Detailed Review Of The Best pH Meter For Hydroponics Use

To promote stronger plant germination, hydroponic growers will use the best pH meter for hydroponics. This testing equipment measures the absorption of nutrients to reach a perfect pH balance.

APERA INSTRUMENTS AI209 Value Series PH20 Waterproof pH...
8,404 Reviews
APERA INSTRUMENTS AI209 Value Series PH20 Waterproof pH...
  • Easy auto. calibration with buffer recognition; auto. temp....
  • Backed by Apera quality pH sensor with low impedance,...
  • Comes in a rugged carrying case with pH 4&7 buffers and a...

Among various effective products on the market, Apera Instruments AI209 pH Tester Kit is a high-quality pocket pH meter for water in a hydroponic garden, spa, pool, aquaculture, even for drinking water.

It provides many necessary tools inside a sturdy case for all-purpose pH measurement with a built-in quality sensor that detects stable reading results. All these conveniences come at a reasonable price range.

A pH meter for hydroculture is one of the most budget-friendly but effective accessories for studying hydroponic water nutrients and growing healthy plants. Having one will make your gardening duty less of a burden.

In-depth Review of The Best pH Meter For Hydroponics

Apera Instruments AI209 pH Tester Kit – Best Overall

APERA INSTRUMENTS AI209 Value Series PH20 Waterproof pH...
8,404 Reviews
APERA INSTRUMENTS AI209 Value Series PH20 Waterproof pH...
  • Easy auto. calibration with buffer recognition; auto. temp....
  • Backed by Apera quality pH sensor with low impedance,...
  • Comes in a rugged carrying case with pH 4&7 buffers and a...

As the most valuable general-purpose water pH tester kit, the Apera Instruments AI209 pH Tester Kit provides a series of practical tools with a quality glass probe to measure hydroponic water nutrients.

There are dual 2-ounce 1-3 points auto calibration solutions of pH 4.0 and 7.0 in the package. You can apply this tool from Apera for pools and spas, aquaculture, water treatment, or beverage making.

Thanks to its sensitive electrode sensor, the meter can enable auto recognition with a smiley icon appearing when the solution readings are stable. No more manual holding and second-guessing the results.

Unfortunately, you might run into problems reading this kit’s user manual. As far as I can tell, the instruction translator may not be someone whose first language is English because of many confusing words.

What we like

  • Multiple tools
  • Diverse uses
  • Auto-recognition

What can be improved?

  • Confusing instructions

Bluelab PENPH pH Pen Pocket Tester – Best With Upgraded Probe

bluelab pH Pen-Digital pH Tester - Reliable & Accurate for...
4,446 Reviews
bluelab pH Pen-Digital pH Tester - Reliable & Accurate for...
  • Measures pH in nutrient solution (acid or alkaline) for...
  • This hydroponics tester has ATC that provides consistent...
  • Double junction electrode has a longer lifespan compared to...

Among a wide variation of Bluelab pH meters, many gardeners trust the Bluelab PENPH pH Pen Pocket Tester as a handy tool with a simple two-point pH solution calibration for water acid and alkaline.

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While many testing models on the market contain regular probes, the double junction glass pH probe in this Bluelab meter will enable precise readings, reliability, speed, and prolonged probe lifespan.

Each sturdy handheld pen offers a calibration indicator, plus auto temperature compensation in 30 days with clear reading reminders on its backlit LCD. The measuring tool has a fully waterproof shell.

The only thing I do not enjoy in this tester is how the cap takes too much time and effort to get off. The main reason why it is stuck is because of the inner dried-out foam that blocks smooth movement.

What we like

  • Easy two-point calibration
  • Upgraded probe
  • Backlit screen

What can be improved?

  • Hard-to-open cap

Hanna Instruments HI98103 pH Tester – Best for Small Samples

Hanna Instruments HI98103 Checker pH Tester with Ph...
996 Reviews
Hanna Instruments HI98103 Checker pH Tester with Ph...
  • Compact pH tester with narrow probe for use in small samples...
  • Manual two-point calibration through trimmers for custom...
  • Single-line LCD display screen for ease of viewing

Hanna Instruments HI98103 pH Tester is the best pH meter for small test tube entry, thanks to its compact size and a narrow probe. It can obtain great results from small samples fitting easily in small tubes.

This lightweight checker is incredibly fast in delivering a high accuracy between the 0 and 14.0 range measurements. Besides the 0.1 resolution, its pH precision only varies up and down at around 0.2.

This two-point manual calibration meter will provide a continuous operation within 3,000 hours of battery life at a low power demand. Moreover, there is a replaceable electrode to extend the unit’s life.

One of its noticeable shortcomings is the lack of essential testing solutions. In particular, this checker does not calibrate without the cleaning and storage solutions that need to be bought separately.

What we like

  • Fits small tubes
  • Fast and accurate of ±0.2 pH
  • Long 3000-hour performance

What can be improved?

  • Reference solutions not included

HM Digital HMDPHM80 pH/Temperature Meter – Best for Automatic Use

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The HM Digital HMDPHM80 pH/Temperature Meter has a modern digital design in a waterproof body with a large LCD screen that simultaneously displays extra user convenience.

This digital tool enables an automatic calibration ranging in 3 points: pH 4.0, 7.0, and 10.0 with a one-touch process for quick recalibration. It also includes a 7.0 buffer recognition pack and a storage solution.

You can use the pH meter in reef tanks, hydroponic gardening, water ionizers, cooling towers, etc. It will enable an auto-off function in a few minutes without operation, along with a low battery indicator.

Nonetheless, you may find the display and digital numbers a little small for your eyes. It might require you to put the checker at eye level height to read it without any backlighting nor a hold button.

What we like

  • Modern design
  • One-touch calibration for pH 4.0 to 10.0
  • Automatic use

What can be improved?

  • Hard-to-read digits

Milwaukee Instruments MW102 pH/Temperature Meter – Best Value for the Money

Milwaukee Instruments MW102 PH and Temperature Meter
363 Reviews
Milwaukee Instruments MW102 PH and Temperature Meter
  • Ideal for anyone working on a low budget but still requiring...
  • Includes ph 4.01 and ph 7.01 20 ml sachet of calibration...
  • Supplied complete with a ma911b/1 ph electrode

For hydroponic gardeners whose working budget is low but still need to attain a reliable measuring outcome, the Milwaukee Instruments MW102 pH/Temperature Meter would be one of your most acceptable options.

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The microprocessor-based pH meter has a calibration check function in an extended range of pH -2.0 – 16.0. Its temperature measurement is supported by a MA830R temperature probe made of stainless steel.

There are a 9V battery and user instructions in the testing package to help you with laboratory and classroom application. Though its price range is relatively high, this accurate hydrometer is worth buying.

Unfortunately, no return window is available for the hydroponics pH checker. Unreliable manufacturers and suppliers mainly cause this problem, so you want to purchase only from legit distributors.

What we like

  • Reliable measurements
  • Extended calibration of pH -2.0 – 16.0
  • Accessories included

What can be improved?

  • Not eligible for return

Oakton AO-35423-01 pH EcoTestr – Best for Optimal Cap

Oakton AO-35423-01 EcoTestr pH 2+ Pocket pH Meter 1 pack
245 Reviews
Oakton AO-35423-01 EcoTestr pH 2+ Pocket pH Meter 1 pack
  • Batteries: 4 A76 1.5V miniature alkaline batteries...
  • Buffer recognition: nist and usa
  • Calibration: up to 3 points

The Oakton AO-35423-01 pH EcoTestr is a reliable pH water tester for accurate water quality reading. This intelligent model runs on 1.5V alkaline mini batteries with an extra cool feature related to the cap.

The leak-proof cap is easily attachable on the top of this pH meter. Moreover, you can use this cap as a sample cup and check its fill line for the required sample to achieve precise pH results.

Besides the NIST and USA buffer recognition, it has a simplified menu with a 4-digit expanded digital display for better viewing. The additional keys make it easier to read this overall intuitive interface.

However, the hydroponic meter takes too much time to settle and hardly calibrates. It will not update the display until it discovers an unstable condition, and this issue may cause you to lose track quickly.

What we like

  • Accurate measurement
  • Optimal cap
  • Intuitive interface

What can be improved?

  • Time-consuming calibration

TooLazy Digital pH Meter – Best for Versatile Applications

Toolazy Digital PH Meter,High Accuracy Water Quality Tester...
273 Reviews
Toolazy Digital PH Meter,High Accuracy Water Quality Tester...
  • [ACCURATE AND WIDELY USED] Ideal for residential or...
  • [EASY AUTO CALIBRATION] It has an automatic calibration...

Lastly, TooLazy Digital pH Meter is a well-known digital pH meter for hydroponics, thanks to its versatility in use. The tool is ideal for commercial and household use and delivers results almost instantly.

It offers an optimal range of measurements from pH 0 to 14.0 on any liquid. Within 32°F – 176°F, you will obtain a precise pH value from the water sample without worrying about temperature effects.

To preserve power consumption, the measuring device offers an auto-off feature after 5 minutes of inactivation. Moreover, there are dual built-in LR44 button cells of 1.5V ready for use inside the tester.

So far, my only concern with this digital checker is the accuracy of its pH measurement. The precision might be higher or lower than pH 0.5, which is a considerable rate that can affect the outcome.

What we like

  • Diverse use
  • Ideal measuring from pH 0 to 14.0
  • Ready battery
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What can be improved?

  • Unoptimized accuracy

A Buying Guide for A Good Hydroponics pH Meter

Types of Hydroponics pH Meter

Whether it is a manual pH tester or a digital tool, every device has advanced features to provide accurate readings of hydroponic nutrient solutions. Some innovative models offer automatic controls.

You can view its tested values on an easy-to-read LCD screen with digital numbers of simultaneous temperature displays. Its quality pH sensor detects this measurement in multiple types of testing liquids.

It often includes 1 to 3 calibration points, but the most common system is 2 points at pH 4.00 and 7.00 for easier reading. The ideal accuracy is ±0.2 pH since the lower it is, the more precise the results.

The best thing is the checker will show a clear indication of stable readings. My advice is to make a quick stir of the solution sample in advance to remove bubbles and enhance stabilization during the test.

This advanced technology eliminates the hassle of manual holding and the possibility of unequally precise results. It can also view different temperature units of °F and °C to enable flexible reading.

It runs either on LR44 or AAA batteries; most packages come with them for quick, ready use. There might be a carrying case and a lanyard to keep the compact device and all of its equipment around.

Features to Look For

Available measurements

This type of hydroponic testing equipment measures essential values such as pH, temperature, alkaline, and acid levels in hydroponics. Most of them will test the combination of water temperature and pH.

Its main task is to evaluate the nutrient availability in these different solutions for accurate calibration. That will ensure an optimal hydro environment for the best plant growth with roots kept underwater.

Nonetheless, in some cases, many water pH testing kits may require you to spend extra money to purchase testing solutions separately from their packages, especially for the ones for cleaning and storage.

Applicable areas

Besides the main purpose of hydroponic use, you can apply this unit to check for environmental monitoring, beverage making, aquarium, swimming pools, water treatment, and indoor garden water quality.

This flexibility allows both commercial and hobby growers to benefit from this water pH tester at its best. With the previously mentioned features, you will get precise readings of water nutrients in no time.

Waterproof rating

People may assume that all pH measuring tools for underwater use have an utterly waterproof exterior. A majority of them are only water-resistant, and this characteristic is not enough to ensure a durable unit.

For example, IP67 rated equipment will possess a complete resistance against water splashes and solid particles such as sand and dust and perform well under a 1-meter (3-foot) water depth in at least 30 minutes.


Most digital meters currently available on the market offer 1 to 2 years of limited warranty with proof of purchase. Make sure your targeted product has a warranty as some are not eligible for return.

Within the provided warranty period, you will have the chance to ask for repair or replace undesirable issues from the manufacturer with no extra costs.

Is PH important to get started in Hydroponics?


Among various available testing methods, a pH checker will provide the most precise measurements for water quality in different fields.

You will want to get the correct calibration kit of Apera Instruments AI209 pH Tester Kit for optimal testing at home with a built-in premium sensor, a glass probe, and a clear indication of stable readings.

I hope you can benefit from the buying guide and other helpful advice on the best pH meter for hydroponics in this article.

Thank you for reading.

Last update on 2024-02-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Jill Sandy

I am a sustainable focus gardener. I love decorating my home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques I develop myself.