Last updated: August 11, 2021

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With pH test strips you can measure pH values from the comfort of your home. You can measure pH values of your saliva and urine to check and monitor your acid-base balance. You can also use pH test strips to measure other liquids such as water from your pool, aquarium, drinking water, juices or other foods.

With our pH test strip test 2021 we want to help you find the right pH test strip for your needs. We have compared pH test strips made of litmus paper, pH test rolls and pH test strips made of paper pads and show you the advantages and disadvantages of each product. We have also listed some tips and tricks to help you with your decision.




Summary

  • With pH test strips, you can measure your pH level from home. The pH values from 0-6.9 are acidic, at 7 it is neutral and from 7.1-14 it is basic.
  • pH test strips are available in litmus paper, plastic and paper pads. You can use these pH test strips to test your urine and saliva or other liquids.
  • Which pH test strip is right for you depends on what you want to measure and how accurate and reliable your test result should be.

The Best Ph Test Strips in the United Kingdom: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying pH test strips

What are pH test strips?

With pH test strips you can measure the pH value. The pH value shows you whether a solution is acidic or basic. This depends on the concentration of protons in the solution. The pH value ranges from 0 to 14. If the pH value is between 0 and 7, the solution is acidic, at 7 it is neutral and from 7 to 14 it is basic or alkaline.
pH value Type
0 - 6.9 Acidic
7 Neutral
7.1 - 14 Basic (Alkaline)

What do pH test strips measure?

pH test strips measure the pH value of solutions. More precisely, of aqueous solutions. Aqueous solutions are solutions of hydrophilic substances. You can use pH test strips to measure your body's own pH value. You can also measure the pH of other liquid things, such as your pool, bathtub, aquarium, drinking water and even food.

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With perfect pH values in the pool, the evening can begin.
(Image source: 123rf.com/ famveldman).

When should you use pH test strips?

Basically, it is important for everyone to keep an eye on their acid-base balance. If your body is too acidic, this can have serious consequences.
Acidosis has serious consequences

If your body is over-acidic, the consequences are fatigue, bad skin, bad teeth, headaches and obesity. Especially when bladder infections are suspected, people like to use the pH test strip to find out whether a bladder infection is present. Furthermore, pregnant women can use pH test strips to monitor their values and react quickly in case of problems. You can also use pH test strips to detect vaginal and urinary bacterial infections. If you quickly detect a deviation in your vaginal alkaline acidity, you can react quickly and restore the balance.

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pH test strips for the right balance.
(Image source: 123rf.com/ Wylezich).

What is the ideal pH value?

The ideal pH value is 7. Everything below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline. You can measure your pH with pH test strips, but the value is always just a snapshot.

For optimal balance, your pH should be between 6.8 and 7.4.

The pH value is subject to fluctuations. It always depends on when you measure it and what you have eaten. For example, the pH value is lower in the morning than in the evening. Furthermore, vegetarian meals tend to be alkaline and meals with meat tend to be acidic.

For whom are pH test strips suitable?

For everyone! Whether you want to find out your body's pH value, the pH value of pools, drinking water or food, pH test strips are suitable for everyone.

No matter if you are a man or a woman, young or old! Anyone who wants to monitor their acid-base balance to avoid over-acidification can use pH test strips. You can even check the acid-base balance of your dog or cat. In short, anyone can use pH test strips.

How to use pH test strips?

you can use pH test strips from the comfort of your own home. The principle of use is very easy and always the same. We distinguish between pH test strips and a pH test roll.

pH test strips: Step 1: Wash your hands and take a strip with dry fingers.

Step 2: Hold the test strip in the urine or other liquid for 1 second and then shake off the strip.

Step 3: The test strip changes colour. Hold the strip up to the colour chart and match the colour to the chart to find the pH value.

pH test roll:

Step 1: You can determine the length of the test strip at your own discretion and tear it off.

Step 2: Hold the pH test strip in the urine or other liquid for 1 second.

Step 3: You can now compare the test strip directly with the colour chart on the plastic housing and determine your pH value.

How do you interpret the result of pH test strips?

After the 3 steps above, the strip or a piece of the roll will show a colour. This colour is then compared with the colour table on the packaging or on the plastic roll.

In principle, the colour table is arranged in such a way that it is listed from red to dark blue.

Red means very acidic, orange to yellow is also acidic, light green to dark green means neutral and light blue to dark blue is basic.

Solution Classification pH Type
Stomach juice, fruit juices, cola, vinegar Ultra acidic 0-3.5 Dark red
Wine, beer Extreme acidic 3.5-4.4 Red
Coffee Very strongly acidic 4.5-5.0 Dark orange
Tea, skin surface Strongly acidic 5.1-5.5 Orange
Rain, mineral water Moderately acidic 5.6-6.0 Dark yellow
Milk Slightly acidic 6.1-6.5 Yellow
Saliva, Pure water Neutral 6.6-7.3 Light yellow-light green
Blood, sea water Slightly alkaline 7.4-7.8 Green
Pancreatic juice Moderately basic 7.9-8.4 Dark green
Soap Strongly basic 8.5-9.0 Light blue
Bleach, concrete, caustic soda Very strongly basic 9-14 Dark blue

What types of pH test strips are there?

A distinction is made between prefabricated pH test strips and pH test rolls. With the pH test roll, you can determine the desired length of your test strip yourself and tear it off.

Furthermore, a distinction is made between whether you want to measure the value with saliva or urine or with other liquids. Other liquids include the water in a pool or aquarium, the composition of the soil or, for example, drinking water.

What alternatives are there?

As an alternative to pH test strips, you can also use or buy a digital pH tester. With the digital pH tester, you can measure not only liquids but also the composition of your garden or the soil. You can also measure the pH values of liquids and the composition of the soil with prefabricated test tubes.

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pH test tubes for measuring values from acidic to alkaline.
(Image source: 123rf.com/ Amikishiyev).

Another alternative would be drops or pH sticks. The application of the drops works the same as with the test tubes and that of the sticks the same as with the pH test strips. The alternatives are summarised once again:

  • pH test meter
  • pH test test tubes
  • pH test drops
  • pH test sticks

How much do pH test strips cost?

On average, pH test strips and pH test rolls cost between 5€ to 10€ for 100 to 200 pieces per pack. The fewer the number of strips in a pack, the cheaper it is. Furthermore, the measuring range of the pH test strip or the pH test roll also affects the price. Some test strips only cover the middle range of the pH table. If you want to measure very high or very low values, you have to pay a little more.

Decision: What types of pH test strips are there and which is right for me?

Below we have listed 3 types of pH test strips with their advantages and disadvantages to help you decide. In summary, these are:

  • litmus paper pH test strips
  • pH test rolls
  • pH test strips made of paper pads

What are the advantages and disadvantages of litmus paper pH test strips?

Litmus is a type of lichen that changes colour when it is mixed with acidic or basic substances. For example, the litmus paper strip turns red when the value is less than 4.5 and blue when the value is greater than 8.3. Between 4.5 and 8.3, the litmus paper pH test strip turns purple.

Since litmus only divides the acid-base balance into 3 parts, the litmus pH test strip is only for rough estimates and should not be used for exact measurements. The accuracy and quality of the pH test strips also depend very much on the manufacturers and suppliers.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • You can test liquid and gaseous molecules
  • Measure yourself from home
Disadvantages
  • Irritating to skin and eyes
  • Probably flammable at higher temperatures
  • Not always accurate readings
  • May stain

What are the advantages and disadvantages of pH test tapes?

pH test rolls are like pH test strips. You can decide for yourself how long you want your test strip to be and simply tear it off the roll. You can use the pH test roll to measure your acid-base balance, liquids, food, pools, aquariums and drinking water.

Advantages
  • Quick and easy checking of the pH value
  • High measuring range
  • Stable in storage
  • Measure independently from home
Disadvantages

What are the advantages and disadvantages of pH test strips made of paper pads?

These pH test strips are particularly suitable for pools, aquariums, soils, lakes, drinking water, but also for food. Simply measure from the comfort of your own home and after about 30 seconds you will have the result.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Quick and easy checking of the pH value
  • High measuring range
  • No bleeding
  • Measure independently from home
Disadvantages
  • Measured values not always clear
  • Result difficult to read

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate pH test strips:

In the following, we have listed a few more factors to make your purchase decision a little easier and to show you factors that you can compare. In summary, these are:

Measuring range

There are pH test strips that have a measuring range from 0 to 14 and thus cover all ranges. This type of pH value measurement is usually very coarse and only measures in whole steps.

Furthermore, there are types of pH test strips that concentrate on the middle part, but indicate it more precisely. This allows you to measure to one or two decimal places.

Reliability/Accuracy

To get reliable and accurate pH values, you should measure your values at least 3 times a day. The pH values tend to be more acidic in the morning and more alkaline in the evening. Litmus only divides the acid-base scale into 3 parts and thus only serves as a rough classification.

If you want to measure pH values precisely, pH test meters or pH test strips made of paper pads are suitable.

Quantity

Quantity could also play a role in your purchase. If you only want to measure your pH values for a short time, you can buy a small quantity of pH test strips. A small quantity is also cheaper.

However, if you want to monitor your acid-base balance over a longer period of time, we advise you to buy a larger quantity to get more accurate comparisons with the same product. In general, you can buy pH test strips from 50 to 500 pieces. pH test rolls are on average 5 metres long.

Brand

There are very many suppliers of pH test strips. If more values are tested, the price also increases.

Some products test other values besides pH, such as glucose, protein, nitrite and leukocytes.

The most popular manufacturers and suppliers are listed below:

  • Merck
  • Aquanatura
  • Macherey-Nagel
  • Roche Diagnostics
  • Gabmed

Facts worth knowing about pH test strips

Acidic vs. alkaline foods

Acidic foods: fish, meat, sausage products, vinegar, cheese, yoghurt, ready-made products, industrial sugar, coffee, alcohol, flour, bread, pasta Alkaline foods: parsley, nettle, kale, spinach, fruit, mushrooms, nuts, cucumber, fennel

Tips to keep the acid-base balance in equilibrium

Tip 1: In the morning, drink a glass of warm water with a dash of lemon. Tip 2: Alkaline baths are good for the acid-base balance, for the skin and for the muscles. Tip 3: Sports and sauna visits also help you to find your balance. Tip 4: Massages in any form bring your acid-base balance into balance.

The 3 most common mistakes when measuring

  1. Acids and bases: Indicators usually have a slightly acidic or basic pH value. Although this is usually too low to influence, it can cause a bias of one pH point in liquid indicators.
  2. Salts: If 2 solutions are tested with artificial material and the same value, this will influence the result. Since the salts of the materials are different, this will affect the result colour. The pH values are only accurate with a salt value below 0.2 N.
  3. Temperature: The temperature should be constant during the measurements, because different temperatures change the concentration of hydrogen ions and distort the result.

Photo source: CHASSENET/ 123rf.com

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