As a reptile owner, ensuring that your reptile has everything they need to survive is one of your biggest priorities. This includes the right tank, the right food and the right temperature. Animals such as bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, corn snakes, chameleons, tortoise and turtles all require a specific temperature and humidity to thrive.
To ensure the correct temperature is maintained, you will need to buy an accurate reptile thermometer. However, how do you know which one to buy? What should you be looking for in the best reptile thermostat? Are there different types?
Fortunately for you, we have compiled a buying guide below giving you all the info you need on reptile thermostats. We’ve even included some of our top picks out there on the market today, so you can be sure you’ll buy the right thermostat for your pet. If you want to find out more, keep reading on.
Best Reptile Thermostat – Comparison Table
|Image||Product Name||Features||Star Rating|
|1) BN-LINK Digital Heat Mat Thermostat Controller||Effortless Heating Setup|
Safe & Reliable
|4.6 out of 5|
|2) NICREW Heating and Cooling Temperature Controller||Plug and play design|
Easy to use LCD display
Waterproof and accuracy sensor
|4.5 out of 5|
|3) Aiicioo Under Tank Heater Thermostat||Combo Set|
Simply Set Up
|4.4 out of 5|
|4) VIVOSUN Digital Heat Mat Thermostat||Professional Reliability And Results|
Zero-effort Set Up & Operation
|4.5 out of 5|
|5) ELECTECK Heat Mat Thermostat||Best Controller for Germination|
Easy-to-Read LED Display
|4.6 out of 5|
|Pymeter Digital Temperature Controller||Dual Probes|
Safe and Reliable
|4.4 out of 5|
7) WILLHI WH1436A Temperature Controller
|Improved The Controller|
Keep Temp In Desired Range
Heating Or Refrigeration Working Mode
|4.5 out of 5|
|8) Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller||Easy to use|
Dual Display Window
|4.7 out of 5|
|9) Zoo Med ReptiTemp RT-600 Digital Thermostat Controller||Remote Temperature Sensor with 6 foot cable.|
Built in memory stores settings in case of power failure.
Alarm flashes and sounds when temperature reaches extreme high or low levels.
|4.7 out of 5|
|10) Vivarium Electronics VE-300 Thermostat||Full back-lit display|
Displays probe temp and set point on main display
Battery backup for clock
|4.3 out of 5|
Why You Need A Reptile Thermostat
Reptiles are ectotherms, which is the scientific word for cold-blooded. This means that they rely on sources of heat that are outside of their own body to keep them warm and to maintain the correct body temperature. In the wild, this would be in the form of sunlight and hot rocks, but, when kept as a pet, it is up to you as their carer to provide them with the correct heating.
If your reptile isn’t kept at the right temperature, they will become hypothermic. This means they will become less active and can have a big affect on them health wise, particularly on their digestive and immune system. You will need to know the correct temperature for your specific pet, because it will vary from species to species.
A thermostat doesn’t just help with the heating of your vivarium, but it also helps to keep the reptile enclosure at the set temperature. As the temperature outside your reptile’s home changes, you may need to change the temperature inside, too. Ensuring they don’t get too hot is very important, because overheating can lead to their death much quicker than them being too cold.
Luckily, there are many types of thermostat available that will be able to cater to your needs as an owner. Some are more simple thermostats, while others are wireless and can be controlled through wifi. Some are even smart thermostats, which means they will learn your habits and study your patterns, so they work specifically to what you require.
Types Of Reptile Thermostat
As we mentioned above, there are a few different types of reptile thermostat out there.
An on/off thermostat, also known as a ministat, is the cheapest and most simple type of thermostat. As the name suggests, you control the temperature by simply turning the thermostat on and off. You can set the thermostat to a certain temperature, and when it reaches this temperature, it cuts out and turns out. Then, when the temperature falls, the thermostat turns the power supply back on to continue to heat the terrarium.
While this thermostat works well, it can sometimes be a bit distressing for the reptile. Basic vivariums are normally heated with a spotlight bulb, so if this is constantly going on and off, it can sometimes be a bit much for them! That being said, it is better than no thermostat at all and most reptiles are hardy enough to deal with this. An on/off thermostat that works with a heating mat will have a lower maximum power output.
A dimming thermostat is a more expensive thermostat, but is very popular because they are more versatile and accurate. They work by constantly altering the power that is sent to the heater and work with any type of heat source.
The sensor within the tank constantly measures the temperature and, once the temperature has dropped to a significant level, the thermostat will send more power to the bulb of the heater so it produces more heat. When the temperature has reached a specific level, less power is sent and the bulb becomes dimmer. This means that the temperature in tank is constant, great for more sensitive species.
A pulse thermostat can only be used with non-light-emitting heat sources such as your heat mats, heat rocks, heat cable (heat strip), deep heat projector and ceramic heaters. They work by sending a series of rapid and regular pulses of energy to a heater, and so would cause light bulbs to pulse or flash, which would disturb your animals.
When the temperature in the tank needs to be increased, the pulse thermostat pulses faster and harder until it has reached the optimum temperature, after which it will pulse slower. These thermostats are very accurate and work very well. They are also usually cheaper than dimmer thermostats.
Multiple Device Thermostat
Some thermostats have the ability to control multiple devices at once, and can even be preprogrammed for multiple enclosures at once. If you have more than one animal at home and you’re looking for one thermostat for all, a multiple device thermostat might be for you.
What To Look For In The Best Reptile Thermostat
There are a few different things to look for in a reptile thermostat before you go out and buy one.
First of all, you’ll need to work out what heat source you are using. There are several different types of heater, and you’ll need to make sure the thermostat you buy works with the heater you have. Types of heater include heat mats and heat lamps, both of which operate slightly differently with a thermostat.
Knowing the temperature you need to achieve in the tank for your reptile’s comfort is very important. There is no use buying a thermostat if it only heats to a certain temperature, and that temperature is not right for your pet. You should also consider the size of your terrarium, as larger tanks will need more heat bulbs.
Always check the maximum wattage that your thermostat can achieve. On/off thermostats will have a lower wattage, while thermostats such as a dimmer thermostat will have a higher wattage. The larger the tank, the higher the wattage needs to be.
Ease Of Use
You don’t want your reptile thermostat to be difficult to use or hard to set up. Check the one you purchase isn’t going to be a hassle to keep on and maintain.
We mentioned this above, but if you have more than one heater for more than one tank, then you might want to look for the best reptile thermostat that can control multiple devices at once. This can also be handy for maintaining different heat zones within one tank — great for heating and cooling devices.
A noisy thermostat won’t just annoy you, it’ll also annoy your reptile. Fortunately, most thermostats out there are very quiet when operating, but it doesn’t hurt to double check.
Now you know all about the different types of thermostat and what to look for when buying one, take a look at the best temperature controllers we recommend below. These are all available to you on Amazon.
The Best Reptile Thermostat Reviews
This thermostat from BN-LINK is very easy to use. All you need to do is set the temperature sensor, plug-in the controller, and use the large 3-button interface to choose your desired temperature setting. It can be used in both Celsius and Fahrenheit and the temperature control range is 40-108°F.
The handy LED heating and power indicator lights allow you to see the controller’s status even in total darkness and, with a convenient hanging tab, you can place this thermostat anywhere. The cord measures six feet in length and can therefore be used in a variety of tanks.
- Effortless Heating Setup
- Rugged Construction
- Safe & Reliable
The NICREW temperature controller has a temperature range of between 60-99°F and can be used as an over-temperature protection and automatic temperature control system for various heaters. It comes with both a Celsius and Fahrenheit display and there are both heating and cooling modes, great for animals who need both.
With an LCD display, this thermostat is very easy to use and set up. The sensor is waterproof so you don’t need to worry about it getting wet and it allows it to work in 20%-85% operating ambient humidity with no condensation. It can be used in a range of different environment and is very versatile, too. The maximum output load is 880W.
- Plug and play design
- Easy to use LCD display
- Waterproof and accuracy sensor
This thermostat is not just a thermostat — it is also an under tank heater. From Aiicioo, it is an 8 watt heater that provides your reptile gentle and constant warmth 24 hours a day, while also monitoring and controlling the temperature all the time with adjustable temperature control.
With this heating pad you also get a thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature from 68-108°F, and the heating pad itself is easy to install, either underneath the vivarium or on the side. The adhesive material is durable and will not melt or separate, and the entire pad provides uniform heating so your pet is kept warm.
The heater measures 8” x 6” in size and is waterproof. It is easy to set up — it simply needs to be placed, plugged in and then adjusted to the right temperature. What’s more, the temperature sensor probe ensures you’ll always get an accurate reading.
- Combo Set
- Upgraded Version
- Simply Set Up
This is a thermostat from VIVOSUN and regulates temperature between 40-108ºF, helping to keep your reptile warm. The simple, three button design of this thermostat makes it easy to set and use, and it includes features such as a hanging tab for ease and a suction cup for the probe. There is a 5.8 foot power cord and a 6.4 foot probe cord for excellent flexibility, great if you are limited on plugs.
The thermostat is both impact and vibration tested for maximum durability, and you can be sure this device won’t rust or malfunction. It’s wattage is 1,000 watts, excellent for a range of different tanks, and is compatible with any type of heat mat.
- Professional Reliability And Results
- High-quality Construction
- Zero-effort Set Up & Operation
This thermostat from ELECTECK is compatible with most heating mats and has a temperature control of between 41°F to 108°F. The temperature display range is between 32°F to 140°F and the thermostat is very easy to use, with a simple menu and big buttons. You can also switch the temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius if needed.
It operates with lamps of 1,000 watts and has a 3.28 foot power cord for maximum flexibility, great if your tank is large or far away from a power outlet. Power lights on this device are also helpful for checking the thermostat is working in the dark, and an additional suction cup is included for accuracy.
- Best Controller for Germination
- Easy-to-Read LED Display
- Temperature Range
The Pymeter digital temperature controller is one of the products on this list that you and I will like because it has many features that I believe will be beneficial to your reptile pets. I like the dual probe features because they set it apart from other thermostats. It also has dual sockets with independent temperature-controlled switches. This product claims to be very reliable and safe, with enhanced functions that are pre-wired so that you can simply plug it in and play.
- Dual Probes
- Dual Sockets
- Safe and Reliable
- Enhanced Functions
This temperature controller from WILLHI is a simple and easy-to-use thermostat that has both heating and refrigeration modes. With temperature adjustment from 58-230℉, it has an accuracy of 0.5 degrees and a power consumption of 3 watts. You can adjust the temperature from Celsius to Fahrenheit if needed, too.
The probe is 3 meters in length, great if you have a large tank or limited wall sockets, and it is also waterproof for safety. With a plug-in and play design, the digital display shows four numbers rather than three, so you get a more accurate temperature reading every time.
- Improved The Controller
- Keep Temp In Desired Range
- Heating Or Refrigeration Working Mode
This Inkbird thermostat is another thermostat with both heating and refrigeration modes. Very simple to use, this thermostat simply plugs in to use and supports both a Fahrenheit and Celsius display, with temperature adjustment ranging from -58°F to 248°F.
The temperature probe has a length of two meters for great flexibility and, with a dual display on the device, you’ll be able to display the measured temperature and set a temperature at the same time. There is a buzzer alarm built in to alarm you when the temperature is over the desired setting, so you’ll be able to keep your pets safe at all times. The maximum output load of this thermostat is 1,100 watts.
- Easy to use
- Dual relay
- Dual Display Window
From Zoo Med, this thermostat has temperature controls from 50°F to 122°F and can control both heating devices and cooling devices. With a maximum output load of 600 watts of heating devices and 150 watts of cooling devices, this thermostat is best for tanks with smaller heat sources.
Like the thermostat above, this temperature controller also comes with an alarm that flashes and sounds when the temperature reaches extreme high or low levels, so you can ensure your reptile is safe and comfortable at all times. The probe has a six foot cable and the probe itself is waterproof for ease. The display on the thermostat is simple to read and the entire device is easy to use.
- Remote Temperature Sensor with 6 foot cable.
- Built in memory stores settings in case of power failure.
- Alarm flashes and sounds when temperature reaches extreme high or low levels.
This thermostat from Vivarium Electronics has a 700 watt capacity and a temperature range of between 25°F and 140°F. With a full back-lit display, this thermostat is easy to read and use and displays the current temperature while allowing you to set the desired temperature at the same time. It has both high and low temperature controls, great for a range of different vivariums.
The probe is 10 feet in length, excellent for flexibility, and the device can easily be attached to your reptile’s tank. There are built-in alarms to notify you when the high or low temperature is reached, and the temperature history is recorded for ease if there happens to be a power failure. This thermostat is quiet when operating and also features a battery back up for the clock and a replaceable 6 foot power cord.
- Full back-lit display
- Displays probe temp and set point on main display
- Battery backup for clock
A thermostat is very important to the wellbeing of your reptile, ensuring that their vivarium is at the right temperature and comfortable for them at all times. Not only do these devices help to recreate a natural environment for your pet, but can also take out the hassle of setting the temperature all the time. Whether you’re looking for a simple on/off thermostat or one that is more advanced and keeps a constant temperature, we know you’ll find the best reptile thermostat for you in our list above, no matter what heat source you are using.