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Home > Turtles > 5 Best Turtle Basking Platforms In 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

5 Best Turtle Basking Platforms In 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

basking pair of southern painted turtles

A turtle basking platform is more than just decor for your tank. It serves a critical purpose for your pet’s health and well-being. In the wild, turtles rest on rocks or logs to dry out and sun themselves. Your pet turtle mimics this behavior by climbing up onto their basking platform to be near their tank’s lamp.

There are dozens of basking platforms on the market, so you might wonder why our list is so short, at only five products. The answer is simple—safety. Through our research, we learned that many platforms had designs or attributes that pose a risk to turtles. In addition to our top picks for turtle basking platforms, we’ve also included things to consider when shopping.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Penn-Plax Floating Turtle Pier Platform (Small) Penn-Plax Floating Turtle Pier Platform (Small)
  • Whimsical “pier” appearance
  • Adjustable height
  • Ideal for smaller tanks
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Sunxenze Large Size Acrylic Turtle Basking Platform Sunxenze Large Size Acrylic Turtle Basking Platform
  • One-piece design is easy to clean
  • Includes a recessed food dish
  • Sturdy suction cups
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Penn-Plax Turtle Topper Above Tank Basking Platform Penn-Plax Turtle Topper Above Tank Basking Platform
  • Space saving design
  • One of the larger basking platforms on the market
  • Penn-Plax Floating Turtle Pier Platform (Large) Penn-Plax Floating Turtle Pier Platform (Large)
  • Attractive, novel appearance
  • Adjustable height
  • Textured ramp
  • CHERLAM Turtle Basking Platform (Yellow) CHERLAM Turtle Basking Platform (Yellow)
  • Strong suction cups
  • Looks like a piece of driftwood
  • Not painted
  • The 10 Best Turtle Basking Platforms

    1. Penn-Plax Floating Turtle Pier Platform (Small) – Best Overall

    Materials: Plastic
    Dimensions: Small 11.5 inches x 9.5 inches x 12 inches
    Country of manufacture: China

    The Penn-Plax Floating Turtle Pier Platform (Small) is our choice for best overall turtle basking platform. Its triangular, compact shape allows you to nestle this platform into the corner of a smaller tank. As an additional space-saving feature, it has a filter holder that is compatible with the Penn-Plax Reptology Internal Filter 45. And like its Large counterpart, the Small platform has an adjustable height and textured ramp. If your turtle grows, you may need a larger upgrade. But if you have a smaller adult turtle, this platform could last you awhile.

    The fun pier-like design is both a pro and a con. You might enjoy the unique appearance, but the grooves on the faux wood and rope features will need to be cleaned regularly.

    Pros
    • Whimsical “pier” appearance
    • Adjustable height
    • Ideal for smaller tanks
    Cons
    • Difficult to clean

    2. Sunxenze Large Size Acrylic Turtle Basking Platform – Best Value

    Materials: Plastic
    Dimensions: 9.5 inches x 8 inches
    Country of manufacture: Unknown

    Don’t be fooled by the simple design of the Sunxenze Large Size Acrylic Turtle Basking Platform. Thousands of turtle owners are happy with this product, earning it our pick as the best turtle basking platform for the money. If your turtle needs some encouragement to bask, you can fill the built-in food dish with a treat. While a common complaint for turtle basking platforms is weak suction cups, these are relatively sturdy. Don’t rely on the manufacturer’s “Large” descriptor. Measure your turtle and your tank set up to make sure this platform will work for you.

    We couldn’t find any information about this company or where it manufactures its products. But if you have a small budget and don’t have the time to clean an elaborate basking platform set up, consider this simple acrylic one.

    Pros
    • One-piece design is easy to clean
    • Includes a recessed food dish
    • Sturdy suction cups
    Cons
    • Only available in one size
    • Couldn’t find information about the company

    3. Penn-Plax Turtle Topper Above Tank Basking Platform – Premium Choice

    Materials: Plastic
    Dimensions: 17.5 x 14.25 x 6.5 inches
    Country of manufacture: China

    As its name suggests, the Penn-Plax Turtle Topper Above Tank Basking Platform attaches to the top of an aquarium. This space-saving feature is perfect if you can’t upgrade to a larger tank, or you have an aquatic turtle that enjoys swimming the full length of their aquarium. This basking platform is large enough to hold multiple turtles, as well. It comes in one size and fits “most tanks up to 55 gallons.” We strongly recommend carefully measuring the exterior dimensions of your tank and not relying on the gallon size when purchasing.

    This basking platform will take some effort to disassemble and clean, but it’s still a solid choice if you want a larger, above-tank platform.

    Pros
    • Space saving design
    • One of the larger basking platforms on the market
    Cons
    • One size, fits tanks that have a width of 14 inches
    • Difficult to disassemble and clean

    4. Penn-Plax Floating Turtle Pier Platform (Large)

    Materials: Plastic
    Dimensions: Large 16 inches x 11 inches x 16 inches
    Country of manufacture: China

    The affordable price and adjustable height of the Penn-Plax Floating Turtle Pier Platform (Large) makes it a great choice for your turtle. We like the textured ramp that makes it easy for your turtle to access the platform. The faux rope design adds to the fun appearance but can be a pain to keep clean.

    Some customers who purchased this platform found it to be too big for their 40-gallon aquarium. You need to measure the interior dimensions of your tank before you buy any basking platform—we can’t stress this enough. The most common complaint owners had with this whimsical platform was the weak suction cups.

    Pros
    • Attractive, novel appearance
    • Adjustable height
    • Textured ramp
    Cons
    • Flimsy suction cups
    • Difficult to clean

    5. CHERLAM Turtle Basking Platform (Yellow)

    Materials: Resin
    Dimensions: 9 x 5 x 2 inches
    Country of manufacture: China

    While this CHERLAM Turtle Basking Platform is described as “yellow,” it’s actually a tan color and looks like a piece of driftwood. Its nature-inspired design extends to its gray and brown options, which are meant to look like a rock and log, respectively. This basking platform is for you if you have a small budget and want a one-piece design that’s easy to clean.

    Unlike many other faux wood or rock basking platforms, this one isn’t painted. This is a major plus because flaking paint poses a safety hazard to turtles that may mistake paint chips for food. Suction cups are often a pain point on basking platforms, but most customers agreed that these were strong and kept the platform in place.

    Pros
    • Strong suction cups
    • Looks like a piece of driftwood
    • Not painted
    Cons
    • Made in China
    • Available in one size

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    Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Turtle Basking Platforms

    Shopping for a turtle basking platform seems like it should be a straightforward process, but there’s a lot to consider. The right platform needs to be safe, large enough for your turtle, and fit well into your tank. Below are some pointers to help you select the right turtle platform.

    Before You Buy

    You’ll want to measure the interior dimensions of your tank before you shop for a basking platform. Do not rely on “small” or “large” descriptors. These sizes are relative and assigned by the manufacturer. A good rule of thumb is that a dry basking platform should take up ⅓ of an aquarium’s space.

    If you are considering the Penn-Plax Turtle Topper Above Tank Basking Platform, you’ll need to measure the exterior dimensions of your tank.

    Basking Platform Features to Avoid

    We came across several unsafe features when reviewing turtle basking platforms. Perhaps the most dangerous feature on any underwater pet accessory is paint. Over time, paint will wear away. Unfortunately, a turtle could think a floating paint chip is food and eat it. Flaking paint also causes debris build-up and can muck up your filtration system.

    Another design flaw to watch out for is any hollow space under a basking platform, where a smaller turtle could be trapped. If a platform should become unattached from the tank, you want one that will either float or that your turtle could crawl out from.

    Turtle Basking Platform Maintenance

    All of the turtle basking platforms on our list are made of plastic or resin. These unpainted materials can withstand daily use in a wet environment.

    That being said, no platform will last forever. Routinely check your turtle’s platform for chips, cracks, and other signs of wear. All platforms should be wiped down and cleaned on a regular basis. Ask your vet what they suggest for a turtle-safe soap. You don’t want to use any harsh cleaners around your pet.

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    Final Thoughts on Turtle Basking Platforms

    The adjustable height, textured ramp, and whimsical design of the Penn-Plax Floating Turtle Pier Platform (Small) made it our best overall choice for basking platforms. The Sunxenze Large Size Acrylic Turtle Basking Platform is our best value pick if you’re on a budget due to its simplicity and affordability. The unique design of the Penn-Plax Turtle Topper Above Tank Basking Platform made it our premium choice for turtle owners who want a space-saving option. We hope our reviews help you buy a basking platform that your turtle loves and fits your budget.

    Sources

    Featured Image Credit: Mike Wilhelm, Shutterstock

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