Leopard gecko habitats need a source of heat to provide ideal temperatures to the reptile. These lizards are accustomed to hot environments in the desert. As a pet owner, you need to provide the same in captivity to ensure that the pet has an optimal life and comfortable habitat.
A thermostat helps prevent over- and under-heating in the tank by monitoring and regulating the temperature. It does so by lowering the amount of heat produced by lowering the voltage or by turning off the heat source once it reaches the set and desired temperature.
Ideal leopard gecko temperature ranges between 65- and 90 degrees Fahrenheit depending on whether it is during the day or night. Therefore, a thermostat is a vital accessory in the tank, especially if you use heat mats to provide warmth to the pet lizard.
Below, we discuss the best reptile thermostat you can choose for your leopard gecko’s enclosure; but first, we look at what makes a good leopard gecko thermostat.
Best Leopard Gecko Thermostats
Now that we know what makes the best reptile thermostat, we have analyzed for you some of the best you can choose from.
1. Inkbird ITC-306T Electronic Heating Thermostat
Inkbird Temperature Controller ITC-306T WiFi Heat Lamp Thermostat Reptile Temperature Controlled Outlet for Heat Mat Fermentation,1200W,10A.
You will not go wrong with this unit if you want a thermostat with excellent construction. It has a sturdy build that will serve you for a long time. In addition, the unit is an on/off thermostat that is pocket-friendly.
With control temperature settings of between 58 degrees Fahrenheit and 210 degrees Fahrenheit, or 50 degrees Celsius and 99 degrees Celsius, it makes a good choice for a leopard gecko’s enclosure. It also supports Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature readings.
Another advantage of the Inkbird ITC 306T is that it has an alarm for sensor faults and over-temperature, which is additional safety in preventing your leopard gecko from getting burnt or being subjected to extremely low temperatures.
Other safety features of the unit include an automated shutoff system and grounded plugs. Furthermore, it has a dual temperature display, showing the current enclosure temperature and the settings temperature. Such makes it easier for you to monitor the enclosure’s warmth.
Yet another versatility feature, the unit enables you to set separate temperatures for day and night. It is a crucial feature given that leopard geckos need different day/night time temperature settings. The unit comes with a 15 m input power cable and a 25 cm output power cable which is enough for most cases.
With a wattage of 1,200W, you can use this Inkbird ITC 306T with most high-powered heaters. On the downside, it is not easy to use at first; you need to learn its settings. It also lacks a locking mechanism, and you need to get suction cups for placement in the enclosure.
- Has both Fahrenheit and Celsius readings and an alarm
- Dual time screen display
- Sturdy unit and ideal for 24 hours use
- Long power output cable
- Can’t be used with light-producing heaters
2. VIVOSUN Digital Thermostat
VIVOSUN 1500W Digital Temperature Controller, 2-Stage Outlet Thermostat Heating and Cooling Mode, Thermostat with Dual LED Display, for Homebrew Fermenter Greenhouse Terrarium, 110-240V 15A 1500W
Yet another cheap but good thermostat for leopard geckos is this VIVOSUN digital thermostat, whose temperature readings range between 40- and 108 degrees Fahrenheit. Again, the range is suitable for leopard geckos.
As the name suggests, it comes with a single but bright digital display. It also has indicator lights and three buttons. VIVOSUN digital thermostat is easy-to-use and comes with a manual, in case you are stuck.
You will also love that it has settings to allow you to choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius readings, and it comes with its probe, so you don’t need to buy another one separately.
The unit features a sturdy 18 AWG power cable and durable plastic terminals, which is impressive for the price of the unit. Its internal parts are also rust-proof making it more durable. Although the thermostat is less likely to come across water in the enclosure, it is worth noting that it is only water resistant but not waterproof.
VIVOSUN’s digital thermostat sensor cable and power cord are also impressively long, measuring 6 ft each. You can mount the unit using the adjustable suction cup or the hanging tabs. Remember that you can only use the unit with only one heater, but its max control is 1,000 Watts.
- Affordable and comes with a probe
- Features a convenient hanging tab
- Impressively long power cables
- Some users complain that it does not read beyond 80 degrees Fahrenheit
3. Jump Start MTPRTC UL Digital Thermostat
Is safety your top priority when looking for a thermostat? If yes, then this unit is for you. It is an ETL-certified thermostat for heat mats meaning that it meets broadly accepted safety standards. In addition, the temperate range of the unit is 68- to 108 degrees Fahrenheit, making it suitable for leopard geckos.
Jump Start MTPRTC UL thermostat is user-friendly given that it displays the temperature as either Celsius or Fahrenheit.
You will also love that these temperature settings are easy as you only need to hold the “SET” button to adjust the temperature settings up or downwards, depending on your preference.
As a digital thermostat, the unit shows the current temperature readings on the probe. It also lets you know whether the heater is on and if the thermostat is working by having a LED indicator for “heating” and “power” display.
In addition, it comes with a 12 months warranty, and you will love the 6-foot-long, quality cables. Setting up this thermostat is straightforward. Even so, you can only use it with one heater at a go.
- Very safe
- It has a warranty
- Features a long, quality power cable
- It can only be used with one heater
4. WILLHI WH1436A 110V Digital Thermostat
WILLHI Digital Temperature Controller Build in Outlet 1650W 110V 15A Over Current Protection Thermostat Controller Heating Cooling -58~230℉ for Reptile Freezer Greenhouse Temperature Control, WH-1803A
Although not specifically designed for reptiles such as leopard geckos, this thermostat is a great choice for regulating warmth in the animal’s enclosure. This thermostat by WILLHI is simple to use and set up; you only need to power it up and choose your desired temperature.
It has a temperature range of between 58- and 230 degrees Fahrenheit which is ideal for leopard gecko habitats and the second widest range in this review. Further, it facilitates both Celsius and Fahrenheit read-outs. The probe sensor measures 3m which is shorter than most of the others in this review.
Besides an alarm that goes off when the temperatures go above or below the set limit, this WILLHI thermostat also has an auto shutoff feature. It is, however, worth noting that the thermostat is not cheap, but that is expected with such a quality unit.
It comes in white featuring strong, quality materials and body build. Its probe is waterproof, and you will love its quality display. Most users love that it is pretty accurate, so your leopard gecko will be safe.
- Wide temperature range
- Quality build with a great display
- Auto-shut off feature
- Pretty accurate and quite safe
5. Zoo Med ReptiTemp RT-600 Thermostat
As with most of the other thermostats for leopard geckos in this review, this Zoo Med ReptiTemp RT-600 facilitates both Fahrenheit and Celsius readings for convenience. It has a big LCD for ease of temperature readings. In addition, the unit comes with a 6-foot power cable which is decent.
Zoo Med ReptiTemp RT-600 on/off thermometer controls heating elements of up to 600 W, which, although not the best in this review, is still suitable for a leopard gecko’s enclosure.
It is easy to use, and its temperature control ranges between 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 122 degrees Fahrenheit. If where you reside is prone to power outages or failure, you will enjoy that this thermostat has built-in memory that stores your settings.
Another impressive feature of the Zoo Med ReptiTemp RT-600 Thermostat is that it has an alarm that sounds and flashes when the enclosure’s temperature goes above or below the set levels.
- Features a big LCD
- Easy to use
- Memory settings in case of power problems
- Alarm for over/under heating
- It doesn’t come with suction cups for the probe
6. Inkbird C206T Heat Mat Thermostat
Inkbird WiFi Heat Mat Reptile Thermostat Controller Temperature Controller with 2 Probes and 2 Outlets, IPT-2CH Thermostat (Max 250W per Outlet).
Yet another Inkbird unit, we have the C206T, which handles a maximum of 1500 W. One of the critical reasons why it is suitable for leopard geckos is that it allows you the flexibility to set different temperatures for night and day independently.
Therefore, it is an excellent choice to ensure that your lizard gets cooler nighttime temperatures and warmer during the day.
In terms of accuracy, the thermostat has a precision sensor with an accuracy of +/- 1 degree Fahrenheit. You will also love the wide temperature range of the unit spanning from -58- to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The probe features stainless steel, IP168 grade, and is also waterproof.
Inkbird C206T thermostat has a three details display screen that conveniently allows you to read the time, set temperature, and current temperature in the enclosure. As expected, the unit is expensive but a worthy investment in the long run.
- Convenient display screen
- Waterproof, quality probe
- Wide temperature range
- Pretty accurate
Features to Look For In Leopard Gecko’s Thermostat
Many thermostats claim to be suitable for pet reptiles such as leopard geckos, but not all live up to the standards. Below are features that affect the overall performance of a thermostat in your gecko’s enclosure, and you need to pay attention to them when shopping.
Type of Thermostat
There are various types of thermostats to choose from. Knowing the features, benefits, and drawbacks of each will help you make a good decision when choosing one for your leopard gecko’s enclosure. Below are the most common types of thermostats for reptiles.
1. Dimming Thermostats
These are an excellent choice when you have a heat lamp as the source of warmth in the enclosure. You can also use them with heat mats and ceramic heaters. If you have a light-emitting heat source, dimming thermostats are a safe choice. For effective functioning, placing a dimming thermostat directly in line with the heat source is best.
2. On/Off Thermostat
This thermostat is a good consideration if you want an affordable and easy-to-install unit. It works by turning the heat source off and on when the temperatures are above or below the set range respectively. Then it will allow the temperature to fall to the set range and turn the power back on.
Owing to the on/off working mechanism, these thermostats are unsuitable if your heat source is also the light source for the leopard gecko.
3. Pulse Thermostats
A pulse thermometer is specifically great for a heat source that does not produce light. As such, it is a good choice for ceramic heaters and heat mats.
They are ideal for setting precise temperatures, which although impressive, makes them use a lot of power. Unfortunately, the high power is why they are not ideal for heating devices emitting light since the thermostat tends to blow the light bulb quickly.
4. Multi-functional Thermostats
Also known as professional thermostats, these come as one device but allow you to use it as a pulse, dimming, or on/off thermostat. It all depends on your current needs or preference and allows you flexibility. As expected, due to the features, they are more expensive than most of the other types.
Besides type, safety is another crucial feature to consider. For example, a safe thermostat must be sturdy enough not to catch fire. It also needs to be accurate and consistent since errors can cause severe harm, such as burns to your leopard gecko.
It would be best also to bear in mind the thermostat and heater’s wattage. For safety, the thermostat’s maximum wattage should be more than that of the heating equipment. Other safety features include auto-shutoff and grounded 3-pronged plug to prevent electric shock or power surge, alarm, and password protection.
Leopard geckos need a nighttime temperature of not less than 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night and not more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Therefore, the best leopard gecko thermostat’s lower temperature limit should be below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, while the upper one should be above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
The wider the range, the better since this signifies that the unit is sturdy enough to handle significant extremes. Luckily, most thermostats meet this requirement.
Can the thermostat serve several heat sources at a go? First, know the number of heaters and temperature range the thermostat can handle. As mentioned above, the thermostat needs to have a higher maximum wattage capacity.
Some of the other features that are worth considering, although not as much as the above, include:
- Cord Length – Most thermostats’ cord lengths vary between 5 and 12 ft. The longer the cord, the better, as it allows you flexibility in placing the enclosure far from the power outlet.
- Ease of Installation – As with most devices, some are easy to install, while others require additional accessories. For example, some thermostats come with hanging tabs, making them easier to use. Others use suction cups and may or may not come with the same.
- Water- resistance – This is not a significant contribution to leopard geckos since their habitats are dry. Even so, a water-resistant thermostat enhances safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Should I Place My Leopard Gecko Thermostat?
You might need some trial and error to determine where best to place the probe in your leopard gecko’s enclosure. Even so, most people place the unit within 2 inches above the basking spot or heat source, inside or under the basking tile or rock, and right side of the basking area.
Do Leopard Geckos Need a Thermostat?
A thermostat helps regulate the temperature of an enclosure. Leopard geckos’ day and night temperatures need to remain within a specific range to ensure that the habitat is conducive to the animal.
As such, it is good to get a thermostat to ensure that the warmth from the heater in the tank does not go beyond or fall below the optimal temperature for your pet lizard.
How Much Is a Thermostat?
The cost of a thermostat depends on many factors, including the brand, type, seller, quality, etc. Even so, you should know that on/off thermostats are the cheapest costing around $10, while the pulse model costs about $30. Dimming and multi-functional are the most expensive, going for $55 and $60 on average.
A thermostat is a vital accessory for a leopard gecko’s enclosure. It enhances safety by controlling the temperatures in the gecko’s tank, thus preventing exposure to lower or higher-than-ideal warmth. You need to buy a separate thermostat if you have a heating device without an in-built one.
Depending on the type you opt for, you will not go wrong with either of the above top 5 best thermostats we have reviewed. All are quality and reliable, but if we had to choose one thermostat, it would be the WILLHI WH1436A 110V Digital Thermostat (Amazon Link) due to its precision, wide temperature range, waterproof, and quality construction.