Best pH Meter For 2020 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]

Best pH Meter

The pH of your aquarium is very important information to know. If it is too high or too low, then it could cause serious health problems for your fish.

Ideally, your aquarium should replicate a fish’s natural environment, so you need to maintain a pH that resembles their habitat in the wild.

A good pH meter will allow you to check the pH of your fish tank regularly and quickly. If you notice a change in pH, you can then take the necessary action to fix it before problems occur.

Read Article: Fishkeeping World’s 4-in-1 Bundle Set

Table of Contents show

Comparison Table

PRODUCTFEATURESLATEST PRICE
1. VIVOSUN Digital PH Tester Pen
  • Cheap
  • High resolution
  • Clear Display
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2. SOZEAL PH Tester
  • Easy to recalibrate
  • Gives readings quickly
  • Small and light
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3. Dr.meter PH100-V
  • High resolution
  • Clear display
  • Easy to use
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4. Apera Instruments A1316 Premium Series PC60 5-in-1
  • Very reliable
  • High resolution
  • Clear and bright screen
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5. HM Digital PH-80 pH Meter
  • High resolution
  • Clear display
  • 3 pH level calibrations
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6. Pinpoint pH Meter KIT
  • Comes with a starter kit
  • High resolution
  • Clear display
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7. Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit
  • High resolution
  • Clear display
  • Easy calibration
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8. ORAPXI Digital PH Meter
  • High 0.01 pH resolution
  • Bright display
  • Reliable and durable
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9. Extech PH220-C
  • High resolution
  • Very clear display
  • Shows pH and temperature
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10. Bluelab METCOM Combo Meter
  • Measures pH, Temperature, and Conductivity
  • Clear display
  • Gives accurate readings
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Our Best pH Meter For 2020 Reviews and Comparisons

1. VIVOSUN Digital PH Tester Pen

Product Highlights

Weighing just 50g, this pH tester pen is small and compact so it can be moved and used with ease. It is marketed as a cheaper option to appeal to a wider audience. Even though you’re paying less, you still get high-resolution readings and a lit digital display.

Features

  • 0.01 pH resolution
  • Digital display
  • Portable

 

What We Like About VIVOSUN Digital PH Tester Pen

This is a very convenient little pH tester. It is among the cheapest on the market so it’s accessible to far more people.

Anyone can use it. The setup is simple and the digital display shows high-resolution readings clearly. You can fit it in your pocket and use it for a range of purposes.

What We Don’t Like About VIVOSUN Digital PH Tester Pen

Longevity can be an issue. Sometimes the digital light stops working, other times it stops giving accurate readings after a couple of months.

If you want to use your pH tester over a long-term basis, it may be worth investing in a more expensive model.

Many people report that the calibration is unreliable from the start, which leads to inaccurate pH readings. The solution is to ask for a replacement device, in the hopes that it will fare better.

PROS

  • Cheap
  • High resolution
  • Clear Display
  • Small and light

CONS

  • It does not last as long as other, more expensive, models
  • Unreliable calibration

2. SOZEAL PH Tester

Product Highlights

This product is designed to make your life easier. This is possible thanks to features such as factory calibration and a bright LCD display.

It is small and effortless to use and re-calibrate and still provides precise readings to a 0.01 pH resolution. The company is proud to state that this pH tester will last 2-3 times longer than other similar products.

Features

  • Factory calibrated
  • 0.01 pH resolution
  • LCD backlit display (green)
  • Small and portable

 

What We Like About SOZEAL PH Tester

Similar to the VIVOSUN Digital PH Tester Pen, the SOZEAL PH Tester is meant to be a convenient, reasonably priced option.

It works well in this respect. It isn’t as complicated as some high-end models and the readings it provides are both accurate and precise.

This pH tester is reliable and seems to have a longer lifespan than others sold at a similar price. The company claims that it will work for at least 10 years.

What We Don’t Like About SOZEAL PH Tester

The product is marketed as ‘factory calibrated’, suggesting that you can use it straight out of the box without calibrating it yourself. This often leads to inaccurate pH readings.

Before you first use it, calibrate the device yourself. This is simple to do though, so it isn’t much of an inconvenience.

PROS

  • Easy to recalibrate
  • Gives readings quickly
  • Bright display is useful for low light environments
  • Small and light

CONS

  • Even though it is ‘factory calibrated’, you should calibrate it yourself

3. Dr.meter PH100-V

Product Highlights

This is a portable device that gives you precise pH readings quickly. It boasts a high resolution compared to some other products available.

It also has automatic calibration that works at the touch of a button. Couple this with the digital display, it becomes very easy to use in your aquarium or other liquids around the home.

Features

  • 0.01 pH resolution
  • Digital display
  • Automatic calibration
  • Carry case

 

What We Like About Dr.meter PH100-V

The device is simple to calibrate so you can start using it quickly. It comes with enough calibration solution for two calibrations.

The digital display is very clear which makes it easy to see the pH reading. The readings are given to 0.01 pH resolution which allows you to monitor any changes in pH very closely.

You’re not limited to using it in the aquarium. It can be used all around the house for testing things like tap water, food, and wine.

What We Don’t Like About Dr.meter PH100-V

Though problems don’t seem to be common when they do occur the customer service is often poor. This can be off-putting because these are the people that you’re giving your hard-earned money to.

PROS

  • High resolution
  • Can be used in many types of liquids
  • Clear display
  • Easy to use

CONS

  • Some customers report poor customer service
  • Display isn’t backlit

4. Apera Instruments A1316 Premium Series PC60 5-in-1

Product Highlights

This is a high-quality product aimed at people looking for reliable performance. It measures five parameters to a high resolution. This includes salinity, which is useful for saltwater aquariums.

An LCD display shows multiple parameters at once and changes color based on the mode you are using. It comes with a large kit containing everything you need to get started.

Features

  • Measures pH, Electrical Conductivity (EC), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Salinity, and Temperature
  • 0.01 pH resolution
  • LCD screen with 3 backlit colors
  • Comes as a kit containing calibration solutions, calibration bottles, storage solutions, AAA batteries, and a lanyard

 

What We Like About Apera Instruments A1316 Premium Series PC60 5-in-1

The device measures five parameters which are very useful since pH is not the only value that needs to be monitored in an aquarium. You can use this tester outside of an aquarium as well though.

For the price you pay, you’d expect its performance to be exemplary – and it is. It gives reliable readings and is as easy to use as cheaper pH testers.

There are even some nice design features. For example, it floats on water, so it won’t get damaged if you accidentally drop it in your sample.

What We Don’t Like About Apera Instruments A1316 Premium Series PC60 5-in-1

The main drawback of this product is the price. Most people may not wish to spend a lot of money on a pH tester, however, some people need to reliably measure multiple parameters. This is a very functional tester for those willing to part with the money.

PROS

  • Measures 5 parameters with dual display
  • High resolution
  • Clear and bright screen
  • The kit provides everything you need
  • Works reliably after lots of use

CONS

  • Expensive

5. HM Digital PH-80 pH Meter

Product Highlights

This device combines the simplicity of cheap pH testers with the reliability of more expensive ones. It measures both pH and temperature to a high resolution but remains lightweight and hand-held for easy handling.

It has an automatic calibration function that just needs a button press. Parameter readings are shown on a digital display.

Features

  • Measures pH and Temperature
  • 0.01 pH resolution
  • Automatic calibration
  • Digital display

 

 

What We Like About HM Digital PH-80 pH Meter

The fact that it measures temperature, as well as pH, is very useful for aquarists. Maintaining the right temperature is crucial for keeping your fish happy.

The HM Digital PH-80 pH Meter is one of the most reliable for its price range and should last for many years. It is just as easy to use as other hand-held testers; the automatic calibration is particularly convenient.

There is a helpful ‘hold’ button that gives you time to take notes. There is also an automatic shut-off feature though, to make sure that you don’t drain the batteries.

What We Don’t Like About HM Digital PH-80 pH Meter

This pH tester works well so there is little to complain about regarding its functionality.

One issue that you may encounter is the small amount of calibration solution. The product arrives with a powder that can be used to produce 100ml of solution, which will not last for recalibrations in the future.

PROS

  • Simultaneously displays temperature as well as pH
  • High resolution
  • Clear display
  • Calibration at the touch of a button
  • There are three pH level calibrations

CONS

  • Doesn’t come with much calibration solution
  • Doesn’t include batteries

6. Pinpoint pH Meter KIT

Product Highlights

This product is a lab-quality pH meter. A fully waterproof electrode is connected to the device by a cable. The 0.01 pH resolution measurements are shown on a clear digital display.

This pH meter is part of a kit that contains the other items you need to start collecting readings, such as calibration fluid. Calibration is easy thanks to the 2-point calibration function.

Features

  • Comes with a kit containing a probe storage bottle, storage fluid, and calibration fluid
  • 0.01 pH resolution
  • 10-foot suppression cable
  • Digital display
  • 2-point calibration

 

 

What We Like About Pinpoint pH Meter KIT

The Pinpoint pH Meter KIT performs very strongly, giving readings that you can trust. It lasts a long time too, so you can see why they refer to it as ‘lab-quality’.

It’s easy to use. Calibration is simple and the display clearly shows the pH reading. The kit comes with storage and calibration fluids, so you don’t need to look for some elsewhere.

What We Don’t Like About Pinpoint pH Meter KIT

This pH meter is powered by a 9V battery, which the company does not provide. Batteries are such a simple thing to include with your product, especially when you are paying for a lab-quality device.

The absence of a battery means you cannot use it straight away unless you have prepared ahead.

PROS

  • Comes with a starter kit
  • High resolution
  • Clear display
  • Accurate, precise, and reliable

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Batteries not included

7. Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

Product Highlights

This is a tiny pH pen with a tip that can fit into test tubes. It offers reliable readings and can be used for many years since the probe can be replaced if it wears out.

It is easy to use due to its convenient automatic 3-point calibration feature and clear digital display. Measurements are given with high accuracy thanks to temperature compensation.

Features

  • 0.01 pH resolution
  • Digital display
  • Automatic 3-point calibration
  • Temperature compensation

 

What We Like About Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

This is a high-resolution device, giving pH to 0.01. However, there is the option of buying a 0.1 resolution version for a little cheaper if it still meets your needs.

Calibrating the device is very simple due to the automatic 3-point calibration function. It even compensates for the temperature of the liquid, and you can choose between Celsius or Fahrenheit.

It comes with a few features to make your job easier, such as floating in the water and an alarm to indicate a low battery. Perhaps the most helpful feature is its incredibly small size.

What We Don’t Like About Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

This is one of the more expensive pH testers, so you’d expect it to have lots of luxury features. While it does have a few, the screen is not backlit, which is even a feature of some cheaper models.

This is a shame as a bright screen is particularly convenient in low-light scenarios.

PROS

  • High resolution
  • Clear display
  • Easy calibration and simple controls
  • Very small (can be used for test tubes)

CONS

  • Screen is not backlit
  • Though calibration is quick, it must be done often

8. ORAPXI Digital PH Meter

Product Highlights

The ORAPXI Digital PH Meter is a tester pen that measures four different parameters. The results are measured to a 0.01 pH resolution and show up on an LCD backlit display.

It is easy to operate due to the automatic temperature compensation and 3-point calibration. Its small size means that you can easily move it around and get it out for quick readings.

Features

  • Measures four parameters: pH, Electrical Conductivity (EC), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), and temperature
  • Small and hand-held
  • 3-point calibration
  • Automatic temperature compensation
  • LCD backlit display

 

 

What We Like About ORAPXI Digital PH Meter

Tester pens like this one are convenient because they are small and fit in your hand.

The ORAPXI Digital PH Meter is particularly easy because you just need to hold a button for six seconds to calibrate. This makes it a great option for beginners.

Not many pH tester pens measure multiple parameters, so that puts this product above many tester pens on the market. The device itself is durable and gives accurate readings for a long time.

What We Don’t Like About ORAPXI Digital PH Meter

This product functions very well for its price point so there wasn’t much we didn’t like.

One problem is that it has the same size screen as cheaper pH tester pens. This means you must keep switching mode to see the readings from all four parameters since only two fit on the screen at once.

PROS

  • High 0.01 pH resolution
  • Bright display
  • Easy to operate and maneuver
  • Reliable and durable
  • Small and light

CONS

  • Display can only show two parameters at once

9. Extech PH220-C

Product Highlights

The Extech PH220-C is a pH tester consisting of two parts: an LCD display that fits in the palm of your hand; and a measuring device which is connected by a 39-inch cable.

The device measures pH and temperature. You can save up to 25 readings internally to be accessed when you are ready. Measurements are automatically compensated for temperature.

Features

  • Measures pH and temperature simultaneously
  • 39-inch (1 meter) cable
  • Large LCD display
  • Memory stores 25 readings
  • Automatic temperature compensation and buffer recognition

 

 

What We Like About Extech PH220-C

This is a very versatile pH tester. While you can use it for your aquarium, it also works well out in the field due to the long cable.

The ability to save measurements can come in handy, you can compare against your previous readings and write the data down at a later time.

The device itself is simple to use. Calibration is easy and both pH and temperature are shown very clearly on the large LCD display.

What We Don’t Like About Extech PH220-C

This is an expensive pH tester so you would expect high quality. When fully operational, the Extech PH220-C appears to be exceptional, but you may encounter problems.

While it is normal for the occasional device to fail, we found too many reports of the device failing right out of the box for our liking.

PROS

  • High resolution
  • Very clear display
  • You can save readings for later use
  • Shows pH and temperature

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t come with much calibration solution
  • Many reports of the device failing

10. Bluelab METCOM Combo Meter

Product Highlights

This is a light and portable device that measures three different parameters. You hold the LCD display in your hand and place the measuring probe in your sample, which is connected by a cable.

It offers automatic temperature compensation and easy calibration. Bluelab also has an alternative version of this model with a probe that can measure soil pH.

Features

  • Measures pH, Temperature, and Conductivity
  • Backlit LCD display
  • Comes as a kit containing a battery, lanyard, and calibration solution
  • 2-point calibration
  • Automatic temperature compensation

 

 

What We Like About Bluelab METCOM Combo Meter

It is always useful to be able to measure multiple parameters because the more you know about your aquarium environment, the healthier you can make it for your fish.

There are a few small features that aren’t crucial but are useful to have. These include an auto-off function, a low battery indicator, and a successful pH calibration indicator.

This pH tester provides accurate readings and displays them on a bright LCD screen. This seems to be quite a reliable gadget and should last well over time.

What We Don’t Like About Bluelab METCOM Combo Meter

This is another expensive product, but it could be worth the investment since it should last you a long time.
One small thing we noticed is that it only displays one parameter at a time. It can be frustrating having to switch between them.

Other devices show multiple parameters at a time.

PROS

  • Measures pH, Temperature, and Conductivity
  • Clear display
  • Gives accurate readings
  • Comes with a kit containing everything you need to get started

CONS

  • Expensive
  • You will soon need extra calibration solution
  • Only shows one parameter at a time

Final Verdict

Your budget will likely influence which pH meter you choose. Expensive models tend to have more features, but if you just want an accurate and effective device, there are good examples at all price points.

If money isn’t an issue, I would suggest the Apera Instruments A1316 Premium Series PC60 5-in-1. This is a high-quality instrument that provides accurate and precise measurements.

It measures 5 parameters, not just pH. This may save you the need to buy other devices, like a thermometer, which could save you a bit of money.

A more affordable pH meter is the HM Digital PH-80 pH Meter. This device measures pH and temperature, which are perhaps the two most important parameters to monitor in your aquarium.

It is durable and provides high-quality measurements. You won’t need to think about replacing it for a long time, but you will need to consider batteries since it doesn’t come with any.

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Once you have chosen your pH meter, you can move on to finding other pieces of equipment, like a UV sterilizer.

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