Are you planning on getting yourself some pet hermit crabs? Yes, they are really cool, and in the grand scheme of things, not that hard to take care of either but you need to ensure you have the right temperature and that’s where heating pads come in.
If you have been researching this topic, you probably know that hermit crab owners have external heat sources. Yes, this is necessary, and you will definitely need a hood lamp or heating pad. Today we want to help you find the best heating pad for hermit crabs (the iPower Pad is our top pick) and covers some essentials.
Does My Hermit Crab Need Heating Pads?
Yes, hermit crabs are cold blooded creatures and this means that they need an external heat source to stay alive. They need this to keep their metabolism going and just to stay warm in general.
Without an external heat source maintaining the proper temperature, a hermit crab will begin to shut down completely, until its organs can no longer function. There is no way of getting around this.
They need to have a temperature between 22 and 27 degrees Celsius. Now, of course, if you live in a tropical climate where it is that warm anyway, then no, you don’t need a heating pad.
However, if you live in colder place, you will need to provide your hermit crabs with a heat source. No, this does not have to be a heating pad, and could also be a hood light, but generally speaking, most people prefer heating pads for hermit crabs.
5 Best Heating Pads For Hermit Crabs
We have narrowed it down to these particular 5 pads that we personally feel are some of the better options at the moment, here is a detailed overview of each one to give you some suggestions.
1. Aiicioo Heating Pad
The Aiicioo Heating Pad is a good option for a variety of reasons. First of all, it comes with a fairly long power cord, so you never have to worry about battery life or finding an outlet close enough, but do keep in mind that a long power cord can get in the way sometimes.
This particular heating pad is 8 x 6 inches, which is fine for a smaller hermit crab tank, but it does also come in a 12 x 8 inch model just in case you need something a bit bigger. Moreover, the fact that you can choose from an 8, 16, or 24 watt model is pretty nice too.
The Aiicioo Heating Pad does not use many watts, which is good for energy efficiency. What’s also neat here is that this thing comes with special glue so you can stick it right to the side or bottom of your hermit crab tank.
Although, beware that after a few months the glue may lose its efficacy, as well, once you choose a spot to stick it in, removing it is not recommended, or really possible. Keep in mind that it will just heat the tank up to a certain temperature, but if you want to control the temperature, you will need to buy a separate thermostat to plug it into.
- Easy to use.
- Energy efficient.
- Comes in multiple sizes.
- The glue can cause problem.
- Needs a thermostat to work properly.
2. iPower Under Tank Heat pad
This is another decent option, one that is a bit more versatile than the previous options we just looked at. For one, you can get the iPower Under Tank Heat pad in various sizes including 4 x 7 inches, 6 x 8 inches, 8 x 12 inches, and 8 x 18 inches.
It’s a good option no matter what size of tank you have. Something else you might appreciate here is that the iPower pad is specially designed to provide uniform heating, so one part of it does not get hotter than another.
The most convenient aspect of this iPower heat pad by far, is that it comes with its own thermostat and temperature regulator. No, it doesn’t just heat up to a preset temperature. You can choose the temperature yourself. The temperature here ranges from 40 to 108 degrees, which is perfect for hermit crabs.
The simple thermostat allows you to set and monitor the temperature with relative ease. Do keep in mind that the iPower is an adhesive under tank heater, which means that you stick it to the bottom of your tank, and once it is there, until the glue wears off, it is not going to move anywhere.
- Even heat distribution.
- Allows you to set a precise temperature.
- Comes in many sizes.
- The glue can cause issues.
- Has trouble working in colder temperatures.
3. Shopline Heating Mat
This heating mat come in various sizes and wattage ratings. Here you can choose from a 5 watt 7.1 x 5.9 inch model, a 15 watt 9.8 x 8.7 inch model, and a 25 watt 16.5 x 8.7 inch model. To be honest, we wasn't personally too happy about the size choices here, but we suppose that this is better than no choice at all.
Now, the Shopline Mat does come with an adjustable temperature setting, but it seems to be lacking a thermostat. In other words, you can turn the dial up or down to change the temperature, but it is somewhat of a guessing game.
Moreover, you can easily place this thing under your tank, but it is not the most durable option around. It is labeled as waterproof, but we would not risk covering it in bedding, sand, or getting it wet. It doesn’t appear to be all that durable in the long run. It does have a thin and flexible design though, so it should be able to easily fit in most places.
- Space friendly.
- Energy friendly.
- Adjustable temperature.
- Not the most durable.
- Setting the temperature is a bit of a guessing game.
4. Zilla Heat Mats
Zilla Heat Mats are quite versatile, at least thanks to the various sizes which they come in. Here you can choose from a 4 x 7 inch, 6 x 8 inch, an 8 x 12 inch, and an 8 x 18 inch model.
You should be able to find a size that works best for you and your hermit crabs. Keep in mind that this is an external heat source, one that is meant to be stuck to the underside or rear exterior wall of the tank. It uses a special adhesive to stick directly to the glass.
Once again, while it is quite convenient, place the Zilla Heat Mat right, because once you have stuck it on, it’s not coming off, at least not for a few months or years until the adhesive finally wears off.
Something to note here is that Zilla Mats do provide even and constant heating, and they are fairly durable too, but they do not come with a thermostat. In other words, they only heat the temperature up to a specific amount. If you want to be able to control the temperature, you will need to invest in a specialized thermostat plug.
- Easy to use.
- Comes in many sizes.
- Energy efficient.
- The adhesive is tricky to deal with.
- Glue will wear off eventually.
- No thermostat included.
5. AUOKER Reptile Heating Pad
Yes this is the final option here on our list today, but still we thought it deserved a mention. For one, this heating pad is in fact a very energy efficient model, something we can all appreciate.
It does come in a 5, 7, and 20 watt model, each slightly larger than the last, but with that said, the selection of sizes here is not exactly awesome. Moreover, you just have to place it under the tank, or under the rocks within the tank.
Now, it is fairly durable, partially waterproof, and should do fine for years to come. However, covering it with sand or submerging it is a big no-no. The AUOKER Reptile Heating Pad does come with a thermostat so you can increase or decrease the temperature.
However, it is just a simple dial that goes from off to high, and it does not come with a specific temperature setting. Once again, this means that you have to engage in a bit of a guessing game until you can achieve and maintain the right temperature.
- Very durable.
- Low energy consumption
- Easy to use
- Adjusting the temperature is a bit of a guessing game.
- Choice of sizes is not fantastic
Heating Pads VS Hood Lights
This is a bit of tricky one, as different options work best in different situations. Some people prefer hood lights, some like heating pads, and some like a combination of both.
It is really up to you and what your preferences are. Both have their benefits and drawbacks to keep in mind.
- Keep in mind that hood lights can be hard to maintain in various ways. You need to mount them properly, in the right place, and at the right distance.
- They need to have the right wattage and light output, and the right heat output too. Moreover, the crabs don’t always want to have light, so this can be an issue too.
- A big bonus here is that UVB bulbs are proven to actually increase the lifespans of hermit crabs when in captivity.
- Most people do actually prefer heating pads, at least higher end models which are durable and allow you to set a specific temperature.
- You can pair them with thermostats if they do not come with their own, and unlike heat lamps, they provide gentle, even, and reliable heat.
- That said, these things obviously don’t produce any light, which can be an issue at times. Keep in mind that heat pads should only take up about half of the tank floor, as crabs do need a side where it is not as hot.
If you need some more help looking after Hermit Crabs, we have covered a helpful care guide here that covers the essentials.
There you have it folks, these are our favorite 5 heating pad options, and why you should go with heating pads as opposed to hood lamps. Hermit crabs are really cool pets, but do your research before buying any so they are looked after properly.