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Grow Smarter With The Best Hydroponic System

Last updated on June 1, 2023
Best Hydroponic System

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Hydroponic System

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

AeroGarden Harvest GMO-Free Hydroponic Garden System, 6-Pod

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

AeroGarden

Harvest GMO-Free Hydroponic Garden System, 6-Pod

Grow up to six herb plants at a time with this easy-to-use hydroponic system. It comes with seed pods, LED grow lights, a control panel and enough nutrients for a full growth season.

Overall Take

Bring the Outside InWith this kit, you can cultivate your own fresh herbs throughout the year.

 Runner Up

Click & Grow Energy-Efficient Nursery Herb Hydroponic System, 3-Pod

Click & Grow

Energy-Efficient Nursery Herb Hydroponic System, 3-Pod

This hydroponic system includes bright LED lights, which help your plants grow regardless of the weather. The water reservoir powers the self-watering function, so you never have to remember to water your herbs. You can choose from over 50 pre-seeded plant pods.

Overall Take

Self-Sustaining Gardening KitYou don’t need a green thumb to grow herbs with this electronic herb garden kit.

 Strong Contender

QYO LED Sunlight Simulating Hydroponic System, 12-Pod

QYO

LED Sunlight Simulating Hydroponic System, 12-Pod

Growing your own herbs has never been easier than with this hydroponic system. No matter what the weather is doing outside, you'll be able go grow 12 delicious herbs. The set comes with a grow light and a smart water circulation system, so all you need to do is plant the seeds.

Overall Take

Budget-Friendly PickYou're sure to love the affordable price tag on this economical hydroponic system.

  The Best Value

EZORKAS Year-Round Quiet Hydroponic System, 12-Pod

EZORKAS

Year-Round Quiet Hydroponic System, 12-Pod

Thanks to the three separate modes on this hydroponic system, you'll be able to grow fruits, vegetables and flowers. The unit is equipped with 80 LED grow lights and 12 pods. One of the biggest benefits of using this system is that your plants will grow faster in the nutrient water then they would in the soil in your garden.

Overall Take

Large Growing SpaceThe pump on this hydroponic system is designed to run quietly.

Buying Guide

Hydroponics is the science of growing plants with a growing medium other than soil, water and nutrients. The medium can be vermiculite, perlite, coconut coir or other natural materials.

Believe it or not, hydroponic plants often grow 20% faster than those grown in soil, with higher yields. This is because there are fewer barriers between the plants’ roots and the water, nutrients and oxygen that they need to thrive.

Indoor hydroponic garden systems have become quite popular amongst consumers. These often can use LED lights, which are efficient and do not emit as much heat as other types of bulbs.

Some of these gardens also employ so-called smart technology, so little effort is needed to keep the plants growing after the initial set up. You can find systems that pump the water and nutrients and adjust the light and oxygen levels for you. Other indoor gardens do even more.

The systems are not inexpensive, but the initial investment can really pay off once the garden is in bloom. They are semi-permanent fixtures (though they can be moved), so you will need to allow some space for them in your kitchen or wherever else you want them to be located.

First-timers can start out with a smaller hydroponic garden, as some accommodate fewer growing pods. Some of these systems are expandable, so look for that feature if it interests you.

If you are on the fence about getting an indoor hydroponic garden, here are some more reasons to jump on board. Aside from the faster growth rates, these gardens allow you to grow plants throughout the year instead of only in the spring and summer. In addition, you don’t have to deal with the dirt, insects and fungal infestations that come from growing plants in soil.

What to Look For

  • When shopping, look for the garden’s exact dimensions and compare that to the space you have available. Plan for extra height if you want to grow taller plants.
  • Some hydroponic gardens may have timers or reminders to tell you when the plants need to be watered or fed. This is a helpful feature.
  • Certain indoor gardens are easier to set up than others, so see if you can find online instructions before buying.
  • If you want to go all out, some of the systems have voice assistants that you can control through Google Assistant or Alexa. You will have to cough up more money for these, though.

More to Explore

Although the word “hydroponics” sounds pretty modern, it is derived from two Greek words: “hydro” for water and “ponics” for labor. The method is not a new one; soil-free gardening was invented thousands of years ago. It was used in the Floating Gardens of China and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Around 1950, scientists rediscovered hydroponics, and countries around the world have been using it for crop production since then. During the COVID-19 period of quarantine, more people became interested in hydroponics, and companies have responded in full force. Now, there are nearly effortless systems that can grow incredible herb, flower, vegetable and ornamental plants indoors.

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