7 Best Soil Test Kit Types: Which One To Buy?

Ed Wike
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Soil testing tells you exactly what's in your soil. But, what you do with that information is up to you. For some gardeners, soil testing is just a way to learn what kinds of plants will grow best in their soil. And, others find out their soil is seriously lacking in specific nutrients.

Whatever your reasons for soil testing, there's a soil test kit out there for just about everyone. That's because there are many types of soils and even more ways of testing them. Soil testing kits range from simple dip-and-read tests to quick, high-tech scouting programs for commercial crops.

If you have just one area to test or a moderate-sized garden, a single-use soil test kit may be sufficient. If you have acreage or you need to test soil for a number of different pH ranges, batch testing kits may make more sense.

Hands down, the most common soil test kit is the laboratory-grade kit. Each one is designed especially for a certain type of soil.

Depending on your type of soil, there are kits that will test for nutrient levels (expressed as PKN, or parts per thousand of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), soil texture (shallow soils versus deep sands versus clay), and soil pH levels (rainy and marshy versus dry and sandy).

NameCategoryProduct
Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test KitBest OverallLuster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit
Atree Soil pH MeterBudget PickAtree Soil pH Meter
Luster Leaf 1605 Digital Soil Test KitUpgrade PickLuster Leaf 1605 Digital Soil Test Kit

1. Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit

Our rating: 9 / 10

Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit

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Pros:

  • Quick, at home results for soil pH, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potash
  • Innovative and inexpensive soil test kit
  • Features an easy-to-use capsule system and patented color comparators
  • Contains all components needed for 40 tests. 10 for each of pH, N, P, and K
  • Simple, detailed instructions included
  • Great for beginners and experienced gardeners alike
  • Soil pH preference list for over 450 plants included
  • Results within minutes

Cons:

  • Users have issues with tall narrow test containers
  • Users are not sure if they can trust the results

For those who are new to fertilizing their plants, soil pH test kits are a great way to ensure that you have your plants in the best possible condition.
You can monitor the soil from your living room couch with a Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit because it is easy to use and odor-free.

The test kit also gives you an accurate reading, regardless of how well you are at reading soil. Relatively inexpensive, one can find these soil pH test kits easily in your local hardware store.

2. Luster Leaf 1605 Digital Soil Test Kit

Our rating: 7 / 10

Luster Leaf 1605 Digital Soil Test Kit

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Pros:

  • Utilizes advanced LED digital technology
  • Easy to push the test button to get results in a few seconds
  • Includes pH preferences for over 450 plants and how to adjust soil pH
  • Booklet has fertilizer guidelines based on Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potash test results
  • Performs 25 tests: 10 for pH and five each for Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potash
  • Ideal for both indoor and outdoor plants

Cons:

  • Some users find it inaccurate and complicated to use
  • Somewhat more expensive than the competition

The Luster Leaf 1605 Digital Soil Test Kit for pH, N, P, and K, is a complete digital soil testing kit. It will determine the levels and the amounts of essential nutrients for optimal plant growth.

The large LED display has a backlight making the monitor easy to read, and the display stays on until it is turned off. This feature makes it easy for you to save battery life and makes it handy in all light conditions.

3. Soil Savvy

Our rating: 7 / 10

Soil Savvy

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Pros:

  • Soil Savvy is a ready-to-use professional-grade soil test kit
  • Provides an easy-to-understand fertilizer recommendation tailored to your specific soil
  • The analysis provides a full report, comprised of soil pH and 14 nutrients including (N, P, K) through the website
  • A truly sustainable approach to fertilizer management
  • Soil Savvy determines what nutrients are needed by your plants
  • Each kit includes all needed components and instructions

Cons:

  • Mysoilsavvy website does not work
  • Not for the beginner gardener

Soil Savvy is a ready-to-use professional-grade soil test kit available to the general public that provides an easy-to-understand fertilizer recommendation tailored to your specific soil. Price includes soil analysis and a full report, consisting of soil pH and 14 nutrients including (N, P, K) of your soil.

4. Atree Soil pH Meter

Our rating: 7 / 10

Atree Soil pH Meter

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Pros:

  • It can measure soil moisture, pH value, and sunlight intensity
  • Easy to use
  • Compact for indoor & outdoor use
  • No batteries or electricity needed; plug and read
  • Scientifically accurate sensitive probe
  • Fairly accurate

Cons:

  • Not great for monitoring shallow plants
  • The small meter is hard to read
  • The aluminum measuring rod easily bends or breaks

Agree Soil pH Meter is available at an unbeatable price. The kit comes with a 3-in-1 meter, as well as a protective cover for storage.

It’s important to note that these testers are designed for beginners and those looking for a quick, easy test. The testers are waterproof and will work even when wet.

The meter also includes a backlit display that is easy to read. Testing the moisture is simple: insert the plug into the ground and wait for the meter to detect moisture.

5. Luster Leaf 1880 Rapitest Tester Electronic 4-Way Analyzer

Our rating: 7 / 10

Luster Leaf 1880 Rapitest Tester Electronic 4-Way Analyzer

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Pros:

  • Measure soil pH, moisture, fertility, and also sunlight
  • Great value versus (4) separate meters
  • Large, easy to read scale plate
  • Simple, yet extensive instructions/recommendations included
  • The Rapitest 4-Way Analyzer offers the best value, featuring (4) premium meters in one
  • Easy-to-read LCD for results
  • Test 4 different nutrients at the same time including Nitrogen, Sodium (salt), Phosphorus, and Potassium

Cons:

  • No way to validate a 4-way analyzer
  • Not user-friendly
  • Not sturdy

Most soil test kits are expensive, cumbersome, complicated and the results can be difficult to interpret. What’s worse, most of them are inaccurate, often returning false positives or false negatives.

That’s why when we came across the Luster Leaf 1880 Rapid Tester Analyzer- the first 4-in-1 soil tester that makes testing easy- we knew we had to include it on our list.

6. 3-in-1 Soil Moisture Meter

Our rating: 7 / 10

3-in-1 Soil Moisture Meter

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Pros:

  • 3-in-1 Soil Moisture Meter lets you know when to water to control the humidity
  • PH Tester helps you to control Ph level in the soil
  • Sunlight Gauge helps you to determine if the plant is getting adequate light
  • Easy to use
  • No battery needed
  • Wait for 10 mins to get the data
  • Accurate and sensitive probe
  • Designed with premium double-needle detection technology
  • Design to be lightweight and portable, easy to carry around for outdoor use
  • Easy to clean and store
  • Professional grade tester
  • Good quality probe with thick wire

Cons:

  • No settings listed for grass & rose plants
  • Users are doubtful about pH level's accuracy
  • Not long lasting

3-in-1 Soil Meter helps you know your soil more clearly and care for your plants more rationally. It will let you know when to water. You will never over/under water your plants again.

It will help you control the pH level in soil; acidic or alkaline is suitable for your plants. You will never plant your lovely flowers into high-acid or extreme alkalinity soil again. It also helps you to determine if plants are getting adequate light.

7. Rapitest Premium Soil Test Kit Lawn Flower Plant Test Garden Tester Ph Npk

Our rating: 4 / 10

Rapitest Premium Soil Test Kit Lawn Flower Plant Test Garden Tester Ph Npk

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Pros:

  • Soil testing kit for field or classroom use
  • Allows low-cost testing for soil pH, as well as Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potash content
  • Packed in a sturdy plastic carrying case
  • Includes complete instructions and recommendations to amend soils based on test results
  • Contains liquid reagents and equipment for 80 total tests, 20 each for pH, N, P, K.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for checking the fertility of specific soil
  • Results may have lengthy intervals

Rapitest Premium Lawn and Garden Soil Test Kit is a reliable kit designed for testing the pH, Nitrogen, and Potassium levels of the soil. It measures the number of Nitrates and Phosphates in the soil.

It doesn’t require any special expertise to use. It comes at a very affordable price, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to test their soil’s pH and overall fertility.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best soil testing kit?

Important factors in assessing the best soil testing kit include the range of testing, the time it takes to display the reading, and the device’s accuracy. The least important to consider is the cost, as many models provide accurate readings without breaking your budget.

The Luster Leaf 1605 Digital Soil Test Kit for pH, N, P, and K, is a complete digital soil testing kit. It will determine the levels and the amounts of essential nutrients for optimal plant growth.

The large LED display has a backlight making the monitor easy to read, and the display stays on until it is turned off. This feature makes it easy for you to save battery life and makes it handy in all light conditions.

Are soil test kits accurate?

Yes, a soil test kit is accurate if it’s properly performed and interpreted by a professional. You can always have it cross-checked, but you must compare the result to a database available from your specific soil matching service.

What is the most accurate soil pH tester?

Soil pH testers are a very useful, yet very expensive aspect of gardening and agriculture. The accuracy of these devices is critical. If you need to measure the pH of your soil at home, you can easily find great, yet affordable alternatives to professional soil pH testers.

Agree Soil pH Meter is available at an unbeatable price. The kit comes with a 3 in 1 meter, as well as a protective cover for storage. This pH Meter is designed for beginners and those looking for a quick, easy test. The testers are waterproof and will work even when wet. The meter also includes a backlit display that is easy to read.

Are soil pH testers accurate?

Yes, a pH tester is preferable because it’s extremely accurate, and it’s as simple as it gets when it comes to testing soil. Probe directly into the soil, and you’ll get an accurate measurement within seconds.

Conclusion

Choosing the right soil test kit is tricky because there are so many kits to choose from. To help you out, we’ve researched the market and analyzed different user/customer reviews and experiences to find the top 8 best soil test kits, so all you have to do is look at them, weigh the pros and cons, and choose one that matches your needs and budget.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test KitBest OverallLuster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit
Atree Soil pH MeterBudget PickAtree Soil pH Meter
Luster Leaf 1605 Digital Soil Test KitUpgrade PickLuster Leaf 1605 Digital Soil Test Kit