Best Under Tank Heaters for Leopard Geckos

Heat Pad Leopard Gecko Tank

Choosing the right under tank heater for your leopard gecko is essential to ensuring a comfortable, healthy habitat. Under tank heaters are devices designed to provide the much-needed warmth your gecko craves, mimicking the warm rocky surfaces they might find in their natural arid habitats.

Unlike other reptiles, leopard geckos absorb heat through their bellies, making under tank heaters an ideal choice to maintain their body temperature. These heaters are designed to be placed beneath the tank, creating a gentle, warm surface upon which your leopard gecko can rest, aiding in digestion and overall well-being.

The right amount of heat can also make a significant difference in your gecko’s activity levels, appetite, and metabolic processes.

Key Takeaways:

Optimal Heating: Leopard geckos require belly heat for proper digestion, making Under-Tank Heaters (UTHs) an ideal choice. They help in maintaining the enclosure’s temperature gradient, crucial for your gecko’s comfort and health.

Supplemental Heating: Ceramic Heat Emitters (CHEs) and Deep Heat Projectors (DHPs) are excellent for providing supplemental heat without emitting light, preserving the natural day/night cycle.

Cost and Availability: While UTHs and heat mats are generally more affordable and widely available, DHPs and CHEs may come with a higher price tag and might be harder to find due to limited availability.

Safety Precautions: Ensure your heating devices are equipped with reliable thermostats to maintain a consistent and safe temperature range. The ideal temperature for a leopard gecko’s enclosure is between 75°F to 90°F.

Installation: Correct installation is crucial for the efficiency and safety of the heating system. Following manufacturer’s instructions and possibly consulting with a herpetology expert can guide you towards a safe setup for your gecko.

Top 3: Best Heat Pads and Mats For Leopard Geckos

When it comes to providing the necessary warmth for your leopard gecko, heat pads and mats are among the top choices for many herpetology enthusiasts. These devices offer a direct source of heat that your gecko can absorb easily, ensuring they stay active and healthy.

#1. iPower Reptile Heat Pad 4X7 Inch 4W

The iPower Reptile Heat Pad is a specialized under tank heater designed for reptiles, ensuring they receive the right amount of warmth. With its 4X7 Inch size and 4W power, it’s a suitable choice for leopard geckos, providing them with a comfortable environment. Let’s delve into its features and specifications.

Key Features and Specifications:

  • Size and Power: The iPower Reptile Heat Pad measures 4X7 inches and operates at 4W, making it an efficient source of heat for smaller terrariums.
  • Uniform Heating: This under tank heater ensures even heat distribution, preventing hot spots and ensuring your leopard gecko’s safety.
  • Adhesive Side: The heat pad comes with an adhesive side, allowing for easy installation under the tank.
  • Waterproof: The pad is waterproof, ensuring longevity and safety in humid environments.

How It Works: The iPower Reptile Heat Pad works by emitting consistent heat from its surface. When placed under the tank, it warms the substrate, creating a cozy spot for your leopard gecko. While it’s designed for easy installation with its adhesive side, it’s recommended to use a thermostat to regulate the temperature and ensure optimal conditions for your pet.


  • Even heat distribution.
  • Easy installation with adhesive side.
  • Waterproof design.
  • Suitable size for leopard geckos.


  • A thermostat is recommended for temperature regulation (not included).
  • Might not be suitable for larger terrariums.

Conclusion: The iPower Reptile Heat Pad, with its 4X7 Inch size and 4W power, is a reliable under tank heater for leopard geckos. Its even heat distribution and easy installation make it a top choice for reptile enthusiasts. However, for the best results, pairing it with a thermostat is advisable.

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#2. Forliver Reptile Pet Heating Pad Mat Bed, 2 Pack

The Forliver Reptile Pet Heating Pad Mat Bed, available in a 2 Pack, is a top-tier product designed to cater to the specific needs of reptiles, especially leopard geckos. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of its features, benefits, and unique qualities:

Features and Benefits:

  • Consistent Performance: The heating pad is engineered to provide a consistent and even distribution of heat, ensuring that your leopard gecko remains comfortable at all times. This uniform heat distribution is crucial for the well-being of reptiles, as it mimics their natural habitat.
  • Temperature Controller: One of the standout features of the Forliver Reptile Pet Heating Pad is the inclusion of a temperature controller. This controller allows pet owners to set and maintain the desired temperature with ease, ensuring that the environment is neither too hot nor too cold for the reptile.
  • Stable Temperature: The heating pad is known for its ability to maintain a stable temperature. This stability is essential for reptiles, as sudden temperature fluctuations can be harmful to their health.
  • Waterproof and Moisture-proof: The heating pad boasts of waterproof and moisture-proof properties. This ensures that the pad remains functional even in humid conditions, preventing any potential damage and ensuring the safety of your pet.
  • Energy-saving: In today’s world, where energy conservation is paramount, the Forliver Reptile Pet Heating Pad stands out with its energy-saving capabilities. It efficiently uses power, ensuring that you don’t receive hefty electricity bills.


  • Provides a stable and constant temperature, ensuring the comfort of your pet.
  • Comes with a temperature controller, allowing for easy adjustments.
  • Waterproof and moisture-proof properties make it durable and long-lasting.
  • Favorably priced, offering great value for money.
  • Energy-saving design reduces electricity consumption.


  • As with all electronic products, there’s always a slight risk of malfunction over time.
  • Some users might find the temperature controller a bit complex initially.

The Forliver Reptile Pet Heating Pad, 2 Pack, is a must-have for all reptile enthusiasts. Its consistent performance, coupled with features like the temperature controller, stable temperature, waterproof properties, and energy-saving capabilities, make it a top choice for ensuring the comfort and well-being of your leopard gecko.

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#3. Tikaton Reptile Heat Pad

The Tikaton Reptile Heat Pad is a specialized heating solution designed to cater to the needs of reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids. This product stands out for its unique features and benefits that ensure the comfort and safety of your pets.

Features and Benefits:

  • High-Performance Nichrome Heating System: The Tikaton Reptile Heat Pad utilizes a solid state nichrome heating element. This ensures efficient heating, providing a warm and cozy environment for your pets.
  • Temperature Control Dial: The heat pad comes with an adjustable temperature feature, allowing pet owners to manually set the desired temperature. This ensures that the tank remains warm without causing any harm to the pets and without disturbing their sleep patterns.
  • Even Heat Distribution: Made of high-quality PVC material, the heat pad offers a soft surface that can be flexibly folded. This design ensures even distribution of heat across the pad, eliminating any hot spots.
  • Safety Features: One of the standout attributes of this heater is its ability to avoid overheating. This ensures the safety of the delicate ecosystems within the tanks, making it a reliable and worry-free option.
  • Low Wattage Power Usage: The heater is energy-efficient, using only 16 watts of electricity. This not only ensures optimal heating but also results in cost savings in the long run.
  • Available Sizes: The Tikaton Reptile Heat Pad is available in different sizes, including “1 Pack-12″ X 8″”, “1 Pack-6″ X 8″”, and “1 Pack-18.5″ X 8.5″”. This variety ensures that pet owners can choose the size that best fits their tank requirements.


  • High-Performance Nichrome Heating System: Efficient heating ensures a warm environment for pets.
  • Temperature Control Dial: Allows for manual adjustment, providing flexibility to set the desired temperature.
  • Even Heat Distribution: The design ensures uniform heating, eliminating any hot spots.
  • Safety Features: The heat pad is designed to prevent overheating, ensuring the safety of pets.
  • Low Wattage Power Usage: Energy-efficient design leads to cost savings in electricity bills.
  • Available in Multiple Sizes: Offers flexibility for pet owners to choose the size that best fits their tank requirements.


  • Manual Temperature Setting: Some users might prefer a digital display or automated temperature control.
  • Potential for Wear and Tear: Like all electronic devices, there’s a possibility of wear and tear over time.
  • Placement Restrictions: The heat pad needs to be placed in a specific manner to ensure even heat distribution, which might be a learning curve for some users.

In conclusion, the Tikaton Reptile Heat Pad is an ideal choice for those looking to provide a warm and safe environment for their reptilian and amphibian pets. With its advanced features like the high-performance nichrome heating system, temperature control dial, even heat distribution, and safety features, it ensures the well-being of your pets while being energy-efficient.

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What Is an Under Tank Heater?

Heat Pad Leopard Gecko Tank

An under tank heater is a type of heating device specifically designed to be placed beneath the enclosure of reptiles, like leopard geckos. Its primary purpose is to provide a direct source of heat to these cold-blooded animals, aiding in regulating their body temperature which is crucial for their digestion and overall well-being.

Leopard geckos are unique as they primarily absorb heat through their bellies unlike other reptiles that bask in the sun to warm up. An under tank heater caters to this natural behavior by providing the necessary belly heat.

When placed underneath the enclosure, it warms up the surface, creating a temperature gradient within the habitat. This gradient is essential as it allows the gecko to choose its preferred temperature zone, mimicking the natural habitat of leopard geckos where they can move between warmer and cooler areas.

Benefits of using an Under Tank Heater:

  • Consistent Heat Source: Unlike basking lights that can create hot spots, under tank heaters provide a gentle and consistent heat source, ensuring the comfort of your gecko.
  • Mimics Natural Habitat: By creating a temperature gradient, it allows your gecko to behave naturally, seeking warmth when needed.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Typically, under tank heaters are more energy-efficient compared to other heating options like ceramic heat emitters or basking bulbs, making them a more cost-effective choice in the long run.

Benefits of Using an Under Tank Heater for Leopard Geckos

Utilizing an under tank heater for your leopard gecko’s enclosure brings forth a range of benefits that contribute to the overall well-being of your pet.

These heaters play a crucial role in maintaining the body temperature of leopard geckos, which is vital for their health and activity. Moreover, they create a natural habitat environment, closely mimicking the conditions your gecko would experience in the wild.

One of the primary advantages of under tank heaters is the stress reduction they offer. Leopard geckos, like other reptiles, can become stressed when the temperatures in their environment fluctuate widely.

An under tank heater provides a consistent heat source, avoiding such fluctuations and thereby reducing stress, which is beneficial for the gecko’s health and longevity.

Comparing Under Tank Heaters with Other Heating Devices:

  • Safety Features: Under tank heaters are generally safer as they don’t pose a burn risk to the gecko, unlike basking lights. They provide gentle and even heating without creating hot spots that could harm your pet.
  • Temperature Control Options: Many under tank heaters come with or can be paired with thermostats, allowing for precise temperature control to ensure the comfort and safety of your gecko.
  • Cost: Under tank heaters are usually more cost-effective both in upfront cost and energy consumption compared to other heating options like ceramic heat emitters.
  • Availability and Installation: Under tank heaters are readily available in pet stores or online, and their installation is typically straightforward, often requiring just a clean surface to adhere to.

Before making a choice, it’s important to consider several factors. Look for safety features like overheating protection, and ensure the heater provides a steady and consistent heat source.

Evaluate temperature control features, ensuring you can easily adjust and maintain the desired temperature within the enclosure. Also, consider the cost, availability, and installation options to ensure the under tank heater you choose meets your requirements and is within your budget.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Under Tank Heater

Selecting the right under tank heater is a crucial decision that significantly impacts the comfort and health of your leopard gecko. There are several factors to consider ensuring that the heater you choose not only provides the necessary warmth but also does so safely and efficiently.

Safety Features

When scouting for the perfect under tank heater for your leopard geckos, the safety features embedded within the unit are paramount. These features are designed to prevent any accidents or hazards that could harm your geckos or cause a fire.

Common safety features include overheating protection, which prevents the heater from getting too hot, and a reliable thermostat to ensure a stable temperature is maintained.

The importance of these safety features cannot be overstated as they directly impact the well-being of your leopard geckos. An under tank heater with robust safety features will ensure that the temperature within the enclosure remains within a safe range, preventing burns or overheating which could lead to stress, illness, or even fatality.

Additionally, these safety features also provide peace of mind to you, the pet owner, knowing that the heating element in your pet’s enclosure is operating safely and effectively. It will also keep any plants that you might be using alive.

Temperature Control Features

When choosing an under tank heater for your leopard geckos, considering the temperature control features is essential. These features allow you to manage the heat output, ensuring it remains within a safe and comfortable range for your geckos.

Among the temperature control features, a thermostat is a crucial tool that helps you monitor and adjust the temperature of the heat mat accurately.

A thermostat works by gauging the temperature of the heat mat and adjusting the heat output to maintain a set temperature. This is critical as leopard geckos require a specific temperature range to thrive. Having the ability to adjust the temperature ensures that your geckos have the necessary warmth for digestion and other metabolic processes.

Maintaining a suitable and consistent temperature is a cornerstone for the well-being of your leopard geckos. A stable temperature replicates their natural habitat conditions, reducing stress, and promoting healthy behaviors. It also prevents conditions such as hypothermia or overheating, which can be detrimental to their health.

Cost and Availability

The cost and availability of under tank heaters are significant factors to consider when shopping for the ideal heating solution for your leopard geckos. Under tank heaters come in a variety of models, each with its own price point, which generally correlates with its features and brand reputation.

The cost range of under tank heaters can vary widely, from budget-friendly options that are priced as low as $10 to premium models that can cost upwards of $50 or more.

The price often reflects the quality, brand, and the temperature control features integrated into the heater. They can be purchased from a variety of purchase locations, including pet supply stores, reptile specialty stores, and online platforms like Amazon or Chewy.

The availability of under tank heaters is fairly widespread. They can easily be found online, where a broader selection is often available, as well as in physical pet stores.

Online shopping provides the convenience of home delivery and a wider range of options, while purchasing from a physical store allows you to get personalized advice and immediate possession of the item.

Installation Options

When it comes to installation options for under tank heaters, there are several methods to consider ensuring a safe and effective setup in your leopard gecko enclosures. The installation process is generally straightforward, but the method chosen can impact the efficiency and safety of the heating system.

One common method is adhering the heater to the bottom of the enclosure using adhesive tapes or clamps. This method ensures direct contact with the enclosure, providing consistent heat transfer. Some under tank heaters come with their adhesive backing, making the installation process a breeze. However, it’s essential to ensure that the surface is clean and flat for optimal adherence.

Another method is placing the heater on a stand or spacer, creating a gap between the heater and the enclosure. This method can provide a more even heat distribution, reducing the risk of hot spots. However, it may also result in a lower overall temperature within the enclosure, requiring a higher wattage heater or additional heating sources.

Pros and Cons:

Direct Adherence:

  • Pros: Easy installation, consistent heat transfer.
  • Cons: Risk of hot spots, adhesive may lose strength over time.

Stand or Spacer:

  • Pros: Reduced risk of hot spots, more even heat distribution.
  • Cons: May require a higher wattage heater, more complex setup.

The choice between these installation options will depend on your specific setup, the type of under tank heater, and the needs of your leopard geckos. It’s advisable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and consider consulting with a herpetology expert or experienced pet store personnel if you are unsure about the best installation method for your situation.

Types of Under Tank Heaters Available for Leopard Geckos

When it comes to warming your leopard gecko’s enclosure, under tank heaters are the go-to choice for many reptile enthusiasts. However, under this umbrella term, there are different types of heaters each with their unique features and benefits.

From heat mats and pads to ceramic heat emitters and deep heat projectors, the options are varied. Each type comes with its set of advantages and considerations, tailored to meet the distinct needs of your cold-blooded companion.

Heat Pad / Heat Mat (Pros & Cons)

Heat pads or heat mats are common choices for providing supplemental heating, emergency heating, or temporary heating in leopard gecko enclosures. While they are handy and easy to use, they are often considered less efficient compared to other heat sources in terms of delivering a sustained and evenly distributed heat.

Heat mats come to the rescue in scenarios like during a blackout where other primary heating systems fail, ensuring that your leopard geckos remain warm. They are also useful for temporary setups or during transportation. However, to effectively raise ambient temperatures, proper placement is crucial. Placing them under the tank or on the side can provide direct warmth to the geckos but should be monitored to avoid overheating.


  • Ease of Use: Heat mats are easy to install and use, making them a hassle-free supplemental heating option.
  • Portability: Their lightweight and flat design make them portable, a plus for temporary setups or during transportation.
  • Cost-effective: Generally, heat mats are cheaper compared to other heating solutions, making them a budget-friendly choice for supplemental heating.


  • Less Efficient: They may not provide adequate heating for larger enclosures or during extremely cold periods.
  • Risk of Overheating: Without proper monitoring and temperature control, there’s a risk of overheating which could harm your leopard geckos.

Ceramic Heat Emitters (CHEs) (Pros & Cons)

Ceramic Heat Emitters (CHEs) are another viable option for providing supplemental heat to your leopard gecko’s enclosure. They are specially designed to improve the ambient temperatures within the tank without emitting visible light, replicating the natural nocturnal environment leopard geckos are accustomed to.

CHEs work by radiating infrared heat, which can significantly improve the temperature within the enclosure, making them an ideal choice for colder rooms or during the winter months. Their ability to provide heat without light makes them a suitable heating solution for night-time heating, ensuring your leopard geckos stay warm even when the lights are off.


  • No Light Emission: Unlike basking bulbs, CHEs emit no visible light, making them ideal for maintaining a natural day/night cycle.
  • Effective Heating: They provide a reliable source of heat, capable of warming the enclosure efficiently.
  • Long-Lasting: Ceramic Heat Emitters tend to have a longer lifespan compared to traditional heating bulbs.


  • Higher Upfront Cost: CHEs can be more expensive initially compared to other heating options like heat mats.
  • Requires Separate Fixture: They require a ceramic socket due to the high temperatures they reach, necessitating an additional purchase if not already owned.
  • Potential Burn Risk: The intense heat emitted can pose a burn risk to your leopard geckos if not properly installed or if a guard is not used.

Deep Heat Projectors (DHPs) (Pros & Cons)

Deep Heat Projectors (DHPs) are a newer addition to the range of heating options for leopard geckos. They are designed to produce deep-penetrating infrared radiation, mimicking the natural warming effects of sunlight. Unlike conventional heating elements, DHPs provide a more natural and effective heating solution, making them a noteworthy consideration as a secondary heat source during the day.

DHPs work by emitting infrared radiation that penetrates into the tissues of leopard geckos, providing a gentle and deep warmth. This is akin to the warming effect of natural sunlight, making DHPs an attractive option for daytime heating while maintaining a naturalistic environment for your geckos.


  • Deep Penetrating Heat: The infrared radiation emitted by DHPs penetrates deeper into the gecko’s body, providing a comforting warmth that promotes overall well-being.
  • Naturalistic Heating: By mimicking the warming effect of sunlight, DHPs create a more natural and enriching environment for leopard geckos.
  • Quiet Operation: Unlike fans or other heating elements, DHPs operate silently, ensuring a peaceful habitat for your geckos.


  • Limited Availability: DHPs are relatively new to the market, and as such, may have limited availability compared to other more established heating options.
  • Higher Cost: Due to their advanced technology, DHPs tend to be pricier compared to traditional under tank heaters or ceramic heat emitters.
  • Requires Monitoring: Like other heating elements, DHPs require careful monitoring to ensure they maintain a safe temperature within the enclosure.

Which Heat Source is Best?

There are several heat sources available for leopard geckos, each with its own set of benefits and features. These include Under Tank Heaters (UTHs), Ceramic Heat Emitters (CHEs), Deep Heat Projectors (DHPs), and heat mats or pads.

While each of these heating options has its advantages, the consensus among many reptile enthusiasts and experts is that an Under-Tank Heater (UTH) stands out as the best heat source for leopard gecko tanks.

UTHs are designed to provide belly heat, which is essential for aiding digestion in leopard geckos. They are also efficient in creating a temperature gradient within the enclosure, allowing your geckos to regulate their body temperature by moving to different areas as needed.

Moreover, UTHs are typically easy to install, reliable, and provide a consistent source of heat without disrupting the natural day/night cycle as they don’t emit light.

Comparatively, while CHEs and DHPs also offer effective heating solutions, they may require more careful monitoring to prevent overheating and may not provide the belly heat which is crucial for leopard geckos.

On the other hand, heat mats and pads are often seen as less efficient, although they serve well as supplemental or emergency heating solutions.