5 Most Reliable Pool Test Kits — Be Aware of What You’re Swimming In

Last updatedLast updated: July 29, 2021
House & Beyond is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

Apart from the endless fun a swimming pool offers, it also provides a way to exercise and relax. In light of all these, it is important to ensure your pool water remains in peak conditions. That is, if you want your swimming pool to be always ready for use, then it’s imperative to test the water quality from time to time, using the best pool test kits.

Of course, gone are the days when you needed to hire professionals whenever you wanted to test the quality of your pool. Nowadays, you can easily perform the test by yourself, using one of the top test kits on the market. However, to ensure you’re always getting accurate results, you must obtain the best test kits. To help you out in that regard, we’ve put together a list of the top five test kits out there. While all our picks are excellent products, the Taylor K-1515-A Drop Test Kit just tops them all.

In this article, you’ll find out why we think the Taylor kit is the best pool test kit, and why we thought other picks were good enough to make the list. Obviously, our selections weren’t random – we considered crucial factors like the type of kit, what exactly it tests, and what’s included. We’ve also stuck to the usual structure, which comprises of a table, a review section, a buying guide, and FAQs.

Top 5 Pool Test Kits Review 2021


Taylor K-1515-A Drop Test KitEditor’s Choice

  • Type: drop test
  • What it tests: available chlorine, free chlorine, total chlorine
  • Includes: 0.75-ounce reagents; test flask; heavy-duty carrying case; instructions

Taylor Technologies has been one of the most trusted brands for many years, and it seems they are not ready to relinquish their spot at the top anytime soon. The company is renowned for offering different high-quality pool-testing products, and the Taylor K-1515-A Drop Test Kit is another one of such products. Whether you own a private or commercial pool, this is a high-quality kit that’s perfect for maintaining any kind of pool or spa.

Using printed color standards for finding an accurate match, this pool makes it possible for users to frequent test comparisons easily. Besides, it’s suitable for full testing by pool operators, service technicians, and other experts and professionals. It’s also a nice thing that this kit includes tests for free chlorine, chlorine, and total chlorine, enabling to determine the accurate level of chlorine in your pool. In fact, one of the biggest benefits of this product is its incredible accuracy, which can be hardly matched by its competitors.

Apart from providing accurate results, this test kit is also super easy to use, as it even comes with easy-to-read instructions to guarantee accurate test results. Moreover, the chemicals are usable for up to one year after it’s purchase. And even if you use up the entire chemical, they are easy to refill. However, the included carrying case is a little too small for the components inside, which makes it a little difficult to shut most times.

What are its best features?

  • Accurate results
  • Easy-to-read instructions
  • Suitable for all kinds of pools
  • Usable for up to one year
  • Includes a carrying case

What could be improved?

  • A very small case
  • Type: liquid and tableted reagents; digital
  • What it tests: free chlorine, total chlorine, bromine, total hardness, alkalinity, pH, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid
  • Includes: reagents, photometer, carrying case, instructions

If you are in search of a pool water test kit that takes the guesswork completely out of pool water testing, then you can’t look beyond the LaMotte ColorQ Pro 7 Digital Pool Water Test Kit. It’s the best digital pool test kit on the market. Featuring a digital photometer, this water test kit has been perfectly designed to provide an accurate readout. For starters, a photometer is a tool utilized to measure the light’s intensity. Thus, this test kit is able to scan the reagent samples, thereby giving precise digital results.

Furthermore, this pool water test kit is capable of reading seven test factors, which include total chlorine, bromine, pH, alkalinity, free chlorine, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid. Additionally, the kit comes with a dual-optic design, which allows it to provide more accuracy and more test factors. Thanks to the innovation of the ColorQ, it is able to cancel the need to determine small color variations and utilize look-up tables. Therefore, this kit guarantees accurate water analysis.

In addition, this water test kit generally utilizes liquid reagents, but you will need to utilize tablets for the cyanuric acid test. While the reagents usually have a very short shelf life, their ability to constantly get precise results will surely save you lots of pool chemicals, by extension, a lot of money. Apart from that, this kit also comes with a durable water-resistant carrying case. Meanwhile, you are not likely to encounter any issues with its usage since it comes with easy-to-read instructions.

Why is it special?

  • Quick and easy
  • Quite accurate
  • Measures seven things simultaneously
  • Comes with a carrying case
  • Features a digital photometer

What are the flaws?

  • The reagents have a short shelf life
RELATED: 9 Best Water Test Kits — Reviews and Buying Guide

AquaChek Pool Water Test StripsBest for Daily Readings

  • Type: test strips
  • What it tests: total hardness, total chlorine, total bromine, free chlorine, pH, total alkalinity, cyanuric acid
  • Includes: 100 strips; reusable color chart comparator

AquaCheck is another reputable company in this industry, and the AquaChek 7-Way 100 Count Pool Water Test Strips shows why they are so reputable. The strips are designed to measure up to seven chemical levels, which are total chlorine, free chlorine, total alkalinity, total hardness, cyanuric acid, and pH. This is really impressive for one test strip. On top of all that, it is very easy to use as you just need to dip it in your pool, wait for about 15 seconds, and then compare it with the color chart comparator on the bottle’s side.

However, we must warn you that the reading may be thrown off if you hold the strip for more than 15 seconds in the water. So, make sure you use a stopwatch so you would be accurate with the timing. But since you are comparing colors for certain ranges, don’t expect these strips to be 100 percent accurate. If you want an accuracy of 100 percent, then you need a digital readout along with a digital meter. These strips are fairly good for daily readings though, and will save the digital meter on wear and tear. You’ll only be needing to use your costly digital meter for accurate adjustments and readings.

These trips take just a couple of seconds to use, which corroborates our earlier claim about it being incredibly easy to use. The digital meters, on the other hand, take a longer time. If you are looking for quick, ballpark results, you will be hard-pressed to find anything better than this.

What are our favorite features?

  • Seven-in-one strip
  • Easy to use
  • Perfect for daily readings
  • Quick results
  • Reputable brand

What could be better?

  • Not 100 percent accurate
RELATED: 9 Best Water Test Kits — Reviews and Buying Guide
  • Type: liquid reagents
  • What it tests: chlorine, bromine, pH, acid demand, total alkalinity
  • Includes: reagents, clear-view test block, test flasks, case, instructions

Getting precise color scales is a very important aspect of water testing and the XtremepowerUS 5-Way Swimming Pool Test Kit aims to give you complete accuracy, despite being priced affordably. This water test kit comes with a very innovative design, which allows you to effortlessly match the colors with no troubles. With this pool water test kit, you’ll be able to test for a couple of chemicals, including bromine, chlorine, pH total alkalinity, and acid demand.

To make its usage easy for you regardless of your experience, the package also comes with easy-to-understand instructions, which guide you step by step. In addition, the additional tips included will prove to be very helpful when you are measuring the levels. The included color scales will help you easily and almost instantly match your results since they’re produced using UV protected color chips, along with polystyrene test block, which makes sure that the colors stay the same.

Besides, all the components are packaged in a polyethylene case, which guarantees that all the components will be safely kept from direct sunlight and well organized. In general, this is an exceptional product that gives a lot of value for its money. While it may not be as accurate as some models in the higher end, it surely works as well.

Why did it make our list?

  • Affordable price
  • Easy to use
  • Clear instructions
  • Polyethylene carrying case
  • Innovative design

What is not ideal about it?

  • Not 100 percent accurate

LaMotte 3368-NJ Pool ManagerBest for Beginners

  • Type: liquid and tableted reagents
  • What it tests: total hardness, total chlorine, pH, total alkalinity, cyanuric acid
  • Includes: 2 Octa-Slide color bars with 8 translucent color standards, reagents, 60-page reference manual, Visual Gradetest tablets, carrying case

Coming with numerous innovative features, the LaMotte 3368-NJ Pool Manager is an outstanding kit that completely merits its spot on this list. Designed to provide accurate results, there’s no need to be skeptical about the quality of your pool water anymore with this kit. For its tests, it uses LaMotte Visual Gradetest tablets, which apart from having longer shelf life than reagents, also guarantee more accurate results, which is what every pool owner wants. With this kind of test kit, your chances of getting accurate results are very high.

What are the things it tests for exactly? You may be wondering. Well, this excellent test kit tests for total hardness, total chlorine, total alkalinity, pH, and cyanuric acid, which make it five components in total that it tests. For chlorine and pH, includes two Octa-Slide color bars with eight translucent color standards. Another excellent thing about this test kit is that it’s incredibly easy to use, especially since it comes with a 60-page reference manual for service personnel and entry level lifeguards.

The LaMotte 3368-NJ Pool Manager includes diagrammed instructions, saturation index calculator, water quality handbook, and the reliable Octa-Slide 2 comparator system – all in a durable carrying case. However, we think this kit is a little overpriced as there are many less expensive kits that offer more than it offers. Besides, it’s a big let-down that it doesn’t test for bromine.

Why are we impressed?

  • Accurate results
  • Easy to use
  • Test for five components
  • Includes detailed instructions
  • Comes with a carrying case

What negatives must you be aware of?

  • A little overpriced
  • Doesn’t test for bromine

Things to Consider

Pool test kits have been in existence for a while now, but it’s only recently that they started becoming really popular among pool owners, and not just professionals. In light of this, we have created this little buying guide below, for your enlightenment as you’re probably new to this and probably clueless as to what to really look for.

Why check your pool water?

5 Most Reliable Pool Test Kits — Be Aware of What You're Swimming In

Why do you really need a pool water test kit? That’s a question that’s probably running through your mind right now. Logically, it doesn’t make sense to buy something if you don’t know what you stand to gain from its purchase, and that is why we have put together some benefits of pool water test kits.

You can easily use them in your home – One of the greatest things about pool water test kits is that they can be easily used at home. That is, there is no need for you to hire a professional or an expert for this test, which is new and incredible. You simply need to fill some recipients up with water and then utilize the kit you bought. In different ways, the test will let you know if your pool water is safe or it’s not. Therefore, they help you to easily take safety measures in the event that the water is not safe.

They help you eliminate contaminations – There is a tendency of you swallowing your pool water when you swim and it’s needless to say how bad consuming contaminated water can be. If your test comes out positive, then you know you must take actions to eliminate the contaminations and make your pool water safe again.

They detect different contaminants – While there is no need for you to hire a professional for your pool water test, they can still help you find out the types of contaminants that are in your water. Although pool water test kits may be somewhat different when compared to lab tests, they still do an effective job. thus, apart from helping you to find out if your water is contaminated, they can also help you know the exact contaminants in the water.

Features to consider when choosing a pool water test kit

If you want to keep your spa or swimming pool safe, then you can’t overstate the importance of a pool water test kit. It is, however, vital to keep some considerations in mind when in the market for the best pool water kit. Some of those considerations include the following.

What kind of kit is it?

5 Most Reliable Pool Test Kits — Be Aware of What You're Swimming In

Every pool owner who knows something about various types of pool water test kits understands that some types of kits are more suitable for their needs and requirements than others. Regardless of what your preference is, it is important to tackle problems with possibly hazardous chemicals.

What exactly it tests

While there are some kits that are capable of detecting an extensive range of contaminants, others detect only two types. The ones that fall in the latter category are usually less costly, as expected. Most times, however, the kits that are designed to detect multiple kinds of contaminants are way more helpful.

After all, a pool owner doesn’t know what he’s dealing with, so he needs a tool that can test accurately for many things that may be affecting your pool water.

How much time it requires?

Some pool water test kits are faster than others in their operation, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you are using the kit to test your home pool, then you may not really mind the operation speed. However, if you are testing a commercial pool, then you may want to buy a kit that delivers the results rapidly.


The most vital feature you need to consider is surely its accuracy. In the event that your kit doesn’t provide accurate readings, there are chances of you leveling the pH incorrectly, which may turn out to be bad. Due to this, you may need to find a reliable kit that delivers 100 percent accurate results like the Taylor K-1515-A Drop Test Kit. It’s also important to consider the longevity and reputation of the manufacturer here because if a company has remained reputable for a long time, then there must be a good reason for it. Based on your personal preferences, you may utilize a test trip or a liquid test kit.


The basic kit should contain an instruction slip, a pH level test, a sanitizer test, and the range recommended for each measurement. Better tests like the LaMotte ColorQ Pro 7 Digital Pool Water Test Kit, however, will include alkalinity tests and calcium hardness tests. This will ensure your testing session is as precise as possible,


You are likely to be using your pool test kit on a regular basis, which calls for it to be as durable as possible. You may be using it every day during the summer, so it has to be able to handle a lot of uses. Moreover, the pool test kit has to be able to withstand the water. Generally, your pool test kit ought to be able to withstand the wear and tear that usually comes with frequent use.

Safety tips to keep in mind when using the test kit

5 Most Reliable Pool Test Kits — Be Aware of What You're Swimming In

There are actually not a lot of things to cover in terms of safety kips. Everything here is literally things that involve you using your common sense or logical reasoning. First of all, ensure you don’t lean in excessively on the pool’s edge when taking the water out from the swimming pool. It’s excellent if you properly jump for a swim, but you may injure yourself if you accidentally fall while trying to fish for water.

It’s needless to say, but you must be very careful with the substances so they don’t touch anything around your face. Don’t lick or swallow, and don’t allow the liquids to touch your eyes. If you’re feeling clumsy, then you may need to use your safety googles. Gloves can also be nice, especially if your skin is particularly sensitive – but ensure they the gloves aren’t excessively thick. Or else, you may find it difficult to handle the vials.


You will have to check your chemical levels at different times. For the chlorine and pH levels, you need to check every day. Meanwhile, the alkalinity and temperature only need to be checked weekly. For the calcium hardness and stabilizer levels, it’s fine if you check them only once per month. It’s no big deal if you miss one of your daily checks, so far you test it the following day. If you miss a test you are supposed to do monthly, then do it the following day. If you wait for another month or week, then you could have a big issue on your hands. If this is the case, we recommend you read our reviews of the best pool shocks that willl help you deal with seroius contaminations.

At least, you need to find test kits that are capable of testing your total chlorine, free chlorine, total alkalinity, pH level, calcium hardness, and Cyanuric acid. While it’s possible that some test kits don’t test as many components as this, some may even test more. Based on your swimming pool’s size and how you use it, you could choose either. If you don’t want to leave anything to chance, then it’s advisable to go for a high-end photometric kit that can effectively handle the costliest swimming surfaces.

While you can use your pool water test kits to test your drinking water, most experts discourage using them for that as what’s considered a good pH level for pool water is different from what is deemed as a good pH level for drinking water.

Our Verdict

Taylor Technologies is not a new name when it comes to great inventions. Perhaps, that’s why it wouldn’t surprise most people that their Taylor K-1515-A Drop Test Kit takes the top spot on our list. While there are models that test for more components than this kit, the way it efficiently goes about its operation, while being ridiculously easy to use is something to admire. This kit would top any list of the best pool water test kits.

The digital LaMotte ColorQ Pro 7 Digital Pool Water Test Kit follows it closely at second spot, and we wouldn’t even be surprised if some people judge this kit to be better than our top model. It’s not better than it but it’s almost as good. First of all, it’s a digital model, which allows it to deliver 100 percent accurate results. On top of that, its digital operation makes it effortless to use.

On the third spot, we have the AquaChek 7-Way 100 Count Pool Water Test Strips. While this kit looks completely basic on the eye, its ease of use, efficiency, and affordability make it a must-have. It tests for up to seven components too, and its tendency to deliver results in a ridiculously rapid way makes it a strong contender.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *