The 14 Best Soil pH Testers

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Are you preparing your garden for growing your favorite plants? Check out these picks for the best soil pH testers to ensure you have the right soil conditions. Investing in the best soil pH tester is a sure way to ensure you enjoy the best growing results.

Whether you have a vegetable, herb, or flower garden, the soil conditions significantly affect the growth and health of the plants. After all, different plants have particular soil needs, with some preferring acidic while others love alkaline conditions. 

Growing plants in their ideal soil conditions significantly aid in healthy growth and fruit development. On the other hand, plants suffer greatly when planted outside their pH range, with others failing to survive. Using a soil pH tester allows you to accurately measure the pH of the soil where you want to do the planting. The test results let you know whether or not you need to fix the soil Ph for accurate growing conditions.

Our gardener-recommended collection of the 14 most accurate and best soil pH testers can help you pick the right option for your garden. It’s time to invest in your own personal soil pH tester so you can become the serious gardener or grower you strive to be.

If you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick breakdown of pH testers in the below table:

ProductTypeBest for
Sonkir MSO2 3-in-1 Soil pH MeterDigitalOverall Best
Vivosun Soil TesterDigitalBest Quality
Kensizer Soil TesterDigitalBest Digital
Luster Leaf 1602 Soil KitChemicalBest for Beginners
bluelab pH Pen-Digital pH Tester DigitalMost Versatile
Garden Tutor Soil pH Test StripsChemicalSimplest
LabAider Litmus Test PaperChemicalCheapest
Raintrip 4-in-1 Soil TesterDigitalMost Functional
Extenuating Threads Soil pH MeterDigitalMost Comprehensive
Alanmond Plant Water and Soil pH MeterDigitalBest Design
Apine Soil pH MeterDigitalBest Value
Hemdre 4-in-1 Digital Soil MeterDigitalMost Rugged
Luster Leaf Professional Soil Test KitChemicalBest for Crops and Fruits
Luster Leaf 1818 Rapidtest Soil KitDigitalBest for Garden Health

What is a Soil pH Tester?

A soil pH tester is a device or apparatus used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of soil. No matter the type of soil pH tester design, these devices follow a similar working principle. They work by measuring the hydrogen ion activity to determine the acidity or alkalinity level.

More hydrogen ions (H+) means the soil is acidic while fewer hydrogen ions (OH-) represent alkaline conditions.  Similarly, any soil pH testing device offers the same result reading, although you may find some variations.

For example, soil pH strips indicate the results through a color scale. But, they usually come with a pH level scale to guide you in interpreting the pH based on the color reading on the strips.

Here is a standard soil pH tester reading;

  • pH 3.0 to 5.0: Very acidic soil
  • pH 5.1 to 6.0: Acidic
  • pH 6.0 to 7.0: Mildly or moderately acidic
  • pH 7,1 to 8.0: Alkaline

Different plants grow in varying soil pH conditions, with some preferring acidic while others love alkaline or neutral conditions. Either way, each soil ph condition comes with its own characteristics. For instance, very acidic soil tends to be stripped of common nutrients, leaving it to be a very nutrient-deficient environment.

But, as in other parts of life, you can always raise the pH of acid by adding an alkaline/basic compound. You can add basic items, such as lime or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to the soil to raise the pH to a pH of 5 to 7.

On the other hand, a pH of 5.1 to 6.0 represents acidic soil. Now, this is the ideal soil condition for most plants that prefer to grow in acidic conditions. Tubers, such as potatoes, herbs, such as parsley and garlic, and flowers, such as camellias and azaleas, thrive in these conditions. Similarly, you can use bases, like lime or baking soda to fine-tune the acidity.

A pH of 6.1 to 7.0 represents mildly acidic to neutral soil conditions, typically packed with countless nutrients. It’s an excellent soil condition for many plants. A pH of 7.1 to 8.0 represents alkaline soil. These soil conditions accommodate alkaline-loving plants, such as lavender, asparagus, cabbage, and hydrangeas.

Moreover, while alkaline soil is rich in calcium and offers good drainage, it can be ultra thin. So, it is always a good idea to mix it with organic matter, such as compost or manure to boost its richness and moisture-retaining abilities.

However, alkaline soil conditions also lack minerals, such as iron, manganese, and phosphorus. So, if you have such soil in your garden, you may have to add acidifying agents to the soil before adding plants that require these nutrients. Acidifying agents include elemental sulfur or aluminum sulfate, to mention a few.

Note: It’s important to understand that each plant has its suitable pH range. Attempting to grow plants outside their pH range may result in a nutrient lockout. Different nutrients have their ideal pH range which makes it easier for them to be absorbed. In a different range, plants are unable to uptake the nutrients. So, while there are several exceptions, most plants have a pH range of 6.5 to 7.0. Similarly, hydroponics has a pH range of 5.8 to 6.5.

Why Use a Soil pH Tester?

Using a soil pH tester allows you to articulate the actual pH of the soil in your garden or yard. This, in turn, lets you accurately gauge the acidity or alkalinity of the soil to determine suitability for adding plants.

The soil pH in your garden reflects its chemical conditions and determines the availability of various resources in your garden. Based on the ph of the soil, you can gauge the availability of resources, microbial activity, and other key biological properties.

As mentioned above, different plants survive in different soil pHs, so do essential nutrients for plant growth. Soil pH generally influences the availability of nutrients that play a role in plant growth and fruit development.  Further, the extreme acidity or alkalinity of soil can impact a plant’s nutrient deficiency or toxicity.

Ultimately, knowing the soil pH where you intend to establish your plants allows you to act sooner rather than later. For example, if you want to plant camellias in a garden and realize you have a higher soil pH (alkaline), you can treat the soil with acidifying agents before planting the camellias.

Signs that Plants Are Growing in Incorrect Soil pH Conditions

Here’s what you may observe on plants growing in LOW SOIL pH (very acidic);

  • Dark green leaves with red to purple stains
  • Brown spotted leaves
  • Premature browning or yellowing of leaves (leaf necrosis)
  • Yellowing of the leaf without affecting the veins (leaf chlorosis)
  • Burns on the leaf tips
  • Deformed or withered leaves
  • Low to zero fruit development
  • The flower end of the fruit rots
  • Overall stunted plant growth

Here’s what you may observe on plants growing in HIGH SOIL pH (very acidic);

  • Dark green leaves with red to purple stains
  • Brown or yellow spotted leaves
  • Leaf tips die
  • Yellow spots on the leaves without affecting the veins
  • Deformed, stunted, or wilted leaves
  • The flower end of the fruit rots

Note: The symptoms of unsuitable soil pH through plant affect are why a ph soil tester is essential. These symptoms simply sound an alarm, prompting you to take action and confirm. For example, leaf necrosis doesn’t only signify wrong soil pH. It can also happen due to low humidity and improper irrigation. So, when you notice leaf necrosis, the best cause of action is to confirm the actual problem by testing the soil pH to devise an effective solution.

How to Correct Soil pH

As mentioned above, you can easily correct the pH of the soil by yourself. If the soil pH is acidic and you want to bring it up, mix it with a base/alkaline, such as garden limestone, mushroom compost, or bicarbonate of soda.

On the other hand, you can bring down the pH of alkaline soil using acidifying agents. Good examples include elemental sulfur, aluminum sulfate, and pine bark, to mention a few. Alternatively, you can use more natural components if you want to keep it au naturel.

For instance, calcium is an excellent base for bringing up the soil pH. If you don’t want to use store-bought calcium, you can substitute it with cracked egg shells, which pack just as much calcium.

What are the Different Types of Soil pH Testers?

There are three common types of soil pH testers, mainly digital/electronic/ analog, chemical, and lab-based. Each of these soil ph tester types comes with sub-categories that differentiate themselves based on their functionality design. For instance, you can find chemical testers that use ph testing strips, colored dye tests, or kits that mix the soil with testing solutions to get a scaled reaction.

Digital and Analogue Soil pH Testers

A digital or electronic soil pH tester measures soil pH using a device with a probe inserted directly into moist soil. The instant digital pH device reading comes from an embedded electrode that gauges the pH against a built-in reference chart. 

Digital or electronic pH testers are perhaps one of the most common types of soil pH testers for gardeners, although chemical ones, such as test strips, are also popular. On the other hand, analog soil ph testers function just like digital or electronic testers, but offer the results analogically.

Chemical Soil pH Testers

A chemical soil pH tester is an at-home testing kit that uses chemicals to tell the pH of the soil. In many cases, chemical testers use apparatus, such as pH testing strips dipped into the soil. The user then gauges the results by comparing the color appearing on the testing strips against a provided pH chart.

Soil pH Lab Testing

A lab test is one conducted in a professional lab using photometric, visual, or potentiometric methods. A lab test tends to be more technical using apparatus that tests the hydrogen ion activity.

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Soil pH Testers

Gardeners are free to choose a pH soil tester that works best for them. However, it is a good idea to pick a tester by examining several key features. Here are the essential features to look out for when choosing the best pH soil tester for your garden use;

Type

The type of ph tester for soil will determine your testing experience. Chemical testers tend to be simpler built, disposable, and without many complications. These include options, like pH test strips and color dyes. However, the downside to these types of pH soil testers is that they don’t give you a precise reading.

Most of these chemical testers provide results based on color scales you can deduce based on a provided reference chart. For example, red means acidic, orange means mildly acidic, lilac means mildly alkaline and deep purple means alkaline.

But, these color references only tell you about the acidity and alkalinity of the soil without giving you an actual pH value. Digital, electronic, and analog soil pH testers tend to offer more precision, but come with a price. For one, they are more costly although not disposable.

However, some designs may come with replaceable parts that will ultimately need changing over time. Moreover, electronic testers are also affected by the environment. For example, you have to calibrate some models to the temperature of the soil environment to get an accurate reading.

Accuracy

A garden pH soil tester doesn’t require as much accuracy as lab testing, research, or quality control. After all, you simply want guidance to decide if your soil needs “fixing”. Nonetheless, it’s still a good idea to go for reasonable testing accuracy.

pH testers for soil typically offer an accuracy range of between ±0.1and ±0.001. Look at it like this, soil pH testers used in more official settings, like research or industrial quality control, require an accuracy of at least ±0.01. A garden pH tester for soil is just as good with an accuracy of ±0.1.

Parts Replacement

Soil pH test strips don’t necessarily require parts replacement. In many cases, you will get a pack with multiple disposable strips to use in several tests. However, you may also find pH testers that come with replacement parts. Digital or analog soil pH meters are the most common types.

When choosing these meters, you may find some which typically deplete over time and use. But, some designs may allow the replacement of parts such as the electrodes. If you come across these types, choose a model with easily available and affordable electrodes to make life easy for you.

Ideal Parts Designs

If you are using chemical testers, examine the designs to determine how functional and user-friendly they would be. For example, a flimsy pH test strip can easily disintegrate during testing as the sample typically features moist soil or soil water.

In this case, you want to go for a higher density and stronger testing strips or papers to ensure effective testing. On the other hand, focus on the probe length, if you go for an electronic, digital, or analog soil pH tester. A 7 to 8-inch long probe ensures it can adequately penetrate the ground for an accurate soil reading (closer to the roots where plants take up the nutrients).

Weather and Waterproof

Similarly, you will enjoy the most functionality from digital and electronic soil pH meters built with string waterproof and weatherproof build. Remember, you will be using the device in outdoor conditions, most of the time, around wet and rugged environments. So, having a more tolerable body helps to prolong their longevity.

Portability

Choose a portable soil ph tester to make it easier to maneuver around the garden. Since you may be working for long periods outdoors, you don’t want to haul around without you a large device or multiple kit pieces.

Versatility

Some soil pH testers exclusively focus on measuring pH while others let you measure other factors. While they cost slightly higher, these models allow you to test other soil conditions, such as moisture and light levels. This, in turn, makes it easier to measure your potential plant growing environment using a single device and make required improvements altogether, accordingly.

Can You Test Soil pH Using Readily Available DIY Home Testers?

You can certainly use items you have readily available in your kitchen pantry to test the acidity or alkalinity of the soil in your garden. While this DIY test is accurate, it doesn’t offer precise results. Unlike specially built soil pH testers, the DIY tests don’t indicate the actual pH value apart from the acidity or alkalinity.

Testing Soil Acidity or Alkalinity

To figure out if your garden soil is alkaline, collect a 2-tablespoon soil sample. In a bowl, mix the soil with ½ cup of vinegar. The soil is alkaline if the mixture fizzes. On the other hand, to test for soil acidity, moisten baking soda with distilled water.

Then, mix ½ cup of baking soda with a 2-tablespoon soil sample in a bowl. If the mixture fizzes, you have acidic soil. If the soil doesn’t fizz in either one of the tests, you have neutral soil. This is the only time you can confirm the soil has a pH of 7 or close.

Note: While these tests are accurate, they aren’t always effective. For one, your soil must contain a substantial amount of hydrogen ions to garner a reaction. In some cases, you may have to add the volume of the vinegar while in other instances the test may not yield results at all.

Top 14 Best Soil pH Testers on the Market

1. Sonkir MSO2 3-in-1 Soil pH Meter

SONKIR Soil pH Meter, MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester Gardening Tool Kits for Plant Care, Great for Garden, Lawn, Farm, Indoor & Outdoor Use (Green)

  • Type: Digital
  • Test conducted: pH, moisture, and sunlight

The Sonkir MS023 3-in-1 Soil pH Meter is worth investing in when preparing for the next plant-growing season. Featuring a 3-in-1 design, the ph meter for soil lets you measure critical soil features to create the perfect plant growing conditions.

With the soil pH probe, you can test pH, moisture content, and light. The pH meter features a simple design with an analog labeled readout scale with pH, light, and moisture calibration tables. A sliding button lets you choose the feature to measure.

Additionally, this pH soil meter features a portable and compact design with dual probes for convenient use and minimal soil disruption. One probe functions as a light sensor while the other is a pH sensor. The main casing contains a light sensor.

Yet, the best part of using this probe is it doesn’t require any replacement or rechargeable batteries. On the other hand, its sturdy construction using upgraded technology and top quality materials ensure longevity. You can use the probe both indoors and outdoors.

Pros

  • Measures the pH, soil moisture content, and sunlight level
  • No external power source or batteries required
  • Long dual probe length (approximately 7.9 inches)
  • Offers a bang for your buck

Cons

  • Susceptible to damage when the probes are submerged in pure water or liquids

2. Vivosun Soil Tester

VIVOSUN Soil Tester, 3-in-1 Plant Moisture Meter Light and PH Tester for Home, Garden, Lawn, Farm, Indoor and Outdoor Use, Promote Plants Healthy Growth

  • Type: Digital
  • Test conducted: pH, moisture, and sunlight levels

If you want a good quality digital soil pH tester instead, the Vivosun Soil Tester is a reasonable purchase. In addition to its versatile testing functionality, the soil tester is built with reliable quality and standards. The soil tester measures pH, moisture, and sunlight levels for both indoor and outdoor gardens as well as greenhouses.

Further, the battery-free soil tester is fitted with a light sensor on the humanized and compact dial while the dual pH and moisture sensor probes protrude from underneath the dial. The 10.8 inches long ph meter offers a 1-10 moisture range, 3.5 to 8 pH range, and 0-2000 Lux sunlight levels.

On the other hand, its 4-step testing application makes usage simple and convenient, getting you accurate results in just 10 minutes. Using the soil tester, you get access to all the data needed to ensure optimal plant growth from a single device.

Pros

  • Extremely accurate readings
  • Clean energy generation with no batteries required
  • Simple sliding button for choosing testing modes
  • Clear analog scale screen

Cons

  • The body isn’t waterproof

3. Kensizer Soil Tester

Kensizer Soil Tester, Soil Moisture/pH Meter, Gardening Farm Lawn Test Kit Tool, Digital Plant Probe, Water Hydrometer for Indoor Outdoor, No Battery Required

  • Type: Digital
  • Test conducted: pH and moisture levels

The Kensizer Soil Tester features a 2-in-1 soil moisture and pH meter. However, the soil test kit isn’t designed like your regular kits. Instead of the standard dual probe design, this soil kit features a single probe detection design, meaning you get 2 meters.

One single probe meter is for pH testing while the other is for moisture level testing. This probe design makes insertion into the soil easier while reducing the risks of probe damage. A simple insertion in the soil is all that’s needed to kickstart the testing and to degenerate results.

Nevertheless, each testing meter guarantees incredible results, with fast and accurate readings. Their humanized and high grip dials are fitted with clear white background readout scales with arrow pointers and a wide scale interval. The wide scale interval accommodates more data, in turn, giving you more precise results.

Pros

  • Doesn’t use batteries
  • Single probe detection to reduce probe damage possibility
  • Precise pointer readout screen for easy results reading
  • Wider scale interval for increased precision

Cons

  • Not ideal for direct water testing

4. Luster Leaf 1602 Soil Kit

Luster Leaf 1602 Soil Kit, 20 Tests

  • Type: Chemical
  • Test conducted: pH, nitrogen (N), potassium (K), and phosphorus (P)

If you want a simple, yet, versatile soil test kit, the Luster Leaf 1602 Soil Kit is an incredible investment. Though this soil kit is a chemical test, it offers unbeatable functionality. In addition to testing pH, the soil kit lets you conduct nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium tests.

But, these are not your typical home soil kit tests. Built with more detailed reference scales, each test kit guarantees detailed results. For example, unlike regular pH test strips, this pH soil kit test offers 7 distinctive color results.

Each color corresponds with a particular pH value on the reference chart, rather than just a color shade representing acidity or alkalinity. If the color is red, you have a pH of 4.5, if it’s orange, it’s a pH of 5.0, and so on. This same principle is employed with the mineral tests, with scales reading from depleted, deficient, adequate, sufficient, and surplus.

The test also comes complete with the entire required component. All you need for the samples is to add little soil to the sample container and top it with water. A pack of the soil kit comes with 20 individual disposable test kits, 5 for each test type.

Pros

  • Detailed test results (actual pH values not ranges)
  • Doubles as a perfect guide for fertilizer application
  • Comes with a reference list of over 450 plants
  • Easy to use for beginners

Cons

  • May be difficult to read results for dark soil due to visual observational needs

5. bluelab pH Pen-Digital pH Tester

bluelab pH Pen-Digital pH Tester - Reliable & Accurate for High Yield Crops - Hand-Held Meter - Measures pH & Temperature in Solutions and Soil Solutions - Optimize Plant Health & Performance,White

  • Type: Digital
  • Test conducted: pH and temperature

The bluelab pH Pen-Digital pH Tester features an ultra portable hand-held and pocket-sized design for superior convenience. This 2-in-1 digital soil pH tester measures soil pH and temperature to give gardeners essential plant-growing data.

In fact, the device is specially built for growers, offering a tough body with a waterproof finish and quick accurate readings. On the other hand, a double junction probe design lets you track the pH and temperature at the same time, reducing contamination. A probe cover helps to prolong its lifespan even further. But, this pH pen doesn’t just work in gardens.

The pH pen features a hydroponic build, letting you use it in aquatic conditions. You can use it in swimming pools, aquariums, fish tanks, and even brewers.  Further, it features an ATC feature that maintains a consistent reading on the pH and temperature, without any fluctuations.

Pros

  • Simple and easy-to-follow calibration feature with a reminder
  • Floats when used on solutions
  • Pairs with ppm meters for indoor garden water and soil nutrient tracking
  • Versatile – works for pools, aquariums, and fish tanks

Cons

  • Calibrating can be alittle confusing for beginners

6. Garden Tutor Soil pH Test Strips

Garden Tutor Soil pH Test Kit (3.5-9 Range) | 100 Soil pH Test Strips

  • Type: Chemical
  • Test conducted: pH

If you want a simple soil pH tester for managing your garden, the Garden Tutor Soil pH Test Strips is an amazing option to invest in. Using these test strips, you don’t have to worry about complex digital devices that require calibration or replacement parts. 

Packed with up to 100 strips for 1000 applications, the tester offers a simple soil pH testing method, giving you results in just 60 seconds. All you do is collect a soil sample in a small container, fill it up with distilled water (to avoid contaminating and affecting the test), and insert a test strip.

The strip will then change color on the wet area to indicate the pH, which you can compare against a reference chart. To simplify things, the reference chart is printed on the portable test strip bottle you can bring with you to the garden.

However, what makes this simple soil pH test strip tester is that the reference chart printed on the bottle features a more varied color chart with corresponding pH values. With this simple test, you don’t only get to know whether your garden soil is acidic or basic. You also know the actual pH value so you can decide on a more effective pH-balancing solution if needed.

Pros

  • 3.5 to 9 pH value range
  • 60 seconds or less duration per test
  • Comes with a more detailed full-color pH testing handbook
  • Included lime and sulfur application charts

Cons

  • Only tests pH

7. LabAider Litmus Test Paper

3 Pack pH.1-14 Test Paper Extensive Test Paper Litmus Test Paper 240 Strips pH Test with Storage Case for Saliva Urine Water Soil Testing Pet Food and Diet pH Monitoring (3 Pack with Storage Case)

  • Type: Chemical
  • Test conducted: pH

The LabAider Litmus Test Paper is among the best cheap soil ph testers on the market. Yet, it offers versatile functionality, making it a usable pH tester to have around the home. Housed in a 3-pack storage case, the litmus pH testing papers accommodate up to 240 test applications.

However, the best part about these soil pH testers is that they don’t just work for the soil. You can use them in other applications, whether testing water, pigment cosmetics, pet food, and any other instances when you need to test acidity or alkalinity.

With each test taking just 15 seconds, the litmus test paper strips are also one of the most efficient tests. These affordable soil pH testing strips also come with a standard color chart, offering a pH chart between 1 and 14 on each packet. So, testing is simple, quick, and gives you precise results.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Full standard color and pH value chart on each packet
  • Versatile – you can test anything
  • Very portable and pocket friendly

Cons

  • It may be difficult to tell some shades apart, especially closer pH values

8. Raintrip 4-in-1 Soil Tester

Soil Moisture Meter,4-in-1 Soil Ph Meter, Soil Tester for Moisture, Light,Nutrients, pH,Plant Care Tools, Great for Garden, Lawn, Farm, Indoor & Outdoor Use (No Battery Required)

  • Type: Digital
  • Test conducted: pH, moisture, sunlight, and Nutrient

 Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned gardener, the Raintrip 4-in-1 Soil Tester features a functional design, giving you all the information needed to plan for your garden planting activity. The pH meter lets you test your garden soil for pH, moisture, nutrients, and sunlight levels.

Unlike more complicated testers, this pH meter is simplified for beginners, offering a clear indication of whether or not your soil has sufficient nutrients to continue planting. The digital soil pH meter features a simple design with a single moisture, nutrient, and pH probe while its sensitive light sensor is fitted on the dial.

The nutrient scale varies from 1 to 9 based on a low to high scale, while the moisture scale extends to 10, and the pH scale ranges from 1 to 8. Additionally, the light scale ranges from dark to light with a 0 to 2000 Lux range. A clear white background dashboard screen with a bright red pointer makes it easy to read the soil testing results. The soil tester boasts a patented 90-degree rotating head design.

This dial design makes it easy to read results without struggling or bending, thanks to its 1 to 90-degree angle adjustability. Moreover, while it measures multiple features at once, the single probe meter still guarantees a fast response rate. Inserting it 2.5 inches into the soil is all it takes to activate the testing and yield results within a few seconds.

Pros

  • Single probe design to minimize damages and soil insertion difficulty
  • Patented 90-degree rotating head design for easy results readout
  • Very fast response rate (in a few seconds)
  • No batteries need for running

Cons

  • No actual tests on various minerals, e.g. N, K, etc.

9. Extenuating Threads Soil pH Meter

PH Meter, TDS PPM Meter, Soil PH Tester, PH/EC Digital Kit, 3 Pack

  • Type: Digital
  • Test conducted: pH, moisture, sunlight, and PPM

The Extenuating Threads Soil pH Meter is what you get for a more comprehensive solution to caring for your garden and ensuring the best growing results. The soil pH tester comes as an all-in-one solution pack with a digital pH meter, a TDS & EC meter, and a soil tester kit. The 3-way, dual probe soil test kit lets measure soil pH, soil moisture levels, and sunlight levels.

On the other hand, the digital pH pen also measures pH and features a temperature compensation function. The third kit, a TDS & EC meter, gauges the salinity levels by measuring the number of ions within a liquid.

Now, this third device comes in handy in hydroponic growing conditions, to make the kit useful for both soil and hydroponics plants. Further, each tester device comes with an incredible accuracy of ±0.01 while results reading take a few seconds. In addition to the 3-piece kit, you also get a full detailed PPM and pH chart to make it easier to track the results and decide the solutions.

Pros

  • Works for soil, paddies, and hydroponics environments
  • 10.2-inch double needle probe design on the soil tester kit
  • Battery-free design for the soil test kit
  • Auto lock and shut off function to save batteries on digital pH and TDS meter

Cons

  • TDS meter cannot work on saltwater

10. Alanmond Plant Water and Soil pH Meter

ALANMOND Plant Water Meter 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester for Plants Gardening Tool Kit Soil Hygrometer Sensor for Indoor & Outdoor Golden

  • Type: Digital
  • Test conducted: pH, moisture, and sunlight

The Alanmond Plant Water and Soil pH Meter features a striking design, guaranteed to grab anybody’s attention. The digital probe meter features a brushed gold body fitted with dual copper and brushed metallic zinc alloy probes, complemented by an equally sleek-looking storage case. This makes it easier, safer, and more comfortable to take the meter with you anywhere.

However, the appearance is not all that makes the pH meter stand out. The 3-in-1 soil pH tester also features versatile water and soil testing ability to make it perfect for indoor and outdoor planting. Using the pH meter, you can accurately test the soil pH, moisture levels, and sunlight levels.

In fact, it features an advanced hygrometer built that makes volumetric water content tests in the soil (moisture level tests) a breeze. It features a mechanical device design that functions based on conductivity differences. This, in turn, allows the soil meter to take more accurate readings when measuring the moisture levels.

Pros

  • Large and easy-to-read dial
  • Switch testing modes with a single sliding button
  • Long dual probe length (7 inches)
  • Clearly labeled and detailed oh, moisture, and light scales on the dial

Cons

  • Probes can easily damage on impact with stones or rocks

11. Apine Soil pH Meter

apine Soil Moister Meter, 3 in 1 Soil pH Tester, Soil Test Kit for Lawns, Garden, Farm, House, Indoor, Outdoor, Hydrometer for Plants

  • Type: Digital
  • Test conducted: pH, moisture, and sunlight

The Apine Soil pH Meter offers an affordably priced 3-in-1 pH meter with outstanding quality and functionality. Built for any garden setting, this soil meter is primarily built to function as a highly precise hygrometer to measure soil moisture levels. But, with just a single button slide, you can also measure the soil pH and sunlight levels.

The light sensors are built into the dial and offer a testing range of 0 to 2000 Lux. On the other hand, the double-needle aluminum and copper nickel-plated probes measure pH and moisture levels. The choice of materials gives the probes a longer lasting and corrosion-resistant build compared to regular pure copper.

Moreover, the plating gives the probes better conductivity and sensitivity for increased ph and moisture testing speed and accuracy. While the pH meter offers a pH testing range of 3.5 to 8, the moisture meter measures between a scale of 1 and 10. The 3-in-1 soil meter also features a special built-in silicon photovoltaic cell to operate. This clean energy-generating cell simply converts light into electrical energy, eliminating the need for batteries.

Pros

  • Ultra lightweight and portable                                   
  • Wiping cloth included for probe cleaning after each test
  • Clean energy operation
  • Highly sensitive and conducive probes

Cons

  • Doesn’t work for hydroponics

12. Hemdre 4-in-1 Digital Soil Meter

4-in-1 Soil Moisture Meter ,Digital Plant Temperature/Soil Moisture/PH Meter/Sunlight Intensity/Environment Humidity Backlight LCD display Soil Test Meter for Gardening, Farming,and Outdoor Plants

  • Type: Digital
  • Test conducted: pH, moisture, temperature, and sunlight

If you are searching the market for a pH soil meter that holds well outdoors, the Hemdre 4-in-1 Digital Soil Meter is incredible. This digital garden and farming soil tester features a highly rugged and waterproof build to survive the toughest outdoor conditions.

It is also fitted with an outer rubber dial casing with black and bright orange shades for increased visibility. Its single probe design on the other hand, further complements its longevity, reducing damage to the probe while easing soil insertion.

It is fitted with a digital LCD display that lights up in the background for easier results reading. The 4-in-1 spoil meter lets you measure the soil pH, moisture, temperature, and sunlight levels. Its digital display effortlessly displays the results in numerical, high/low, and dry/wet data for instant data retrieval.

Pros

  • Works in gardens, orchards, pots, farmland, and greenhouse
  • Fahrenheit or Celsius temperature reading option
  • Simple push button to switch between pH and temperature
  • Displays pH or temperature, sunlight, and moisture data simultaneously

Cons

  • Light and moisture are not displayed in a more precise LUX or 1-10 scale range, respectively

13. Luster Leaf Professional Soil Test Kit

Luster Leaf Products 1663 80 Professional Soil Test Kit, Green

  • Type: Chemical
  • Test conducted: pH, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potash (K)

The Luster Leaf Professional Soil Test Kit is built for any soil-growing conditions and applications. However, it is particularly useful for preparing to grow vegetables, fruits, and herbs. The professional soil kit is specially built for measuring soil pH along with mineral levels for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash.

The chemical soil test kit comes with up to 80 tests, complete testing apparatus, and a detailed pH reference list for hundreds of plants. A simple detailed instruction pamphlet is also added to the portable soil kit plastic case. Of the 80 total applicable tests, you get 20 for each testing mode, including pH, N, P, and K.

In addition to the detailed test kit, you will also find useful expert gardening and soil conditions altering information to guide you based on the results you get. So, whether you are planning on putting up tomatoes, fruit orchards, or an extensive versatile herb garden, this soil test kit comes in very handy.

Pros

  • Housed in a portable and secure plastic case
  • Comes with colorimetric and turbidity reading charts to compare test results
  • pH references for hundreds of vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, trees, grass, and houseplants
  • Useful gardening tips based on the results you get included

Cons

  • The steep learning curve for beginners

14. Luster Leaf 1818 Rapidtest Soil Kit

Luster Leaf 1818 Rapitest 4-in1 Soil pH/Moisture/Fertility/Light Tester, Fertility

  • Type: Digital
  • Test conducted: pH, fertility, moisture, and sunlight levels

The Luster Leaf 1818 Rapidtest Soil Kit offers a unique ability to help you care for and maintain garden health. Built to measure soil pH, fertility, moisture, and sunlight levels, the rapid test offers invaluable data to help look after your garden.

The data you get from the results don’t just share key values on acidity, humidity, nutrient level, and light absorbency. You can also deduce critical information on when to water your plants and how to prevent over-watering. Further, the pH meter comes with additional information on the watering needs of over 100 plants plus plant survival in acidic and alkaline conditions.

A single sliding button on the dial lets you pick the testing mode to measure. The dial also houses the light sensor while the 3-probe design for the ph, fertility, and moisture reduce soil disturbance during testing. With a triple probe design, you don’t have to insert multiple probes to get your data.

Pros

  • Comes with a detailed instruction sheet with info on fertilization watering and light
  • Offers key information for over 100 yard and garden plants
  • 5-inch triple probe needles for minimal soil disturbance
  • Easy-to-slide 4 function switch on the dial

Cons

  • No actual values on soil fertility

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Much Will I Pay for a Soil pH Tester?

You should expect to pay anywhere between $5 and up to a thousand dollars for a soil pH tester. The price is highly influenced by the type of soil pH tester, features, and construction quality. For example, a pack of pH test strips or litmus paper can go as low as $5. On the other hand, a digital versatile pH meter (that also measures other soil qualities, like moisture or sunlight) will cost you at least $15 to $25.

What is the Normal pH of Soil?

Standard and natural soil pH can range between 3.5 and 9, depending on the geographical location and features. For instance, dry areas tend to have mildly acidic to basic soil pH of 6.5 to 9. Areas with wet climates and high rainfall tend to have acidic to neutral soil pH of 5 to 7.

Which Type of Soil pH Tester is More Effective?

Both pH meters and pH papers or test strips offer accurate results. However, a pH meter is a better option due to the minimal results reading limitation. Since you have a probe and the results screen (digital results reading screen) doing the results reading job, you don’t have to worry about any color blindness.

pH papers and test strips require you to compare the color results you get on the paper against a chart. Now, this is not a simple task for everybody, especially people with color blindness.

Can I Measure Soil pH Without a Special Soil pH Tester?

You cannot measure the actual soil pH without a soil pH tester of some kind. However, in emergencies, you can still use items readily available in your kitchen pantry to determine alkalinity and acidity.

You can mix vinegar and soil to determine alkalinity while baking soda (liquefied by distilled water) mixed with soil determines acidity. But, these tests don’t give you the actual pH value of the soil sample.

The verdict

Whether you are a beginner or an avid gardener, having the best soil pH testers in your garden shed goes a long way. The devices offer a reliable way to gauge if your environment is ideal for planting your favorite trees, flowers, vegetables, and herbs.

Such a small and simple device is ultra resourceful in assisting you with planning your garden’s planting, even successive plantings. Moreover, these pH testers come in a vast range of designs, including those equipped with multiple testing modes for a full soil quality evaluation.

Our personal favorite soil pH tester is the 3-in-1 Sonkir MSO2 3-in-1 Soil pH Meter which measures the pH, moisture, and sunlight. If you want a more comprehensive full soil testing solution, go for the Luster Leaf 1602 Soil Kit, which measures pH, nitrogen (N), potassium (K), and phosphorus (P).

Alternatively, you can go for the Extenuating Threads Soil pH Meter, which measures pH, moisture, sunlight, and PPM to expand the reach, covering water environments and hydroponics. If you want something simpler, the Garden Tutor Soil pH Test Strips are a great choice!

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