Needless to say, electricity is found everywhere around us. While it’s crucial for everyday life, recent studies have found that it might be harmful due to the EMF it generates.
The problem with EMF, or electromagnetic fields, is that you can’t see, smell, or even feel them. A house can be flooded with such fields without anyone noticing. That’s why you need an EMF meter.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the best EMF meters and detectors currently in the market. If you’re unfamiliar with the whole EMF concept, don’t worry. We’ll also discuss it in brief so that you know what you’re dealing with. Let’s get going!
The Best EMF Meters Reviews
What does every meter measure? How sensitive is it? How does it display data? I’ll cover these questions, and more, for each meter. Let’s see.
TriField TF2 Meter – Best Overall
This meter measures the 3 common kinds of EMFs: radio frequencies (RF), electric fields (EF), and magnetic fields (MF). Therefore, you’ll be able to identify every harmful source in your home.
Moreover, it reads the MF via a 3-axis sensor. This means that you’ll get a quick reading regardless of how well you’re aligned with the radiation source.
On the top part of this device, there’s a pretty large LCD display with backlight. It shows a live numerical EMF reading in addition to a needle simulator for old-fashioned folks.
As the live reading is highly fluctuant, this device shows the peak measurement on the top left corner of the display. This makes it much easier to get accurate readings in the least time possible.
Here’s what I like the best about it. This device gives two modes for testing EMF: standard and weighted. The standard mode reads the normal radiation that comes from nearby devices.
The weighted mode is a more sensitive one that can read the radiation your body has. Therefore, this device is great to measure how your body is reacting to the protective measures you apply in your house.
- Measures 3 types of EMF
- 3-axis MF sensor.
- Backlit LCD display
- Peak measurement
- Weighted Mode
- Audio and backlight buttons are placed under the back cover.
Cornet ED-88T Plus EMF Meter – Runner-Up
Like the TriField TF2, this meter can measure the 3 common EMF radiations. But instead of the dial, you can shift through the modes via small buttons found under the display.
Contrary to the TF2, this meter is directional. The correct reading won’t be obtained unless you direct it toward the source.
On the right side of the display, you’ll find a colored spectrum with LED lights. It has three colors, green, yellow, and red, which convey how dangerous the radiation is.
When the value exceeds the normal range, an audible alarm will go off. You can also plug in a headphone to privately listen to this alarm.
This meter features a built-in memory that can store up to 1000 readings. You can view these values in a spreadsheet by connecting the meter to your computer.
I’m not fond of its small screen, though. It has a lot of cramped details with somewhat hazy quality. On the positive side, this meter comes with a sturdy hardshell case. This makes it so much easier to carry around.
- Reads RF, MF, and EF
- Button controls
- Visual and audible alarms
- Headphone port
- Comes with a hardshell case
- Small display with a hazy quality
GQ Advanced EMF-390 Meter – Best Value
This is another meter that can read radio frequencies, electric fields, and magnetic fields. But it actually displays the 3 values at the same time without any dial or buttons.
If you aren’t familiar with the whole EMF subject, this will be your perfect choice. Why? Firstly, it has a feature called “safety suggestion”. This feature analyzes the current EMF values to let you know how harmful it is. You won’t need to tire your eye with the numbers and units.
Secondly, it suggests the possible source of the radiation based on the reading. For instance, it can identify a power line, cell tower, microwave, wifi, and more.
Being beginner-friendly doesn’t mean it can’t serve a professional. This meter allows you to further explore the radiation by in-depth EF graph, RF spectrum analyzer, RF browser, and a power distribution histogram. All of these features are thoroughly explained on its amazon page.
My favorite feature in this meter is the built-in flash memory. It records real-time readings up to every second. You can review these values later on your PC via the GQ free software.
This meter is equipped with an audio alarm in addition to a small LED indicator below the display. This gives the ultimate testing experience.
- Identifies the danger level
- Suggests the radiation source
- In-depth stats and graphs
- Audible and visual signals
- Some users reported bad customer service
Graham-Stetzer Microsurge Meter – Best for Dirty Electricity
In case you’re unfamiliar with what dirty electricity means, make sure to check the following section of this article where I explore it in detail. In short, it’s the most dangerous source of EMF. Therefore, it makes sense to purchase a standalone meter to accurately measure it.
This meter is incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is plug the meter to one of your wall outlets and record the reading.
It ignores the normal frequency your line has, whether 50 or 60 Hz. It only analyzes the micro-surges that your devices generate inside the line. If the meter reads a value under 50, your house is considered normal.
Consequently, values higher than 50 means that your power line emits harmful EMF. In that case, you can purchase Graham Stetzer outlet filters to balance these surges.
- Simple to use
- Accurate measurement
- It doesn’t measure radio frequencies, magnetic fields, and electric fields.
HF 35C High-Frequency Analyzer – Best for Radio Waves
This meter is highly sensitive to radio waves thanks to its big logarithmic periodic antenna. Aside from the technical jargon, this antenna gives an accurate directional reading to pinpoint the radiation source.
You might see this design and think that it will break easily. Frankly, this meter is a tank! It’s very well built with sturdy materials that should live for a long time.
On the right side, you’ll find a switch that alternates between its coarse and fine modes. The coarse mode detects radio waves in the range of 1 – 1999 µW/m². On the other hand, the fine mode traces lower frequencies between 0.1 – 199.9 µW/m² with higher sensitivity.
It’s equipped with an audio alarm to complement the LCD readings. It can also display two values: the peak and the average.
The only thing that I don’t like that much is its expensive price. But it’s the most professional tool that can measure radio waves, so the price is somewhat justified.
- Sturdy directional antenna
- Two reading modes with wide ranges
- Displays peak and average measurements
- It can’t read magnetic fields and electric fields.
Meterk EMF Meter – Best for Budget
Opting for an affordable EMF meter is a good idea to test the concept and see if it actually improves your health. Meterk is known for producing quality meters at an affordable price.
This meter can only measure two types of radiation: electric and magnetic fields. To compensate for the missing features, Meterk has added a built-in thermometer that can measure room temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.
The display of this meter is a large backlit LCD. It shows the EF and MF reading simultaneously. It also interprets the data to either “good” or “bad”, making it easier for beginners to understand.
If the value reads bad, the display will be colored in red and you’ll hear an audible alarm.
The only thing I don’t like about this meter is how complicated its interface is. It has 4 buttons under the display, each with multiple functions and only one symbol.
Take the power button for example. A long press would turn off the meter, while a short press would disable the audible alarm. You’ll have to keep looking at the manual until you memorize what each button does.
- Measures room temperature
- Simultaneous display the MF and EF values
- Audible and visual alarms
- It doesn’t read radio frequency
- Pretty complicated user interface
What Exactly Is EMF?
Before you measure and treat radiation issues in your home, you have to know what exactly you’re dealing with.
An electromagnetic field (EMF), aka electromagnetic radiation (EMR), is generated when an electric charge travels from a place to another.
In simpler words, wherever there’s electricity, there’s an EMF. However, EMR isn’t only a byproduct of electricity. It has a variety of uses in our daily life.
Uses of EMF
You might think that this isn’t directly related to our topic, but this is actually its core! It’ll be easier to protect yourself if you know where an EMF can be found.
You might recall studying the electromagnetic spectrum in school. This spectrum sorts the EMR according to its energy, which decides its use.
Radio waves have the lowest energy. That’s why they’re widely used in cellular, wireless and radio networks that you encounter the most.
Next on the spectrum are microwaves. They’re somewhat stronger than radio waves, so they can be used to cook food or detect bodies on a radar.
After that, infrared comes up. It’s widely known for its heat. That’s why you can find it in heat lamps that you install for your pets or plants. Next up is the only radiation that you can see, visible light.
Ultraviolet waves are naturally found in sun rays. They’re used in disinfection and sterilization purposes.
Is EMF bad for you?
It depends. Let’s use a simple analogy to clarify this part. If a person held a 12V battery, he wouldn’t feel anything. But if the same person touched a bare wire that’s plugged to the wall, it will instantly shock him.
Similarly, the effect of EMF is determined by its energy. High-energy EMF, like gamma-rays, is incredibly harmful to your body, even in the lowest amount.
Low-energy EMF is a bit tricky, though. It certainly isn’t as bad as the high-energy, but they can also have bad effects in cases of prolonged exposure.
That’s when an EMF meter gets useful. It helps you identify how much EMF is around you. This way, you can go on and apply protective measures in the areas of high exposure.
Symptoms of EMF Exposure
- Altered concentration
- Hazy memory
- Sleep disturbances
Prolonged exposure to higher energies can cause more serious symptoms like:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Anxiety and depression
- Skin burning
What about Dirty Electricity?
I wanted to talk about dirty electricity in a separate section since it’s occasionally overlooked by other authors.
Normally, your power lines hold an AC current with a frequency of 60 Hz, or 50 Hz if you live in the UK. This frequency is virtually safe. It’s not high enough to generate harmful EMF.
However, some of your home appliances, like dimmer switches, may interrupt these frequencies. This causes some kind of minute power surges that have a higher frequency.
In contrast to normal power, these surges can generate harmful EMF. They can also travel along the grid between rooms and even whole buildings.
That’s why they’re considered the most dangerous type of EMF. They’ll always be there. You can turn off your cell phone before sleeping to protect yourself from overnight exposure. But a dimmer switch in the living room can still affect you.
You have two options to measure dirty electricity. Firstly, you can search for the EMF it generates in the air. In that case, you can use an EMF meter with a suitable range.
If you want to be more accurate, you can directly measure the power surges that your line might have. This can be done via specialized meters like the Graham-Stetzer Microsurge Meter.
What to look for in an EMF Meter
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s see what you should consider before purchasing an EMF meter.
What It Can Measure
As we established, EMF types differ in their energy. Therefore, it’s important to know what energy the meter can detect before you buy it.
It’s better to buy a meter that can measure the three common types of EMF: magnetic field, electric field, and radio waves. This allows the normal user to protect his house at the lowest price.
However, there are some meters that specialize in radio-frequency, like the HF 35C High-Frequency Analyzer. If you’re a professional who works in this field, purchasing such models guarantees the most accurate readings.
A traditional 1-axis sensor is directional. This means that you have to be perfectly aligned with the radiation source to get an accurate reading.
On the other hand, a 3-axis sensor will give a reading regardless of where you’re pointing the device.
Which is better? That depends on your needs. If you want to quickly test a house for the amount of EMF it has, go for a 3-axis sensor. But if you want to actually know the source of that radiation, use a 1-axis sensor.
If you use a 3-axis sensor to trace the radiation source, you’ll have to turn off the devices one by one until the reading changes.
The newest EMF meters come with an audio alarm that buzzes after a certain reading. This is a handy tool that makes it much easier to roam through a place and quickly test it.
However, enabling such a feature usually means higher battery usage. Therefore, it’s better to buy a meter that has an off switch for the audio feature to save power when you don’t need it.
Some EMF meters have a built-in memory that can store readings over a whole session. This saves you the effort of manually logging the data, but that’s not the only benefit.
Some of your home appliances, like a smart meter, have pulsating radiation. If you use a regular EMF meter, it might not be able to record the rapid surge in the radiation before it resets to normal. That’s when the memory comes in handy.
Some models automatically record the readings every second. You can analyze this data, later on, by copying it to your computer.
I hope that this article helped you understand what EMF is and how to measure it. In my opinion, the best EMF meter is TriField TF2. It reads the 3 common EMF radiations with the ability to measure your body radiation.
If you’re concerned about dirty electricity, Graham-Stetzer Meter can tell whether you have it. It’s simple to use and it provides the most accurate values.
Last but not least, in case you want to measure the radio frequency with high sensitivity, go for the HF 35C. Its directional antenna will pick the smallest values possible.
Now go on and make sure your house is in the safe zone!