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Best pH meter for hydroponics

Last Updated: 06.12.21


pH meters for hydroponics – Buying guide & Comparison


We know time is gold so this short paragraph is designed to provide as much information as possible about the best pH meter for hydroponics so consumers can make an educated buying decision. We evaluated some of the popular products using value and quality as yardsticks. Thankfully, this led us to the Apera Instruments AI209. Engineered to be reliable yet simple and quick, this model offers readings for most regular water solutions to be tested for pH. It is suitable for winemaking, homebrewing, spas, water treatment, pools, cooling towers, and more, not just hydroponics. Accurate to ±0.1 pH and ±0.5˚C, this instrument also features a 1 to 3-point auto calibration with auto buffer recognition to eliminate tedious calibration procedures. The smart Self-Diagnosis feature guarantees dependable readings. We are aware how stocks of the Apera Instruments AI209 tend to easily run out, so we have a second option, the VANTAKOOL Digital.



Comparison table


The Good
The Bad



It can become increasingly tedious to have to read dozens of hydroponics pH meter reviews just to find one for your needs. Hopefully, our buying guide takes away the hassle and can still help you find what you need.

Ease of use

Running a hydroponics system takes a lot of work. There’s nothing more discouraging than a hydroponics tool that takes a steep learning curve to use optimally. A good pH meter for hydroponics applications should preferably be pocket-size considering that hydroponics systems are basically ‘pocket-sized’ crop plantations that use a small space to plant many crops together.

Look for models with a large, easy-to-read dial or LCD screen. Some digital models feature a data-hold function to facilitate both reading and recording for monitoring purposes. Shifting from one value to another should be easy as well, especially if you need to check not just the pH of the water but other values too.

You want a speedy measurement time, as quickly as obtaining readings in seconds. The device should be light in your hand. Operations should be simple to do. All you need is to insert the probe directly into the water solution and wait for the reading to come up.

A mess-free design ensures hassle-free maintenance and eliminates the need for litmus or test strips and color charts. Many digital models feature a backlit LCD screen for easy viewing of measured values even in bad lighting conditions.  

The screen should be easy to view at any angle because it is extra-clear. Some models even come with a convenient carrying case that provides easy storage and transport.


Dependable measuring performance

When looking at the different models for sale, make sure to get one that provides a very narrow accuracy range of ±0.01 to ±0.02. This feature ensures superior precision, so readings are precise to the smallest hundredth of a decimal. Bear in mind that some crops tend to be more sensitive than others to any alterations in water solution pH, so it pays to have peace of mind in that aspect.

In contrast to a very narrow accuracy range, a wide measuring range enables you to obtain more realistic readings for water solutions. With a broader range, the tool can read beyond the usual to help you know how to handle the situation more effectively.  

With Automatic Temperature Compensation, the device is able to take accurate readings regardless of the water temperature. This enables repeated use of the instrument. Readings should be stable, not extremely variable.

Some models are equipped with auto recognition and also issue reminders on calibration values to improve consistency. This eliminates the guesswork when you have to do measuring regularly.

Since digital models run on batteries, you will want the unit to be power efficient. It should operate on a fresh set of batteries for a long time.


Versatile, out-of-the-package functionality

You can enjoy greater versatility from the best hydroponics pH meter. Most high-quality ones on the market measure not just the pH, but also the water temperature. Shifting between modes should be done with push-button simplicity and ease.

An automatic shutoff feature helps save on battery life. Some models also come with an easy auto-calibration with buffer recognition. There should be ready-to-use calibration solutions. A lanyard enables problem-free use anywhere.

Ideally, you want the device to be useful for hydroponics, water purification applications, water quality testing, fish tanks and ponds, wastewater regulation, scientific and laboratory testing, aquaculture, spas, winemaking and breweries, pools, water treatment, colloidal silver, and ecology testing, among many others.



5 Best Hydroponics pH Meters (Reviews) in 2021


While our buying guide is designed to help you find a quality ph meter for hydroponics use, we’d like to help you further. Thus, we have showcased some of the finest models on the market below for more buying assistance.



1. Apera Instruments PH20 Value pH Meter


If you want nothing less than fluid precision in water quality testing, the Apera Instruments AI209 is your ideal measuring tool. Accurate to ±0.1 pH and ±0.5˚C, this model won’t be affected by changes in water temperature so you can obtain precise readings every time. It offers a pH measuring range of 0 to 14 for more stable and accurate values every time. The Automatic Temperature Compensation feature ensures dependable readings from 0 to 50˚C.

The 1 to 3-point automatic calibration with auto buffer recognition ensures that readings can be done at various times with dependable accuracy. Get up to 2,000 hours of operation with a single set of triple A batteries.

This model is engineered to be dustproof and waterproof to IP67 standards so you can use it in the most demanding conditions. It is durable and boasts a Smart Self-Diagnosis ability so it can warn you of out-of-range values displayed on the large, clear display.



This device comes provided with auto calibration for effortless use as well as with buffer recognition. Another feature that makes the model stand out is its auto temp compensation that ensures that the model is accurate no matter the temperature.

The product is backed by the Apera quality pH sensor that is known for its low impedance that guarantees a high response rate.

The model can function for up to 2000 hours straight, and it is powered by regular AAA batteries.

Lastly, this unit comes shipped in a rugged case that is supplied with both a lanyard and pH 4&7 buffers.



The product is said to work great. However, it might be necessary that you calibrate this product quite often.

There have been cases where the model has stopped working after a period of six months. Still, not many have had to deal with this issue.


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2. Digital PH Meter, Vantakool 0.01 PH High Accuracy


Ideal for either household or laboratory use, the VANTAKOOL Digital provides pH balance testing for drinking water, aquariums, pools, Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems, spas, and hydroponics. This model offers versatility for a broad range of applications. You can ensure that the quality of water remains consistent in a variety of settings thanks to this handy device.

This digital model delivers measurements fast. It ensures repeatable accuracy thanks to the cutting-edge automatic temperature compensation that intelligently offsets any changes in the water temperature to provide stable readings. Since you no longer have to use messy test or litmus strips and color charts, this device provides a clean and safe way to evaluate the quality of your water sources.

Accurate to 0.05 pH, this model offers a full measurement range from 0 to 14 for greater consistency and precision in readings. It is also easy to use. Simply take off the protective cap and immerse the instrument’s electrode in the solution to be tested, then switch on using the on/off button.



This model can be used in laboratories as well as at home as it is fitting for testing the pH balance of drinks. In fact, the unit is said to have a wide range of applications.

To utilize the device, one has to simply remove the protective cap and to place the model in the liquid. Then, just turn on the PH switch and wait for the results.

Furthermore, this product works fast, and it can supply you with reliable results. In fact, this model has a 0.05 accuracy rating.

When shipped, the model comes provided with a user manual that contains all the info that you need to know about this product.



According to some of its users, this particular device is quite difficult to calibrate, especially if you don’t know much about this kind of product.

If used continuously, there is a high chance that the device will provide you with inaccurate readings.


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3. DOY Digital PH Meter Tester for Water Quality


Suitable for water quality testing, the DOY Digital provides a convenient and handy means of monitoring whether the water used in residential and commercial applications is safe and effective for its purpose.

This unit is a versatile device that measures Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Electrical Conductivity (EC), and temperature. It measures from 0 to 9,990 parts per million (ppm-TDS), with 1 ppm resolution along with +/-2% High Accuracy. The small size enables you to simply slip it in your pocket for on-the-go water quality testing.

Thanks to the automatic temperature compensation feature in its measurement mode, this tool accounts for any water temperature changes. This aspect will ensure dependable stability and accuracy of readings. After 9 minutes of not being used, the device shuts off automatically to extend the life of the battery.

Readings are locked to make them easy to record. The large LCD  screen provides easy viewing of readings. Shifting between modes is trouble-free as well.



This model is ideal if you are looking for an item that can help you test the quality of the water. Besides, the product is considered very handy and quite effective.

To make this device effortless to use, the manufacturer has designed it to feature automatic temperature calibration so that you no longer have to pay attention to the temperature of the liquid that you are testing.

This pH meter is highly portable as it is pocket-sized and effortless to carry from one place to another.

When shipped, this model includes all the info that one should pay attention to whenever calibrating the device.



There have been people who noted that this model is not built to last long. Therefore, you should not count on its durability.

Some buyers complained that, although the manufacturer supplies its users with directions, this device is not easy to calibrate.


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4. Hecotrax Digital pH Meter High Accuracy


The HECOTRAX Digital COMINHKPR145001 provides a safe, mess-free, and convenient means of testing the quality of water solutions for a variety of applications. It can be used in the laboratory or household settings. It is suitable for testing the pH balance of pools, drinking water, fish tanks, ponds, and aquariums, spas, Reverse Osmosis water systems, and hydroponics setups.

Liquids can be tested quickly while ensuring the precision of obtained values. Accurate to within ±0.01 pH, this device can be operated worry-free by both novice and experienced users. The readings can be viewed with ease on the large digital display. Because of the mess-free design, you can read pH values without the need for tedious color charts and test strips.  

Any changes in temperature will not affect the stability and precision of readings because of the nifty Automatic Temperature Compensation feature, which automatically offsets for such factors. This all-in-one testing kit saves you a tidy sum of money on repeated purchases of litmus strips.



This product has a measuring range that varies from 0.00 to 14.00 pH and a resolution of 0.01 pH. Besides, this model has an accuracy rating of ±0.01 pH, which is more than sufficient for laboratory and household use.

The device comes provided with automatic temperature compensation and, because of this feature, it is considerably easier to use than other similar products.

The model includes a set of instructions that are easy to follow and no less than six calibration buffer packets.

The product also comes equipped with a convenient carrying case that can help you transport the unit.



The self-calibrating system that the model features is very difficult to use, which is a reason why many do not like the unit.

The model is not particularly accurate. Still, this device is suitable to be utilized at home by those curious about the quality of their tap water.


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5. Rozway Digital pH Meter Pocket Size


Helping you handle water quality testing minus the mess and trouble, the Rozway Premium RW-DPHM-2017 is an innovative, handy means of knowing whether the quality of water solutions can still sustain their specific application. This pocket-sized tool is a multi-use tester since it can be utilized for soil, water, and hydroponics, and for measuring temperature and pH.

It offers wide functionality for agriculturists, recreational gardeners, and water supply testing facilities. It is also useful for winemaking, breweries, Reverse Osmosis (RO) water systems, spas, aquariums, pools, and ponds, among a host of others.

Since you no longer need to use test strips and color charts, messy testing is eliminated. The included premium-quality microfiber drying cloth provides an easy means of cleaning off dirt and liquid from the probe, so the device is ready for another round of measuring again.

To help buyers enjoy optimal use of the kit, the complete and detailed documentation guides will be emailed after the purchase. The Automatic Temperature Compensation feature ensures that readings remain unaffected by any changes in temperature.



This pocket-sized tool stands out from similar products because it is very versatile. According to its manufacturer, this product can be used to test soil, water, and hydroponics.

Furthermore, this cool looking unit can tell you the temperature of the tested substance as well as its pH.

The model is best used by agriculturists and gardeners that need to test the water that they use for the plants that they are growing.

Besides, the product is also a great purchase if you own a brewery or if you want to test the water system or the pH of the water in your pool or aquarium.



The device is very practical. However, the model is rather fragile, and it is likely to get broken easily if you don’t pay special attention to it.

If you don’t know much about how to utilize this device, it might be a good idea to read the instructions provided by the seller.


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1) pH – definition and uses

2) Perfecting the pH of Your Hydroponic Nutrient Solution

3) Hydroponics – a subset of hydroculture

4) The Importance of pH in a Hydroponic System



Ioana Moldovan

Ioana’s professional experience in the optics field has helped her understand the value of passing her knowledge forward. Her curious personality helps her gather useful information for her readers and her goal is to make technical information fun and accessible to everyone.

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