Pool test strips are taking over from older liquid or drop pool testing kits. These are easy “dip and read” strips of papers that change colors to show the levels of chlorine, alkalinity, and pH. There are also units that test cyanuric acid and hardness as well.
Special test strips can also test the water for metals, minerals, salt levels, bacteria or phosphates.
The strips come with a litmus test technology that is easy to use. But which strip should you buy? Here we will look at the best pool test strips on the market today and give you a comprehensive buying guide.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Pool Test Strips:
- Best overall: JNW Direct Pool Test Strips
- Best salt water pool test strips: AquaChek 561140A Salt Test Strips
- Best pool test strips with app: JNWD Direct Spa Test Strips
- Best pool chemical test strips: Leisure Time Chlorine Test Strips
- Best test strips above ground pool: AquaChek 552244 Test Strips
- 1 Top 18 Pool Test Strips Reviews for 2020
- 1.1 1. JNW Direct Pool and Spa Test Strips – 100 Pieces
- 1.2 2. Leisure Time Spa Test Chlorine Test Strips – 50 Pieces (45010A)
- 1.3 3. Poolmaster 22211 Smart Test 4-Way Swimming Test Strips – 50 Pieces
- 1.4 4. Leisure Time Spa Test Bromine Test Strips – 50 Pieces (45005A)
- 1.5 5. AquaChek 551236 7-Way 100 Count Pool Water Test Strips
- 1.6 6. AquaChek Yellow Test Strips – 50 Pieces
- 1.7 7. JNWD Direct Spa Test Strips for Hot Tubs – 100 Count
- 1.8 8. AquaChek 552244 6-in-1 Test Strips – 50 Count
- 1.9 9. Pro Water Hardness Test-Kit for Water Softener Dishwasher Quick & Easy
- 1.10 10. AquaChek 561140A White Salt Water Swimming Pool Test Strips
- 1.11 11. Clorox 70050CLX White 6-way Test Strip Swimming Pool & Spa
- 1.12 12. Frog Pool & Spa Test Strips by Kings Technology
- 1.13 13. Hach Company 2745250 Total Hardness Test Strips – 50 Pieces
- 1.14 14. HoneForest Water Hardness Test Strips – 100 Pieces
- 1.15 15. LaMotte Insta-Test 4 Plus – 50 Pieces
- 1.16 16. Hot Spring Freshwater Portable Spa Test Strips – 50 Counts
- 1.17 17. Nature2 W29300 Spa Test Strips – 50 Pieces
- 1.18 18. AquaChek 511710 5-in-1 Chlorine Test Strips – 100 Pieces
- 2 Benefits of Pool Test Strips
- 3 How to Choose the Best Test Strip
- 4 Maintaining Water Balance
- 5 Best Pool Test Strips FAQs
- 6 Conclusion
Top 18 Pool Test Strips Reviews for 2020
Here are the top 18 pool test strips on the market today.
1. JNW Direct Pool and Spa Test Strips – 100 Pieces
These are the ultimate home test strips for your hot tub, spa, and pool. They test for six parameters including bromine, pH, total alkalinity, free chlorine, total hardness, and total chlorine. Extremely easy to use, the strips provide you instant results with clear and simple instructions.
The package comes with 100 pieces that provide accurate results every time you use them. The best thing, you can use them for all swimming pools including salt and fresh water pools. And the test also comes with a downloadable e-book that explains what every result mean and how to keep the water clean and healthy.
With these strips, you are assured of getting the best results and take control of your swimming pool.
2. Leisure Time Spa Test Chlorine Test Strips – 50 Pieces (45010A)
Keep your swimming pool and spa water balanced by ensuring that it’s within the recommended ranges using the Leisure Time Test Strips. These strips are designed to ensure that calcium hardness is within 150-400 ppm, total alkalinity is within 80-120 ppm, and pH is within 7.2-78.
The test strips also test for bromine and chlorine to guarantee you a safe pool for taking a dive during the hot months. One great thing about these gears is that they are manufactured by a company that has in the pool industry for over 25 years. Therefore, you can be assured of getting high-quality strips.
Fast and simple to use, the package comes with 50 strips that will run for about a month, depending on how you use them. What more, the strips are pretty accurate and compatible with ozone and chlorine sanitizers.
3. Poolmaster 22211 Smart Test 4-Way Swimming Test Strips – 50 Pieces
The Poolmaster 22211 Smart features all the essentials that effective test strips should have and is ideal for both spas and pools. Made for maintaining your swimming pool, the strips are made with durable materials to ensure that they don’t get damaged easily.
With these units, you are guaranteed of keeping your facility sparkling as you will be able to determine the water chemistry in your pool. Actually, these are 4-way test strips that are one of the best choices on the market today.
The bottle has an easy-to-read hue or color charts while the strips don’t have bleed pads to ensure you get an accurate reading. These strips easily test for pH, total alkalinity, chlorine, and bromine. The package comes with 50 pieces.
4. Leisure Time Spa Test Bromine Test Strips – 50 Pieces (45005A)
Leisure Time Test Bromine Strips keep your facility’s water balanced by ensuring that all the chemicals are within the right ranges. In fact, these strips easily test for pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, bromine, and chlorine. With Bromine Strips, you are assured of having a well-balanced swimming pool.
Just like the Chlorine Test Strips from Leisure Time, the Bromine models are easy and quick to read. Also, they are very easy to use and won’t mess your tests when conducting them. So, you can rest assured of getting accurate results every time you use the strips.
The test strips are compatible with ozone and bromine system and come in a package that holds 50 pieces. Another thing about the strips is that they are quite affordable.
5. AquaChek 551236 7-Way 100 Count Pool Water Test Strips
The 7-way strips help you to test for bromine, total alkalinity, total hardness, pH, Cyanuric acid, and free chlorine. One thing you should note is that it is easy to get the results since you only need to wait for 15 seconds.
The package also comes with a reusable color chart comparator on the side of the bottle to help you interpret the results. And the bottle contains up to 100 counts of strips to last you for a long time.
6. AquaChek Yellow Test Strips – 50 Pieces
AquaChek is one of the leading providers of test strips and this time we will look at their Yellow Test Strips. These are one of the easiest to use gears and won’t make you mess things. Actually, when you have these strips you will be done within minutes and know what to alter in your pool.
Furthermore, the test strips provide accurate results that you can depend on every time you test your pool. The most exciting thing, the results appear within half a minute. Why wait for 5 minutes to get results that might not be accurate while the Yellow Strips take just 30 seconds and give you accurate outcomes.
The strips are able to test for stabilizer, total alkalinity, pH, and free chlorine. And just like most strips on the market today, you get 50 pieces that will last long.
7. JNWD Direct Spa Test Strips for Hot Tubs – 100 Count
The JNWD Direct Spa Test Strips are the right accessories for testing a hot tub and spa and can test for free chlorine, PH, total alkalinity, bromine, and total hardness. They are easy thanks to the clear and simple instructions.
Each test strip provides fast and accurate results for saltwater or fresh pools, hot-tubs, and spas. You can peace of mind knowing that you have a crystal clear, clean, and safe water to relax in when you use these strips.
And the 100 count is enough to last you for a couple of days.
8. AquaChek 552244 6-in-1 Test Strips – 50 Count
Here you get up to 50 counts of pieces to last you during the summer and let you enjoy your spa, hot tub, or pool. You can test for free chlorine, pH, total hardness, total alkalinity, and total chlorine with these strips.
The best thing is that you get the results within 15 seconds, and they are results you can depend on. You don’t need to assemble anything when working with the strips, meaning that they are easy to use.
Another thing you need to know is that they are one of the most affordable test strips you can get on the market today.
9. Pro Water Hardness Test-Kit for Water Softener Dishwasher Quick & Easy
These test strips with apps are made to simplify your water hardness monitoring process more than ever before. These strips produce the result in thirty seconds, but you will have to strictly follow the instruction to ensure better accuracy.
These fifty high-quality test strips are a cost-effective method of continually checking your aquarium, water softener, or spa water. This product is super easy to use with the included comprehensive and clear instructions.
Plunge the strip inside the water and correlate it with the bottle’s bold color chat. There is no need to visit any hardware store or consulting expert to analyze or check the water quality for you. The impeccable accuracy of these strips proffers clear and effective ways of measuring water hardness.
10. AquaChek 561140A White Salt Water Swimming Pool Test Strips
If you have a salt generator system, this AquaCheck is an ideal strip for you. This AquaCheck White Titrator measures the sodium chloride levels in your water, ranging from 400-7000 ppm in a breeze.
So, if the salt level is appropriate, your mind will be at peace that the salt generator will provide the required amount of chlorine to ensure that your water is free of pollutants.
If you want to maintain a clean and healthy swimming pool continually, make sure to test your pool water twice a week. This product has ten strips in a bottle, and it is manufactured by Robelle Industries, one of the best manufacturers in the pool industry.
11. Clorox 70050CLX White 6-way Test Strip Swimming Pool & Spa
These chemical testing strips are made to give you a bliss figure of results without confusion. These strips are effective ways to measure chemical levels in your pool water accurately. These strips provide a six-way testing method, which includes total hardness, total chlorine, total alkalinity, pH, free chlorine, and stabilizer.
Just submerge it inside the pool water for two seconds; the color transformation will take up to a minute to occur. It saves the digital meter from wear and tears by carrying out daily testing with them.
The color comparison of the results will be done by eye checking. You can even preserve this strip for some exceptional testing cases that require more accurate and precise results.
12. Frog Pool & Spa Test Strips by Kings Technology
Frog Test Strips offers the required chlorine or bromine range for bathtubs and FROG swimming pool products. This fantastic strip is also suitable for testing total alkalinity, total hardness, and pH.
The bottle includes fifty high-quality test strips with the same testing procedures by dipping it inside the pool water and shaking it off to read the results as the paper changes color. This product has a litmus test system that is hassle-free and straightforward to utilize.
As a pool owner, having this excellent test strip will guarantee you a sparkling and healthy swimming facility and quickly determine your pool water’s chemical level.
13. Hach Company 2745250 Total Hardness Test Strips – 50 Pieces
Water hardness is mainly caused by magnesium and calcium ions. Other tri- and divalent metals also have a similar impact, but not in high concentration to cause problems. This is why you need to test for total hardness using the best strips such as the Hach 2745250 Test Strips.
These are set of 50 strips that make it simple to determine the total hardness of your swimming pool. They don’t measure the presence or absence of the specific element in your swimming pool. But you should consider them if you wish to enjoy a simple test that is easy to interpret.
Truly, these strips are easy to use and provide results within seconds. You don’t need to wait for hours to get the results.
14. HoneForest Water Hardness Test Strips – 100 Pieces
These are one of the easiest test strips to distinguish on the market today. They usually turn to red, from green, for the water hardness of between 0-425mg/l. The color change is easier to spot than comparing the change to a color chart.
The package includes 100 pieces that ensure you test your swimming pool regularly. Moreover, every strip test for magnesium and calcium levels in your swimming pool. These test strips are made of the best technology and provide quick and accurate results within seconds.
One thing you will love is that you can get your money back if they don’t perform as you expected. Hence, there is no risk of losing your money.
15. LaMotte Insta-Test 4 Plus – 50 Pieces
LaMotte Insta-Test 4 Plus tests for total hardness, pH, alkalinity, chlorine, and bromine. The strips are very affordable and always accurate. In fact, they give you the most accurate results within seconds.
What you will love about these test strips is that they come with easy to read and comprehensive instructions. The instructions are written in English, Spanish, and French language. So, they can be used all-over the world.
Furthermore, the bottle comes with a molded desiccant liner that protects your strips from UV light and moisture. Also, every package contains 50 pieces of test strips to ensure that you test your pool regularly.
16. Hot Spring Freshwater Portable Spa Test Strips – 50 Counts
The bottle comes with 50 test strips to let you test the water chemistry for up to five variables, which are total bromine, free chlorine, total alkalinity, pH, and total hardness.
They are easy to use, and you can rest assured you will get the most accurate results possible. You also get a chart to compare the color, which is a simple process.
You can be sure of getting value for your money when you choose these test strips to test your pool’s chemical.
17. Nature2 W29300 Spa Test Strips – 50 Pieces
Gone are the days when you could only use messy droppers to test your pool water chemistry. The Nature2 W29300 strips are easy to use and help you to retain your pool ideal water composition. They are smooth products that are attractive.
To determine your pool water composition, simply dip the strips about 6 inches into your pool for a few seconds and let the extra water drip off. The color will easily change, providing you with instant results. After that, you only need to match the color to the indictor. It is that simple.
The package comes with 50 pieces of strips and they easily test for pH, total alkalinity, oxidizer, and monopersulfate (shock). They are also very easy to use and won’t cost much.
18. AquaChek 511710 5-in-1 Chlorine Test Strips – 100 Pieces
The AquaChek 5-in-1 Test Strips test for total chlorine, total hardness, free chlorine, total bromine, total alkalinity, and pH level. Therefore, with these products, you are assured of maintaining the right amount of chemicals in your pool.
They are made to meet the exclusive needs presented by extremely high temperature in spas. The strips are quite effective and provide comprehensive testing to ensure both healthy and clean water. This protects your pool against damage from the unbalanced chemical composition.
To keep your facility at its optimum, test before as well as after every use and treat your pool regularly. You will be glad you purchased these strips since they come in a package of 100 pieces.
Benefits of Pool Test Strips
There are a lot of benefits of using a test strip. Some of these benefits are:
Easy to use – They come with easy to use instructions that you can follow. You have a zero of getting an inaccurate result because of using them the wrong way.
Many chemical readings – The main purpose of testing your pool is to determine its chemical composition and test strips suit this need. They show different chemical compositions like pH, brome, and more.
Less time is taken – These products take very short time to provide the results. You only need to deep them in water for a few seconds and they will show the reading.
How to Choose the Best Test Strip
What are the best pool test strips? Here are the main factors that you should consider when choosing the right test strip for your swimming pool.
User reviews – The best way to know if a product is good is to see what other people are saying about it. You should go through the feedbacks and reviews of genuine users of the test strip and see what they like and don’t like about it.
User ratings – Sometime genuine users leave a rating without making any comment. These scores are also a great way to determine if the test strips are of high quality.
Features – Some features might make the strip to be effective in one area and not the other. So, watch out for these features and get a product that suits your needs.
Ease of use – Finally, every test strip requires some level of usage when being used. Of important, choose a product that is easy to use and the one that you can easily understand its results.
Maintaining Water Balance
If your swimming pool water isn’t properly balanced, it might lead to some issues like urinary tract infections and rashes. It might also appear cloudy and destroy your pool system and surface.
It can also be the best breeding area for microorganisms such as bacteria, which will further result in skin infections. Hence, you should always ensure your swimming pool chemicals are well-balance.
Some ideal measurements are as follows (ppm stands for parts per million):
- Total dissolved salts: below 5000ppm
- Calcium hardness: 180-220ppm
- pH: 7.2-7.8ppm
- Bromine: 3.0-6.0ppm
- Total alkalinity: 80-120ppm
- Cyanuric acid: 40-80ppm
- Chlorine: 1.0-2.0ppm
Always ensure that your swimming pool is well-balanced by being within the readings we have listed above.
Best Pool Test Strips FAQs
Q: What do pool test strips mean?
A: Pool test strips are technology devised to determine chemical levels such as chlorine, alkalinity, pH, and cyanuric acid in the water. These test strips work by dipping them inside the water and shake the water to compare and read the results.
Q: Can you use pool test strips for drinking water?
A: Drinking water professionals frown at using swimming pool test strips for tap water, especially drinking ones. This is because the pool water test strips use OTO for testing chlorine chemicals. So, it is not advisable to use swimming pool test strips for any drinkable water.
Q: How long are pool test strips good for?
A: If you keep your test strips properly, they should be valid until the expiration date stated on the packaging. Test solutions are usually accurate for up to a year when stored in a cool and dry environment. Also, you can date the kits yourself before keeping them.
Q: What chemical levels should I test for frequently?
A: The 4 main tests that you should conduct are total alkalinity, calcium hardness, pH, and chlorine. Also, test for cyanuric acid level if you have an outdoor pool which uses chlorine. You can also do a base and acid demand test using the pH test sample, to know the amount of base and acid in your pool.
Q: How often should I test my pool water chemistry?
A: You should do it every day – but that might a bit hard for some people. But with a test strip that has about 50 pieces, you can be able to perform these tests on a daily basis.
Q: Do pool test strips work?
A: These strips were developed for medical purpose in the 1960s. They have gradually replaced liquid test reagents for blood testing and urine. Pool strips use the same technology.
Q: How accurate are pool test strips?
A: You can compare their accuracy with liquid color tests. But they are more convenient and able to provide a more accurate result. They also remove the possibility of human error that comes with liquid kits.
Q: Who sells the most accurate test strips?
A: These products are found at different stores, both online and physical stores. To ensure that you get accurate test strips, buy from a reputable brand.
Q: Where to buy pool test strips ?
A: Swimming pool test strips are available to purchase online marketplace such as Walmart, Amazon, eBay, etc. These markets will ship it to your ordering address. You can even purchase your test kits at some supermarkets that are mostly selling swimming pool accessories.
Who doesn’t want to have a sparkling and bright swimming pool? Checking your pool every day using the best pool test strips will ensure that it is well-balanced and be in great condition for swimming in.