The Best Hydroponics System Review For 2022
Indoor plants create a beautiful ambiance in our homes. Unfortunately, most people living in urban settings have limited spaces and lack direct sunlight in their apartments. This can be a big hindrance. Hydroponics is a gardening technique that comes to save the situation and allows urban dwellers to have their indoor plants.
Hydroponic systems use a medium replacing soil, nutrients, and water to support your plants’ growth. The medium is made of natural materials such as coconut coir, perlite, and vermiculite. Hydroponic plants have a 30% to 50% advantage over the plants grown in soil. They have higher yields with few barriers between roots, water, oxygen, and nutrients.
You might need an artificial light mimicking the sunlight in dark rooms in order for your plants to flourish. Most apartments have limited access to direct sunlight or in winter seasons, your plants might die. With artificial light, you can plant all year round different types of fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables successfully.
If you’re wondering how to choose a hydroponic system, we have compiled 5 of the best hydroponic systems in 2022 and a buying guide with tips on how to find the right one for you.
Top 5 Best Hydroponic System Ratings
Best Overall: AeroGarden Black Bounty Indoor Hydroponic Garden
If you have limited counter space, then the AeroGarden is the right kit for you. It is a small little herb garden that allows you to plant your seedlings indoors and enjoy a bountiful harvest. You no longer have to dash to the grocery store every time you need fresh vegetables. The hydroponic kit supports all year round enabling you to save some money.
This hydroponic kit uses about 3oz of the nutrient solution enabling the plants to grow 5x faster than crops in a field. It’s also easy to manage with little effort and zero mess. Thanks to the full spectrum 40-watt LED you don’t need to worry about placing your kit near a window. You can place it anywhere in the house and trust your plants to flourish.
This small hydroponic kit can hold plants with about 24” maximum height. It comes with a separate control panel enabling you to monitor your indoor garden and reminds you when the plants need your attention.
- It’s great for small counter space
- It can hold 9 plants
- It comes with a ready nutrient solution
- It has 40 watts LED lights
- You can have plants all year
- It is more expensive than other systems
For more information read our in-depth AeroGarden Black Bounty Indoor Hydroponic Garden review.
Vivosun Hydroponic Grow Kit
The Vivosun Hydroponic Grow Kit is a clean and eco-friendly system that allows you to grow many plants indoors. This soilless cultivation uses nutrient film technology to increase plants production. It is highly effective and requires minimal space and less water.
This hydroponic system comes with a timed circulation system that allows the pump to work automatically. The default setting starts every 30 minutes and runs for 5 minutes to reach the medium. You can set circulation automatically or manually depending on your preferences. The pump is durable and will last you a long time.
This Vivosun hydroponic system is easy to set up and maintain. It requires no plumbing skills and you can have it complete in less than 30 minutes. The plants also need less time and energy to take care of themselves. For sunlight, you can easily carry the system outside or buy an artificial light.
With the 90 holes, you have the liberty to plant your vegetables, flowers, and herbs. You can try celery, beets, lettuce, rosemary, parsley, kale, spinach, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, garlic, canola, and many other small plants. You also have a one-year guarantee for your system in case something goes wrong.
- It holds up to 90 plants
- Ideal for vegetables, herbs, and small shrubs
- It’s compact and lightweight
- It has a timed circulation system
- One year warranty
- The artificial light might not reach the plants at the bottom
For more information read our in-depth Vivosun Hydroponic Grow Kit review.
Best For Beginners: Moistenland Hydroponics Growing System
The Moistenland Hydroponics kit supports plants all year round. It comes equipped with biodegradable coco coir to support your plants and deliver the necessary nutrients. It has 12 planting pods allowing enough space for each plant. This kit is perfect for your kitchen counters or pantry shelves and takes little space.
Direct sunlight won’t be an issue with this indoor kit. It comes with a 23 W LED grow light panel that offers a full light spectrum that helps the plants grow. It has three light red, blue, and white lights for different plant stages. The light is equipped with an automatic 24hr light circulation of 16 hrs on and 8 hrs off. That way your plants will thrive in all seasons saving you unnecessary trips to the grocery store.
This hydroponic kit is designed with a built-in water and air circulation system. It has a fan embedded in the light panel to reduce light heat and promoting air circulation similar to a natural breeze. In the reservoir, you’ll find a powerful yet silent water pump that assists in water flow to distribute oxygen and nutrients to the roots.
Moistenland offers you two growing modes with adjustable height for your taller plants. The growing modes support both vegetables and fruits. The blue light helps the vegetables to grow luscious leaves and the red light is for the flowering and fruition stage. As your plants grow taller, you can adjust the lights accordingly.
- It helps your plant grow in all seasons
- It has adjustable heights for your plants
- It has two light modes
- Has a powerful motor
- It has only 9 planting spots
For more information read our in-depth Moistenland Hydroponics Growing System review.
Veritable VPOT Smart Indoor Garden
The Veritable Indoor Garden is a small kit for your indoor plants. It comes with seedlings that are ready to germinate and harvest in 3 to 4 weeks. It’s easy to assemble and care especially for beginners.
It is designed with a patented LED light with two growing modes. The blue light and white lights mimic sunlight enabling your plants to grow even in dark rooms. The lights are automatic with 1 hour or 8 hours intervals similar to natural lights. This kit has 2 independent light poles facing different directions and is adjustable supporting your plants in different growing stages.
This hydroponic kit requires no fertilizer, pesticides, or potting soil for your plants to thrive. Your plants will be all-natural, fresh, and tasty. You can grow your herbs, greens, flowers, and small fruits in all seasons without any delays.
Most small plants take 3 to 4 weeks to harvest. So you can harvest three times in a year. The hydroponic kit also comes with a visual alarm to remind you when the reservoir has low water levels. Therefore, you don’t have to disturb your neighbors when you’re away. You can remotely turn on the pump and shut it off whenever you need to.
- You can control the hydroponic kit remotely
- It enables plants to grow 5 times faster
- It is compact and lightweight
- Great for beginners
- It comes with seedlings
- It has limited plantings holes
For more information read our in-depth Veritable VPOT Smart Indoor Garden review
iDOO Indoor Herb Garden
The iDOO indoor garden kit is designed with a built-in water pump to enable automatic circulation. The pump ensures the water, nutrients, and oxygen flows to the roots. This system helps your plants grow faster than outdoor plants.
It also has a light fan promoting air circulation, increasing pollination, and balancing light temperature. The fan is silent and won’t disturb you at night if you place it in your bedroom. Thanks to the 23-watt LED light, your plants receive natural light simulation all year round. That way you don’t have to skip planting during no light seasons.
The kit is easy to operate and requires minimal effort to care for it. You don’t need any prior gardening experience to grow your indoor plants. This hydroponic system has 24 pieces of biodegradable palm sponges and 12 slots for your plants. The sponges make transferring seedlings to your kit a lot easier.
You can plant various plants on this kit including spinach, kale, peppers, mint, and other small plants. The light pole is adjustable and you can increase or reduce height depending on your plants’ growth stages.
- It comes with an adjustable light pole
- High-performance sponges and seedlings
- It has efficient air and water circulations
- It has a small footprint perfect for small counter spaces
- Not great for larger plants
For more information read our in-depth iDOO Indoor Herb Garden review.
Comparison Of Products
What To Consider When Buying The Best Hydroponics System
When searching for the best hydroponics growing system, there is a system you need to follow to get value for your money. There are many hydroponic kits in the market and the wealth of information might overwhelm you. We have gathered a few tips to help you find the best hydroponic system for you. Read through and use the tips to pick out the right one for you.
Hydroponics are popular for their high yield results. They double the harvest with less effort compared to plants in arable land. For better yield, choose a hydroponic system that can hold more plants at a time. When the slots are more, you can have a variety of plants and harvest more. If you have limited space, you can go for a larger system with several tiers. That way you can save on space and still enjoy a higher yield.
Your house or apartment space is also a determining factor. There are many different hydroponic kits with many shapes and sizes. Your counter or floor space should guide you to which one best serves you. You can start with a small hydroponic growing system if you have a small space but can upgrade to a bigger one later. If it’s only for your kitchen use, a small kit will serve you well. But if you’re looking to plant things like marijuana or spinach for commercial use, you’ll need a bigger hydroponic system.
Nutrient Film Technique (NFT): This system is ideal for plants with shallow root systems such as lettuce, kale, spinach, and other leafy greens. The system pumps the nutrient solution into the pipes with dipped roots then back to the reservoir. This ensures your plants receive adequate nutrients for them to thrive.
Deep Water Culture (DWC): It’s also known as the deep flow technique (DFT) or the floating raft technology (FRT). This system allows roots to submerge into the nutrient solution to absorb them directly. It’s perfect for larger plants with deep roots allowing the plant to get enough nutrients.
Wick: This type is simple and requires no pumps, electricity, or aerators to work. Wick systems come with sponge mediums such as vermiculite, coco coir, or perlite to support the plants’ growth. The wick is suspended above the nutrient solution reservoir allowing direct benefits for faster growth.
Ebb and Flow: This system is also referred to as a flood and drain system. You place your plants into grow beds with a growing medium then flood them with nutrients solutions. An in-built drain allows the water to hit a few inches near the top of the medium. A timed pump then automatically shuts off at the pre-set time allowing water to flow back through the pump draining the bed completely. After a short period, the pump kicks in and repeats the process.
Drip system: The drip system uses irrigation systems to constantly drip nutrients to the plant growing medium. The extra water solution is pushed back to the reservoir or discarded.
Aeroponic: This system is an advanced system that uses water pumps, sprayers, and timers to supply your plants with the needed nutrient solution in a mist form. The pipes are suspended above the plants while the roots hang bare in the air to receive the suspended mist. This system is not common but it’s also efficient.
Hydroponic systems can be expensive and need you to have a budget in place. You may want a fancy system but your budget limits you. For a beginner, you can start with an affordable model and familiarize yourself with the system. You can choose to upgrade later when you’re ready. Not that expensive isn’t always the best option. Do your research first and settle for a model that will deliver high yields and is within your budget.
Level of Automation
If you’re a busy person with limited time to tend your plants, choose a hydroponic system with remote control kits. That way you can always monitor your plants’ progress, control water, light, temperature, nutrients, and humidity from your office or vacation. Such systems require minimal effort and allow you to stop worrying about your plants’ wellbeing. If you want to be hands-on, choose a system with manual technology and enjoy being involved in your plant’s growing stages.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of farming hydroponically?
Limited space: in urban settings, most dwellers don’t have any balconies or backyards to plant their fruits and vegetables. Hydroponic systems come to bridge that gap and give the urban dwellers a planting chance. This system replaces soil with a growing medium and nutrient solution for the plants to thrive. The plants have their roots in the water to absorb nutrients directly. Even if you have limited storage space in your house, you can still find a small system allowing you to plant. You also don’t have to worry about direct sunlight, these systems come with artificial light allowing you to place the kit anywhere and your plants will flourish.
Saves water: in traditional farming, there’s a significant amount of water loss due to puddles, runoffs, and evaporation. In hydroponic systems, you save on water consumption and your plants get all the required nutrients.
High yields: In hydroponic systems, plants grow faster and produce a bountiful harvest. The plants absorb all the nutrients directly and none goes to waste. This process is accurate and enables your plants to grow 5 times faster than the ones in larger fields. You can also control the nutrients and increase or reduce them depending on the plants’ needs.
No toxins or pesticides: plants in open fields are prone to pest attacks and disease. They have to be sprayed frequently to keep the pests, and diseases at bay. Indoor plants are safe from such problems and don’t need any chemicals or pesticides to help them grow. So, you’ll enjoy fresh and natural fruits and vegetables.
No weeds: in hydroponic systems, weeds don’t stand a chance. Weeds steal your plants’ nutrients and need to be removed constantly. Since they don’t exist in hydroponics, you don’t waste your time uprooting them and your plants get all the nutrients.
Efficiency: If you compare hydroponic plants and soil, you’ll find that the first one is more efficient. In hydroponics, there are minimal threats hence resulting in maximum results. You’ll have little to no wastage or dead plants every harvest season. Furthermore, plants in hydroponic systems grow faster enabling you to replace the plants quickly and repeat the process.
Ease of use: indoor gardens are designed to make your work easy. They require no technical skills and are easy to maintain. You may search for basic knowledge online or simply follow the manual guide attached with the kit. All you need to master is the watering needs, nutritional requirements, and plants to use in your hydroponic growing system.
Set and forget: since most of the hydroponic systems are automated, you have the control to allow your plants to thrive. All you need is to set the nutrition mixture, water levels, humidity, space, and light and you’re good to go. You don’t need to check in every few hours, you can go about your business and check weekly or when your kit alerts you.
Fresh and natural plants: you are in control of the plants you wish to have. The hydroponic kits allow you to plant all the vegetables in the comfort of your kitchen and save you multiple trips to the grocery. That way you enjoy fresh food and know the process used to grow them.
What are the disadvantages of hydroponic growing systems?
A hydroponic system is great but has its downside such as:
Dependency on technology: some hydroponics are dependent on technology and if it fails, the whole system fails. For instance, if there’s a power shortage, you’ll experience significant crop loss when the pumps, fan, and lights stop working. If the power doesn’t return soon, your channels run dry, starving your plants and ruin the whole growing process. If the pump or the timer fails, you may risk flooding your house when the hydroponic can’t stop the water from flowing. This can be a costly mess and may ruin valuables in your house.
Expensive: Hydroponic systems are expensive. They require some investment to get a good kit worth having. Also, replacing the failing parts can be a shipping nightmare and your wallets will be bleeding after the process.
Small batches: some garden kits are too small with fewer slots for fewer vegetables. Considering the amount of electricity and water the kit uses, having between 10 to 25 plants is a loss. You’ll have limited space and can plant a few batches at a time. Furthermore, you’re only limited to small vegetables.
Is the hydroponic system better than soil?
Both soil and hydroponics have their strengths depending on the situation. However, hydroponics is considered superior since it uses water to deliver nutrients and oxygen directly to the roots. They grow faster and are healthier. Hydroponics only work best for small spaces otherwise it may prove expensive for large-scale farming. In hydroponics, you can avoid weeds, diseases, and pests attacking your plants. Your plants will grow naturally without any pesticides, herbicides, or harmful fertilizers.
What is the best hydroponic system for beginners?
Deep-water culture (DWC) is the simplest hydroponic system a beginner can have. The plants have their roots submerged directly into the nutrient-rich water. This system uses solid storage baskets or buckets. The plants are placed on little floaters and suspended in the water during the growing process. A simple home structure with no circulating water parts makes this system affordable and easy to set up.
Since the water is stagnant in the reservoir, you’ll need to aerate the water to increase oxygen in the water for your roots. You can buy an air pump with an air stone attached similar to the ones in fish tanks. That way your roots get enough oxygen to support your plants.
Do hydroponic vegetables taste different?
The short answer, yes, hydroponic vegetables taste different and better than ones in soil do. This is because, in hydroponics, you’re in control of the growing process and can regulate the nutrients, light, humidity, and water level to manipulate the taste. In soil, the plants are affected but many things include the seasons, quality of soil, presence of weed, pesticides, nutrients, and other factors. It’s often harder to control plants in soil and the taste might be out of control. But with hydroponics, you decide how you want your plants to turn out and work towards that.
How does hydroponics work?
A hydroponic system brings the outdoors into your home. It eliminates the soil and replaces it with nutrient-rich liquids enabling your plants to grow faster and healthier. You don’t need to worry about direct sunlight, instead, you can use artificial lights and your plants will enjoy the same benefits.
For support, hydroponics uses simple plastic cups with growing media such as vermiculite, rock wool, coco coir, or perlite. In some systems such as the deep-water culture, the plants are submerged directly into the nutrient solution. The solution provides everything your plants need to thrive.
Hydroponic systems are a great way to have indoor plants without stress. There are many options to choose from. We have done our research and listed 5 of the best hydroponic systems in 2022 to help guide you to acquire one that suits your needs.
Make sure you read the whole guide to understand better in terms of quality, yield, and counter space. We hope that you found this article, kindly leave a comment down below and share your thoughts or drop any question you might have concerning hydroponic systems.