Searching for the best grow box for beginners can be really exciting. It will take you one step closer to growing successfully all kinds of plants.
They can be truly awesome, especially for beginner growers who need all the help they can get for their first successful crop in a limited space.
Best Grow Box for Beginners Reviews: Top 7 Recommendations
Before reviewing some amazing grow boxes to help us with our plants, whatever type they might be, I want to establish a few things, which are quite important.
There are two main types of self-contained growing rooms: grow tents and grow boxes. Is there really a difference between them? Should you only focus on getting one over the other? Let’s see about that.
The main thing that grow tents and grow boxes have in common is that they’re both contained, portable spaces for growing indoors.
The main difference between these two self-contained spaces for indoors is that grow tents tend to be bigger than grow boxes. And most tents come without lights, ventilation, and similar components. But there are also tents that include everything we need.
Thus, since these two tend to be quite similar in certain aspects, under my reviews for the best grow box for beginners, I will include grow tents as well. You can then decide if you have the space for a tent or a box because that will be one of the main deciding factors between the two.
Thus, you have a wide array of plants that you can grow in them and you can also choose whatever method you prefer: grow in soil or grow without soil, with just water and nutrients.
1. Cash Crop Hydroponics Grow Box
I had the full intention of recommending more than one grow box because this article was intended as a search for the best grow box for beginners.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find high quality grow boxes at all. They’re a lot less popular than tents so that already makes it pretty hard to find some good models. I was completely disappointed to see that there aren’t a lot of good ones.
In the end, I ended up settling on reviewing just one. The rest of my reviews will focus on the best grow tents for beginners as alternatives. I hope you can find the space for a tent because there are quite a few good ones to explore.
I’m not all that pleased with the Cash Crop Hydroponics Grow Box and I strongly recommend checking out the tents that I’ll review. However, I’ll review it first because it’s the only one with the words grow box in the name.
My biggest immediate problem is that this thing is really expensive. Outrageously so. I don’t understand all that much how the price is justified but maybe that’s just me.
As you can see from the name, this grow box is targeting those who want to grow in hydroponics systems.
The good news is that it also includes the hydroponics system and a lot of other components for this growing method.
The bad news is that it only allows you to grow 2 plants at the same time. That’s incredibly tiny. You would have a better yield by growing in hydroponics mason jars and it will cost a fraction of the price of the Cash Crop Hydroponics Grow Box.
I will admit that the components it comes with are not bad.
- 2 120mm fans with built in odor blocking carbon filters
- full spectrum LED lighting on 2 sides
- odor deodorizer block
- timer/power strip combo
The hydroponics system is a basic deep water culture (DWC) that comes with:
- 2-plant reservoir (tiny)
- 2 net cups
- 2 starter plugs,
- air pump
- air stoner
- water pump
- and clay pebbles as growing medium
It seems that users who have managed to successfully use this grow box have watched YouTube videos from the manufacturer. I found a good one here from someone who bought one of these.
It looks like a tiny closet/cabinet. I don’t know why they chose that particular design because it’s not pretty.
It measures 36 inches tall, 16 inches wide, and 11 inches deep. It’s quite tiny. But you already knew that from when I mentioned that you can only grow 2 plants.
2. Aerospring Vertical Hydroponics Growing System
I know that we’re here to select the best grow box for beginners but I want to introduce you to something a bit different.
In a way, this Aerospring can be viewed as the perfect box for growing plants. At the same time, it’s also a complete hydroponics system that only lacks a few things. Thus, we can view it as a 2-in-1 thing.
I just want to warn you right from the start that it’s more expensive than any of the models that I recommended above.
But if you take hydroponics seriously and you don’t have space to build your own system on the horizontal, this vertical hydroponics system is a marvel for those who lack a lot of space.
The entire system won’t occupy too much space since it measures 34 inches from corner to corner and it’s 74 inches tall.
You have space to grow 27 plants at the same time. That’s quite a lot, considering that even big tents can’t fit more than 4-6 pots inside.
Thus, if you’re interested in growing a lot of plants at the same time, this Aerospring can be great. But you must also like hydroponics. If soil crops are your thing, you’ll have to stick to tents.
You can grow lettuce, leafy greens, herbs, strawberries, and other smaller plants. But you can also grow bigger plants like tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. There are users who have successfully grown these bigger plants and they have managed to obtain a bountiful yield.
It has a 75 liters (20 gallons) capacity. That’s how much the reservoir holds. You will need to add nutrient solution to the water.
We get 27 Aerospring growcups and 27 rockwool cubes. If you don’t like rockwool, you can try replacing it with coco coir cubes as a growing medium or with hydroton.
Overall, it’s quite complete as a grow box and hydroponics system. You’ll just have to buy nutrient solution for hydroponics and seeds.
It comes with a lot of exciting components.
Aerospring Vertical Hydroponics Growing System comes with a tent, wheelbase, bucket, and tower. It’s great for both beginners and advanced growers.
When zipped, the tent promises to deliver 30% increased growth. The tent is made from Oxford D600 tent material with highly reflective white interior panels.
It has a hexagonal shape and the positioning of the 6 grow lights exposes plants to increased light for a better yield.
We get 6 x 23W LED bars. These are full-spectrum.
There’s also a 20mm quiet exhaust fan.
In terms of automation, we get a WiFi timer for the lights and irrigation automation.
The plants are grown in a vertical tower. This is actually an aeroponics system that delivers the needed water and nutrient solution to the roots of the plants.
The water is delivered to the roots through the vertical tower by a 1.5 pump.
If you want to move it outdoors, you can remove the indoor kit.
3. Mars Hydro Grow Tent Complete System – One of the Best Grow Boxes for Beginners
My first two reviews were all about hydroponics systems. Now, it’s time to move on to grow tents that are mainly used for growing potted plants. You can definitely use it for hydroponics, too, but most people buy tents like these for soil cultures.
You can definitely pick this model as the best grow box for beginners as long as you can find the space for it.
I’ve always loved the LED grow lights from Mars Hydro. It’s only natural that I would be interested to know what they offer when it comes to grow tents.
If you have the space for it, I’m sure that some of you will end up with one of these Mars Hydro as the best grow box for beginners.
There are 4 sizes to choose from:
- 4 x 4 feet (48x48x80 inches) with TSW2000 as grow lights, which is one of the best for this grow area size, which can fit 6 plants inside but also more, depending on their size and how you arrange them inside the tent
- 2 x 2 feet (24x24x55 inches) with TS600, which is just right for a space this size and can provide enough light to 2 bigger plants, which, overall, is pretty awesome as the best grow box for beginners and the cheapest among these 4 tents
- 2.3 x 2.3 feet (27x27x63 inches) with TS1000, covering 2-4 plants – it might be my favorite because you actually have space for growing 4 plants but your choice will depend on how much available space you have
- 4 x 2 feet (24x48x71 inches) with SP3000, which is just too wide for my taste and it also seems to be the least popular among these 4 size but it might be exactly right for you and the grow lights are awesome, only the lights on their own cost almost $400
The grow lights also get a 5-year warranty. That’s a considerable lifespan but we can absolutely expect that from Mars Hydro and their products.
These tents are not cheap, especially when it comes to the bigger sizes. But they’re made from some of the best materials, they’re high quality, well-built, and just the grow lights alone are more than enough to justify the price of each of them.
It’s made of thicker 1680D canvas grow tent material. Most manufacturers are still sticking to using 600D canvas. Thus, you can definitely be assured that Mars Hydro pays attention to everything.
The 1680D canvas grow tent material is tear-proof and locks all the light inside the tent, no spilling with perfect distribution in the grow area.
Even the zipper is wonderful. It has 13% denser zipper teeth for being more durable and for smooth working. There’s no fear of getting it stuck or breaking it.
The supporting frame is 0.8mm thick, while many others are only 0.6mm thick. It supports 88 pounds and it’s made to last for years to come. This is an investment and I think you’ll end up loving it.
This is the complete package. You don’t need to buy anything else for your first crop, besides soil, seeds, and maybe fertilizer.
They’re just awesome. Their wattage depends on the growth area that you end up choosing but they’re all just very efficient and energy-saving at the same time.
I already introduced the lights when I talked about the 4 sizes for these Mars Hydro tents so I won’t go over each one individually.
Just know that you’re getting some of the best full-spectrum LED grow lights.
And the 2.3×2.3 feet (27x27x63 inches) with the TS1000 grow lights might be my favorite. In the end, the choice will be made by your budget and available space.
We get everything we need:
- inline fan with speed controller (3 speeds)
- carbon filter
- duct clamps
We obviously get the tiny equipment needed to monitor temperature and humidity.
In addition, there’s a timer for the lights and adjustable rope hangers.
The surprise comes in the form of 5 gallon grow bags. Sure, these grow bags are not expensive even if you buy them separately but it’s nice to see that we really get a thoroughly complete kit.
The number of 5-gallon grow bags included depends on which tent you end up buying.
The 2×2 comes with 3, while the 4×4 comes with 6 bags. The other two sizes each come with 4 bags.
I am ready to declare that overall, the Mars Hydro is the best grow box for beginners, no matter which size you end up choosing.
4. BloomGrow Grow Tent Complete Kit
Is this BloomGrow complete kit for growing plants indoors cheap? No, it definitely isn’t. But it absolutely delivers all the needed components in an easy to install package. And it’s certainly not the most expensive model.
There are 3 sizes to choose from:
- 36 x 20 x 63 inches
- 24 x 24 x 48 inches (2×2 feet)
- 32 x 32 x 63 inches
The smallest, the 24 x 24 one is also the most affordable but not by much.
In the end, the choice will depend on your available space.
It’s a highly reflective grow tent.
The material is described as 96% highly reflective, waterproof 600D diamond mylar. It’s really good quality.
The reflective material will increase the intensity of the light while absorbing some of the heat.
I love complete kits because they make things so much easier if you’re a beginner and you don’t know much about lights, ventilation and everything else.
This BloomGrow Grow Tent Complete Kit comes with a lot of components. You’ll be all set and ready to start your first crop without complications as soon as you get the pots for the plants, soil, seeds, and fertilizer.
We get 300W full-spectrum LED lights but the power consumption is actually 100W. It will save you a lot on electricity costs.
It’s called a UFO light because it looks like one.
It has an estimated lifespan of 50,000 hours.
You don’t need to change the lights from veg to bloom but you’ll have to research how many hours your specific plants prefer artificial lights On.
The manufacturer also informs us that these lights come with a self-heating dissipation feature so there’s no need for a loud fan.
There’s also a 24-hour timer for the lights. You don’t have to turn them On and Off manually.
Once again, we get everything we need from the BloomGrow Grow Tent Complete Kit.
For ventilation, the tent is equipped with:
- inline fan
- carbon filter
These will provide fresh air without dust and dirt particles, assure the necessary airflow, and they will also remove odors from the grow area.
I’m glad to see that it’s included.
It will make it easier to establish the needed temperature and humidity for your plants.
Other accessories are: rope hangers, trellis netting and shears.
5. Vivosun Grow Tent Complete System
My first recommendation for a complete tent system is the Mars Hydro, followed by the BloomGrow kit.
However, if you like neither, there is also this one from Vivosun. It’s not my absolute favorite but it’s a pretty good choice.
I chose to recommend this 2.7 x 2.7 feet one (32 x 32 x 63 inches) because it seems like the best size when we’re looking for the best grow box for beginners. It can even fit 4 pots inside.
However, Vivosun also has other bigger sizes to choose from if that’s your preference.
The first thing that I don’t like too much is the price. It’s very expensive for this size. If you don’t mind the price, let’s see what it offers.
I told you that I don’t appreciate the expensive price but there’s another aspect that has received a few complaints from users.
It seems that the zipper is not of the best quality, which is a shame because you’ll have to open and close it pretty often.
That’s an inconvenience.
For some, the zipper broke after only 2 days. You can get a professional to replace it but it’s another expenditure on top of a pretty expensive tent.
We get all the needed components but how awesome are they?
It comes with VS1000 LED grow lights. How good are they? Do they justify the higher price?
The VS1000 features Samsung LM301 diodes. I have the impression that someone called them a bit old but they were actually released in 2020 or maybe 2021 so they’re definitely not that old.
On the other hand, they’re pretty cheap. If you buy them separately, you’ll pay about $130 for a set.
They’re not bad but they certainly don’t justify the price of this grow tent on their own.
There’s also a very nice timer for the grow lights.
We do get the needed components:
- powerful blower with fan speed of 2300 RPM and air flow of 190 CFM
- charcoal filter
To complete the list of components, we must mention this tiny thing that measures temperature and humidity.
Other components include trellis, 5 pieces of 5-gallon grow bags, and pruning shears.
6. TopoLite Grow Tent Complete Kit
The TopoLite is not as popular as the other grow tents that I reviewed as the best grow box for beginners. But there are a few users who truly appreciate it, so it’s worth a second look.
There are two sizes, both on the smaller side:
- 2 x 2 feet (24x24x48 inches)
- 2.7 x 2.7 feet (32 x 32 x 63 inches)
I recommend getting the 2.7×2.7 one because it’s the more complete version of this system kit. It has all the needed components, just like the above models do.
If you get the 2×2 model, you won’t get a hygrometer or a timer for the lights. This one is the cheaper of the two but it lacks a couple of components.
The hygrometer is essential but it can be bought separately. The timer is not essential if you don’t forget about turning the lights On and Off manually.
It’s made from heavy duty 600D lightproof oxford cloth. It’s reflective.
As usual, we get white paint coated metal rods for the skeleton.
The zippers are large heavy duty ones and they seem to be capable of not breaking in just a few months, as it happens with quite a few tents from other manufacturers.
I like the size of this tent and I like that it checks every item on the components list for the 2.7×2.7 version but I still have some tiny complaints.
My main complaint is related to the grow lights. They are 300W full-spectrum LED grow lights but they’re the same grow lights for both sizes.
I wanted the 2.7×2.7 model to have slightly more powerful lights. I don’t think these are enough for growing 4 plants at the same time but I might be wrong.
We get the usual and much needed ventilation system composed of:
- carbon filter
This is only included for the 2.7×2.7 feet model. The 2×2 ft one doesn’t come with this equipment that lets us know the temperature and humidity in the grow area.
There’s also a timer for the lights, 1 shear, 1 trellis netting and light hangers.
If you feel like the light that comes with the tent is not enough, you could augment its performance with a fixture that comes with 2 T5 fluorescent lights but it will increase the final price quite a bit.
7. Mars Hydro Grow Tent
If you’re not into buying the complete systems but you’ve decided that you have plenty of space for a grow tent as the best grow box for beginners, then you can buy something like this.
This is tent that has the following components:
- canvas – it uses one of very high quality, very strong, durable and highly reflective on the inside, this is called 1680D canvas, while other brands use 600D canvas to make their tents
- the strength of the canvas will keep all the light inside, without any leaks
- metal frame – we get stable metal corner adapters and poles, there’s no risk or rusting nor paint falling, the structure is completely solid
- very good zipper
- dual sleeves duct ports
- ventilation port
- mular floor ray – removable, water-resistant, and easy to clean
- belts for additional equipment needed for taking care of your plants
The Mars Hydro ensures a quick installation but you’ll have to buy all the rest of the components by yourself: grow lights, timer for the lights if it’s not included, ventilation system, and hygrometer.
There are plenty of sizes to choose from, that will depend on your available space but you have a lot of options to choose from.
How to Pick the Best Grow Box for Beginners
You’ve seen which are my favorite grow boxes and tents. But I also wanted to talk about the factors that will make the choice much easier for you. Thus, if you don’t like any of the above models that I reviewed, you can definitely find a different model.
Size (Grow Area)
Before deciding on a particular model, think about how much space you have for a grow box or a grow tent.
Just this factor might help you eliminate some of the models that I reviewed here. If you have room for a tent and you absolutely need the bigger surface, you’ll probably choose the tent over the box.
It will also give you a clear idea about how many plants you can grow in a self-contained growing room.
If you decide that neither a grow box or a tent are big enough for you, then maybe you have the actual space to build a grow room in your house. That might be a converted spare bedroom, a basement or maybe in your garage.
In order to make your own grow room, you must consider a few things: you’ll have to drill in the ceiling for hanging the grow lights, you have to cover the space in reflective material, and you have to incorporate ventilation. It will be a lot of labor and you have to have a bit of an experience with building things.
If you don’t want to cover the space in reflective material, you can also use flat white paint as it reflect between 75-85% of the light and doesn’t create hotspots.
It’s not exactly something that beginners will want to attempt. I definitely recommend sticking to finding the best grow box for beginners or even a tent if you want the bigger space because they come with a lot of these necessary features.
Some models might not include grow lights just the fixture for the light, you must pay attention to that.
The fixture is the equipment where the actual lights go, are attached to. That means that you need to buy the bulbs/tubes yourself.
If you don’t want to trouble yourself about buying separate grow lights, I recommend selecting just those models that include them.
If your desired box or tent only includes the fixture for the lights, I recommend checking out my article on T5 vs LED grow lights to better understand the difference between two of the most popular grow lights on the market and which should you get.
In that article, I also talk about the space that some of the best grow lights cover. You should focus on choosing either T5 fluorescent lights or full-spectrum LED grow lights.
One important thing you must remember is this: the lights need to cover the entire surface of your grow box or tent.
Without them, you might have the absolute best grow box for beginners and it wouldn’t be enough.
Without grow lights, a grow room or a grow cabinet is completely useless. That’s why every inch must be illuminated by them.
It’s definitely a lot easier to buy a model that already includes the lights.
Nevertheless, if you want the lights to be included in the package, that will cost you a lot more than a simple grow tent that only includes the fixture.
It can also be helpful to have a timer to control the grow lights, especially if you’re away from home for a few days.
There are two things about airflow: it’s crucial and, in some cases, most of the components that I’m going to mention here will have to be bought separately if you decide that you need them.
First, you can just grow with what the box/tent includes and see how that goes. After that first crop, you’ll establish if you need additional help or not.
Ultimately, it depends how good the ventilation system that is integrated in your box is.
High output fans are used for delivering fresh air and exhausting stale air. They’re also good for regulating the grow room environment.
Oscillating fans are good for circulating fresh air around the growing area. We can have 2 oscillating fans – one pointed at the bottom and one at the top.
Charcoal filters are filtering the incoming air particles of harmful particles. If the air you bring inside the growing area is passed through a charcoal filter, it will be delivered free of particles like dust and dirt.
Ducting is used for directing air into/out of the growing area.
The whole idea is that we absolutely need airflow in order to prevent stale air from building up.
A constant stream of fresh air has crucial benefits for overall plant growth and health: prevents stunted growth, strengthens branches, assists in temperature and humidity control.
Environmental monitoring tools
Last but not least, we need tools to check out the environment that our plants grow in.
The name of these tools is just one: a thermo-hygrometer. It will read the maximum and minimum temperature in a 24-hour period.
Temperature will be higher when the lights are on and it will drop when the grow lights are turned off for the night.
Plants need their dark hours just as much as people do. It’s absolutely the same for them as it is for us.
These tools help us deliver the ideal environment for our particular plants. Thus, you must make sure that you know the environmental needs for the specific plants that you want to grow.
The two main measurements to monitor are those for temperature and humidity.
Generally, temperatures in the grow box should be between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Still, check out the ideal temperature range for your plant variety. Each plant is different.
The temperature difference between day and night should be around 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Humidity levels should not exceed 70 percent. Once again, make sure to check what humidity percentage your specific plants would enjoy.
Should you grow in soil or hydroponics?
Beginners have another choice to make when it comes to growing in the best grow box for beginners: soil or hydroponics crops?
I think that growing in soil is a lot easier for beginners. I’m sure that a lot of you will agree.
For soil crops, once you have your box/tent, you need to only get the planters/pots and some good potting soil.
The potting mix/soil will contain the needed nutrients. You just have to do research on watering schedules for your plants and what type of fertilizers they need and when to deliver it to them.
Hydroponics relies on plants growing in water where a hydroponic nutrient solution is added. A growing medium is also needed as a replacement for the soil, to offer support to the plants and their roots.
The major advantage that hydroponics has over soil is that the crops grow faster and they can produce an increased yield if you’re successful.
But it also requires a lot more research, more involvement and a bigger cost for the hydroponics systems as opposed to just getting pots, potting mix and fertilizer.
The main electricity cost will come from the grow lights. Thus, how much you spend on electricity is directly influenced by the lights you use and how many hours per day they’re ON.
If you have grow lights of 300W that run 12 hours per day then you’re using 6hwh per day. Multiply that with 31 days per month and you’ll end up 186kwk for the whole month.
If you’re running 60oW lights, then you’ll end up consuming 372kwk per month.
The final cost depends on the energy cost in your area but it amounts to as little as $20-$30 or as much as about $50.
Is a grow room better than a grow tent?
It actually depends on the surface size that you need for growing your desired plants.
If you’re just growing in a smaller hydroponics system or you just use 6-10 pots then a grow tent can offer the space you need.
If you want to extend the size of your crops, you’ll ultimately have to get 2-3 tents or to just build a dedicated grow room.
I talked above about all the components needed. A grow room is just like a tent but a lot bigger. The same components apply.
Usually, those who want to extend their commercial operations will end up needing a grow room rather than a couple of tents or grow boxes.
Is it better to use a grow tent or a grow box?
As I’ve said in the introduction, it depends on how many plants you want to grow. Grow boxes can be very small and only suitable for a small crop.
If you decide to expand, you’ll realize that you absolutely need a grow tent.
Grow tents are usually a lot cheaper because most of them only include the metal frame, the material that goes over the frame, which is reflective on the inside, and a good strong fixture for the lights.
That’s what a basic grow tent constitutes. It means that you’ll have to take care of buying grow lights, ventilation equipment, timer for the lights, and a thermo-hygrometer.
They’re customizable and the components can be easily changed if you want something better or one of them breaks down. At the same time, grow tents require more research for getting all the needed additional components.
It’s harder to replace a component in a grow box but the advantage is that most of them come equipped with everything you need.
Last but not least, there are also complete grow tents, equipped with pretty much all the needed components. They’re usually called grow tent complete systems but they’re quite expensive.
Is a grow box worth it?
However, if you’re totally serious about growing more demanding plants or increasing your yield even for herbs and leafy greens, then I think it’s worth the investment.
You can definitely grow plants indoors without a grow box or a tent. However, it can be much more difficult, especially for beginners.
A grow cabinet, grow box or a grow tent have one very big thing going on: they represent a controlled environment for growing successful crops every time.
It allows you to control temperature, humidity, air circulation and keeps pests out.
The reflective surface ensures that the grow lights better reach the plants without burning the leaves. It will also take in a little of the heat the lights give off.
Moreover, these types of self-contained spaces for indoors ensure energy efficiency. They ensure a more cost effective use of resources because you can control the entire growth area as efficiently as possible. In the long run, it can save you money.
The biggest advantage of a grow box is that it delivers a lot of the things you need for your first crop. It will also depend on the price tag just how many components a box or tent will include.
The simplest design includes a metal frame covered by a tent material.
If you decide that you’d rather build one yourself, I already mentioned the crucial components that you’ll need: reflective material for the inside, grow lights, fans, air filters, ducting, thermo-hygrometer. These are all the components that ultimately should characterize the best grow box for beginners but not always do so you must pay attention to what you’re buying.