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Best Overall: XLUX Soil Moisture Meter at Amazon
"It's a handy tool that only requires simple care to continue working reliably."
Best Digital Display: Ecowitt Soil Moisture Meter with LCD Display at Amazon
"For added accuracy, the model can be calibrated for high or low humidity environments."
Best 3-Way Meter: 3-in-1 Soil Moisture Meter at Home Depot
"This 3-in-1 model gives you a more in-depth picture of soil conditions."
Best Smart: North Smart Plant Tracker at Walmart
"You can check soil moisture, light levels, temperature, and fertilizer nutrients in the app."
Best for Monitoring: Sustee Aquameter at rt1home
"Unlike most other meters, the probe can be left in the soil 24/7."
Best with Long Probe: Reotemp Garden Moisture Meter at reotempcompost
"A long probe is necessary for deeper pots or trees that you want to monitor."
Best Budget: Dr. Meter Soil Moisture Sensor at drmeter
"For less than $10, this meter offers easy-to-read guidance on soil moisture levels."
Best Overall: XLUX Soil Moisture Meter
For a handy way to tell if your plants have suitable soil moisture before watering, check out the popular XLUX Soil Moisture Meter. This simple tool has a 7-inch probe that evaluates the moisture level of your indoor or outdoor plant on a scale of 1 to 10. The probe and analog display require no batteries or charging and give a nearly instant reading of soil moisture levels.
Keep in mind that the probe of this moisture meter is not considered heavy-duty; the directions warn you not to jam it into hard-packed soil. Some reviewers experienced breakage or device failure when they didn’t follow this instruction. On the other hand, experienced plant owners say that this moisture meter provides excellent guidance on how wet or dry soil may be and is a handy tool that only requires simple care to continue working reliably.
Best Digital Display: Ecowitt Soil Moisture Meter with LCD Display
While many moisture meters have a simple analog meter to provide information about soil moisture levels, the Ecowitt Soil Moisture Meter has an easy-to-read wireless LCD display that provides you with the soil moisture levels as a percentage. This display, which also includes the current time, can easily be positioned on your kitchen counter, coffee table, or other convenient location within 300 feet of the moisture probe positioned in your plant’s soil. It works well for patio plants, outdoor plants, or any indoor plant as long as it’s within range for the display.
Reviewers find this digital moisture meter to be both easy to use and accurate. It can also be calibrated for high or low humidity environments, adding to the accuracy of this model. The display uses two AA batteries that will need periodic replacement.
Best 3-Way Meter: 3-in-1 Soil Moisture Meter
If you’re looking one device to give you a more in-depth picture of soil conditions, consider a 3-way moisture meter that is also capable of measuring light and pH levels. This 3-in-1 moisture meter from HealthyWiser uses a metal probe to determine moisture levels on a scale from 1 to 10 and also registers pH on a scale from 3.5 to 8. A photovoltaic cell on the front of the device measures how much light is received in any given location, indoors or outdoors.
Gardeners have appreciated that the pH value helps to optimize soil conditions for citrus plants along with other fruit plants. This 3-way moisture meter can also help you to determine the best spot in your garden for a plant-based on its needs—for example, more acidic soil and a shady spot for hydrangeas. Many users find this tool to be an indispensable ‘gardener’s helper’ and use it to maintain optimal conditions for their plants.
Best Smart: North Smart Plant Tracker
Boost your plant care routine with a smart moisture meter for plants. The North Smart Plant Tracker pairs with the Plant Monitor app (available on iOS and Android devices) and provides real-time updates via Bluetooth. The slim device with dual probes sits in the pot with your plants and is ready to give you valuable info on your plant at any time. For under $20, this smart moisture meter is a no-brainer if you want an advanced way to monitor your plant.
You can check soil moisture, light levels, temperature, and fertilizer nutrients in the app. In addition, the app includes a catalog of 5,000 plants. Select your variety to receive detailed information and plant care guidance. Users love the ability to check the health and needs of their plant at a glance with this smart moisture meter for plants. While the Bluetooth functionality requires that you’re within 15 to 20 feet of the device for it to tap into the sensor’s information, users still agree that it’s a handy tool and a fun way to take care of plants. It also makes a great gardening gift for any plant-lover!
Best for Monitoring: Sustee Aquameter
While most moisture meters require that you probe the soil each time you want to test the soil, the Sustee Aquameter is a slender unit that stays in the pot or garden bed for continuous monitoring of soil moisture levels. Inside each of the Aquameter sticks is a moisture-reactive core that turns blue when moisture is detected and turns white as the soil becomes dry.
While this is not precision soil moisture measurement, it does provide users with an indicator of when it is time to water and the probe can be left in all the time—unlike most other moisture meters for plants. Each core inside the Aquameter lasts for 6 to 9 months before needing replacement.
Best with Long Probe: Reotemp Garden Moisture Meter
Many moisture meters have probes that are less than 10 inches long, which is often adequate for potted plants or garden beds. But if you have deep pots or trees that you want to monitor, then you need a moisture meter with a long probe—like the Reotemp Garden Moisture Meter. This moisture meter has probe lengths varying from 15 to 48 inches. The extra length ensures that you’re more able to assess moisture levels at greater depths or closer to the roots of your large potted plant or tree.
To ensure that you can easily insert and remove the moisture meter, the analog display sits on top of a T-shaped handle. The display reads from 0 to 10 to indicate how or dry or wet the soil is. This unit also offers the advantage of being able to calibrate the probe to your preferred moisture. It operates using one AAA battery.
Best Budget: Dr. Meter Soil Moisture Sensor
A budget moisture meter for plants is a great buy that can save your cherished plants from under- or over-watering. For an affordable price, Dr. Meter Soil Moisture Sensor is one of the most accessible moisture meters on the market. While it doesn’t have 3-way testing capabilities for light and pH or a digital display, it offers easy-to-read guidance on soil moisture levels.
The 7.7-inch probe of this moisture meter is made of moisture-reactive metal that registers a micro-current when it comes in contact with water. This is what influences the analog meter to register a reading on a scale of 1 to 10. It doesn’t offer precision moisture readings and needs to be cleaned off after each use—you also shouldn’t leave it in the pot continuously. In general, most reviewers find this budget moisture meter to serve as a useful guide in giving indoor or outdoor plants the right amount of water.