A healthy leopard gecko will require a climate variety between 70-90 degrees and the best way to accomplish this is by using a heating pad. Since there are multiple heating pads on the market today, we thought we’d compare them so you can make the best choice for your leo!
Leopard geckos are nocturnal so no special UV bulbs or basking lights are required, though they do enjoy it. A UV light will also aid with shedding, and they seem to enjoy it a great deal. A lamp with an ordinary incandescent bulb on one side of the tank can do the trick though. For heating the tank we generally recommend that you use an under-tank heat mat. The heat mat is placed under the bottom glass on one side of the tank. This way there is a warm area and a cool area for your gecko to regulate body temperature. Do not use a heat rock as your gecko lizard may get burned. Geckos need access to a moist area, which will aid in shedding. This can be supplied by moistening the substrate under the area where your gecko hides. This is done by spraying the area with water each day. You can purchase a spray bottle from a pet store, or a dollar store to save money. Either bottle will do the trick.
Regardless of which heating pad you purchase, you’ll need to be sure to control it’s temperature via a thermostat. Some heating pads come fully equipped with their own temperature control, but if it doesn’t come included you will definitely need to buy one to make sure it doesn’t get too hot or too cold for your leopard gecko. We strongly recommend the BN-LINK Digital Heat Mat Thermostat as it’s by far the most popular and reliable one on the market today.
- 6″ by 11″ mat size.
- Includes temperature controller.
- Water proof/Moisture proof.
- Designed specifically for reptiles.
Unlike many of the other heating pads in this list, the Forliver is designed specifically for reptiles and comes with a thermostat included which means you don’t have to make another purchase.
Unfortunately, it comes at a cost – it comes in only one size and doesn’t seem to have a very powerful adhesive stick which may mean you’ll need to find another way to mount it.
For a budget-conscious shopper, I’d strongly recommend this one though as it’ll save you from needing to buy a thermostat as well. For larger tanks, however, you’re definitely going to need a larger pad with higher wattage.
- 16.53 by 11 inch heating pad size.
- Includes thermostat.
- Water proof/Moisture proof.
If the Forliver heating pad is too small for you, the Wuhostam should be your best bet. Like the Forliver, it comes with a temperature control mechanism which saves you from needing to buy an external thermostat.
It’s a bit more expensive than the Forliver option, but considering the money you save from not needing to buy an extra thermostat I think you’ll find the price well worth it.
- 6″ X 8″ Inches.
- 120 volts, 8 watts.
- 6′ foot power cord.
Probably the most popular heating pad, the iPower 6 by 8 is an ideal choice for heating a 10 gallon tank. It will fit comfortably inside any terrarium large enough to house your leo and should warm him comfortably.
The heating pad should fit comfortably under most elevated terrariums but be warned the adhesive mounting strip tends to come off when the heat runs for awhile. The manufacturer has also shown a strong proclivity to replace any broken/damaged pieces, so you have nothing to worry about in terms of quality – it’s the real deal.
Unfortunately it doesn’t come with a way to control the temperature so you’ll definitely need to buy a thermostat to go along with it. We recommend the BN-LINK Digital Heat Mat Thermostat – it’s the most popular and reliable thermostat in it’s class.
- 12″ x 8″ inches.
- Designed for 30-40 gallon tanks.
- 5.9′ foot power cord.
If you’re looking for a large heat pad, this is your best bet. Designed for a massive 30-40 gallon tank, the 12″ by 8″ heat pad will surely be sufficient for multiple adult leopard geckos without any trouble.
It’s designed to slide under the tank and provide heating from below, though be sure to pick up a thermometer so you don’t get too hot as it’s quite effective. Fortunately the temperature is completely adjustable so you’ll easily be able to increase/decrease the temperature as you need it.
Zacro also sells a smaller heating pad designed for 10-20 gallon tanks as well, but if you have a large tank then this is the one you’ll need.
- 6″ x 8″ inches.
- Designed for 10-20 gallon terrariums.
- 5.9′ foot power cord.
This heating pad has the same manufacturer as the one above, it’s just designed for smaller tanks. It’s a great option if you only have one leopard gecko and a 10-20 gallon tank. Just like the larger one, it’s designed with an adhesive to stick to the underside of your terrarium and heat it from the bottom.
- Customizable sizes.
The Zoo Med ReptiTherm comes in many different sizes – from 4″ by 5″ to 8″ by 18″ and in 4 watts to 24 watts depending on your needs. For a standard 10-20 gallon tank I’d recommend the 6″ by 8″ pad.
Like the others, it uses an adhesive strip to mount to the bottom or side of the terrarium and heats from there. Be sure to only place the pad on the outside of the tank and you’ll most likely need to use a thermostat to control the temperature like the BN-LINK Digital Heat Mat Thermostat.
- Multiple sizes: 6×8 inch or 8×12 inch.
- Bottom or side mounted.
Like most of the heating pads listed here, you’ll need to pick up a thermostat as well to control the temperature (so be prepared to buy the BN-LINK Digital Heat Mat Thermostat in addition to this). Luckily, the VIVOSUN comes in two different sizes: the 6″ by 8″ designed for 10-20 gallon tanks and the 8″ by 12″ for 30-40 gallon terrariums.
The adhesive is poor (which is a common problem) but it can stick to the sides or bottom. Once you stick it on, though we wouldn’t recommend you move it or break the adhesion or it will cause problems with sticking.
It comes with a “rubber feet” mat designed to elevate the tank a bit but be careful, yours may come attached to the cardboard so you need to be careful not to throw it away with the rest of the box.
- Multiple sizes: 8×6 inches to 12×8 inches.
- 8W – 24W
- Upgraded adhesive material.
One of the most common complaints about heating pads is their adhesion often fails. Aiicioo specifically upgraded their adhesiveness to withstand temperatures of 90-100F. Once it’s applied, however, there’s no moving it so be sure to place it in the right spot.
The UTH comes with the “rubber feet” but you’ll still need to buy a thermostat like the BN-LINK Digital Heat Mat Thermostat to control the temperature.