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The Best Pool Test Kits in 2023

by Ethan Miller
Best Pool Test Kits

Having a swimming pool in your backyard may just be the definition of living large. However, all of that enjoyment and relaxation can be threatened by unsafe swimming water. A simple way to avoid disastrous conditions in your pool is by using a pool test kit to gauge water chemical balance.

Using the best pool test kit will allow you to continue swimming confidently safe all spring and summer long. Choosing the right pool test kit for your pool is important.

We’ve analyzed and compared products on the market to create a list of pool test kit reviews. We’ve done so by comparing test kit features such as the number of reagents, test kit lifespan, chemicals tested, etc.

These reviews should help you find a great pool test kit. Continue reading to get the best kit for your pool!

Pool Test Kits: My Top Picks

Pentair R151246 78DPD All-in-One DPD Test Kit


Next up in the pool water tester reviews is the Pentair All-in-One DPD Test Kit. This kit is intended to specifically tend to chlorine levels. DPD is the reagent used in testing chlorine levels. While chlorine is the target for this test kit, it also assesses other levels. This test kit by Pentair comes in a carrying case/box just as previously discussed kits do.

Customers are generally satisfied with this kit and its ability to test all chlorine levels in their pools. Aside from some noting that the tabs used to test for chlorine can create a residue, consumers claim that the kit works well and that the tests for all of the other elements are accurate and spot on.

This kit is an efficient kit for measuring chlorine levels. In fact, it’s the only kit on the reviews list that tests free, total, and combined chlorine levels. It’s a great kit for chlorine testing but is lacking in other testing areas compared to the competition.


  • Easy to use/Simple testing method
  • Comes with a case to keep the product safe and organized
  • Tests free, total, and combined chlorine
  • Easy-to-read test cell (test block)


  • Do not test for bromine or cyanuric acid

hth Pool Test Kit 6-Way Test Kit (1173)


The hth Pool Test Kit 6-Way Test Kit is a simple but effective pool water test kit. It is, however, the first kit reviewed here that does not include a carrying case. The kit instead comes with the contents plastic packaged. Manufactured by hth, the product is intended to be a simple, straightforward pool test kit.

Some consumers claim that the hth Kit is a great, cheaper alternative to the Taylor Kits (aside from the fact that there is no case). Other customers claim that the instructions are easy and simple to follow. It’s also noted to be an effective product with reagent refills available online.

This hth Kit is ideal for those with a general understanding of how test kits work and is looking for a simple kit to last the season. With no carrying case, it’s a reasonable buy for those who generally keep their pool equipment in one place. As with most of the kits listed, refills are available for the reagents but the test block will only last about 100 tests.


  • Easy to use/Simple testing method
  • Tests 6 different elements of the water
  • Can be used up to 100 times


  • Does not come with a carrying case for added product safety and organization

Poolmaster Water Chemistry Case (22270) Premiere Collection 5-Way Swimming Pool & Spa Test Kit

Our number one pool test kit, the Poolmaster 5-Way Water Chemistry Test Kit, is the most accurate pool test kit on the market. This product is the best pool water test kit on the market because of its broad testing and simplicity of use. The test kit is made of plastic and comes in a carrying case akin to a tackle box.

Customers generally find the Poolmaster 5-Way Kit to be a great value product. Many consumers vouch for its simple and quick use and find the instructions easy to navigate.

The Poolmaster 5-Way kit is ideal for those looking for a quick and accurate way to test their water frequently. The integrated color chips on the test block make reading your results as easy as could be.


  • Easy to use/Simple testing method
  • Comes with a case to keep the product safe and organized
  • Tests 5 different elements of the water


  • #2 Phenol Red (reagent in this kit) cannot be substituted with Phenol Red (another reagent in other test kits)
  • Does not test for calcium hardness



The next test kit in review is the Taylor K-2006 Pool Test Kit. This kit shares similarities with the Poolmaster kit previously reviewed in its broad testing and simplicity of use; although the testable elements are different from this kit. This kit is also made of plastic and comes in a carrying case/box. The Taylor K-2006 Pool Test Kit is another easy-to-use product.

Many customers are shocked at how easy taking care of their pools has become since they started using this simple test kit. They claim that it’s effective enough to let your pool guy go, along with the pricey monthly premium. Others claim it to be a very effective kit that has allowed them to gain control of their pool and maintain crystal-clear conditions.

Like the Poolmaster Kit, the Taylor K-2006 Pool Test Kit is simple to use and will have your water under your control. It’s great for those looking for a valuable, do-it-yourself method that will allow them to save money over the long run.


  • Easy to use/Simple testing method
  • Comes with a case to keep the product safe and organized
  • Tests multiple elements of water
  • Uses DPD powder to test chlorine (more accurate than liquid reagent)


  • Does not test for bromine or free chlorine

LaMotte 2056 ColorQ Pro 7 Digital Pool Water Test Kit

The next test kit in review, the LaMotte 2056 ColorQ Pro 7 Digital Pool Water Test Kit, is the best digital pool water tester money can buy. Differing from the first two kits reviewed, this testing kit by LaMotte uses a digital reader to assess your pool water’s chemical levels.

The most comprehensive test kit covered to this point, the LaMotte Digital Pool Water Test Kit tests a total of six elements of your water.

Customers enjoy the digital reader by LaMotte and find that it saves them time and money in eyeballing the chemical needs of their pools with other kits. A particularly exciting consumer praises this product by LaMotte for its aid to the colorblind in maintaining their pools.

The LaMotte ColorQ Pro 7 Digital Pool Water Test Kit is a great pickup for the perfectionists of the pool-owning community. No longer do you need to rely on eye test matching colors. This kit is easy to use and conveniently detailed providing readings down to decimal points.


  • Easy to use
  • Highly accurate photometer for digital readings
  • Padded pouch case for protected storage
  • Tests 6 different elements of the water


  • N/A

Lamotte R-2056 Color-Q Pro 7 Test Reagent Refill Kit


This next kit is not in itself a test kit, but rather a reagent refill kit for LaMotte ColorQ Pro 7 products. For products such as the LaMotte ColorQ Pro 7 Digital Pool Test Kit, it would not be reasonable to replace the whole kit when reagents run dry as it would for simpler test kits. That’s why LaMotte offers this refill kit.

Many customers are expected satisfied with the refill kit. After all, folks who didn’t like the LaMotte Digital Test Kit and reagents, to begin with, would not buy refills. However, some consumers claim to have been caught off guard by the shelf life of the reagents. Therefore, keep a mental note of how long that may be.

The LaMotte Refill Kit is perfect for those already enjoying LaMotte ColorQ Pro 7 testing products. Reagent refills are great because the photometer by LaMotte is sure to last longer than its accompanying reagents. Refills help you get the most out of your test kits!


  • Replace reagents without buying a whole new kit
  • Replacements for each LaMotte reagent offered
  • 6 test tubes


  • Refills only, require the additional or previous purchase of a photometer or other testers

Solaxx MET01A SafeDip Digital Test Meter


Electronic swimming pool testing equipment is often the most reliable and accurate equipment there is for testing pool water. The 6-in-1 Electronic Pool and Spa Water Tester by Bluewave is the best test kit for saltwater pools. This electronic tester is unlike any of the previous testing kits reviewed because there are no reagents, just the tester.

Customers enjoy the ease of use that comes with this 6-in-1 Electronic Water Tester and the quick digital readings. Others note that the chlorine readings not being quantified are a bit difficult to deal with. Aside from that, consumers also note that the tester is highly accurate in its other readings.

This electronic tester is great for those looking for the least involved method of testing your water. With no reagents to drip or other steps besides using the electronic tester, the process of using this Bluewave product is very straightforward and simple.


  • Easy-to-use electronic tester
  • 1 yr. warranty
  • Tests salt levels in addition to other tests
  • No additional equipment, such as reagents


  • Does not test for alkalinity
  • Only labels chlorine levels low, good, or high

Taylor K-2006C Complete Swimming Pool Chlorine Test Kit

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The next best way to test pool water is with another Taylor product that is very similar to the previously discussed Taylor kit. While sharing similarities, this Taylor K-2006с Complete Pool Test Kit tests for elements that the K-2006 does not. This test kit is made of plastic and comes in the traditional carrying case/box.

Ease of use is among the chief notes about this test kit from customers who have purchased it. They love the simple-to-follow instructions and speed with which the process can occur. Other consumers have used this kit to replace the often inaccurate advice from local pool stores and professionals.

Similar to its sibling product, the Taylor K-2006, the Taylor K-2006C Complete Pool Water Test Kit goes a step further. By testing more elements than its counterpart, this kit is a more wholesome test kit, hence the ‘Complete’ part of its title.


  • Easy to use/Simple testing method
  • Comes with a case to keep the product safe and organized
  • Tests 8 different elements of the water
  • Multiple bottles of specific reagents


  • N/A

Tips on Choosing

  • Ease of Use: While complex and comprehensive test kits are great for monitoring pool chemical levels, they can be too much for some. Most, if not all, of the products listed in this review, are easy to use but you know yourself and your habits better than anyone; be honest when determining how much of your time and effort you are going to be willing to apply to testing.
  • Research: The research involved in choosing a pool kit is more so knowing what chemicals you use and need to manage in your pool. Not all pool test kits provide reagents and testing blocks for the varying chemical elements of your pool water. When you are searching for kits that fit your needs, compare things such as the amount of reagent provided and the number of tests capable of each kit.
  • Ask around: Pool owners are all responsible for having their pool water maintained in some way. Because of that, they are the perfect people to ask about pool test kits and what works versus what doesn’t. If you aren’t getting any help doing this, explore the online pool community and forums for opinions and suggestions about pool kits and their effectiveness by brand or type.
  • Ask a professional: Professionals know better than even pool owners when it comes to the most reliable pool testing kits. Some people often feel that professionals don’t give the best advice and that they “overprescribe” chemicals for pools. Believe it or not, the pros actually know what they’re talking about. They simply have a deeper understanding of the requirements of a clean pool and what it takes to maintain them. For that reason, they should be able to direct you to an ideal test kit for your pool.

Factors to Consider

  • Chemicals involved: As with the first tip for buying a tool kit, the first factor to consider is the chemical method by which you keep your pool clean. You have to know what chemicals are at work in your water before you get a kit to test them. This is because all kits are made differently and may not include reagents and the testing ability for certain elements you wish to, or a required to, monitor.
  • Method of use: The method of testing is the next factor to consider when buying a pool test kit. Liquid reagents mixed with a sample of pool water and compared to color chips/blocks are the most common method used by test kits. However, there are also kits with photometers that read levels digitally. These photometers also utilize reagents and therefore don’t save a step in that regard. There is one kit reviewed here that is simply an electronic tester. Which method you wish to use will determine the kit you go with.
  • Brand: Branding is a status of market success and an established product. Only pursue pool test kits by reputable brands with a previously admirable track record. The last thing anyone wants when getting a pool test kit is to be stuck with an ineffective kit that lets them down.
  • Portability: Many of the test kits reviewed here have an accompanying carrying case that helps to keep the test kit elements secured and organized on the move. Some kits do not come with a carrying case at all while others come with varying-quality cases. It’s helpful to imagine every situation you might need to use the kit for when trying to determine the portability you need.

As with any product, there are multiple factors to consider before you go looking for the best test kit for your pool. By considering these factors and your specific pool setup and needs, you’ll end up with the right test kit for you and your pool.


Do I need a kit with reagents? Are they refillable?

Most traditional pool test kits are going to require reagents. Aside from the electronic water tester by Bluewave, all of the kits in this review require reagents.

Reagents can come in either liquid or tablet form. While they’re usually all liquid reagents, cyanuric acid testing is only possible using tablets. Once these reagents run out, they can easily be replaced via online shopping.

Should I get the digital test kit?

The digital test kits utilize a photometer providing digital readings said to be the most accurate readings possible. Some people believe that the photometers are not actually accurate and that they gain a better reading from eye tests matching watercolor with color chips. It’s entirely a personal decision.

While some like the quantitative value of the photometers, others are more comfortable working off of the readings they get from the manual eye tests.

Do I need to test for all elements of the pool water?

It would be hard to test all of the chemical elements of the pool water without using one of the 11 test, digital kits. Even then, it’s really only useful to test the chemicals that you will be able to affect.

This is why knowing how your pool is treated is important in terms of deciding which kit to buy. While monitoring every element in your pool is a safe practice, you won’t always be able to individually change every reading you get back.

If it’s of value to you to know each of the elements’ chemical levels in your pool, then go for a kit that will enable you to do so. However, if you want to simply test a few elements to quickly tend to your pool’s balance, then an 11-element testing kit isn’t fully necessary.


In conclusion, there are many options on the market for pool test kits, way more than are listed in these pool test kit reviews.

Finding the best kit can be a tedious task. That’s why we’ve compiled this review list to relieve some of the research burdens.

By using the information in these pool test kit reviews and doing some of your own, coming up with the best kit for your pool should be a simple (maybe even enjoyable?!) experience.

Whether you’re the manual type, a sucker for the digital tech that makes life a bit easier, or you aren’t sure, there is a test kit out there for you.

The swimming season is creeping in quickly, so don’t waste any more time looking for a kit to help you maintain crystal-clear pool water. Find and buy the best pool water testing kit for your pool today!

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