The Best 12-Pod Hydroponic Systems (and 4 things to look out for!)

A hydroponic 12-pod system gives you the opportunity to simultaneously grow not one but a total of 12 vegetables, fruits, or flowers - even with little or no outdoor garden. Out of the available choices online, the 12-pod systems from AeroGarden, iDoo, KichGarden, Goottan, and Lyko are highly-rated and recommended.  But which one should you get? 

The Best 12-pod Hydroponic Systems: A Buyers Guide that covers from Idoo to Aerogarden Farm 12XL

In this article, we’ll go through each brand’s most popular 12-pod model so you can have a hydroponic garden that you will enjoy using throughout the year. 

Hydroponic 12-Pod System Quick Comparison Table 

Hydroponic SystemMax Grow HeightLED Grow WattageWater ReservoirSizeGrowing Modes
Lyko 12 Pod Indoor Garden19.4″36W3.5L16.57”x 7.68”x 5.39”Vegetables and flower growing modes
Kichgarden 12 Pod Hydroponic System 20″48W3.8L17.13”x9.17”x 5.87”Three grow and light modes
Goottan 12 Pods Hydroponics Growing System19.5″36W4.5LTwo light modes
Idoo 12 Pod Hydroponic Garden 14.5″22W6.5L21”x13.8”x10.2”Fruit, flower & vegetable modes
AeroGarden Farm 12XL 36″60W1.94 Gallons46”x18”x14”Vacation mode
AeroGarden Farm 12 24″60W1.94 Gallons34″x18”x14” Vacation mode

What We Look For in a Hydroponic 12-Pod System 

When we put together this list of the best hydroponic 12-pod system, we didn’t just pick out systems from popular hydroponic brands; we also included lesser-known units that meet and satisfy our criteria and the demands of personal hydroponic gardening. 

Ease of Installation 

Setting up a hydroponic 12-pod system for the first time shouldn’t take a whole day to complete. Out of the box, a hydroponic system should be assembled and ready to use in just 30 minutes tops. 

All the 12-pod hydroponic systems we’ve included in our review boast easy and quick assembly and don’t require special tools and an extra hand. 

Price Tag 

Since price is subjective and a hydroponic system budget can vary, we’ve made sure to include hydroponic systems with different price points, costing anywhere from a spa trip to a smartphone. 

Ease of Use 

A hydroponic garden is designed to be more beginner-friendly than traditional soil gardening. All you need to do is ensure your plants have enough light, water, and liquid nutrients. However, some systems make hydroponic gardening hassle-free and more convenient by including grow modes and water and liquid nutrient reminders. Some even have a WiFi connection for on-the-go plant monitoring from your smartphone. 


There’s nothing worse than investing in a hydroponic system only for it to fail before you could ever harvest anything. All of the hydroponic units we’ve included in our review offer exceptional build quality, so you can confidently grow all year round. 

What are the Best 12-Pod Hydroponic Systems? 

Lyko 12 Pod Indoor Garden

This 12-pod indoor garden from Lyko is a stunning countertop-friendly hydroponic system that you will proudly display in your kitchen. Unlike the usual white or black plastic build, Lyko’s 12-pod indoor garden strikingly distinguishes itself with its glossy metallic acrylic finish in either gold or gray. 

Its gorgeous design is not the only thing you’ll love with this Lyko unit; you will also adore its straightforward system.  

At the top of its grow light is a four-button control panel that, with just one touch, allows you to switch from vegetable grow mode to flower grow mode. You can also toggle the pump button. 

Speaking of grow lights, it only consumes 36W. It also automatically stays on for more than 10 hours. You can also adjust the height of the grow light up to 19.4”, which is high enough for herbs and flowers. 

Other things you will love with the Lyko 12-Pod Indoor Garden are its bottom drain plug, water level indicator, and whisper-quiet pump. 

This indoor hydroponic garden is not without faults. Let’s start with the grow lights. It is advertised to have a 16-hour run time, but it barely hit the 14-hour mark. Another problem is with the included pump. Yes, it is quiet, but it is not powerful enough to circulate and oxygenate the water. 

Lyko 12 Pod Indoor Garden

Lyko is a stunning countertop-friendly hydroponic system that you will proudly display in your kitchen.  

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Kichgarden 12 Pod Hydroponic System 

Like the Lyko, you can pop the Kichgarden’s 12-pod hydroponic system right on your kitchen countertop. But you will get a higher grow height and larger water tank capacity - although minuscule. 

Where the Kichgarden truly differentiates itself from Lyko’s unit is its more advanced built-in control features. With Lyko, you don’t have an option to dim the lights or adjust the timer. With Kichgarden, you can. And to make it easier to access these controls, you have a control panel with a display screen. 

Aside from the unit’s dimmable lights and adjustable timer, you also have three grow modes - seedling, bloom, and veg mode. When you set the system in any of these modes, the grow light will adapt. 

For instance, if you have the unit in seedling mode, the grow light color will emit yellow and blue. But when you have it in bloom mode, the color turns yellow and red, which is the ideal spectrum for plants in the flowering period. 

The downside? The included manual isn’t thorough. So, you’ll need to watch some video tutorials, especially when mixing the liquid nutrients. 

Kichgarden 12 Pod Hydroponic System

This countertop unit not only comes equipped with dimmable lights and an adjustable timer, but also sports a display control screen.  

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Goottan 12 Pods Hydroponics Growing System

If the Gootttan looks eerily similar to Lyko, you are not alone - it is basically the same unit but rebranded! And that means the Goottan has the same features, right from the four-button control, the silent air pump, water indicator, and even the grow light modes. It even has a bottom drain outlet. 

Unfortunately, both systems also share the same disadvantages. The pump barely moves and oxygenates the water. Even the built-in timer of the Goottan underdelivers. The upside? The Goottan and Lyko are both affordable. And if you are to choose between the two, we recommend Lyko purely because of its better color options. 

Goottan 12-Pod Hydroponic Growing System

If you’re looking for a straight forward, affordable countertop system — you have found your match.  

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iDoo 12 Pod Hydroponic Garden 

Another indoor hydroponic garden system that can also accommodate 12 pods is this iDoo unit. And it is 100% better than Lyko and Goottan. 

The iDoo 12-pod hydroponic garden boasts a 6.5L water tank capacity that encourages root growth while minimizing the need to top up or refill water every 5 days. As a matter of fact, its water reservoir can last up to three weeks without a refill. This unit from iDoo also has a water pump, which efficiently agitates the water. 

In addition to its large water capacity, the iDoo 12-pod hydroponic garden has one distinct feature - a built-in fan in the grow light. Will your plant benefit from the fan? They will. 

Grow lights emit heat, which can affect your plants, more so if the plant type prefers indirect sunlight to grow and thrive. The fresh cool air from the fan also discourages molds and pests. 

As for the grow light of the iDoo 12-pod hydroponic garden, it only consumes 22W (the Lyko and Goottan are rated at 36W, while Kichgarden is 60W). You can’t dim the lights, but it has two growing modes. 

When you set the device to vegetable mode, the light will automatically emit blue light. If you are growing fruits, switch to the fruit mode, and the grow light will produce red light. 

The iDoo 12-Pod Hydroponic Garden is not perfect, though. The 22W grow light is energy-efficient, but it is not powerful enough to encourage flowering plants to grow. Although having the fan switched on is beneficial for your plants, it produces a loud noise which will discourage you from using it at all. 

If you are stuck between choosing iDoo hydroponic garden vs. AeroGarden, you should know that the latter comes with seed pods. On the other hand, you will have to purchase separate seeds with iDOO.

Idoo 12-Pod Hydroponic Garden

A countertop system with a water reservoir that can last up to three weeks without a refill, in addition to being an energy saver by only consuming 22W.

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AeroGarden Farm 12 and 12XL 

If you want the best hydroponic 12-pod system for your home, you can’t go wrong with either AeroGarden’s Farm 12 or 12XL.  

These units are equipped with high-tech features so you can confidently grow veggies, flowers, and fruits without worrying about when was the last time you’ve added liquid nutrients. 

As a matter of fact, both models will remind you via the digital touchscreen control panel when to add water and plant food, taking out the guesswork of hydroponic gardening. 

Unlike other systems on our list, the Farm 12 and 12XL are Wi-Fi enabled, meaning you can control the system from your smartphone. 

Another welcome feature of the Farm 12 and 12XL is it maximizes extra vertical space in your kitchen, living room, and anywhere else where you want to place your hydroponic system. To make it even more appealing is that you can stack one system over the other - albeit the stackable kit is sold separately. 

Other features you will love with the Farm 12 and the Farm 12XL are its dimmable grow lights and vacation mode.

In our AeroGarden Farm review, our only complaint is the assembling process which took us a little over 30 minutes. We anticipated this lengthier setup process since AeroGarden Farm models, including the Farm Plus 24, have more components. 

Aside from the initial setup, not all gardeners will be delighted with the premium price tag of the Farm 12, 12XL, or any AeroGarden model, for that matter. Our take? Considering you get more features and control with an AeroGarden, we can confidently say that the Farm 12 and Farm 12XL are worth saving up for. 

If you are wondering what’s the difference between the AeroGarden Farm Plus vs. XL, it only boils down to the growing height and pod capacity.  The latter offers a maximum grow height of 36”, whereas the Farm Plus has up to 24” grow height but with a 24-pod capacity. 

AeroGarden Farm 12XL

If you want the best hydroponic 12-pod system for your home, you can’t go wrong with the AeroGarden Farm 12XL.  

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 Hydroponic 12 Pod System FAQ 

Do I Need Nutrients for Hydroponics?

Regardless of the brand and the number of pods of the hydroponic system, you will need nutrients for hydroponics. These nutrients are called liquid plant flood. They are mixed with the water in the reservoir. Different formulas are available, but in general, liquid plant food consists of calcium, nitrogen, magnesium, and potassium. 

Can You Reuse Hydroponic Grow Sponges?

No, you can’t reuse hydroponic grow sponges. If a seed germinates and grows into a mature plant, its roots will exit through the sponge to access water. So, imagine removing the root system one by one just to reuse the sponge. Moreover, sponges absorb the water and liquid plant food mix. If you reuse it with a new seed, there is a high probability that you are overfeeding or underfeeding the seed. 

Fortunately, you can reuse the grow basket and the plastic domes or covers. Just make sure that you properly sterilize them first. 

How Often Should I Clean A Hydroponic System?

You will need to clean your hydroponic system every growing season or when you start to grow new pods. Cleaning your hydroponic system before planting is crucial since it reduces the chances of root pathogens and algae

lyko vs idoo hydroponic garden vs aerogarden farm 12xl 12 pod systems

Grow and Harvest More 

All hydroponic 12-pod systems are designed to maximize each growing season by giving you 12 individual slots to grow herbs, vegetables, or flowers. The difference is how the system and its components work together to ensure hydroponic growing success. 

Out of the five 12-pod systems we’ve reviewed, the AeroGarden 12 and 12XL takes the top spot, all thanks to their smart features that truly make hydroponic gardening hassle-free and convenient even for black thumb gardeners. They are also the perfect choice if you’d prefer to maximize your home’s vertical space. 
If you find AeroGarden’s premium price tag way over the budget, the iDoo 12 Pod system is the AeroGarden farm alternative that you should get your hands on.