the lowest prices plus free shipping on orders over $25, but sometimes stores have sales or coupons that make shopping there the better option.
Consider what you’ll be using the hygrometer for. As we outlined in the How To Choose a Hygrometer section, there are many different applications and types of hygrometers available.
Choose the style that fits your needs best, then shop around for the best deal in that category.
Thanks for reading The Best Hygrometers And Humidity Moisture Meters. We hope this article has helped you to discover the best choice for your needs when selecting a device for measuring moisture in your environment.
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