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Home > Reptiles > 10 Best Reptile Thermostats in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

10 Best Reptile Thermostats in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

digital climate control thermometer for tropical pet keeping in a terrarium When it comes to owning reptiles, proper care and husbandry is essential for them to thrive in their captive environment. One of the most important aspects of care is keeping their enclosure within the proper temperature and humidity range for the species you have.

Finding a high-quality thermostat for your reptile enclosure is key to maintaining these environmental conditions and keeping your reptile healthy. In this article, we’re going to go over our top picks for thermostats in 2023 and talk a bit more about how to choose the best one for your setup.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Winners (2024)

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Zilla Digital Terrarium Temperature Controller Zilla Digital Terrarium Temperature Controller
  • Easy to find
  • Controls up to 1000 watts
  • Includes 3 power outlets
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Zoo Med ReptiTemp Zoo Med ReptiTemp
  • Affordable
  • Accurate
  • Offers heating and cooling control
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Zoo Med Environmental Control Center Zoo Med Environmental Control Center
  • Controls temperature, humidity, & lighting
  • Controls up to 1000 watts
  • Programmable natural temperature fluctuations
  • Eheim Jager Thermostat Eheim Jager Thermostat
  • Fully submersible
  • Made of laboratory-grade glass
  • Controls and maintains water temperature
  • Inkbird ITC-308 Inkbird ITC-308
  • Highly accurate
  • Handles 1100 watts
  • Great temperature range
  • The 10 Best Reptile Thermostats

    1. Zilla Digital Terrarium Temperature Controller – Best Overall

    Zilla Digital Terrarium Temperature Controller

    Material: Plastic
    Dimensions: 3 x 7 x 8 inches
    Maximum Wattage: 1000 watts

    The Zilla Digital Terrarium Temperature Controller gets our pick for best overall reptile thermostat for several reasons. Not only can it control up to 1000 watts, but this thermostat is ideal for various types of heating sources including heating mats, heating tape, ceramic heat emitters, and more.

    You can easily keep control over your reptile’s environmental temperature to ensure they remain within ideal environmental conditions and reduce the risk of burns or overheating. This product also comes equipped with three power outlets so that you can plug in all your reptiles’ necessary accessories.

    This thermostat is slightly more expensive than some of the others on this list, but it is widely available and easy to find both online and in pet stores.

    Pros
    • Easy to find
    • Controls up to 1000 watts
    • Includes 3 power outlets
    • Ideal for various heating sources
    Cons
    • Slightly more expensive

    2. Zoo Med ReptiTemp – Best Value

    Zoo Med ReptiTemp

    Material: Plastic
    Dimensions: 3 x 7 x 8 inches
    Maximum Wattage: 600 watts

    If you need a thermostat for your reptile that will give you the best value for your money, you should check out the Zoo Med ReptiTemp. This digital thermostat makes a great addition to any reptile habitat and provides quality at a reasonable price.

    It is designed to control temperatures ranging between 50 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit. It handles both heating and cooling devices using both cool mode and heat mode. It can be used on heating devices up to 600 watts and cooling devices up to 150 watts.

    This thermostat is easy to find and gets great reviews for maintaining the temperature very well. There are some complaints that to lower the temperature, you must cycle completely though the settings. The light display is also very bright and cannot be turned off, which was problematic for some.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Accurate
    • Offers heating and cooling control
    • Wide temperature range
    Cons
    • Bright display light that cannot be turned off
    • Must cycle through all settings to lower temperature

    3. Zoo Med Environmental Control Center – Premium Choice

    Zoo Med Environmental Control Center

    Material: Plastic
    Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 2 inches
    Maximum Wattage: 1000 watts

    If you want to go all out for your reptile’s habitat, you can look into the Zoo Med Environmental Control Center. This product is compatible with various types of lamps, heaters, misters, foggers, and much more, controlling light, temperature, and humidity. It’s basically a one stop shop for all your reptile terrarium needs and will be well suited with various species.

    The Zoo Med Environmental Control Center controls up to 1000 watts and allows you to program in natural temperature fluctuations and can even notify you via alarm if temperatures reach dangerously high or low levels. It comes with an LCD remote, 3 outlets, and built-in memory to save your specific settings.

    This unit is much pricier than the other competitors, which is expected considering it has more capabilities. There is a fair share of complaints about being difficult to figure out due to limited instructions, and certain issues with functionality, but overall, this is a well-reviewed product that works great for many reptile keepers.

    Pros
    • Controls temperature, humidity, and lighting
    • Controls up to 1000 watts
    • Programmable natural temperature fluctuations
    • Built in memory to store settings
    • Features 3 outlets
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Difficult to set up

    4. Eheim Jager Thermostat

    Eheim Jager Thermostat

    Material: Plastic/Glass
    Dimensions: 5.51 x 1.3 x 2.68 inches
    Maximum Wattage: 50–300 watts

    Most pet reptiles are land dwellers, but we can’t forget the ever-so-popular aquatic turtle. If you aren’t looking for a thermostat for an aquatic turtle, keep moving down the list. While there are several species of aquatic turtles kept as pets, they require an environment that consists of 60 to 75 percent water, and it’s important to keep the water temperature controlled as well.

    If you are looking to maintain the temperature of your aquatic turtle’s environment, the Eheim Jager Thermostat is completely submersible and allows you to adjust the temperature between 18 and 34 degrees Celsius (64.4–89.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and maintain your chosen temperature.

    This thermostat is easy to set up and features a double suction cup holder to keep it in place. The heating surface is encased in laboratory-grade glass and features an automatic dry run shut off for the safety of your pet and your home. It’s fairly inexpensive and easy to use, though the dial is a bit clunky and there were some temperature accuracy complaints from some consumers.

    Pros
    • Fully submersible with dry run shut off
    • Made of laboratory-grade glass
    • Controls and maintains water temperature
    • Inexpensive
    Cons
    • Only suitable for aquatic turtle aquariums
    • Clunky dial

    5. Inkbird ITC-308

    Inkbird ITC-308

    Material: Plastic
    Dimensions: 5.51 x 1.3 x 2.68 inches
    Maximum Wattage: 1100 watts

    Inkbird’s ITC 308 is a popular choice that is easy to use and has a plug and play design with a dual relay output for both heating and cooling. It features two outlets and controls up to 1100 watts. The display window allows you to view the current temperature while adjusting it at the same time.

    You can set alarms for temperatures too high or too low and there is a sensor fault alarm built in. Not only does it allow for ideal temperature ranges, but the temperature accuracy is 1 degree Celsius, or 2 degrees Fahrenheit. You can even choose from different probe options, including a waterproof version.

    This product is reasonably priced, very similar to the competition and offers great quality. The biggest downside reported from other reptile keepers is that it was a bit difficult to set up and has a short cord length, which isn’t always a problem depending on where your setup is located.

    Pros
    • Highly accurate
    • Handles 1100 watts
    • Great temperature range
    • Offers heating and cooling control
    • Different probe options
    Cons
    • Short cord length
    • Difficult to set up

    6. JumpStart MTPRTC UL

    JumpStart MTPRTC UL

    Material: Plastic
    Dimensions: 3 x 2 x 5 inches
    Maximum Wattage: 1000 watts

    Jump Start MTPRTC UL is a digital thermostat made for heat mats and since bottom heating is used in many reptile habitats, this can make a great choice for those that use this type of heating source. It features a controllable temperature range of 68 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit, though you can choose your preference between Fahrenheit and Celsius.

    This product controls up to 1000 watts and features an LED heating indicator in addition to digital temperature control. There were some complaints about accuracy and some even stated it didn’t work well for long. Overall, customers were very satisfied with their purchase but regardless, it comes with a 1-year warranty upon purchase.

    Pros
    • Controls up to 1000 watts
    • Great temperature range
    • Choice between Fahrenheit and Celsius
    • 1 year warranty
    Cons
    • Limited to heat mats

    7. Exo-Terra Electronic ON/Off Thermostat

    Exo-Terra Electronic ON/Off Thermostat

    Material: Plastic
    Dimensions: 8.07 x 7.87 x 1.97 inches
    Maximum Wattage: 100 watts

    Electronic ON/Off Thermostat from Exo-Terra is a budget friendly thermostat that can help you keep control of your scaly friend’s environmental temperature. It’s important to note that this thermostat can only control up to 100 watts, though there is a 300-watt option.

    Regardless, the wattage control is much lower when compared to competitors, but depending on your heat source, this may not pose any issue at all. This thermostat is ideal for heating mats and heat cables and features a waterproof remote sensor. It offers temperature control ranging from 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, making it compatible with most species.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Great for heating mats and heat cables
    • Decent temperature range
    Cons
    • Lower wattage control

    8. REPTIZOO Reptile Dimming Thermostat

    REPTIZOO Reptile Dimming Thermostat

    Material: Plastic
    Dimensions: 3.4 x 2 x 2 inches
    Maximum Wattage: 300 watts

    REPTIZOO offers the Reptile Dimming Thermostat, which is designed specifically for heat lamps, but the company also explains that it can be used for other sources including heating mats and heat cables. You can easily switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit to suit your preference.

    This thermostat is great at maintaining an accurate temperature within the enclosure, with a range of 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. It is simple to use and features a 59-inch cord, so you won’t have any trouble reaching an outlet.

    The price is very reasonable, and the reviews are great. The biggest complaint among reptile owners is that when used with a light, the thermostat will turn off the light once the temperature is reached. It only controls up to 300 watts, so that’s something to consider depending on your setup.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Accurate
    • Great temperature range
    • Lengthy cord
    Cons
    • Light will turn off when set temperature is reached
    • Only controls up to 300 watts

    9. MARS HYDRO Digital Heat Mat Thermostat

    MARS HYDRO Digital Heat Mat Thermostat

    Material: Plastic
    Dimensions: 3 x 7 x 8 inches
    Maximum Wattage: 1000 watts

    The Mars Hydro Digital Heat Mat Thermostat is highly recommended by reptile owners for being easy to use, convenient, and accurate. It controls up to 1000 watts and can maintain temperatures between 40- and 108-degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature display will read anywhere between 32 and 140 degrees.

    The power cord is 6 feet in length, and it comes with a hanging wall mount to prevent tangling and keep things organized. This product reaches the set temperature quickly and can easily be switched from Celsius to Fahrenheit.

    While it is geared toward heat mats, the company also explains it is compatible with heat lamps. Thus far, the reviews are great for this thermostat. It doesn’t seem to be as well known among consumers, as not many have reviewed this when compared to others on the list.

    Pros
    • Controls up to 1000 watts
    • 6-foot power cord
    • Great temperature range
    Cons
    • Not as well known among consumers

    10. Vivosun Digital Heat Mat Thermostat

    Vivosun Digital Heat Mat Thermostat

    Material: Plastic
    Dimensions: 3.94 x 3.94 x 9.84 inches
    Maximum Wattage: 1000 watts

    The Vivosun Digital Heat Mat Thermostat is another heat mat specific option that can help you maintain your reptile’s enclosure between 40- and 108-degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature display has a larger range of 32 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit and you can also switch to Celsius if you prefer.

    This thermostat is incredibly easy to set up and use and controls up to 1000 watts. The controller comes with a hanging tab and wall mount to make sure your cords don’t get tangled and messy. While it may not work for other heat sources, this product is compatible with any type of heat mat.

    While overall the reviews for this thermostat were great, there were some reports of malfunctions and inaccuracy, so it’s important to always check up on your reptile’s enclosure to ensure any thermostat is working properly.

    Pros
    • Controls up to 1000 watts
    • Great temperature range
    • Easy to use
    Cons
    • Some reports of inaccurate temperatures
    • Some reports of malfunctions

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Reptile Thermostats

    Tips For Choosing the Best Thermostat

    So, how exactly do you choose the right thermostat for your setup with so many options available?  There’s a lot to consider and it will come down to what type of reptile you are caring for, their specific needs, and which type of thermostat is best suited for the job. You also need to take certain things into consideration before you decide. Don’t worry though, we cover all of it below.

    Types of Thermostats

    On/Off Thermostat

    The On/Off thermostat is often the least expensive option and is designed to control heating sources such as heat mats, heating cables, and anything that provides heat through contact. These work by monitoring the temperature through the probe in intervals and will either turn the heat on or off depending on your specific settings and what the temperature is currently registering.

    The probe should be in contact with the heating source to be most effective and accurate. This type of thermostat should not be used for light emitting heat sources or ceramic heat emitters since they will turn off and on frequently.

    Dimming Thermostat 

    Dimming thermostats tend to cost more, but are incredibly accurate, can be used with any source (though not as cost effective) and are the only effective way to control the light emitting heat sources. They provide electricity to the heat source and control the temperature through dimming to maintain precise temperatures.

    If the temperature probe in the enclosure is reading too high, the supply of electricity will decrease; if it’s reading too low, the electricity will be increased. For this type of thermostat, the probe needs to be positioned properly in the direct line of the heating source.

    Pulse Thermostat 

    Pulse thermostats do a great job controlling heat sources that do not emit light, such as ceramic heat emitters, and can also be used for heat mats. They work by constantly monitoring the probe and releasing pulses of electricity to the heat source. Since they use electrical pulses, they can cause light sources to burn out quickly and are best avoided.

    If the probe temperature is reading too hot, the frequency of the electrical pulses will be decreased, but if it’s reading too low, they will be increased. These probes should be positioned in the precise area where the temperature is desired within the environment, which is often in the direct line of the heat source.

    Things to Consider

    Rare species reptiles lizard frog in tanks
    Image Credit: Kitmaumau, Shutterstock

    Safety Features

    You want to ensure that your reptile’s thermostat is safe, accurate, and easy to use. You want to choose a high quality, well-reviewed product that has proven safe and effective. Since it is controlling a heat source, you don’t want a fire hazard on your hands.

    Always check on the temperature consistency and accuracy, as the product can malfunction. This is also incredibly important for the health of your reptile since they require specific environmental conditions to thrive, and improper temperature or large fluctuations can be dangerous.

    Type of Heat Source 

    The type of thermostat you need may depend on the type of heat source you plan on using. The heat source used can also vary depending on what type of species you have, so make sure you provide the ideal environment for your specific reptile.

    Whether you use light emitting heat, a ceramic heat emitter, a heat mat, heat cable, or any other heat source, make sure your thermostat is compatible with what you are using and can control the appropriate wattage. Many thermostats are compatible with various sources, but some sources work better with specific thermostats.

    How Many Devices Need Controlled 

    Some setups may be more complex than others, so if you have multiple devices needing to be controlled, you need to make sure your thermostat can work with multiple devices or else you may require more than one thermostat.

    Ideal Temperature Range for Your Reptile

    Most thermostats will come with a temperature range that will suit most reptiles. However, you should still do your research and understand what type of environmental temperature and humidity your pet requires before you make your purchase to ensure it meets your needs.

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    Conclusion

    There are many great choices on the list, like the Zilla Digital Terrarium Temperature Controller that is readily available, accurate, and reliable, the Zoo Med ReptiTemp that gives you great value for your money, or the Zoo Med Environmental Control Center that will handle lighting, temperature, and humidity all in one. There are also plenty of other choices and reviews that speak for themselves. Just make sure to know what your pet reptile needs so that you can provide them with an ideal setup.

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    Featured Image Credit: Charlotte Bleijenberg, Shutterstock

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