Best Water Test Kits of 2021 [A Definitive Guide]

If you want to get clean and safe water at your house, you need to invest in a reliable water test kit. Along with convenience, these kits allow you to DIY the water testing process, saving money that you’d otherwise have to give to a professional.

However, when you search for the best water test kit online, you’ll be bombarded with options. Then, how do you choose one?

That’s what we’re here for. In this guide, we’ll help you find the best water test kit for your home, ensuring your family’s health and safety.

We will list some of the best options in the market plus advice for buying a water test kit.

If you’re in a hurry and would instead read a summarized version of our review, go through this comparison table to get an idea of which water test kit is the best for your use.

Image Product Details   Price
1Water-Quality-Tester HoneForest Water Quality Tester Type: Pen
Parameters: 3
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2Hach-2745250 Hach 2745250 Total Hardness Test Strips Type: Strips
Parameters: 1
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3JNW-Direct-Water-Total-Hardness Watersafe Drinking Water Test Kit Type: Strips
Parameters: 10
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4Watersafe-Drinking-Water-Test-Kit Test Assured Drinking Water Test Kit Type: Strips
Parameters: 10
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5Drinking-Water-Test-Kit Safe Home ULTIMATE Drinking Water Test Kit Type: Lab Testing
Parameters: 200
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Best Water Test Kits 2021

1. HoneForest – Best Water Test Kit

HoneForest - Best Water Test Kit

Ease of Use

97%

Ease of Reading

98%

Value for Money

99%

If you’re looking for a reliable and accurate water test kit to check the water’s quality running through your taps, this is an ideal option. The tester is equipped with a titanium alloy probe, which ensures the highest level of endurance and accuracy.

As for the temperature, the automatic temperature compensation feature allows the tester to present the reading accurately. Being a 3-in-1 tester, the pen has an LCD that allows you to read the measurements easily.

Also, the auto-lock feature makes it easier to use the water quality tester. You just have to turn the meter on and dip it in water. The readings will be displayed on the LCD in a matter of seconds.

More importantly, the manufacturers offer a 3-year warranty on their tested quality and a 90-day money-back guarantee to ensure your satisfaction.

Pros

  • Comes with a three-year warranty
  • Has a lock screen feature
  • Has a large LCD for viewing the readings
  • Three functions in one

Cons

  • Instructions are a bit tricky

2. Hach Water Test Kit – Editor’s Pick

Hach Water Test Kit

Ease of Use

95%

Ease of Reading

96%

Value for Money

96%

Hard water is not only hazardous for your family but also for your pipes and appliances. Thus, it’s essential to check the water’s hardness every once in a while. The Hach test strips are an easy and convenient way to test the water’s hardness in your taps.

All you have to do is dip the strip in the water, and the color change will indicate how hard or soft the water is. From checking for divalent to trivalent metals, the strips can even detect the smallest traces of metals.

Pros

  • Useful for testing hardness
  • Different colors indication
  • Can be used for all water sources in the house
  • Less sensitive to light changes
  • Isn’t water-soluble

Cons

  • Not exactly accurate

3. JNW Direct – Best Budget

JNW Direct Water Test Kit

Ease of Use

95%

Ease of Reading

94%

Value for Money

95%

If you’re looking for a hard water test kit that won’t cost too much and will give accurate results, opt for the JNW Direct water hardness test strips. Since these strips give instant results, you’ll find the quality of your home water in a few seconds.

The pack contains 150 strips, which means you can perform 150 tests. From testing the water in your pool to kitchen faucets, you can ensure the quality and safety of water in all parts of the home.

Along with the strips, you also get an eBook and a free app where you can learn what the results mean. Also, there’s additional information about water hardness and why this is bad for your family.

Pros

  • Gives instant results
  • Colors are easy to read
  • Has 150 strips in one pack
  • Comes with a free app for understanding test results
  • Additional resources to learn about hard water

Cons

  • Color accuracy could be better

4. Watersafe Test Kit – Water test kit for Well Water

Water test kit for Well Water

Ease of Use

96%

Ease of Reading

96%

Value for Money

96%

If you need to check several parameters of water quality, use these Watersafe water test strips. These strips are safe to use in all water sources in the house, including the water filters and purifiers.

Along with testing for chlorine and nitrates, the strips also indicate the presence of bacteria, lead, and pesticides. The company claims that its lead test is the most sensitive in the world, and it has been tested in an EPA-certified lab.

Providing high-quality products for 25 years, the company is on a mission to keep American families safe. Thus, their testing strips can test up to ten parameters, ensuring that the drinking and water for other uses is clean and safe.

Pros

  • Tests up to ten parameters
  • Comes with a money-back guarantee
  • Easy to use
  • Tests for bacteria and pesticides too
  • Most sensitive lead test

Cons

  • The instructions manual is in German

5. Test Assured – Water Test Kits for Bacteria

Quick Water Test Kits

Ease of Use

96%

Ease of Reading

96%

Value for Money

95%

Just like the previous tester on our list, this one also covers up to ten parameters, ensuring that your family is always drinking and using clean water. The water test kit can test for iron, pH, hardness, nitrites, nitrates, lead, bacteria, copper, alkalinity, and pesticides.

Since it’s an at-home testing kit, you can get the results in seconds. Instead of spending money on lab testing or waiting for samples to be delivered, you can use the water test kit to check the quality of your home water.

Moreover, the test has been calibrated according to the standards set by the EPA. Thus, you can use the water quality limits on the EPA’s website to deduce results about the water in your house.

If, in an unlikely case, you’re not satisfied with the product in an unfortunate situation, the company offers a 100% money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • Gives results in seconds
  • Can test for ten parameters
  • Calibrated according to EPA standards

Cons

  • Some users got false negatives

6. Safe Home ULTIMATE – Best Lab-Tested

Lab Water Test Kits

Ease of Use

95%

Ease of Reading

95%

Value for Money

96%

Before you get a water filter or worry about the water quality in your home, use the Safe Home test kit. The test comes with a Good Housekeeping Seal, which is an indication of its top-notch quality and efficiency.

This test works a bit differently from those mentioned above. Instead of getting the results instantly, you have to use the test in a water source and then send the image to the manufacturers.

They will test the water for up to 200 parameters, including pesticides and metal concentration. Apart from testing a plethora of parameters, the lab is also quick in delivering the results. They send you the results through email in seven to ten days.

Pros

  • Tests for up to 200 parameters
  • Accurate results
  • Comes with a Good Housekeeping seal
  • Lab fees are included in the product’s price
  • Results in 7 to 10 days

Cons

  • You’ll have to wait up to a week for the results
  • Extremely costly

7. Health Metric Store – Best for Metals

Heavy Metals Test Kits

Ease of Use

96%

Ease of Reading

94%

Value for Money

96%

Heavy metals, if present in water, can take a toll on your family’s health, so detecting their presence in your home water is of utmost importance. You can use the Health Metric home water test kit to detect four commonly-found metals in just 15 minutes.

With easy-to-follow instructions, the water test kit can be used by anyone. Since it’s made in the US, the kit is suitable for testing US waters and is in accordance with EPA standards.

Moreover, it can detect even trace amounts of metal in drinking water, ensuring that you’re not intaking any harmful metal. A common concern with some other water test kits is that they give cumulative results, which can leave you in the dark about which metal is abundant in your water.

Using this kit, you can test for each metal as it shows individual results. You can easily check the levels of iron, copper, lead, and mercury.

Pros

  • Suitable for US waters
  • According to EPA standards
  • Detects low level of metals
  • Can detect four metals

Cons

  • The lead test isn’t very sensitive

8. Health Metric – Best Water Test Kit for Bacteria

Best Water test kit for Bacteria

Ease of Use

97%

Ease of Reading

95%

Value for Money

96%

If you’re looking for a professional water test kit to check the bacterial concentration in your home water, you can use this Health Metric water test kit. Along with testing for bacteria, the kit also detects manganese and iron in drinking water.

Since the test is easy to use and read, you can use it whenever you need it. All you have to do is compare the results to the color-coded card in the package.

It only takes a few minutes to get the results, and you won’t even have to pay hefty lab charges. In just five minutes, you’ll get the results for all parameters.

Pros

  • Works in a few minutes
  • Comes with a user guide to understand the results
  • Is easy to read
  • Can test for multiple parameters

Cons

  • Colors are a bit hard to match with the color card

9. Med Lab Diagnostic – 16-Parameter Test

Water Test Kits Parameter

Ease of Use

96%

Ease of Reading

95%

Value for Money

94%

Formulated by top-grade experts, this Med Lab water test kit is the purest home water analysis kit for checking several parameters of quality and safety. Along with providing accurate results, the test kit also gives results quickly, so you don’t have to wait for a long time to find out the quality of your home water.

Plus, the strips come with ample information to understand the results. Most importantly, the strips are biodegradable, so you are doing the environment a favor too.

Pros

  • Biodegradable test kits
  • Can test for 16 parameters
  • Comes with an easy to understand instructions guide
  • Provides quick results

Cons

  • Inaccurate iron results
  • Slightly deviated from accurate readings

10. Poolmaster Essential – Best for Pools

Pool Water Test Kits

Ease of Use

95%

Ease of Reading

94%

Value for Money

94%

Although this test is made for testing the quality of pool water, you can also use it for other water sources in the home. From detecting chlorine levels to checking the pH, the test does it all.

One of the most awesome features of this test is the accurate color matching, which is lacking even in some high-end tests. The results on the strips will accurately match the colors on the color card, allowing you to make a well-calculated deduction about the water quality.

Pros

  • Can test for pH, bromine, and chlorine
  • Also tests alkalinity
  • Integrated color chips
  • Accurate color matching

Cons

  • Chlorine results aren’t entirely accurate

Water Test Kits Buyer’s Guide

If you haven’t figured it out yet, let us break it down to you: there’s a saturated market out there for water test kits. Thus, if you’re shopping for the best water test kit for your home, you’re bound to be confused and overwhelmed.

Let us walk you through the process of choosing the best well water test kit for your home. In this guide, we’ll discuss the things you need to factor when buying a testing kit for drinking, pool, or well water.

Parameters

First of all, you need to check how many parameters the test kit detects. For instance, some tests only detect hard metals, while others check for bacterial and pesticide concentrations in your home water.

As the number of parameters increases, the price does too. However, you should consider spending a few extra bucks to check for multiple contaminants in your water.

Testing Process

Also, you can choose the water test kit according to the testing process. Most tests are strip-based, as they are easier to use for most homeowners. Also, there are some vial-based tests that involve multiple tubes for checking different contaminants.

Also, the more expensive tests are lab-based. You have to send an indication to the labs, and they will email you the results in a week or so.

Depending on how long you’re willing to wait to get the results and how much you can pay for a test, you can choose the water test accordingly. For instance, if you want instant results, you should use strips as they give results in a few seconds.

However, if you’re willing to wait for a few days to get instant results, you can opt for the lab-based tests as they are very accurate and test for up to 200 parameters.

Water Source

Along with checking for parameters, you also have to determine where the test is made for. Is it suitable for checking pool water quality? Or, can you only use it to check the water quality of your faucet?

If you want a water test kit for multiple purposes, make sure that you choose accordingly. Otherwise, you’ll have to buy different tests for different areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions to help you resolve queries in your mind about water test kits

Checking the quality of your drinking and well water is very important as it indicates if you need a filter. If you are drinking unclean and unsafe water, it can be extremely hazardous to your health.

Plus, it ruins the finish and longevity of your pipes and alters the water quality for laundry.

According to the EPA, you should test the water in your home at least once every year. However, if your water appears dirty, you can check multiple times a year.

In some cases, the color you get as a result might not match any color on the color code. It means that the test is sub-par, or you haven’t followed the instructions properly.

Do the test again and see if there’s a difference in the results. Otherwise, you should buy another water test kit and check again.

How Do Water Test Kits Work?

Home water test kits are very easy to use as they are built for DIY purposes. Thus, you won’t have a hard time checking the quality of water in your home.

Depending on the type of the water test kit, the working mechanism can be quite different.

If you’re using strip tests, you have to dip the strip into the source of water. The strip will change color depending on the number of contaminants in the water. Then, compare the color on the strip to the color code that is present in the product packaging.

This will show you which contaminant is present in the water source.

Another way to test water quality is by using vials. In these tests, you’ll have different vials for checking different parameters. You have to put a few drops of water in each vial to check the color change.

If something is present in the water, it will change color, indicating that the water is contaminated. You can check the results according to the instructions on the packaging.

Benefits of Water Testing

Water testing is not only beneficial for your family’s health but also for your appliances and the water pipes in the house. Clean and safe water is the ultimate way to ensure your family’s health.

Good for Health

The major benefit of water testing is that it is good for your health. According to the CDC, you should drink eight glasses of water every day. But what if this water is contaminated?

This means you’ll be taking in harmful bacteria and heavy metals that can cause many diseases. Poor water quality is associated with hepatitis A, Shigella, and norovirus. If you want to protect yourself and your family from these diseases, make sure you check the water quality.

Also, contaminated water is harmful to your skin. If you’re showering with water containing heavy metals, it can affect your skin and may even lead to skin conditions.

If these heavy metals are present in drinking water, they can pose a serious threat to your health. Research has shown that arsenic in drinking water is associated with blood vessel damage, nerve, and heart conditions.

With so many harms of unclean water, you must test the water’s quality to ensure that your family is only getting the cleanest water.

Safe for Appliances

Along with being safe for your body, clean water is also important for your appliances. Studies have shown that hard water can reduce the lifespan of appliances such as the dishwasher and washing machine.

If you want your appliances to last long, make sure to check the water quality and take the necessary steps to remove the contaminants.

Also, if you use soft water in the dishwasher, it can give you the same cleaning results as using hard water. But here’s the catch: the former takes half the amount of detergent as the latter.

Moreover, mineral deposits from hard water can ruin the appearance and performance of the appliances. If the water coming through your kitchen faucets is hard, it will leave mineral deposits on the sink, making it seem scaly.

As you can see, water testing can help you increase your appliances’ longevity and reduce the cost of maintenance. When you make a new house, you’ll get the free water test kit for the first time. After that, you’ll have to test the water yourself annually.

Types of Water Testing Kits

As clear from our reviews, there are different types of water testing kits that you can use for testing the water quality at home. All these kits are very easy to use and read.

Let’s discuss these types in detail to help you decide on the best water kit for your home.

Vials

Vial-based tests, as the name indicates, come with vials. You get differently colored vials to check the concentration and presence of different contaminants. For example, if a test can check five parameters, it will have five vials.

You have to put a few drops of the water from your faucet or the pool in each faucet. If the color changes, it means that the particular contaminant is present in the water.

Some tests have different checking mechanisms, but you can learn more about them by reading the instructions manual.

Strips

Possibly the most common kind of water test kits are strip-based. The strips are sort of like the litmus test you did in school. As you dip the strip in the water, it changes color according to the contamination present in the water.

In such tests, you also get a color code along with the strips. When the color changes, you have to compare it to the color code to determine which contaminant is present in the sample.

Also, in some tests, the color intensity indicates how much of that contaminant is present in the water.

Lab-Based

For these tests, you just need to buy the product as the lab charges are covered in the price. You will get the results in about 7 to 10 days for such tests as they are lab-based.

A significant advantage of using lab-based tests is that they detect the presence of hundreds of contaminants. For instance, the  Safe Home ULTIMATE Drinking Water Test Kit can test for up to 200 parameters.

However, these tests cost more as complicated processes, experts, and machinery are involved.

Final Words

To sum it up, we’ll say that testing the quality of water in your home water is of utmost importance. You should do it at least once a year, if not more than that.

Whether you want to use strip tests or vial tests, you’ll find an option in our list of the best water test kits. You can also use our buyer’s guide to find the best water test kit for your home.

Hopefully, this guide would have answered your questions about water testing kits. Give us your feedback and ask questions in the comments below.

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