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Best Reptile Thermostats for 2020

A reptile thermostat can control and regulate the temperature of your reptile’s vivarium or terrarium. Without one, the temperature has to be controlled by you 24/7, which can be a lot of hard work.

They can do this in various ways, but the best for you will depend on your animal, the type of bulb you have and the temperature needed for the tank, as well as the humidity.

It is a good idea to also have a thermometer so you can keep an eye on the temperature if your thermostat doesn’t include one, but thermostats will do most of the hard work in terms of temperature monitoring without you having to lift a finger.

Whatever your scenario, there will be a thermostat below which will work. These are reviews of the best reptile thermostats out there.

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    HabiStat Digital Dimming Thermostat with Timer
    • Measured temperature displayed
    • Preset parameters so can be plugged in a used straight away
    • Suitable for all heaters
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    HabiStat High Range Dimmer Thermostat
    • Higher temperature range
    • Great for Bearded Dragons
    • Can be used with all leading lamps
    Check Price
    HabiStat Mat Stat
    • Available in white or black
    • Waterproof probe
    • Laboratory sensitivity
    Check Price

    The Top 10 Reptile Thermostats Reviewed

    1.
    HabiStat Digital Dimming Thermostat with Timer

    Every reptile needs different temperatures both day and night, which can make things a little complicated when it comes to the setup.

    But having a thermostat like this involved will take out a lot of the hassle. The sensor is waterproof, so you can place it in the most sensible place in order to detect the temperature in the vivarium or terrarium.

    It will then automatically adjust the heat bulbs and heating equipment to match the required heat levels, which you will set so you know they’re right. This will also be done between day and night, at set times, so you don’t have to be on hand.

    There is a continual readout of the time and temperature for visual guidance, and a nice 3m long cable. It is a really great price for something so reliable, too.

    Features

    • Measured temperature displayed
    • Preset parameters so can be plugged in a used straight away
    • Suitable for all heaters

    Specifications

    • Timer?: Yes
    • Power: Up to 600W
    • Temperature: Accurate to 0.1C

    2.
    HabiStat High Range Dimmer Thermostat

    Ideal for desert dwelling reptiles which require a higher every-day temperature to thrive, this dimming thermostat will ensure the bulbs always stay on, but no more than they have to.

    It won’t send pulses and surges to the equipment, making it ideal for basking bulbs and better simulating their natural environment.

    One thing which really ensures it stands out is that there is a temperature range of 26 to 40°C – some others will stop at 32°C. There is also a 40W minimum output and a maximum of 600W.

    This is the thermostat for anyone with a bearded dragon, lizard or Uromastyx, and it is versatile so can be used with all leading lamp brands.

    Features

    • Higher temperature range
    • Great for Bearded Dragons
    • Can be used with all leading lamps

    Specifications

    • Timer?: Yes
    • Power: Up to 600W
    • Temperature: 26 to 40°C

    3.
    HabiStat Mat Stat

    Perfect for heat pad setups when you want to keep it separate to the bulb thermostat, this regulator uses a remote sensor to monitor the temperature in your reptile’s habitat.

    Signals will then be sent to the heat mat to increase or decrease its intensity, with no input needed from you. It offers laboratory precision so while you should check up on it every day, it will do a pretty good job of keeping everything balanced.

    A waterproof probe on a long lead gives you precise remote sensing.

    As well as heat mats, it can also be used with Reptile Radiators and Heat Cables. There is a brilliant 5-year guarantee, too.

    Features

    • Available in white or black
    • Waterproof probe
    • Laboratory sensitivity

    Specifications

    • Timer?: No
    • Power: Up to 300W
    • Temperature: 18 to 34°C

    4.
    Komodo Thermostat

    An on/off thermostat is best for non-light emitting reptile heating equipment such as ceramic heaters, mats or cables.

    It is great for a single piece of equipment if you need the heat constantly monitored but want to keep the bulb on a separate timer. Using a remote sensor placed within the tank, it will monitor the heat to within 1 degree of accuracy.

    As the name suggests, the heat will be switched on or off depending on how warm it is inside the tank.

    Features

    • Great low price
    • Accurate to 1 degree

    Specifications

    • Timer?: No
    • Power: Up to 100W
    • Temperature: 19 to 35°C

    5.
    Microclimate EVO

    “This Microclimate EVO thermostat is at the cutting edge of affordable reptile heating” is a pretty big statement to make, but it wouldn’t be said if it wasn’t true.

    It features two channels to run an On/Off and Dimming/Pulse thermostats, so you can control multiple heaters from just this one unit – perfect if the heat and light for your animal both need finely tuning, but you want to keep the monitoring simple.

    The main channel can be set up to dimming and pulse functions, as well as on/off. The second aux channel has an on/off control for accessories such as lighting or misting. Both channels can be given a name so you never get confused about what is going on.

    Everything is recorded, and with a touch of the screen, it can display graphs from the past 24 hours so you can check for any suspicious changes when you weren’t at home. You can set up separate controls for both day and night, and periodic slots for hydration from misters too.

    Features

    • Touch screen
    • Easy to operate and set up
    • Colour coded channels

    Specifications

    • Timer?: Yes
    • Power: Up to 1200W (600W per channel)
    • Temperature: 15 to 35°C

    6.
    HabiStat 600w Pulse Proportional Thermostat

    Use this pulse thermostat on ceramic heat lamps and other non-light emitting heaters in order to send bursts of power to your tank.

    This Pulsing thermostat will gradually and gently increase the temperature of your reptile equipment, as opposed to turning it on/off or varying the intensity. This is why it isn’t suitable for glass bulbs, but it is still one of HabiStat’s best sellers.

    The accurate sensor is reliable, and it will work quickly to keep the temperature as steady as it needs to be.

    Features

    • 5 year guarantee
    • Accurate sensor

    Specifications

    • Timer?: No
    • Power: Up to 600W
    • Temperature: 18 to 32°C

    7.
    Lucky Reptile Thermo Control Pro II Thermostat

    This is the upgrade of the original favourite, the Thermo Control II. The difference is that you can switch it between day and night mode so no longer require two separate timers – well worth the investment.

    The realtime clock and two temperature circuits make it possible to set the two different temperature limits, and it can also be switched between Heating and Cooling mode in case you need to also control a fan.

    With a temperature range of 0°-50°C and maximum power input of 1000W, it is the thermostat most suited to really powerful heaters and bulbs, great if you have a large tank with multiple animals.

    An alarm will also let you know if the temperature is off so you can act, and the temperature is displayed clearly.

    Features

    • Alarm function (adjusted between 1 and 15 deg C)
    • Can be used for lights, heaters and misters

    Specifications

    • Timer?: Yes
    • Power: Up to 1000W
    • Temperature: 0 to 50°C

    8.
    Microclimate Prime 2

    The Microclimate Prime 2 Thermostat allows you to control up to three pieces of reptile heating equipment, and they are all monitored accurately with digital controls.

    It offers a Night-Time drop function so you can keep the tank a bit cooler, as well as temperature alarms which will quickly alert you to any issues and a data logging facility for checking that everything was okay during the day if you were out.

    The three heaters are 2x Dimming or pulse outputs and 1x Timed On/Off Output, and each can have their separate timers so bulbs, misters and heaters can all be properly controlled. There is the option for interval operation (eg every hour for 10 seconds which is good for humidifiers), or you can set four on/off times in any 24 hour period.

    There is a handy USB port so you can update it if a new bit of data or extra features are released, and a good 5-year warranty will have you covered if there is ever an issue. It can monitor up to 1200W of equipment at once, but each individual product will have to be a maximum of 600W.

    Features

    • Software installation guide and videos available
    • Great way to stop things being complicated

    Specifications

    • Timer?: Yes
    • Power: Up to 1200W
    • Combined Temperature: 18 to 32°C

    9.
    Microclimate B2 Pulse Thermostat

    A good budget option for anybody who wants to control ceramic heat emitters and other non-light emitting heat sources.

    It is famed for its accuracy and ease of use, which is why it has been one of the most popular thermostats available to buy since its release. You can use heat sourced between 5 and 600W with it, and it will work as a pulse proportional thermostat, sending pulses of varying intensities to control the temperature in your vivarium or terrarium.

    The temperature will always be kept within the parameters you set, so it will kick into action when it reaches close to the lower or higher end of the scale. As a little bonus, you can buy it in either green or black to blend in with your pet’s environment.

    Features

    • Bright power and heating lights
    • Great for any ceramic heater

    Specifications

    • Timer?: No
    • Power: 5-600W
    • Temperature: 19 to 35°C

    10.
    Exo Terra Thermostat 100w - 300w

    This is an on/off thermostat, so is one of the best budget reptile terrarium thermostats available to buy.

    Because of the way it works, it isn’t good for visible light sources but is perfect for Heat Mats, Heat Cables or Ceramic Heaters. The Triac switch will keep the tank at the desired temperature well, and all you have to do is place the switch in the desired spot for monitoring.

    There is a Red LED heat indicator which will come on when the unit is heating the tank and will shut off again when the desired temperature is reached. As the sensor is waterproof, it can safely be used in terrariums with high moisture levels too.

    Although the temperature monitoring ability will likely (and should be) your main concern, as a bonus, the plain black box won’t look awful in your home. But do be aware that there is no display on the box, so while you will save money with this budget option, it would be worth spending your leftovers on a thermometer gauge.

    Features

    • Low price
    • Sticks to preferred optimum temperature range (POTR) well

    Specifications

    • Timer?: No
    • Power: 100-300W
    • Temperature: 20 to 35°C

    Buying Guide

    How To Choose A Thermostat

    First thing first – how is your vivarium set up, and what animal do you have? Are the light and warmth provided by just one lamp or bulb, or is everything separate?

    For example, if everything gets too hot, the bulb may need to be switched off temporarily. But if this bulb also gives them their UVA daylight, then plunging them into darkness in mid-afternoon will play havoc with their circadian rhythm. You will, therefore, need one of the dimming thermostats, or you will have to keep everything separate.

    You will also need to ensure that your chosen thermostat will work with your lamp, as some are specially designed to work with just heat mats for instance, and will be overloaded if connected to the voltage of a bulb. This could break the glass, which is dangerous.

    If your tank needs a certain humidity, you may also need a hygrometer, and there are some which combine everything all in one item. This does, however, mean there is more to go wrong as opposed to keeping it separate.

    Types Of Reptile Thermostat

    • On/Off

    Perhaps the cheapest type. They work by checking the temperature and then turning the heat source on and off at intervals to adjust the temperature accordingly between the minimum and maximum settings. They would not be suitable for bulbs which also give off light, as it would plunge the tank into darkness frequently, but can be good for bulbs such as ceramic ones which give off no light, or cheap backup lighting.

    • Pulse

    These thermostats only work with non-visible sources of heat such as heat cables, mats and ceramic emitters. They send pulses of energy with more or less intensity depending on whether the temperature needs a boost, or dropping. This will help to keep the tank within the heat parameters you set, no matter how large or small these are.

    • Dimming

    This is the smartest option. Instead of turning the bulbs completely on and off, they are dimmed or brightened. It increases and decreases the power to the bulb as opposed to turning them off and on. This is best for bulbs which also give off light, as they won’t be plunged into darkness even though the light will be minimised temporarily. It will also prevent your pet from getting quite as much of a shock with the light pinging on and off.

    • Mat Stats

    These are best for heat mats which fit under a tank. Some reptiles can’t have this style of heater if they would have a risk of burns through basking, or it would be too much of intense heat, but if yours does it could be worth being able to monitor it through a thermostat. They will often be able to cope with the lower wattage, and will gradually increase and decrease the heat as opposed to switching it on and off.

    Wattage/Power

    Every thermostat will have a maximum power wattage that they can connect to, so you really need to ensure that your bulb or heater is compatible. If it is too powerful for the thermostat, it could mean your setup is compromised and one or the other will either stop working or become overpowered.

    For instance, a thermostat with a maximum 600W power input won’t be able to control a bulb of 1000W. Likewise, if you buy a thermostat which can cope with 1500W and three input devices, there may be a limit on how much each input can cope with – it could monitor three heaters of maximum 600W each, but not one item of 1200W for instance.

    Temperature

    Every thermostat will have a minimum and maximum temperature monitoring level. A common option is something around 18 and 35 degrees C, so if you have something which needs to be even cooler at night or one for a desert animal/basking lamp, you may have a bit less choice.

    Timer

    This will allow you to change the temperature throughout the day, and especially when switching from day to night. Most setups will likely benefit from a thermostat with a timer, but it may not be needed if controlling anything other than a lightbulb, or if you have separate night and day equipment anyway.

    Other Buyers Ask...

    Does a thermostat allow me to completely ignore the tank?

    No. You still need to check the temperature daily to ensure that the thermostat really is working and that it is showing the correct data.

    While we have included reliable thermostats, it is an electrical item controlling the habitat of an animal who needs perfect conditions to live, so checking often is ideal.

    What else do I need?

    Most thermostats also come with a thermometer display which shows the current temperature of the tank, but as they are electronic there is scope for things to go wrong. You will need a separate thermometer to check the temperature too, just to be on the safe side – it will take up no extra room.

    The display also isn’t as accurate on thermostats as it is with dedicated thermometers. You can choose whether to go for a digital or manual one, although we would say to pop a digital one in the tank for easy quick readings and also have a manual one to hand as they can be the most accurate option.

    A hygrometer will help you to monitor the moisture in the tank if this is necessary as well.

    Where do I put a reptile thermostat probe?

    You need to think about the placement of the heat source and the size of your vivarium. You also need to think about what it is in the tank you have to monitor closest – is it the basking spot, cool spot or ambient temperature? Essentially – which is most crucial for the wellbeing of your pet.

    With an Under Tank Heat Pad (UTH) you are best putting it outside the tank, between the heat pad and the bottom of the enclosure. You can then get the temperature of the substrate just right by adjusting the thermostat temperature settings.

    For an overhead lamp heat or ceramic heat emitter, the probe of your thermostat should be inserted through the back of the enclosure and placed underneath the heat source. This way, if the heat source is giving off the right temperature, there is a good chance the rest of the tank is naturally cooler or ambient – although you may want to place a separate thermometer at the cool end to double-check.

    The thermostat temperature should be set as the temperature you desire the hottest end to be, therefore. A degree of experimentation will likely be required to ensure the correct temperature throughout the tank. Ensure that the thermostat probe is not covered by any substrate or decorations as this will affect its ability to read the temperature.

    You have to place it somewhere where your animal can’t interfere with it, too. If you are placing it high up and are worried about it moving, it could be worth drilling a small hole just big enough and inserting the probe through the hole, before sealing it in place with glue or a piece of aluminium foil duct tape.