A TDS meter is a portable and extremely handy device that measures the number of TDS (total dissolved solids) contained in your drinking water.
TDS meters measure the TDS level by first measuring the electrical conductivity. Then they combine the total quantity of total dissolved solids and the conductivity to produce TDS readings of high accuracy.
The best TDS meters have a measuring range for quantifying pH levels and temperature along with the TDS reading function. They give you the necessary information to know the best water purification systems to handle the specific characteristics of your drinking water supply.
Best TSD Meters at a Glance
- Best Overall – Extech ExStik TDS Meter
- Water and Food Nitrate Tester – SOEKS EcoVisor
- EC/TDS and Temperature – HM Digital Combo Meter
- High Accuracy – Wiztech Digital 3 in 1 Meter
- Bestseller on Amazon – HoneForest TDS Meter
- Can Measure TDS in Aquarium – Vivosun TDS, PH Meter Combo
- Best for Indoor Plant Grow – Bluelab METCOM Combo Meter
- Most Affordable – DUMSAKER Digital Water Tester
- With Carrying Case – HM Digital TDS-3 Handheld Meter
- Best Wall Mount TDS Meter – Bluelab MONGUA Guardian Monitor
- 6 in 1 Tester Kit – Multi-Parameter Water Quality Tester
11 Best TDS Meters Reviews
Extech EC400 is designed to be sleek for enhanced portability, and it comes with several attractive features that you can fully utilize. This TDS meter can deliver TDS readings coupled with salinity and temperature in a few seconds. It’s also an EC meter.
One superb feature that makes this TDS meter a buyers’ favorite is its ability to record up to 15 of its latest readings. This means you can check up to 15 previous TDS readings on this meter.
This feature can come in handy, and it’s convenient because it saves you the hassle of getting a piece of paper to pen down TDS readings.
Also, this meter can display the various readings (for conductivity, dissolved salts, and water temperature) simultaneously. Again, this is a convenient feature because there’s no need to select the reading mode you want to be displayed. Instead, it will show each of them alongside your water testing for TDS.
It can operate in tap water with a temperature of 65°C, which is impressive considering it’s above the maximum temperature limit for several TDS meters. In addition, its rubber probe covering is very durable, and it protects the probe from damage.
This TDS meter is very versatile; aside from water, it can also test food, fruits, and objects. In the area of water testing, it can give you an instant calculation of the total dissolved solids in your water. This TDS meter can also calculate the pH level of your water.
Identifying the type of solids and the water pH will help you know the correct type of filter to buy for proper filtration and improvement of the pH level.
The touchscreen of this meter is very responsive. Just like Extech Ec400 Exstik, it delivers results within a few seconds. Unlike other meters, its probe is manufactured from a compact material, and it’s not fragile.
This meter has a simple design, making it a buyers’ favorite.
It has a superb measurement range. It can measure TDS with a concentration that’s above 999 ppm in your water supply. Within a few seconds, you’ll get an accurate reading.
Aside from having a temperature meter, it’s also an EC meter. This means it can calculate electrical conductivity with total dissolved solids. Electrical conductivity and temperature are two key elements in assessing your water’s chemistry and overall health.
Unlike other TDS meters that feature simplistic LED displays, the Wiztech pH meter comes with a green LCD display.
Another impressive thing about this meter is its speed and accuracy in measuring the quantity of dissolved solids.
This design is key to the meter’s accuracy and speed in measuring dissolved substances.
It’s also very portable thanks to its sleek build, and it features a tapering handle which makes it easy to carry. In addition, its controls are user-friendly. This makes it easy to select your preferred reading mode and unit of measurement (Celsius or Fahrenheit).
The HoneForest TDS meter can function as a water quality tester, a TDS meter, a conductivity meter, and a temperature meter. It can automatically adjust to the water temperature while testing to give you high-precision readings.
It comes pre-calibrated from the factory, and it’s recommended for testing your drinking water, reverse osmosis water filters, hydroponic systems, TDS in aquariums, swimming pools, and so on.
This meter has a backlit LCD display and the lighting alternates per reading. For instance, the light will be green if your TDS levels are less than 40 ppm. Anything greater than that, and the light will be red. This device also comes with an auto-lock for stabilizing your testing.
Vivosun meter is straightforward to use. The LCD display is equipped with a green backlit feature. This means if it’s bright outside, you can switch off the backlit display for easier reading of the screen.
This is largely used for agricultural purposes, and it measures the temperature, pH, and conductivity of a solution. It doesn’t require calibration for measuring temperature and conductivity, just pH. It comes with indicators to let you know if the device has been successfully calibrated and if the parameters are above or below range.
This digital quality water tester is used for hydroponic systems, swimming pools, drinking water tests, etc. This shows its versatility. It was designed to be easy to use, even for a first-time user. It helps households to monitor their drinking water and notify them if it’s suitable for consumption or not. It’s a hydroponics meter
9. HM Digital
This TDS meter is very affordable and convenient for a water quality tester. By clicking a single button, you can find out the level of your drinking water purity (in ppm). The lesser the TDS concentration, the purer the water. It has industrial and commercial applications.
10. Bluelab MONGUA
This TDS meter is designed to use indoors. You can install it on a wall mount or support bar. This TDS meter doesn’t require calibration for measuring temperature or conductivity, just pH. Plant growers mostly use it.
This is probably the most complete TDS meter on the list. It can test for six parameters and has a very wide range of applications shows that it’s a high-quality TDS meter. A few of its applications include antifreeze recycling, chemical industry, boiler, lab usage, garden husbandry, etc.
For buyers who are conscious of their budget, go for HoneForest TDS Meter, Vivosun TDS Meter, DUMSAKER Water Tester, and HM Digital Handheld Meter.
In terms of versatility, the 6-in-1 Waterproof Pocket Size Multi-Parameter Water Quality Tester has more range of applications and parameters than every other TDS meter on the list.
If you’re a fan of lightweight devices, the best TDS meter for you is HM Digital TD3-Handheld Meter, HoneForest TDS Meter, and the Vivosun TDS Meter.
The best TDS meter in terms of temperature range is the HM Digital TDS-3 Handheld Meter and Vivosun TDS Meter. The 6-in-1 Waterproof Pocket Size Multi-Parameter Meter is only higher in the temperature range for pH measurement. Still, it can’t work in temperatures higher than 50°C for TDS and other parameters.
Q: How does a TDS meter work?
A: A quality TDS meter utilizes various readings to give a high-precision TDS reading of the dissolved salts within your drinking water supply. Before you can fully understand how TDS meters function, you should know the role of electrical conductivity in measuring TDS.
If the TDS meter detects a greater quantity of electrical conductivity, this means that the water has a greater concentration of elements, dissolved solids, and minerals.
Minerals can include water hardness particles and salt, which will elevate the strength of the electrical conductivity in the water supply. Consequently, this will raise the TDS level. This infers that the greater the amount of electrical conductivity calculated, the higher the concentration of TDS and related contaminants in the water supply.
Usually, most TDS meters combine the water’s electrical conductivity coupled with pH reading to arrive at a correct TDS reading. If the water’s pH is lesser than 7, the water is acidic. This means that water contains a higher TDS level than water with a pH level greater than 7.
Total dissolved solids are measurable in ppm, and a high ppm level means a high TDS level.
Q: How to test water with a TDS meter
A: Most TDS meters are usually shaped like a wand, and their bottom is equipped with a probe.
Probes are commonly made from microfilms wrapped in glass. These probes can easily draw out water particles, improving water quality in the process while measuring the TDS level.
The summary of the process is inserting these probes in the water to generate TDS readings. The process involves some steps that you should follow to get high-precision readings. It has to be calibrated before you carry out water testing with a TDS meter.
The best TDS meters are already calibrated at the factory, which is more convenient because the device can be used as soon as it comes out from the package.
For TDS meters that were not pre-calibrated from the factory, you can calibrate them with powders at precise temperatures. This will enable the device’s probe to calculate the TDS level irrespective of the pH level or water temperature.
After confirming that your TDS pen has been properly calibrated, you should ensure that it’s ready to measure TDS and give you accurate results. Because TDS meters come with various parameters, the digital water quality tester won’t work the same way for all of them.
Q: Can a TDS meter measure chlorine?
A: No. The TDS meter can only test for parameters such as TDS levels, temperature, pH, conductivity, etc. It can’t test for specific contaminants.
Q: How can I read a TDS meter?
A: Firstly, the unit for measuring TDS is ppm. Ensure your TDS meter is set to read TDS, not another parameter like salinity. Next, insert the probe into the water and look at the screen. The higher the ppm, the stronger the concentration of TDS and vice versa.
Q: Can a TDS meter measure water hardness?
A: Not exactly because there’s no measurement unit for water hardness. However, it indirectly measures water hardness because dissolved solids include minerals such as calcium that cause water hardness
Q: Is it safe to drink water with low TDS?
A: Definitely. The lower the TDS, the healthier your drinking water.