The Best Soil Test Kits in the Market

If you like to garden, you know how important it is to fertilize your plants so that they can grow healthy and strong. But, do you really know what nutrients are missing from your soil that your plants might need? Having a soil tester on hand will help you not only know what is in your soil, but also what you need to add to it to give it the right pH levels. Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the best soil test kit for you.

9. Rapitest Premium Soil Test Kit 1663

For being a premium kit, this Rapitest soil test kit is actually quite a bargain. With 80 possible tests you can do, this kit measures pH, N, P, and K. It doesn’t offer micronutrient testing, but most home kits don’t, so that’s unsurprising.

Instructions are a step-by-step guide to how to perform these tests. You’ll need to have a little patience, as it can take some time for your test results to appear, but it’s still quicker than sending soil off to a lab or extension office. It comes in a sturdy plastic carrying case, and refills are available for the different test agents.

If you just want an overall home test, this is the best soil test kit I can recommend. To me, this one even has better results than the digital kits. But you will need to have a steady hand to extract the right amount of chemical agents from their vials. You might feel a bit like a mad scientist, too! But overall, I can’t recommend this kit highly enough. Get one for your garden supply cabinet.

You can get this soil test kit from HERE.

8. AquaChek AccuGrow pH, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium Soil Test Strips

I’m not a huge fan of test strip kits. Their accuracy isn’t pinpoint; it’s more of a range, so you may still need further testing. But for ease of use, they’re high on the list. Simply mix some soil with distilled water, shake it up, and put your test strip in. When you pull it out, your base reading is visible.

It’s a little easier to read than the Rapitest 1601, but when I say a little, I should probably say “only a tiny bit easier”. Your comparison chart is separate from the test unit itself, so you have to make sure you don’t lose it. But you can get the two color strips side-by-side for the closest estimate your eyes can see.

Overall, while this is useful for a baseline, it’s not going to be as useful as a professional test. But if you just need an estimate so that you know if you need that pro test, this is a great choice.

  • AquaChek AccuGrow Soil Test Strips
  • Tests for pH, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium
  • Accurate nutrient levels
  • Soil acidity and alkalinity
  • Includes soil treatment guide
You can get this soil test kit from HERE.

7. Luster Leaf 1847 Rapitest Digital PLUS Soil pH Meter

This soil pH meter may not test for macronutrients or micronutrients, but it tests for something equally as important. Without balanced soil pH, your plants just won’t thrive. Meant to be used as an in-soil probe, you’ll need to clean the probe wand after each use.

The 1847 tests the pH at plant root level. Simply take your clean probe and insert it at the base of your plant, deep in the soil. Then wait, and the screen will show the level once the test is complete. It also has a database of popular plants and their preferred pH levels built-in. Trying to optimize for each plant? This unit will help you do just that!

  • Easy to read digital output
  • Instantly measures pH level
  • Includes built-in electronic plant database with ability to…
  • Have a look at the user manual below to get detailed usage…
  • Designed and engineered in the USA

You can get this soil test kit from HERE.

6. Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Soil Test Kit

Widely available, this is the classic home chemical kit. Simply put a small sample of soil into the tube side of the box, add some distilled water and the appropriate reagent capsule, and shake it up. Let it sit until the color has fully developed, and match it against their color chart.

You’ll find variations of this type of test kit available elsewhere as small tubes. However, what the 1601 can offer that other kits lack is an attached color chart. There’s no fear of losing your color chart with this soil test kit – it’s right on the test unit itself. Each test box handles one of four tests: pH, N, P, or K and can run ten tests without a refill package.

It’s never going to be as accurate or detailed as a professional testing would be. But, if you’re just looking for a baseline reading, this is a great and inexpensive option.

  • Quick, at home results for Soil pH, Nitrogen, Phosphrous and…
  • Innovative and inexpensive soil test kit features an…
  • Contains all components needed for 40 tests. 10 for each of…
  • Simple, detailed instructions included. Great for beginners…
  • Soil pH preference list for over 450 plants included

You can get this soil test kit from HERE.

5. Soil Savvy – Soil Test Kit

It’s hard to compare commercial-level professional labs, but Soil Savvy is a very popular and highly-regarded option. All pro labs and agricultural extensions do essentially the same series of tests, and thus have similar results. Soil Savvy is just a bit faster at getting those results back to the person who needs them!

Soil Savvy tests for both macronutrients and micronutrients. Nitrogen results show as the total nitrogen in the sample as well as showing levels of both nitrate and ammonium. In addition, the tests give results for phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, sodium, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, and aluminum.

If you want a kit that will also make reasonable fertilizer recommendations for you, Soil Savvy should be your choice. It will offer recommendations for both organic and synthetic fertilizer types, as well as a recommendation of how much fertilizer you should use to improve your soil at its current level. For those new to soil testing, this is a great perk, and worth the money.

Those who’ve got experience with soil testing already may be able to just go to the ag extension where it will be cheaper or free. Even then, the fertilizer recommendations are handy and worth it overall.

  • Soil Testing Simplified! Soil Savvy is a Ready-To-Use…
  • Analysis provides a full report, comprised of soil pH and 14…
  • A truly Sustainable approach to fertilizer management, Soil…
  • The same soil testing technology used by leading…
  • Each Kit includes all needed components and instructions for…

You can get this soil test kit from HERE.

4. Luster Leaf 1605 Rapitest Digital Soil Testing Kit

The 1605 Rapitest soil test kit combines chemical NPK macronutrient testing and pH testing with a digital reader. For people who find the shaken chemical kits to be difficult to read, the digital reader is a godsend.

Like most tests of its sort, the Luster Leaf 1605 isn’t a replacement for a full lab test from an ag extension or pro lab. It’s simply a good, fast home option. Refill capsules and test tubes are available for your reader. You won’t be stuck purchasing a new reader every time! However, you’ll want to be sure to keep your digital reader as clean as possible to keep it functioning optimally.

For a new gardener, or for an old hand who just simply hates color-matching against a badly-printed chart, this is a great choice. I consider this to be an overall second best soil test kit amongst all the choices, and definitely a good pick.

  • Reads test colors utilizing advanced LED digital technology
  • Just push test button to get results in a few seconds
  • Includes pH preferences for over 450 plants and how to…
  • Booklet has fertilizer guidelines based on nitrogen,…
  • Performs 25 tests: 10 for pH and 5 each for Nitrogen,…

You can get this soil test kit from HERE.

3. Whitetail Institute Laboratory Soil-Test Kit

Finally, we reach our last test, and it’s a commercial lab test kit. Whitetail Institute offers a free consultation about your soil with the purchase of your kit. The consultation is a very short one on the phone which mostly breaks down your results into layman’s terms. You also receive a full report with detailed breakdown of your soil nutrients.

However, where Soil Savvy offers a pre-paid shipping envelope, Whitetail Institute does not. You will need to not only purchase the test, but you’ll need to pay to ship your soil sample. Given the price of the test, it seems a bit counter-intuitive to not have shipping included.

The results, however, are thorough and definitely worth having. You can get similar results at your local ag extension, but if you don’t want to hunt that down, this isn’t a bad choice of lab to go through.

  • ENSURE the most SUCCESSFUL food plot possible
  • SAVES YOU MONEY on fertilizer and time
  • VERY EASY TO USE – everything you need is included
  • RESULTS by mail or email WITHIN ONE WEEK
  • Professional consultation INCLUDED – call 800-688-3030

You can get this soil test kit from HERE.

2. Soil Tester,3-in-1 Soil Moisture,ph Meter Test Kit with Light Gauge Function

This, like the 3-Way tester above it, is another in-ground pH, moisture and light tester. It’s an old design, and honestly, it isn’t my favorite device. I find that the meter’s visual pH ideal is set too high with a 7-8 soil pH as “optimal”, when realistically you’re aiming for a pH of 6-7 for most plant growth.

However, for an inexpensive pH meter, it still gives you a reasonable indication of your soil’s acidity or alkalinity. Like the one above it on our list, the sunlight sensor is positioned oddly. But where this device excels is at moisture indication. This really helps with ensuring you’ve got the right moisture level for your plants, not too wet nor dry.

Both of the 3-function soil testers we’ve mentioned take about 15-20 minutes to reach their most accurate range. Even then, it’s a range, and definitely won’t replace a professional testing.

  • 3 in 1 Soil Tester: Measure soil’s moisture,pH and light by…
  • Scientifically Accurate: Easy to read moisture, ph and light…
  • Let you know your soil: when to water, control PH level,…
  • Simply insert probe of the meter into the soil to remaining…
  • Moisture readings register on a scale of 0 (dry) to 10…

You can get this soil test kit from HERE.

1. Soil Tester 3-in-1 Moisture Light PH Multifunctional Soil Acidity Test Kit

This unit measures pH, soil moisture, and light. Not fancy, nor likely to win any awards for its high level of detail, it functions and does precisely what it’s meant to do. For those who need to check their pH level of their soil regularly, this is a good, basic unit.

The sunlight sensor on this unit is positioned on the front center of the device, and it’s an odd placement. I find that a sunlight sensor on the top of the unit is more accurate. But for the price, you can’t beat it as a basic pH reader.

  • 3-in-1: Tests moisture, PH value and light level using two…
  • High Accuracy and Rapid Respond: There are three calibration…
  • No Battery Needed: Environmentally friendly because it…
  • Compact and Portable: It is convenient to use it indoor,…
  • Promote Healthy Plants: It ensures and maintains the health…

You can get this soil test kit from HERE.

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