The Best Aerogarden Alternatives (affordable indoor gardens)



Aerogarden Alternatives

After growing more vegetables than I ever thought possible last year (Asian eggplants! spicy peppers! colorful beans!)… I’m determined to grow even more in 2024.

But, indoor gardening can definitely get pricey.

Everything from the cost of seeds to the cost of electricity has increased so I’m trying to be reasonable about how much I spend on this little hobby of mine.




Well, it’s less hobby and more of an addiction at this point, ha.

Some people have asked if I live off of what I grow indoors. 

Sadly, the answer is not even close.

I definitely go to the grocery store on a regular basis for most of my food.

For the last 4 years, I’ve mainly used my indoor gardens to grow new-to-me vegetable varieties, unique things I can’t find at the grocery store or even the farmer’s market.

Stuff like, Thai ribbed eggplants and habanada peppers.



It’s also just been a very rewarding process to learn how to grow my own food, entirely from scratch.

I can’t describe the satisfaction of harvesting and eating something that you’ve painstainkingly grown from a tiny dry seed.

But now that I have a decent amount of experience growing vegetables indoors, I want to try growing more efficiently.

Ideally, I’d grow most of the produce I eat at home – things like asian veggies, salad greens, and herbs. 

These are all plants that can be grown indoors (very easily with hydroponics!)

And they tend to be a little pricey at the store because they’re not very fresh and spoil quickly.




Plus, lettuces and salad greens in particular are vegetables that I’d like to only eat organically. Growing indoors is the easiest, cleanest way to do that.

I just need more gardens!

So I turned to Amazon to find some affordable smart gardens.

There are so many companies that make indoor hydroponic gardens these days that you’re spoiled for choice.

They all function pretty similarly and are great alternatives to pricey Aerogardens.

(I’ll reserve my Aerogardens for growing large, more difficult things like squash, tomatoes and super hot peppers)



And the best part is, you can find indoor smart gardens pretty inexpensively nowadays!

They come in all different shapes and sizes, as well as different levels of functionality.

All of them are compact and designed to be countertop friendly, so they’re great for people who want to grow indoors.

Here are all the Aerogarden knockoffs that I’ve tried and my thoughts on each.


My only caveat is these ‘knock off' Aerogardens don't come with seeds, so you'll need to buy your own.

They're not as user friendly and don't really have robust customer service.

There's also a slight learning curve with hydroponics.

So I recommend these affordable indoor gardens for people who have at least some gardening experience or have already used something like an Aerogarden.

But you can also check out some of my indoor gardening tutorials + youtube grow guides for tips!



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Affordable Aerogarden Alternatives


budget friendly indoor gardens exist! a quick run down… 👩🏻‍💻 more in-depth overview + links to each on #indoorgarden #gardeningindoors #hydroponicsystem #gardeningonabudget

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Available in 2 colors


Ahopegarden was the first ‘knockoff’ I tried. It’s affordable, simply designed and compact.

I used it to grow rainbow swiss chard, but it would work well for any type of herb, lettuce, Asian green or radish!

Below is a quick summary of the Ahopegarden countertop garden, but I have a more in-depth review here.




  • 8 pod capacity
  • LED (16 hours on, 8 hours off)
  • 14.5 inch adjustable height
  • 3L water tank capacity

What’s Included:

  • baskets
  • sponges
  • germination domes
  • A and B liquid nutrients
  • tweezers



Small Countertop Model

The Ahopegarden is quite small, ~10.5 inches long by 6 inches deep.

So it’s a great option for small kitchens or anyone without much counter space.

I have an earlier version with 8 grow spaces, but the company seems to have updated their design and all their indoor gardens now have 10 grow slots.

What I don’t really love is the water opening.

It’s a small circle on the side of the machine, with a bar underneath it referencing the max capacity.

I find it difficult to fill up the basin when the opening is on the side, and the height line ends up splashing water back out of the machine and onto the grow deck.




It’s also quite compact, so it uses slightly smaller baskets, sponges and germination domes.

The Aerogarden baskets can fit, but won’t sit flush on the growing deck.

The Ahopegarden also didn’t come with label stickers, so I use aluminum foil instead.

Third party stickers will be too wide for the Ahopegarden, since their baskets are slightly smaller than standard.

But the Ahopegarden did come with spaces to fill any empty holes as well as tweezers, both of which are nice to have.





growing rainbow swiss chard in the Ahopegarden



Ahopegarden also has a fun see-through garden, where the grow bowl is transparent.

I think it’d be fun to see hydroponic roots grow in real time!

Another thing to note is the LED light.

The company doesn’t say what the wattage is, so for now I’ve stuck to growing easy-to-grow plants like lettuces. 

For cleaning purposes, the light can be fully removed and the grow bowl washed separately.


 Read more:  Is the Ahopegarden the Best Affordable Smart Garden?



Ahopegarden vs Aerogarden

Overall, I think the Ahopegarden is a great budget-friendly indoor garden.

It’s comparable in size to the Aerogarden Harvest (slightly smaller in footprint but with more growing spaces). 

And it’s roughly half the price of the Harvest.

It doesn’t have any fancy controls (you can’t customize the light schedule, pump settings or use vacation mode), but it works great as a no-frills, affordable garden!

I would recommend this for anyone already familiar with indoor gardening, who knows how to comfortably start seeds and maximize the garden’s footprint.





Available in 3 sizes


Letpot makes a ton of hydroponic gardening products – everything from countertop indoor gardens to automatic watering systems and smart pots.

They’re one of the most innovative companies in the third-party smart garden space!

Currently, they have 3 indoor gardens to choose from:






  • 12 plant capacity
  • 24W LED (14 hours on, 10 hours off)
  • 19.5 inch adjustable height
  • 5.5 liter water tank
  • wifi + phone app

What’s Included:

  • baskets
  • sponges
  • germination domes
  • sticker labels
  • tags
  • A and B powder nutrients
  • tweezers
  • water indicator
  • shade covers
  • support rods




I got the Letpot LPH-SE to test out.

It has a sleek, stainless steel design with 12 grow spaces in a compact rectangular shape.

The surface of the garden is quite minimalist, with a power button and light controls, but there’s also a Letpot smartphone app where you can adjust more settings.

One thing I did notice – the grow deck tray is a little wobbly. It’s slightly uneven and pops out of place.

The 24 watt LED can be removed for easy cleaning, and I like how low the light can be drawn down. It makes for a very compact garden.




I really like the design of the grow deck – each grow space has room for trellis supports!




Letpot includes tons of nice additional accessories.

I was pleasantly surprised to find label stickers, tags, and pole supports in addition to the standard baskets, sponges and domes. 

I also quite like the long rectangle shape.

Although it takes up a bit more counter space horizontally, it’ll be functional to space out plants and ensure each plant has adequate growing room.

I also really like that each grow space has two additional tiny side holes next to it.

In these spaces, you can add the tag or pole support, so the Letpot garden will be especially handy for vegetables that need a bit of support (cucumbers, peas, beans, etc)


Letpot vs Aerogarden

So far, I’ve just planted a round of peas in the Letpot. Stay tuned for a grow update!





Available in 2 colors

Honche currently makes 1 compact indoor garden. It’s incredibly affordable (around $35) and is cute, small and sleek.






  • 10 pod capacity
  • 24W LED (14 hours on, 10 hours off)
  • 12 inch adjustable height
  • 3L water tank capacity

What’s Included:

  • baskets
  • sponges
  • A and B liquid nutrients
  • seeding box
  • tweezers
  • measuring container



Super Compact Design

The Honche garden is tiny – measuring ~13.75 inches across and 6 inches deep.

It would be a great option for very small kitchens, thanks to its compact footprint!

There are 10 grow holes, and a heart-shaped opening in the center for adding water.

It’s even smaller than the Ahopegarden, although still comparable to the Aerogarden Harvest in size.

Although it offers 10 slots, depending on what you grow you may want to leave some spaces empty.




I liked that Honche included a small seed starting kit – it’s a neat accessory I haven’t seen from other brands.

So far, I’ve used it to start peas (a notoriously finicky seed to start) and it worked really well!

But, I wish the garden included sticker labels.




Honche basket + sponge size comparison vs Aerogarden



Not Aerogarden Compatible

The main difference is the size of the pod baskets and sponges.

These are about half the height of Aerogarden’s pods so the brands won’t be perfectly interchangeable.

The sponges are also compact little squares, not cones like the Aerogarden sponges.

I prefer when all the smart gardens can accept the same size baskets and sponges – it just makes everything easier.

But I think these short baskets would easily accommodate rockwool cubes and you can use some aluminum foil to act as stickers.

You can use the Aerogarden pods, but they’ll stick out about an inch above the grow deck.




I was also a little surprised to see that the pump isn’t fixed.

The Honche garden has a smaller pump, with little suction cup feet so you can place it where you want.

I’ll be curious to see how it performs when circulating water and oxygen.





Available in 1 color


Benehorti makes a variety of garden products, including raised garden bends (for outdoor gardening), hydroponic smart gardens, grow tents and lights.

I tried out their VegiTech Pro, a hydroponic indoor garden with capacity for up to 21 plants.







  • 21 plant capacity
  • 36W LED (fully customizable)
  • 18 inch adjustable height
  • LCD touch panel
  • automated watering

What’s Included:

  • baskets
  • sponges
  • germination domes
  • A and B powder nutrients
  • pipe for automated watering




Initially, I was skeptical of the Benehorti’s 21-pod garden.

“There’s no way it can reasonably sustain 21 plants,” I thought.

But then… I got it in the mail,  saw it in person and realized… it would make a great seed starting system!

The machine is well made out of sturdy plastic, with 21 evenly spaced holes across the top. It measures ~14 inches across by 9.5 inches deep and is roughly square in shape. 

This one definitely takes up a bit of counter room, but if you have a roomy kitchen or large island, space might not be a concern.



Seed Starting System

I plan to use the Benehorti as an indoor seed starting system.

It’s currently late January and I feel like I’m a bit behind, so I’m itching to have a full garden asap!

And, I’ve always wanted to try out Aerogarden’s seed starting trays but haven’t gotten around to it.

Once I have all my indoor gardens running, then I’ll use the Benehorti in its normal growing capacity.

Herbs would be a great way to maximize all 21 pods.

But since the lights are a pretty strong 36W, I also want to try growing larger fruiting vegetables, like peas, cucumbers, small melons and cherry tomatoes.




Benehorti’s indoor garden also comes with a ton of fantastic accessories, like black spacers to cover empty holes, vertical pipes to act as a trellis and labels!

I also like that each hole on the grow deck has two tiny side holes.

This allows you to add the vertical trellis pipes anywhere you need!




the first indoor garden i’ve seen that has automatic self-nurturing + watering functions



Automated Watering

I’m also looking forward to trying out the automated watering function.

The smart garden comes with clear tubing, so you can attach an extra water jug or reservoir to slowly feed into the grow bowl, as your plants drink up water.

I love that they included that!

You could buy the Aerogarden reservoir to add an extra water tank, but with the Benehorti tubing, you can also just rig up your own reservoir.

Inside the bowl, there’s also a sectioned off silo for nutrition, so you can pre-add liquid nutrients and slowly dole it out over time.

That’s a function I wish the Aerogardens had!

This would be a great option for anyone who wants a super low-maintenance indoor garden, or someone who travels frequently.


 Read more:  How Long Does Vacation Mode Last?



Value for Money?

I would say the Benehorti is most similar to the Aerogarden Bounty Elite.

It’s always hard to directly compare on price.

But the Benehorti Vegitech Pro retails for $299 (and is currently on sale for $218). Aerogarden’s Bounty Elite also retails for $299 (and at the time of this writing is on sale for $260).

So with the Benehorti, you get a garden + seed starting 2-in-1 plus some really handy accessories!

It also looks like this 21-pod garden from Letpot is nearly identical. 

It has the same seed-starting tray, auto-nutrition reservoir and water tubing for self watering!



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