The best hydroponic system is the one that provides you with all the essentials required to grow healthy plants. It should be easy to use. It should also ensure that you have enough light for your plants to thrive.
You want to consider the type of plants you want to grow when choosing your system. Some systems can accommodate larger plants such as tomatoes, and some can not.
It should have a timer so that you don’t need to worry about manually turning on and off the lights.
It should be the correct size to fit the space you have and larger enough to grow the number of plants you desire.
Many hydroponic systems are compact and only take up 1 to 2 square feet of space thus allowing them to be placed on kitchen countertops.
The best hydroponic system is the one that provides you with all the essentials for successful indoor gardening to grow your own plants. There are a lot of different hydroponic indoor garden systems to choose from. In this article, I cover some of the best hydroponic systems available in the market today.
Here are my 9 top picks for the best hydroponic system.
- Aerogarden: Top Pick because of its variety of options can find a model for a variety of budgets
- Click and Grow: Best for those looking for a simple easy-to-use system.
- Gardyn: Best for those looking for a large-size model that allows you to grow a lot of food at one time.
- iHarvest: Also best for those looking for a large-size model that allows you to grow a lot of food at one time, and has movable lights which is a nice feature.
- Lettuce Grow – The Farmstand: Best for those looking for a large growing space and wanting to be able to grow a wide variety. This company also offers virtual consultations which is a nice feature.
- Veritable Smart Indoor Garden: Best for those looking for a small and completely quiet system.
- Edn: Best for those looking for a small compact system that is stylish with a nice wooden look.
- VegeBox: Best for those looking for a countertop option at a lower price point.
- Rise Gardens: Best for those looking for a variety of options to choose from. This company offers countertop and floor models.
#1 Aerogarden (Top Pick)
What I like about Aerogarden is…
Aerogarden is an aeroponic system. Aeroponics is a type of hydroponics. Neither one uses soil, instead, they both use a nutrient solution to grow the plants. The difference is that with hydroponics the plant roots sit in water whereas with aeroponics the plant roots are irrigated by spraying the roots with water.
Because the roots are submerged in hydroponics they don’t get as much oxygen as they do when they are not submerged in water as is the case with aeroponics. By not submerging the roots in water and keeping them suspended in the air the extra oxygen they receive helps the plants grow larger and yield a larger crop.
Aerogarden is also great because they offer several different sizes of gardens which means there are a variety of different price points for different budgets. This also means that they have models that can grow larger plants such as tomatoes.
- Easy to use
- Variety of options
- Lots of grow light
Aerogarden has 11 countertop models ranging in price from $99.95 – $819.95
Aerogarden has 4 vertical garden models that sit on the floor these models range in price from $549.95 – $739.95
What I like about Click And Grow is…
Click and Grow is very simple to use. Its setup instructions are very straightforward and simple. It doesn’t require much care or maintenance. You don’t need any previous experience with gardening to be successful with this system. They also have a range of products depending on how much space you want to have to grow your plants.
- Simple to use
- Included app
- Subscription option
Click and Grow has 3 countertop models ranging in price from $139.95 – $639.95
Its large size allows you to grow a lot of food at one time, 30 plants at a time. It is also fun to look at.
It comes with a built-in light, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing additional lighting equipment.
It also has a timer feature which makes it convenient to set up and operate.
Their system is a smart system that makes it easy to know how to take care of your plants. Their garden app assistant takes a lot of the guesswork out of successfully growing your plants. 30 plants at a time can be grown in Gardyn, but you must have the floor to set it on.
- Large growing space
- Built-in lighting system
- Helpful app with smart capabilities
Gardyn Home Kit 1.0
regularly is $899 has gone on sale for $499
Gardyn Home Kit 2.0
regularly it is $999 has gone on sale for $849
What I like about iHarvest hydroponic system is…
Similar to Gardyn 30 plants at a time can be grown in iHarvest.
The iHarvest gardening system does have an app for the timer which makes it simple to use. It is easy to move the lights by moving the light stand closer to the plants if more light is needed.
If 30 plants is not enough you can add sections to the iHarvest garden wall.
iHarvest is well-designed and beautiful to look at.
iHarvest claims that $1,000 worth of food can be grown each year with its product.
- Can grom an abundant amount of produce
- Pleasant to look at
- The full spectrum led lights can be moved around easily
iHarvest’s unit is $849
What I like About Lettuce Grow is…
Lettuce Grow is a great option if you are looking for a hydroponic system that you can put in an outdoor space or inside. It is designed to use less outdoor space than a traditional soil garden.
If you use it inside and don’t have enough light indoors they do have grow lights that you can purchase called glow rings.
You can select seedlings from over 200+ greens, veggies, fruits, and herbs.
They offer pre-sprouted plants which put you ahead and enable you to harvest about 3 weeks earlier.
Whether you are new to growing with them or already using their product they will do a virtual consultation with you to answer your questions.
- Large growing space
- Large variety of seedlings offered
- Virtual consultations are available
$348 – $649
If you are wanting a smaller size indoor garden this is a good option for you. Their indoor gardens can grow between 2- plants so they will take up less space than other options on this list. So a veritable smart indoor garden could be a good choice for those who don’t have a lot of counter space.
They don’t use a pump, so the system is completely quiet. They use a watering system that they call “passive hydroponics”. The LED lighting system has a long life span, 10 years when used with normal operation which is defined as 16 hours of lighting per day.
- Small size
- Passive hydroponics
- Lighting system has a long life span
$159.99 – $329.99
Edn is another option small enough to be placed on a kitchen counter. It has a nice wood-like look to it. Its compact size (16 inches long and 6 inches wide) allows it to even fit on a desk or bookshelf. Edn also has an app that indicates to you when it is time to care for your plants or harvest. Edn offers a membership program where you can get 30% off seedpod refills.
- Pleasant to look at
- The membership program offers 30% off seedpod refills
Edn only has a countertop version priced at $199
The VegeBox is another countertop system and is a lower-priced option than others on this list. Their models sell for less than $100. The VegeBox has a model that can hold up to 12 plants. So other pluses include a large water tank and a wide powerful LED light.
- Less expensive
- Large water tank
- Holds a large number of plants despite its compact size
$69.99 – $99.99
Rise gardens have several models to choose from. There are options for countertop models as well as ones that sit on the floor. Their largest option can grow up to 108 plants at a time.
One of the nice things about rise gardens is their simplicity. There is an app that helps you to manage your plants and monitor nutrient levels. Nutrient liquid and water need to be added on average about once a week.
- Simple to use
- Helpful app
- Variety of models
One countertop model $279
3-floor models ranging from $679 – $1079
How To Choose A Good Hydroponic System?
Somethings to consider before buying a hydroponic system.
This is probably the most important factor when choosing a hydroponic system because this determines how much space you will require. If you only want to grow a few plants in your garden, then a compact unit may work well for you. However, if you plan to grow multiple plants, then you will need a bigger unit.
2) How much space do you have
Where are you planning on putting your unit and how much space do you have available. Are you looking for a unit to fit on the countertop or the floor.
3) Type of plant you want to grow
Leafy green vegetables tend to do well in hydroponic indoor garden systems whereas root vegetables do not.
4) How smart is your smart garden
How much does technology help you in taking care of your plants? Do the hydroponic garden systems you are considering have a vacation mode where your smart garden can run itself while you are away? Some do and some don’t.
5) Light Intensity
This refers to the intensity of the lighting provided by the unit. If you are planning to grow plants indoors, then most of the time you will need some form of artificial lighting. Units with built-in LED lights make it easy for your plants to get enough light.
This is another essential feature of a hydroponic system that you must look out for. Most units come with timers that automatically turn on and off the lights at certain intervals. This helps you save energy and money.
Reservoirs hold water. When you run out of water, you can just add more into the reservoir.
8) Is there a vacation mode
It is nice to be able to have your unit continue to operate smoothly when you go out of town.
Some hydroponic systems come with accessories such as grow pods, fertilizer, LED lights, etc. Make sure that you check whether the unit comes with everything that you need.
Warranty is yet another thing you need to consider. How long will the warranty last? Will you have to pay extra charges if the product breaks down after the warranty period expires?
Price is another important consideration. In general the higher the price, the larger the unit. But, you shouldn’t spend more than what you are willing to pay.
11) Shipping Time
Shipping time is also important. How long it will take for the item to reach you is something that you want to know.
12) Customer Service
Customer service is another important aspect to take note of. You should be able to contact customer support easily when you need to.
13) Returns Policy
Returns policy is yet another thing that you should look out for. Does the company allow you to get your money back if the product does not meet your expectations?
14) How easy it is to use
How easy it is to use is another factor that determines the overall quality of a product. A good product should be easy to set up and operate.
15) Size And Weight
Size and weight are other factors that you should keep in mind while choosing a hydroponic system. Smaller units weigh less but may not provide enough room for growth. Larger units are heavier, but they offer more space.
16) Air pump and water pump
Some systems use air pumps to oxygenate the water and water pumps to circulate the water. It is good to know what your particular system uses.
What is hydroponics?
Hydroponics is the practice of growing plants without soil. It involves using water and liquid nutrients that contain all the elements required for plant growth. The plant’s root system absorbs the nutrients from this solution. This plant food is what each indoor plant uses to grow.
Hydroponic systems are used to grow vegetables indoors. These indoor garden systems are a great way to do gardening indoors.
Hydroponic gardening is an effective way to grow your own food. You can start with a small space and expand later if needed.
Hydroponic growing can work well for everyone. Even those that don’t have a green thumb can be successful when it comes to growing food with one of these hydroponic systems.
Are indoor hydroponic gardens worth it?
Yes! Indoor hydroponic gardens are great because they allow you to grow your own food with much less effort than traditional gardening. Because of the temperature control, being indoors provides you can grow food all year round with a hydroponic system. In general they an excellent choice for beginners.
Indoor hydroponic gardens have some advantages over traditional gardening methods. Some of the main benefits include:
1. No dirt
2. Less work
3. Easy to maintain
4. Easy to control the temperature creating the optimum environment for plants
5. Able to grow year-round thus providing fresh produce all year long
6. Can be scaled up or down easily depending on your needs
7. Can grow food in a small space
8. Faster growth and higher yield
9. Can grow more plants in less space
10. Uses less water
11. Fewer problems with pests so less need for pesticides
12. Countertop gardens are easier to harvest when the plants are mature (no bending over)
What are some disadvantages of hydroponics systems?
- Costly to set up
- Dependent on power to run
- A high level of monitoring is required
- Susceptible to waterborne diseases
- Plants are affected quickly when there are problems
- Some larger or hanging plants may not be appropriate
Is tap water OK for hydroponics?
Yes, it can be used but you need to remove some things from it before you use it. It is important to know how your local water is treated. In order to kill harmful bacteria to humans, tap water can be treated with chlorine or chloramine. Since there is no soil used in hydroponic systems the normal protection that the soil provides is not there. Over time chlorine or chloramine can be harmful to your plants. Chlorine can be removed by off-gassing if you leave the water in the direct sun for 24 hours. Unfortunately, this is not a reliably good way to remove chloramine. Chloramine can be removed by dissolving a Campden tablet in the water. Chlorine can also be removed this way.
You could also invest in a water filtration system that will remove chlorine and chloramine from your tap water for you. However, if you don’t want to invest in a water filtration system then buying distilled water would be another option. If you have a large water reservoir that holds many gallons of water then this may not work for you.
Rise gardens vs Aerogarden
Whether it’s growing your own vegetables, contributing to a greener environment, or simply having fresh produce at your fingertips, Rise gardens and Aerogarden hydroponic systems can help you make that happen. Though they both grow healthy plants without soil, rise gardens feature self-watering reservoirs and LED lighting while Aerogardens uses aeroponics meaning the plant roots are irrigated by spraying the roots with water rather than submerging them in water. Both companies have countertop and floor models. But regardless of which you choose, rise gardens vs Aerogardens both provide an amazing way to grow your very own organic produce right in the comfort of your home.
iHarvest vs Gardyn
iHarvest and Gardyn are two of the leading hydroponic systems on the market today. Gardyn provides an easy-to-use, all-in-one system that allows users to set up their indoor garden with relative ease. Its unique design is specifically tailored for those that are new to growing vegetables indoors. On the other hand, iHarvest offers a more customizable approach, allowing users to choose how much space they need to grow and how many plants they’d like to cultivate at once. It’s also ideal for larger spaces since it can accommodate as many planter boxes as needed. Ultimately, iHarvest and Gardyn both provide efficient hydroponic solutions for growing fresh produce indoors year-round, so it just comes down to personal preference when deciding which one is best for you.
My intent with this article was to help you decide which hydroponic system to buy. I hope it was useful to you.
I recommend that you go for a reliable unit that offers everything you need at a reasonable cost.
I am a physician who cares about healthy living. I strive to be as healthy as I can be so that I can thrive in my own life. By sharing what I know I want to help others to live a healthy life.