Best Soil Testing Kits of 2021

Best Soil Testing Kits

Last Updated on November 18, 2021

Our editors independently research the best products online to produce this list. We may receive commission on purchases made from the links below but this will never affect our product choices.


Top 10 Best Soil Testing Kits

  1. LUINOVIP 3-In-1 Moisture/Light/PH (Editor’s Choice)
  2. Abafia Kit (Luxury Choice)
  3. Suplong 3 in 1 (Best Value)
  4. Haobase Litmus Paper Strips
  5. Fosmon 3 in 1 Indoor Outdoor
  6. Luster Leaf Rapitest
  7. MoonCity 3-in-1
  8. MAOZUA 4-in-1
  9. Garden Tutor Strips
  10. Miaoo 3-in-1 Plant Moisture Meter

Do you have a plant that you are just failing to get to thrive, is your lawn looking sorry for itself, or do you have a habit of overwatering your indoor pot plants? If this sounds familiar to you, then maybe a soil testing kit would be a useful addition to your gardening equipment!

The pH level of your soil has a significant impact on how well certain minerals dissolve into the soil and become available to plants to feed on. Acidic soil can mean that nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus are lacking, impacting the growth of many plants. At the other end of the scale, pH levels above 7.5 can mean that iron and manganese might be at low levels.

There are, of course, plants that thrive in either acidic or alkaline soil and it is just as important to know that their soil conditions are right as it is to prevent your soil from being too extreme for plants that prefer neutral soil. You do not need to be limited to soil pH testing either; many of the best soil pH tester kits also read soil moisture levels, temperature and light levels as well.

There are also many ways in which the kits test soil, some involve probes inserted into the ground, and others involve taking a soil sample and using pH test strips to get accurate results as to the pH scale. Some soil pH testers are battery powered and have digital displays, and others do not require a battery.

So take a read through our top ten best soil pH testers and the buyer’s guide, where we provide information and guidance as to how to buy the best soil testing kit UK stores have to offer!

Soil Testing Kit Reviews

LUINOVIP 3-In-1 Moisture/Light/PH (Editor’s Choice)

This clever soil testing meter delivers three functions in one! It is able to determine the pH value of your soil, test moisture levels and analyse light levels, all in one handy piece of kit. It is very easy to use; you simply insert the two probes into the soil, whether that is in flower beds in the garden or potted plants indoors or outdoors, set the slide switch to the type of test you wish to do, and then wait ten minutes for your accurate readings.

This best soil testing kit uses double needle detection technology with a pH probe and a moisture probe; there is also a light sensor on the unit itself. The readings are clearly displayed on the screen and will tell you if you have very acidic soil or if it is too alkaline for your plants, or if your soil is too dry or wet for healthy plant growth. There are three moisture zones, 1-3 for dry, 4-7 for moist and 8-10 for wet and the pH level range spans from 3.5 to 8.

This tester does not require batteries, so you do not need to worry about finding that it does not work and not having the right batteries to replace.

Pros:

  • Provides a pH soil test
  • Reads soil moisture
  • Measures sunlight intensity
  • No batteries required
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • The scales are quite close together and may be difficult to read
  • It may not be straightforward for testing pH levels in the soil
  • This will not work for pH testing anything but soil. It is not suitable for liquids.

Abafia Kit (Luxury Choice)

This is an all-singing, all-dancing soil PH testing kit by Abafia. It is more expensive in comparison to some of the other best soil testing kits, but you are getting a lot of functionality for your money, making it a perfect tool for any keen gardener. This soil test kit is battery operated and takes a 9 V battery and will automatically switch itself off after a period of time so that the battery power is not wasted.

The soil tester has a single probe and can tell you the soil pH value, the soil moisture level, the soil temperature and the sunlight levels. Additionally, it has a large LCD screen and provides easy to read results, even in low sunlight levels. All four readings are displayed once the probe is inserted into the soil of your pot or garden, so you do not need to remember to change which element you wish to test.

It is possible to switch between temperature readings in °C or °F, and the PH reading is displayed on a scale of 3.5 to 9. The soil temperature can be recorded between -9° C and 50° C, and there are nine levels of sunlight measurements.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Accurate results
  • Metal probe for pH, light, moisture and temperature
  • Large, bright LCD
  • Can swap between ° C and ° F

Cons:

  • The probe may be fragile and break if inserted into hard soil
  • The pH result may be quite variable
  • The light reading may measure dark when it is in daylight

Suplong 3 in 1 (Best Value)

This soil testing kit by Suplong is specially designed to provide accurate readings of your soil conditions. This soil testing kit is a 3-in-1 tester and helps determine your soil’s moisture, pH, and light levels. To use this testing kit, you simply insert the dual probes 2-4 inches into the soil and wait for the dial to stop moving. A toggle switch adjusts whether you are doing a moisture test, assessing the sunlight levels, or reviewing the pH range of your soil. 

The soil tester displays pH readings from 3.5 to 8 and has three moisture bandings of dry (1-3), moist (4-7) and wet (8-10). Additionally, the unit does not require a battery, so you do not need to worry about battery life. You simply gently insert the probes into the ground and then remove and wipe clean when you have a reading.

It is worth noting that this soil pH tester will not work in anything other than soil; it will not work if you place it in a liquid substance.

Pros:

  • For indoor and outdoor use
  • Scientifically accurate
  • Provides moisture, light and pH level readings
  • Easy to operate
  • It does not require a battery

Cons:

  • It takes up to 10 minutes to produce a reading
  • The prongs may be flimsy and require careful handling
  • The settings on display may be small and difficult to read

Haobase Litmus Paper Strips

The Haobase litmus paper soil pH testing kit couldn’t be more straightforward to use and is very cost-effective. It does not include any chemical testing substances, and the results it generates are highly reliable. You do not need any prior experience or any special skills or techniques to use it.

Each pack of these soil pH tests contains 80 strips with pH levels from 1-14 recorded. This is more accurate and provides a wider range than many of the other best soil testing kits at a very reasonable price!

It works by taking a strip from the pack of 80 and pressing it onto the soil you want to test. The pH paper will turn a certain colour according to the chemical and acidic composition of the ground. You can then read this against the pH colour chart given in the kit to understand the results and action any change you need to make to the soil composition.

Pros:

  • Provides accurate results
  • Very quick results
  • It contains 80 strips and is very cost-effective
  • Easy to use
  • It has a pH range of 1-14

Cons:

  • Instructions provided may not be in English
  • There may not be guidance provided as to what to do based on the results of your soil’s pH
  • May not give consistent results

Fosmon 3 in 1 Indoor Outdoor

This soil testing kit was designed by the researchers and designers of Fosmon technology. It helps to accurately determine the moisture, light and pH levels of the soil. It has a double-needle design for reliable and accurate results. This device does not need batteries, so it will not inconveniently be out of batteries when you need to use it or cause more recycling waste.

It is lightweight and portable. You can carry it around with you as required, and you do not need any special tools or skills training to use this testing kit. A handy user guide is provided so you can easily understand how it works and get better results.

There is a toggle switch to adjust whether you are looking for a pH value of your soil’s light or moisture levels. The pH meter provides results from 2.5-8 and has three moisture zones. A factor that makes this soil tester stand out from some of its competitors is that you do not have to wait 10 minutes to be able to read the results. As soon as the meter stops moving, you are able to take the reading.

Pros:

  • Double-needle design
  • Determines moisture, light, and pH levels
  • Affordable price
  • It does not require batteries
  • You do not have to wait 10 minutes for a reading

Cons:

  • May work better for moisture testing than reading pH acidity
  • The prongs may be fragile and require gentle handling
  • The instructions could provide more details on use and meaning

Luster Leaf Rapitest

The Luster Leaf Rapidtest pH soil tester kit helps you prepare and maintain your garden soil to promote plant growth. This kit has a patented colour comparison chart for different levels of pH in the ground and an easy to follow guide so that you know what your results mean!

One pack contains ten capsules to test the alkaline/ acidity levels of the soil. This kit is simple, quick, and easy to use. To use this tester, take a sample of the soil you want to test and place it in a jar, mix it with water, and transfer a bit of the soil solution to the colour comparator. Add the powder from one of the capsules, shake it well, and wait for the colour to develop. This unique tester does not require batteries, electricity, or metallic probes to work. Once the colour develops, you can check the acidity levels on the patented colour chart.

The value of this pH soil testing kit is that it does not require batteries and does not have delicate probes that you need to clean and maintain. A list of 400 plants and their preferred pH levels is also included when you purchase this soil analysis kit.

Pros:

  • Patented colour comparator and chart
  • Cost-effective
  • Pack of 10 capsules
  • Provides consistent results
  • It does not require batteries or to be inserted into the soil

Cons:

  • The chamber for the test is quite small and fiddly to get the powder into
  • Best to use with distilled water
  • It only provides a pH test and cannot provide moisture levels or temperature of your soil

MoonCity 3-in-1

This is another 3-in-1 soil testing kit in our top ten list. It tests soil to give you its pH level, the amount of sunlight it is receiving and the moisture levels. You adjust the switch on the front of the unit to select the one that you wish to test and insert the two probes into the ground.

The pH scale is 3.5 to 8, and there are three zones for moisture levels. A light sensor in the centre of the dial determines whether the soil is getting adequate sunlight. The relative light intensity recorded is approximately 0-2000 Lux.

There are no batteries required for this soil tester, so it is completely flexible to use whenever you need it. You just insert it 2-4 inches into the soil of the bed or pot that you wish to test. Once the needle has stopped moving, after a few minutes, you can read the soil pH. You then just wipe the probes clean and store them away for next time!

Pros:

  • Tests pH, moisture, and light levels
  • Cost-effective
  • Dual probes
  • It does not require batteries to work
  • Simple to use

Cons:

  • The soil pH tester may not be accurate enough for professional gardeners.
  • Readings on the dial may be difficult to read.
  • The readings disappear when lifted out of the ground, so it is difficult to use in beds unless you get down to a level where you can read them in situ.

MAOZUA 4-in-1

This soil testing kit is exceptionally accurate and gives instant results. You can gauge the amount of water required by the soil and check the light intensity the plant and soil are receiving. It also tests the soil’s pH levels and temperature.

This soil tester by MAOZUA has a large LCD with a green light for easy reading in low-light conditions. It is powered by a 9 V battery (not included in the kit). It also has an auto power-off function to help preserve battery life, turning itself off after 5 minutes of inactivity.

Extremely easy to use, all you need to do is plug the battery in and insert the metal probe into the soil. The screen displays the four settings within a minute or two. Additionally, it is possible to alter the temperature reading from ° C to ° F, and the unit will also alert you if the battery life is running low.

The product details recommend removing the battery from the unit when storing it to increase the lifespan of the soil tester.

Pros:

  • Features a backlit LCD
  • Measures the temperature of soil and moisture levels
  • Reads the soil pH
  • Light sensitivity sensor
  • Auto-switch off function after 5 minutes of inactivity

Cons:

  • Battery operated, but the battery is not included
  • It is recommended to remove the battery from the unit when storing it
  • Removing the protective cap from the probe may damage the probe if not gentle when doing this

Garden Tutor Strips

You won’t be left in the dark with a pH result, but no idea what it means with this soil pH tester kit as it comes supplied with a 16-page testing handbook, providing you with tips and guidance about what your results mean.

The pH test has been specifically calibrated to give accurate results for garden soil testing, so you do not need to worry that you are using a generic test kit. Additionally, there are 100 pH test strips included, so you can happily test multiple beds or pots without worrying about the volume of tests you are using or running out.

The pH testing strips are easy to use; you take a sample of soil and add it to a container with the same amount of water, mix for 30 seconds and then leave before carrying out the test. A 20-minute wait is recommended before you do the test, so it is worth factoring this in. The test itself is just a case of dipping the strip into the soil solution and reviewing the results against the table.

One thing to note is that the acidic colour range is very difficult to differentiate and so the test may be better suited as a general soil acidity tester rather than needing to hit a specific acidity level.

Pros:

  • 100 test strips included in the container
  • A comprehensive booklet is provided
  • Easy to carry out the test
  • No chemicals or powders required
  • Specifically designed for testing soil samples

Cons:

  • Does require some judgement to assess the best colour match on the pH colour chart
  • The acidic colour range is very difficult to differentiate
  • The strips have an expiry date, and so you need to ensure that you will use them in the timeframe given

Miaoo 3-in-1 Plant Moisture Meter

This is the final of our 3-in-1 soil testing kits, and it is designed to provide you with details about your soil moisture levels, pH level and light access. It is a simple plug and read model where you insert the two probes into the soil you wish to test and then read the soil pH meter.

There is no battery required for this soil pH tester to work, and it does not involve you having to take a soil sample and mixing it up before getting a reading. A toggle switch allows you to select between light, moisture and pH level, and once you have inserted it into the soil and waited 10 minutes, you can read the results from the display.

The probe is delicate and needs to be used carefully or may break, and it is not suitable for testing liquids, as this may damage the probe.

Pros:

  • Provides a pH reading
  • Records moisture levels from the soil
  • Easy to use
  • No batteries are required to power the tester
  • Recognises light levels

Cons:

  • The probes may be easily damaged if handled roughly
  • The pH value may not be as accurate as of the moisture reading
  • The readings disappear when lifted out of the ground, so it is difficult for use in beds unless you get down to a level where you can read them in situ

Buyer’s Guide

As mentioned in the introduction to this article, it is important to measure pH levels in your soil. Some plants prefer acidic or alkaline conditions and will not thrive unless they grow in these soil types. Conversely, most plants require neutral soil to thrive and receive the nutrients they need to produce flowers or fruits, so being able to test soil regularly is an important weapon in a gardener’s arsenal!

There are multiple options for pH testers, with many of them doing more than that one test, so it is important to think through a few things before deciding which is the best soil pH tester for you. We have set out some considerations below, which we think will help you narrow down the type of tester that is right for you and provide some useful information and guidance.

Are you Looking for a Tester for a Specific Purpose?

Many of the soil pH testers in our review also perform other functions, such as testing the soil’s moisture levels, temperature, or light levels. If you specifically need to know the pH reading of your soil, there may be an argument to say that selecting an accurate pH tester is more important than purchasing a more general item.

If you would also benefit from knowing when a plant requires watering or its water level reducing to be healthy, then one that also offers this functionality makes perfect sense for you.

Do you Want a Portable Solution to Test at Multiple Locations?

There are two main types of soil testing kits, ones that you insert into the soil you are testing, and ones where you take a soil sample and mix it will water and test in a container with a pH strip. The probe testers are small, lightweight, and easily portable, so you can carry them around your garden and test them in different locations. You simply insert them into the soil you want to test and wait for the results, cleaning the probes off between uses.

Functionality

Soil pH testers can display the pH level and come on a scale from 2.5 to 9, although many show 3.5 to 8. Some of the digital models can display multiple settings simultaneously for other readings, whereas the dual probe models have a switch that you can adjust to alter the test from pH to moisture or light.

The digital soil pH testers often come with an auto-off function that will turn the unit off after a period of inactivity, usually 5 minutes. This prevents the battery from being used unnecessarily. They may also have an indicator on display for a low battery. Being backlit in green or blue allows the readings to be seen clearly, even in poor light.

A close-up of a pH meter used to check the pH level.

The best soil pH testers will often have a light sensor on the front of the unit, which can detect how much direct sunlight is hitting the plant or soil. These do not work for plant growing lights as they do not register the emitted light waves.

Are you a Professional Gardener or Plant Producer?

If you are a professional gardener, landscaper or grower, then pH accuracy may be critical to the success of a gardening job. If this is the case, then purchasing a specialist pH meter may be advisable. Some of the tester kits that are not digital are better for a general indication of soil acidity or alkalinity rather than giving a specific pH reading. So, selecting a digital probe or a test strip kit that is specifically calibrated for testing soil and that has a clear colour chart to measure against may be the better option.

Cost

A soil testing kit is not a particularly expensive item to purchase, but it is money down the drain if it does not achieve what you want it to or does not last for very long.

Some of the soil testing kits in our review do not require a battery, so you know that the upfront cost is all that you will need to pay. Whereas the digital, single probes require a battery and are most commonly not included when you buy the model.

If you are considering the pH testing strips, how many you get and how long they last are both considerations. If you have several flowers or vegetable beds, plus potted plants, then the number of test strips you need quickly adds up. Some of the kits only contain enough test equipment for ten tests, whereas some strip packs contain 100 strips and will give you complete freedom to test when you need to. Just beware that they may have a use-by date, and if you do not anticipate needing to do many tests, then having a lot that will expire is not going to be cost-effective.

Longevity

The probe soil testing kits have many benefits, including being very simple to use and being portable and reusable. However, their design may also mean that they can be quite fragile and easily broken.

Inserting a probe into hard or stony soil may break or damage the probe to the extent that it no longer works. Additionally, they do not cope well with becoming too wet as this can also damage them. Many people are tempted to test the accuracy of the soil nutrient test kit by placing it in a particularly acidic liquid, but this will not produce a reading as this is not how they are designed to work, and it may, in fact, damage the probe.

A farmer uses a digital device to measure the pH level.

As mentioned above, the strips may offer a more flexible solution but do sometimes have an expiry date, so be careful to check that before you purchase. They also do not test anything beyond the soil’s pH level and so may not meet your needs.

Conclusion

We hope that the information we have provided in our buyer’s guide has helped you narrow down your search for the best soil testing kit in the UK for you and that you have found one in our top ten products, but in case you haven’t, why not choose our editor’s choice – the LUINOVIP 3-In-1 Soil Moisture/Light/PH Tester.

This tester does not require batteries, so you do not need to worry about finding that it does not work or not having the right batteries to replace. Additionally, it is very easy to use. Simply insert the two probes into the soil, whether in flower or vegetable beds in the garden or potted plants indoors or outdoors, set the slide switch to the type of test you wish to do, and then wait ten minutes for your accurate readings.

It is able to determine your soil pH, test moisture levels and analyse light levels, all in one handy piece of kit. The readings are clearly displayed on the screen and will tell you if you have alkaline soil or if it is too acidic for your plants, and whether your soil is too dry or wet for healthy plant growth. There are three moisture zones, 1-3 for dry, 4-7 for moist and 8-10 for wet and the soil pH range spans from 3.5 to 8.

There is no need to collect a soil sample with this best soil testing kit in the UK market, and it does not involve test strips; it is easily portable and can be inserted wherever you choose. When inserting them, be careful with the probes as they can be delicate and prone to breakage if the soil is too hard or rocky.

What do you think about our options? Good luck producing healthy soil for your garden plants to thrive in!

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