Does A Ball Python Need A Heat Pad?

A ball python needs a heat pad on one side of its enclosure to help it regulate its body temperature. A heat pad only needed when all other heating sources are not enough. The heat pad can help your ball python to digest its food properly.

One of the safest objects for you to keep the terrarium warm is heating pads.But it should be in the best condition as heat mats specifically can exceed safe temperatures for the animal much faster. It can result in burns on the snake or house fires if you are really unlucky.

So, always use a thermostat when using an under tank heater like a heat mat or heat tape.

Does My Ball Python Need a Heat Pad?

Yes, ball pythons need a heat pad for the best heating environment. But there should be a good source of heating devices for extra protection as they are not great at heating the air as the animal’s body stops heat from escaping from the heat mat.

We can’t check the temperatures every hour by ourselves, so we need thermostats. There is no harm in keeping it on the floor as that way it will keep the environment warm.

Pros of Using a Heat Pad for a Ball Python

  • Convenient: Heat pads are easy to set up and use.
  • Effective: Heat pads can provide a consistent source of heat.
  • Affordable: Heat pads are relatively inexpensive.

Cons of Using a Heat Pad for a Ball Python

  • Can be dangerous: If the heat pad is not regulated by a thermostat, it can get too hot and burn the ball python.
  • Not as natural: Heat pads do not provide the same type of heat as the sun, which can be less stimulating for the ball python.
  • Can dry out the enclosure: Heat pads can dry out the substrate in the enclosure, which can make it uncomfortable for the ball python.

Are Heat Mats Safe for Ball Pythons?

This is a way to heat the ball python habitat from the ground up by sticking the pad under the cage and then plugging it in to generate the heat. This is a form of belly heat.

A heat mat can’t heat high enough for good climbing enrichment properly. Heat may cause thermal blocking and can cause burns. Heat mats could make the situation worse as they can increase the risk of firing conditions.

What is the Best Heat Pad for a Ball Python?

There are many kinds of heat pad for ball pythons. We recommend best two heat pads for ball python.

Aiicioo Under Tank Heater Thermostat

This heater actually works and puts out a good amount of heat. It doesn’t raise the temperature of the tank above 62 degree Celsius. You can put the mat on the side of the tank.

This heater combo works perfectly for this purpose. Install the heating pad on the bottom of the glass tank. You can control how much over or below it’s allowed to fluctuate down.

BN-LINK Digital Heat Mat Thermostat Controller

It has a simple 3 Button Interface to support Fahrenheit and Celsius with digital Readout. There is a 2 to 3 degree buffering zone for the thermostat controller to turn your appliance on again.

Plug it in and watch the thermostat controller maintain the optimal temperature you’ve set for your needs.

You can place the temperature probe where the heat source will target to watch pets stay warm and happy. The room stays pretty warm and works great for a couple of snakes.

Alternatives to Using a Heat Pad for a Ball Python

There are a few alternatives to using a heat pad for a ball python. One option is to use a ceramic heat emitter (CHE). CHEs emit heat through radiation, which is more natural than the heat from a heat pad.

Another option is to use a combination of a heat lamp and a heat pad. This will allow you to provide the ball python with a more natural heat source, while also ensuring that they have a consistent source of heat.

The best way to heat your ball python’s enclosure will depend on your individual circumstances. If you are not sure which type of heat source is right for your ball python, it is best to consult with a veterinarian or experienced reptile keeper.

Do Ball Pythons Need Heat at Night?

Do Ball Pythons Need Heat at Night

The basking spot should be between 88–94 degrees and the temperature of the enclosure should be about 75 to 80 degrees all the time of any portion of day or night. Whatever you use should be on a thermostat to prevent burns. Snakes shouldn’t be cold if you have the temperature correct.

It can thermoregulate to be over or under the heat source when they need to warm up. If they are moving less or less hungry, it can be a sign that they’re cold, no matter if it is day or night.

Do Ball Pythons Need Belly Heat?

With a heat mat, they stay there a long time. But with a heat lamp, they are warmed up very quickly and are free to go wherever they like. Heat mats warm up the belly portion of a ball python but not much of the air.

They can stay a long time on a heat mat to get warm. They do not have sufficient heat receptors on their belly. Burning with heat mats is more likely than with lamps as the lamp rapidly raises core temperatures.

How Long Can a Ball Python Go Without a Heating Pad?

If a ball python doesn’t get a sufficient heating environment for a couple of days, their metabolism will slow. Prolonged time without enough heat can have many negative consequences.

It can result in the food actually rotting in their stomach if a snake is too cold.

Where Do You Place a Heating Pad on a Ball Python?

They mainly need a heat source, not heat mats. Heat mats are a heating source as they’re depending on what your enclosure is like. They can be a fire hazard or can cause burns.

That is why they shouldn’t be constantly in the heat as they can easily suffer heat stroke. This allows them to thermoregulate.

Is a Heating Pad Enough for a Ball Python?

No, only heating pads will not do all the job done for the ball python. You can use a thermostat to ensure the surfaces your ball python is in contact with in the enclosure are 90 to 92F.

Do not expose ball pythons to temperatures under 21C. You need to heat your ball python cage in some way, to achieve desired temperatures for the snake living inside it.

Also Read: Do Ball Pythons Need a Heat Lamp?

How Can I Tell if My Ball Python is Cold?

How can I tell if my ball python is cold

Being cold for a little while won’t hurt the snake unless the temperature gets extremely low. If you touch them at that point you can perceive their cold bodies and also you will see them coiled up.

Another risk is the snake getting a respiratory infection or another illness. Moving away from the basking spot and finding the cooler spot more comfortable is a sign that can help you to understand that they are not feeling good in the heat of the terrarium.

Should I Turn My Ball Pythons Heat Mat Off at Night?

No, the ball python’s heat mat should not be turned off at night. They need a constant heat source to have heat. A thermostat will monitor the inside temperature of the box so that it can automatically decrease the temperature at night when needed.

Again it starts getting cold and the heat mat gets switched on. They cannot warm their bodies from within. The environment and items present in their surroundings will provide them with heat.

Also Read: How to Keep Humidity Up in Terrariums for Ball Python?

What is the Best Way to Heat a Ball Python?

It is difficult to determine just how hot the snake would be under the lamp. In order to use one, have an open top on the tank and just cover it with a mesh.

That lets warm air escape from the enclosure and cool, dry air flows in. Unhygienic humid air is very bad for their respiratory system.

The air temperature in a ball python enclosure should be 80F on average. The temperature gradually should be increased from one side of the ball python cage to the other.


Heat mats are used for germination only. They should be discontinued once sprouting occurs. The thermostat acts as a gauge to make sure that you are not using too much heat or too little.

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