A pool owner has a couple of options when they’re checking the chemistry of their pool. They can either use a complex testing kit or they can use pool testing strips. Either way works quite well, but the testing strips are the easiest method of keeping track of a pool’s chemical characteristics. That makes them a quick and inexpensive way for pool owners to keep their pool’s water in good condition.

Finding the best pool test strips isn’t as simple as using the strips themselves, however. That’s because the pool owner not only needs to make sure that the strips will perform the tests they need to be performed but also because there are several different brands available. To cut to the heart of the matter, we decided to review the best testing strips for pools that pool owners can trust. Now everyone can keep their pool’s water balanced.

Best Pool Test Strips

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10AquaChek 7-Way Pool Water Test Strips


There are quite a few pool testing strips that can measure a pool’s chemistry in 4-ways, 5-ways, or even 6 different ways, but there are few strips that can measure 7 key characteristics. Fortunately, this particular product is one of those that can. These strips can test for cyanuric acid, free chlorine, total chlorine, total alkalinity, bromine levels, pH levels, and total water hardness. Its ability to test for water hardness makes it especially helpful for people who live in areas that have hard water problems. Thanks to this innovative kit, anyone can enjoy perfect pool chemistry without having to do a lot of work.

9Aqua Check Pool Water Test Strips


Any owner of a chlorine pool is going to want to get a pool testing kit that’s capable of testing in four key areas, just like this kit is capable of doing. These strips can not only test for free chlorine levels, but they can also test for pH, total alkalinity, and cyanuric acid. They’re easy to use, and all the pool owner has to do is dip them into the water to get an accurate reading. After these strips have been dipped, they provide the consumer with reading in 30-seconds or less. And because each of the strips is easy to read, the pool owner doesn’t have to try to interpret what exactly the pool strip is trying to tell them.

8Leisure Time Chlorine Test Strips


Designed for chlorine pools, these high-quality pool testing strips are capable of measuring four key characteristics of a pool’s chemistry. These strips can test for pH level, alkalinity, bromine or chlorine levels, and calcium hardness. Each bottle comes with 50 strips and each of these strips is extremely easy to use. They just have to be dipped into the pool’s water and withing seconds the user has the results they need. And since these strips are also easy to read, the pool owner can quickly access the state of their pool’s water without having to figure out a complicated chart.

7Aqua Chek Total Bromine Pool & Spa Testing Kit


Even those these testing strips won’t test the entire range of a pool’s chemistry, it will give the pool owner the bromine, pH, and water hardness levels of the water. That makes this kit almost a necessity for anyone who has a bromine pool sanitation system. To use this product, all the pool owner has to do is dip it into the water for 1-second and then wait a couple of seconds more for the results. The strip can then be checked against the chart on the back of the bottle and the pool’s characteristics can be quickly ascertained. This might not be the most complete system, but it is one of the best for bromine-based pool sanitations systems.

6JNW Direct Pool & Spa Test Strips


These pool and spa test strips are designed to test for 6 key parameters and are extremely easy to use. These strips test for total chlorine, total water hardness, free chlorine, pH levels, total alkalinity, and bromine. Each bottle comes with 100-strips and these strips are as easy to use as just dipping them into the pool’s water. Once they’ve been dipped, these strips provide instant results that are extremely easy-to-read. And unlike some other competing strips that are currently on the market, these come with simple instructions that allow the pool owner to use them as soon as possible.

5GLB Pool & Spa Products 4-Way Strips


Not every pool owner needs a product that measures every single aspect of their pool’s chemistry, some people just want a product that covers the basics like this one. It’s designed to test for four of the most important characteristics of the pool: pH level, chlorine, bromine, and alkalinity. And that’s all it test for, so pool owners don’t have to fumble with overly complicated testing kits. And since this product is not only compatible with chlorine pools, but it’s also compatible with ozone, bromine and salt-water pool. That means just about everyone can use these strips to achieve perfect pool chemistry.

4AquaChek 5-In-1 Chlorine Testing Strips


Just about any set of pool test strips will give the pool owner a general idea of their pool’s chemistry, but not all of them will provide an accurate reading. Fortunately, these strips are designed to provide the same accuracy as professional testing kits, so consumers don’t have to guess about their pool chemistry. These 5-in-1 testing strips are designed to test free chlorine, total chlorine, total bromine, total alkalinity and the pH level of the water. And the results it attains are extremely accurate, so consumers have all the information they need to keep their pool completely balanced.

3LaMotte Insta-Test 6-Way Strips


These convenient pool strips are designed to test a pool’s water chemistry in 6 different ways. It can test for not only free chlorine or bromine levels, but it can also test for total chlorine levels, cyanuric acid levels, water hardness, water alkalinity, and pH levels. Each easy-to-store bottle contains 50 of these strips, and they are as simple to use as dipping them into the pool’s water. The one thing we like about these strips is that they’re easy to read, so the pool owner doesn’t have to squint at the strips to figure out their pool’s chemistry profile.

2DMight 6-In-1 Water Quality Testing Strips


These easy-to-use water test strips are just what many pool owners are looking for to maintain the water quality of their pool. All that the consumer has to do to use these strips is dip them into the water for 2-seconds, and then wait for 15-seconds. After that time has elapsed, then all they have to do is compare the color of the strip to the color chart that’s located on the side of its bottle. These test strips test the water’s pH, total chlorine, free chlorine, total water hardness, total water alkalinity and cyanuric acid found in the water. These are highly reliable strips and are backed by a satisfaction guarantee.

1Frog Pool & Spa Testing Strips


Any pool owner who has a Frog Mineral Water system on their pool or spa is going to want to buy this Frog testing strips. That’s because these strips are designed to test the water to make sure that it’s suitable for use with Frog equipment. Using this product, the consumer will able to dial in the right bromine or chlorine levels in their pool’s water to ensure that it’s perfect for the intended operation. And that’s something that simply can’t be achieved with other types of strips. Of course, if the pool owner doesn’t have a Frog System on their pool, then this product isn’t going to be useful for them.

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A Guide To Pool Test Strips

I imagine some people are reading this guide before them and wondering why we went through the trouble of creating a guide on pool test strips. These people may think to themselves that these testing strips are so basic, there’s nothing we can say about them. And to a point, they’re right. There aren’t a whole lot of things that we feel we need to mention about test strips, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything worth mentioning about them. That’s an important distinction.

This guide is mainly going to be centered around the concept of using pool testing strips properly so that our readers can stay on top of their pool’s chemistry. Sure, we’re going to briefly cover what consumers are going to want to think about before purchasing a new type of pool test strips, but as we’ve said and all of our readers know, these strips are basic. Just about any of them will do a decent job of showing the user the chemistry of the pool—if the consumer uses them correctly. Now that we’ve stated that fact, let’s start with the section on buying test strips before we move on to using them effectively.

Choosing Pool Test Strips

Choosing the right pool test strips isn’t a matter of which ones are better than the others, it’s more of a matter of which test is more suited for what you need. In our estimation, the choice is really between whether the pool owner wants 4-in-1, 6-in-1, or 7-in-1 testing strips. What’s the difference? Well, let’s take a closer look at them before continuing.

4-in-1 Test Kits

These test strips analyze just four chemical components of the pool’s water. These four components are pH, Free Chlorine, Alkalinity, and Bromine.

6-in-1 Test Kits

These test strips test for 6 different parameters, These tests are used to determine pH, Total Alkalinity, Total Hardness, Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine, and Bromine.

7-in-1 Test Kits

As everyone can probably tell by the name, 7-in-1 testing strips test for 7 different parameters. These parameters are Salt, pH, Total Hardness, Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine, Cyanuric Acid, and Total Alkalinity.

As you can see, there isn’t a whole lot of things to consider when purchasing pool test strips. As long as the test strips test for what you need them to test for and the scale that the strips are measured against is easy to read, then the consumer can’t really go wrong with buying test strips. Sure, some strips work faster than others, but it can be hard to tell just by looking at them which strips are fast and which strips take a little bit longer.

Using Pool Test Strips Properly

Okay, now that you know what pool test strips you might like, now it’s time to turn your attention to testing your pool’s water accurately. Below are the steps for properly testing your pool’s water so that you can get a good idea of your pool’s chemistry.

Step One: Pull A Proper Pool Water Sample

The first step to getting an accurate result with your pool testing strips is to pull a good amount of water from a central location of your pool. You will want to make sure that you don’t take samples from the return jets, from the skimmer, or from any floating chlorine dispensers. While pulling the sample, be sure to use a clean test container and try to make sure that you’re pulling water from beneath the surface of the water and not near the top. Once you have your water sample, you can then move on to the next step.

Tips For Pulling A Water Sample:

  • Try to pull water from at least 12-inches deep to 18-inches deep into the pool.
  • Use a clean collection cup.
  • Avoid pulling from the return jets or the pool’s skimmer.
  • Try to use the same location every time you test your pool’s water.

Step Two: Pull Out A Test Strip And Use It

The next step is easy enough for just about anyone to perform. First, make sure that your hand is dry. Next, open up your pool test strip, return the lid back to the testing strip’s container, and then fasten the lid. After that, make sure that you hold the test strip securely, and without touching the pads. When you’re ready to test, dip the test strip into the pool water sample for approximately 2-seconds. Remove the strip, give it just one shake to remove extra water, and then compare the results to the testing strips container’s label. And that’s all there is to it. Testing your pool water using one of these strips is just as easy as that. Now, let’s take a look at what constitutes proper pool chemistry for most pools.

Proper Pool Chemistry Levels

Some people might be looking down at their little testing strips and wondering what those numbers and colors mean. Well, we’re going to go over some of the basic chemistry ranges where the numbers should fall. If your pool chemistry doesn’t fall into one of the following ranges, then you’re going to have to add chemicals to your pool to properly adjust it. Now, as promised, let’s look at some common pool chemistry numbers.

  • The pH level should be between 7.2 and 7.6
  • The Calcium Hardness should be between 180 to 220 ppm
  • The Alkalinity should be between 80 to 120 ppm.
  • The Chlorine should be between 1 to 3 ppm.
  • The Bromine should be between 3 to 5 ppm.
  • The Cyanuric Acid should be between 30 to 50 ppm.

How Often Should Pool Water Be Tested?

Okay, let’s see where we’re at in this guide. We’ve covered buying testing strips, using testing strips, and proper chemistry levels for the pool. Now, we’re going to discuss how often the pool should be tested. Although not all pools are the same, most people are probably going to want to test their pool at least 2 to 3 times a week—more after the pool has been heavily used or after a rainstorm. That should be sufficient for most people to keep their pools in good condition.