If you’ve ever struggled with knowing when to water and fertilize your plants you aren’t alone. This used to be a complex science involving expensive soil testing kits. Without them you’d just have to guess and cross your fingers.
But with advanced technology more and more affordable tools have become available that let you test most of these variables quickly and easily. Our reviews include a large range of prices and designs; we want to give you a good representation of the market.
Also, see our buyer’s guide, How To Choose A Soil pH Tester and Meter to you get a good quality pH tester and moisture meter regardless of your budget! What is the best soil pH testers and meters for the money?
Quick Answer: The 5 Best Soil pH Meters and Testers
- Gain Express Soil Ph & Moisture Meter
- Göksu Soil pH & Moisture Meter
- Gobetter 4-In-1 Soil Tester
- Sonkir Soil pH Meter, MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester
- VIVOSUN Soil Tester, 3-in-1 Plant Moisture Meter Light and PH Tester
Best Soil pH Meters and Testers
|Gain Express Soil Ph & Moisture Meter||Göksu Soil pH & Moisture Meter||Gobetter 4-In-1 Soil Tester|
|Measuring Range||3-8 PH||3-8 PH||4-9 PH|
|Accuracy||+/- 0.2 PH||+/- 0.3 PH||Unknown|
|Special Features||Measures moisture ranges from 10-80%, plug and read, no batteries required, handheld||Measures moisture ranges from 10-80%, no batteries required, handheld||4 in one; measures PH, moisture, sunlight, and temperature, requires batteries|
|Customer Ratings||3.8 / 5.0 Stars||N/A||3.8 / 5.0 Stars|
Best Soil pH Meters and Testers Reviews
- Measures 3-8 PH
- Has an accuracy range of +/- 0.2 PH
- Additional moisture reader with a 10-80% range
- No batteries required
This meter is highly accurate and doesn’t split its focus across a ton of different features. It’s there to give you good quality, reliable pH and moisture readings; no fluff or frills. For its price and reliability, we’d rate it as the best soil pH tester on this list.
Of course, that level of quality comes with a higher price tag, but for anyone looking to make an upfront investment that’ll last them years, this is a great pick!
- Measures 3-8 pH
- Has an accuracy range of +/- 0.3 pH
- Additional moisture reader with a 10-80% range
- No batteries required
Its accurate range and sturdy design make it easy to use and easy to trust. Plus, it doesn’t require any batteries, meaning you don’t have to worry about corrosion or damage over time. You can just grab it and go whenever you need.
Again, this is an expensive meter, definitely on the higher end. Just like the Gain Express Meter, this one will be an investment in your future gardening endeavors. If you’re looking for a meter that will last, definitely check this one out.
- Measures 4-9 PH
- 4 in one design, measuring moisture, PH, soil temperature, and sunlight
- Requires batteries
Unlike our two previous picks, this meter does require batteries. This may be to its benefit depending on your intended application. If you’re testing the pH and moisture for very delicate plants like young seedlings and sprouts, battery operated pH testers are considered more accurate in many circles. For hearty outdoor plants, this isn’t a concern, but if you like to start young seedlings indoors or have other fragile plants you’re caring for, this is a pH meter you’ll want to consider.
- Measures 3.5-8 PH
- 3 in one design, measures moisture, PH, and sunlight
For that purpose, this Sonkir 3-in-1 PH meter will work perfectly, letting you test your soil quality while you develop a better idea of what to look for in future gardening equipment. The multi-purpose design is also great, giving you more bang for your buck and letting you record with other variables such as the sunlight reaching your plants. Plus, the lack of batteries means you won’t have to worry about ongoing maintenance with this meter.
The approachable price point and 3-in-one design make this an easy purchase. Overall, for such a low priced PH meter this is still a great option, and one of the best options for the beginner indoor gardener.
PH Meter Specifications:
Measure Range : 0.00 – 14.00 pH
Resolution : 0.01 pH
Accuracy : 0.05 pH
TDS EC Specifications:
TDS: 0 – 9990 ppm (parts per million)
Degrees Celsius: 1.0 – 80.0°C
Fahrenheit: 32.0 – 176.0°F
The readings are reliable for hardier outdoors plants, and will work fine for durable indoor plants as well. Plus, the 3-in-one system means this is another great meter for those looking to explore other variables in their soil testing methods.
If this one’s style and price match your budget, definitely give it a try and get started taking better care of your plants this upcoming season!
|Best Soil PH Meters and Testers||Price||Measuring Range||Accuracy||Special Features||Customer Ratings|
|Gain Express Soil Ph & Moisture Meter||from $10.90||3-8 pH||+/- 0.2 pH||Measures moisture ranges from 10-80%, plug and read, no batteries required, handheld||3.8 / 5.0 Stars|
|Göksu Soil pH & Moisture Meter||$89.99||3-8 pH||+/- 0.3 pH||Measures moisture ranges from 10-80%, no batteries required, handheld||N/A|
|Gobetter 4-In-1 Soil Tester||$25.99||4-9 pH||Unknown||4 in one; measures PH, moisture, sunlight, and temperature, requires batteries||2.9 / 5.0 Stars|
|Sonkir Soil pH Meter, MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester||$12.99||3.5-8 pH||Unknown||3 in one; measures moisture, PH, and sunlight||4.1 / 5.0 Stars|
|VIVOSUN pH & TDS Meter Combo||from $11.99||0-14 pH||+/- .05 pH||3 in one; measures moisture, sunlight, and PH, compact and portable design||3.3 / 5.0 Stars|
How to Choose a Soil ph Tester and Meter
If you’re looking to grow healthy, happy, beautiful plants, you may find yourself struggling to afford expensive soil testing kits and soil testing methods every year. How can you nurture your garden, whether indoors or outdoors, without having to spend hundreds of dollars on these soil sample kits?
Well, you’re in luck, because that’s where home pH meters come in! These handy tools make testing your own pH easy and affordable, whether you’re working indoors or outdoors. If you have any kind of garden space, these let you test for proper soil pH and moisture levels to ensure you’re plants are in optimal condition.
Of course, you may wonder; why does pH or moisture even matter? Well, it’s fairly simple. The pH of your soil has a huge effect on your plant’s ability to absorb nutrients and other resources, while the moisture levels in your soil affects the plant’s overall health. Too damp and the roots may rot. Too dry and they may shrivel up or become stunted.
Knowing when to water and fertilize your plants used to be a complex science involving expensive soil testing kits. Without them you’d just have to guess and cross your fingers.
Fortunately, as technology has advanced more and more tools have come onto the market at affordable price points, letting you test most of these variables at home, quickly and easily. These have become some of the best ways to test soil pH without a hefty price tag. Overall, it’s an ideal system!
However, there’s a lot to consider when buying a brand new moisture meter and pH tester, but we’re here to help!
When you’re looking for a new PH tester and moisture meter, you want one with a small margin of error and a good range. Ideally, a meter within +/- 0.3 will give you a reliable reading, while a range around 3-8 PH should be suitable for most plants. This will help you measure your soil PH without needing to rely on more expensive soil analysis methods every time.
Again, you want a PH tester that is accurate, so you can rely on the readings you get and treat your plants accordingly. Try to look for one with a clearly stated accuracy range if it’s higher end, preferably under +/- 0.3 PH.
3. Power Source
As we mentioned above, battery power versus non-battery power is a hot topic among the PH tester crowd. We’d like to assure you that, unless you’re testing the most delicate of plants, either power source should work fine for your purposes.
4. Additional Features
Of course, you also may be looking at a pH tester with some additional bonus features and cool extras. This could include four in one models or three in one models that show you extra information about your soil quality, including moisture, temperature, and sunlight. However, as fun as these may be (and they may be useful for delicate plants as well), they aren’t strictly necessary. Just look for a good quality meter that shows you pH and moisture and you should be all set!
FAQs About Soil pH Meters and Testers
Question: What power source does my pH tester and moisture meter need?
Answer: There are many options available when it comes to powering your PH tester and moisture meter. Most soil PH testers and moisture meters are either battery powered or battery-free. Ones that require batteries will require AA or AAA batteries. So long as you don’t leave your meter on when not in use, a single battery should last you around a year, so battery operated options aren’t too bad!
On the other hand, battery-free PH tester and moisture meters have a lot of their own benefits. They tend to be simpler to use, operating based on a gauge that gives you easy to read information on your soil. Best of all, they tend to be less expensive and more accessible to beginners, while still offering relatively accurate results.
Of course, many gardeners prefer battery operated meters because they’re considered to be more accurate; however, this isn’t fully proven. Regardless of whether you get a battery operated PH tester and moisture meter or a battery-free one, you’ll should be happy with the results for all but the most delicate plants.
Question: How accurate is my pH tester and moisture meter?
Answer: Of course, your new soil pH test kit and moisture meter are only useful if they’re accurate and give you real information about the health and happiness of your plants. One easy way to know if the tester you’re looking at is accurate is by consulting online reviews, gardening forums, or Amazon customer feedback. These should be a quick and easy way to tell how well these testers work at a glance.
Additionally, many manufacturers list their accuracy on their sales page. If you’re worried about the accuracy of your meter, try having your soil professionally tested with proper soil testing equipment, then see how the results compare to the results from your home meter. If they’re fairly close, you should be good to go! If they’re consistently off by a small range, just keep that in mind as you use your tester in the future.
Question: Will my PH tester and moisture meter work for indoor and outdoor use?
Answer: Of course! Any good PH soil meter will work both indoors and outdoors, making it perfect for the home gardener and the outdoor gardener. Being outdoors or indoors shouldn’t make a difference in the accuracy of your results.
Your main concern when choosing a meter is its quality and durability. This will determine whether or not your meter will last you for years to come or end up a dud, rather than whether or not you’re using it outside.
However, if you only intend to use your new meter for indoors plants, you’re probably safe with a cheaper, less durable design, as it won’t be exposed to any harsh elements. For heavy outdoor use, look for one with a strong metal or plastic finish meant to handle extreme heat or cold.
Lastly, remember that the ambient temperature can affect the readings on your meter. If you’ve very concerned about your PH meter’s reading, make sure to take multiple readings throughout the day, whether you’re measuring indoors or outdoors.
Question: How should I care for my new PH tester and moisture meter?
Answer: It’s actually quite simple. Just keep a few things in mind when using your new PH tester and moisture meter:
- Avoid forcing your meter into rocky or rough soil, as you can damage the probe even on heavy duty meters when they come into sudden contact with a root or rock
- Wash your meter gently after each use with a rag, to keep it free of any buildups that may impede it’s readings
- For battery operated meters, make sure to remove the battery before you leave it unattended for long periods of time. After all, corrosion can destroy even the highest quality meter!
- PH tester and moisture meters as designed for quick readings; don’t leave them sitting in the soil for extended periods of time, as it can damage their accuracy.
Question: Would it be better to get a 3 or 4-in-one PH tester and moisture meter?
Answer: This really depends on your intended use. Do you plan to use this meter for a variety of plants, or for sensitive ones like seedlings and young plants? If so, having the extra information could be useful in ensuring the happiness and longevity of your plants.
Of course, if you’re just looking for a general purpose meter, this may not be necessary. A single purpose, heavy duty meter is great for most outdoors gardening applications where the plants are built to handle harsher conditions. For those looking for the most advanced gardening equipment, you may also prefer a single purpose PH and moisture meter of very high quality, while buying a dedicated temperature and sunlight meter when they’re needed.
After reading through all of these options, you may find yourself overwhelmed. There are a variety of PH testers and moisture meters on the market!
Whether you’re a beginner gardener or an advanced one, your focus should be on finding the highest quality and most durable meter within your budget. These meters should come with all the tools you need in one compact design, making them easy to grab and take with you to the garden or to your nearest flowerpot. They should have solid PH ranges around 3-8 PH, reliable accuracy for their measurements, and should be handheld.
Some PH meters will boast multiple types of readings such as sunlight levels and soil temperature, letting you really get into the nitty gritty of caring for your plants for fairly cheap. However, for most people, a solidly built PH and moisture meter combo will do the trick and give you all the info you need.
So don’t be intimidated! All of the options above are reliable meters you can enjoy using for years to come. Happy gardening!
Thanks for reading Top 5 Best Soil pH Meters and Testers. We hope this article has helped you to discover the best device for testing soil pH, temperature and moisture to meet your growing needs.
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And if you’re shopping for other gear take a look at these related review articles from Outside Pursuits:
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Last update on 2019-03-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API