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The 10 Best Pool Testing Kits


Investing in a swimming pool at home is remarkably rewarding, but maintaining it comes with its own set of challenges.

If you want the water in your pool to stay clean and healthy, regular testing is imperative.

Luckily, with the best pool testing kits, this couldn’t be much easier. As long as you get the right kit, you can test the levels in your pool water in less than 30 minutes with the very minimum of effort.

Improper pool chemistry is what encourages algae to grow, and it also turns your hair green. Beyond this, the calcium build-up in a pool with unregulated water levels will ultimately and prematurely destroy your precious pool equipment.

There are several rogue elements that can throw your pool water levels out of kilter.

  • When chlorine levels are too low, algae flourishes along with other bacteria. If chlorine levels are too high, you’ll end up with irritated skin and eyes. A pool testing kit allows you to get these levels precise
  • If the pH levels are out of whack, you’ll find erosion to both your pool gear and the pool liner itself
  • Unbalanced total alkalinity levels impact the pH levels. This imbalance then affects calcium hardness levels, perpetuating a vicious cycle. Break this with a pool testing kit
  • Hard water will cause scaling leading to clogged pipes and filters

As you can see, the interconnected nature of pool water factors means that regular testing is a must. As a rule, you should test the pool water weekly.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the ideal ranges you should be looking for in your pool water:

  • Total alkalinity: 80 to 140 ppm
  • pH: 7.2 to 7.6
  • Chlorine: 1 to 3 ppm
  • Cyanuric acid: 25 to 50 ppm
  • Calcium hardness: 200 to 400

Now, what should you consider when you’re comparing pool testing kits, then?

Type of testing kit: You have three types of testing kit: digital, liquid, and strips. A liquid testing kit makes use of reagents. These come in liquid form in dropper bottles. You’ll need to extract a water sample from your pool, and then you drop in some of the reagent. These tests are quick and easy to perform. If used properly, these tests can be fairly accurate. Strip tests are super-simple to use, but they are sometimes imprecise. They can also become tainted, and they don’t work after the expiration date either. Since you dip these strips directly into your pool water, there’s no need to take any samples when testing. You then look for the colors on the strip and match these up with the instructions to determine levels. These tests are quick and easy to use, but they can become contaminated by moisture. A digital pool testing kit uses reagents just like a liquid testing kit, but the electronic device does all the hard work for you then displays the reading. While these testing kits are pricey and they need periodic recalibrating, they deliver the most precise results.

The 10 Best Pool Testing Kits

1. Our #1 Pick: Poolmaster Chemistry Case



  • 5-way kit
  • 96 pounds
  • 38 x 4.88 x 4.38 inches

Our overall favorite pool testing kit comes from Poolmaster in the form of this 5-way kit.

You’ll be able to test for the following:

  • Chlorine
  • Bromine
  • Acid demand
  • Total alkalinity
  • pH

Rather than needing to fuss around with separate testing kits for all of these components, get everything you need in one nifty and comprehensive kit. You’ll even get a polyethylene case thrown in so you don’t misplace anything.

Accuracy is uppermost with this kit. Rather than finding the color chips printed on the block, instead they are baked right into the block.

Testing your water is as simple as adding some to the container, popping in some drops of the solution provided, and swirling. To keep accuracy as it should be, the manufacturer recommends using fresh solution at the start of every swimming season.

The indicator panel is extremely easy to read, and you should have no problem following the instructions for this testing kit even if you’re a complete newcomer to swimming pools.

Although overall build is impressive and most users are remarkably happy with this kit, there are a handful of complaints about quality control, so we’d advise checking the contents of your package closely upon arrival.

Choose from a black or blue case to suit. In both cases, they contain absolutely everything you need to ensure the water in your pool is at the levels it should be in all the areas that count.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Tests for 5 different elements
  • Precise color scales
  • Handy polyethylene case
  • Some issues with quality control

2. Taylor Technologies Test Kit



  • For saltwater chlorine generators
  • 5oz
  • 4 x 4 x 1.1 inches

Taylor Technologies produces some cost-effective and precise pool-testing kits that give you the confidence of knowing your water levels are as recommended.

This kit is designed for use with saltwater chlorine generators. You can get accurate results within seconds using this nifty little drop test. By making certain the levels in your water are spot-on, you can prolong the lifespan of your pool as well as your pool equipment, and when kits come as cheap and easy to use as this one, there’s no excuse not to invest in one.

Making use of the argentometric method of testing, you’ll be able to monitor what’s left behind in your swimming pool by your chlorine generator.

The kit comes bundled in a hardwearing and waterproof case. You also get a chromate indicator and silver nitrate reagent in the box.

While most users seem pretty satisfied with the accuracy of this kit, we found a number of complaints about the build quality and design of the bottles. Overall, this is one of the best kits in this class at a reasonable price point.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Reasonably precise
  • Great value kit
  • Easy to use
  • Bottle design could be improved

3. LaMotte Test Kit



  • 7-way kit
  • 1 pounds
  • 1 x 1 x 1 inches

Next up in our collection of the best pool testing kits comes one of the most all-encompassing kits on the market.

You get 7-way testing here across the following metrics:

  • Total chlorine
  • Chlorine
  • pH
  • Alkalinity
  • Bromine
  • Cyanuric acrid
  • Calcium hardness

For all of these test factors with the exception of cyanuric acid, the reagents come in liquid form. For CA, you get tablets for testing the levels of the acid in your water.

This digital photometer testing kit is not only one of the most comprehensive solutions out there, but it’s also one of the most accurate, garnering consistently positive user reviews from pool enthusiasts the world over.

The photometer measures the intensity of light, and this is used in tandem with the regents to give you a precise lowdown on your pool levels so you can confidently maintain optimum pool health the easy way.

This is one of the costlier kits you’ll find, but then you’re paying for the tech required to deliver such accuracy. Thinking of precision, a handful of customers called into question the accuracy of the results for calcium hardness and total alkalinity. You should do your own due diligence if these levels are critical for you.

Overall, you’re getting one of the best pool testing kits out there, even if you do need to dig deep for the privilege.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Robust 7-way testing
  • Uses mainly liquid reagents
  • Photometer for total accuracy
  • TA and CH testing less reliable

4. AquaChek Pool and Spa Test Strips



  • 7-way kit
  • 375 pounds
  • 5 x 2.5 x 9.75 inches

First up is a pool testing kit from specialist AquaChek that’s well worth a place on your shortlist.

This is one of the most comprehensive sets you’ll find, including the following 7 tests:

  • Total chlorine
  • Free chlorine
  • pH
  • Alkalinity
  • Bromine
  • Cyanuric acrid
  • Total hardness

With these metrics accounted for, you can keep your eye on all aspects of pool chemistry the easy way here.

The manufacturer claims that these strips deliver similar accuracy to liquid testing kits. Unlike using liquids, though, you won’t need to mess around with chemical reagents, and you’ll have more room for error.

Using this pool testing kit really couldn’t be much easier. Rather than dealing with drops, simply pop the strip into the pool water, wait for 15 seconds, and then compare the strip with the color chart provided.

The construction of the paper testing strips helps to keep colors bleeding into one another to a minimum. Medical-grade testing technology means you’ll get ample accuracy for a home swimming pool. Even better, you won’t need to spend a fortune to achieve this, and you won’t need any messy liquids either.

If you test your swimming pool water twice a week with this kit, you should have no issues with pool chemistry getting out of balance, and you’ll enjoy crisper, clearer water all season long.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Tests all vital parameters
  • Super-simple to use
  • Decades of brand heritage
  • Some quality control concerns

5. Pool Master Water Chemistry Case



  • 5-way kit
  • 1 pound
  • 75 x 7.5 x 4.25 inches

Next up is a 5-way swimming pool testing kit from Pool Master.

You can expect to test the following metrics using this set:

  • Chlorine
  • pH
  • Bromine
  • Acid demand
  • Alkalinity

The first thing to mention with this kit is that there are no instructions provided. For pool experts well-versed with monitoring pool chemistry, this might not be an issue, but you should look elsewhere if you have never used a testing kit before and you don’t fancy scouring the internet for instructions.

One main draw of this set is the carrying case included. This will help you to keep your pool supplies in one place rather than scattered all around the pool house.

If you notice that only one of the bottles is sealed, this is simply to comply with travel regulations. The other bottles do not need to be sealed.

We encountered a few gripes from consumers about the accuracy of this testing kit, so we would suggest you do your due diligence here.

While this kit is easy enough to use for experienced pool owners, it’s not the best bet for beginners due to the lack of instructions, and we would advise considering some of the other great pool testing kits on our shortlist.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Handy case included
  • Easy to use
  • Great value for money
  • No instructions provided

6. HTH Swimming Pool Chemical Tester



  • 6-way kit
  • 6 pounds
  • 63 x 7 x 4.25 inches

HTH serves up a comprehensive swimming pool testing kit that provides you with the ability to check these pool metrics:

  • Bromine
  • Chlorine
  • pH
  • Alkalinity
  • Calcium hardness
  • Cyanuric acid

One of the main selling points with this kit is the speed of results. Testing the pool water needn’t be tedious or time-consuming. All you need to do is dip the cells below the surface of the water – aim for 18 inches or so below the surface. Hold the appropriate bottle of solution vertically and dispense some solution as instructed. Shake the cells to mix and then compare with the supplied color standards to get an accurate read on your pool water chemistry.

If you have bought one of these kits in the past, be aware that the packaging has changed. The contents remain the same, though, so don’t panic.

If you test your pool water weekly, you’ll have enough solutions to check your pool water up to 100 times, ideal for the whole swimming season.

Unlike the kit outlined above, this one comes equipped with detailed instructions, making it a breeze to use even if you’re a first-timer to pool water testing.

As an added kicker, this brand has a deep bench of pool products to help you deal with everything from shocking your pool to removing algae.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Robust kit covering all main pool metrics
  • Get results in seconds
  • Enough chemicals for the whole season
  • Quality control concerns

7. AquaChek Test Kit



  • 7-way kit
  • 8oz
  • 11 x 2 x 7 inches

AquaChek make some pocket-friendly pool testing kits that are easy to use, even if they leave something to be desired when it comes to precision. The thing is, for many pool users, a reasonable overview of water levels is more than enough. If this sounds like you, and if you’re shopping on a tight budget, read on.

This is a beginner-friendly pool testing kit despite its comprehensiveness. There is a detailed booklet on pool care included, so you’ll be guided through everything you need to know when you’re looking to monitor the water levels in your pool.

With this kit, you’ll be able to test the following factors:

  • Total chlorine
  • Free chlorine
  • Total hardness
  • Total bromine
  • Cyanuric acid
  • Total alkalinity
  • pH

This makes the AquaChek one of the widest-ranging testing kits out there, allowing to remain fully apprised of all the markers that count.

You’ll get 50 test strips, with each of them capable of testing for all 7 agents.

Although you get the opportunity of testing a class-leading range of water factors, several users have complained about the accuracy of results.

For a pool testing kit that’s easy to use and gives you a decent overview of every salient pool water variable, this AquaChek kit is well worth popping on your shortlist.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 50 test strips
  • Tests for 7 agents
  • Easy one-dip testing
  • Questionable accuracy

8. AquaChek Swimming Pool Test Strips



  • Tests for salt
  • 8oz
  • 4 x 1 x 6 inches

Next up comes another entry from AquaChek with these test strips ideal for checking the salt levels in your pool water.

Not only is this bottle of strips cheap, but if you act quickly, it’s available at almost half price.

Each bottle comes with 10 testing strips. You can only test for salt (sodium chloride), so you’re getting a much more limited approach to testing the water levels in your pool.

You’ll be able to get accurate results in minutes flat, measuring salt levels from 400 to 7000 ppm (part per million). You need to do this to ensure that your salat generator can produce the right amount of chlorine so your water stays contaminant-free without irritating you or anyone else swimming in the pool.

For best results, the manufacturer recommends testing twice weekly.

This kit is priced reasonably and discounted aggressively, but with only 10 test strips in the bottle, you won’t get much more than a month’s use, so it’s not the greatest overall value. In the scheme of the expenses of running a swimming pool, though, this test kit is negligible.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 10 strips per bottle
  • Easy twice-weekly testing
  • No assembly needed
  • Not the best value kit

9. Taylor Technologies Test Kit



  • 3-way kit
  • 31 pounds
  • 5 x 6 x 4 inches

As we edge to the end of our pool testing kit reviews, we have another fine example from Taylor Technologies. This 3-way kit allows you to test for the following factors:

  • Total alkalinity
  • Acid base demand
  • Calcium hardness

This is an FAS-DPD testing kit that’s not only remarkably easy to use, but also reasonably accurate considering the very reasonable price point.

While you don’t get the scope of some of the 5-way and 7-way testing kits on the market, you can still target three of the most crucial variables with one handy testing kit. If you don’t want or need to assess the chlorine levels in your pool, this allows you to monitor the other key metrics to ensure optimum pool health year-round without needing to endlessly fuss over your pool.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Tests for 3 agents
  • Accurate readings
  • Simple to use
  • Not ideal for PH or TA

10. Pentair Chlorine Kit



  • 4-way kit
  • 05 pounds
  • 75 x 1.16 x 1.25 inches

Pentair is a swimming pool specialist, so it’s no surprise they serve up a precise testing kit with a robust blue case to keep everything in. How does it shape up, then?

Well, this is a 4-way kit offering you the following testing capability:

  • pH
  • Chlorine
  • Acid demand
  • Total alkalinity

You get a lucite test cell with wide standards making this a smart choice for residential swimming pools where you want to be sure the levels of the water are in check.

You should be shooting for a chlorine level that’s between 1 and 3 parts per million for best results and optimum pool health. When it comes to pH levels, you should be shooting for somewhere between 7.2 and 7.6.

The reagents come in half-ounce and ounce bottles.

Using this kit couldn’t be much easier if you’re a swimming pool novice. Unlike some kits, the instructions provided are clear, so you’re in safe hands when it comes to testing the levels of the water in your pool.

Although Pentair make some consistently strong pool products, we encountered a handful of complaints about unresponsive and unhelpful customer care. If you’re prepared to take a chance on this, you should be impressed with this comprehensive pool testing kit from a highly reputable brand.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Blue display box
  • Water test booklet
  • Impeccable brand heritage
  • Weak customer service


Well, we very much hope today’s brief guide to finding the best pool testing kit has simplified the process for you.

While testing the water levels in your pool may seem like a technical job, by investing in one of the user-friendly kits we review today, you’ll be able to monitor all the metrics that count without any expertise.

If you stick with any of the pool testing kits on our shortlist, you can see precisely what you’re getting for your money. If you encounter a kit we don’t review today, bear in mind the simple buying guidance we give you and you should have no snags finding the most suitable kit for your needs.

Be sure to bookmark Wild River Country before you go and come back soon!

5/5 - (6 votes)

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