Exo Terra 100w Thermostat: Is It Worth Buying?

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The Exo Terra 100w Thermostat is an ON/OFF style thermostat used for maintaining the temperature inside reptile and amphibian enclosures.

It is well-built, has a waterproof temperature reading sensor, and controls one heating element. But is it worth buying? That’s precisely the question I’ll answer in this review.

To give you the best possible review, I purchased one on Amazon and tested it myself.

Is It Worth Your Money?

Exo Terra has a list of quality products and this thermostat is no exception. It’s a decent thermostat… but is it worth $40 – $50? Another question: Are there better thermostats around the same price?

The first thing I noticed when unboxing this item was the thickness of the cords. There are two power plugins, one male and one female, and a cord with a temperature probe at the end. They’re incredibly sturdy cords. Truth be told, the cords are stiff and hard to work with.

The light on the front turns red to indicate when the heating is running. A dial on the back is used to set the temperature. You don’t need a manual to show you how to program it. It’s simple and easy to use. I like it…


  • Easy To Use
  • Quality Build
  • Waterproof temperature sensor
  • Controls up to 100 watts
  • Lengthy power cables


  • Thick cords are hard to work with
  • Slightly expensive
  • Max temperature at 95 °F

The Exo Terra 100w Thermostat is worth its price but I don’t recommend getting one unless you absolutely need a waterproof temperature probe.

Why? Well, there is another thermostat of similar quality that costs less money, and it’s easier to work with.

Don’t get me wrong. This is a great product. The setup process is great and the overall quality is noteworthy. However, I currently have 5 different reptile thermostats in my possession and I’ve gained enough insight to send you in a different direction.

My Experience with the Exo Terra 100w Thermostat

Exo Terra 100w Thermostat
The Exo Terra 100w Thermostat.

The first thing I noticed when unboxing the 100w thermostat was the thickness of the cords. They’re heavy, quality cords. In fact, they’re stiff and difficult to work with. This is my only gripe about this product and it’s not even that big of a problem.

Anyway, there are three cords. Two are power cords, one with a male end and one with a female end. The male end plugs into a power outlet in your home while the female end receives the male end of your heating element’s power cable. The third cord is the one with a temperature sensor at the end.

The temperature sensor is waterproof according to Exo Terra. You can see the temperature sensor or “probe” in the picture below.

Exo Terra 100w Thermostat Temperature Probe
The temperature sensor on the Exo Terra 100w Thermostat.

Another neat thing about this thermostat is the 2nd power cord; the one you plug the heating element into. Most reptile thermostats don’t have this cord. Instead, they simply have a power socket on the side of the thermostat.

Having this cord gives you another 48-inches to work with! It might not sound like much but if you’re trying to conceal the thermostat or stretch the heater over a long distance, this extra length is very helpful.

On the opposite, one might prefer to have the female plugin socket on the thermostat and see the extra cord as a hindrance. It depends on your setup and preferences.

There is an analog dial on the back of the thermostat where you set the desired temperature. You can go from 68 °F to 95 °F. The dial is easy to turn. I was able to turn it with my fingernail but a flathead screwdriver or butter knife works great too.

Exo Terra 100w Thermostat Temperature Setting
The temperature dial on the back of the Exo Terra 100w Thermostat.

The last feature worth mentioning is the light on the front. It turns red while the heating element is running. Here is a quick recap of the features:

  • Controls up to 100 watts
  • Works great with heating matts, ceramic heat emitters, heat bulbs
  • ON/OFF style thermostat
  • Long, heavy cords
  • Waterproof temperature sensor
  • Analog dial for setting the temperature
  • Red light to indicate when heating element is running

Who The Exo Terra 100w Thermostat Is For…

I think this thermostat is for someone who absolutely needs a waterproof temperature sensor and only needs to control a single heating element.

Another reason someone might choose this product is due to the length of the cords. The female end of the power cord, the part where the heating element plugs into the thermostat, is 48-inches in length. Most thermostats don’t have this cord; the heater plugs into the thermostat.

The extra cord length can be good or bad, depending on your setup. If this is important to you, it’s worth considering.

On the same note, the cords are stiff. They’re quality power cables but they’re hard to work with. I had a difficult time getting the temperature sensor to stay in one spot.

More Exo Terra Thermostats

Exo Terra was two other thermostats. One of them is very similar to this. The only difference is that it controls up to 300 watts. Their other one is quite a bit different.

The Exo Terra 600w thermostat is a dimming and pulse proportional thermostat with dual receptacles. It allows for two different heating elements and it controls up to 600 watts. It’s their high-end thermostat.

You can see each version on Amazon using the links below.

Full disclosure: I did not review the 300w or 600w versions. All of Exo Terra’s thermostats have great customer ratings across the board (4 out of 5 stars). I suspect the build quality is similar to that of the 100w version but, again, I haven’t personally tested the 300w or 600w versions of this thermostat.

My Final Rating: Exo Terra 100w Thermostat

Exo Terra’s 100w Thermostat controls one heating element by turning it on or off depending on the temperature. It is an “ON/OFF thermostat”, which means exactly what it sounds like: it controls the temperature by turning the heater on and off.

It’s well-built, having thick cords and a water-proof temperature sensor. The power cables are long which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your setup.

Personally, I like the extra length of the female receptacle’s cord. Most reptile thermostats have a plugin on the side of the main box which doesn’t give you much room to work with, especially if the heater’s cord is short.

A red LED light indicates when the heating element is running and there is a dial on the back which is used to set the desired temperature. It’s easy to use and the dial is easy to turn.

You can purchase one online or in most pet stores for $40 – $50. Is it worth it? I think so. Having said that, I don’t recommend buying one without first looking at Zilla’s thermostat (link goes to a review on this website). It costs less money, has receptacles for multiple heaters, and controls up to 1000 watts.

TLDR; Should I Buy The Exo Terra 100w Thermostat?

It’s a great thermostat all around. The build is nice. It has lengthy cords and it’s easy to set up. The temperature dial is easy to set, a red light indicates when your heater is running, and the temperature probe is waterproof.

My only real gripe about the 100w thermostat is that the cords are stiff and they can be difficult to work with.

Related: The Best Thermostats for Reptiles & Amphibians Under $60

The person I recommend this product for is one who values lengthy power cables or absolutely needs a waterproof temperature probe. Otherwise, I would recommend checking out Zilla’s analog thermostat first. It costs about the same or sometimes less, it controls up to 1000 watts and has multiple plugin receptacles for more than one heating element.