Top 8 Best Soil pH Testers | 2020 Reviews (Sonkir)

Growing new flowers, vegetables, and other plant species and seeing them grow is exciting and fulfilling. However, maintaining a healthy garden requires a lot of effort. If you are not passionate enough, the sight of flat, drying soil or withering plants can easily discourage you in an instant. Worse, you may have given up the idea of making your dream garden a reality.But don’t quit just yet – you can still make a successful hobby out of gardening with the help of a soil pH tester. This handy gardening instrument will help you monitor a soil’s condition by understanding its specific needs. It can detect the amount of alkaline or acid present in the soil and the light content and soil moisture.  

This buying guide has put together the best soil pH testers online, including a guide on how to pick the correct soil pH tester to help you grow that lovely garden you have always dreamt of. Since making a purchase decision can be pretty challenging, this article also includes a product review, best soil pH tester brands, features to consider, and an FAQ section.

Having good soil means more chances of reaping a bountiful harvest, so keep reading to get all the information you need.

Top 8 Best Soil pH Testers Reviewed

  1. Soil pH Meter MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester by Sonkir – Best Overall
  2. Soil pH Meter, 3-in-1 Soil Tester Kit by Atree – Best Value
  3. Soil Test Kit pH/Moisture/Light Tester by Yoyomax – Editor’s Choice
  4. 1601 Rapitest Test Kit by Luster Leaf
  5. Soil pH Test Strips by Garden Tutor
  6. 716441 Combo Meter for Plant Germination by Bluelab
  7. PENSOILPH pH Pen by Bluelab
  8. Rapitest Digital Soil pH Tester by Luster Leaf

#1. Soil pH Meter MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester by Sonkir – Best Overall

 

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

 

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Specifications:

  • 3-in-1 function: Detects pH value, soil moisture, and sunlight level
  • Measures pH range from 3.5 to 8 pH
  • Double-Needle Detection Technology for added accuracy and speed
  • No batteries needed
  • Lightweight and portable
  • 12-month money-back warranty

One of the best things about the Sonkir MS02 soil tester is its multi-functionality. Not only does it check the pH level, but it allows you to test the soil moisture and sunlight level as well. This way, you can make the correct adjustments for your plants to ensure that they will grow healthy.  

Another great feature of this soil meter is that it utilizes Double-Needle Detection technology to get quicker and accurate results. It is also convenient and easy to use, where you just have to insert the double probe in the soil for about two to four inches deep and toggle the switch to your desired parameter (pH level/ moisture/ light). However, you may have to wait for about ten minutes to get the full reading. 

This Sonkir pH meter is battery-free, meaning you can use it anytime. Although it only measures the pH spectrum from 3.5 to 8 pH, this range is good enough for an average gardener.

ProsCons
Reliable and accurate resultsThe product broke after a month of use.
Easy to read pH meterNeeds a wider range of scale
Not difficult to insertHard to read results
No batteries needed

#2. Soil pH Meter, 3-in-1 Soil Tester Kit by Atree – Best Value

Soil pH Meter, 3-in-1 Soil Tester Kit

 

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Specifications:

  • 3-in-1 function: Measures pH value, soil moisture, and sunlight intensity
  • Measures pH range from 3.5 to 8 pH
  • Light sensor: Determine whether plants get enough sunlight
  • Moisture sensor: Detects soil whether dry, moist, or wet
  • Compact design for outdoor and indoor use

The Atree 3-in-1 Soil Tester Kit is a versatile soil pH meter that is easy to use among any type of flowers, vegetables, and other plant species. This device is designed to help you start your dream of owning a large garden plantation. 

As the name goes, this tester features 3-in-1 functionality, which means you can check the soil is acidic or alkaline, measure the moisture level, and conduct a light test to know if the plants are receiving enough sunlight.

Besides its three job-specific features, this meter comes with a pocket-friendly price, making it ideal for budget-minded gardeners who want a useful gardening tool at an affordable price.

This tool uses a simple design with two probes that run deeper into the soil and a dial that indicates the readings. To use it, simply insert the probes into the soil for at least four to six inches deep and flip the switch depending on your chosen parameter.

ProsCons
Simple and easy to useComponents obtain damages after a few soil tests.
Scientifically accurateOnly accurate for light intensity
Sensitive probeCannot read accurate pH level
Very affordable

#3. Soil Test Kit pH/Moisture/Light Tester by Yoyomax – Editor’s Choice

Soil Test Kit pH Moisture Light Tester

 

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Specifications:

  • 3-in-1 design: pH/light/moisture tester
  • Push-button to switch between meters
  • Portable and compact 
  • No batteries or electricity needed
  • Ideal for indoor and outdoor use
  • Plug and read: Ready to use out of the box

Ensure your plants grow healthier with the Yoyomax Soil Test Kit pH /Moisture/Light Tester to check if they meet all of the required nutrients. This meter is designed to give you everything you need to know about the overall soil condition, including its pH, moisture level, and light intensity. Once you get the average figure, it will be easier for you to start your dream yard. 

This 3-in-1 meter uses a simple testing mechanism, where you just simply insert the probes into the soil and wait for the results for a few minutes before reading the dial. Its unique design made this device one of the most preferred soil pH tester kits among amateur gardeners. It uses premium-grade materials for maximum durability to avoid forcing them into hard soil or sharp surfaces.  

The Yoyomax Soil Test Kit pH does not require batteries and electricity for its operation. You can use it straight away from the package. It also comes with a lightweight and compact design, making it easier for you to carry the unit around the garden. Plus, it has a large dial to make it easier to read the display. 

ProsCons
Works for a wide variety of garden plantsTakes 10 minutes to deliver the result
Practical and convenient 3-in-1 toolPointer not working well
Completely accurate readingsMeter never moves
Great quality for the price

#4. 1601 Rapitest Test Kit by Luster Leaf

1601 Rapitest Test Kit

 

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Specifications:

  • Quick results for soil pH, potash, phosphorus, and nitrogen
  • Easy-to-use capsule system
  • Patented colors comparators
  • Contains all components for 40 tests
  • Ten tests pH, potash, phosphorus, and nitrogen
  • Soil pH reference list for over 450 plants

The 1601 Rapitest Test Kit from Luster Leaf is a basic soil tester kit that measures soil pH, phosphorus, potash, and nitrogen. Luster Lead uses an innovative setup for this device to give you quick, at-home results for your gardening needs.

Apart from all the testers mentioned in this review, this tool uses small test kits with color-coded comparators instead of test probes. Using the green capsules, mix it with the sample soil, add a few drops of water, and then compare the scale with the final color.

Another standout feature of this kit is that it includes a pH reference list for over 450 plant species to help you determine what kind of adjustments to make. 

ProsCons
Great for beginners and skilled gardenersMay produce faulty results if instructions are not followed carefully.
Detailed instructions includedTopples over due to its rounded base edge
Quick and reliable resultsCapsule halves are difficult to separate.
Subtle color gradations

#5. Soil pH Test Strips by Garden Tutor

Soil pH Test Strips Kit

 

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Specifications:

  • Calibrated for soil
  • Enough test strips for 100 soil pH tests
  • Includes 16-page full-color pH testing handbook
  • Includes lime and sulfur application charts
  • Measures pH from 3.5 to 9
  • Optimal for most plants

The Garden Tutor Soil pH Test Strips is a specifically calibrated soil pH test kit. It includes 100 test strips that measure pH between 3.5 and 9, which guarantees quick results. Each strip provides more accurate results than other universal test strips that are not specifically designed for pH testing.

This soil pH kit has a 16-page handbook with lime and sulfur application charts based on the soil’s pH level. It is also a handy gardening handbook that tells you how to achieve the desired pH since most garden plants prefer a 6.5 pH level.  

Considering the number of tests this kit can perform, it comes with an extremely affordable price. Although the testing process can be a little tricky, which may take around 20 minutes, it comes with an easy-to-follow instruction manual. 

ProsCons
Color readouts help pick the most accurate pH match.Results take a lot longer than other methods.
A simple color gauge systemTedious testing process
Easy to follow directions
Fairly easy to read

#6. 716441 Combo Meter for Plant Germination by Bluelab

716441 Combo Meter for Plant Germination

 

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Specifications:

  • Measures pH, temperature, EC, PPM, and CF
  • Made of lab-quality glass
  • Can be used for growing, water, brewing, etc.
  • Easy two-point calibration and auto temperature compensation
  • Includes LCD screen and calibration reminders
  • Other features: units for temperature, low battery indicator, auto-off function.

Plant hobbyists looking for a pH tester that works best for hydroponic farming, look no further. The 716441 Combo Meter for Plant Germination from Bluelab is a professional soil pH meter that measures pH level, conductivity, and temperature. This tool can help you make the right adjustments for your gardening techniques to keep your plants on track for the blooming season. 

The Bluelab Combo Meter for Plant Germination is a lightweight and extremely portable device that comes with an extremely long probe cable at 6.5 feet, making it easy for you to stretch the probe to obtain the desired readings you need. 

It also comes with unique components, including its lab-quality glass with easy two-point calibration and auto temperature compensation. You can also use it for growing plants, testing a water’s pH level, brewing, etc. Another standout feature is its easy-to-read LCD screen and clearly-marked buttons for ease of use. 

Keep in mind that this pH meter is specifically designed for hydroponic farming, which means you only use it to test the water instead of soil. 

ProsCons
Still works despite irregular use.Results tend to be less accurate over time.
Reliable performance across timeInstructions are difficult to understand
Completely accurate readingsWorks for a short while 
Yields accurate results 

#7. PENSOILPH pH Pen by Bluelab

PENSOILPH pH Pen

 

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Specifications:

  • Measures soil pH for acid or alkaline conditions
  • Lab-quality glass probe
  • Auto temperature compensation and easy two-point calibration
  • Backlit LCD screen with calibration reminders 
  • Waterproof probe
  • Other features: low battery indicator, temperatures units, auto-off function

The PENSOILPH pH Pen from Bluelab is made of a lab-quality glass probe that you can use to measure the pH level in various places. This device is so accurate enough that it is not only useful for soil testing, but you can also apply it for testing water, brewing, swimming pools, and hydroponic gardening. 

Calibration is fairly easy with this tool, which contributes to the accuracy of results. It can read pH levels from zero to 14, with a temperature range between 32°F to 122°F. Plus, the probe automatically compensates itself for the temperature. The backlit LCD screen is also easy to read, which also reminds you of the right time to calibrate. 

The testing process simply begins by inserting the probe in the desired location. However, make sure that it has a soft surface with no hard or sharp obstacles like rocks. The device uses an AAA battery for its operation.

ProsCons
Works with soil, solution, coco, and rock woolStops working after two months of use
Measures pH levels for fertilizer solutionsMost expensive product in this list
Accurate pH readingDifficult to calibrate
Intuitive controls

#8. Rapitest Digital Soil pH Tester by Luster Leaf

1606 Rapitest Digital Soil pH Tester

 

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Specifications:

  • LED digital technology reads test colors
  • Accessible push-button for immediate results
  • Performs ten tests for soil pH
  • Includes pH reference list for over 450 plants
  • Complete and simple instructions
  • Kit includes: liquid dropped, test tube, and 10 test capsules

The Luster Leaf 1606 Rapitest Digital Soil pH Tester is a highly-advanced soil testing kit that utilizes advanced LED technology and a special optical calibration system to give accurate pH level results in just a few minutes.

Although this device comes with extensive instructions, they are fairly easy to follow so that you can get the most accurate results. The box includes everything you need, including ten test capsules, a test tube, and a liquid dropper.

One of the best things about this digital soil pH meter is that it includes a pH reference list for over 450 plant species. This way, you know how to apply its results based on what kind of maintenance your plants need to get the right pH level.

ProsCons
Can get more test capsules for long useUnreliable pH readings
Designed and engineered in the USANot ideal for beginners
Gets results within secondsYields the same results
Accurate pH readings

Top Pick for Best Soil pH Testers: Soil pH Meter MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester by Sonkir

A soil pH tester is one of the most useful tools to understand how gardening works. For those who have been unlucky when growing flowers, vegetables, fruits, or other plant species, a soil pH tester can help you attain successful gardening.

While several brands boast of its highly-accurate and reliable soil pH testers, not all are truthful enough with their promise. Good thing there’s Sonkir’s Soil pH Meter MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester, the top pick for the best soil pH testers on this list. 

The MS02 is a 3-in-1 soil meter designed to measure the pH, moisture, and sunlight level. Besides knowing the pH level, this meter will let you know how moist or dry a soil is and if it gets a decent amount of sunlight. These factors contribute to successful plant growth.

This tool uses a premium Double-Needle Protection technology for more accurate results and to speed up the reading process. Plus, this meter is also easy to use, as it only involves a three-step process. You will simply adjust its mode, insert the probe two to four inches deep into the soil, and check the results after 10 minutes. Plus, it doesn’t require batteries, which means you can use it right away.

Besides the Sonkir MS02 Soil pH Tester, you may also check out other soil pH meters mentioned in this review. All tools come with an affordable price and carry more value in terms of usage. 


Best Brands for Soil pH Testers

Here are the top dependable brands that are known for manufacturing reliable and accurate soil pH testers on the market. Know about their background and how they became the leading brands in the gardening industry.

Garden Tutor

Garden Tutor is a brand owned by Botaniworld, LLC., a horticultural product company dedicated to helping gardeners successfully grow their garden like a pro. With its 25 years of hands-on gardening expertise, Garden Tutor combines innovative and quality products with comprehensive gardening information.

Their product range consists of design and testing kits, including Soil pH Test Strips Kit, Soil Texture Testing Jar & Handbook Kit, Garden Design Kit, and Master Garden Tutor Course Kit. What’s more, they also provide online gardening courses and landscape service and contracting.

Luster Leaf

Since 1957, Luster Leaf has established itself as the USA’s market leader in chemical and electronic soil testers for everyday home gardeners. They foster growth and change to provide reliable products for successful gardening. From this viewpoint, they developed a diverse category of products for outdoor and indoor gardening. 

Luster Leaf currently offers plant identification and ties, soil testers and mosses, soil meters, seed sowing aids, and a growing selection of garden décor and plant supports. Whether you’re looking for solutions for your dying plant bed or drooping flowers, Luster Leaf has solutions for you. 

Bluelab

Bluelab’s is a New Zealand-based company for over 30 years that provides growers industry-standard measurement tools to help them attain exceptional results and harvest. Their entire product range guarantees accurate, durable, and easy-to-use tools to combat the challenges that come with everyday gardening.

They develop various products, whether you are growing in soil or hydroponic solution. Besides pH pens, they also produce meters, controllers, monitors, replacement parts, and accessories. 


Features to Consider When Buying Soil pH Testers (Buyer’s Guide)

Whether you’re planting vegetables, succulents, herbs, or a healthy green lawn, the right soil pH tester will help you get the job done. However, not all soil pH readers go through the same manufacturing process. Here are the factors to consider you should focus on when making a purchase decision.

Accuracy of the pH Meter

First and foremost, the accuracy of a soil pH tester is a highly-prioritized feature you should be wary of. When used correctly, chemical dye kits may return accurate results, but they won’t return an accurate value. It is recommended to use the tester several times and estimate the average figure to ensure accurate results. You may also obtain a soil sample and send it to a local lab to compare the results with your meter’s readings. This way, you get more reliable results to assess the accuracy of your pH tester.

Ease of Use

Using a soil pH meter doesn’t mean you should be a professional gardener or someone who has a degree in chemistry. The right soil pH tester or kit should be easy enough to use even for beginners. The best kits should return readable results that are easy to understand. Chemical dye kits may be a lot trickier to interpret, especially if you have no chemistry knowledge. Good thing there are probe-style meters that will only require you to insert the probe into the soil.

Probe Depth/Length

Soil pH testers are designed in two ways: single or double probes. The probes are usually built from aluminum, copper, silver, or metal mixtures. Since the material type does not necessarily contribute to a soil reading’s accuracy, you should pay more attention to the probe depth. 

The golden rule is to measure the pH at the root level: the longer the probe, the better, as it will give you the best idea regarding the content of a soil’s entire section and not just its top layer. Ideally, a pH meter should have a dilute soil sample. This way, you can collect a soil sample at any depth.

Range

Not all soil pH testers have the same pH range. Analog probe meters usually measure the pH between the three to eight range. While this range is ideal for mature plants, seedlings require more control. A digital meter for plant germination and chemical dye tests are an ideal choice as their range can cover the whole pH spectrum from 1 to 14.  

Multi-Functionality

Some soil pH testers are designed only to test a soil’s acidity or alkalinity. Soil testers should have a multi-functional feature to allow you to test other factors, such as the sunlight intensity and moisture content. You get a value-priced tool by getting a 3-in-1 soil meter so you can evaluate all the essential factors that contribute to a plant’s growth. This way, you’ll know when it’s time to bring in the watering can, add lime, or perform plant care.

Portability

Since you will be using soil testers in all kinds of weather, they should be compact, lightweight, and durable. A probe tester may be sensitive, but it should offer the most rugged performance.

Power Source

Soil pH testers like probe meters and chemical dye are battery-free and simple to use, allowing you to test the soil without plugging in a battery. However, some products like the ones mentioned in this review still require batteries. Although it is not yet scientifically proven, some gardeners believe that battery-operated testers provide more accurate results. 


Conclusion

Knowing the exact soil pH is an essential part of the plant growing process. It tells you what measures you should do to help the plants grow healthily. If you are keen to grow beautiful flowers or reap bountiful fresh vegetables, a soil pH tester is a handy instrument that will complete your gardening tool. 

Apart from all the models mentioned in this review, the Soil pH Meter MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester by Sonkir is one of the best soil pH testers available on the market that will get you the most reliable and accurate results, especially when you’re treating the soil to get the right pH level. 

This tool features a three-way function, which allows you to know the pH level, moisture, and sunlight level. Besides its accurate measurements, it’s also incredibly easy to use. Since it requires no batteries, all you have to do is insert the sensor probe about four inches deep into the soil.

Sonkir uses a Double-Needle Detection technology that enhances the tool’s reading results and testing speed. This tester provides value for your money, thanks to its versatile performance. 

A soil pH meter is certainly a useful garden tool that you cannot afford to ignore, especially if you are keen on gardening. Knowing the acid level of your soil is just the initial step to growing a healthy garden. So, if you’re ready to take gardening to the next level, now is the time to buy the best soil pH tester.


FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are digital soil pH testers accurate?

The truth about soil pH meters is that they tend to give random readings. Getting the right tool that provides the exact, accurate result is almost impossible. Generally, accuracy depends on plenty of factors, including the pH range a meter covers, how the instructions were carried out, and a device’s overall quality.

However, you may find some of the best meters in this review that provide results at the accuracy level of ± 0.2, like the ones from Sonkir, Garden Tutor, and Luster Leaf. Although soil pH meters don’t give the exact value, you can still rely on them to make smart decisions. You can also test the same soil sample four or five times to ensure accuracy.

How should I clean a soil pH meter?

The way you clean the probe of a soil pH meter may determine how long it can serve you. Experts suggest that you should clean a probe before taking a measurement and after you use it. Although the cleaning process may differ across several devices, most manufacturers suggest that you wipe it using a clean cloth. If you want to be sure, check the instructions included in the manual.

Some meters tend to lose their accuracy when you leave them in the ground for too long. Once you’ve measured a soil’s pH, place it in a pouch or its original storage case, and store it in a dry area.   

How should I test soil’s pH level with a test probe?

Before using a test probe, make sure you have made a two-inch deep hole in the soil. Once it’s done, fill the hole with a distilled water until the hole gets muddy enough. Then, put in a clean test probe and wait for about a few minutes, depending on how long the device will indicate the results. 

If the reading indicates that the soil has a 7-pH level, it has a neutral acid condition. Getting a pH reading that is more than seven means that it is a basic soil, and a reading lower than seven means that the soil is acidic. You may want to repeat the test several times at various spots and take the average to get the final pH level.

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