I guess I should mention right from the start that I definitely have a favorite system as the best hydroponic tower.
That top pick is the Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System. If you’re really serious about wanting a vertical hydroponic system, then this one from Aerospring is pretty much the best option for a hydroponic tower.
However, it’s also extremely expensive so I should also talk about what other options we could consider for the best hydroponic tower. It’s certainly going to be an interesting article and I hope you can find something that perfectly matches your expectations and budget.
Best Hydroponic Tower Reviews
Vertical hydroponic systems are indeed fascinating because they offer the possibility of growing so many plants without taking up too much space. That’s what makes them so great.
On the other hand, they’re also some of the most expensive systems among indoor hydroponic gardens.
1. Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System: Overall the Best Hydroponic Tower
Without a doubt, when it comes to looking for the best hydroponic tower, the system from Aerospring is the first one that springs to my mind. It’s also one of the best hydroponic systems for beginners, although it targets beginners with serious money to spend.
Before going into what this vertical hydroponic system from Aerospring offers, let’s talk about the price because this is going to be the feature that will stop some of you from buying it.
Let’s face it. A price around $1,000 is the definition of expensive.
I mean, we can buy a bunch of 5 gallon buckets, some net pots, hydroton, tubing, air stones, and a hydroponic water pump and the price for making this DWC system will be a fraction of the price of what the Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System costs.
I know that not all people are into making their own hydroponic system so let’s make another comparison.
AeroGarden vs Aerospring (horizontal vs vertical hydroponic systems)
Let’s compare AeroGarden, which is basically the most famous brand in this world of indoor gardens, and Aerospring. Even though their names sound alike, these two make completely different systems.
AeroGarden sells classic hydroponic indoor gardens. The pods are arranged horizontally and not vertically.
Thus, with systems like AeroGarden and iDoo (the cheaper alternative to AeroGarden), we have a water container and a plastic lid goes over the container. The plastic lid is the one that contains the holes for the pods. Thus, the roots float on the water with nutrient solution and that’s how our plants grow.
It’s an adaptation of a DWC in a smaller and beautiful form that can be placed on our countertops or on a chair or wherever we have a bit of space. Systems like AeroGarden and iDoo don’t take up much space. That applies both to horizontal and vertical hydroponic systems.
Another thing I want to note is that all these systems like AeroGarden and iDoo also come with grow lights and grow pods.
AeroGarden will also include some herb seeds and the nutrient solution. iDoo doesn’t include seeds in the pods but it does include the hydroponic nutrient solution, which is much more important.
On the other hand, the Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System is a very expensive model that also includes the nutrient solution needed for the first crop. No seeds are included in the grow cups with rockwool but we get grow lights in abundance.
In terms of price, AeroGarden systems cost around $100-$150 for the Harvest Elite system, around $300 for the fantastic Bounty Elite system. The most expensive one, the Farm 24Plus costs around $700.
iDoo has a 12 pod system that costs under $100 and a 20 pod one that costs under $150.
Now that we saw how the Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System compares to horizontal indoor gardens like AeroGarden and iDoo, let’s actually see what the Aerospring, the best hydroponic tower in my opinion, actually offers for the price.
If you want a visual presentation of Aerospring, check out this YouTube video.
The first thing we learn from that video is that this vertical system from Aerospring uses aeroponic technology. Thus, the name of the manufacturer containing aero.
Aeroponic technology is quite interesting. The roots are suspended vertically and they’re sprayed with water and nutrients.
The roots also receive increased air and oxygen to the root zone promoting greater growth.
So far, everything looks awesome.
We can place this system both indoors and outdoors if that’s what we want. Thus, if we want to grow outdoors during the warm months in sunlight we can do that.
If we grow outdoors in the sunlight we no longer need to run the grow lights so we save on energy.
Of course, we still need to be able to power up the hydroponic water pump because this is the component that delivers the water and nutrients to our plants’ roots.
The water pump comes with a 20 feet power cord so, in theory, we get enough cord to take this system outdoors.
This is quite a complete hydroponic tower. It provides everything we need for successful crops:
- grow tent – the grow tent is made from Oxford D600 tent material with highly reflective white interior panels for greater growth
- hexagon shape for maximum light exposure
- 6 x 23W foldable tri-band LED bars – full spectrum lights covering 400-700nm
- strong, mobile wheelbase
- 27 grow cups – the grow cups are reusable once we disinfect them
- 27 Grodan rockwool cubes – grow cups designed for Grodan rockwool cubes but you can also use other grow media like coco coir
- 1.5 Syncra Silent 23W submersible pump
- 20 inch power cable for the water pump
- exhaust fan
- 2 smart WiFi
- digital hydrometer
- 1L set Aerospring Hexagrow (A&B) nutrients
If we want to see how much electricity the Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System needs to run, we simply have to add the 23W for the hydroponic water pump and the 23W per each grow light.
If we run all 6 grow lights, it consumes 161 watts but you must also take into account that the water pump doesn’t run continuously. Hydroponic towers are not power hungry systems.
We get WiFi timers that automate irrigation and lightning. Basically, we need the grow lights to run for 12-16 hours per day. Plants need their dark time, too, just as we do.
However, if we go through a power outage for a day or less than a day our plants will die because the water pump won’t pump up water and nutrients to their roots. That’s the trouble with all aeroponic systems, not only this Aerospring.
Aerospring mentions that it’s easy to assemble. It comes with an easy-to-follow instruction manual. Assembly is estimated to take less than 3 hours.
This system allows us to grow 27 plants at the same time while taking up minimum space on the floor.
We are provided with 27 growcups and 27 rockwool cubes.
The growcups are reusable if you disinfect them. Rockwool is one of the best growing medium for hydroponics, pretty affordable and quite easy to find.
It measures 33.5 inches at the base, 34 inches from corner to corner. That’s certainly the beauty of vertical hydroponic systems.
It has a much more imposing height, it’s 73.6 inches (187cm) tall.
So, we get a pillar that has 27 holes for the grow pods or growcups as Aerospring calls them.
Given the impressive height, the 27 pods are quite nicely spaced. That’s certainly a top reason for considering this Aerospring as the best hydroponic tower at the moment.
In order to supply 27 plants with water and nutrients, a system like the Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System needs a nicely sized container where we mix our water with nutrient solution.
The 20 gallon container is definitely big enough. I really like that.
You’ll have to buy more nutrient solution for future crops because the 1L set Aerospring Hexagrow (A&B) nutrients that comes with this system won’t last forever. Check out my reviews for the best hydroponic nutrients if you need some guidance.
What we can grow
Aerospring mentions that we can grow almost anything.
Beginners should first start with growing lettuce hydroponically or with growing herbs hydroponically. These are the easiest plants to experiment with.
The plants we can potentially grow with the Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System are: leafy greens, herbs, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, flowers, edamame, pumpkins, strawberries, radish, cantaloupe, spring onions, squash, zucchini, etc.
All in all, the Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System is one of the most complete and complex hydroponic systems on the market. It’s obvious why it’s the best hydroponic tower and my favorite among all but it’s also very expensive so I don’t know how many people can afford it. As far as I can tell, the price is the only con.
2. AeroGarden Farm 24Plus
AeroGarden is a fantastic brand and a very popular one among those who want to buy a hydroponic system that is small, easy to use, and comes with everything we need for a first crop.
Moreover, we’ll also talk about a very interesting thing that AeroGarden offers amateur growers.
This aspect really makes this brand stand out because it’s clear that they manage to make things easier for growers, especially for beginners or for people who don’t have much time to do research about various things concerning hydroponics and which plants they can grow.
Frankly, I love the approach that AeroGarden has in many areas regarding hydroponics.
They sell their own AeroGarden seed pod kits and their own AeroGarden Liquid Nutrients that are very easy to use.
By the way, if you want to learn even more about this brand, check out my reviews for the best AeroGarden for growing tomatoes. You’ll be able to learn even more about their systems.
Why the AeroGarden Farm 24Plus
Since the Aerospring that I reviewed above as the best hydroponic tower is a very expensive system, I decided to look for its counterpart among horizontal hydroponic indoor gardens.
I decided to review the AeroGarden Farm 24Plus as an alternative that comes quite close to the capacity of the vertical hydroponic system from Aerospring.
While the Aerospring has 27 pods, the AeroGarden Farm 24Plus has 24 pods, as the name also suggests.
Nevertheless, due to the fact that the 27 pods from Aerospring are arranged on a vertical tower, they’re much better spaced than the 24 pods from AeroGarden.
Aerospring manages to look airy and spacious. Aerogarden Farm manages to look crowded.
That’s the huge difference between them and it’s a very important distinction.
Still, the AeroGarden Farm 24Plus is $300-$400 cheaper than the Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System. That’s a huge price difference between the two.
In the end, it depends how much you’re willing to spend when you’re buying a hydroponic system.
I should also mention that if you only want to spend around $300, then I recommend the AeroGarden Bounty Basic. While it only has 9 pods, it’s still an amazing system to start off with.
Plus, we can grow a wide variety of plants with the AeroGarden Bounty Basic. That’s what matters.
And, if you’re only interested in growing herbs, leafy greens, strawberries, and other smaller plants, then you can choose the AeroGarden Harvest, which is 2-3 times cheaper than the Bounty and about 7 times cheaper than the Farm 24Plus.
Now that we went through various systems from AeroGarden, it’s time to see what the AeroGarden Farm 24Plus offers.
It’s certainly not as complex as the Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System. But it comes close enough.
The components for the Farm 24Plus are:
- 24 pods – there are two trays, each with 12 pods
- 2 electronically adjustable 60W LED grow lights, full spectrum lights – the grow lights are powerful enough for a wide variety of plants
- up to 24 inches grow height – the plant height growth is limited by the positioning of the 2 grow lights but it can be enough even for veggies and plant varieties like tomatoes and peppers
- stackable for vertical gardening to maximize growth potential
- touch screen control panel
- WiFi connectivity
- easy, automatic water and plant food reminders on the garden and through the AeroGarden app – this automation and reminders are especially helpful for beginners and for people with limited time
- liquid plant food
- power adapter
- trellis – this is very helpful when we’re growing taller veggies and plants (tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants and peppers)
We also get our choice of 2 seed pod kits for our first crop: salad bar herbs & lettuces, salad bar tomatoes or heirloom salad greens.
All these seed pod kits are awesome.
Once we combine the liquid plant food that is provided with water and we plug the AeroGarden in, all that’s left to the is to insert the seed pod kits in the holes. The seed pod kits contain the growing medium, the seeds and the domes. The domes are removed when the seedlings appear, they’re only for the germination period.
The Farm 24Plus is quite a basic DWC. It doesn’t even use a water pump because the grow pods just float on the water. The roots take up water and nutrients whenever they need it.
When we assemble it, we add water to the max fill indicator. Then, there’s a low water reminder when we need to add more with nutrient solution. Ideally, we should keep the water level topped up to max fill at all times. It’s very easy to use.
AeroGarden mentions that we can grow up to 24 plants 5 times faster than soil. I don’t think that the plant growing speed is 5 times faster so that might be a bit exaggerated.
Also, growing 24 plants at the same time can get a bit crowded because the pods are positioned quite closely together.
For example, if we grow herbs, like mint, basil, parsley, dill, chives, and leafy greens at the same time, then we can fit about 20 plants together.
However, if we grow bigger plants like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and eggplants, then we can’t grow that many at the same time. The number will probably be reduced to 10 plants or something like that.
We get reminders for: low water and nutrients. The system lets us know when more water or nutrients need to be added.
We also get automated lights, dimmable lights, and vacation mode.
You can see a short video for the AeroGarden Farm here.
Seed pod kits
In order to more easily understand what we can grow in the AeroGarden as an alternative to the best hydroponic tower, we should check out their seed pod kits.
The seed pod kits contain the plastic net pots, grow medium, domes for germinations, and the seeds are already placed in the grow medium.
They include liquid nutrients for growing the plants.
We also get a Growing Guide with step by step instructions.
We also get to choose between buying 3-pod, 6-pod, 9-pod or 12-pod and 24-pod for some.
Separately, we can buy grow sponges (50 pack) which is great if we want to choose our own seeds and we want to try different hydroponic nutrients.
There are a lot of AeroGarden seed pod kits to choose from:
- Heirloom Salad Greens (gourmet lettuce varieties like Black Seeded Simpson, Deer Tongue, and Parris Island)
- Gourmet Herb (Genovese basil, Thai basil, curly parsley, thyme, mint and dill)
- Mixed Romaine (red and green romaine lettuce varieties)
- Salad Greens (red/green leaf, romaine, and butter head)
- Red Heirloom Cherry Tomato
- Golden Harvest Cherry Tomato
- Salsa Garden (heirloom cherry tomato and jalapeno pepper seeds)
- Cascading Petunia (pink, purple, and white petunias)
- Colorful Coleus (colorful coleus for a lively room even in the winter)
- Bok Choi
- Chili Pepper (jalapeno, purple super hot, and red fire chili peppers)
- Cocktail & Mocktail Herb Blend (mint, lavender, Genovese basil)
- Fairytale Eggplant
- Grow Anything Seed Pod Kit (grow sponges, empty grow pods, grow domes, plastic pod baskets and stick on pod labels, liquid plant food, growing guide)
As I’ve mentioned, this brand also makes their own hydroponic solution. A small bottle is included with any AeroGarden system.
But we can also buy the nutrients when we need more. Of course, we can also use any other hydroponic nutrients from other manufacturers but the AeroGarden Liquid Nutrients are very easy to use.
The AeroGarden Liquid Nutrients also work for other hydroponic indoor gardens and even for the best hydroponic tower from Aerospring.
There are 2 sizes to choose from: 3 oz bottle or 33.81 oz (1 Liter). The 1 Liter bottle should cost about $30 or something like that.
We also get detailed instruction on the back of the bottle. It’s very easy to use.
The quantity we add to our water is determined by the number of pods that we grow plants in.
We should replenish our nutrients once every 2 weeks with the same quantity that we used in the beginning.
For the systems that don’t grow in pods, we can use 4mL of AeroGarden Liquid Nutrients per gallon.
It can also be used as a fertilizer for watering houseplants.
It works for seedlings, vegetative growth and flowering stages.
3. Vivosun Hydroponic Grow Kit
There is another alternative to the best hydroponic tower. It’s an interesting system but it’s up to you to determine if you’re willing to give up on buying a vertical hydroponic system and get this one instead.
There are a lot of differences between them but I like talking about various options so, in the end, I decided to review the Vivosun Hydroponic Grow Kit, as well.
The major difference between the Vivosun Hydroponic Grow Kit and the Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System is that the Vivosun is a NFT system.
NFT stands for nutrient film technique.
It’s basically a system made up of PVC pipes. The pipes contain the holes for the net cups and they also act as channels through which water and nutrients travel and inundate the roots of the plants that are grown in the plastic cups.
It’s quite a straightforward hydroponic system, slightly less complicated than a vertical system that works as an aeroponic system.
On the other hand, the Vivosun Hydroponic Grow Kit is not as easy to use as an AeroGarden model. AeroGarden is definitely easy to use with all its reminders and components and liquid nutrients and seed pod kits, and grow lights, etc.
The Vivosun Hydroponic Grow Kit doesn’t contain much. It doesn’t offer much but it offers a lot of spaces to grow a lot of plants. And it’s a system that costs less than $200, while being quite good.
- 12 PVC pipes – each is 4.3 feet (1.3 meters long) and 2.5 inches in diameter
- in total, these 12 PVC pipes host 108 sites for vegetables, flowers and plants
- water pump
- water pump timer – pumps for 5 minutes every 30 minutes
- power plug
- planting baskets and sponges
- 1 tweezers
- 3 instructions: planting instructions, assembly instructions, and timer instruction manual
You might not notice at first, but there is one very important thing missing.
There’s no container for the water and nutrients included.
We need to provide the container.
Vivosun informs us that we need to set up a 10-20L tank for water circulation.
There are also no nutrients included and no seeds.
Last but not least, if we grow plants indoors, we’ll need to buy grow lights. That’s going to increase the final price by quite a lot because we need to cover the entire length of these pipes.
The 12 PVC pipes are firstly arranged 4 in parallel formation and on 3 layers.
It’s not exactly what we envision when we mention hydroponic towers, but the Vivosun Hydroponic Grow Kit is arranged in a vertical formation.
However, what I want to make clear is that the planting holes are placed quite close together. Thus, a NFT system that is designed like this Vivosun is good for growing leafy greens, some herbs, and maybe even some strawberries but it’s not a good fit for bigger veggies.
Best Hydroponic Tower FAQs
There are just a couple of questions that I feel I should answer in order to recap this article in just a few sentences.
1. Are hydroponic towers worth it?
If you have a budget around $1,000 to buy a really good vertical hydroponic system like the Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System, then it can be worth it because it’s a totally complete hydroponic system. On the other hand, if you have a more limited budget, I recommend the indoor hydroponic gardens from iDoo or AeroGarden.
2. Which hydroponic system is best?
One of the best hydroponic indoor gardens for beginners is the AeroGarden Bounty. For those on a budget, the iDoo Hydroponics Growing System 12 Pods is quite good. However, we can also make our own systems at home. One of the most basic is the Kratky method with mason jars. Another one we can make quite easily and with minimal costs is a DWC. On the other hand, if we’re talking about vertical hydroponic systems, I would say that the Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System is the best hydroponic tower on the market.