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Best Vivarium & Terrarium Thermometers for 2020

When choosing a thermometer for your reptile, amphibian, or invert, there are a few things you have to consider.

Where will it need to be placed? What is the temperature range it has to monitor? How many will you need, and what is your budget?

You may also want it to work alongside a thermostat, or you could need something which is highly accurate and responsive if you alter the temperatures manually.

Luckily, we have every concern covered with our guide to the best thermometers for vivariums and terrariums, as well as a review of the best options available to buy. Take a look at our top picks below.

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    Exo Terra Digital Thermo-Hygrometer
    • Takes up little space
    • Can monitor a temp/moisture range
    Check Price
    Swell Dial Thermometer
    • Breeder quality
    • Large scale temperature sensor
    Check Price
    Swell Digital Thermometer
    • F and C readings
    • Easy to read display
    Check Price

    The Top 9 Reptile Thermometers Reviewed

    1.
    Exo Terra Digital Thermo-Hygrometer

    If you need to monitor both the temperature and the humidity of your animal’s tank, then getting an all-in-one device makes a lot of sense in terms of saving space.

    This one finds the perfect balance between not breaking the bank, but having enough features which make it worthwhile and easy to use. Most importantly, it is digitally precise, with a remote sensor and minimum/maximum memory setting.

    Whereas a lot of other digital items can be hard to fit a tank without having to make modifications and complicated changes, this hygrometer can use Velcro (included), be screwed into the glass, or simply slide into position on top of the Exo Terra Compact Top or Dual Top Canopy.

    The screens aren’t massive and aren’t the clearest, but as a positive, this does mean that they won’t ruin the look of your vivarium setup. The remote sensor also means you can be quite flexible in terms of positioning within the tank, so can consider the temperature levels, your animal and the positioning of your heater.

    Features

    • Takes up little space
    • Can monitor a temp/moisture range

    Specifications

    • Type: Digital/With Hygrometer
    • Power: 1 x AA Battery

    2.
    Swell Dial Thermometer

    As you will read in our thermometer guide at the bottom of the page, some people prefer the long-lasting and reliable results of an analogue thermostat.

    Whether you’re keeping it all old-fashioned, or instead will be using analogues as a back-up, you can’t go wrong with this thermometer. It is precise, with increments of 2 degrees in both C and F.

    The colour coding roughly falls into the temperature limits for most animals, so for instance, if you have to keep your animal in conditions of between 12 and 32 degrees C day and night, you know to keep the needle in the ‘yellow’ section.

    The range is very generous, too, between -20°C and +40°C. This nicely fits the usual diurnal range of 27–35°C. Temperate reptiles commonly hibernate at the lowest of 5°C, so you have a scope.

    It comes with double-sided self-adhesive tape for easy installation, so there is no drilling etc needed.

    Features

    • Breeder quality
    • Large scale temperature sensor

    Specifications

    • Type: Analogue
    • Power: N/A

    3.
    Swell Digital Thermometer

    A range of -9C to 100C and a nice low price makes this thermometer a real steal.

    It comes with a handy flip-stand already installed on its back (like a stand-up picture frame), which allows you to safely place it on your stand. Then, the probe comes with a handy clip-on attachment that allows you to attach it to the side of your terrarium, but it can be drilled in place too.

    Features

    • F and C readings
    • Easy to read display

    Specifications

    • Type: Digital
    • Power: Battery

    4.
    Komodo Infrared Thermometer

    Do you have an entire room filled with tanks and reptiles? Maybe you are a breeder? Either way, every tank has to be kept at a slightly different temperature and condition which is going to be a nightmare.

    Or is it? Because with this handheld Komodo thermometer, you can point the light to the spot you want to take a reading from and then click for immediate reading. There is a clear display,

    So while it isn’t a permanent fixture and it would still be great getting an analogue thermometer to sit in the most vital spot 24/7, it is great for checking up on it all.

    Features

    • Easy handheld reading
    • Can use on multiple surfaces

    Specifications

    • Type: Digital Infrared
    • Power: Battery

    5.
    Exo Terra Digital Thermometer

    Equipped with a remote sensor, this thermometer allows you to take readings of your tank while clearly seeing the results on screen, positioned at the best spot.

    It has a minimum and maximum temperature memory so can alert you if the heat has fluctuated beyond either.

    It will fit the Exo Terra Compact Top and Dual Top Canopies if you have either of these.

    Features

    • Perfect with Exo Terra tanks
    • Large display

    Specifications

    • Type: Digital
    • Power: Battery

    6.
    Komodo Digital Thermometer

    This thermometer has high ratings for its accuracy, and there are buttons to switch between C and F as well as a reset button if you’re having to change things around.

    The remote sensor probe can be placed anywhere in the tank, and the screen can then be placed on the desk or stand. It is good for bearded dragons, tortoises, geckos and snakes, able to reach the temperatures they need.

    Features

    • Easy button operation
    • Very accurate

    Specifications

    • Type: Digital
    • Power: Battery

    7.
    Komodo Habitat Dual Gauge

    This is a dual temperature and humidity sensor, able to keep both regular and safe in a rainforest environment.

    Just place it near the hottest spot in the vivarium, and ensure your reptile has somewhere to bask. The rest of the tank should sort itself out, and you can make any quick changes necessary.

    It is breeder quality and can be affixed to the tank with the included double-sided pad. Our biggest downside is that it isn’t the easiest to glance at and work out, with the smaller writing and increments of 10 degrees, so highly accurate readings aren’t given. But it would be good as a second thermometer if you want a dual option on standby.

    Features

    • Moisture and temperature given
    • Low price

    Specifications

    • Type: Digital
    • Power: Battery

    8.
    Exo Terra Analogue Thermometer

    Analogue thermometers are great for anyone who wants a second thermometer in their tank for gradients.

    The colours on the readings will be able to tell you at a glance whether it is too hot or cold. The yellow section reaches 10 to 40 degrees, so you know whether there is a cause for concern if the needle is either side of this.

    It is lightweight, and good for any reptile.

    Features

    • Easy reading at a glance
    • Clear measurements

    Specifications

    • Type: Analogue
    • Power: N/A

    9.
    Swell Digital Thermo Hygrometer

    Accurate, using two remote sensors in the tank to take readings, this dual thermometer and hygrometer is perfect for reptiles in a rainforest or desert environment.

    The readings are taken in real-time and displayed on the screen. Temperature is measured between -10°C and 50°C, and humidity within a range of 20% to 90%, so there is a pretty good chance this is a perfect hygrometer for you.

    Features

    • Both displayed on one screen
    • Digital number reading

    Specifications

    • Type: Digital/Hygrometer
    • Power: Battery

    Buying Guide

    Thermometers & Hygrometers

    Many thermometers which you can buy for use in your reptile’s tank are also hygrometers. This allows you to measure the temperature and the humidity at the same time.

    While primarily designed for anybody with rainforest dwelling pets to ensure high levels are maintained, it will also come in handy for desert reptiles who need low levels of moisture – after all, outside factors can also cause the inside of the tank to become damp.

    Both temperature and moisture levels are vital, so as seeing you will likely spend no more on a device which monitors both than just a thermometer, it could be well worth doing.

    Where To Put A Reptile Thermometer or Probe

    A thermometer should ideally be placed in the hottest part of the tank. The idea is that the other areas will be cooler, providing that perfect gradient which your animal will require.

    However, it is a good idea to also place one at the coolest end to ensure everything seems above board. You may wish to place a detailed digital thermometer at the hot end which is the most important section, with an analogue one at the cooler end.

    An alternative option is to place one in the middle, but for this to be 100% accurate you’d likely have to have a very accurate and expensive model.

    Cost

    The odd thing here is that expensive doesn’t always mean good, and the most expensive won’t be the best.

    We easily found picks under £10 which were better than those over twice the cost, but at the same time don’t compromise on quality and durability. We have included the best on our review, which are affordable but should last.

    Reading

    A good thermometer will allow you to take readings in both Fahrenheit and Celcius, even if you don’t need this feature. On analogue thermometers, both will be there automatically, and on digital, you should just be able to press a button to switch between.

    Other Buyers Ask...

    Digital or analogue thermometer?

    This can be a matter of preference, and there is actually no definitive answer; it completely depends on the situation.

    Think about kitchen scales – some people like digital ones as they can be accurate to within as little as 0.1g, but some will always stick to the old analogue models as they can be more reliable with power, not give misreadings and will last longer.

    You face the same issues when choosing a reptile thermometer. Digital ones are easy to read at a glance, requiring no difficult working out, which is vital if getting your reptiles living quarters just right is a matter of life and death.

    But analogue ones can last longer, take up less space and won’t suffer from ‘electronic’ issues. This could be vital if you don’t want to have to rely on electricity to control everything, or if you have had issues in the past with things breaking.

    Analogue may also be easier to place anywhere in the tank, as they are more lightweight with fewer pieces. Many come ready to just stick to the tank, whereas it could be more complicated to fit a digital probe.

    However, a digital thermometer only requires the probe to be in the tank with the screen sitting outside. An analogue model will need to completely be in the tank.

    We would suggest maybe having both in the tank if you’re concerned about any electrical issues, or having enough time to rectify them. At the very least, perhaps have a handheld manual gauge to hand which you can check daily to ensure all the digital equipment is working well.

    What is an infrared thermometer?

    This is a sub-type of digital. Rather than placing the entire thermometer in the tank for reading, the infrared thermometer is handheld. You point an infrared beam at the point you want to take a reading from, and it is pretty immediate.

    It is a great option for anyone who needs to take readings from different parts of the tank, multiple tanks, or parts of their reptile such as a tortoises shell.