A thermostat is the single most critical piece of equipment for anyone who keeps reptiles. Why? Because reptiles thrive within a specific temperature range, a thermostat helps you manage your terrarium temperature. A thermostat helps you manage your terrarium temperature.
As a reptile’s body temperature decreases, they move less, their digestion slows down, and their immune system stops functioning correctly. Too much exposure to cold makes it harder for reptiles to fight off secondary infections. Exposure to severe and prolonged cold can be fatal.
Reptiles need heat, but too much heat is as harmful as too much cold. You may know that the most common cause of premature fatality in reptiles is overheating.
Our 2022 reviews are updated to look at the best reptile thermostats available on the market, so you have what you need to keep your reptiles in that perfect temperature range to keep them active and healthy.
A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Reptile Thermostats
1. Overall Best: Zoo Med ReptiTemp Digital Reptile Terrarium Thermostat
In our review, the overall best reptile thermostat is Zoo Med ReptiTemp digital reptile terrarium thermostat for its simple-to-use interface and accurate temperature maintenance.
This digital thermostat can turn on cooling devices (up to 150 watts) or heating devices (up to 600 watts) in your reptile habitat, depending on if you select cool or heat mode. It controls a range of temperatures from 50 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Zoo Med ReptiTemp has a remote temperature sensor with a six-foot cable so you can place the sensor exactly where it needs to be. The built-in memory stores your last settings, so if there is a temporary power outage, it comes on with the same settings and keeps your reptile friends comfortable and safe.
This thermostat also alerts you to extremely high or low temperatures with a flashing alarm and sound. It’s a simple, easy-to-use, and reliable digital reptile thermostat.
2. Best Value: BN-LINK Digital Heat Mat Thermostat Controller
The BN-LINK digital thermostat controller can display temperatures in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. Place the temperature probe on the heat source you want to manage, set the temperature, and you are ready to go.
It does have a two to three degree buffering zone before powering on after it reaches the set temperature and won’t power on again if the temperature drops a single degree.
The controller has power indicator lights, so you don’t have to turn on the lights to verify that it is working. The display is bright and easy to read.
You have six feet of cord between the temperature probe and the grounded plug. Depending on the placement of the terrarium in your home, you should have no problem placing the probe exactly on or close to the heating element and have access to power.
This unit is rigorously tested for quality and safety. It is not waterproof.
3. Best for Ease of Use: iPower Digital Heat Mat Thermostat
This easy-to-use digital thermostat and temperature controller has a range of 40 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit, though you can adjust the display to Celsius or Fahrenheit. The bright display and power lights show you the temperature and status even in darkness.
The unit is designed to maintain an optimal temperature of a heating mat in your terrarium based on the settings you select. It will work with any heat mat but is designed to work with an iPower heat mat.
The unit is not waterproof or resistant.
Best for Ease of Use
4. Best Suction Power for Hanging Display: VIVOSUN Digital Heat Mat Thermostat
The VIVOSUN digital heat mat thermostat temperature controller regulates and maintains your desired temperature between 40–108 ºF. It comes with a sensor probe so you can reliably track your terrarium’s temperature.
Set-up is simple, with three buttons on the front of the display to set your temperature range. The unit is made of extra-fortified plastic to withstand harsh conditions.
The VIVOSUN comes with a hanging tab and wall mount for ease of use and access. The angled socket is designed to keep cords untangled and neat.
The manufacturer says it is compatibility and safety guaranteed and can be used with any heat mat.
Best Suction Power for Hanging Display
5. Best Accuracy for a Low Price Tag: OPULENT SYSTEMS Digital Controller Thermostat for Heat Mats
OPULENT SYSTEMS digital controller thermostat has a simple display with three easy-to-use buttons and can be set to Fahrenheit or Celsius as you prefer. The display is a durable and ergonomic design.
The range of temperature the thermostat can control is smaller than some of the other units at only 68-108 ºF and is compatible with any heat mat. The unit can be hung on the wall or on a hook, and the power cord is six feet long.
It comes with a 12-month warranty. The unit is not waterproof.
Best Accuracy for a Low Price Tag
6. Best for Remote Monitoring: Inkbird WiFi Reptile Thermostat Temperature Controller
The WiFi reptile thermostat has two probes and controls the temperature of your mat remotely. Once you set up the device, you can remotely monitor the temperature via the Inkbird app. The app will even alert you if there are probe errors or the temperature gets too high or low.
The two different temperature probes work individually. You can use it for different locations within a terrarium or side-by-side terrariums.
The max wattage on each outlet is 250W, and the unit currently only supports 2.4GHz WiFi.
Best for Remote Monitoring
7. Best Waterproof Dual-Sensor Option: Pymeter Digital Dual Probe Reptile Thermostat
The Pymeter digital temperature controller is the only one on this list that states the probes are waterproof. You can use it in a fish tank or a humid terrarium without worrying about damaging the probes.
It has two probes that can manage either heating or cooling independently. The unit comes with a high and low temperature alarm. It also has a temperature difference alarm in the event only one of the probes malfunctions.
This dual-probe controller is easy to set up and use.
Best Waterproof Dual-Sensor Option
Choosing the Best: What to Look For
Your reptiles cannot maintain a comfortable temperature on their own. Depending on where you live, they need heat or cooling in their terrarium to stay healthy and happy. A thermostat enables you to create an environment where they can thrive.
When you are shopping for a thermostat, it’s important to know what you need. Some questions to ask include:
- Do you need more than one probe or is one enough?
- Do you need a display that hangs easily, or do you have a place for it to rest?
- Are you away from home a lot – would a remote app be helpful?
- Do you need a waterproof probe due to the high humidity in your terrarium?
The answers to these questions will direct you to the best reptile thermostat for you.
The Different Types of Reptile Thermostats: Pros and Cons Compared
Reptile thermostats are separate from heating and cooling units. They provide a digital display and temperature control for the heating and cooling mechanisms you already use in your terrarium. For that reason, they are pretty simple, and there aren’t many distinguishing factors between the different types. However, they do vary in manufacturing quality, single versus dual probe, and waterproof or not.
Here are some pros and cons of each type.
Some units come with guarantees. Some manufacturers state they use more durable plastic or have tested the units for durability and reliability. Since it’s a fairly simple mechanism, less robust manufacturing quality isn’t a deal killer, but you will have to replace the unit more often.
Single Versus Dual Probe
A single probe will measure and regulate the temperature of the spot where you place it. Dual probes can help you regulate two different temperatures independently. If you are planning on purchasing multiple units because you have several terrariums, dual probes might simplify the process and save you some money.
Most terrarium thermostats are not waterproof, which means they can rust or stop working if exposed to too much water. A waterproof probe is most often used for a fish tank rather than a terrarium. Still, if you have a moist environment or a very humid terrarium, a waterproof probe might work better or for a longer period.
Verified Review: User Experience
Users of the Zoo Med ReptiTemp RT-600 Digital Thermostat Controller say that it’s easy to use and accurate. It measures the heat in a specific area very precisely, so reviewers who use a heating mat say you want to keep the thermostat on the mat for the most accurate reading. If you mount it on the wall of the terrarium it will measure the temperature of the air and the wall. Several users reported they were so satisfied with the initial experience they bought more for other terrariums. The main complaint was that setting the temperatures is somewhat awkward, but fortunately, you don’t need to set them very often.
Users of BN-LINK’s Digital Heat Mat Thermostat Controller report fantastic experiences with the company. Those reviewers who initially had a problem with the unit were helped quickly and in a way that resolved their problem. Users also appreciate the probe, which allows you to place the digital reader in a different location than the heat source you want to measure. One reviewer remarked that after a power outage, the unit defaulted to the settings she had put in, which helped keep her lizards safe even after a temporary loss of power.
iPower Digital Heat Mat Thermostat got good reviews for being easy to set up and is a good reptile thermostat at a good price. Reviewers report good customer service experiences and appreciate that the temperature settings remain in place after a power outage. One complaint is there is a range of about three to four degrees before it kicks the power back on, and some users thought that was too much variation. One user also reported that the unit gets pretty hot.
The VIVOSUN Digital Heat Mat Thermostat got mostly very positive reviews. Users call it a “life saver” and a “great thermostat.” Users like its simplicity and report good customer service reviews. One reviewer reported that it worked well for two weeks and then stopped giving accurate readings, although another user reported hers working for a full year before she replaced it, which still isn’t as long as some of the other options in this review.
Reviews for the OPULENT SYSTEMS Digital Controller Thermostat are mostly five stars. Users appreciate how it keeps the temperature of their heating pad or lamps constant and reports great customer service. They say it’s important to be mindful of where you put the probe because if it’s suspended in the air, it won’t accurately measure the temperature of the mat. One review reported hers wasn’t accurate.
The Inkbird WiFi Reptile Thermostat Temperature Controller got great reviews for having two probes for dual temperature controls and WiFi so users can manage settings through an app. People who work long hours are happy to be able to monitor the temperature remotely. Users report this thermostat keeps temperatures steady.
Users of the Pymeter 2 in 1 Digital Temperature Controller say it’s accurate and easy to use, although a couple had trouble getting it set up at first. Reviewers report a simple interface and appreciate the dual temperature controls in one unit. One called it a commercial, high-quality product that was well manufactured.