7 Best Soil pH Testers in 2020: Expert Reviews and Buyer’s Guides

Best Soil pH Testers

If you don’t have a natural green thumb, you may have given up on the prospect of growing healthy plants entirely. 

But don’t quit just yet– you can acquire a green thumb quickly by purchasing a soil pH reader. A good lawn pH tester will help you communicate better with your plants by understanding their specific needs. 

When you insert a soil pH meter into the ground, it will tell you everything you need to know, including whether your soil is too acidic or too alkaline. Some of the best soil pH testers even tell you the soil moisture and light content of your soil!

Ready to learn more? Consider our soil pH tester reviews so that you can buy the best soil pH testers for your gardening needs.

What to Consider When Buying A Soil pH Tester

Whether you want to grow herbs, succulents, vegetables, or even just a healthy lawn, a good soil pH tester will help you get the job done each and every time. However, not all soil pH readers are built the same. Here are the key features you need to pay attention to as you are shopping for the perfect product.

Accuracy of the pH Meter

Look for a soil pH tester that is accurate. Generally, there should be a range that your pH tester can measure within. While most soil pH testers can measure anything from 3.5 to 8, there are some whose range is slightly larger or smaller.

Pay close attention to the instructions that are included with your chosen soil pH reader, as this will give you the best idea of how to obtain the most accurate reading with your specific device. You might have to do things like wiggle the probes, keep the probes in the ground for an extended amount of time, or place the probes close to the roots of your plants for best results.

Probe Depth Length of the Soil Tester

Soil pH readers can be designed in one of two ways: single or double probes. These probes are typically made out of some kind of metal, like silver, copper, aluminum, or an amalgamation of metals.

While the metal type is not terribly important to the accuracy of your soil reading, the probe depth is. The longer the probe on your soil pH meter, the better, as it will give you the best idea of the content of your entire section of soil– not just the top layer of sediment. 

Multi-Function

While some soil pH testers are designed solely to solely test the acidity or alkalinity of your soil, there is an increasing amount of products that can test other factors, too, such as the moisture content and light levels of your soil.

By purchasing a 3-in-1 device, you’ll get more value for your money and will be able to evaluate all of the most important factors that influence your plants’ healthy growth. This will tell you whether it’s time to add lime, turn on your sprinklers, or engage in any other maintenance for your plants.

Portability

You should look for a soil pH tester that is lightweight, compact– and most of all– durable. (You will be using this in all kinds of weather, after all). The probes on soil pH tester may be sensitive, but you want a unit that will give you the most rugged performance for your dollar. 

Power Source

Most soil pH testers today are battery-free, allowing you to test your soil without plugging in AA or AAA batteries. However, there are still some sold– none that we have reviewed here, however– that do require batteries. While tests don’t conclude for sure either way, some gardeners believe that battery-operated meters are more precise. Since there’s no scientific evidence to prove this, the jury’s still out.

Top Soil pH Testers in 2020

Sonkar Soil pH Meter Kelway Soil pH and Moisture Meter Alotpower 3-in-1 Soil Tester Meter
Best Overall Best Premium Best Value
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Pros:

1. Lightweight and portable

2. 3-in-1 functionality testes moisture, sunlight, and pH

3. Comes with a 12-month guarantee
Pros:

1. Durable and has a carrying case

2. High accuracy and quick readings

3. Dial is easy to read and adjust
Pros:

1. Compact and portable with sturdy metal probes

2. Offers readings of soil pH, light, and moisture

3. Can be used for indoor and outdoor plants alike
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How Accurate Are Soil pH Meters?

Just about every gardening website, book, or expert out there will recommend that you test your soil pH level. While you can have this done at a lab, a professional soil tester device will be more than enough to get the job done for you, too. 

Laboratory testing of your soil will always be the most reliable way to figure out how you need to amend your soil– if at all. However, this is also the most expensive and also most inconvenient way to do this. It can take some time to get your results back (which can seriously postpone being able to utilize that plot), and unless you need scientific-grade accuracy, a basic soil pH meter is more than accurate enough to help you get the job done. 

Soil pH meters are much easier and more accurate to use than other methods of testing your soil, like chemical dye soil test kits. These are cheap, but can only be used for a preset number of uses– usually twelve to fifteen times. They give you an idea of your soil’s pH by producing several different colors, which you’ll need to analyze on your own afterward. The same goes for the strip test, which is another color-coded method of reading your soil’s pH.

Electric soil pH meters, like the ones we have reviewed below, are generally considered the most reliable tools to monitor the quality of your soil. They give you a quick, accurate reading. The only caveat is that the soil needs to be somewhat wet in order for the meter to give an accurate reading; therefore, many (though not all) of the best soil pH tester require you to dampen the ground before you begin.  

Ideally, regardless of whether your soil pH tester is battery operated or can function without batteries, you will want to look for one that reads pH with an accuracy around  ±0.2 and moisture content with an accuracy of ±10%. Anything that reads outside of these ranges will not give you as clear a picture of how you need to adjust your soil.

Best Soil pH Tester Reviews

Sonkir Soil pH Meter, MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester

This is a great soil pH meter for beginners to both outdoor and indoor gardening, but it’s also a product chosen by thousands of more experienced gardeners, too. The Sonkar Soil pH Meter is the top on our list because it is a great value, offering three functions all in one. You can not only test your soil quality, but you’ll get an idea of how you need to address other factors, like the moisture and sunlight that are penetrating through the soil.

These features are often neglected by the average gardener– you wouldn’t necessarily think about how much light is getting to the soil. However, knowing whether your lighting and moisture levels are consistent and optimal is important because it will help you determine your root zone, plant health, and time to germination when you plant your seeds. It will also give you an idea of the moisture so you will know if it’s time to give your plants a splash with the garden hose!

This unit requires no batteries, meaning you can use it at any time and it’s exceptionally easy to do. To use it, all you have to do is slide the button to change to the desired setting. Then, you can insert the probes (which are extra long at 7.9 inches) into the soil. Finally, wait for ten minutes to get a reading. Although it only reads pH in a limited general range of 3.5 to 8, this is typically all you will need as an average gardener.

What We Liked:

  • Lightweight and portable
  • 3-in-1 functionality testes moisture, sunlight, and pH
  • Comes with a 12-month guarantee

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not as effective in hard, rocky, or dry soil
Kelway Soil pH and Moisture Meter

Our next top soil pH tester is the professional soil pH tester, the Kelway Soil pH and Moisture Meter. Although it’s a premium option, it’s well worth the money as it’s a professional-grade product. You can use this on large farms, commercial plantations, or even for small home gardens. This product provides an exceptionally quick reading with a pH accuracy of ±0.2.

But this product isn’t just for testing soil pH. It can also evaluate your moisture content with an accuracy of  ±10%. It doesn’t require any batteries or power source to operate, instead using the principle of electrical potential between two dissimilar metal plates. It’s solid and reliable, allowing you to check any kind of soil for its pH or moisture content. 

Once you’ve selected your settings, you only need to wait about two or three minutes for it to get a reading. It comes with a durable carrying case as well as a belt loop, making it easier to carry as you travel among your planted fields. Since it records so quickly, it won’t take you long to get the job done.

What We Liked:

  • Durable product that comes with a carrying case
  • High accuracy and quick readings
  • Dial is easy to read and to adjust, allowing you to take numerous readings

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Can be difficult to remove the probe from soil, as well as to clean off any lingering dirt
Alotpower 3-in-1 Soil Tester Meter, Moisture, pH,Light Meter Plant Tester

Another top 3-in-1 soil test meter, this product by Alotpower is one of the best on the market. It lets you read the sunlight, moisture content, and, of course, pH of your soil. This device provides remarkably reliable results, letting you know after only a few minutes what the levels of your soil are. 

This tool can take readings at pH levels from 3.5-8, as well as moisture levels from 1-10. It can read light ranging from dark to light in the range of 0-2000 lux. With an easy to read dial, you don’t have to worry about squinting at your reading in the bright sunlight or needing reading glasses just to figure out what it says. This product has a compact design, making it easy for you to carry it with you as you traverse about the garden. 

You can purchase this soil tester in a one- or two-pack. Because you’ll get a wide range of scientifically accurate readings, you can use this product on both outdoor or indoor plants. While it’s not as reliable if the probes are not inserted near the roots of your plants, it’s easy to adjust if you don’t get a clear reading the first time you give it a try.

What We Liked:

  • Compact and portable with sturdy metal probes
  • Offers readings of soil pH, light, and moisture 
  • Can be used for indoor and outdoor plants alike

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not designed for use in hard, rocky, or wet soil
iKKEGOL 3 in 1 Water Moisture PH Soil Analyzer Tester Tool

This soil test meter makes it easy to figure out your soil needs. It reads in just a few minutes, letting you know whether your soil is too alkaline or too acidic, too wet or too dry, too dark or too bright. As a 3-in-1 tool, it really offers everything you could ever need in a digital soil pH meter. 

The iKKEGOL soil analyzer requires no batteries. It’s incredibly compact and lightweight, allowing you to carry it around in your pocket or on your belt. It comes with a plant and zone guide printed on the back of the packaging, making it easy for you to figure out the specific requirements of your plants. You can purchase this with a round or square face, making it easier to read depending on your needs.

This device is easy to use. All you need to do is to select your preferred mode, whether it’s light, moisture, or pH, and use the switch to set the device. Then, you can place the 8-inch probe deep into the soil and get your reading. This soil pH tester can read pH at a range of 3.5 to 8, moisture at a range of 1-10 (with one being very dry and 10 being very wet), and light at a range from dark to light, with 0 lux being the low and 2000 lux being the brightest.

What We Liked:

  • Requires no batteries and is lightweight for added portability
  • Can be used in an indoor and outdoor setting
  • Gives you scientifically accurate readings on light, pH, and moisture 

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Prongs are not good at penetrating through rocky or heavy clay soils
Gain Express Soil Ph & Moisture Meter 295mm Long Electrode

If you are looking for a pH meter that monitors at a slightly larger range, consider the Gain Express Soil pH and Moisture Meter. This product can measure pH as low as 3 and as high as 8, operating with an accuracy range of +/- 0.2 PH. This is a great tool for novice gardeners as well as those who have a bit more experience.

While it doesn’t have quite as many additional features as some of the other products we’ve reviewed, it offers everything you need in one compact little device. It does come with an additional moisture reader with a 10 to 80 percent range. 

This tool is easy to use, requiring no batteries or electricity. All you need to do is insert the probe into the area you want to check and wait a few minutes for it to give you reading. It has a long and slender 295 mm electrode that can penetrate through most soils. Both accurate and reliable, this device is waterproof, meaning you can use it in just about any kind of soil.

What We Liked:

  • Gives you an accurate soil pH reading in less than ten minutes
  • Can be used in wet settings as it’s entirely waterproof
  • Requires no batteries or electricity 

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Doesn’t monitor for light 
LeHatori Soil Tester

This inexpensive little soil tester offers a great value for the money, giving you three testing options all in one convenient little device. The LeHatori Soil Tester monitors for soil moisture, sunlight level, and pH, allowing you to determine quickly whether you need to amend your pH, water your plants, or adjust the lighting. 

This unit is lightweight and portable, allowing you to use it both indoors or outdoors or in any kind of setting– regardless of whether you are a small-scale hobby gardener or an industrial farmer. It offers accurate readings, making it easy to tell what you need to do to your soil. It also has a large display so there’s no squinting required!

To use this soil tester, all you need to do is insert the aluminium and copper probe– which is just under eight inches long– into the soil about two to three inches deep. Adjust it until the dial swings, and wait for ten minutes. It can read soil pH at a range of 3.5-8, moisture at a range of 1-10, and light at a range of 0-2000 lux. 

What We Liked:

  • Comes with a generous 6-month money back warranty 
  • Tests soil, light, and moisture all in one
  • No battery required, so you can use it indoors or outdoors

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Easily damaged by overly hard or wet soils
Varoyi Soil pH Meter, ST02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/pH/Light Tester

Our last pick is far from being the least, offering gardeners a great value in an affordable, convenient 3-in-1 design. The manufacturers of this product market this soil tester as the premier “Plant Care Assistant,” claiming that it makes it easier for you to determine the conditions and needs of your plants. It can detect soil moisture, pH, and even daily sunlight levels. 

Again, this unit requires no batteries. All you have to do is insert the probe into the soil about four inches deep, switch to your desired sensor position, and wait for ten minutes. You can use this soil pH meter both indoors or outdoors. It’s compact and lightweight, making it easy to transport. It can also help tell you whether the area you’ve placed your plants in is too dark or has plenty of solar light to support your healthy plant growth. 

For gardeners who are new to the hobby, this soil pH meter even comes with a handy guide to tell you exactly what you should be looking for. It explains the differences between desired pH, moisture, and sunlight readings, helping you get the best idea of how you can help your plants grow and thrive.

What We Liked:

  • Affordable 3-in-1 option 
  • Comes with a 12-month risk-free warranty 
  • Portable and lightweight

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Does not work well in extremely acidic or extremely alkaline soils, as it has a limited range

Why Do I Need a Soil pH Reader?

Knowing the exact pH of your soil is important, as it will let you know whether you need to add any amendments to help your plants grow to be healthy. While the perfect pH for most plants is between 6.2 and 7.2, this is not always the case. In fact, some plants, like blueberries, like super-acidic soil.

Knowing how acidic or alkaline your soil happens to be is the first step to growing healthy plants. If you’re ready to take your gardening to the next level, you’ve got to consider buying one of these best soil pH testers today.

Comments (2)

  1. I want to purchase a Sonkar pH tester how much and when will i receive?
    need invoice and bank account number

  2. […] For people who love to garden, learning about the suitability of the soil in your garden is vital for the success of your garden. For more tips in choosing the best soil testers or  other important gardening topics, visit us at WeekendGardener.Net. […]

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