The radiation generated by the electromagnetic wave can be measured with an EMF meter. However, since electromagnetic waves cover both non-ionizing and ionizing ones, this type of measuring device is only designed to measure the radiation from the non-ionizing electromagnetic waves.
Even further, it’s not totally cover all the frequencies in the non-ionizing spectrum. It is not designed to measure the radiation from the UV, visible light, and infrared wave. But it is designed to cover the frequencies within the range from ELF waves up to microwaves (0 Hz – 300 GHz); though it is hard to find an EMF meter covering that range.
When it comes to measuring the EMF radiation, the measurements taken are the magnetic field strength, the electric field strength, and the radiofrequency power density.
It measures the magnetic field strength in A/m (Ampere/meter), the electric field strength in V/m (Voltage/meter), and the RF radiation in W/m2 (Watt/meter2).
However, it’s not rare to find the device displays the magnetic field reading unit in or µT (microTesla) or µG (micro Gauss).
The Reason Why to Buy EMF Meter
According to ICNIRP guidelines taken here, the exposure limit of a 1.8 GHz phone base station is 9 W/m2. Lower than that number is considered safe. While the limit of a 900 MHz phone base station is 4.5 W/m2. From this point, we know that different frequency has different safe level.
Measuring the EMF radiation can so much handy with the dedicated device, however, determining whether the EMF radiation is safe or not can be complex. It’s required to figuring out several other parameters.
The maximum level of exposure between the public and workers is different. Time interval (how long being exposed) can be another factor. You have to rely on the device that is designed not only able to give a measurement reading but also to tell the safe level with an alarm system. So, you could easily notice a danger area with ease.
However, if your intention is just to measure the radiation, there is no need to consider the alarm feature.
You are at the right stop when going to measure the EMF radiation from the power line, cell tower, cellphone, microwave, computer, smart meter, wifi router, dirty electricity, TV, and even the 5G radiation. On this page, we cover the top 10 best EMF meter and detectors that we enlist from the best first to the last one.
Top 10 Best EMF Meter Detector Reviews 2021
1. GQ EMF-390 Multi EMF Radiation Meter [Best Overall]
Its capability to cover EMF radiation of the wave from 40 Hz up to 10 GHz makes it the first ranking of best EMF meter that provides a wide range of frequency response. This range allows you to measure the electric field, magnetic field, and radiofrequency radiation in a single device.
It’s not only versatile but also very interactive. On the screen, you could monitor all the three (EMF, RF, and EF) measurements in a single display. It shows the MF (magnetic field) in milliGauss, the EF (electric field) in V/m, and the RF (radiofrequency) in mW/m².
Another great thing is the real-time graphic on the screen. It shows the fluctuations so that you could monitor the changes directly on the device. Try to make a call and the graphic will fluctuate. Near the graphic, you could see what the device reports of the field source.
Moreover, it’s designed with an alarm that will notify you if the radiation exceeds a certain level. This is great so that you could immediately move from the dangerous place without even watching the screen continuously.
Overall, this is worth every penny, best bang for the bucks. It’s versatile, full of features and designed for everyone. Even, you could use it for ghost hunting. It’s able to pick some bands of 5G radiation (not for the high band 5G). The price is also reasonable which makes it perfect to pick up.
- To measure 5G (low & mid 5G band)
- Large and very informative screen
- Wide frequency response
- The price is reasonable
- Is it traced to the NIST lab?
2. Cornet ED-88T EMF Meter
The second EMF meter device that we recommend is Cornet ED-88T. This is also a great EMF meter because of its broad frequency range (50 Hz – 8 GHz). Therefore, it’s able to measure the three types of EMF (electric field, magnetic field, and radiofrequency) in a single device.
Cornet EF-88T is a simple device but provides great advantages. It lets you alarmed with sound when a certain level of exposure detected. Through the screen, you could monitor the radiation reading, maximum reading, the last 30 signals on the graph bar, and the frequency of the signal being picked.
Besides the screen, there are some LED indicators that tell you how strong the signal as well as LED indicators for safety. This is a nice feature to quickly tell you as it’s color-coded.
However, unlike the GQ EMF-390 which shows the three EMFs in a single screen, Cornet EF-88T only shows one type of EMF on the screen. You have to switch it using the “Mode” button below the power button.
Overall, this is the second great choice of EMF meter that we recommend. But you need to read carefully the manual to use the buttons. Especially when to change the reading from RF reading to another, you have to push the “Hold” button as well.
Necessary links: Cornet ED88T review from an engineer.
- Broad frequency pick
- Informative screen
- 5G EMF meter
- Small screen
3. TriField TF2 EMF Meter
The old-style look but provides some great functionalities, Trifield TF2 comes on as our third best EMF meter. It comes with a broad frequency pick (40 Hz – 6 GHz) that lets it measure the 3 types of EMF radiations with ease.
It’s able to measure the electric field, magnetic field, and radiofrequency radiation. So, almost all of the EMF radiation sources are able to get measured with this device.
The screen displays peak reading, current reading, unit reading, battery level, and graph bar. At the top screen, you could see the peak reading changes every couple of seconds while the current reading keeps changing. The reading is displayed in number with its unit reading according to the mode being used.
Combined with the special sound, the contrast graph bar helps you quickly get notified of the radiation strength. It’s actually a scale from 0 – 100 made by the company.
Unlike the Cornet ED-88T, the switching is easier and more straightforward. The knob is designed to switch the reading easily to another reading. There are 5 selectable switches: Off, Magnetic (Standard), Electric (Standard), Magnetic (Weighted), Electric (Weighted), and RF.
The great thing that we like about Trifield TF2 is its weighted mode. It has two switchable sub-modes (next to the “RF” mode): magnetic and electric. This mode allows you to take the electric current from your body into the measurement as well. So, the measurement is expected to be more informational.
- Easy to use, very intuitive knob
- Weighted mode to proper measurement
- Old design
4. ENV RD10 EMF Indicator Connectable to Windows, Mac, & Android
Smaller than a palm of your hand, you could imagine how compact this EMF indicator. This is the EMF detector with a color-coded (green, yellow, and red) indicator bar that will tell you quickly how dangerous the radiation in your area.
It’s easy to use and provides 3 EMF measurement modes that are easily switchable using the button on the left side near the “on/off” button. Select the mode and see the indicator bar. You’ll immediately get an idea of how strong the radiation by interpreting the color code using the chart.
As this EMF detector uses a single-axis EMF sensor, keep in mind to rotate the device in order to get the proper reading. The highest reading will appear if it directs to the right way and the accurate reading can be taken.
For accuracy, it’s sensitive to the RF radiation from the frequency of 100MHz up to 8GHz which is great for this kind of simple device. In terms of the magnetic field and electric field radiation, it’s sensitive to the frequency from 50Hz to 10KHz.
Monitor the Reading and Visualize the Data
The great thing about ENV RD10 is its connectivity to another device. It allows you to connect it to the Windows (computer), Mac (computer), and Android (smartphone). This allows you to benefits more great features.
Herewith, unlike the standalone version which shows the reading in indicator bar (estimation), you can read the reading in some exact numbers. Even, you can monitor the reading continuously over time. If any sudden peak reading detected, you could see right on the screen. Therefore, if you are going to measure the radiation from smart meter, this can be the right device to use.
In addition to the connectivity advantages, you could also record the reading, save the file, convert the data to a spreadsheet, and visualize the data on Google Maps as well. Measuring the radiation of the entire place in your city can be a great experience as it’s also rechargeable.
- The standalone and connected mode
- Portable, easy to carry
- Connected to another device for better display
- Visualizing multiple measurements on Google Maps
5. HF 35C HF-Analyser RF Meter
The antenna is highly sensitive to the source of the radiation. Therefore, when scanning a certain area, it will show the highest reading when the device exactly pinpoints the source of the radiation. This will allow you to quickly judge whether there is a source or not behind the wall.
Since it just measures the RF, the LCD screen shows the radiation in power density which is expressed in µW/m². It’s able to display the measurement from 0 – 1999 µW/m² with resolution down to 0.1 µW/m². If the device detects more than 1999 µW/m², the screen will show the number “1”. Anything between 10-1000 µW/m² is considered “severe concern” according to this device.
In terms of accuracy, although it’s not from NIST, it’s calibrated by the factory labs which should be sufficient. This is useful rather than nothing at all. When it comes to measuring the 5G radiation, we see this is not a quite right choice due to its frequency response range.
Overall, HF 35C RF meter is great to measure radiation from Wifi router, cellphone, cordless phone, smart meter, Bluetooth, cellphone tower, microwave oven, and baby monitor. However, it’s not to use to pick power line radiation and other very-low-frequency emf as well as the 5G.
- Dedicated for RF radiation
- Limited use
6. Acousticom 2 RF Detector 200MHz – 8GHz
Despite small, don’t underestimate its capability. It comes with a broad frequency response starting from 200 MHz to 8 GHz that allows you to use it to detect various RF radiation sources.
As a dedicated RF detector, this device doesn’t give you an exact number but several color-coded LED indicators which are great to give you quick indication. Starting from the bottom LEDs to the top, the color goes from green to yellow to amber and lastly to red.
It’s considered safe at the green level (0.02 V/m and lower). If the reading reaches the red level (3 – 6 V/m), a unique alarm will sound to alert danger. By the way, it’s measuring in V/m (Volt per meter). In other words, it measures the electric field, not the power density as most other RF meters.
All in all, when you are looking for the simple one (small, compact, portable) of EMF indicator yet highly reliable and provides a broad frequency response, this is the right purchase for you. However, it’s only measuring the electric field. Moreover, it’s designed for exact measurement, just an indicator and detector as well.
- Easy to use, easy to carry, and simple
- Quick indication
- Small size
- Not for measurement, just indicator and detector as well.
7. Greenwave Broadband Dirty Electricity Meter
Simply, dirty electricity is one of the EMF radiation that we have to take care of. Every day, we are getting to this radiation as they come from the wiring and power line of our house. There are some health improvements while filtering this radiation.
This radiation occurs because the electrical devices repeatedly draw power from wiring by turning on and off inside (to save energy). As the process of “on and off” continuously occurs, the harmonic surges and spikes occur. The surges and spikes are actually electrical energy, which further called dirty electricity.
Greenwave Broadband EMI meter presents to the capability to measure the dirty electricity in mV reading. The screen displays the first and second reading. The first reading tells you the dirty electricity without filter, while the second reading with filter. By this, you could get an idea of how much pollution has been reduced.
If you are a beginner in measuring dirty electricity, this device is right for you. It’s easy to use and very straightforward. This device has a frequency response range of 3 kHz – 10 MHz which is not found on the other EMF meters.
- Designed for dirty electricity measurement (one of EMF radiation)
- Limited use
8. EMFields PF5 Pocket EMF (EF & MF) Detector
EMFields PF5 is an EMF detector and indicator designed specifically for Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) and Very Low Frequency (VLF) radiation. ELF range is 3 – 300 Hz. While the VLF range is 3 – 30 kHz.
As the radiofrequency field (RF) comes in the frequency of 10 MHz – 300 GHz [Source], less than 10 MHz, we have to measure the electric field (EF) and magnetic field (MF). Therefore, it comes in two modes of measurement: electric field (EF) and magnetic field (MG). Moreover, it’s designed sensitively to frequency from 20 Hz – 50 kHz.
Simply press the black button to switch the mode. The green LED light that turns on indicates which mode is currently active. In case you want to turn off or on the device, press and hold the black button. That easy.
As it goes to the red level, it indicates a more degree of dangerous. You may not get an exact measurement, just some estimation measurement. However, this is the right pick if you are new in measuring the electric field and magnetic field and just wonder how safe your area is.
The advantage of EMFields PF5 is its broader frequency response to measure EF and MF. It allows you to measure the radiation from the power line, computer, and wiring.
Additionally, electrical appliances such as LED lights, energy-saving fluorescents (CFLs), induction hobs, and solar panel inverter which emit radiation at approximately 5 kHz to 50 kHz frequency is able to get measured. The competitor only beats around 30 Hz – 300 Hz. This allows you to get more reliable detection.
- Great to use for beginners
- Broader frequency response to measure the EF and MF
- Easy to use, simple, compact, and portable.
- It measures the electric and magnetic field only
9. Meterk MK54 EMF (EF & MF) Detector [Most Affordable]
Like EMFields PF5, Meterk MK54 is intended to measure the EMF radiation by measuring the electric field (EF) and magnetic field (MF). Meterk MK54 has a better interface using a screen and you could exactly read the reading value (not estimation).
You could see the EF and MF reading at the same time on the screen. It has a bright screen. The buttons are intuitive but you need to understand that one button actually has more than one function.
The spec of its frequency response is quite great. For magnetic field frequency response is within the range 20Hz – 300Hz. This is adequate. It’s excellent for the electric field frequency response that is within the range of 20Hz – 3500 MHz. [Source]
Since it’s able to pick the frequency range from 20Hz – 3500MHz, this one should be able to use for RF radiation measurement. However, like Acousticom 2, it measures RF radiation in V/m reading instead of like other RF meters that read in µW/m² or W/m² (power density).
If you are looking for the affordable one, then this is good to go. It can be set with an alert so that it’s easy to use for beginners.
- Measure EF and MF
- Limited use, for low-frequency radiation only
10. Gain Express T92 Gauss ELF Meter Detector
If you are intending to measure the magnetic field radiation from the power line near your house, this is the device that is reliable use. It’s because of its 3-axis sensor which increases the reliability and accuracy of measuring the magnetic field.
By using a triple-axis sensor, you don’t need to rotate the device to get the proper measurement.
Any source of EMF radiation within the range of 30 – 2000 Hz is sensitive to this sensor. And the reading that appears on the screen is in microTesla (µT) or milliGauss (mG).
The buttons are also highly intuitive. You could easily learn and recognize the functions. Buttons for data hold, maximum reading, and minimum reading are also available. You could also save the readings for 500 data sets in the internal memory.
- Designed to measure the magnetic field
- 3-axis sensor
- Large LCD screen
- Only measures in magnetic field mode.
Things to Consider Buying EMF Meters & Detectors
1. EMF Meter Vs. EMF Detector
The first step before buying this meter is to decide the purpose of whether to buy the meter or the detector model. The meter model is designed to display the exact value. While the detector/indicator is designed to display the level of radiation to the users.
When you need to know the precise reading, pick the meter model. This one comes with an LCD screen. If the EMF meter can tell the safe level with an alarm system, then it is good. It covers all the needs. To measure the EMF accurately, you need to purchase the EMF meter.
For qualitative measurement, it’s an EMF detector. It’s able to detect the EMF and shows the level of EMF with some indicators. The drawback of this model, you are not allowed to read the exact reading.
Commonly, an EMF indicator/detector is easy to use for beginners. They are not as complicated as the meter one. There are some indicators that directly show whether the radiation is dangerous or not.
2. Comes with Selectable Level Standard
The best EMF meter lets you choose which safe standard level to use. The ICNIRP gives the exposure limit that may be different from other standards. If you could change the standard level, then it becomes a great value to the user.
3. Frequency Response
Frequency response is the frequency range that the EMF meter can cover to measure. The wider the range means the better it is. If it can cover all the frequencies from 0 to 300 GHz, then it is good. However, it’s actually not necessary.
In terms of 5G; that is a hot issue currently, if your EMF meter can cover up to 3.7 GHz, then it means able to measure some 5G frequency bands. It’s up to your intention to use this meter. The radio band frequency doesn’t require that range, lower then 1 GHz is sufficient to use.
4. Multiple Measurement Modes
A great EMF meter should cover the 3 types of EMF measurement modes: Radiofrequency (RF), electric field (EF), and magnetic field (MF). This is important to allow you to measure any type of radiation generated by the electromagnetic wave.
You have to approach these 3 radiations to get a comprehensive reading. Some EMF meters only cover two readings: magnetic field and electric field but they claim cover 3 readings including the RF (radiofrequency) reading. You have to carefully choose them. The best way to avoid this event is to take a look at the frequency response the meter can cover. If it cannot cover more than 10 MHz, simply it is not able to measure RF radiation.
In terms of accuracy, this part actually covers things such as a 3-axis sensor, NIST traceability, and sensitivity.
– 3 Axis Sensor
If you are going to measure the magnetic field accurately, the 3-axis sensor must be applied. This is meant to catch the magnetic field orientation. When a device has a single axis sensor, it may take the wrong orientation of the magnetic field. To get a proper measurement, a single axis sensor must be rotated to get the highest possible reading as the correct reading.
– NIST Traceability
When it comes to NIST traceability, it means the way to ensure that a measuring instrument is calibrated properly in order to measure as accurately as possible. An EMF meter that comes with a certificate of NIST traceability has been calibrated with the standard EMF measuring device owned by NIST. NIST is the highest hierarchy of measuring standard authority in the USA.
Sometimes, when you purchase a measuring product, it’s delivered with a certificate of calibration. Keep in mind that this must not from NIST. It can be issued from the manufacturer that performs calibration prior to packaging or delivery. A certificate from NIST costs you an additional amount of money.
– Frequency Sensitivity Range
The RF radiation spectrum is from 10 MHz to 300 GHz. If your meter has the sensor that is sensitive to this spectrum, it’s so much better. Your device may have the 3 measurement modes in a single tool. Keep in mind that each mode has a different sensitivity.
It’s also important to consider the sensitivity range of your device when measuring the EF and MF. The radiation which is lower than 10 MHz, you need to measure it in EF and MF mode.
6. Important Features
Other important features such as the screen or indicators are important to consider. This is to display as much information as possible of the EMF measurement. Even further, the capability to store the readings is required for advanced users.
How to Use An EMF Meter
Using an EMF meter can be a challenge. They are various models out there. One device may have different buttons and functions. The best way to learn the buttons by reading the manual.
However, they share some basic things that apply to most EMF meters. The first is not to block the sensor. In other words, you have to handle the device properly. An EMF meter consists of sensor that detects the wave. This sensor is commonly positioned at the top device above the screen/display. When you handle the device, try not to handle that area or your hand may block the wave.
The second is to pick the right mode. When you measure the radiation from the power line (low frequency), using the RF mode (high frequency) will give a false reading. Switch the frequency response to low frequency modes: magnetic field or electric field mode. Keep in mind that the sensitivity of each mode is different.
The third is to avoid as much interference as possible. Measuring the RF radiation of a cell tower while closing the window may give an incorrect reading. The wave from your cellphone can reflect and get measured by the device. It’s important to shut down your cellphone.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Some important questions you have to ask:
Q: Why does the measurement value change when my hand wraps the device?
A: Our body has electrostatic discharge. This flow of electricity can cause interference with the reading. You may also block the sensor by handling the device incorrectly. Try to put your hand far from the sensor.
Q: How to measure the radiation from a smart meter correctly?
A: A smart meter releases RF radiation. However, it doesn’t release every time continuously. At a certain time interval, your smart meter sends information to the server. During the transmission, the radiation emits quickly. The best way to measure this radiation is by using the EMF meter with a graph. This allows you to check the sudden peak of the signal that indicates the radiation from the smart meter.
Though called EMF meter, it doesn’t necessarily mean able to measure the radiation of all frequencies of electromagnetic waves. It only covers some of them. EMF radiation means the magnetic field strength, the electric field strength, and the electromagnetic field power density that are generated by the wave. For lower frequency, we measure the magnetic field strength and the electric field strength. While the higher ones, we measure the radiofrequency power density.
It’s obvious that we highly recommend the GQ EMF-390 as the best overall EMF meter. It’s great to use to measure the EMF radiation from almost the EMF sources. Apart from that, the interface is also best overall. Most importantly, its frequency range is up to 10 GHz. This is the first EMF device that you have to purchase since it’s affordable for the advantages it provides. Since it’s designed with an alarm system (visual and sound), it’s easy to use for beginners. In addition, to measure the EMF radiation especially the 5G radiation, you could also use this to measure the low & mid-band of 5G.
After you get the reading, now you know how high the radiation in your location is. If it’s high, you may need some protection. EMF protection equipment can be your option. This protection can minimize the radiation to a safe level.