Best Heat Mat for Plants - Our 2021 Reviews
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The Best Heat Mat to Grow Your Plants Faster

While we were all taught that plants only need soil, water, and sunlight to grow strong, our science classes neglected to mention that the plant growth process has some cheat codes — like a specially designed heat mat. Plant heat mats are incredibly helpful in seed germination and plant propagation, especially during the colder months of the year.

Whether to kickstart the seed germination process in a controlled environment or to keep small plants and seedlings warm during the winter, read on to discover which one in the market is the best heat mat for plants.

Backyard Boss Top 5 Heat Mats for Your Plants in 2021

PRODUCT FEATURES
Ohuhu Seedling Heat Mat - The Best Heat Mat to Grow Your Plants FasterOhuhu Seedling Heat Mat
  • Size: 10 x 20.75 Inches
  • Warranty: 12 Months
  • Weight: 0.9 Pounds
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RIOGOO Seedling Heat Mat and Thermostat Controller - The Best Heat Mat to Grow Your Plants FasterRIOGOO Seedling Heat Mat and Thermostat Controller
  • Size: 9.5 x 20.5 Inches
  • Warranty: 12 Months
  • Weight: 1.48 Pounds
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BN-LINK Durable Seedling Heat Mat - The Best Heat Mat to Grow Your Plants FasterBN-LINK Durable Seedling Heat Mat
  • Size: 3 x 20 Inches
  • Warranty: 15 Months
  • Weight: 0.45 Pounds
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Hydrofarm Jump Start Heat Mat - The Best Heat Mat to Grow Your Plants FasterHydrofarm Jump Start Heat Mat
  • Size: 20 x 20 Inches
  • Warranty: 12 Months
  • Weight: 1.45 Pounds
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VIVOSUN Seedling Heat Mat and Digital Thermostat - The Best Heat Mat to Grow Your Plants FasterVIVOSUN Seedling Heat Mat and Digital Thermostat
  • Size: 48 x 20.75 Inches
  • Warranty: 12 Months
  • Weight: 4.09 Pounds
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Why You Can Trust Us

There are only so many times one can try to germinate seeds (to no success) before realizing that the lack of a heat mat is the issue. After years of having a passion for growing and caring for plants, seedling heat mats have become a necessity to grow little seeds into a flourishing garden. Paired with years of personal experience, you can also trust that extensive research has gone into ensuring that only quality products are recommended. We’ve landed on a list of five products that have been carefully considered and chosen and are undeniably some of the best plant heat mats on the market today.

Best for Seed Germination

Ohuhu Seedling Heat Mat
    Ohuhu Seedling Heat Mat fits one seedling tray and uses a five-layer structure to heat the soil. This heat is equally distributed using water-resistant exterior layers and insulating interior layers. It’s safe to scrub clean and incredibly easy to store, thanks to the included carrying pouch.

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Why We Like It: The Ohuhu Seedling Heat Mat is MET-certified and kick-starts the germination process with a five-layer design that evenly distributes heat throughout the unit. The alloy heating layer is incredibly powerful and combats cold ambient temperatures efficiently for swift germination.

Who Should Buy It: Home gardeners looking to quickly germinate a batch of seeds would do well with this no-fuss heating mat thanks to its quick and efficient heating capabilities.

Best With Digital Thermostat

RIOGOO Seedling Heat Mat and Thermostat Controller
    This heat mat comes with a digital thermostat that controls and regulates the mat’s temperature — with this, you can trust that your seeds won't cook from the heat. This has an IP68 rating, meaning it's mostly waterproof, not just resistant, and is easy to clean.

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Why We Like It: Thermostats are usually bought separately from heat mats but this unit comes with both and it can regulate the mat’s temperature on its own. This seedling heat mat is MET-certified and easy to maintain and clean.

Who Should Buy It: Indoor gardeners who don’t have much spare time to regularly check the soil temperature of their growing plants would benefit greatly from this.

Best Space-Saving Heat Mat

BN-LINK Durable Seedling Heat Mat
    This tiny mat is designed to fit into the smallest of spaces without sacrificing heating power. Using a simple energy-efficient design that only uses 6.5 Watts, this mat warms up within minutes and is great for small seed and propagation batches.

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Why We Like It: This MET-certified heat mat distributes heat evenly and the flexibility of its materials allows it to be wrapped around jars for brewing needs. Size is its biggest selling point since this allows it to have a variety of uses — for small germination and propagation batches, brewing, and fermentation. A small mat is also easier to place somewhere where you can keep an eye on it.

Who Should Buy It: This would also be great for anyone wanting to experiment with small seed germination and brewing projects.

Best for Cool Weather

Hydrofarm Jump Start Heat Mat
    Equipped with a strong internal heating wire and thick insulated construction, this mat can reliably and uniformly heat two seedling trays to 10–20 degrees above the ambient temperature. This makes it great for winter and can also be used for fermenting large brews!

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Why We Like It: This is the only UL-listed seedling heat mat on this list and is made in the USA. This square mat consistently reaches a steady 10–20 degrees above ambient temperatures and is guaranteed to keep your plants warm and cozy during the fall and winter seasons.

Who Should Buy It: Dedicated home gardeners who want to germinate expensive seeds over the cold months can rely on this to kickstart the process and keep them warm in time for spring.

Best Large Heat Mat

VIVOSUN Seedling Heat Mat and Digital Thermostat
    This huge heat mat can fit four seedling trays at a time and is great for growing big batches. Using a large infrared heating film to quickly raise the temperature, the heat is uniformly distributed using insulated PVC layers and regulated with a digital thermostat.

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Why We Like It: This MET-certified mat is designed to have an even heat distribution throughout the unit, even with its large size. This allows multiple seedling batches to germinate simultaneously without needing to use multiple mats. As added security, it uses a three-prong grounded socket in case of emergencies and even boasts an IP67 rating.

Who Should Buy It: Dedicated home gardeners looking to level up their plant game would love this mat when trying their hand at expanding their garden.

What to Look for in a Heating Pad for Plants

Plant heat mats, also known as seedling heat mats, are used mostly with seed germination and plant propagation to help it grow at the sweet spot temperature (around 70–90 degrees Fahrenheit). With this temperature, seed growth and plant cloning become much easier. To guarantee that a heat mat is right for you, here are some things you should look out for in your search:

Durable Materials

Using durable materials for the heat mat not only ensures that it lasts long but also that it’s safe to use. These refer to the top and bottom layers of a mat, the internal heat layer, and a secure power source. All these materials should work hand in hand to evenly warm up a unit without getting too hot.

Water-Resistant

Water is crucial to plant growth and the chances are you’ll have to water your plants while they’re warming up. Water-resistance is necessary, especially for those intending to keep a hydroponic garden. As something connected to electricity, waterproofing helps with safety and cleaning. To be sure, look out for an IP67 or IP68 rating, for dust protection and water resistance.

Safety Certifications

To make sure you’re buying something that won’t cause more problems in the future, safety certification is necessary. There are many safety certifications to choose from but popular ones include MET (Eurofins) Certification and UL (Underwriter Laboratories) Listings. Both seals ensure that a product has been tested and has met their safety standards.

Thermostat

Temperature controls help minimize the supervision a mat needs since it manages the temperatures that you’re looking for, rather than you checking on it constantly while it’s plugged in.

best heat mat for plants Feature image
Image credits: RIOGOO via Amazon

How to Choose a Seedling Heat Mat

Although many heat mats are built with similar features, nothing is perfect and some serve certain uses better than others. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you choose which heat mat will work best for you.

What are you using it for?

If you’ll be using it to more quickly germinate seeds, for hydroponic gardening, or even for brewing and fermentation projects, then different features come into play. It would also be good to know what kinds of seeds and cuttings you’ll be growing since different plants work best under different heat and humidity conditions.

How big do you need it?

The standard heat mat size (10 x 20.75 inches) can fit one seedling tray but mats are also available in bigger and smaller sizes. A smaller mat is good for small plant projects in tight spaces while a larger size is ideal for growing large batches of plants and could also work for fish tanks and reptile enclosures.

Do you need it to meet a specific temperature?

Heat mats generally warm up the area but some gardeners need to achieve a specific temperature for their plants. For specific temperature conditions, a thermostat would be needed. This accessory can come with the mat, as a separate purchase, or not at all, depending on your preferences and needs.

How We Picked

Coming up with a list of the best heat mats available online was not only a question on how well the mats worked but also a matter of examining the safety, versatility, and durability of each product. With some research and personal experience, we were easily able to pick out our top five favorite heat mats on the market.

Safety was the first thing we looked at, especially with something meant to emit heat under mild supervision. After ensuring that it has met official safety standards, we looked into product features, durability, and what others had to say about their experience. As a bonus, versatile products for fermentation or terrariums were considered too!

Which Heat Mat Will You Choose to Grow Your Plants?

Having trouble choosing one? Here’s our favorite heat mat from the bunch to help you decide.

We prefer RIOGOO Seedling Heat Mat, due to its simple yet effective design that comes with a thermostat unit that controls and regulates the heat emitted. This lessens the risk of frying the seeds and overheating the area, all for a safer environment for you to care for your plants.

That said, plant heat mats have a variety of uses and different features are appropriate for different purposes. This mat is great in general but something more specialized for your needs won’t hurt.

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