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9 Best Water Quality Test Kit for Your Home [Buyer’s Guide]

Checking the water quality of a pool with the help of a test strip with PH value, chlorine and algaecide. High quality photo

Disclaimer | This article may contain affiliate links, this means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for qualifying purchases.

Did you know that the EPA recommends testing your water for different contaminants at least once every year?

While the USA has one of the most advanced water sourcing, treatment, and distribution systems in the world, it’s not without flaws. And yet, most people only consider testing their water when they notice a tangible difference in the smell, taste, or look of it.

The fact of the matter, however, is that most bacteria and contaminants don’t alter the physical properties of water at all. So, they could very well be there without your knowledge and be threatening the health of your family and children.

For this reason, the EPA has officially published a set of recommendations to ensure the maintenance of good quality water. Home water test kits, in this context, facilitate a simple yet effective way for keeping a frequent check on your home water quality.

And in this article, we have listed some of the best water quality test kits available for you to consider.

So, let’s get started, shall we?

Top Water Quality Test Kits 

Document
IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Our Top PickOur Top Pickhstcstbl-table__imageWatersafe WS425B
  • Tests 10 parameters
  • EPA standard test kit
  • Provides on the spot results
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hstcstbl-table__imageHealth Metric Well Water Test Kit
  • Tests 8 different parameters in well water
  • Provides results in a couple of minutes
  • EPA standard approved
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hstcstbl-table__imageJNW Water Hardness Testing Kit (Stargazer Set)
  • 150 strip megapack
  • Includes a downloadable e-book
  • Provides instant results
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hstcstbl-table__imageHealth Metric Test for Drinking Water
  • Test the presence of 4 major metal contaminants
  • Calibrated with EPA standards
  • Results are generated in 15 minutes
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hstcstbl-table__imageSimpleWater Tap Score Water Test
  • Tests for over 100 chemicals
  • Required to be shipped to the lab for testing
  • Results received within 5 days
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hstcstbl-table__imageHach 145300
  • It has 100 tests
  • Measures Total Hardness of water
  • Includes 5-B and 5-EP models
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hstcstbl-table__imageSafe Home ULTIMATE Water Quality Test Kit
  • Tests for 200 parameters
  • Verifies if water is within EPA limits for human consumption
  • Samples need to be sent to the laboratory
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hstcstbl-table__imageAquaChek 561140A
  • Includes 10 test strips
  • Tests specifically for salt/ sodium chloride
  • Provides immediate results
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Checking the water quality of a pool with the help of a test strip with PH value, chlorine and algaecide. High quality photo

  1. Watersafe WS425B

Watersafe is a trusted American brand that manufactures all its products within the country and has kept families safe for almost 25 years now. Its water quality test kits are quite popular and meet all EPA standards and requirements.

Watersafe 10-in-1 Drinking Water Test Kit - World's Most...
  • It's Never Been More Important: With stay-at-home orders,...
  • Complete, Easy-to-Use Test Kit: This test kit contains...

Why Did We Like It?

This water test kit by Watersafe comes with a booklet that has detailed and easy instructions regarding how you need to go about conducting the test. It consists of 6 components, which include 5 test strips for copper, iron, pH/hardness/chlorine, Nitrate/Nitrite, and Lead/pesticide, and a single test vial for bacteria.

That’s not all; the instructions provided are very easy to follow and double up as a really cool science project for you kids! It effectively screens all 9 parameters and provides instantaneous results, eliminating the need to send your samples to a laboratory and considerably reducing the waiting period.

What’s more? This particular kit is certified by the EPA and is considered the world’s most sensitive lead test that detects even the most minuscule levels of contamination. Watersafe also provides guaranteed satisfaction for this product, failing which you get your money back.

What Could’ve Been Better?

A few customers have found that one or two of their test kits always end up being duds. Most commonly, it’s the iron and pH balance strips that show inaccurate results. Some others found the bacteria test vial difficult to read.

Pros
  • Simple and straightforward to use
  • World’s most sensitive lead test
  • Detects 10 parameters
  • Affordable price
  • Provides immediate results
Cons
  • Bacteria test difficult to read
  • May have a dud test
  1. Health Metric Well Water Test Kit

Health Metric is a brand that functions with the motive of making complicated processes simple. Its water quality experts have come together to provide you with an innovative well water test kit to help keep a regular check on water quality and thereby, keep you safe.

Well Water Test Kit for Drinking Water - Quick and Easy Home...
  • ✅ ENSURE YOUR WELL WATER SAFETY FOR PEACE OF MIND - Wells...
  • ✅ MADE IN THE USA IN LINE WITH OFFICIAL EPA STANDARDS - If...

Why Did We Like It?

This water test kit provides you a quick and effective way of testing your well water for a variety of contaminants. It is especially good for determining contaminants that are linked to the hardness of water, serious illness, and unpleasant smelling, tasting, or looking water.

The kit includes 9 components, which include 1 bacteria/coliform test and 2 tests each of Nitrate and Nitrite, Hydrogen Sulphide, Manganese, total alkalinity, total hardness, and pH level. Moreover, this product is manufactured within the USA and made according to the EPA limits set up by the federal government.

What’s more? This test kit comes with a color-coded information card that makes conducting the test and reading the results fairly easy. In most cases, the results are ready within just a few minutes, thereby making this a really effective kit to test your water.

51r3m6qzNYL. SL500

What Could’ve Been Better?

This product fails to provide a comprehensive information booklet regarding administering and reading this water quality test. For this reason, a bunch of customers, after having conducted the test, received results that did not match any of the result criteria on the information card. This, therefore, leads to inconclusive results.

Pros
  • Shows immediate results
  • Easy to use
  • Detects 8 well water parameters
  • Simple and effective
Cons
  • Inconclusive results
  1. JNW Water Hardness Testing Kit (Stargazer Set)

JNW has come up with a simple yet effective water quality test kit that helps you accurately measure the level of hardness or softness in water. The strips come packaged in a plastic bottle that has a color chart and instructions prescribed on them.

JNW Direct Total Water Hardness Test Strips, 150 Strip MEGA...
  • CHECK YOUR WATER SOFTENER! Quickly and easily test to see if...
  • PLEASE NOTE - The color of the test reagent will only change...

Why Did We Like It?

This water quality test kit contains 150 strips which means you can conduct 150 individual tests with it. This makes it an extremely budget-friendly buy and cheaper than most other kits mentioned in our guide today. Apart from that, this kit comes with a JNW app that helps you keep track of your testing results and changes over time.

Furthermore, this test kit can be used to assess water quality from a variety of sources, including pools, aquariums, dishwashers, wells, faucets, taps, and so on. It also facilitates a simple way to keep a check on how effectively your water-softener is working on a regular basis.

If that wasn’t enough, this product is also extremely easy to use! All you need to do is dip the strip in water and compare it to the color chart provided on the bottle. The color of the strip only changes when the water is hard, hence if there is no color change at all that automatically indicates that you have soft water.

418iSFC9BQL. SL500

What Could’ve Been Better?

A few customers have complained about receiving a defective product wherein the strips don’t change color even after testing multiple water sources. However, if you get in touch with customer service soon after receiving the defective kit, they initiate a replacement or refund for your product.

Pros
  • Very affordable water quality test kit
  • Simple and effective
  • Comes with a free eBook on soft and hard water
  • JNW direct app helps you keep a record of your results
Cons
  • A few batches may be defective
  1. Health Metric Test for Drinking Water

As we mentioned above, Health Metric is a renowned American brand. It works with a team of experienced water and air quality experts to provide you simple solutions to complex problems. They have consequently developed a highly effective drinking water quality test that detects the presence of heavy metals in its composition.

Lead Iron Copper and Mercury - Home Water Test Kit for Well...
  • ✅ QUICK AND EASY TO USE - Detect unsafe levels of 4 common...
  • ✅ MADE IN USA - Don’t rely on foreign-made test kits...

Why Did We Like It?

As you may know, heavy metals are not detectable by human smell, sight, or taste sensors. Unfortunately, this means that we might potentially be exposing ourselves to dangerous levels of them in our drinking water. Health Metric has thereby come up with a quick and easy way to detect and measure the presence of Lead, Iron, Mercury, and Copper in water.

The test strips in this kit are all EPA approved and highly sensitive, having enhanced accuracy that can measure even fine increments of contamination. Apart from that, this product, instead of giving a compound and generic result, tell you which individual metals are present in your drinking water for better clarity.

Furthermore, these affordable test kits come with 1 lead test and 2 tests for copper, mercury, and iron each. It’s incredibly easy to use at home and delivers fast and accurate results in only 15 minutes. This further saves you from the costs and hassle of conducting expensive lab tests.

51HKpX+sEqL. SL500

What Could’ve Been Better?

Some customers have complained regarding receiving broken or missing components. A few didn’t receive all the test kits and their contents, while others received a broken dropper or pipette. However, in most cases, once you contact the company’s customer service with these experiences, they issue a replacement almost immediately.

Pros
  • Provides quick results
  • Easy and straightforward to use
  • Gives fairly accurate results
  • Saves you money on exhaustive lab tests
  • Cost-effective
Cons
  • Broken or missing contents
  1. SimpleWater Tap Score Water Test

The overarching mission of SimpleWater is to improve the drinking water quality and the long-term health of its customers. Hence, it has come up with Tap Score that provides professional lab results taking into consideration the most recent epidemiological and toxicological research.

Professional Water Test by SimpleWater Labs, Certified Tap...
  • EPA Lab Testing Methods and Quantified Results for 100+...
  • PLUS: Unbiased Health and Treatment Support from PhD...

Why Did We Like It?

Tap Score provides you the opportunity to conduct professional lab testing from the comfort of your home. All you have to do is collect the samples, by filling the jar and vial provided with water and ship them over to the lab for testing. The company ensures to provide a box with a prepaid shipping label thereby covering all the shipping costs you would incur within the MRP of the product.

SimpleWater has partnerships with over 60 professional lab testing facilities all over North America. Each of these labs has access to high precision devices that analyze and quantify over 100s of parameters and contaminants even when present in low detectable levels. They consequently provide in-depth and easy-to-understand quality reports in less than 5 days after shipping the samples.

Furthermore, this company also provides treatment advice tailored to the report you receive and your water’s unique chemistry. You may rest assured that their treatment advice is completely unbiased because this brand does not manufacture any treatment technology themselves. Hence, they only recommend the best treatment products for you amongst the varied brands available.

51FaufE7bjL. SL500

What Could’ve Been Better?

This service may be provided to you by your city’s water company free of charge depending on where you live. Hence it is recommended you check with your local water company before investing in this product.

Pros
  • Provides professional lab tests
  • Comprehensive reports testing over hundreds of contaminants
  • Easy sampling process requiring minimal effort
  • Unbiased advice for treatment provided
Cons
  • Unnecessary for those whose city water company tests for free
  1. Hach 145300

This home water testing kit by Hach is a single parameter kit that measures the Total Hardness of water. Hardness is usually measured by the capacity of water to consume soap. The efficacy of soap is thereby said to decrease when used in hard water because the minerals present in water combine with the soap to form a solid precipitate.

Sale
Hach 145300 Total Hardness Test Kit, Model 5-B
  • Water hardness is caused almost entirely by calcium and...
  • Hardness increases soap consumption

Why Did We Like It?

The hardness of water is almost entirely caused due to the presence of calcium and magnesium in water. Furthermore, there are two main types of hard water, namely, carbonated and non-carbonated. While carbonate hardness refers to the presence of magnesium and calcium bicarbonate, non-carbonate hardness is caused by sulfates, nitrates, and chlorides of the same elements.

Most water hardness tests available in the market are limited in their approach to measuring hardness because they only successfully detect one type of hardness. This test, on the other hand, measures the parameter of Total Hardness, which is the sum of both carbonate and non-carbonate magnesium and calcium compounds present in water.

Most full water tests conducted by water companies and private labs leave out the hardness test from their parameters. Moreover, unlike other tests, this provides more comprehensive and easily understandable results that eliminate the need for matching the litmus paper with the color-coded options.

What Could’ve Been Better?

The English instructions printed on one side of the box are usually completely hidden by the product label. This label is also challenging to remove so as to read the instructions. Hence a few customers found it difficult to conduct the test by themselves.

Pros
  • Inexpensive testing kit
  • Measures both carbonate and non-carbonate hardness
  • Easy to use
  • Quick and comprehensive results
Cons
  • Instructions were hidden
  1. Safe Home ULTIMATE Water Quality Test Kit

Safe Home water test kits are manufactured by the company ELI, which started off in 1983 as a consulting firm and environmental laboratory. This laboratory consists of a team of scientists with over 150 years of combined experience in testing drinking water. Their newly launched division of EnviroTestKits seeks to provide professional water testing services to the people.

Sale
Safe Home ULTIMATE Water Quality Test Kit – Testing for...
  • EXCLUSIVE BRAND of water test kits to earn the Good...
  • MADE IN THE USA and supported by certified scientists with...

Why Did We Like It?

Safe Home is one of the most highly rated water quality test kits available in the USA. It has earned the exclusive Good Housekeeping Seal and been ranked as Best Overall Water Test Kit by ‘The Spruce’. Furthermore, these kits are exclusively manufactured in the USA and are tested in EPA-certified labs that guarantee accurate results.

This kit, in the ULTIMATE variant, effectively tests 200 parameters that include semi-volatile organic compounds, volatile organic compounds, metals, in-organics, and physical properties. The kit itself constitutes a set of jars that you need to fill with drinking water and send over to the laboratories. The price of this kit includes the lab and shipping fees, hence, all you are required to do is collect and mail the samples.

Finally, the laboratories take 7-10 days to review your sample and provide a detailed analytical report of your water quality along with solutions for the same. What’s more, if not returned within the specified time frame, the company provides you a new kit free of cost!

41ng2JFrZRL. SL500

What Could’ve Been Better?

This water quality kit, although provides very detailed and comprehensive results, is also exceedingly high-priced compared to all its counterparts. This brings the overall cost-effectiveness of the product under scrutiny. It also makes this unaffordable for most consumers to invest in.

Pros
  • Safe and simple to use
  • Perfect for testing all kinds of water supplies
  • Highly rated and certified water testing experts
  • The company donates a portion of its profits to clean water initiatives
Cons
  • Very expensive
  1. AquaChek 561140A

AquaChek has developed an innovative peroxide-based water test kit that measures the salinity of swimming pools. The test, although strip-based, is one of the most effective water tests for sodium chloride. It helps users maintain a clean and healthy pool for daily use.

AquaChek 561140A Salt Water Swimming Pool Test Strips -...
  • Includes Water Chemistry Insert With Directions
  • 10 Strips/Bottle

Why Did We Like It?

If you have a salt generator or chlorinator system installed in the pool or spa, this might be the ideal product for you to invest in. A salt generator is meant to produce and maintain appropriate levels of salt in your water to keep it clean and free of outside contaminants.

However, it is important to note that these generators don’t always maintain the right amount of chlorine and can often cause dangerous unbalances. Hence, this kit will help you keep a regular eye on how well your generator is actually working.

Long story short, this test kit effectively measures the sodium chloride or salt levels in your pool between 400 and 7,000 PPM. It also has a pH level of 6.2-8.4 and is very easy to use, successfully delivering results in a matter of minutes.

Additionally, it comes equipped with detailed water chemistry instructions making it ideal to use for all customers irrespective of their knowledge of chemistry.

410vk0 sEGL. SL500

What Could’ve Been Better?

A few customers have complained about having received out-of-date or expired test strips. Since they were expired, they failed to provide accurate test results and were hence overall a bust. This test is also not eligible for return making it a useless buy if the strips don’t work.

Pros
  • A simple and straightforward testing kit
  • Accurately measures salt levels in water
  • Has comprehensive instructions
  • Provides results in minutes
  • Budget-friendly buy
Cons
  • Shipped expired test strips
  1. PurTest Home Drinking Water Test Kit

Finally, we have the drinking water test kit by PurTest that enables you to test for 11 different contaminants right at home conveniently. This is manufactured and circulated exclusively in the USA and is certified by the American Water Service.

Why Did We Like It?

This high-performing yet affordable drinking water test kit won a Consumer Product Award in the USA. The kit detects 11 different contaminants and constitutes 19 individual tests composed of either test strips or vials. The kit includes 2 tests each for copper, iron, chlorine, pH, hardness, nitrates, nitrites, and alkalinity along with 1-test each for pesticide, bacteria, and lead.

Hence, this is the ideal kit to purchase when you want to monitor your water treatment equipment performance at home. What’s more? These are all lab-certified kits that provide instant results eliminating the need for mailing your samples and paying lab fees.

Furthermore, this test kit is non-toxic, environment-conscious, and a consumer-friendly product. It provides accurate and reliable results along with a water test results sheet to keep track of your outcomes. Additionally, it comes with a free Basic Water Knowledge Handbook to provide users a way to gain more information about water chemistry.

What Could’ve Been Better?

The instructions provided on the packaging of this test kit were deemed as unclear which made it challenging for some customers to conduct the test. A few others complained about receiving expired tests, which in most cases were qualified for return or refund by customer service.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Provides quick and accurate results
  • Highly rated test kit
  • Economical to purchase
Cons
  • Unclear instructions provided

Swimming pool Ph checking. Green water, green pool problem as background. High quality photo

Water Quality Test Kit Buyer’s Guide

So, as you can see, there are a large variety of water test kits to choose from, and the way each function and what they test for vary as well. Hence, it can be confusing to decide which water kit you should invest in, especially since they also tend to be quite expensive.

To make matters a little simpler, we have compiled a buyer’s guide for you. This lists out all the important factors to consider before making your final decision. So, without wasting any more time, let’s jump right into it, shall we?

  1. Water Testing Source

First and foremost, you are going to need to pinpoint the type of water you are planning to test. Whether it is a well, a faucet, your public water supply, or simply your pool, every water has a specific source. This source determines the kind of contaminants you need to look for, which is common in that particular water source.

Different test kits are hence geared towards different water sources because of the different parameters they require testing. However, there may be a handful of comprehensive kits that can test water from a variety of sources.

  1. Procedure of Test

One other factor to consider while purchasing a water quality test kit is the procedure of the test itself. If you’re not in a hurry, one might want to consider the kits that only require you to collect samples and send them to the laboratory. Although these tend to be time-taking and expensive, they are also the most effective way of testing water and provide the most comprehensive results.

Alternatively, if you are looking for instant results, you can consider purchasing the at-home water test kits available. These come with detailed instructions and require you to carry out the tests by yourself at home.

  1. Contaminants To Test for

Some water test kits detect a large variety of common contaminants and parameters while others only measure only one or two at a time. On the other hand, some test kits are particularly effective at detecting certain particular contaminants as opposed to others. Hence depending on your priorities, and the contaminants you want to specifically test for, one will need to purchase a kit accordingly.

Resort Private pool has weekly check maintenance test, Salt Meter Level, to make sure water is clean and can swim

Verdict

So, as you can see, there are a variety of water quality tests for your home available on the market. These are essential for ensuring that the water used and consumed by your family is of the highest quality.

Before signing off, however, we want to mention some of our top recommendations for you. If you are looking to conduct a comprehensive water test and price is no barrier for you, then we recommend the Safe Home ULTIMATE Water Quality Test Kit.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly lab-tested kit, then SimpleWater Tap Score is a great option for you.

On the other hand, if you are looking to test only specific parameters, Watersafe WS425B is the best most sensitive test for lead. And Hach 145300 and AquaChek 561140A are best for measuring the hardness of water and salinity respectively.

With that, we come to the end of our comprehensive guide for water quality test kits. We hope to see you next time!

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