10 Best Soil Moisture Meters of 2023 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
You’ve just stepped outside and noticed that your plants are dying. You frantically turn on the hose and start watering them, thinking in a few days they will bounce back. Those few days pass and you notice that the flowers look worse than before. How could this be? You gave them water, what more could have been done?
Turns out, maybe your plants had too much water. The roots couldn’t absorb all the moisture and the plant drowned. If only there was some kind of tool that could let us know when our plants need water and when we might need to drain water away from them. You’re in luck! There are soil moisture meters that can help solve this issue and save you from looking at the carnage of your favorite plants shriveled up and dead.
Even better, we took the time to do product reviews of different makes and models to save you the hassle.
Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Sonkir MS02 Soil pH Meter||
|Best Value||VIVOSUN 3-in-1 Plant Moisture Meter||
|Premium Choice||Gain Express Soil pH & Moisture Meter||
|XLUX T10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter||
|Dr.Meter S10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter||
The 10 Best Soil Moisture Meters
1. Sonkir MS02 Soil pH Meter – Best Overall
The Sonkir MS02 is a 3-in-1 meter that will test soil moisture, pH value, and sunlight levels. Its double needle technology provides quick and accurate readings, something other moisture meters aspire to, but often fail to achieve. This is an extremely lightweight meter that can be used both indoors and out. No batteries are required and it’s very easy to use. Place the needles 2-4 inches deep into the soil and get your reading.
Some users have complained that the moisture needle is very bendy, so you have to take caution when placing the meter in the soil or it could possibly break.
- Easy to use
- No batteries required
- 3-in-1 function
- Needles are fragile
2. VIVOSUN 3-in-1 Plant Moisture Meter – Best Value
If you are looking for the best soil moisture meter for the money, check out the VIVOSUN 3-in-1 Plant Moisture Meter. This 3-function soil meter tests moisture, light, and pH levels, and it does all this for a great price. The meter is easy to use and read. The user just has to stick the meter where they want the soil tested and wait for the readings.
As Tom Petty once sang, “The waiting is the hardest part”, and the VIVOSUN takes its time to generate readings, so users have to be patient. This meter is strong and durable and batteries are not required. Again, this is a great product for someone looking for a soil moisture meter on a budget.
- Excellent price
- Three functions
- No batteries required
- Results can take time
3. Gain Express Soil pH & Moisture Meter – Premium Choice
The Gain Express Soil pH and Moisture Meter is at the top of the price range as far as moisture meters go, but it has several features that make it worth the buy. The first feature is how easy it is to use. It only has one prong, which is thicker and more durable than others. Once in the ground, the meter will measure moisture and pH levels that range from 3 to 8 on the pH scale and give readings accurate within ±0.2%.
The wide-faced dial is easy to see and read so there is no guessing. The Gain Express does not need batteries so money can be saved without that extra purchase. It’s kept out of our top 2 because it takes a long time to get a reading. A very long time. Yes, you need to have some patience, but the accuracy of the information is worth the wait.
- Easy to use and read
- Results are not immediate.
4. XLUX T10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter
If you are operating under the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) method, and only want to test the moisture of the soil and nothing else, the XLUX T10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter is what you’re looking for. No fancy bells or whistles–this meter tests moisture only. This makes it relatively easy to use. Place it in the soil where you want to test the moisture and get instant readings.
Reading the large and clear meter is easy, too. The issue with the XLUX T10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter is one thin prong that goes into the ground is not durable and should not be used on dry soil.
- Price is reasonable
- Easy to use
- Not very durable
- Not good for dry, hard soil
5. Dr.Meter S10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter
The Dr. Meter S10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter is another no frills single function soil meter. That being said, it is fairly easy to use and read. The user places it in the ground and uses the simple 10-scale red, green, and blue color system to determine what the moisture level is and what action they need to take for their plants. The meter is generally accurate and the compact design is a nice touch.
Another plus for the Dr. Meter $10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter is that it does not require batteries. Like other meters, however, its design is vulnerable to breaking in hard soil or if it hits a rock, so users should be careful when plunging into the ground.
- Accurate readings
- Can break easy
- Only a single function
6. Ruolan ZB Soil pH Meter
Moving back to the multifunction soil moisture meters, the Ruolan Soil pH Meter measures soil, sunlight, and pH levels. This is another dual-pronged meter, which helps determine results with accuracy. You can change operational settings with a switch and the meter quickly can change gears to give a reading.
The Ruolan meter is fairly-priced and requires no additional add-ons such as batteries. We found one major issue with this product. If the user switches between readings too quickly, they may have to remove the meter and start over, so our advice is go slow when switching functions.
- Can need a reset if functions changed too quickly
7. Luster Leaf 1820 Rapitest Soil Moisture Meter
The Luster Leaf Rapitest Soil Moisture Meter is a no-nonsense moisture meter. It has only the single function, but does it fairly accurately. The meter is easy to read and ranges in scale from 1 to 10.
The meter reads information quickly and results are almost instantaneously delivered. The unit comes with a guide that tells you the watering needs of over 150 different plants, so there is no more guesswork on how much to water the hydrangeas.
The Luster Leaf is definitely more hands-on because the user places the prong in the ground and then has to hold the meter. Once done, storing the system can be an issue as well because of tangling and tearing of the cord that connects the prong to the meter.
- Quick results
- Comes with plant hydration guide
- More hands-on
- Extra care is required when putting the system away
8. iPower Soil pH Meter
The iPower Soil pH Meter is another dual-pronged 3-in1 function soil meter that measures moisture, pH, and light. This model is more limited than others as its pH meter ranges from 3.5 to 8, slightly lower than others. The meter also can take up to 10 minutes to read, but the reading is very accurate. This model requires no additional power source such as batteries.
The issue with this meter is it will not register any data in dry soil, requiring the user to wet down the soil to begin reading.
- Three in one function
- Extra pre work required
- Readings can take up to 10 minutes
- Not as large pH scale as other models
9. Kensizer Soil Tester
Getting near the end of our picks, the dual-probe multifunction soil moisture meter from Kensizer Soil Tester is, again, easy to use. Batteries not required, either. Place the probes into the ground. Readings are produced quickly so the user can move on and test other areas if needed. The switch to toggle from the different settings is easy to navigate and the readings are very visible to see. The downside of the Kensizer Soil Tester is that it is less durable than other meters. This particular model also costs more than many of the other multifunction soil meters.
- Quick readings
- More expensive than other similar models
10. Alotpower Soil Moisture Sensor Meter
The Alotpower Soil Moisture Sensor Meter is a stand-alone simple soil moisture meter. It is an easy to use, just place in the ground, and read the results meter. Aside from being on the flimsy side there is some concern over the accuracy of the reading at various depths. This model, for simply being a soil moisture meter, is also priced on the high end of the scale for these meters. This meter does not require any batteries for operation.
- Simple to use
- Higher priced for less functions
- Durability issues
- Accuracy concerns
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Soil Moisture Meter
Now that we have looked into many different makes and models of soil moisture meters we need to select the right one to keep our roses blooming and garden staying fresh. To pick the meter that fits our needs, we need to look at some key factors in what we are looking for.
Before buying a soil moisture meter ask yourself if you want just the moisture level or if you want more. Many soil moisture meter models have extra features such as the pH monitoring and the light exposure monitoring.
Ease of Use
Most soil moisture meters are easy to use. Sounds easy, right? Simply place the meter in the ground. Not so fast. When placing the probes into the ground, you have to be careful that you don’t break them. Some models are more durable and therefore easier to use such as the Gain Express. Buyers should look for more durable meters if they have dry or rocky soil. Other meters tell you specifically that the ground needs to be wet in order for it to work properly like the iPower Soil pH Meter.
If you are looking at a multifunction soil moisture meter, you need to see how the meter reads the measurements and how easy it is to switch from one reading to another. Models that have a switch are nice because the user gets to select the reading they want to see.
Buyers should look to see if the soil moisture meter needs any type of extra power source. Many soil meters are battery-free, but you will find battery-operated machines.
Selecting the right soil moisture meter often comes down to the old adage, you get what you pay for. If you are looking for the meter to do more than just measure the moisture in soil the price will go up, but you can still find those meters that won’t require you to take out an extra loan. If you go with the less expensive moisture meters, you probably won’t get those extra functions, and be aware, you could end up with more headaches in the form of inaccurate readings and broken meters.
Hopefully, these reviews have helped you make an informed decision on the best soil moisture meter that fits your needs. Again, it really does come down to if you want to have and use other functions or not.
The best multifunction meter is the Sonkir Soil pH Meter and the VIVOSUN 3 in 1 Plant Moisture Meter. It’s both easy to use and gives accurate readings. If you have dryer, more rocky soil, a great durable buy can be found with the Gain Express Soil pH and Moisture Meter. If you simply want just a soil moisture reader, your best buy is the XLUX T10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter.
- 1 Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
- 2 The 10 Best Soil Moisture Meters
- 2.1 1. Sonkir MS02 Soil pH Meter – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. VIVOSUN 3-in-1 Plant Moisture Meter – Best Value
- 2.3 3. Gain Express Soil pH & Moisture Meter – Premium Choice
- 2.4 4. XLUX T10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter
- 2.5 5. Dr.Meter S10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter
- 2.6 6. Ruolan ZB Soil pH Meter
- 2.7 7. Luster Leaf 1820 Rapitest Soil Moisture Meter
- 2.8 8. iPower Soil pH Meter
- 2.9 9. Kensizer Soil Tester
- 2.10 10. Alotpower Soil Moisture Sensor Meter
- 3 Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Soil Moisture Meter
- 4 Conclusion