A TDS meter measures the Total Dissolved Solids in water measured in parts per million. This means that the higher the reading the more impurities like heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, chloride, and other contaminants in the water.
It should also be noted that dissolved sugar and salt in water also increase its reading. Though it will tell you how many impurities the water has, it won’t tell you exactly what’s in it.
Generally, it’s best to have as low a reading as possible. The lowest reading possible is a reading of zero, that means that the water is almost completely pure.
Further reading: Zero water vs Brita vs Pur – A Grand Tripartite Contest
TDS meters are relatively small in size, and aren’t too expensive. You can buy one for less that 25 dollars. Some high-end water filters even come with TDS meters so that you can see for yourself how well the filters work.
However, this is not always the case, especially for filters used in refrigerators and sinks. To really know how well these filters work, a TDS meter is absolutely necessary.
TDS meters can be used for pools, aquariums, and (most likely) drinking water in order to determine if the water is safe to drink. Usually, anything below 700 parts per million is fine so long as it has gone through some form of municipal filtration.
However, it’s understandable if you want to drink the purest water you can get your hands on. To do this you’ll need a TDS meter.
There are dozens of TDS meters on the market today, but how can you pick the right one? There are many things to look for when deciding which TDS meter to get, and how to find the best TDS meter for drinking water.
Finding the best TDS meter for drinking water.
The one thing most of us always keep in mind is price. Thankfully, TDS meters are relatively expensive and can be bought for anywhere between 5 dollars to 25 dollars.
Of course, like most things, you get what you pay for when it comes to TDS meters. The best TDS meter for drinking water will last you a lifetime, because nothing is worse than having to rebuy the same product over and over again year after year.
Many TDS meters don’t just measure the amount of dissolved solids in your water. Some higher-end models also measure the electrical conductivity (EC) of your water.
Pure H2O has almost no conductivity, all the conductivity we associate with water comes from the dissolved solids in it. Measuring electrical conductivity is usually used for aquariums and pools and not so much drinking water, even though EC can be used to determine TDS.
Many meters also measure the temperature of water for added convenience. If you have a reason to measure the temperature and EC of water, then look for a meter than can measure them along with TDS.
Further reading: Brita Vs Pur Water Filtration Pitchers: Which One Should You Choose?
It goes without saying that you want a TDS meter to measure dissolved solids accurately.
Thankfully, this isn’t much of a problem with modern meters (that wasn’t the case twenty years ago) and the best TDS meter for drinking water will detect dissolved solids within a two percent range.
Some meters can even be calibrated to give you even more accuracy, though this should only be done by people who know what they’re doing.
You don’t want a meter that will only last you a few months. The best TDS meter for drinking water will have a sturdy construction and precise electrical parts that will last you years. A reliable meter has a secure housing where all the electronics sit.
Usually, there’s a removable cap that covers the part of the meter that you submerge in water. This is how you get a reading. However, it’s important to only submerge the meter up to the specified distance.
If you submerge it too much you may damage electrical components. This is why a clearly marked immersion line that tells you exactly how deep to submerge the TDS meter is so important.
So now that you know what to look for, how do you find the best TDS meter? To give you a hand, here are reviews of the three most highly rated products on Amazon. Each one is put through the test in order to find the very best.
Top 3 best TDS meter for drinking water.
The HM Digital TDS meter is the simplest one to use of the three. It only measures TDS. However, the HM Digital meter also saves readings for recording purposes, and can be useful if you want to track the purity of your water over time.
However, despite it’s lack of features the HM Digital is a bit more on the expensive side.
- Simple to use
- Records previous readings
- Doesn’t have extra features
- A bit more expensive
The Digital Aid TDS meter is the least expensive of the three meters reviewed here, yet it not only measures dissolved solids but also conductivity and temperature. While this meter is accurate, has a great price, and a variety of features, there have been complaints regarding its durability.
- Lots of features
- Great price
- Many reported defective models
The Ubante TDS Meter is the most expensive of the three, but it’s also the most reliable. With that said, it’s only a few cents more expensive than the second most expensive meter. Many have said they have had this meter for years. As well, it can also measure the conductivity of water and the temperature. Best of all, it comes with it’s own leather case.
- Durable, can last years with proper care
- Has many features
- Is the most expensive
After reviewing all three products, it becomes very clear which one is the best TDS meter for drinking water: The Ubante Professional TDS Meter.
Unlike the Digital Aid model, the Ubante had less problems with unreliable construction and parts, and it only costs a few cents more than the HM digital model but had many more features and even came with a nifty leather carrying bag.
The Ubante is the most reliable of the three, has a good price that won’t leave your wallet light, and is accurate within two percent. If you need to get exact readings at a low price, the Ubante TDS meter is the best choice and well worth the money.