10 Top Moisture Meters For Houseplants & Garden (2022)

Soil moisture meter

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Oh yes, the struggle of over or underwatering your plants, I get it.

If you find it difficult to determine when and how much to water your plants, then scoop up a quality soil moisture meter– your plants will thank you.

In this review, I’ve rounded up 10 soil moisture meters to share which are the best of the best, what features to look for, and the pros and cons of each.

Quick Summary

Social Moisture Meters

Review

Editor's Pick

1. XLUX Moisture Meter

Features

-a 1-10 color-coded analog scale

-Two probe length options

-For small and large pots, outdoor gardens


Pros:

-Safe for use in small pots.

-Affordable

-a 12.2-inch-long probe option.

-no batteries.

-Includes plant watering guide.


Cons: None

Best Leave-In Meter

2. IPPINKA Sustee Aquameter

Features

-Replaceable core sensor

-Can stay in soil for 6-9 months

-Sensor turns blue when soil is wet, white when dry


Pros:

-Easy to use, easy to read

-Discrete

-No batteries

-Core sensor lasts 6-9 months.


Cons: No scale or exact moisture percentage

3. Gouven Soil Moisture Meter

Features

- 1-10 color-coded analog scale

- 7.5-inch sensor stem

- Suitable for potted plants, outdoor gardens.


Pros:

-Easy-to-read display

-Includes a water guide for 200 plants -Affordable

-No batteries


Cons:

-Dial casing is a bit rattly

-Cannot be used in tough soil

Best Adjustable Meter

4. REOTEMP Garden Moisture Meter

Features

- adjustable soil moisture meter sensor

-1-10 analog scale.

- Sensor stem length options of 15”, 24”, 36”, or 48”.


Pros:

-Extremely durable, well-constructed.

-Adjustable.

-Multiple stem length choices.

-Can be used in various soils and compost.


Cons: A bit pricey

5. Atree Soil Moisture Meter

Features

-a color-coded 1-10 analog scale

-7.9-inch sensor stem.


Pros:

-Great for potted plants.

-No batteries.

-Easy to use

-easy to read display.


Cons:

-Instructions indicate waiting 10 minutes before results.

-Construction is not rugged.

Best Multifaceted Analog Meter

6. Sonkir 3-in-1 Soil Moisture /Light /pH Tester

Features:

- Moisture, light, and pH testing ability

- Two 7.9-inch long probes.

- 3-row analog display.


Pros:

-3-in-1 testing capabilities.

-Easy to use.

-No batteries.

-Great price point for the features.


Cons: Testing in small pots may be difficult.

7. Kensizer 3-in-1 Soil Tester

Features

-Moisture, light, and pH testing ability

-Two 7.9-inch long probes.

-3-row analog display.


Pros:

3-in-1 testing ability.

Easy to use.

No batteries.

Solid price point for 3-in-1 testing.


Cons:

-2-prongs make testing in small pots difficult

-Reliability problems

Best Digital Moisture Meter 

8. Hemdre Digital 4-in-1 Soil Moisture Meter

Features

- a single 8-inch probe,

- digital backlit screen

- soil moisture, temperature, pH, light intensity testing


Pros:

-Single probe.

-4-in-1 testing.

-Easy-to-use

-easy-to-read.

-For potted plants, the garden.

-Reasonably priced.


Cons:

-Batteries not included with purchase.

9. ECOWITT Soil Moisture Meter

Features

- a 3-inch moisture probe

- programmable, portable LCD


Pros:

- Portable, digital LCD.

- Display reads up to 300ft from the probe.


Cons:

-Pricey

-Short soil moisture probe

-Probe shape may damage roots.

-Display programming instructions may be difficult to navigate.

10. A. M. Leonard Compost and Soil Moisture Meter

Features

-A 24-inch probe with sturdy, rugged construction

-Adjustable sensor


Pros:

-Sturdy, rugged, and adjustable.

-For many types of soil and compost.


Cons:

-Very expensive compared to REOTEMP.

-No additional stem length options compared to REOTEMP.

What makes a good digital moisture meter?

In choosing a good digital moisture meter, think about the specifics of your soil and plants’ needs.

You may need a small, single-pronged device for small pots or a rugged device with a long, durable stem for tougher soil and deep-rooted plants.

If you want multiple measurements, you’ll want to look for a device that can also measure pH, light intensity, or temperature.

Best moisture meters

1. XLUX Moisture Meter- Editor’s Pick

Verdict: 5/5

The XLUX moisture meter is an accurate, reliable, and easy-to-use single probe soil moisture meter that’s great for potted plants, and outdoor plants with main root systems about 12 inches or less in length. The package displays a plant watering guide.

This moisture meter is available in 7-inch (18cm) and 12.2-inch (31cm) probes. The analog meter display features a color-coded 1-10 moisture level scale.

2. IPPINKA Sustee Aquameter – Best Leave-in Meter for Potted Plants

Verdict: 4.5/5

The IPPINKA sustee aquameter is a solid choice as a leave-in moisture meter option for potted plants. The sustee core sensor turns blue when the soil is moist and white when the soil is dry. The device features a removable core sensor that can be replaced every 6-9 months of use.

The sustee aquameter comes in small, medium, and large sizes, allowing you to use it in various sized pots. The manufacturer includes a size chart guide for you to choose which sensor is best for your pots.

3. Gouven Soil Moisture Meter

Verdict: 4/5

The Gouven soil moisture meter is a simple, effective meter that is easy to use and features a prominent, easy-to-read color-coded, 1-to-10-scale dial on a 2.1-inch (5 cm) wide display box. The 7.5-inch (19cm) probe is suitable for use in many potted plants.

This soil moisture meter does not require batteries to use. The display case comes in black or green, and the probe is metal with a steel tip.

4. REOTEMP Garden Moisture Meter- Best Adjustable Moisture Meter

Verdict: 5/5

The REOTEMP garden moisture meter is a fantastic moisture meter for use in large potted plants, outdoor gardens, and compost piles.

What I love about thismoisture meter is that you can calibrate it to compare the moisture level in your plant’s soil with the ideal moisture level for your plants.

The REOTEMP moisture meter features a 0-10 analog scale, 15-inch (38 cm), 24-inch (61 cm), 36-inch (91 cm), or 48-inch (122 cm) stem with a thick 5/16-inch (8 mm) diameter.

The stem is made of rugged, stainless steel and the varying lengths allow you to test soil moisture for deep compost piles or plants with long root structures.

The durability of its design allows you to use this moisture meter in tougher soils and terrain. The battery is included with the purchase.

5. Atree Soil Moisture Meter

Verdict: 3.5/5

The Atree soil moisture meter is very similar to the Gouven soil moisture meter.

The main difference between the two devices is that the manufacturer’s instructions for this Atree meter instruct users to wait 10 minutes for results after inserting the probe into the soil. However, some users report instant results.

It features a 7.6-inch (19 cm) long stem and 1.9-inch (4.8 cm) wide meter box. It features a 1-10 color-coded moisture meter scale.

6. Sonkir 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester- Best Multifaceted Analog Meter

Verdict: 5/5

The Sonkir 3-in-1 soil moisture/light/pH tester is a 2-pronged sensor with three modes that can be accessed via an easy-to-use switch on the front of the display box.

It features a 2-inch (5 cm) wide meter box and two 7.9-inch-long probes. The top row measures light, the middle bar displays the moisture level, and the bottom row displays the soil’s pH level.

The SONKIR 3-in-1 meter is a great tool for gathering multi-faceted information about your plant’s environment.

7. Kensizer 3-in-1 Soil Tester

Verdict: 4/5 

The Kensizer 3-in-1 soil moisture, light, and pH tester is very similar in design and function to the SONKIR 3-in-1. Some users report problems with the pH sensor, and as such, I prefer the reliability and accuracy reputation of the SONKIR 3-in-1 over the Kensizer.

8. Hemdre Digital 4-in-1 Soil Moisture Meter- Best Digital Moisture Meter

Verdict: 5/5

The Hemdre digital 4-in-1 soil moisture meter features a single 8-inch probe that can measure soil temperature, moisture, pH, and sunlight intensity.

It features a backlit digital display and a low battery indicator, easy-to-use power on/off buttons on the front, and a pH-to-temp switch on the back. This digital meter requires batteries which are not included with purchase.

9. ECOWITT Soil Moisture Meter

Verdict: 3/5

The ECOWITT WHO291 soil moisture meter is a programmable, digital moisture meter that features a wireless, portable LCD display that you can place up to 300 feet (91 meters) away from the soil moisture probe. The display shows the time of day and the soil moisture percentage from 0% to 100%.

The soil moisture sensor probe is blade-shaped and can only be inserted about 3 inches into the soil. Therefore, it’s not particularly useful for plants with longer root systems. Some users have also reported issues with the blade-shaped metal probe cutting into roots.

10. A. M. Leonard Compost and Soil Moisture Meter

Verdict: 3.5/5

The A.M. Leonard compost and soil moisture meter is ruggedly constructed, features a brass 24-inch long probe, and is a great tool for measuring moisture in soil and compost piles. This device requires batteries and is constructed similarly to the REOTEMP garden moisture meter.

An analog 1-10 scale is featured on top of the meter box, which displays the soil moisture reading. You can calibrate the A.M. Leonard moisture meter to compare moisture levels against an ideal soil sample.

The A.M. Leonard moisture meter is a suitable choice for tougher terrain, plants with deep root systems, and compost piles. However, it is far more expensive than the comparable REOTEMP garden moisture meter.

How to use a moisture meter?

Most of the moisture meters featured in this review are single-pronged, analog meters. For these, you simply insert the stem several inches into the soil near your plant(s) and wait up to 10 minutes (depending on instructions) for the needle to display the reading.

Do not leave meters in the soil for longer than the manufacturer’s instructions indicate, and do not use against hard surfaces or directly in water.

How does a moisture meter work?

The average hand-held moisture meter works by generating an electrical current between the metal sensors and the water in the soil. The higher the moisture content of the soil, the higher the current and subsequent reading.

Do I really need a moisture meter for succulents?

A small, single-pronged, and accurate moisture meter can be a great tool for growing succulents. While succulents may not require intensive watering, they can still suffer from drying out.

How reliable/accurate are soil moisture meters?

The reliability and accuracy of soil moisture meters depend on the level of salt in the soil, the quality of the device, and the scale it uses to display the readings. Being able to adjust the calibration or see the exact moisture percentage is going to give you a more detailed reading.

Can I leave my moisture meter in my plants?

The only time a moisture meter can be left in the soil long term is if the manufacturer specifies it is a leave-in-soil moisture meter, such as the IPPINKA sustee aquameter.

Related

Soil, Compost & Meat Thermometers: Any Differences?

References

University of California: Agriculture and Natural Resources. (1993). Portable soil moisture meters – 1993. Science-Based Solutions for Ventura County’s Communities, Farms and Environment.

Light, Temperature and Humidity – Ornamental Production Ornamental Production. (n.d.). Aggie Horticulture.

Carol loves to garden and research to help others grow their green thumb.

She is working towards her dream of living close to nature.

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