One of the trickiest things about caring for houseplants is getting the water levels just right. When I was still a houseplant newbie, many of my plants suffered as I was watering them too much! Getting a moisture meter was the best decision I made to keeping my plants healthy with the right amount of watering.
These affordable little devices are the perfect plant care hack when you want to avoid overwatering issues, such as root rot that can affect some of my favorite pink plants like Fantasy Venice. Honestly, the soil moisture meter for indoor plants has been the best gardening tool I’ve bought to date!
Having a moisture or soil pH meter takes all the guesswork out of achieving the right level of soil dampness. Meaning your plants will flourish and grace your home with the most glorious foliage possible! So stay right here to find out which is the best soil moisture meter you should get for your plants.
Table of Contents
Best Moisture Meter for Plants
When to Use a Plant Moisture Meter
So why would a plant moisture meter help you care for your plants properly? The thing is, some plants really suffer from overwatering. A way of gauging the dampness of the soil accurately just takes the guesswork away.
A moisture meter is like a soil probe for indoor plants that can measure the liquid levels in the pot. That means you can give plants more water only when they need it. No more soggy soil or yucky root rot whatsoever!
If you don’t think your plants are looking their best, then getting hold of the best moisture meter for plants could make all the difference. Prevention is also better than cure. Why guess when to water your precious plants when you could be certain that’s what they need?
Can You Use the Moisture Meter on Any Plant?
Yes! A plant moisture meter can be used on any kind of plant and soil. It only measures the amount of moisture in the soil, and doesn’t harm the plant in any way.
Essentially, I tend to use the moisture meter on plants that are harder to care for and those that need more water than others. Plants that don’t need much water, like cacti and succulents, don’t really need to have their water levels monitored.
A moisture meter is especially useful for plants like Ficus Tineke, which can be prone to root rot when watered too often.
How to Use a Soil Moisture Meter
Using plant water meter is so simple anyone can do it. Simply place the metallic probe into the soil where your plant is growing in, and pull it out when you have a reading. It usually takes a minute or two for a soil moisture meter to get a reading.
After you pull out the probe, remember to wipe off the moisture with a serviette or paper towel to make sure your next reading is accurate. It’s super easy to keep a plant water meter clean. I place my soil moisture meter on my living room plant shelves together with my watering can and spray can.
How to Choose the Best Moisture Meter for Your Plants
This was the first thing I thought about when buying the best plant water meter I could lay my mitts on. Are all moisture meters the same?
Essentially every device like this will indicate the soil’s level of dampness. The main difference is in how this is displayed. Some meters have a simple ‘swingometer’ with a spectrum that runs from dry through moist to wet.
Other meters may have a digital display that gives an accurate reading. This may also indicate the soil temperature and pH. Some even tell you about the humidity level and how much sunlight your plant is getting!
Here are some factors to look out for when you’re choosing between the top house plant moisture meters.
What to Look For in the Best Soil Moisture Meter
Analog or digital
So as mentioned above you can pick between a simple analog display or go for a digital one. An electronic one is more sophisticated. This type can measure other factors like ph, humidity, temperature and sunlight levels, and is ideal for indoor gardening.
An analog one is more straightforward, and may be all you need. This uncomplicated type might be best if you ever want to use it outdoors. It’s less likely to be affected by the elements, which could cause glitches with a digital display.
An electronic display is going to require battery power to work. Purchasing an analog one normally means no batteries are needed. A digital display is easier to read though.
Temperature, pH, humidity, light & more
For those fussier plants, it may be worth paying extra for a more sophisticated meter. Some gadgets can also tell you about the temperature and pH of the soil. They might also measure the sunlight and humidity levels.
Again this takes the guesswork out of houseplant care. So it can be well worth forking out a few extra dollars for! One option I’ve listed can even tell you the total dissolved solids and how much electrical conductivity is present – ideal for science fans and gadget devotees.
The length of the probe you need will depend on the size of your plants and pots. Don’t forget that they may become a lot bigger as they grow! It’s easy to measure from the top level of soil down to where the roots will be to see how long a probe you’ll need. The best moisture meter for plants is usually just a few inches long.
5 of the Best Moisture Meters for Plants
The Quick List
Here’s a quick-reference list of the top five moisture meters for plants. Click the link below to see the Amazon listing for each product. Or keep reading to find out more about each option
1. Lawnful 4-Way Moisture Meter
- Price: US $36.99
- Type: Digital
- Other measures: Temperature, electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids
If you’re the sort who thinks why have one soil probe when you could have three, then you’ll love this Lawnful moisture meter. For those who enjoy scientific measuring and experimentation, this one can tell you the electrical conductivity and total dissolved solids of the soil. Plus the temperature.
The batteries required are supplied and the display screen is quick and easy to read. A one year warranty is also provided for your peace of mind.
You don’t need to calibrate this – just pop into the soil and take your reading. Then you’ll know whether or not your plant needs more moisture. You can also see if the temperature’s right and how feeding affects the total dissolved solids level in the soil.
- Ideal for science fans
- Measures temperature
- No calibration required & easy to read
- Indicates total dissolved solids & electrical conductivity
Not so wild:
- Higher price range
- May be more info than you need
2. Xlux Long Probe Moisture Meter
- Price: US $14.99
- Type: Analog
- Other measures: None
If you’re looking for a no-frills, cheap, and simple soil ph meter, then the Xlux probe could be just what you need. I’ve had the Xlux probe for more than 1 year now and it works on all my plants.
The Xlux probe is a simple analog moisture meter, and is ideal if you want a no-fuss way to check soil dampness. It’s 15 inches (40 centimeters) long, but there is a shorter 10 inches (26 cm) version too. Moisture levels are measured on a scale of 1 to 10. A reading of 1 to 3 is dry, while between 4 and 7 is moist. The soil’s wet if the display shows 8, 9 or 10.
This is an ideal option if you have big plants so you need a longer probe.
- 40 or 26 cm lengths
- No batteries needed
- Result shown immediately
- Simple readings range from 1 to 10
Not so wild:
- Reads moisture level only
- Analog display not as precise as digital
3. Classy Casita 3-in-1 moisture meter
- Price: US $15.99
- Type: Analog
- Other measures: Soil pH & sunlight
Want something a little more sophisticated? This one from Classy Casita is a 3-in-1 model so you can also test sunlight levels and soil pH. Once you’ve bought it you can also access a helpful plant care eBook.
An 18-month warranty also comes with this, so you get a year-and-a-half of stress-free plant care. It’s good for outdoor use as well as indoors.
This soil probe gets great scores for being lightweight, accurate and simple to use. It’s also great value for money. The simple white design looks cool with any interior color scheme too!
- Includes eBook
- 18 month warranty
- No batteries required
- Displays pH & sunlight level
Not so wild:
- Not suited to use in very dry soil
- 2 probes increase risk of root damage
4. HSLGOVE digital moisture meter
- Price: US $22.99
- Type: Digital
- Other measures: Temperature, soil pH & sunlight
The HSLGLOVE has the highest quality on this list of best moisture meters for plants. I love the awesome display on this digital moisture meter; it’s more accurate the other analog options. It not only tells the water level, but also sunlight and temperature, all at the same time. You can also check out the soil pH if you want to gauge acidity or alkalinity.
A battery comes with it and the LCD display will automatically shut down after a few minutes, saving power. There’s a 24-month warranty supplied by HSLGOVE. I also use the HSLGLOVE at home, and have only needed to change batteries once in the past year.
Once you have this bit of useful kit you’ll know if your plants are getting enough sunlight and water. You can also check if the temperature and soil pH are right.
- Battery supplied
- 24 month warranty
- Crystal clear display
- Gauges temperature, pH & light level
Not so wild:
- Batteries required
- More expensive than analog options
5. Plant moisture meter 2-pack
- Price: US $12.99
- Type: Analog
- Other measures: None
If you’d like a simple way to measure moisture for more than one plant, this two pack of moisture meters offers incredible value! It even comes with three bonus plant care tools included.
Once you insert the probe into the soil you can get a reading almost immediately. The little tools are super cute, and include two types of trowel plus a rake. This makes it a very thoughtful gift idea for any plant lover!
Some people have plants in two parts of the house, or keep some on a balcony or in a greenhouse. If that’s the case for you, a two-pack can be a time-saver. It means you can keep one meter in each location.
- Incredible value
- 2 for the price of 1
- No need for batteries
- Small gardening tools included
Not so wild:
- Functional looks
- No other measures shown
Best Moisture Meter for Plants FAQs
What is the most accurate moisture meter for plants?
A digital moisture meter is the most accurate kind of moisture meter. This type may also tell you about other factors like the soil temperature, pH and levels of sunlight. Some will even display the total dissolved solids and electrical conductivity of the soil.
Are moisture meters for plants accurate?
A good quality moisture meter should be accurate and you can rely on one to help you judge the moisture level of the soil. It’s a far better guide to whether your plant needs more water than simply looking at it or feeling the top level of soil with your finger. This is because it reaches down to the roots.
What type of moisture meter is most accurate?
A digital moisture meter will give you the most clear answer. However this type is also more likely to be affected by external factors such as humidity and temperature. The likelihood of those aspects fluctuating increases outdoors or in an environment like a greenhouse.
If you want to know for sure when your house plants need more water, a moisture meter is the best way to be certain. Using one also means you don’t have to dig your finger into the grimy soil, so it can save time and mess.
Some moisture meters can also tell you whether or not your plant is getting enough sunlight. They may also tell you the soil temperature, pH or even the total dissolved solids in it and electrical conductivity.
Plant moisture meters are awesome and we wouldn’t be here without them! They help us to keep our house plants healthy and looking their very best. Check out more of my plant care guides:
- Best Humidifiers for Plants 2022 Guide
- Best Houseplant Books 2022 Guide
- Best Gifts for Houseplant Lovers
- 15 Pretty Pink Houseplants I Love
- 10 Best Houseplants for Beginners
- How to Hang Plants without Drilling
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links i.e. I will earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links, at no extra cost to you.