If you want to make sure you will consume healthy and fresh water at all times, then you need to know exactly what are the harmful contaminants that must be completely eliminated from it. The only way to figure out what contaminants are lurking in your water so that you know and take appropriate action when it comes to filtration and purification is by using a home water test kit that displays impurity levels accurately.
Top 14 Water Test Kits Compared
1. Taylor Technologies K-2006
Water quality testing and monitoring is as easy as it can get with the Taylor Technologies K-2006, a comprehensive kit that can be used either on drinking water or on the water in your pool or spa. One of its biggest highlights stands in the fact that it can distinguish between free chlorine and total chlorine due to the fact that it uses the FAS-DPD Titration method, a feat not many products can achieve. Thus, it provides a more thorough analysis of the water sample as opposed to most of its competitors.
As a matter of fact, it tests for 6 different stats, including total alkalinity, pH, free chlorine, combined chlorine, cyanuric acid, and calcium hardness. With the acquisition, you receive the kit in a convenient carry case for easy transportation and safe storage, a water guide booklet for quick comparisons, and a circular watergram that helps you recognize where adjustment is needed quick and easy. You also receive 0.75-ounce bottles where you collect the water sample to ensure accurate treatment doses.
- Water guide booklet and circular diagram included for quick and easy readings
- 0.75-ounce bottles included for accurate treatment doses
- Suitable for use on drinking water and pool/spa water
Testing and monitoring water quality and the efficiency of your filtration systems doesn’t get easier than with the Taylor Technologies K-2006. Usable on drinking water, as well as pool or spa water, it is a must-have if you suspect foul play with water purity and quality.
2. Culligan Essential Water Lab Test Kit
The Culligan kit is among our top recommendations as it tests for 11 different water purity factors that directly affect your health, more precisely lead, copper, iron, pesticides, free chlorine, nitrite, nitrate, hardness, pH, TDS, and bacteria. To check the amount of total dissolved solids, it provides a special tester that differs from the test strips included for the other water contaminants.
It is easy to use and tests to EPA standards, so you can rely on the readings it provides as guidance to pick the water purification method you intend to use and solve all issues related to water quality. Furthermore, instructions are provided for each type of test, and as long as you follow them closely, you won’t have trouble with the kit nor will the results provided be doubtful.
- Easy to use
- TDS meter included with the purchase
- Can even test the water for bacteria
An advanced and detailed home kit that provides results in a matter of minutes, the Essential is not only manufactured by Culligan, one of the most resounding names on the water filtration and quality market, but it tests for a total of 11 contaminants, exceeding industry standard.
3. Health Metric
A comprehensive kit that you won’t have trouble using, it provides results in regards to water quality issues in only 2 minutes. The only exception is the bacteria test that takes approximately 48 hours, but seeing how it checks for a harder to find water quality issue, this is understandable. It checks 9 different factors, including pH, nitrites, nitrates, total hardness, total chlorine, total alkalinity, copper, lead, and the aforementioned bacteria.
It is made in accordance to EPA limits, so the provided results can be trusted completely. Additionally, it helps save over 100$ that you would have spent on lab tests, and it is much more convenient to use as well.
- Results are provided in less than 2 minutes
- Provides a low-cost manner to figure out what contaminants you are dealing with
- It takes 48 hours for the bacteria test to provide results
In addition to checking for common contaminants that lurk in your drinking water, it also checks if you have bacteria related issues on your hands, thus being one of the more complete selections on the market.
4. On 4 Home 16-in-1
As the On 4 Home 16-in-1 tests for 16 different water quality issues, as the name cleverly suggests, it provides a truly thorough analysis of the water you use or consume. Seeing how the kit is small and can fit in your bag easily, you can even take it with you when travel or go to the pool to make sure the water you enter into contact with doesn’t put you in any danger. The 16 parameters it checks for include cyanuric acid, aluminum, monopersulfate, total alkalinity, carbonate root, bromine, total chlorine, residual chlorine, nitrite, nitrate, copper, iron, lead, fluoride, pH, and hardness.
Best of all, it takes only 60 seconds after you have dipped the strip in the water sample to show the water quality analysis results. Speaking of, 100 test strips are included with the acquisition, so you can use it plentiful times. another mention-worthy aspect is that it includes comprehensive instructions, so you won’t have a difficult time learning how to use it and how to read the provided results.
- Includes 100 test strips
- Test results are provided in only 60 seconds
- Compact kit – you can take it with you when you travel or go to the pool to check water cleanliness there as well
- Instructions are easy to comprehend
The obvious reason why the On 4 Home ranks so high and why we strongly recommend it is that it tests for 16 different water quality issues. Thus, it provides a thorough lab-like analysis of the water you use and consume to keep you aware of its cleanliness.
5. Safe Home Starter-20
A DIY kit that provides you with the possibility to learn what exactly lurks in your water and how safe it is to use and consume overall, the Safe Home Starter-20 is one of the best selections to go for as it not only comes at a reasonable price, but actually tests for 20 different contaminants. These contaminants include alkalinity, total chlorine, free chlorine, chloride, iron, lead, mercury, phosphate, sulfate, total coliform, TDS, zinc, pH, copper, hardness, pesticides, hexavalent chromium, nitrites, nitrates, and silver.
It takes just 3 simple steps to get the test done – collect the water sample in a clean receptacle, dip the test strip in the water, and wait a few seconds for the result to appear. A chart is provided to compare the color and see for what issues and how your water scores. Moreover, you can use it to test pool or spa water as well.
- Can be used to check pool or spa water quality as well
- 3-step process – easy to use
- Provides immediate results
As it tests for no less than 20 different water quality issues and comes at a very affordable price, the Safe Home Starter-20 is your go-to pick if you want a complex at-home analysis on the water you drink, use, and bathe with.
6. Test Assured cwa1000
Reasonably priced considering the fact that it provides you with 10 test factors, it is on of our top recommendations to those who seek to learn what water quality issues they are confronted with. It is comprehensive to use, even coming with an instructions manual that details how you should use it.
As it is calibrated to EPA standards, you can trustfully rely on the results it provides, knowing that they are as accurate as possible. Furthermore, it can be used to check water quality regardless of its source, so there are no limitations with it at all.
As aforementioned, it checks for 10 different water quality issues, more precisely alkalinity, pH, nitrites, nitrates, pesticides, lead, bacteria, hardness, iron, and copper. It checks alkalinity to ensures you won’t have gastrointestinal issues as a result of drinking unhealthy water, pH to ensure that levels aren’t too high, potentially affecting plumbing if they are, nitrites and nitrates as they cause developmental issues in children, pesticides as they produce organ damage and increase the risk of cancer, lead as it causes a wide array of issues, including gastrointestinal and reproductive damage, bacteria as depending on their type, they can even lead to death, hardness and iron which alter the water’s taste greatly, and copper that presents a danger due to the fact that it can lead to liver and kidney diseases.
Ease of Use
To check what type of contaminants lurk in the water you drink and use, you have to thoroughly rinse the vial and fill it with a small sample of the water you want to test, take a strip and dip it for 1 second in the vial, and wait for approximately 10 seconds for it to change its color. When coloration does appear on the strip, simply compare it to the provided color chart to see what are the quality issues your water is faced with.
Mention Worthy Details
- As it is calibrated to EPA standards, you can completely trust the results it provides.
- Can be used on tap water, well water, city water, groundwater, and spring water sources.
- Comes with an instructions manual in which you receive detailed explanations regarding how to utilize it.
- Is made in the U.S.A., so no faulty overseas equipment is used during the manufacturing process.
As with most products in this niche, there isn’t an actual warranty provided for it, but rather a satisfaction guarantee. Thus, in case you feel like the provided results are unsatisfactory or incorrect, you can return it within the first 30 days since acquiring it, and you will receive a full refund from the manufacturing company. Best of all, you won’t be hassled if you do take this decision as there are no questions asked regarding why you didn’t like it.
- Reasonably priced
- You can quickly and accurately check your drinking water quality
- You can check for iron, copper, alkalinity, lead, bacteria, pesticide, pH, hardness, chlorine, nitrates and nitrites
- Fast results
It checks for 10 different contaminants, so you are ensured to figure out any worrying issue regarding the quality of the water you consume by using it. It is free of any toxic content and up to EPA regulations, so it is undoubtedly a reliable product to go for. In addition, it comes at a fair price that makes us recommend it strongly as you are not asked to spend an exorbitant amount of money on it.
7. First Alert WT1
Another product that you can use to test 10 different water quality factors, the WT1 is our definite top recommendation to those who are on a limited budget as it comes at a staggeringly low price. With it, you won’t have to wait for days to figure out what are the quality issues with your tap or well water, as you will be provided with answers in a matter of minutes. Intuitive to use and free of any toxic content that might intermingle with the results, it is the test we urge you give a chance as you won’t regret using it.
As we have previously mentioned, it includes 10 different factors that you can check for. The water quality issues that you can verify with its helps include levels of nitrates, nitrites, water hardness, pH, alkalinity, copper, chlorine, iron, lead, bacteria, and pesticides. As you acknowledge the existing issues with the water you consume, you can make an informed purchase when it comes to the filtration system to make sure your money won’t be spent uselessly.
Ease of Use
It just doesn’t get any easier than with the WT1 when it comes to using it as all you have to do is fill the included recipient with a water sample, dip a strip inside of it, and let it sit there for about 10 minutes. As this time span passes, the strip will change its color, and you have to compare the color on it with the ones shown in the included instructions manual. This way, you will be provided with answers regarding the contamination level you are checking for.
Mention Worthy Details
- Tests to EPA standards – trustworthy results are provided.
- Checks water hardness – perfect for use on well water.
- Takes approximately 10 minutes for it to provide the results you are waiting for.
Although you can basically use it on water regardless of its source, whether it is pool water, tap water, and so on, it does an unparalleled job when it comes to checking well water quality. Generally, well water contains impurities that don’t lurk in other water sources, impurities that make testing it a lot more difficult. However, this isn’t the case with the WT1, a product that you can use to check the pH, nitrites, nitrates, and other 7 factors even when it comes to water that you get from the well.
- No laboratory testing necessary
- Very easy and safe to use
- Accurate results
- Does not check for water hardness
- Poor customer service
What makes us recommend it is the fact that it checks for 10 different common water-related issues, ensuring that you will be updated with the current situation of your drinking water quality. Seeing how filtration systems are quite expensive purchases, you must use it on your water before taking a final decision to avoid installing a filter that cannot handle fixing the issues at hand.
8. PurTest TST-HWAK
Due to the fact that it checks for no less than 11 different contaminants, we had to pick the PurTest TST-HWAK as the best product of this kind on the market. The important contaminants that it checks are chlorine, bacteria, lead, pesticides, iron, pH, hardness, copper, alkalinity, chlorine, and nitrites/nitrates.
This lab certified product delivers fast and accurate results in your home, sparing you of taking trips or paying additional fees. Best of all, it is highly comprehensive, so you won’t have a hard time understanding and using it.
- Fast results when testing the quality of the water
- Lab certified product
- Accurate and reliable performance
Regardless of what type of contaminants you are dealing with, the TST-HWAK will be able to track them, allowing you to know with certainty what type of filtration system you have to install. Free of any toxic content, this is the product you have to use if you do not want to take any risks when it comes to your health and well-being. Additionally, it comes at a rather decent price considering what it offers.
9. JNW Direct 10 in 1
Of course, the JNW Direct is up to EPA standards, so there is no need to doubt the accuracy of the validity of the results it provides. It checks for no less than 10 different contaminants and potential issues with water quality, including pH, iron, copper, fluoride total alkalinity, total hardness, free chlorine, nitrites, nitrates, and lead. Furthermore, there is a total of 125 strips put at your disposal.
This means that you will be able to perform numerous checkups as time passes before you need to purchase another kit. An aspect which might surprise you is that it is backed by a lifetime warranty. Thus, if you doubt its accuracy, you will receive a replacement at any point.
- Includes 125 strips
- Manufacturer offers a lifetime guarantee for it
- Provides results in a matter of minutes
After a single dip of the strip, you will find out in a matter of seconds what is the contaminant or contaminants that are lowering the purity and quality of the water you consume. What further enchants about the JNW Direct is that it comes at an affordable price, and comes with 150 strips which provide you with the possibility of performing numerous checkups.
10. Watersafe WS425W
This is another excellent option that will provide you wonderful results. It is very fast, accurate, and extremely easy to use as well. With it, you can check for potentially harmful bacteria and also for the presence of toxins from pesticides or fertilizers. Furthermore, you can also detect dangerous levels of nitrates/nitrites.
Up to 10 contaminants can be detected, including copper, iron, and lead. All in all, you will obtain very accurate results, so that you can know exactly what to do in order to consume very healthy water at all times.
- Identifies unsafe levels of chlorine
- Fast and accurate
- Checks for potentially harmful bacteria
- Detects dangerous levels of nitrates/nitrites
- Does not check for alkalinity, iron, and copper
- Some customers had trouble reading certain results
As the WS425W is up to EPA standards, it should not come as a surprise that we trust and recommend this product as well. Checking for 9 different types of contaminants, it keeps you updated with the quality and purity of the water you consume each day to stay hydrated. It is a fast testing solution and a highly accurate one as well, so there are no downsides to it.
11. Baldwin Meadows 10 in 1
As it comes with no less than 100 strips, you can use it to find out what the quality of the water you drink or swim in is for a long time. Best of all, the asking price for it is quite reasonable, so you won’t have to make a huge upfront investment. In a matter of seconds, you will find out the answers to all of your questions related to water quality, the kit checking for 10 different factors which include total alkalinity, total hardness, pH, nitrites, nitrates, fluoride, chlorine, copper, lead, and iron.
- Easy, intuitive use ensured with it
- 100 strips are included, so you will enjoy a long run with it
- Provides with results in only a few seconds
Easy to use and rather cheap, you will benefit greatly from using it as it provides you with a total of 9 different readings regarding water quality. Thus, you will not only kno0w what type of action you must take to clean the water, but you will be better aware of what type of filtration system is actually needed.
12. HealthSnap 10-in-1
It’s in your best interest to check water quality often so that you know whether you are hydrating with clean water or not, and the 100 strips that come with it ensure you will be able to test the water plenty of times. It checks for 10 different factors, including pH, iron, copper, total hardness, total alkalinity, chlorine, fluoride, lead, nitrites, and nitrates.
What you will like the most is the fact that you have to wait for only half a minute until the result is shown. Furthermore, there is a 90-day money back guarantee in check, so if you are displeased with it for any reason, you can return it and receive a full refund.
- Comes with 100 strips
- Results are displayed after approximately 30 seconds
- 90-day refund if you are not pleased with it
It comes with 100 strips, thus providing you with multiple occasions to find out what contaminants lurk in your drinking water, and checks for 10 different factors. Combined with its reasonable asking price, it makes for quite a smart pick budget-wise.
13. iSpring 3-Button Digital TDS
The amount of total dissolved solids in the water you drink is a good indicator of its quality – the fewer dissolved solids, the better for your health. The iSpring is able to almost instantly indicate the amount of total dissolved solids, which obviously makes it great for home use if you are a health-conscious person. Its testing range is from 0 to 9990 ppm TDS, so regardless of how high the water issue is, it will show all the existing problems.
It automatically shuts off after 10 minutes of inactivity, so there is no need to worry about useless battery power usage. Furthermore, it can be used to check the temperature of the liquid, its capability ranging from 31 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Automatically shuts off after 10 minutes of not being used to save battery life
- Can display water temperature ranging from 31 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit with a great accuracy of +/- 1 degree Fahrenheit
- Comprehensive 3-button operation ensures a hassle-free use
- Does not test water pH and cannot indicate the presence of dangerous impurities of a bacterial nature
- Some customers reported that repeated readings were not identical
Cheap, easy to use, accurate, and doubling as a temperature reader, the iSpring is a TDS model that you will have a great time using. It might not deliver you info regarding the pH of the water you intend to drink or use, but when it comes to showing the amount of total dissolved solids, it is hard to find a better product than this one.
14. Mosser Lee LT5010-6 H2O Ok
The H2O Ok is perfect to use by those who want to check for common contaminants that lurk in tap water, like nitrites, nitrates, total chlorine, total alkalinity, total calcium hardness, iron, iron bacteria, hydrogen sulfide, copper, and pH. Not only does it come at a fairly affordable price, but it can be used to check well water and stream water as well, which makes it quite versatile.
To use it, all you have to do is to fill the plastic tube with water and dip the strip that checks for the contaminant that interests you in it. Shake the strip and compare it to the included chart, and you will find the answer that you are looking for.
- Illustrated instructions make it easy to use
- It comes with a tube that you fill with the water sample
- Two strips for each condition are included in it
- It comes at an affordable price
Although it ranks lower, it is highly effective as it checks for 10 different water-related issues. Besides, it comes at an affordable price and it is very easy to use, providing you with the results you are eagerly waiting for in a matter of minutes. As all products that we have reviewed, it is free of toxic content and up to industry standards, meaning that you can safely rely on it.
Why You Should Check the Drinking Water
Although it is known as drinking water, the water running from our taps is far from being safe for drinking because of the sterilizing substances the municipality uses. Moreover, many residues get into the water before it reaches the pipes in your house, this being the reason why it is essential to verify its contents.
From chlorine that alters the water’s taste and odor to dangerous heavy metals like lead and mercury to harmful pesticides and bacteria, the water that you use on a daily basis is contaminated with impurities that can trigger severe health problems. Test kits are a simple and affordable way to check the water’s quality at home every time you want to be certain that you are using pure and safe water.
Furthermore, without checking the water, you won’t know exactly what contaminants you have to get rid of either. In case you plan on investing in a water filtration system, it is crucial to know what are the impurities that you want it to eliminate from the water, this way making sure that your money will be spent on a model that is actually going to do a great job.
How It Works
They are designed to allow you, as a user, to test the quality of the water that comes out of your tap and that you use to drink, cook, and bathe with so that you figure out what type of contaminants you are confronted with, being able to more easily remove them with the help of an appropriate water filtration system.
When it comes to how they work, it is all pretty easy to understand. What you generally have to do is to drop a solution in the water, or put the water in a special capsule. The water will then change colors according to the types of contaminants that lurk in it. To determine exactly what are the contaminants that are found in the water, you will use the kit to compare colors.
They check for a variety of conditions, so it is essential for you to pay attention when making the purchase, ensuring that you will invest in a model that checks for as many contaminants as possible. All in all, they are not only easy to use and effective but essential to your health and well-being, so you cannot afford to skip on buying them.
Rating Our Picks
|Rating Criteria||Explanation||Product to Receive the Best Score|
|Provided test factors amount||For it to be able to give you as many different essential information regarding the quality of the water sample, it must test for as many factors as possible. Thus, the higher the amount the better as it shows a higher reliability when it comes to discovering what are the issues with the sample you have collected.||Safe Home Starter-20|
|Bacteria check||One of the more uncommon test factors is checking for the presence of bacteria. Regardless of the water you are testing, whether it is the one in the pool you swim in or the one that comes out of the tap and you end up drinking, it is quintessential to know if it is contaminated with bacteria and other health-threatening microorganisms.||Test Assured cwa1000, First Alert WT1, PurTest TST-HWAK, Watersafe WS425W, Mosser Lee LT5010-6 H2O Ok, Health Metric|
|Ease of use||A comprehensive use is preferable as you wouldn’t want to end up with an overly complicated product on your hands. For digital testers, a simplistic design is preferable for them to remain user-friendly, while for classic models, it is ideal for them to come with clear instructions regarding use.||Test Assured cwa1000, First Alert WT1, PurTest TST-HWAK, Watersafe WS425W, Baldwin Meadows 10 in 1, JNW Direct 10 in 1, iSpring 3-Button Digital TDS, Mosser Lee LT5010-6 H2O Ok, Health Metric, HealthSnap 10-in-1|
|Result waiting time||The amount of time it takes for the results to be provided is just as important as it shows how much time you have to wait before you are provided with clear answers regarding the quality of the water sample you tested. Obviously, it is ideal for it to take as little time as possible to provide with the results you have been waiting for.||Test Assured cwa1000, Baldwin Meadows 10 in 1, JNW Direct 10 in 1, HealthSnap 10-in-1|
Is it better to take the water sample to a professional lab?
Regardless of the method you go with, the outcome is the same – you will find out what contaminants lurk in your drinking water and you will learn other interesting facts about its quality. However, checking the water’s quality at home is the better choice to go with as you receive the result on the spot. If you take a water sample to a lab, you have to wait for days, even weeks for the results to come.
Does an unbalanced water pH affect my health?
By drinking water with an unbalanced pH level, you actually cause a shift in the pH level of your body. If the pH level is too low, your body becomes too acidic, and when the pH level is too high, your body becomes too alkaline.
What are the common water contaminants they check for?
Generally, the tests check for contaminants like lead, chlorine, copper, iron, pesticides, herbicides, nitrates, and bacteria. Another common trait is the fact that they check alkalinity and pH levels. However, this is not set in stone as these products differ from each other. Check their spec sheets to find out exactly how they can aid you.
As it is capable to check for 11 different types of drinking water contaminants, it comes as no surprise that the PurTest TST-HWAK is among our top picks. It provides the results you expect in a matter of minutes, and its accuracy is incomparable, so you will not only get the chance to be 100% aware of what harmful particles roam in the water you use and consume but what type of filtration system you are in need of as well.
Almost as effective as the aforementioned kit was is the First Alert WT1. It checks for 10 distinct contaminants, including nitrates and nitrites, and it actually checks to EPA standards, so there is no point in questioning its accuracy and quality.
However, if a budget-smart option is what you are inclined to opt for, we recommend the Moser Lee LT5010-6 H2O Ok as it checks for 10 different water impurities, provides fast results, and is up to safety regulations, all while maintaining a cheap asking price.