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

  1. Best OverallExtech ExStik TDS Meter
  2. Water and Food Nitrate Tester – SOEKS EcoVisor
  3. EC/TDS and Temperature HM Digital Combo Meter
  4. High AccuracyWiztech Digital 3 in 1 Meter
  5. Bestseller on AmazonHoneForest TDS Meter
  6. Can Measure TDS in AquariumVivosun TDS, PH Meter Combo
  7. Best for Indoor Plant GrowBluelab METCOM Combo Meter
  8. Most AffordableDUMSAKER Digital Water Tester
  9. With Carrying CaseHM Digital TDS-3 Handheld Meter
  10. Best Wall Mount TDS MeterBluelab MONGUA Guardian Monitor
  11. 6 in 1 Tester KitMulti-Parameter Water Quality Tester

Review Summary

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.

11 Best TDS Meters Reviews

1. Extech Conductivity, TDS, Salinity, and Temperature Meter

Extech EC400 ExStik

  • It comes with two pairs of lithium metal batteries

  • Waterproof

  • Tests for TDS, EC, salinity, and temperature

  • Automatic temperature compensation

  • Can recall 15 of its most recent readings

  • Automatically calibrates on its own

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.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Very portable; it just weighs about 119 grams.
  • Automatic calibration once powered on.
  • It comes with a neck strap, which can be connected to the TDS meter for easy accessibility when multitasking.
  • It’s affordable, less than half the SOEKS EcoVisor price.
Cons
  • It requires calibration fluid which is not a part of the package.
  • More expensive than HM Digital COM-100.

2. SOEKS EcoVisor F4

SOEKS EcoVisor

  • Touchscreen (backlit LCD screen)

  • It comes with a proprietary probe equipped with multiple points and temperature compensation.

  • Two pairs of AAA rechargeable batteries

  • 1 USB charger

  • 1 USB or Micro-USB charging cords

  • Weighs 142 grams

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.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • It has a bright screen, making it easy to select the detection mode you prefer.
  • It comes with a durable probe, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking or bending when you’re testing drinking water.
  • It’s also a pH meter to measure your water’s pH level providing you with valuable information.
Cons
  • More expensive than most of the meters on the list
  • Accuracy margin: 15%

3. HM Digital Waterproof Temp/EC/TDS Meter Combo

HM Digital Combo Meter

  • Made from plastic

  • Can measure electrical conductivity, temperature, and total dissolved solids

  • Comes with three various nonlinear conductivity to TDS conversion factors (NaCI, KCI, and 442TM)

  • Measuring range: 08560 ppm; 09990 µS

  • This TDS meter measure in ppt, ppm, µS, and mS

  • Waterproof covering

  • A pair of AAA batteries

  • Weighs 173 gramsNew List Item

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.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • You can use this TDS meter to test your tap water and give you various readings (conductivity, temperature, TDS).
  • The LED screen is big and very readable, which can’t be said for many TDS meters.
  • Its probe has a hard plastic lining that will protect it from damage.
  • It’s more affordable than Extech EC400 Exstik and SEOKS EcoVisor F4.
Cons
  • It wasn’t pre-calibrated, so you will need to calibrate it before usage.

4. Wiztech Digital 3 in 1 Meter

Wiztech 3 in 1 PH / TDS / Temp Meter

  • Multi-purpose water tester (TDS, temperature, and pH)

  • Extremely sensitive glass probe

  • Green Backlit LCD display

  • Automatic temperature compensation (can detect the pH value of your water within the temperature range of 0°C - 60°C

  • Calibration involves 3 points (high, middle, and low)

  • pH range: 0-14

  • 1% accuracy margin

  • Dimensions: ‎9.3 x 3.3 x 2 inches

  • Weighs 181 grams

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).

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • The LCD display is not just aesthetic; it’s also effective, making its readings very easy to view.
  • The probe comes with a sleeve to serve as its covering.
  • The handle of this TDS meter is extremely comfortable.
  • More affordable than Wiztech digital pH meter, SEOKS EcoVisor F4, Extech EC400, and HM Digital meters.
Cons
  • If this is your first time using a TDS meter, the process of calibrating it may confuse you.

5. HoneForest TDS Meter

HoneForest Water Quality Tester

  • A TDS measurement range of 0-9990 ppm

  • A Temperature range of 0.1°C to 50°C

  • A Conductivity measurement range of 0-9990 µs/cm

  • Weighs 46 grams

  • Dimensions: 6.29 x 1.14 X 0.59 inches

  • Automatic temperature compensation

  • Auto-lock function

  • 2% accuracy margin

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.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • The device comes with a TDS chart to simplify its readings.
  • The device is already pre-calibrated.
  • Equipped with advanced microprocessor technology.
  • The auto-off function activates in a couple of minutes to save battery.
  • Available in a variety of colors; white and green.
  • Arguably the most affordable among the best TDS meters.
Cons
  • The green and red lights can be misleading.
  • The TDS meter may take too long to give readings or not function well at times.

6. Vivosun TDS and PH Meter Combo

VIVOSUN pH Meter

  • A measurement range of 0.00 to 14.00

  • 0.01 pH resolution / 0.05 pH accuracy

  • 3-point automatic calibration

  • A pair of 1.5V LR44 Button Battery

VIVOSUN TDS Meter

  • A conductivity range of 0 to 9990 µs/cm

  • A TDS range of 0-9990 ppm

  • Operating temperature range between 1°C and 80°C

  • 2% accuracy margin

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.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • This is the best TDS meter among the different TDS meters in terms of the temperature range (up to 80°C).
  • The LED display is well lit, which makes it easy to read.
  • Equipped with an auto-off function that activates after 9 minutes to save battery.
  • The green lighting on the screen can be switched on or off by choice.
  • Affordable.
Cons
  • Unable to test seawater.
  • The device is not pre-calibrated.

7. Bluelab METCOM Combo Meter

Bluelab METCOM Combo Meter

  • Easy-to-swap pH and EC probes

  • Dimensions: 6 x 3 x 1.5 inches

  • Weighs 150 grams

  • 2- point calibration

  • Accuracy margin: 0.1 pH resolution and 0.1 EC

  • A pair of AAA alkaline batteries

  • Auto-off function

  • Large display

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.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • You can use it to test drinking water, pools, growing tents, commercial filtration systems, and aquariums.
  • Replaceable double-point probe.
  • It has an auto-off function and an indicator for low battery.
  • Gives readings of high accuracy despite fluctuations in conductivity or temperature.
Cons
  • A probe care kit is not included in the package.
  • Very expensive .

8. DUMSAKER Digital Water Tester

DUMSAMKER 3-in-1 TDS Meter

  • A durable titanium alloy probe

  • 4 reading modes (TDS, EC, Celsius, and Fahrenheit for temperature)

  • Measures TDS in a range of 0-9990 ppm with an accuracy margin of 2%. The same applies to EC in its unit

  • Has a temperature range of 0°C - 50°C

  • Hold feature for locking readings

  • Auto shut off feature to save battery

  • Weighs 45 grams

  • One lithium metal battery

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.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • It’s very accurate.
  • It helps households stay healthy.
  • It’s very versatile; has wide applications.
  • Affordable.
Cons
  • Shut off feature is manual.
  • Just one battery.

9. HM Digital TDS Meter

HM Digital Meter With Carrying Case

  • In-built thermometer

  • Features a belt clip and carrying case

  • A pair of LR44 batteries (average battery life of 3 hours)

  • 6 x 1.5 x 1 inches

  • Extremely lightweight

  • A temperature range of 0°C-80°C

  • Range of dissolved solids from 0 - 9990 ppm

  • One ppm resolution and 3% accuracy margin

  • Weighs 19 mg

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.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Its hold feature helps you to record readings conveniently.
  • It comes with a carrying case and belt clip for easier carriage.
  • The LCD display is big and easily readable.
  • Very precise and efficient meter for drinking water.
  • Very affordable.
Cons
  • It doesn’t identify the dissolved solids in your water.
  • It’s not pre-calibrated.

10. Bluelab MONGUA Guardian Monitor

Digital Nutrient Meter for Hydroponic System and Indoor Plant

  • 2-point calibration for the pH and EC probe

  • Bright green LED display

  • 7.6 x 5 x 1.5 inches

  • Weighs 218 grams

  • Water-resistant

  • Automatic temperature compensation for high-precision readings

  • A pair of AAA alkaline batteries

  • Replaceable double-point probe

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.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Used by growers for testing nutrients in a solution.
  • Stable memory.
  • Probes are waterproof.
  • Very accurate readings.
Cons
  • It’s not budget-friendly.
  • The LED lighting of the meter’s screen eventually dies.

11. 6-in-1 Waterproof Pocket Size Multi-Parameter Water Quality Tester

pH / ORP / TDS / EC / Salinity /Temp Meter

  • It has a pH range of 0-16

  • Temperature range of 0°C-90°C for pH testing and 0°C-50°C for conductivity, salinity, and TDS

  • TDS range of 0-1300 ppm

  • Salinity range of 0-1000 ppm

  • EC range of 2-20mS

  • Auto-off function

  • Low battery indicator

  • IP57 housing

  • Automatic temperature compensation

  • Two pairs of 1.5V AAA batteries

  • Accuracy: 1% (for pH), 0.2°C (for temp), 2% (for ORP), and 2% for the rest

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.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • It’s the best TDS meter in terms of versatility. It can measure in the most numbers of parameters and has the widest range of applications.
  • Good value for your money.
Cons
  • Cases of inaccurate or fluctuating readings.
  • Relatively affordable.

FAQs

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.

About the Author

Diana Masson

Diana works as a saleswoman in a hardware store. She knows the smallest differences between the various water filter brands and knows exactly what her customers want. Diana is a mother of 3 children and has been a homeowner for 2 years. Her family can rely on having the purest drinking water because she had a water filter installed herself last summer. Which one? Ask her yourself :)

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