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.


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.



Top hydroponics pH meters reviews in 2018


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.



Apera Instruments AI209


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.



Buy from for ($48.75)







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.



Buy from for ($12.99)





DOY Digital 


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.



Buy from for ($29.99)







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.



Buy from for ($11.99)





Rozway Premium RW-DPHM-2017


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.


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