Reptiles are a unique and fascinating animal to keep as pets, but each species has unique and specific temperature requirements in order to survive and thrive. A large factor in their survival and overall health is maintaining an exact temperature inside their tank enclosure or vivarium.
Reptiles are cold-blooded, which means they rely completely on external heat sources because they cannot warm themselves up. This means you’ll need to provide a heat source for them, one that’s accurately monitored and controlled. A vivarium that is too hot or too cold or fluctuates too drastically can quickly result in serious health issues for your reptile or even death. This is why a good-quality, reliable thermostat is an essential addition to your pet’s enclosure.
There are a wide variety of thermostats available on the market, and finding the right one can be a challenge. But fear not! We’ve created this list of in-depth reviews to help you find the right reptile thermostat to suit your unique needs.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Thermostat|
|Hagen Exo Terra |
|VIVOSUN Heat Mat||Digital||4.40/5|
|BN-LINK Heat Mat||Digital||4.15/5|
The 7 Best Reptile Thermostats — Reviews 2020
1. Cobalt Aquatics Electronic Neo-Thermostat — Best Overall
This electronic thermostat from Cobalt Aquatics is our top pick overall and is guaranteed to keep your reptile’s vivarium at a stable temperature. It is fully submersible and water-proof, so high humidity in your pet’s tank is no issue. It has a compact and sleek design, with a convenient “one-touch” control. It is accurate within a plus/minus range of 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can be sure of accurate and reliable readings. The LED display shows you the set temperature and tank temperature simultaneously, for added accuracy. A built-in thermal protection circuit design will shut the unit down when it overheats, and the casing is rugged and shatterproof and will last for years to come. In case of a power outage, the heater will automatically reset to the previous setting, saving you from doing it manually. The heater itself is rated at 25 watts and can be used in tanks up to 20-gallons.
Some users report that the heater doesn’t work efficiently when submerged in water, and they struggled to get the water up to the required temperature.
2. OPULENT SYSTEMS Digital Controller Thermostat — Best Value
This digital thermostat from Opulent Systems is the best reptile thermostat for the money, according to our tests. It is made from durable plastic, with an ergonomic design that fits comfortably in your hand. The internal components are rust-proof, so it is ideal for use in high-humidity environments. The setup and operation are quick and simple, and it features three easy-to-use buttons to set the temperature for your unique situation. The temperature can be set within a range of 68-108 degrees Fahrenheit, and the controller itself has a nifty hole so you can easily hang it flush on the wall from a screw or hook.
One frustrating feature is that the unit will reset once the timer goes off, so you’ll need to set it again. This keeps it from the top position on this list.
3. Hagen Exo Terra Electronic Thermostat — Premium Choice
If you are looking for a durable and reliable thermostat for your reptile’s enclosure, the PT2459 from Hagen is the premium choice. It has a 600-watt operation, with a temperature rating of between 50 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The daytime and nighttime temperatures can be separately set, to match the exact settings for your reptile’s unique fluctuation requirements. It has a unique dimming and pulse proportional function that will keep the tank’s temperature at your desired level, without massive swings in degrees that can be potentially harmful. The blue LCD is easy to read, even in the dark, and shows both the set and the actual temperature on the display. The display also has a nifty feature that dims it at night. A red LED light will indicate when the heater is on, and it will turn blue once the programmed temperature is reached.
One frustrating feature on this thermostat is that the day/night settings change according to light levels. This means that if you lay it underneath a substrate or where light cannot reach it, the sensor will not be able to accurately change between day and night settings. This and its high price keep it from the top two positions on this list.
4. VIVOSUN Digital Heat Mat Thermostat
This digital thermostat from VIVOSUN has a temperature control range of 40-108 degrees Fahrenheit and a bright digital LCD. It is constructed from durable fortified plastic, has an ergonomic hexagon-shaped grip, and rust-proof internal components. It has an easy-to-use three-button operation and comes with a convenient hanging tab for neat and flush wall mounting. The probe has an adjustable suction cup that allows you to quickly and easily place it anywhere inside your pet’s tank.
Several users report that this thermostat would not go above 80 degrees, even though higher temperatures are indicated on the screen. Some also reported that it got stuck at high temperatures, which can be dangerous for your reptiles.
5. BN-LINK T7(H) Digital Heat Mat Thermostat
The T79(H) thermostat from BN-LINK has an effortless setup and control, with a simple three-button interface. The LED indicator light and LCD screen are bright and easy to read, even in the dark. It features a rugged and durable construction, with a convenient hanging tab for neat and flush wall mounting. It has a temperature control range of 40-108 degrees Fahrenheit and a temperature display range of 32-140 degrees Fahrenheit. The probe also has a convenient suction cup that allows you to place it anywhere in the tank with ease.
The thermostat is supposed to turn off automatically when the temperature reaches the set target, but several users report that it doesn’t, which can be dangerous for your reptile. Some users also report that the readings are not totally reliable, and the true heat inside the enclosure is consistently below the indicated amount.
6. iPower Digital Heat Mat Thermostat
This digital thermostat from iPower has a temperature control range of 40-108 degrees Fahrenheit and a display range of 32-140 degrees Fahrenheit. It has an easy plug-and-play operation, and the probe has a nifty suction cup for accurate placement. The LCD screen is bright and clear and has LED indicator lights for power and heater indication. The unit has a nifty memory setting, so you won’t need to reprogram it after switching it off.
Several users report that this unit failed to stop the heater at the preprogrammed setting, which can be highly dangerous for a reptile. Many also report inaccurate display readings of around one or two degrees.
7. Zoo Med ReptiTemp Digital Thermostat
The RT-600 digital thermostat from Zoo Med is an affordable unit, with a temperature control range of 50-122 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a built-in memory setting in case of a power failure and an alarm that will let you know when your pet’s enclosure reaches extreme high or low temperatures. It is easy to program and operate and has a bright blue LCD screen interface.
While it has an alarm to warn you of high or low temperatures, it will not automatically shut off, which doesn’t help if you are not around. Some users report the thermostat going above the indicated temperature, which can easily kill most reptiles. It is also fairly inaccurate, and many have reported that it burned out after only a few months’ use.
All reptiles are ectothermic, meaning they are cold-blooded and thus, cannot create their own heat: They rely totally on outside sources. In a natural environment, reptiles will achieve this by basking in the sun, burying themselves in the sand, or lying on sun-heated rocks. Without an adequate source of external heating, your reptile will quickly become hypothermic and die or have a multitude of problems like immune deficiencies or digestion issues.
It is important to note that different species of reptiles have different temperature requirements, and it is vital that you cater to their vivarium accordingly. This is where a thermostat comes in. It will help you keep the temperature inside the enclosure exactly right because depending on the outside temperature of the tank, the heater will need to be adjusted accordingly.
There are a few different types of thermostats available:
Things to look out for in a reptile thermostat
The best reptile thermostat according to our tests is the electronic thermostat from Cobalt Aquatics. With its compact and sleek design, accurate and reliable reading capability, and built-in thermal protection circuit design, it can sustain an accurately controlled environment for your beloved reptile.
The best reptile thermostat for the money is the digital thermostat from Opulent Systems. It is made from durable plastic, the setup and operation are quick and simple, and the controller can be quickly installed on the wall, all at a highly affordable price.
It can be overwhelming to find the right thermostat, as the health and wellbeing of your reptile are so dependent on it. Hopefully, our in-depth reviews have helped you find the right reptile thermostat to suit your pet’s unique needs.
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