Getting the correct balance of nutrients in your garden soil is key to helping your vegetables, plants, and flowers thrive and grow all season long. However, your soil’s nutrients can fluctuate depending on the environment, the soil itself, and whether or not you add things like fertilizer in. This is why it’s important to have a soil test kit on hand to find out the nutrient levels of your soil before and during planting season. This way, you can easily adjust it to your plant’s preferred growing conditions to encourage a healthy garden that is more resistant to diseases and pests.
Picking out the best soil test kit can take time, especially if you’ve never bought one before and you’re not sure what to look for when you shop. Luckily, the internet makes it easy to compare various products, pick one out, and have it shipped to your door well in time for the growing season. I’ve picked out 10 great soil test kits and reviewed them for you. Also, my soil test kit guide will highlight everything you want to look for when you start shopping to ensure you get the best soil test kit for your wants and needs.
Knowing your soil’s nutrient content can help you turn dead, dying, or unhealthy plants into thriving growth that takes off and looks nice all season or year round. To get these readings, you’ll need to employ a test kit and routinely test your soil samples.
1. Atree Soil Test Kit
Available in black, yellow, or green, this soil test kit by Atree is an excellent device on hand if you’re trying to grow miniature roses outdoors or indoors. All you have to do to get accurate readings with this instrument is stick the probes four to six inches into the soil and wait for it to beep. When it does, your soil readings will show up on the screen for you to compare to your plant’s preferred growing environment. You can’t use it to test liquids, but it works well in dry or damp soil to give you very accurate readings. You don’t need any electricity or batteries to use it either.
This is a three-in-one soil test kit that measures the soil’s moisture, sunlight intensity, and the pH value each time you use it. Once you get the readings, you can use them to easily adjust them to encourage healthy growth. It has a very compact design that is lightweight, and this makes it very easy to store between uses or carry from plant to plant. The read-out scale gives you very accurate measurements, and it takes 10 minutes to give you your readings once you put it into your plant.
- Three-in-one model
- Very accurate readouts
- Easy to use and compact
- Has a plastic body
- Takes 10 minutes to give you results
- Works better in drier soil
2. Sonkir Soil pH Meter
Sonkir’s reliable and accurate pH soil test kit works best with liquids or very wet soil, and you won’t get accurate readings if your soil is too dry when you try to use it. You can use it both indoors and outdoors without a problem, and it tests three different things for your plants. Once you insert it into the ground, it’ll give you sunlight, pH, and moisture measurements that you can make sure line up with your plant’s preferred growing conditions. You don’t need any batteries for this kit to work, and you’ll just have to insert it two to four inches into the soil and wait for it to give you your readings.
You’ll get double-needle detection technology with this soil test kit that is very accurate and reliable. It also enhances the speed in which you’ll get your results each time you use it. This is a lightweight and portable model that is very easy to carry from plant to plant, and you can store it away with all of your other garden supplies without taking up too much additional room. There is a double sensor design on this product that makes it more accurate.
- Works better in moist soil
- Has double sensor technology
- Double-needle enhances accuracy
- Very sensitive to LED lighting
- Not accurate enough for sensitive plants
- Wire inside are very fragile
3. Luster Leaf Rapitest Test Kit
This soil test kit by Luster Leaf comes in five different styles, including a manual and digital model that makes it nice for testing your soil in your vegetable gardens, indoor plants, and outdoor flower beds. You can also use it before you fertilize your lawn. This kit will give you accurate readings for potash, phosphorus, nitrogen, and your soil’s pH. There is also a list included in each purchase that tells you the preferred pH ratings for over 450 plants, and this allows you to find your particular plants and match the measurements to the guide to ensure they grow healthy all year round.
This is an inexpensive but innovative soil test kit that uses a simple capsule system with a color chart that makes it easy to tell what your measurements are at a glance. You can run 40 tests from a single kit for each of the four measurements. No matter if you’re an experienced gardener or a beginner, the detailed instruction booklet makes it easy to use this product and amend your soil based on the readings. You’ll also get fertilization guidelines in the booklet to help you feed your plants.
- Enough for 40 tests
- Uses color-coded charts
- Detailed guides included
- Writing is very small
- Refills are very expensive
- Test containers are very narrow
4. MySoil Pro-Pack Soil Test Kits
You’ll get dual soil test kits when you purchase this product, and it also comes with one soil probe from MySoil. This will help you get the optimal nutrient range you need to help your garden thrive, and it’s designed for DIYers by DIYers. This is an easy-to-use professional-grade soil testing kit that works well on all growing seasons. You can use it for gardening, lawn and turf maintenance, trees, compost, ornamental landscape, vines, and soil-less media you have in and outside your home. This kit promotes sustainable gardening practices, and this makes it an environmentally-friendly product.
This soil test kit comes from a facility in the United States, and each one undergoes rigorous testing to ensure you get quality products. It has a stainless steel probe that resists rust and corrosion, and this makes it a great choice for repeated use or use in wet and humid environments. Once you get samples of your soil, you mail them for testing and track your comprehensive results. This will give you a thorough understanding of your soil’s composition, and you can adjust it as needed to keep your plants healthy. The results come back very quickly when you mail them out.
- Gives you comprehensive results
- Get two kits in every order
- Very easy to use
- Have to mail the sample in
- Probe is very small
- Customer service is difficult to reach
5. XLUX T10 Soil Moisture Sensor
This is a reliable soil test kit from Xlux to help you grow beautiful indoor plants. It has an accurate sensing probe that gives you very accurate results in a very short timeframe. This is important if you have a lot of plants to test and don’t have a lot of time to go through them all. The large dial has a clear design with larger writing to make it much easier to see at a glance, even in lower lighting conditions. It has 10 scales with a plug and read design that is very convenient and user-friendly for beginners to understand. You can use the measurements you get to make amendments to your soil for the optional growing conditions.
All you have to do to use this soil test kit is push the probe into the soil and wait for your reading. It’ll tell you if the soil is too moist or too dry to support optimal growth. Since it only has a single probe on it, there is a reduced chance that you’ll damage your plant’s roots or pull out a lot of soil when you use it. You shouldn’t use it in liquid, but the soil should be slightly moist when you apply it to help ensure you get an accurate reading. It has a stainless steel probe that resists rusting, corroding, wear and tear.
- Comes in two colors
- Very cost-effective choice
- Larger readouts are easier to see
- Only measures the moisture content
- Body is a thin plastic
- Dial can fog over
6. yoyomax Soil Test Kit
Yoyomax’s soil test kit has a three-in-one design that measures multiple components at the same time to give you comprehensive and accurate readings. Each time you insert the metal probe into your plant’s soil, it’ll give you the moisture readings, sunlight readings, and the pH levels. In turn, you’ll know whether or not you need to adjust the pH, put your plants in the shade or give them more sunlight, and increase or cut back on the watering. This will help put your plants in the optimal growing environment to help keep them healthy as they grow and thrive all season or year round.
This soil test kit is ready to use outside of the box, and there is no electricity or batteries needed to run it. All you have to do is plug and read. You can use it both indoors and outdoors, and it’s compact and portable enough to easily carry from plant to plant. If you have questions or concerns about the soil test kit, you can easily get in touch with customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is slightly larger writing on the dials that make it very easy to read at a glance.
- Easy to reach customer service
- Measures moisture, pH, and sunlight
- Ready to use out of the box
- No instructions included
- Comes with a small learning curve
- Probes are slightly shorter
7. KoGI24 Soil pH Meter
Anyone who started a container garden knows how important it is to get the sunlight, moisture, and pH levels correct for the different vegetables to encourage healthy growth. It’s slightly more challenging in the beginning, but you have precision control over all of these levels with this gardening style. This soil test kit measures all three elements before giving you clear readouts. It’s portable and compact enough to carry around with you or store. There is a double-needle detection technology that enhances the accuracy and speed of your readouts, and it reduces the chances of getting a false reading.
There is no need for batteries with this soil test kit, and this makes it a very eco-friendly design. All you have to do is sink the probe four inches into the soil of your containers and give it a few minutes to read the levels. You should wipe the device off after every use to prevent cross contamination and mixed readings, and this can also ensure it lasts longer. This product has stainless steel probes that are very durable and long-lasting. There is a customer satisfaction guarantee attached to each purchase too.
- Stainless steel probes
- Designed to last for years
- Very portable and compact
- Only reads three elements
- Dial is very small and hard to read
- Plastic body can crack
8. Environmental Concepts Professional Soil Test Kit
Anyone who is looking for a professional-grade soil test kit to use around their home or garden should take a minute to check out Environmental Concepts’ option. This is a slightly larger test kit that comes with the capabilities to test 80 or 200 times before you have to buy a refill kit. Additionally, it’ll give you readings for phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, and soil pH each time you use it. The test tubes are slightly larger, and this makes it easy to see your results.
You’ll get detailed but simple instructions with this soil test kit that tells you exactly how to set it up and use it to ensure you get very accurate ratings. There is a pH preference list for hundreds of different plant species included to give you a baseline measurement. You’ll also find tips for altering your soil conditions and gardening to keep your plants healthy included in the kit. Everything comes packed secure into a sturdy plastic case that snaps closed for your convenience, and it’s a hard-sided case that will help protect the contents from damage if you accidentally drop it.
- Two sizes available for 80 or 200 tests
- Hard-sided case protects the contents
- Professional-grade materials
- Need completely dry samples
- Takes a few hours to get results
- Refills are expensive
9. CharmUO Soil Moisture Meter
CharmUO’s soil test kit makes a nice gift for any gardeners on your list because it’s practical and you know it’ll get a lot of use. It offers a three-in-one function that allows you to test the sunlight levels, pH, and moisture content all at the same time. In turn, you’ll know whether you need to amend the soil, give it more or less light, or adjust your watering schedule. All you have to do to get it to work out of the box is insert it into the soil around two to four inches. You don’t have to insert any batteries or plug it in, and it is very easy to store or take with you if you want to use it outside. You can easily test fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants, your lawn, and your indoor house plants with it.
There is a white scale with a black pointer on this soil test kit that is very easy to read, and the glass screen helps to keep your field of view unobstructed. There is double-needle detection technology on this reader that enhances the accuracy and speed of your detection time, and this allows you to test more plants in a short period of time. The small chart will let you know your pH acidity and how your moisture and sunlight levels stack up. You can compare your results to the plant’s preferred growing environment.
- Three-in-one measurements
- Comes with a simple measurement chart
- Ready to use straight away
- Doesn’t measure nitrogen or phosphorus
- Writing is very small
- No recommended plant charts included
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10. Bearbro 3-in-1 Soil Test Kit
The final soil test kit on my list comes from Bearbro, and it can easily test the pH levels, humidity, and sunlight levels of your plants. You’ll be able to use it to help you understand your soil’s conditions, whether you need to add more or less sunlight, and when you should water your plants to keep them healthy and growing. There is double-needle detection technology on this product that improves how accurate the readouts are, and it also ensures you get your results much quicker than you would with other devices so you can cover more plants without wasting a lot of time.
This soil test kit is suitable for indoor and outdoor use, and you can use it on smaller gardens or in larger commercial operations without a problem. There is no electricity or batteries needed to work this test kit, and you just have to stick the probe two to four inches into the soil and let it analyze it. When you finish, wipe the probe off and move to the next plant. If you have any questions or concerns, customer service is very responsible and ready to help troubleshoot or send you a replacement.
- Double-needle technology
- Customer service is responsive
- Outdoor and indoor use
- Need to test a few times to ensure it’s accurate
- Slightly slower response speed
- Doesn’t work well in dry soil
Soil Test Kit Buyer’s Guide
If you’re considering adding a soil test kit to your array of gardening tools, you’ll find that it fits in very well with your other small tools like your pruners or garden scissors. They usually have a very lightweight and compact design that makes them convenient and easy to carry around with you to your test site. But, there are a few things you should consider when you shop, and I’ll highlight them below.
What the Kit Tests
You’ll notice that not all of the test kits on the list cover the same elements. For example, many of them only give you readings for moisture, pH, and sunlight levels. However, more comprehensive test kits will give you readings for these three things plus nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Depending on how confident you are as a gardner, you may want to get a kit that will allow you to test more. This is especially important if you have more sensitive plants. If you’re confident in your abilities, you could go for a more cost-effective kit that doesn’t give you readouts for as many elements.
What elements your kit measures varies from kit to kit, and you will want something more comprehensive for larger growing operations. If you’re more worried about your houseplants, you can usually get away with using a smaller model with a shorter range.
It’s essential that your soil test kit is very accurate. If it’s not, you can easily damage your plants by adding too much or too little fertilizer, too much water, or trying to amend the soil too much. You should test it a few times on the same plant to see what you get for readings. If it’s accurate, your readings should be almost identical around the pot. You may have to experiment a few times until you get a good understanding for the readouts it gives you.
Ease of Use
You don’t want to spend a lot of time trying to decipher your kit’s readings. This is why you should look for a kit that is very user-friendly. If it’s more complicated, it should have detailed, step-by-step instructions included that tell you exactly how to use each element of the kit. The fewer elements your kit tests for, the more simple the design will be. Compare a few products and look at how easy it is to use. As a bonus, it can have the preferred levels for different plant species listed.
Getting the correct nutrient and acidity levels in the soil can help to promote healthy growth from the time your plants are seedlings up until they reach maturity and thrive.
Size and Portability
How much space do you have to store your test kit between uses? If you have to take it with you and transport it from place to place, the size and portability factors are something to consider. All of the kits on our list are smaller and very portable, and this makes it easy to take around your vegetable garden or from one end of our rooftop garden to the other. If there are multiple pieces, it should come with a nice carrying case to keep everything organized and neat.
Soil test kits come in a broad range of sizes and shapes, and this can take time to sort through and narrow down your choices. I’ve listed 10 high-quality kits that work well for domestic or commercial use, and the short buyer’s guide lays out any considerations you want to keep in mind. These two resources can help you find the best kit for your needs and keep your plants healthy.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.