External sources of heat are very important in your reptile’s enclosure because reptiles are cold-blooded and cannot regulate their core temperature by themselves.
So they heat themselves up with the ambient temperature of their surroundings.
Without heat, your reptile would get sluggish, may fall sick or even go into hibernation.
The warmth of the environment also helps in the health of the shell as it helps in the prevention of infection and so at every point of the day, good heat supply is to be made available.
The choice of a heating pad is not an easy one because of the large supply of heat pads that are available in the market.
Not all of them give good performance and value for your money and that is why in this article, we will give you tips on how to make the best choice of reptile heat pads, and expose you to the top picks you can find in the market.
After seeing numerous reptile heating mats, we have a pretty solid idea of what characteristics make the best reptile heat pad, and the Ipower Reptile Heat Pad it’s our top choice.
- Uniform heat
- Paste where you want
Why Do Reptiles Need Heating Pads?
Reptile heat pads can be used to heat up specific areas of your pet’s enclosure and provide warmth.
The aim of a standard vivarium is to make it as comfortable and as close to a natural environment as possible.
Heat pads mimic warmed up rocks in the wild on which reptiles bask. If your pet is one of those that requires heat at all times, the use of a heating pad will be very beneficial.
They also raise the overall temperature of the enclosure and ensures that your pet gets as much heat as it needs to stay active and healthy.
How to Install a Reptile Heating Pad
Apart from the quality of your heating pad, the method of installation can have an effect on the performance you get from a product.
Installation is a pretty easy process and involves just peeling off the cover of the adhesive and sticking to the glass wall of the enclosure.
The Best Position
After acquiring the heating pad, you have to decide on the best position on which to mount the product.
Usually, it is stuck at the bottom of the enclosure but that is not always the case. Some burrowing reptiles would benefit more from their heating pads being mounted on the side of their enclosure.
Before installing, do some research on your pet to determine which placement would be best for it.
Clean the Mounting Surface and Perform a Test Run before Mounting Permanently
Before purchasing the heat pad you must have mapped out the best position to install it.
This position may not necessarily fit and so you have to test out your product to be sure it will be best there.
Heating pads attach with adhesive and so moving it around multiple times is not advisable and that is why you have to be sure first before peeling off the cover from the adhesive.
The adhesive will last a lot longer if you stick it once and leave it there.
To ensure that you have enough space to work with especially if you will be mounting the pad at the bottom, flip the tank so you can have more room.
Adhesives do better on clean surfaces so clean the part on which you want to mount the heating pad thoroughly before sticking it.
Use an alcohol swab or a glass cleaner and clean the surface several times until you are sure it is clean. Use a towel or any other absorbent fabric to dry the surface before placing the heat pad.
Mount the Heating Pad
Once you have confirmed the position to mount the heat pad and cleaned the surface, you are ready to stick it.
It’s very easy to do and you just have to peel off the cover to the adhesive side and gently and carefully place the heat mat correctly.
Once you have it stuck, firmly press it against the glass wall to ensure all parts of it are properly secured.
Use a Thermostat to Regulate the Temperature
Reptile heating pads don’t require the use of a thermostat before they function and as such not all come with it.
If the product you purchased doesn’t come with a thermostat, it is a good idea to include one so that the enclosure doesn’t overheat.
A thermostat serves to regulate the temperature by turning off the heating pad when it gets to a certain predetermined temperature.
The use of a thermostat will allow you to provide the right amount of heat that is specific to the needs of your pet. It will also help to shut down the heater in the case of a malfunction.
The 5 Top-Rated Heating Pads for Reptiles
Best Budget Buy
Best Terrarium Heater
Best Heating Pad with Thermostat
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
The Best Reptile Heating Pads
1. Ipower Reptile Heat Pad for Small Animals
Size: 8 x 12 inch | Watts: 16W
First on our list of the best reptile heat pads is the Ipower Reptile Heat Pad for Small Animals. It is designed so you can use it on a standard glass terrarium for your pet reptile.
A great feature of this heat pad is the fast heating as its heating film is of new tech. You can provide a suitable temperature for your pet and together with the insulation, the heat transfer across the pad is increased.
If your reptile species needs higher temperatures, you can combine this device with an additional heat source and a thermostat so your pet can have all its heat needs duly met.
There is no need for fear of displaced pad as the 3M adhesive paper gives it a strong grip and keeps it exactly where you want it to be.
You can plug it into any standard socket, no need for a special adapter. Its design is such that it is easy to clean and also waterproof.
You can use it without any fear and maintain a clean habitat for your pet at all times.
This device is beneficial to a lot of reptiles like turtles, snakes, lizards, Gekkonidae, and a lot more. Provide the heat needs of your pet and have them healthy and happy.
- Uniform and rapid heat transfer
- The 3M adhesive paper keeps it stuck firmly where you want it to be
- Ideal for use with a wide range of reptiles
- It is waterproof
- Comes with a manufacturer’s warranty
- If placed wrongly repositioning it will be difficult as it sticks strongly
2. Fluker’s 29050 Heat Mat for Reptiles and Small Animals
Size: 11 x 11 inch | Watts: 12W
With Fluker’s Heat Mat, you can be rest assured that your pet has all the heat it needs as far as hot spots are concerned.
It is durable and evenly distributes heat so that your pet gets an equal amount of heat just like it would in the wild.
Mount outside your pet’s enclosure and depending on your reptile’s preferences, you can choose to mount it on the floor or on the side.
It is very easy to use and is beneficial to all reptiles, so your pet will definitely love this product and you will be glad you got it.
Fluker’s Heat Mat Installation
Fluker’s heat mat doesn’t come with an adhesive and so installing it is a bit tricky, unlike the other heat pads.
If you are installing it under the tank, be sure to allow enough room for ventilation by raising the tank.
This ventilation will prevent heat buildup and fire outbreaks. You have the option of using duct tape or aluminum tape to hold the device to the wall of the enclosure but which is best?
Duct tapes over time will get messy and sticky but aluminum tapes can neatly be removed if there is a need for a change.
- Can be mounted under or by the side of your pet’s enclosure
- Evenly distributes heat
- Can be used for all reptiles and amphibians too
- It comes without an adhesive on the product
3. Exo Terra Heat Mat Terrarium Substrate Heater
Size: 11 x 15 inch | Watts: 16W
Next on our list of best reptile heat pads is the Exo Terra Heat Mat Terrarium Substrate Heater.
It is made to be a perfect fit for all glass terraria so you have no problem mounting it on the side or underneath your pet’s home.
Whether your reptile species is tropical or from the temperate region, this heat mat will serve as a primary and secondary heat source and stimulate the surface on which it is mounted to be as if it were heated by the sun.
Its adhesive forms a solid bond with the wall of the terrarium so that heat can be transferred better.
If you need a source of heat to ensure that your pet reptile has no problem with digestion, metabolism and other body activity, this is the device for you.
It is safe to use and a sure bet to a happy pet. You can use it with other sources of heat if your pet needs higher temperatures, and you can use it with a thermostat to properly regulate the temperature of your pet’s enclosure.
- A perfect fit for all glass terraria
- Can be mounted under and by the side of terrariums
- Safe for use
- Provides even distribution of heat
- Needs a thermostat for temperature regulation
4. Zilla Heat Mat Terrarium Heater
Size: 6 x 8 inch | Watts: 8W
This device acts as an external source of heat to effectively raise the body temperature of your pet reptile and keep it warm.
It comes with an adhesive side for easy attaching to the terrarium so you can have it where you want; fixed permanently and with optimal heat transfer.
You do not have to pay a large power bill because of this device as it is energy efficient, giving you more and at little cost. If you have desert or tropical species of reptiles, it is capable of meeting up with their heat needs.
- Easy to mount
- Very energy efficient
- Provides enough heat for reptiles of tropical and desert species
- Beneficial to amphibians and arachnids also
- The adhesive doesn’t last for long
5. Ipower under Tank Reptile Heat Pad with Thermostat
Size: 8 x 12 inch | Watts: 16W
We will end this list of best reptile heat pads with the Ipower under Tank Reptile Heat Pad with Thermostat.
It has an improved design made with a new heating film and insulation that improves heat transfer and allows your pet to absorb enough heat.
You do not have to wait for long to reach the desired temperature as it heats up within minutes while saving energy.
For ease of care, you can easily clean this device and it is also waterproof.
Its adhesive side is made with a 3M adhesive paper giving you great rigidity. It sticks directly to your terrarium and you get maximum heat transfer into the enclosure.
Not all heat pads come with a thermostat but this device comes with one to help you better regulate the temperature of your pet’s home.
It is easy to use and has a temperature control range of 40 to 1800F. Temperature can also be read in Celsius.
- Fast and uniform heat
- Strong adhesive providing rigidity
- Can be used with reptiles and amphibians also
- Comes with a thermostat which is easy to use
- Has the manufacturer’s warranty
- Thermostat temperature is a few degrees off
How to Choose a Good Reptile Heat Pad
There is a high chance that you will get confused when you get into the store to purchase a heating pad because of the number of products you will see.
How then can you choose what is best for your pet? We will discuss the very important factors to look out for.
The Size of the Heat Pad
The size of the heat pad affects the amount of heat that will be given off. You also have to consider the size before purchase so that you won’t get something that doesn’t fit with your tank.
Having made up your mind on the side you will mount the heat pad (whether side or under), choose a size that will fit the available space.
The wattage affects the amount of heat that the pad can produce. You should go for a device with a wattage that can meet the heat requirements of your pet.
Do some research about how much heat your reptile species needs so you can make an informed choice.
Every good product comes with a warranty as this serves as an assurance that nothing will go wrong with the device.
Even if it gets defective, you will get a replacement for it and it is a part of customer service that assures you that what you are getting is of good quality.
So lookout for a warranty while you are purchasing.
Commonly Asked Questions About Heating Pads for Reptiles
Q: Can You Put A Reptile Heating Pad On Wood?
Yes, you can but with caution. Reptile heating pads can be placed on wood if they do not overheat and have enough airflow to prevent overheating.
Q: Are Heating Mats Safe For Bearded Dragons?
Heat mats are not safe to be used for bearded dragons because they do not feel the heat through their stomach. Due to this fact they can get burned very easily.
Q: Does A Heat Mat Go Inside The Tank?
If you are using a glass or plastic enclosure, you can place your heat mat either inside or outside the tank. It will work well either way.
Here you have it, the best reptile heat pads in the market that promise good performance.
Now your choices have been narrowed to these top 5 making it easier for you to make a choice.
If you still have difficulty making a choice from these, may we recommend you choose Ipower Reptile Heat Pad for Small Animals.
It comes with a warranty and heats up evenly and fast. You can also choose Fluker’s 29050 Heat Mat for Reptiles and Small Animals. This product is ideal for all reptiles and amphibians too, providing adequate heat with great ease of use.
No matter the choice you go with, you are sure of good value for your money as you will get nothing but the very best.