Are you tired of using pH test strips that give you inaccurate results? Don’t worry, it’s not your fault. The most accurate pH test strips are hard to find.
Like me, you probably thought that they’re all the same. Perhaps you bought a case of alkaline water and became frustrated when you tested a sample and the pH came back acidic? This is a common occurrence, and the problem isn’t you; it’s the pH test strips.
In this article, I show you the most accurate pH test strips for drinking water, saliva, and urine. Once you have a set of accurate strips, you’ll know for sure that your tests are correct.
I also share alternative (better) ways to test pH and a few additional tips you may find useful down the line.
Feel free to jump to any section you like by clicking the links in the table of contents below or keep scrolling for the full article.
The Most Accurate pH Test Strips
The key to choosing the best pH test strips is to choose a brand that is ionic strength, especially if you’re testing the pH of bottled alkaline water or alkaline water in general.
Click here or the image below to check out the most accurate pH test strips for drinking water with a wide pH range:
Micro Essential Lab recommends these for testing water. They are their Hydrion Lo Ion (LI-5000) test strips.
The wide pH range of 1 to 11 also makes these strips great for general use.
Note: these are the most accurate pH test strips for testing alkaline water brands.
- The roll is 15-feet long
- Includes pH chart
- pH guide
- Carrying case
- Sample tube
- Serrated edge on the roll for tearing off 3″ test strips
- Measures pH between 1 and 11
- Consistent results
- Best strips for testing drinking water
The strips above also come in a narrower pH range. The Micro Essential Lab LI-5900 strips measure between 5 and 9.
Click here or the image below to check out the current price for LI-5900 strips on Amazon:
How to Test pH Level in Water
The directions for testing water using the strips above are as follows:
- Cut off a 3″ test strip using the serrated edge on the case (be careful to watch your fingers near the edge)
- Place the 3″ strip inside the included sample tube
- Fill the tube with your water, saliva, or urine sample (be careful not to overfill and spill)
- Put the cap on the tube and shake it
- Wait 1 minute
- Hold the tube against the black bar on the included pH test chart
- Match the color of the liquid inside the tube to the included pH color chart
- After you finish, rinse the tube with distilled water (if possible) and allow it to air dry before putting on the cap
Click here or the image below if you prefer pH test strips specifically designed for urine and saliva:
Note: The pH range of the roll above is 5.5 to 8.0, which is not wide enough to test most bottled alkaline water brands. Instead, stick with the first strips I mentioned above.
For those of you who prefer pre-cut strips, Micro Essential Lab also offers a vial of 100 Hydrion strips. However, these strips aren’t as accurate as the LI-5000 and LI-5900 test strips above.
Click here or the image below to see the current price for a vial of pre-cut strips at Amazon:
Here’s one final option for testing saliva and urine (click image to check price at Amazon):
Now you know all the most accurate pH test strips for testing all liquids at home.
Are there better options for testing pH than strips? Yes.
Better Alternatives for Testing pH at Home
Did you know you can test your pH all the way down to the hundredth? The problem with the strips above is they only provide a certain level of accuracy.
Even the most accurate pH test strips can’t provide the same level of accuracy as a decent digital pH meter.
However, it’s important to choose the right pH meter, or you’ll run into the same problem you did with the strips. Cheap pH meters are notorious for breaking.
A cheap pH meter may work wonderfully for a month or so before suddenly dying on you, and nobody wants that.
It’s best to buy a mid-range digital pH meter (or better) to ensure years of accurate results. Plus, it’s fun to see a pH reading in the hundredths if you’re a science nerd like me.
Click here or the image below for a reliable pH meter that’ll give you more accurate results than test strips:
What’s cool about this meter is it also reads the temperature of your liquid.
To learn how to use and calibrate a digital pH meter, my article How to Test Your pH Level Without Strips is helpful.
- Measures pH between 0 and 14
- Measures both temperature and pH
- Carrying case included
- Calibration solutions included ensuring highly accurate readings
- Instant readings down to .01
- 24-hour lifetime customer support
- This meter is great for testing alkaline water brands to ensure they’re delivering on their pH promises
- After you finish using it, it’s best to rinse the tip with distilled water and allow it to air dry before replacing the cap
- Follow the instructions to calibrate it before the first use
- Store it in a cool, dark, dry place when not in use
- If you use it to test the pH of your urine, it’s even more important to rinse it after you’re done using it
If you want to check out an even better meter with pre-mixed calibration solution, click here or the image below:
pH Tester Drops
Another alternative to pH test strips is pH tester drops. These are less messy, easier to use, cheap, and provide accurate results.
To use these drops, put your sample in a glass or sample tube and add a couple of the tester drops. Then, allow the drops to mix with your sample. Finally, match the color of your sample to a pH color chart.
Click here or the image below for a reliable brand of reagent pH test drops:
These are the best pH tester drops for testing alkaline water. You can also use these to test urine, but darker colored urine can make the results hard to read.
The kit comes with everything you need: tester vial, two 20mL bottles of reagent tester drops, pH chart, and a dropper bottle.
They have a pH testing range of 4 to 10.
- The strips are good for getting an idea of pH, but even the most accurate pH test strips are less accurate than the digital pH meters I showed you above.
- You’ll also find that the tester drops are better than the strips because they’re easier to use and usually more accurate.
- Always remember to read the instructions to ensure you’re doing it right. Once you run your tests correctly a few times, testing liquid pH becomes second nature.
- Remember to calibrate your digital pH meter to get the most accurate results.
- Alkaline water brands recommend a pH meter over the strips. I’ve seen many reviews written by people who claim the alkaline water has an acidic pH. Since the companies closely monitor the pH of their water, the people who claim the water’s acidic almost always use the wrong pH test strips or don’t know how to test pH correctly.
Now you know which strips are the most accurate pH test strips. The problem is the first pH strips that pop up in an Amazon search aren’t the ionic ones.
Click here to buy the correct pH strips for testing alkaline water before you forget which ones are the best.
You can also scroll back up to check out the additional strips designed to measure the pH of saliva and urine.
Remember to check the pH range of the strips before you buy because the strips with the smaller pH ranges aren’t made for testing alkaline water with a high pH.
Your best bet is to buy this meter for the most accurate results. Meters are easier to use, more accurate, and will last you a lot longer than a set of strips.
Do you know everything there is to know about testing pH using strips now? I’ve run a ton of pH tests in my life. Once you get the hang of it, it’s fun to do.
Cheers and best of luck!