A lot of equipment is needed to build a functioning and thriving hydroponics system. One product that is often forgotten about is a pH meter that tests the pH levels in your hydroponics system.

After careful research, field testing, and detailed comparison, we’ve put together an unbeatable resource to help you find an exceptional ph meter!

Quick glance at the best ph meters for hydroponics:

Related:

Best Hydroponic PH Meters & Testers Reviewed

The Bluelab Digital pH Pen

YAMAHA P125 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Power Supply and Sustain Pedal, Black

Amazon 

If you are looking for the best pH water tester pen on the market, you are lucky! This digital pen is not only affordable but also highly effective. It is easy to grip and has a smooth screen that makes it easy to read the pH results.

While it is not the most complicated device, it is comfortable and easy to use and store away, perfect for beginner hydroponics gardeners looking for the right tools to start.

Pros:

  • One reading calculates both a pH reading and temperature check
  • Completely waterproof
  • Calibration solution included
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty with proof of purchase

Cons:

  • Does not present consistent readings
  • Battery life is low

The Apera Premium Series PH60 Pocket pH Tester Kit

YAMAHA P125 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Power Supply and Sustain Pedal, Black

Amazon 

We love this Apera Premium Series pocket pH tester kit because it comes with all of the basics. The complete kit comes with everything you may need to check your water's pH levels to ensure that your plants have the nutrients they need.

The kit comes with easy-to-use calibration solutions, bottles, storage solutions, and AAA batteries in a compact case perfect for carrying around. A few drops of water and patience will result in both a temperature and pH digital reading. No more guessing the pH levels with water and pH strips.

Pros:

  • Full kit that comes with batteries
  • Large screen with multiple colors
  • Accuracy set at 0.1

Cons:

  • Delicate glass
  • Calibration issues after long-term use

Important Specs:

Height: 1.6 inches

Item Weight: 4.7 ounces

Length: 7.0 inches

Materials: Polycarbonate and Glass

VIVOSUN 3-in-1 Digital pH Meter with ATC

YAMAHA P125 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Power Supply and Sustain Pedal, Black

Amazon 

This VIVOSUN 3-in-1 digital pH Meter with ATC is great for hydroponics gardeners that were a pH reader that is simple and easy to use. Although this is not the most elaborate pH meter reader, it is comfortable to grasp and durable. There are only three buttons to use on this easy-to-calibrate pH tester, which means it is a perfect fit for hydroponics beginners.

Pros:

  • Easily identifies calibration solutions of pH 4.00, pH 6.86, and pH 9.18
  • Highly Sensitive
  • Reads results in a timely manner on the lit screen
  • Pocket-sized and easy to carry around

Cons:

  • Calibration does take time
  • Required continuous calibration

Important Specs:

Weight: 6 ounces

Size: ‎7.2x1.5 Inch

Material: Plastic

TEKCOPLUS 2 in 1 Temperature pH Monitor Meter Tester

2 in 1 Temperature pH Monitor Meter Tester Sensor test Kit 0~14 pH Automatic Calibration BNC electrode Probe for Hydroponics Aquarium Lab Testing Food Drinking Water pH of saltwater/seawater

Amazon 

Whether you are looking for a pH monitor, meter, or tester for an aquarium or hydroponics growing system, you may be able to enjoy this 2-in-1 temperature pH monitor. The company TEKCOPLUS has years of experience with hydroponics technology and is a credible source for pH meters and testers.

Although this meter/tester does not look the most sophisticated, it is a great tool for beginners looking to monitor changes in the pH levels of their systems and the temperature. You can hang the equipment onto the side of your hydroponics system with the sensors in the water. It is highly sensitive and can read measurements between pH levels of 0-14.0.

Pros:

  • Includes three pH buffer powders for calibration
  • Easy to use
  • Ready to read display

Cons:

  • The screen can freeze after overuse

VIVOSUN pH and TDS Meter Combo

VIVOSUN pH and TDS Meter Combo, 0.05ph High Accuracy Pen Type pH Meter ± 2% Readout Accuracy 3-in-1 TDS EC Temperature Meter for Hydroponics, Household Drinking, and Aquarium, UL Certified

Amazon 

We love this highly accurate pH and temperature reading meter combo. Not only does this product come with a highly accurate reading, but also two digital pens. If you are a beginner looking for something simple to use as you learn more about hydroponics, this may be a great choice because of how simple it is!

Pros:

  • Highly accurate
  • Both pens are compact and easy to store
  • Battery life of 500 Hours

Cons:

  • Has trouble staying calibrated
  • Need their pH solution to work for calibrating

Important Specifications:

pH Resolution : 0.01 pH

Accuracy : 0.05 pH

Calibration: Three Points Automatic Calibration Button

The Ruolan Digital PH Meter for Water

PH Meter for Water Hydroponics Digital PH Tester Pen 0.01 High Accuracy Pocket Size with 0-14 PH Measurement Range for Household Drinking, Pool and Aquarium (Yellow)

Amazon 

This best-selling pen comes in three colors and is very affordable. It is easy to hold and use, perfect for beginner hydroponics gardeners looking to start small! There are only two small buttons on this pH meter tester for water.

One button is primarily for calibrating, which takes about 5 seconds. There are also only three steps to take to use this pH meter tester pen. First, turn it on, take the cap off, and place the sensor in the water. It is best to stir the sensor and move the probe into the water.

Pros:

  • Perfect for beginners
  • Durable and easy to hold
  • Compact and pocket friendly

Cons:

  • No temperature reading
  • Screen freezes with long-term use

RCYAGO Bluetooth pH Meter

RCYAGO Bluetooth pH Meter, 5 in 1 TDS/EC/PH/Salinity/Temp Meter, Water Quality Monitor Tester for Pools, Hydroponics, Drinking Water, Aquariums

Amazon 

As technology continues changing and upgrading, it should be no surprise that this RCYAGO Bluetooth pH meter made our list. With this reader, the digital screen on the pH testing pen shows accurate information.

For more information and storage, the pen works via Bluetooth to display the information on your phone. This convenient Bluetooth pen is a great option for those who want to store daily information about their hydroponics systems.

Pros:

  • Measures temperature, pH, conductivity, and salinity.
  • Easy to hold and store
  • Works with the 3-point calibration method

Cons:

  • Not entirely accurate compared to other pH testing pens
  • Calibration takes a few tries

The Apera Instruments AI209 Value Series

APERA INSTRUMENTS AI209 Value Series PH20 Waterproof pH Tester Kit, ±0.1 pH Accuracy

Amazon 

Powered by AAA batteries, this Apera Instruments AI209 Value Series can be a great choice if you are looking for a highly accurate pH tester with easy and automatic calibration. Calibrating these pH testers is the least favorite part for many people, which is why this unique feature is a favorite! You can also use it to read temperatures between 32 to 122F.

Pros

  • Comes with a unique lanyard to store and hold the pH tester
  • AAA batteries allow for 2000 hours of battery life
  • Automatically calibrates

Cons:

  • The manual calibration procedure takes time

Important Specifications:

Height: 1.2 inches

Item Weight: 3.90 ounces

Length: 7.0 inches

Material: Polycarbonate and Glass

What We Considered When Selecting the Best PH Meter/Testers for Hydroponics

It is not an easy choice when looking through the thousands of pH meters. There are so many different types to choose from that it is important to understand the differences. Although most pH meters now use digital and Bluetooth technology, there are also pH strips that can estimate the pH amount in any body of water.

We considered both pH testing strips and pH testing pens during our research.

Manual pH Water Testers vs. Digital pH Water Testers

There is nothing wrong with using pH water testers. However, I like using digital pH water testers because, more often than not, they provide accurate and clear readings. While some digital pens are not fully effective, when you use manual pH water testers, you almost have to play a guessing game.

Instead of seeing a specific number, you are left with a manual pH tester that displays a splash of color on a strip or water with drops of dye. The color is a range of numbers, meaning it could either be low or high.

Most of the time, when you are using manual pH water testers, you are using a small kit that comes with strips as well as a water dropper. Digital pH testers, though, use a sensor or probe that goes into a water sample. It then reads the temperature and pH of the level, not a range.

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What other traits did we consider when looking for the best pH testers for hydroponic growing systems?

Traits Considered When Looking for the Best PH Testers for Hydroponics Systems

Durability

It can be such a pain to constantly purchase new pH testing kits. This is why one of our main concerns when looking for products to review as the best was durability. The pH testers we found were all durable to an extent. It is important for beginner hydroponics gardeners to look for digital pH pens made with strong materials like glass and plastic.

There is another factor that durability is a part of that some people forget about; its waterproof abilities. It is not enough for a pH water tester to be water-resistant. Instead, it should be waterproof entirely. These testers are frequently near bodies of water like a hydroponics system, and there is always the possibility that the rest of the pH equipment will be exposed to water.

Grip and Comfort

Most pH testers that made our list are pens. They are easy to hold, store, and keep clean and safe! Because of this, though, we had to look deep into the grip and comfort of this equipment. It is not worth it to purchase an uncomfortable pH tester pen that hurts to grip.

Effectiveness and Accuracy

Those of us who garden using hydroponics methods know how important it is to have a system with the right pH levels. This is why we put the emphasis on the accuracy of the products in our review. It is important for pH testers to relay accurate and important information.

We tried to only look at products and pH testers that had an accuracy of 0.1 or less. Although it is impossible for a pH tester to be completely accurate all of the time, it should still be accurate a minimum of 90% of the time.

Technology

Technology ranks high on what we were looking for in a modern and accurate pH water tester. This is important because the more technology updates, the more accurate, reliable, consistent, and convenient the pH testing pens are.

A few pH testers now have touch screens and use a wi-fi connection to communicate with cellphones and store data. This is a great feature for hardworking hydroponics gardeners looking for a detailed and exceptionally accurate pH tester.

Battery Life

Not all batteries last forever, and we know that it is still an important factor in what we were looking for in a digital pH water tester. The more money that we can save buying batteries, the better! This is why we looked into rechargeable options that were also safe. Since these pH pens are often near water, the area where the batteries are stored must be safe and waterproof. This way, the water and the batteries do not collide, causing burnout.

Easy Calibration

Although digital pH testers are more accurate, they also have many more steps than the basic manual strips of water and dye. Because of this, when the calibration is off, it is important to recalibrate the devices using a powder, liquid, or expert technique.

We tried finding easy calibrating options as this can be difficult for new hydroponics gardeners unfamiliar with pH reading systems. Some products use a quick 3-step process. The best feature for easy calibration is digital features that state when it is time to calibrate the pH meter. Some systems automatically calibrate the pH pen, but it is best to do so manually with the powders and liquids provided.

Final Thoughts

We took our time looking for the best overall pH testers on the market. Through our extensive research process, we found the Bluelab Digital pH pen our overall best! This digital pH testing pen is easy to use and convenient. If you are looking for a durable and easy to grip pen, the Bluelab digital pH pen may be a great choice!

Not only is this product durable, but it is also highly accurate! The sensitivity of the probe on the Bluelab digital pH pen ensures that you can get a clear reading of its digital lit screen. Calibrating this affordable device is also a piece of cake! Don't let its simple design fool you; our best overall choice is great for beginners still learning about hydroponics systems and experts looking for a digital pH and temperature testing device.