Buying Guide for pH Test Strips
Why buy pH test strips?
Fluids and solids from saliva to soil to drinking water contain chemicals, bacteria, and varying pH levels. All of the substances have their ideal balance. Plants like blueberries prefer more acidic soil, but the human body functions best at 7.35 to 7.45 pH. How will you ever know the pH levels of anything important to you without pH test strips? You can send samples to a lab, but that quickly gets expensive.
What should you look for in pH test strips?
- Range: The pH range that a pH test strip can measure is significant. A smaller range may lead to more accurate results that are easier to read, but you will not be able to use these for substances with a pH that falls outside the test strip’s range. Standard ranges are 0 to 14 with accuracy within 0.25 pH. Soil tests range from 3.5 to 9. For most substances, the greater the pH range tested, the better.
- Target Sample: Aside from the science class pH strips, most products target a specific sample or substance. If you want an accurate reading of the pH balance of your vegetable garden before you plant, look for a product made for soil testing. The same holds true for drinking water. It’s great to get an accurate pH reading of your drinking water, but you need a lot more information about possible contaminants. In that case, look for pH strips designed for drinking water.
- Contents: If you’re running a high school science lab, buying in bulk is the way to go. On the other hand, you’ll want both testing strips and bacteria tests if testing your drinking water is your priority. Other things to look for include instructions, colorfully illustrated charts, and guidebooks.
What should you do if the pH levels are off?
If you’re testing the alkaline and acid levels of your urine or saliva for health reasons and the readings are out of the healthy range, you may want to see a doctor for guidance. If your gardening soil is more or less acidic than ideal, you’d probably be better off consulting with a landscaper or professional gardener.
Our Picks for the Best pH Test Strips
LabRat Supplies Plastic pH Test Strips
This diagnostic-grade, easy-to-read test offer a full pH testing range (0 to 14).
Pros: The LabRat Supplies Plastic pH Test Strips feature accurate, easy-to-read test results and 100 plastic pH strips that work well for various uses. These pH test strips use the standard 0 to 14 scale for pH measurement and feature four colored squares that change colors to indicate the pH of the substance. For those seeking an easy and affordable way to test pH levels, the LabRat Supplies Plastic pH Test Strips are a great choice.
Cons: This pH test kit doesn’t give as specific readings as some users would prefer.
Bottom Line: The LabRat pH test strips work wonderfully for those who want an accurate pH reading and the maximum applications possible. Test pool water, soil for planting season, tap water, and even filtered water to ensure your home filter works.
Haimai WooAwesome Litmus pH Test Strips
A 20-pack of litmus pH test strips is ideal for science class experiments.
Pros: The Haimai Litmus pH Test Strips feature a 1 to 14 scale and 160 individual testing strips that are great for routine pH testing or classroom instructional use. These pH test strips are dipped in a solution and quickly change color, indicating the solution’s pH. These packs should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, for best results. This is a fantastic product for an excellent bulk pH test strip option at an unbeatable price.
Cons: If you’re not an instructor or hobby chemist, you may not want so many testing strips.
Bottom Line: For some students, litmus testing various chemicals and combinations is the highlight of science or chemistry class. If you teach at a public school, run a home school co-op, or plan to start a home brewing company, these Haimai WooAwesome test strips may be perfect.
Just Fitter pH Test Strips
These pH test strips offer testing for a reduced pH range that is ideal for accurately and simply measuring the pH of bodily fluids.
Pros: The Just Fitter pH Test Strips feature a two-year shelf life and an easy-to-read scale, ideal for self-testing bodily fluids such as saliva and urine. These pH test strips are highly accurate and perfect for those wishing to test their pH levels to monitor their health. The Just Fitter pH Test Strips include 125 pH test strips. One kit should last well over a year if you regularly test your body’s alkalinity.
Cons: The range only goes from 4.5 to 9 pH, and it’s only meant for use with saliva and urine.
Bottom Line: This easy-to-conduct test offers information about the alkaline and acid levels, which may indicate imbalances in the body. Also, they stay fresh nearly as long as canned goods.
Garden Tutor Soil pH Test Strips Kit
This garden soil pH test kit offers accurate, easy-to-interpret results.
Pros: For gardeners who want the best for their plants and vegetables, pH testing is critical. The kit features 100 pH testing strips with a pH range of 3.5 to 9, which is ideal for most garden soils. No need to be cautious and use only one strip at a time. Soil pH is likely to differ across areas of your lawn. For more detailed results, test several sites at once. Don’t limit testing to the outdoors; your indoor plants thrive best when their pH is in the healthy range too.
Cons: The acidic end can be tricky to read since the color differences are so subtle.
Bottom Line: This helpful pH kit includes an illustrated, colorful pH testing handbook with sulfur and lime application charts. You’ll learn a lot about your plants, their ideal pH balance, and what they need for better health.
VARIFY Complete Water Test Kit
A money-saving 100-strip water test kit for levels of 17 contaminants
Pros: You’re fortunate to have running water. But is it clean? Just one strip will identify the levels of 17 contaminants, including E. coli, fluoride, and chlorine. So there are 14 more contaminants you’ll know about with a simple test. It takes a couple of minutes to test and receive color-coded, easy-to-read results. The kit contains five packs of 20 litmus strips, plus two separate containers for testing bacteria.
Cons: You may find that the colors on the test strips bleed a bit, making it difficult to interpret the results.
Bottom Line: Need to test your drinking water? This test is a reliable option. If you support companies that donate part of their proceeds to charitable organizations, you may appreciate VARIFY’s Water For Good. It’s a non-profit charity addressing water poverty in Central Africa.
As laypeople, we have limited knowledge of the pH levels of our bodies, soil, drinking water, food, shower soap, and more. These pH test strip products make an excellent bridge between the unknown and the known.