The 10 Best pH Meters of 2020

Best pH Meter

A pH meter is a small device that you can use at home or other settings to check the acid/base levels of water, other fluids, and even food.

This tool has a probe on one of its ends, which you insert into the substance being tested. An accurate pH reading is then obtained and displayed on a digital screen.

The pH scale ranges from 0 -14, where 0 - 6 indicates acidity, 7 - 14 indicates alkalinity, and 7 is neutral.

To learn which model suits your needs best, dive into our top 10 pH meter review and buying guide.

10 Best pH Meters – Reviews

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Apera Instruments AI223

1. Apera Instruments AI223 (Best Overall pH Meter)

  • Supports many applications
  • 3-point autocalibration
  • Intelligent productivity functions
  • Slim replaceable pH probe
Vivosun pH Tester

2. Vivosun pH Tester (Best Budget pH Meter)

  • Reasonably priced and affordable
  • Supports diverse applications
  • Automatic temperature compensation
  • Lightweight and portable
HM Digital PH-200

3. HM Digital PH-200 (Best Waterproof pH Meter)

  • IP67 waterproof housing
  • 0℃-80℃ operating temperature range
  • Automatic 3-point calibration
  • Additional productivity functions
Apera Instruments AI316

4. Apera Instruments AI316 (Best Commercial pH Meter)

  • pH range of - 2 to 16
  • 5-in-1 multi-parameter meter
  • 5-point automatic calibration
  • Sturdy replaceable probe
Apera Instruments AI209

5. Apera Instruments AI209 (pH Meter with Long Battery Life)

  • Long 2000-hour battery life
  • Rugged protective carry case
  • Fast and accurate sensor
  • Self-diagnosis function
Pancellent Quality Test Meter

6. Pancellent Quality Test Meter (pH Meter with Backlit Display)

  • Backlit LED display
  • Multi-purpose 3-in-1 meter
  • 5-minute auto-shutoff feature
  • “Hold” button for easy readings
Dr.meter PH100-V

7. Dr.meter PH100-V (Versatile and Multipurpose pH Meter)

  • Multi-purpose pH meter
  • 3-point pH autocalibration
  • Automatic temperature compensation
  • High-accuracy chip and electrode
HM Digital PH-80

8. HM Digital PH-80 (Dual pH and Temperature Meter)

  • Measures pH and temperature
  • Large LCD display
  • One-touch pH calibration
  • Superior productivity features
Mekbok PH-02

9. Mekbok PH-02 (Great Pocket pH Meter)

  • Compact and lightweight
  • One-touch pH testing
  • Automatic 3-point calibration
  • Simple and clear setup guide
Poit 8541957769

10. Poit 8541957769 (Easy-to-use pH Meter)

  • Factory-calibrated for easy usage
  • Accurate and fast readings
  • Diverse applications
  • Automatic temperature calibration

PRODUCT

1. Apera Instruments AI223

(Best Overall pH Meter)

Apera Instruments AI223
  • Supports many applications
  • 3-point autocalibration
  • Intelligent productivity functions
  • Slim replaceable pH probe

2. Vivosun pH Tester

(Best Budget pH Meter)

Vivosun pH Tester
  • Reasonably priced and affordable
  • Supports diverse applications
  • Automatic temperature compensation
  • Lightweight and portable

3. HM Digital PH-200

(Best Waterproof pH Meter)

HM Digital PH-200
  • IP67 waterproof housing
  • 0℃-80℃ operating temperature range
  • Automatic 3-point calibration
  • Additional productivity functions

4. Apera Instruments AI316

(Best Commercial pH Meter)

Apera Instruments AI316
  • pH range of - 2 to 16
  • 5-in-1 multi-parameter meter
  • 5-point automatic calibration
  • Sturdy replaceable probe

5. Apera Instruments AI209

(pH Meter with Long Battery Life)

Apera Instruments AI209
  • Long 2000-hour battery life
  • Rugged protective carry case
  • Fast and accurate sensor
  • Self-diagnosis function

6. Pancellent Quality Test Meter

(pH Meter with Backlit Display)

Pancellent Quality Test Meter
  • Backlit LED display
  • Multi-purpose 3-in-1 meter
  • 5-minute auto-shutoff feature
  • “Hold” button for easy readings

7. Dr.meter PH100-V

(Versatile and Multipurpose pH Meter)

Dr.meter PH100-V
  • Multi-purpose pH meter
  • 3-point pH autocalibration
  • Automatic temperature compensation
  • High-accuracy chip and electrode

8. HM Digital PH-80

(Dual pH and Temperature Meter)

HM Digital PH-80
  • Measures pH and temperature
  • Large LCD display
  • One-touch pH calibration
  • Superior productivity features

9. Mekbok PH-02

(Great Pocket pH Meter)

Mekbok PH-02
  • Compact and lightweight
  • One-touch pH testing
  • Automatic 3-point calibration
  • Simple and clear setup guide

10. Poit 8541957769

(Easy-to-use pH Meter)

Poit 8541957769
  • Factory-calibrated for easy usage
  • Accurate and fast readings
  • Diverse applications
  • Automatic temperature calibration

1. Apera Instruments AI223 – Best Overall pH Meter

Apera Instruments AI223
  • Power Source: Battery-powered
  • pH Range: -1 to 15
  • Accuracy: +/- 0.01 pH

Apera Instruments AI223 is the best overall pH meter on our list. It has a range of useful features that make calibration and operation easy. It is also very accurate in its pH measurements.

This general-purpose pH tester excels in multiple applications including aquaculture, hydroponics, beverage making, pools and spas, education lab experiments, and water treatment.

The unit features an easy 3-point automatic calibration using 3 ready-to-use buffers (4.00, 7.00, and 10.01), and a 3M KCL storage solution.

Another handy feature is the meter’s slim pH probe, which fits in a test tube to allow for lab pH measurements. When it ages or gets damaged, simply replace it.

Some of its intelligent functions include automatic power-off to save energy, a pH probe invalidation reminder, and efficient switching between ℃ and ℉.

It runs on 2 lithium-ion batteries, which are both included so that you don’t incur additional costs beyond the unit price.

An issue some may find disappointing about the Apera Instruments AI223 is that is LCD screen is not backlit and may be challenging to ready measurements in the darkness.

Pros:

  • Wide range of applications
  • Automatic pH calibration
  • Intelligent functions
  • Slim replaceable pH probe

Cons:

  • The LCD screen is not backlit

2. Vivosun pH Tester – Best Budget pH Meter

Vivosun pH Tester
  • Power Source: Battery-powered
  • pH Range: 0 to 14

Vivosun pH Tester is the best budget pH meter on our list. This affordable unit is great for both residential and commercial use because it supports a wide range of applications.

You can use it to test the pH of liquid food, lab chemicals, hydroponics and aquaculture setups, pool water, and even drinking water.

This battery-powered unit features useful functions such as automatic 2-point calibration using the simple press of a button, which makes the overall testing process fast and easy.

Also, it comes with automatic temperature compensation that adjusts automatically to the temperature of water to give you accurate pH readings.

It is also a light-weight and pocket-size unit you can carry around with you even for outdoor activities such as camping. Operating the meter is also, with just the flip of a button.

Unfortunately, the Vivosun pH Tester is not waterproof and submerging it in water may cause damage to its core components.

Pros:

  • Pocket-friendly pH meter
  • Used in multiple application
  • Has automatic temperature compensation
  • Lightweight and pocket-sized

Cons:

  • The meter is not waterproof

3. HM Digital PH-200 – Best Waterproof pH Meter

HM Digital PH-200
  • Power Source: Battery-powered
  • pH Range: 0 to 14
  • Accuracy: +/- 0.1 pH

HM Digital PH-200 is one of the best waterproof pH meter you can buy. Of all the pH meters we have reviewed, it is the only model with an IP67 waterproof rating on its housing.

This feature makes the meter ideal for a wide range of applications including aquaculture, water purification processes, hydroponics, boilers and cooling towers, and many more.

Besides measuring pH, this meter also measures a superior range of temperatures, from 0℃ to 80℃ (32-176 ℉). You can use it in considerably hot conditions without worrying about damage or inconsistent readings.

Another impressive feature of this pH meter is its 3-point automatic calibration, which is enhanced by digital fine-tuning for accurate results.

To enhance productivity, the pH meter has a data-hold function, an auto-off function, and a low-battery indicator.

We did notice, however, that the storage solution required to preserve HM Digital PH-200’s electrode is prone to drying out.

Pros:

  • Waterproof housing
  • Superior operating temperature range
  • Automatic calibration
  • Additional productivity features

Cons:

  • Electrode storage solution may dry out

4. Apera Instruments AI316 – Best Commercial pH Meter

Apera Instruments AI316
  • Power Source: Battery-powered
  • pH Range: -2 to 16
  • Accuracy: +/- 0.01 pH

Apera Instruments AI316 is the best commercial pH tester on our list. It has the largest pH range and is a high-accuracy tester.

This pH meter suits commercial applications that deal with a vast range of acidic or alkaline products, some of which may have extremes of acidity or alkalinity.

The 5-in-1 meter can measure pH, EC (conductivity), total dissolved solids (TDS), salinity, and temperature. Its high-performance probe is also replaceable.

It has a pH range of -2 to 16, which is the largest of all the models on our list. Also, this tester boasts of having the highest measuring accuracy of +/- 0.01 pH. Combined, these two superior features ensure this tester produces highly accurate and reliable readings.

Another impressive feature of the meter is its automatic calibration function, which recognizes 5 types of pH buffer solutions.

The high-performance feature of the Apera Instruments AI316 pH meter does, however, come at a premium price, as this is the most expensive model on our list.

Pros:

  • Large pH range
  • 5-function multi-parameter tester
  • Superior automatic calibration
  • Replaceable probe

Cons:

  • Pricey

5. Apera Instruments AI209 – pH Meter with Long Battery Life

Apera Instruments AI209
  • Power Source: Battery-powered
  • pH Range: 0 to 14
  • Accuracy: +/- 0.1 pH

Apera Instruments AI209 is a pH meter with long battery life for continuous hustle-free operation.

This device uses 4 AAA batteries (included), which guarantee a continuous operating time of up to 2000 hours. It has the longest battery life of all the models we have reviewed.

For the device’s protection and durability, it comes with a rugged carrying case and a lanyard. You don’t need to worry about losing the meter, or damaging it through accidental falls.

You can rely on the speed and accuracy of this meter because it features a low-impedance reliable sensor from Apera, which boasts of having a high response rate.

Also, this meter has a self-diagnosis function, which is capable of automatic malfunction and anomaly detection during calibration.

An issue we noted with the Apera Instruments AI209 is that it comes with 2 pH buffer solutions for calibration. Getting the full range of pH calibration requires buying the 3rd solution separately.

Pros:

  • Long battery life
  • Superior protective features
  • Fast and accurate readings
  • Little maintenance required

Cons:

  • Only 2 pH buffer solutions included

6. Pancellent Quality Test Meter – pH Meter with Backlit Display

Pancellent Quality Test Meter
  • Power Source: Battery-powered
  • pH Range: 0 to 14
  • Accuracy: +/- 0.01 pH

Pancellent Quality Test Meter stands out from the pack with its backlit display, which is lacking in most of the other models we reviewed.

It comes with an upgraded LED display, which has a backlight to ensure you can use the tester even in the dark, where many of its rivals struggle to perform.

The meter is a 3-in-1 device that can test TDS, pH, conductivity (EC) and temperature. You can count on its reliability as the meter boasts of a high +/- 0.01 pH accuracy.

Just like many of the models we have reviewed, this one also has an automatic pH calibration feature, and 3 buffer solutions to use for this process.

Another handy feature of this meter is its 5-minute auto-off function, which prevents the battery from draining when the device is on, but not in use.

You can also use the meter’s “Hold” button to simplify the results reading process by pressing it before retrieving the device from test solutions.

Pancellent Quality Test Meter is, however, not waterproof. Therefore, extra caution is necessary to prevent the device from total submersion in water.

Pros:

  • Has a backlit display
  • Multi-purpose meter
  • Automatic shutoff feature
  • Easy to read test results

Cons:

  • Not waterproof

7. Dr.meter PH100-V – Versatile and Multipurpose pH Meter

Dr.meter PH100-V
  • Power Source: Battery-powered
  • pH Range: 0 to 14
  • Accuracy: +/- 0.05 pH

Dr.meter PH100-V is a versatile and multi-purpose pH meter, which thrives in a wide range of applications.

This pocket-sized device covers many of the pH testing occasions you’re likely to encounter. It is ideal for daily household use, testing of drinking waters, swimming pool water, hydroponics, food, wine, aquarium, and even for teaching in the lab. 

With the touch of a button, the meter is able to conduct automatic 3-point calibration. It automatically detects the calibration liquid to produce instant pH readings.

It also has automatic temperature compensation (ATC), which helps eliminate the inaccuracy that is typically caused by changes in liquid temperature.

The meter is equipped with a high-accuracy and high-quality algorithm chips, which controls the equally premium electrode to produce quality outcomes.

An issue we noted in the Dr.meter PH100-V is that the user guide that comes with the meter may be challenging to follow especially for first-time users.

Pros:

  • Multi-purpose pH tester
  • Automatic pH calibration
  • Automatic temperature compensation for accuracy
  • High-accuracy controller and probe

Cons:

  • Instructions may prove challenging to grasp

8. HM Digital PH-80 – Dual pH and Temperature Meter

HM Digital PH-80
  • Power Source: Battery-powered
  • pH Range: 0 to 14
  • Accuracy: +/- 0.2 pH

HM Digital PH-80 has proven to be an accurate and reliable dual pH and temperature meter.

When you add the simultaneous temperature display on top of the two functionalities, you get a meter that is especially great for testing drinking water and other consumables.

These capabilities are supported by a large LCD screen, which has a simultaneous temperature display.

The meter offers one-touch automatic digital calibration. You can also use it right out of the box because it has been factory-calibrated to pH 7.0

It has several key productivity functions, including auto-off, data-hold function, and a low-battery indicator, all of which make it more efficient and durable.

You’ll also love the fact that it is water-resistant to make it more durable and versatile.

Unfortunately, the HM Digital PH-80 comes with a pH 7.0 buffer powder only. To get the full range of pH calibration, you need to purchase the other buffers separately.

Pros:

  • Measures both pH and temperature
  • Large output display
  • Easy pH calibration
  • Automatic productivity functions

Cons:

  • Only one pH buffer powder provided

9. Mekbok PH-02 – Great Pocket pH Meter

Mekbok PH-02
  • Power Source: Battery-powered
  • Accuracy: +/- 0.05 pH

Mekbok PH-02 is a compact pH meter that fits well in the pocket thus making it highly portable.

The pen-style meter is also the lightest of the pack, weighing only 0.3 ounces. It also the smallest in size. Combined, the two qualities make the pH tester very easy to fit in the pocket.

You can also count on the meter to produce fast one-touch results that are accurate. It has a high accuracy of +/- 0.05 pH.

For automatic calibration, three buffer powders packs, 6.86 pH, 4.00pH, and 9.18pH, have been provided.

It also comes with simple step-by-step instructions to help with setup and calibration.

Two key setbacks of the Mekbok PH-02 pH meter are the absence of waterproofing and the fact that its LCD display is not backlit.

Pros:

  • Fits comfortably in the pocket
  • Fast and accurate readings
  • Automatic calibration
  • Easy to setup and calibrate

Cons:

  • LCD is not backlit
  • Not waterproof

10. Poit 8541957769 – Easy-to-use pH Meter

Poit 8541957769
  • Power Source: Battery-powered
  • pH Range: 0 to 14
  • Accuracy: +/- 0.05 pH

Poit 8541957769 is an easy-to-use pH meter because it comes factory-calibrated and you can use it right out of the box.

Its factory calibration is so precise that you don’t need to repeat the process with the buffer solution powders provided, until a time when it becomes completely necessary. You do, however, get 3 buffer powders for your own calibration.

For this reason, the meter is very fast and accurate, and this is shown by its rated accuracy of +/- 0.05 pH. You can measure pH values in the range of 0-14.

The meter is great for a wide range of applications including food and beverage testing, hydroponics, aquaponics, pool, and drinking water testing.

It also has an automatic temperature compensation (ATC) feature, which accounts for the temperature changes in the test sample, for more accurate readings.

Just like many other pH meters in our review, Poit 8541957769 also lacks any waterproofing hence extra caution is needed to avoid submersion in water.

Pros:

  • Pre-calibrated for easy usage
  • Accurate and fast
  • Supports many applications
  • Has automatic temperature calibration

Cons:

  • Not waterproof

How to Buy the Best pH Meter

How to Buy the Best pH Meter

Photo: bestadvisor.com

1. Power Source

The small and portable pH meters you’d typically find in a home or laboratory setting are battery-powered. This source of power is a great complement to their compact sizes.

That’s why all the pH meters we reviewed are battery-powered. The battery life of pH meters varies. From our review, Apera Instruments AI209 had the longest battery life of up to 2000 hours.

Ensure you check the type of battery your pH tester runs on; in case you need to buy replacement ones.

2. pH Range

A top consideration when buying a pH meter is its pH range. The standard pH range used universally and across different applications is 0 - 14.

It is, however, possible for pH to exceed that range with a small margin. That is why meters such as Apera Instruments AI223 and Apera Instruments AI316 have a pH range of -1 to 15, and -2 to 16, respectively.

Such can accommodate the rare cases of when pH exceeds the normal range, in commercial settings, for instance.

3. Accuracy

Accuracy is, arguably, the most important consideration you’ll make when buying a pH meter. You want one that returns the most accurate pH level of the substances you test.

Luckily, many of the models we reviewed are famed for being accurate in pH measurements. However, some meters such as Apera Instruments AI223 , Apera Instruments AI316 and Pancellent Quality Test Meter, did stand out for their superior accuracy.

4. Display

Your pH tester displays the measurement results on a digital display. LCD is the most common display used in pH testers. It is clear and very intuitive.

A key shortcoming you may find in most pH tester displays is their lack of a backlight, perhaps as a cost-saving compromise.

The Pancellent Quality Test Meter did, however, stand out from the pack with is a backlit LED display.

5. Waterproof

Waterproofing is an important feature that a pH tester should have to prevent it from damage caused by accidental or constant contact with water.

Unfortunately, most of the pH testers we reviewed have no waterproofing or water resistance capacity.

Only one, the HM Digital PH-200 pH meter rises above the competition by having an IP67 waterproof rating for its housing. HM Digital PH-80 was also recognized for being water-resistant.

6. Easy to Use

Your pH tester should be easy to use, right out of the box. A lot of the devices we reviewed have been made easy to use by having functionalities such as autocalibration.

One-touch functions for calibration and testing also simplify the operation of your pH meter.

Ensure you read the user instructions clearly before using the pH meter, to get the best out of it.

7. Portable

The portability of your pH meter is determined by its size and weight. All the meters we reviewed are notably lightweight. They all weigh less than 10 ounces.

They also proved to be very compact in size, with the ability to fit comfortably in the pocket.

However, if you need to carry the entire tester kit, a storage space larger than your pocket may be necessary.

Conclusion

A pH meter emerges as a useful device you should have at home to test the acid/base levels of different substances, including consumables.

From our top 10 pH meter review, Apera Instruments AI223 emerged as the best overall pH tester. It is accurate, easy to calibrate and use, and can be used in multiple applications.

If you’re looking for a waterproof pH tester that won’t be damaged by water contact, go for the HM Digital PH-200.

And if you’re on a budget, Vivosun pH Tester is the right tester for you.


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