The 10 Best Home Water Test Kits of 2020

Best Home Water Test Kit

Photo: Test Assured

Water testing kits are an affordable and reliable way to check the quality of your drinking water for health purposes. These kits are available in different varieties, ranging from strips to vials, reagents, and many others.

Even with water purifiers and filters installed, you should still use these kits to be sure of the water’s safety. That said, we have narrowed it down to the best home water test kits in the market that you should consider buying. Let’s get right into it.

10 Best Home Water Test Kits – Reviews

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Watersafe WS425B

1. Watersafe WS425B (Best Overall Home Water Test Kit)

  • Complete 10 parameter test
  • Includes bacteria testing
  • Very sensitive lead test
  • Quick 10-minute testing strips
HoneForest HFTDS-M7

2. HoneForest HFTDS-M7 (Best TDS Water Test Kit)

  • TDS, electrical conductivity, and temperature testing
  • Easy-to-read backlit LCD screen
  • ATC for enhanced accuracy
  • Auto-off for battery conservation
Hach 145300

3. Hach 145300 (Best Reagent for Hardness Testing)

  • Drop count titration testing with a 1-30 GPG range
  • Performs up to 100 tests
  • Includes a vial and pipette
  • Detailed instructions for accurate testing
Hach 2745250

4. Hach 2745250 (Best Hardness Test Strips)

  • Contains 50 testing strips
  • Safe and easily disposable strips
  • Colored scale with ppm and GPG scales
  • Includes detailed usage instructions
Baldwin Meadows 14-in-1

5. Baldwin Meadows 14-in-1 (Best Multi-Test Water Testing Kit)

  • 14 parameter tests in 1
  • Contains 100 strips per kit
  • Low-level heavy metal detection range
  • Includes a color chart
Test Assured WW001

6. Test Assured WW001 (Easy-to-Use Home Water Test Kit)

  • Includes detailed instructions and customer support
  • 8 testing parameters, including bacteria
  • Includes vials and a color chart
  • Backed by a money-back guarantee
Baldwin Meadows 10-in-1

7. Baldwin Meadows 10-in-1 (Sensitive Home Water Test Kit)

  • Sensitive low-level detection range
  • Multiple 10 parameter testing
  • Includes a color chart and EPA contaminant chart
  • Includes 100 strips
Health Metric Drinking Water Test

8. Health Metric Drinking Water Test (Well Home Water Test Kit)

  • Bacteria and heavy metal tests
  • Total of 9 tests per kit
  • Separate vials for bacteria and lead testing
  • Color chart included for easy interpretation
Test Assured cwa1000

9. Test Assured cwa1000 (EPA-Calibrated Home Water Test Kit)

  • EPA calibrated test kit
  • EPA maximum contaminant level chart
  • 10 tests in 1
  • Money-back guarantee
First Alert WT1

10. First Alert WT1 (Quick-Result Home Water Test Kit)

  • Quick 10-minute testing
  • 7 parameters in one
  • Separate vials for bacteria, lead/pesticide testing
  • Calibrated towards EPA standards

PRODUCT

1. Watersafe WS425B

(Best Overall Home Water Test Kit)

Watersafe WS425B
  • Complete 10 parameter test
  • Includes bacteria testing
  • Very sensitive lead test
  • Quick 10-minute testing strips

2. HoneForest HFTDS-M7

(Best TDS Water Test Kit)

HoneForest HFTDS-M7
  • TDS, electrical conductivity, and temperature testing
  • Easy-to-read backlit LCD screen
  • ATC for enhanced accuracy
  • Auto-off for battery conservation

3. Hach 145300

(Best Reagent for Hardness Testing)

Hach 145300
  • Drop count titration testing with a 1-30 GPG range
  • Performs up to 100 tests
  • Includes a vial and pipette
  • Detailed instructions for accurate testing

4. Hach 2745250

(Best Hardness Test Strips)

Hach 2745250
  • Contains 50 testing strips
  • Safe and easily disposable strips
  • Colored scale with ppm and GPG scales
  • Includes detailed usage instructions

5. Baldwin Meadows 14-in-1

(Best Multi-Test Water Testing Kit)

Baldwin Meadows 14-in-1
  • 14 parameter tests in 1
  • Contains 100 strips per kit
  • Low-level heavy metal detection range
  • Includes a color chart

6. Test Assured WW001

(Easy-to-Use Home Water Test Kit)

Test Assured WW001
  • Includes detailed instructions and customer support
  • 8 testing parameters, including bacteria
  • Includes vials and a color chart
  • Backed by a money-back guarantee

7. Baldwin Meadows 10-in-1

(Sensitive Home Water Test Kit)

Baldwin Meadows 10-in-1
  • Sensitive low-level detection range
  • Multiple 10 parameter testing
  • Includes a color chart and EPA contaminant chart
  • Includes 100 strips

8. Health Metric Drinking Water Test

(Well Home Water Test Kit)

Health Metric Drinking Water Test
  • Bacteria and heavy metal tests
  • Total of 9 tests per kit
  • Separate vials for bacteria and lead testing
  • Color chart included for easy interpretation

9. Test Assured cwa1000

(EPA-Calibrated Home Water Test Kit)

Test Assured cwa1000
  • EPA calibrated test kit
  • EPA maximum contaminant level chart
  • 10 tests in 1
  • Money-back guarantee

10. First Alert WT1

(Quick-Result Home Water Test Kit)

First Alert WT1
  • Quick 10-minute testing
  • 7 parameters in one
  • Separate vials for bacteria, lead/pesticide testing
  • Calibrated towards EPA standards

1. Watersafe WS425B – Best Overall Home Water Test Kit

Watersafe WS425B

Photo: Watersafe

  • Type of Test Kit: Vials and Strips
  • Number of Tests: 10 in 1

Watersafe’s WS425B takes the best overall spot because it offers a complete 10 parameter test kit that is ideal for tap and well water. These 10 parameters include bacteria, in which the included vial checks for disease-causing coliform bacteria.

The others are pesticides, nitrates, nitrites, lead, iron, hardness, pH, chlorine, and copper. Apart from the bacteria test, all others are done using strips, with lead and pesticides having their separately-packaged strips, vial, and dropper pipette.

Strips are very easy to use and give the results very quickly. In actual figures, the strips take about 10 minutes to give you the results but the bacterial vial takes about 48 hours.

That said, the rapid lead test has been validated to detect very minimal quantities of this contaminant in an EPA-certified lab, and therefore, you can be sure of detection at very minuscule levels.

On the downside, this kit can only be used once because it has only a single test for each parameter.

Pros:

  • Complete 10 parameter test
  • Includes bacteria testing
  • Very sensitive lead test
  • Quick 10-minute testing strips
  • Includes a vial and dropper pipette for lead and pesticide testing

Cons:

  • Can only be used once

2. HoneForest HFTDS-M7 – Best TDS Water Test Kit

HoneForest HFTDS-M7

Photo: HoneForest

  • Type of Test Kit: Meter
  • Number of Tests: 3 in 1

If you are looking forward to testing the quantity of total dissolved solids in your water, HoneForest’s HFTDS-M7 is your best bet. The unit comes in the form of an advanced digital meter pen that combines 3 testing functions in 1.

The pen is run by an advanced microprocessor technology, which has a TDS meter, an electrical conductivity meter, and a temperature meter.

TDS measures the ppm of dissolved solids within a range of 0-9990 ppm to determine the amount of dirt. Electrical conductivity is measured within a range of 0-9990 µs/cm, which checks for the concentration of dissolved ions (salts).

Lastly, the temperature meter measures on a range of 0.1-50ºC/32-122ºF. All these are displayed on an easy-to-read backlit LCD screen with an accuracy of +/-2% F.S. If the TDS is greater than 40 ppm, the backlight turns red. Otherwise, it remains green.

Other features include Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC) for enhanced accuracy, auto-off in 2 minutes for battery conservation, auto-lock for stabilizing the reading, a hold function for manual locking of the readings, and a colorful TDS chart with the ppm readings.

The only problem is the few testing parameters, including lacking pH tests. 

Pros:

  • TDS, electrical conductivity, and temperature testing in one
  • Easy-to-read backlit LCD
  • ATC for enhanced accuracy
  • Auto-off for battery conservation
  • Auto-lock and manual hold function

Cons:

  • Few tests. Does not check the pH level

3. Hach 145300 – Best Reagent for Hardness Testing

Hach 145300

Photo: Hach Company

  • Type of Test Kit: Liquid
  • Number of Tests: 1

For those looking for a liquid hardness test kit, Hach’s 145300 is the best product to buy. It utilizes drop count titration with a range of 1-30 GPG (Grains Per Gallon). The grains are essentially calcium carbonate with 1 GPG being equivalent to 17.1 mg/liter.

Though it carries out tests for a single parameter, one of the greatest advantages you get is that the kit can perform approximately 100 tests.

That said, the kit includes a vial, a pipette, and all other components that you need to carry out the test. The packaging also includes all the instructions required to carry out the test for easy use.

Pros:

  • Drop count titration reagent testing with a 1-30 GPG range
  • Performs up to 100 tests
  • Includes a vial and pipette
  • Detailed instructions on the pack for accurate use

Cons:

  • Only tests a single parameter

4. Hach 2745250 – Best Hardness Test Strips

Hach 2745250

Photo: Hach Company

  • Type of Test Kit: Strips
  • Number of Tests: 1

If you prefer hardness test strips as opposed to reagents, Hach’s 2745250 is your best option. This product is slightly cheaper than the Hach 145300 but contains fewer strips that are designed to carry out a total of 50 tests.

Basically, this means there are 50 strips per kit and each of these can only be used once. After use, the strips are easily disposable and they don’t expose you to chemicals as the liquid test does.

That said, the package contains detailed usage directions as well as a colored scale that shows you the color to compare with the strip. This scale shows the total hardness as calcium carbonate in a range of 0-25 GPG and 0-425 ppm.

The only problem is that the kit only carries out a single test parameter, which is hardness testing.

Pros:

  • Contains 50 testing strips
  • Safe and easily disposable strips
  • Colored scale with ppm and GPG scales
  • Includes detailed usage instructions

Cons:

  • Only tests for hardness

5. Baldwin Meadows 14-in-1 – Best Multi-Test Water Testing Kit

Baldwin Meadows 14-in-1

Photo: Baldwin Meadows

  • Type of Test Kit: Strips
  • Number of Tests: 14 in 1

With 14 parameter tests in 1, Baldwin Meadows’ testing kit offers the highest number of tests in this review. These parameters include total alkalinity, pH, total hardness, iron, copper, lead, fluoride, mercury, nitrate, nitrite, sulfate, residual chlorine, chromium, and bromine.

Each of these is in one strip and the kit has 100 of them. This means you can carry out 100 tests, which are quite many and will last a while.

That said, the strips are designed to have new low-level detection ranges for lead, fluoride, copper, iron, and mercury. In actual numbers, the strips can detect 0-50 ppb (parts per billion) of lead as well as 0-5, 0-2, 0-5, and 0.08 ppm of iron, copper, fluoride, and mercury respectively.

This makes it extremely sensitive, which is good because it shows you even the very low levels of these toxic heavy metals in your drinking water.

Once dipped in water, the results are determined in seconds and a color chart is included to help you interpret these results. The only problem is that there is no bacteria test parameter in this kit.

Pros:

  • 14 parameter tests in 1
  • Contains 100 strips per kit
  • Low-level heavy metal detection range for high sensitivity
  • Takes a few seconds to determine results
  • Includes a color chart

Cons:

  • No bacteria test

6. Test Assured WW001 – Easy-to-Use Home Water Test Kit

Test Assured WW001

Photo: Test Assured

  • Type of Test Kit: Vial and Strips
  • Number of Tests: 8 in 1

Test Assured’s WW001 water test is designed to be very easy to use because detailed testing instructions are included in the pack and the manufacturer’s support team is always available for consultation.

That said, the kit offers 8 testing parameters, which includes strips for testing the chlorine, copper, nitrates/nitrites, iron, alkalinity, pH, and hardness. The 8’th parameter is bacteria testing and for this, you get a separate vial that will give you the results in 48 hours.

You also get another vial for using with the other strips and a color chart with all the color levels for each parameter for easy interpretation. On the downside, the kit does not measure lead and pesticides.

It is worth mentioning that this product comes with a money-back guarantee, which means you can get a full refund with no questions asked if the kit does not meet your expectations.

Pros:

  • Includes detailed testing instructions and customer support
  • 8 testing parameters, including bacteria
  • Includes vials and a color chart
  • Backed by a money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Does not measure lead and pesticide levels

7. Baldwin Meadows 10-in-1 – Sensitive Home Water Test Kit

Baldwin Meadows 10-in-1

Photo: Baldwin Meadows

  • Type of Test Kit: Strips
  • Number of Tests: 10 in 1

This test kit is characterized by low-level detection ranges for 4 contaminants, which are Fluoride, Iron, copper, and lead. Measured by strips, these are capable of detecting 0-50 ppb of lead, 0-5 ppm of iron, 0-2 ppm of copper, and 0-5 ppm of fluoride.

These 4 are part of 10 parameter testing strips, which add on pH (6.0-9.0), alkalinity (0-400 ppm), chlorine (0-20 ppm), nitrate (0-500 ppm), nitrite (0-80 ppm) and total hardness (0-1000 ppm).

Since there is no bacteria testing, all tests take a very short time and you get a color chart to help you interpret the results. You also get an EPA contaminant chart to check if the results determined by the color chart are within acceptable levels.

All the 10 tests are on one strip and the kit includes 100 strips. As such, you can carry out 100 tests per pack, which is a good deal.

Pros:

  • Sensitive low-level detection range
  • Multiple 10 parameter testing
  • Short testing period
  • Includes a color chart and EPA contaminant chart
  • Includes 100 strips

Cons:

  • No bacteria testing

8. Health Metric Drinking Water Test – Well Home Water Test Kit

Health Metric Drinking Water Test

Photo: Health Metric

  • Type of Test Kit: Vial and Strips
  • Number of Tests: 9 in 1

With 9 parameter tests in 1, including bacteria and heavy metal (lead and copper) testing, Health Metric’s drinking water test is recommended for tap and well water testing. It comes in especially handy for well water testing because these contaminants are common underground.

That said, the kit also tests for pH, total alkalinity, total hardness, total chlorine, nitrites, and nitrates. It has strips for each of these tests except for bacteria, which has a separate vial.

The bacteria test takes 48 hours and after this period, if the water in the vial turns purple, there’s no contamination. However, if it turns yellow, it is contaminated by coliform bacteria.

The lead test also comes with its own vial and this takes roughly 10 minutes. Each of these tests has a color chart for easy interpretation after use. 

On the downside, the kit is meant for at most two tests for nitrite/nitrate, chlorine, alkalinity, pH, and hardness. The rest only have a single test.  

Pros:

  • Bacteria and heavy metal tests; ideal for well water
  • Total of 9 tests per kit
  • Separate vials for bacteria and lead testing
  • Color chart included for easy interpretation

Cons:

  • Few tests per kit

9. Test Assured cwa1000 – EPA-Calibrated Home Water Test Kit

Test Assured cwa1000

Photo: Test Assured

  • Type of Test Kit: Vial and Strips
  • Number of Tests: 10 in 1

Test Assured’s cwa1000 includes 10 tests in one and all these are calibrated to meet EPA standards. This ensures you get to compare your results with the safe levels recommended by the federal agency.

Additionally, a list of the acceptable EPA contaminant levels is included in the kit for easier comparison.

That said, the 10 tests include lead, pesticides, copper, iron, alkalinity (pH and hardness), chlorine, nitrates/nitrites, and bacteria. These are sufficient for well water testing, which usually has the most contaminants.

You also get a money-back guarantee with no questions asked, where you will be given a full refund if you are not satisfied 100% using the product. On the downside, this kit is quite expensive to buy.

Pros:

  • EPA calibrated test kit
  • Includes an EPA maximum contaminant level chart
  • 10 tests in 1
  • Money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Quite expensive

10. First Alert WT1 – Quick-Result Home Water Test Kit

First Alert WT1

Photo: First Alert

  • Type of Test Kit: Vial and Strips
  • Number of Tests: 7 in 1

With a combined testing capacity of 7 different parameters (including bacteria), First Alert’s WT1 is designed to deliver any of these results in as little as 10 minutes. This is very fast and very convenient.

Bacteria aside, the remaining 6 tests are pesticides, lead, pH, chlorine, hardness, and nitrates/nitrites, and there are separate vials for bacteria and pesticide/lead testing. This list is quite comprehensive and is good enough for testing well water.

That said, these tests are calibrated towards EPA standards and therefore, you can be assured of safe drinking water if the results are below the maximum recommended levels.

The only problem is that you get a single test for each parameter, which means you have to buy a new set every time.

Pros:

  • Quick 10-minute testing
  • 7 parameters in one
  • Separate vials for bacteria, lead, and pesticide testing
  • Calibrated towards EPA standards

Cons:

  • Only does a single test for each parameter

How to Buy the Best Home Water Test Kit

How to Buy the Best Home Water Test Kit

Photo: Health Metric

1. Types of Home Water Test Kits

Color Disk Kits

Color disk kits rely on visual comparison of the water in a vial inside a small plastic box to determine the results. The actual color disk has multiple color gradients and is rotated inside this box to compare the color with that of the reacting water inside the vial.

These kits are costlier and a bit complicated to use but they are accurate and can be reused.

Test Strips

Test strips are the most common kits because of their affordability. They change their color according to the contaminant level and this color is compared to a color chart to interpret the results.

That said, they are not as accurate as compared to color disks or hand-held digital meters but can be used to carry out multiple tests per strip.

Hand-Held Digital Instruments

Possibly the most accurate water test kit, hand-held meters run digitally and present the results on an LCD screen. This makes them very accurate and easy to use. The main issue with them though is that they are designed to only carry out a few test parameters.

Buying Guide: If you want to carry out only a few water tests, we recommend getting a color disk or a hand-held meter, such as HoneForest’s HFTDS-M7.

However, if you want to carry out multiple tests, test strips are recommended. Products like Watersafe’s WS425B combine strips and vials to give comprehensive tests and this is highly recommended because it enables you to fully determine the water’s quality.

2. Water Source

With filtered bottled water, there are a few parameters that you can test just to confirm the quality of the filtration system. However, with well or municipal water, you need a comprehensive testing kit.

This is because such water might be filled with multiple contaminants like heavy metals and bacteria, which cause cancer, reproductive problems, neurological disorders, and gastrointestinal illnesses, just to name a few.

Therefore, if your water is from these sources, be sure to get a kit that at least checks for bacteria and heavy metals, such as Watersafe’s WS425B.

3. Testing Procedure

Some testing procedures take longer than others and this is especially so when testing for bacteria. This can be very inconvenient. However, there are a few that are more efficient.

Using First Alert’s WT1 as an example, all its 7 parameter tests take at most 10 minutes to complete and this is quite a short time.

4. Contaminants

Not all kits carry out the same number of tests. The more the parameter tests, the better and this makes Baldwin Meadows’ testing kit stand out due to its 14-in-1 parameter testing.

However, it is worth mentioning that this product does not carry out bacteria tests, which is recommended for well and municipal water. With filtered bottled water though, it is more than enough.

Conclusion

In summary, the best home water test kit should be the one that suits your water conditions. That said, complete kits are better because they offer more tests and this is why Watersafe’s WS425B takes the top spot. It includes the important bacteria test.

However, if your primary goal is to measure the TDS, be sure to check out HoneForest’s HFTDS-M7, which also measures the electrical conductivity and temperature.

On the other hand, if you only want to measure hardness, you can get Hach’s 145300 for liquid testing or Hach’s 2745250 for strip testing.


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