Leopard Gecko Heating Pad Temperature Explained

By Frank Miller •  Updated: 10/10/23 • 

Adopting a leopard gecko lets you bring a piece of the wild into your home. Although these reptiles are relatively easy to raise, they require specific conditions to thrive. For instance, they like their temperature just right; anything higher or lower can cause nasty health problems. If you are considering using a heating pad, it is imperative to know what temperature you should set.

The ideal leopard gecko heating pad temperature is 30 to 35°F above the room temperature. This is assuming you are operating the equipment at full power. Room temperature differs depending on location but generally ranges between 68 and 74°F. You must use a thermostat and a temperature gun to ensure you maintain a comfortable temperature gradient.

Are you eager to learn about a leopard gecko’s ideal heating pad temperature setting? Buckle up as we outline facts you should know to ensure your pet’s safety when using this heating equipment.

We will also explain why it is better to use a heating pad only as a supplemental heat source.

Ready? Let’s begin!

Are Heating Pads A Good Primary Heat Source For Leopard Geckos?

Heating pads are under-the-tank heat sources that hit the gold standard for providing belly heat. Unfortunately, they only produce IR C, which can only deliver superficial heating. Generally, heating pads radiate heat onto the pet’s underside, the flooring, and some furnishings close to the device. They have little impact on the overall air temperature, making having an overhead heat source crucial.

>Recommended Reading: Do Leopard Geckos Need Heat Lamps?

To raise the overall ambient temperature of a vivarium, you should combine using a heating pad and other equipment such as heat lamps/halogen lamps, ceramic heat emitters, or deep heat projectors. Such equipment also generates IR A and B to mimic the sun’s natural heat. These rays penetrate further than the skin, ensuring your scaly buddy is warm to the core.

When used as a supplemental heat source on the warm side of the tank, heating pads work beautifully to keep leopard geckos happy and healthy. They can be used during day and night hours because they don’t provide light. Consider the heat other heating devices produce when determining what temperature you should set your heating pad.

A Vivarium Set up with Under-tank Heat Pad

A Vivarium Set up with Under-tank Heat Pad

What Temperature Should I Set A Heating Pad For Leopard Gecko?

When setting the temperature for a heating pad or any other heating equipment, your goal should be to achieve a comfortable temperature gradient for your leopard gecko. These colorful, scaly companions are native to dry and semi-desert areas, and you must try to mimic the temperatures in their natural environment as much as possible.

Placing a heating pad under a substrate can help you provide sufficient belly heat to enhance your gecko’s digestive process. Measure the vivarium’s temperature using a temperature gun or digital probe thermometer and increase the temperature by 30 to 35°F above the room temperature. The ideal settings will highly depend on the room temperature in your area.

>Recommended Reading: Where to Put a Heating Pad for Leopard Gecko?

Aim to achieve this temperature gradient to maintain healthy thermoregulation during daylight hours.

Cool Side75-80°F
Warm Side80-85°F
Basking Spot90-95°F


A night drop in temperatures is crucial to keeping your leopard gecko happy. Your scaly companion can tolerate a drop-down to 60°F. If your home is cold after dusk, you can switch off light-emitting equipment like UVA and UVB lights and twitch your heating pad settings to suit your pet’s needs.

Again, you’ll need to adjust the temperature settings based on the room temperature in your area. Use a temperature gun or digital probe thermometer to ensure you only provide as much heat as your pet needs. Without a thermostat, you risk setting the temperatures too high, which can easily lead to injury or death of your leopard gecko.

Generally, you’ll have to experiment with the settings until you find what works for you. A thermostat will make your work easier by helping you regulate heat from the heating pad. Test and monitor the enclosure temperature for at least 24 hours (day and night) before letting your gecko inside the tank.

Potential Health Risks of Insufficient Heat in a Leopard Gecko’s Enclosure

Leopard geckos are cold-blooded, and depriving them of heat can touch a raw nerve and cause immense stress. Moreover, prolonged exposure to cold temperatures increases the risk of impaction, respiratory infections, and stick tail disease. Although your pet will not die instantly from insufficient heat, he can only tolerate temperatures below 60°F for so long before falling sick and eventually dying.

Here are the three main health risks posed by insufficient heating:

>Recommended Reading: Leopard Gecko Dying Signs

Are Heating Pads Ideal For Emergency Planning?

Leopard geckos need specific conditions to thrive. If you constantly worry about cold weather or power outages, heating pads can help create a reliable contingency plan for your pet. A 6 x 8 inch (15 x 20 cm) heating pad ideal for a 10 to 20-gallon tank consumes roughly 8 Watts of electricity. This means you can power it using a power bank to keep your Leo warm and toasty.

Leopard geckos cannot maintain their body temperature and constantly need a heat source. Heating pads excel at maintaining safe and stable temperatures, which can come in handy if you need supplemental heat. Although they don’t produce penetrating thermal heat, heating pads can be used as standalone heating equipment at night or during power blackouts.

For the best results, choose a quality product that provides uniform warmth without creating hot spots or inconsistent temperature ranges. According to the sentiments of thousands of reptile parents, the Tikaton Reptile Heat Pad has stood the test of time and is one of the most reliable heating pads available on the market.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are new to gecko parenting or have been part of the reptile community for a while, we are pretty sure you’ve heard about heating pads and their potential to provide sufficient belly heat. Although we don’t recommend the husbandry practice of using heating pads as the primary heat source, we can all agree they do a great job as a supplemental heat source. To ensure safety when setting a leopard gecko heating pad temperature, the three fundamental rules to remember are:

Frank Miller

Frank Miller is the Founder of Lizard Advisor and owns several pet lizards, from leopard geckos, bearded dragons, crested geckos, chameleons, and others. The mission of this website is to make owning a pet lizard very easy for everyone, but mostly beginners. And each year, he continues to help more people learn more about lizard care and much more.