7 Best Soil pH Meters in 2020

To help you find the best soil meter for the testing of garden and farming soil, we tried out a multitude of top meters, ensuring they adequately tested along with a large variety of metrics, including moisture content, pH level and sunlight level. We liked soil meters that were accurate and efficient and those that were made from long-lasting and durable components.

The best soil meter we tried was easily the Sonkir MS02 3-in-1 Soil Meter. This soil meter accurately and efficiently tests pH levels, moisture levels, and light levels and features an easy-to-use design, along with a bright and clear display, and does not need batteries to operate. Keep reading to learn more about other best-in-class soil meters available for purchase.

Top 7 Best Soil Meter

 #1  Sonkir MS02 3-in-1 Soil Meter

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: The best way to test soil pH, thanks to a highly accurate pH sensor, with additional functionality for the testing of moisture and light, with no batteries or additional power sources needed for operation.

Pros
  • Does not need an external power source
  • Accurately measures moisture, light and pH
  • Easy-to-read display
Cons
  • Does not test pH levels of other sources
  • Soil must be watered before testing

The Sonkir soil pH meter is the best soil tester on the market, thanks to the inclusion of high-grade sensors that accurately measure pH, moisture and light. We loved the battery-free design, which doesn’t need batteries or an external power source to operate, and the easy-to-read display. The user-interface is also rather intuitive, with a push-button functionality to switch among the trio of sensors.

Though this is a stellar soil pH tester, it is not designed to test the pH levels of other materials, such as liquids. Additionally, be sure to water your soil before testing, or else the needle will not activate. If you want to keep your lawn looking neat, you should also read our guide to the best robot lawn mower.

 #2  Atree 3-in-1 Soil Meter and Testing Kit

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: Accurately tests moisture, pH and light levels and is designed for both indoor and outdoor use, with a light and compact form factor that is easy to store or stuff in your pocket.

Pros
  • Compact and light form factor increases portability
  • Designed for both indoor and outdoor use
  • No batteries necessary to test along 3 metrics
Cons
  • Takes 10 minutes to provide an accurate reading
  • Display is on the smaller side

This Atree 3-in-1 Soil Meter and Testing Kit is light and compact, weighing just 3 ounces, making it easy to fit in a standard-sized pocket or to tuck away in a backpack. We loved that the included sensors are designed to work both indoors and outdoors and that they do not need an external power source, such as batteries, in order to operate. The 3-in-1 design accurately tests pH levels, moisture levels and light levels.

Though the compact form factor is indeed a benefit, this does mean that the readings display is on the smaller size, which could slightly impact use. Also, it takes ten minutes to provide an accurate reading, so take that into consideration. If you’re looking for a way to manage weeds in your flower bed, you should also read our guide to the best backpack sprayer.

 #3  Yoyomax Test Kit and Soil Meter

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: Budget-friendly soil meter with plenty of high end features, including a 3-in-1 design that accurately measures pH, moisture and light, and a large button for the switching between metrics.

Pros
  • Easy-to-use button for switching between sensors
  • 3-in-1 design accurately tests pH, moisture and light
  • Battery-free design
Cons
  • Not for hard soil
  • Readings take 10 minutes

This Yoyomax Test Kit and Soil Meter comes in at a lower-than-average price point while still offering features in line with higher priced competitors, including a 3-in-1 design that accurately measures pH level, moisture level and light. We also loved the battery-free design, which requires no power source of any kind, and the large front-facing button, for switching between measurement metrics on the fly.

We found the measurement prongs to be somewhat fragile, so we would recommend using this soil meter only in soft soil, as harder-than-average soil can cause damage. Additionally, the readings take around ten minutes to complete, so keep that in mind before you start. If you’re looking to upgrade your garden supplies, you should also take a look at our guide to the best wheelbarrow.

 #4  Gouevn Soil Moisture Meter

Award: BEST FOR ROOT MEASUREMENTS

WHY WE LIKE IT: Long probe sensor, nearly 8 inches, making it ideal for taking moisture measurements close to or at the root, with a battery-free design that excels both indoors and outdoors.

Pros
  • Instantaneous readings
  • No batteries needed for operation
  • Excels with indoor or outdoor use
Cons
  • Does not measure pH or light
  • Can be damaged by being left in soil for too long

The Gouevn Soil Moisture Meter is the best soil moisture meter, thanks to a lengthy sensor probe that clocks in at nearly eight inches long, so it can obtain accurate measurements near or at the root. We also loved the near-instantaneous readings this soil meter offers, drastically cutting down on waiting time, and the fact that it excels both indoors and outdoors, suiting a variety of uses.

Though this is a highly accurate moisture meter with an easy-to-read display, it does not measure additional metrics, such as pH and light. Also, the sensor probe can become damaged if left in soil for too long, or if dipped in liquids, so be careful. If you’re looking for a place to keep your garden supplies, check out our guide to the best outdoor storage.

 #5  XLux T10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter

Award: EASIEST TO READ

WHY WE LIKE IT: Features a large and clear color coded dial, which makes it easy to read measurements, with a single probe design for the purposes of reducing dirt disturbances.

Pros
  • Single probe design for less disturbance of dirt
  • Extremely light, at 2 oz
  • Does not need batteries to function
Cons
  • Only measures moisture
  • Hard soil can damage probe

The XLux T10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter is a battery-free moisture sensor with an easy-to-read display that features a large and color-coded dial, which makes it easy to know exactly how much water your soil needs. We loved the light form factor, just 2 ounces, and the fact that it includes just one probe, so as to limit the disturbance of soil as you go about taking measurements.

This is an excellent moisture meter but is not intended for measuring other metrics, including pH and light. Additionally, keep this soil meter away from hard soil or rocky areas, as both can damage the probe. You might also want to take a look at the best electric lawn mower to keep your yard maintained.

 #6  Alotpower Soil Moisture Sensor Meter

Award: BEST FOR STORAGE

WHY WE LIKE IT: Comes with a built-in hanging hoop, for the purposes of easy storage, and has instructions for use written along the back of the meter, in addition to boasting a battery-free design.

Pros
  • Instructions clearly printed on back of device
  • Bright color-coded display
  • Battery-free design
Cons
  • Probe is not quite long enough to reach some roots
  • Does not measure pH or light

The Alotpower Soil Moisture Sensor Meter is easy to store when not in use, thanks to a built-in hoop on the top which can easily hang on hooks in the garage or anywhere else in the home. We loved the battery-free design, which needs no power source whatsoever, and the bright color-coded display, which makes it easy to read measurements. The instructions are also clearly printed on the back of the meter, which we found to be a nice bonus for beginners.

The included probe does provide accurate moisture measurements, but it is not quite long enough to access some roots, as it is just around seven inches in length. Also, this soil meter is intended to only measure moisture, and cannot measure pH, light, or other metrics.

 #7  Kelway Soil pH and Moisture Meter

Award: BEST QUALITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: Professional-grade meter that provides extremely accurate moisture and pH measurements, with a battery-free design and shipping with a high-quality leather case with an included belt loop.

Pros
  • Ships with leather case with belt loop
  • Includes conditioning film for accurate readings
  • Requires no external power source to function
Cons
  • Fairly heavy, at nearly a lb
  • Does not measure light

The Kelway Soil pH and Moisture Meter is the best soil pH tester for lawns, thanks to the inclusion of extremely accurate sensors and the fact that it is manufactured using ultra-durable components. We loved the battery-free design and the accurate results, assisted by the inclusion of conditioning wipes and measuring pH values from 3.5 to 8. It also ships with a solidly built leather case, complete with a belt hoop for hanging along the waist during use.

This is a solidly built soil meter and, as such, is heavier than comparable models, at nearly a pound. Additionally, though this accurately measures both moisture and pH levels, it does not measure light.

How We Decided

To help narrow down to the above list, we focused primarily on soil meters that excelled along with a number of metrics, including the measurement of moisture, pH, and light. We liked soil meters that excelled both indoors and outdoors and those with simple designs that did not need batteries in order to successfully complete their tasks.

We admired soil meters with lengthy probes of around seven or eight inches, allowing for the testing of moisture as close to the root as possible, making for ultra-accurate results. In the case of dedicated moisture meters, we liked items that produced results immediately, though a wait time of several minutes was standard when reading pH levels.

We liked soil meters with large and easy-to-read displays for the reading of measurements and those that could be easily flipped to different measurement metrics via the push of a button. Finally, we loved meters made from ultra-durable components, such as steel, so as to ensure many years of successful use.

Best Soil Meter Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Measurement Metrics
    Many soil meters can perform multiple types of measurements, including the measurement of pH levels, moisture levels, and light levels. These multimeters typically allow for simple adjustments between measurement metrics via the press of a button. Be sure to read the fine print, however, as not all soil meters are designed to conduct all measurement types, as some can only handle one or two different metrics.
  2. Ease-of-use
    Look for gardening tools that are extremely easy to use, with lengthy probes that easily insert into soil, conducting their measurements immediately, in the case of moisture or light, or taking several minutes, in the case of testing the pH of your soil. The best soil meters also feature bright and easy-to-read displays that easily provide results of said measurements. Most soil meters also use simple designs that do not require any external power sources, so they do not require batteries.
  3. Probe Length
    Make sure the soil test kit you choose features a lengthy probe of around seven to eight inches, or longer, so as to reach as close to the root as possible, for the purposes of providing accurate readings. You may want to also choose a soil meter with a single probe design, as these cause less soil disturbance during use.

Soil Meter FAQs

What is the best soil moisture meter?

All of the above soil moisture meters are outstanding but if we had to choose just one, we’d go with our top pick. The Sonkir MS02 3-in-1 Soil Meter not only provides accurate moisture measurements, but can only measure pH and light.

Do soil pH meters actually work?

Of course, though results may vary, depending on the quality of the soil meter. All of the meters on our list provide accurate readings along a number of metrics, including pH, moisture and light.

What is the most accurate soil pH tester?

Again, we’ll have to go with our top pick. The Sonkir soil meter provides extremely accurate pH readings in just a few minutes and shows them via a color-coded display that is easy to understand.

Are cheap pH readers accurate?

Yes, much to our surprise. The budget-friendly soil meters we tested were just as accurate as the higher priced models, making them perfect for home gardens or small plots of land.

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Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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